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  1. [caption width="640"] The 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic is right around the corner[/caption] Paradise seekers get ready: the Punta Cana Poker Classic is right around the corner. Bountiful beaches and jam-packed poker action, the five-day affair is a dream poker vacation for both players and adventure seekers alike. Check out a few reasons why perhaps you should consider hopping a flight to the “Coconut Coast” and play some poker in the Dominican Republic's lap of luxury, Punta Cana. 1. Non-Stop Poker It's five days of non-stop big-time action at the poker tables and whether you are a high roller or a heads-up aficionado the Punta Cana Poker Classic provides a little something for everyone. You can jump right into the PCPC main event ($1,500 + $150 No Limit Hold'em) or take your shots at a satellite for just about every event, including the two-day High Roller ($3,200 No Limit Hold'em). If that's not enough card squeezing for you, the 13-event PCPC offers a number of one-day Turbo events, a $1K Second Chance and, of course, the debut of live versions of Sit & Go 2.0. But if you want more than poker, you can always check out... 2. The beautiful beaches of Punta Cana Palm trees and white sand beaches, Punta Cana's renown coastline is revered as one of the most visually stunning and inviting the Dominican Republic has to offer. From walks on the soft white sand to exploring more of the secluded portions of the 32 km coastline, if you are a beach freak the various hot spots in Punta Cana are something you are going to want to experience for yourself. But if sun and sand aren't your idea of a good time you can always find something to do at... 3. The Melia Caribe Tropical Resort When you are going on a “poker vacation” it’s imperative that you take good care of the “vacation” aspect of your trip and, by all accounts, the Melia Caribe Tropical package has everything one would want in a getaway. Boasting nine outdoor pools to relax in, all inclusive dining and drinks (even the good stuff), spas to help you get over those stressful all-in calls and a clean, comfortable room full of tropical opulence, the “vacation” aspect of your trip is in good hands. Of course, if you're the adventurous type there's plenty of... 4. Activities Outside The Resort Like any great vacation destination, in addition to plentiful poker, Punta Cana offers experiences you won't soon forget. Hit the links at Cap Cana, visit the Altos de Chavón Amphitheatre, swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin Explorer seaside park, visit the Manati Park zoo as well as adrenaline pumping activities like scuba-diving, snorkling, zip-lining, deep-sea sport fishing and more. But if all of these aren't quite enough, here's 500,000 more reasons to check out the PCPC... 5. $500,000 Main Event Guarantee The Punta Cana Poker Classic seemingly has everything you would want in a tropical poker destination and that includes a healthy $500,000 guarantee on their 4-day Main Event. With 50 minute levels and a 20k starting stack, there's plenty of room to maneuver en route to what should be a 6-figure first place prize. If, by chance, you happen to get too “cooled off”, there's both 7 levels of re-entry and event a Second Chance event so you can stay in action all week long. Make your plans early to visit poker paradise as the Punta Cana Poker Classic gets underway from October 24-29.
  2. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse hopes to have a set of tournaments in everybody's range.[/caption] Just because you may not be firing multiple bullets into 888poker's XL Eclipse biggest events, doesn't mean that there isn't plenty of amazing value to be found in the super-sized online poker series. With 197 events to choose from, spread out over 15 days, starting on September 10, there is bound to be a few tournaments that are perfect for your buy-in level and sleep schedule. After scouring the schedule, we've procured a near perfect list of the tournaments that will go for huge payouts with a modest buy-in. So, value-seekers and low-stakes shot-takers take note, here's our list of the 5 best tournaments you can enter for less than the price of a movie ticket. When: September 10 What: $50,000 Mini Opening Event Buy-in: $12 Essentials: 15k starting stack, 15-minute levels, unlimited rebuys allowed through 200 minutes. The XL Eclipse gets off to a fast start with this lower buy-in, high-guarantee large field tournament. Sure, there's going to be plenty of runners to fade, but it's hard to find a tournament where you can get such a massive multiple on your money with a victory. When: September 11 What: $5,000 Mini Snap Buy-in: $5 Essentials: 10k starting stack, 6-minute levels, unlimited rebuys allowed through 80 minutes. The $5,000 Mini Snap is going to be one of the best guarantees at it's modest “cup of coffee” price point. Sure, it's turbo with blinds going up every 6 minutes but there may be no faster way to score four-figures for a fiver. When: September 16 What: $20,000 Mini Crazy 8 Buy-in: $8.88 Essentials: 8,888k starting stack, 15-minute levels, unlimited rebuys allowed through 180 minutes. The popular World Series of Poker Crazy Eights tournament presents itself in its smallest iteration. When: September 17 What: $25,000 Mini Tune Up Buy-in: $12 Essentials: 15k starting stack, 15-minute levels, unlimited rebuys allowed through 200 minutes. As the series begins to ramp up into the bigger buy-in events, the Mini Tune Up offers you one of the last chances to score big on a lower buy-in. When: September 18 What: $3,000 Mini ShowMe! Buy-in: $5 Essentials: 10k starting stack, 10-minute levels, no re-buys. “What did you have?” is not a question that will be asked during this tournament. The value in this tournament is with the “ShowMe!” format where all players are able to see the winning cards, every single hand. It's a small price for a lot of information in a tournament that is bound to be incredibly fun. If these tournaments are still outside of your price range, don't worry. 888poker is providing opportunities to satellite into some of the events for as little as $0.50. If, on the other hand, you couldn't be bothered to play a schedule of such a minuscule magnitude, make sure you check out the 5 biggest buy-in tournaments happening during the XL Eclipse series. If you don’t have an 888poker account yet, sign up through this link and you’ll get a 100% bonus up to a maximum of $700. You'll also get a free $10 on top of the first $10 you deposit available to you right away!
  3. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse offers some of the biggest online buy-ins of the season.[/caption] 888poker's massive online tournament series XL Eclipse is right around the corner. With over 197 events in a scant 15 days, starting on Sunday, September 10, and over $9 million in guaranteed money up for grabs, the schedule of events has more than earned it's XL moniker. While there is something for everybody in the varied schedule, for the high-rolling online tournament community it's going to be a September to remember. So whether you are a high-stakes reg or an enthusiastic railbird, mark your calendars for these, the five biggest tournaments on the XL Eclipse schedule. When: September 10 & 17 What: The Whale Buy-in: $1,050 Essential info: 15k starting stack, 20-minute levels, 5 rebuys max allowed through 240 minutes. The Whale is a staple on the 888poker schedule as it is, being run every other week with a $150,000 guarantee. To make things a little more special, for the duration of the XL Eclipse series, the Whale will run in back to back weeks and there is an additional $100,000 in guaranteed money added to both tournaments. When: September 12 What: $500,000 High Roller Buy-in: $2,100 Essential info: 20k starting stack, 20-minute levels, 5 rebuys maximum allowed through 270 minutes. It doesn't take long for the series to bring out the elite players offering a massive guarantee on the 2nd highest buy-in of the entire series on the 2nd day. In terms of buy-ins the $500,000 High Roller is only eclipsed by... When: September 19 What: $500,000 Super High Roller Buy-in: $5,200 Essential info: 20k starting stack, 20-minute levels, 5 rebuys maximum allowed through 270 minutes. With one of the largest buy-ins of any tournament series all year, you can be sure that this tournament will bring out the best in class of tournament poker. Look no further than the first name to sign up: 'tutten7' - you might know him as 'lena900', three-time #1-ranked online poker player (current #2). Then, of course, there is the Main Event. When: September 24 What: $1,500,000 XL Eclipse Main Event Buy-in: $1,050 Essential info: 20k starting stack, 20-minute levels, unlimited rebuys allowed through 300 minutes. With a hefty guarantee like $1,500,000 and the healthy schedule of the satellites feeding into the XL Main Event, somebody is going to win life-changing money as the series wraps up. If these big time events are out of your pay grade, don't worry as there are still 192 other events that may suit your needs.
  4. [caption width="640"] Sweden's 'C Darwin2' holds down the #1 spot yet again this week[/caption] It’s another week in the top spot for ‘C Darwin2’ but due to a week where the Swedish powerhouse put in very light volume his one-time seemingly insurmountable stranglehold on the PocketFives.com Rankings has been reduced to just 218.46 PLB points. And when the man chasing you down is the #2-ranked WCOOP Main Event Champion, Steven ’SvZff’ van Zadelhoff, a lead of that size can evaporate at any time. Unlike ‘C Dawrin2’, van Zadelhoff has been on the grind, surging upwards in points, closing in on the 10,000 plateau with the help of scores like his victory in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for over $15,000. The #3 and #4 spots remain the same from last week as well, with six-time Triple Crown winner ‘lena900’ and the #1-ranked Russian ‘josef_shvejk’ holding down their respective spots. Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez pushed back into the top five thanks in part to a deep-ish run in the partypoker MILLIONS where he finished in 36th place for just over $25,000. Swapping places with Gonzalez is the #3-ranked Swedish player, ‘Sheater’ who just last week celebrated the massive milestone of crossing the $9 million lifetime earnings mark. Russian‘hellohellohello’ leaped back into the top 10 this week. The former #2-ranked grinder jumped 5 spots from last week thanks to a pair of top 3 qualifying finishes including an overall victory in the Sunday 500 on December 10 for over $30,000 and 406.82 PLB points. The #8-ranked Andreas ’r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren put in work this week, making the money no fewer than 28 times with five final tables. While fellow Swedish countryman, and the 5th member of the Swedish contingency to sit in the top 10, Johannes ‘Greenstone 25’ Korsar, climbed back into the #9 position, just three spots from his all-time high. Russian online destroyer‘veeea’ pushes his way back into the top 10. The former Worldwide #1 took down the PokerStars Daily 500 on December 12 for over $14,000 and a healthy 265.52 PLB score helping him surpass Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth, who falls outside of the Top 10 by a mere 18.11 points. Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao’s decline continues as he also falls outside the Top 10 to the #12 spot. This obviously has little to do with his talent, which is unquestioned, and everything to do with a lack of online play for the better part of a month. Other notable moves in the Top 25 include major jumps from ‘DeathbyQuads’, who surged from the #25 spot up to #14, as well as Jonatan ‘Pot4teUS’ Hellman, who went from #24 to #15. Also, re-entering the Top 25 is ‘Ariados’ who last week sat just outside at #26 and this week finds himself ranked #20. All three of these players hail from Sweden. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25 RANKPLAYERPOINTSPREVIOUS 1C Darwin210,118.961 2Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff9,900.502 3lena9008,727.483 4josef_shvejk7,632.144 5Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez7,416.055 6Sheater7,354.825 7hellohellohello7,339.4912 8Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren7,324.628 9Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar7,186.3310 10veeea7,133.9511 11Andras 'probirs' Nemeth7,115.849 12Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao6,923.767 13Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan6,805.5513 14DeathbyQuads6,802.2925 15Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman6,785.5324 16Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford6,754.8416 17DamageAP6,706.6122 18Chris 'Apotheosis’ Kruk6,604.1015 19Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard6,513.3721 20'Ariados'6,504.0026 21Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen6,474.0314 22rolandbauer6,473.5323 23nilsef6,444.4820 24Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas6,419.6217 25Jordan 'JWPRODIGY' Westmorland6,402.4018
  5. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz kicked off the High Rollers Series with a win in Event #1 (WPT photo)[/caption] The PokerStars High Rollers series wrapped up on December 4 completing a comprehensive 22-event schedule with over $10,000,000 in guarantees. If participation is an indicator of success, the High Rollers Series certainly proved there was ample space in the marketplace for such an event as 20 of the 22 events had no problem generating prize pools greater than their guarantees. As expected, the action was more than enough to bring out some of the best and brightest stars in the game to compete creating a number of highlights throughout the week. Main Event Deal Making In the Main Event, Event #19 ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em, $2M Gtd) after navigating a field of 1,135 entrants, a four-way deal was struck giving Finland’s ‘Sanderssi’ first place and the lion share of the $2,270,00 prize pool with a $294,685 payday. For Germany’s ‘jutrack’, the third bullet was a charm as his runner-up finish brought in $226,162 while both‘Maz&Yauskas’ from the UK and Canada’s ’MATT HOLVIK’ were also guaranteed no less than a quarter million in the deal. Holz gunna Holz Fortune smiled on the series early when one of the biggest names in the game, and the current undisputed “King Of The High Rollers”, Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz not only found his way into the event, despite his hectic travel schedule, but managed to do what he always seems to do - score another six-figure victory. Event #1 ($2100 No Limit Hold’em) was one of the two events to miss its guarantee, coming up roughly $116,000 short, but it could be argued that the media attention of having Holz score a victory right off the bat brought a much-needed reminder to the community and energized the series. Holz walked with $178,498 for first while Argentinian runner-up ‘88maca88’ was compensated with $134,058. World’s #1 ‘C Darwin2’ Destroys Event #3 As we’ve mentioned, it’s going to be hard for the rest of the world to catch the current reigningPocketFives.com Worldwide #1-ranked player, Sweden’s‘C Darwin2’ when he continues to post results like he did in the Event #3 ($1,050 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Progressive KO) of the High Rollers. The Progressive Knockouts have been a popular tournament for PokerStars and this event proved it by more than doubling the $250,000 guarantee. ‘C Darwin2’ not only won the tournament outright for the $45,290 first place prize but racked up a significant number of bounties, including his own by winning, and dragged another $42,929 in bounties on top. The next closest bounty hunter was Finland’s ‘€urop€an’ who collected $23,218 while finishing in fourth place and after him, there wasn’t another five-figure bounty hunter in the field. ’T-Macha’, 'MITS 304' Claim Two Titles UK player ’T-Macha’ may go on to be considered high roller royalty after his double-victory performance this week. He first found the winner’s circle in one of the largest Progressive Knockout tournaments of the year in Event #11 ($10,300 No Limit Hold’em Progressive KO). The aggressive $1 million guarantee was shattered by $300,000 as 130 runners went for the kill in this two-day event. ’T-Macha’ not only won $142,470 for first but exceeded that total by collecting an additional $170,781 in bounties, including his own. Finishing this tournament was the aforementioned ‘€urop€an’ who, again, collected the second most bounties adding $69,062 to his second place prize of $110,281. Three days later ’T-Macha’ would again be victorious. This time in Event #15 ($5,200 No Limit Hold’em) where he would defeat Canada’s #2-ranked superstar Chris ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk heads-up for another $156,377. Kruk, on his third entry, would take home $121,341 for second place. 'MITS 304', from Cyprus, accomplished two titles in two different disciplines. First, he chopped up Event #8 ($2,100 8-Max No Limit Hold'em) for $82,615 with the Netherlands' 'Elmagico19A1'and the Worldwide #15-ranked Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford. Then 'MITS 304' played some four card poker and won Event #20 ($2,100 6-Max Pot Limit Hold'em) outright, adding another $85,020 to his bankroll. PokerStars High Rollers Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 01$1,000,000 NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]CrownUpGuy$178,498 02$200K 5-Card PLO [6-Max]$2,100][poker card="TD"]BlackFortuna$54,404.19 03$250K 8-Max, Turbo, Progessive KO NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]C. Darwin2$45,290.72 + $42,929.67 04$400K 8-Max, Progressive KO NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]raidalot$45,470.53 + $60,187.50 05$200K 6-Max Shootout NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]23noraB$44,000 06$1,000,000 NLHE$10,300][poker card="TD"]PlayaPlz$258,639.41 07$400K Turbo, Progressive KO NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]SilliSuhonen$62,269.79 + $70,507.81 08$500K 8-Max NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]MITS 304$82,615.05* 09$500K 6-Max NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]Zagalo87$130,390.08 10$250K 6-Max, Turbo NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]GotURead$88,498.31 11$1,000,000 Progressive KO NLHE$10,300][poker card="TD"]T-Macha$142,470.84 + $170,781.25 12$400K Turbo NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]hello_totti$101,912.30 13$400K 6-Max NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]Graftekkel$80,061.07 14$250K NLHE$1,050+R][poker card="TD"]VbV1990$64,291.42 15$500K 8-Max NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]T-macha$156,377.32 16$200K 6-Max NLO8$2,100][poker card="TD"]BERRI SWEET$51,256.82 17$400K 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom NLHE$1,050OLD TIME GIN$37,309.92* + $28,375.45 18$500K Progressive KO NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]KuuL$118,256.62 + $125,537.10 19$2,000,000 Main Event NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]Sanderssi$294,685.23* 20$300K 6-Max PLO$2,100][poker card="TD"]MITS 304$85,020.23 21$500K 8-Max, Turbo NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]ruthless848$122,913.93 22$250K Wrap-Up NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]Storimos$76,354.04 * denotes final table deal
  6. [caption width="640"] Connor Drinan, who plays out of Vancouver, takes over as the new Canadian #1. (WPT photo)[/caption] Some of the best online poker players in the world play from the confines of Canada. A breeding ground of some the game’s most influential players including Daniel Negreanu, World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel, Michel ‘SirWatts’ Watson and Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald. However, in the post-Black Friday scramble to keep the grind alive, many players from the U.S. moved north to set up shop so keep that in mind as we examine the current group that is the Canadian Top 10. Case in point, the new King In The North is actually from Arlington Heights, Illinois. Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan (6,596.41 PLB points), who had been lying in wait in the #2 spot, ascended to take the top spot this month with a series of eye-popping scores including his victory in the PokerStars Sunday 500 in late October for $49,153 and a runner-up finish in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller for another $54,307. The scoring surge not only pushed Drinan into the #1 spot in Canada but catapulted him back into the Top 20 in the Worldwide Rankings, currently sitting at #18. The roles have reversed for Canada’s former #1-ranked player, Chris ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk (6,182.05) who now trails Drinan by just over 400 PLB points. A closer look into the number though, reveals Kruk’s amazing staying power. Since we last took a hard look at the Canadian rankings, Kruk has put in very light volume, recording merely four scores - two of which were for over $30,000. In total, Kruk amassed over $73,000 in four tournaments including a third place finish in the partypoker Super High Roller on November 12 for $31,889 and then, the very next day, a victory in the partypoker High Roller for an additional $34,005. Should he continue to post results like these, Kruk may be in line for another stay atop the Canadian rankings. Currently, Kruk sits as the #26-ranked player in the world and is very likely to eclipse $2 million in lifetime earnings in the very near future. The #3 spot belongs to the most recent winner of the partypokerLive Millions Punta Cana, Toronto’s Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood (5515.83). Greenwood has been on a tear, both live and online, not only taking down the Main Event in Punta Cana, but finishing as the runner-up in the partypoker Punta Cana Super High Roller for $242,000 and, just days before that, banking another $124,100 for a third-place finish in the High Roller of the same series. While amazing, none of that factors into his current standing as the Canadian #3. Greenwood seemingly took most of October off from the online grind as he registered only a pair of scores, but he fired up the online client to get some reps in for Punta Cana in early November bringing in four four-figure scores and enough PLB points to hold his position - for now. Fewer than 84 points behind Greenwood sits Troy ‘iamthedeck ftw’ Quenneville. Unlike some of his high-rolling colleagues, the #4-ranked Quenneville is a true grinder - posting results on a near daily basis from the mid-stakes schedule up through the PokerStars Sunday Million. To date in November, Quenneville has posted roughly 80 cashes, including a third-place finish in the $22 Mini Sunday Supersonic good for $5,252. His relentless schedule has him approximately $60,000 shy of achieving $4.5 million in lifetime earnings. The current #69-ranked Worldwide player, Joel ‘jbrown8777’ Brown (5,153.78) rounds out the Top Five. Brown has been crushing the month of November with 36 four-figure scores thus far. That doesn’t include his fifth-place finish in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for an additional $12,224. His productivity is sure to land him in the pages of the PocketFives.com Milestones column soon as he is set to hit $6 million in lifetime earnings any day now. Doug ‘OU_dlanger610’ Lang (5,067.09) has slid back a few spots in the past month or so and currently sits as the #6-ranked “Canadian”. Understandable though as the New York native has been putting in light volume since September, still benefiting (points wise) from his big PokerStars Sunday Million win back in late July. Joseph ‘Jughead11’ Lacasse (4,833.13) assumes the #7 spot as his ranking has been steadily on the rise. The new #1-ranked player in Ottawa has been putting in a ton of volume and posting a myriad of results on a daily basis. Not only is he appearing in the Canadian Top 10 this month, he recently just breached the Worldwide Top 100 rankings as well. Former #2-ranked player in the world, Mike ‘Pipedream17’ Dietrich (4,442.89) checks in at #8 still riding high off his PokerStars Sunday Million victory in mid-October where he won over $160,000 and accumulated a massive 1,090.69 point score. Sebastian ‘p0cket00’ Sikorski (4,321.57) continues to hold the #9 spot, trailing Dietrich by only 121.32 points and in November Samuel ‘Samuelbt’ Tsehai (4,192.15) scored victories in a pair PokerStars tournaments including the Bounty Builder for $4,757 and the Big $33 for $2,841 to climb into the final spot in the Top 10. Canada's Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan6,596.41 2Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk6,182.05 3Sam 'Pudge714' Greenwood5,515,83 4Troy 'iamthedeck ftw' Quenneville5,432.14 5Joel 'jbrown8777' Brown5,153.78 6Doug 'OIU_dlanger610' Lang5,067.09 7Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse4,833.13 8Mike 'Trans4m' Dietrich4,442.89 9Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski4,321.57 10Samuel 'Samuelbt' Tsehai4,192.12
  7. [caption width="640"] Lex Veldhuis takes down the Thursday Thrill for over ,000 while streaming the entire adventure on Twitch.[/caption] It was 1932, Major League Baseball teams the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs were battling in a hotly contested World Series when future Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth legendarily stood at the plate, pointed his bat to the outfield and predicted that he would crush a home run off Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. The very next pitch he did just that - sending a ball soaring over the ivy in center field at Wrigley Field. Ever since that moment, despite the controversy over whether it actually happened that way or not, the competitive fire in people have seen them “calling their shot.” Online poker legend in his own right, Team PokerStars Online pro Lex Veldhuis did just that on Thursday when he took to Twitter and declared that not only would he play the PokerStars $1,050 Thursday Thrill while streaming live on Twitch - he predicted he was going to win it outright. It's a moment in his already storied career that clearly he, and those watching, won't soon forget. "The fact it was Thanksgiving, it's my biggest win on stream, and people were there to remind me makes it a pretty memorable moment." Veldhuis, rarely content and always intense, will no doubt not be resting on his laurels. He may take a day off to celebrate and enjoy the win, but viewers can expect him to be back on the grind on his Twitch.tv channel on his regular five-day a week schedule.
  8. [caption width="640"] Sweden's best players also happen to be amongst the world's best.[/caption] When one thinks about the current state of poker domination, you may be tempted to default to the current crop of German players who have been crushing the live high-roller tournament scene. Names like Holz, Sontheimer and Kempe come to mind when you think about who may be vying for the best of the best. But when one turns their attention to the online poker landscape, at this point in poker history, there should be no doubt - it’s all about the Swedes. In fact, the core cadre of Swedish players is so prolific that each of the top 10 players in the Kingdom all occupy prominent spots, not just in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100, but in the top 50. The top spot, both in the country of Sweden as well as the Worldwide Rankings, is none other than the screenname all online grinders should know: ‘C Darwin2’. Currently in his seventh reign as the #1-ranked player in the world, his unquestioned dedication to the game has helped him recently surpass $7 million in lifetime earnings. The only player with over 10,000 PLB points (10,245.43), ‘C Darwin2’’s recent conquests include a pair of scores for over $50,000 in the past 30 days as well two outright victories in the month of November, one in the partypoker High Roller Turbo on November 4 for over $9,000 and again, less than a week later, in thePokerStars $215 Fat Thursday for another $16,000. His vice-like grip on the Swedish, and Worldwide, leaderboard has arguably extended his reputation from the current king of the hill into bonafide legend status. Looking up at ‘C Darwin2’, in the #2 spot in the Swedish rankings, is another true online genius in‘lena900’ (8,526.72). It was roughly one month ago when ‘lena900’ disrupted the 12-week tenure of ‘C Darwin2’ at #1, by assuming that position himself, if only for one week. Currently sitting at #3 in the Worldwide rankings, ‘lena900’ is on the precipice of eclipsing $8 million in lifetime earnings himself and although he’s trailing that top spot by over 1700 PLB points, the Swedish phenom has proved that should the opportunity arise, he has what it takes to ascend once again. A perfect example of which was his late October victory in the partypoker $530 High Roller ($200K) for $41,866.31 and 475.39 PLB points. Sweden’s current #3-ranked player is another veteran of the online poker community,‘Sheater’ (7,432.79). Hailing from the Sweden’s West Coast, ‘Sheater’, situated at #6 Worldwide, is also approaching a massive milestone as he approaches $9 million in lifetime earnings. His recent string of triple-digit PLB point accumulations is highlighted by his fourth-place finish on Halloween in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for over $23,000. Gothenburg’s Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren (7,277.98) takes the #4 spot in the wake of eight top 3 finishes over the course of 69 cashes thus far in November. Berggren, like those mentioned before him, is also a current member of the PocketFives.com Top 10, holding on to #8 Worldwide, but is only a heater away from moving up. The latest member of the $10 million club, Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar (6,919.41) rounds out the Swedish Top 5. The elite grinder is looking to move up the ranks with the assistance this week’s victory in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller for $59,180 (519.62 points) and his third place finish in the Sunday 500 for another $19,338 (229.89) points. In total, just in the month of November, Korsar has accumulated five 5-figure cashes helping push his earning to over $160,000. ‘Pot4teUS’(#6),‘inhoo’ (#7) and ‘DeathbyQuads’ (#8) all are within 100 PLB points of each other and all are members of the Worldwide Top 20. Though ’Pot4teUS’ is on the cusp of achieving $5 million in lifetime earnings, ’inhoo’ and ‘DeathbyQuads’ have both notched five-figure scores in November making it so that any of these three players are threats to overtake, not just each other, but their countrymen who sit in the Worldwide Top 10. The #9 spot belongs to ‘Ariados’. Even with solid results, his light online volume in November may effect his future standings, both in the Swedish rankings and his current status as the Worldwide #31. Capping off the Top 10 is Jerry ‘perrymejsen’ Odeen, a near daily grinder who has finished top three 10 times in November with half of those being outright victories. Sweden's Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1'C Darwin2'10,245.43 2'lena900'8,526.72 3'Sheater'7,432.79 4'r4ndomr4gs'7,277.98 5'Greenstone25'6,919.41 6'Pot4teUS'6,696.41 7'inhoo'6,650.19 8'DeathbyQuads'6,607.11 9'Ariados'6,109.83 10'perrymejsen'5,732.72
  9. 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 Chris Moorman Hits New High, Wins 26th Triple Crown Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman’s name has appeared in the Milestones column as of late as a reference point of greatness. With a handful of players following in his footsteps and eclipsing the $10 million lifetime earnings mark in 2017, we point to the fact that Moorman was the first to do it. Back in 2009, Moorman was also the first to record 10 Triple Crown wins. Since that time he continues to set the pace, having been the first to every major mark in recorded Triple Crowns - 15, 20, 25 - and this week he recorded his 26th. In the same seven-day period Moorman was victorious on three different online sites including taking down partypoker's Heavyweight: Uppercut Warm Up for $8,060, the PokerStars $109 Fast Friday for $4,163 and 888poker’s $10,000 Monsoon for $2,591. Moorman’s online excellence has the former #1-ranked player climbing towards $14.5 million in lifetime earnings and with with 26th Triple Crown extends his chart-topping lead by five over the next closest player Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro, who also had himself a major milestone this week. Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro Surpasses $11 Million It was just back in March of this year that we were celebrating Chile’s #1-ranked online pro Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro for eclipsing the hallowed $10 million mark in lifetime earnings. Now, a scant nine months later, he’s added another million to his coffers as he soars past $11 million this week. Fierro made the new mark after taking third place in the Winning Poker Network’s Extreme Tuesday $40,000 GTD for $4,676. Fierro currently sits as the #27-ranked player in the world. ‘omaha4rollz’, ‘chiconogue’: Two Pros, Two Million This week a pair of longtime grinders topped the $2 million in lifetime earnings mark. Hungary’s Laszlo ‘omaga4rollz’ Bujtas, currently ranked #16 in the world, returned to the online grind after a short break to final table the October 29 partypoker Super High Roller: $100K GTD for $6,366. The score put Bujtas just $117 over $2 million. Brazil’s Francisco ‘chiconogue’ Nogueira joined Bujtas on the very same day after securing a healthy first place victory in the PokerStars $215 NLO8 Sunday Supersonic for $8,999, his largest online score of the month. Also of note this week, Estonia's Aleksei 'LeshiyAS' Smirnov had a monster week, helping him soar past the $1 million lifetime earnings mark. ‘aziz.mancha’ Cracks The Top 100 Four players made major moves in the PocketFives Worldwide Top 100 rankings. Brazil’s ‘aziz.mancha’ leap the farthest forward, jumping 14 spots and into the Top 100 for very first time. His rankings rise can be credited to three four-figure cashes, all on October 30, which included his victory in the PokerStars Hot $44. Joining ‘aziz.mancha’, the following PocketFivers have reached their career-high rank in the Worldwide Top 100. aziz.mancha - #110 to #96 imlucknuts - #84 to #75 Mikensonas - #45 to #43 Andrey ’drupalucker’ Chernokov - #46 to #41
  10. [caption width="640"] Players will pack the Bellagio tournament area in pursuit of the WPT Five Diamond title[/caption] Dating back to 2002, The World Poker Tour's Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas is arguably the most prestigious event on the WPT calendar. This year, New Jersey online poker players can qualify for the event through PlayMGMPoker.com. This marks the first time NJ players can qualify for an out-of-state WPT event. The WPT Five Diamond is set to take from December 5-10 and take place at MGM property, the Bellagio Resort and Casino. Even though it's in Nevada, New Jersey players can win a $12,000 package that includes a $10,400 seat in the Main Event as well as $1,600 in cash, deposited directly into the playMGMpoker account, to help with travel expenses to Las Vegas. As an added bonus, all online qualifiers will have their first night's stay at the Bellagio included for free. Prior to this partnership, online satellites of this nature have been primarily used to qualify players into WPT events taking place at The Borgata. “The ability to qualify New Jersey online gaming players into desirable land-based Borgata poker events has been an extremely valuable resource in helping our poker network grow and succeed within the market.”said Ray Stefanelli, Executive Director of Online Gaming for playMGMpoker. With the aforementioned success, new opportunities have become available for players in New Jersey according to Stefanelli, “We are thrilled with the opportunity to extend this to a national offering, with playMGMpoker sponsoring our online satellite program into the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic; allowing for participants in New Jersey to compete amongst the best players at an MGM Resorts Destination in Las Vegas.” There are a number of ways for players to qualify and step into the $535 Super Satellite to WPT Five Diamonds to play for the $10,400 seat and it starts for as little as $10. Every day at 5:40pm and 8:40pm ET, players can jump into a $10 qualifier where approximately one out of every six players will win a $55 ticket to the Bellagio Qualifier for the Super Satellite. Each of these contests guarantees at least two $55 entries. Also running daily, at 7:20pm ET, the $55 Bellagio Qualifier runs. One out of every 11 entries wins their $535 ticket to the Super Satellite with one seat being guaranteed. The same tournament runs in a turbo format on Sundays at 5:20pm. The $535 Super Satellite to WPT Bellagio Five Diamond takes place on the following Sunday eveningsat 6:20pm ET: November 12, 19, 26 and the final chance on December 3. At least one $12,000 prize package is guaranteed in each tournament. In total, including the previously run Super Satellite, at least five New Jersey online grinders will find their way into one of the biggest live events of the year. Not only is the WPT Five Diamond one of the largest events, routinely awarding seven-figure first-place prize money throughout its rich history, but it's also the tournament where many top-ranked professionals made a name for themselves. The inaugural WPT Five Diamond, in 2002, saw 'The Great Dane', Gus Hansen, win his very first, of three, WPT title. Two years later Daniel Negreanu would go on to win the event for what would hold as a career-best victory for the better part of a decade. In 2006, World Series of Poker Champion Joe Hachem cemented his legacy as more than a one-hit wonder by taking down the Five Diamond for over $2.2 million. The list goes on: Eugene Katchalov, Chino Rheem, Daniel Alaei, Dan Smith, Mohsin Charania and Antonio Esfandiari all have their names etched in the WPT Trophy as victors of the World Poker Tour Five Diamond.
  11. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar Eclipses $10M 2017 has been a banner year for the $10M club. It was four years ago when Chris 'Moorman1' Moorman first broke the $10 million mark and for a long time, he sat alone sat at the top of the mountain. This year though he was joined in the rarified air by four other players, including Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen who hit the $10M mark just two weeks ago. Now, right on Hunichen’s heels, there’s a sixth member in the eight-figure fraternity, Sweden’s Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar. Korsar, currently ranked #15 in the world, completed the feat earlier this week when he took down the partypoker $50K guaranteed High Roller Warm Up on for over $13,000 and on the same day followed that up with a 10th place finish in the $50K guaranteed High Roller and a fourth place in the $100K guaranteed High Roller for another $8,391. His combined scores that day was more than enough to put Korsar over the top and in elite company. Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford Sails Past $5M The UK’s current top online pro, Conor ‘‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford cruised right past $5,000,000 in lifetime cashes this week when he took first place in the PokerStars $162 Deep Stacks (No Limit Hold’em $7.5 gtd) on October 25 for just over $2,700. The score, which appears as just another deep run in a long list of cashes for the voluminous grinder, makes Beresford the 89th player to reach the prestigious plateau. While Korsar and Beresford both touched major milestones this week, a number of grinders reached new marks in their careers. Latvia’s #1-ranked crusher Dainis ‘ex6tence’ Budovskis exceeded the $4M mark after his fourth-place finish in the PokerStars $1,050 Thursday Thrill for over $14,000. Both Andrey ‘drupalucker’ Chernokoz and ‘iamVolanD’ from Russia passed $2 million lifetime earnings. Chernokoz also made moves in the Worldwide rankings, jumping three spots from 49 to 46th in the world. Ireland’s Kamal ‘AceofShamrocks’ Singh, Farcasanu ‘alexxt7’ Alexandru out of Romania and Brazil’s ‘dibmestre’ all surpassed the $1 million lifetime earnings benchmark this week. Victor Pedote 'vitinhorrn15' dos Santos Cracks the Top 100 Brazil's 12th ranked pro,Victor Pedote 'vitinhorrn15' dos Santos made major moved in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Ranking this week, leaping 23 spots and right into the Top 100. The major jump could be attributed to his victory in the partypoker $200K Gtd High Roller which not only brought him 447.21 PLB points but over $33,000. Along with dos Santos and Chernokoz, five other PocketFivers reached new heights in the top 100 Worldwide Rankings. Victor Pedote 'vitinhorrn15' dos Santos - #117 to #94 Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot - #86 to #74 nsmirnov - #69 to #66 Andrey ’drupalucker’ Chernokov - #49 to #46 Mikensonas - #53 to #45 Bernardo Rocha - #49 to #43 David ‘davaman’ Lopez - #40 to #31
  12. [caption width="640"] Savage's signed suit raised thousands for those in need[/caption] From the smoldering ashes of a Matt Savage suit, something very good will rise. As the players who made Day Two of the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville took their seats in search of making the Final Table, renown tournament director Matt Savage was possibly simply searching for something to wear. Much to his dismay, but with his wholehearted consent, his cranberry suit, a debated about fashion faux pas that was beloved by Savage, was literally set aflame for a good cause. On September 19 a massive earthquake rocked Mexico, hundreds of citizens lost their lives and thousands were left without homes. Professional poker players Angel Guillen and JC Alvrado, as well as World Poker Tour personality Lynn Gilmartin, after seeing the devastation, knew they needed to do something to help. Together they started a fundraising effort to help bring much-needed supplies to the rescue and recovery efforts. However, in addition to the massive amount of need in a major metropolis like Mexico City, the trio thought that moving forward, perhaps one of the biggest challenges would be rebuilding in some of the smaller Mexican towns that were also in a state of ruin. Thus, Mexico Fuerte was born. Mexico Fuerte looks to raise funds to not only help rebuild shelters for all of those who lost everything in the Mexican towns of Morelos, Oaxaca and beyond but to do so in an environmentally friendly, sustainable way through the use of bio construction. To date, the endeavors of Mexico Fuerte have raised over $40,000 USD with their sights set on raising more so that they can bring back even more lost homes. That's where Matt Savage comes in. Always sharply dressed when at the helm of any tournament, one of Matt's more controversial choices in attire was his favorite glistening cranberry colored suit. However, not everyone was as enthusiastic about the wardrobe mainstay, including professional poker player Tom Hall. Hall, who wanted to see the suit burned on camera, offered $5,000 to Savage's choice of charity (as well as $95 to replace the suit) if he would agree to incinerate the threads. While the suit is now officially gone, the need for assistance in Mexico is not. To learn more about the mission of Mexico Fuerte visit their website at mexicofuerte.org.
  13. [caption width="640"] A closer look at the current crop of Germany's online elite players[/caption] Over the better part of the last decade, Germany has emerged as a literal breeding ground for poker players of the highest caliber. From their dominance in all things High Roller, including, most recently Steffen Sontheimer’s Poker Masters victory, to producing some of the most recognized names in the game like Fedor Holz, Rainer Kepme, and 2017 Super High Roller Bowl winner Christoph Vogelsang. This excellence is not limited to the live arena as German players can be found crushing in every area of the online landscape. With that in mind, here is a closer look at the current Top 10 of the German Online Poker Rankings. Sitting atop the German leaderboard is current Top 20-ranked Worldwide online professional 'nilsef'. 'nilsef', the child chess player turned online phenom, is a two-time World Championship of Online Poker winner with over $5.7 million in lifetime earnings. His recent results were bolstered by multiple deep runs during PokerStars' 2017 WCOOP including his largest score of over $80,000 for his fourth place finish in Event #26 High ($1,050 Sunday Warm-Up). In fact, during the September series, 'nilsef' cashed 38 times between the High and Low events and found himself at five final tables while he also bubbled a sixth. When it comes to the German Top 10, there's a wide gap between first and second place - nearly 3,000 PLB points – but the emerging talent of 'SmilleThHero' is looking to close the distance. 'SmilleThHero' had a monster few days in September during the partypoker Powerfest with a victory in Event #210 ($75,000 Freezeout) for over $16,000, a career-high score for the grinder, and two additional four-figure scores in the next 24 hours. Germany's current #3-ranked player is currently enjoying the peak of his online career. Sitting as a top-300 Worldwide ranked player, 'gopu' is rapidly approaching $1.5 million in lifetime earnings. His recent steady stream of recent cashes have been highlighted by a pair of $15,000 scores. The first was an outright victory in the PokerStars Hot $215 and the follow-up was in the 2017 WCOOP Main Event ($5,200 $10M GTD NLHE). Well-known tournament crusher Phillipp 'philbort' Gruissem is currently ranked #4 in his homeland. Gruissem, who also sits in the Top 50 on the Hendon Mob's All-Time Money List, overpowered the competition as he took the title in WCOOP Event #45 High ($215+R Six Max NLHE) for over $75,000, pushing his lifetime online earnings up over $3.5 million. That was just one of three paydays of over $25,000 over the past three weeks, one of which came on the first day of October with his runner-up finish in the PokerStars $700 Super-Sized Sunday Progressive KO for $29,137.80. Munster's 'T0X16' finds himself in Germany's top-five after capturing a monster career-high score of $71,584 when he finished in second place during partypoker's Powerfest Event #223 ($500K Guaranteed Two-Day Event). The cash, along with a pair of low five-figure scores in the month prior, has elevated 'T0X16' into the top 300 in the Worldwide rankings, where he currently sits at #288. Right behind 'T0X16' is one of the most popular German players on the planet, 888poker ambassador and regular high-roller, Dominik 'bounatirouIMO' Nitsche. At #7, 'Grozzorg' eclipsed $500,000 in lifetime earnings.'Polecatrider' (#8), former #11-ranked Worldwide grinder Jonas 'Jownz' Lauck (#9) and 'staanemer' complete the current crop of top online German players. Germany's Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1nilsef6,724.40 2SmilleThHero3,768.69 3gopu3,657.34 4Philipp 'philbort' Gruissem3,604.46 5T0X163,578.11 6Dominik 'bounatirouIMO' Nitsche3,290.19 7Grozzorg2,866.80 8Polecatrider2,799.37 9Jonas 'Jownz' Lauck2,608.63 10staanemer2,56601
  14. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse heads into its final mammoth weekend.[/caption] With only two days until 888poker's XL Eclipse $1,500,000 Main Event gets underway, players flocked to the 11 events on Friday's schedule to try and get some momentum heading into the mammoth final weekend of the series. Highlighted by a trio of Knockout tournaments, there were $180,000 in guarantees up for grabs and every single contest exceed their fair share of that amount. Latvia's 'Whispering_w' kicked things off by taking down the very first contest of the day, Event #157 ($109 $15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE) for $3,413.28. His road to his first XL Eclipse title wouldn't be easy though as he had to go heads-up against PocketFiver, former Worldwide top-20 player from Sweden, 'myhometown'. The pair ended up making a deal, one which actually paid the Swede about $500 more than 'Whispering_w', but in the end, the victory would go to the Latvian. Also at this stacked final table was the current Worldwide #2-ranked player 'tutten7' who fell in 4th place adding about $1,500 to the over $40,000 he's made during the XL Eclipse series. The largest score of the day belonged to Canadian grinder'alexos888' who punched his way to a victory in Event #163 ($150 $30,000 Knockout NLHE). The tournament carried with it the largest guarantee of the day and 'alexos888' claimed $6,308.10 of it as well as an extra $369 in bounties. Nearly as nice as the payday is the title, his 2nd of the series, which puts him in the elite XL Eclipse two-time champion club. With this win, 'alexos888' is approximately $10,000 away from achieving $1 million in lifetime earnings. Even more PocketFivers took down tournaments on Friday including Alberta, Canada's #1-ranked player'popsnpoker' who defeated the largest field of the evening in Event #165 ($35 $25,000 Friday Challenge NLHE) for $4,766.81. The UK's 'Sw33ney' took home $4,800 for first in Event #166 ($109 $15,000 Tornado NLHE) while'guialves27' took his first XL title in Event #159 ($30 $15,000 Deepstack Swordfish). XL Eclipse Day 13 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 157$15,000 Lightning 6-Max NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Whispering_w$3,413.28* 158$15,000 Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]Openpunks$2,921.85 159$15,000 Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]Guialves27$2,863.82 160$20,000 Crocodile NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]kevkevvv$5,192.25 161$15,000 Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]grindanugets$2,879.41 162$20,000 Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]tikkapekka$4,001.11 163$30,000 Knockout NLHE$150][poker card="TD"]alexos888$6,308.10 + $369 164$15,000 Mini Knockout NLHE$35][poker card="TD"]M4eek115$3,239.06 + $97.50 165$25,000 Friday Challenge NLHE$35][poker card="TD"]popsnpoker$4,766.81 166$15,000 Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Sw33ney$4,800 167$10,000 Turbo Knockout NLHE$75][poker card="TD"]germaxii$2,268.25 + $280 * denotes final table deal
  15. [caption width="640"] 888poker's XL Eclipse provided a super-sized Sunday slate of tournaments.[/caption] It was another gigantic Sunday slate of tournaments on 888poker's XL Eclipse schedule. With over $1 million dollars in guarantees on the table, players flocked to compete for the crazy amount of value offered over the course of the 16 contests. It wouldn't be a Sunday without at least one major in the mix and Event #100 ($1,050 $250,000 Whale NLHE) brought out the online high-rollers. The prizepool was pushed to over $300,000 as 217 runners jumped into one of the biggest tournaments of the week. Well-known online pro from the Netherlands, 'Graftekkel' managed to take the top spot and, along with his first XL Eclipse title, the $64,930 first place award. Runner-up 'LOST_FAN' still fared well, cashing for $46,810. Two of the world's Top-5 ranked players also went deep in this stacked field as Sweden's Robin 'Inho' Ylitalo and 'tutten7' both finished just outside of the final table in 10th and 13th respectively. Event #97 ($160 $200,000 Tune Up) also boasted a massive prizepool and five-figure paydays. Malta was well represented as players from island country went one-two, claiming a pair of the biggest payouts of the day. 'Farrugia_1' defeated countryman 'A.Merone' for more than $41,000 while the runner-up took home $29,348.62 for his time at the table. Deal-making was prominent on Sunday as there was plenty of payouts to be divvied up. Of interest, in the first three events of the day, Events #91-93, heads-up deals were made in all three and, in each, the eventual winner took less money than the player they defeated. 'PAS2HOFF','zhzhzh10' and 'MakeMeHold' all may have given up a little extra cash at the time but their titles as XL Eclipse champions are officially in the books. Once again, Chris '888Moorman' Moorman came close but just missed out on his first victory of this XL Eclipse series. Event #99 ($55 $45,000 Sunday Monsoon NLHE) saw the 888poker ambassador deep into the final table, including holding the chip lead at one point, but he ended up settling for third place and another $5,256.90 drop into his already impressive bucket of over $14 million in lifetime earnings. 'KofeBryant' ended up on top, earning nearly $10,000 with the win. XL Eclipse Day 8 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 91$30,000 Sunday Lightning NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]PAS2HOFF$9,021.82* 92$45,000 Sunday Breeze NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]zhzhzh10$7,715.65* 93$30,000 Sunday Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]MakeMeHold$4,759.19* 94$150,000 Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]PokerMogo$39,325.86* 96$20,000 Sunday Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]hyper_beast$3,570.56* 97$200,000 Tune Up NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]Farrugia_1$41,175 98$25,000 Mini Tune Up NLHE$12][poker card="TD"]buldos$5,118.37 99$45,000 Sunday Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]KofeBryant$9,743.85 100$250,00 Whale NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]Graftekkel$64,930 101$100,000 Sunday Challenge NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]evianwater1$21,430.20 102$25,000 Sunday Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]bienemajo$5,375 103$50,000 Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]abmarin$10,773 104$20,000 Mini Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]Ov3rTiLt$3,916.84 105$20,000 Turbo Tune Up NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]levelingmode$4,160.25 106$10,000 Super Turbo Tune Up$75][poker card="TD"]msksevart$2,636.76 * denotes final table deal
  16. [caption width="640"] Jeff Gross and Andre Akkari made final tables on Wednesday.[/caption] The 2017 World Championship of Online Poker continued to draw massive fields on Wednesday as another three players earned WCOOP titles, along with massive paydays. The biggest winner of the day was Uruguay’s ‘IlDepredator’ who cashed in for $79,872.83 en route to his win in Event #37-High ($215 No Limit Hold’em 6-Max, Zoom). The final table included a number of PocketFivers including runner-up, former #2-ranked online player, Bjorn ‘kleath’ Kleathersson as well as Brazil’s Gustavo ‘PIUlimeira’ Ferreira and Romans ‘RovoDice’ Voitovs from Latvia. Newly minted PokerStars Online Pro, and host of the Flow Show on Twitch,Jeff Gross also made the final table, bowing out in 6th for just over $13,000. Event #33 High ($530 Four Max Progressive KO Pot Limit Omaha) also drew big numbers as 606 runners (plus their 482 re-entries) pushed the prize pool to well over $500,000, half of which was collected in bounties. Ukraine’s ‘Plspaythxbye’ took the lions share of the prize pool claiming $47,093.99 in a head-up deal with runner up ‘onlymtt748’ as well as another $30,752.22 in bounties. His healthy total of $77,846.21 was second best on a big day. Also of note, Team PokerStars Brazil’s Andre Akkarimade the final table of Event #36 High ($1,050 Limit Badugi) finishing in fourth place as Norway’s ‘paaskebaesen’ took the title and the $20,437.50 that went with it. Event #33 (High): $530 Pot Limit Omaha Four-Max (Progressive KO) Entries: 1088 Prize pool: $544,000 'plspaythxbye' - $47,093.99* + $30,752.22 in bounties 'onlymtt748' - $35,738.17* + $15,447.62 'cmontopdeck' - $18,161.44 + $8,257.54 'smir9david' - $11,081.28 + $1,875.00 Event #36 (High): $1,050 Fixed Limit Badugi Entries: 75 Prize pool: $75,000 'paaskebaesen' - $20,437.50 'sprocketsAA'- $13,875.00 'PSMozak'- $10,500.00 Andre 'aakari' Akkari- $7,125.00 'silna_rakia' - $5,250.00 'secky0222' - $3,187.50 Bernardo 'bedias' Dias - $3,187.50 'Fresh_oO_D' - $2,437.50 Event #37 (High): $215 6-Max No Limit Hold'em (Zoom) Entries: 2731 Prize pool: $546,200 'IlDepredator' - $79,872.83 Bjorn 'kleath' Kleathersson - $55,651.66 ['Korpieworm' - $38,776.54 [Gustavo 'PIUlimeira' Ferreira - $27,018.38 [Romans 'RovoDice' Voitovs - $18,825.65 Jeff 'JeffGross' Gross - $13,117.21 * denotes final table deal
  17. [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.
  18. [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
  19. [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.
  20. [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).
  21. 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
  22. [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
  23. 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 $215 NLO8 Sunday Supersonic at the beginning of the week which was all he needed to hit his new mark. 'josef_shvejk' Disrupts the Top 10 Ten players made major moves to hit new All-Time Highs in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100 rankings this week including the #2-ranked Russian player in the world‘josef_shvejk’ who now joins his fellow countryman ‘veeea’ in the Top 10, jumping fives spots to #8. Two players make their debut in the Top 100 this week as Hungary’s ‘untaktik’ assumes the #98 rank and Brazil’s ‘sitpro2011’ takes over at #86. The aforementioned 'kofi89' made the largest leap of those obtaining new highs, jumping seven spots to #30, edging ever-closer to cracking the Top 20. Career High Rankings In Top 100 'untaktik' - #104 to #98 'aziz.mancha' - #96 to #94 'lofidream' - #98 to #93 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #93 to #91 'sitpro2011' - #-- to #86 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #56 to #51 'Mikensonas' - #41 to #36 'kofi89' - #37 to #30 ’DamageAP’ - #20 to #19 'josef_shvejk' - #13 to #8
  24. [caption width="640"] Maxime Heroux wills his way to the win at WPT Montreal.[/caption] Montreal’s Maxime Heroux outlasted the 606-player field of the World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event at the Playground Poker Club to take home his first WPT title and the first place prize of C$ 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
  25. [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.”

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