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  1. 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. Listen in to an all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie return with all of the latest news from this week in the world of poker. It was a busy week when it came to legal procedures in poker including an end to three prominent cases. First, Phil Ivey's long battle with the Borgata in the multi-million dollar edge sorting case has finally been resolved out of court. At the same time, nearly a decade after Black Friday, PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg is in the clear from his charges and free to travel in the U.S. once again. Also, there was a settlement in the Mike Postle cheating allegations case which looks to put one of the biggest stories of 2019 to rest. Plus, WIRED Magazine took a deep dive into the Postle scandal which brings up some additional questions surrounding the case. So download and listen in! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  2. The party in Portugal is probably going to last for a few days after Andre 'PTFisherman23' Marques came out on top of the 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event (High) on Wednesday. Marques, who was playing from the Netherlands, was one of three players to earn at least $1 million at the final table after Marques, Tonio 'prrak4783' Roder, and Teun 'tinnoemulder' Mulder chopped up just north of $3.32 million after four days of play in $10,300 buy-in WCOOP Main Event. Marques emerged as the champion and picked up $1,147,270.86 while Roder came in second place for $1,082,522.50 and Mulder took home $1,101,527.64 for taking the final spot on the podium. Sweden's Robin 'robinho' Ylitalo, who has been ranked as high as #2 in the world, came in fourth place for a career-best cash of $543,301. That cash also made Ylitalo just the 13th player to surpass $13 million in online tournament earnings. Winning the WCOOP Main Event (Medium) is a pretty solid way to grab the first WCOOP title of your career. That's exactly what Thailand-based grinder '1mSoWeeeaK' pulled off on Wednesday night after beating 'Y.Zakaharov' heads up to claim the crown and secure the bag. With no deal made, the champion walked away with $504,583.85 while 'Y.Zakaharov' had to settle for $359,679.96. Lastly, 'klimono' turned their $55 buy-in into $186,841.09 by outlasting 38,659 other entries in the Main Event (Low). It was the first WCOOP title for the Polish poker player. WCOOP #72-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 1,977 entries $10,000,000 prize pool ($115,000 overlay) Andre ‘PTFisherman23’ Marques - $1,147,270.86* Tonio ‘prrak4783’ Roder - $1,082,522.50* Teun ‘tinnoemulder’ Mulder - $1,101,527.64* Robin ‘robinho’ Yitalo - $543,301 Andriy ‘Andre_Hansen’ Lyubovetskiy - $387,284 Denys ‘SantaZzz’ Chufarin - $276,069 Michael ‘munchenHB’ Telker - $196,792 77atlant77 - $140,280 Cecilia ‘princes chu’ Cafaro - $99,997 WCOOP #72-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 7,105 entries $3,552,500 prize pool 1mSoWeeeaK - $504,583.85 Y.Zakaharov - $359,679.96 $harkFlo - $256,392.09 ZAR84 - $182,764.75 GM_VALTER - $130,280.83 tzini9 - $92,868.38 kirbyi17 - $66,199.41 owilson25 - $47,189.27 cladarth - $33,637.91 WCOOP #72-L: $55NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 38,660 entries $1,933,000 prize pool klimono - $186,841.09 Tangawi26 - $132,092.52 ID IMPOSS - $93,403.33 pvss - $66,045.97 Mr.Skinny.00 - $46,701.47 vrodrguez1 - $33,022.98 Clutch Hero - $23,350.83 Jemisis - $16,511.49 benton24 - $11,675.32
  3. Not everyone is ready for a return to live poker in Las Vegas but for those that are, there are plenty of games to choose from. More than six months after the Sin City Strip was forced to close its doors in response to the coronavirus crisis, many of the most popular card rooms in the city, including Bellagio, Aria, and The Venetian, have adapted to new health standards and found a way to get back to business. It’s not just the poker rooms that have been forced to readjust. The players who have made the decision to venture back into the casinos are returning to a game drastically different from the one they left. New regimented cleaning protocols, short-handed tables, limited room capacity, and plexiglass barriers have all been put in place and have quickly become the new norm. And, of course, wearing a mask is non-negotiable. With so much uncertainty still surrounding COVID-19, it’s understandable why many would opt to stay away. However, some professional and recreational players have reconciled with the current reality in order to get back to the live grind. “I think the concern with COVID is actually pretty low,” said professional poker player Christian Soto, talking about the vibe around the table. “At least at the Bellagio, where it seems like it’s doing a relatively good job. Every dealer change they wipe down a table. Every time a person quits, they wipe down that area. There’s the plexiglass, all that stuff, that kind of eases the concerns of COVID just because of how much effort is going into that.” “And I think that partially they amped that up because early on there were two or three cases of COVID right away at Bellagio.” Soto’s a self-described ‘live pro’, an instructor at the Solve For Why Academy, and frequent tweeter of threads that capture his high-stakes cash game journey. He’s been putting in a lot of hours as of late, getting up early to ensure himself a seat in his game of choice. But before he was able to get back in action he had to feel right about returning. “So, initially I was, ‘Okay, well how does it get transmitted? How easy is it to go from one person to another?’ And once we got a little bit more information, it’s not airborne and you really have to contract it by somebody coughing or sneezing or leaving it on the table…once we got that information, then I was, ‘Okay, well I think certain casinos are doing a pretty decent job at the table. As long as I’m doing my part, using hand sanitizers, stuff like that, then I think we’re good,” Soto said. For a pro like Soto, a return to the tables is part of his livelihood. For "Anthony" (who preferred to not have his real name used), a recreational player from New York City, it was an invite from his Zoom online poker group to go to Las Vegas in early September that marked the first time he’d done any real venturing out into the world in six months. “I don’t know. I think at a certain point, I think that we’ve got far enough in it where I felt like if I keep my mask on in public, and I have hand sanitizer and I’m not in really close quarters with anyone, like close quarters in terms of socializing in a large group, I felt like it was probably safe,” Anthony said. “I was not expecting there to be very big crowds. They were bigger than I expected, but I also was ready to leave if I needed to, if I felt unsafe.” Depending on who you talk to, perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the Las Vegas live scene are those crowds. With limited capacity, to ensure social distancing, rooms are experiencing long waitlists and are granting reduced lobby times for in-game players to keep their short-handed games running. “There’s more demand that there is availability in my opinion,” Soto said. “I’ve had to show up at Bellagio at six in the morning because if you don’t get there early you’re not going to get a seat for many, many, many hours. It’s insane. I’m not even joking, if you show up at 1:00 p.m. you’re going to have to wait three or four hours.” A floor supervisor who is currently working in a Las Vegas poker room and wished not to be named agreed that, while there are plenty of players who have decided to avoid the poker rooms, the demand for poker is there. “There is certainly a level of demand for poker in Las Vegas currently, even in its current state,” they said. “There are some pros willing to play under these conditions, but a good number have stayed away for the time being for various concerns. The pros I’ve spoken to recently remark that the games they have to choose from are ‘softer’ due to the reduction of pros populating them presently.” The supervisor speculates that pros are spending more time online or in the much talked about Las Vegas private games which is leading to a group of players at the table who “have never stepped foot in the room” before. They are also of the opinion that some of the early games in returning from the shutdown may have played higher with an influx of “pandemic money”, funds that may have been received from unemployment or severance, combined with people headed into Las Vegas to take advantage of cheap room rates aimed at rebooting the gaming economy. “There is a very limited level of concern expressed by players in the room. For the most part, the folks who are uncomfortable with being here, simply aren’t here. We still get phone calls from time-to-time asking what safety measures and precautions are in place, but the folks actually stepping foot in the room, they’re sated by the measures in place or don’t voice their concerns.” The players aren’t the only ones affected by the threat of COVID as the dealers and staff are also asked to deal with the current conditions. Unlike the players, these individuals are required by their employment to be on the premises. “When we all shut down in March I was apprehensive about what measures would be in place upon re-open, and was unsure how comfortable I was going to be spending time in a setting that - let’s face it - has never been highly regarded for its hygiene,” they said. “When the glass was put up, the masks became mandatory for everyone, the cleaning of the tables and cards, etcetera…it all came to fruition, I felt as though everything that could be done realistically was being done,” they said. ”I commend the time and thought put forth by the majority of operators in town. My apprehension has given way to being comfortable in a day-to-day routine. I know what to expect, which leads to peace of mind I suppose. “The majority of the staff at this point is on the same page, the only real difficulty is playing whack-a-mole with the players being lax on wearing masks properly. It tends to be exhausting. There are always people who pretend to be drinking their tea for 45 minutes at a time, with their mask hanging off an ear, things like that. It is an additional burden placed upon the floor staff, mainly because while we ask dealers to enforce the masks, they fear being militant with players about masks will impact their tips.” [caption id="attachment_632777" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] A busy Caesars poker room on Labor Day, 2020. (photo credit: @LuckysLasVegas Twitter)[/caption] While there may be some who are in opposition to masks, unconcerned with the comfort or safety of those around them, the enforcement of sanitary standards is part of what is keeping the live scene in action. That and the large plastic barriers which keep a group playing together also isolated from each other. For many, poker is considered a social game, where one would think barriers would dampen the enjoyment of playing. “I think some people that I play against are actually more comfortable with the plexiglass and the mask and things like that,” Soto said. “Generally, poker players are rather introverted. So this just gives them another barrier and they’re actually a little bit more comfortable than they normally are, which is a weird thing. It’s backward thinking, but it’s somehow, giving them more barriers, ends up being a good thing for them. They’re more comfortable and actually more relaxed than they usually are. “It could be something like that where it almost feels they're just very similar to being at home in front of a computer where they're just kind of in their own box. They're not necessarily around anybody. So, they feel a lot more comfortable than usual.” For Anthony, the barriers not only help soothe some health concerns but they also removed some of the other negative elements of live poker. “I pretty quickly liked them a lot,” Anthony said. “Some people complained about the dividers and not being able to hear, but I didn’t feel like it was that big a problem. There were very few instances where a hand was turned over before it should have been because the person couldn’t hear. “I personally loved having all the space. There were some of those stereotypical issues of the person sitting next to you smelling or taking up too much space or being too loud. A lot of that was mitigated by them. Did I like that it hurt some of the table talk? That was definitely reduced, except for a couple of very social, loud people.” Anthony took it a step further saying he was “hoping the dividers are here to stay” and that he enjoyed his week-long experience of playing short-handed poker in Vegas, even in a pandemic. “I did have a good time. I would have had a better time if I won a little more,” he said. “It was nice to be back. “I don’t know if I ever felt 100% comfortable. It’s going to be a long time before we ever feel comfortable. I think until the fire is under control and you feel comfortable in the people running the country. So at a certain point, you have to be like ‘We got to get on with our lives.’ Part of that is the entertainment of stress relief. “Are there better choices than going to Vegas? Almost certainly.” Since returning home to New York, Anthony has tested negative for both COVID and its antibodies. photo credit: @LuckysLasVegas
  4. While the three 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Events all played down to a final table on Tuesday, the fans of the great game of Pot Limit Omaha were tuned into to watch the PLO Main Events crown a new champion and all three of the buy-in levels came through with a top player standing in the winner's circle. Sweden's 'jedimaster82' beat Ola ‘Odd_Oddsen’ Amundsgaard heads up to win Event #73 High ($10,300 PLO Main Event) for $283,368.15 and their first WCOOP victory. Amundsgaard collected $217,808.59 for his runner-up performance. Kahle 'ROFLshove' Burns outlasted 787 other entries in event #73 Medium ($1,050 PLO Main Event) to pocket $133,757 along with the first WCOOP title of his storied career. The final PLO Main Event went to the current #1-ranked online poker player in Germany. 'nilsef' and 'GHOSTFACE9.8' chopped Event #73 Low ($109 PLO Main Event) with 'nilsef' taking home $40,224.38 and the title. This is the fifth time 'nilsef' has captured WCOOP glory, making him the fifth player to do so. 'Roche9797', who captured Event #68 Medium just two days earlier, came out on top of Event #75 High ($1,050 NLHE Series Saver) to become the 18th player to win two WCOOP titles this year. The win came with $97.526.11 from the prize pool and another $74,277.26 in bounties. The first event on the 2020 WCOOP schedule finally wrapped up on Tuesday. 'estebangocu' topped Phase 2 of Event #1 ($215 NLHE) to win $215,006.07 and their first WCOOP title. The other four players who were crowned WCOOP champs on Tuesday were 'JannikB541' (Event #1 Medium), 'timaozanho' (Event #1 Low), 'r-w patriot' (Event #75 Medium), and 'Jungurcew' (Event #75 Low). WCOOP #73-H: $10,300 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 135 entries $1,350,000 prize pool jedimaster82 - $283,368.15 Ola ‘Odd_Oddsen’ Amundsgaard - $217,808.59 d.apollo777 - $167,416.87 WCOOP #73-M: $1,050 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 788 entries $788,000 prize pool Kahle ‘ROFLshove’ Burns - $133,757 Guilherme ‘guilherme12’ Decourt - $94,178.13 Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich - $66,310.98 WCOOP #73-L: $109 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 3,066 entries $306,600 prize pool nilsef - $40,224.38* GHOSTFACE9.8 - $34,964.21* the_eel_89 - $21,512.80 WCOOP #75-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 1,490 entries $1,490,000 prize pool Roche9797 - $97.526.11 + $74,277.26 in bounties Leonardo 'LeoMattosAK' Mattos - $97,525.34 + $1,531.25 in bounties Gary ‘quiditbear’ Hassan - $58,313.31 + $30,761.69 in bounties WCOOP #75-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 9,838 entries $983,000 prize pool r-w patriot - $56,873.81 + $26,787.98 in bounties DemonKrasnod - $56,866.19 + $12,036.88 in bounties fpfeifer97 - $33,740.06 + $7,080.05 in bounties WCOOP #75-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 28,031 entries $274,703.80 prize pool Jungurcew - $11,618.24 + $5,841.66 in bounties ryanpcallme - $11,593 + $1,205.20 in bounties aek aek aek - $6,878.43 + $269.03 in bounties WCOOP #1-H: $215 NLHE [Phase 2] 1,143 entries $2,153,200 prize pool estebangocu - $215,006.07 Torben ‘Tralllle’ Sorensen - $159,299.10 chtrumfeinz - $118,029.01 WCOOP #1-M: $22 NLHE [Phase 2] 5,379 entries $1,013,180 prize pool JannikB541 - $92,664.56* NOK123 - $79,648.86* fcb-serv - $52,245.31 WCOOP #1-L: $2.20 NLHE [Phase 2] 11,439 entries $250,000 prize pool timaozanho - $25,051.42 Pavelx3 - $17,727.86 tiag1 - $12,571.02
  5. The 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker is nearly finished and multiple times over the past three weeks of play former champions have added to their legacy by picking up another title and the all-time leaderboard is starting to get a little crowded. On Monday night, Jussi 'calvin7v' Nevanlinna won Event #69 Medium ($1,050 8 Game) to earn his second title of 2020 and fifth overall. He now sits tied for third all-time with Dan Kelly, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Andrey Zaichenko, who won his fifth title last Thursday - the same day that Nevanlinna picked up his fourth title. 'RaulGonzalez' beat Stephen Chidwick heads-up to win Event #69 High ($10,300 8 Game High Roller) for a $235,530.76 payday and their first WCOOP title. Joao 'Naza114' Vieira finished third. Michiel 'utreg' Brummelhuis shipped Event #71 High ($1,050 NLH PKO Sunday Warm Up) to earn $81,357.28 from the prize pool and an additional $84,076.10 worth of bounties. Brummelhuis had never won a WCOOP title before, but does have a Spring Championship of Online Poker title to his name. Brazil's 'RRagazzo' joined the double champion club on Monday night, beating 971 other entries in Event #71 ($530 NLHE) for $80,082.59. Their first 2020 title come on September 13, when they shipped Event #51 High ($530 NLHE) for a little more than $67,000. Other players who took home WCOOP titles on Monday included 'giuliano156' (Event #69 Low), 'bcostin993' (Event #70 Medium), 'Aand river..' (Event #70 Low), 'powerpokerBR' (Event #71 Medium), and 'stipinas666' (Event #71 Low). WCOOP #69-H: $10,300 8-Game [High Roller] 67 entries $670,000 prize pool RaulGonzalez - $235,530.76 Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick - $156,000.92 Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira - $103,325.32 WCOOP #69-M: $1,050 8-Game 135 entries $150,000 prize pool ($15,000 overlay) Jussi 'calvin7v' Nevanlinna - $31,642.70 RolldUpTrips - $23,671.18 merla888 - $17,707.92 WCOOP #69-L: $109 8-Game 841 entries $84,100 prize pool giuliano156 - $13,993.03 woodbine ave - $9,749.67 m00nflow - $6,793.30 WCOOP #70-H: $530 NLHE [Freezeout] 972 entries $486,000 prize pool RRagazzo - $80,082.59 twirlpro - $58,600.95 Stiffler8818 - $42,881.77 WCOOP #70-M: $55 NLHE [Freezeout, Sunday Kickoff] 4,417 entries $220,850 prize pool bcostin993 - $29,943.35* CinemaniaK - $23,823.83* Dark Azazel - $15,746.98 WCOOP #70-L: $5.50 NLHE [Freezeout, Mini Sunday Kickoff] 8,659 entries $42,429.10 prize pool Aand river.. - $5,959.35 mr.celeste - $4,119.51 aleks52815 - $2,851.03 WCOOP #71-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Warm-Up] 1,185 entries $1,185,000 prize pool utreg - $81,357.28 + $84,076.10 in bounties arielssouls - $81,356.41 + $22,029.30 in bounties MrHyde97 - $49,462.25 + $12,957.03 in bounties WCOOP #71-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Warm-Up] 6,828 entries $682,800 prize pool powerpokerBR - $41,269.27 + $22,462.09 in bounties aJarov - $41,265.08 + $5,481.93 in bounties hateraises - $23,883.66 + $2,431.24 in bounties WCOOP #71-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout] 16,542 entries $162,111.60 prize pool stipinas666 - $7,515.63 + $3,702.04 in bounties nego1001 - $7,502.91 + $1,394.58 in bounties Jucaltajai - $4,451.67 + 88.53 in bounties
  6. The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event took full control of the spotlight on Sunday but while that event was playing Day 1, there were nine other champions crowned. Dinesh 'NastyMinder' Alt, the 2016 Turbo Championship of Poker Main Event winner, worked his way through 607 other entries in Event #66 High ($530 NLHE Afternoon Deep Stack) and then chopped the remaining $94,000 with 'DeM1st3r' before eliminating them to earn their first WCOOP title. Alt's share after the deal and victory ended up being $48,197.37. Dimitri 'MITS 304' Michaelides became the latest player to become a two-time WCOOP winner. Michaelides won Event #74 High ($1,050 NLHE Sunday Cooldown) for $58,484.46 and another $50,331.98 in collected bounties. Michaelides' first WCOOP title came in 2016 when he won the $1,050 Razz Championship. The third and final High level event to play to.a winner on Sunday was Event #68 High ($1,050 NLHE PKO) which drew 860 entries. Paul 'Fold Machiii' Dando stood tall at the end of the tournament and earned $62,635.90 and another $59,428.66 in bounties to go along with his first WCOOP victory. The other six players who collected WCOOP wins on Sunday were 'diego_1901' (Event #66 Medium), 'Super7Sunday' (Event #66 Low), 'Roche9797' (Event #68 Medium), 'MarioDutraJR' (Event #68 Low), 'TonyGPT' (Event #74 Medium), and 'BrunoBezerr4' (Event #74 Low). WCOOP #66-H: $530 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 609 entries $304,500 prize pool Dinesh 'NastyMinder' Alt - $48,197.37* DeM!st3r - $45,634.61* IHackedRNG - $29,885.73 WCOOP #66-M: $55 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 4,295 entries $214,750 prize pool diego_1901 - $26,947.19* Quarantine86 - $25,405.95* sarakinosg3 - $15,333.12 WCOOP #66-L: $5.50 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 11,375 entries $55,737.50 prize pool Super7Sunday - $5,884.79* FARTOVIY36 - $5,048.31* GBZJB - $5,047.01* WCOOP #68-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 860 entries $860,000 prize pool Paul 'Fold Machiii' Dando - $62,635.90 + $59,428.66 in bounties mmetsla - $62,635.21 + $18,495.10 in bounties MarToMchat - $38,879.74 + $11,773.43 in bounties WCOOP #68-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 7,285 entries $728,500 prize pool Roche9797 - $39,653.17* + $22,854.49 in bounties Zisiman98 - $34,153.30* + $4,782.17 in bounties pelicameli - $40,350.55* + $5,805.37 in bounties WCOOP #68-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 24,450 entries $239,610 prize pool MarioDutraJR - $7,729.26* + $3,826.15 in bounties Deividas - $7,729.25 + $544.89 in bounties matheusgd5 - $7,729.25 + $1,276.46 in bounties A.Pats88 - $7,729.25 + $1,410.88 in bounties WCOOP #74-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 803 entries $803,000 prize pool Dimitri 'MITS 304' Michaelides - $58,484.46 + $50,331.98 in bounties DaanOss - $58,483.81 + $25,417.97 in bounties CUERVO1126 - $36,302.82 + $21,226.57 in bounties WCOOP #74-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 4,828 entries $482,800 prize pool TonyGPT - $29,244.31 + $22,714.52 in bounties nilkk1 - $29,241.21 + $7,661.12 in bounties grinja321 - $16,924.40 + $3,604.28 in bounties WCOOP #74-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 11,761 entries $115,257.80 prize pool BrunoBezerr4 - $6,310.01 + $2,660.85 in bounties tikidiii - $6,301.77 + $302.57 in bounties LucasRenanMa - $3,738.99 + $72.27 in bounties
  7. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Blizzard offers plenty of value opportunities for grinders on a budget.[/caption] There’s a lot that goes into creating a poker series, online or live. In general, companies want to cast the widest net possible, making the event exciting for players of every bankroll level. 888poker does a very good job of this and the 34 events of the upcoming XL Blizzard on January 18-28 is no exception. Sure, there’s a solid group of big-time tournaments for the high rolling set, but what about those players who are on a tighter budget but would still like to play for bankroll boosting score? 888poker didn’t forget about their core base of players and so we’re here to spotlight five “can’t miss” tournaments for the true grinder. When: January 18 What: $15,000 Mini Opening Buy-in: $12 If you can’t find your way into the larger Event #1 the $109 buy-in Opening Event, the Mini Opening, Event #2, is the next best thing. The buy-in to guarantee ratio is definitely in favor of the player in comparison and just because one is not playing in the latest event of the day doesn’t stop them from taking advantage of all of the extra promotions, including bonus cash for both multiple wins and cashing in eight or more tournaments. With a very likely four-figure first place prize, a victory here could put you in contention for some serious XL Blizzard money. When: January 20 What: $15,000 Mini Crazy 8 Buy-in: $8.80 Boasting the cheapest buy-in for the entire series, Event #7, the Mini Crazy 8, is sure to draw a large field. Like their World Series of Poker counterpart, the Crazy 8 tournaments seem to really draw a crowd. Again, the buy-in is 1/10th of the larger Crazy 8 tournament and but the guarantee is roughly 1/3rd making it a complete value tournament no matter what stakes you usually play. When: January 21 What: $40,000 Mini Tune Up Buy-in: $12 With only a $12 buy-in, Event #11, the Mini Tune Up, carries the largest guarantee of any tournament on the schedule at this relative buy-in. The tournament is in the middle of a day that includes the $200,000 Whale and so it’s very likely that the field could be a robust one and should the guarantee get smashed the final few will be looking at high four-figure and maybe even a five-figure payday for less than a ticket to 'Molly’s Game'. When: January 22 What: $10,000 Mini R&A Buy-in: $5 The $5 price tag is a little misleading as there are rebuys and an add-on in this tournament. But should you run hot early, while others are busting and rebuying, this could be a high-value tournament. Catch fire and practice a little bankroll management, without falling into the contagious mindset of shipping super light and crossing your fingers and in the end perhaps you 100x your buy-in. But should you get doomswitched and, in turn, stubborn, this could turn from a $5 dalliance into a minor money pit. When: January 28 What: $50,000 Micro Main Buy-in: $30 Event #34, the final event on the XL Blizzard schedule, has the lowest buy-in during the last four days of tournaments but it should be a good one. With more of a mid-stakes price point the Micro Main comes with a healthy $50,000 guarantee, which very well could be shattered as players make a last ditch effort to find their way into the Champion of Champions tournament with hopes of winning a World Series of Poker Main Event package. When all is said and done, of all the smaller buy-in tournaments, this is the most likely to pay out five-figures to the winner. If these look good but you are looking for tournaments that come with a little big of a higher risk/reward ratio, don’t fear - you can check out these Five Big-Time Tournaments on the XL Blizzard Schedule and plan your winter week accordingly.
  8. [caption width="640"] PalaPoker.com announced it is out of "Beta" and adds new Mega tournaments to their schedule[/caption] New Jersey poker players have yet another choice on where to play online with Monday's announcement that Pala Interactive, the online, real money gaming arm of the Pala Casino Spa & Resort, are officially removing the “beta” tag from their new online poker product, PalaPoker.com, making it an official entry into the Garden State marketplace. The initial slate of tournaments, Sit & Go’s and cash games includes Texas Hold’em, Omaha as well as Seven Card Stud. Mike O’ Malley, Pala Interactive’s Chief Operating Officer, seems to understand that while they are off to a good start it will be through the feedback of their customers that their product will continue to expand. “While we still have a robust roadmap of features and functionality to add to our online poker product, we are encouraged enough by the stability and performance of our platform to move past the beta stage,” said O’ Malley. "We look forward to continue to work with New Jersey poker players to refine our offering.” One of the first things PalaPoker.com did when taking off the “beta” tag was also announce three new weekly Mega tournaments with bankroll building guaranteed prize pools. Each of the three Mega tournaments will have a $2,000 guaranteed prize pool and an initial buy-in of $30, with rebuys available. Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday night these guaranteed tournaments will run at 7:30pm ET and for those who would like to try and win their way into the Megas, PalaPoker.com will be offering daily Hyper Turbo satellite tournaments for only $3.30. In addition to the three Mega tournaments, the initial schedule of tournaments features over 60 weekly guaranteed tournaments in an effort to be a part of the New Jersey players daily grind. “The Pala Mega events will provide a constant opportunity for players to have a destination tournament on PalaPoker.com where they can substantially add to their bankroll,” O Malley continued. “The new feeder structure we have created will allow players of all bankroll levels an opportunity to participate.” The initial tournament schedule on PalaPoker.com starts everyday at 4:00pm ET and consists of roughly 14 daily tournaments. But for those looking to put in some volume just for fun, there's at least one freeroll per day. As an incentive to give their new platform a try PalaPoker.com is offering new players a 100% match deposit bonus up to $500 as well as $50 in registration bonuses. The free $50 sign-up bonus includes poker tournament dollars to register for MTTs or Sin & Go’s as well as $5 to splash around in their cash games. PalaPoker.com is available as a downloadable client for Mac/Win, to play on a mobile device or as an in-browser experience. Sign-up now for Sign-up now for PalaPoker to get a $50 registration bonus and 100% match bonus on your first deposit up to $500.
  9. [caption width="640"] The biggest online cash game winner in November was 'BERRI SWEET'[/caption] After a rocky start to the month, high stakes Pot Limit Omaha specialist ‘BERRI SWEET’ went on an end-of-the-month heater to storm back and take the top spot in the overall winners in online cash for the month of November, according to the data tracked by Highstakesdb.com. After putting in far and away the most volume of anyone in this month’s Top 10, 161 sessions, ‘BERRI SWEET’ managed to end the month with a monster profit of $418,361 over the course of 10,389 hands. The largest portion of the winnings came in the final days of the month as ‘BERRI SWEET’ collected nearly $200K playing PLO against the likes of Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom. The uptick was enough to put ‘BERRI SWEET’ out front as the year’s most profitable online grinder to date, up over $1,850,000 with only December left. Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky took the #2 spot in November with a monster month of his own. Profitable to the tune of $339,755, Sulsky essentially took the majority of the month off from the online tables showing next to no activity until the final days of November. When he did log on his profit shot straight up, due to large wins at the PokerStars Eight Game Mix tables, mostly at the expense of, once again, Blom. Sulsky also managed to put in a couple of sessions at the PLO tables helping pad his Eight Game wins and pulling him out of negative territory for 2017 and place him as the ninth largest winner of 2017 to date with over $313,000 in earnings. November was also crucial for high stakes PLO grinder Laszlo ‘omaha4rollz’ Bujtas, who comes in at #3. After languishing the majority of the year in the red, Bujtas strung together a few winning sessions, including a serious spike of roughly $100,000 on November 27, to dig himself out of the hole and book a profit of $150,598 in November making his earn roughly $28,770 for the year to date. Bujtas put in about half the volume of ‘BERRI SWEET’, with roughly 4250 hands played over 82 tracked sessions, good for the second most active of the month’s Top 10. ‘€uroTr@sh1’ booked the fourth biggest win of the month posting a $122,041 profit over 2856 hands, averaging out to a win of over $42 a hand. ‘€uroTr@sh1’ did all of his damage early in the month when he crushed the $25/$50 and $50/$100 high stakes PLO tables for a few days straight bringing in the bulk of his winnings. The heater has him at a peak for this year putting him on pace, based on his pattern of volume, to end the year with a profit. It’s been a rough go for ‘€uroTr@sh1’, in general, in the biggest games as he’s looking to rebound from a nearly $600,000 lifetime deficit. His big November bounce has him up off the floor he touched earlier this year and back on the path to possible profitability, currently down approximately $400,000 since 2012. Get in, get out was ‘OhHeyCindy’s approach this month as after the number five winner accumulated roughly $110,000 in the first two days of the month, ‘OhHeyCindy’ essentially called it a day for the month, putting in minimal volume past those sessions. In total, the No Limit Hold’em specialist banked $2 shy of $118,000. After being up for the majority of 2017, a sharp freefall in August and September found ’OhHeyCindy’ suddenly looking up at the break-even line. The 3159 tracked hands helped out immensely and ‘OhHeyCindy’ currently sits on over $81,000 of profit for the year. Blom was mentioned as a victim of a pair of the largest winners in November, and this month was a swingy one for him to say the least. Down as low as -$180,000 he ran it up to a peak of $155,000 profit only to see it crash back down to end the month as one of the biggest losers, having dropped roughly $225,000. But lest the giver-of-action’s fans be worried, Blom is still in the midst of a fantastic year, still up $1.1 million for 2017, even with the downturn. HighstakesDB Cash Game Results for November RANKPLAYERSESSIONSHANDSPROFIT 1BERRI SWEET16110,389$418,381 2Sauce123263,553$339,755 3omaha4rollz824,249$150,598 4€uroTr@sh1632,856$122,041 5OhHeyCindy363,159$117,998 6LuckyGump101238$105,555 7jobetzu25993$91,061 8candela2005N951,904$89,790 9fish2013461,067$81,662 10Trueteller383,138$72,313
  10. [caption width="640"] Joao Simao continues to be the #1-ranked player in his home country of Brazil (SHRPO photo)[/caption] A land of beautiful beaches and football fanatics, Brazil is known as a country filled with passionate people. When it comes to the game of poker, that statement especially holds true. Providing ambassadors such as football/soccer legend Ronaldo and current global superstar Neymar Jr. as well as the ever-growing number of festivals that make stops in Brazil, the game of poker is growing by leaps and bounds in the Land of the Palms and the talent that emerges from the country is growing as well. While there are a number of top pros that have made their marks on the live tournament circuit, such as Felipe Ramos, Andre Akkari and former November Niner Bruno Politano, the current crop of online talent is also as competitive as any country in the world. In fact, every player in Brazil’s current Top-10 also resides in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top-100, following suit of powerhouse online breeding grounds Sweden, Russia and the UK. Leading the pack, currently sitting atop the rankings Brazil’s #1 player is Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Paulo Simao (7,800.10 PLB points). The former #1-ranked Worldwide player now sits in the #4 spot Worldwide and is closing in on $6.5 million in lifetime earnings while he grinds the largest MTTs that the online world has to offer. He received a major points boost back in September when he claimed a victory in the partypoker Powerfest $5200 High Roller for over $123,000. But his domination since that win has been what’s kept him atop the Brazilian rankings, registering nine five-figure scores since the middle of September. His prolific rate of making the money and racking up PLB points has him looking like he’ll be Brazil’s top performer for quite some time as he holds a 1411 point lead over the next closest player. While it may be a steep mountain to climb to catch Simao, perhaps Brazil’s #2-ranked Renato ‘bauruzito’ Valentim (6,388.83) is the man for the job. Sao Paulo’s top player, Valentim is an everyday grinder who recently packed on the PLB points by taking down a pair of major tournaments on partypoker within a week of each other. Valentim won the $215 Heavyweight: The Title Fight Warm Up for over $38,000 in late October and then, just seven days later, he made a victory lap in the $109 Heavyweight: Uppercut Warm Up for another $33,400. The push also has him inching back towards the Top 20 Worldwide, currently sitting just outside at #21. If Valentim is going to hold on to the #2 spot though, he’d better be looking over his shoulder as the #3-ranked Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha (6,369.76) is literally right behind him. A razor-thin 19.07 points differential makes it so Padilha could assume the #2 spot on any given day. It may be sooner than later if he continues to post results like his recent win in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder in late November for over $14,000. Like Valentim, Padilha is making his own push for the Worldwide Top 20, currently sitting ranked #23, by grinding the mid-stakes schedule and posting a slew of daily results. After winning Event #4 during the 2017 PokerStars SCOOP back in May for $275,984, Diego ‘MrBittar’ Bittar (6,022.83) saw both his profile and his ranking rise. Currently occupying the #4 spot on the Brazilian chart, Bittar has supported his PLB points with a heater in early November where he amassed $20,600 over the course of 24-hours, by claiming victory in the PokerStars $215 Thursday Thrill as well as two runner-up finishes and a third place to wrap it up. The #5 spot belongs to Santa Catarina’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann (5,865.10). On the cusp of earning $3 million in lifetime earnings, Volkmann took a major step closer to that milestone after his victory in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-up in late October for $48,595. The #40-ranked player in the world is still reaping the PLB rewards from his victory in Event #15 (High) of the 2017 WCOOP where he not only scored 928.44 PLB points, but a career-high score of $170,676. You may have seen the screen name of the player currently sitting at #6, ’Bernardo Rocha’ (5,495.47), when he took third place in the 2017 WCOOP Main Event for $848,015, a massive score by every metric and possibly the reason for his overall light volume since the haul. Pedro ‘gusma’ Madeira (5,156.33) has the #7 spot locked down for now. His most recent major score came when he finished runner-up to Lex Veldhuis in the $1,050 Thursday Thrill on Thanksgiving for over $21,000. There’s a tight race as for the final three spots in the Top-10 as only 23.4 points separate #8-#10. The #1-ranked player in Rio De Janeiro, Victor ‘vitinhorrn15’ Pedote dos Santos (4,981.01) holds down the #8 spot while ‘jonzstars’ (4,960.16) and Pablo ‘pabritz’ Silva (4,957.61) trail close behind in the #9 and #10 spots respectively. The pair of ‘jonzstars’ and ‘pabritz’ also sit ranked right next to each other in the Worldwide rankings at #82 and #83. Brazil’s Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Paulo Simao7,800.10 2Renato ‘bauruzito’ Valentim6,388.83 3Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha6,369.76 4Diego ‘MrBittar’ Bittar 6,022.83 5Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann5,865.10 6’Bernardo Rocha’5,495.47 7Pedro ‘gusma’ Madeira 5,156.33 8Victor ‘vitinhorrn15’ Pedote dos Santos 4,981.01 9‘jonzstars’4,960.16 10Pablo ‘pabritz’ Silva 4,957.61
  11. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings C Darwin2 Top $7 Million Lifetime Earnings October’s PLB winner and current #1-ranked online player on the planet, Sweden’s ‘C Darwin2’ added a new accolade to his ever-growing list of accomplishments this week when he surpassed $7 million in lifetime earnings. Not only did he fly right by the benchmark, he did it in style by outright winning the PokerStars $215 Fat Thursday for over $16,000. His victory was one of three top 3 finishes over the course of the week, resulting in over $50,000 in cashes. At this rate, it will only be a few weeks before the Swede returns to the Milestones headlines as he closes in on his $7.5 million badge. Making new high marks of his own was The Netherlands #1-ranked player, Tommie ‘TommieJ’ Janssen who grinded his way past the $4 million lifetime earnings mark this week as well. Two More Join $2 Million Romania’s top-ranked pro Nedelcu ‘Narcisus90’ Narcis as well as ‘macqueen56’from France both topped the $2 million mark this week. Narcis’ sixth place finish in the PokerStars $215 Bounty Builder for nearly $4,500 on November 5 was the tournament that helped him get over the hump. In similar fashion, for the full-time grinder ‘macqueen56’ it was his runner-up finish in the partypoker $10,000 GTD on Monday, November 6. A career-high score, in terms of PLB points, for ‘PSCPRODIGY’ helped him become one of four players to earn $1 million in lifetime earnings this week. ‘PSCPRODIGY’, Thailand’s #2-ranked player, soared past the $1 million mark with his win in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller for $58,039 and 529.15 PLB points. Joining him in earning the million milestone was Lithuania’s ‘shakalas’, Zimbabwe’s ‘Rakietman’ and ‘Pustota’ who plays out of Cheboksary, Russia. ’Jughead11’ enters Top 100, ‘josef_shvejk’ & ‘rolandbauer’ ascend in Top 20 Nine players made moves in the Top 100 Worldwide rankings, with Joseph ‘Jughead11’ Lacasse appearing for the first time. As the Canadian Lacasse approached $500,000 in lifetime earnings, his new entry into the Top 100 can be attributed to a string of cashes boosted by his second-place finish in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warmup in the last week of October, providing him over 373 PLB points and $34,940. Russia's‘josef_shvejk’ took another step towards the Top 10 as he moved from 16 to 15 in the rankings this week. Ranked #2 in all of Russia, his move up could likely be traced back to his first-place finish in the Hot $109 on PokerStars early in the week earning him over 205.18 PLB points in addition to the approximately $7,500. The most notable move of the week belongs to Austria’s ‘rolandbauer’ who leapt 18 spots from #30 right into the thick of the Top 20, landing at #12. Two big-time finishes in a 48 hours period not only gave him the boost he needed to get to the edge of the Top 10, but it also puts him on the precipice of $2 million in lifetime earnings. He took first place in partypoker’s Sunday Super High Roller for $55,809 and then, just days later, a second place finish in PokerStars Super Tuesday for another $41,988. Career High Rankings In Top 100 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #105 to #97 Victor 'vitinhorrn15' Pedote dos Santos - #94 to #86 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #74 to 360 'tiarc' - #61 to #54 'kofi89' - #48 to #45 'papan9_p$' - #30 to #29 Pedro 'PaDiLhA SP' Padilha - #22 to #21 'josef_shvejk' - #16 to #15 'rolandbauer' - #30 to #12
  12. [caption width="640"] Marti Roca De Torres takes down the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for €1,115,207. Photo: Alin Ivanov[/caption] Former economics teacher turned poker professional, Marti Roca De Torres, outlasted the 529 runners and marathon final table to become the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion, taking home his first WSOP bracelet and a massive €1,115,207 ($1,297,552) first place prize. Roca De Torres’ “dream come true” was made in part by winning his way into the €10,350 Main Event through a €220 satellite on 888poker. From there the Spaniard seized the opportunity, showed incredible resolve, and grinded his way through a grueling final table to end up with a career score that will be tough to top. The Final Table After the elimination of Stepan Osinovski in ninth place on Day 5 the official final table of eight players was set to begin. The remaining field included popular UK pro Jack Salter, live poker Triple Crown winner Niall Farrelland one of the most recognizable names in poker, Maria Ho, holding the chip lead and looking for her first World Series of Poker bracelet. Just after the dinner break, on the 10th hand of the official final table, Spaniard Luis Rodriguez, having had his stack crippled on a previous hand, was forced to push his remaining four big blinds in holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="6d"]. Farrell, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"], reshoved, isolating the short stack. The board came clean for the aces, [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"], and Rodriguez walked with €97,344. Roughly 30 minutes later, a classic flip helped decide the fate of Jack Salter. With similar sized stacks, Salter and Gianluca Speranza would find themselves all in. Salter, covering Speranza, had the slightest of leads holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"] against the Italian’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2d"] flop put Speranza in great position to double through. Salter would get no help from the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="6s"] river, leaving him with just a few blinds to try and grind back. The very next hand would be the end of Salter as his shipped [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"] would fall to Roca De Torres’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="7c"]. Salter books a €129,121 cash in seventh place, his second six-figure score of the week after min-cashing the €111,111 High Roller For One Drop earlier in the series. With Salter’s exit, play was suspended for the night. The remaining six returned on Saturday for Day 6 to play down to a winner with Maria Ho still in the chip lead. Unfortunately for Ho, after running hot and playing well over the course of five days, her fortunes changed dramatically on the final day. A couple of key hands made major dents in her chip lead, including a hand in which she shipped [poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"] from the big blind against a Niall Farrell open raise. He snapped with [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"], which held, and allowed him to double up and Ho to sink down to the bottom of the chip counts. While this seemed to send Farrell and Ho's future at the table in opposite directions, the fate of both would be decided just ten hands later. The short-stacked Ho, open shipped roughly 10 big blinds, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. The largest stack at the table, now belonging Roca De Torres, made the call in the small blind. Farrell, second in chips and in the big blind, peered down at [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"]. Farrell reshipped. Roca De Torres snapped. Both Farrell and Ho saw the bad news as the online qualifier tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"] for a three-way set-up hand. No one improved as the innocuous board of [poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] gave Roca De Torres the double knockout and a massive chipl ead with four remaining. Ho and Farrell, the two most prominent players of the final table were eliminated on the same hand. Ho took home €174,365 in sixth and Farrell finished in fifth for €239,639, just shy of his second WSOP bracelet. Play evened out four-handed and Roca De Torres lost multiple bids to knock out his fellow competitors as his stack fall back to the pack. Hours passed with all four men jockeying for position. Then, finally, over 80 hands later, the next elimination would take place. Finding himself short once again, after being at the bottom of the chip counts for much of the final table, the UK’s Robert Bickley made his last stand by shipping his [poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] from the small blind. Mathijs Jonkers quickly called showing down the [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. Bickley, behind but with two live cards, found no help on the flop of [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"][poker card="9d"]. When the [poker card="2s"] fell on the turn, it looked like Bickley would survive his seventh all in of the final table. But with spades and two overs as river outs, Jonkers ended Bickley’s gritty run when the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Bickley finished in fourth for €335,089. After a short break, Jonkers own time would come. Speranza, holding a commanding chip lead at this point, put in a raise with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"], Jonkers, who had folded a suited ace to him in the big blind just a few hands prior, decided that he could not fold a second time. Jonkers put in a re-raise with a dominated [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"], effectively committing his short stack to the hand. Speranza put Jonkers all in and the Dutchman placed his few remaining chips in the middle. After seeing the situation, Jonkers began to beg for a seven to keep his dream alive. The flop of [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4c"] not only didn’t provide any help to Jonkers, but it pulled an out away. When the [poker card="7s"] dropped on the turn, Jonkers, drawing dead, tapped the table, congratulated his fellow competitors and moved to his rail for comfort, collecting €476,585 for his efforts. Nine and a half hours after the six-handed final table started, heads-up play began between Speranza and Roca De Torres. Speranza began the heads-up battle holding the chip lead, but the tides turned in favor of the Roca De Torres as what looked like could be a quick finish turned into a four-hour heads-up battle. The final hand came down to, essentially, a coin flip, as the pair were nearly equal in chips when Roca De Torres shoved with the almighty [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] and Speranza called hoping to close it out called with two overs, [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [ah[p9d][poker card="3c"] put the Italian way in front but the [poker card="5h"] turn sealed the deal for Roca De Torres and the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Speranza, with less than two blinds left, stuck it in with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"] the very next hand. Roca De Torres’ [poker card="qh"][poker card="5d"] held as the final board of the tournament read [poker card="ks"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. Speranza’s consolation prize is a hefty €689,246 while Roca De Torres, who won his way into the tournament for €220, wins €1,115,207 and the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Marti Roca De Torres - €1,115,207 Gianluca Speranza - €689,248 Mathijs Jonkers - €476,585 Robert Bickley - €335,089 Niall Farrell - €239,639 Maria Ho - €174,365 Jack Salter - €129,121 Luis Rodriguez - €97,344
  13. [caption width="640"] PokerStars PowerUp hopes to add a new dimention of strategy to the classic poker game.[/caption] PokerStars' new variant on the game of poker, Power Up, is back up and running in the PokerStars lobby giving players a whole new set of strategies to employ in order to take the game of Hold’em to the next level. The new game format takes the basics of No Limit Hold’em and tosses in game-changing power cards that allow players to impact the hand in ways never before possible. In a recent Q&A with a number of Team PokerStars Online Pros, Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders, Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew and Kevin Martin talked about their hopes for the game as well as their favorite powers and strategies to become a beast at the three-handed Power Up Sit & Gos. “I love the way X-Ray messes with everyone’s head,” Team Pro Schneiders said in reference to the card that allows a player to expose one hole card from each opponent. “Once the cards are exposed you can start to really step up and level the game to new dimensions.” X-ray is one of nine powers that in play. At the start of each Sit & Go players are gifted randomly with three power cards to try and help them navigate the hands. At the beginning of each hand as the tournament progresses, cards are replenished as they are used. Schneider continues regarding the X-ray card, “It will be fun to run elaborate bluffs or going for value with that extra piece of information while knowing that your opponent things that you think that…” Another one of the powers is Disintegrate, the ability to literally erase a card on the board changing the entire board texture and, if used properly, diminish the strength of your opponent's hand. “Disintegrate is going to be the most creative and interesting card in PowerUp,” online mainstay Randy ’nanonoko’ Lew said. “I can’t wait to destroy people’s flush draws and top pairs and ruin their strategy.” Fellow Online Pro and Twitch streamer, Kevin Martin agrees with Lew. “My favorite power is Disintegrate. You can take cards that are great for your opponent’s range and get them off the table.” The power can be used on any street to eliminate either a card on the flop, turn or river and can actually be used twice per hand. “It’s a savage card and can be used in a lot of fun spots! ‘Oh hey, that King helped you, didn’t it? Well, it’s NOT there anymore!” An added level of strategy comes with the execution of the cards. In order to utilize them, you need enough Energy to do so. Each Power consumes a certain amount of Energy, which means that players will need to keep tabs on how much Energy they have as the Sit & Go advances. The various moving parts of the game is an attempt to merge the worlds of poker and strategy gaming. From the futuristic look and feel of the graphics to the new expansion of ways to play any given hand, PokerStars hopes players will get excited about traditional Hold'em poker with as yet undiscovered new depths. “I'm really excited to see more people get into it. It's a new way to think about and enjoy poker. It's also great for streaming, adding a little bit extra onto the game. It will be interesting to see what kind of strategies get developed.” said Martin, who knows a little bit about shifting strategies after winning Big Brother Canada Season 5. Schneider sums up his hopes for the future of the game. “I'm convinced that Power Up will open up huge unexplored strategic dimensions which the game of poker has not seen before.” After a brief hiccup, Power Up on PokerStars is now available for players to try for themselves for real money play in select markets.
  14. [caption width="640"] Matous Skorepa beat out 4,114 other players to win the Colossus event at WSOP Europe 2017. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Local Czech grinder, Matous Skorepa found the finish line in the World Series of Poker Europe Event #5 (The Colossus, €550 No-Limit Hold’em) besting 4,115 runners on his way to first WSOP bracelet and the first place prize of €270,015 ($317,269). The final table got underway with the majority of the table feeling the pressure to make moves as six of the nine seated had under 20 big blinds with only chip leader Jonathan Khalifa, and the eventual head-up finalists Florian Fuchs and Skorepa, sitting with any room to breathe. It didn’t take long before the bustouts began. France’s Gaetan Cauchy picked his spot and three-bet squeeze shoved his roughly ten big blinds over Pascal Pflock’s early position raise as well as a button call from Skorepa. Pflock ended up laying down his [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"] but Skorepa wasn’t going anywhere with his [poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"] and made the call. Cauchy tabled the [poker card="as"][poker card="8d"] for a single overcard. Looking for one of the final two aces in the deck the run out of [poker card="qc"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="9d"] provided no help as Skorepa’s full house scored the first knockout. A full orbit later two more players would hit the rail. Pflock shoved his final six bigs under the gun holding the [poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"]. Nebojsa Ankucic, who entered the day with a scant four big blinds, re-shoved for less with his suited [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"]. Right behind both of them, Khalifa woke up with a suited king of his own and, covering both, made the call. Khalifa’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] had Ankucic dominated but the flop of [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8s"] turned the table for the moment. As Pflock was looking for a miracle three to get back in the hand, the gin card would come for Khalifa as the [poker card="th"] turned, giving him Broadway. Looking for a spade or a queen to save his tournament, Ankucic watched his WSOPE bracelet dream end with the meaningless [poker card="4d"] river card. Covering both players, Khalifa scored the double KO as Ankucic bowed in eighth and Pflock in seventh respectively. Local player Roman Motovsky found a decent spot after he three-bet shoved his final seven blinds [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] from the big blind. Skorepa had raised the action with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] and was flatted on the button by Khalifa who shared an out, with his suited [poker card="as"][poker card="4s"]. After Motovsky shoved, Skorepa called, Khalifa folded and the flop, favorable to the player at risk, ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"][poker card="7c"]. Both players spiked a pair and Motovsky was in great shape to double. One of the final two aces, the [poker card="ad"], peeled off on the turn, putting Motovsky behind. It was handshakes for Motovsky as the [poker card="8h"] completed the board and his run at the bracelet. The next elimination came roughly 40 minutes later as Khalifa was set up to score his third knockout of the final table. After opening the action, Greece’s Makarios Avramidis stuck his final 10 bigs in the middle holding an unconnected ace, [poker card="ad"][poker card="6h"]. Folded back to Khalifa, he had snapped revealing the best hand in poker, the old [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"]. The board ran out clean for Khalifa’s aces as Avramidis, a World Series of Poker bracelet winner in 2015, was sent off in fifth place to enjoy the second best cash of his career. With only a handful of recorded career cashed, Bulgaria’s Ivaylo Sivinov was far and away in the biggest spot of his poker life. In blind-on-blind action, the Skorepa open shipped his stack on Sivinov’s big blind. Sivinov peered down at [poker card="ah"][poker card="8d"] and made the call. Skprepa had the goods this time, revealing [poker card="td"][poker card="th"]. The run out of [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="6c"] didn’t give Sivinov a lot to work with. The [poker card="8s"] paired him up but two red tens would hold as the [poker card="5s"] landed like a brick and meant that Sivinov would finish in fourth. Three-handed play would last for roughly an hour with the blind levels rising and the chip stacks flattening out keeping Khalifa, Fuchs and Skorepa all within striking distance of each other. Finally, when the next bustout arrived it was again Khalifa who was involved, only this time the bustout was his own. Skorepa opened for roughly 2.5x and Khalifa shipped his 20 big blind stack over the top with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"]. Skorepa, covering Khalifa, tank-called and showed down up the [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"] for a coin-flip to determine control of the tournament. The flop was good for nines, [poker card="6s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="5c"]. The turn was the [poker card="jh"]. Feeling good, embraced by his rail with only 8 outs to fade, the chipleader at the start of the final table couldn't hold as the [poker card="ts"] spiked on the river. Skorepa took a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up battle against Florian Fuchs and from there Skorepa went on a roll. Dominating heads-up play, it only took 11 hands for Skorepa to felt the Austrian. In the end, Fuchs, at a massive chip disadvantage made his final stand by calling Skorepa’s shove holding the [poker card="kh"][poker card="4s"]. Hoping to have two live cards, Fuchs was crushed as Skorepa had him dominated showing down the suited [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"]. The championship hand ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6d"], pairing both. But as the [poker card="2d"] hit the turn, it meant kickers were in play and Fuchs was looking for a miracle three-outer to begin a comeback. It was not in the cards as the [poker card="ac"] dropped, Fuchs was eliminated and Matous Skorepa from the Czech Republic was crowned the champion of the Colossus. Final Table Payouts Matous Skorepa - €270,015 Florian Fuchs - €166,855 Jonathan Khalifa - €123,241 Ivaylo Sivinov - €91,711 Makarios Avramidis - €86,771 Roman Motovsky - €51,968 Pascal Pflock - €39,576 Nebojsa Ankucic - €30,376 Gaetan Cauchy - €23,499
  15. [caption width="640"] Tom Hall played a key hand to win 888Live in London in October[/caption] While it is true that in tournament poker just about every hand counts, for those who make it deep - perhaps even to the end - often times there are one or two hands that can be looked back upon as being a crucial development to the story of the tournament. Those hands and decisions are even more magnified when playing in major events for heaps of money like the players were in the 888Live Events this year. With 888poker's circuit finished for the year, we decided to take a look at a few key hands from final tables that helped change the fortunes for the shot takers who found themselves in a position to go for the win. Niall Farrell Gets Popped Three-handed. After passing chips back and forth multiple times with Romania’s Catalin Pop during the final table of the 888Live event in Rozvadov in February, Scottish superstar Niall Farrell, found himself just moments away from having a choke on the tournament’s endgame. After the chip leader Pop raised from the small blind, Farrell, who was second in chips, looked down at [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"] and put in a healthy three bet. Pop, having Farrell covered, came over the top - moving all in. Farrell snapped Pop off and saw the good news as Pop tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"]. Unfortunately for the former EPT Main Event winner he only had a moment to enjoy his brief lead as the flop spread out [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2d"]. The flopped set for Pop put Farrell way behind, with just under 8% chance to pull it out. The [poker card="qd"] on the turn increased Farrell’s outs to one for the win and an additional nine for the chop. But, as we like to see around here, pocket fives won out as the river offers no helps sending the top tier pro home in third for over €36,000 and propelling Catalin Pop to a commanding chip leadthat he would not relinquish - claiming the 888Live Rozvadov Main Event Title for a career high score of €80,000. Cate Hall Plays it Cooler. Outspoken poker personality Cate Hall stormed into the final table of the 888Live May Event in Barcelona second in chips. After some early action which saw Hall’s chip stack fluctuate quite a bit she found herself in an unavoidable head-on collision that nearly left her on life support. Under the gun, Hall picked up the [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"] and put in a raise for roughly 2x. Spain’s own Jaime Rueda Sampedro quickly moved all-in for a little less and when the action returned to her, Hall called. Sampedro had her crushed, holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. Sometimes though, you just have to play it cool. Hall did just that and her pocket queens got there in a hurry with a [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"][poker card="7h"] flop. The board ran out clean for Hall sending Sampedro to the rail in seventh and helping propel Hall further in the contest. She eventually would bow out in fourth for €35,000. Haroldo Shows Heart. Facing a 2.5:1 chip deficit during heads-up play at the 888Live Event in Sao Paulo, local player Haroldo Ferriera Da Silva had his back against the wall. Needing to make a move he made a tank-call while holding [poker card="4c"][poker card="4s"] vs his opponent, Guilherme Cazula’s suited [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kh"] and the baby pair held, giving Silva some much-needed breathing room and ability to mix it up. Now holding the chip lead, Silva found himself facing a three-bet after his open raise. Looking down at [poker card="4h"][poker card="5h"] Silva made the call. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] gave him a gutter and backdoor possibilities, but he was also facing another healthy bet from Cazula. He called to see the [poker card="ah"] drop on the turn. The checked around action was just what Silva needed as the [poker card="2h"] completed the board. Cazula put the majority of his chips in the middle and Silva snapped holding the six-high flush. It was good. Casual was nearly felted allowing Silva to turn his overwhelming lead into easily the biggest cash of his career, good for $200,000 BRL ($63,862 USD). Tom's in it for the long Hall. UK poker pro Tom Hall was in the midst of a grueling battle. After reaching a heads-up deal with local UK player Ning Lu at the 888Live Event in London this October, one that guaranteed each at least £70,000, play had begun to drag. With £8,888 and the trophy left in the prizepool, the pair were reluctant to relinquish the notion of taking first place. After play crawled on, the pair agreed to shorten the levels to 30 minutes. Play continued. Hall requested to the levels shorten to 20 minutes, but Lu contested. Play continued. For over three hours the pair grinded their stacks until finally, mercifully at nearly 3:30 in the morning Lu and Hall got it all in. Lu held [poker card="qc"][poker card="td"] but was slightly behind Hall’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="5h"]. The board of [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="4s"] gave them both a pair but it was Hall that ended up smiling in the winner’s photo. Which crucial hands will change the fortunes of players in 2018? 888Live Events are set to return in the New Year with plenty more pivotal plays to pour over.
  16. [caption width="640"] Phil Ivey loses court case against London casino[/caption] Phil Ivey has officially lost his £7.7 million UK-based court case against London’s Crockfords Club. As previously reported in The Guardian, Ivey, arguably one of the most famous poker players on the planet, had challenged a 2016 majority decision in the court of appeals which dismissed his multi-million dollar claim against Genting Casinos UK, the parent company of the Crockfords Club in Mayfair. The entire case stems from two days in August 2012 when Ivey and an associate, Chueng Yin Sun, brought £1,000,000 to the Crockfords Club in London to play multiple sessions of Punto Banco, a variant form of Baccarat (also known as “North American baccarat”). At the end of the visit, the duo had won over £7.7 million ($10.2 million USD) from the establishment. The casino assured Ivey that they would wire him his winnings, but instead, only wired him back his original £1,000,000 stake, voiding his winnings based on findings that Ivey and Yin Sun had been using the technique of edge sorting. Edge sorting is a method of “advantage gambling” where players identify unintentional printing abnormalities on the back of cards to determine whether a card is likely to be a high card or low card. Ivey and Yin Sun had the dealer angle the cards during the game, claiming that they were superstitious, and utilizing the technique, was able to gain an edge on the casino. Crockfords, essentially stating they cheated, claimed that this was not a lawful strategy, while Ivey’s position was that his method was completely legal and was owed the full amount. The five justices in the UK supreme court were tasked with considering whether “dishonesty” was an essential element of cheating. Though the initial trial judge, as well as the appellate court, ruled against Ivey, in both cases it was said that Ivey did not act dishonestly. Ivey appealed to the supreme court challenging the notion that he cheated while not acting dishonestly. In the end, though, the supreme court upheld the previous appellate court's dismissal and asserted that the element of being knowingly dishonest is not inherent in the definition of “cheating.” "What Mr. Ivey did was to stage a carefully planned and executed sting," Supreme Court Judge Anthony Hughes stated in the ruling. The court goes on to find that by manipulating the dealer to reposition the cards to assist him with the edge sorting that Ivey's actions were "inevitably cheating." In summary, Judge Hughes writes "If cheating at gambling required an additional legal element of dishonesty, it would be satisfied in this case." “It makes no sense that the U.K. Supreme Court has ruled against me, in my view, contrary to the facts and any possible logic involved in our industry," Ivey said in a statement as reported by Bloomberg. "It is because of my sense of honor and respect for the manner in which gambling is undertaken by professional gamblers such as myself that I have pursued this claim for my unpaid winnings." Though his case versus Crockfords Casino appears to be over, Ivey is still in the midst of a similar legal battle in the United States only this time, he's looking to retain money that was paid out. Over a four day stint in 2012, Ivey and Yin Sun won $9.6 million while playing Bacarrat at New Jersey'sBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa. After hearing about the Crockfords case, officials at the Borgata sued Ivey and his accomplice and ended up winning a judgment of $10.1 million, a sum that included other gaming outside of the Baccarat, in order to put both parties back to even. Ivey has contested the order to return the funds and is seeking to launch an appeal to the decision. Ivey, who has been out of the poker spotlight, recently made comments that he was looking to return to the tournament poker scene in the near future.
  17. [caption width="640"] PokerStars' Power Up gives players a new power packed gaming experience[/caption] Commencing liftoff in 5,4,3,2... PokerStars' much-talked about twist on traditional Texas Hold'em, Power Up, was given clearance for a real-money soft launch on Tuesday. The poker variant combines the principals of traditional NLHE poker, in a three-handed Sit & Go format, with new game-changing “power” that allows players to influence the action in a way that has never before been possible. The majority of the PokerStars player base will find Power Up play money games readily available to take for a spin while those who are using the .EU client will have access to playing Power Up for real money. The initial cash stakes are expected to be $1, $3, $7 and $15. Although no date for a full rollout has been released, players on both the .com and .UK clients can expect real money play to be available in their client relatively soon according to the company. The basics of Power Up follow the time-honored rules of Texas Hold'em. Each of the three players in the Sit & Go get two cards and play them on a five-card board. There's a flop, turn, and river. Standard stuff. The alterations begin as players select from a number of futuristic characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses who will carry out the players bidding. Additionally, players are given three “powers” which, provided your character has enough energy, you can deploy to help your Hold'em cause or hinder your opponents. Cards and some energy are refreshed at the start of each hand and the contest is played out to a winner. “Power Up will greatly add to the poker dynamic and I am especially looking forward to rotating sets of powers as they will keep strategies constantly changing,” said PokerStars Team Pro Igor Kurganov at a recent PokerStars Power Up question and answer session. “In a time when professionals started playing more similarly than they used to, the addition of new dynamics will rock that boat and create a lot of entertainment.” Power cards like “Disintegrate” (eliminate a card on the board), “Intel” (allows you to see the top card of the deck for the entire hand) and “X-Ray” give players weapons never before wielded in a pure game of poker. When asked what he thought the most useful power was, five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winnerJason Mercier selected, “X-Ray, viewing one card of all of your opponent’s seems like a huge advantage and should make it very easy to make decisions throughout the hand.” PokerStars hopes that by adding a new layer of strategy, the management of your powers and ability to execute them, that they can also add a new layer to their customer base. If you are looking to check out the new Power Up, simply fire up your current PokerStars client and look for the Power Up tab right next to your standard Cash, Sit & Go and Tournament options.
  18. [caption width="640"] Timofey 'Trueteller' Kuznetsov won 8K in September playing the nosebleed stakes online.[/caption] It only took 23 sessions for Russian high-stakes online phenom Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov to capture the top spot for online cash game profitability in the month of September, according to the data tracked by HighStakesDB. With a concentration on the PokerStars’ Eight Game Mix tables, Kuznetsov tallied a massive $378,797 in profit over the course of 3,242 hands for the month. This result puts Kuznetsov just shy of $1.5 million in earnings so far this year, making him the most profitable online cash game player to date in 2017. Not far behind Kuznetsov in September, claiming the #2 spot, was ‘RaulGonzalez’ who finished the month on a massive upswing, ending up profitable to the tune of $359,125. His big September spike occurred right at the end of the month when he took home roughly $276,500 in a 24-hour period, much of which was won in battles with online legend Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom at the $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha tables. Surely the uptick helped, as the online grinder had spent the majority of the summer on a downward trend with most of June and July deep in the red. Sweden’s ’WRUUUUM’ also carved out a profitable month with over $211,000 in earnings to take third place on the leaderboard. The majority of his action occurred at the high-stakes PLO tables and thanks to a four-day heater in the middle of the month, where he hauled in roughly $177,000 'WRUUUUM' was able to turn around a recent downswing to find himself, once again, profitable in 2017. After a fast start to the month where he was up roughly $30,000, UK’s Gavin ‘gavz101’ Cochrane was basically treading water, slowly descending on a course to zero profitability. Things then heated up for the Pot Limit Omaha specialist as Cochrane spiked roughly $115,000 over a two-day period. At the end of the month, he again glided upwards to finish the month with a healthy profit of over $165,000, good for fourth on the high-stakes cash game leaderboard for September. After freefalling on a $130,000 downswing earlier in the month, putting him $80,000 in the hole, well-known high stakes crusherLinus ‘LLinusLLove’ Loeliger turned things around to post an impressive profit of $147,788 for September. Loeliger put in nearly double the volume of any other player in the top five, getting over 16,600 hands in over 291 sessions, mostly at the No Limit Hold'em tables. Loeliger, one of the most active high-stakes regulars, is up nearly $450,000 on the year, currently sitting as the seventh biggest winner of 2017. Nine of the top ten profiteers in September managed a six-figure win, including Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom (9th), who managed to bank over $120,000. HighstakesDB Cash Game Results for September RANKPLAYERSESSIONSHANDSPROFIT 1Trueteller233242$378,797 2RaulGonzalez302958$359,125 3WRUUUUM1478464$211,840 4gavz1011868713$165,249 5LLinusLove29116610$147,788 6Cobus831098271$138,248 7NLZWERVERNL1255514$132,959 8ActionFreak21113981$130,794 9Isildur1496033$120,683 10fjutekk40323176$98,772
  19. [caption width="640"] Online poker players in New Jersey should be making plans for NJCOOP in early October.[/caption] Just as soon PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker is wrapping up, the world’s largest online poker site is all set to fire up a new poker series and this time...it's all for you, New Jersey. The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker returns September 30 - October 16 and they are bringing with it an all-encompassing 46-events spread out over 17 days and $1.2 million in guarantees. The New Jersey series, like the WCOOP before it, aims to provide a variety of tournaments to suit every type of poker enthusiast. Of course, there’s a healthy dose of No Limit Hold’em, but also plenty of poker variants are spread throughout the schedule. Pot Limit Omaha, Triple Stud, Eight Game Mixed and Limit Hold’em all have NJCOOP titles up for grabs. Additionally, all of the popular formats are blended into the mix as well - Progressive KO, Six Max, Turbos, Hypers and Deepstack - so no matter what you enjoy, there’s a title on the line for you to take a shot at. The buy-ins for the championship series range from $50 up to the $1,000 High Roller. While you can, of course, buy your way directly into any contest you choose, there are plenty of satellites to help you punch your ticket for less. Standard satellites, which you can jump into right now, start for as little as $1. PokerStars is also offering special edition $4 Spin & Go’s where you could find yourself awarded entry to the $500 NJCOOP Main Event on October 15. Members of Team PokerStars are also planning on being out in force to support the Garden State. According to PokerStars, Chris Moneymaker, Jason Somerville, Jennifer Shahade and one of the newest Team PokerStars Online Pros, Jeff Gross, are all set to jump in the action. Look for both Somerville and Gross to stream much of the action on Twitch. NJCOOP will also include daily Second Chance Freerolls. Players who don't make the money in any given tournament are going to get a little something extra to pick their spirits up. In any NJCOOP tournament when a player fails to cash, that will get awarded an entry into the daily Second Chance Freeroll which awards tickets into satellites or even direct entry into another NJCOOP event. While there will be plenty of money to be won online, PokerStars will be doubling down in New Jersey in October when they run the PokerStars MEGASTACK mini-series at the Resorts Casino & Hotel in Atlantic City. From October 6-8, PokerStars is putting on a pair of live No Limit Hold'em tournaments (the $220 Sunday Special and the $120 Cheap And Deep) that, combined, will have $120,000 in guaranteed prize pools. Whether you play poker online, live or both PokerStars is bringing the action to NJ and all you need to do in order to participate is simply find yourself located in New Jersey. Start DateStart Time (ET)Event #TournamentGuaranteed Prize Pool 9/3018:0001$100 Nightly Stars - NJCOOP Warm-Up$20,000 9/3020:0002$200 NL Hold'em [Turbo] - NJCOOP Warm-Up$10,000 10/114:0003$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive Super KO]$30,000 10/115:3004$150 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-max]$25,000 10/117:0005$250 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE]$85,000 10/120:0006$100 PL Omaha [8-max]$15,000 10/122:0007$150 Sunday SuperSonic SE [Hyper]$15,000 10/218:3008$100 NL Hold'em [Speed-Down]$20,000 10/220:0009$75+R PL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-max]$15,000 10/319:0010$250 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]$30,000 10/320:0011$300 NL Hold'em [Heads-Up]$20,000 10/321:3012$100 NL Hold'em [Bubble Rush]$10,000 10/418:3013$100 NL Hold'em [Progressive Super-KO]$20,000 10/420:0014$200 Limit Hold'em [6-max]$10,000 10/518:3015$300 8-Game [6-max]$10,000 10/520:0016$50+R NL Hold'em$20,000 10/521:3017$100 NL Hold'em [Turbo]$10,000 10/620:0018$200 Triple Stud$10,000 10/621:3019$50+R NL Hold'em [3-Max, Hyper, Rebuy]$10,000 10/717:0020$100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-max]$20,000 10/720:0021$200 NL Hold'em [Bigstack, Turbo]$15,000 10/814:0022$100 Mixed NLHE/PLO [6-max]$15,000 10/815:3023$150 NL Hold'em [Win the Button]$20,000 10/817:0024$350 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE]$80,000 10/819:0025$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive SuperKO]$35,000 10/821:0026$100 NL Hold'em - No Late Reg! [Shootout, 6-max, Turbo, CAP 216]$10,000 10/918:0027$300 NL Hold'em [4-max]$40,000 10/920:0028$500 PL Omaha [High Roller, 6-max]$30,000 10/1018:0029$150 NL Hold'em [1R1A]$20,000 10/1019:0030$1,000 NL Hold'em [High Roller]$80,000 10/1020:0031$100 NL Omaha Hi/Lo [8-max]$10,000 10/1118:0032$25+R NL Hold'em [Rebuy]$15,000 10/1119:0033$200 NL Hold'em [Win the Button]$20,000 10/1220:0034$50+R PL Omaha [6-Max, Rebuy]$10,000 10/1221:0035$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo]$20,000 10/1320:0036$100 PL 5-Card Omaha [8-max]$10,000 10/1321:0037$200 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper]$15,000 10/1418:0038$300 NL Hold'em [6-max]$30,000 10/1421:0039$75 NL Hold'em [Zoom]$15,000 10/1514:0040$100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes]$15,000 10/1517:0041$500 NL Hold'em Main Event [Day 1]$200,000 10/1518:0042$50 NL Hold'em [Main Event Structure]$35,000 10/1520:0043$100 NL Hold'em [Win the Button]$15,000 10/1522:0044$75 NL Hold'em Sunday Supersonic SE [Hyper]$15,000 10/1619:0041$500 NL Hold'em Main Event [Day 2]$200,000 10/1619:0045$150 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars SE - NJCOOP Wrap-Up]$20,000 10/1621:0046$100 NL Hold'em [Deep-Hyper, 6-Max]$10,000
  20. [caption width="640"] Players helped raise much-needed funds on Tuesday during 888poker's XL Eclipse[/caption] On Tuesday, 888poker's XL Eclipse offered giant guarantees with enormous payouts, but the main focus of the day was raising money for those in need. Of the 11 events on the day's slate, three were branded as “Chip-In!” tournaments – where all the tournament fees would be donated to the REG charity of choice, Against Malaria Foundation. The Against Malaria Foundation takes 100% of all donations and uses the funds to purchase long-lasting insecticidal nets, distributing them to people in need and helping ensure that they are used properly in an effort to help protect people against the very preventable disease of malaria. There was a lot of money to be raised as the biggest buy-in event of the entire series, Event #126 ($5,200 $500,000 Super High Roller Chip-In!) ensured that $200 for every player would be used to help those in need. With 87 players (and their 37 re-entries – which had the donation of fees attached) the players helped raise over $24,000 in this event alone. It was certainly a worthy cause for Belarus' 'spider4444'who took home the largest cash of the entire series thus far with his $170,500 first place prize. Russia's 'EvonmiYa' earned himself $114,700 for finishing as the runner-up and while he certainly would have liked to win it all, the score is the current largest of his profitable career. PocketFiver 'Zebest7r' also made the final table and took home a career-best cash for over $43,000, good for fifth place, as did well-known live and online pro Mike 'SirWatts' Watson, who finished in eighth. The players in Event #127 ($215 $150,000 Mini Chip-In!) were also in the giving mood. The contest drew 585 runners, 360 of which found themselves re-entering. The result of which was another generous amount of money being donated – over $14,000. Current Worldwide #6-ranked player, Joao 'Ineedmassari' Paulo Simao, ended up being crowned an XL Eclipse champion and earning $35,702.10 for first place, adding to his already impressive $6 million in lifetime earnings. The final event that had players chipping in was Event #130 ($55 $15,000 Turbo Chip-In). The turbo format brought in an additional $1,850 in donations as 277 players (and their re-entries) fought for the $3,783.25 cash up top. 'SweetDeuce' defeated the UK's 'Entropally' for the title, while the Brit cashed for $2,775 as a consolation. All told, the day brought in over $40,000 for Against Malaria Foundation. With the long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) costing $2.50 each the players at 888poker helped people in need with over 16,000 new nets. For information on the Against Malaria Foundationvisit them on their website. XL Eclipse Day 10 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 120$15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]plotka_voxa$5,720 121$15,000 Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Kaktus26rus$3,134.70 122$15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]mr.fanera$3,163.60 123$40,000 Crocodile NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]bowdownfish$8,736.52 124$15,000 Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]JonBones96kg$2,872.79* 125$20,000 Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Plotsch2$4,560 126$500,000 Super High Roller NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]spider4444$170,500 127$150,000 Mini Chip-In NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]Ineedmassari$35,702.10 128$40,000 Tuesday Challenge NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Gandalf_MRS$8,626 129$15,000 Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]the_HOBIT_$3,572.67 130$15,000 Turbo Chip-In NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]SweetDeuce$3,783.25 * denotes final table deal
  21. [caption width="640"] There were 13 new tournaments on Monday during 888poker's XL Eclipse.[/caption] In addition to the return of PLO to the XL Eclipse schedule, 888poker unveiled their latest tournament theme catered to those players who always want to know “what'd you have?” A pair of “ShowMe!” tournaments added a new wrinkle to the game where every winning hand would be revealed. Every bluff, every value bet and everything in between – if it dragged the pot, the table got to see it. In Event #118 ($55 $10,000 ShowMe! NLHE) it would be Russian player 'ElGradiente' who not only showed his cards, he was showed the money. Outlasting the field of 226 and taking down 'UrBadBeat' in heads-up play, he took home $2,310.85 as well as the XL Eclipse champion title. The mini version, Event #119 ($5 $3,000 Mini ShowMe! NLHE), was one of the best bang-for-your-buck tournaments over the entire XL Eclipse series. At only $5, 641 players flocked to the fun-themed tournament whereYaDaKiss'' won it all and made 100x his buy-in with his victory. PocketFiver 'gifuhorna' joined the two-time champion club on Monday as he took down Event #117 ($109 $15,000 Tornado NLHE). The former Top-30 ranked professional from Finland claimed one of the largest cashes of the day, over $5100, when he defeated Brazil's Alexandre 'Cavalito_' Mantovani heads-up. Notable finish in this one includes 888poker ambassador Parker '888tonkaaaa' Talbotjust missing out on the final table, finishing in 14th. A pair of PocketFivers took home their first wins of the series as well. Osmas Alves 'Chipss182' Martins Junior from Brazil won over $2,000 in Event #116 ($22 $10,000 Monday Flush NLHE) while 'marko2710' ended up on top in Event #109 ($109 $15,000 Deepstack Swordfish), the largest tournament of the day. XL Eclipse Day 9 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 107$15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]trickeiries$4,966 108$15,000 Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]nutcracker95$3,134,70 109$15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]2701marko$3,340.22 110$20,000 Crocodile NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]bezfrke$6,450 111$15,000 Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]crossthervr$3,179.18 112$20,000 Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]CoCoMic$4,838.40 113$10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo PLO8$109][poker card="TD"]doyleb102$3,458 114$5,000 Mini Omaha Hi-Lo PLO8$12][poker card="TD"]lebeniss$951.27* 115$10,000 Monday Royal NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]decaff$1,569.67* 116$10,000 Monday Flush NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]Chipss182$2,056.32 117$15,000 Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]gifuhorna$5,117 118$3,000 Mini ShowMe! NLHE$5][poker card="TD"]YaDaKiss$566.70 119$10,000 ShowMe! NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]ElGradiente$2,310.85 * denotes final table deal
  22. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet Flys By $9 Million Thanks to his headline-making run in the partypoker MILLIONS, old-school grinderJon 'apestyles’ Van Fleet not only surpassed the $9 million lifetime earninsg mark, he’s practically made it halfway to $10 million. His seven-figure victory in the mammoth online event, netting him $1,027,000 for first place, was the largest of his prestigious career - one that includes a WCOOP title, an FTOPS victory, and a PokerStars Sunday Millions final table. The win also jettisoned Van Fleet back deep into the top 100 of the PocketFives Rankings. Last week, Van Fleet was sitting just outside the top 100 bubble, ranked at #101, but now he sits at his current position of #36, due mostly to the enormous 2,266.05 PLB score that accompanied the MILLIONS win. His next challenge is the hike up the steep mountain to $10 million lifetime and he’s well on his way. Only six players have hit that mark to date and after his million dollar score, now only three players are closer to touching $10 million than Van Fleet. Sweden’s ‘Ariados’ Tops $8 Million Hailing from the online powerhouse country of Sweden, ‘Ariados’ is the latest of the current crop of Swedes to pass a major milestone. The qualifying cash was his fourth-place finish in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller for $20,588, helping him surpass $8 million in lifetime earnings as well as a six spot jump in the PocketFives Rankings, landing him at #20. To bookend his week, ‘Ariados’ also had a runner-up finish in the Hotter $215 for a second five-figure score in the week, bringing in an additional $13,226. Make It $4 Million for UK’s Billy ‘BillyChat’ Chattaway UK-based mid-stakes grinder Billy ‘BillyChat’ Chattaway clawed his way over the $4 million lifetime earnings mark helped by a pair of top three finishes while grinding on PokerStars. The first ws his runner-up finish in the Sunday $22 Double Deuce for over $14,000 and then he bowed out in third place during the Hot $215 for an additional $4,366. Also of note this week, Top 100 ranked Joseph ‘Jughead11’ Lacasse, Ottawa, Canada’s #1 ranked player, just passed the half million mark. Brazil’s ‘sitpro2011’ Win’s PokerStars Half-Price Sunday Million, Surges in Top 100 Perhaps it’s because the holidays are almost here but there was relatively few players making new career-high marks in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100. In fact only three players, hit new heights, the most notable is ‘sitpro2011’who, after winning the PokerStars Half Priced Sunday Million for $197,163 rocketed up the charts from #86 all the way to #31 due to the 1,377.43 PLB points that come with a major victory. Career High Rankings In Top 100 'sngwonder’ - #51 to #47 ’sitpro2011’ - #86 to #31 ’DamageAP’ - #19 to 17
  23. [caption width="640"] Conor Beresford is the current king of the UK rankings. Photo: PokerStars.[/caption] As an online poker powerhouse country, the UK continues to be in the conversation of producing some of the best poker players in the world. Just as the country itself has been a major world influence in popular culture, players hailing from UK have helped shape the modern-day poker landscape including old school veterans like David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott,Neil Channing and Roland de Wolfe, high-rolling regulars like Sam Trickettand Charlie Carrell and even some of the most recognizable faces of the game in PokerStars Team Pro Liv Boeree and online poker legend, Chris Moorman. The current crop of Top 10 online players from the United Kingdom uphold the tradition of influential talented grinders and current at the top of the list is Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford (6,76.34 PLB Points). Beresford is not only the #1-ranked player in the UK, but also currently sits as the #15-ranked player in the world, according to the PocketFives.com Worldwide Rankings. His last month is highlighted third-placed place finish in Event #8 of the PokerStars High Rollers Series ($2,100 8-Max No Limit Hold’em) where he took home $57,781. Beresford, constantly grinding a schedule of the largest online MTTs, cashed 30 times for four-figures or more in November and looks to out do that pace here in December already notching nine four-figure or more paydays including a sixth place finish in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for $10,929. Despite Beresford’s amazing stats and consistency, he’s being hotly pursued by Team partypoker ambassador Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard (6,612.64). The former Worldwide #1-ranked superstar, currently sits as the UK’s #2-ranked player having just recently reached a new personal benchmark of eclipsing over $4 million in lifetime earnings. Leonard also did a good deal of damage in the PokerStars High Rollers Series cashing in five of the events for over $130,000. He final tabled three of the events and his largest score of the month came with his seventh place finish in Event #6 ($10,300 No Limit Hold’em - $1M Gtd) for $55,635. David ‘davaman’ Lopez (5,894.23) has ascended to the UK’s #3 spot. While there’s a pretty big gap between him and the duo of Beresford and Leonard, that could be in part due to a lighter play schedule in November. Originally from Spain, but currently playing out of London, Lopez reportedly at one point earned the title of Supernova Elite on PokerStars in only three months but with only a handful of scores for the month of November it looks like the pro is simply taking some time off after a month of everyday scores in October. Still sitting in the Worldwide Rankings at #40, his best recent score was a tenth place finish in the partypoker High Roller back on November 13 for $3,000. Literally right behind Lopez is the UK’s #4-ranked player Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot (5,874.55). Proudfoot has been making waves in the Worldwide rankings, climbing just about every week in the month of November, where he currently resides at #41. Proudfoot has been putting in the time and his results have shown it. On the precipice of conquering $1 million in lifetime earnings, Proudfoot racked up 25 four-figure scores in November, not including his victory in the partypoker High Roller on November 28 for $19,734. Sitting less than 20 PLB points behind Lopez, he could, once again, climb the rankings in no time. Charlie ‘chaz_man_chaz’ Combes (5,843.76), caps off the UK’s Top 5, having recently taken down the partypoker High Roller on November 23 for $12,170. Combes is the third of the UK trio that occupies virtually the same space in the Worldwide rankings as he currently stands only 2 spots back from Proudfoot at #43 and as of now is trailing him only 30.79 PLB points, meaning things can change in a hurry on both the UK and Worldwide rankings list. Combes’ December is off to a hot start as well as the daily mid-high stakes tournament grinder has won nearly $40,000 in the first week of play. There’s a little breathing room between the #5 and #6 spots, where Owain ‘sngwonder’ Carey (5,581.54) ranks. Carey was recently featured in the PocketFives.com Milestones column for surpassing the $3 million lifetime earnings mark and he also is enjoying his highest placement in the Worldwide Top 100, currently sitting just outside the Top 50 at #51. Playing out of Glasgow as its #1 player, Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen (5,554.91) checks in at #7. After a light November schedule, Geilich-Jonsen emerged to cash in the PokerStars High Rollers Event #19 for over $7,800. PokerStars WCOOP Event #1 Champion‘carpediem200’ (5,426.14) checks in at #8. While still benefitting from the massive points boost a major victory like a WCOOP will give you, he’s not sitting idly by having put in a full schedule over the past two months raking in over 20 four-figure scores in that time period. Bristol’s Oscar ‘MendaLerenda’ Serradell (5,408.48), a former #2-ranked Worldwide professional, occupies the #9 spot. His victory in PokerStars Bounty Builder on November 14 for $7,297 was his highest PLB points score of November and is basically the difference between him and the #10 spot which belongs to…Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman (5,278.54). As we previously mentioned, Moorman is one of the UK’s most popular and accomplished tournament grinders. The 888poker ambassador recently published his second book as well as took down one of the side events at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond (Event #9 $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Turbo) for $37,132. Even with all of his media duties and live play, he still finds the time to grind and add to his over $14 million in lifetime earnings. His most recent only victory came just days after his live win as he took down the PokerStars Bigger $162 for over $5,200. UK Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 11_conor_b_16,6776.34 2pleno16,612.64 3davaman5,894.23 4proudflop5,874.55 5chaz_man_chaz5,843.76 6sngwonder5,581.54 7ludovi333r5,554.91 8carpediem2005,426.14 9MendaLerenda5,408.46 10moorman15,278.54
  24. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings #5-Ranked ‘Sheater’ Has Huge Week, Passes $9 Million One week after fellow countryman ‘lena900’ crossed the $8 million mark, Sweden’s #3-ranked player ‘Sheater’ did him one better and sped past the $9 million lifetime earnings milestone. The former Worldwide #1 (currently ranked #5 in the world) absolutely shattered the high money mark with his runner-up finish in Event #12 of the PokerStars High Rollers Series ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em) for $77,405. In addition to the cash, the score also brought ‘Sheater’ over 480 PLB points, bringing him dangerously close to overtaking Brazil’s Joao Simao in the Worldwide rankings, now only trailing him by less than 40 points. The score was part of a solid week for ‘Sheater’ that included four final tables and just over $100,000 in earnings. The next step for the Swede is a step-by-step uphill climb to joining the prestigious $10 million club. ’nilsef’ Puts $6 Million In The Rearview Mirror German grinder ‘nilsef’ rocketed past the $6 million lifetime earnings mark this week by putting in a massive amount of volume and posting a string of seemingly non-stop results. The exact tournament that helped him make the mark was his first-place finish in the PokerStars $109 No Limit Hold’em on November 30 for $4,491. While for many, even for ‘nilsef’, $4,491 is a solid score, the #1-ranked German player had himself a fantastic week by taking home massive five-figure scores in two of the recent PokerStars High Rollers. The first was a runner-up finish in Event #5 ($1,050 No Limit Hold’em) for $30,700 and then less than a week later, once again. finishing in second during Event #14 ($1,050+R No Limit Hold’em) for another $49,600. ‘nilsef’ recorded 66 cashes this week, including five outright victories in over 25 final tables. $5 Million Lifetime Badge For Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman Like ‘Sheater’ before him, Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman, yet another Top 10 Swedish beast, passed a major milestone when he took 14th place in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for $3,666 and passed the $5 million in lifetime earnings. Currently sitting in the Top 20 Worldwide (#18), Hellman kept busy at the online tables taking in 12 four-figure scores this week and amassing total earnings of over $33,000. ’proudflop’ Enters Top Half of Top-100, ‘kofi89’ Scratches Top-25 The UK’s Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot continues to march into the upper echelon of the Worldwide Top 100, making one of the largest leaps of the week, right into the top half of the rankings, currently sitting at #41. Joining him in making major moves is Argentina’s #1-ranked player, ‘kofi89’. Just last week we announced his surpassing the $2 million lifetime mark, this week he enters the Top 25 in the Worldwide rankings. His upwards move is in part to his victory in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for $23,355 and 363.32 PLB Points. In addition, eight others reached new career highs in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100 rankings. Career High Rankings In Top 100 Gary ’quiditbear’ Hasson - #96 to #92 ’untaktik’ - #98 to #91 'lofidream' - #93 to #82 'aziz.mancha' - #94 to #80 ’imlucknuts’ - #75 to #74 Patrick ’thebigdog09 Brooks' - #79 to #73 Owain ’sngwonder’ Carey - #55 to #51 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #51 to #41 'drupalucker'- #41 to #33 'kofi89'- #30 to #25
  25. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour's Five Diamond World Poker Classic returns next week.[/caption] On December 5, the World Poker Tour returns to the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the $10,400 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. The six-day affair promises to be a massive event as the tournament has made a millionaire out of every winner since 2012. Looking to take a dive into the deep end? Here’s what players need to know about the tournament itself: the Five Diamond Main Event is one of the deepest offerings on the WPT schedule lasting a full six days with Day 1 starting on December 5 and cards in the air at Noon Las Vegas time. With 90-minute levels (up until the Final Table) and 30,000 in chips, there’s plenty of room to maneuver but should the deck turn cold on you, players are allotted unlimited re-entry through Level 9. That isn’t expected to hit until approximately 5:15 pm on Day 2. Late registration runs until that time as well should your travel schedule keep you from arriving earlier or you’re simply adverse to those pesky “early levels.” One of Las Vegas’ premier poker destinations, the Bellagio Resort and Casino plays host to the tournament as it has since it’s inception as the first event of Season I when a young Danish poker player named Gus Hansen bested the field of 146 to claim the first WPT title and $556,460. In fact, it can be argued that the Five Diamond World Poker Classic is the most recognizable of the WPT tour stops due to it’s rich history of massive prizepools and final tables packed with superstars. A list of past winners of the event reads like a fantasy team of poker all-stars that includes Daniel Negreanu, Joseph Hachem and Eugene Katchalov (when it was briefly re-branded as the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic), David ‘Chino’ Rheem, Daniel Alaei, James Dempsey and Antonio Esfandiari. In more recent years, as the number of entries began to swell, some of the most talented rising stars helped solidify their names as top professionals with victories including Mohsin ‘chicagocards1’ Charania, Ravi Raghavan and regular high roller “King” Dan Smith. One of the players to watch here in 2017 is last year’s winner, the defending Five Diamond champion, James Romero. Last year Romero bested a record field of 791 players, including fellow final tablists Justin Bonomo and Jake Schindler to take home over $1.9 million. The victory easily represented the largest score of the young Oregonians career and it not only launched him into the poker spotlight but sent him into a year of live grinding that brought him over $200,000 in earnings in 2017. This is the final event of the calendar year, but it’s just past the halfway point in the WPT season. Still, the chances are fewer for players to catch the current runaway WPT Player of the Year, Art Papazyan. But if history is an indicator, the field is expected to be on the larger size and, with it being the first $10,000 buy-in of the season, first place could be more than double any other first-place prize this season, including the Guo Liang Chen’s $789,058 take home for his win at the Borgata Poker Open. Preliminary events are running now with a pair of $25,000 High Rollers scheduled for December 8 and 9. For those looking to win their way into the Main Event, the Bellagio is holding a series of $1,100 satellites from December 3-6. The Final Table, set to take place on December 10, will be filmed for television complete with anchor Lynn Gilmartin and commentators Vince Van Patten and Tony Dunst on hand. Additionally, every hand will be streamed live via the PokerGo app.

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