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Dylan 'ImaLucSac' Linde entered the Season XVII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic final table second in chips among the last six competitors. A dominating performance from Linde followed that earned him his first World Poker Tour title and a $1.631 million payday. "Incredible… I'm stunned, I'm stunned," Linde said after the victory, noticeably searching for the right words in the winning moment. "I was in for a lot of bullets in this tournament - I was in for five bullets - and all I wanted to do was get even. I was like, 'OK, I need to get 24th place and then I make like 8K, that’s great.' Then I got to there and it just felt like freerolling. I just was confident, I played my game - I mean, I'm still… I’m still in shock." Linde entered the final table of the record-setting event with just more than $2 million in live tournament earnings to his name. He nearly doubled that total thanks to scoring the largest live tournament score of his career. Not only did Linde earn a $1.631 million payday, but he claimed the title in one of poker’s most prestigious events, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio. Linde now goes down in history alongside players such as Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, and Joe Hachem as a champion of this event. "Incredible!" Linde said once again, more emphatically. "Besides having played a lot of poker for the past 10 or 11 years, I’m a gargantuan poker fan. I watch every single everything on PokerGO, I watch all broadcasts. Even weird cash games that have been televised, I consume it all. I love poker. To be there, to be here playing in the studio, it’s incredible. It's just incredible. I watched the Super High Roller Bowl Cash Game this morning before I came to play." What's more is that Linde topped a record-breaking field in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The event attracted a field of 1,001 entries, nearly 200 more than the previous record of 812, and generated a prize pool of $9.709 million. "It was like a roller coaster," Linde said of firing multiple $10,000 bullets in the event. "The first one or two, it was like, 'Ehhh, OK.' And then when I busted bullet three, I was pretty sad and I kind of tilted. Then when I busted bullet four, I was just like, 'Ya know? Whatever, this tournament is really good and I need to fire.' At that point, I've already passed my pain threshold so now it doesn’t matter. I just try and it almost helped me to be in for five." WPT Five Diamond Final Table Results 1st: Dylan Linde - $1,631,468* 2nd: Milos Skrbic - $1,087,603 3rd: Andrew Lichtenberger - $802,973 4th: Ping Liu - $599,147 5th: Lisa Hamilton - $451,880 6th: Barry Hutter - $344,529 *First place includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. Barry Hutter was first knocked out at the final table when his top pair ran into the bottom two pair of Milos Skrbic on the [poker card="8s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5s"] flop. Hutter's [poker card="Ac"][poker card="8d"] couldn’t come from behind against the [poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"] of Skrbic, leaving Hutter with a sixth-place result worth $344,529. Next to go was Lisa Hamilton in fifth place, and she was eliminated when her pocket fives couldn't hold up against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Td"] of Linde. The money went in preflop and Linde flopped top pair, turned trips, and rivered a full house to send Hamilton to the payout desk to collect her $451,880 in winnings. Eliminating Hamilton in fifth place gave Linde the chip lead. This is when he really began to press on the gas in order to put distance between himself and his opponents. It also helped when Linde busted Ping Liu in fourth place with the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="2c"]. Action folded to Linde in the small blind, and he moved all in against Liu's big blind. Liu was short stacked and called with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="4h"]. The board ran out[poker card="Kh"][poker card="7h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="Kd"] to eliminate Liu in fourth place for a career-best $599,147. Andrew Lichtenberger was the shortest stack entering three-handed play. He fought as hard as he could to get himself back into the match against Linde and Skrbic, but ultimately it wouldn’t be in the cards for the player so widely known as "LuckyChewy." Lichtenberger flopped top pair with the [poker card="Kd"][poker card="5h"] on the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3c"] flop against Skrbic holding the [poker card="Tc"][poker card="6c"] for a flush draw. The two bet and raised back and forth to get all the money in, leaving Lichtenberger needing to fade the draw to stay alive. Skrbic quickly completed his flush on the turn with the [poker card="8c"] and the river completed the board with the [poker card="4d"]. For his efforts, Lichtenberger scored $802,973. Linde held the chip lead entering heads-up play, with his 22.375 million to Skrbic’s 17.675 million. Linde dominated the duel and took just 35 hands to dispose of Skrbic. On the final hand, Linde's pocket jacks held up against the pocket fives for Skrbic after all the money went in preflop and that was all she wrote. Skrbic, who entered the event with less than $500,000 in live tournament winnings, took home $1.087 million for his runner-up result, and Linde was crowned champion. "I'm pretty much going to keep doing the same thing I've been doing," Linde said when asked where he takes his poker career from here. "I'm a big believer in the amount of money that I have doesn’t really dictate the games that I should be playing. I’ll have some more action of myself in tournaments rather than selling more. I’m not going to start playing super high rollers or anything. I’ll just play the cash games I normally play here (in Las Vegas) and play tournaments. I’m pretty happy with my life at the moment, as far as poker. I play fairly high stakes normally anyway, and I don’t really need to go battle against my friends in the 25Ks and 100Ks who I know are slightly better than me or a lot better than me. At one point, maybe I will, but for now, I just want to keep improving, use this to make my life more comfortable, and hopefully make it so that I feel more confident and can just play my A-game more consistently." With the victory, Linde earned a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. He also picked up 1,400 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, although that only puts him in third behind Tony Ruberto's 1,850 points and Liu's 1,550 points. Next up on the WPT Main Tour is the $10,000 buy-in WPT Gardens Poker Championship in January at the Gardens Casino in Southern California. That tournament runs January 12-16, 2019.
One might think that with the holidays on the horizon December would be a quiet month of people spending time with their family. Not for the world of poker. December 2018 was full of record-breaking tournaments and huge headlines. Here are some of the names that made the news in December. Dan Smith Makes A Difference For the past five years, regular high-roller Dan Smith has been collecting donations for various charities at Christmas time. This year, Smith and his collaborators amassed $1.29M for the Double Up Drive and that they would use to match donations to spread to 10 carefully cultivated charities. They nearly got that amount in a single day when DFS champion Tom Crowley promised to give 50% of any winnings he might make from the DraftKings World Championship Final. Crowley, known as ‘ChipotleAddict’, went on to win the event for $2 million and over the weekend hauled in a total of $2.254 - half of which was donated to the Double Up Drive. The donation was ‘surreal’ but Smith wants to make sure people knew that donations of any size are welcome. “I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference,” Smith told PocketFives. “People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all.” READ: Dan Smith Charity Drive Gets “Surreal” $1.1M Donation via DFS Champ Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl V The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl saw Isaac Haxton best the field of 36 elite players to earn a career-high cash of $3.672 million dollars. “This is easily the best tournament result I’ve ever had and it’s an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt,” said Haxton after the win. The final table was replete with talent including Poker Masters champion Ali Imsirovic, Igor Kurganov, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, Stephen Chidwick, and eventual runner-up Alex Foxen. Foxen took home a career-best $2.1 million for his second-place finish. This capped off an amazing year that saw him earn 12 cashes of six-figures or better as well as rise to become the #1-ranked player on the GPI. READ: Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl for $3.672 Million READ: Alex Foxen’s Drive Takes Him to the Super High Roller Bowl The World Series of Poker Releases 2019 Dates Just before Christmas the World Series of Poker delivered players an early present by announcing a partial schedule of the 2019 WSOP. This summer will be the 50th anniversary for the longest-running tournament series and to help commemorate the occasion the WSOP is planning a number of special events for the players. The schedule included the announcement of the ‘Big 50’, a $500 buy-in tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool and a $1 million guarantee for first place. Additionally, in an extra effort to “make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around” many of the marquee events of the summer have an increased starting stack. This includes the WSOP Main Event which is increasing their starting stack to 60,000. READ: WSOP Releases 2019 Dates, New ‘Big 50’ Event - $500 Buy-in, $5M GTD Dylan Linde Wins WPT Five Diamond for $1.6 Million The crypto crash of 2018 has some in the industry fearing that the numbers for the World Poker Tour’s highlight event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, might see a dip in registration. However, just the opposite happened as players flocked to the Bellagio in record-setting numbers. The event attracted 1001 runners and generated a prize pool of $9.7 million. In the end, longtime poker pro Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde (who re-entered five times in the event) dominated a stacked final table that included Andrew Lichtenberger, Ping Liu, Lisa Hamilton, Barry Hutter and runner-up Milos Skrbic. Linde won a career-high $1.6 million and earned the title of WPT Champion. READ: Dylan Line Wins Record-Shattering WPT Five Diamond Title for $1.6 Million Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio, Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online. partypoker’s 2018 $20M GTD MILLIONS Online did not disappoint. The incredible online tournament surpassed its posted guarantee and set the record for the largest single online tournament in history with players vying for a first place prize of over $2.6M. In the end, after one hand of heads-up play, Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and PocketFiver Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede settled on a lightning-fast chop that awarded both players over $2.3M. Rubio, technically, earned the victory, taking home $20K more than De Goede and now owns the record for the single largest online payday in history. READ: Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop partypoker MILLIONS Online A December To Remember December was just one of those month’s where huge news seemed to break every day. Here are some of the other must-read major headlines in December. Michigan opens its doors to online poker. READ: Michigan Becomes Fifth State to Regulate Online Poker The poker world loses a legend in the passing of Thor Hansen. READ: Thor Hansen Passes Away at 71 The pitch black bathroom bet comes to an abrupt end. READ: The $100K Bathroom Prop Ends Early; Alati, Young Agree on $62K Buyout Bay 101’s Shooting Star returns without the WPT behind it. READ: After a Year Away, Bay 101 Shooting Star Returns With New Look
888poker LIVE returned to Romania this week for the 2019 edition of their popular Bucharest Festival. The €888 Main Event drew 505 entries, creating a massive prize pool of €387,638 ($435,684). In the end, Romanian player Darius Neagoe broke out from the middle of the final table pack to claim the crown. He took home €62,300, in a deal made with fellow Romanian and eventual runner-up Bogdan Nicolae, the trophy, and was awarded a World Series of Poker Main Event package, worth over $12,000. At the start of the final day, 12 players remained. Meaning three people needed to hit the rail before the official final table played down to a winner. After the loss of Jose Manuel and Raoul Iancovici, Cristian Matei busted in tenth place (€5,900) to bubble the official final table. The final nine took their new seating assignments and settled in to play down to the eventual winner of the Main Event. Day 1B chip leader Aldo Monteleone was the first to be eliminated when he shipped his super short stack in the middle holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"]. Nicolae Suciu isolated Monteleone’s shove with the [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] and the board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="7h"] to give Suciu the knockout. Monteleone, from Italy, finished in ninth place and picked up €7,020 for his efforts. Thirty minutes later, the UK's Derek Reid was in the big blind with roughly two blinds left in his stack. Mihai Gheonu raised with [poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"] from the cutoff and Reid committed his chips with [poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"], flipping for his tournament life. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2d"] flop put Reid in a nearly impossible spot. The [poker card="7d"] sealed his fate, giving Ghoenu the full house. The irrelevant [poker card="4d"] fell on the river and Reid fell in eighth place taking home €8,800. The next clash saw Neagoe raise with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"] and Ran Shahar defended his big blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="th"]. With a [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"][poker card="6s"] flop, Shahar open-shoved. Holding top pair, Neagoe made the call and Shahar needed to hit a card to stay alive. The turn was the [poker card="ts"], providing some additional outs to Shahar's open-ended straight draw. The river, however, was the [poker card="qh"], making top pair the best hand. Shahar finished in seventh place, picking up €12,400. Neagoe claimed another victim thirty minutes later. Suciu open-shoved his final nine big blinds with [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] and Neagoe reshipped from the small blind with the dominating [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="jd"]ptc][poker card="9h"] flop put Suciu in a bad spot, pairing up Neagoe. The turn was the [poker card="9c"], ending the hand. When the [poker card="qd"] hit the river, Suciu hit the rail in sixth place, collecting a career-high cash of €16,550. Helder Ferreira looked like he was in great shape to double up. He’d moved all in from the button with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] only to be called by Bogdan Nicolae and his [poker card="6s"][poker card="6c"]. The pair stared at a flop of [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8h"] when the dealer dealt the [poker card="6d"] on the turn, giving Nicolae a set. Ferreira still had outs headed to the river, but the [poker card="3s"] was not one of them. Ferreira was eliminated in fifth place collecting €21,070 as consolation for the bad beat. Not more than ten minutes later, Gheonu found himself all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3h"] and up against the [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"] of Nicolae. The [poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"] flop missed Gheonu, keeping Nicolae firmly in the lead with his overpair. The turn was the [poker card="7s"] and offered Gheonu a little life, which disappeared on the [poker card="qs"] river. Nicolae won the hand with a full house and Gheonu won €26,900 for fourth place. Day two chip leader Zhiping Zeng from China entered the final table with the chip lead and, for the better part of it, avoided putting himself at risk. However, after a big clash with Nicolae, he found himself short-stacked. Then, from the small blind Neagoe open shipped his [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"] on Zeng who made the call with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8s"] flop gave Neagoe the lead. While the [poker card="7s"] turn helped Zeng with a few more outs, the [poker card="jd"] river meant that Zeng would have to settle for third place. He earned €33,960 for a new career-high cash, sending his lifetime scores to over $150,000. After a short dinner break, the remaining two Romanians, Neagoe and Nicolae, prepared for heads-up play. Neagoe held a decisive chip lead when play started but Nicolae was able to double through and even the stacks. Once that happened the pair had the clock paused to discuss a deal and the pair was able to come to an agreement. Neagoe locked up the larger sum of €62,300 while Nicolae secured a healthy payday of €59,900. With the issue of the prize pool settled, the pair played it out for the coveted 888poker Bucharest Main Event trophy and the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event package. Moments later the pair got all the chips in the middle with Neagoe holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] and Nicolae's [poker card="th"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7s"] flop paired up the chip leading Neagoe but Nicolae still had outs. The turn came the [poker card="ad"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"]. Nicolae officially finished in second place taking home the agreed upon €59,900. Romania’s Darius Neagoe takes down the 2019 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event for €62,300 and will be representing 888poker at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas this summer. 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event Final Table Payouts Darius Neagoe - €62,300 Bogdan Nicolae - €59,900 Zhiping Zeng - €33,960 Mihai Gheonu - €26,900 Helder Ferreira - €21,070 Nicolae Suciu - €16,550 Ran Shahar - €12,400 Derek Reid - €8,800 Aldo Monteleone - €7,020