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When Ronan ‘Sw33ney’ Sweeney sits down to play his normal online poker grind on Sunday, there will be nothing normal about it. Sweeney, who sits at #6 in the Irish Online Poker Rankings, will be one of the thousands of grinders playing Day 1A of the partypoker MILLIONS Online in hopes of coming out on top and winning $2.5 million. While he normally plays 40-45 tournaments on a normal Sunday, Sweeney plans to dial that schedule back significantly just for this one week. “I think I will pay a lot less and I'll still multi-table, maybe four to six tournaments, but it won't be more than that for sure because this is obviously a huge event,” said Sweeney, who won his way into the MILLIONS Online from a $109 Phase 1 event. “I do think you definitely have a better chance of doing well if you're playing fewer tournaments.” While the volume he puts in this week will change, the former engineering student has no intention of messing with his normal routine. “I think for myself specifically, I just want to sort of approach it like any other day because once you start mixing up routines, personally I feel that it doesn't really work so well,” said Sweeney. “You almost have a lot of adrenaline, which you don't really want in this sort of situation, you want to just stay calm and make as well decisions as you can.” This is the second time that Sweeney is playing an online event with a $5,300 buy-in. In 2017, he played the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event. After failing to cash in that event, he’s hoping for a different result this time around. Most poker players will point to a big win as being a significant moment in their career. For Sweeney, it was actually a pair of runner-up finishes that let him know he was on the right path. After turning pro in the summer of 2017, Sweeney satellited into the partypoker Grand Prix Killarney in September where he made the final table of the €340 buy-in partypoker-sponsored event. He eventually finished second to Thomas Gallagher and walked away with $45,777 after chopping it three-handed. That wasn’t all he won though. “Before the (2017) Caribbean event, (partypoker) did a Golden Chip promotion, where if you final tabled one of their live events, and you qualified online, they'd have this Golden Chip, which would award you a $12,000 package,” said Sweeney. “So, I final tabled (Grand Prix Killarney), and I finished second and I had this Golden Chip, so it was a $12,000 freeroll over there.” Exactly one week later, full of confidence and playing with a little bit bigger bankroll, Sweeney decided to take a few shots online. One of the events he entered was the $215 PokerStars WCOOP Sunday Warm-Up Special Edition. After hours of battling through the 6,156-player field, Sweeney had a heads-up chip lead against Thiago ‘Thiago Wks.’ Wildener. That lead evaporated quickly and Wildener took the title. Sweeney earned $61,860.28 in what was a career-best online poker cash for him. It took some time for Sweeney to be able to fully appreciate what had happened to him. “It was just incredible. It was so surreal, I remember at that stage as well. It was one of those things where you almost, you don't believe it for like a week or week and a half. You're like, 'Wow, I've actually I've just won this amount of money,' and this confidence against these players. It was a really, really good experience,” said Sweeney. With an opportunity to win life-changing just some 16 months after turning pro, Sweeney has allowed himself to daydream about winning $2.5 million and how it would change things for him. “I think if I won two and a half million dollars, I would definitely try and play the live circuit over the next year, maybe the next two years, and see how that goes. Travel to a lot of different areas in the world playing poker. That would be a fantastic goal for me, a fantastic way for me to use the money and maybe hopefully be successful there as well,” said Sweeney.
The 2019 US Poker Open continued on Friday at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas with the conclusion of Event #2: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. American Jordan Cristos entered the final table with a commanding chip lead and proceeded to eliminate each of his final five opponents en route to claiming the $179,200 first-place prize and rocketing to the early lead in the USPO Championship standings. Final Table Results 1. Jordan Cristos - $179,200 2. Manig Loeser - $128,000 3. Martin Zamani - $83,200 4. Adam Hendrix - $64,000 5. Cary Katz - $51,200 6. Sean Winter - $38,400 From the original field of 64, the final six, which included Aussie Million $100,000 Challenge winner Cary Katz and USPO Event #1 runner-up Sean Winter, took their seats on the live-streamed final table to play down to a winner. It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the final table. Roughly 15 minutes into the day, Cristos put his chip lead to work. He opened on the button with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"][poker card="7s"] and Winter defended his big blind with the [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="td"][poker card="7h"]. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"][poker card="js"]. Winter bet out, prompting a raise from Cristos. Winter made the call with his tournament at risk. The [poker card="qc"] gave both players a straight, but Cristos had a redraw to the spade flush while Winter had a redraw to a full house. The [poker card="qs"] brought the flush in for Cristos and he eliminated Winter in sixth place for $38,400. Winter improved to a two-day USPO total of $195,900 and 180 points. Cristos claimed his second victim 45 minutes later. A short-stacked Katz raised from the button with the [poker card="as"][poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and was called by Cristos holding the [poker card="th"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3s"]. The flop came [poker card="5c"][poker card="6s"][poker card="kd"] and Cristos bet his flopped two pair enough to put Katz at risk. Katz called with his aces and the turn was the [poker card="6d"] to give Cristos a full house. Katz needed one of the last two aces in the deck to survive but the [poker card="2d"] hit the river instead. The Poker Central founder finished in fifth for $51,200. Minutes later, it was Adam Hendrix’s turn to battle Cristos. Hendrix raised his [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6s"] from the small blind only to be re-raised by Cristos from the big blind with the [poker card="8d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"]. Hendrix called with his tournament on the line and with the cards on their backs, the pair saw a flop of [poker card="3d"][poker card="9h"][poker card="kh"]. Cristos flopped a set which held through the [poker card="6h"] turn and the [poker card="ad"] river. Hendrix wrapped Event #2 in fourth place for $64,000. The rapid bustouts continued moments later when Cristos raised his [poker card="ts"][poker card="7c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] from the small blind into Martin Zamani’s big blind. Zamani made the call with the [poker card="9s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2c"]and the flop fell [poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"], again giving Cristos the best hand with trip sevens. The board was completed with the [poker card="jd"] and [poker card="6h"]. Zamani hit the rail in third place and added $83,200 to his more than $1.3 million in career tournament earnings. Cristos took a healthy chip lead into his heads-up play with Germany’s Manig Loeser. However, during the more than two-hour battle, Loeser wrestled the chip lead away. The pair passed the lead back and forth until Cristos finally managed to get the best of Loeser. The final hand saw Cristos raise holding the [poker card="9s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="kc"][poker card="5c"] and Loeser defended with the [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"]. The flop fell [poker card="qc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="7c"] and Loeser checked to Cristos, who put in a bet. Loeser check-raised with his two pair and the pair got all the chips in the middle. The turn was the [poker card="ks"], giving Cristos a bigger two pair, and the [poker card="8s"] river completed the tournament. Loeser was eliminated as the runner-up, settling for second place and collecting $128,000 for his efforts. Cristos wins his first USPO event and the $179,200 first-place prize. This comes on the heels of his 11th-place finish in Event #1, where he earned $27,000. Together, his 2019 USPO earnings have helped propel him to over $2.5 million in career live earnings and the current leader in the quest for the 2019 USPO Championship. USPO Top 10 After Event #2 PLAYER CASHES PRIZE MONEY POINTS 1. Jordan Cristos 2 $206,200 240 2. Stephen Chidwick 1 $216,000 200 3. Sean Winter 2 $195,400 180 4. Manig Loeser 1 $128,000 140 5. Joseph Cheong 1 $112,500 100 6. Martin Zamani 1 $83,200 100 7. Joseph Cappello 1 $90,000 80 8. Adam Hendrix 1 $64,000 80 9. Lazaro Hernandez 1 $72,000 60 10. Cary Katz 1 $51,200 60 The final table for Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em will take place on Saturday. USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO DATE EVENT TIME (ET) 02/14/19 Event #1: #10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/15/19 Event #2: #10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m. 02/16/19 Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/17/19 Event #4: $10,000 Short Deck 5 p.m. 02/18/19 Event #5: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/19/19 Event #6: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m. 02/20/19 Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #8: $25,000 8-Game 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 8 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 7:30 p.m. 02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
Bradley Ruben has had a successful World Series of Poker Online so far this summer, with six cashes, including the final table of Event #27 ($1,050 PLO Bounty). He finished fourth in that event for nearly $40,000, but on Sunday he was able to get to the top, taking home his first WSOP bracelet, and over $220,000 for winning Event #62 ($1,500 PLO). The final table ended up starting short-handed with eight players, as there was a double elimination with ten players left. At virtually the same time, Simon Mason busted in 10th place, while Adam Hendrix quickly followed him out the door in ninth place. This left Canadian Patrick Serda holding the lead eight-handed. After shipping a double up over to another opponent, a short-stacked Tal Peretz got his final 360,000 and change in the middle, and Sami Kelopuro three-bet the pot to get everyone else out of the hand. Peretz held [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"], and he was trailing the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kd"][poker card="10s"] of Kelopuro. The flop of [poker card="As"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="5s"] gave Kelopuro top set, but also gave Peretz a flush draw. However, two hearts closed out the board, and Peretz busted in eight place, earning $17,858. Despite starting the final table as the chip leader, Serda was the next person out, busting in a huge pot against Dorel Eldabach. Eldabach raised to 280,000 from late position, and Serda defended his big blind. The flop of [poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"] saw Serda check call bet of 215,151, and the [poker card="Ts"] hit the turn. Serda checked again, and Eldabach fired 310,000. Serda check-raised to 910,000, and Eldabach called. The [poker card="Td"] river saw Serda move all-in for 1,868,679, and Eldabach put him at risk, showing [poker card="As"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3s"] for the best flush possible. Serda showed [poker card="Qs"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="4d"] for a complete bluff, and he'd had to settle for $33,910 in seventh. Next out the door was Sami Kelopuro. He made it 560,000 to go from the hijack, and Blaz Zerjav three-bet to 1,920,000, a pot sized bet. It folded back to Kelopuro, and he moved all in for another 1,344,671 on top of his raise. Zerjav called with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="8d"], and he was well in front of the [poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3c"]. Zerjav flopped top set, and Kelopuro was drawing dead by the turn. He earned $46,727.14 for his finish. Despite picking up that elimination, it was Zerjav who bowed out next in fifth. He raised it up under the gun, and Ruben three-bet to 1,500,000 on the button. Zerjav made the call, and the flop came [poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"]. Zerjav check, then called all-in for 2,500,000 and change after Ruben shoved. Zerjav showed [poker card="9h"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="7d"], which was drawing very live against the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"][poker card="Td"] of Ruben. However, the [poker card="Qc"] turn and [poker card="Jc"] river provided no further help. The Slovenian took home $64,389 for his efforts. Ruben made it back-to-back eliminations after taking out Naman Madan in fourth. Ruben started by raising to 420,000 in the cutoff, and Madan three-bet to 1,560,000. Ruben made the call, and the flop came down [poker card="Qh"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"]. Ruben checked, and Madan bet the pot, 3,420,000. Ruben moved all in for the one million Madan had left, and the cards were shown. Madan: [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kd"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="8d"] Ruben: [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Qs"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6s"] Ruben had flopped top set, leaving Madan drawing rather thin. No further help came, and Madan settled for $88,727 in fourth. Jens Lakemeier just missed out on heads up play, bowing out in third. In his final hand, he made it 504,000 to go from the button. Ruben three-bet the pot to 1,752,000 and that was called by Lakemeier. The flop came down [poker card="8c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6s"], and Ruben bet the pot, setting Lakemeier all-in. He called with [poker card="As"][poker card="Js"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5d"], and had a ton of outs against the [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qh"][poker card="Jc"] of Ruben. The [poker card="Kc"] gave Ruben top set, and the [poker card="Ac"] river changed nothing. Lakemeier bowed out in 3rd place, taking home $122,264.05. Heads-up didn’t last very long, as Ruben was simply unstoppable towards the end. On the final hand, Dorel Eldabach three bet after a raise from Ruben. Ruben called, and after the flop of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4c"] flop, he called the all-in from Eldabach. Ruben: [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"] Eldabach: [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2c"] Eldabach’s kings were in the lead, and the kings held on the [poker card="7d"] turn. However, the [poker card="Qh"] river gave Ruben the nut flush, ending the tournament. Eldabach will take home $168,477.54 for his runner up spot, while Ruben earned his first WSOP bracelet and $220,159. Final Table Payouts Bradley Ruben – $220,160 Dorel Eldabach– $168,478 Jens Lakemeier – $122,264 Naman Madan – $88,727 Blaz Zerjav – $64,389 Sami Kelopuro – $46,727 Patrick Serda – $33,910 Tal Peretz – $24,608 Adam Hendrix – $17,858