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JWalsh

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  1. Steven ’SvZff’ van Zadelhoff’s time in the top spot was short-lived as Swedish superstar ‘C Darwin2’ rises once again this week to claim the Worldwide #1-ranking to close out 2017. Aging scores in addition to ‘C Darwin2’s sixth-place finish in a PokerStars $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, which brought him 270.88 PLB points and a $37,520 payday, was the difference maker this week. In fact, a post-holiday heater assisted the superstar as he also bested a 659 player field in a PokerStars $500 No Limit Hold’em tournament to take home an additional $72,833. After celebrating his first time atop the rankings last week, van Zadelhoff retreats to the #2 spot. His total PLB score took a hit, likely due to aging results, and now the top-tier pro finds himself 683.14 PLB points behind ‘C Darwin2’. As has become custom over the past month, the #3 and #4 spots have remained the same. Sweden’s ‘lena900’ and one of the rising superstars of 2017, Russia’s ‘josef_shevjk’ maintain their respective positions. As for ‘lena900’, he’s sitting comfortably in #3 with an over 1000 PLB point buffer. ‘josef_shevjk’ on the other hand is going to have to make some moves if he wishes to remain in the #4 spot and as the #1-ranked Russian due to the resurgence of fellow countryman ‘veeea’, who has catapulted back into the Worldwide Top 5. Russia’s ‘veeea’, a former #1-ranked player, found himself sliding down the leaderboard, losing his title as the #1-ranked Russian player and slipping out of the Top 10 in early December. However, in recent weeks, he’s been back on the grind and back on the climb, ascending into the #5 spot and only 58.9 PLB points behind ‘josef_shevjk’. Despite a limited holiday schedule, ‘veeea’ managed a pair of qualifying cashes including a win in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for over $7,300. ‘hellohellohello’, the third of three Russians in the Top 10, holds steady at #6 thanks to a trio of cashes on December 27 when, in total, brought him nearly $42,000 and over 562 qualifying PLB points. The rest of the players in the Top 10 remain the same, only they’ve shuffled their positions. Uruguay’s Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez rose two spots to end the year at #7 while Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren also jumped two spots to claim the #8 position. Berggren scored a pair of qualifying cashes, the largest of which, netted him over $16,000. Sweden’s 'Sheater' took the biggest step backward this week, falling four spots to #9 on light volume and Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar, who celebrated $10 million in lifetime earnings in 2017, will finish the year rounding out the Top 10. The positions in the Top 10 particularly precarious headed into 2018. While #3 ranked ‘lena900’ has a 1000 PLB point lead over the #4 spot, there is only a 384.68 point difference between #4 and #10. That’s a gap that can be bridged by any of these high-level pros in any given week. For example, Berggren is a scant 10.54 points behind Gonzalez and ‘Sheater’ is only 71.58 points behind Berggren. Should anyone cool off or take a break there’s a number of grinders just outside the Top 10 who can work their way back into the hunt for #1. Other notable top 25 moves include Sweden’s Jerry ‘perrymejsen’ Odeen leap from #32 to the #14 spot and Argentinean pro ‘rayastar’ jumping four spots into the #25 spot. Germany’s #1-ranked pro 'nilsef', who touched a career-high ranking of #16 this year, falls out of the Top 25 this week as does Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25 RANK PLAYER POINTS PREVIOUS 1 'C Darwin2' 10,208.41 2 2 Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff 9,525.27 1 3 lena900 8,498.45 3 4 josef_shvejk 7,476.64 4 5 'veeea' 7,417.74 7 6 hellohellohello 7,325.57 6 7 Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez 7,239.74 9 8 Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren 7,229.20 10 9 'Sheater' 7,157.62 5 10 Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar 7,111.96 8 11 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford 6,972.30 12 12 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth 6,959.23 11 13 DeathbyQuads 6,797.80 16 14 Jerry 'perrymejsen' Odeen 6,717.21 32 15 Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao 6,694.49 13 16 Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan 6,596.00 14 17 DamageAP 6,566.06 17 18 Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman 6,561.52 15 19 'Ariados' 6,465.25 19 20 rolandbauer 6,442.77 23 21 'sitpro2011' 6,406.83 21 22 Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard 6,377.97 24 23 Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen 6,353.98 18 24 Chris 'Apotheosis’ Kruk 6,340.57 20 25 rayastar 6,320.87 29
  2. Steven ’SvZff’ van Zadelhoff’s time in the top spot was short-lived as Swedish superstar ‘C Darwin2’ rises once again this week to claim the Worldwide #1-ranking to close out 2017. Aging scores in addition to ‘C Darwin2’s sixth-place finish in a PokerStars $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, which brought him 270.88 PLB points and a $37,520 payday, was the difference maker this week. In fact, a post-holiday heater assisted the superstar as he also bested a 659 player field in a PokerStars $500 No Limit Hold’em tournament to take home an additional $72,833. After celebrating his first time atop the rankings last week, van Zadelhoff retreats to the #2 spot. His total PLB score took a hit, likely due to aging results, and now the top-tier pro finds himself 683.14 PLB points behind ‘C Darwin2’. As has become custom over the past month, the #3 and #4 spots have remained the same. Sweden’s ‘lena900’ and one of the rising superstars of 2017, Russia’s ‘josef_shevjk’ maintain their respective positions. As for ‘lena900’, he’s sitting comfortably in #3 with an over 1000 PLB point buffer. ‘josef_shevjk’ on the other hand is going to have to make some moves if he wishes to remain in the #4 spot and as the #1-ranked Russian due to the resurgence of fellow countryman ‘veeea’, who has catapulted back into the Worldwide Top 5. Russia’s ‘veeea’, a former #1-ranked player, found himself sliding down the leaderboard, losing his title as the #1-ranked Russian player and slipping out of the Top 10 in early December. However, in recent weeks, he’s been back on the grind and back on the climb, ascending into the #5 spot and only 58.9 PLB points behind ‘josef_shevjk’. Despite a limited holiday schedule, ‘veeea’ managed a pair of qualifying cashes including a win in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for over $7,300. ‘hellohellohello’, the third of three Russians in the Top 10, holds steady at #6 thanks to a trio of cashes on December 27 when, in total, brought him nearly $42,000 and over 562 qualifying PLB points. The rest of the players in the Top 10 remain the same, only they’ve shuffled their positions. Uruguay’s Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez rose two spots to end the year at #7 while Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren also jumped two spots to claim the #8 position. Berggren scored a pair of qualifying cashes, the largest of which, netted him over $16,000. Sweden’s 'Sheater' took the biggest step backward this week, falling four spots to #9 on light volume and Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar, who celebrated $10 million in lifetime earnings in 2017, will finish the year rounding out the Top 10. The positions in the Top 10 particularly precarious headed into 2018. While #3 ranked ‘lena900’ has a 1000 PLB point lead over the #4 spot, there is only a 384.68 point difference between #4 and #10. That’s a gap that can be bridged by any of these high-level pros in any given week. For example, Berggren is a scant 10.54 points behind Gonzalez and ‘Sheater’ is only 71.58 points behind Berggren. Should anyone cool off or take a break there’s a number of grinders just outside the Top 10 who can work their way back into the hunt for #1. Other notable top 25 moves include Sweden’s Jerry ‘perrymejsen’ Odeen leap from #32 to the #14 spot and Argentinean pro ‘rayastar’ jumping four spots into the #25 spot. Germany’s #1-ranked pro 'nilsef', who touched a career-high ranking of #16 this year, falls out of the Top 25 this week as does Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25     <td.7,111.968 RANK PLAYER POINTS PREVIOUS 1 'C Darwin2' 10,208.41 2 2 Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff 9,525.27 1 3 lena900 8,498.45 3 4 josef_shvejk 7,476.64 4 5 'veeea' 7,417.74 7 6 hellohellohello 7,325.57 6 7 Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez 7,239.74 9 8 Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren 7,229.20 10 9 'Sheater' 7,157.62 5 10 Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar 7,111.96 8 11 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford 6,972.30 12 12 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth 6,959.23 11 13 DeathbyQuads 6,797.80 16 14 Jerry 'perrymejsen' Odeen 6,717.21 32 15 Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao 6,694.49 13 16 Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan 6,596.00 14 17 DamageAP 6,566.06 17 18 Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman 6,561.52 15 19 'Ariados' 6,465.25 19 20 rolandbauer 6,442.77 23 21 'sitpro2011' 6,406.83 21 22 Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard 6,377.97 24 23 Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen 6,353.98 18 24 Chris 'Apotheosis’ Kruk 6,340.57 20 25 rayastar 6,320.87 29
  3. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Sweden's 'C Darwin2' finishes 2017 as the #1-ranked online player in the world.[/caption] Steven ’SvZff’ van Zadelhoff’s time in the top spot was short-lived as Swedish superstar ‘C Darwin2’ ascended this week to, once again, claim the Worldwide #1-ranking to close out 2017. ‘C Darwin2’s sixth-place finish in a PokerStars $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event which brought him 270.88 PLB points and a $37,520 payday, in addition to aging scores, was the big difference maker this week. In fact, the Swede went on a post-holiday heater that had him best a 659 player field in a PokerStars $500 No Limit Hold’em tournament to take home an additional $72,833. After celebrating his first time atop the rankings last week, van Zadelhoff retreats to the #2 spot. His total PLB score took a hit and now the top-tier pro finds himself 683.14 PLB points behind ‘C Darwin2’. As has become custom over the past month, the #3 and #4 spots have remained the same. Sweden’s ‘lena900' along with one of the rising superstars of 2017, Russia’s ‘josef_shevjk’, maintain their respective positions. As for ‘lena900’, he’s sitting comfortably in the #3 rank with an over 1000 PLB point buffer. ‘josef_shevjk’ on the other hand is going to have to make some moves if he wishes to remain in the Worldwide #4 spot (and as the #1-ranked Russian) due to the resurgence of fellow countryman ‘veeea’, who has catapulted back into the Worldwide Top 5. Russia’s ‘veeea’, a former #1-ranked player, found himself sliding down the leaderboard, losing his title as the #1-ranked Russian player and slipping out of the Top 10 in early December. However, in recent weeks, he’s been back on the grind and back on the climb, ascending into the #5 spot and trailing only 58.9 PLB points behind ‘josef_shevjk’. Despite a limited holiday schedule, ‘veeea’ managed a pair of qualifying cashes including a win in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for over $7,300. ‘hellohellohello’, the third of the three Russians in the Top 10, has held steady at #6 thanks to a trio of cashes on December 27 that, in total, brought him nearly $42,000 and over 562 qualifying PLB points. The rest of the name in the Top 10 remain the same, only their positions have changed. Uruguay’s Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez rose two spots to end the year at #7 while Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren also jumped two spots to claim the #8 position. Berggren scored a pair of qualifying cashes, the largest of which, netted him over $16,000. Sweden’s 'Sheater' took the biggest step backward this week, falling four spots to #9 on light volume and Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar, who celebrated $10 million in lifetime earnings in 2017, will finish the year rounding out the Top 10. Most of the positions in the Top 10 are particularly precarious headed into 2018. While #3 ranked ‘lena900’ has a 1000 PLB point lead over the #4 spot, there is only a 384.68 point difference between #4 and #10. That’s a gap that can be bridged by any of these high-level pros in any given week. For example, Berggren is a scant 10.54 points behind Gonzalez and ‘Sheater’ is only 71.58 points behind Berggren. Should anyone cool off or take a break there’s a number of grinders both inside and just outside the Top 10 who can work their way back into the hunt for #1. Other notable top 25 moves include Sweden’s Jerry ‘perrymejsen’ Odeen leap from #32 to the #14 spot and Argentinean pro ‘rayastar’ jumping four spots into the #25 spot. Germany’s #1-ranked pro 'nilsef', who touched a career-high ranking of #16 this year, falls out of the Top 25 this week as does Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25 RANK PLAYER POINTS PREVIOUS 1 'C Darwin2' 10,208.41 2 2 Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff 9,525.27 1 3 lena900 8,498.45 3 4 josef_shvejk 7,476.64 4 5 'veeea' 7,417.74 7 6 hellohellohello 7,325.57 6 7 Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez 7,239.74 9 8 Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren 7,229.20 10 9 'Sheater' 7,157.62 5 10 Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar 7,111.96 8 11 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford 6,972.30 12 12 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth 6,959.23 11 13 DeathbyQuads 6,797.80 16 14 Jerry 'perrymejsen' Odeen 6,717.21 32 15 Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao 6,694.49 13 16 Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan 6,596.00 14 17 DamageAP 6,566.06 17 18 Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman 6,561.52 15 19 'Ariados' 6,465.25 19 20 rolandbauer 6,442.77 23 21 'sitpro2011' 6,406.83 21 22 Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard 6,377.97 24 23 Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen 6,353.98 18 24 Chris 'Apotheosis’ Kruk 6,340.57 20 25 rayastar 6,320.87 29
  4. [caption id="attachment_617354" align="alignnone" width="640"] Three of the top 100 players in the world call Lithuania home.[/caption] The small North Eastern European country of Lithuania may be known around the world as being a former part of the Soviet Union or perhaps its deep love with the game of basketball. But when it comes to poker, Lithuania is known for producing one of the most notorious names in the game: Antanas Guoga, aka - Tony G. The blustering, belittling “G” has made a name for himself by goading poker players on television and dunking on them for well over a decade. But Tony G, LiAngelo and LaMelo aren’t the only ballers currently getting their game on in Lithuania. Some of the top-tier online poker professionals call this Baltic State their home. The current #1-ranked Lithuanian is ‘dartazzzz’. Sitting in the PocketFives.com Worldwide top 100 as the #47-ranked player, he’s amassed over $2.6 million in lifetime earnings. A regular in the largest tournaments the online poker has to offer, ‘dartazzzz’ absolutely crushed in the month of December. He accumulated eight qualifying cashes, three five-figure scores and pulling in over $85,000 for the month. Right behind ‘dartazzzz’ in the #2 spot hovers ‘Gedis92’. Also in the Top 50 of the Worldwide rankings (#49), ‘Gedis92’ earned his very first PocketFives.com Triple Crown in March of 2017. In September of 2017, he made the final table of the partypoker Powerfest Championship Event ($3,222 No Limit Hold’em). The score brought him his highest PLB points of the current period, 399.83, as well as a career-high cash of $105,000. He’s roughly a quarter-million away from the $2 million lifetime earning milestone, so it’s incredibly likely that he’ll be gracing the Milestones column in 2018. The position of ‘Mikensonas’ mirrors ‘Gedis92’s quite a bit. The #3-ranked Lithuanian is only 2 spots behind ‘Gedis92’ in the Worldwide Rankings. He, too, recorded a Triple Crown in 2017 (September) and he’s also on the precipice of earning a major lifetime cash milestone, only $50,000 short of $1 million. The mid-high stakes grinder had a quick start to 2018, taking first place in the Winamax HighRoller on January 2 for just shy of $13,000. The #4 spot is occupied by ‘bebaimis777’. A former Worldwide top 20 player, ‘bebaimis777’ has amassed over $2.7 million over the course of his career. Whether or not he observes Christmas, the Lithuanian had plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday as on December 25 alone he unwrapped 11 cashes for nearly $2,000. Since the New Year, he’s been putting in more volume, accumulating at least four four-figure scores in the first week of January. The top 5 is completed by the #1-ranked player our of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. ‘Kepalas89’ pulled off a victory in the PokerStars $109 Sunday Kickoff in late November 2017 for 334.22 PLB points and over $18,000. The PLB points for the win are the mid-stakes grinder's highest for the current period. ‘bagoch’, holding down the #6 spot, just soared past $3 million in lifetime earnings with his runner-up finish in the PokerStars Super Tuesday on January 2. His second-place finish was worth $95,252.70. In mid-December ‘NoTilit’ took down the $215 Fat Tuesday on PokerStars for $12,243.22 and 252.59 points. The PLB points were good enough to land him as the #7-ranked Lithuanian. ‘Merfinis’, currently ranked #8, touched a career-high ranking in the Worldwide Top 100 in 2017 when he reached #272. In 2018, the mid-stakes grinder will be focused on eclipsing $2 million in lifetime earnings, as he's currently a quarter-million shy of the mark. In September of 2017, ‘AIGiNho’ claimed a partypoker Powerfest championship when he took down Event #10 ($500K Gtd 2 Day Event) for a career-high score of over $82,000. The 530.33 PLB points that came along with it helped elevate him to the #9 rank in Lithuania. Rounding it all out is the #10-ranked player, ‘parukas’. While not an everyday grinder, ‘parukas’ has earned over $300,000 in his online career. Lithuania Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 dartazzzz 5,610.92 2 Gedis92 5,539.55 3 Mikensonas 5,370.67 4 bebaimis777 4,186.68 5 Kepalas89 3,796.83 6 bagoch 3,738.19 7 NoTilit 3520.17 8 Merfinis 3,479.00 9 AlGiNho 3,479.00 10 parukas 3,406.00
  5. [caption id="attachment_617038" align="alignnone" width="640"] Satellites for 888poker's XL Blizzard are running now.[/caption] 888poker’s latest championship series, XL Blizzard, is set to begin on January 18. While the $80,000 Gtd Opening Event is still days away, satellites to help players qualify for the upcoming events are well underway. With $2.9 million in guaranteed prize pools over 34 different events, the online series is sure to create enormous paydays for players. The buy-ins for the series range from as little as the $5 for the Mini Rebuy & Add-On to the massive $2,100 $250,000 Guaranteed High Roller. But for players who would like to find their way into XL Blizzard events, 888poker has plenty of Step Satellites, as well as specific qualifiers, for players to enter to attempt to maximize their budgets. Step Into The Spotlight Step Satellites start for as little as a single penny. That’s right $.01. Every time you win a Step you get a ticket for the next Step. With 6 Steps in total, should you climb the complete ladder you could conceivably win your way into the XL Blizzard Main Event for one cent. Players can start on the Step of their choice. Players can win your way into any of the Steps by playing the one before it. Also, those with the means can simply buy directly into to a Step for their shot to win their way into their favorite XL Blizzard tournament. Here’s a list of your Step Options: Step 1 - $0.01buy-in to win a Step 2 entry or tournament ticket Step 2 - $0.10 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 3 entry or tournament ticket Step 3 - $1 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 4 entry or tournament ticket Step 4 - $5 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 5 entry or tournament ticket Step 5 - $30 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 6 entry or tournament ticket Step 6 - $160 buy-in to win (or ticket) to win a $1,050 tournament ticket Main Event Mania The XL Blizzard $1,050 $1,000,000 Gtd Main Event is almost certain to pay out over six-figures for first. In addition to winning a Step 6 tournament, there are a number of other ways for players to qualify for what is likely to be the largest event of the series. 888poker is holding two Mega Satellites during the series that, combined, promise to give away at least 65 seats to the Main Event. The first is held on Sunday, January 21 and the $160 buy-in holds a guarantee of 15 seats. The second is the massive 50 Seat Main Event Mega Satellite on Sunday, January 28 for a $215 buy-in. Additionally, 888poker is holding standard satellites on a regular basis with a $109 buy-in, which itself can be satellites into. Make It A Freeroll With First Deposit New to 888poker? The site is giving away free tickets to first-time depositors into their XL Blizzard Main Event Qualifier. The qualifier runs every day and gives away two seats to the $1,050 Main Event. First-time depositors get three free tickets. That's three shots at a $1,000,000 prize pool. Just make sure you use the promo code: BLIZZARD10. Tickets can also be used on the XL Blizzard Mini Tune-Up Qualifier where the top 20 finishers earn a $12 seat to XL Blizzard Event #11, the $40,000 Mini Tune-Up Event. The XL Blizzard action heats up starting January 18 with satellites for major events happening daily at 888poker.
  6. [caption id="attachment_617330" align="alignnone" width="640"] Global Poker's Grizzly Games offers $1.5 million in real money prizes starting January 15[/caption] It’s time for another Championship Series from GlobalPoker.com! Starting on January 15, Global Poker, the social online poker site that serves US and Canadian customer with their unique Sweepstakes model, is rolling out the inaugural 2018 Grizzly Games. The upcoming series will feature more tournaments and guarantees than ever before with over $1,500,000 in real money prizes up for grabs. $5K Freeroll For All Whether you are a Global Poker veteran or new to the site Global Poker invites you to kick off the Grizzly Games with a $5,000 Sweeps Cash freeroll. On Global Poker you can play in one of two currencies: Sweeps Cash or Gold Coins. You can cash out every dollar of Sweeps Cash you win for real cash via PayPal. That means in the opening event there’s $5,000 in real cash prizes up for grabs and there’s no catch. No deposit needed. No purchase required. Just jump in and get some! $1,500,000 Real Money Prizes Guaranteed From January 15 through February 11 the Global Poker tournament schedule will be littered with over 120 Grizzly Games Championship Events. The buy-ins range from as little as $3.30. Included, for the first time, on February 11, Global Poker is offering their biggest buy-in yet: a $218 SC$50,000 guarantee allowing players to vie for one of the largest prize pools ever offered on the site. In total, the series will offer at least $1.5 million in Sweeps Cash prizes. Whether you are a high roller or building your bankroll, there are tournaments to be won. The tournaments are broken down into Low, Medium and High buy-ins allowing players to play to their comfort level. It’s not just No Limit Hold’em either. The series incorporates both PLO, as well as some Fixed Limit, Hold’em into the mix. If playing for Sweeps Cash isn’t your thing and you prefer to play a little more socially - the Grizzle Games will have 127.5 million in Gold Coins up for grabs too. Unlike Sweeps Cash, Gold Coins hold no cash value, but players can accumulate Gold Coins and purchase avatars. Playing ring games for Gold Coins can also unlock free Sweeps Cash tournaments. Claim A Champions Pack Winners of any one of the Grizzly Games tournaments, Sweeps Cash or Gold Coins, will be crowned a Grizzly Games champion and earn a Champions Pack. The Champions Pack includes a special avatar as well as Global Poker gear delivered to your house. Leaderboards Are Back With Massive Prizes At Stake Who will be the Big Bear? Over SC$15,000 will be given away to those top performers who grind the schedule and post the most results. The series will have both a weekly and an overall leaderboard. The overall leaderboard champion will also get the opportunity represent Global Poker in a live event of their choosing. The winner will get up to $3,500 for a tournament buy-in and $1,500 to put towards flights and accommodations. You win the leaderboard - you pick the tournament. Free Cash For Hometown Heroes In an effort to boost the Global Poker brand, the site is rewarding their players who simply share photos and videos of themselves in Global Poker attire. Taking a photo of yourself in your hometown or win a tournament in Global Poker gear - there’s up to SC$1000 to be had by the Hometown Heroes program. All of the Grizzly action kicks off on January 15. For a full schedule of events and details about Hometown Heroes and Grizzly Games leaderboard prizes check out GlobalPoker.com.
  7. [caption id="attachment_617313" align="alignnone" width="640"] Ivan 'ILS700' Stokes evolved from elite SNG grinder to poker coach.[/caption] Over a decade ago, a younger Ivan Stokes, then a 15-year old international chess competitor, noticed that some of his older peers weren’t just spending their free time on delving deeper into chess, but they were actually making money by dabbling in poker. Stokes, now well over a decade into his poker playing career, recalls his first exposure to the game he’d eventually fall in love with. “I became really curious and, along with watching poker on TV, I felt there was an opportunity to be had,” Stokes said. “For some reason, even though I hadn’t formally studied the game at the time, I had a sense that a lot of the plays the pros were making on TV had to be bad.” So a young Stokes, encouraged by his instinct, began a journey that found him diving deep into learning the game of poker. Over time, it resulted in him, playing under his ‘ILS007’ screen name, achieving Supernova Elite, the one-time Holy Grail of the PokerStars VIP program, not once but twice. In 2014, Stokes was the sixth person to earn Supernova Elite, profitably grinding his way to the status in a matter of months. In the same year, he tested his tournament chops by reaching the final table of a WCOOP event for over $82,000. Today, Stokes runs his own poker training site, Professional Poker Videos, where he extracts the knowledge of his entire journey of grinding and beating various levels of Sit & Go’s. “I started out playing Sit & Go’s on PokerStars. Initially $4.40 regular speed 180-man, where first place would be just over $200. I remember the first time I won one of those, it was an amazing feeling,” Stokes said. “It sort of validated everything I’d had in my mind before then, that perhaps you could make good side money playing this game.” He did just that, expanding into other Sit & Go variants, broadening his knowledge base, studying not just Sit & Go’s but cash and tournaments as well. But while Stokes may have gone through the process by himself at first, he’s now of a mind that in order to get better in today’s game, everybody needs somebody. “The first few years I lived under a rock in terms of my exposure to the poker community. I was entirely self-taught, just reading a few of the fundamental theory books for No Limit Hold’em and tournament poker. I was influenced by watching the biggest winners in my games, taking notes about the plays and tried to figure out what they were doing differently than everyone else and why they were doing that.” But like many who go on a journey through poker, his wasn’t a graph that went straight up. Years into his education, before the Supernova years, Stokes hit a wall and quickly realized that, for him, the solo approach was no longer working. “Maybe three years or so in, I hit a massive roadblock,” Stokes recalls. He had taken a break and assumed he could resume playing and pick up where he left off. “For some reason, I just couldn’t win anymore. Yet, the before [his break], I was ranking top 3-5 in the world for 180-man Sit & Go’s. The stretch continued for an entire year where I made little to no money and it was soul destroying. I definitely thought about quitting and became increasingly desperate. This is the point that I started researching poker communities, poker coaching and poker software…then a massive Pandora’s Box was opened.” He took on coaches and mentors and switched his approach from sporadic to methodical. He reduced his tables, dropped down in stakes and started from the ground up. Only when ready with his new approach did he move up in stakes and add tables using his prior success as motivation to get back to playing the high-stakes Sit & Go’s. This approach led him to his two Supernova Elite statuses and also into a role as a coach. He began to help others the way he was helped. “My father was a University professor, so there’s something natural about coaching for me. I love the exploration of complex issues and the philosophical task of what makes a good coach. Once I found out about poker coaching and the amazing online communities, it was natural to venture into it.” Stokes said. Stokes has now coached poker players thru Professional Poker Videos since 2012. “People can expect to have a coaching experience underpinned by my background…coaching that has been engineered and re-engineered thousands of times to be refined as much as possible. My approach has two key elements: provide the strongest, most sound foundation for student to base their game upon, that will survive in the very toughest games they face, because ultimately this same approach will also crush softer games too and is more predictably successful and, secondly, target the areas of very highest values first.” Stokes' approach has his student focused on ROI over volume. He seeks edges in a landscape that can no longer bank on rewards from a retired VIP program. “I have been obsessively working on gaining and maximizing edges in games,” Stokes said, having just recently released his Preflop Blueprint Series. “I have also tried to be at the forefront of technological developments so that I can utilize incredibly powerful software to gain edges before more others do, which, in 2018 is more important that it has ever been.” When speaking about coaching, Stokes clearly relies on a strong analytical foundation. His online courses provide strategies for a variety of level of buy-ins, formats and field sizes. But he is quick to point out that while you need to know your numbers to optimally analyze spots, the one thing he recommends to his students to instantly improve their games doesn’t have anything to do with knowing what ranges to shove when. “It’s a no-brainer: Mindset. Honestly, mindset drives everything we do and poker is a very taxing game on the mind. Winrate gains are going to be found immediately for absolutely any individual by working on their mindset constantly. It needs to be part of what you do, who you are. Not just for poker for your life as a whole.” The new Preflop Blueprint, as well as all of Stokes teaching tools, are available for on his website, ProfessionalPokerVideos.com
  8. [caption id="attachment_617354" align="alignnone" width="640"] Three of the top 100 players in the world call Lithuania home.[/caption] The small North Eastern European country of Lithuania may be known around the world as being a former part of the Soviet Union or perhaps it’s deep love with the game of basketball. But when it comes to poker, Lithuania is known for producing one of the most notorious names in the game: Antanas Guoga, aka - Tony G. The blustering, belittling “G” has made a name for himself by goading poker players on television and dunking on them for well over a decade. But Tony G, LiAngelo and LaMelo aren’t the only ballers currently getting their game on in Lithuania. Some of the top-tier online poker professionals call this Baltic State their home. The current #1-ranked Lithuanian is ‘dartazzzz’. Sitting in the PocketFives.com Worldwide top 100 as the #47-ranked player, he’s amassed over $2.6 million in lifetime earnings. A regular in the largest tournaments the online poker has to offer, ‘dartazzzz’ absolutely crushed in the month of December. He accumulated eight qualifying cashes, three five-figure scores and pulling in over $85,000 for the month. Right behind ‘dartazzzz’ in the #2 spot hovers ‘Gedis92’. Also in the Top 50 of the Worldwide rankings (#49), ‘Gedis92’ earned his very first PocketFives.com Triple Crown in March of 2017. In September of 2017, he made the final table of the partypoker Powerfest Championship Event ($3,222 No Limit Hold’em). The score brought him his highest PLB points of the current period, 399.83, as well as a career-high cash of $105,000. He’s roughly a quarter-million away from the $2 million lifetime earning milestone, so it’s incredibly likely that he’ll be gracing the Milestones column in 2018. The position of ‘Mikensonas’ mirrors ‘Gedis92’s quite a bit. The #3-ranked Lithuanian is only 2 spots behind ‘Gedis92’ in the Worldwide Rankings. He, too, recorded a Triple Crown in 2017 (September) and he’s also on the precipice of earning a major lifetime cash milestone, only $50,000 short of $1 million. The mid-high stakes grinder had a quick start to 2018, taking first place in the Winamax HighRoller on January 2 for just shy of $13,000. The #4 spot is occupied by ‘bebaimis777’. A former Worldwide top 20 player, ‘bebaimis777’ has amassed over $2.7 million over the course of his career. Whether or not he observes Christmas, the Lithuanian had plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday as on December 25 alone he unwrapped 11 cashes for nearly $2,000. Since the New Year, he’s been putting in more volume, accumulating at least four four-figure scores in the first week of January. The top 5 is completed by the #1-ranked player our of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. ‘Kepalas89’ pulled off a victory in the PokerStars $109 Sunday Kickoff in late November 2017 for 334.22 PLB points and over $18,000. The PLB points for the win are the mid-stakes grinder's highest for the current period. ‘bagoch’, holding down the #6 spot, just soared past $3 million in lifetime earnings with his runner-up finish in the PokerStars Super Tuesday on January 2. His second-place finish was worth $95,252.70. In mid-December ‘NoTilit’ took down the $215 Fat Tuesday on PokerStars for $12,243.22 and 252.59 points. The PLB points were good enough to land him as the #7-ranked Lithuanian. ‘Merfinis’, currently ranked #8, touched a career-high ranking in the Worldwide Top 100 in 2017 when he reached #272. In 2018, the mid-stakes grinder will be focused on eclipsing $2 million in lifetime earnings, as he's currently a quarter-million shy of the mark. In September of 2017, ‘AIGiNho’ claimed a partypoker Powerfest championship when he took down Event #10 ($500K Gtd 2 Day Event) for a career-high score of over $82,000. The 530.33 PLB points that came along with it helped elevate him to the #9 rank in Lithuania. Rounding it all out is the #10-ranked player, ‘parukas’. While not an everyday grinder, ‘parukas’ has earned over $300,000 in his online career. Lithuania Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 dartazzzz 5,610.92 2 Gedis92 5,539.55 3 Mikensonas 5,370.67 4 bebaimis777 4,186.68 5 Kepalas89 3,796.83 6 bagoch 3,738.19 7 NoTilit 3520.17 8 Merfinis 3,479.00 9 AlGiNho 3,479.00 10 parukas 3,406.00
  9. [caption id="attachment_617038" align="alignnone" width="640"] Satellites for 888poker's XL Blizzard are running now.[/caption] 888poker’s latest championship series, XL Blizzard, is set to begin on January 18. While the $80,000 Gtd Opening Event is still days away, satellites to help players qualify for the upcoming events are well underway. With $2.9 million in guaranteed prize pools over 34 different events, the online series is sure to create enormous paydays for players. The buy-ins for the series range from as little as the $5 for the Mini Rebuy & Add-On to the massive $2,100 $250,000 Guaranteed High Roller. But for players who would like to find their way into XL Blizzard events, 888poker has plenty of Step Satellites, as well as specific qualifiers, for players to enter to attempt to maximize their budgets. Step Into The Spotlight Step Satellites start for as little as a single penny. That’s right $.01. Every time you win a Step you get a ticket for the next Step. With 6 Steps in total, should you climb the complete ladder you could conceivably win your way into the XL Blizzard Main Event for one cent. Players can start on the Step of their choice. Players can win your way into any of the Steps by playing the one before it. Also, those with the means can simply buy directly into to a Step for their shot to win their way into their favorite XL Blizzard tournament. Here’s a list of your Step Options: Step 1 - $0.01buy-in to win a Step 2 entry or tournament ticket Step 2 - $0.10 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 3 entry or tournament ticket Step 3 - $1 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 4 entry or tournament ticket Step 4 - $5 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 5 entry or tournament ticket Step 5 - $30 buy-in (or ticket) to win a Step 6 entry or tournament ticket Step 6 - $160 buy-in to win (or ticket) to win a $1,050 tournament ticket Main Event Mania The XL Blizzard $1,050 $1,000,000 Gtd Main Event is almost certain to pay out over six-figures for first. In addition to winning a Step 6 tournament, there are a number of other ways for players to qualify for what is likely to be the largest event of the series. 888poker is holding two Mega Satellites during the series that, combined, promise to give away at least 65 seats to the Main Event. The first is held on Sunday, January 21 and the $160 buy-in holds a guarantee of 15 seats. The second is the massive 50 Seat Main Event Mega Satellite on Sunday, January 28 for a $215 buy-in. Additionally, 888poker is holding standard satellites on a regular basis with a $109 buy-in, which itself can be satellites into. Make It A Freeroll With First Deposit New to 888poker? The site is giving away free tickets to first-time depositors into their XL Blizzard Main Event Qualifier. The qualifier runs every day and gives away two seats to the $1,050 Main Event. First-time depositors get three free tickets. That's three shots at a $1,000,000 prize pool. Tickets can also be used on the XL Blizzard Mini Tune-Up Qualifier where the top 20 finishers earn a $12 seat to XL Blizzard Event #11, the $40,000 Mini Tune-Up Event. The XL Blizzard action heats up starting January 18 with satellites for major events happening daily at 888poker.
  10. Over a decade ago, a younger Ivan Stokes, then a 15-year old international chess competitor, noticed that some of his older peers weren’t just spending their free time on delving deeper into chess, but they were actually making money by dabbling in poker. Stokes, now well over a decade into his poker playing career, recalls his first exposure to the game he’d eventually fall in love with. “I became really curious and, along with watching poker on TV, I felt there was an opportunity to be had,” Stokes said. “For some reason, even though I hadn’t formally studied the game at the time, I had a sense that a lot of the plays the pros were making on TV had to be bad.” So a young Stokes, encouraged by his instinct, began a journey that found him diving deep into learning the game of poker. Over time, it resulted in him, playing under his ‘ILS007’ screen name, achieving Supernova Elite, the one-time Holy Grail of the PokerStars VIP program, not once but twice. In 2014, Stokes was the sixth person to earn Supernova Elite, profitably grinding his way to the status in a matter of months. In the same year, he tested his tournament chops by reaching the final table of a WCOOP event for over $82,000. Today, Stokes runs his own poker training site, Professional Poker Videos, where he extracts the knowledge of his entire journey of grinding and beating various levels of Sit & Go’s. “I started out playing Sit & Go’s on PokerStars. Initially $4.40 regular speed 180-man, where first place would be just over $200. I remember the first time I won one of those, it was an amazing feeling,” Stokes said. “It sort of validated everything I’d had in my mind before then, that perhaps you could make good side money playing this game.” He did just that, expanding into other Sit & Go variants, broadening his knowledge base, studying not just Sit & Go’s but cash and tournaments as well. But while Stokes may have gone through the process by himself at first, he’s now of a mind that in order to get better in today’s game, everybody needs somebody. “The first few years I lived under a rock in terms of my exposure to the poker community. I was entirely self-taught, just reading a few of the fundamental theory books for No Limit Hold’em and tournament poker. I was influenced by watching the biggest winners in my games and began taking notes about the plays and tried to figure out what they were doing differently than everyone else and why they were doing that.” But like many who go on a journey through poker, his wasn’t a graph that went straight up. Years into his education, before the Supernova years, Stokes hit a wall and quickly realized that, for him, the solo approach was no longer working. “Maybe three years or so in, I hit a massive roadblock,” Stokes recalls. He had taken a break and assumed he could resume playing and pick up where he left off. “For some reason, I just couldn’t win anymore. Yet, the before [his break], I was ranking top 3-5 in the world for 180-man Sit & Go’s. The stretch continued for an entire year where I made little to no money and it was soul destroying. I definitely thought about quitting and became increasingly desperate. This is the point that I started researching poker communities, poker coaching and poker software…then a massive Pandora’s Box was opened.” He took on coaches and mentors and switched his approach from sporadic to methodical. He reduced his tables, dropped down in stakes and started from the ground up. Only when ready with his new approach did he move up in stakes and add tables using his prior success as motivation to get back to playing the high-stakes Sit & Go’s. This approach led him to his two Supernova Elite statuses and also into a role as a coach. “My father was a University professor, so there’s something natural about coaching for me. I love the exploration of complex issues and the philosophical task of what makes a good coach. Once I found out about poker coaching and the amazing online communities, it was natural to venture into it.” Stokes said. Stokes has now coached poker players thru Professional Poker Videos since 2012. “People can expect to have a coaching experience underpinned by my background…coaching that has been engineered and re-engineered thousands of times to be refined as much as possible. My approach has two key elements: provide the strongest, most sound foundation for student to base their game upon, that will survive in the very toughest games they face, because ultimately this same approach will also crush softer games too and is more predictably successful and, secondly, target the areas of very highest values first.” Stokes' approach has his student focused on ROI over volume. He seeks edges in a landscape that can no longer bank on rewards from a retired VIP program. “I have been obsessively working on gaining and maximizing edges in games,” Stokes said, having just recently released his Preflop Blueprint Series. “I have also tried to be at the forefront of technological developments so that I can utilize incredibly powerful software to gain edges before more others do, which, in 2018 is more important that it has ever been.” When speaking about coaching, Stokes clearly relies on a strong analytical foundation. His online courses provide strategies for a variety of level of buy-ins, formats and field sizes. But he is quick to point out that while you need to know your numbers to optimally analyze spots, the one thing he recommends to his students to instantly improve their games doesn’t have anything to do with knowing what ranges to shove when. “It’s a no-brainer: Mindset. Honestly, mindset drives everything we do and poker is a very taxing game on the mind. Winrate gains are going to be found immediately for absolutely any individual by working on their mindset constantly. It needs to be part of what you do, who you are. Not just for poker for your life as a whole.” The new Preflop Blueprint, as well as all of Stokes teaching tools, are available for on his website, ProfessionalPokerVideos.com
  11. [caption id="attachment_617313" align="alignnone" width="640"] Ivan 'ILS007' Stokes evolved from an elite SNG grinder to poker coach.[/caption] Over a decade ago, a younger Ivan Stokes, then a 15-year old international chess competitor, noticed that some of his older peers weren’t just spending their free time on delving deeper into chess, but they were actually making money by dabbling in poker. Stokes, now well over a decade into his poker playing career, recalls his first exposure to the game he’d eventually fall in love with. “I became really curious and, along with watching poker on TV, I felt there was an opportunity to be had,” Stokes said. “For some reason, even though I hadn’t formally studied the game at the time, I had a sense that a lot of the plays the pros were making on TV had to be bad.” So a young Stokes, encouraged by his instinct, began a journey that found him diving deep into learning the game of poker. Over time, it resulted in him, playing under his ‘ILS007’ screen name, achieving Supernova Elite, the one-time Holy Grail of the PokerStars VIP program, not once but twice. In 2014, Stokes was the sixth person to earn Supernova Elite, profitably grinding his way to the status in a matter of months. In the same year, he tested his tournament chops by reaching the final table of a WCOOP event for over $82,000. Today, Stokes runs his own poker training site, Professional Poker Videos, where he extracts the knowledge of his entire journey of grinding and beating various levels of Sit & Go’s. “I started out playing Sit & Go’s on PokerStars. Initially $4.40 regular speed 180-man, where first place would be just over $200. I remember the first time I won one of those, it was an amazing feeling,” Stokes said. “It sort of validated everything I’d had in my mind before then, that perhaps you could make good side money playing this game.” He did just that, expanding into other Sit & Go variants, broadening his knowledge base, studying not just Sit & Go’s but cash and tournaments as well. But while Stokes may have gone through the process by himself at first, he’s now of a mind that in order to get better in today’s game, everybody needs somebody. “The first few years I lived under a rock in terms of my exposure to the poker community. I was entirely self-taught, just reading a few of the fundamental theory books for No Limit Hold’em and tournament poker. I was influenced by watching the biggest winners in my games, taking notes about the plays and tried to figure out what they were doing differently than everyone else and why they were doing that." But like many who go on a journey through poker, his wasn’t a graph that went straight up. Years into his education, before the Supernova runs, Stokes hit a wall and quickly realized that, for him, the solo approach was no longer working. “Maybe three years or so in, I hit a massive roadblock,” Stokes recalls. He had taken a break and assumed he could resume playing and pick up where he left off. “For some reason, I just couldn’t win anymore. Yet, the before [his break], I was ranking top 3-5 in the world for 180-man Sit & Go’s. The stretch continued for an entire year where I made little to no money and it was soul destroying. I definitely thought about quitting and became increasingly desperate. This is the point that I started researching poker communities, poker coaching and poker software…then a massive Pandora’s Box was opened.” He took on coaches and mentors and switched his approach from sporadic to methodical. He reduced his tables, dropped down in stakes and started from the ground up. Only when ready with his new approach did he move up in stakes and add tables using his prior success as motivation to get back to playing the high-stakes Sit & Go’s. This approach led him to his two Supernova Elite statuses and also into a role as a coach. “My father was a University professor, so there’s something natural about coaching for me. I love the exploration of complex issues and the philosophical task of what makes a good coach. Once I found out about poker coaching and the amazing online communities, it was natural to venture into it.” Stokes said. Stokes has now coached poker players thru Professional Poker Videos since 2012. “People can expect to have a coaching experience underpinned by my background…coaching that has been engineered and re-engineered thousands of times to be refined as much as possible. My approach has two key elements: provide the strongest, most sound foundation for student to base their game upon, that will survive in the very toughest games they face, because ultimately this same approach will also crush softer games too and is more predictably successful and, secondly, target the areas of very highest values first.” Stokes' approach has his student focused on ROI over volume. He seeks edges in a landscape that can no longer bank on rewards from a retired VIP program. “I have been obsessively working on gaining and maximizing edges in games,” Stokes said, having just recently released his Preflop Blueprint Series. “I have also tried to be at the forefront of technological developments so that I can utilize incredibly powerful software to gain edges before more others do, which, in 2018 is more important that it has ever been.” When speaking about coaching, Stokes clearly relies on a strong analytical foundation. His online courses provide strategies for a variety of level of buy-ins, formats and field sizes. But he is quick to point out that while you need to know your numbers to optimally analyze spots, the one thing he recommends to his students to instantly improve their games doesn’t have anything to do with knowing what ranges to shove when. “It’s a no-brainer: Mindset. Honestly, mindset drives everything we do and poker is a very taxing game on the mind. Winrate gains are going to be found immediately for absolutely any individual by working on their mindset constantly. It needs to be part of what you do, who you are. Not just for poker for your life as a whole.” For a limited time only, PocketFives readers can get The Preflop Blueprint: Optimal Push-Fold course, which normally costs £396, for just £99 - that's a 75% savings.
  12. Nevada has a new #1. Two-time WSOP Circuit Winner Jed ‘JCHAK’ Hoffman rises to the top spot after a month of racking up qualifying cashes while other top Nevadians took some time off. Hoffman, putting in time on WSOP.com, accumulated over $13,000 in earnings in December. His route to becoming the #1-ranked player in the Silver State was punctuated by a pair of victories, one for $3,700 in the $10,000 Gtd Sunday Reloader on December 18 and the second for $6,393 in the Tuesday Showdown on December 27. The latter score was good for 131.45 PLB points, his best for the current period. Joe ‘JoeMomasNuts’ Mitchell slipped to #2 this month. One look at his recent activity will tell you the story - he simply hasn’t been grinding tournaments as of late. His last qualifying cash was recorded back on October 30. Even with the ample time off, should Mitchell fire up the online tables again soon, he could catch Hoffman as he finds himself only 30.63 PLB points behind the leader. Last month ‘Power’ was sitting in 4th, looking to climb the rankings. This month he accomplished his goal as he takes over the #3 spot. ‘Power’ continues to put in volume, recording 52 cashes in the month of December. Nine of his cashes which contributed to his boost in PLB points, and overall he added $16,000 to his bankroll. Bobby ‘bcm4924 McLawhorne falls two spots to #4 for the same reasons as Mitchell - he’s seemingly taking a vacation from the grind. No recorded cashes in the past two months finds his PLB score deteriorating. We’ll have to wait and see if the former #1-ranked player in Nevada returns to the online tables anytime soon. The top five is completed by Thomas ‘Butters’ Kearney who rises one spot due to his 91 recorded cashes in the month of December. There was no slowing down for the holidays as Kearney won nearly $1,500 on Christmas Day alone, making the final table in five out of his six cashes. His largest cash of the month came with his fifth-place finish in the WSOP.com $20,000 Gtd Weekly Sunday for $1,416.91. Las Vegas’ ‘stuckonluck7’ is enjoying her highest ranking to date, making her debut in the top 10 at #6 thanks to nine qualifying cashes in December. Less than 10 PLB points behind her is Jake ‘Wolf_51’ Didonato, who falls two spots to #7. ‘wsopfreezer’ finds himself in the #8 position. Despite putting in a healthy schedule and recording a win in the WSOP.com $3,000 Gtd Nightly on December 19 for $1,914.00, he's one spot removed from his position last month. Completing the top 10 are Jason ‘Roberts34’ Roberts (#9) and Daniel ‘voff’ Deveau (#10). Deveau took the first half of December off but has since returned and is putting up results at a rate that may see him make upward moves in January. Nevada Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 JCHAK 2.073.41 2 JoeMomasNuts 2,042.78 3 Power 1990.99 4 bcm4924 1,845.82 5 Butters 1,774.42 6 stuckonluck7 1,725.55 7 Wolf_51r 1,717.38 8 wsopfreezerf 1,697.62 9 Roberts34 1607.16 10 voff 1,434.67
  13. The small North Eastern European country of Lithuania may be known around the world as being a former part of the Soviet Union or perhaps it’s deep love with the game of basketball. But when it comes to poker, Lithuania is known for producing one of the most notorious names in the game: Antanas Guoga, aka - Tony G. The blustering, belittling “G” has made a name for himself by goading poker players on television and dunking on them for well over a decade. But Tony G, LiAngelo and LaMelo aren’t the only ballers currently getting their game on in Lithuania. Some of the top-tier online poker professionals call this Baltic State their home. The current #1-ranked Lithuanian is ‘dartazzzz’. Sitting in the PocketFives.com Worldwide top 100 as the #47-ranked player, he’s amassed over $2.6 million in lifetime earnings. A regular in the largest tournaments the online poker has to offer, ‘dartazzzz’ absolutely crushed in the month of December. He accumulated eight qualifying cashes, three five-figure scores and pulling in over $85,000 for the month. Right behind ‘dartazzzz’ in the #2 spot hovers ‘Gedis92’. Also in the Top 50 of the Worldwide rankings (#49), ‘Gedis92’ earned his very first PocketFives.com Triple Crown in March of 2017. In September of 2017, he made the final table of the partypoker Powerfest Championship Event ($3,222 No Limit Hold’em). The score brought him his highest PLB points of the current period, 399.83, as well as a career-high cash of $105,000. He’s roughly a quarter-million away from the $2 million lifetime earning milestone, so it’s incredibly likely that he’ll be gracing the Milestones column in 2018. The position of ‘Mikensonas’ mirrors ‘Gedis92’s quite a bit. The #3-ranked Lithuanian is only 2 spots behind ‘Gedis92’ in the Worldwide Rankings. He, too, recorded a Triple Crown in 2017 (September) and he’s also on the precipice of earning a major lifetime cash milestone, only $50,000 short of $1 million. The mid-high stakes grinder had a quick start to 2018, taking first place in the Winamax HighRoller on January 2 for just shy of $13,000. The #4 spot is occupied by ‘bebaimis777’. A former Worldwide top 20 player, ‘bebaimis777’ has amassed over $2.7 million over the course of his career. Whether or not he observes Christmas, the Lithuanian had plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday as on December 25 alone he unwrapped 11 cashes for nearly $2,000. Since the New Year, he’s been putting in more volume, accumulating at least four four-figure scores in the first week of January. The top 5 is completed by the #1-ranked player our of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. ‘Kepalas89’ pulled off a victory in the PokerStars $109 Sunday Kickoff in late November 2017 for 334.22 PLB points and over $18,000. The PLB points for the win are the mid-stakes grinder's highest for the current period. ‘bagoch’, holding down the #6 spot, just soared past $3 million in lifetime earnings with his runner-up finish in the PokerStars Super Tuesday on January 2. His second-place finish was worth $95,252.70. In mid-December ‘NoTilit’ took down the $215 Fat Tuesday on PokerStars for $12,243.22 and 252.59 points. The PLB points were good enough to land him as the #7-ranked Lithuanian. ‘Merfinis’, currently ranked #8, touched a career-high ranking in the Worldwide Top 100 in 2017 when he reached #272. In 2018, the mid-stakes grinder will be focused on eclipsing $2 million in lifetime earnings, as he's currently a quarter-million shy of the mark. In September of 2017, ‘AIGiNho’ claimed a partypoker Powerfest championship when he took down Event #10 ($500K Gtd 2 Day Event) for a career-high score of over $82,000. The 530.33 PLB points that came along with it helped elevate him to the #9 rank in Lithuania. Rounding it all out is the #10-ranked player, ‘parukas’. While not an everyday grinder, ‘parukas’ has earned over $300,000 in his online career. Lithuania Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 dartazzzz 5,610.92 2 Gedis92 5,539.55 3 Mikensonas 5,370.67 4 bebaimis777 4,186.68 5 Kepalas89 3,796.83 6 bagoch 3,738.19 7 NoTilit 3520.17 8 Merfinis 3,479.00 9 AlGiNho 3,479.00 10 parukas 3,406.00
  14. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure returns January 6 - 14 to kickoff 2018. The perennial first festival stop of the year underwent a branding change in 2017, but is back to its familiar name this time around. A whopping 92 events were listed on the schedule last year and that figure has been pared down to just 31. The only games available on the tournament calendar are No Limit Hold’em and variants of Pot Limit Omaha. Of the 31 events, 29 are strictly No Limit. Gone are the Flipouts and Win the Button events, in their place are more standard fare like the Single Re-Entry $1,100 and $1,650 PCA National Championship. Plenty of High Rollers Available PCA opens on Saturday, January 6 with one of the most prestigious Super High Roller events of the year. The $100,000 PCA Super High Roller brought in 43 entries along with 13 rebuys a year ago and expectations are raised for this year. Jason Koon defeated Charlie Carrell heads up to win the title and $1.65 million first-place prize. The $100,000 Super High Roller isn’t the only High Roller event in the PCA lineup. Other High Rollers include the two-day $50,000 High Roller starting on January 7, single-day $25,000 with one re-entry on January 11, and the three-day PCA $25,000 High Roller starting on January 12. The 2017 PCA High Roller drew 121 entrants and 38 rebuys with Lucas Greenwood finishing on top. Greenwood and Nick Petrangelo chopped the prize money of the first two places before Greenwood won the heads up match. Other players to make the final table include Byron Kaverman, Daniel Negreanu, and Bryn Kenney. The PCA Main Event Buy-in is Back to $10K Of the many changes to PCA for the upcoming series, the most significant alteration comes with the Main Event. After two years of the buy-in being reduced to $5,300, it is back up to $10,300 for 2018. The six-day event starts on January 8 and will crown a new champion on January 14. Christian Harder claimed his first major title by winning last year’s tournament. Harder defeated a field of 738 entrants and beat Cliff Josephy heads up to hoist the PokerStars Championship trophy. The last time the PCA Main Event featured a $10,300 buy-in was 2015 and Kevin Schulz outlasted 816 entrants to walk away with nearly $1.5 million. This year’s structure is plenty familiar with the event not offering any re-entry option and players able to buy-in up until the start of Day 2. Levels are 60 minutes for all of Day 1 and then transition to 90 minutes from the beginning of Level 9 all the way through the end of the tournament. PokerStars is guaranteeing 400 online qualifiers for the PCA Main Event and it will be interesting to see what the total field size winds up being. Post-Lims of All Shapes and Sizes The festival winds down with competitive multi-day events. A trio of three-day events are on the agenda with three different price points all offering a single re-entry option. The $3,300 event opens on January 10 followed by the $1,100 on January 11. Capping off the relevant three-day post-lims is the $2,200 event. That tournament starts on January 12. On Sunday, January 13, four single-day Knockout events are featured ranging in buy-in from $330 all the way up to $10,300. The last event takes place on January 14 in the form of a one-day $10,150 buy-in with unlimited re-entry. The tourney is a 15-minute level turbo that features a shot clock for the event’s entirety. Every PCA series brings about its own unique storyline. Bryn Kenney dominated in January of last year to start his record-setting year. In just a few days, the action begins in one of poker’s favorite places. Compelte 2018 PCA Schedule Date Event # Name Buy-in Jan 6 1 PCA Super High Roller (Three-Day Event) $100,000 Jan 6 2 NL Hold'em (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 7 4 NL Hold'em - PCA National (Three-Day Event) $1,650 Jan 7 5 PL Omaha - High Only (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 8 7 NL Hold'em - PCA Main Event (Six-Day Event) $10,300 Jan 8 8 NL Hold'em - High Roller (Two-Day Event) $50,000 Jan 8 10 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 9 12 PL Omaha - Hi/Lo 8 or Better (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 9 14 NL Hold'em - Turbo - (One-Day Event) $2,100 Jan 10 15 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $3,300 Jan 10 16 NL Hold'em - (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 11 18 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $25,000 Jan 11 19 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $1,100 Jan 12 22 NL Hold'em - PCA High Roller - (Three-Day Event) $25,000 Jan 12 23 NL Hold'em - PCA Cup - (Two-Day Event, Two Starting Flights) $330 Jan 12 24 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $2,200 January 12 25 NL Hold'em - Turbo - (One-Day Event) $1,050 Jan 13 26 NL Hold'em - $100 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $330 Jan 13 27 NL Hold'em - $500 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $1,650 Jan 13 28 NL Hold'em - $100 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 13 29 NL Hold'em - $5,000 SuperKnockout - (One-Day Event) $10,300 Jan 14 31 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $10,150
  15. [caption id="attachment_617313" align="alignnone" width="640"] Ivan 'ILS700' Stokes evolved from elite SNG grinder to poker coach.[/caption] Over a decade ago, a younger Ivan Stokes, then a 15-year old international chess competitor, noticed that some of his older peers weren’t just spending their free time on delving deeper into chess, but they were actually making money by dabbling in poker. Stokes, now well over a decade into his poker playing career, recalls his first exposure to the game he’d eventually fall in love with. “I became really curious and, along with watching poker on TV, I felt there was an opportunity to be had,” Stokes said. “For some reason, even though I hadn’t formally studied the game at the time, I had a sense that a lot of the plays the pros were making on TV had to be bad.” So a young Stokes, encouraged by his instinct, began a journey that found him diving deep into learning the game of poker. Over time, it resulted in him, playing under his ‘ILS007’ screen name, achieving Supernova Elite, the one-time Holy Grail of the PokerStars VIP program, not once but twice. In 2014, Stokes was the sixth person to earn Supernova Elite, profitably grinding his way to the status in a matter of months. In the same year, he tested his tournament chops by reaching the final table of a WCOOP event for over $82,000. Today, Stokes runs his own poker training site, Professional Poker Videos, where he extracts the knowledge of his entire journey of grinding and beating various levels of Sit & Go’s. “I started out playing Sit & Go’s on PokerStars. Initially $4.40 regular speed 180-man, where first place would be just over $200. I remember the first time I won one of those, it was an amazing feeling,” Stokes said. “It sort of validated everything I’d had in my mind before then, that perhaps you could make good side money playing this game.” He did just that, expanding into other Sit & Go variants, broadening his knowledge base, studying not just Sit & Go’s but cash and tournaments as well. But while Stokes may have gone through the process by himself at first, he’s now of a mind that in order to get better in today’s game, everybody needs somebody. “The first few years I lived under a rock in terms of my exposure to the poker community. I was entirely self-taught, just reading a few of the fundamental theory books for No Limit Hold’em and tournament poker. I was influenced by watching the biggest winners in my games, taking notes about the plays and tried to figure out what they were doing differently than everyone else and why they were doing that.” But like many who go on a journey through poker, his wasn’t a graph that went straight up. Years into his education, before the Supernova years, Stokes hit a wall and quickly realized that, for him, the solo approach was no longer working. “Maybe three years or so in, I hit a massive roadblock,” Stokes recalls. He had taken a break and assumed he could resume playing and pick up where he left off. “For some reason, I just couldn’t win anymore. Yet, the before [his break], I was ranking top 3-5 in the world for 180-man Sit & Go’s. The stretch continued for an entire year where I made little to no money and it was soul destroying. I definitely thought about quitting and became increasingly desperate. This is the point that I started researching poker communities, poker coaching and poker software…then a massive Pandora’s Box was opened.” He took on coaches and mentors and switched his approach from sporadic to methodical. He reduced his tables, dropped down in stakes and started from the ground up. Only when ready with his new approach did he move up in stakes and add tables using his prior success as motivation to get back to playing the high-stakes Sit & Go’s. This approach led him to his two Supernova Elite statuses and also into a role as a coach. He began to help others the way he was helped. “My father was a University professor, so there’s something natural about coaching for me. I love the exploration of complex issues and the philosophical task of what makes a good coach. Once I found out about poker coaching and the amazing online communities, it was natural to venture into it.” Stokes said. Stokes has now coached poker players thru Professional Poker Videos since 2012. “People can expect to have a coaching experience underpinned by my background…coaching that has been engineered and re-engineered thousands of times to be refined as much as possible. My approach has two key elements: provide the strongest, most sound foundation for student to base their game upon, that will survive in the very toughest games they face, because ultimately this same approach will also crush softer games too and is more predictably successful and, secondly, target the areas of very highest values first.” Stokes' approach has his student focused on ROI over volume. He seeks edges in a landscape that can no longer bank on rewards from a retired VIP program. “I have been obsessively working on gaining and maximizing edges in games,” Stokes said, having just recently released his Preflop Blueprint Series. “I have also tried to be at the forefront of technological developments so that I can utilize incredibly powerful software to gain edges before more others do, which, in 2018 is more important that it has ever been.” When speaking about coaching, Stokes clearly relies on a strong analytical foundation. His online courses provide strategies for a variety of level of buy-ins, formats and field sizes. But he is quick to point out that while you need to know your numbers to optimally analyze spots, the one thing he recommends to his students to instantly improve their games doesn’t have anything to do with knowing what ranges to shove when. “It’s a no-brainer: Mindset. Honestly, mindset drives everything we do and poker is a very taxing game on the mind. Winrate gains are going to be found immediately for absolutely any individual by working on their mindset constantly. It needs to be part of what you do, who you are. Not just for poker for your life as a whole.” The new Preflop Blueprint, as well as all of Stokes teaching tools, are available for on his website, ProfessionalPokerVideos.com
  16. Nevada has a new #1. Two-time WSOP Circuit Winner Jed ‘JCHAK’ Hoffman rises to the top spot after a month of racking up qualifying cashes while other top Nevadians took some time off. Hoffman, putting in time on WSOP.com, accumulated over $13,000 in earnings in December. His route to becoming the #1-ranked player in the Silver State was punctuated by a pair of victories, one for $3,700 in the $10,000 Gtd Sunday Reloader on December 18 and the second for $6,393 in the Tuesday Showdown on December 27. The latter score was good for 131.45 PLB points, his best for the current period. Joe ‘JoeMomasNuts’ Mitchell slipped to #2 this month. One look at his recent activity will tell you the story - he simply hasn’t been grinding tournaments as of late. His last qualifying cash was recorded back on October 30. Even with the ample time off, should Mitchell fire up the online tables again soon, he could catch Hoffman as he finds himself only 30.63 PLB points behind the leader. Last month ‘Power’ was sitting in 4th, looking to climb the rankings. This month he accomplished his goal as he takes over the #3 spot. ‘Power’ continues to put in volume, recording 52 cashes in the month of December. Nine of his cashes which contributed to his boost in PLB points, and overall he added $16,000 to his bankroll. Bobby ‘bcm4924 McLawhorne falls two spots to #4 for the same reasons as Mitchell - he’s seemingly taking a vacation from the grind. No recorded cashes in the past two months finds his PLB score deteriorating. We’ll have to wait and see if the former #1-ranked player in Nevada returns to the online tables anytime soon. The top five is completed by Thomas ‘Butters’ Kearney who rises one spot due to his 91 recorded cashes in the month of December. There was no slowing down for the holidays as Kearney won nearly $1,500 on Christmas Day alone, making the final table in five out of his six cashes. His largest cash of the month came with his fifth-place finish in the WSOP.com $20,000 Gtd Weekly Sunday for $1,416.91. Las Vegas’ ‘stuckonluck7’ is enjoying her highest ranking to date, making her debut in the top 10 at #6 thanks to nine qualifying cashes in December. Less than 10 PLB points behind her is Jake ‘Wolf_51’ Didonato, who falls two spots to #7. ‘wsopfreezer’ finds himself in the #8 position. Despite putting in a healthy schedule and recording a win in the WSOP.com $3,000 Gtd Nightly on December 19 for $1,914.00, he's one spot removed from his position last month. Completing the top 10 are Jason ‘Roberts34’ Roberts (#9) and Daniel ‘voff’ Deveau (#10). Deveau took the first half of December off but has since returned and is putting up results at a rate that may see him make upward moves in January. Nevada Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 JCHAK 2.073.41 2 JoeMomasNuts 2,042.78 3 Power 1990.99 4 bcm4924 1,845.82 5 Butters 1,774.42 6 stuckonluck7 1,725.55 7 Wolf_51r 1,717.38 8 wsopfreezerf 1,697.62 9 Roberts34 1607.16 10 voff 1,434.67
  17. 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 Steve ‘Illini213’ Barshak Makes It $7 Million Former Worldwide #2-ranked player Steve ‘Illini213’ Barshak used the last week of the calendar year to work his way up over the $7 million lifetime earnings mark. A pair of four-figure cashes on partypoker helped put the longtime grinder within reach of the massive sum. He scored $2,500 for a runner-up finish in the Title Fight on December 26 and the very next day finished in the same position in the Big Brawl Warm Up for another $2,024. Barshak, a former WCOOP winner, had quite the December accumulating 14 four-figure cashes in total as a part of over $43,000 in earnings. Barshak, who hails from Illinois but plays out of Costa Rica, is currently ranked #143 in the PocketFives Worldwide rankings. Major Victory Pushes Bernardo ‘bedias’ Dias Over $6 Million After outlasting a tough field of 662 runners in the PokerStars $500 No Limit Hold’em tournament on December 27, Brazil’s Bernardo ‘bedias’ Dias raced past the $6 million lifetime earnings mark. The first place payout of over $72,000 gave him the post-holiday push he needed to get the job done before the end of the year. The score was the second five-figure cash of the month for Dias as he also banked $21,948 during the PokerStars High Rollers Series in Event #19. Two For $3 Million Malta’s #2-ranked player, Pim ‘joppiesaus’ de Goede and Brazil’s ‘fred_volpe’ both celebrated surpassing the $3 million lifetime earnings mark this week. de Goede made the final table during the partypoker $100K Gtd High Roller for a $2,255 score that both put him both over the milestone as well as helped him to knock on the door of entering the Worldwide Top 100, as he currently ranked #106. ‘fred_volpe’, who was the previous holder of the #106-ranking player on PocketFives, now currently sits in the Top 100 at #68. That rankings leap, as well as his money milestone, was thanks to his first place finish in the PokerStars $50 No Limit Hold’em on December 27. Outlasting a field of 4865 runners, ‘fred_volpe’ turned his $50 into $39,215 and 572.36 PLB points, while not a career high cash it was a career-high points score. Other notable career-high earnings include the Austria’s #1-ranked player ‘rolandbauer’ as well as Russia’s ’papan9_p$’ topping $2 million lifetime. Javier ‘Ofbravetight’ Swett Swings Into Top 100 Unlike past two weeks, this week there are plenty of players who spent the last week of year climbing to career highs in the PocketFives Top 100. One of those players is Chile’s Javier ‘Ofbravetight’ Swett who not only made his debut in the Top 100 this week at #86, but jumped 68 spots to do so with the help of a trio of qualifying cashes including a victory on PokerStars for early $39,000. Also of special note is the career-high ranking of ‘papan9_p$’ who clawed his way up one spot to #28 in the same week that he, as we just mentioned, eclipsed $2 million in lifetime earnings. Career High Rankings In Top 100 oddsbaek - #105 to #98 fNx_R - #99 to #92 untaktik - #91 to #85 Joseph 'Jughead11' Lacasse - #88 to #87 Javier 'Ofbravetight' Swett - #154 to #86 Rodrigo 'sonmonedas' Perez - #54 to #53 Gary 'quiditbear' Hasson - #51 to #45 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #41 to #34 papan9_p$ - #29 to #28
  18. [caption id="attachment_617093" align="alignnone" width="640"] Each week members of the PocketFives.com community hit career highs in money earned and positions in the Worldwide Top 100.[/caption] UK's Stephen 'stevie444' Chidwick Makes It $5 Million One of the most popular players in the UK, Stephen 'stevie444' Chidwick, returned from an online poker hiatus to launch himself past the $5 million lifetime earning mark. Chidwick, currently #2 England's All-Time Money list, according to Hendon Mob, took sixth in a $5,000 PokerStars High Roller for over $48,000. Prior to that, Chidwick had not recorded an online cash since September. Nowadays, Chidwick only jumps online to play when the largest series and tournaments are taking place. Otherwise, the high-stakes regular spends his time crushing live events as he is currently ranked #3 on the Global Poker Index. This past December he surpassed $10,000,000 in total live earnings and Chidwick's 2017 included 10 six-figure live cashes. 'NukeTheFish' & 'bagoch' Top $3 Million Lifetime Two more online poker mainstays surpassed the $3 million lifetime marker this week. Ireland's 'NukeTheFish' and Lithuania #4-ranked grinder 'bagoch' both earned enough to reach a new milestone. 'NukeTheFish' got the job done when he finished in 65th place in a $1,000 PokerStars No Limit Hold'em tournament for $3,033 on January 2. Just one day prior, he put himself in position to hit the $3 million mark when he scored a victory in a $100 PokerStars tournament for $7,283. 'bagoch', one of Lithuania's top professionals, absolutely destroyed the milemarker when he earned $95,253 for a runner-up finish in a $1,000 PokerStars tournament on January 2. Other notable million dollar milestones include Sweden's 'Discoovery' who passed the $2 million mark and Germany's 'DaCus3' who has now earned a million dollars in his over 10-year career. Ben 'DoobieFish' Kett Earns First Triple Crown of 2018 The UK's Ben 'DoobieFish' Kett completed the first Triple Crown of 2018 on January 2 after besting 771 runners in a $25 PokerStars No Limit Hold'em tournament for $3,344. He combined that victory with his wins in the partypoker Counterpunch for $2,750 and the 888poker $20,000 Christmas Special for $6,192, to not only complete the trifecta but climb to over $800,000 in total lifetime career earnings. It's the first Triple Crown for the longtime grinder who, in the month leading up to his three victories, recorded roughly ninety-five cashes for over $35,000. Kett currently sits ranked #872 Worldwide, and in the top 100 of players in the UK. Should he continue to rack up PLB points like he did when earning his Triple Crown, he could make a run at a career-high ranking in the new year. Damian 'pampa27' Salas jumps 50 spots and into the Top 100 Former 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event final table participant (seventh place), Damian 'pampa27' Salas has himself a monster week at the online tables earning enough PLB points to not only breach the Worldwide top 100, but debut at #52. The massive leap is all thanks to his first-place finish in the $5,000 PokerStars High Roller, the same one Steven Chidwich cashed in to surpass $5 million, for an online career-high $139,183 score. Pulling in nearly 800 PLB points also cemented Salas' position as the #1-ranked player in Columbia by roughly 2,500 points. Career High Rankings In The Top 100 oddsbaek - #98 to #94 fNx_R - #92 to #84 untaktik - #85 to #83 Javier 'Ofbravetight' Swett - #86 to #82 Tomas 'masuronike' Kubaliak - #90 to #58 Damian 'pampa27' Salas - #102 to #52 Gary 'quiditbear' Hasson - #45 to #31 drupalucker - #33 to #30 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #34 to #28 sitpro2011 - #21 to #19
  19. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] 2017 saw it's fair share of poker players mixing it up both on and off the tables[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. To date we've gone over the top five off-the-felt news stories of 2017, the top heaters of the year, covered the game's newest characters and breakout stars. Now it's time to get into the he said, she said world of grudges Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow vs. Shawn Sheikan. Tom Dwan vs. Dan 'Jungleman' Cates. 'Jesus' Ferguson vs. The Poker Community at Large. Throughout the history of the game of poker, there's been no shortage of ill will, well-timed “needles” and downright disrespect among poker players. 2017 was no different with a number of hard-fought grudges developing over an assortment of disagreements. #5 - Maurice Hawkins vs. Tim Reilly An on-the-felt conflict led to a war of words off-the-felt this summer when 10-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins clashed with Massachusetts grinder Tim Reilly. Deep in WSOP Event #23, The Marathon, Hawkins and Reilly played a hand against each other where Reilly spiked a one-outer on the river to give him a royal flush against Hawkins aces full, allowing Reilly to double through Hawkins with only 22 remaining. Then, depending on which of the two you speak with, the reported war of words not only spilled off the table but into the press with Hawkins claiming that Reilly said to him “This ain’t the circuit. Go back to the circuit.” and Reilly saying that Hawkins “literally lies more than anybody I’ve met in my entire life” and that his table talk was simply “trying to belittle him.” As the tournament intensified it seems so did their mutual dislike with the needles going back and forth. Finally, Reilly says he went up to Hawkins to try and squash the beef and apologize but, according to Reilly, Hawkins told “Hey man, you’re a piece of ***.”, right to his face. Both players ended up at the final table with Hawkins finishing in ninth for $54,000 and Reilly in fourth for $224,000. Both went home with a grudge that likely won’t soon be forgotten. #4 - Doug Polk vs…Lots of Players Doug Polk, the YouTuber who won the 2017 High Roller For One Drop for over $3.6 million, has never shied away from the spotlight of controversy and in 2017 he found himself fighting very public battles on many fronts. Not one to be without an opinion and an audience with an insatiable appetite for content, Polk tackled a number of issues troubling to him, firing shots at a variety of popular poker players in the process. Just some of the items Polk took issue with were players who may or may not have angled on Poker Night in America by not having his big chips visible (Alec Torelli), players who may or may not have agreed to appear at televised poker games and opted not to show up (Matt Berkey), players who may or may not have tried to argue the notion that “more rake is better” (Daniel Negreanu) and players who lost a ton of money at the high stakes games on PokerStars (Luke Schwartz). For, each of these issues Polk took to his Silver Play Button YouTube channel (or Facebook live) to call them out. But a good grudge isn’t one sided and Torelli, Berkey, Negreanu and Schwartz all shot back, either defending themselves or attacking Polk directly, on their social media platforms and in the media. Are the grudges real? There seems to be some very real disdain from each of these guys but for Polk, who every day is finding new ways to market himself, 2018 will likely find him embattled in brand new issues with a new cast of high profile players - and we’ll likely be watching. #3 - Phil Hellmuth vs. The Germans Is there anyone who would disagree that the current contingency of German high rollers are crushing the game right now? Yes. Phil Hellmuth. Whether it’s just his public persona or very real hubris, the 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner seems to think he’s a favorite against the field in just about any No Limit Hold’em game. After the 2017 Poker Masters, despite a lackluster performance, Hellmuth tweeted out he was “always the #1 seed” in NLHE tournaments and it started off a firestorm between him and Daniel Negreanu as to just how much of a favorite Hellmuth is in today’s modern high-rolling circuit. Negreanu accusing Hellmuth of constantly muttering how bad all the players are, especially the Germans, and how disrespectful he was to their games. For his part, Hellmuth claimed he was a “good guy” and even told Fedor Holz and, the eventual winner of the 2017 Poker Masters Purple Jacket, Steffen Sontheimer that "he liked them". When the war of words began to escalate into a big-time prop bet Hellmuth ended up easing off the gas but never conceding that he is always a huge favorite. Sontheimer, for his part, kept it classy. In the media he talked about how he liked Hellmuth, but is more than willing to play him, just about anytime, anywhere. #2 - Leon Tsoukernik vs. Matt Kirk A late night high-stakes heads-up match at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas between King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik and “Aussie” Matt Kirk not only ended up with Tsoukernik losing $3 million of money he borrowed from Kirk but after a confusing series of events, the pair have found themselves in a bitter lawsuit in the Nevada court system. Depending on who you listen to Tsoukernik, Kirk or even Dusk Till Dawn owner Rob Yong, who ended up as an intermediary between the two parties, Tsoukernik was either was too drunk to know what he was doing, simply lost a massive amount of money and refused to pay it back, or the pair struck a deal for a lesser amount which Kirk’s “backers” refused to take. However you look at it, the situation is cloudy and now the lawyers are involved. The lawsuit at first was simply Kirk wanting his $3 million back but now there is a countersuit from Tsoukernik claiming that the reports in the media that he refused to pay has damaged his reputation and he wants $10 million from Kirk for defamation of character and he also wants the Aria Resort & Casino in on the lawsuit for over-serving. Someone is not going to be happy at the conclusion of this saga and it’s not very likely that the pair will be shuffling chips on the felt together anytime soon. #1 - Cate Hall vs. Mike Dentale A three month war of words between the two outspoken professional poker players, Cate Hall and Mike Dentale, reached its conclusion back in March after the pair booked a mini-HU4Rollz match on Poker Night In America, finally putting their money where their mouths were. Dentale, very publicly, called out the play of Hall from a hand during the December 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond. Hall, eventually having enough, issued the challenge and before long the pair sat across the felt from each other with $15,000 playing $75/$150 NLHE in a best two-out-of-three match. While Dentale may have started it with his comments online, Hall finished it off by sweeping the Brooklyn player in two straight matches, earning his $30,000 and, maybe, his respect? Not so much. “Remember you will always suck,” Dentale said to Hall during the match. In the end, Hall took home the cash, Dentale apologized to his fans and both raised money for charity. All's well that ends well for the pair as both went on to earn six-figures over the course of 2017.
  20. [caption id="attachment_617089" align="alignnone" width="640"] 'C Darwin2' extends his PLB point lead in the first week of 2018.[/caption] With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the very best online poker players in the world were back in action this week. Many of them spent their time racking up massive scores and tons of PLB points. As for the rankings, the first week in January finds a solid top 10 but plenty of movement within the rankings of the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 25. One position that didn’t shift was ‘C Darwin2’ and his vice-like grip on the #1 spot. If the first week of the year is any indication the Swede is planning on another extended stay at the top spot. In the past week, he earned three more hefty PLB scores and over $75,000 in earnings. His largest cash was ahis third-place finish on New Year’s Day in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on PokerStars for $39,314. Ever since relinquishing the #1 ranking for one week, two weeks ago, ‘C Darwin2’ has been on a tear. For the second week in a row, he is the only player with over 10,000 total PLB points. In fact, impressively, he’s less than 40 points from the 11,000 point mark. While ‘C Darwin2’ was back on the grind, Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff has been seemingly taking an extended vacation with only five total recorded cashes in the week. His low volume contributed virtually no PLB points to his total, allowing him to slip further behind “CD2”. The now massive 1,435.60 PLB point gap between first and second place is very likely to be way more than a single week's worth of amazing results can breach, almost guaranteeing ‘C Darwin2’ another week or more in the #1 spot. That said, if there’s a pro who can put in the volume and results, it may be van Zadelhoff. Swedish grinder ‘lena900’, once again, is stable in the #3 spot. He did score a pair of solid qualifying cashes on January 2, taking down the Eliminator for over $6,000 and finishing runner-up in the Uppercut for nearly $8,000, both on bwin. But, likely due to aging scores, his PLB score dropped slightly, pushing him farther out from the #2 spot. ‘lena900’ did, however, accumulate over $25,000 in the first week of the year. It seems like only weeks ago he was celebrating passing the $8 million lifetime mark and now he’s closing in on $8.5 million. It seems almost certain, barring a volume slowdown, that he’ll touch $9 million in 2018. Russian countrymen ‘josef_shvejk’ (#4) and ‘veeea’ (#5) also keep their respective slots from last week, making the entire top 5 the same as it was at the end of 2017. ‘josef_shvejk’ put a little distance between himself and the former #1-ranked ‘veeea’ with an outright victory in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for just under $15,000. For his part ‘veeea’ followed in the footsteps of van Zadelhoff by puting in light volume post-New Year’s. He did find the time to take down the partypoker Eliminator right before the end of 2017 for a slight PLB point boost and a cool $3,387. All of the moves in the top 10 took place in the back half and Swedish countrymen Andreas ’r4ndomr4gs’ Beggren and ‘Sheater’ each moved up two spots in tandem. Beggren, who is closing in on the elite $10 million lifetime mark, only had one major PLB score, but it was a good one. His first-place finish in a New Year’s Day $200 PokerStars tournament was good for 378.15 PLB points and over $24,000. ‘Sheater’ made his move thanks to a trio of four-figure scores spread out throughout the week. Both Swedes are former #1-ranked players and, while they have work to do, have the talent to climb back to the top spot in 2018. ‘hellohellohello’ said goodbye to the #6 spot as he falls two places to #8. His drop was likely due to aging results and certainly not due to his recent accomplishments. The Russian scored five qualifying cashes and over $50,000 this week, including an outright win in the bwin Turbo High Roller for $10,192. Fabrizio ‘SixthSense19’ Gonzalez has also been bouncing around the Top 10 in recent weeks. Sitting at #9 two weeks ago he rose to #7 last week. This week, he falls back to #9. His PLB score slipped a touch on light volume. Gonzalez wasn’t steadily at the tables this week and his past results show that he’s prone to taking breaks, which he may be on here at the beginning of 2018. Re-entering the top 10 is the UK’s #1-ranked profession, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Three runner-up finishes in the first week of the year as a part of 22 overall cashes help the Brit leap one spot and round out this week’s top 10. Other notable top 25 moves include Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard rising six spots to #16 and Latvia’s Guntis ‘lovefee’ Aleskins re-entering the top 25 at #23, just one spot shy of a career high for him. Additionally, after spending the week on the outside, Germany’s ‘nilsef’ returns to the top 25 at #25. The PocketFives Rankings Top 25 17Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman6,592.8818 RANK PLAYER POINTS PREVIOUS 1 'C Darwin2' 10,960.87 1 2 Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff 9,525.27 2 3 lena900 8,359.17 3 4 josef_shvejk 7,663.61 4 5 'veeea' 7,430.76 7 6 Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren 7,429.10 8 7 'Sheater' 7,339.73 9 8 hellohellohello 7,264.73 6 9 Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez 7,185.28 7 10 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford 7,042.61 11 11 Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar 7,025.33 10 12 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth 6,921.07 12 13 DeathbyQuads 6,698.75 13 14 Jerry 'perrymejsen' Odeen 6,695.19 14 15 Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao 6,671.04 15 16 Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard 6,665.98 22 18 Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan 6,586.56 16 19 'sitpro2011' 6,472.64 21 20 Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen 6,446.64 23 21 'rolandbauer' 6,377.26 20 22 'Ariados' 6,339.31 19 23 'lovefee' 6,323.03 27 24 Chris 'Apotheosis’ Kruk 6,313.18 24 25 'nilsef' 6,295.17 26
  21. With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the very best online poker players in the world were back in action this week. Many of them spent their time racking up massive scores and tons of PLB points. As for the rankings, the first week in January finds a solid top 10 but plenty of movement within the rankings of the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 25. One position that didn’t shift was ‘C Darwin2’ and his vice-like grip on the #1 spot. If the first week of the year is any indication the Swede is planning on another extended stay at the top spot. In the past week, he earned three more hefty PLB scores and over $75,000 in earnings. His largest cash was ahis third-place finish on New Year’s Day in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on PokerStars for $39,314. Ever since relinquishing the #1 ranking for one week, two weeks ago, ‘C Darwin2’ has been on a tear. For the second week in a row, he is the only player with over 10,000 total PLB points. In fact, impressively, he’s less than 40 points from the 11,000 point mark. While ‘C Darwin2’ was back on the grind, Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff has been seemingly taking an extended vacation with only five total recorded cashes in the week. His low volume contributed virtually no PLB points to his total, allowing him to slip further behind “CD2”. The now massive 1,435.60 PLB point gap between first and second place is very likely to be way more than a single week's worth of amazing results can breach, almost guaranteeing ‘C Darwin2’ another week or more in the #1 spot. That said, if there’s a pro who can put in the volume and results, it may be van Zadelhoff. Swedish grinder ‘lena900’, once again, is stable in the #3 spot. He did score a pair of solid qualifying cashes on January 2, taking down the Eliminator for over $6,000 and finishing runner-up in the Uppercut for nearly $8,000, both on bwin. But, likely due to aging scores, his PLB score dropped slightly, pushing him farther out from the #2 spot. ‘lena900’ did, however, accumulate over $25,000 in the first week of the year. It seems like only weeks ago he was celebrating passing the $8 million lifetime mark and now he’s closing in on $8.5 million. It seems almost certain, barring a volume slowdown, that he’ll touch $9 million in 2018. Russian countrymen ‘josef_shvejk’ (#4) and ‘veeea’ (#5) also keep their respective slots from last week, making the entire top 5 the same as it was at the end of 2017. ‘josef_shvejk’ put a little distance between himself and the former #1-ranked ‘veeea’ with an outright victory in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for just under $15,000. For his part ‘veeea’ followed in the footsteps of van Zadelhoff and put in light volume post-New Year’s. He did however take down the partypoker Eliminator right before the end of 2017 for a slight PLB point boost and a cool $3,387. All of the moves in the top 10 took place in the back half and Swedish countrymen Andreas ’r4ndomr4gs’ Beggren and ‘Sheater’ each moved up two spots in tandem. Beggren, who is closing in on the elite $10 million lifetime mark, only had one major PLB score, but it was a good one. His first place finish in a New Year’s Day PokerStars $200 tournament was good for 378.15 PLB points and over $24,000. ‘Sheater’ made his move thanks to a trio of four-figure scores spread out throughout the week. Both Swedes are former #1-ranked players and, while they have work to do, have the talent to climb back to the top spot in 2018. ‘hellohellohello’ said goodbye to the #6 spot as he falls two places to #8. His drop was likely due to aging results and certainly not due to his recent accomplishments. The Russian scored five qualifying cashes and over $50,000 in cashes this week, including an outright win in the bwin Turbo High Roller for $10,192. Fabrizio ‘SixthSense19’ Gonzalez has also been bouncing around the Top 10. Sitting at #9 two weeks ago he rose to #7 and this week, he’s back at #9. His PLB score slipped a touch on light volume. Gonzalez wasn’t really at the tables this week and his past results show that he’s prone to taking breaks, which he may be on at the beginning of 2018. Re-entering the top 10 is the UK’s #1-ranked profession, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Three runner-up finishes in the first week of the year as a part of 22 overall cashes help the Brit leap one spot and round out this week’s top 10. Other notable top 25 moves include Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard rising six spots to #16 and Latvia’s Guntis ‘lovefee’ Alaskins re-entering the top 25 at #23, just one spot shy of a career high for him. Additionally, after spending the week on the outside, Germany’s ‘nilsef’ returns to the top 25 at #25.
  22. [caption id="attachment_617354" align="alignnone" width="640"] Three of the top 100 players in the world call Lithuania home.[/caption] The small North Eastern European country of Lithuania may be known around the world as being a former part of the Soviet Union or perhaps its deep love with the game of basketball. But when it comes to poker, Lithuania is known for producing one of the most notorious names in the game: Antanas Guoga, aka - Tony G. The blustering, belittling “G” has made a name for himself by goading poker players on television and dunking on them for well over a decade. But Tony G, LiAngelo and LaMelo aren’t the only ballers currently getting their game on in Lithuania. Some of the top-tier online poker professionals call this Baltic State their home. The current #1-ranked Lithuanian is ‘dartazzzz’. Sitting in the PocketFives.com Worldwide top 100 as the #47-ranked player, he’s amassed over $2.6 million in lifetime earnings. A regular in the largest tournaments the online poker has to offer, ‘dartazzzz’ absolutely crushed in the month of December. He accumulated eight qualifying cashes, three five-figure scores and pulling in over $85,000 for the month. Right behind ‘dartazzzz’ in the #2 spot hovers ‘Gedis92’. Also in the Top 50 of the Worldwide rankings (#49), ‘Gedis92’ earned his very first PocketFives.com Triple Crown in March of 2017. In September of 2017, he made the final table of the partypoker Powerfest Championship Event ($3,222 No Limit Hold’em). The score brought him his highest PLB points of the current period, 399.83, as well as a career-high cash of $105,000. He’s roughly a quarter-million away from the $2 million lifetime earning milestone, so it’s incredibly likely that he’ll be gracing the Milestones column in 2018. The position of ‘Mikensonas’ mirrors ‘Gedis92’s quite a bit. The #3-ranked Lithuanian is only 2 spots behind ‘Gedis92’ in the Worldwide Rankings. He, too, recorded a Triple Crown in 2017 (September) and he’s also on the precipice of earning a major lifetime cash milestone, only $50,000 short of $1 million. The mid-high stakes grinder had a quick start to 2018, taking first place in the Winamax HighRoller on January 2 for just shy of $13,000. The #4 spot is occupied by ‘bebaimis777’. A former Worldwide top 20 player, ‘bebaimis777’ has amassed over $2.7 million over the course of his career. Whether or not he observes Christmas, the Lithuanian had plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday as on December 25 alone he unwrapped 11 cashes for nearly $2,000. Since the New Year, he’s been putting in more volume, accumulating at least four four-figure scores in the first week of January. The top 5 is completed by the #1-ranked player our of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. ‘Kepalas89’ pulled off a victory in the PokerStars $109 Sunday Kickoff in late November 2017 for 334.22 PLB points and over $18,000. The PLB points for the win are the mid-stakes grinder's highest for the current period. ‘bagoch’, holding down the #6 spot, just soared past $3 million in lifetime earnings with his runner-up finish in the PokerStars Super Tuesday on January 2. His second-place finish was worth $95,252.70. In mid-December ‘NoTilit’ took down the $215 Fat Tuesday on PokerStars for $12,243.22 and 252.59 points. The PLB points were good enough to land him as the #7-ranked Lithuanian. ‘Merfinis’, currently ranked #8, touched a career-high ranking in the Worldwide Top 100 in 2017 when he reached #272. In 2018, the mid-stakes grinder will be focused on eclipsing $2 million in lifetime earnings, as he's currently a quarter-million shy of the mark. In September of 2017, ‘AIGiNho’ claimed a partypoker Powerfest championship when he took down Event #10 ($500K Gtd 2 Day Event) for a career-high score of over $82,000. The 530.33 PLB points that came along with it helped elevate him to the #9 rank in Lithuania. Rounding it all out is the #10-ranked player, ‘parukas’. While not an everyday grinder, ‘parukas’ has earned over $300,000 in his online career. Lithuania Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 C Darwin 2 24,397.83 2 lena900 22,094.19 3 r4ndomr4gs 19,322.16 4 inhoo 19,097.50 5 SvZff 18,576.64 6 Sheater 17,889.45 7 1_conor_b_1 17,799.69 8 SixthSenSe19 17,447.32 9 veeea 17,338.14 10 Ariados 17,284.62  
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