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JWalsh

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  1. After officially taking Friday off, the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker resumed on Saturday bringing another four events to a conclusion including one of the most star-studded final tables of the series and the largest PKO to take place thus far. Over 10,000 people tuned in to watch popular Twitch streamer and PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis as he battled at the stacked final table of Event 29-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max). When the 211-entry field was down to just 8, Veldhuis found himself in a position to make a run at the title, however, just about every other seat at the final table was occupied by a top pro. This included five-time SCOOP title winner Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakershi (8th, $12,319.86), high-roller extraordinaire Dominik ‘Bounatirou’ Nitsche (8th, $16,161.20), and current #5-ranked Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira (4th, $36,482.11). As his competition busted, Veldhuis continued to chip up. Eventually, Aliaksei ‘ale6ka’ Boika was eliminated in third place, taking home $47,857.37. That left Veldhuis to battle for the title against Brazilian online crusher Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha who had done a masterful job of taking control of the final table and accumulating a massive chip lead. In the end, Veldhuis fell to the Brazilian and closed out his stream as the runner-up with a $62,779.37 payday. Padilha earned his fourth career SCOOP title and added the $82,354.31 first-place prize to his more than $7.8 million in online career earnings. The 24-hour delay was worth the wait for Brazil’s Pedro ‘LgwZ’, Grochocki who topped the 539-player field of Event 22-H ($2,100 NLHE, PKO, Thursday Thrill SE) to capture the $83,473.31 first-place prize plus an astounding $96,210.93 in bounties for an online career-high haul of $181,684.23. ‘RaiseUpBlind’ also grabbed a six-figure sum as the runner-up, taking home $83,472.88 plus $31,585.94 in bounties for a total of $115,058.82. ‘darogio’ picked up the bronze and locked up a total score of $72,231.02. Event 27-H ($1,050 8-Game) fell just 14 players short of reaching the $125,000 guarantee. That just fine by Russia’s Andrei ‘Premove’ Skvortsov who picked up a little extra value en route to taking down his third career SCOOP title and the $28,101.31 that came with it. This marks the third year in a row that Skvortsov was won a SCOOP with his first coming in a NL Omaha H/L event in 2019 and his follow up being a PLO8 title in 2020. ’nkeyno’ earned ‘$21,552.27 as the runner-up while Sweden former worldwide #2-ranked Robin ‘robinho’ Yitalo wrapped up in third place and added $16,529.51 to his $13.3 million in online career earnings. It took less than two hours for ‘Powergolf’ to pick up the win in Event 30-H ($1,050 NLHE, 7-Max, Hyper-Turbo, PKO). They blasted through the 305-entry field and walked away with the $28,320.93 first-place prize with an additional $31,574.20 in bounties for a total of $49,895.13. In second place was ‘wasylaa’ who, with bounties, earned $40,644.91 and on their third bullet, ‘Shipmopff’ climbed into third place which was good for a total of $30,434.48. Other winners on Saturday included ‘Hefeweizen19’ (Event 22-L), ‘Heia_Eirik’ (Event 22-M), ’56_Hjerter’ (Event 27-L), ‘DTFobos’ (Event 27-M), ‘cipi22’ (Event 29-L), ‘VladTheSlaye’ (Event 29-M), ‘zibrdie’ (Event 30-L), and ‘dolimp4789’ (Event 30-M). Event 22-H ($2,100 NLHE, PKO, Thursday Thrill SE) Entires: 539 Prize pool: $1,078,000 1. LgwZ - $181,684.24 2. RaiseUpBlind - $115,058.82 3. darogio - $72,231.02 Event 27-H ($1,050 8-Game) Entries: 109 Prize pool: $125,000 1. Premove - $28,101.31 2. nkeyno - $21,552.27 3. robinho - $16,529.51 Event 29-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) Entries: 211 Prize pool: $422,000 1. PaDiLhA SP - $82,354.31 2. L. Veldhuis - $62,779.37 3. ale6ka 0 $47,857.33 Event 30-H ($1,050 NLHE, 7-Max, Hyper-Turbo, PKO) Entries: 305 Prize pool: $309,837 1. Powergolf - $59,895.13 2. wasylaa - $40,644.91 3. Shipmopff - $30,434.48
  2. The 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker grind was in full effect on Sunday. A total of eight events were in action, three of which played down to a winner, including a Progressive Knockout that boasted one of the largest prizes of the series thus far. In Event 28-H ($1,050 NLHE, Progressive Knockout), 1,261 entries flooded the lobby to eclipse the $1 million guarantee with a prize pool of $1,261,000. In the end, Poland’s ‘MrTermo1021’ outlasted the entire field, captured the title, and walked away with the $84,966 first-place prize plus an additional $65,362.24 in bounties for a total score of $150,328.24. The decision to fire a second bullet paid off for Germany’s ‘nic81411’ who finished as the runner-up and banked $84,964.85 as well as $25,252.91 in bounties for the six-figure sum of $110,217.76. In third place was online pro Aleksejs ‘Aponakov’ Ponakovs, who added $51,888.57 plus $15,544.92 in bounties to his bankroll. Canada’s ’FeelsAbitMeh’ was likely feeling better than their screen name lets on after besting the 1,029 player field of Event 26-H ($530 NLHE, 8-Max, Deep Stacks) and earning the $84,019.44 first-place prize. It must have felt even better to outlast a final table that included a number of top-tier online pros including worldwide #34-ranked Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic from Austria who finished as the runner-up for $59,891.35. Joining them in the top three was two-time SCOOP winner Thiago ‘KKremate’ Crema who finished in third place for $42,692.59. The final event of the day to finish up was Event 36-H ($530, 8-Max, PKO, High Roller Club Special Edition). ‘Prof. Hitman’ survived through the large field of 1,188 runners and scored $40,001.19 for first place with another $32,004.74 in bounties added on for a total earn of $72,005.93. Finishing in second place was Brazil’s ‘€plov2’ who picked up $40,000.37 for their efforts and added another $20,301.75 in bounties for a total score of $60,302.12. ‘gettingpwned’ captured the bronze in this one for a total haul of $35,461.70, bounties included. Other winners on Sunday included ‘Kein Geloel’ (Event 26-L), ‘JonzStars’ (Event 26-M), ‘p0wer_player’ (Event 28-L), ‘DGR.POKEHER’ (Event 28-M), ‘SthlmHero93’ (Event 36-L), and ‘masaldanha94’ (Event 36-M). Event #26-H ($530 NLHE [8-Max, Deep Stacks]) Entries: 1,029 Prize pool: $514,500 FeelsAbitMeh - $84,019.44 SmilleThHero - $59,891.35 KKremate - $42,692.58 Event #28-H ($1,050 NLHE [Progressive KO]) Entries: 1,261 Prize pool: $1,261,000 Mr Termo1021 - $150,328.24 nic81411 - $110,217.76 Aponakov - $67,433.49 Event #36-H ($530 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, High Roller Club SE]) Entries: 1,188 Prize pool: $594,000 Prof. Hitman - $72,005.93 €plov2 - $60,302.12 gettingpwned - $35,461.70
  3. The World Poker Tour and Theta Labs, a decentralized video delivery network, have announced an exclusive partnership aimed at giving poker fans the ability to own WPT digital collectibles in what the companies are calling “the world’s first real-time NFT marketplace.” The World Poker Tour is following in the footsteps of the pop-culture trail blazed by NBA Top Shot, which takes officially licensed digital collectable clips (commonly referred to as “moments”) and then sells and distributes them in varying quantities to fans as NFT (non-fungible tokens). In short, it’s like digital trading cards, but its video and its ownership are backed by blockchain. “Our exclusive NFT launch with Theta Network is one of our biggest digital initiatives to date and, for the first time ever, we’re combining our global reach of live televised poker with an NFT marketplace, giving our fans an interactive, real-time opportunity to collect a piece of the WPT poker action,” said World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska. “We are thrilled to bring some of our top poker pros, players, and celebrities to the NFT world, featuring rare and legendary WPT packs in weekly drops and running exclusive one-of-a-kind auctions for sure rare poker moments.” The launch of the new marketplace is set to take place in conjunction with the World Poker Tour televised Season XVIII premiere on Sunday, April 18 on the Bally Sports Network. The new televised season will start with a four-part co-branded cash game, the Theta Network WPT Cash Game, and will run each Sunday through May 9. During the programming, through in-show advertising and promotional segments, viewers will be directed to grab a spot in the digital line at the wpt.thetadrop.com website to possibly pick up and pack of digital moments. Out of the gate, the World Poker Tour will be paying tribute to poker ambassador and former announcer for the WPT, the late Mike Sexton. The Sexton moment, dubbed “Mike Sexton: The Legend Hand” will be extremely rare with just three in total created and will be put up for auction. In addition, the launch will offer the ability to purchase limited quantities of Base, Rare and Legendary poker packs which are likely to be designated as such by how many are minted. “We’re excited to launch the next-generation NFT marketplace with WPT, a unique opportunity to bring digital collectibles synchronized to live TV and cable broadcast to an audience of millions worldwide,” said Theta Labs CEO and co-founder Mitch Liu. “ThetaDrop maximizes earning to brand partners and creators by bringing the interactivity, real-time engagement, and personality possible only through a live stream when doing NFT drops and auctions. Theta’s proof-of-stake native blockchain means creators can be assured that minting and transacting NFTs are 100% eco-friendly, fast, and inexpensive.” The Theta Network looks to differentiate itself from the more commonly known Ethereum platform by being built with media and entertainment in mind. They claim that the speed of minting (creating) NFTs on Theta is 100x faster than on Ethereum and the cost is less than a fraction of a cent. But despite being its own network, the upside of NFT’s is the verified ownership of a digital asset and that means the ability to take/move it anywhere the owner pleases and the Theta Network assures for “seamless NFT transfer and transactions across networks” will allow fans to take their moments wherever they wish. The launch is right around the corner, at which time more details about the marketplace will become apparent. Everything from the cost of a pack, what kind of moments are included, how much the World Poker Tour might rake when trying to resell a moment, and how players featured in those moments will be compensated will all be a part of the story if the World Poker Tour’s venture carries with it the kind of excitement that has surrounded the current NFT movement. Fans who want to get in line early can do so at wpt.thetadrop.com.
  4. It was an eventful Thursday for the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker as another 24 titles were handed out including two in the same event to the same player, one to a former worldwide #1-ranked crusher, and one to the first player of the series to capture three SCOOP victories. Winning a single SCOOP title is difficult enough as it is. This is why when Dejan ‘dejanic357’ Kaladurdevic became the first player representing the country of Montenegro to win a SCOOP event on Monday it was more than noteworthy it was history-making. The fact that Kaladurdevic, just two days later, became the first player of the series to capture two titles left some authentically amazed. Now, heads are shaking at the fact that, on Thursday, Kaladurdevic once again was the last player standing in a SCOOP High event and captured his third SCOOP title in four days. The heater for Kaladurdevic continued in Event 17-H ($1,050 NLHE, Deep Stacks) where he defeated a field of 277 runners to walk away with the $52,742.60 first-place prize. Over the course of his three wins, Kaladurdevic has earned a total of $195,486.11. On Thursday it was ‘BetForNympho’ who was forced to settle for second place behind Kaladurdevic, earning $39,935.89 as the runner-up. Dario ’Secret_M0d3’ Sammartino finished in third place, taking home $30,238.92. Event 18-H ($5,200 NLHE, 7-Max) was just the second event of the series, and the first NLHE tournament, to offer players an overlay. There were 139 total entrants, generating a prize pool just $55,000 short of the event’s $750,000 guarantee. In the end Elias ‘SinKarma’ Gutierrez was one of the big beneficiaries, earning the title and $174,365 for first place. Renan ‘Internett93o’ Bruschi finished as the runner-up, which was good for $120,000 and Daris ‘DEX888’ Pedes ended up in third place and earned $82.500 for his efforts. Russia’s ’RedPh0enix’ rose up to take down his second career SCOOP title in the 251-entry field of Event 19-H ($1,050 NLO8, 8-Max, PKO), earnings a combined total of $49,069.37 for first place. Although ’FONBET_RULIT’ ended up as the runner-up, winning $24,452.08, they actually took home roughly $1,000 less than Finland’s third-place finisher ‘kiiski’ who picked up more bounties and took home a total score of $25,458.72, The PKO tournaments continue to be favorites for SCOOP players as 611 entries piled into the lobby of Event 20-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) generating a prize pool of $611,000, more than $200K over the posted guarantee. Rinat ‘Zapahzamazki’ Lyapin from Russia took home the gold, and took banked a score of $84,004.67 including bounties. Javier ‘que_te_crio’ Fernandez ended up in second place and added $56,146.93 to his bankroll while ‘alimounda’ collected $37,636.32 for finishing in third. In Event 21 Finland’s Jussi ‘calvin7v’ Nevanlinna pulled off the rare double-SCOOP, winning two titles on the same day in the same event at different buy-in levels. First, he took down 21-H ($1,050 FLO8, 8-Max) for his sixth career SCOOP title and $23,734.84. He also collected all the chips in 21-L ($11 FLO8, 8-Max), topping the 3,211-entry field for an additional $4,533.98 and a seventh SCOOP victory. Nevanlinna has proven time and time again that he’s an excellent, well-rounded player having won SCOOP events in 8-Game, Stud Hi/Lo, NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha, and, now, Fixed Limit Omaha. Nevanlinna denied the Netherlands ‘bokkie87’ a third SCOOP title of his own, regulating him to runner-up in the High, which was good for $18,222.72. The UK’s ‘USoGotPwned’ finished up in third place in that event earning $13,990.76 to help him eclipse the $1 million career earnings mark. In the final event to play to a winner on Thursday, former #1-ranked Sami ‘Lrslzk’ Kelopuro took down his third career SCOOP title in Event 25-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo) and added $70,557.26 to his more than $16.8 million in career online earnings. Ukraine’s ‘Remi Lebo_10’ picked up $53,696.09 as the runner-up while ‘fkiw’ from Sweden took home the bronze and $40,864.27 for their efforts. Other winners on Thursday included ‘mate tdd’ (Event 17-L), ‘Cabeca Rush’ (Event 17-M), ‘zeisseli’ (Event 18-L), ‘Rosted’ (Event 18-M), ‘Linker500’ (Event 19-L), ‘MAMbl4’ (Event 19-M), ‘checkraiise’ (Event 20-L), ‘gusmaa’ (Event 20-M), ‘lazutina’ (Event 21-M), ‘MatzeB1995’ (Event 23-L), ‘zagorius’ (Event 23-M), jobrazeau (Event 24-L), ‘BisouPartout’ (Event 24-M), ‘retrytm’ (Event 25-L), ‘Mr.Pedr0’ (Event #25-M) Event 17-H ($1,050 NLHE, Deep Stacks) Entries: 277 Prize pool: $277,000 1. dejanic357 - $52,742.60 2. BetForNympho - $39,935.89 3. Secret_M0d3 - $30,238.92 Event 18-H ($5,200 NLHE, 7-Max) Entries: 139 Prize pool: $750,000 ($55,000 overlay) 1. SinKarma - $174,375 2. Internett93o - $120,000 3. DEX888 - $82,500 Event 19-H ($1,050 NLO8, 8-Max, PKO) Entries: 251 Prize pool: $251,000 1. RedPh0enix - $49,069.37 2. FONBET_RULIT - $24,452.08 3. kiiski - $25,458.72 Event 20-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) Entries: 611 Prize pool: $611,000 1. Zapahzamazki - $84,004.67 2. que_te_crio - $56,146.93 3. alimounda - $37,636.32 Event 21-H ($1,050 FLO8, 8-Max) Entries: 103 Prize pool: $103,000 1. calvin7v - $23,734.84 2. bokkie87 - $18,222.72 3. USoGotPwned - $13,990.76 Event 23-H ($1,050 Stud Hi Lo) Entries: 83 Prize pool: $85,000 1. Sexual Drag0n - $23,162.50 2. trollringen - $15,725 3. XD89lol<3 - $11,900 Event #24-H ($530+R NLHE [8-Max, Rebuy]) Entries: 290 Prize pool: $439,855 Anjeyyy - $83,389.27 DeuceofDuc0 - $61,313.89 kreiNt - $45,082.54 Event 25-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo) Entries: 390 Prize pool: $390,000 1. Lrslzk - $70,557.26 2. Remi Lebo_10 - $53,696.09 3. fkiw - $40,864.27
  5. The momentum from Sunday’s start of PokerStars 2021 Spring Championship of Online Poker carried over into Monday as four new players added a SCOOP High title to their poker resumes and the action was highlighted by a high roller final table packed with some of online poker’s most prolific players. There were no soft spots at the final table of Event 06-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max High Roller) as Laszlo ‘omaha4rollz’ Bujtas outlasted the 116-entry field to take home the $254,255.57 first-place prize and the third SCOOP title of his career. Among the final table participants were Samuel ‘€urop€an’ Vousden, Dominik Nitsche, Artur ‘marathur1’ Martirosyan, and Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet. For the second night in a row, former #1-ranked Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz was forced to settle for second place but walked away with a $196,994.91 payday. Michael ‘imluckbox’ Addamo finished in third, earning $152,629.90, and another former #1, Simon ‘C Darwin2’ Mattsson, fell in fourth place earning $118,256.31 which sends him over $17 million in career online earnings. The official SCOOP Kickoff tournament, Event 02-H ($530 NLHE, PKO) drew 1,321 runners to create a prize pool of $660,500. The winner was Montenegro’s Dejan 'dejanic357' Kaladurdevic who not only earned the $43,752.65 first-place prize and an additional $34,653.56 in bounties but also became the very first player from his country to win a SCOOP title. Kaladurdevic defeated Brazil’s ‘Alex Bez’ in heads-up play, who finished with $43,751.12 and an additional $21,872.42 in bounties for second place. The UK’s ‘dougiedan678’ captured the bronze for $25,958.60 plus $12,182/35 in bounties. Event 03-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Sunday Warm-Up SE) bested the $500K guarantee as 669 runners pushed the prize pool to $669,000. In the end, it was Romania’s ‘kreiNt’ who took down the tournament and grabbed $113,891.16 for first. ‘KayhanMok’ finished as the runner-up for $83,403.49 while ‘L_Cesk’ from Greece rounded out the top three and took home $61,077.42 for third. Right behind them were a pair of high roller MTT specialists in Mikita ‘fish2013’ Badziakouski who finished in fourth place for $44,727.73, and Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams who fell in fifth for $32,754.64. Event 05-H ($2,100 Pot Limit Omaha, 6-Max) was the only tournament of SCOOP 2021’s opening events to miss its guarantee. And it just barely missed, drawing 192 runners, just eight players shy of hitting the $400,000 guarantee. All the better for the players including the UK’s ‘Zero 1100101’ and ‘d.apollo777’. When it got to heads-up, the countrymen agreed on a deal that had ‘Zero 1100101’ walk away with $76,488.47 and the SCOOP title while ‘d.apollo777’ locked up $63,600.37. Just missing out on the deal was Sweden’s ‘sat1337en’ who finished in third place and took home $45,585.88. Also of note, on Sunday night, Event 07-H ($2,100 NLHE, 7-Max, Turbo PKO, Sunday Cooldown) wrapped up with current #18-ranked Maskim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov taking down the title and a total of $88,727.52 for first. Fedor Holz wrapped up as the runner-up and took home a total of $42,539.98 while Finland’s ‘Uivelo88’ finished in third for $24,179. Other winners on Monday included 'kilrogg94' (Event #2-M), 'emsbigbob25' (Event #2-L), 'Karl-King77' (Event #3-M), 'Westik1' (Event #3-L), 'Nethos' (Event #4-M), 'PIPQQUEER' (Event #4-L), 'Marcelinhobf' (Event #5-M), 'neto_gol' (Event #5-L), 'ludako123' (Event #6-M), 'neto_gol' (Event #5-L), 'Fabahaba' (Event #7-M), and 'Diegops_AKs' (Event #7-L). Event # 2 (High) - $530 NLHE [Progressive KO, Event # Kickoff] Entries: 1,321 Prize pool: $660,500 dejanlc357 $78,406.21 Alex Bez $65,623.54 dougiedan678 $38,140.95 Event #3 (High) - $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Sunday Warm-Up SE] Entries: 669 Prize pool: $669,000 kreiNt $113,891.16 LayhanMok $83,403.49 L_Cesk $61,077.42 Event #5 (High) $2,100 PLO [6-Max] Entries: 192 Prize pool: $400,000 Zero 1100101 $76,488.47 dapollo777 $63,600.37 sat1337en $45,585.88 Event #6 (High) $10,300 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller] Entries: 116 Prize pool: $1,160,000 omaha4rollz $254,255.57 CrownUpGuy $196,994.91 imluckbox $152,629.90 Event # 07 (High) - $2,100 NLHE [7-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Sunday Cooldown SE] Entries: 183 Prize pool: $366,000 MAMOHT_T $88,727.52 CrownUpGuy $42,539.98 Uivelo88 $24,179.00
  6. It didn’t take long for the PokerStars 2021 Spring Championship of Online Poker to find its first two-time series winner. It happened just four days into play and while many would have wagered that there would certainly be a player (or players) who would take down multiple SCOOP titles this year, almost no one saw it happening like this. On Monday, Dejan ‘dejanlc357’ Kaladurdevic made SCOOP history after he captured the first-ever SCOOP title for a player from Montenegro when he won the SCOOP Kickoff Event ($530 NLHE Progressive Knockout) for $78,406.21. Well, he doubled up on that effort and became the first player in 2021 to take down two events. On Wednesday, Kaladurdevic topped the 988 player field of Event 11-H ($530 NLHE, 8-Max, Progressive Knockout) to claim the $34,582.28 first-place prize and added another $29,755.02 in bounties for a total score of $64,337.30. Long-time online grinder from Latvia ‘RovoDice’ was forced to settle for second place, taking home $34,581.70 plus another $14,415.26 in bounties. Brazil’s ‘IgorHKR’ finished in third, walking away with $20,518.14 and another $3,148.44 in bounties. Nosebleed online cash game specialist (and occasional heads-up challenge taker) Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski put his skills on display by topping the stacked 105-entry field of Event 13-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller). As with many online $10K’s, the field was a who’s who of top-tier online grinders and, in the end, Malinowski finished with all the chips and banked the $241,956.69 first-place prize. Former #1 Simon ‘C Darwin2’ Mattsson finished in second place, good for $185,765.68, the fifth-largest online score of his career. Christoph ‘26071985’ Vogelsang claimed the bronze, earning $142,624.33. Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos picked up his third career SCOOP title by outlasting the 873-player field in Event 13-M ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Freezeout, Super Tuesday). Mateos defeated the Netherlands’ ‘BRzRoll’ to take home the win and the $146,714.34 first-place prize. For his part, ‘BRzRoll’ also picked up a six-figure score, banking $107,614.36 as the runner-up. Aleksejs ‘APonakov’ Ponakovs had the last step on the podium and earned $78,934.91 for third place. Sweden’s ‘BomPang’ took down the final big buy-in event of the evening when they won Event 14-H ($1,050 PLO, 6-Max) for $68,835.91. ‘Fabahaba’, who just two days ago took down Event 07-M), fell just one spot short of joining Kaladurdevic in the SCOOP 2021 two-timer club finishing as the runner-up for $50,066.70. Pot Limit Omaha specialist Joni ‘bustoville’ Jouhkimainen picked up $36,415.23 for his third-place finish. Other winners on Wednesday included ‘MrGlauber’ (Event 11-L), ‘verdao134’ (Event 11-M), ‘19THEMACHINE83’ (Event 13-L), ‘Fagner CR7’ (Event 14-L), ‘devyatki’ (Event 14-M). Event #11-H ($530 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) Entries: 988 Prize pool: $494,000 1. dejanic357 - $64,337.30 2. RovoDice - $48,996.96 3. IgorHKR - $23,666.98 Event #13-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max) Entries: 105 Prize pool: 1,050,000 1. limitless - $241,256.69 2. C Darwin2 - $185,765.68 3. 26071985 - $142,624.33 Event #14-H ($1,050 PLO, 6-Max) Entries: 375 Prize pool: $375,000 1. BomPang - $68,835.91 2. Fabahaba - $50,066.70 3. bustoville - $36,415.23
  7. The stars of online poker were shining bright on Day Three of the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker as the leaderboards were littered with top-ranked pros vying to take down one of the seven events that came to a conclusion on Tuesday. It took three days to wrap up Event #4-H ($2,100 NLHE Progressive Knockout) and in the end, it was the UK pro Andy 'BowieEffect' Wilson who outlasted the 445-player field and took home the first-place prize worth $151,779.41. Fellow UK grinder Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich finished in second place and added $83,950.76 to his over $4 million in career online earnings. Aliaksei ‘ale6ka’ Boika rounded out the top three, finishing in third place for $49,962.83. Samuel ‘€urop€an’ Vousden took home Tuesday’s largest payday when bested the 176-entry field of Event 08-H ($5,200 NLHE) for $177,176.74. Vousden had stiff competition in the home stretch of the final table including Matthias ‘iambest2’ Eibinger who finished as the runner-up for $135,035.20 and Sam ‘Str8$$$Homey’ Greenwood who ended up in third place for $102,917.14. Other notable players who made a deep run in this event included Mikita ‘fish2013’ Badziakouski (4th, $78,438.36), former #1-ranked Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard (7th, $34,725.76), and Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro (10th, 17,083.26). While it wasn’t the biggest tournament of the day, Event 09-H ($2,100 H.O.R.S.E.) was a big one for Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi. Shakerchi topped the 65 player field to lock up the $35,425 first-place prize and, perhaps more importantly for the high-roller, his fifth career SCOOP title. Shakerchi has a long history of success in SCOOP with his victories dating back to 2012 as well as earning the Main Event title in 2016 that was worth more than $1.46 million. He bested ‘labrint93’ in heads-up play, who took home $24,050 as the runner-up and ‘Fabahaba’ ended up in third place for $18,200. Also of note for Event 09, in 09-M ($215 H.O.R.S.E.) current #1-ranked player in the world Yuri ‘theNERDguy’ Dzivielevski took down the 448 player field to earn $17,024 and his first career SCOOP title. Brazil’s Thiago ‘KKremate’ Crema rose to the top of Event 10-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) to capture his second career SCOOP title after outlasting Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet in heads-up play. Crema booked a total score of $75,115.79 while the popular PocketFiver Van Fleet settled for a $59,959.20 payday as the runner-up. ‘Gogac sniper’ took home $30,478.84 in third place. One of the things that PokerStars does better than anyone else is providing championship online events in poker variants players simply can’t compete in anywhere else. And 57 players took advantage of that in Event 12-H ($1,050 5-Card Draw) where ‘Chillolini’ took home the title and $19,218.01 for first. They were joined on the podium by ‘aleksandra10’ who finished in second place for $13,627.97 and ‘krakukra’ in third for $5,926.43. Bruno ‘great dant’ Volkmann, currently the ranked #8 online player in the world, grabbed his first SCOOP title on Tuesday by taking down Event #15-H ($2,100 NLHE) for $74,191.09, the 14th best score of his prolific career. ‘EzPaTuLa’ wrapped up as the runner-up and added $57,121.76 to their bankroll while ‘mnstrkll’ finished in third place which was good for $43,979.668. Former #1-ranked ‘Legenden’ (who plays as ‘Leqenden’ on PokerStars) booked his fourth SCOOP title by besting the 267-entry field of Event 16-H ($1,050 6-Max, Turbo, Win The Button) for $50,964.22. ‘takechip’ earned $37,776.41 as the runner-up and the UK’s former top-5 ranked Jonathan ‘Proudflop’ Proudfoot added $28,001.27 to his more than $6.5 million in career earnings for finishing in third. Other winners on Tuesday included ‘julianpineda’ (Event #8-L), ‘bungakat’ (Event #8-M), ‘mogs_11’ (Event #9-L), ‘CrAzY_sTeFaN’ (Event #10-L), ‘Fenryr03’ (Event #10-M), ‘Bragbag’ (Event #12-L), ‘Kroko-dill’ (Event #12-M), ‘MarlonBT01’ (Event #15-L), ‘dottorsudUK’ (Event #15-M), ‘Jeka3200’ (Event #16-L), ‘taglagfack’ (Event #16-M). Event 04-H - $2,100 NLHE (Progressive KO, Sunday HR SE) Entries: 445 Prize pool: $890,000 1. BowieEffect - $151,779.41 2. ludovi333 - $83,950.76 3. ale6ka - $49,962.83 Event 08-H - $5,200 NLHE Entries: 176 Prize pool: $880,000 1. €urop€an - $177,176.74 2. iambest2 - $135,035.20 3. Str8$$$Homey - $102,917.14 Event 09-H - $2,100 H.O.R.S.E Entries: 65 Prize pool: $130,000 1. raidalot - $35,425 2. labrint93 - $24,050 3. Fabahaba - $18,200 Event 10-H - $1,050 NLHE (8-Max, PKO) Entries: 493 Prize pool: $493,000 1. KKremate - $75,115.79 2. apestyles - $59,959.20 3. Gogac sniper - $30,478.84 Event 12-H - $1,050 5-Card Draw Entries: 57 Prize pool: 57,000 1. Chillolini - $19,218.01 2. aleksandra10 - $13,627.97 3. krakukra - $5,926.43 Event 15-H - $2,100 NLHE Entires: 184 Prize pool: $368,000 1. great dant - $74,191.09 2. EzPaTuLa - $57,121.76 3. mnstrkll - $43,979.668 Event 16-H - $1,050 NLHE (6-Max, Turbo, Win The Button) Entries: 267 Prize pool: $267,000 1. Legenden - $50,964.22 2. takechip - $37,776.41 3. Proudflop - $28,001.27
  8. Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira’s quest to be the best continued last month as one of Portugal’s most prolific poker pros broke through into the Online Poker Rankings top 10 and racked up over $867,000 in total earnings en route to locking up the March Online Player of the Month title. Vieira finished March with 4,725 points, a good portion of which helped him take an early lead in the Online Player of the Year race and almost all can be traced back to the fact that Vieira took the time to update his profile last month. Once he did, an avalanche of impressive recent results was revealed that took him from the status of unranked right into the thick of battling as the top online poker player in the world. Vieira’s March got off to a quick start with a fifth-place finish in the GGPoker $25,500 Super High Roller where he outlasted the likes of Daniel Dvoress, Jason Koon, and Matthias Eibinger to lock up a $222,514 payday, the third-largest score of his career, plus 642.75 points. Then on March 5, he finished in sixth place in the GGPoker $10,300 High Roller for another $74,813 and 400.91 points. Less than a week later, Vieira picked up yet another six-figure score. He finished in third place in the GGPoker Sunday 500 for $142,724 and 569.01 points. At the very same time he was grinding his way to a seventh-place finish in the GGPoker Sunday High Rollers Main Event for an extra $31,885 and 328.53. He closed out the month the same way he started it, with another massive score. Vieira made the final table of the March 23rd edition of the GGPoker Super MILLION$ and finished in fourth place for $187,255 plus 618.64 points. Consistency was Vieira’s strength in March, a month in which he actually didn’t record a single outright victory. He did, however, accumulate 74 in-the-money finishes for a grand total of $867,833, landing in the top 10 roughly 25% of the time. Vieira currently sits at the #5 ranked player in the world, but perhaps more importantly has climbed to #2 on the Online All-Time Money List with over $21.3 million in total earnings. Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann, who finished as March’s runner-up, had the kind of month most grinders dream of. What he lacked in volume, he more than made up for in astonishing results, picking up 47 cashes for $766,799 and a total of 4,405 points. Of his 47 results, he finished in the top three 15 times (32%) with nine outright wins. That means that in March, Volkmann won 19% of the time he cashed. That includes his victory in the March 2 PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Daily Cooldown for $51,922 and 362.29 points. The very next day he was victorious in the GGPoker $525 Bounty Hunters Special for another $17,175 and 457.71 points. The trend continued on March 4 when he binked a win in Event #102 of the PokerStars Turbo Series for $44,917. He had to wait three whole days before he won again in the March 7 GGPoker $5,250 High Rollers Special for $57,374. Despite all of his victories, Volkmann’s month was highlighted not with a win but with a runner-up finish in the March 16 edition of the GGPoker Super MILLION$ where he earned 942.32 points and $318,042, the second-largest score of his online career. Former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens finished as the runner-up in the Online Player of the Month race in February and once again he made a run at it in March, ending up in third place with 3,874 points. The standout score of Stevens’ month came on March 8 when he finished as the runner-up in the GGPoker $25,500 Super High Roller for $655,289, the second-highest haul of his extensive online career, which also netted him 1,175.58 points. March 2021 Player of the Month Results [table id=198 /]
  9. No matter how you look at it, Niklas ‘Lena900’ Astedt is one of the most dominant online poker players in the history of online poker. The Swedish superstar has hit the top of the Online Poker Rankings ten different times and spent a record 97 weeks in total at #1. On top of that, he was the first player to break through the $20 million career earnings barrier and is the current Online All-Time Money List leader with $21,758,331in earnings. It’s more than the numbers though, ‘Lena900’ has a reputation as the type of grinder who, despite his enormous success, would prefer to never take a day off. It’s his drive that has put him (and kept him) at the top for so many years. As the #1 seed in the Spades bracket, one might think that such eye-popping numbers would ensure that he would have a smooth path to the later stages. But there’s not only some phenomenal talent represented in the Spades bracket, but a healthy mix of current crushers and popular personalities from online poker eras gone by. Players like Alex ‘AJKHoosier1’ Kamberis, Sorel ‘Imper1um’ Mizzi, and Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe are included here. Not to mention Brazilians Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon and Joao ‘jososimaobh’ Simao who have large fan bases. Then of course there’s Ari Engel, one of the most prolific MTT players of all-time. Enter the #1 Number One Contest Now! lena900 (#1) vs brianm15 (#16) As mentioned above, ‘Lena900’ holds the record for the number of weeks at the #1 spot with 97 and is the current leader on the Online All-Time Money List with nearly $22 million in earnings. While Brian ‘brianm15’ England may have only held down the #1 spot for one week back in 2014, he continues to grind and has amassed an impressive $6.85 million in career earnings. AJKHoosier1 (#2) vs theczar19 (#15) Back in August of 2008, Alex ‘AJKHoosier1’ Kamberis was in what seemed like a weekly battle for the top spot against Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman. Finally, in September of that year, after two short stints at #1, he claimed it and kept it for 18 weeks straight. Kamberis has a tough first-round opponent in Bryan ‘theczar19’ Piccioli who spent two weeks at #1 in May of 2011 but also went on to garner acclaim for his appearance at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2017. Sheater (#3) vs paulgees81 (#14) Sweden’s ‘Sheater’ first captured the #1 spot back in December 2013. He had two stints in the top spot for a total of eight weeks (one month each time) and picked up a total of five Triple Crowns. Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe took his turn at the top in March of 2011 and spent three weeks there. The longtime tournament grinder amassed more than $5.8 million in online earnings to go along with his more than $8.5 million in live results. LarsLuzak (#4) vs VnilaVader (#13) Well after establishing himself as a renowned nosebleed cash game grinder, Finland’s Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro hit the top of the rankings for the first time in 2019. He spent a total of nine weeks as #1 and he continues to be a presence in the upper echelons of the rankings having accumulated $16 million in tournament earnings. Anton ‘VnilaVader’ Herrman held on to the #1 spot for three weeks back in 2014 and has four Triple Crowns to go along with his more than $4.1 million in recorded career online earnings. BYE Ari (#12) Ari ‘Ari’ Engel is one of the most consistent tournament players in the world and just the third player in history to hold the #1 spot back in 2006, ending the reign of Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy who held the top spot for well over a year. Engel received the PocketFives Legacy Award back in 2018, recognizing his achievements in both the online and live poker arenas. NigDawG (#6) vs bbotteon (#11) The UK’s Christopher ‘NigDawG’ Brammer took two turns as the top-ranked pro in 2012 spending a total of six weeks at the top. A prolific online poker player, Brammer earned six Triple Crowns, seventh-best among the #1s. Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon took over the #1 spot in December of 2020 and held on to it for 11 weeks into 2021. Considered one of Brazil’s best, Botteon has more than $6.8 million in career earnings. probirs (#7) vs imper1um (#10) Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth not only won the PokerStars Sunday Millon back in 2016 but the high-roller tournament pro also sat atop the rankings two different times in 2019 for a total of nine weeks. The sometimes controversial Sorel ‘Imper1um’ Mizzi was a staple on the rankings back in 2007 when he spent 15 weeks at #1 over the course of three reigns and more than $3.6 million in career earnings. joaosimaobh (#8) vs Jymaster0011 (#9) Poker pro and partypoker ambassador Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao was one of the faces of Brazilian poker in 2016 when he spent four weeks at #1 over three different stints. He’s up against Jordan ‘Jymaster0011’ Young who also had three trips to the top for a total of 12 weeks. Young has accumulated more than $5.6 million in career online earnings. Make your picks in the PocketFives #1 Number One Contest - entries due by Midnight ET on April 2. Then make sure to follow @PocketFives on Twitter to get your votes in!"
  10. The World Series of Poker has announced its plans for the return of its live, in-person Las Vegas poker festival for 2021. The series is set to take place from Thursday, September 30 through Tuesday, November 23 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel with the first flight of the $10,000 Main Event kicking off on Thursday, November 4. “This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together,” said Ty Stweart, WSOP Executive Director. While a complete schedule was not released with the announcement, the opening weekend is expected to feature a special charity event to benefit frontline health workers, a $25,000 HORSE event, and a $5 million guaranteed No Limit Hold'em tournament dubbed “The Reunion.” The $10,000 Main Event will have four starting flights - one per day from November 4-7. Day 2 for the first two flights will be on Monday, November 8, and the final two flights will reconvene for Day 2 on Tuesday, November 9. The entire field will play together for the first time on November 10 and play down to a winner, who will be crowned on November 17. All of the laid-out dates for the series are subject to change and will hinge on both state and regulatory approvals. The series will also be following any and all specific COVID-19 safety protocols, such as social distancing and capacity limits, that may be in place. “In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas,” Stewart said. WSOP Online In addition to the return of the live festival, 2020's expanded WSOP Online series is set to return in 2021, with the first gold bracelet event taking place on WSOP.com in the U.S. on Thursday, July 1. The full schedule of domestic online gold bracelet events will be released on April 15, however, it is confirmed that the series will wrap up with a $1,000 Online Championship Event. It is also expected that there will be a 2021 WSOP Online international gold bracelet series, as there was in 2020, that will be held on GGPoker. WSOP Europe King’s Casino in Rozvadov is also preparing for the return of the World Series of Poker Europe which is set to take place from Friday, November 19 through Tuesday, December 8. “We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall,” said Stewart. “It’s important to us that we have an excelled tournament schedule available to our European players.” The series looks to have 15 live gold bracelet events, including a €10,000 buy-in WSOPE Main Event and a €50,000 High Roller. Like the fall WSOP series, the start of WSOPE is also subject to regulatory approval and COVID protocols.
  11. After playing in every single one of the 42 editions of the GGPoker Super MILLION$, high-stakes tournament superstar Adrian Mateos finally broke through in his fifth final table appearance to capture his first Super MILLION$ title and this week’s $428,624 first-place prize. It has been a grind for Mateos who had not only never missed a week of this $10K tournament, but, in all of his previous efforts, had fired a total of 96 entries without locking up a win. However, this week it all came together for the Spanish pro. Mateos entered the final table as the chip leader, navigated a tough field that included Sam Greenwood, Joao Vieira, David Coleman, Art Papazyan, and last week’s winner (and current #1-ranked player in the world) Yuri Dzivielevski, and battled back from a significant heads-up chip deficit against Belarusian grinder Aliaksei Boika to take home the win. After mounting a heads-up comeback of his own last week to win a Super MILLION$ title, Dzivielevski entered this week’s final table with the rare chance to go back-to-back. That opportunity came to an end thanks to an early final table clash with Mateos. When folded to in the small blind Mateos open-shoved his [poker card="kd"][poker card="th"] on a short-stacked Dzivielevski in the big blind with [poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"]. Dzivielevski made the call and when the flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3d"], Mateos took the lead in the hand leaving Dzivielevski looking for one of the final two sixes in the deck. The turn came the [poker card="2d"] and the river the [poker card="ah"], ending Dzivielevski’s final run and sending him home in ninth place for $53,578. Pocket nines were just no good to Sam Greenwood in this event. First, Greenwood picked them up and promptly lost the majority of his stack to David Coleman who held [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] in an all-in preflop confrontation. The very next hand Greenwood, now crippled, picked up pocket nines up again. When folded to in the small blind, Greenwood moved all-in with his [poker card="9s"][poker card="9d"] and Joao Vieira made the call from the big blind with his [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8h"] flop kept Greenwood in the lead. And the [poker card="8c"] was still safe but added some flush outs for Vieira. The [poker card="ah"] river completed a straight for Vieira and sent Greenwood out in eighth place for $69,482. Despite starting the day fourth in chips, Russia’s ‘RRomashka’ found themselves short on chips in the early going. They open-shoved their final five big blinds with [poker card="ks"][poker card="ts"] and got called by ‘Nator’ on the button holding [poker card="2d"][poker card="2h"]. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="6s"], holding up for ‘Nator’ small pocket pair and ending ‘RRomashka’s run in seventh for $90,107. On the hand before the first break of the day, the current Online Player of the Year race leader Joao Vieira opened with the [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] in late position. ‘Nator’ three-bet from the small blind with the [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"], giving ‘Nator’ a flopped full house. ‘Nator’ led with a bet and Vieira called with his flush draw. The [poker card="7d"] turn brought in Vieira’s flush, which proved to his undoing. After 'Nator’ checked, Vieira put out a bet and ‘Nator’ just called. The [poker card="8c"] hit the river and ‘Nator’ checked his full house once again. Vieira took his time and eventually settled on quarter-pot bet, leaving himself with just three big blinds behind. ‘Nator’ promptly check-raised Vieira and after taking a few more seconds to think about it, Vieira called off, ending his tournament in sixth place for $116,854. Play slowed down after Vieira’s elimination and nearly an hour later, Art Papazyan put in a raise under the gun with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. It folded around to Coleman in the big blind who found himself with under five big blinds behind. Coleman made the call and the pair saw a flop of [poker card="7h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2d"]. Coleman then put the rest of his stack in the middle with his flopped pair and Papazyan made the call with his two overcards and backdoor flush draw. The turn was the [poker card="ks"], putting Papazyan in control. The [poker card="9c"] river was no help for Coleman who adds another Super MILLION$ cash to his resume by finishing in fifth for $151,541. Despite picking up the knockout, Papazyan wasn’t quite in the clear. The well-known cash game pro remained the short stack through most of four-handed play. When action folded to Aliaksei Boika in the small blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"], he decided to move all-in over Papazyan’s 12 big blind stack. Papazyan made the call holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="5h"] and the pair watched as the flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="3c"], giving Boika top pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="4c"] river didn’t improve Papazyan who, after entering the final table as the short stack, laddered up five spots and took home a $196,525 payday for fourth place. On the very next hand, with just under 20 big blinds, ‘Nator’ raised from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="td"]. Mateos, in the big blind, made the call with [poker card="4h"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Mateos both flush and straight outs to ‘Nator’s overcards. ‘Nator’ took the lead and bet out, after a couple of seconds Mateos simply shoved all-in. Going into the tank themselves, ‘Nator’ let a few seconds pass before making the call. The turn was the [poker card="qd"], bringing some ‘Nator’ some additional outs but the river was the [poker card="3d"], bringing Mateos a pair of threes and sending ‘Nator’ out in third for $254,861 in just their sixth Super MILLION$ tournament. Boika started the heads-up match against Mateos with a nearly 2:1 chip lead. But over the first dozen hands, Mateos wrestled that away. Not finished, Boika battled back and chipped up. Eventually, it looked like Boika was going to wrap up the tournament with a more than 5:1 chip lead. The pair got it all-in with Boika holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] and the short-stacked Mateos holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"]. Mateos flopped a flush draw, completed the flush on the turn and after that double up rode the momentum back into the chip lead. On the final hand, Mateos raised on the button with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="jd"] and Boika three-bet the big blind with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"]. After Mateos called, the flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"] bringing both players a pair. Both players checked and the [poker card="5d"] came on the turn, keeping Mateos in the lead, but bringing an open-ended straight draw for Boika. Boika put out a bet and Mateos flat called. The river was the [poker card="qs"] giving Mateos top two pair and when Boika checked to him Mateos moved all-in. Boika, with only two seconds left in his timebank, was forced to make a quick decision. He called. Boika ended up as the runner-up and took home $330,514 while Adrian Mateos, after 42 attempts, ended the day as the Super MILLION$ champion, earning $428,624. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/30) 1. Adrian Mateos - $428,624 2. Aliaksei Boika - $330,514 3. ‘Nator’ - $254,861 4. Art Papazyan - $196,525 5. David Coleman - $151,541 6. Joao Vieira - $116,854 7. RRomashka - $90,107 8. Sam Greenwood - $69,482 9. Yuri Dzivielevski - $53,578
  12. For the first time in six years, Brazilian Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski returned to the worldwide #1 ranking in the latest Online Poker Rankings. After months of flirting with the top spot, Dzivielevski finally broke through thanks to his incredible heads-up comeback victory against high-roller tournament savant Michael Addamo in this week’s edition of the GGPoker Super MILLION$. Dzivielevski is no stranger to racking up rankings points by way of major tournament scores. Back in December 2014, Dzivielevski leveraged his runner-up finish in the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event, for which he earned a career-high payday of $1.2 million, to supplant Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz at #1. He held on to the top spot for five weeks back then, thanks to a recent pair of massive results this past week, he’s finally returned. It was in the first week of February that Dzivielevski finished as the runner-up in the ACR Venom Main Event, earning him $849,150 and 2,026.53 points. This score catapulted the Brazilian into the top 10 and throughout the month of February, he continued to accumulate scores which helped him rise to the #2 spot. Dzivielevski’s performance in February not only set him up to be in a position to take over the rankings, but it also earned him the February Online Player of the Month title. Throughout March, he continued to keep pace, staying inside the top 10. Last week in the rankings, it looked as if former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens’ most likely challengers were going to be Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira and Russia’s Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov, but Dzivielevski proved that he should never be counted out. That was never more true than it was this week in the GGPoker Super MILLION$. Dzivielevski found himself heads-up against a sun-running Addamo, who held a massive chip lead. However, Dzivielevski showed off why he’s one of the best in the world and when the tide turned in his favor, he ended up capturing his first Super MILLION$ title for $408,406 and 1,421.27 points, which turned out to be just enough to leap three spots and overtake Stevens. As impressive as the Super MILLION$ win was, that alone would not have been enough to oust Stevens, who had multiple qualifying scores of his own this week. Dzivielevski also picked up a final table finish in the March 22 edition of the Natural8 Sunday 500 High Roller for $33,294 and 255.39 points. Currently, Dzivielevski sits with 13,726 points, just 114 points ahead of Stevens who fell to #2. Ferreira is the only other player with more than 13,000 points, sitting in third place with 13,370 - trailing by just 356 points. With the elite players at the top so close together in points, the next few weeks - perhaps even months - could see regular changes at the top. A Top 10 Surprise Another major factor in the rankings appeared this week when, out of the blue, Portugal’s Andre ‘xunekas23’ Marques appeared in the top 10, coming in at a career-high ranking of #9 in the world. Marques had been previously ranked, in fact, last week he was #1,400. But after updating his profile with additional screen names, including his well-known alias of ‘PTFisherman23’ he catapulted up the rankings. Many might recognize Marques’ ‘PTFisherman23’ screen name as the winner of the 2020 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event taking home a career-high score of more than $1.1 million. Since that time, Marques has been on a heater in the high rollers in picking up wins in the PokerStars Blowout Series, GGPoker Sunday Main Event (where he plays under the name ‘Sperma’), and, just this month, the High Rollers Second Chance in which he earned $17,356 and 308.22 points. Marques’ new ranking also adds a third player from Portugal inside the top 10, as Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov slips to #11. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Russia’s player-to-watch Maskim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov jumped three spots from #20 to #17 this week thanks to a pair of back-to-back deep runs on GGPoker. First, he took fourth place in the March 22 edition of the $840 High Rollers Marathon for $12,594 and 159.10 points. Then he wrapped up a runner-up finish in the $210 Bounty Hunters Sunday Special for another $16,337 and 294.09 points. • Former #1-ranked Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard had a nice week and jumped up 34 spots from #65 to #31 thanks in part to his fifth-place finish in the GGPoker Sunday High Rollers Main Event where he earned $56,683 and 387.52 PLB points. • A trio of high-profile players squeaked back into the top 100 this week as former #1 ‘C Darwin2’ jumped 29 spots to land at #97, Hungary’s ‘Wildace_hun’ rose 73 places to #99, and one of Greece’s top pros, Alex ‘mexican222’ Kolonias rocketed 54 spots to the #100 rank. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings Top 10 [table id=196 /]
  13. Former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski denied Michael Addamo a fourth GGPoker Super MILLION$ title this week by battling back from a nine-to-one chip deficit in a gripping heads-up match to clinch the $408,406 first-place prize and his first Super MILLION$ victory. By all accounts, this week’s 41st edition of the GGPoker $10K Super MILLION$ was Michael Addamo’s for the taking. The Australian superstar entered the final table with an overwhelming chip lead and over the course of the final table went on an impressive heater against a final table full of elite competition that included Connor Drinan, Thomas Muehloecker, Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira, and Isaac Haxton. However, even though Addamo held an overwhelming chip lead against Dzivielevski when the pair got heads up Dzivielevski made all of the right moves at the right time and in doing so February's Online Player of the Month flipped the script and walked away with the win. The bulk of the final table took place in short order with seven of the nine players busting in the first four levels of the day. The first to exit the tournament was a short-stacked Conor Drinan who moved all-in for nine big blinds with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] and was quickly called by Thomas Muehloecker in the big blind with his [poker card="kd"][poker card="qc"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] giving Muehloecker top pair. It held through the [poker card="8s"] turn and the [poker card="7h"] river sending Drinan out in ninth for $51,050. Twenty minutes later, Addamo opened in late position with [poker card="8s"][poker card="8c"] and Aliaksei Boika moved all in for his 27 big blinds with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] in the small blind. Addamo took a couple of seconds and made the call. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"] shipping the chips to Addamo and eliminating Boika in eighth place for $66,204. Then the bustouts came at a rapid pace as ten minutes later, after Muehloecker opened in the hijack with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"], Chris Puetz shipped his final six big blinds with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Muehloecker made the call and the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="4s"] giving Muehloecker a flush draw to go with his pair outs. The [poker card="7h"] turn was safe for Puetz but the [poker card="7h"] river brought in the flush and sent Puetz out of the tournament in seventh for $85,856. The very next hand, Muehloecker, who was second in chips at the time, picked up [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and opened in mid-position. The action folded to Addamo who woke up with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] and put in a three-bet from the small blind. Muehloecker flat called and the flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2c"], giving Muehloecker top set. Addamo put out a small bet and Muehloecker just called. The turn was the [poker card="4c"] and Addamo led out again, putting out roughly a half pot bet. Muehloecker, again, just called. Then, Addamo hit his two-outer when the [poker card="ac"] spiked on the river. Addamo bet small, prompting Muehloecker, with a half pot bet left behind, to move all-in. Addamo snap-called and Muehloecker saw the bad news. Addamo’s chip lead increased while Muehloecker settled for sixth place and a $111,342 score. Just two hands later, wielding a six-to-one chip lead over the next closest competitor, Addamo opened his [poker card="7d"][poker card="4d"] from the cutoff. On the button, Uruguay’s former #1-ranked Fabrizio ‘DrMikee’ Gonzalez moved all-in holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The action folded back to Addamo who called the short-stacked shove. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] giving Gonzalez two pair and a 95% chance to win the hand. The turn was the [poker card="9d"], bringing Addamo’s hand some extra life. The [poker card="8d"] river completed Addamo’s runner-runner flush and eliminated Gonzalez in fifth place for $144,393. One more hand passed before current OPOY points leader Joao Vieira called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"] from under the gun four-handed. Addamo checked his option with the [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] and the flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"], giving Addamo two pair. Addamo checked it over to Vieira who bet the minimum. Addamo put in a check-raise which Vieira just called. The turn was the [poker card="6d"] and Addamo led for half pot, which Vieira called. The river was the [poker card="9d"] and after a few seconds, Addamo moved all-in putting Vieira to the test with his pocket aces. After tanking for more than four minutes, Vieira clicked the call button and fell in fourth place for $187,255. With three left, Addamo held more than 17 million in chips compared to the 2.1 million of Isaac Haxton and the 750K of Dzivielevski. Having been quiet for the majority of the tournament, Dzivielevski began to chip up at Addamo’s expense. However, when it was Haxton’s turn to move all-in, it was once again Addamo on the other end. Addamo raised the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"] and Haxton, with 10 big blinds left in his stack, moved all-in from the small blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"]. After Dzivielevski folded, Addamo made the call and the flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"][poker card="4d"]. Haxton picked up both flush and straight outs when the [poker card="9s"] fell on the turn. But the [poker card="5h"] was no help for Haxton and the high-roller hit the rail in third place for $242,839. Just two hands into heads-up play, it looked like Addamo was going to walk away with his fourth Super MILLION$ title. From the button, Addamo raised with the [poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"] and Dzivielevski defended holding the [poker card="qh"][poker card="6s"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="4s"] and Dzivielevski check-called a bet by Addamo. The turn was the [poker card="2d"], hitting Addamo’s gutshot straight draw. Again, Dzivielevski check-called a bet by Addamo. When the [poker card="qs"] hit the river, Dzivielevski led out a quarter-pot bet with his trips and Addamo promptly moved all-in. Dzivielevski went into the tank and after two minutes, he found the fold that kept him in the tournament. After that fold, the momentum shifted. Even though Addamo held a nine-to-one chip lead, the hands started falling Dzivielevski’s way. Another important clash took place when Dzivielevski raised the button with [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"] and Addamo three-bet his [poker card="kc"][poker card="5d"]. After Dzivielevski called the flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3d"] giving Dzivielevski middle pair. Addamo fired out and Dzivielevski made the call. The turn came the [poker card="qs"] and Addamo fired again, and again, Dzivielevski called. The river was the [poker card="4h"] which saw Addamo move all-in, completing the three-barrel bluff. With third pair and his tournament life at risk, Dzivielevski made the call. For the first time in the tournament, Dzivielevski took over the chip lead. Addamo didn’t go quietly, in fact, he took back the chip lead as the heads-up battle continued. Soon thereafter, Dzivielevski put in a raise with the [poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] and Addamo three-bet from the big blind, this time holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. Dzivielevski called and the flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"], giving Dzivielevski a pair and a flush draw and Addamo the nut flush draw. Addamo bet out which brought a raise from Dzivielevski. Addamo flat called the raise and the pair watched as the [poker card="ts"] hit the turn. Addamo checked and Dzivielevski moved all-in. It only took a couple of seconds for Addamo to call off, looking for a club, ace, king, or queen to end the tournament. The river was the [poker card="7d"] and as the pot was shipped to Dzivielevski, the tables had officially turned and it was the Brazilian who now held an ample chip lead. On the final hand of the tournament, Addamo opened the button with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="td"] and Dzivielevski three-bet holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"]. Addamo made the call and the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"]. Dzivielevski checked his pocket jacks and Addamo checked back. The turn was a fateful [poker card="ts"] and Dzivielevski checked again. This time Addamo bet and Dzivielevski check-shoved his overpair. Addamo made the call with his pair of tens and when the river came the [poker card="kh"] Dzivielevski’s comeback was complete. Addamo finished in second place for $314,924, an amount enough to put him back atop the Super MILLION$ All-Time Money List. Dzivielevski took home his first GGPoker Super MILLION$ title for $408,406. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/23) 1. Yuri Dzivielevski - $408,406 2. Michael Addamo -$314,924 3. Issac Haxton - $242,839 4. Joao Vieira - $187,255 5. DrMikee - $144,393 6. Thomas Muehloecker - $111,342 7. Chris Puetz - $85,856 8. Aliaksei Boika - $66,204 9. Connor Drinan - $51,050
  14. The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker returns this April with $100 million in total guaranteed prize money over a massive 102 event schedule making it the biggest SCOOP in the series 13-year history. Running from April 4 through April 28, SCOOP 2021 features a total of 306 tournaments segmented into the series’ trademark High, Medium, and Low buy-in levels. Players of every bankroll level will have a SCOOP title to fight for with buy-ins ranging from as little as $2.20 up through the $25,000 Super High Roller. Six Main Events A large chunk of that $100 million guarantee is wrapped into the six Main Events of SCOOP 2021, all of which begin on April 25. Over $15 million will be handed out over the No Limit Hold’em and a Pot Limit Omaha Main Events, both of which come with the three different buy-in levels. [table id=190 /] While many will be looking forward to earning a piece of the prize pool in the Main Events, the SCOOP 2021 schedule offers players a wide variety of tournaments to play in, many with their own impressive guarantees. Of course, the majority of the tournaments are NLHE (225 in total), additional SCOOP titles will be up for grabs in 8-Game, Stud, 5-Card Draw, Razz, Single Draw, Triple Draw, and Badugi. In addition to the variety of disciplines, players will find their favorite formats represented as well. There are plenty of Progressive Knockouts as well as Turbo, Zoom, and short-handed events on the calendar. Essentially, when it comes to the schedule SCOOP 2021 has everything one has come to expect from a major tournament series on PokerStars. Added Value PokerStars is also injecting another $1.6 million in value into the series through their SCOOP leaderboards and ticket giveaways. The series will feature $100,000 in prizes across its four SCOOP leaderboards (High, Medium, Low, and Overall) as well as providing an actual physical trophy for each leaderboard winner. Leaderboard points are given out for every SCOOP event and are awarded based on a player's finishing position. The PokerStars SCOOP Ticket Machine gives away $1.5 million in free SCOOP tickets starting on March 28. When the series begins, players will be automatically entered in a daily drawing every time they play in an official event. Abundance of Qualifiers Traditional satellites will be held for nearly every SCOOP event however there are other ways to qualify for the biggest events of the series at a fraction of the cost. The SCOOP Fast Track looks to help players qualify for a number of events, including the $10,300 Main Event, for as little as $1. The track has four steps and at the end of the fourth event, Main Event tickets are won. Plus, SCOOP tickets are handed out as prizes in both $4 and $22 Spin & Go’s. SCOOP 2021 Schedule (High, Medium, Low) High [table id=194 /] Medium [table id=193 /] Low [table id=192 /]
  15. A quick glance at this week’s Online Poker Rankings gives off the impression that not much has changed. Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, the United Kingdom-based online MTT crusher, retained the #1 spot for the second week in a row while nine of last week’s top 10 ranked players remained in the top 10. But under the surface, it was a very active week. Steven’s closest challengers for the top spot have significantly closed the gap threatening to end his position atop the leaderboard after just two weeks. Plus, the addition of one of the game’s top online talents to the rankings has the possibility to shake everything up over the next few weeks. Last week, Stevens took over the #1 ranking it for the fourth time in his career. However, his longest time spent atop the leaderboard top in each of his previous reigns was just two weeks - where he is right now. And if Portugal’s Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira has anything to say about it, it may end at just two weeks once again. The current #2-ranked Ferreira pulled within four points of Stevens, a razor-thin margin. In addition to Ferreira’s recent win in the GGPoker $10,300 High Roller for $268,974 and 1,174.73 points, he also piled on an additional 350.93 points with a deep run in the GGPoker $25,500 Super High Roller for $49,157. He’s been on a rapid rise up the rankings and has never been in a better position to take over the #1 spot than he is right now. Ferreira’s not alone in being within striking distance of Stevens. Russia’s #3-ranked Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov sits just 318 points back, an amount that can easily be earned on the high-stakes MTT scene. Malinov’s last significant score took place in the same $25,500 Super High Roller referenced above where he walked away with $180,167 and 608.11 points for a sixth-place finish. However, it’s one thing to be close and it’s another entirely to actually become #1. Even with multiple players targeting him at the top, there’s a good chance that Stevens can keep his streak going for a third week in a row. In both Ferreira and Malinov’s cases, their volume throughout the week appears to be down while Stevens has been on the grind. He picked up five-figure cashes in the PokerStars High Roller Club on March 14 for $12,731 and in the GGPoker High Roller Deepstack for another $17,659. Welcome Back 'Naza' While the coming weekend may determine who will emerge as the #1, there’s a new player in the top 10 to contend with as well. High-stakes crusher Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira, who was actually unranked last week, updated his PocketFives profile which added new scores to his total. The result is Vieira came in at #6 this week, becoming Portugal’s second player in the top 10 and pushing out WSOP Main Event champ Damian 'tritu' Salas, who slipped to #11. Additionally, Vieira took over the early lead in the Online Player of the Year standings. One of Vieira’s updates was adding his GGPoker real name, which included some of his biggest cashes in recent weeks. Early in March, he took sixth place in the Super MILLION$ Week $10,300 High Roller for $74,813 and 400.91 points. Then just this past week, he added a third-place finish in the GGPoker $5,250 Sunday 500 for $142,724 and 569.01 points. Finally, on the same day as his six-figure score, he locked up another $31,885 and 328.53 points with a final table finish in the GGPoker Sunday High Rollers. Moving forward, Vieira and his high-roller output will be another major factor in the elite sections of the rankings. Additionally, it lends more evidence that Vieira continues to be in the discussion as one of the best players in the world. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Brazil’s Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold hit a new career-high ranking this week, leaping 20 spots from #36 to #16 this week after a weekend that brought him three five-figure scores including a fourth-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $43,869 and a runner-up finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ for $84,522 and 659.75 points. • Back-to-back final tables in the PokerStars High Roller Club helped Jonathan ‘luckyfish89’ Clark climb 19 spots this week to #62. He grabbed a fifth-place finish in the $530 Bounty Builder on March 14 for 13,070 and 208.10 points and two days later took down another $530 Bounty Builder HR for $8,856 and another 226.94 points. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings Top 10 [table id=188 /]
  16. The 2021 Online Player of the Year race stands to be one of the most contested in recent history as every major operator continues the trend of last year by offering a wealth of major events backed by massive guarantees. With nearly a quarter of the year already played out, an early look at the OPOY race has some of the biggest names in online poker putting in the work to be in contention for the title down the road. The current leader of the pack is Portugal’s Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira who has leveraged a number of high-profile six-figure scores to build an early OPOY lead but also enter the top 10 in the most recent Online Poker Rankings. His first major score of the year came on January 6 when he outlasted the likes of ‘Lena900’ and current #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens at the star-studded final table of the PokerStars Blowout Series 36-H ($5,200 NLHE, 6-Max, High Roller) for $123,068 and 717.64 points. A deep run in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ Week $25,500 Super High Roller on March 2 brought Viera another $222,514 payday plus 642.75 points. Less than a week later, he hit another major score when he finished in third place in the March 8 GGPoker Sunday 500 for $142,724 and 569.01 points. Vieira is currently sitting with 12,705.24 OPOY points which is a good start. For reference, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford ran away with the award last year with 29,804 points. This means that in order to keep ahead of the pack, Vieira will need to continue to pile up points in larger events so his average score rises. Vieira’s countryman and Portugal’s current #1-ranked pro Rui 'RuiNF' Ferreira sits in second place, just 17.88 points behind. And just like Vieira, Ferreira has racked up points while earning some of the biggest scores of his career. Two of Ferreira’s top three scores of the year came on the same day at the same time. Ferreira finished as the runner-up in the Winamax W Series High Roller KO for $131,199 and 921.92 points while he was also grinding the PokerStars Blowout Series 54-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) where he, again, finished in second place for another $202,090 and 719.71 points. His Blowout Series score remained his largest score of the year until early in March when he took down the GGPoker $10,300 High Roller for $268,974, a new career-high score. To go along with that was a 1,174.73 boost, an amount that will for sure calculate into his final score by year’s end. Ukraine’s Martynenko ‘Feero’ Vladislav is the only other player currently with more than 12,000 qualifying points, currently sitting in third place with 12,284.00. Unlike those above him, Vladislav has been piling up point through sheer consistency. Most players who rack up so many points have a few large scores that elevate them, but Vladislav’s largest earn is an 11th place in the GGPoker $10,300 Super MILLION$ in February for $37,264 and 355.05 points. What Vladislav does well is he finds a way to go deep and make the money just about every day he’s online. A look at his largest scores of the year is a picture of a grinder who seemingly always put himself in a position to win - which he’s done more than 25 times in 2021 so far. While Vladislav is in a good spot now, in order to be in the running in the second half of the year he’ll very likely need to pad those core results with a few larger scores, something he’s very capable of doing especially with as much time as there is left in the year. Current Online Player of the Year Race Leaderboard [table id=187 /]
  17. In his third appearance at a $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ final table, online poker legend Isaac Baron (‘westmenloAA’) became the just fourth player in the history of the high-roller tournament to win it twice after he outlasted the 204-entry field and walked away with the $412,449 first-place prize. With the victory, Baron joins Michael Addamo, Darren Elias, and Lucas Reeves in the elite club of players who have captured two Super MILLION$ titles. It also propels Baron up over $1.35 million in total Super MILLION$ earnings, good enough for a Top 10 spot on the tournament's leaderboard. Based on his long list of online poker accolades, Baron was one of the favorites to win it all headed into the final table. However, he first had to deal with Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann, the current #7-ranked player in the world and chip leader headed into the final table. Like Baron, Volkmann has also previously won a Super MILLION$ and was looking to take his chip lead to claim a second title. Also earning a spot in the final nine were top-ranked Brazilian Pablo ‘pabritz’ Brito Silva as well as 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damien ‘tritu’ Salas. Salas started the day sixth in chips, however, an early confrontation sent him to the rail sooner than he may have expected. After an open from ‘25th Baam’ in early position, Salas flatted in the cutoff with [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"]. ‘Beast2018!’ three-bet holding the [poker card="ad"][poker card="ks"]. After ‘25th Baam’ folded, Salas shoved his 40 big blind stack. After a few seconds ‘Beast2018!’ made the call and he paired his ace right away on the [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"][poker card="2h"] flop. The [poker card="as"] turn gave ‘Beast2018!’ trips, leaving Salas looking for one of the final two jacks in the deck. The river was the [poker card="5d"] and Salas exited in ninth place for $51,656. Over thirty minutes later, ‘7ingls7’ opened in mid-position with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. Right behind him, a short-stacked ‘Nator’ put his final six big blinds in the middle with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"]. Action folded back to ‘7ingls7’, who snap-called putting 'Nator' at risk. The flop came [poker card="tc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4s"], keeping ‘Nator’ out front and in position to double. The [poker card="4c"] hit the turn but the [poker card="kd"] spiked on on the river and awarded the pot to ‘7ingls7’. 'Nator’s run ended in eighth place for $66,860. The pace of play slowed down even more, as nearly an hour of seven-handed play took place. Eventually, ‘7ingls7’ put in a raise from the cutoff with [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"] and when folded to Russia’s Gleb Tremzin in the big blind, he put in his final five big blinds with [poker card="jd"][poker card="8d"]. Again, ‘7ingls7’ quickly called the shorter stack. The table watched as the board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ts"], awarding another knockout to ‘7ingls7’ and sending Tremzin home in seventh for $86,706. Forty minutes later it was a different story for ‘7ingls7’ who, rather than calling short stacks, was the short stack himself. From the button, ‘7ingls7’ shipped his final eight big blinds with [poker card="ks"][poker card="9d"] right into the [poker card="as"][poker card="ad"] of ‘25th Baam’ in the small blind, who made the easy call. The board [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"][poker card="4h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"] board provided little drama and ended ‘7ingls7’s tournament in sixth place for $112,444. With five left, the action heated up. When folded to in the small blind, Baron put in a raise holding [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"]. ‘Beast2018!’ opted to three-bet shove his 25 big blind stack from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. Baron, with the chip lead quickly called and the flop fell [poker card="td"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4h"]. ‘Beast2018!’ picked up a pair and some extra outs, but Baron's overpair held through the [poker card="4s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river. Baron’s lead increased and ‘Beast2018!’ was eliminated in fifth place for $145,823. At four-handed the stacks were polarized with Baron and Volkmann sitting on the two larger stacks and both ‘25th Baam’ and Pablo Brita Silva looking to double. From the button, the aggressive Volkmann open-shoved his [poker card="ks"][poker card="7h"] into both of the smaller stacks. After ’25th Baam’ folded, Silva called with his [poker card="jh"][poker card="jc"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"], putting Silva in great shape to win the hand. But Volkmann hit one of his three outs when the [poker card="kd"] hit the turn. The [poker card="5s"] river was of no help to Silva who went out in fourth place for $189,109. Two hands later, Baron opened the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="4s"] and from the big blind ‘25th Baam’ shipped his final 15 big blinds in with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"]. Baron made the call and the flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2h"] giving ‘25th Baam’ some additional straight outs. But the turn was the [poker card="7c"] and the river came the [poker card="as"], which gave Baron top pair and ended Japan’s ‘25th Baam’s journey in third place, good for $245,244. Both Baron and Volkmann were deep stacked headed into heads-up play. Although Baron held the chip lead, they were 60 big blinds effective and it looked like fans were in for a lengthy heads-up match. That was not to be the case though as it only took three hands to determine which of these two players would become a two-time champ. Volkmann raised the button with [poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"] and Baron flatted the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"] and Baron checked his top pair over to Volkmann who put in a small bet with bottom pair. Baron check-raised his pair of aces and after a few seconds, Volkmann made the call. The turn was the [poker card="ks"] and Baron checked it over to Volkmann again. Volkmann put out a bigger bet which Baron just called. When the river came the [poker card="9h"] Baron checked a third time and Volkmann, with a little more than a pot-sized bet left, opted to shove. Having made two pair, Baron called and ended the tournament. Volkmann missed out on becoming the two-time Super MILLION$ winner himself but walked away with a $318,042 payday as the runner-up. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/16) 1. Isaac Baron - $412,449 2. Bruno Volkmann - $318,042 3. ‘25th Baam’ - $245,244 4. Pablo Brita Silva - $189,109 5. ‘Beast2018!’ - $145,823 6. ‘7ingls7’ - $112,444 7. Gleb Tremzin - $86,706 8. ‘Nator’ - $66,860 9. Damian Salas - $51,556
  18. A major shakeup in this week’s Online Poker Rankings saw UK online crusher Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens jumping up from the #2 spot to assume the #1 rank for the fourth time in his career and ending the three-month-long reign of Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon. Just one week ago, Stevens eclipsed the 13,000 PLB mark, putting him closer to Botteon than anyone had been in the better part of a month. However, he needed a significant score to close the gap and that’s exactly what took place this week. Stevens picked up a runner-up finish in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ Week $25,500 Super High Roller for $655,289, the second-largest online score of his career. Additionally, that came with 1,175.58 PLB points, just enough to push the pro past 14,000 total PLB points and back into the role of the #1 online player in the world. Even though his SHR runner-up finish was perhaps the result that pushed him over the top, his week was littered with significant results that included a third-place finish in the GGPoker $840 High Rollers Marathon for $16,494 and 182.89 PLB points. Also, he made a deep run in the $5,250 Sunday 500 on GGPoker for another $12,146 and 236.06 points. On top of those results, there were plenty of scores that didn’t qualify for PLB points but made for an incredible week for ‘Giraf’. There were nine tournaments, none of which counted into the rankings due to field size, in which Stevens walked away with a five-figure score. In total, those nine tournaments added over $257,000 to his career earnings which soared past the $15 million mark this week. READ: The Poker Dream Is Still Very Much Alive For 'Girafganger7' After a dominant 12-week run, Botteon moved down to #4 this week due to a combination of low volume (he only recorded an uncharacteristic nine total cashes this week) and aging PLB results. Botteon’s current PLB total is 12,858, an amount that he could easily build upon to get back in contention for the top spot in the coming weeks. Steven’s wasn’t the only major move inside the Top 10 this week as Portugal’s Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira continued to grind his way up the rankings and moved from #7 into the #2 spot, a new career-high ranking for him. It was one month ago that Ferreira first broke through into the Top 5 and in the subsequent weeks, he bounced around inside and out of the Top 10. But with four PLB-qualifying scores this week, including an online career-high victory in GGPoker Super MILLION$ Week $10,300 High Roller for $268,974 and 1,174.73, he was able to vault all the way up to second on the list. Russia’s Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov’s heater continues as well. The recently featured pro jumped three spots this week from #6 in the world to #3 - the closest he’s been to the top spot since 2018. Less than a week after his career-high GGPoker $25,500 Super High Roller win for $661,744, Malinov made another deep run in an SHR. On March 8, Malinov finished in sixth place for $180,167 in another GGPoker $25K bringing him an additional 608.11 PLB points and leaving him just 249 points behind Ferriera and 782 behind Stevens. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Following his jump in the rankings last week, Finland’s former #1-ranked pro Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro is back inside the Top 10, rising from #12 to #8 in the world. This is thanks, in part, to a sixth-place finish for over $135,000 in the same $25K Super High Roller that awarded massive points to ‘Giraf’ and Malinov this week. • Speaking of Super High Rollers, Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood posted back-to-back deep runs on Natural8 that brought him over $79,000 and 650 PLB points. It also pushed him up 13 spots in the rankings from #36 back into the Top 25 to #23. • Sam ‘TheSquid’ Grafton returned to the Top 100 this week, rising from #141 in the world to #89 after making the final table of the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #126 ($5,200 8-Max, PKO, High Roller) where he took home more than $26,000 and 233.35 PLB points. Joining him in breaking back through, was Hungary’s Peter ‘Belabacsi’ Traply who took down a PokerStars $109 and added $4,783 to his more than $18.6 million in career earnings, currently second on the Online All-Time Money List. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings Top 10 [table id=185 /]
  19. For the second month in a row, a high-profile Brazilian poker pro ran away with the monthly PLB contest as Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski used a pair of major six-figure scores to help clinch the February Online Poker Player of the Month title. It was an impressive performance from Dzivielevski who, despite the shorter month, put up more than 1000 more PLB points than his countryman Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon did when he won the award in January. In the end, Dzivielevski racked up 4,942.38 PLB points, with many of them coming from his battles in the high-roller arenas. It took less than 24 hours into February for Dzivielevski to know it was going to be an epic month. A runner-up finish in the ACR Venom $8 million guaranteed Main Event brought him an $849,150 payday, the second-largest score of his career, and an astounding 2,026.53 PLB points. It was that tournament that set him up to outpace everyone else in the month. One week later he had back-to-back five-figure scores which included a third-place run in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $32,064 and 283.33 points. At the same time, he made the final table of the Winamax Grand Tournament where he added another $14,292 and 181.24 to his daily total. On February 21 Dzivielevski found himself at another GGPoker Super MILLION$ final table battling against the likes of Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood, Mikita Badziakouski, and former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt. He ended up falling in fourth place but took home $207,649 for his efforts and 651.46 PLB points. In total, Dzivielevski recorded 38 total cashes for a total of more than $1.55 million in earnings. During that run, he climbed as high as #2 in the Online Poker Rankings. He currently sits ranked at #5 in the world. In most months, what Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens accomplished in February would be more than enough to sit atop the leaderboard. He amassed 4,319.95 points by going on an absolute heater through the high roller tournaments on GGPoker. On February 2, Stevens finished fifth in the $10K Super MILLION$ for $150,112 and 551.73 PLB points. Just three days later be secured a victory in a GGPoker $1,050 High Roller for $45,769 and 447.21 points. At the very same time, he took third place in another $1,050 High Roller, capturing another $56,602 and 365.77 points. The very next day, ‘Giraf’ was taking down another tournament when he walked away with the win in a third $1,050 High Roller, good for $45,769 and 447.21 points. One week later, Stevens was back at another Super MILLION$ final table, finishing in seventh place for another $85,857 and 442.20 PLB points. It just didn’t seem to stop. In total, he added 10 PLB-qualifying cashes to his profile and 16 scores of five-figures or more. While it may not have been enough to bring him the February Player of the Month, it did build the foundation that helped him return to the worldwide #1 ranking, where he currently sits. Rounding out the top three for the month is Brazilian grinder Ramon ‘Ramonkrop’ Kropmanns who amassed the majority of his 4,193.44 PLB points in a single score. Kropmanns outlasted the 3,774 player field in the same ACR Venom $8 million guaranteed Main Event where Dzivielevski finished as the runner-up. Kropmanns ended up taking home a career-high score of $1,113,330 and 3,071.64 PLB points. Kroppmanns is now up to over $3.1 million in lifetime career online cashes and sits just outside the Top 25, ranked #26 in the world. February 2021 Player of the Month Results [table id=186 /]
  20. The truth is, there really is no such thing as an overnight success in the world of poker. Sure, some people are hit with the deck and take home a tournament win for big money, or go on a heater in a cash game - it happens. But sustained success in poker, the kind that gets a player recognized by their peers, takes dedication to the game and plenty of time. For some in the poker community, the recent rise of Alex ‘Veruz’ Butcher to the top of the U.S. Online Poker Rankings may have looked sudden, even out of nowhere. But for Butcher, the 26-year old poker pro, it was hard work in every aspect of his life that allowed him to get where he is today. Originally from Michigan, Butcher first discovered the game of poker simply through hanging out and doing "family stuff" on weekend nights. Stuff like playing cards with his father. It wasn’t until many years later, when he was attending community college, that he discovered a deeper enjoyment of the game. “In Michigan, they have what they call charity halls. They’re mostly just little $1/$2 card rooms within the state where some portion [of the proceeds] goes to charity or whatnot,” Butcher said. “I met a couple of friends and just started playing with them in a little bit there. It’s where I really got my inauguration into poker.” His studies turned from academics to poker and soon after he decided to take a break from college to see where poker would take him. At first, it brought him to Las Vegas to play. But with more online poker options available in New Jersey, Butcher was motivated to move to the Garden State with an eye on grinding. And he did just that. One look at his career online results paint a picture of a player who rarely takes a break, registering for every tournament he can every day of the week. By May of 2020, his resolve was beginning to pay off. A win in a WSOP.com Weekly Tuesday brought him his first five-figure score of the year. Once that barrier was broken, the flood gates opened. Butcher’s graph took a sharp turn upwards as he accumulated 17 five-figure scores in the last nine months, 12 of which were outright victories in some of the biggest tournaments offered in New Jersey. “As far as my results skyrocketing a little bit in the past year or so, for me, a lot of that was some mental health stuff that was holding me back. Just some struggles with anxiety and depression that I really hadn’t properly addressed at any point,” Butcher said. “So I’d go through these ebbs and flows or up and down, up and down. It was really tough for me to be consistent. So I would play and I would have good results, but the consistency wasn’t really there to really put everything together. “So now I’ve gone from maybe one week out of the month where it’s a good month, or a good time for me mentally, to maybe one or two days out of the month where I struggle. Pretty huge difference. That’s been the biggest change for me. I think most of my friends around me have always thought the potential was there, but it’s tough to see your potential if you’re only locked in mentally to what you’re doing ‘some’ amount of the time versus always.” The change for Butcher has been undeniable with a steady stream of deep runs that any poker player would envy. This includes when, at the end of January, Butcher hit a career milestone when he outlasted the 285-entry field in Event #16 of the WSOP.com Circuit Super Series to earn his first WSOP gold ring, something that had been eluding him for some time. It’s a victory that Butcher talks about with a healthy dose of humility and perspective. “Normally that would be a really great moment, and it was, but I have had so many opportunities recently in those that it got to be almost like a joke for me. The first one that they ran this year, I think I was at the final two tables maybe 13 times and I didn’t final table a single one of them,” he said. “So it got almost meme-ish to a point…and it was a turbo. So I have a hard time assigning too much meaning to stuff like that. Turbos are so fickle, you got to run good…and I know I definitely did. So there could have been a more prestigious or more fulfilling first title, but it just feels good to get the monkey off the back, so to speak.” But with enviable results sometimes come actual envy and perhaps undue speculation as to how a player is able to achieve what some others can’t or don’t. While in Florida at a live event, preparing to get some sleep before a $5K the next day, he noticed some talk on social media questioning his results. The kind of talk that would keep a player awake at night. Another player was throwing out accusations that Butcher’s recent results were due to the use of real-time assistance (or some other method) as opposed to Butcher taking the time to take care of his own health. All of a sudden, Butcher, who comes off as thoughtful and somewhat quiet, was forced to defend his talent and reputation. “It’s just a scary feeling that maybe you’re not going to have a voice. I know that these rumors had spread amongst the community…It was something that a lot of people were hearing about and taking to be true so I was concerned from that standpoint. I’m pretty unknown, I keep to myself and now I’ve got these accusations flooding out that paint me in a negative light when I’ve done nothing to bring that upon myself. I think people get jealous pretty easily in this game and to look at some results that are pretty outlandish and think ‘Well, WTF, there’s got to be something going on.” “So the big thing for me was just trying to take that and steer it in a direction where the conversation was more about how people spread misinformation and will take things that are not factual and basically put their stamp on it on social media as if it’s factual.“ While it was a hard time for Butcher, one that elicited “an emotional reaction” from him, it was his goal to try and turn it into a positive and bring about a conversation on how the poker community should be celebrating each other as opposed to taking to social media to tear each other down. In the end, the player who initially brought this allegation against Butcher fully recanted and posted a public apology on Twitter. Butcher has moved on. Literally. After years of grinding the online scene in New Jersey, he is in the midst of a move back to Las Vegas where he plans on continuing to play on WSOP.com but also expanding his poker network and diving into the live tournament scene as it begins to open back up. His first stop was the World Poker Tour Venetian Main Event where he hoped to build out his live poker resume, which as opposed to his online credentials, he admits could use a little expansion. “I don’t have many live results just because when you’re coming up, there’s more value in playing those $55’s and $109’s on a nightly basis. You just get more reps, more practice. I think there’s a lot of benefits to it,” he said. “Now when I go play live, just as far as the buy-ins I play, I’m not trying to brag by any means, but it needs to be worth it. Something like a $400 or $600 is not something that’s going to get me out of the house to go play at this point, just because the hourly doesn’t make sense for me.” [caption id="attachment_634059" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Alex Butcher returned to Las Vegas to play in the WPT Venetian $5K.[/caption] That being said, Butcher does have plenty of live poker aspirations including playing in some of the bigger cash games offered in Las Vegas as well as larger tournament series, like the World Series of Poker. And if an invite to one of Las Vegas’ famous private games comes his way, well, Butcher won’t turn it down. So while the recent returns for Butcher have been good to him, and a return move to Las Vegas is exciting for his poker future, he’s determined to stay level-headed about it all. For every big win that people see, there are losses that come with it. Even though he's on the upswing today, tomorrow may bring some on-the-felt hardships. “This game’s really hard. If you’re swinging on that emotional pendulum all the time and not processing things from a logical base, it’s really hard to do well. Just going through emotional swings on a day-to-day basis outside of poker is hard. Then, on top of that, when you’re playing these games, you have to be at your A-game highest level all the time. You just have to have a good head on your shoulders. It’s super vital, something I definitely take pride in, but not something I was always good at. I think this is part of the process to get to this level and be able to play these games consistently…you have to be able to take the losses, those minus $15K days, the same way you do the plus $20K.” It’s been five years of intense dedication to poker for Butcher, but he insists that this is just the beginning. “I would like to think that I’m in it for the long haul. I have a great passion for the game,” he said. “I watch myself play and I just know that there’s so much stuff I can do better in the game, I know how much room for improvement is available.”
  21. With the 2021 GGPoker Super MILLION$ Week coming to a close, the online operator rolled out a special Main Event edition of its weekly $10,000 buy-in Super MILLION$ tournament by giving it a massive $10 million guarantee. It turned out that it was also a special week for the UK’s Ben Ward who battled through the field of 976 entries, went into the final table as the chip leader, and took down the tournament and its $1,242,332 first-place prize. It’s not just a career-high score for Ward, who had no previous results in the Super MILLION$, but likely a life-changing one. According to GGPoker, Ward had a total of just over $23,000 in total earnings on the site and his recorded live results total just $101. As a cash game player, Ward faced down some serious competition at what was one of GGPoker's biggest tournaments of 2021. Joining Ward at the final table was the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event champion (and previous GGPoker Super MILLION$ winner) Alexandros Kolonias, WSOP bracelet winner Shankar Pillai, and high-roller tournament specialist Thomas Muehloecker. With just eight players remaining and so much money up top, it was slow going for the first hour or so. Eventually, the first player fell when after Kolonias opened in late position, France's Benjamin Chalot three-bet behind him holding [poker card="as"][poker card="td"]. Muehloecker then put in a four-bet holding [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"]. When it folded back to Chalot, he made the call with his tournament on the line. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="6c"][poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"], keeping Muehloecker’s pocket tens out front and sending Chalot to the rail in eighth place for $299,366. Twenty minutes later Muehloecker was involved yet again. He raised the button with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"] and then Ward three-bet from the small blind holding [poker card="qs"][poker card="qh"]. Muehloecker four-bet shoved his stack and Ward, having him covered, made the call. The flop came [poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"][poker card="5c"], keeping the pocket queens ahead. The [poker card="jc"] hit the turn, swapping some outs for Muehloecker. The river was the [poker card="js"], ending Muehloecker’s run in seventh place for $366,078 and giving Ward a massive chip lead headed into six-handed play. Another forty minutes passed when a short-stacked Krasimir Yankov from Bulgaria put in a raise in late position with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"]. Kolonias, who was second in chips, moved all-in holding the [poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"] and when the action returned to Yankov, he put in the rest of his chips. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="6s"] run out was of no help for Yankov who was eliminated in sixth place and took home $446,657. Kononias continued to accumulate even more chips. When Pillai shipped his under ten big blind stack with [poker card="2s"][poker card="2h"], Kolonias made the quick call with his [poker card="9s"][poker card="9d"]. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="jd"][poker card="8h"] and when the [poker card="td"] hit the turn, Kolonias made a straight leaving Pillai drawing dead to the [poker card="3h"] river. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Pillai picked up $547,414 for fifth place. Minutes later, Kolonias was at it again. In a battle of the blinds, Kolonias open-shipped his stack holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="ts"] and Germany's 'Weizen’ made the call in the big blind with his [poker card="jd"][poker card="jc"]. The flop came [poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"], keeping ‘Weizen’ in the lead. But when the [poker card="qc"] hit the turn, the German was looking for one of two outs to save his tournament. However, the river was the [poker card="tc"], giving Kolonias two pair and sending ‘Weizen’ out in fourth place for $669,403. For a brief moment, Kolonias held the chip lead. But shortly into three-handed play, Ward took it back and then added on. Ward shoved his chip leading stack all-in from the small blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="jh"] and was called by Javier Gomez holding a dominating [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2c"] flop put Ward in the lead, which he held through the [poker card="4h"] turn and [poker card="8h"] river. Just like that Gomez was out in third place, earning $818,576 in just his second Super MILLION$ event. Entering heads-up play, Ward held nearly a two-to-one chip lead over Kolonias, and through applying pressure he kept that lead the rest of the way. The final hand was fairly standard as Kolonias raised with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"] and Ward three-bet holding the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. Kolonias then moved in with his pocket nines and Ward made the call. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2s"] flop paired Ward’s ace and nothing else changed through the [poker card="7h"] turn and the [poker card="7s"] river. Kolonias, finished the day as the runner-up but still took home a seven-figure score of $1,000,991. In just his first Super MILLION$ appearance, Ben Ward walked away with the title and the $1,242,332 first-place prize. $10M GTD Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/9) 1. Ben Ward - $1,242,332 2. Alex Kolonias - $1,000,991 3. Javier Gomez - $818,576 4. ‘Weizen’ - $669,403 5. Shankar Pillai - $547,414 6. Krasimir Yankov - $447,657 7. Thomas Muehlocker - $366,078 8. Benjamin Chalot - $399,366
  22. In honor of International Women’s Day, PocketFives is shining the light on some of the women in poker who have made poker their lives and their careers and are an integral part of moving the game to new heights. If you are a poker fan in Latin America, then there’s a very good chance you are already very aware of Pamela 'Pamsi' Balzano, the 25-year old poker player and influencer from Buenos Aires, Argentina who dedicates almost all of her time and creativity to promote the game of poker. Balzano, a part-time player and full-time content creator, has been heavily involved in the poker community for the better part of the past eight years. From back in 2014 when she used to take pictures of live events for poker news outlet Codigo Poker to hosting the final table of the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event, her passion for the game of poker, and the people who enjoy it, shines through in everything she does. “My first time in a casino was for work, to take pictures. Then, three years later I started my YouTube channel with the idea of creating a new way to communicate poker. I really liked to explain to people who don’t know about the game how it works, but in a funny way, a colorful way. A different way, because poker in the movies, everything is dark and that’s not the truth about the game.” For Balzano, the game of poker isn’t some moody mix of smoky backrooms or shady characters. It’s always been entertaining, analytical, and even professional. A trait she picked up early from her brother. “My brother is seven years older than me and he started playing when he was 18. He became a professional poker player very soon thereafter and then in my home, it was always hand analysis and hand reviews. And I was always there with him and his friends. That’s where I became very interested in the game, because of him. Also, I really liked that he was always traveling around the world playing cards." "So my idea was to follow his path, but doing something different because I really like art and to create things and, well, taking pictures.” After a few years of being involved in poker media, she wanted to reach more people. She started working on her own YouTube channel where she would speak with poker players, give tips to new players, create tournament vlogs, and produce popular “Draw My Life” videos for players like Stu Ungar, Adrian Mateos, Damian Salas, and Doyle Brunson - a video that has been seen well over 100,000 times. In the midst of working on her videos, she also began to work on her own game. “I started with my YouTube channel and then I started to study the game more professionally, but I’m not a professional poker player. I like to play poker, I like to study poker and I really want to improve my game. So for the last two years, I’ve been studying a lot and playing more, but not full-time because I create content and communicate poker, that’s my job.” Since that time, her job and profile in poker have been expanding. She’s an active Twitch streamer, showcasing the results of her poker studies to her more than 9,000 followers and she’s also been recruited by partypoker to anchor a number of online broadcasts for their Latin American viewers on the partypokerLATAM channel. It’s clear though that, for Balzano, the time and dedication she puts into her myriad of poker content is truly a labor of love and the feedback she receives from her community motivates her to keep pushing forward. “I love my community because I’ve found a lot of nice people who are always enjoying the game like me, they are always sending good vibes. I really like to share my work with people, and that’s why I really like this job because I can share everything with a lot of nice people.” Next up for Balzano is a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to cover and play in the upcoming Caribbean Latin Series of Poker Main Event. As both a player and a content creator for the event, she intends on bringing her “A” game both on and off the felt. It’s one of the challenges she had faced in the world of poker, splitting her time between playing and presenting, “It’s difficult for me to decide if I prefer to play or if I prefer to create content because I love creating content and being in touch with people. But of course, I really like the game…I like to play,” she said but also acknowledges that in order to keep things fresh she has to bring the total experience to her audience. “I think the main challenge is to be creative every day. To do things differently. The market is growing, every part of the market, and nowadays Twitch is growing a lot. I really like that, because I am a little bit competitive so I’m always trying to do things differently.” [caption id="attachment_634054" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Pamela Balzano and Santiago Gonzalez anchor the recent coverage of the partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event final table.[/caption] But those challenges are good ones to have. As the international poker market continues to grow, including in Argentina where Balzano says the game is “popular…but not very much” yet, her years of experience in all facets of the game are being allowed to shine. And as her community continues to grow so does her appreciation of the task at hand - bringing the game of poker into the spotlight. “I’m doing the job of my dreams, achieving a lot of things. One of them is being the host of big-time tournaments, for example, the partypoker MILLIONS Online. Of course, it would be nice if I could do it live, but it’s understandably difficult right now. But my main, main, main dream is to do commentary for the World Series of Poker Main Event or something like that. That would be nice.”
  23. Damian Salas’ amazing start to 2021 got even better this week with a string of online scores propelling the newly crowned World Series of Poker Main Event champion to a career-high spot in the latest worldwide Online Poker Rankings. If the totality of Salas’ yearly accomplishments would have been taking down the 2020 WSOP Main Event in January, by any standard it would have been a great year. But Salas, who has a well-documented love of the grind seemingly isn’t content with his place in the history books, he wants more. After spending the past two weeks racking up picking up impressive scores and the PocketFives Leaderboard points that come with them, the Argentinian has soared 19 spots this week to break through into the top 10 of the Online Poker Rankings where he currently sits at #9. His spotlight score of last month was a runner-up finish in the February 14 edition of the weekly GGPoker $10,000 buy-in Super MILLION$. From a final table that included top-ranked pros like Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov, and, eventual winner, Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro, Salas collected a $314,924 payday and 937.69 PLB points for his second place finish. On the same day, Salas finished in third place in the GGPoker Sunday High Roller Bounty Special for another $7,390 and 131.69 points. One week later, Salas ran deep in another major event when he finished inside the final two tables in the PokerStars Turbo Series 03 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max High Roller) for $14,284 and another 179.43 PLB points. And finally, he grabbed another 180.61 PLB points when he bubbled the final table of the GGPoker two-day $1,050 Monday Main Event, finishing in tenth place for $4,289. For Salas to remain in the top 10 moving forward, he’s going to need to continue to keep busy. The PLB point race is especially tight in the #8-#12 spots with Salas being just 383 points behind Brazilian Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann and a mere 127 points ahead of Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov who sits at #10. For someone to enter the top 10 means that someone has to leave and this week it was Anton ‘AnteSvante’ Wigg who slipped from the #9 spot to #11. Also of note for Salas, at the very end of January he scored a runner-up finish in a GGPoker $1,500 High Roller Deepstack for $16,119. That's a nice score by any measure but it was also the moment that he eclipsed the $9 million in online earnings mark. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Last week it was Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski who was in the position to make a run at Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon’s reign at #1, this week former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens assumes the #2 spot. The difference this week is that Steven has eclipsed the 13,000 PLB mark, putting him closer than any other player has been in nearly a month. Helping Stevens out was his victory this week in the GGPoker $400 Forty Stack where he earned $11,669 and 224.46 PLB points. • With his win in the aforementioned GGPoker Super MILLION$, Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro also had a significant leap in this week’s rankings rising from #26 back to #12. The win was worth $408,406 and brought with it an impressive 1,421.27 PLB points. Keep an eye on the former worldwide #1 for a possible return to the Top 10 in the coming weeks. • Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot flew back into the Top 100 this week, rising 245 places to #40 thanks to a slew of recent high roller results from GGPoker, a deep run in the PokerStars Turbo Series, and a runner-up finish in the partypoker High Roller One Shot for $26,425 (307.69 PLB points). Next week see another surge for the Brit as he took down a the $5,250 High Roller Special on GGPoker for $125,383 and made the final table of the partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event. • Five players returned to the Top 100 this week including the Brazilian trio of 'dennysramos2', ‘jason132008’, and ’saymon9’ as well as former #1-ranked superstar Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet who comes in at #98 this week. Although Van Fleet’s recorded volume has been light in 2021, he’s is always good for massive scores. Including his third-place finish in the PokerStars Turbo Series 03 ($5,200 NLHE High Roller) where he won $101,421 (471.27 PLB points) and jumped to over $17 million in career online cashes, good for #4 on the All-Time Online Money List.
  24. After three full days of play in the partypoker 2021 MILLIONS Online $5,300 Main Event, UK grinder Endrit Geci outlasted the 1,084-entry field to take home the title and a career-high online score of $774,838.27. Geci started the day with an overwhelming chip lead as the only player to have more than 200M in chips, a full 23 big blind advantage over the rest of the field. However, even with a healthy lead headed into the final table, his path to victory would not be an easy one with some exceptional poker talent including Daniel Dvoress, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Christian Rudolph, and fellow UK grinder Jonathan Proudfoot all earning a seat for Day 3. Once play got underway, it didn’t take long for the fireworks to start. Roughly thirty minutes into the day, Geci went to work and put in a raise under the gun with his [poker card="ts"][poker card="th"]. The UK’s former #1-ranked pro Jonathan Proudfoot then three-bet holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. Geci promptly four-bet enough to put the short-stacked Proudfoot all-in. Proudfoot made the call and board ran out [poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kh"], shipping the pot to Geci and taking out Proudfoot in ninth place for $72,260. Geci was back at it a few minutes later when he raised in early position with the [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"]. Martin Brinkmann then three-bet shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"]. Geci quickly called and the flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="4c"] giving Geci top set and Brinkmann a flush, straight and straight-flush draw. The turn was the [poker card="ks"] bringing Geci a full house and leaving Brinkmann looking for just the [poker card="td"]. But the river was the [poker card="6h"] adding to Geci’s growing stack and sending Brinkmann out in eighth for $91,542. Canada’s Richard Mullen had fewer than 10 big blinds when he moved all-in from early position with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. On the button, Christian Rudolph made the call holding the [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3c"] giving the at-risk Mullen extra flush draw out and when the [poker card="th"] hit the turn he picked up a gutshot straight draw as well. However, the river was the [poker card="8s"] giving shipping the pot to Rudolph’s ace-high kicker and sending Mullen home in seventh for $115,425. Not long after busting Mullen, it was Rudolph’s turn to put his tournament on the line. Rudolph raised from under the gun with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and when it folded back to Geci in the big blind, he three-bet enough to cover Rudolph with [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"]. Rudolph committed the rest of his chips and the board rank out [poker card="9h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] giving Geci another full house. For the second time in an all-in situation, Geci’s pocket tens won the flip and that sent Rudolph to the rail in sixth place for $146,300. After an early position raise from Daniel Dvoress holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"], Brazil’s Hermogenes Gelonezi moved all-in with his [poker card="7s"][poker card="7d"] When folded back to, Dvoress called with his dominating pair and Gelonezi was left looking for help. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"] flop gave Dvoress a set, but brought some additional straight outs for Gelonezi. The turn was the [poker card="as"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"] ending Gelonezi’s tournament in fifth place, good for $189.320. The momentum for partypoker ambassador Dzmitry Urbanovich had been trending upwards and at one point, he climbed into second in chips. But shortly after the third break, after taking a bit of a hit to his stack, that momentum came to a halt when he and Dvoress clashed in a cooler. Dvoress put in a raise from under the gun with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and Urbanovich, with slightly fewer chips, three-bet shipped his [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"]. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"], giving Dvoress top sent and when the [poker card="2s"] hit the turn, Urbanovich was drawing dead to the [poker card="9h"] river. The partypoker pro fell in fourth place and added $276,128 to his over $3.2 million in career online earnings. At three-handed, Dvoress assumed the chip lead. However the three stacks were bunched together and when Dvoress lost a flip to Geci, he found himself short. Eventually, he put in a raise holding [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] and Francisco Correia called him in the big blind with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7d"] and the action checked through. The turn was the [poker card="8s"] giving both players a straight. Correia led out and Dvoress called. The river was the [poker card="jh"], lifting Correia’s hand to a queen-high straight and he shoved, having Dvoress covered. Dvoress eventually made the call and ended up at the third-place finisher, earning $422,422. As heads-up play started, Correia and Geci tried to negotiate a heads-up deal. They couldn’t agree so they played on. As their stacks grew closer together, they tried again and finally agreed. The deal awarded Correia $731,960 and Geci locked up $724,838 with $50,000 be left to the winner. After the deal, Geci went on a run and took back the chip lead he started the day with. This time, he didn’t let it go. On the final hand, Geci limped the button holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] and Correia checked his option with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="ts"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] and both players checked. The [poker card="tc"] fell on the turn and after Correia checked, Geci put out a bet which Correia called. The river came the [poker card="kd"] and Correia checked again. With this top two pair, Geci shoved and after taking his time, Correia made the call. Correia finished as the runner-up and took home the $731,960 he negotiated in the deal. Endrit Geci collected the additional $50,000 set aside for the winner and became the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online champion, earning a total of $774,838. partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event Final Table 1. Endrit Geci - $774,838.27* 2. Francisco Correia - $731,959.84 3. Daniel Dvoress - $422,421.80 4. Dzmitry Urbanovich - $276,127.53 5. Hermogenes Gelonezi - $189,320.45 6. Christian Rudolph - $146,300.43 7. Richard Mullen - $115,424.85 8. Martin Brinkmann - $91,542.10 9. Jonathan Proudfoot - $$72,259.60
  25. It was a super-sized week for the GGPoker Super MILLION$ in which Russian superstar and current #7-ranked online player in the world, Arsenii 'hellohellohello' Malinov took home the Super MILLION$ Week Super High Roller title and this week's massive $661,743 first-place prize. With it being the 2021 Super MILLION$ Week on GGPoker, what was normally a $10,000 buy-in for the regularly scheduled weekly high roller was bumped up to $25,500 creating a prize pool of more than $2.8 million. By Tuesday, the field of 114 runners was paired down to the final nine and, as can be counted on for this event, included many of today’s top tier online players. Joining Malinov at the final table were Americans Jason Koon, David Coleman, and Seth Davies, who entered the final table as the chip leader. Matthias Eibinger started the final table second in chips and not too far down the leaderboard was online poker savants Aleksejs ‘DamageAP’ Ponakovs from Latvia and Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira. Daniel Dvoress also made the final day, but as the short stack with fewer than 10 big blinds was under pressure right away. Under the gun, Dvoress pushed his remaining chips in the middle holding [poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"] and was quickly called by Malinov who had [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came out [poker card="qc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"], keeping Dvoress out in front. The [poker card="4s"] hit the turn, giving Malinov flush outs to go with his overcards. The [poker card="2s"] completed the flush for the Russian and Dvoress hit the rail in ninth place for $74,821. It wasn’t long before David Coleman also found himself at risk. The New Jersey native moved all-in from late position with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4s"]. Joao Vieira re-shoved on the button with a dominating [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and after both blinds folded the pair watched the board run out [poker card="qs"][poker card="td"][poker card="4c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="8h"]. Vieira’s paired kicker gave him the pot and Coleman exited in eighth place for $98,256. Less than twenty minutes later another American was making his last stand. After an open from Eibinger in the cutoff, Malinov three-bet his [poker card="jh"][poker card="5h"] in the small blind. Jason Koon moved all-in for less with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"]. Eibinger got out of the way and the flop fell [poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"] giving Malinov bottom pair. The pair of fives held through the [poker card="3d"] turn and the [poker card="8h"] river sending Koon home in seventh place for $129,030. A big hand took place with six left when Germany’s ‘REPTAR’ put in a raise on the button with [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"]. From the small blind Eibinger shipped his nearly 25 big blind stack with [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"] and was quickly called by ‘REPTAR’ who had Eibinger covered. The flop came [poker card="9h"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4h"] giving Eibinger additional flush outs. However, the [poker card="3d"] was of no help and neither was the [poker card="7c"] river. Eibinger, who started the day second in chips, settled for a sixth-place finish for $169,444. Minutes later, Vieira was all-in after jamming his [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] on the button. In the big blind ‘REPTAR’ made the quick call with the [poker card="as"][poker card="qd"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2c"] flop. But kickers played after the [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="9h"] river and awarded a second knockout to ‘REPTAR’ and eliminated Vieira in fifth place for $222,514. Nearly 45 minutes passed as the final four players took turns shipping chips back and forth. Eventually, Ponakovs opened with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"] and was called by both Davis in the small blind and Malinov in the big blind. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"] flop was checked through to Ponakovs who put out a small bet. Davies called but then Malinov moved all-in holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"] for top pair and a gutshot straight draw. Ponakovs decided to put the rest of his chips in the middle and Davis folded. The turn was the [poker card="3d"] giving Ponakovs a pair and some additional outs. While the [poker card="2h"] river gave Ponakovs a straight, it gave Malinov a higher one and sent Ponakovs out in fourth place for $292,207. With three left, a pair of big hands clashed when ‘REPTAR’ open-shoved his final ten big blinds from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"] into Seth Davies who held [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"] in the big blind. Davies, with the larger stack, made the quick call and watched as his pocket kings held through the [poker card="qh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="js"] runout. ‘REPTAR’, who stared the day in eighth place, laddered to third and collected $383,728, by far their largest score on GGPoker. Malinov started heads-up play with a slight chip lead over Davies, but over the course of a few hands, he extended that to a nearly four-to-one advantage. On the final hand, Davies limped the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9h"]. Malinov put in a raise with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. Davies three-bet jammed his remaining chips and Malinov quickly clicked call. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="9d"][poker card="ts"] flop gave both players a pair but Davies was unable to catch up through the [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="2s"] river. Davies finished this week as the runner-up, earning $503,914, more than double his total previous Super MILLION$ earnings. Malinov picked up the victory and $661,743 in this fourth final table appearance. His new total earnings in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ tops $1.3 million, sending him into the Top 10 on the tournament’s All-Time Money List leaderboard. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/2) 1. Arsenii Malinov - $661,743 2. Seth Davies - $503,914 3. 'REPTAR' - $383,728 4. Aleks Ponakovs - $292,207 5. Joao Vieira - $222,514 6. Matthias Eibinger - $169,443 7. Jason Koon - $129,030 8. David Coleman - $98,256 9. Daniel Dvoress - $74,821
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