Jump to content

JWalsh

Administrators
  • Content Count

    87
  • Joined

  • Last visited

 Content Type 

Profiles

Forums

Gallery

Blogs

Calendar

module__cms_records

Local Walls

Downloads

Everything posted by JWalsh

  1. After three full days of play in the partypoker 2021 MILLIONS Online $5,300 Main Event, UK grinder Endrit Geci outlasted the 1,084-entry field to take home the title and a career-high online score of $774,838.27. Geci started the day with an overwhelming chip lead as the only player to have more than 200M in chips, a full 23 big blind advantage over the rest of the field. However, even with a healthy lead headed into the final table, his path to victory would not be an easy one with some exceptional poker talent including Daniel Dvoress, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Christian Rudolph, and fellow UK grinder Jonathan Proudfoot all earning a seat for Day 3. Once play got underway, it didn’t take long for the fireworks to start. Roughly thirty minutes into the day, Geci went to work and put in a raise under the gun with his [poker card="ts"][poker card="th"]. The UK’s former #1-ranked pro Jonathan Proudfoot then three-bet holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. Geci promptly four-bet enough to put the short-stacked Proudfoot all-in. Proudfoot made the call and board ran out [poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kh"], shipping the pot to Geci and taking out Proudfoot in ninth place for $72,260. Geci was back at it a few minutes later when he raised in early position with the [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"]. Martin Brinkmann then three-bet shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"]. Geci quickly called and the flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="4c"] giving Geci top set and Brinkmann a flush, straight and straight-flush draw. The turn was the [poker card="ks"] bringing Geci a full house and leaving Brinkmann looking for just the [poker card="td"]. But the river was the [poker card="6h"] adding to Geci’s growing stack and sending Brinkmann out in eighth for $91,542. Canada’s Richard Mullen had fewer than 10 big blinds when he moved all-in from early position with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. On the button, Christian Rudolph made the call holding the [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3c"] giving the at-risk Mullen extra flush draw out and when the [poker card="th"] hit the turn he picked up a gutshot straight draw as well. However, the river was the [poker card="8s"] giving shipping the pot to Rudolph’s ace-high kicker and sending Mullen home in seventh for $115,425. Not long after busting Mullen, it was Rudolph’s turn to put his tournament on the line. Rudolph raised from under the gun with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and when it folded back to Geci in the big blind, he three-bet enough to cover Rudolph with [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"]. Rudolph committed the rest of his chips and the board rank out [poker card="9h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] giving Geci another full house. For the second time in an all-in situation, Geci’s pocket tens won the flip and that sent Rudolph to the rail in sixth place for $146,300. After an early position raise from Daniel Dvoress holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"], Brazil’s Hermogenes Gelonezi moved all-in with his [poker card="7s"][poker card="7d"] When folded back to, Dvoress called with his dominating pair and Gelonezi was left looking for help. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"] flop gave Dvoress a set, but brought some additional straight outs for Gelonezi. The turn was the [poker card="as"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"] ending Gelonezi’s tournament in fifth place, good for $189.320. The momentum for partypoker ambassador Dzmitry Urbanovich had been trending upwards and at one point, he climbed into second in chips. But shortly after the third break, after taking a bit of a hit to his stack, that momentum came to a halt when he and Dvoress clashed in a cooler. Dvoress put in a raise from under the gun with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and Urbanovich, with slightly fewer chips, three-bet shipped his [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"]. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"], giving Dvoress top sent and when the [poker card="2s"] hit the turn, Urbanovich was drawing dead to the [poker card="9h"] river. The partypoker pro fell in fourth place and added $276,128 to his over $3.2 million in career online earnings. At three-handed, Dvoress assumed the chip lead. However the three stacks were bunched together and when Dvoress lost a flip to Geci, he found himself short. Eventually, he put in a raise holding [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] and Francisco Correia called him in the big blind with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7d"] and the action checked through. The turn was the [poker card="8s"] giving both players a straight. Correia led out and Dvoress called. The river was the [poker card="jh"], lifting Correia’s hand to a queen-high straight and he shoved, having Dvoress covered. Dvoress eventually made the call and ended up at the third-place finisher, earning $422,422. As heads-up play started, Correia and Geci tried to negotiate a heads-up deal. They couldn’t agree so they played on. As their stacks grew closer together, they tried again and finally agreed. The deal awarded Correia $731,960 and Geci locked up $724,838 with $50,000 be left to the winner. After the deal, Geci went on a run and took back the chip lead he started the day with. This time, he didn’t let it go. On the final hand, Geci limped the button holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] and Correia checked his option with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="ts"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] and both players checked. The [poker card="tc"] fell on the turn and after Correia checked, Geci put out a bet which Correia called. The river came the [poker card="kd"] and Correia checked again. With this top two pair, Geci shoved and after taking his time, Correia made the call. Correia finished as the runner-up and took home the $731,960 he negotiated in the deal. Endrit Geci collected the additional $50,000 set aside for the winner and became the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online champion, earning a total of $774,838. partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event Final Table 1. Endrit Geci - $774,838.27* 2. Francisco Correia - $731,959.84 3. Daniel Dvoress - $422,421.80 4. Dzmitry Urbanovich - $276,127.53 5. Hermogenes Gelonezi - $189,320.45 6. Christian Rudolph - $146,300.43 7. Richard Mullen - $115,424.85 8. Martin Brinkmann - $91,542.10 9. Jonathan Proudfoot - $$72,259.60
  2. It was a super-sized week for the GGPoker Super MILLION$ in which Russian superstar and current #7-ranked online player in the world, Arsenii 'hellohellohello' Malinov took home the Super MILLION$ Week Super High Roller title and this week's massive $661,743 first-place prize. With it being the 2021 Super MILLION$ Week on GGPoker, what was normally a $10,000 buy-in for the regularly scheduled weekly high roller was bumped up to $25,500 creating a prize pool of more than $2.8 million. By Tuesday, the field of 114 runners was paired down to the final nine and, as can be counted on for this event, included many of today’s top tier online players. Joining Malinov at the final table were Americans Jason Koon, David Coleman, and Seth Davies, who entered the final table as the chip leader. Matthias Eibinger started the final table second in chips and not too far down the leaderboard was online poker savants Aleksejs ‘DamageAP’ Ponakovs from Latvia and Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira. Daniel Dvoress also made the final day, but as the short stack with fewer than 10 big blinds was under pressure right away. Under the gun, Dvoress pushed his remaining chips in the middle holding [poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"] and was quickly called by Malinov who had [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came out [poker card="qc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"], keeping Dvoress out in front. The [poker card="4s"] hit the turn, giving Malinov flush outs to go with his overcards. The [poker card="2s"] completed the flush for the Russian and Dvoress hit the rail in ninth place for $74,821. It wasn’t long before David Coleman also found himself at risk. The New Jersey native moved all-in from late position with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4s"]. Joao Vieira re-shoved on the button with a dominating [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and after both blinds folded the pair watched the board run out [poker card="qs"][poker card="td"][poker card="4c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="8h"]. Vieira’s paired kicker gave him the pot and Coleman exited in eighth place for $98,256. Less than twenty minutes later another American was making his last stand. After an open from Eibinger in the cutoff, Malinov three-bet his [poker card="jh"][poker card="5h"] in the small blind. Jason Koon moved all-in for less with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"]. Eibinger got out of the way and the flop fell [poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"] giving Malinov bottom pair. The pair of fives held through the [poker card="3d"] turn and the [poker card="8h"] river sending Koon home in seventh place for $129,030. A big hand took place with six left when Germany’s ‘REPTAR’ put in a raise on the button with [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"]. From the small blind Eibinger shipped his nearly 25 big blind stack with [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"] and was quickly called by ‘REPTAR’ who had Eibinger covered. The flop came [poker card="9h"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4h"] giving Eibinger additional flush outs. However, the [poker card="3d"] was of no help and neither was the [poker card="7c"] river. Eibinger, who started the day second in chips, settled for a sixth-place finish for $169,444. Minutes later, Vieira was all-in after jamming his [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] on the button. In the big blind ‘REPTAR’ made the quick call with the [poker card="as"][poker card="qd"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2c"] flop. But kickers played after the [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="9h"] river and awarded a second knockout to ‘REPTAR’ and eliminated Vieira in fifth place for $222,514. Nearly 45 minutes passed as the final four players took turns shipping chips back and forth. Eventually, Ponakovs opened with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"] and was called by both Davis in the small blind and Malinov in the big blind. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"] flop was checked through to Ponakovs who put out a small bet. Davies called but then Malinov moved all-in holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"] for top pair and a gutshot straight draw. Ponakovs decided to put the rest of his chips in the middle and Davis folded. The turn was the [poker card="3d"] giving Ponakovs a pair and some additional outs. While the [poker card="2h"] river gave Ponakovs a straight, it gave Malinov a higher one and sent Ponakovs out in fourth place for $292,207. With three left, a pair of big hands clashed when ‘REPTAR’ open-shoved his final ten big blinds from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"] into Seth Davies who held [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"] in the big blind. Davies, with the larger stack, made the quick call and watched as his pocket kings held through the [poker card="qh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="js"] runout. ‘REPTAR’, who stared the day in eighth place, laddered to third and collected $383,728, by far their largest score on GGPoker. Malinov started heads-up play with a slight chip lead over Davies, but over the course of a few hands, he extended that to a nearly four-to-one advantage. On the final hand, Davies limped the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9h"]. Malinov put in a raise with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. Davies three-bet jammed his remaining chips and Malinov quickly clicked call. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="9d"][poker card="ts"] flop gave both players a pair but Davies was unable to catch up through the [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="2s"] river. Davies finished this week as the runner-up, earning $503,914, more than double his total previous Super MILLION$ earnings. Malinov picked up the victory and $661,743 in this fourth final table appearance. His new total earnings in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ tops $1.3 million, sending him into the Top 10 on the tournament’s All-Time Money List leaderboard. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/2) 1. Arsenii Malinov - $661,743 2. Seth Davies - $503,914 3. 'REPTAR' - $383,728 4. Aleks Ponakovs - $292,207 5. Joao Vieira - $222,514 6. Matthias Eibinger - $169,443 7. Jason Koon - $129,030 8. David Coleman - $98,256 9. Daniel Dvoress - $74,821
  3. The “HU4Rollz” revival gained more even momentum over the past week when high-stakes tournament pro Fedor Holz and nosebleed cash game crusher Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski agreed to battle each other in a live streamed, high-stakes heads-up challenge beginning on March 5. The pair have settled on a four-session challenge of $100/$200 Heads-up NLHE that will kick off on Friday, March 5 at 12:45 ET. Subsequent sessions will be played on March 8, March 10, and March 12. When the action kicks off they will be sitting 100bb deep and fans will get to watch live on GGPoker.TV on a 30-minute delay. The origins of the challenge dated back to August 2020 when Malinowski joined Joey Ingram on the Poker Life Podcast where he issued a challenge to play any player in the world heads up, at whatever stakes they want. In that same interview, Malinowski targeted Holz, calling him out specifically and even offering that he would play while drunk. Over six months after Malinowsky’s appearance, Holz responded by posting a short video on Twitter where he essentially took Malinowsky up on his offer. “I just want to get back to that offer you made on Joey’s podcast, to play me drunk whenever I want, whatever stakes I want. So yea…let’s fucking do it. I challenge you,” Holz said. Holz is well-known for his tournament prowess having accumulated more than $32 million in total tournament live earnings, including eight seven-figure scores. Just weeks after getting called out by Malinowski, Holz went on to win the 2020 World Series of Poker $25K Heads Up event for $1,077,250, his second career gold bracelet. Holz is also a former worldwide #1-ranked online player, having held the top spot on three different occasions dating back to 2014. Malinowski has a reputation as one of the most respected online nosebleed cash game pros in the game today. He started his journey by playing freerolls in 2014 and achieved success at every buy-in level along the way, eventually reaching the elite levels of the high-stakes. Not one to be short on confidence, Malinowski accepted this challenge with Holz even though he’s currently embroiled in another high-stakes challenge against Stefan ‘Stefan11222’ Burakov, which has seen him lose as much as $550,000 in a single week. The challenge looks to be another treat for fans of the format who have had a number of exciting challenges to follow in the past year. It was in April 2020 that Phil Galfond captured the attention of the poker world with his million-dollar comeback against ‘Venivivi1993’ in the first of the Galfond Challenges. Then, of course, the three-month-long High Stakes Feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu came to a conclusion in February, with Polk booking a win of more than $1.2 million. Now fans will have the opportunity to watch these two high-stakes heavyweights go at it exclusively on GGPoker in the four-session stretch. Billed by the online operator as “The Prince of Poker vs. The Notorious End Boss”, GGPoker is also promising expert commentary, exclusive interviews, and promotions surrounding the event.
  4. It’s been over six years since Brazil’s Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski was the #1-ranked online poker player in the world and this week he took another step closer to becoming it again. After weeks of hovering inside and out of the worldwide top five for the better part of two months, the tournament superstar unseated Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to assume the #2 spot and became the next player to make a run at fellow Brazilian Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, who has now held the #1 ranking for 11 weeks in a row. For many, Dzivieleski first stepped into the poker spotlight when he was featured on the ESPN broadcast during the 2019 Main Event. Ever since then, he has continued to pile up the accolades. He’s won two World Series of Poker gold bracelets, including one in 2020, as well as multiple partypoker POWERFEST events, and a total of four PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker titles. A regular in the online high roller scene, with over $10 million in total lifetime online earnings, Dzivielevski has become known as one of Brazil’s very best all-around players. But there are also plenty of poker players and fans who know that ‘Yuri Martins’ has been a must-respected tournament grinder years before his 2019 “breakout” year. In 2014, he soared to the top of the rankings and ended Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro’s first two-week run as #1. Dzivielevski held the top spot for three weeks, lost it, and then clawed his way back to the top three months later knocking Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz out of the top spot. Now, he’s in a position to reach #1 again. He did this by maintaining a disciplined grind and continuing to rack up large scores. Of course, his runner-up finish in America's Cardroom Venom Main Event, which was covered last week, set the stage and pushed him back into the top five. But it was his work over the past week and a half that put him where he is now. A deep run in the February 15 edition of the Natural8 Sunday 500 High Roller brought him a $9,826 payday and 148.04 PLB points. Three days later he bested a field of 242 entries in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for over $10,253 and another 245.97 PLB points. Finally, he tacked on another 310.92 PLB points with his sixth-place result in the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, High Roller) for $47,858. All of that said though, Dzivielevski has a tough task ahead of him if he’s going to reach #1. Botteon has not slowed down. He picked up three PLB qualifying scores of his own including a win in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder. Botteon currently holds a healthy lead on the field with a total of 13,963 total PLB points, 1,672 points above Dzivielevski. However, should Dzivielevski continues to pile on the results, as he did this week in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ where he finished in fourth place for $207,649, he has a real shot at becoming #1 in 2021. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • There were several notable jumps inside the top 100 this week including Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold who soared 125 places from #160 to a career-high #36 by stringing together 11-PLB qualifying cashes so far this month including a ninth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ where his final table finish brought him an $11,271 score. • ‘Olorion’ is Poland’s #1-ranked player thanks to his victory in the GGPoker Sunday Special $88 that brought him $21,572 and 416.82 PLB points. That spotlight score helped him leap from #217 in the world all the way to #58. However, it’s not a career-high for the longtime grinder who, back in 2013, reached as high as 28 in the world. • Alex ‘Veruz’ Butcher remains the #1-ranked player in the USA, landing at #64 worldwide. It’s hard for players in the USA to maintain high placements on the worldwide stage due to the limited offering of tournaments in America, but Butcher managed a pair of nice PLB scores one week ago and added to it this week with his win in the partypoker NJ Daily $10K GTD for $3,338 and 125.30 PLB points. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=178 /]
  5. After more than a year away from one of the world’s premier poker destinations, the World Poker Tour’s live Main Tour returns to Las Vegas from March 5-9 for the $5,000 buy-in, $1.5 million guaranteed WPT Venetian Main Event. For the WPT, the event in Sin City represents the next step in the company's recovery when it comes to resuming its live event operations. The WPT had not held a Main Event in Las Vegas since the 2019 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a tournament that set a record for the organization for the largest $10,000 buy-in tournament prize pool in its history. It was shortly thereafter that live poker events nearly came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in postponements and cancellations of much of the WPT’s live schedule, including a 2020 stop at the Venetian and a number of live final tables that were set to take place in Las Vegas. Now, the WPT hopes to bring the momentum from an incredibly successful Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida to their 2021 Main Tour tournament at the Venetian. The Main Event features everything players remember from a classic WPT event. Two starting flights of eight-handed play with players receiving 40,000 in chips (200 bbs). Day 1A, 1B, and Day 2 levels are all 60 minutes with the big blind ante helping speed up play. Levels get extended to 90 minutes when the field reaches 24 players and returns to 60 minutes for the six-handed final table. The eventual winner of WPT Venetian will not only take home what is likely to be a healthy six-figure first-place prize money but will also receive a ticket into the 2021 WPT Tournament of Champions and have their name engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. Also worth noting about the Main Event is that both starting flights feature unlimited re-entry as well as late registration through the start of Level 9. The last time the World Poker Tour stopped at the Venetian was also the first time they ever held a tournament there. In 2019, Ben Palmer topped a field of 734 runners in the $3,500 Main Event to capture the $335,397 first-place prize. The WPT and Venetian have stressed the safety of their players as the pandemic continues. According to the World Poker Tour, the Venetian is operating under their own "Venetian Clean Commitment" which has "more than 800 initiatives to enhance safety and minimize risk for guests, players, and team members." Sanitization is a big key for a major event like the WPT Venetian to go off without a hitch. Players will be required to sanitize their hands and wear a mask at the table at all times. The staff will focus on keeping the transparent dividers, cards, chips, and the like sanitized. "We are excited for the return of the World Poker Tour to The Venetian," said Tommy LaRosa, tournament director for The Venetian Poker Room back in December when the event was originally announced. "We strive to provide our players with as many options as possible and have been working throughout the last year to deliver the great poker experience our players have come to expect, but in a Venetian Clean way." The Venetian has been at the forefront of keeping large poker tournaments alive in Las Vegas during the pandemic. For example, the Mid-States Poker Tour held three Main Events at the Venetian in the past four months. All three tournaments saw massive turnouts with the smallest of the three, the $1,100 event in January 2021, brining out a total of 1,009 entries. The largest, the MSPT Venetian $1,600 Main Event drew a field of 1,239 players and created a prize pool of over $1.7 million in November 2020. At the end of January, WPTDeepstacks held its first live event of 2021 at the Venetian when 812 players participated in the $1,600 Main Event. The World Poker Tour resuming operations in Las Vegas may also be a sign that the company is closer to settling some unfinished business. In late March/early April 2020, three WPT final tables - the 2020 WPT Gardens Poker Championship, the 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, and the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic - were slated to be filmed for TV at the Hyper X Esports Arena. All three were postponed for obvious safety reasons. Nearly one year after the conclusion of the 2020 LAPC those final tables have yet to be rescheduled. Another successful live event under the WPT's belt may bring those players waiting to play out their final tables closer to determining a winner. In the meantime, the WPT Venetian will crown a new champion on March 9. “The World Poker Tour returns to live WPT Main Tour events in Las Vegas at The Venetian and to add another member to the WPT Champions Club,” said Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the World Poker Tour. “All parties expect a strong turnout…We look forward to a safe playing environment thanks to the hard work from the Venetian team.”
  6. From the middle of the pack of one of the toughest $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ final tables in recent weeks, it was satellite winner ‘Ferrariman’ who, in just their second appearance in the tournament, bested some of online poker’s top talent and took home this week's $452,885 first-place prize. It goes without saying that every final table of the weekly Super MILLION$ is tough. However this week, the tournament talent on hand was undeniable. Earning a seat to Tuesday’s final table were two former worldwide #1-ranked online pros in Niklas Astedt and Yuri Dzivielevski, two of the greatest high rollers of all time in Sam Greenwood and Mikita Badziakouski, the red-hot high-stakes pro David Yan, and nosebleed cash game crusher Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski. But despite all the accolades at the table, in the end, it was ’Ferrariman’ who outlasted them all. But when it came to who the public thought was going to win it all, there wasn’t a lot of confidence in ‘Ferrariman.’ Getting 11.4-1 odds to win in the GGPoker client, only 13 people placed a bet on ’Ferrariman’ to take it down. Those 13 people wagered a total of just $41 dollars out of a grand total of $54,226 wagered. Plenty of the money wagered was on Niklas Asdedt who entered the final table third in chips. He needed a fourth-place finish or better to become the first player to surpass $2 million in total Super MILLION$ earnings. But after losing a pair of big hands the Swede found himself short-stacked and all-in preflop holding [poker card="as"][poker card="6c"] against Badziakouski’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"]. The board ran out [poker card="8h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"] allowing Badziakouski’s kicker to play and sending the All-Time Online Money List leader out in ninth place for $56,610. Chicago’s Timothy Nuter, playing out of Canada, put in a raise from the cutoff with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"] and was quickly three-bet on the button by Dzivielevski holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"]. It folded back to Nuter, he moved all-in, and was quickly called by the Brazilian. There was little drama as the board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"] awarding the hand to Dzivielevski and eliminating Nuter in eighth place for $73,415. Dzivielevski was in the mix again when he raised in late position with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"]. It folded to ’Syntropy’ in the small blind who pushed their final eight big blinds in the middle with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"]. It folded back to Dzivielevski who made the call. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="7d"] giving both players ’Syntropy’ gutshot straight draws. The turn was the [poker card="kd"], giving Dzivielevski the nut straight and leaving ‘Syntropy’ drawing dead to the [poker card="6c"] river. ’Syntropy’ entered the final table ninth in chips, laddered two spots and ended up with a $95,207 score for seventh place, their largest career win on GGPoker. During an hour of six-handed play, Sam Greenwood was grinding a short stack. On the button, he stuck his final five big blinds in the middle with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"]. In the big blind, Dzivielevski made the call with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="2c"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="2h"], giving the Brazilian two pair and reducing Greenwood’s outs to a gutshot straight draw. The turn was the [poker card="9d"] and the river was the [poker card="3c"] giving Dzivielevski another elimination and sending Greenwood out of the tournament in sixth place for $123,468. Four hands later, when folded to in the small blind, Malinowski shoved his [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"] on Badziakouski in the big blind who held [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"]. With just over ten big blinds left, Badziakouski made the call with his tournament on the line. The board ran out [poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="8h"][poker card="qh"] allowing Malinowski’s jack kicker to play and ending Badziakouski’s first Super MILLION$ final table run in fifth place for $160,119. During four-handed play, Malinowski built up a considerable chip lead, mostly at the expense of Dzivielevski. When folded to in the small blind, Malinowski moved all-in with the [poker card="as"][poker card="9c"]. In the big blind, with just four blinds left, Dzivielevski called off with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="3s"] was of little help to Dzivielevski. The turn was the [poker card="qc"] leaving the former #1 looking for a non-spade ten or a king. The river was the [poker card="4d"] giving Malinowski the straight and ending Dzivielevski’s nice run in fourth place which was good for $207,649. The chips really shifted during three-handed play with Malinowski, David Yan, and ‘Ferrariman’ taking turns picking up pots and building a stack. From the button, Yan raised big with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] only to be shoved on my Malinowski in the big blind holding the [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"]. With the majority of his stack in the middle, Yan made the call. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="5c"] turn gave Yan some additional straight outs but the [poker card="8s"] was not one of them. Yan, who played his fifth final table, added another $269,287 to his Super MILLION$ earnings bringing his total to over $1.295 million. Malinowski started heads-up play with a two-to-one chip advantage. But ‘Ferrariman’, who had played tempered the whole final table, went on a run. He doubled through Malinowski to take the chip lead and from there, kept up the aggression. Even after they lost a big hand that would have ended the tournament, ‘Ferrariman’ applied pressure and picked up the key pots to put them in a position to win. The final hand was a bit of a cooler as Malinowski limped the button with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"]. In the big blind ‘Ferrariman’ raised holding the [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Malinowski then shoved, ‘Ferrariman’ was quick to call and the board ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"], leaving ‘limitless’ drawing dead on the turn and sending him out as the runner-up for $349,222. ‘Ferrariman’ satellited into this week’s Super MILLION$ for $1,000 and turned it into a $452,885 payday. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/23) 1. ’Ferrariman’ - $452,885 2. Wiktor Malinowski - $349,222 3. David Yan - $269,287 4. Yuri Dzivielevski - $207,649 5. Mikita Badziakouski - $160,119 6. Sam Greenwood - $123,468 7. ‘Syntropy’ - $95,207 8.Timothy Nuter - $73,415 9. Niklas Astedt - $56,610
  7. If there was ever any doubt that Michiganders were ready for the return of online poker, the opening weekend of PokerStars' inaugural Michigan Championship of Online Poker should put those notions to rest. Less than one month ago PokerStars announced the launch of PokerStars MI, the first (and currently only) regulated online poker site in the Wolverine State. Much like the online poker operator did when they went live in Pennsylvania, they quickly scheduled their signature Championship of Online Poker (COOP) series for a whole new batch of recently registered screen names. MICOOP serves both as a celebration of the return of online poker back to the state of Michigan as well as an effort to ensure that the PokerStars brand creates an impactful first impression. The first ten of the series’ 60 events took place over the weekend and players packed the tournament lobbies, ensuring that all ten events not only met but far exceeded their individual posted guarantees. Over the first 48 hours, $175,000 of MICOOP’s promised $1 million in total guarantees was on the line. It turns out that PokerStars was conservative with the initial slate of guarantees as Michigan players helped push the total weekend prize pools to $400,260, and many of the largest tournaments more than doubled their posted guarantees. This was certainly true for Saturday’s MICOOP Event-01 ($100 NLHE MICOOP Kick Off, Nightly Stars SE) where 883 entries dwarfed the $30,000 guarantee by creating a prize pool of $81,059.40. After roughly seven hours of play ‘PowerRanges’ became the first player to win a MICOOP title, locking up $13,652.42 for first place. ‘Buckyeye48875’ also took home a nice payday, walking away with $9,753.30 as the runner-up. The final spot on the podium belonged to ‘theduke8605’ who finished in third place for $6,968.05. Sunday’s first event, MICOOP Event-04 ($100 NLHE, 8-Max, Deepstacks) nearly saw the same amount of enthusiasm. The $25K guarantee turned into a $60,220.80 prize pool as 656 players settled in for the Sunday grind. ‘WOW $dogecoin’ had a nice uptick as they became the second player of the series to lock up a five-figure score, taking home $10,386.42 for first. ‘YouLoseIGiggle’ earned $7,403.61 for second place while ‘vikmod’ settled for $5,277.54 in third place. The biggest buy-in event of the weekend was $40K GTD MICOOP Event-06 ($200 NLHE Sunday Special SE) which saw 430 entries battle for over the $79,980 prize pool. Had the tournament played all the out, the winner would have taken home over $14,300 but the final four players agreed to an even chop. 'sexycaitlyn', ‘BackdoorFILTH’, ‘jTizzle450’ and ‘imakewinhappen’ each took home $9,567.68 in the deal and 'sexycaitlyn' emerged as the official winner of the event. Another highlight of the weekend was MICOOP Event-07 ($25 NLHE Mini Sunday Special) which boasted the largest field of the first weekend. The modest buy-in allowed for 1,229 entries to juice the prize pool to $27,959.75, well above the original $12.5K guarantee. Another deal was made in this event, however, it was double the size of the deal made in Event-06 as the final eight players agreed to a deal with each of them taking home $1,782.01. The tournament played out with 'Flintston Pip1' earning the title of MICOOP champion. PokerStars MICOOP continues through March 8 with its two-day $300 buy-in, $125K GTD Main Event taking place on March 7. If the turn out in Michigan for MICOOP continues to be high, as it did on the first weekend, look for PokerStars to potentially boost guarantees across the series as they did back in December 2019 for the first-ever PACOOP when it was made clear early that the series was going to be a success. PokerStars MICOOP Opening Weekend Winners [table id=174 /]
  8. This week Russian high-stakes tournament pro Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov catapulted back into the Online Poker Rankings top 10 after a string of high profile cashes helped him rise 26 spots to land at #9 in the world. This is by no means Malinov’s first trip into the top 10. In 2018, he was on the verge of becoming the #1 ranked player in the world, however that entire year was dominated by Sweden's 'C Darwin2’ and ‘Lena900’. Although he spent multiple weeks at #2, the Russian was just unable to find a path to the top spot. Now Malinov returns as the #1-ranked player in Russia, surpassing Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov, who, this week, is currently ranked #10 in the world. He accomplished this, in part, by making deep runs in marquee tournament and consistently putting together PLB-qualifying scores in small timeframes. He built a bed of PLB points in early January, on January 10 specifically, that included a fifth place finish in the PokerStars Blowout Series Event #53-H ($2,100 NLHE) for $28,089 and 244.38 points. The same day he finished in seventh place in Blowout Series Event #54-H ($10,300 NLHE) for another $56,424 and 339.40 points. He wrapped the day with another deep run in a Blowout Series event and it looked like it was just a matter of time that he closed one out. One week later, Malinov (playing under his ‘hello_totti’ screenname) did just that. While not an official Blowout Series title, he took down the $5,200 NLHE Blowout Series Side Event for a $219,546 payday and a massive 1,060.66 PLB point score. The victory was the third-largest of his over 10-year online poker career and was critical to helping him soar back up the rankings. Malinov has also found recent success in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ tournament. He cashed in the January 26 and February 2 events for a total of nearly $44,000 and just this week he made the final table where he finished in fifth place for another $144,393. It’s likely that he will see another bump next week when his back-to-back victories on February 16 in the PokerStars High Roller Club are included in the rankings. Malinov is rapidly approaching $13 million in career earnings and currently sits at #17 on the Online Poker All-Time Money List. He’ll need to keep producing though if he wants to remain #1 in Russia as he only has a 4 PLB point lead over Filatov. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • What a difference a week makes for former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski. He jumped up four spots from #7 to #3 after his runner-up finish in ACR’s Venom Main Event earned him $849,150 and a massive 2,026.53 PLB point jump. The four-figure PLB point score put him less than 500 points behind Ivan 'zufo16' Zufic, who has been in the #2 spot for the better part of two months. • Speaking of the ACR Venom Main Event, another Brazilian, ‘Ramonkrop’, won the whole thing for a career-high score of $1,113,330. The incredible 3,071.64 PLB points they received for defeating the 3,774-entry field launched him 111 places in the rankings from #137 to #26, by far the largest leap of the week. • UK-based grinder ‘JaegsPL’ broke into the Top 100 this week, hitting a career-high ranking of #72 in the world thanks to his sixth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ for $26,728. ‘JaegsPL’ currently sits as the #6-ranked player in the United Kingdom. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=172 /]
  9. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. In the aftermath of the Polk-Negreanu high-stakes, heads-up challenge, news of two more high-profile challenges have emerged and Lance and Donnie break both of them down on this week's episode of The FIVES! First, 15-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner and season one High Stakes Duel winner Phil Hellmuth looks poised to be Daniel Negreanu's next challenger. But what will the format be when (and if) it takes place and will it be enough to satisfy the fans? At the same time, 21-year old poker phenom Landon Tice and high-stakes businessman Bill Perkins have publically agreed on a 20,000 hand challenge to start in May. Tice has also agreed to spot Perkins a 9bb/100 advantage - meaning in order to win, Tice will need to win more than $720,000. Finally, the guys discuss all of the most important breaking news from this week in the world of poker. Listen in! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  10. High-stakes cash game pro and former #1-ranked player in the world Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro bested 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian Salas heads-up in this week’s $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to take home his first Super MILLION$ title and the $408,406 first-place prize. Finland’s Kelopuro has proved to be a regular runner in the Super MILLION$, appearing in 32 out of the 36 times the tournament has taken place. This week marked the third time Kelopuro earned a trip to the final table however in his previous two attempts he had never finished higher than seventh place. The odds were stacked against him again this week as he entered the final table eighth in chips and facing off against a table full of poker’s toughest tournament players. In addition to Damian Salas, Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Adrian Mateos, and two-time Super MILLION$ champ Darren Elias all had eyes on this week's top prize. With just nine of the 202-entries left, Guillaume Nolet found himself slipping in the chip counts. The former Super MILLION$ winner started the day in the middle of the pack but nearly an hour into the final table, he had fewer than 20 big blinds. Nolet opened holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] only to be three-bet by Stevens on the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. Nolet four-bet jammed and Stevens called putting Nolet at risk. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"] keeping Nolet in the lead. The [poker card="8c"] was safe as well. But the [poker card="9c"] hit the river giving Stevens a pair and sending Nolet out the door in ninth place for $51,051 sending his Super MILLION$ total earnings above $900,000. Russia’s Aleksei Barkov had been grinding a short stack as well and six hands later, when it folded to him on the button, he put his final five big blinds in the middle with [poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"]. Salas, in the small blind, made the call with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] and the pair watched as the board ran out [poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="9d"] awarding the pot to Salas' ace-high and eliminating Barkov in eighth place for $66,205. Stevens had entered the day as the chip leader, but after losing some key hands his stack had dwindled down to roughly ten big blinds. From under the gun he shipped his remaining chips with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. In the small blind, with slightly fewer chips, ‘dimiasg’ made the quick call with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The flop was [poker card="qc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="3s"] giving ‘dimiasg’ top set and leaving Stevens looking for help. The [poker card="4c"] turn left Stevens drawing dead to the [poker card="7h"] river which allowed ‘dimiasg’ to double up. Stevens was left with less than a small blind, which he lost on the very next hand to Kelopuro. Stevens exited in seventh place for $85,857. Four hands later it was Adrian Mateos’ turn to tangle with Kelopuro. In the cutoff, Kelopuro raised with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. With fewer than ten big blinds, Mateos three-bet with his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"], leaving himself just a little over one big blind behind. The action folded back to Kelopuro who bet enough to put Mateos all-in and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner made the call. Kelopuro’s ace-king held through the [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"] board eliminating Mateos, who has played in every single edition of the Super MILLION$, in sixth place adding $111,342 to his $645,087 in previous Super MILLION$ earnings. With five left, Kelopuro had a dominating chip lead as well as [poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"] in the small blind. He opted to complete and Arsenii Malinov checked his option holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="5c"] in the big blind. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4c"] gave Kelopuro a flopped full house and he led out with a min-bet. Malinov put in a raise and Kelopuro called. The action went check-check on the [poker card="7s"] turn. Kelopuro put out a bet on the [poker card="5s"] river and Malinov, after hitting bottom pair, shoved all-in representing a number of made hands, one of which could have been the straight flush. After taking a few extra seconds, Kelopuro made the call which ended Malinov’s tournament in fifth place for $144,393. Roughly fifteen minutes later, Super MILLION$ satellite winner ‘dimiasg’ made their final move. From the button, they shipped their last nine big blinds in the middle with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] and was called by Salas in the big blind holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3h"] which gave Salas some additional flush outs to win the hand. The turn was the [poker card="kc"] which kept ‘dimiasg’ in the lead but increased Salas’ outs to include straight outs. The river was the [poker card="6h"], bringing in the flush for Salas and sending ‘dimiasg’ home in fourth place for $187,255 in their first appearance in the Super MILLION$. Just ten minutes later, Darren Elias, who started the day third in chips, needed to win a flip to stay alive. From the button, Elias moved all-in for roughly 12 big blinds holding [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"]. In the small blind, Salas made the call with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"]. After Kelopuro folded the big blind, the flop came out [poker card="ts"][poker card="td"][poker card="5h"] keeping Elias in the lead. The [poker card="ad"] turn changed all of that and in order to join Michael Addamo as the only three-time Super MILLION$ champions, he needed to hit one of the two remaining fours in the deck. However, the river was the [poker card="qs"] eliminating Elias in third for $242,840 which, when added to his $1,086,055 in previous earnings, propels him into the top 5 of the Super MILLION$ all-time money list leaders. After winning the hand, Salas took over the chip lead as the final two headed into heads-up play. Salas and Kelopuro passed the chip lead back and forth, eventually evening out the stacks. Then, in a critical hand, Kelopuro raised with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="9d"] which prompted Salas to three-bet his [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"]. Kelopuro made the call and the flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"]. Salas put out a small bet which Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] giving Salas a set and Kelopuro the nut straight. Salas then checked, and it was Kelopuro's turn to put out a bet. Salas called and the river came the [poker card="2c"]. Salas checked again to Kelopuro who, with less than a pot-sized bet behind, shoved. Salas tanked but eventually made the call. Kelopuro won the hand with his turned straight and took a commanding chip lead. Five hands later, Kelopuro raised from the button with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] and Salas made the call with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="8c"]. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4d"] giving Salas top pair, but giving Kelopuro a dominating top-two. When checked to, Kelopuro min-bet the flop. Salas then min-raised and Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and Salas put out another small bet. Kelopuro decided to ship all-in and Salas, after a few extra seconds, called with top pair drawing dead to the [poker card="3s"] river. Salas’ runner-up finish earned him $314,924, the second-largest online score of his career while Kelopuro’s $408,406 first-place prize becomes the third-largest score of his prestigious online career. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/16) 1. Sami Kelopuro - $408,406 2. Damian Salas - $314,924 3. Darren Elias - $242,840 4. ‘dimiasg’ - $187,255 5. Arsenii Malinov - $144,393 6. Adrian Mateos - $111,342 7. Bert Stevens - $85,857 8. Aleksei Barkov - $66,205 9. Guillaume Nolet - $51,051
  11. For weeks now, the worldwide Online Poker Rankings have been a tight-knit crew. Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon has held down the top spot for the past eight weeks and well-known names like Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, and Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens have occupied their own positions inside the Top 5. But this week, a new player broke through into the upper echelons of the rankings for the first time in his career. Portugal’s #1-ranked pro Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira soared past Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann and Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski to capture the #5 spot, building on what has been, for him, an incredible start to 2021. Ferreira has long been considered a top-tier tournament player but his recent rise in the rankings can be traced back to the beginning of this year when he collected large amounts of PLB points on a daily basis. Many of Ferreira's spotlight scores have come on GGPoker, where he dedicates most of his volume. His first notable score of the year came back on January 4 when he made a deep run in the WSOP Circuit Event #15 ($800 FIFTY STACK), finishing in fifth place for $56,646 and 451.33 PLB points. That was just the start of an onslaught of impressive results that week. In a three-day span, he collected five PLB-qualifying scores including a fifth-place finish in the prestigious $10K Super MILLION$ tournament where he collected $158,690 and 567.28 PLB points. In total, he brought in 1,396.28 points during that span which set him up for a run to the worldwide Top 10. Less than a week later, Ferreira finished as the runner-up in the Winamax W Series High Roller KO for $131,199, his second six-figure score of the week. The 921.92 PLB points that came with it remains his largest PLB score of the year so far. He wasn’t finished with the W Series as a victory in Event 185 added another $11,194 to his bankroll and helped pad the bed of PLB points he’d need to push into the upper echelons of the rankings. On January 26, he made another deep run in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, finishing in 11th place for $33,604. Ferriera has proved to be one of the most consistent players in the weekly Super MILLION$ having cashed in 15 of his 31 appearances and earning $1,000,053 along the way. After that result, Ferriera had climbed into the #8 spot in the rankings and needed an extra jolt to hit a new career-high rank this week. He got that lift this week after outlasting the 111 runners, and besting Chris Koldnicki heads-up, in the $525 buy-in GGPoker Sunday High Rollers for $12,886 and 235.58 PLB points. On the same day, at a final table that included Ryan Riess, Bryan Paris, and Jack Salter, Ferreira took fifth place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $66,038 and the 473.78 PLB points he needed to break into the Top 5. While he still has a way to go to make a run at #1, as he’s over 3,400 points behind Botteon as of this week, another solid performance over the next week could put him in striking distance of Stevens who sits at #4, just 194 points away. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Russia’s Andrey 'kot_spartac' Kotelnikov reached a career-high ranking of #13 in the world, up 12 spots from #25 last week, thanks in part to finishing in fourth place out of a massive 28,404-entry field in the PokerStars 50/50 Series $50 Main Event. He earned $47,045 and 494.56 PLB points to push him past former #1-ranked Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford who fell back to #14. • Popular Twitch poker streamer Patrick ‘Egption’ Tardif hit #34 in the world, a new career-high for him, after finishing as the runner-up in the Natural8 $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for $75,480 and 466.52 PLB points. The score helped propel Tardif to up over $3 million in career online earnings. • Brazil’s Gabriel ‘gtavares10’ Tavares made one of the biggest moves of the week, jumping up 27 spots to #58 after his victory in the February 7 PokerStars $530 High Roller Club Bounty Builder for $40,301 and 541.76 PLB points. Brazil has taken over the worldwide top 100, currently holding down 29 of the top 100 spots. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=171 /]
  12. Just over a week after launching the first regulated online poker site in the state of Michigan, PokerStars has announced the inaugural Michigan Championship of Online Poker. PokerStars’ marquee series is coming to the Wolverine State beginning on February 20 and running through March 8. It features 60 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $20 to $500 and a total of $1,000,000 in guaranteed prize money. “Coming off the launch of our real-money gaming brands in Michigan, it is clear that players want the world-class offerings that online PokerStars can bring,” said FOX Bet CEO Kip Levin. “As the sole online and mobile poker product in Michigan, our commitment and investment in PokerStars is vital as we aim to bring all aspects of a great customer experience to the poker community. We are excited for Michiganders to join our most popular series and crown our first big winner who will join in the prestigious footsteps of other Championship of Online Poker (COOP) champions.” Modeled after PokerStars' annual World Championship of Online Poker (and SCOOP), MICOOP is similar to the series run in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where PokerStars also operates. The festival offers players a hefty dose of No Limit Hold’em Tournaments with the opportunity to play other poker variants that the online pokers site excels at including Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 8-Game Mix, H.O.R.S.E., Stud Hi/Lo, and 5 Card Draw. Multiple tournaments run on each day and bring a mix of formats including Turbos, Deepstacks, and Progressive Knock-Outs. It all builds to the March 7 two-day, $300 buy-in Main Event with a $125,000 guarantee. Other schedule highlights include a $500 buy-in High Roller with a $35,000 guarantee, the $250 buy-in Sunday Special with a $50,000 guarantee, and the $50 buy-in Mini Main Event. In hopes to maximize the number of players who get to participate, PokerStars has satellites starting for as little as $2 as well as promotions to help players enter the series for next-to-nothing. Players who deposit $30 or more using the promotional code “MICOOP” before March 7 will be awarded a ticket to the Main Event Depositor Freeroll tournament in which 35 seats to the $300 Main Event will be given away. Additionally, any player who plays in any of the MICOOP tournaments and goes broke before making the money will be awarded a ticket to a “Second Chance Freeroll”. Players need not even be online to order to participate in these events in which players are forced all-in every hand and the winners are awarded additional prizes, including tickets to future MICOOP events. Players looking to play in the upcoming MICOOP do not need to be living in Michigan, but they do need to be physically located inside the state's borders to play. A full schedule of events can be viewed in the MICOOP tab in the PokerStarsMIUS client.
  13. High-stakes tournament heavyweight and former All-Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo emerged from the middle of the final table chip counts in the 35th edition of the $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to capture the $430,646 first-place prize and add yet another title to his incredibly long list of poker accomplishments. Prior to this week, Bonomo has cashed in four of his 15 Super MILLION$ appearances for $316,653 including a final table in November 2020 where he earned $221,477 in a third-place finish. Bonomo is, of course, no stranger to playing against elite competition and this week was just another chance for him to test himself against some of the toughest players in the game. Russian crusher Artur Martirosian, former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt, New Zealand’s David Yan, and, making back-to-back final table appearances, Nick Petrangelo all had a seat in this week’s final nine. Astedt, at his ninth Super MILLION$ final table, started the day on the short stack. After roughly 40 minutes of play, his stack had dwindled to fewer than five big blinds. When Petrangelo opened with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"], Astedt moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"]. Action folded back to Petrangelo who made the call. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="kd"] giving Petrangelo top-two and eliminating Astedt in ninth for $53,831, an amount good enough to propel him back above Michael Addamo as the current All-Time Super MILLION$ money leader. Shortly after, on the button, ‘Face-O’ moved all-in for his final 12 big blinds with [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"]. From the small blind, ‘OscarBrown’ made the call holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"] and the flop fell [poker card="ks"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2s"] keeping the pocket tens in the lead. The turn came the [poker card="5s"] giving ‘OscarBrown’ additional flush outs to go with his two overs. The river was the [poker card="8s"] bringing in the runner-runner backdoor flush for ‘OscarBrown’ and sending ‘Face-O] home in eighth place for $69,810. With seven left, satellite winner ‘DaanOss’ raised four of his final five big blinds with [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"]. ‘OscarBrown’ moved in over the top with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] for just a little more. Then, from the big blind, Bonomo called the all-in holding [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"]. ‘DaanOss’ then committed the last of his chips and the trio saw the flop run out [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2h"]. The [poker card="ac"] on the turn gave ‘OscarBrown’ top pair and the [poker card="6d"] sealed the deal. ‘OscarBrown’ nearly tripled up while ‘DaanOss’ exited in seventh for $90,532. After the second break, David Yan opened with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] and from the small blind the chip leading ‘RRomashka’ made the call with [poker card="qd"][poker card="th"]. From the big blind Petrangelo three-bet shoved his 22 big blind stack with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. Yan, with not much left, made the call and ‘RRomashka’ folded. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] gave Yan some additional straight and backdoor flush outs. But the [poker card="6c"][ turn and [poker card="2c"] river were of no help and Yan left in sixth place for $117,406. Three hands later it was Martirosian at risk. Folded to Bonomo in the small blind, he shipped with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"] into Martirosian’s ten big blind stack. With [poker card="as"][poker card="4h"], Martirosian made the call with his tournament on the line. Bonomo hit his kicker on the [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6s"] flop and the pair held through the [poker card="qd"] turn and [poker card="6c"] river. Martirosian added another $153,256 to his $1.245 million Super MILLION$ earnings for his fifth-place finish. On the button with four players left, ‘OscarBrown’ raised holding the [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"]. Still holding the chip lead, ‘RRomashka’ made the call with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"] flop provided plenty of action with both holding top pair and a flush draw. ‘RRomashka’ checked, ‘OscarBrown’ bet, ‘RRomashka’ shipped all-in, and ‘OscarBrown’ quickly called with his dominating hand. But that changed when the [poker card="8c"] hit the turn, giving ‘RRomashka’ two pair and leaving ‘OscarBrown’ looking for help. The river was the [poker card="4s"] brick and in their first cash in a Super MILLION$, ‘OscarBrown’ finished in fourth place for $197,452. Three-handed, Bonomo and ‘RRomashka’s stacks evened out leaving Petrangelo as the short stack. Bonomo raised on the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"], ‘RRomashka’ called with the [qs[poker card="jd"], and Petrangelo moved all in for his final sixteen big blinds with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. Bonomo shoved, ‘RRomashka’ folded, and the board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="8d"] eliminating Petrangelo in third place for the second week in a row. Petrangelo took home $256,064 this week for a two-week total of $508,521. Bonomo entered heads-up play with a four-to-one chip lead and never let it go against the aggressive ‘RRomashka’. In the final hand of the tournament, Bonomo limped the button with [poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"] and ‘RRomashka’ checked their option with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"]. The flop flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"]. ‘RRomashka’ checked to Bonomo who put out a small bet. ‘RRomashka’ check-raised and with middle pair, Bonomo made the call. The [poker card="6s"] turn gave Bonomo trips but it was ‘RRomashka’ who led pot. Bonomo flatted and the [poker card="4d"] hit the river. ‘RRomashka’ fired the third bullet, shipping his stack with king-high only to be immediately called by Bonomo. ‘RRomashka’ started the day as the chip leader and ended it as the runner-up earning $332,073. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/9) 1. Justin Bonomo - $430,646 2. 'RRomashka’ - $332,073 3. Nick Petrangelo - $256,064 4. ‘OscarBrown’ - $197,452 5. Artur Martirosian - $152,256 6. David Yan - $117,406 7. ‘DaanOss’ - $90,532 8. ‘Face-O’ - $69,810 9. Niklas Astdet - $53,831
  14. UK high-stakes tournament pro Lucas Reeves joined the elite company of Darren Elias and Michael Addamo this week by becoming just the third player to win the weekly GGPoker Super MILLION$ two or more times. In the 33rd edition of the $10K buy-in event, Reeves emerged from the middle of the final table chip counts to take down the tournament and lock up the $408,406 first-place prize. Reeves is now two-for-two at Super MILLION$ final tables with his first victory coming back in December, when he earned $381,241 while playing under his original screen name ‘Xingyun888’. This week marked the fifteenth time Reeves participated in the Super MILLION$ and he has now amassed a total of just over $811,000 in his three cashes. When nine-handed play began Reeves was sitting fifth in chips, surrounded by another final table packed with top-tier talent. Ole Schemion and worldwide #3-ranked Michael ‘SirWatts’ Watson were above him on the chip counts while Daniel Dvoress and Connor Drinan were beneath, looking to chip up. For his part, Drinan was never able to get anything going. The PokerStars SCOOP record holder started the day as the short stack and subsequently was the first to hit the rail. After dwindling down in chips, Drinan open-shipped his short stack with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"] and fellow Canadian Watson made the call in the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"]. The board ran out nine-high and Drinan, who currently sits third in overall Super MILLION$ earnings, used the ninth-place prize of $51,051 to climb over $1.5 million in total Super MILLION$ prize money. After Reeves opened [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"] on the button, the UK’s ’WanYu’ three-bet his [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"] from the small blind with 15 big blinds. Dvoress then shipped his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] over ’WanYu’ from the big blind and, after Reeves got out of the way, ’WanYu’ committed the rest of his stack. The [poker card="js"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4d"] flop paired ‘WanYu’, but the [poker card="2d"] brought Dvoress some additional flush outs. The [poker card="6d"] on the river completed the runner-runner flush for Dvoress, sending ‘WanYu’ out in eighth place for $66,205. Sweden’s Melker Larsson won his way into this week’s Super MILLION$ by first winning a $100 satellite into a $1,000 satellite and then winning that satellite for his seat into the $10K. After all of that winning, he cruised through the 202 player field and emerged as this week’s final table chip leader. However, with seven left, Larsson found himself in the bottom half of the chip counts. After Dvoress opened from late position with [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"], New Zealand’s David Yan put in a three-bet on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. Schemion, in the small blind, folded and Larsson, with roughly 20 big blinds, moved all-in from the big blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. Dvoress folded and Yan made the quick call putting Larsson’s tournament at risk. The [poker card="ah"] hit the flop and held through the river, ending Larsson’s incredible run in seventh place for $85,857, the largest online cash of his career. Finland’s Eelis Parssinen, was the next to go when he moved all-in with his last five big blinds with [poker card="qc"][poker card="7c"] and got called by Yan in the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"], but it was the [poker card="ks"] turn that really ended the tournament for Parssinen who exited in sixth place for $111,342. One of the biggest hands of the tournament took place with just five left. From late position, Yan opened with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2h"] prompting a short-stacked Schemion to move all-in for his final ten big blinds with [poker card="ts"][poker card="th"]. In the small blind, Watson, who covered Schemion also moved all-in holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"]. In the big blind, Reeves woke up with [poker card="ks"][poker card="kc"] and followed suit by shipping his stack. Yan quickly folded and it was a three-way all-in. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"] giving Reeves top set, Schemion a gutshot straight draw, and leaving Watson drawing dead to running quads. The turn was the [poker card="9s"], essentially ending the hand. Despite making a full house on the [poker card="td"] river, Schemion was ousted in fifth for $144,393. Watson was crippled from the previous hand and left with a stack of less than four big blinds. He immediately moved all-in with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] and was called by Dvoress in the big blind with [poker card="2s"][poker card="2c"]. Dvoress held through the [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"][poker card="td"][poker card="8d"][poker card="jh"] board and ‘SirWatts’ finished his fifth Super MILLION$ final table in fourth place for $187,255. The final three proceeded to pass the chip lead around, evening out the stacks for a time. But after a big clash with Yan, Reeves built his chip stack up over 10 million which gave him a lead he wouldn't surrender. With his commanding chip lead, Reeves open-shipped holding the [poker card="qs"][poker card="7s"] on Dvoress. Dvoress had just over 10 big blinds and called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="3s"] with his tournament on the line. The [poker card="7d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"] flop put Reeves in the lead. The [poker card="5s"] turn gave Dvoress some additional straight outs, but the [poker card="jh"] brick on the river ended Dvoress’ tournament in third-place where he collected $242,840. Heads-up play lasted just six hands when Yan, at a 3:1 chip deficit, raised on the button with [poker card="5h"][poker card="5d"]. In the big blind, Reeves moved all-in with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and Yan called with his pocket pair. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4h"] flop gave both players plenty of ways to win the hand, but it was the [poker card="jc"] on the turn that gave Reeves the nut flush and left Yan drawing dead to the [poker card="3d"] river. It was another solid showing for Yan who now has three Super MILLION$ final tables and with his $314,924 runner-up prize, now has earned over $908,000 in this tournament series alone. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (1/26) 1. Lucas Reeves - $408,406 2. David Yan - $314,924 3. Daniel Dvoress - $242,840 4. Michael Watson - $187,255 5. Ole Schemion - $144,393 6. Eelis Parssinen - $111,342 7. Melker Larsson - $85,857 8. ‘WanYu’ - $66,205 9. Connor Drinan - $51,051
  15. For many poker players, January is a time to get a fresh start. It's a time to reset the stats, dedicate oneself to study, and hope that in the new year the work pays off and the results go to the moon. But for Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, a “fresh start” is not on the agenda. For the world’s #1-ranked online pro, the continuation of his heater that started one year ago is what he wanted. That's what happened and what brought him the title of Online Poker Player of the Month for January. One might think that after earning a career-high seven-figure score in the international leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker at the end of 2020, Botteon might take some time off. But within a week he was back to picking up PLB-qualified cashes en masse. He found success in the first week of January on GGPoker with deep runs in the WSOPC Series $525 Bounty Hunters for $22,304 plus 321.09 PLB points and weekly $10K Super MILLION$ for another $41,934 and 374.26 PLB points. His first outright win arrived on January 10 when he topped the 279-entry field of the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for $57,263 and 547.72 PLB points. The middle of the month was highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the GGPoker High Rollers Marathon for $12,542. It was right around this time when Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic pushed to within just 5 PLB points of overtaking Botteon as the top-ranked player in the world. But when Croatia’s Zufic traveled to the United States to make a deep run in the World Poker Tour’s Lucky Hearts Poker Open, Botteon booked his first six-figure score of the new year with a win in the January 25 edition of the GGPoker High Rollers Sunday 500 for $126,544 and 738.24 PLB points. His spotlight score of the month brought more than enough PLB points to pull away from the pack and keep the #1-spot for the seventh week in a row. In total, Botteon racked up 3,893 PLB points on 59 total cashes for a total of $391,988. January also marked his third time as Player of the Month. Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson finished out January just 150 points behind Botteon to end up in second place with 3,734 points. Watson, who is Canada’s #1-ranked pro and sitting at an all-time high ranking of #3 in the world, put in significantly less volume than Botteon but made up the difference with nine PLB-qualifying cashes and seven five-figure cashes for a total of $526,078. Watson kicked off the month with a string of victories including a PokerStars Blowout Series title in Event #25-H ($1,050 NLHE Sunday Warm-up) for $75,462 and 648.85 PLB points. The very next day, on January 4, he was in the winner’s circle again in the Natural8 WSOPC $1,500 Deepstack, winning $36,040 and another 404.81 PLB points. Watson picked up big-time scores on just about every online operator he played on including a runner-up finish in the partypoker High Roller Big Game for $54,958 and a win in the World Poker Tour Montreal Online Event #18 for $39,007. But his biggest result of the month came on Natural8 when he finished in fourth place in the January 26 edition of the Super MILLION$ for $187,255 and 618.64. His Super MILLION$ score was big enough to land in Watson’s all-time top 5. Estonia’s Markku ‘markovitsus’ Koplimaa rounded out the top three in January with 3,590 PLB points. Koplimaa has been rocketing up the worldwide rankings, reaching a new career-high rank of #12 in the world. While both Botteon and Watson put up impressive results, Koplimaa outdid them both when it came to volume by racking up 229 in-the-money finishes. He embraced the grind, playing every tournament he could enter from mid-stakes and higher. He was rewarded with over $390,000 in earnings including a runner-up finish in the January 18 edition of the GGPoker High Roller MILLION$ for $187,272. It was the second-largest online cash of his career and included a massive 908.09 PLB bump. In total, Koplimaa notched five results of five-figures or better with 11 PLB-qualified scores. Should he continue to have results even half of what he posted in January, he’ll eclipse the career $10 million mark before the end of the year. January 2021 Player of the Month Results [table id=167 /]
  16. Vivian Saliba is learning a new game. It’s unlike her beloved Pot Limit Omaha, No Limit Hold’em, or any other that she’s played. It’s the Twitch game and she’s already finding it as challenging and rewarding as any card game in her arsenal. Saliba has recently decided to convert the time she would have spent playing in live events around the world into bringing the world to her with a budding new poker Twitch stream. Although she’s at the beginning of her streaming journey, Saliba is already finding the ups and downs of interacting with the poker community while trying to play solid poker in front of an international audience. “Streaming while playing poker has turned out to be far more challenging than what I expected,” Saliba said. “It is very difficult to manage the stream, interact with the chat, keep an eye on new followers, edit and change the scenes, highlight the tables, and of course play poker and talk…sometimes in different languages.” “It is important to find the right balance and figure out how to do all of those things and still deliver a good level of poker to my viewer and be entertaining at the same time.” Saliba has been an 888poker ambassador since 2017 and has made a name for herself as an accomplished PLO cash game and tournament player. But she’s made no secret that one of her favorite parts of being an ambassador is meeting and playing with fans and members of the community from all over the planet. With the pandemic putting those live events on hold, she’s decided to channel that energy into reconnecting in a new way. “The nicest thing about being a poker streamer, in my opinion, is to engage with the poker world. I’m certain that before the pandemic this was already a big plus but especially now, with reduced live poker around the world, this has become even more relevant. This was the way I found to connect with the community.” Thanks to those live events, Saliba has a broad fan base. Hailing from Brazil, many of her fans are from her home country. But as an ambassador, she’s been involved in events from just about everywhere which gives her chat an eclectic charm, one that as a multi-linguist, Saliba is well-equipped to handle. “It is amazing to be able to interact and connect with people from all over the world and this is definitely one of my favorite things about the streams. The streams are in English, but I tend to translate things to Portuguese in case someone didn’t understand a certain point and even though my German and Spanish aren’t too good, sometimes I’ll also risk a few sentences in these languages in order to make myself clear to everyone. The best part of having a variety of fans is to build a bigger and more dynamic poker community.” While her Twitch channel is new and expanding every day, so are the challenges that face all streamers. Outside of the tech, there is a certain learning curve that comes with spending hours on end in front of a camera with an audience that may be scrutinizing your every hand. Also, there are trolls. “Anyone who decides to expose themselves on the internet must be aware of the possibility of negativity and judgment that comes with it. That being said, of course, it’s not nice to face hate or just negativity in general,” Saliba said. “Luckily most of the feedback I receive is nice and my viewers are very supportive. In case of inappropriate behavior…the person will be banned and life goes on as normal. “Another difficulty is to expose yourself for unlimited hours without really having a break. One of my latest streams lasted 12:30. I had to perform simple and in some ways, private activities in front of the camera such as eating, which is still very odd to me and in some ways makes me uncomfortable.” Saliba doesn’t plan on being a fly-by-night stream either. In just over a week she gained nearly 1000 followers and her streams have routinely broken the eight-hour mark. She’s been able to keep it fresh by mixing up what she plays but also has some ideas on how to make sure it doesn’t get old for her in the future. “I love to play PLO and it’s probably my favorite game. But on the other hand, I also understand that many people love [No Limit Hold’em] tournaments and that a deep run can be very exciting for viewers. I intend to mix the types of games I’ll be streaming, possibly I’ll even stream some non-poker related games - for example, chess or pinball - as a way to keep the channel dynamic, entertaining, and to bring new people outside the poker world to it.” Ultimately though, for Saliba, it comes back to staying connected and celebrating the game of poker with her community. “On one occasion I had two final tables during the same stream which I finished sixth and eighth place. It is a very nice feeling to celebrate and cheer those on stream. It is almost like a huge virtual rail and you can really feel all the support and love people are sending to you.” Saliba can be found on Twitch under her screen name: ViviSaliba.
  17. It’s not often that one gets a second shot at greatness. Very few have been afforded that opportunity when it comes to becoming the World Series of Poker Main Event champion. So when Damian Salas, who just three years ago finished in seventh place at the WSOP Main Event, found himself in a position to win the championship bracelet that eluded him in 2017, he leaned into his passion for the game and his desire to be known as one of the very best finally reach his championship goal. “Taking into account my experience in 2017, I didn’t see it as a rematch, I took it as a new opportunity granted by this beautiful mind sport so that I could win the World Championship,” said Salas. “I felt great and highly motivated. I’ve worked with tons of persistence during these last eight or nine years of my professional career, so I can give my very best in times of extreme pressure. I felt like I could make it and that was a determining factor to becoming the champion.” It may be that Salas, the Argentinian lawyer turned poker pro, made a name for himself in poker with his seventh-place finish 2017 Main Event when he won $1.425 million but as he mentioned, it was by no means the start of his poker journey. Salas has made the trip to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker for over a decade and prior to his first Main Event, final table appearance had posted a string of impressive results on the biggest poker tours in Latin America including the LAPT and BSOP. If Salas’ journey had essentially ended with his seven-figure score on ESPN it would be a poker success story by nearly every metric. However, for Salas, a few minutes in the spotlight was not what he was after. It still isn’t. “I don’t play for the money, that’s not my goal. It’s not what drives me,” Salas said. “It is great, taking those results into account, as it is paramount to meeting other ambitions in my life. But my basic motivation is to become better and better every day and remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” “As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t think winning [the Main Event] makes me the best player in the world, but I am worthy of the achievement since I believe I could compete for many years now with the world-class poker elite. That’s an honor I’ve earned, and it is my greatest challenge and motivation day in and day out - to remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” To get to where he is, Salas has embraced the grind. With live poker events essentially put on hold in 2020, Salas dove into online poker and quickly became the #1-ranked player in his native Argentina. He broke through into the worldwide top-20 with the help of a pair of impressive scores in some of the year’s biggest tournament series. First, he took third place in the first-ever WPT World Championship Main Event on partypoker which came with an $814,664 payday. Then he took home a PokerStars EPT Online title with a victory in Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE) for another $117,475. The success was paving the way to a run in the WSOP Main Event. “Honestly, I was having a great year,” he said. “So I wasn’t surprised by the [WSOP win] because I felt in great shape, I was really prepared. Obviously, it was incredible and even spectacular to close the year this way.” The path to the WSOP Main Event title was unlike any in years past. First Salas has to navigate the field of online entrants on GGPoker, then travel to the Czech Republic to play down the final table at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, and finally make his way to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to compete against Joseph Hebert, the winner of the domestic leg of the WSOP Main Event, in a for-broadcast heads-up match. “I can say that the online elements against international players at GGPoker were impressive. The poker world’s elite played in that tournament and I had to face them all,” he said, looking back on the tournament as a whole. “It was highly difficult. The clash was really hard from the beginning.” When he made the live final table he was third in chips but one of the toughest challenges awaited. Brazil’s Brunno Botteon, the current #1-ranked player in the world, held the chip lead and was also having a career year. “At the final table were at least five elite representatives of poker including Bruno Botteon, whose quality is extraordinary. And, well, the confrontation demanded my very best,” he said. “I was really inspired at the final table, where I took certain creative lines which I could capitalize in my favor. In the end, while I believe I also benefited from some good cards and good luck, I think those creative hands were responsible for my success.” Salas walked away with the win after defeating Botteon heads-up, which brought him a new career-high score of $1.55 million. It also put him in line to battle heads up for the championship bracelet. “Then came the heads up with Joseph [Hebert]. Either one of us could have won, really,” Salas said. But even after losing some key pots and being on the brink of finishing in second, Salas fought back. “I think I played with discipline, with concentration, with metered quantities of matured aggressiveness that was very efficient,” he said. “It is a great privilege because I understand I was very lucky. However, I also know I have done all I could so that I could meet my goal and that fills me with joy.” In the aftermath of reaching his goal, one might expect Salas to take some time off, perhaps enjoy a few of the finer things with his bonus $1 million payday he received for winning the bracelet. While some new doors are opening for the new World Champion, Salas insists that the main goal of being elite never stops. “Being totally honest, my daily routine has not changed much. As I always say, I’m not driven by money. There is another motivation, that’s to belong to the world elite. Added to the fact that I truly enjoy what I do and I do love playing poker, so my routine remains practically the same…I’m the World Champion, and that’s great, but understanding I’m the same person I was before the tournament.”
  18. After battling back from a short stack and climbing out of a nearly four-to-one heads-up chip deficit, renowned high-stakes tournament pro Benjamin ‘bencb’ Rolle bested the talent-packed final table of the 34th edition of the $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to walk away with this week’s $424,580 first-place prize. This week was Rolle’s 11th time playing the event and it marked his fourth cash and second final table. His previous final table appearance was back on August 9 when he finished in fifth place for $136,479. In total, the Raise Your Edge lead coach had previously earned $276,213, and his victory this week brought his Super MILLION$ total prize money to just over $700,000. At the start of the final table, Rolle was considered one of the long shots to win. He was starting the day eighth in chips (just 6% in play) and, along with Rolle himself, the final table featured some of poker’s brightest minds. Nick Petrangelo was highlighted as the chip leader and joining him at the top of the chip counts was online poker’s former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens and UK high-stakes savant Michael Zhang. Like Rolle, Aliaksei Boika was enjoying his second trip to the final table of the Super MILLION$. In his first appearance Boika finished in ninth place and this time he was hoping for more. Unfortunately for Boika, he got involved in a big hand while holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="td"] against Bert Stevens who held [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] on a board that ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="tc"]. When Stevens shoved the river, Boika made the call which left his stack crippled. It was déjà vu for Boika as he was eliminated on the very next hand, in ninth place, for $53,073. With roughly 10 big blinds, Ukraine’s Andrii Novak put in a late position raise with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"] to which Nick Petrangelo, in the cutoff, three-bet with his [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"]. When it folded back to Novak he shipped, Petrangelo quickly called and the pair watched as the board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6s"]. Novak, who started the day sixth in chips, was out in eighth place and collected $68,826. The very next hand, ‘U LOSSER’ opened under the gun with [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] only to be three-bet by Stevens holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"]. After Michael Zhang folded [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] in the big blind, ‘U LOSSER’ committed the rest of his chips, putting their tournament at risk. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2s"] giving ‘U LOSSER’ a back door flush draw to hope for. The [poker card="ah"] turn made it interesting, but the [poker card="as"] completed the board sending ‘U LOSSER’ out in seventh for $89,257. With six left, Steven put in a raise with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. Rolle then three-bet shipped his 15 big blind stack with [poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"]. It folded to the ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ in the big blind who shipped his 35 big blind stack with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"]. Stevens, covering both players, made the call with his kings and the three watched a flop of [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] providing some flush outs to ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ but keeping Stevens in the lead. With less than a 2% chance of pulling it out, Rolle was all but out the door. The turn was the [poker card="7d"] giving hope to both Rolle and ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ who now both had open-ended straight draw outs. The river was the [poker card="5s"] bringing Rolle back from the brink with a straight but sending ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ out the door in sixth place for $115,752. The final five grinded for over an hour until the next player was eliminated. Petrangelo opened in the cutoff with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] and, with just 15 big blinds left, Stevens three-bet shoved his [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] from the small blind. Petrangelo made the call and the board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="9h"] giving the pot to Petrangelo’s pocket jacks. Stevens hit the rail in fifth place and added another $150,112 to his over $13.3 million in career online earnings. In his 32nd appearance in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, Lithuanian pro Laurynas Levinskas was guaranteed his best Super MILLION$ finish once play reached four-handed. From the cutoff, Levinskas shipped his final seven big blinds with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"]. Zhang came over the top holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"]. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8s"] keeping Levinskas in front but providing some extra straight outs to Zhang. The turn was the [poker card="4h"] but it was the [poker card="ad"] river that ended Levinskas’ run this week. Levinskas finished in fourth place for $194,671 bringing his Super MILLION$ earnings up over $627,000. With just three left, Zhang held a two-to-one chip advantage on both Rolle and Petrangelo. Petrangelo made his move, looking to do something about that when he opened from the button holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"]. Zhang, from the big blind, made the call with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"]. Zhang hit top pair on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3c"] flop and checked it over to Petrangelo who put in a bet. Zhang called and the [poker card="9d"] peeled off on the turn. Zhang checked again, Petrangelo fired big again. Zhang made the call. Zhang checked for the third time, and with just 13 big blinds left Petrangelo emptied the chip and fired the third barrel, leaving himself less than one big blind behind. Zhang went into his timebank but ultimately found a call taking the hand down with top pair. Petrangelo was left with next-to-nothing but managed to double up over the next few hands. Ultimately, he went broke four hands later when his [poker card="qd"][poker card="5d"] fell to Zhang’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="2h"]. Petrangelo finished in third place for $252,457. With a nearly four-to-one and momentum on his side, it looked like Zhang was about to pull out his first victory in just his third-ever GGPoker Super MILLION$ appearance. But Rolle steadily chipped up, found a double, evened the stacks, and eventually took the lead. Rolle kept the pressure on and while Zhang made some moves of his own, the cards continued to fall Rolle’s way. All the chips made it into the middle when Rolle called on the button with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"] and Zhang moved all-in for roughly 15 big blinds with the [poker card="qd"][poker card="th"]. Rolle called and the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"] flop put him in the lead right away. Zhang picked up gutshot straight outs along with his backdoor flush possibilities. The [poker card="qc"] killed his flush outs but added two pair possibilities. It was not to be though as the [poker card="kc"] completed the board sending the accomplished Zhang out in second place for $327,396. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/2) 1. Benjamin Rolle - $424,581 2. Michael Zhang - $327,396 3. Nick Petrangelo - $252,457 4. Laurynas Levinskas - $194,671 5. Bert Stevens - $150,112 6. ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ - $115,752 7. ‘U LOSSER’ - $89,257 8. Andrii Novak - $68,827 9. Aliaksei Boika - $53,073
  19. Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann is on the verge of a breakthrough. Volkmann is a key member of the trio of Brazilians who have been occupying the upper echelons of the Online Poker Rankings for weeks on end. Of course, there’s 2020 Rising Star of the Year, Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon who, this week, continued his reign as the #1-ranked player in the world for the fifth week running. Then there’s Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski, the superstar MTT professional who sits at #5, looking to make another run at the top spot which he last held in 2015. Volkmann, currently ranked at #6, has been grinding relentlessly and reaping the rewards of major scores. Throughout the last half of 2020 and right into the New Year, his results have put him in a position to rise back into the worldwide top-5. In recent months, some of Volkmann’s biggest scores in his career have taken place while battling in the weekly $10K buy-in Super MILLION$ tournament on the GGPoker network. In September 2020, Volkmann locked up one of the biggest scores of his career when he outlasted a tough final table that included Jans Arends, Daniel Dvoress, and Matthias Eibinger to capture the $564,947 first-place prize. He was back at a Super MILLION$ final table in November where he finished in fourth place, good for another $179,542 and 592.04 PLB points. Since the start of the Super MILLION$ weekly tournament, Volkmann has finished in the money six times, reached four final tables, and earned over $965,000. While his MILLION$ scores have helped see his career online earnings soar north of $7.8 million, it’s his regular grind that has helped him rack up the PLB points necessary to sit in contention for a top-5 spot. December 27, Volkmann wrapped up 2020 a win in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for $44,297 and 574.89 PLB points. At the very same time, he finished in fourth place in the PokerStars Blowout Series $5,200 NLHE High Roller for $93,799 and 574.89 PLB points. As good as December was for Volkmann, things have only gotten better in January. He kicked off the year by besting the 194-player field in the Blowout Series Event #28 ($2,100 NLHE, PKO) for $34,173 and 440.45 PLB points and then went on a deep run in the January 10 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for $13,456 plus 186.93 PLB points. The recently completed Blowout Series continued to be a source of impressive results for Volkmann as he picked up back-to-back five-figure scores in some of the series final events. He went on a deep run in Event #68 ($1,050 NLHE Thursday Thrill) and eventually finished in fourth place for $20,166. At the same time, he was heads-up in Event #71 ($530 NLHE 8-Max, HRC Daily Supersonic). He ended up as the runner-up which added another $26,308 to his bankroll. With over a week left in the month, Volkmann’s start to 2021 includes 24 in-the-money results and more than $133,000 in earnings. His six PLB-qualified cashes resulted in 1,405.20 points added to his running total. In order to make a push for the #1 spot, Volkmann is going to need another really big result or two. Sitting this week with 9,925 PLB points, Volkmann has plenty to keep him entrenched in the top 10, however, both Botteon and the #2-ranked Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic both have over 13,500 PLB points which is considerable ground to cover. But Dzivieleski, who is right above Volkmann in the rankings is a mere 316 points ahead. Should Volkmann continue to record the same caliber of impressive results as he has already done in 2021, he may see a return to the elite section of the rankings and possibly break ground into a new career-high spot. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=164 /]
  20. Jack Hardcastle became the second World Poker Tour champion crowned this week after the UK-based online pro won the $3,200 WPT Montreal Online Main Event on partypoker for a career-high score of $447,859 as well as a seat in the $15,000 2021 WPT Tournament of Champions. The WPT has been firing on all cylinders in the past 24 hours, with two Main Tour titles up for grabs. On Tuesday night, Ilyas Muradi took down the first WPT live event of the year after winning $605,000 at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida. Now, Hardcastle will join him in having his name etched on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup after outlasting the 888-player field of the WPT Montreal Online Main Event. It didn’t take long after cards were “in the air” before the fireworks to begin. Upeshka De Silva was recently in the news for making the final table of the U.S.-based 2020 World Series of Poker. However, after testing positive for COVID-19 the day before play was set to take place, he was disqualified and paid out ninth place money. It didn’t take him long to bounce back and make another major final table and this time, with it being online, he was guaranteed to get to play. But De Silva started the day as the short stack and after an open by Rayan Chamas with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"], De Silva three-bet jammed with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. While often a chop, the board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6c"][poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"] giving Chamas the flush and ending De Silva’s day early in another ninth-place finish for $37,024. After an open by Hardcastle, Germany's Andrei Kriazhev three-bet with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. Next to act, Marcel Kunze four-bet shipped his short stack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"]. Action folded back to Kriazhev who made the quick call and the duo watched as the flop came [poker card="3s"][poker card="th"][poker card="qc"] keeping Kriazhev in the lead but giving both a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="jh"] hit the turn, giving Kriazhev the straight and leaving Kunze drawing dead to the [poker card="5c"] river. Kunze was eliminated in eighth place for $46,684. Jakob Meigel had managed to ladder up from his eighth-place starting position, but an hour into the final table, was still grinding a short stack. He raised with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"], leaving himself a few big blinds behind. Hardcastle three-bet with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"] and when folded to, Meigel put the rest of his chips in the middle. The board ran out [poker card="th"][poker card="8c"][poker card="ts"][poker card="4s"][poker card="tc"] allowing Hardcastle’s king kicker to play and sending Meigel out in seventh place for $58,650. The final six played for nearly another hour before Charles Chattha raised on the button with [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"]. Out of the blinds, Hardcastle three-bet with [poker card="ks"][poker card="kh"] and Chattha pushed nearly 40 big blinds all-in. Hardcastle snap-called and the flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="jd"], giving Chattha some straight outs. However, the turn came the [poker card="7d"] and the river was the [poker card="4d"] sending Chattha to the rail in sixth place for $74,119. Kraizhev found himself short and in need to make a move. Leaving himself just a few chips behind, Kraizhev raised with the [poker card="jd"][poker card="th"]. Felix Schulze then raised with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] and when folded back to him, Kraizhev put his remaining stack in the middle. Schulze hit his ace right away on the [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7s"] flop and when the [poker card="4d"] hit the turn, Kraizhev was drawing dead. The [poker card="qc"] river hit and Kraizhev was ousted in fifth place for $95,672. Just minutes after a break, a big hand took out another player. Dan Shak raised with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="3h"] and Schulze flat called with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. From the small blind, Chamas three-bet holding the [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and after Shak folded Schulze made the call. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="5c"] and Chamas, hitting second pair, open-shipped his big stack. Schulze snap-called with top pair, top kicker and the [poker card="4d"] hit the turn. Schulze was in great shape to double up but the river was the [poker card="kd"] awarding the hand to Chamas and sending Schulze out in fourth place for $139,163. Shak, who started the day as the chip leader, had been active and steady. But with three players left, he found himself as the short stack when his bluff was picked off by Hardcastle. Just minutes later, Hardcastle shipped his stack holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] into Shak who had [poker card="kc"][poker card="js"] in the big blind. Shak made the call. The flop came [poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"] giving Shak plenty of additional flush outs. But the [poker card="8h"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river were of no help and Shak added $212,458 to his extensive bankroll for finishing in third place. When heads up play began, Hardcastle held a significant chip lead over Chamas and he continually applied pressure. But Chamas hung around and evened out the stacks at one point. But some key calls and strong bluffs by Hardcastle allowed him to again grab a large lead. On the final hand of the tournament, Chamas opened with [poker card="jc"][poker card="3s"] and Hardcastle called in the big blind with [poker card="9h"][poker card="8h"]. Hardcastle paired his nine on the flop and made the call when Chamas put out a bet on the flop. The [poker card="ks"] came on the turn and Chamas fired again, which Hardcastle called. The river was the [poker card="8d"], giving Hardcastle two pair and when Chamas shipped the rest of his small stack, Hardcastle made the quick call ending the tournament. Chamas finished as the runner-up and took home $308.703 while Hardcastle collected the $447,859 first-place prize and became the latest member of the WPT Champions Club. WPT Montreal Online Main Event Final Table Payouts 1. Jack Hardcastle - $447,859.32 2. Rayan Chamas - $308,703.22 3. Dan Shak - $212,458.57 4. Felix Schulze - $139,163.79 5. Andrei Kraizhev - $95,672.65 6. Charles Chattha - $74,119.22 7. Jakob Miegel - $58,650.26 8. Marcek Kunze - $46,684.79 9. Upeshka De Silva - $37,024.08
  21. After a year away, partypoker’s marquee online festival, MILLIONS Online, is set to take place from February 13 through March 9 with 28 events, nearly $18 million in total guaranteed prize money, and an expanded satellite schedule designed to give players of every buy-in level a shot at a seat in some of the series' biggest tournaments. The schedule for the three-week series features a variety of high buy-in tournaments ranging from $530 to the $102,000 Mega High Roller. But for a pair of the schedule's featured events, partypoker is already running an abundance of low-cost satellites to make sure everyone has an opportunity to win their way in. One of the major tournaments partypoker is getting players qualified for is this year’s $5,300 Main Event with $5 million guaranteed. The Main Event has two starting flights, the first taking place on Sunday, February 21, and the second one week later on Sunday, February 28. This will be followed by three days of play until the final table when a winner is crowned on Wednesday, March 3. This year’s MILLIONS Main Event is a throwback of sorts for partypoker. In 2018, the $5,300 MILLIONS Online Main Event came with a $20 million guarantee and an eye on setting online poker’s largest prize pool of all time. The event did just that, eclipsing $21.7 million and paying out four seven-figure sums. In 2019, partypoker took aim at their own record. They doubled the buy-in to $10,300 and kept the $20 million guarantee. While they missed the mark on the record, the just over $21 million prize pool was another massive achievement. Only the GGPoker 2020 World Series of Poker Online Main Event with its Guinness World Record-setting $27.5 million prize pool eclipses the records set by those two MILLIONS Online Main Events. However, rather than make another run at the record through a guarantee, partypoker has decided to go back to its 2017 guarantee of $5 million while increasing its satellite schedule to make it more accessible for players to participate. "We’re extremely proud to be hosting yet another online leg of the world-renowned MILLIONS tour," said Chris Donnchie, partypoker’s Head of Poker Room Management."The satellite framework this year has been designed with a view to make both the Main Event and Mini Main Event even more accessible to players of all buy-in levels." partypoker has ensured that players of every buy-in level can have a chance to win a Main Event seat with a variety of ways including through a satellite tree that starts at just $0.01. The 'centroll' satellites feed into $5.50 events, the winners of which will earn a $55 phase satellite ticket. Those that survive the $55 phase will be entered into a Sunday final that promises at least 10 seats to the Main Event will be awarded. "One of my favorite things about poker is the zero-to-hero stories we hear on a regular basis," said Team partypoker’s Patrick Leonard. "When I started playing, somebody would qualify for a $5,000 event from a $1,000 satellite and it was a great story when they went on to the final table." "Recently, at partypoker, we’ve seen numerous people qualify for huge events for as little as $0.01 and win life-changing amounts. MILLIONS Online is always an amazing tournament and any player with a bankroll of $0.01 or more should get ready," Leonard added. The Main Event is not the only event bringing players in via satellite as the $1,100 buy-in Mini Main Event and it’s $1,000,000 guarantee features a similar satellite tree which starts at a penny and leads to an $11 phase tournament. The Mini Main Event kicks off the entire MILLIONS Online series on February 13 and after two starting flights and three days of play will determine a winner on Wednesday, February 17. partypoker 2021 MILLIONS Online Schedule [table id=165 /]
  22. After a ten-month hiatus, the live World Poker Tour Main Tour returned to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. After a long day of play and a three-handed deal, Ilyas Muradi took home $605,000, a ticket to the 2021 WPT Tournament of Champions, and his first career WPT title. For anyone questioning if live poker players were eager to get back in the action, the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open had the answer. Despite the state of the pandemic, playing behind plexiglass barriers, and the requirement to wear masks the tournament’s 1,753-entry field became the third-largest in the WPT’s eighteen-year history. It wasn’t just an outpouring of local players that made their way to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as players traveled from all parts of the globe to participate in the first WPT Main Tour live event since the conclusion of WPT Rolling Thunder in March 2020. There were plenty of notable names who made a deep run in the event but fell short of the final table. World Poker Tour champions Sam Panzica (189th, $6,150) and Kevin Eyster (167th, $6,300) made Day 3 as did Athanasios Polychronopoulous (125th, $7,025), Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla (103rd, $7,880), and well-known vlogger Johnnie Moreno (93rd, $8,230). Among those joining them in the money were Jerry Wong (90th, $8,230), Alex Keating (77th, $9,885), and worldwide current #2-ranked online pro from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic (31st, $23,110). The final three tables included some of the World Poker Tour’s biggest names including WPT winner Aaron Mermelstein (25th, $23,110), Scott Baumstein (24th, $27,660), WPT Deepstack Champion Justin Liberto (22nd, $27,660), and four-time WPT champion Darren Elias who finished in tenth place and earned $79,455 which brought his career WPT total to just under $3.9 million. Day four started with the final seven players grinding for two 90-minute levels before reaching the official final table of six. Andy Hwang, the final WPT Champion Club member left in the field, started the day third in chips, however, a few hours into play he found himself grinding a short stack of fewer than 20 big blinds. After a raise from Francis Margaglione in early position with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"], Hwang three-bet shipped his stack with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Folded back around to Margaglione, he made the call. The board ran out [poker card="3s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="6d"][poker card="qd"] ensuring that a new WPT champion would be crowned as Hwang exited in seventh place for $115,630. Roughly twenty minutes later, after an early position raise, Tsz Shing shipped his 22 big blind stack holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"] from the button. Ronnie Bardah made the call from the small blind with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and the early position raiser folded. The [poker card="th"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5d"] ran clean for the pocket queens and eliminated Brooklyn’s Shing in sixth place for a career-high recorded live cash of $168,990. At five-handed, Jesse Lonis put in a raise from late position with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"]. After it folded to Bardah in the big blind, Bardah put in a three-bet with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="kc"]. With the action back on Lonis and 30 big blinds behind, Lonis four-bet shipped with Bardah snap-called. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"] flop left Lonis looking for one of two outs to save him. The [poker card="3d"] hit the turn and the [poker card="jd"] completed the board and ended Lonis’ tournament in fifth place for $223,895. Margaglione started the day with the chip lead but his stack slowly dwindled during the day. Eventually, he made his move by raising from the button with [poker card="qc"][poker card="9s"] only to be shoved on by the big stack of Bardah in the big blind holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. With just over 10 big blinds behind, Margaglione opted to make the call. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"][poker card="7s"] giving Bardah top pair and leaving Margaglione looking for runner-runner help. The [poker card="2h"] was of no use to Margaglione who was drawing dead to the [poker card="jh"] river. Margaglione finished in fourth place for $293,510. During a break, the final three players negotiated a deal for the remaining prize pool. Ilyas Muradi locked up $580,000 as the chip leader and Bardah, sitting in second, agreed to $566,135. Robel Andemichael secured $545,500 and all three agreed to leave $25,000 and a ticket to the WPT Tournament of Champions on the table for the eventual winner. Even though a deal was in place, the pace of play stayed deliberate. After roughly two hours, Andemichael put in a raise on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] and Bardah pushed his final twelve big blinds in the middle with [poker card="as"][poker card="2s"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Bardah the lead, which held through the [poker card="ts"] turn. But the [poker card="9s"] river gave the hand to Andemichael which eliminated Bardah in third place for his agreed-upon career-high score of $566,135. Heads up play started with both Andemichael and Muradi practically even in chips. Another two hours passed without either player holding a significant lead. Finally, Andemichael moved all-in for his final 15 big blinds with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] and was called by Muradi holding [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qs"] giving Muradi’s pocket fours the pot and his first WPT title. Andemichael finished as the runner-up, taking home the$545,500 he locked up in the deal. Ilyas Muradi added the $25,000 to his $580,000 portion of the deal for a total cash score of $605,000 plus a $15K ticket to the Tournament of Champions, and a date to have his name engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. Final Table Payouts 1. Ilyas Muradi - $605,000* + WPT Tournament of Champions seat 2. Robel Andemichael - $545,000* 3. Ronnie Bardah - $566,135* 4. Francis Margaglione - $293,510 5. Jesse Lonis - $223,895 6. Tsz Shing - $168,990
  23. The latest Galfond Challenge came to an abrupt end over the weekend when challenger Chance Kornuth conceded the heads-up match roughly 10,000 hands shy of the finish, awarding Phil Galfond another challenge victory and a payday worth over $976,000. Kornuth booked the $100/$200 heads-up Pot Limit Omaha heads-up challenge with Galfond at the start of 2020 in what was expected to be a 35,000 hand event. In addition to the money on the table, the pair agreed to a side bet in which the favorite, Galfond laid four-to-one to Kornuth, risking $1 million to Kornuth’s $250,000. Over the past four months, the pair battled online each taking turns holding the lead. However, as the challenge approached the 25,000 hand mark, Galfond extended his lead up over $680,000. On Saturday, during session #50, Kornuth lost a pair of critical all-ins. Then, during a break in the action, Kornuth conceded the challenge. “It was a heck of a battle that didn’t really go my way down the stretch and Phil played great,” Kornuth said just moments after conceding. In a joint interview after the match, Kornuth was asked if he knew that he was going to call it early. He discussed the fact that he had sold a package that was based on $1 million. Once he had started the day on a downswing he took a look at the numbers which showed that his in-game loss of $726,500 plus the loss of the $250,000 side bet would put him critically close to his maximum loss amount. So, during the break he let Galfond know that he was ready to quit. “Even though I lost, I actually, surprisingly, enjoyed the battle,” Kornuth said. “I’d been grinding tournaments for the last few years and I really forgot how much I truly do enjoy the heads up battle.” Once again, Galfond was a gracious winner. Galfond joined the interview and praised Kornuth’s toughness as an opponent while discussing the strategies that did and didn’t work against him. “The beginning of the challenge was definitely, especially, mentally draining because Chance was playing so many spots that in ways that were very exploitative or my tendencies or population tendencies. And he was adjusting quickly,” Galfond said. “It funny when you’re playing an exploitative player and you’re one as well because I would imagine that, like, 70% of the things that I thought he was doing - he was. And then 30% was just in my head and I was counter-adjusting to things that weren’t even there,” Galfond said. Galfond is now three-for-three in his string of challenges. His first victory came in dramatic fashion when he battled back from a roughly $1,000,000 deficit to defeat online cash game pro ‘Venividi1993’ over 25,000 hands for the €100,000 side bet. In May 2020, he completed another 15,000 hand challenge against Greek grinder Ioannis ‘ActionFreak’ Kontonstsios where he booked a €114,000 profit plus an additional €150,000 in side bet action. Over the course of the three challenges, Galfond has won more than $1.4 million in on-the-felt and side bet earnings. After his victory against Kornuth, Galfond talked about the differences in preparation and study against online specialists like ‘Venividi1993’ in comparison to a more exploitative player like Kornuth. “At first, I kind of approached it the same way but it was way, way different. Because I feel like when I found something that I could take advantage of against ‘Veni’ or ‘ActionFreak’, not that there were very many things, I felt like I could rely on it for weeks,” Galfond said. “But with Chance, that’s not the case. It kind of became almost a waste of energy to spend a ton of time looking back on hands and trying to figure out his range construction in different spots and a counter-strategy.” “So I started to, towards the end of the challenge, prioritize resting my mind because I felt just too burnt out trying to make all these reads and strategy adjustments and plans and I feel like I wasn’t performing as well and so in the second half of the challenge I feel like a lot more of my focus went to performance than specific strategic studying.” Galfond wasn’t alone in feeling burnt out as Kornuth expressed some relief at the challenge coming to an end. Additionally, in between the time that he accepted the challenge in early 2020 and the conclusion, Kornuth became a father for the first time. “It’s really weird, I almost feel better not that it’s over than I did yesterday,” Kornuth said. “It’s almost a relief that it’s over. Obviously, I gave it my all and tried to win but it’s kind of a weird feeling. I expected to be more dejected today than yesterday but I actually feel surprisingly good.” When discussing what’s next for him, Kornuth said he planned to “focus on being a dad” as well as marketing the latest programs of his online poker training site Chip Leader Coaching. Galfond also expressed that he planned on spending time with family and putting work in on his own Run It Once training site. Although the start of the next Galfond Challenge is still up in the air, Galfond did note that there are a number of battles left on the horizon. There’s a challenge with Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, a live challenge against Brandon Adams, and the resumption of his challenge against Bill Perkins but with no plans to travel out of the country, Galfond indicated that those will have to wait.
  24. It’s a brand new year for the online grinders in the Regulated States of America and an early snapshot of the U.S.A. Online Poker Rankings finds some new names challenging the familiar faces for their spot in the top-10. David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman (6,027 PLB points) retains the top spot in the U.S.A. thanks to an impressive string of PLB-qualified cashes to kick-off 2021. The New Jersey online grinder picked up wins in the January 4 edition of the WSOP.com $15,000 Weekly Sunday Deepstack for $7,705 and 170.51 PLB points and the January 6 edition of the BorgataPoker.com Mega $535 Tuesday for $7,611 and another 156.68 PLB points. He picked up another 164.58 PLB points with his January 8 victory in the WSOP.com $20,000 Weekly Thursday which was good for another $9,480. So far this year, Coleman has logged seven top-three finishes (four of which were outright wins) and nine four-figure scores. He is currently ranked #57 in the world, down just a few spots from his career-high ranking of #50 where he sat in late 2020. Challenging Coleman for the #1 ranking in the U.S. is Alexander ‘Veruz’ Butcher (5,707 PLB points). The up-and-coming Butcher is originally from Michigan but is currently playing out of New Jersey and he has been making his presence felt in the U.S. regulated online sites over the past six months. Butcher had a tremendous December which included capturing his current career-high online score of $38,256 and 416.66 PLB points when he took down the $1,000 buy-in WSOP.com $75,000 Sunday High Roller on December 14. Two weeks later he made a deep run in the WPT Online Poker Open Main Event in which he finished in 15th place for another $13,115. The big scores continued for Butcher when the New Year arrived. On January 11 he booked the win in the WSOP.com $50,000 Weekly Sunday for $24,223 and 291.54 PLB points, the second-highest online score of his career. As recently as January 16, Butcher found himself in the winner’s circle yet again on WSOP.com in the $15,000 Weekly Friday as he added $6,757 to his bankroll, and pushed his lifetime total recorded cashes to just over $830,000. All of his hard work paid off by helping him break into online poker’s top-100 worldwide rankings. Butcher currently sits at #70, down a few spots from his all-time high of #57. To reach the #2-spot, Butcher had to get past perennial top-ranked U.S. grinder Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon (5,226 PLB points). Kwon was recently named the WSOP.com 2020 Player of the Year and earned himself a $10,000 cash prize as well as a package that includes a set in a $1K online event in the 2021 World Series of Poker. Kwon’s spotlight scores from the last month include a victory in the December 16 edition of the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown for $24,844 and 295.48 PLB points and a runner-up finish in the December 20 PokerStars NJ Sunday Special for another $4,757 and 115.58 PLB points. Kwon put a bow on his 2020 with a win in the WSOP.com $25,000 Weekly Monday on December 29 for $10,047 and 189.43 PLB points. So far in 2021 has continued his trademark grind, racking up six four-figure cashes with two wins. [table id=163 /]
  25. In what is seen as a big win for interstate online poker, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission in their case against the U.S. Department of Justice and its revised opinion of the Wire Act. As originally reported by OnlinePokerReport.com, the ruling upholds the decision of a lower court that the reinterpretation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice in 2018 is incorrect. In that revised opinion, the DOJ sought to expand the coverage of the Wire Act beyond sports betting to include all forms of gambling which included lotteries and online poker. The Wire Act of 1961 was originally enacted to prohibit the use of "wire communication" to assist in the interstate placing bets or wagers (or the collection of earnings) in any "sporting event or contest." In 2011, the DOJ released an opinion that events and activities that fall outside of the "sporting event" wording are outside of the Wire Act's purview. Then, in 2018, the DOJ reversed itself and attempted to extend the law's coverage. The appellate court’s decision is a potential boom for online poker in the United States. Even though online poker was not at the forefront of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission’s case, the industry should benefit providing the decision stands. It clears up the legality of whether states that legalize online poker, as Pennsylvania and Michigan have recently done, can join or create their own interstate network as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have already done with WSOP.com being the first and only network to date to take advantage of the opportunity. In addition to opening the gates for new states to join an interstate network, it also reinforces that what has already been established can continue to grow. Prior to the 2019 World Series of Poker, organizers were unclear if players in New Jersey would be allowed to participate in online bracelet events as they had in year's past due to the language in the DOJ’s 2018 interpretation. After an initial loss in federal court about the Wire Act, the DOJ let it be known that they would not start enforcing on other forms of gambling until 2020 at the earliest. Now, the decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals leaves the DOJ, should it choose to proceed, the final option of appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States. Given the current political landscape, the DOJ may choose not to do this in which case the lawsuit would be complete and the interpretation nullified. The Supreme Court may also opt not to hear the case which would be an end to matters as well. The new presidential administration will likely be a factor as well. According to Bloomberg News Network, President Biden is on record as not supporting the DOJ’s Wire Act expansion. Additionally, as reported by CDC Gaming Reports, back in December 2019 the Biden campaign issued a statement saying that Biden “doesn’t support adding unnecessary restrictions to the gaming industry like the Trump Administration has done.” With this being the likely end of the line for the case, players in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware are likely to see some new screen names at the tables as online poker in the U.S. prepares to expand in 2021.
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.