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  1. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event continued on Monday as the 179 players who survived the three $10,000 buy-in starting flights on GGPoker reconvened on Day 2 to determine which nine players would lock up a seat at King’s Casino in Rozvadov for a shot at the $1,550,969 first-place prize. When all was said and done on Day 2 it was worldwide #5-ranked Brunno Botteon out of Brazil who rose to the top of the final table chip counts, finishing the day with more than 10 million in chips. More than 4 million behind Botteon on the leaderboard sits Manuel Ruvio. Ruvio scored the final knockout of the day which helped elevate him to second in chips. The top-three is rounded out by 2017 World Series of Poker final table member Damian Salas. Salas, currently third in chips, would need to win the international portion of the Main Event to best his previous final table cash of $1.425 million which he earned for a seventh-place finish. Joining the chip leaders in Rozvadov will be ‘fullbabyfull’, Hannes Speiser, Dominykas Mikolaitis, Ramon Miquel Munoz, Peiyuan Sun, and short-stack Stoyan Obreshkov, who will start the final table with roughly 10 big blinds. Final Table Chip Counts [table id=136 /] Long before the final table was set, over half the field needed to go broke before the payouts began. Some of poker’s most notable names managed to make Day 2 but still ended up going home empty-handed. Former #1-ranked online pros Simon Mattsson and Yuri Dzivielevski were ousted before the money, as were the notable names of Ludovic Geilich, Anatoly Filatov, Anton Wigg, and Daniel Dvoress. WSOP gold bracelet winners Georgios Sotiropoulos, Simon Lofberg, Barak Wisbrod, Jonas Lauck, and Sung Joo Hyun all fell short of the money as well, leaving just Toby Joyce as the lone bracelet winner to sneak into the cash where he finished up in 32nd place for $26,507. Joining Joyce on the right side of the money bubble included Julien Menhardt (24th, $30,404) and Blaz Zerjav (25th, $30,404), the respective Day 1A and Day 1B overnight chip leaders. Alex Difelice (39th, $22,876), Sergio Aido (41st, $22,876), Antonine Saout (53rd, $18,421), Gary Hasson (54th, $18,421), and Gediminas Uselis (74th, $15,277), were also among those who managed to turn a profit. Roughly seven hours into Day 2, the final two tables battled to see who would survive to see the live portion of the tournament. Diego ‘Ushuaua1’ Zeiter got his [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] it all-in preflop against Stoyan ‘UncleToni’ Obreshkov’s [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] but failed to improve, falling in 18th for $34,115. He was quickly followed out the door by China’s ‘sunnyzyang1982’ who got in a raising war with Salas after the pair saw a [poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"] flop. The pair got it all in the middle, ‘sunnyzyang1982’ was holding the [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] but was out-kicked by Salas’ [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="7h"] river didn’t help ‘sunnyzyang1982’ and they fell in 17th for $39,356. Roughly 30 minutes later it was Fazel ‘waterproo’ Dawood’s turn to go broke. The South African open-shoved holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] and was called by Salas and his [poker card="8s"][poker card="8d"]. The board ran out pah][poker card="qs"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"] giving Salas more chips and Dawood a 16th place finish for $39,356. Another 30 minutes passed before Evaldas ‘Man14c’ Aniulis made his move with his short stack holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. He was called by Dominykas ‘MickeyMouse’ Mikolaitis in the big blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="6d"] flop paired Mikolaitis, which held through the [poker card="4h"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river. Aniulis was ousted in fifteenth place a $39,356 payday. ‘BorisLeBlade’ found himself all-in and at risk holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="kd"] against Christopher Puetz’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The board ran out clean for ‘BorisLeBlade’ right up until the [poker card="as"] on the river flipped the script awarding the hand to Puetz and sending ‘BorisLeBlade’ home in fourteenth place with $39,356. Despite securing that knockout, Puetz wasn’t long for the tournament either. He shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack from late position holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] and was re-shipped on by Hannes ‘BlackFortuna’ Speiser and his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop, but the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river put Speiser’s kicker into play and Puetz exited in thirteenth place for $44,914. The eliminations kept coming as Canada’s Carter Swidler clashed with Day 1C chipleader Senthuran Vijayaratnam in a pre-flop all-in contest. Swidler held [poker card="as"][poker card="7c"] while Vijayaratnam showed down [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. The board ran out clean for the pocket kings and Swidler hit the rail in twelfth place, earning $44,914. Vijayaratnam entered Day 2 with an overwhelming chip lead but with just 11 left he found himself engaged in an all-in clash with Botteon. After Botteon raised from late position with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"], Vijayaratnam three-bet shipped his nearly 20 big blind stack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"]. Botteon, who had Vijayaratnam covered, made the quick call with his premium pair. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"] bringing Vijayaratnam’s day to an end in eleventh place for $50,131 and sending Botteon to the top of the chip counts. The bubble for the final table finally burst when Manuel ‘robocup’ Ruvio raised from under the gun and the UK’s Thomas ‘ggmbn’ Macdonald moved his short stack all-in from the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"]. Ruvio completed the call holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"]. Ruvio took the lead on the [poker card="qc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop and held on through the [poker card="jd"] turn and [poker card="qs"] river to send Macdonald home in tenth place for $50,131, just one spot shy of a trip to Rozvadov. Now, with the final table of nine in place, the players will ditch their screen names and accept the challenge of making their way to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Rebublic by December 15 to play the international portion of the WSOP Main Event out in person. Final Table Payouts [table id=138 /]
  2. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event is still some nine months away, but WSOP.com is already working to get players qualified for the event. Over the past several weeks, players in New Jersey and Nevada have been able to play in $215 satellites which have guaranteed at least one seat for the 2020 WSOP Main Event. The early start to qualifying players via their own online platform is in response to player demand and could be a sign of bigger things to come through the rest of the winter and spring. "We started with Main Event satellites in October because we had enough player feedback to suggest they would appreciate and participate in this offering. We plan to continue to ramp up closer to the WSOP as well," said Danielle Barille, WSOP.com’s Senior Manager of Product and Operations. "Satellites are a great way for players to have a chance to play in events they may otherwise not have. If the players respond favorably, we will certainly look to continue to add them more throughout the year." [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] 2020 Main Event Field Could Be Record Breaker The 2019 WSOP Main Event was the second largest of all-time, falling just 204 players short of the record-setting 2006 Main Event which drew 8,773 runners. Increasing the number of players qualifying online from WSOP.com could help close the gap and make 2020 the biggest Main Event ever and may even push the total field size within striking distance of 10,000 players. Getting American players into the WSOP Main Event hasn't been easy for WSOP.com. In November 2018, WSOP began offering the rake-free $80 ALL-IN satellites but had trouble getting the 129 players needed for them to run. In the weeks before the 2019 WSOP Main Event, those tournaments did run and were popular with players already in Las Vegas. Those satellites will be back in the client soon and Barille is hopeful they will be successful this year. Once the calendar turns to 2020, WSOP.com players will find even more opportunities to win their way into the Main Event. Barille admits that could include more mega-satellites patterned after the one they run every summer that sends 25 players to the Main Event. "One of our big goals is to always increase satellites to the Main Event, and focus heavily on giving players access to satellites at low buy-ins, especially focused on the 25 Seat Scramble," Barille said. "With the success year after year of the Scramble, we may also start focusing on more mega satellites throughout the year and summer." Players who manage to win a satellite get a $10,000 seat to the 2020 Main Event but unlike how some online operators have run qualifiers for their live events, there is no money included for airfare or hotel. "We have tried these in the past, and there was not as much appetite for these, so we have continued to stick with straight $10K ME satellites," Barille said. "We have done some smaller packages in the past where players can win seats to multiple events in one satellite, called Kick-off packages. They include entry into the events for opening weekend. We plan to continue to offer these types of satellites in the future." Could Pennsylvania Players Get In on the Action? Online poker players in Pennsylvania are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for their chance to play on regulated online poker sites. Barille remained tight-lipped about WSOP.com's plans for the Keystone State but did admit that adding Pennsylvania to their inter-state network would lead to increased traffic and send even more players to poker's most prestigious event. "Adding the PA market to the NV-NJ compact would allow for bigger prize pools as well as more opportunity to add more satellites to the growing liquidity. It would be great for poker players," Barille said.
  3. The opening event of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online events had a little bit everything that makes the WSOP so special. A huge field, a deep run by none other than Mr. WSOP himself, Phil Hellmuth, and a final table that saw a new member, Jonathan Dokler, join the bracelet winner club. Event #1 ($500 No Limit Hold'em Kickoff) drew 1,715 total entries from 1,195 unique players to create a $771,750 prize pool. Dokler's eventual first place prize of $130,426 is the largest single prize on WSOP.com this year, beating the $130,410 score that Champie Douglas earned in the $525 Main Event of the Super Circuit Series earlier this year. As the field dwindled down to two tables, the field included Hellmuth gunning for a 16th bracelet, former World Poker Tour champ Taylor von Kriegenberg looking to add a WSOP bracelet to his resume, and WPT commentator and WSOP bracelet winner Tony Dunst hoping for a second bracelet. Hellmuth was the only one of those three to not make the final table. Taylor von Kriegenbergh moved all-in from the hijack for 751,580 with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ts"] only to have Justin 'MadTitan' Turner call from the cutoff with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="jh"] to give von Kriegenbergh top pair on the flop before Turner made the nut flush on the turn to pick up the first elimination of the night. A few minutes later, Jonathan 'Art.Vandelay' Dokler picked up his first victim of the final table. Action folded to Mark 'NostraDonkus' Liedtke on the button and he moved all-in for 1,017,824 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="7s"]. Dokler called from the big blind with [poker card="9h"]][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2d"] flop missed Liedtke and he could do nothing but watch as the [poker card="2h"] turn and [poker card="9c"] river gave Dokler a full house to send Liedtke out in eighth place. The fast pace of eliminations continued as a blind versus blind battle two hands later ended one player's tournament. Michael 'DDSpade' Balan opened to 390,000 from the small blind and 'djp1006' defended his big blind. The flop came [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8s"] and Balan bet 460,000. 'djp1006' moved all-in behind him for 1,470,536. Balan called and tabled [poker card="th"][poker card="7d"] for middle pair while while 'djp1006' was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"]. The turn was the [poker card="jh"] but the river was the [poker card="td"] to give Balan trip tens to bust 'djp1006' in seventh. No one player was able to seize control of the final table to this point with the fourth elimination of the night coming at the hands of a fourth unique player ten minutes later. 'ChefShap' moved all-in from the cutoff with [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] with Shawn 'SayGoodNight' Daniels calling from the big blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. Daniels stayed in control through the [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2c"][poker card="8h"] run out to send 'ChefShap' to the rail in sixth place. The final five players battled for 20 minutes with Dunst holding the chip lead despite not having been responsible for a single final table elimination. Two other players who had sent players packing battled in the next bustout. From the small blind, Balan raised to 555,000 and Dokler re-raised to 1,200,000 from the big blind. Balan called and the two players saw a flop of [poker card="kh"][poker card="td"][poker card="4d"]. Balan checked, Dokler bet 680,000 and Balan called. The turn was the [poker card="2d"] and Balan shoved his last 2,840,000 into the middle and Dokler called. Balan showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="ts"] for second pair and the third nut flush draw only to be shown [poker card="kd"][poker card="4h"] by Dokler for two pair and a better flush draw. The [poker card="3c"] river offered Balan no help and he was sent packing in fifth. Down to four players, Dunst finally found himself a victim. From the button, Dunst raised to 560,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"]. Daniels moved all-in for 1,538,586 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] and Dunst called. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6d"] flop gave Daniels all kinds of outs. The [poker card="6h"] turn was not one of them and neither was the [poker card="jc"] river to send him home in fourth place. Unfortunately for Dunst, his run didn't last much longer after an all-in preflop flip didn't go his way. Dunst bet 560,000 from the button with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"] and Dokler responded by three-betting to 1,800,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. Dunst moved all-in for 9,450,881 and Dokler called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2s"] flop was a safe one for Dunst and the [poker card="th"] turn kept him in control. The [poker card="kh"] river however gave Dokler top pair and eliminated Dunst in third place. Heads-up play lasted just 20 minutes thanks largely to Dokler holding a better-than 3-1 lead over Turner after Dunst's elimination. On the final hand Turner bet his last 4,765,824 with [poker card="ts"][poker card="6s"] and Dokler called with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"]. The [poker card="6c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop gave Turner top pair but Dokler was now drawing to an open-ended straight. The [poker card="2h"] turn completed that draw and all Dokler could do was watch as the meaningless [poker card="5d"] river completed the hand to eliminate him and award Dokler the win and his first career WSOP bracelet. The win comes three months after Dokler picked up a WSOP Circuit Ring in the Super Circuit Series on WSOP.com and five months after his win in the Borgata Winter Poker Open High Roller for $100,829. Final Table Payouts Jonathan 'Art.Vandelay' Dokler - $130,426 Justin 'MadTitan' Turner - $80,416 Tony 'Panoramic' Dunst - $57,881 Shawn 'SayGoodNight' Daniels - $42,060 Michael 'DDSpade' Balan - $30,947 'ChefShap' - $22,998 'djp1006' - $17,287 Mark 'NostraDonkus' Liedtke - $13,120 Taylor 'ZeroTo100' Von Kriegenbergh - $10,110 Notable Finishes Hellmuth was certainly the biggest name to make the money on opening day but not the only familiar face starting off the Series with a cash. Jonathan 'havuuuuuc' Turner (12th - $7,782), Ryan 'Toosick' Tosoc (25th - $3,935.92), Dan 'feeltheflow' Sindelar (29th - $3,164.17), Mike 'mouth123' Matusow (44th - $2,623.95), Jesse 'MrJesseJames' Sylvia (137th - $1,003.27), Katie 'katelin' Lindsay (149th - $1,003.27), Napun 'javatini' Java (159th - $926.10), and Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo (247th - $771.75) and managed to work their way into the money on Wednesday night.
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