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  1. [caption width="640"] In its eighth year, the Punta Cana Poker Classic continues their rich tradition[/caption] The Punta Cana Poker Classic has established itself as one of the most inviting poker vacation tour stops of the calendar year. Since their inaugural tournament back in 2010, they have created a must-play event that has blended plentiful poker and beautiful beaches into a one-of-a-kind experience. Now in their, eighth year, PocketFives decided to take a look back at some of the highlights of the PCPC in years past. 2010 The Punta Cana Poker Classic more than doubling the initial $100,000 guarantee in its first year. Highlighted by the attendance of “The Godfather of Poker” Doyle Brunson the event was won by Canadian player, and PocketFiver, Peter 'peterhammer' Cross. Cross' victory was worth a career-best $65,000. 2011 In the shadow of Black Friday, the 2011 PCPC was a ray of light. On the heels of the success of 2010, organizers increased the guarantee to the modern-day mark of $500,000. Taking place at the Punta Cana Hard Rock Hotel, 415 runners took their shot at becoming the second ever champion. The event was won by professional poker player, 20-year-old Toronto native Demo Kiriopoulos. Kiriopoulos took home the $136,949 first place prize, only the second recorded tournament of his career. 2012 Matthew Weber became the first American to take down the PCPC Main Event as he defeated Canadian Kelly Kellner in a lightning fast heads-up match. Weber added over $135,000 to his bankroll for his efforts and it marked the second time in as many years that the Main Event crushed it's $500,000 guarantee and offered a six-figure score for first. 2013 In 2013, the player pool swelled to nearly 500 runners, pushing the prize pool higher than it had ever been to over $700,000. Mexico's Guillermo Olvera Acuna bested the packed field, which included World Poker Tour Champion Jonathan Roy, former November Niner Marc McLaughlin, prior PCPC Champion Kiriopoulos and Anthony Zinno, who would go on to become a three-time World Poker Tour Champion. Zinno made the final table but bowed out in fourth place. Acuna's score of $171,000 would be a career high for him. 2014 Once again the Main Event reached new heights attracting more runners and a larger prize pool than any previous years. One of those players would be former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel, the then, self-described “homeless” poker player was simply traveling the world from tournament to tournament when he arrived in Punta Cana to win the Main Event for over $177,000. 2015 By now, word of the value and experience in Punta Cana was well-known and players flocked to the poker destination to, yet again, make the Main Event the largest in its history. Returning PCPC Champion, Ari Engel, looked to defend his title, making an extremely deep run. Though Engel would make his way to the final table, he would fall in fourth place as Venezuela's Luis Yepez would score the victory this year, netting over $185,000 for the largest cash of his life. 2016 Organizers of the PCPC switched the location of the series from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to its new home at the Melia Caribe all-inclusive resort. In an effort to give poker players a more exclusive experience the resort carved out a special section, called The Level, where players would have access to more amenities than in previous years. In another first, the PCPC crowned its first European champion when Latvia's Eduards Kudrjavcevs took home the trophy and over $143,000 for first. Here in 2017, the Punta Cana Poker Classic continues to write history. Returning to the Melia Caribe all-inclusive resort for a week's worth of poker and palm trees from October 24-29, the PCPC is sure to bring with it both large prize pools and poolside memories. For more information visit PuntaCanaPokerClassic.com.
  2. [caption width="640"] Guarantees were smashed on Day 1 of 888poker's XL Eclipse[/caption] Two weeks worth of anticipated online action kicked off on Sunday as 888poker's mammoth, 197-event online poker series, XL Eclipse, finally arrived. The action got off to a fast start with 16 featured No Limit Hold'em events taking place throughout the day. The $1.2 million in Sunday's guarantees were shattered as over 15,000 entrants took their shots at the approximately $1,389,000 in prize money awarded on Sunday. Perhaps no one was more excited to have the series begin than Germany's 'CllsDntMttr', who after battling through the tough field of 218, came out on top and took home Sunday's largest prize. Not only was Event #10 ($1,050 $250,000 Whale No Limit Hold'em) marked as one of the marquee high-rolling tournaments of the series, but it carried with it a hefty $64,826.50 payday. A number notable online names joined 'CllsDntMttr' in the winner's circle on Sunday. None of those names more well-known than 888poker ambassador and popular online Twitch streamer, Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot. While perhaps not the largest payday of his extensive career, Talbot took down Event #12 ($109 $30,000 Sunday Tornado No Limit Hold'em), for $6,450 after besting online grinder 'neverfoldQ5' heads-up for the title. Xuan '888xuan' Liu joined Talbot at that final table, eventually finishing in fifth. The current #3-ranked online player in the world, 'tutten7' (aka 'Lena900') also found his way to finishing out a final table. The Swede took the top spot in the second largest tournament of XL Eclipse's opening day, Event #4 ($215 $150,000 Mega Deep No Limit Hold'em) defeating over 730 runners to take home the $28,050 first place prize. Plenty of PocketFives.com members had success on Day 1, including 'ivljanin', 'Tatko3' and 'LeshiyAS', all of whom started the series off right by ending up with victories. XL Eclipse Day 1 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 1$30,000 Sunday Lightning NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Lenochka83$11,109 3$30,000 Sunday Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]ivljanin$6,086.85 4$150,000 Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]tutten7$28,050 5$40,000 Mini Mega Deep NLHE$22DreamLikeMe$8,262.58 6$20,000 Sunday Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]gaingrapes$3,626.79* 7$300,000 Opening Event NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]ImTriggered$58,270.50 8$50,000 Mini Opening Event NLHE$12][poker card="TD"]Tatko3$9,091.90 9$45,000 Sunday Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]LeshiyAS$8,145 10$250,000 Whale NLHE$1050][poker card="TD"]CllsDntMttr$64,826.50 11$100,000 Sunday Challenge NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]iCrushU556$20,252.10 12$30,000 Sunday Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]888tonkaaaa$6,450 13$50,000 Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]p000cket000$10,647.99* 14$20,000 Mini Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]rama4y20$3,892.15* 15$30,000 Turbo Opening Event NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]RakDoll$5,047.29* 16$10,000 Super Turbo Opening Event NLHE$75NEONTIGER$2,609.75 * denotes final table deal
  3. [caption width="640"] Daniel Negreanu's booking side bets in quest for Poker Masters Purple Jacket (WPT photo)[/caption] Daniel Negreanu went looking for action and action came running. The Poker Masters, a series of five high roller tournaments from PokerGO, runs September 13-20. The series includes five events, the first four re-entry events come with a $50,000 buy-in while the final freezeout tournament is a three-day $100,000 affair. In addition to the heaps of money up for grabs, the honor of being bestowed with the first Poker Masters Purple Jacket is also at stake. The player who ends up with the highest total earnings at the end of the five tournaments will slip on the sleeves of Waraire Boswell tailored coat and be crowned the inaugural Poker Masters champion. For Negreanu, poker's current all-time money leader, a week's worth of high-rolling action, including the minimum $300,000 worth of buy-ins (provided one plays the entire schedule), is simply not enough. 'Kid Poker' wants more and he's not shy about stirring up the high-stakes community in an effort to put up additional cash on himself to be fit for the jacket and the exclusive member of the new Poker Masters club. Fans will be able to watch much of the action as portions of all five events, including featured and final tables will be streamed over on PokerGO. The Poker Masters Purple Jacket will be awarded at the conclusion of the fifth event on September 20.
  4. [caption width="639"] Mayweather vs. McGregor brings out the bettors this Saturday night[/caption] Mayweather or McGregor? The entire sports world will come to a standstill this Saturday night as the once-in-a-generation boxing talent of Floyd “Money” Mayweather puts his perfect record at risk against the biggest superstar the UFC has to offer in “The Notorious” Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. With a fight - nay, a spectacle - of this magnitude, there is plenty of money flowing into the Vegas sportsbooks from those looking to get some additional “action” to the action inside the ring. It’s the kind of big money event that many in the poker community look to take shots on, so we surveyed the #pokertwitter landscape to find out where the edge seeking pros are hoping to place their bets and pad their bankrolls. Mayweather vs. McGregor takes place this Saturday night on Pay-Per-View with the main card starting at 6 pm (9 pm ET).
  5. 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 Brian 'brianm15' England Crosses $6 Million Former Worldwide #1-ranked player, Brian 'brianm15' England crossed the $6 million dollar lifetime earnings mark this week. The New Jersey native, now playing out of Costa Rica, made the mark while scoring a victory during his Sunday grind in the PokerStars $215 No Limit Hold'em for $3,725. Additionally, he was propelled to that point through a pair of top-three finishes just days before as he outright won the PokerStars Big $215 November 29 for $8,331 and then, two days later, finished runner-up in the $215 Omania High Roller for another $3,679 on the same site. England, who currently stands as the #125-ranked player in the World, had a healthy online week taking in just under $14,000 in earnings. High Rollers Helps 'Grindation' Over $3 Million Hailing from the UK, Phill 'Grindation' Mcallister joined the $3 million dollar lifetime earnings ranks this week thanks to a runner-up performance in the PokerStars High Rollers Series Event #21 ($1,050 8-Max, Turbo No Limit Hold'em) which brought him $90,227. Mcallister, who appears to play a light online schedule, came out for the High Rollers and found his way into the money in four of them. The score in Event #21 was, far and away, his best of the series as his other three cashes combined went for just over $12,500. The $90,000 cash is Mcallister's largest of 2017 but it's not nearly a career-high, as just last year he made headlines as he claimed victory in PokerStars' WCOOP-53 $10,300 High Roller for a massive $656,866. Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk Crosses $2 Million Canadian crusher Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk is one of three players to pass the $2 million lifetime earnings mark this week. The #2-ranked Canadian player officially got there with his final table performance in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller when he took home $21,678. The major move to the milestone, however, was made the day before when Kruk took second in Event #15 of the High Rollers Series for over $121,000. Kruk jumped two spots in the Worldwide Rankings this week and currently sits at a career-high #15. Joining Kruk in the $2 million club is Alexandros 'mexican222' Kolonian, from Greece. Kolonian flew right past the mark thanks to an impressive performance throughout the High Rollers Series. In total, he cashed five times for over $166,000 helping him get a good start into his next million. Russian mid-stakes grinder '77kol0bok77' had his big $2 million moment during a final table finish in the PokerStars $33+R Sunday Rebuy for over $4,700. Also of note this week, Team PokerStars Online Pro Adrienne 'TalonChick' Rowsome, an Omaha specialist and one-time cash game grinder surpassed the $500,000 mark in tournaments this week. 'josef_shvejk' Disrupts The Worldwide Top 10 There's a disturbance in the Top 10.That would be the emergence of new #1-ranked Russian grinder 'josef_shvejk'. Not only had he recently supplanted 'veeea' as the new #1 in Russia, his ascension from the #8 spot to another career-high ranking of #4 in the world gives the whole Top 10 a new look. Belgium's #1-ranked player Gary 'quiditbear' Hasson made the largest leap inside the Top 100 this week jumping 34 spots and the Top 100 also joined a pair of newcomers in Tomas 'masuronike' Kubaliak and 'daltonhb'. Career High Rankings In Top 100 'daltonhb' - #114 to #93 Tomas 'masuronike' Kubaliak - #124 to 90 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #91 to #88 Dennys 'dennysramos2' Ramos - #85 to #83 Joao 'lofidream' Leao - #82 to #81 Gary 'quiditbear' Hasson - #92 to #58 'Flat' - #45 to #44 Jordan 'JWPRODIGY' Westmorland - #19 to #18 Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk - #17 to #15 'josef_shvejk' - #8 to #4
  6. [caption width="611"] Jonathan 'apestyles' Van Fleet recorded a carrer-best victory in the partypoker MILLIONS for over ,000,000[/caption] Long-time, well-known online grinder Jonathan ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet outlasted the field of 1,047 runners in the partypoker MILLIONS Online $5,000,000 guaranteed to become the first ever MILLIONS champion and, more importantly, collect a career-high seven-figure score of $1,027,000. Four starting flights helped the tournament generate a prize pool of $5,135,000 and at the end of all of all the Day 1's, 272 runners took their spots for Day 2. With 104 players making the money, a number of top-tier pros bowed out before reaching payday including partypoker Team Pros Sam ‘SamTrickett’ Trickett (132nd) and the Worldwide #4-ranked online player Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao (142nd), according to the partypoker blog. When Day 2 ended only 25 players were still in the hunt for the million dollar first-place payday, but Van Fleet, Playing under the screen name ‘sordykrd’ on partypoker, was short on chips, outside of the final table bubble but looking to make moves. It took roughly two hours into Day 3 for the official final table to be reached. Along the way, a number of superstar online players fell by the way side including Finland's #1 All-Time Money Leader Juha ‘JHelppi’ Helppi who busted in 13th for $48,782 and one of the most popular high-stakes online regs Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom who finished in tenth, for $59,052. Just outside of the final table would be James ‘ballcupper’ Lee who ended his run in ninth place for $59,052 making way for the final eight to battle it out. Van Fleet started the final table near the bottom of the chips counts but after ‘IN INFINITY’ busted in eighth. Van Fleet found a double though Ludovic ‘FilthyTrousers’ Geilich. That was a crucial blow to Geilich who finished in seventh place for the first of the six-figure paydays of $104,754. ‘BOOMALOOM_’ was the next to fall collecting $148,915, followed by ‘karamazovbros’ who pulled in $207,968 for his fifth place finish. ‘LendaMerienda’ busted in fourth after running into the pocket queens of ’N0-IPTRI4I2I’ who had busted the past three players and held a massive chip advantage. Van Fleet, one of the most experienced online players with a career spanning well over a decade and a lifetime earnings of over $8 million prior to this tournament, was able to spin up his stack so that when he took out ‘SandwichBacon’ in third place for $435,448, he held the chip lead headed into heads-up play. Finally, Van Fleet sealed the victory and finished off ’N0-IPTRI4I2I’, who will no doubt be comforted by his $651,118 runner-up prize. The victory gives Van Fleet yet another marquee title to go along with his previous WCOOP and FTOPS titles. With the over $1 million payday, Van Fleet will by just shy of $9.5 million in lifetime earnings. partypoker MILLIONS Final Table Payouts Jonathan ‘sordykrd’ Van Fleet - $1,027,000 ’N0-|PTRI4|21’ - $651,118 ’SandwichBacon’ - $435,448 ’LendaMerienda’ - $294,749 ’karmazovbros’ - $207,967 ’BOOMALOOM_’ - $148,915 Ludovic ‘FilthyTrousers’ Teilich’ - $104,754 ’IN INFINITY’ - $75,484
  7. 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 Sweden’s ‘lena900’ Crushes the $9 Million Mark The current #3-ranked player in the world, All-Star Swedish grinder ‘lena900’, surpassed the massive milestone of $8 million in lifetime earnings by doing what he’s been doing for years - destroying tournaments and finding his way to top-three finishes. The push over $9 million happened when he picked up $7,859 for his third-place finish in the PokerStars Omania High Roller: $530 PLO. Out of the thirteen final tables ‘lena900’ found himself at this week, he played his way into the top 3 seven times. Despite taking a few days off at the end of the week, ‘lena900’ brought in over $47,000 helping him get a jump start on his next conquest - the steep climb to the elite plateau of $9 million. Owain ‘sngwonder’ Carey Tops $3 Million UK Top 10 ranked pro Owain ‘sngwonder’ Carey marched over the $3 million lifetimes earnings mark this week thanks to his first-place finish in the PokerStars Big $55 for a nice score of $6,944. Carey, currently ranked #59 in the Worldwide Rankings, is approaching his previous all-time high mark (#55 back in 2016) in the Top 100 on the back of five four-figure cashes this week while putting in moderate volume. Joining Carey at the $3 million mark is ‘yrwthmelthr’who accomplished the feat during the same tournament that sent ‘lena900’ over $9 million, the PokerStars Omania High Roller: $530 PLO, when he finished in 12th place for $2,156. ’kofi89’ Continues to Elevate, Surpasses $2 Million If you’ve been paying attention to the Milestones column over the past few weeks you’ll recognize the Argentinan screenname of ‘kofi89’. The crusher has been climbing the ranks of the Worldwide Top 100, hitting new heights week in and week out, including this week. To go along with his new All-Time High ranking of #30, this week ‘kofi89’ sped past the $2 million lifetime earnings mark. ‘kofi89’, the top-ranked player in Argentina, scored $8,208 for his victory in the PokerStars $215 NLO8 Sunday Supersonic at the beginning of the week which was all he needed to hit his new mark. 'josef_shvejk' Disrupts the Top 10 Ten players made major moves to hit new All-Time Highs in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100 rankings this week including the #2-ranked Russian player in the world‘josef_shvejk’ who now joins his fellow countryman ‘veeea’ in the Top 10, jumping fives spots to #8. Two players make their debut in the Top 100 this week as Hungary’s ‘untaktik’ assumes the #98 rank and Brazil’s ‘sitpro2011’ takes over at #86. The aforementioned 'kofi89' made the largest leap of those obtaining new highs, jumping seven spots to #30, edging ever-closer to cracking the Top 20. Career High Rankings In Top 100 'untaktik' - #104 to #98 'aziz.mancha' - #96 to #94 'lofidream' - #98 to #93 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #93 to #91 'sitpro2011' - #-- to #86 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #56 to #51 'Mikensonas' - #41 to #36 'kofi89' - #37 to #30 ’DamageAP’ - #20 to #19 'josef_shvejk' - #13 to #8
  8. [caption width="640"] Maxime Heroux wills his way to the win at WPT Montreal.[/caption] Montreal’s Maxime Heroux outlasted the 606-player field of the World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event at the Playground Poker Club to take home his first WPT title and the first place prize of C$ 403,507 ($317,554). Heroux entered the final table second in chips, sitting right behind eventual runner up Pat Quinn. David Peters, perhaps the biggest name at the final table hovered in third, with about 56bb, while Derek Wolters, Brendan Baksh and Eric Afriat, who was vying for his second WPT title, all felt the pressure, sitting below 20 bbs. Despite having a number of short stacks to start the table it took roughly two hours before the field was whittled from six to five. David Peters, the 2016 Global Poker Index Player of the Year, was on solid footing when the day started but after getting doubled through in multiple hands he found himself sitting on the bottom of the chip counts. First to act, Peters shipped his final seven blinds holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The action folded around to Quinn in the big blind who called, turning over [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6c"] found the door closing quickly on Peters’ potential double. The [poker card="4h"] turn card provided some life but the [poker card="tc"] river ended the perennial high roller’s run in Montreal. Peters exited in sixth taking home CAD $78,050 for his efforts. A little bit of the buzz was removed from the room forty-five minutes later when former WPT Champion Eric Afriat, looking for a spot, raised half his stack from the button only to be shipped on by Derek Wolters in the blinds. Afriat committed the rest of his chips and turned over [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"]. Wolters flipped over the suited [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"]. The board got worse and worse for Afriat as it ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="jd"][poker card="jh"]. The quads overkill shipped Wolters the pot and Afriat’s bid for his second title ended in fifth for CAD $95,370. A mere five hands later Derek Wolters was involved, yet again, in a knockout. Folded to Wolters in the small blind, he applied the pressure to the short-staked big blind, Brendan Baksh. Wolters shipping the [poker card="qd"][poker card="2d"], was called by Baksh’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="4s"]. At risk, Baksh simply needed to hold. The flop of [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"][poker card="7c"] was clean, but the [poker card="qs"] on the turn left California’s Baksh looking for one of three outs. The [poker card="9d"] fell on the river and so did Baksh. His fourth-place finish brought him CAD $124,310, the largest score of his career. As play continued, Maxime Heroux and Derek Wolters took turns claiming the chip lead with Pat Quinn trailing but surviving. Then came an impasse where a massive flip for the majority of the chips took place. Pat Quinn raised from the button and Heroux, holding the chip lead, put in a call in the small blind. Wolters, three-bet from the big blind which ushered Quinn out of the way. After a brief tank, Heroux shipped on Wolters, putting him to a decision for his tournament life. Wolters ended up making the call, tabling [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Heroux rolled over [poker card="7h"][poker card="7c"] for the monumental flip. The flop came down [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"][poker card="9d"] providing Wolters four extra outs to go along with his two overs. That would be the closest Wolters would get as the [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="2s"] river awarded Heroux a massive chiplead and after taking his shot Derek Wolters finished the day in third place for CAD $173,220. With nearly a 4-to-1 chiplead over Quinn it took Heroux 17 hands of heads-up play to seal the deal. On the final hand Quinn had yet to gain much traction on Heroux, limped the button and Heroux checked his option. The action flop of [poker card="6d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4c"] found Quinn sticking his chips in the middle and Heroux calling for the win. Quinn held [poker card="9d"][poker card="7s"] for the open end straight draw, backdoor flush with two over cards. Heroux had a made hand showing down [poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"], a pair of fours with a gutshot straight flush redraw. The [poker card="2s"] turn made two pair for Heroux and the [poker card="2c"] river brought in the full house as well as the WPT Championship. Final Table Payouts Maxime Heroux - CAD $403,570 Pat Quinn - CAD $271,030 Derek Wolters - CAD $173,220 Brendan Baksh - CAD $124,310 Eric Afriat - CAD $95,370 David Peters - CAD $78,050
  9. [caption width="640"] Rob Yong tried to negotiate a deal between Kirk and Tsoukernik after multi-million dollar debt incurred.[/caption] Rob Yong, founder of UK card room Dusk Till Dawn, went on the record to reveal some behind-the-scenes details of the immediate aftermath of the now legendary late night high-stakes heads-up match between “Aussie” Matt Kirk and King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik which has led to, now, the filing of multiple million-dollar lawsuits. In summary, on May 27, 2017 Matt Kirk and Leon Tsoukernik played multiple hours of high stakes heads-up poker in which, by match’s end, Tsoukernik had been loaned and lost back $3 million to Kirk. After receiving $1 million of the sum, Kirk filed a lawsuit to claim he was still owed the remaining $2 million. Although he received a partial dismissal of the case, Tsoukernik is still technically on the hook for the alleged debt having to defend himself against the claims of “unjust enrichment” and “fraudulent inducement.” With litigation escalating and after being named in new court documents, Yong took to his own blog to discuss everything he can recount about what went down between Kirk and Tsoukernik. According to Yong, the day after Kirk and Tsoukernik played, Yong was approached by Kirk and told about the match against Tsoukernik. Kirk expressed nervousness about not getting paid supposedly telling Yong that the game had gotten “out of hand” with Tsoukernik becoming very drunk and taking then losing back the $3 million loan. Yong goes on to state that Kirk claimed that even though he knew Tsoukernik was drunk, he didn’t quit Tsoukernik because he didn't want to ‘hit and run’ and continued to play out of pressure from Tsoukernik himself. Yong, having been in that situation with Tsoukernik himself, advised Kirk to give Tsoukernik “a small discount as a goodwill gesture” if he felt bad about the situation. The pair then settled on a proposed sum of $2 million in cash with $1 million of debt as a purse for a future heads-up match. Kirk asked Yong to mediate and Yong agreed. Yong then states that upon meeting with Tsoukernik, the King’s Casino owner made assurances he would pay “whatever I lost” and when the original deal was offered Tsoukernik said something to the effect of “fine, whatever Matty wants.” Kirk and Tsoukernik then “hugged and shook hands” on the deal. Less than a half hour later, Kirk called the deal off. Kirk was on the phone with someone, who apparently had the authority to call off the deal and did just that. Yong had to break the news to Tsoukernik, who was left exasperated. Left at that, after the Super High Roller Bowl, Yong returned home to the UK. Days later both Kirk and Tsoukernik called Yong, together, stating that they came to a mutual understanding and that Kirk was willing to accept $1 million as a final payment to the whole ordeal. Yong said, “Eh, one million? Are you serious?!” but insisted that Kirk replied that it was all good and that he simply wanted to move on. Another reversal occurred when Yong says Kirk called him via Skype later that same night, furious at Tsoukernik for lecturing him like ‘a kid’ about the perils of loaning drunk people money. Kirk reportedly said he only took the $1 million deal because he was so mad at how Tsoukernik spoke to him and that he, allegedly, vowed to use the $1,000,000 Tsoukernik paid him to “ruin Leon’s reputation around the poker world.” Yong recounted his role in the affair to clear the air about his involvement and, in the end, stated that he would be happy to tell his tale under oath in a Nevada court on behalf of either party. With that, the story takes it's latest turn. On November 8, Tsoukernik filed a counterclaim against Kirk for $10,000,000 in damages asserting that Kirk did indeed ruin his reputation, among other charges including that Kirk played Tsoukernik despite it being open and obvious that he was visibly intoxicated to the point where Tsoukernik needed assistance in counting his chips, he was misreading his hands and was induced to play large sums for a longer period of time and in a manner that he wouldn’t have done if sober. Additionally, Tsoukernik has filed to include the Aria Resort & Casino as a defendant in his counterclaim for, among other allegations, providing Tsoukernik with the alcohol to lead him to play in the manner he did, preventing the game from being an honest competition as well as claiming that there were individuals who attempted to help him leave Aria’s high stakes Ivey Room, but agents of the Aria stopped them from entering or removing him from the situation. In addition to filing the counterclaim Tsoukernik released a statement about his latest actions: “I have endured a significant amount of criticism from the poker community over the past several months. Today we filed a counterclaim against Matthew Kirk and a third-party complaint against the Aria. I have been advised to allow this matter to be resolved in court and I will. However, it is important to state my reasoning in pursuing this matter. Before any legal pleading was filed, I chose to resolve this matter amicably, with the help of several of the most respected members of the poker community. But, as a result of the behavior of Matthew Kirk and the third party defendant, I was taken advantage of and can no longer remain silent. As a casino operator, I feel it is my obligation to never allow a patron to be treated as I was and to alert the poker community of the risks they take in situations like mine. I believe that my response shines light on some of the unethical practices that target poker players. It would be easy to remain silent and make a business decision but too much has been said and too much damage has been done for me to keep quiet. I have great confidence in the United States judicial system. I will allow the legal process to speak for me from this point forward.”
  10. [caption width="640"] Mike Sexton looks to defend his WPT title in Montreal starting on November 10[/caption] It was roughly one year ago when poker legend and former World Poker Tour commentator Mike Sexton bested the field of 648 players at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal to win the partypoker.net WPT Montreal Main Event for over $317,000 US and his first WPT title. On Friday, November 10, the WPT is set to return to the scene of last year’s historic tournament for the sixth WPT Montreal at the beloved Playground Poker Club. The five-day $3,850 CAD Main Event features a $2,000,000 CAD (over $1.5 million US) guarantee and will be both filmed for television as well as live streamed around the world. The Montreal stop has been a staple of the WPT since its initial appearance on the schedule back in Season XI. The tournament was the first time a WPT Main Event was held on Canadian soil since 2008 and in a gripping conclusion, Canadian Jonathan Roy bested countryman Pascal Lefrancois to take home the inaugural WPT Montreal title and a career-high cash of $779,210 USD. Joining Roy, popular pros Jeff Gross and Gavin Smith made appearances at the 2012 final table. In fact, WPT Montreal has a healthy history of final tables full of poker’s brightest minds. The year after Roy’s victory saw, Lily Kiletto and Mukul Pahuja, who won the WPT Season XII Player of the Year that year, playing for the title. Pahuja final tabled the same event the very next year, joining Main Event mainstay Kevin McPhee and, the eventual winner of WPT Montreal in Season XIII, Jonathan Jaffee. Season XIV’s Final Table featured the first player not hailing from Canada or the U.S. when German phenom Rainer Kempe finished in third. Then, again, just last year, Sexton’s victory was over hometown favorite, Canadian Benny Chen, perhaps best known as the gold bracelet winner in the WSOP’s inaugural 2013 Millionaire Maker. WPT Montreal's frenzy of action begins with three Day 1’s, November 10-12, with re-entries being allowed on subsequent days. Players have the ability to fire secondary and tertiary bullets in additional Day 1s even if they survived their first with the largest surviving chip stack of any day moving forward to Day 2. There is plenty of opportunity for players to show up early and satellite into the Main Event as well. On November 9, Playground Poker Club is offering three different mega-satellites. This includes a massive 20-seat guaranteed tournament for $385 + $35 CAD at 8:00pm local time. As the Main Event begins, there are additional times to win your way in on both Day 1a and Day 1b. In total, 50 seats will be guaranteed to go to live qualifiers. There's little question of if WPT Montreal will be big – but how big will it be in Season XVI? Certainly, there will be plenty of notable names in the field vying for the massive guarantee. One player to keep an eye on that has confirmed his attendance is current WPT Player of the Year points leader Art Papazyan. Papazyan has a huge lead in the POY race after winning a pair of WPT events this season, but if he wants to keep those who would usurp his claim to the WPT POY crown he needs to keep on cashing. Joining Papazyan will be the reigning, defending WPT Montreal champion himself, Mike Sexton. The WPT Montreal Main Event kicks off on November 10 and plays to a final table of six players which will be live streamed on November 16.
  11. [caption width="640"] PokerStars' PCA Ultra Satellite guarantees an 100 online qualifiers[/caption] Even before Christian Harder hoisted the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas trophy, officials at the worldwide leader in online poker, PokerStars, knew that in 2018 they would need to make changes. Registration for the newly re-branded tournament was the lowest it had been in a decade and so in order to get back on track, the company turned to its customers in an effort to polish up the premiere poker getaway formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In August, PokerStars announced a number of changes to the crown jewel of their live event calendar, including restoring the brand back to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Along with reverting the name of the event they also rolled back the buy-in for their Main Event from $5,300 to its long-standing traditional $10,300 buy-in, assuring a gigantic prize pool for those who make the trip. Another promised improvement for 2018 - more online qualifiers. PokerStars is determined to pack the Atlantis Resort, the longtime host to the PCA, with players who won their way into the Main Event by capturing a coveted all-inclusive package through the PCA Ultra Satellites. The PCA Ultra Satellites are guaranteeing at least 100 players a $15,855 prize that includes everything one would need to bask in all of the sun, surf and suckouts the Bahamas has to offer. The next 100-seat, $1.5 million guaranteed $530 Ultra Satellite takes place at 14:35 ET on November 5 on PokerStars. In addition to being able to buy directly into the tournament players can win their way into the big event for as little as $1 and in almost every game PokerStars has to offer. From dedicated on-demand Spin & Go’s to multi-table-tournaments to cash game challenges, PokerStars is allowing you to pick your ownRoad To The Bahamas path and entry into the $530 Ultra Satellite. Winners of the package will receive a buy-in to the $10,300 Main Event, nine nights accommodation for two at the Atlantis Resort (from January 6-15), $1,000 room credit that can be applied to purchase food and drink during the festival and an additional $1,000 deposited directly into players’ PokerStars account to assist towards travel expenses. Just note, with players from all over the world qualifying for the trip, travel arrangements are not handled by PokerStars but by the players themselves. PokerStars’ Director of Corporate Communications, Eric Hollreiser had previously commented that they are “committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event.” By all accounts, they are working hard at it. Not only is PokerStars offering the PCA Qualifier packages in New Jersey for the first time, but the site also covered more than a half a million dollars in overlay in the previous PCA Ultra Satellite, which resulted in approximately 36 free trips to the Bahamas. With more qualifiers, a promised rake reduction (one that is calculated to save players approximately $300,000) and a more streamlined schedule of events PokerStars seems resolved to make the new and improved PCA a poker getaway more desirable than ever before. The PokerStars.com $530 PCA Ultra Satellite takes place on November 5 at 14:35 ET with 100-seats guaranteed to be given away.
  12. [caption width="640"] Martin Kabrhel couldn't be happier to capture the bracelet in WSOPE Event #3[/caption] With over $3,000,000 in recorded lifetime earnings and a pair of World Series of Poker Circuit rings, Czech Republic poker pro Martin Kabrhel has had much to celebrate in his extensive poker career. On early Thursday morning though Kabrhel reached a new high as he emerged victorious in the WSOPE Event #3 (€1,100 Super Bounty Turbo) on his home turf of the King’s Casino in Rozvadov for €53,557 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. The one-day turbo tournament featured a healthy 325-entry turnout (92 re-entries) and a prize pool of over €214,000. With 20-minute levels and every player carrying a €300 bounty, bustouts were fast and furious throughout the day as the field looked to accumulate enough to take a seat at the final table. Plenty of notable names made the money but fell along the wayside including Kristen Bicknell (32nd), Brandon Cantu (24th), Felipe Ramos (23rd), 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (11th) and Mike Leah (10th) who was knocked out by Kabrhel to bubble the final table. Additionally, current World Series of Poker Player of the Year points leader Chris Ferguson (36th) notched another cash to extend his current lead for the award. Kabrhel had a rocky start to the final table, relinquishing the chip lead for a short amount of time on a failed bluff, but would find his back in control by hunting down his fellow tablemates and putting together a string of knockouts that would take him to the winner's photo. After the elimination of Viktor Kovachev (9th) and Georgios Koliofotis (8th), Kabrhel would call and cover the short stack shove of Bernd Gleissner. Gleissner, all in and behind holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="ts"] against Kabrhel's [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"] found no help on the runout and Gleissner fell in seventh. The newly married former November Niner, John Racener, who is looking to gain ground on Ferguson in the WSOP Player of the Year race, was the next to fall to Kabrhel. In fact, he and Yves Kupfermunz would bow out on the same hand. Kupfermunz shoved his suited [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"] and Racener, who was covered, called off with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. When it came around to Kabrhel in the big blind, with the chance for the double knockout, also called holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. Though Racener had the best of it preflop by a small margin, the flop ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"][poker card="4s"], putting Kabrhel way in front. The case [poker card="as"] turned, drawing Racener dead and with only three outs left, Kupfermunz's bracelet quest ended in fifth place with the river [poker card="kd"]. Racener's sixth place finish, helped him surge to thrid position on the Player Of The Year leaderboard, now only roughly 50 points behind Ferguson. Only three hands later Kabrhel was at it again. After raising with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] Kabrhel was shoved on by Liran Twito who held [poker card="qc"][poker card="jd"]. Kabrhel snap-calls and while the duo paired their queens, Twito's kicker problems put him on the rail in fourth. Salvatore Camarda later found himself entangled in a pot with Kabrhel. In the big blind three-handed Carmarda held [poker card="9d"][poker card="4s"] on a [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4d"] flop. Bottom pair though was not good enough as the red-hot Kabrhel had the [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] in the hole. After they checked around, the [poker card="kd"] turned and Kabrhel had yet another opponent drawing dead. Camarda proceeded to get all of his chips in on the next two streets, finishing in third. The first seven eliminations at the final table took all of 31 hands. The heads-up battle between Kabrhel and Germany's Philipp Caranica would take another 58 more. The back and forth battle saw a number of lead changes as both battled for the bracelet. Early in the morning, the first hand after a break, the end finally came as the chip leader Kabrhel and Caranica put all the chips in the middle preflop . Caranica slightly ahead, holding the suited [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] was up against Kabrhel's [poker card="th"][poker card="7h"]. A fortuitous runout of [poker card="jd"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8h"] brought in the double-gutter backdoor straight draw for Kabrhel, awarding him his seventh knockout of the final table and his first WSOP bracelet. FINAL TABLE PAYOUTS Martin Kabrhel - €53,557 Philipp Caranica - €33,094 Salavatore Camarda - €22,159 Liran Twito - €15,168 Yves Kupfermunz - €10,620 John Racener - €7,609 Bernd Gleissner - €5,582 Georgios Koliofotis - €4,195
  13. [caption width="640"] Number 5-ranked tournament player, 'Inho' leads the way in Day 5 XL Eclipse action.[/caption] PocketFives.com current Worldwide #5-ranked player Robin 'Inho' Ylitalo found himself atop the payouts at the end of Thursday's slate of XL Eclipse tournaments over on 888poker. The 13-event grouping brought with it over $350,000 in guarantees as the poker series has now completed one-third of its scheduled 197 events. One of online poker's most prolific players, Sweden's Ylitalo took down the tournament with the largest guarantee of the day, Event #62 ($215 $100,000 Quarterback NLHE) by defeating Germany's 'luckyr1ver', who was at his 2nd final table of the day. Ylitalo walked with $21,356 to add to his already impressive accumulation of over $8,000,000 in lifetime earnings. Of course, he wasn't the only Pocketfiver making moves on this day as a number of ranked players climbed the leaderboards for victories in their respective tournaments. Ukraine's #5-ranked tournament pro, 'GSwarrior30', toppled Event #56 ($30 $15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE) for $3,691.87 while Avtaliono 'kavkazbear' Ibinosov from Cyprus nearly matched a career-best cash for himself when he claimed the title in Event #61 ($55 $20,000 Monsoon NLHE) for $4,791.15. Paul 'xxCelticFCxx' Febers had a great day on the tables as the Glaswegian first place finish in Event #63 ($44 $30,000 Mini Quarterback NLHE) was good for $6,466,54, another one of the largest hauls of the day. Additionally, Brazil's Eli 'quibedoneto' Fagundes earned an XL Eclipse title by defeating the 940 runners in Event #64 ($12 $25,000 Tuesday Challenge NLHE). XL Eclipse Day 5 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 54$15,000 Lightning 6-Max$109][poker card="TD"]RKOoutofNWHR$5,616 55$15,000 Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Mondaq$3,943.54 56$15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]GSwarrior30$3,691.87 57$20,000 Crocodile NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]birdgamcray$6,675.75 58$15,000 Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]Marflon$3,355.80 59$50,000 R&A NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]F1SHRAPIST$10,706.50 60$10,000 Mini R&A NLHE$5][poker card="TD"]JekaSmolka$2,248.97 61$20,000 Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]kavkazBear$4,791.15 62$100,000 Quarterback NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]Inho$21,356 63$30,000 Mini Quarterback NLHE$44][poker card="TD"]xxCelticFCxx$6,466.54 64$25,000 Tuesday Challenge NLHE$12][poker card="TD"]QuibeDoNeto$5,162.02 65$15,000 Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]SFlinkov$4,751.50 66$25,000 Turbo Quarterback NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]TankeVicius$5,368.12
  14. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Blizzard offers plenty of big-time opportunities to win big-time money.[/caption] Winter is here and so is another one of 888poker’s mammoth online series, this one, the final of the XL trilogy, is XL Blizzard and features 34 events and over $2.9 million in guarantees. As with all of 888poker’s online series they’ve packed it full of big money tournaments that bring out both the best players in the online scene as well as value hunters that are hoping that this will be the series where they make a name for themselves with a massive score to match. So even though the schedule for XL Blizzard has been trimmed down, giving players every opportunity to play in absolutely all events, here’s a selection of the five largest tournaments on the schedule that will most likely radically change the bankrolls of the eventual winners. When: January 18What: $80,000 Opening EventBuy-in: $109 While Event #1, the Opening Event, does not carry the biggest guarantee, nor the largest buy-in, the first event of each of the XL Series has been an event worth coming out for. Players will likely want to get a jump on the bevy of promotions that come along with XL Blizzard, including bonuses for multi-time champions, bonuses for multi-cash players and even a potential spot in the Champion of Champions tournament which is awarding a seat to the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. If the promotions do their job, the $80k guarantee should be smashed as players flock to the Opening Event in hopes of getting their series off to a solid start. When: January 21 What: $200,000 Tune Up Buy-in: $160 January 21 has a number of big-ticket items but perhaps the largest with the most value is Event #10 $200,000 Tune Up. Starting just a half hour after Event #9 $120,000 Mega Deep kicks off, it boasts an additional $80,000 in guaranteed money and with a buy-in of $160, it’s $55 cheaper than the Mega Deep. While the structure is likely to be faster, the Tune Up has a great guarantee-to-buy-in ratio and will no doubt be packed with players on a day of big-time tournaments. When: January 21 What: $200,000 Whale Buy-In: $1,050 One of the largest buy-ins on the entire schedule is the $1,050 of Event #12 $200,000 Whale. The Whale, a staple of the 888poker regular weekly schedule, brings out some of the top grinders who try to navigate the slightly smaller field in search of the large five-figure payday. Back on Day 1 of the XL Eclipse schedule ‘CllsDntMttr’ took down the first Whale for almost $65,000 and one of the largest paydays of the series. This event could very well smash the guarantee and award an equivalent payout. When: January 23 What: $250,000 High Roller Buy-in: $2,100 Still all the rage, if a tournament has High Roller in the header it’s bound to bring out the biggest names in the game. Sure the field will be tough, but the payout will likely be huge. Depending on how many entrants flock to this High Roller the top spot payout could push the upper five-figures and potentially even a $100,000 score. When: January 28 What: $1,000,000 Main Event Buy-in: $1,050 A million dollar guaranteed prize pool, live or online, is a major tournament and the XL Blizzard Main Event will no doubt be a spectacle. With players being fed into the Main Event both through the standard step satellites as well as a pair of Mega satellites that take place over the course of the series, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if the guarantee is smashed. The aforementioned ‘CllsDntMttr’ also happened to be the winner of the XL Eclipse Main Event for over $273,000 and while this Main Event does not have the same guarantee, the certainty of a six-figure score, which would be a career-defining score to many grinders out there, will likely attract a healthy field making it the first major 888poker tournament of 2018. Not to worry if these big-time tournaments are out of your bankroll. Not only are there many ways to win your way into events like the Main Event, XL Blizzard is jam-packed with a variety of tournaments to fit the schedule and budget of just about every online grinder.
  15. [caption width="640"] 888poker's winter series, XL Blizzard, offers over .9 million in guarantees starting on January 18[/caption] 888poker’s XL Championship series returns for another go-around from January 18-28. Offering over $2.9 million in guaranteed money and a new, sleeker streamlined selection of tournaments, XL Blizzard is offering tournament players a winter series that sure to create massive prize pools while at the same time offering new promotions to entice players to find their way into as many tournaments as they can. XL Blizzard is the end of the XL Championship trilogy as announced by 888poker back in April. While previous iterations of the XL Series bombarded players with massive schedules, testing their tournament fortitude, the upcoming XL Blizzard has paired down its offerings to a healthy 34 events, affording players with an appetite for guaranteed prize pools the time to hop into every event they wish. While every event carries a guarantee worth playing for, highlighted events of the 11-day affair include the $80,000 Opening Event, a full day of 888poker’s trademark “Crazy 8” tournaments, a $2,100 $250,000 guaranteed High Roller as well as the $1,000,000 Main Event for which there are multiple satellites helping feed players into the big-money event. Sure, there may be fewer events during XL Blizzard than previous XL series', but 888poker is packing it full of promotions for tournament and leaderboard winners and even those who feel the sting of going out on the bubble. Winning one tournament in any given series is tough enough, winning two puts a player in an exclusive club and three, well, that might mark the heater of a lifetime. But if somehow, someway a player is about to find their way to five victories over the 34 event series, not only will they achieve instant online legend status but 888poker will also make them a millionaire. The XL Blizzard $1,000,000 Winners promotion will pay cold hard cash to those players who win multiple titles. Win two events, win an extra $1,000. Win three and they’ll make it $10,000. Four victories is a bonus $100,000 and five or more puts seven-figures in your bank account, paying $1,000,000. The bonuses don’t stop with winning multiple titles. Players who make three or more final tables in the XL Blizzard series will receive a $600 tournament ticket. Similarly, if a player cashes in eight or more of the 34 events, 888poker will gift them a $215 tournament ticket. Players who finish in the Top 50 of the series tournament leaderboard will get an additional opportunity for even more prizes. The Top 50 will be entered into the XL Blizzard Champion of Champions event, the winner of which will receive an exclusive package putting them into the $10,000 Main Event of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in July including travel expenses, a stay at the Vdara hotel and an 888Live poker kit. Beyond first place, the runner-up will also get a WSOP prize in the form of a $3,000 Crazy 8 WSOP package as well as a $1,050 tournament ticket. Third place also gets the $3,000 WSOP Crazy 8 package. Fourth and fifth get a $1,050 tournament ticket, and the rest of the final table receive a $600 tournament ticket. In fact, 10th-40th place will be getting a free $55 tournament ticket. For those 41st-50th, well, someone has to go home empty-handed. Finally, for those players who bear the burden of being the last person in the tournament not to make any money, during XL Blizzard, 888poker is offering a shot at redemption. The “Bubble of Bubbles” offers free entry to players who bubble any of the 34 events. The winner of the “Bubble of Bubbles” event will win one of those $3,000 Crazy 8 WSOP packages, second thru fourth take home a $160 tournament ticket while the rest of the final table pick up a $55 tournament ticket. Players can also expect plenty of 888poker pros to be logging on to defend their home turf. 888poker ambassadors including Chris Moorman, Dominik Nitsche, Parker ‘tonkaaaa’ Talbot, Natalie Hof, Sofia Lovgren and more will all be in the mix. Satellites a running for a variety of the events and players can get started working their way up through the steps for as little as a penny. XL Blizzard Schedule of Events EVENT #DATETIMETOURNAMENTBUY-IN 1Jan-1819:00$80,000 Opening$109 2Jan-1819:00$15,000 Mini Opening$12 3Jan-1821:00$20,000 Late Opening$55 4Jan-1919:00$20,000 Twins Royal$55 5Jan-1919:00$20,000 Twins Flush$55 6Jan-2019:00$50,000 Crazy 8$88 7Jan-2019:00$15,000 Mini Crazy 8$8.80 8Jan-2021:00$15,000 Late Crazy 8$44 9Jan-2117:30$120,000 Mega Deep$215 10Jan-2118:00$200,000 Tune Up$160 11Jan-2118:00$40,000 Mini Tune Up$12 12Jan-2119:00$200,000 Whale$1,050 13Jan-2121:00$20,000 Late Tune Up$55 14Jan-2219:00$40,000 R&A$55 15Jan-2219:00$1,000 Mini R&A$5 16Jan-2319:00$250,000 High Roller$2,100 17Jan-2319:00$100,000 Mini High Roller$215 18Jan-2321:00$30,000 Late High Roller$160 19Jan-2419:00$40,000 Eight Max$109 20Jan-2419:00$10,000 Eight Max$12 21Jan-2421:00$10,000 Late Eight Max$30 22Jan-2519:00$80,000 Quarterback$109 23Jan-2519:00$20,000 Mini Quarterback$12 24Jan-2521:00$20,000 Late Quarterback$30 25Jan-2619:00$25,000 Knockout$150 26Jan-2619:00$10,000 Mini Knockout$35 27Jan-2621:00$10,000 Late Knockout$75 28Jan-2719:00$50,000 Six Max$160 29Jan-2719:00$15,000 Mini Six Max$30 30Jan-2721:00$10,000 Late Six Max$55 31Jan-2817:30$150,000 Mega Deep$215 32Jan-2819:00$1,000,000 Main$1,050 33Jan-2819:00$200,000 Mini Main$160 34Jan-2819:30$50,000 Micro Main$30
  16. [caption width="640"] 'josef_shvejk' mades major moves in the Worldwide Top 10[/caption] The best online players in the world are the best for a reason - typically they both play and crush the highest limits online poker has to offer and they do it with consistency. With the conclusion of the PokerStars High Rollers series, there was bound to be some shifting in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Rankings as the top tier players battled for some of the largest prize pools of the year. Holding a commanding lead headed into the week, Swedish phenom ‘C Darwin2’ retains the #1 spot for an eighth week in a row, picking up another three qualifying scores including $14,491 in High Rollers Series Event #15 (177.17), a runner-up finish in the PokerStars Daily 500 for $12,429 (187.77) and, on the same day, a victory in the High Roller Turbo for another $11,874 (223.61). While still trailing ‘C Darwin2’, Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff gained some ground this week, thanks in part to his runner-up finish in Event #18 of the High Roller Series for a huge score of $89,818 and 517.39 PLB points. ‘lena900’ retains his spot in the #3 spot, but the new #4 spot belongs to the new #1-ranked Russian grinder ‘josef_shvejk’ who had been aggressively climbing the ranks over the past few weeks. During his heater he’s enjoyed another six qualifying cashes this week, highlighted by a pair of five-figure cashes on Sunday December 3 totaling over $53,000. Both ‘Sheater’ and‘SixthSenSe19’ held firm in their respective #5 and #6 spots while Brazil’s Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao lost some ground slipping from the #4 spot down to #7 due to zero volume in the past couple weeks. With ‘r4ndomr4gs’ holding pat at #8, the Top 10 welcomes back Hungary’s Andras ’probirs’ Nemeth. Last week, he bubbled the Top 10, but just days after his mammoth six-figure score in Event #6 of the High Roller Series he notched back to back qualifying cashes by winning the PokerStars KOmania High Roller for just over $3,500 as well as the Bigger $215 a day later for $15,588. The Top 10 is completed by Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsarwho slipped three spots back from #7 last week. Korsar is looking to gain more ground that he gives as last week he was on the precipice on matching his All-Time high ranking of #6. The largest leap into the Top 25 belongs to the #2-ranked Canadian, Christopher ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk who, after his runner-up finish in Event #15 of the High Rollers Series for $121,341, finds himself at a career-high ranking of #15. The only player to fall out of the Top 25 this week is Argentinan superstar ‘kofi89’ who slipped back two spots, landing just outside the bubble at #27. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25 RANKPLAYERPOINTSPREVIOUS 1C Darwin210,308.241 2Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff9,551.062 3lena9008,830.473 4josef_shvejk7,795.139 5Sheater7,522.995 6Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez7,464.566 7Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao7,419.254 8Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren7,384.508 9Andras 'probirs' Nemeth7,264.82911 10Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar7,227.457 11veeea7,103.0410 12hellohellohello6,956.6116 13Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan6,868.2519 14Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen6,805.2412 15Chris ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk6,803.2028 16Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford6,800.5315 17Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas6,776.5213 18Jordan 'JWPRODIGY' Westmorland6,774.4624 19DamageAP6,770.4922 20nilsef6,729.7023 21Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard6,724.3921 22Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky6,714.1020 23rolandbauer6,701.3114 24Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman6,671.41318 25DeathbyQuads6,623.9717
  17. [caption width="640"] PokerStars returns Prague with a 43-event schedule over 12 days beginning on December 7[/caption] All the presents in the Twelve Days of Christmas are nice and all, but for poker players from around the world twelve days of non-stop poker action is what they really want for the holidays and the PokerStars Championship Series is more than happy to oblige. From December 7-18 the PokerStars Championship series returns to Prague, the largest city in the Czech Republic, for their final stop of the calendar year, PokerStars Championship Prague. The festival includes a little something for everyone in the 43-event schedule, including the €5,300 Main Event. The Hilton Prague Hotel will once again play host to the competition, as it has ever since PokerStars began bringing players to Prague back during the European Poker Tour Season 4 in 2007. One of the more popular winter destinations for players, both for the action and the city that surrounds it, many memorable moments have been made over the years in Prague for the PokerStars crew. In 2009, local grinder Jan Skampa won the main event for over $1 million and two years later the live poker world was introduced to German superstar Martin Finger when he won his EPT Main Event in Prague. Of course, just last year, Dutch player Jasper Meijer was crowned the final EPT champion and as he hoisted the trophy in Prague, the final stop of Season 13, it marked the final stop of the entire tour. It was the end of the EPT era. Now PokerStars is back in Prague for the first time since that emotional finale, ready to start new traditions and anoint new champions in the Golden City. To help with that, PokerStars is bringing out a number of their pros to both mingle with the players as well as test their mettle on the felt. Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who makes his home in Prague, have all confirmed to be on hand. While there is plenty to do in the city of Prague like check out the city’s Christmas markets, stroll across the Charles Bridge or visit the St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the tournament schedule PokerStars has put together is likely to keep dedicated grinders indoors and on the felt. The massive 43-event line-up hopes to have a number of events for players managing any type of bankroll. From the €330 multi-flight Prague Poker Cup for those looking for a big score on a modest buy-in to the €50,000 PokerStars Championship Super High Roller, which is likely to have big names vying for even bigger payouts and every buy-in level in between. Of course, all eyes will be on the €5,300 Main Event. Registering 1,192 runners in 2016, last years participants were the most the Prague stop had ever seen, making it a benchmark for comparison here at the start of the Championship years. The Main Event gets started on December 12 and has two starting days. Then, if one can't be in Prague, beginning on Day 2, would-be viewers can tune-in to all-star commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton as they host featured-table action from the event on PokerStars.tv. PokerStars also is continuing their PokerStars Championship Player of the Year leaderboard promotion awarding the winner of the Prague tournament leaderboard a chance to win a $17,000 VIP package to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a seat at a $100,000 free roll in the winner-take-all 2017 PokerStars Championship Player of the Year Sit & Go. If that sounds like an amazing opportunity, one had better be prepared to bring their “A” game as the list of players that have already qualified include some of the best in the game, including Koray Aledmir, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Daniel Dvoress, Nick Petrangelo, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen and high roller regular Bryn Kenney. Online satellites to the Main Event are currently running on PokerStars and, just in case the tournaments scene doesn’t agrehoursth you, PokerStars will be running 24-hour a day cash games with all the action beginning on December 7.
  18. [caption width="640"] Joe 'JoeMomasNuts' Mitchell holds on to the top spot in Nevada.[/caption] Despite putting in next-to-no volume in November, online crusher and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Joe ‘JoeMomasNuts’ Mitchell retained his spot atop the Nevada online rankings. Mitchell can afford to take a little time off after racking up the scores straight through the end of October. A final table machine, in October alone, Mitchell managed to find himself at 20 final tables, easily over half of the time he cashed. Having recently surpassed the $500,000 lifetime earnings mark, Mitchell holds a comfortable lead in PLB points amassing 2,334.91. In November, Mitchell only notched a single trackable PLB cash, back on November 12, and it shouldn’t be a surprise, but that lone tournament also found him taking a seat at the final table. Despite not having access to the biggest tournaments in the world, being a Nevada grinder, Mitchell’s achievements through the summer and fall still have him ranked as a Top 1000 player in the world. Trailing Mitchell, as he has for roughly the past month, is Bobby ‘bcm4924’ McLawhorn. As previously noted, McLawhorn had held the #1 ranking in Nevada from March through October. However. in another instance of past results holding up a current bout of low volume McLawhorn either has been on a massive cooler or simply hasn’t been logging on in the last month, as he has yet to record a qualified cash since early October. With a talent like McLawhorn, it’s very likely the latter as he’s taken this kind of break before. Not standing idly by is #3-ranked Jed ‘JCHAK’ Hoffman who finds himself only 32.08 PLB points behind McLawhorn. He gained some serious ground this month with his victory in Event #12 of the WSOP.com NVPC ($50 No Limit Hold’em R&A) for $2,530 and his third-place finish in Event #16 NVPC High Roller for $6,923. In total Hoffman brought in nearly $14,000 in November. While Hoffman is applying pressure on McLawhorn. He’s being pressured by the #4-ranked player in Nevada, ‘Power’, who is looking to climb the ranks, trailing Hoffman by 132 PLB points. ‘Power’, putting in healthy volume throughout all of November and the early part of December, has managed to bink three 4-figure scores including a victory in the WSOP.com $20,000 GTD Weekly Sunday for $5,700. The top five in Nevada is rounded out by Jake ‘Wolf_51’ Didonato who, in late November, took down the $30,000 BIG Deal on WSOP.com for $9,600 which also ranks his largest PLB point total for the period at 173.21. Thomas ‘Butters’ Kearney rises in the ranking and has assumed the #6 spot, taking the position from ‘wsopfreezer’ who falls one spot to #7. Daniel ‘voff’ Deveaujoins the Top 10 this month, coming in at #8, after posting four 4-figure scores during November. Joining Deveau in climbing into the Top 10 is ’nani0713’ who jumped three places from #12 to his new position at #9. Despite all the movement in positions around him, Jonathan ‘Jonblvze’ Raberheld fast in the #10 spot, due in part to a pair of victories on WSOP.com in the last week of November. Nevada Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1JoeMomasNuts2,334.91 2bcm49242,120.39 3JCHAK2,088.31 4Power1,956.31 5Wolf_511,899.52 6Butters1,711.30 7wsopfreezer1,575.94 8voff1,466.29 9nani07131,450.16 10Jonblvze1,355.81
  19. [caption width="640"] Former #1-ranked Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard now has million in lifetime online earnings (WPT photo)[/caption] 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 ’pleno1’ Surpasses $4 Million Lifetime Former PocketFives.com #1-ranked Worldwide player, Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard crossed the $4 million lifetimes earning mark this week joining Tommie ’TommieJ’ Janssen as the second player to hit that mark this month. The partypoker ambassador leveraged a victory in the partypoker $40K Heavyweight for over $10,000 last week to get him to the $4 million doorstep and then crossed the threshold with a relatively minor cash when the UK pro picked up $438 in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-up on November 12. Eclipsing $4 million plateau is, perhaps, the icing on the cake of the year that is 2017 for Leonard. In addition to his online exploits, Leonard went on the heater of a lifetime this summer when, over the course of one week in July, he won, not one, but two Aria High Roller tournaments for approximately $789,000. The #2-ranked UK grinder then found himself winning out in the $10,300 Bellagio Cup XIII Event for an additional $475,000. It’s $3 million for the #300-ranked Georgios ‘zisimo7’ Zisimopoulos. Athen’s own Zisimopoulos had a very successful week online, cashing for over $30,000. This included a third-place finish in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for over $9300, the score that sent him soaring past $3 million. Zimbabwe’s ‘eatyourstac’ also reached new heights as the small-to-mid-stakes grinder surpassed $2 million in lifetime earnings. Notching roughly 40 cashes this week, playing on a variety of sites, the momentus tournament turned out to be his victor in the 888poker $2,000 Pacific Catfish for $558, one of eight top-3 finishes during the week. The million dollar club picked up two new members as well as Conrado ‘conradofpg’ Pereira Galdino and ’NorBaggio’ both earned their $1 million lifetime badges. ’rolandbauer’ Cracks The Top 10, ‘DamageAP’ surges into Top 20 Austria’s top-ranked online pro, ‘rolandbauer’ hit a new high in the PocketFives.com Worldwide rankings this week as he cracked the Top 10 for the very first time. On the back of four top-3 finishes, including a third in the partypoker High Roller Warm-up for over $17,000, ‘rolandbauer’ now looks up at the likes of Conor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan,‘veeea’, Steven ’SvZff’ van Zadelhoff as well as the Swedish contingency, led by ‘C Darwin2’, as he attempts to ascend to the top spot. Perhaps looking to follow in ‘rolandbauer’s footsteps is newcomer to the Top 100,‘DamageAP’. The Philippines top player made a major move this week as he not only leapt into the Top 100, he jumped from #102 into the Top 20, landing at #20. ‘DamageAP’ had a successful week highlighted by his runner-up finish in the partypoker Heavyweight: Title Fight Kick-Off which brought his over $14,000 and over 215 PLB Points. Also of note, of the nine players who achieved career-high rankings in the Top 100 this week, seven of them had done so the previous week with ‘tiarc’ making the largest jump forward, 15 spots to #39. Career High Rankings In Top 100 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #97 to #93 Victor 'vitinhorrn15' Pedote dos Santos - #86 to #77 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #60 to #56 'Mikensonas' - #43 to #41 'tiarc' - #54 to #39 'kofi89' - #45 to #37 ’DamageAP’ - #102 to #20 'josef_shvejk' - #15 to #13 'rolandbauer' - #12 to #10
  20. [caption width="640"] Leon Tsoukernik, owner of King's Casino, has filed a counterclaim against Matt Kirk for million.[/caption] The wranglings in the high-stakes heads-up legal drama between “Aussie” Matt Kirk and Leon Tsoukernik continued Tuesday as lawyers for Kirk filed a motion to dismiss Tsoukernik's $10 million counterclaim. In the counterclaim, Tsoukernik, the owner of the Czech Rebuplic's King's Casino, is alleging defamation, civil conspiracy, and fraud, among other charges of Kirk. Tsoukernik's action, filed on November 8, is in response to Kirk's original $2 million lawsuit alleging non-repayment of high-stake poker debt. Kirk's Tuesday filing addresses each of the charges, asking for complete dismissal of the counterclaim, arguing that Tsoukernik not only does not have a claim that can be awarded compensation but his argument of fraud doesn't hold up to the higher standard required. The motion breaks down each of Tsoukernik's claims and tackles the “cause of actions”, or the alleged facts that enable people to bring action against one another. In addition to requesting the complete dismissal of the counterclaim, Kirk has simultaneously requested a denial in the motion to include the Aria Resort & Casino as a third party to Tsoukernik's claim based on the same argument that Tsoukernik's entire lawsuit is without cause. Among the allegations against Kirk is what Kirk's lawyers call Tsoukernik's “I was drunk” defense. The King's Casino owner claims that he was overserved and then taken advantage of by Kirk, causing him to play and lose as he normally wouldn't, leading to defraudment. Kirk's motion points to video surveillance by the Aria which, according to the court papers, provides no concrete evidence of Tsoukernik's intoxication level. “Considering that Leon Tsoukernik has the Aria video evidence and has failed to identify a single timestamp in support of his 'I was drunk' defense, the court should conclude that the claim is baseless.” They continue to attack “I was drunk” as a basis for action by using Tsoukernik's position as a casino owner against him. “It will be interesting to ascertain discovery as to whether or not Leon Tsoukernik refunds money as his casino based upon the “I was too drunk” defense. Or better yet, if Leon Tsoukernik has paid damages to people above and beyond the gambling losses for allowing them to play at his casino while allegedly intoxicated.” While the video from the Aria security cannot detail Tsoukernik's level of sobriety, it did apparently show him both accepting the loans as chips passed back and forth across the table as well as the infamous text exchanges detailing how high rollers document the loaning of money. “Text message at 5:07am 'Gave u 1 million', to which Defendant (Tsoukernik) replied at 5:08am 'ok'” Another one of Tsoukernik's major contentions is the damage he feels he's taken to his reputation at the hands of Kirk. Kirk asserts that any potential reputation for Tsoukernik as a “welcher” (someone who refuses to pay his debts after a bet) or a “stiff” (someone who cheats someone of what they are owed) was not brought about by Kirk himself by simply filing the initial lawsuit. If readers of the unidentified “blogs and/or articles” about the nature of the initial lawsuit came to any conclusions on their own that is not something that Tsoukernik can sue for and, to date, Kirk has reportedly not gone public with any statement. “...let's not forget that the truth is a defense and Leon Tsoukernik does not dispute that he received $3,000,000 from Matt Kirk and 12 minutes later claimed that he owed him nothing.” Kirk's lawyers argue in their defense against defamation." Perhaps new information was also revealed as the motion recounts that the day before the game in question, on or about May 26, Kirk and Tsoukernik played in a different game, still at the Aria, where Tsoukernik had lost $1,500,000 to Kirk. Kirk received payment in full for that game. The combined losses would put Tsoukernik $4.5 million in the hole to Kirk. In totality, Kirk's lawyers laid out Kirk's defense against the counterclaim and request that the $10 million lawsuit be “dismissed in its entirety.”
  21. [caption width="640"] Carlo van Ravenswoud took the high stakes top spot in October. Photo credit: PokerListings[/caption] High-stakes online cash game grinder out of The Netherlands, Carlo ‘Ravenswood13’ van Ravenswoud ran hot in the PokerStars 8-Game Mix and Pot Limit Omaha games to lead the list of overall winners in online cash for the month of October, according to data tracked by Highstakesdb.com. Over the course of 7888 hands ‘Ravenswood13’ would churn out a $322,147 profit, by far the most for the month. The uptick helped push him into the top five overall profiteers for 2017 thus far as well as help him eclipse the $1 million mark in earnings. Sitting in the number two spot for the month, is the man who occupied the number one spot last month, online nosebleed beast Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov. While Kuznetsov didn’t quite pull in the mountain of cash he did in September, his $201,858 in pure profit was largely due to his early month Pot Limit Omaha heater which had him up nearly a quarter-of-a-million. A downswing in NLHE towards the end of the month mitigated his profit though, as he endured a one-day, nearly $75,000 downswing in the game. Still, despite giving some back, he still ended up and remains the current number one 2017 cash game winner to date. The as-of-yet identified high stakes mainstay‘JayP-AA’ topped 10,000 hands en route to his $186,354 October earnings. For the better part of the year, ‘JayP-AA’ had been treading water in shallow negative territory - then came early October. With a graph spike that basically goes straight up in the first few days of the month, the PLO specialist dug himself out of his -$60,000 hole and into celebration territory. The heater sent him on a $500,000 upswing, and despite some late October give-back ‘JayP-AA’ still earned his third-place spot and currently sits in the Top 10 of 2017 overall winners. While ‘JayP-AA’ may be anonymous, October’s fourth-ranked winner is far from it. Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, generally considered to be one of the sickest, take-all-comers in the high stakes world added to his already profitable year with a $157,434 pickup. Rebounding off an early October slide, Blom fought the majority of his battles in the 8-Game mix, oftentimes warring while high stakes pro ‘RaulGonzales’. In September, ‘RaulGonzalez’ bested Blom for a hefty sum but October saw the tables turn. Blom books the monthly win while ‘RaulGonzalez’ ended up over $300,000 in the hole for the month. Blom currently sits in third on the 2017 overall winners, having played over an astounding 164,000 hands to date. Tom ’tjbentham’ Bentham completes the top five for the month, having played nearly 200 sessions in a busy October for the Englishman. Spending all his time on the Pot Limit Omaha tables, Bentham hovered in light positive territory for the majority of the month. Then, right at the end of the month Bentham went on a one-day $50,000 run helping him book just over $125,000 in profit. His run helped him pull his year out of negative territory.
  22. [caption width="640"] Canada's current Top 10 is replete with some of online poker's strongest players[/caption] When it comes to the current crop of top-ranked online poker player in Canada, one must remember to shift their mindset to thinking of Canada as simply the location rather than the nationality. In the post-Black Friday online poker landscape, Canada has emerged as one of the major landing spots for many American poker expats who decided to pick up and relocate in order to stay on the grind. So with that in mind, we take a closer look at the PocketFives.com Top 10 ranked poker players who spend their online time inside the Great White North. Currently sitting atop the Canadian rankings is Toronto, Ontario's Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk (6,535.77 PLB points). The online crusher and Run It Once instructor had a monster September finding himself super deep in many of the biggest buy-in tournaments (WCOOP, Powerfest, XL Eclipse) the month had to offer. Racking up 24 major cashes, seven of which were of the five-figure variety, Kruk not only finds himself as the #1-ranked Canadian, but now sits at #22 in the world. Just behind Kruk and ready to make a run at the top spot is high-stakes phenom Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan (6,273.72). Sitting in second, trailing by 262.05 points, Drinan is making moves to ascend in the ranking thanks to his October grind. While Kruk has yet to post many results yet this month, Drinan, who hails from Illinois but plays in Vancouver, has been piling up the points by grinding out large Sunday schedules through the first part of October. New York resident, playing out of Ontario, Doug 'OU_dlanger610' Lang (6,181.39) occupies the #3 spot. Lang, currently sitting at #30 in the Worldwide rankings, was a workhorse in September. Seemingly playing every event on the 888poker and PokerStars schedules resulted in 90 cashes for the month, highlighted by his final table finish in the WCOOP Event #82-L ($530 No Limit Hold'em High Roller) for over $13,000. Toronto's Sam 'Pudge714' Greenwood (6,138.82) is next on the leaderboard. The World Series of Poker bracelet winner packed on the PLB points in September but it was his fifth place finish in the $25,000 buy-in Powerfest Championship Event, for nearly $250,000, that currently accounts as his biggest score for the sliding PLB period. Troy 'iamthedeck ftw' Quenneville (6061.87), Windsor, Ontario's #1-ranked player caps off the top five in Canada. A true grinder, Quenneville has been putting up a myriad of results on a daily basis. His volume has him constantly chipping away at the top spot as well as closing in on $4.5 million in lifetime earnings. A nearly 900-point gap separates the top five from the rest of the pack. Joel 'jbrown8777' Brown, a former top five Worldwide ranked player, occupies the #6 spot while Austin, Texas online poker legend and three-time Triple Crown award winner, Jonathan 'apestyles' Van Fleet, is slotted in #7. Montreal's top player, 'Trans4m', recently took down the PokerStars $22 Mini Sunday Supersonic for over $11,000, good for his highest point total of the period (284.92) and the #8 position. 'Trans4m' sits just inside the Top 100 in the Worldwide Rankings. Former #1-ranked Worldwide player, Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski, continued to add to his over $10,000,000 in lifetime earnings by finishing in the money over 100 times in September and just ahead of Ryan 'newguy89' McEathron, who completes the current Canadian top 10 list. Sitting only 10 points behind Sikorski, McEatheron recently padded his point total with a recent outright victory in the prestigious PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for nearly $60,000. Canada's Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk6,535.77 2Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan6,273.72 3Doug 'OIU_dlanger610' Lang6,181.39 4Sam 'Pudge714' Greenwood6,138.82 5Troy 'iamthedeck ftw' Quenneville6,061.87 6Joel 'jbrown8777' Brown5,195.39 7Jonathan 'apestyles' Van Fleet4,823.96 8Trans4m4,713.15 9Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski4,636.58 10Ryan 'newguy89' McEathron4,626.95
  23. [caption width="640"] New Jersey announces agreement to share player pool with Nevada and Delaware[/caption] In what could be a boost to the existing regulated online poker market in the United States, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, the three states where online poker has been legalized and regulated, have agreed to a multi-state pact to begin player pools. The office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced the deal with both Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Delaware Governor John Carney that will open digital borders, allowing for New Jersey poker players to play against online patrons in those two states. The addition of New Jersey to the already established pact between Nevada and Delaware will no doubt increase the amount of competition, with prize pools to follow. “New Jersey has been a pioneer in the development of authorized, regulated online gaming, which has been a budding success since its launch in late 2013,” Governor Christie said. “Pooling players with Nevada and Delaware will enhance annual revenue growth, attract new consumers, and create opportunities for players and Internet gaming operators. This agreement marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for online gaming, and we look forward to working with our partners in Nevada and Delaware in this endeavor.” In order to have those player pools shared though, each operator will need to be approved and regulated in each of the three states, giving a bit of a head start to 888poker, the only operator currently established in each state. This agreement marks the latest step in the already established process of player sharing. In January 2015 888poker and WSOP.com, which uses the 888poker engine as its software backbone, began sharing players in limited cash games and tournaments in New Jersey. Then in March of that year, Nevada and Delaware’s pact to share liquidity took hold. New Jersey, it seems, is eager to get involved and bring more players into the fold. They stand ready to authorize operators for player pool sharing. “New Jersey stands prepared to approve a game offering for all three states as soon as an operator submits such a product for testing,” said David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. While perhaps not impressive on the worldwide stage, the numbers could be a big lift to the efforts of revitalizing the US online poker community. According to the data from online poker traffic purveyors PokerScout.com, Nevada's WSOP.com (along with customers from Delaware) saw an average of 130 cash game players online at a time over the most recent 7-day period. The WSOP.com brand in New Jersey (along with their pooled players from 888poker) saw 75 players in games during the same time frame. Combined, the theoretical 205 player pool average would be a jump of over 57%. “We applaud the government leadership and the regulators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware for reaching this meaningful agreement.” Caesars Interactive Entertainment, the parent company of WSOP.com, stated in a statement in response to the intrastate agreement. “We will immediately begin efforts to take our existing Delaware-Nevada compact and add New Jersey to the mix by following the requirements established by the regulators so WSOP.com can share liquidity with all three states.” The participation of New Jersey in multi-state player sharing comes nearly four years after online gaming was originally approved in November 2013.
  24. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse came to an end on Sunday with over .3 million in guarantees.[/caption] The conclusion of 888poker's 197-event super-sized poker series, XL Eclipse, took place on Sunday with over $2.3 million guaranteed over the final 17 tournaments. Players registered in droves, driving prize pools to over $350,000 in excess of the already massive promised amounts. Anchored by the $1,500,000 Main Event, the day saw some of the biggest names in online poker clashing in an effort to take home some of the largest prizes of the entire series. The biggest winner of the day was 'CllsDntMttr' who outlasted all 1,149 players who took their shot at the XL Eclipse Main Event, Event #189 ($1,050 $1,500,000 guaranteed), for $273,037.60. The Main Event title was the second of the series for 'CllsDntMttr', as the German also won Event #10 for over $60,000 back on Day 1, easily making the grinder the biggest winner by far of the 15 days. Former Worldwide Top-10 ranked Alen 'thrust.' Bilic was the runner-up cashing for $198,374, his largest online cash to date. Another intense battle that lasted deep into the evening was in Event #184 ($215 $150,000 Mega Deep). In the end, it would be Malta's 'neverfoldQ5' taking the first place prize of $38,559.40 by defeating 'YourMagical' in heads-up play. 'neverfoldQ5' had been denied his first title by Parker '888tonkaaaa' Talbot earlier in the series], but on Sunday he hung on for one of the largest cashes of his career. Right behind the top two finishers was Ukrane's #1-ranked player and two-time XL Eclipse champion, Roman 'Romeopro33' Romanovsky. His third-place finish came with a payday of just over $20,000, his second largest XL Eclipse score. Former worldwide #1-ranked online professional Nicolas 'Pkaiser' Fierro showed once again why he's one of the best by taking down the stacked field of Event #192 ($109 $80,000 Sunday Challenge NLHE). The tournament carried one of the larger guarantees of the day and the Chile's #1 player took home just over $16,000 for his efforts as well as his second XL Eclipse title of the series. There were plenty of names battling it out in this event including Brazil's Marco Aurelio 'Lellusion' Fernandes who finished in 3rd, the white-hot 'ARARAT800' who bubbled the final table in 10th and 888poker ambassador Chris '888Moorman' Moorman who once again made a deep run, but ended up in 18th. Conor 'grandma1954' Beresford, the current #10-ranked Worldwide player, also found himself taking a large chunk of Sunday's prize pool when he won Event #194 ($215 $45,000 Turbo Mega Deep NLHE) for just over $10,000. The UK's #1 player defeated 'PairDrawGood' heads-up, marking his 4th top 20 finish of the XL Eclipse series and his first victory. Pocketfiver, and former Worldwide #1-ranked professional,'p000cket000', who had won this very event back on Day One of the series, battled for the top spot but ended up taking 3rd for $5,520. Pocketfiver 'matijastars' outlasted one of the largest fields of the day when he bested the 1,724 runners in Event #186 ($22 $40,000 Mini Mega Deep NLHE). With nearly $50,000 in the prize pool the Croatian player banked $8,384.19 along with his first XL Eclipse title. Additionally, the cash was an online career high for him, also putting him over $250,000 in total lifetime earnings. Other PocketFivers scoring big and taking down titles on the final Sunday of the series included Canada's Ted 'Travel99' Sorensen in Event #193 ($109 $25,000 Sunday Tornado NLHE), Poland's #1-ranked grinder 'GramNaKartke' who made a heads-up deal for $7,813.54 with previous XL Eclipse champ 'Farrugia_1'. Also wrapping up the series with big victories were 'AboldMove' in Event #196 ($109 $20,000 Turbo Main Event NLHE) and Brazil's Luis Eduardo 'EducardoGarcia' Garcia who won Event #185 ($215 $60,000 Sunday Crocodile NLHE for $12,451.21 putting him just 3 cashes shy of 1000 lifetime money finishes. XL Eclipse Day 15 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 181$30,000 Sunday Lightning NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]GramNaKartke$7,813.54* 182$45,000 Sunday Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Heroraise$8,100 183$30,000 Sunday Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]lonelystrang$5,496.44 184$150,000 Mega Deep NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]neverfoldQ5$38,559.40 185$60,000 Sunday Crocodile NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]EduardoGarla$12,451.72 186$40,000 Mini Mega Deep NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]matijastars$8,384.19 187$20,000 Sunday Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]Tulutis.P$3,804.87 188$45,000 Sunday Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]PAPA_VINCENT$9,430.10 189$1,500,000 Main Event NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]CllsDntMttr$273,037.60 190$200,000 Mini Main Event NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]aghghghghghg$62,730 191$50,000 Micro Main Event NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]RakDoll$11,288.31 192$80,000 Sunday Challenge NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]PKaiser$16,119.40 193$25,000 Sunday Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Travel99$5,375 194$45,000 Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]grandma1954$10,005 195$20,000 Mini Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]splors2$3692.02 196$20,000 Turbo Main Event NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]AboldMove$4,300 197$10,000 Super Turbo Main Event NLHE$75][poker card="TD"]Madjelly$2,669.61 * denotes final table deal
  25. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse enters the final quarter of its massive schedule.[/caption] 888poker's mega-series XL Eclipse officially entered the fourth quarter of their schedule on Thursday, highlighted by the six-figure guarantee of Event #152 ($215 $100,000 Quarterback NLHE). At the end of the day, 157 of the scheduled 197 events would be complete with 13 new champions being crowned. 'Kaktus26rus' topped what ended up to be big day for Russian tournament players as he topped the marquee event of the day, Event #152. With a $100,000 guarantee smashed by its 430 runners, 'Kaktus25rus' took home the bulk of the prize pool and the largest take home of the day, $21,099.40. With 20 people left, Swedish superstar Robin 'Inho' Ylitalo led the way and looked to be in full control, and while he made the final table, the Worldwide #5-ranked Ylitalo would fall in sixth place. Andrey 'drupalucker' Chernokoz took home another one of the biggest prizes of the day when the Worldwide top 100-ranked player took down Event #147 ($160 Crocodile NLHE). While he still has a little way to go, the Russian grinder's take-home of $5,740.50 helps him get ever closer to his next career milestone of $2 million in lifetime cashes. Countryman Mikhail 'zinkaa' Galitskiy added to the Russian domination of the day with his victory in the first tournament of the day, Event #144 ($109 $15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE). Galitskiy not only won over $5,000 but his defeating of Ukranian runner-up 'Fukuruku' denied 'Fukuruku' of a feat that has yet to be accomplished – two XL Eclipse titles on the same day. 'Fukuruku' was one of the few this series with a shot at two titles in a day as he sat at two final tables at the same time. While he wasn't able to close out the aforementioned Event #144, he did one better and won out in the 2nd biggest tournament of the day, Event #149 ($55 $60,000 R&A NLHE). In the end 'Fukuruku', with just under $3,500 locked up from the Lightning 6-Max, made a heads-up deal to take home an additional $9,658.92. While he wasn't able to capture two titles in the same day, his first place win in Event #149 was his 2nd of the series, adding the Ukranian to the short list of XL Eclipse two-time champions. PocketFivers were all over the leaderboards yet again on Thursday. Congratulations are in order for Lithuania's 'wikiwe' who officially achieved his first ever 888poker cash with his victory in Event #151 ($55 $20,000 Monsoon NLHE). His nearly $4,000 score will push his lifetime earnings to just over $40,000. Finland's 'NeveGiveUp' overcame the largest field of the day in Event #150 ($5 $10,000 Mini R&A NLHE). He bested 1,034 players for $2,111.38, one of his largest cashes to date. Finally, 'msksevart', from Russia, ended up on top in Event #155 ($109 $15,000 Tornado NLHE) for nearly $4,400 – a win that also gives him his 2nd XL Eclipse title. XL Eclipse Day 12 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 144$15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]zinkAA$5,174 145$15,000 Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]PushThemOver$3,289.50 146$15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]zeniok30$3,257.10 147$20,000 Crocodile NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]drupalucker$5,740.50 148$15,000 Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]StrangeRogue$2,936.58 149$60,000 R&A NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Fukuruku$9,658.92 150$10,000 Mini R&A NLHE$5][poker card="TD"]NeveGiveUp$2,111.38 151$20,000 Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]wikiwe$3,881.77 152$100,000 Quarterback NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]Kaktus26rus$21,099.40 153$30,000 Mini Quarterback NLHE$44][poker card="TD"]CARRAMROD$5,675.62 154$25,000 Thursday Challenge NLHE$12][poker card="TD"]Fedorable$4,834.36 155$15,000 Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]msksevart$4,393 156$25,000 Turbo Quarterback NLHE$109ARARAT800$4,640.19 * denotes final table deal

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