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  1. American high-stakes tournament pro Nick Petrangelo turned in a stellar performance at the final table of the World Poker Tour Online 6-Max Championship to capture his first WPT title and the $494,550 first-place prize. Even though the tournament was 6-Max, there were seven players left when the final day got underway. Final table chip leader Artisom Prostak wasted little time in thinning the field when roughly fifteen minutes into the start of the day he cracked the pocket kings of Jake Schindler, sending him home in seventh place for $70,200. The UK’s Elior Sion started the final table second in chips. However, after a series of pre-flop clashes where he found himself holding a dominated pocket pair, Sion quickly found himself on the short stack. It wasn’t long before he made a move and shipped his final six big blinds under the gun and was quickly called by Jiachen Gong on the button holding [poker card="jh"][poker card="jd"]. The flop [poker card="js"][poker card="2c"][poker card="ks"] flop had Sion looking for running cards to overtake Gong’s set. The [poker card="qh"] could have been one of those cards, but the [poker card="5c"] closed the door and Sion fell in sixth place $93,630. Things were looking up for Gong who started the day extremely short and found a number of double-ups and, after eliminating, Sion, has amassed nearly 20 big blinds. But that all came to a sudden halt on the very next hand. From the cutoff, Gong put in a raise holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="ad"] only to be three-bet by Petrangelo on the button with his [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"]. Folded back to Gong he moved all-in and Petrangelo made the call. Gong was at risk, but well ahead until the [poker card="7h"][poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] flop arrived. It was all over when the [poker card="js"] hit the turn and Petrangelo made quads. The [poker card="7c"] river was inconsequential and Gong’s promising start ended in fifth place $128,100. The UK’s Patrice Brandt was the next to exit. After losing a big hand which would have eliminated Russia’s Arsenii Karmatckii, Brandt was the new short stack. Prostak put in a raise from the button holding [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"] and Brandt defended his big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"]. Brandt check over the [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"][poker card="jh"] flop and Prostak put out a small bet, which Brandt called with top pair. Everything changed when the [poker card="8h"] fell on the turn. Brandt checked again, Prostak, now with a set, put in a bet. Brandt tanked and eventually check-shipped his remaining stack drawing dead, which Prostak snapped off. The river was the [poker card="tc"] and Brandt fell in fourth place for $192,900. Prostak, who had lost the chip lead to Petrangelo, surged back into the lead. That lead grew larger when he collided with Karmatckii. In a three-handed blind versus blind confrontation, Karmatckii raised his [poker card="kc"][poker card="ah"] from the small blind and Prostak shipped his larger stack holding [poker card="jd"][poker card="jc"]. Karmatcki quickly made the call was flipping for his tournament life. The board ran out [poker card="7d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="9d"][poker card="5c"] giving Prostak the hand and sending the Russian out in third place for $278,448, just days after he finished as the runner-up in a World Series of Poker event. At the start of heads-up play, Prostak had a 3-1 chip lead and all the momentum on his side. However, Petrangelo who was sitting on just 20 big blinds for the better part of the first 30 minutes, held steady until the first break. After that, he picked up some key pots including a big-time bluff while never being all-in and at risk. Momentum had shifted to Petrangelo as he evened out the chip stacks after nearly an hour and a half into the heads-up battle. Prostak's stack dwindled down to ten big blinds but he battled back from the short stack for and retook the chip lead one final time. But in the end, it was Petrangelo’s day. He regained the lead just before the pair played the biggest hand of the entire tournament. Prostak raised the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] and Petrangelo made the call holding [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"]. The flop came [poker card="th"][poker card="2s"][poker card="ts"] and Petrangelo checked his flopped trips over to Prostak who put out a small. Petrangelo put in a check-raise and Prostak opted to make the call. The turn came [poker card="5s"] giving Prostak some flush outs. Again Petrangelo put out a hefty bet, which Prostak again called. When the [poker card="ah"] hit the river, Petrangelo shipped and having made top pair, Prostak made the call which ended his tournament as the runner-up. Prostak turned a $320 satellite win into a $368,250 payday. Nick Petrangelo takes home $494,550 plus a $15,000 ticket to the WPT Tournament of Champions. Additionally, as the newest member of the WPT Champions Club, he will have his name engraved on the Mike Sexton Champion Cup. Final Table Results Nick Petrangelo - $494,550 Artisom Prostak - $368,250 Arsenii Karmatckii - $278,448 Patrice Brandt - $192.900 Jiachen Gong - $128,100 Elior Sion - $93,630 Jake Schindler - $70,200
  2. Seth Fischer navigated his way up from one of the shortest stacks at the final table of the 2020 World Series of Poker Event #56 ($1,500 GGMasters High Roller) to top the 2,153 player field and bring home the $444,868.59 first-place prize, a World Series of Poker Europe package and the coveted gold bracelet. For the first half of the final table, bustouts took place at breakneck speed. This allowed Fischer to bide his time, win some key hands, and eventually assume a commanding chip lead which he leveraged to win his first WSOP gold bracelet. It didn’t take long for the final table to lose their first player. Right after the player break Israel’s Yonatan Basin shipped his short stack holding [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"] and was called by Russian online poker superstar Arsenii Karmatckii and his [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] leaving Basin looking for an ace or running straight cards to stay alive. The turn came the [poker card="ts"] and the river the [poker card="kd"] awarding Karmatckii the hand and sending Basin to the rail in ninth for $32,633. On the very next hand, Karmatckii was involved in an all-in confrontation again. France’s Clement Tripodi put in a raise from the cutoff holding [poker card="qs"][poker card="qd"] only to be three-bet shoved on by Karmatckii who had the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"]. Tripodi called off his remaining 20 big blinds for his tournament life. The flop fell [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"] giving Karmatckii some additional outs. Turn [poker card="8c"] was not one of them. Just as Karmatckii flashed the ‘praying’ emoji, the [poker card="as"] ripped off on the river, giving him the pot. Tripodi exited in eighth for $45,386. After Sebastien Grax put in a raise from under the gun, Lukas Parednis shipped his remaining 20 big blinds with the [poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"]. When folded back to Grax, he quickly made the call holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"] and the pair were flipped with Parednis at risk. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="ts"][poker card="4d"] pairing Grax’s ace and sending Parednis home in seventh for $63,124. Dominykas Mikolaitis quickly followed his fellow Lithuanian out the door when he shoved his final eight big blinds in with [poker card="as"][poker card="3d"] only to be called by Canadian Michael Nugent’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"]. The flop came [poker card="9d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="6c"] giving Mikolaitis some additional chop outs. But the [poker card="5h"] turn and the [poker card="td"] river did not help him get there. Mikolaitis finished in sixth place for $87,793. Latvia’s Evaldas Aniulis put in a small raise off his short stack holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] and was three-bet by Karmatckii who woke up with [poker card="ks"][poker card="kh"]. Aniulis called for the rest of his stack and the pair saw a flop of [poker card="td"][poker card="7h"][poker card="8d"]. Aniulis’ top pair offered him some more outs and the [poker card="jh"] even brought in some chop opportunities. But the unnecessary [poker card="kd"] river gave Karmatckii top set for the pot. Aniulis finished in fifth place for a six-figure score of $122,102. Nugent raised his [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"] from the button only to be flatted by Grax in the small blind holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. The flop came [poker card="2d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="7c"] and when checked to Nugent put in a bet, only to be promptly check-raised Grax. With top pair Nugent shipped his remaining 20 big blinds and Grax made the call with the over pair. The [poker card="3s"] hit the turn and the [poker card="tc"] river was of no help to Nugent who fell in fourth place and walked away with $169,821 in his second WSOP final table in the past two weeks. After Fischer doubled through Grax during three-handed play, the chip stacks evened out and play finally slowed down. The chips began to flow in the direction of Fischer as Grax lost momentum and eventually clashed with Karmatckii in a hand that sealed his fate in the tournament. Karmatckii raised to 400,000 on the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] and Grax three-bet shipped his twenty big blind stack holding [poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"]. Karmatckii called putting himself at risk. The pair were flipping for over a $100,000 pay jump. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"] flop hit Karmatckii and left Grax looking for help. The [poker card="3h"] turn and the [poker card="ah"] river was of no use to him and Grax was left with 1/10 of a big blind which he lost on the very next hand to Fischer. Grax walked away in third place for $236,188. Despite Karmatckii’s double up, Fischer headed into heads-up play holding a sizable chip lead which he never relinquished. On the final hand, Fischer open-shoved holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="7c"] and Karmatckii committed his final ten big blinds with [poker card="js"][poker card="th"]. The duo watched as the board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="7h"] giving FIsher the hand and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Karmatckii wrapped up as the runner-up and ended up earning a career-high online score of $328,491. Final Table Payouts Seth Fischer - $444,868.59 + WSOPE Ticket Package Arsenii Karmatckii - $326,491 Sebastien Grax - $236,188 Michael Nugent - $169,821 Evaldas Aniulis - $122,102 Dominykas Mikolatis - $87,793 Lukas Parednis - $63,124 Clement Tripodi - $45,386 Yonatan Basin - $32,633
  3. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Don't miss another all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie recap the latest and greatest news and views from this week in the world of poker. In addition to recapping all of the action and bracelet winners from the 2020 World Series of Poker, the guys discuss the latest developments in the simmering heads-up match between long-time rivals Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. While Negreanu and Polk still have to sort all the details out, friends (and rivals) Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth played a $100K heads-up match in the first episode of PokerGO's High Stakes Duel for free and all to see. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. The summer continues to be red-hot over at 888poker as PocketFivers of every buy-in level continue to enjoy some of the best value tournaments in online poker. Russian grinder ‘ArkanchikMAV’ locked up the top spot on the Top Earners list for July with a deep run in the July 5 edition of 888poker’s marquee tournament, the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep. He pulled in a career-high cash of $13,100 in a runner-up finish. The heater continued for ‘ArkanchikMAV’, as he finished in third place on in the $33 Sunday BIG Fish on the same day for another $1,758 helping him to a monthly total of $15,257. The UK’s ‘skeldon87’ just missed out as July’s Top Earner with a monthly total of $15,129, just $128 behind ‘ArkanchikMAV’. Still, it was a big month for the Brit who notched 34 cashes and a pair of victories one of which brought him a monthly high score of $2,061 in the July 4 edition of the $33 BIG Fish. ‘skeldon87’ picked up five four-figure scores in the month and now has more than $635K in career online earnings. ‘rastaturista’, the #4-ranked player in Latvia, picked up third-place on the Top Earners list by racking up results all month long. Five of ‘rastaturista’s 28 cashes were good for four-figure scores including his monthly high cash of $1,980. In total, he finished July with $13,188 in earnings and if he does it again in August, he’ll climb up over $700,000 in total earnings. 888poker Top 10 Earners July 2020 [table id=85 /] Once again, ’HeateN’ takes the crown on the July Most Cashes list and it wasn’t even close. Like he did back in May, the Netherlands grinder put in tons of volume and found his way into the money an incredible 146 times. The small-stakes player hit the podium 29 times in July, which means that when he cashes, he finished top-three an amazing 20% of the time. In a distant second, but still very impressive, Brazil’s ‘alyssonspfc’ amassed 69 cashes for a grand total of $6,103.17 in earnings. It had been nearly six months since ‘alyssonspfc’ had played on 888poker but now that he’s back, the small-to-mid stakes MTT grinder has been finding success with a nearly 19% top-three finish each time he makes the money. Latvia’s ‘soldat777’ and Brazil’s ‘aleplis’ put in work in July and both finished the month with 60 total cashes. Both are micro-stakes players but ‘soldat777’ outearned ‘aleplis’ by bringing in $1,557 to the Brazilian’s $946. 888poker Top 10 Most Cashes August 2020 [table id=86 /] When you book 146 cashes, you’re bound to grab a few gold medals and that’s why ’HeateN’ also nabbed the #1 spot on the Most Wins list. He took down the tournament a total of nine times and finished the month with a total haul of $5,291. Ukraine’s ‘bondarovsk1’ picked up five victories in his 31 cashes on 888poker while both ‘khunbaa’ and ‘Desperado609’ wrapped up the month with four wins. 888poker Top 10 Most Wins August 2020 [table id=87 /]
  5. With so many promotions taking place on 888poker in the month of May, it’s no wonder PocketFivers had another incredibly profitable month on the online site. In addition to 888poker’s popular XL Inferno online series, they routinely discounted their biggest Sunday tournaments and provided players a Galaxy of Freerolls to benefit from. Players took notice and flocked to take advantage. The UK’s ‘JBHInfinity’ picked up a huge score at the end of the month to take home the top spot on the Top Earners list. They booked a final table finish in the $500,000 guaranteed XL Inferno Main Event for a career-high cash of $32,780. They also had a bronze medal finish in the May 19 edition of the $5,000 Deepstack Monsoon which was good for another $750, helping them book a total of $33,883 for the month. Fellow grinder from the UK Ben ‘benwa1’ Warrington also had a big month racking up 11 in the money finishes, 10 of which were PLB-qualifying scores. Warrington started the month off strong with back-to-back four-figure scores. The first was a win in the May 2 edition of the $10,000 Monsoon for $2,812 and he followed that up with a victory in the May 3 $20,000 Sunday Sale Whale for another $7,579. Add to that two more four-figure scores and Warrington ended the month with a total of $20,568.18 for second on the Top Earners list. Sachin ‘mcsash’ Joshi took the #3 spot on the Top Earners list for May, racking up $18,750 in winnings. Joshi, who plays under the screen name ‘BUCKEDURNAN’ on 888poker did all his damage in a single shot by taking down the May 24 edition of the $109 buy-in $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep. He bested the 705 entry field and locked up the $18,750 first-place prize, a career-high cash for the London-based player. 888poker Top 10 Earners May 2020 [table id=68 /] When it came to grinding, no one came close to the Netherlands ‘HeateN’. The small stakes tournament grinder racked up 137 in-the-money finishes in May for a total of $6,090 in earnings. Their month included 22 top-three finishes for a 16% podium finish. While they usually stick to the smaller stakes, $10 and under, a win in the May 16 edition of the $55 $3,000 Monsoon brought them a nice score of $1,171, their second-highest score ever on 888poker. No stranger to the Most Cashes list is Russia’s ‘Neverhood007’ who has routinely topped this category in past months. In May, they racked up 81 in-the-money finishes for a total earnings of $4,123. In all of those cashes, ‘Neverhood007’ managed to grab the top spot just one time, on May 29 when he took down the $400 Gtd Frenzy R&A for $160. Bruno ‘KeyzerSozePT’ Ferreira also had a prolific month, climbing into the #3 spot on the Most Cashes list with 79 cashes for a total of $15,258 - the most of anyone in the top 10. Ferreira booked five wins in the month including his spotlight score of $2,354 in the May 6 edition of the Gran Deepstack. 888poker Top 10 Most Cashes May 2020 [table id=70 /] With all of those cashes, it should be no surprise that ‘HeateN’ also topped the 888poker Most Wins category for May. They took down seven tournament of their 137 results which was two better than the next trio of players. ‘RuffWizard’, ‘Flavio Felipe’, and Bruno ‘KeyzerSozePT’ Ferreira all were tied for second place as they wrapped up the month with five outright victories. Behind them was ‘Appiah1’ and ‘volkogrich’ who struck gold four time in the month of May. 888poker Top 10 Most Wins May 2020 [table id=69 /]
  6. When the World Series of Poker Event #24 ($400 NLHE 8-Max) final table began in the early morning hours of July 25, all eyes were focused on a pair of notable names battling to take home the bracelet. Ryan Leng was seeking his second gold bracelet while Solve For Why Academy's lead coach and high-stakes pro Matt Berkey was hoping to break through and nab his first. But unbeknownst to just about everyone following the event that night, there was another high-profile poker coach in their midst. Hidden-in-plain sight, 38-year-old Nick Binger, playing under his WSOP screen name ‘samadhi’, was ready to take the tournament down and claim the $133,412 first-place prize and his second career gold bracelet. “It's nice to win another bracelet. It's been nice to actually spend some time playing MTTs. I've, for years now, mostly been focused on cash games,” Binger said. “So I haven't really been focused on MTTs for a long time. Taking some time to play them made me remember how much I enjoy them, even before the bracelet win. And then, obviously, winning a bracelet puts the cherry on top.” It’s been nine years since Binger won his first WSOP bracelet. After years of taking shots in WSOP tournaments, in 2011, Binger won the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo tournament for his career-high cash of $397,073. Just like this year, back in 2011, Binger had some tough competition to overcome as well. His final table was loaded with talent that included Nick Schulman, Bryce Yockey, Phil Laak, and runner-up David Bach. But nine years is a long time between bracelet wins. “I would say the emotion back then was probably higher given that it is the first bracelet that I won. There's nothing like the first time in anything that you do,” he said. “But that being said, this was still an absolute joy and it was completely amazing to win the bracelet. "I still haven't gotten it in the mail. So maybe when I opened the box, it'll become a little bit more real and hit me when I actually pull the bracelet out of the box.” Perhaps another reason it’s been a long time between bracelet wins for Binger has been how tournaments have taken a back seat to cash games for him. Rather than spend time grinding higher-profile tournaments, Binger has spent most of his poker playing time in “private cash games here and there.” But also, Binger has been heavily invested as a lead instructor for LearnWPT, the training site for the World Poker Tour. Binger has been with the WPT since 2008, just about the same amount of time that he’s been living in Las Vegas. “LearnWPT is where I spend most of my time,” he said. “And for the past year or so, I was spending most of my time developing the WPT GTO trainer, which is a GTO training tool that allows you to play hands in real-time and get feedback. These are all completely solved. We actually have the largest library of solved hands in the world, over 2 billion spots have been solved already.” Binger’s been working on finding a way to make game theory optimal poker more palatable for players of all skill levels. It’s something he speaks about with excitement, not only as a consumer tool that he has invested a ton of time into but also because in working on the trainer, he was able to keep himself competitive in the few WSOP events he could find the time to play in. “We have a lot of tournament situations on there and I've played several thousand solved hands, probably a much higher number than that actually,” he said. “And so, I felt very comfortable with my play this summer online. I felt like I had a very significant edge on the field, even though I hadn't been that focused on tournaments. It's not because of innate talent, it's because...I felt very sharp because of the tool.” For Binger, it’s also exciting for him as a teacher. For more than a decade Binger has taught online and live courses to players looking to improve. He estimates he’s taught over 120 workshops over that span, including in-person seminars. Despite poker becoming “more rigorous over the years” he still enjoys the challenge of, not just the game, but teaching it to others. “I've always enjoyed it. It was actually around right after college, I went to Europe and taught English for a couple of years and enjoyed teaching there. And then I got into poker and had that a little bit of a teaching background as I became a professional poker player. And so when the opportunity arose with the World Poker Tour to teach, it was a natural fit.” A passion for education must run in the Binger family. Bingers’s brother, Michael, was also a professional poker player in the early 2000s and as siblings, the “Binger Brothers” were often featured players whenever the ESPN cameras were present at a WSOP Main Event. Michael, who took third place in the 2006 WSOP Main Event for over $4 million, unlike his brother, no longer plays poker professionally. But like Nick, finds himself dedicated to teaching others. “He'll play once or twice a year,” Binger said about his brother. “He would usually come out for the WSOP main events and maybe one or two tournaments before or after. So, that would be the limit of his poker playing. He's dedicated full time to developing AI algorithms and machine learning… Essentially, what the area that he's working on is with teaching and educational publishing.” For Binger, his recent tournament success probably isn’t going to see him loading up multiple online tournaments every day, but he is excited to increase his MTT grind. At the same time, he feels like he has plenty more work to do in order to help others see the kind of success he’s had. “I love teaching. It is my passion. It's something that... There's nothing like the feeling of knowing that you really helped somebody and you can see that 'a-ha' moment that they have. And then from that point forward, they're playing better poker. That's pretty cool."
  7. “Never in a million years would I dream of being in this situation…” For 22-year old poker player Ethan Yau, the situation he’s referring to is being a newly crowned World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner. In the early hours of Monday morning, Yau topped the 2,502-entry field of WSOP Event #26 ($500 NLHE Grande Finale) to claim the $164,494 first-place prize and his first gold bracelet. And, he did it all while streaming on YouTube to an audience of thousands. Yau is the first to admit, he’s not a tournament pro. For the past couple of years, Yau has been focused on playing live NLHE cash games and doing it all in front of the camera for his rapidly growing YouTube channel, RampagePoker. When his summer plans of flying to Las Vegas for the first time to play at the WSOP were derailed due to the coronoavirus, he pivoted to picking a weekend in New Jersey to get his first taste of the World Series of Poker by playing online. “One of the cool experiences for me is getting to play in a WSOP event for the first time in my life because I’m twenty-two,” Yau said. “I wasn’t able to go to Vegas last year and I had planned to go this summer. Unfortunately, that never worked out. So I just had the intention of trying to have a good time and also put out an entertaining stream for the people that watch my videos.” What started out simply as possible content for Yau’s 22.5K subscribers, turned into something much more. Sunday night turned into Monday morning and Yau found himself progressing deeper in the tournament. His viewer count began to soar and those viewers were there to cheer him on. And maybe even guide him a little here and there. “The stream played a really huge part in helping me out because, for one, I’m obviously new to the game. So I’m very unfamiliar with different pros. I knew that the WSOP events were very pro heavy and super tough,” he said. “So the stream helped me navigate through the tournament where if there was someone that they knew, they’d tell me. They’d say ‘this player to your right is a huge, crazy pro…super, super good so try to avoid them even though you have position on them.’” “It was really cool to have that instantaneous feedback to help me navigate through the tournament. If I ever made a mistake…I would know immediately. So just being able to kind of tighten up and play a little bit better, getting that feedback and knowing what mistakes I was making. That was huge to kind of prevent and prolong the eventual punt that I assumed I would make.” Yau has always been open to audience feedback when it comes to poker. That’s part of what makes his WSOP victory extra special, as it was his audience that drove him to compete at higher levels in the first place. Unlike a generation of online grinders that picked up poker through a family home game or by watching Moneymaker on ESPN, Yau stumbled into the game just two years ago. As a student at UMass, he first gave playing blackjack a serious shot. But after losing “a decent chunk of change as a college student” a friend helped him switched over to poker. “In the first thirty minutes, I lost five hundred dollars. I lost two buy-ins in basically thirty minutes…terrible,” he recalled.”So I walked away from that experience thinking ‘alright I am going to try and get good at this somehow or never play again.’” Yau went to YouTube and searched for ways to get better at poker. He quickly found videos from some of the top poker vloggers like Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, Johnny Moreno, and Jaman Burton. He absorbed the content and not only learned more about poker by watching them, but he became inspired by them. “I had some experience making YouTube videos before. I used to make gaming videos,” he said. “So I was familiar with editing videos and posting a schedule. So I thought why not just go for it? Try. Because I needed to find a way to learn anyway.” So Yau followed in the vloggers footsteps and created his first poker video in January 2018. “It was one of my first five sessions playing live ever,” he said. “I was still unsure of how the button moved.” What he lacked in poker knowledge at the time he more than made up for with drive. He kept an open mind and responded quickly to those who watched what he was creating. “I got a lot of helpful feedback and a lot of real criticism, which I needed. I kept making videos, I kept learning from the YouTube comments. And that was honestly one of the main ways I’ve learned, just getting feedback from random people online. And it was very harsh, but it was what I needed to hear to learn. Over time, I have improved along the way.” Not only has he improved as a player along the way but his channel has flourished as well. Over the past two years, Yau has created over 170 poker vlogs some of which have upwards of 80,000 views. Yau’s gold bracelet weekend in New Jersey has come to an end but his YouTube exploits are just beginning. He says he has plans to expand into blackjack and golfing channels while keeping his focus on RampagePoker. When the coast is clear he’ll be traveling to poker rooms across the U.S., and possibly internationally, to give his vlogs “a different flavor.” Yau’s journey through poker has been helped by the advice of his audience but as he drives home after winning a WSOP gold bracelet he also has some feedback for those who watched him do it. “If someone like me who has virtually zero experience with tournaments, poker or studying the game…I think if someone like me can win a tournament, anyone can. Seriously, like literally it’s the dream. If I can do it, anyone can. You just need a little bit of luck on your side and anything can happen.”
  8. Ian Steinman is only 30 years old, but for those that have followed the career of the young poker pro his recent gold bracelet victory in World Series of Poker Event #27 ($400 No Limit Hold’em Freezout) for $110,557 was a long time coming. “I’m still kind of shocked by it,” Steinman said. “I kind of expected it to happen, but when it did I was like…I don’t know…it’s definitely really cool. A lot of people have been telling me they’re happy for me. It’s good to see other people are happy for me.” When Steinman says he “expected it” it’s spoken without an ounce of self-congratulation or ego. In fact, it’s the opposite. It comes from a place of a player who has grown up in the game and evolved into a consummate pro. A pro who understands that through hard work and volume and by putting himself in a position to win, with time, it would come. “At the same time, it’s just one poker tournament that I won,” he quickly added. “I usually don’t get excited about winning any one tournament, but this one was a little more important to me.” “But if there’s anything to be a little bit too excited about, it’s probably winning a bracelet. I like to kind of keep my emotions in check with poker, but I think it's one of those times where you can kind of celebrate and be a little different than usual and treat it like something special.” That celebration was put on display in a video shot by his brother, Justin, that made the rounds after Steinman’s victory. In it, a stone-faced Steinman, zeroed in on his screen sees the final card hit and finally explodes with emotion. The video captures not just a moment of a big score but perhaps a moment of some relief. Steinman has spent half his life pursuing poker. At first playing home games with his friends, dreaming about winning a bracelet like Chris Moneymaker who they watched on ESPN. After he found his way to online poker as a teenager, Steinman took to grinding the daily tournaments at the old Bay 101 in San Jose, CA, just outside his hometown of Mountain View, battling against players like recent bracelet winner Pat Lyons. A move to Carson City, NV allowed Steinman to play on WSOP.com where he became a top-10 ranked player in the U.S. and took down the 2016 WSOP.com leaderboard. And since 2017, he’s also won four WSOP Circuit rings. But even after all of that, the bracelet feels special. “I guess I'd be lying if I didn't say there's a little bit of the validation,” he said. “I wish I could just say, ‘No, it's just another day,' but it's a World Series event. I'm 30, so when Moneymaker won and it started being on TV, I was like 14, 15 years old. Me and all my friends were always talking about trying to win a bracelet, so not just for myself, but for some of the people around me that have been telling me that I’m going to be able to win and they wanted me to win.” “It’s more just the sense that I can tell my friends or even my mom. She’s probably more excited than I was because she knows how badly I wanted to win one, especially when I was 15 years old.” But that moment might not have been possible if it weren’t for the lessons Steinman learned along the way. He’d had been close before to a major title before. This includes his deep run in the 2018 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event where he made an amazing, in-the-moment, correct fold of a set of kings to WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehan. “I mean, you've probably seen the video of that fold. I sit there for like, I don't know, probably an extra minute, saying ‘I’m the worst, I'm the worst’ before I folded. It was definitely a little bit of, I knew I was going to fold, but I also knew I was on a live stream and the hole cards were up. I knew that I would be wrong sometimes making that fold. But I didn't care. That was the main thing I really didn’t care at all what I looked like. I'm just trying to do what I think is best.” “So that kind of gave me that confidence. Because even if I wrong, I don't think it would bother me. That'd be pretty funny, because I'd be the guy who folded a set to somebody's eight high or whatever,” he said. “I don't care if Doug Polk makes a video saying how bad you are or whatever. Just make the decision you think is right.” He finished as the runner-up that day, but he walked away with a career-high live score of over $200,000. Just one month later, Steinman was in position yet again. This time in a $1,500 WSOP No Limit Hold’em tournament. With a healthy chip lead in heads-up play against Eric Baldwin, all the chips were in the middle and Steinman was ahead in the hand. He lost that hand and ended finishing as the runner-up, earning his second six-figure score in a month’s time and ultimately missing out on the bracelet. “I lost that heads up, and at first I treated it like it wasn't a big deal, but it kind of did affect me a little bit. Like I was definitely a little bit on an emotional low. Not in a huge way, but, yeah, it's funny, something about the bracelet events that kind of get me on those highs and those lows in particular.” Steinman is on a high and his persistence has paid off with his recent victory. He adds a new landmark experience to draw from when he will undoubtedly be in a big spot again. That includes taking it all in. “Just be in the moment, do what you can, and then accept the outcome either way. If that's a win, just enjoy it,” he said. “I don't have any problem with enjoying it. Some people, yeah, they want to be robots. They want to act like they've been there before. But I hadn't been there before, so I don't mind looking like I hadn't been there before.” Only now, after a decade of evolving as a pro, Steinman can act like he's been there before because he has.
  9. Some of the top Short Deck players on the planet logged on to GGPoker and registered for Event #43 of the 2020 World Series of Poker ($10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em Championship) but it was Lev ‘LevMeAlone’ Gottlieb, on his third entry, who topped the elite 130-entry field to take home the $276,393.39 first-place prize the gold bracelet. The tournament was the first five-figure buy-in of the series which attracted some of the biggest names in the game. Isaac Haxton, Sean Winter, Mike Leah, Sam Greenwood, Jason Koon and Joao Viera could all be seen in the field. The talent extended to the final table where Amichai Barer, Michael Chi Zhang, Dan Shak, and Sergi Reixach all stood between Gottlieb and the bracelet. But it was Belarusian Short Deck savant Mikita Badziakouski that proved to be the biggest hurdle for Gottlieb. Badziakouski, who has over $2.5 million in live Short Deck earnings on his resume, seemed in control for most of the final table (despite having an issue with his timebank). But Gottlieb overcame a huge initial chip deficit in a long, swingy heads-up battle to deny Badziakouski the bracelet. Amichai Barer was the first to exit the final table when he moved all-in with from early position with 25 antes holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] and was looked up by Hong Kong’s Yin nam bjorn Li and his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="ah"][[poker card="qh"]7s] flop put Li in the lead, and narrowed Barer’s possible outs to a gutshot straight or running cards. The [poker card="9c"] hit the turn and when the [poker card="8c"] completed the board, Barer was out in ninth place for $30,986.55. A few hands later, Gottlieb put in a raise to 270,000 from under the gun with [poker card="th"][poker card="jh"] and Carl Schrader quickly three-bet shipped his remaining 1,193,436 with [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] from the button. Gottlieb made the call, putting Schrader’s tournament life on the line. The [poker card="Kh"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9h"] flop gave Schrader top pair but was a monster board for Gottlieb who turned the straight flush when the [poker card="qh"] peeled off on the turn. The meaningless [poker card="ad"] river sent Schrader to the rail in eighth place for $40,734.96. Li was the next to exit when he moved all-in for 1,756.631 holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and was called by Badziakouski with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] keeping Badziakouski ahead in the hand with two pair. The [poker card="qh"] turn provided Li a couple of extra outs but the [poker card="6c"] river was not one of them. Li wrapped up in seventh place for $53,550.25. Roughly forty-five minutes later, former worldwide #2-ranked online grinder Michael Chi Zhang exited the tournament. In a hand that went four ways to the [10s][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] flop, it checked over Zhang on the button who put in a bet of 200,00 with his [poker card="js"][poker card="7s"], giving him a flopped straight. Gottlieb check-raised Zhang to 1,440,000 having flopped a higher straight with his [poker card="jh"][poker card="qh"]. Zhang shipped his remaining 2,466,458 stack and Gottlieb made the call. The turn was the [poker card="ah"][ and the river was the [poker card="8h"] eliminating Zhang in sixth place for $70,397. Dan Shak, playing out of Poland, was sitting on a short stack when he shipped his final ten antes with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"]. From the button, Nobuaki Sasaki made the call holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="9h"]. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"][poker card="9c"] pairing Sasaki’s nine. The [poker card="qh"] turn improved him to a higher two pair but Shak still had outs to his king. The [poker card="7h"] river showed Shak the door and he finished the tournament in fifth place, good for $92,545. Badziakouski limped in with the [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"] only to be shoved on by Sasaki who held [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"]. Badziakouski ended up making the call and the pair saw the [poker card="9d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="as"] flop, giving both players two pair but putting Sasaki in the lead. The [poker card="8s"] turn didn’t change anything but the [poker card="9h"] spiked for Badziakouski on the river improving him to a full house and shipping him the pot. Sasaki walked away in fourth place with a six-figure payday of $121,649.13, earning the 18 people who invested in him on the GGPoker staking platform a nice return on their investment. During three-handed play, Sergi Reixach suffered a pair of bad beats to Gottlieb, the second of which sent him to the rail. After Gottlieb limped for 60,000 with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"], Reixach raised to 360,00 holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="kh"]. Gottlieb three-bet shoved and Reixach called off for less. The [poker card="6d"][poker card="jc"][poker card="th"] flop kept Reixach in the lead. But the [poker card="jd"] turn put Reixach looking for a king to save his tournament life. The [poker card="6c"] completed the board and the Spanish superstar wrapped up in third place earning $159,933.38. It was an intense heads-up match from the start. Badziakouski started a dominating four-to-one chip lead, which Gottlieb managed to double through to take the lead. Badziakouski battled back to regain the chip lead but it slipped away once again. The whole time Badziakouski was having technical difficulties seeing his own ‘chess clock’ timebank, playing not knowing exactly how much time he had to make decisions. When the chips were evened out and both players had fewer than six seconds on their timebank. GGPoker support paused the table for roughly fifteen minutes to work on a solution. The pair then rejoined a newly created table with the standard timebank in place and the tournament continued. When the heads-up battle resumed it was nearly another two hours before the pair played their final hand. After a raise, a three-bet and a call, the duo got all the chips in the middle with Gottlieb holding [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"] while Badziakouski needed some help with his [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Badziakouski the lead. The tides then turned when the [poker card="qh"] peeled off on the turn. The pair sweat the river, with Badziakouski looking for a king or queen to stay alive, but it was the [poker card="6d"] which closed the door on Badziakouski's bracelet bid. Badziakouski was forced to settle for 210,248.67 as the runner-up. Lev Gottlieb takes home the $276,393.39 first-place prize and becomes just the second player in WSOP history to win a Short Deck gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Lev Gottlieb - $276,393.39 Mikita Badziakouski - $210,248.67 Sergi Reixach - $159,933.38 Nobauaki Sasaki - $121,659.13 Daniel Shak - $92,544.53 Chi Zhang - $70,397.34 Yin nam bjorn Li - $53,550.25 Carl Schrader - $40,734.96 Amichai Barer - $30,986.55
  10. Pat Lyons doesn’t suffer from a lack of confidence and he'll be the first to tell you that. Lyons' poker prowess plus his larger-than-life personality have turned him into one of the game's most colorful characters to emerge in the last five years. Whether the cameras are on or off, Lyons is never at a loss for a full-throated opinion on just about anything. He's happy to talk, often at great length, about his passion for the game of poker and where he fits into it. Some say he has an ego. Some might call it hubris. But when Pat Lyons talks about his abilities (on or off the felt), he believes it is more about fulfilling destiny. “I expect I will win the Main Event,” Lyons said. “I will win the Main Event final table one hundred percent. There’s zero doubt in my mind. I don’t care who the other eight opponents are. And when I win the Main Event, and I’ll win it live, it will be the biggest thing. You think of Chris Moneymaker and everything else that they did…Pat Lyons winning the Main Event, nothing will be more exciting than that. Not a Super Bowl. Not a World Series. Not an NBA Playoffs Championship Finals victory. I’m more exciting as one person, I have so much passion and so much energy and I’m happy as hell.” Bravado is a trademark for the often ostentatious Lyons. In fact, he routinely calls himself “World Famous Pat Lyons”, a self-given nickname that pre-dates his early days of grinding daily tournaments in the Bay Area. But another trademark for Lyons, especially recently, has been how, when it comes to poker, he’s backed up his claims of greatness. With over $1.5 million in career live earnings, as well as a World Poker Tour title on his resume, Lyons has become a dangerous player in any field he enters. And after years of saying that it was just a matter of time, Lyons won Event #17 ($777 No Limit Hold’em) of the 2020 World Series of Poker to add a WSOP gold bracelet to his ever-growing resume. But it wasn’t that long ago that it looked like Lyon’s polarizing personality, which has led to so many victories, is also what stood in his way of winning at the WSOP. For Lyons, everything seemed to spin out of control with the World Series of Poker, and more specifically with the Rio, back in 2016. According to Lyons, a disagreement with a Rio staff member over how much bottled water a Total Rewards Seven Star status should be allowed to have boiled over into a full-blown argument. Overmedicated and suffering from “excruciating” sciatica pain, Lyons lost control of the situation and the result was him losing his WSOP privileges. “I got banned. I was banned for three years. I got banned literally at the start of the Main Event 2016 and my dreams were dashed.” What followed was Lyons lashing out at WSOP officials on his social media accounts and a deep feeling of entitlement that he wasn’t afforded the kind of respect that a gambler of his status should have been given. At the same time that Lyons was dealing with the idea that he might not ever be able to vie for a bracelet again, he also entered one of the most successful periods of his poker career. The August of 2016 saw Lyons dominate the Arizona State Poker Championship for $241,700. Then only weeks later he flew to Los Angeles and stole the show on his first televised World Poker Tour final table by winning the WPT Legends of Poker title and another $615,346. While the trophies, and attention that came with them, were validating for him, Lyons still had to find a way back to the World Series of Poker. He took a hard look at his actions, he started physical therapy for his back, and began writing letters to officials at the WSOP and the Rio trying to apologize and explain. However, he had been rejected for reinstatement multiple times. But Lyons isn’t one to take losing well. “Finally, with the help of some friends, and myself, of course, I was able to get back,” he said. “My only vehicle is myself, how I proved myself. I didn’t really feel I needed to prove myself but I wanted to go in there and just be gracious and grateful to be able to play again.” When speaking about the three years he was banned, Lyons’ attitude shift about the banning feels sincere. At the time of the incident, Lyons was indignant, arguing his side to whoever would listen. But now, perhaps after some healing, he’s come to look at it as a period of growth. “Last year [2019] was my first opportunity to play again for bracelets. I think I cashed nine times or so but I played way too crazy, way too overconfident but I knew for sure I would win a bracelet,” Lyons said. This year though, with the postponement of the live WSOP, it looked liked Lyons bracelet win would have to wait once again. “I’m not an online guy. So I started playing in [online poker groups] on PokerBros. It’s basically you play for free, you play for fun or whatever. And I started getting crazily…I don’t want to say addicted…but I was learning. Like going to school,” he recalled. “This started approximately at the end of March and into June. So, essentially for two and a half months, I was playing every single day in the groups. Not a day off.” He was playing online for small and sometimes no-stakes. But treating them the same as he would a bracelet event, like every event he would play. “It wasn’t the money, it was the challenge,” he said. “What it did was it gave me a feeling…I’m a very fast person. In live poker, nobody is faster than me. We could be getting into a car accident…and you have a seatbelt on and I’m the driver, I put my arm in front of you faster than the airbag could deploy in the car. That’s how quick I am, insanely quick, unfairly quick. “Except I found playing online poker, I found myself kind of slowed down a little bit, and getting a little confused, because I’m a perfectionist,” he continued. “So it was hard for me. But all of that experience, all of that stuff transitioned into my World Series of Poker victory.” Lyons used his non-stop online poker playing to help him navigate the 1,382-entry field of Event #17. “I’m super, super happy I won this thing. Super, super glad,” he said. “And it’s badass because a guy that did not play online came in and basically kicked ass." "This victory, this hard-earned, online...never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would play for a World Series of Poker bracelet and win it online. Never, ever would have thought of that," he continued. "If it was only online, and that was the only way to win it, then yes, I would have expected to win it, but the way it happened, completely unexpected." "And we’re looking for more. I’m going to win, something else is going to happen. Something big is going to happen.” For Lyons that something big could be a myriad of things as he has no shortage of ideas. He’s planning to write a book “which will be amazing” about his gambling career from the banning to the bracelet. He’s guessing it will also be turned into a movie. “It’s going to be an insane movie. I have a feeling it will be like Rocky. Mine will be better. The Pat Lyons story. Because mine is true.” He has his eyes on the Poker Hall of Fame, maybe even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But in the meantime, he’s planning on playing out the rest of the World Series of Poker to add to more bracelets to his story. He’s also hoping that you’ll come along for the ride. “So here’s the thing, it’s not the money. All I ever wanted, and all a home team ever wants, and I consider myself the home team…All I ever want is somebody to root for me. Because I feel if you’re rooting for me, and other people are rooting for me really, I’m unbeatable.”
  11. Little Neck, New York's Allan 'Treeoflife' Cheung became the latest player to strike gold at the 2020 World Series of Poker after defeating the 1579-entry field in Event #22 ($500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack) to win the $120,082.95 first-place prize and his first career gold bracelet. Cheung needed to fade a talented final table that included two-time World Poker Tour Champion Brian Altman, top-10 ranked U.S. online pro Daniel Buzgon, WSOP bracelet winner Terrell Cheatham and Myles Kotler, who just last week finished as the runner up in Event #18. Kotler began the final table with the biggest stack and it took him just five minutes to use it to end another player's tournament. Kotler raised to 800,000 from UTG+1 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"] and Robert 'Nvrstsfied' Natividad moved all-in for 2,717,020 from middle position with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"]. Kotler improved to top pair on the [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6h"] flop and stayed in control through the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3c"] river to eliminate Natividad in ninth place for $9,308.20. Two of the shortest stacks clashed five minutes later resulting in one of their tournaments ending. Down to 5.5 big blinds, 'this1smyvice' moved all-in for 2,246,920 holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="tc"]. 'theLMT90' called off with less, putting their tournament on the line but holding a dominating [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"]. However, the [poker card="qc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="js"] flop came perfect for 'this1smyvice' giving them the straight and a stranglehold on the hand. The [poker card="4d"] turn and [poker card="2d"] river was of no help to 'theLMT90' who hit the rail in eighth place, taking home a five-figure payout of $12,079.35. Five minutes later it was 'this1smyvice's turn to be put at risk. After Kotler opened to 800,000 with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"], 'this1smyvice' three-bet shipped with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"]. Kotler made the call and had 'this1smyvice' needing help. The flop brought the [poker card="3s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="as"], extending Kotler's lead and when the [poker card="qs"] hit the turn, 'this1smyvice' was drawing dead to the [poker card="7c"] river. 'this1smyvice' finished in seventh place, taking home $15,916.32. Next, it was Daniel ‘juice’ Buzgon’s turn to make a move. He shipped his final 14 big blinds under the gun holding [poker card="jd"][poker card="jc"]. Once it had folded back around to Louie "pongpong" Valderrama in the big blind, Valderrama called off his final five big blinds with his [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"]. Needing some help, Valderrama saw a flop of [poker card="ks"][poker card="5s"][poker card="7s"] which gave him additional flush outs. However, it was not meant to be as the [poker card="4d"] turn and the [poker card="8h"] river showed Valderrama the door in sixth place which was good for $21,174.39. Terrell ‘heezahustla’ Cheatham was in pursuit of becoming the first place to win multiple bracelets in 2020, having just won a gold bracelet late last week. Cheatham found the [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"] on the button and shipped his final 5,670,892 only to be looked up by Kotler holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] in the small blind. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6c"] effectively ending the hand as Cheatham was drawing dead as the [poker card="2h"] and [poker card="5c"] completed the board. Cheatham, who won over $116,000 in Event #16, which was also a Turbo, added another $28,493 for his fifth-place finish. Brian ‘JackBogle’ Altman opened from under the gun with [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"] when Buzgon three-bet shipped his final fifteen big blinds holding [poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"]. Altman, with the larger stack, made the call and the pair were flipping with Buzgon’s tournament life on the line. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"][poker card="9d"] had Buzgon looking for help but the [poker card="kc"] on the turn and the [poker card="8h"] on the river sent Buzgon out in fourth place for $38,725. Roughly ten minutes later, the three-handed play came to an end with Kotler raised to 2 million on the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="2d"] and Altman in the big blind defended with the [poker card="6s"][poker card="2s"]. The flop came [poker card="2h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"], pairing both player’s deuces. Altman checked it over to Kotler, who put in a roughly quarter pot bet. Altman then check-raised for his 16.7 million and Kotler made the call, holding outkicking Altman. The turn fell the [poker card="qd"] and the [poker card="jd"] river ended Altman’s run at a bracelet, earning him $53,291 for third place. After a short break, in heads-up play, Kotler at one point carved out a five-to-one chip lead. But the momentum shifted quickly as Cheung doubled thru Kotler and won a big pot in a subsequent hand to take the lead. In the final hand, Cheung opened to 2,400,000 with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="7d"] and Kotler shoved his stack of 23,370,202 with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="8s"]. Cheong made the call and just needed to hold for the win. The flop appeared as the [poker card="6h"][poker card="6c"][poker card="2d"] and when the [poker card="ad"] hit the turn it was all over for Kotler, who for the second time in this WSOP, finished as the runner-up, this time earning $74,039. Allan 'Treeoflife' Cheung walked away with the $120,083 first-place prize and his first career gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Allan 'Treeoflife' Cheung - $120,082.95 Myles 'Shipthemoney' Kotler - $74,039.31 Brian 'JackBogle' Altman- $53,291.25 Daniel 'juice' Buzgon - $38,724.97 Terrell 'heezahustla' Cheatham - $28,493.05 Louie 'pongpong' Valderrama - $21,174.39 'this1smyvice' - $15,916.32 'theLMT90' - $12,079.35 Robert 'Nvrstsfied' Natividad - $9,308.20 Faces in the Crowd Mike 'mouth123' Matusow was the final table bubble boy finishing in 10th place for $7,247.61. Other notable names to finish in the money included former #1-ranked PocketFiver Calvin 'projector52' Anderson (13th - $5,684.40), Pat 'ichiikawawa' Lyons (28th - $2,913.25), Ryan 'protential' Laplante (31st - $2,913.25), Daniel Negreanu (32nd - $2,913.25), Brian 'tsarrast' Rast (33rd - $2,913.25), Robert 'bustinballs' Kuhn (40th - $2,415.87) and David 'dehhhhh' Coleman (44th - $2,415.87).
  12. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. It's time for another all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie break down all of the latest news from the world of poker. This week, the guys are highlighting the start of the World Series of Poker on GGPoker, marking the first time in the history of the series that players outside of the United States can win a gold bracelet online. Plus, PokerStars ambassador and current king of Twitch Poker, Lex Veldhuis took his audience for a ride this week when he won a PokerStars Stadium Series event while streaming. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  13. The action in the WSOP.com Online Championships and PokerStars Bounty Builder series continued this past weekend, giving players in the Regulated States of America no shortage of opportunities to battle for five-figure paydays. Running right alongside of the World Series of Poker gold bracelet events, the WSOP.com Online Championships continues to deliver massive prize pools for players in Nevada and New Jersey. On Sunday, five tournaments topped the six-figure prize pool mark with some paydays equalling that of a final table finish in a bracelet event. It was a big day for Angel ‘chromeking’ Lopez who found himself nearly winning two of the biggest tournaments on Sunday's WSOP.com schedule. First, he bested the 151-player (76 rebuys) field of WSOP.com OC #81 ($100,000 High Roller) for a $44,180.78 score. Gordon ‘veilleux’ Vayo, who had a big day in his own right, finished in second place for $33,319.85. Another well-known pro, Justin ‘tamaratibles’ Young, grabbed the third spot and added $24,800.20 to his bankroll. At the same time Lopez was locking up his victory he was also making a deep run in the $500 buy-in WSOP.com $50,000 Weekly Sunday. Lopez fell in heads-up play to Michael ‘SammyTwizz’ Azzaro who took down the tournament for a $33,413.85 payday. Lopez settled for second place and added $19,491.41 to his win for a two-tournament total of $63,672.19. Sasidhar ‘samiam22’ Bobba was the third member of the podium, earning $11,137.95 for third place. ‘mazeltov’ was to be congratulated for their first-place finish in WSOP.com OC#80 ($200,00 NLH Sunday Special Edition) which was good for a $41,965.29 score. Then there was Gordon Vayo again, finishing as the runner-up for the second time on Sunday, locking down $31,091.58. His pair of runner-up finishes brought him $64,411.43 in total. ‘phenom7’ fell in third place which was good for $22,943.25. Melissa ‘pokerdad1960’ Schubert outlasted the 1,190-player (748 rebuys) field in the WSOP.com $100,000 Player Appreciation tournament to collect the $30,132.02 first-place prize. Landon ‘ActionDealer’ Tice settled for second place and $18,579.44 while Hung ‘nowitsover’ Truong always walked away with five-figures, winning $13,372.20 for third place. Also of note, longtime online grinder Jon ‘havuuuuuc’ Turner took down the WSOP.com OC #80 ($75,000 NLH Sunday 55) for $26,038. And recently profiled New Jersey grinder Frank Marasco took down another tournament, winning the WSOP.com $25,000 WSOP Bracelet Second Chance Deepstack for $9,087.82. In Pennsylvania, the PokerStars Bounty Builder Series saw no shortage in players looking for action with multiple major tournaments bringing in over 1,000 entries. One of those was the PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 35 ($100 NLHE Sunday Special), 1,166 entries put up the $100 buy-in to create a prize pool of $107,038.80. ‘wofaab’ walked away with the win, earning $7,351.48 for first plus another $5,798.24 in bounties. ‘3JackOFF’ was the runner-up and banked $7,350.33 and an additional $2,527.35 in bounties. Finally is was ‘sid1m’ who took home the bronze, winning $4,361.25 and another $2,899.68 in bounties. The PokerStars PA $25 NLHE Mini Special Championship Belt Event also gathered a big crowd as 1,151 entries pushed the prize pool to $26,185.25. ‘uwillmiss’ did not miss and took down the Championship Belt and $1,795.23 for first with an additional $1,061.78 in bounties. A pair of PA online grinders also took down PA Bounty Builder titles as ‘SleazyAmishGirl’ ended up winning the PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 37: $250 NLHE Sunday High Roller for $3,685.98 and an additional $5,220.55 in bounties. While ’AndrewYang2020’ went the distance in PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 31: $100 NHE [Marathon] for $2,586.37 plus $3,006.32 in bounties. The PokerStars Bounty Builder was also running in New Jersey where ‘stacks8080’ grabbed a victory in the PokerStars NJ Bounty Builder Series 27: $200 NLHE Sunday Special for $3,669.98 and $4,529.33 in bounties. Then in the PokerStars NJ Bounty Builder 29: $500 NLHE Sunday High Roller, ‘jordanofpkr’ dunked on the competition by winning the $3,182.82 first-place prize and another $4,229.99 in bounties. WSOP.com OC #79: $100,000 Player Appreciation Buy-in: $100 Entires: 1,190 (748 rebuys) Prize pool: $178,296 Melissa ‘pokerdad1960’ Schubert - $30,132.02 Landon ‘ActionDealer’ Tice - $18,578.44 Hung ‘nowitsover’ Truong - $13,372.20 WSOP.com OC#80: $200,000 NLH Sunday Special Edition Buy-in: $320 Entries: 537 (390 rebuys) Prize pool: $278.100 mazeltov - $41,965.29 Gordon ‘veilleux’ Vayo - $31,091.58 phenom7 - $22,943.25 WSOP.com $15,000 WSOP Bracelet Warm-Up Deepstack Buy-in: $100 Entries: 202 (85 rebuys) Prize pool: $26,117 Matthew ‘trsttheprcss’ Paston - $5,014.46 James ‘weweweasel’ Constantino - $3,742.56 d2fbabymuttz - $2,799.74 WSOP.com OC #80: $75,000 NLH Sunday 55 [R&A] Buy-in: $55 Entries: 660 (1201 rebuys, 355 add-on) Prize pool: $110,800 Jon ‘havuuuuuc’ Turner - $26,038 William ‘swaggyb’ Corvino - $13,850 SIRRRRR - $9,085.60 WSOP.com OC #81: $100,000 NLH High Roller Buy-in: $1,000 Entries: 151 (76 rebuys) Prize pool: $216,785 Angel ‘chromeking’ Lopez - $44,180.78 Gordon ‘veilleux’ Vayo - $33,319.85 Justin ‘tamaratibles’ Young - $24,800.20 WSOP.com $50,000 Weekly Sunday Buy-in: $500 Entries: 156 (109 rebuys) Prize pool: $123,755 Michael ‘SammyTwizz’ Azzaro - $33,413.85 Angel ‘chromeking’ Lopez - $19,491.41 Sasidhar ‘samiam22’ Bobba - $11,137.95 WSOP.com $25,000 WSOP Bracelet Second Chance Deepstack Buy-in: $100 Entries: 385 (199 rebuys) Prize pool: $53,144 Frank ‘spaghettiii’ Marasco - $9,087.62 John ‘PokerBull197’ Dombroski - $6,722.71 lagrock - $4,958.33 PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 31: $100 NHE [Marathon] Buy-in: $100 Entries: 348 Prize pool: $31,946.40 AndrewYang2020 - $2,586.37 + $3,006.32 UnitedWeZag - $2,586.09 + $854.86 kevinc519519 - $1,611.31 + $325.61 PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 35: $100 NLHE Sunday Special Buy-in: $100 Entries: 1,166 Prize pool: $107,038.80 wofaab - $7,351.48 + $5,798.24 3JackOFF - $7,350.33 + $2,527.35 sid1m - $4,361.25 + $2,899.68 PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 36: $25 NLHE Mini Special Championship Belt Event Buy-in: $25 Entries: 1,151 Prize pool: $26,185.25 uwillmiss - $1,795.23 + $1,061.78 bwb5026 - $1,794.23 + $508.32 BlueEyedDragon - $1,064.56 + $605.95 PokerStars PA Bounty Builder 37: $250 NLHE Sunday High Roller Buy-in: $250 Entries: 180 Prize pool: $41,940 SleazyAmishGirl - $3,685.98 + $5,220.55 bigdoritoTito - $3,685.83 + $1,048.50 donkeypoker101 - $2,431.61 + $233 PokerStars NJ Bounty Builder Series 27: $200 NLHE Sunday Special Buy-in: $200 Entries: 202 Prize pool: $40,000 stacks8080 - $3,669.98 + $4,529.33 s3lfreliance - $4,668.89 + $1,582.46 TheMan182124 - $2,445.78 + $186 PokerStars NJ Bounty Builder 29: $500 NLHE Sunday High Roller Buy-in: $500 Entries: 40 Prize pool: $18,800 jordanofpkr - $3,182.82 + $4,229.99 jumbomom5 - $3,182.79 + $1,821.26 NJtrader1 - $1,512.84 + $646.25 partypoker NJ Sunday $35K GTD Buy-in: $215 Entries: 195 Prize pool: $39,000 odo23 - $7,800 Michael ‘UFOLDIWIN’ St. John - $5,304 Vladimir ‘Donate_here’ Alexandrov - $3,861
  14. The story of the World Series of Poker just wouldn’t be the same without the United Kingdom. Some of the most memorable players in its 51-year history have come from ‘across the pond’ to pit themselves against the toughest poker competition the world has to offer. David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, former #1-ranked PocketFiver Chris Moorman, Roland de Wolfe, Luke Schwartz, Max Silver, and Liv Boeree are just some of the high-profile players that count themselves among the players who have helped the UK accumulate 51 WSOP gold bracelets, third-most of any country in the world. In 2020, the UK is poised perfectly to add to their WSOP trophy case with players from the UK dominating the online poker scene. York resident Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford has had a stranglehold on the worldwide #1 rank for the better part of two months. His countryman Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard sits right behind him, ranked #2 in the world. In total 12, of the current top 100 hail from the UK and that doesn’t even include the UK native considered one of the most feared tournament players, online or live, in the game today. In addition to Beresford and Leonard, here’s a look at some of the top-ranked talent of the United Kingdom who very well could be in the mix to win a World Series of Poker bracelet during the 2020 WSOP. Stephen Chidwick Stephen Chidwick is the aforementioned most-feared tournament player on the circuit. How good is Chidwick? His high-roller tournament peers gave him the award for “Toughest Opponent” at the 2020 Global Poker Awards and by any measure, he's generally considered the favorite in any given event he decides to play in. He’s sixth on the Hendon Mob All-Time Money List with over $34 million in career live cashes and has (at least) another $5 million in online earnings. There’s seemingly no award Chidwick hasn’t won - he was the inaugural U.S. Poker Open champion, the first-ever Australian Poker Open champion, he has WCOOP and SCOOP titles, and, yes, a World Series of Poker bracelet. In 2019, after missing most of the series, Chidwick won the very first event of the summer he entered in which happened to be the $25K PLO High Roller for $1,618,417. Should Chidwick decided to grind the entire WSOP schedule on GGPoker, he might just be the first person to win multiple online gold bracelets. Sam Grafton London grinder Sam Grafton may be known as a hilarious guy to hang out with off the felt, but when he’s playing poker he’s serious competition. It was just last year that Grafton hit a career-high score when he finished as the runner-up in the EPT Barcelona €100,000 Super High Roller for $1,453,517. That score helped him leap to more than $4.1 million in career live earnings on a resume that dates back to 2009 and includes results in over 10 countries around the world. In 2020, 'TheSquid' has been putting up big numbers online as well. A runner-up finish in the PokerStars High Rollers Series Main Event brought him a $343,095 score, a career-high online cash. He also notched two more six-figure scores this year including a victory in the PokerStars Summer Series High PKO Main Event for $128,497. Tom Hall Long-time poker pro Tom ‘Jabracada’ Hall is rapidly approaching $4 million in total online earnings thanks to consistent results that date back joining PocketFives back in 2010. Add to that his $2.75 million in life earning and you have a picture of a player who consistently puts himself in position to win tournaments. Hall has attended WSOP events dating back to 2013 and has over $180,000 in cashes over 24 results including a deep run in the 2017 Colossus where he finished in 27th place out of 18,054 runners proving he knows how to navigate through massive fields. That same year, Hall booked a win at the 888poker LIVE London Main Event for $104,170 less than a year after taking down the EPT Prague High Roller for $205,204. If Hall continues his bracelet chase on GGPoker, look for him to be making runs in the mid-stakes large field events. Tyler Goatcher The truth is, if you look at Tyler Goatcher’s live results, you might not be terribly impressed. He has just five total cashes on his Hendon Mob profile and zero experience at the World Series of Poker. But if you look up his screen name of ‘Wonderboy222’ you’ll see why he’s one of the UK’s most exciting players. Currently the #10-ranked player in the world, Goatcher has earned $3 million in career online earnings and is on a heater that any poker pro would die for. In March, he earned back-to-back partypoker POWERFEST titles right before he captured a May PokerStars SCOOP title in Event #54-H ($1,050 NLHE) for a career-high score of $107,504. Lately, Goatcher has been spending time racking up results in bounty event on GGPoker under his screen name ‘HELLODARKNESS’. Jack Sinclair London’s Jack Sinclair already has one bracelet, and it’s a big one. He took down the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for a career-high score of $1,277,012 but most poker fans might remember him from his eighth-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas where he won $1,200,000 on the televised final table. Despite all of that success, there’s no doubt that Sinclair would love to add some more WSOP to his collection. He’s been making the trek to Las Vegas and WSOP Europe since 2017 and has 18 cashes for a total of $2.8 million. Sinclair also grinds online, under the PokerStars screen name ‘Swaggersorus’ and has locked up a Spring Championship of Online Poker title.
  15. Russia is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to online poker. From their high-profile top-tier tournament pros to their stables of small-stakes grinders, the results put up by Russia has the country as a perennial presence in the top-3 of the PocketFives Overall Country Rankings. When it comes to capturing World Series of Poker bracelets, Russia is down a little bit on the list - tied for sixth overall with France with 22 total gold bracelets. But if there was ever an ideal time for Russian players to break that tie it’s here in 2020 as Russians are cleared to play in all 54 bracelet events on GGPoker. So let’s take a look at some of the Russian crushers that may find themselves in the headlines during the 2020 WSOP. Artem Vezhenkov The name Artem Vezhenkov may not ring many bells for the recreational poker player, but for those who have followed online poker over the past five years or more will certainly recognize his screen name of ‘veeea’. A former #1-ranked online player in the world, Vezhenkov has amassed nearly $10 million in total online earnings throughout his impressive career. He has eight six-figure online scores, three of which were victories in the PokerStars Sunday Million for a total of over $491,000. His live resume isn’t much to speak of by professional poker player’s standards, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to show up big when there are huge prize pools at stake. He’s earned titles in both the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker and Spring Championship of Online Poker. And at the end of last year, Vezhenkov picked up a career-high score by taking down the PokerStars High Rollers Series Main Event for $457,344. Alexander Mordvinov Like Vezhenkov, Alexander Mordvinov may be hard to identify by his real name alone. However, his screen name of ‘NoPlanB’ is sure to register with online tournament grinders worldwide. The former #3-ranked online player in the world has made a habit in his career of racking up accolades including a pair of Triple Crown awards and topping the PocketFives Monthly PLB. He has scored six-figure cashes on three different online sites including a runner-up finish in the 888poker XL Eclipse $500,000 Super High Roller for $114,700 and a final table finish in the 2016 PokerStars SCOOP Main Event High for $104,000. Mordvinov may not be a player you’ll see in the highest buy-ins online but he thrives in large field events like what is expected on GGPoker. He’s a PokerStars Sunday Warm-up winner as well as a PokerStars WCOOP and partypoker POWERFEST champion and if the cards fall the right way he may add a WSOP bracelet to those titles. Artur Martirosyan While many people scoff at the notion that 2020 has been a ‘good year’, for Russian high roller Artur Martirosyan it actually has. In fact, it’s been great. Also known by his screen name ‘marathur1’, it was tough to escape the amazing results of Martirosyan during a number of the recent high-profile online series that have taken place including the PokerStars 2020 SCOOP, the Poker Masters Online series, and the Super High Roller Bowl Online series. Martirosyan picked up multiple SCOOP titles this year the first of which saw him besting Fedor Holz in heads-up play in Event #17-H ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max High Roller) to take home the title and a $271,790 payday. Then just days later he found the gold medal again in Event #29-H ($5,200 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for another $157,426 score. The heat from SCOOP carried over to the Super High Roller Bowl Online series as Martirosyan earned a total of $1.8 million over eight cashes, seven of which were good for podium finishes. His big takeaway during the series occurred when he scored an outright victory in Event #16 for $234,604. Maksim Vikrorovic Maksim Vikrorovic is another name that is unlikely to be well-known to most poker fans however, playing under his screen name ‘MAMOHT_T’, he has assumed the mantle as the #1-ranked player in all of Russia with more than $8.2 million in career online earnings. Vikrorovic is playing with a hot hand as of late having recently booked big wins including a victory in the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #1 ($215 NLHE PKO) for $81,421 and also a runner-up finish in the February 16 edition of the partypoker MILLION which brought him $112,000. He’s picked up a major title on just about every online poker site including a SCOOP title on PokerStars and a POWERFEST title on partypoker. He’s been grinding the tournaments on GGPoker as of late and a World Series of Poker title would fit nicely on his ever-expanding resume Vladimir Troyanovskiy Perhaps one of the most respected names in all of Russia when it comes to poker is that of Vladimir Troyanovskiy. The Saint Petersburg native has been a staple of the Russian poker scene for the better part of two decades and has traveled the world while accumulating nearly $8 million in live tournament earnings. His extensive list of results tells the tale of a gifted player who routinely makes deep runs in some of the biggest events of any given year. On the European Poker Tour alone he’s won side events in Berlin, Deauville, Monte Carlo, and at the PCA. In 2019, he added $1,325,000 to his bankroll which included a career-high cash in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Europe from Rozvadov where he earned $945,845 for his second-place finish. Online, Troyanovskiy is known to compete at the highest stakes under his screen name ‘vovtroy’.
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