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Found 31 results

  1. Poker talent grows across the United States within players who hone their craft online. How an online player might perform live during the summer is anyone's guess. American PocketFivers did well last summer, headlined by Scott 'Sblum2711' Blumstein's win in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Blumstein's run came as a surprise to many and he likely would not have been on a "top-5" list for a similar preview at this time last year. The five players below are all qualified in their own right. Repeating Blumstein's performance might be a lofty goal but expect to see all of these American PocketFivers on a few Day 3 leaderboards this summer. Ali 'ali23imsirovic' Imsirovic A dominator on the non-regulated sites, Imsirovic crushes live poker as well. Imsirovic topped a tough field in April at the Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event to win his major event along with $246,066. At only 23-years-old, Imsirovic is already playing $25,000 High Rollers on a consistent basis including the U.S. Poker Open and the recent Bellagio High Roller. A Sunday Million win this March plays a large role in Imsirovic's standing as the #1 American PocketFiver. Imsirovic awaits his breakout score on poker's biggest stage and is expected to play most of the major No Limit events both at the Rio and around The Strip. Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano It almost feels like cheating to put Gagliano on a 'player to watch' list but his consistent online success makes him tough to ignore. Gagliano topped the New Jersey Online Rankings for most of 2018 and won an NJSCOOP title in May. On the live side, Gagliano only has two cashes in 2018. Recent summers in Las Vegas suggest Gagliano is due to turn that trend around. In 2016, Gagliano won his first career bracelet in the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em event. The next year, he followed up that performance with a $1,500 NLHE final table and a third-place finish in the $3,000 Six-Max. A loaded summer schedule for Gagliano makes him a favorite to notch at least one memorable run this year. Jed 'JCHAK' Hoffman Hoffman stands as one of the most elite players in the history of Nevada online. A browse through the WSOP Nevada lobby on Sundays equals the familiar sight of Hoffman's simple and striking screenname. The Reno resident is making a name for himself in the mid-major events on the West Coast. Hoffman locked up a seat in the WSOP Circuit Global Championship thanks in large part to assertive performances in two Circuit Main Events. November's Lake Tahoe Main Event equaled fourth-place for Hoffman and he preceded that run with a fifth-place ribbon at Thunder Valley in September. Hoffman's best finish last summer was 12th in the $3,333 Online High Roller. He also owns a WSOP $1,500 NLHE final table dating back to 2013. David 'dehhhhh' Coleman The feared name of 'Coles93' on PokerStarsNJ is over the $1.1 million mark in career online tournament earnings. Coleman is slowly building a live portfolio for himself with a cash in the 2017 WSOP Main Event as the highlight so far. $80,600 is where Coleman's live winnings stand thanks to cashes in the Borgata Winter and Spring Poker Open Main Events along with March's Parx 1500. Coleman's schedule this summer is undetermined but he is the most likely of the New Jersey grinders to strike big thanks to the experience of 156 online wins. Kou 'ktyven' Vang Consistent is the best way to describe Vang. The Minnesota native has over $1.3 million in earnings with a high score of $78,421. Vang's location prevents him from playing regulated online poker but he is up to #5 in the United States. The Venetian hosted a win for Vang last summer in the $1,100 Bounty event worth $68,300. Vang awaits his first six-figure score and is a favorite to play the majority of what is available at any property this summer.
  2. With the elimination of Brandon Adams on Day 2 in the 2018 Poker Masters $100,000 Main Event, the distinction of who would win the player of the series and the Poker Masters Purple Jacket was no longer a mystery. That honor belongs to 24-year old Ali Imsirovic. But while the Purple Jacket was already being tailored for Imsirovic, there was still the matter of who would take home the $1,150,000 first place prize in final event. As it turned out, the 2018 Poker Masters finished much in the way it started: Event #1 champion David Peters adding another victory, and million dollar payday, to his resume. At the start of the final day of play only four players remained, all well-known for their prowess at the high roller level. Peters, who held the chip lead and 220 big blinds. Dan Smith who was right on Peters heels. Germany’s Koray Aldemir sitting third in place and Bryn Kenney, with 23 big blinds looking to find some double ups in order to get back into contention. A little over an hour into play, Kenney found a hand to make a move. With roughly 10 big blinds Kenney shoves on the button with [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"] only to be called from the small blind by Aldemir and his [poker card="qc"][poker card="jh"]. The flop came [poker card="5d"][poker card="as"][poker card="7s"] and Kenney needed some help on the turn. It came [poker card="8d"] which didn’t open the door to any more outs. Kenney would need one of the remaining three tens. The [poker card="5c"] completed the board, ending Kenney's tournament. Kenney, who had recently remarked on the Poker Central podcast that he was down seven-figures in 2018, picked up $250,000 for fourth place. After the elimination of Kenney, play wore on for hours. The three players took turns making big hands and bigger calls. Aldemir, who was the short stack for most of three-handed play, evened out the stack and even took the chip lead at one point. But a crucial hand in which Peter shoved with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] and was called by Aldemir holding [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] proved to be a tipping point. Peters hit running cards to back into a straight. Aldemir who had worked so hard to climb back into the tournament was once again crippled. In the end, Aldemir couldn’t rebuild. He eventually busted on a hand where he shoved from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"] and ran into Smith’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="8d"] and despite his best efforts, Aldemir finishes the Main Event in third place for $400,000 leaving him under $35,000 to hit $10 million in lifetime live tournament earnings. Smith and Peters opted to decrease the time of the levels to 15 minutes and got to the work of determining who would win the $1.15 million. Smith started heads-up play with the slightest of chip advantages. But once Peters took the lead in the first few hands, he wouldn’t give it up. Finally, on the 198th hand of final table play, Peters sealed the deal. Applying pressure, Peters shoved the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="7c"] and was called by Smith’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="7d"]. Peters was dominated but it was Smith’s tournament that was at risk. The flop looked clean for Smith as it came [poker card="3s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="th"]. But when the turn came [poker card="ks"], Peters was looking to hold. The river card was the [poker card="6s"] ending Dan Smith's Main Event run in second place for $700,000. And also wrapping up the 2018 Poker Masters. David Peters, secured his second victory of the series for $1,150,000. Final Table Payouts David Peters - $1,150,000 Dan Smith - $700,000 Koray Aldemir - $400,000 Bryn Kenney - $250,000 What a difference a cash makes. With his victory in the $100,000 Main Event, Peters was only 10 points shy of Imsirovic on the 2018 Poker Master leaderboard. Though both Peters and Imsirovic each had two victories during the series, Imsirovic also scored an eighth-place finish in Event #1 for $27,600. That ended up being the cash that made the difference for the Purple Jacket. Purple Jacket Final Standings Ali Imsirovic - 660 points David Peters - 650 Brandon Adams - 510 Issac Haxton - 480 Jake Schindler - 390 Koray Aldemir - 385 Ben Yu - 360 Dan Smith - 305 Keith Lehr - 300 Jonathan Depa - 270 Koray Aldemir - 210
  3. When Ali Imsirovic took his seat at the final table of Poker Masters Event #5: $25,000 No Limit Hold'em he was likely the least known poker pro of the star-studded six. But even though Imsirovic, the 2018 Borgata Spring Poker Open Champion, may not be one of the faces regularly seen during high-stakes broadcasts, he didn’t let the moment get away from him. He navigated the tough final table and in the end, claimed his first Poker Masters title and a career-high cash of $462,000. Generally considered one of the toughest high-stakes tournament players in the world, Aria regular Jake Schindler started the day with a healthy chip lead. On the other end of the chip counts, poker celebrity Daniel Negreanu had just a few big blinds left to try and make something happen. Joining the pair in the final six was Ben Yu, Brian Rast, Jason Koon, and Imsirovic. Roughly 20 minutes into play Negreanu took a stand with his short stack. Yu raised from the hijack holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8c"] and Negreanu flat called holding the [poker card="5c"][poker card="2c"]. Leaving himself less than a third of a big blind, Negreanu put it at risk on the [poker card="td"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5d"] flop. Yu called and the board ran out with the [poker card="3s"] on the turn and the [poker card="7s"] on the river leaving Negreanu’s small pair unimproved. Negreanu hit the rail in sixth place for a $99,000 score. It is his second sixth-place finish of the 2018 Poker Masters. The eliminations continued just minutes later when Imsirovic raised in the cutoff with [ak][poker card="kd"]. Koon, who now held the shortest stack remaining, shipped the chips holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. Imsirovic made the quick call and Koon soon discovered he was dominated. The flop left little hope for Koon as it came [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"][poker card="4c"]. Looking for some running cards, the [poker card="qs"] provided a few outs to the straight for the Triton SHR Short Deck Champion. But when the [poker card="9h"] completed the board, Koon was eliminated in fifth place. He adds another $132,000 to his over $11.3 million in earning in 2018. This was Koon’s third cash of the series. As the final table wore on, Schindler lost the chip lead, lost a substantial hand that doubled up Ben Yu and found himself as the short stack with four players left. Folded to Schindler in the small blind, he open shipped his five big blinds with [poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"]. Imsirovic in the big blind quickly called showing down [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"]. Both players whiffed the [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4h"] flop. But when the [poker card="ad"] turned, Schindler was drawing dead. The river brought an inconsequential [poker card="8s"] and Schindler headed to the cashier for his $165,000 fourth-place payday. Rast, who had the chip lead when Schindler hit the rail, then lost a pair of very big hands. First, doubled up Imsirovic and then quickly second doubled up Yu when Yu hit a 3-outer on the river. It wasn’t much longer after that second double through that Rast had to play for it all. Imsirovic, now the chip leader, was applying pressure to both shorter stacks. He moved all in from the button with [poker card="6s"][poker card="6d"]. Rast, in the big blind made the call only seeing the [poker card="ac"]. The [poker card="3d"] was his second hole card and he was going to have to catch up to stay in the game. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="th"][poker card="2h"] offering no help to Rast. Rast collected $214,500 for third place. Heads up play between Yu and Imsirovic didn’t last very long. After a few hands, Imsirovic limped on the button with [poker card="5s"][poker card="5h"]. Yu moved all in from the big blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"] and Imsirovic made the quick call. It was a flip for Yu’s tournament life and to give Imsirovic the win. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5d"], providing a set for Imsirovic and Yu needed running cards to catch up. The turn was the [poker card="2h"] leaving Yu with no outs. He finished the tournament as the runner-up and earned $330,000 for his efforts. Imsirovic takes the first place prize of $462,000 holding pocket fives. In his winner’s interview dedicated the performance to his father who he credited with teaching him strategy games. “A year ago I was watching [Stefan Sontheimer] win everything and I was like it would be really cool if I could do that in a few years. I’m very surprised it came this fast but I’m super fortunate and I want to dedicate this win to my dad.” Event #5 Final Table Payouts 1. Ali Imsirovic - $462,000 2. Ben Yu - $330,000 3. Brian Rast - $214,500 4. Jake Schindler - $165,000 5. Jason Koon - $132,000 6. Daniel Negreanu - $99,000
  4. It's going a very high roller holiday season as Poker Central has announced that the return of the Super High Roller Bowl will be sooner than expected. The fifth edition of one of the most prestigious high roller tournaments of the year now takes place from December 17-19 at the PokerGO Studio at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The change to hold the newly dubbed Super High Roller Bowl V during the holiday season is a break of recent tradition for Poker Central. Over the past three years, the SHRB was played in late May, acting as an appetite-whetter for the World Series of Poker. Many expected the next tournament to be held at the same time in 2019. The move to December now takes advantage of the popular World Poker Tour Five Diamond schedule while simultaneously closing out the high roller circuit year with its biggest event. The upcoming December event will have many of the same specifics as the previous event held just six months ago. The $300,000 rake-free buy-in will generate a $14,400,000 prize pool with a $5 million first-place prize and championship ring for the winner. With a 48 seat cap, players who wish to have a shot at a seat need to place their $30,000 deposit by Monday, November 26. For those that do put down a deposit, there will be a live-streamed lottery on PokerGO to award players a seat into the tournament. The ARIA reserves eighteen of the 48 seats for ARIA VIP guests. Tournament officials will hand out these seats at their discretion. The five remaining seats are awarded to the top five players in Aria’s 2018 High Roller of the Year rankings. The current points system will be in place right up until the lottery for Super High Roller Bowl V. Currently the five players with the most points include Poker Central founder Cary Katz, Sam Soverel, Jake Schindler, David Peters, and Isaac Haxton. Poker Masters Champion Ali Imsirovic sits just outside the top five in sixth place with regular high rollers Adrian Mateos and Dan Smith not far behind. According to the Poker Central website, there are currently seven more opportunities for the high roller community to accumulate points. High roller events are taking place every day from October 31-November 6. “In its first five years of existence, Super High Roller Bowl has grown into one of the most exclusive and highly coveted poker championships in the world as the pinnacle of the High Roller Triple Crown,” said Vice President of Content for Poker Central, Sam Simmons. “We’re proud to celebrate that milestone in December, as we implement changes that will continue the success of the event for many years to come.” It just six months ago that Justin Bonomo won the previous Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million. The win was a significant contribution to Bonomo ascending to become the new leader of the All-Time Money List. He currently sits with over $43 million in career earnings. Daniel Negreanu finished as the 2018 runner-up, taking home $3 million for his efforts. The PokerGO platform will stream all of the Super High Roller Bowl. Additionally, the NBC Sports Network will air episodes on their website and the NBC Sports App. Super High Roller Bowl History Year Entries Winner Amount Won Prize Pool 2015 43 Brian Rast $7,525,000 $21,500,000 2016 49 Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 $15,000,000 2017 56 Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 $16,800,000 2018 48 Justin Bonomo $5,000,000 $14,400,000
  5. 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
  6. The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl crowned its champion on Wednesday night, with Isaac Haxton topping the exclusive field of 36 entries to earn the $3.672 million prize. "I just feel f***ing great," Haxton said in the moments following the big win. "I'm just super happy, even a little relieved it's over. Obviously, a day like today is pretty stressful, in the best way." With the victory, Haxton moved to more than $23.65 million in live tournament earnings, which bumps him up ahead of Jake Schindler and into 13th place on poker's all-time money list. "I'm gonna have more than a couple drinks and probably eat at least 1,500 calories of something disgusting," Haxton said about his plans to celebrate, with a smile of course. "That should do it, and then hopefully sleep for about 12 hours. That would be a perfect victory party for me." Super High Roller Bowl V Results 1st: Isaac Haxton - $3,672,000 2nd: Alex Foxen - $2,160,000 3rd: Stephen Chidwick - $1,512,000 4th: Talal Shakerchi - $1,188,000 5th: Adrian Mateos - $972,000 6th: Igor Kurganov - $756,000 7th: Ali Imsirovic - $540,000 For the past three days, the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas played host to the high-stakes affair that attracted the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz, and Justin Bonomo, just to name a few. After Monday’s Day 1, 27 players remained. After Day 2, just seven were left, all in the money and guaranteed a $540,000 payday. Bubbling the money in eighth place was Mikita Badziakouski. Haxton started the final table as the chip leader and Ali Imsirovic was bringing up the rear with the shortest stack left. After starting the final table with 875,000 and blinds of 10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 big blind ante, Imsirovic worked his way to nearly 1.9 million before taking a dive in the other direction that ultimately resulted with his seventh-place elimination. Imsirovic lost a pot to Stephen Chidwick that knocked him all the way back down to 520,000 and then got the last of his stack in with pocket jacks against the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"] of Haxton. Haxton flopped a flush draw and hit it on the turn to knock out the 23-year-old in seventh. Next to go was Igor Kurganov, who was never able to get any real momentum going on the final day. On his final hand, Kurganov, on the button, moved all in for 350,000 over the top of a raise to 65,000 from Chidwick with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante. Talal Shakerchi reraised all in from the small blind and Chidwick folded. Shakerchi had pocket tens to Kurganov’s pocket sevens, and the board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="Ac"] to send Kurganov home in sixth place. Shakerchi continued to climb after he busted Kurganov and even worked his way into the chip lead, but then he started to slide the other way as Alex Foxen increased. Adrian Mateos was next out the door when he was eliminated in fifth place by Foxen, falling in the 25,000/50,000 level with a big blind ante of 50,000. Mateos raised and then four-bet all in with pocket nines against Foxen, who made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"]. Foxen flopped a king and held from there to send the young Spaniard to collect his $972,000 payout. With Foxen out in front by a large margin and Haxton in second place, the final four players moved into Level 21 with the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante. Shortly after the level went up, Shakerchi went out, and he was busted by Haxton. Haxton opened to 140,000 and Shakerchi reraised all in for 1.285 million. Haxton called with two nines and won the flip against Shakerchi's [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Td"]. Shakerchi collected $1.118 million for his finish. Not too long after, Haxton added another chunk of chips when he busted Chidwick in third place. The two got the money in a blind-versus-blind situation, with Chidwick on the ropes holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"] to Haxton’s pocket jacks. To make matters worse for Chidwick, Haxton flopped top set to leave him needing runner-runner. It didn't come and Chidwick was out in third for $1.512 million. Although Foxen held the lead going into heads-up play - his 5.84 million to Haxton's 4.965 million - Haxton made short work of the match. Haxton won the first heads-up pot to take a 2-1 chip lead and Foxen could never recover from there. On the final hand, Haxton limped the button holding the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jh"]. Foxen raised to 225,000 out of the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8d"] and Haxton jammed. Foxen called to put himself at risk for 1.33 million, but he wouldn’t be doubling up. The final board ran [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Js"] to give Haxton two pair and the victory. For Foxen, his second-place finish was worth a whopping $2.16 million and put quite the cap on an incredible year that saw him win more than $6.6 million on the live felt. "For tournament results, there's no competition," Haxton said of where he ranked this Super High Roller Bowl triumph. "This is my biggest score ever and the other ones that come somewhat close are second- and third-place finishes. 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." Widely known as a high-stakes cash game player, Haxton certainly does his fair share of competing in the largest tournaments in the world. As for how he wins this much money, Haxton will take it any way he can get it. "If I can win $3.6 million, I'm not going to be picky about how I win it," Haxton said. "It can be in the lottery, on Wheel of Fortune, I don’t care. Give me the $3.6 million. I’m not going to complain about how I won it."
  7. 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. In this week's edition of The Fives, Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters take a journey back through the biggest stories of 2018. They break down the phenomenal years that Justin Bonomo, Alex Foxen and Ali Imsirovic put together and remember Phil Hellmuth's 15th bracelet win, Darren Elias' fourth WPT win and go over some of the biggest news from off the felt, including Gordon Vayo's failed bluff.
  8. Back in September, Ali Imsirovic put on a bit of a show on his way to winning the 2018 Poker Masters Purple Jacket. On Monday night, the 24-year-old eliminated his final three opponents over a 20-minute span to win the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2019 US Poker Open. Final Table Payouts 1. Ali Imsirovic - $442,500 2. Cary Katz - $295,000 3. Dan Shak - $206,500 4. Nick Petrangelo - $147,500 5. Kristen Bicknell - $118,000 6. Joseph Cappello - $88,500 Joseph Cappello started the final table with three big blinds. An early double up was of little help though. Nick Petrangelo raised from under the gun to 60,000 with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="jc"] before Cappello moved all in for 175,000 from the small blind with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Petrangelo called and then Cappello watched the [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"][poker card="7h"][poker card="kc"][poker card="as"] runout give Petrangelo a straight to eliminate him in sixth place. With the short stack out of the way, five-handed play continued for an hour before the next elimination. Action folded to Kristen Bicknell on the button and she moved all in for 755,000 with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"] before Dan Shak moved all in over the top with the [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"] and Imsirovic folded his big blind. The [poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3s"] flop kept Shak ahead and after the [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="td"] river, Bicknell was out in fifth. It was at this point that Imsirovic went to work. From the button, Imsirovic raised to 120,000 with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"], Cary Katz folded his small blind and Petrangelo moved all in for 1,160,000 with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"]. Imsirovic snap-called. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6d"] flop gave both players a set and the [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="2c"] river couldn't save Petrangelo from a fourth-place finish. Five minutes later, Imsirovic had another victim. From under the gun, Imsirovic raised to 125,000 with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="3d"] and Shak called from the small blind with the [poker card="9d"][poker card="8s"]. The flop came [poker card="9s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2s"] and Shak check-called a bet of 75,000 from Imsirovic. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] and Shak bet 150,000. Imsirovic raised to 550,000 and Shak responded by moving all in for 192,000. The river was the [poker card="tc"] and Shak was out in third. As heads-up play began, Imsirovic had a 10-1 lead over Katz and it took less than 10 minutes for Imsirovic to end it. On the final hand, Imsirovic raised to 180,000 and Katz called. After the [poker card="qs"][poker card="6c"][poker card="2c"] flop, Katz check-raised all in for 1,107,000 and Imsirovic called. Katz turned over the [poker card="kc"][poker card="5c"] for a flush draw and Imsirovic showed the [poker card="9c"][poker card="6s"] for middle pair. The [poker card="5d"] turn paired Katz but the [poker card="8h"] river wasn't enough to save him from a runner-up finish and give Imsirovic the title. USPO Top 10 After Event #5 PLAYER CASHES PRIZE MONEY POINTS 1. Sean Winter 4 $419,400 440 2. Stephen Chidwick 3 $354,950 340 3. Jordan Cristos 2 $206,200 240 4. Ali Imsirovic 1 $442,500 200 5. Cary Katz 2 $346,200 200 6. Lauren Roberts 1 $218,400 200 7. Manig Loeser 2 $146,200 180 8. Dan Shak 2 $232,100 140 9. Koray Aldemir 1 $159,250 140 10. David Peters 1 $100,800 140   The final table for Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em will take place on Monday. 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.
  9. Poker's Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker's brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker. Viet Vo Conquers Rio Las Vegas WSOP Circuit Main Event The Las Vegas WSOP Circuit events are usually the biggest and arguably the toughest fields of the season. Viet Vo beat out 951 other players to win the first Circuit ring of his career. "It feels good. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I got second in the Main Event in Chicago three years and a half ago. I got 11th last year in the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino. I bubbled the final table. To finally be able to close it out today, it feels good," Vo said after his win. The victory earned him $274,030 and pushed his career earnings to just shy of $1.7 million. The final table included Jared Jaffee, Cylus Watson, Nick Pupillo and eventual runner-up Sohale Khalili. Ali Imsirovic picked up the first WSOP Circuit ring of his career in the $2,200 High Roller event by beating a final table that included Asher Conniff, Upeshka De Silva, Barry Hutter, and Aaron Massey. Zachary Donovan Wins Second Career WSOPC Ring at Coconut Creek Nearly six years after winning a $365 buy-in WSOP Circuit event at Foxwoods, Zachary Donovan won the $1,700 Main Event at Coconut Creek in Florida to win his second ring and $243,916. Donovan started the final table with the chip lead and started heads up play with the lead over runner up Sokchheka Pho. Jason Young finished third for $110,859. Mike Hudson Wins WSOPC Potawatomi Main Event WSOP Circuit stops are usually full of players who grind their way through all 12 events before moving on to the next stop. Mike Hudson is apparently the exception to the rule. Hudson beat out 666 other players to win the Main Event at Potawatomi after not playing any other events at that stop. The final table included Eric Wasylenko, Brett Apter, former #1 PocketFiver Kevin Saul, and second place finisher Joshua Turner. The win was the first time Hudson cashed in a WSOP Circuit Main Event and his first live cash since April 2015. Nick Pupillo Takes Heartland Poker Tour Title in Black Hawk Just a week before finishing fourth at the WSOP Circuit event at the Rio, Nick Pupillo beat out 587 other players to win the Heartland Poker Tour event in Black Hawk, Colorado for $194,478. The win moved Pupillo into a tie with Nick Davidson for HPT Season XV Player of the Year. Brian Wilson Tops Star-Studded MSPT Poker Bowl III Final Table Canadian Brian Wilson arrived in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and left with $143,929 and the title of Mid-States Poker Tour Poker Bowl III champion. Wilson, runner-up Pedro Mendes and third place finisher Eli Ross agreed to a three-way deal to wrap things up. Mendes and Ross each left with just a touch over $119,000. The final table also included Vegas locals Eddy Sabat, Shannon Shorr, and Eric Baldwin. Martin Gaudreault Wins WPT DeepStacks Montreal Martin Gaudreault worked his way through an all-Canadian final table at the WPT DeepStacks Montreal Main Event to pick up the first live win of his career and $ 139,311. Gaudreault's only other live cash came in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker. “It’s awesome obviously, I have no words, it’s just incredible. I don’t play too many tournaments, and just going out and binking one of the biggest ones I play is awesome,” said Gaudreault. The $1,650 CDN ($1,110 US) buy-in event drew out 686 players to push the total prize pool to $760,712. Mike Leah finished 36th for $3,670. Mohamed Abdou Takes Down WPT DeepStacks Brussels The Grand Casino in Brussels played host to the WPT DeepStacks €1,200 Main Event and 584 players. Mohamed Abdou outlasted all of them on his way to the first live win of his career and $ 136,217. All of Abdou's previous eight cashes came in his native France and his biggest score was $17,171. Michael Mizrachi finished 27th for $4,143 while Triple Crown holder Davidi Kitai picked up $2,724 for finishing 56th. Matt Kirby Wins MSPT Canterbury Park for Third MSPT Win Matt Kirby became the third three-time Mid-States Poker Tour champion after beating 478 other players to win the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event. Kirby, who picked up $99,573 for the win, had previously won MSPT Walker and MSPT Onamia in 2012. The only other players with three MSPT titles are Blake Bohn and Carl Carodenuto.
  10. After tabulating the votes of over 130 Nomination Panel members, the Global Poker Index, along with their partner PokerCentral, has unveiled the nominations in thirteen of the 20 categories of the first ever Global Poker Awards. The awards are set to take place on April 5 at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas where poker players and industry members from 10 different nations will be represented in a wide variety of categories that aims to celebrate all aspects of the poker community. PocketFives is well represented within the nominees. The Fives Podcast is one of five nominees for Podcast of the Year and PocketFives' President & Editor in Chief Lance Bradley's book, The Pursuit of Poker Success, Here are the nominees, presented in alphabetical order: Tournament Performance of the Year Justin Bonomo (Super High Roller Bowl IV) John Cynn (2018 World Series of Poker Main Event) Maria Lampropulos (2018 PCA Main Event) Dylan Linde (WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic) Breakout Player of the Year Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic Maria Konnikova Ping Liu Christopher Michael Soyza Streamer of the Year Jeff Gross Jason Somerville Jaime Staples Lex Veldhuis Vlogger of the Year Marle Cordeiro Joe Ingram Andrew Neeme Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk Podcast LFG Podcast PokerCentral Podcast PokerNews Podcast The Chip Race The Fives Poker Podcast Broadcaster Maria Ho Lon McEachern Nick Schulman Lex Veldhuis Poker Journalist Drew Amato Sarah Herring Remko Rinkema Christian Zetzsche Media Content Drew Amato (photo: Brunson bids farewell to WSOP) Lance Bradley (book: The Pursuit of Poker Success) Haley Hintze (article: Vayo v. PokerStars) PokerCentral/PokerGO (Super High Roller Club: Schulman featuring Nejad) Industry Person Angelical Hael (World Poker Tour) Cary Katz (Poker Central) Matt Savage (WPT, TDA) Ty Stewart (World Series of Poker) Rob Yong (Dusk Till Dawn, partypoker) Tournament Director Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock) Paul Campbell (ARIA) Jack Effel (World Series of Poker) Kenny Hallaert (Unibet Open) Mid-Major Tour/Circuit 888poker LIVE RUNGOOD Poker Series Unibet Open WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit Event of the Year partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Super High Roller Bowl IV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic WSOP Main Event Moment of the Year Jeremy Hilsercop received PSPC Platinum Pass via Christmas Day viral video Joe Cada wins The Closer after finishing 5th in WSOP Main Event Doyle Brunson plays his final WSOP event Justin Bonomo wins Big One for One Drop, completing Super High Roller Streak In addition to the above categories, there are seven other awards that will be given out during the ceremony. Due to their results in 2018, Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell will each be receiving awards for the 2018 GPI Player of the Year and the 2018 Female Player of the Year respectively. Along with trophies for Foxen and Bicknell the following categories will be determined by the Global Poker Awards Jury: - Lifetime Achievement in Poker Award - Charitable Initiative - Jury Prize As has been the case in previous GPI award shows, the “people” will have a voice and will vote to award the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year. Also, PocketFives will be handing out the PocketFives Legacy Award acknowledging a player who has come from the world of online poker to make major contributions to poker’s live tournament scene. The Global Poker Awards can be watched live on PokerGO on April 5.
  11. Some of the biggest names in the game of poker along with prominent members of the poker industry gathered at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas on Friday night to celebrate the first ever Global Poker Awards presented by PokerStars. The ceremony acknowledged and celebrated the feats and achievements of members of the poker community in 2018 with 20 awards handed out in a wide range of subjects. PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis, who was nominated in two categories, walked away with the Streamer of the Year Award for his popular Twitch Poker channel. He was joined by another popular digital content creator Andrew Neeme, who picked up his second award as Vlogger of the Year. Maria Ho made her way to the stage to pick up the award for Broadcaster of the Year as did PokerNews' Sarah Herring who took home the Journalist of the Year award. Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic was in attendance and picked up the trophy for the Breakout Player of the Year after appearing on the high roller scene and taking down the title of Poker Central’s Poker Masters champion. Fellow high roller Justin Bonomo’s outstanding 2018 campaign brought him the award for Moment Of The Year by winning the Big One For One Drop at the World Series of Poker. Once again the World Series of Poker Main Event received the award for the Event of the Year. The tournament that is widely considered to be the best-structured tournament of the year also brought its 2018 winner, John Cynn the award for Tournament Performance of the Year. PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley, who was also nominated for two awards on the evening, received an award for Media Content of the Year for his book The Pursuit of Poker Success. Another PocketFiver, Chris Moorman, was chosen to be awarded the PocketFives Legacy Award, given to an online legend who has made significant contributions to the live poker arena. Speaking of contributions to the game of poker, the Godfather of Poker himself, Doyle Brunson was celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement in Poker award which was not awarded during the broadcast. Complete List of Global Poker Award Winners Vlogger of the Year - Andrew Neeme Podcast of the Year - The Chip Race Poker Podcast Broadcaster of the Year - Maria Ho Breakout Player of the Year - Ali Imsirovic Journalist of the Year - Sarah Herring Mid-Major Tour/Circuit of the Year - RUNGOOD Poker Series Streamer of the Year - Lex Veldhuis Charitable Initiative Award - Robbie Strazynski, Run Well Series Tournament Director of the Year - Paul Campbell, ARIA PocketFives Legacy Award Winner - Chris Moorman Tournament Performance of the Year - John Cynn, WSOP Main Event Poker Media Content of the Year - Lance Bradley, The Pursuit of Poker Success Tournament of the Year - World Series of Poker Main Event Tournament Industry Person of the Year - Angelica Hael Poker Moment of the Year - Justin Bonomo Wins Big One For One Drop Jury Prize - Drew Amato People’s Choice Award Winner - Brad Owen 2018 GPI Poker Player of the Year - Alex Foxen 2018 GPI Female Poker Player of the Year - Kristen Bicknell Lifetime Achievement in Poker - Doyle Brunson
  12. After months of the build-up for the 50th annual World Series of Poker, poker players and fans alike finally got to hear those four magic words on Wednesday that marked the beginning of seven weeks of poker at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas: "Shuffle Up and Deal!" Two events kicked off Day 1 on Wednesday: the $565 Casino Employees event, and the first open event of the year, the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty, which featured many of the world's best No Limit Hold'em players. Asher Conniff Bags Lead in $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty; Daniel Negreanu Makes Final Table Daniel Negreanu has been telling anybody and everybody that he was going to have a great WSOP. Wednesday he took the first step towards making that a reality by making the final table of the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty (Event #2) with a chance at bracelet #6 on Thursday. He's got his work cut out for him though. Negreanu bagged just over 1,000,000 chips which puts him behind Ali Imsirovic (2,180,000), Loren Klein (3,130,000), and overnight chip leader Asher Conniff (4,215,000). "First WSOP event, first final table, so far so good," joked Conniff. "It's 20-minute levels, so I basically just ran really well. Guess I didn't play terribly, but in these things you have to run incredibly well, win your all ins." Conniff, who won the World Poker Tour World Championship in 2015, has never made a WSOP final table in Las Vegas. He gives some of the credit to things going well for him away from the felt. "I've been working on my game, but not crazy-crazy - I've also been enjoying life and doing some other stuff," said Conniff. "Life is really good otherwise and that's always a good bellwether for success in poker when you have your affairs sorted." The two-day event attracted a 204-player field for a total prize pool of $1,917,600. This represents a 17% drop over the 243 players who played in 2018. Kenny Hallaert suffered the indignity of being the first player to bust on the bubble of a 2019 WSOP event. The Belgian was eliminated by Klein in a classic race situation as Klein's [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] outran Hallaert's [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. Some of the notables who were eliminated post-bubble included Pennsylvania poker player Thai Ha, Erik Seidel, Byron Kaverman, Nick Schulman, Darren Elias, Ben Yu and Ben Lamb. Play resumes at Noon PT with action streaming on PokerGO. Final Table Chip Counts Asher Conniff - 4,215,000 Loren Klein - 3,130,000 Ali Imsirovic - 2,180,000 Daniel Negreanu - 1,015,000 Ping Liu - 990,000 Brian Green - 720,000 Bracelet Winner Jon Friedberg in Contention in Casino Employees Event The first official event of the 2019 WSOP was the $565 Casino Employees which saw 686 players enter. That's up 21% over the 566 players that entered last year and represents the biggest field since 2016 when 731 players entered. Cosmo Andoloro, out of Woodinville, Washington, ended Day 1 with the biggest stack at 650,000. Right behind him Christopher Bowen with 633,00. Jon Friedberg, who won a WSOP bracelet in 2006, finished with the eight best stack, putting 360,000 in the bag. The event, which is open to anybody who works for a casino, included PokerNews reporters Mo Nuwwarah and Chad Holloway, Dutch Boyd and poker media icon Kevin Mathers. Day 2 starts at Noon Thursday. Top 10 Chip Counts Cosmo Andoloro - 650,000 Christopher Bowen - 633,000 Miguel Cardenas - 512,000 Stephanie Otteson - 479,000 Bradley Helm - 465,000 Jorge Ruiz West - 426,000 Jesse Kertland - 398,000 Jon Friedberg - 360,000 Jeffrey Fast - 324,000 Austin Roberts - 324,000 Day 2 Schedule Along with the Noon restarts for Events #1 and #2, Thursday's action also brings the first flight of the Big 50. The $500 buy-in event is expected to attract a massive field over the fours starting day. Action begins at 11 AM PT. The $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better (Event #4) starts at 3 PM PT.
  13. Day 2 of the 2019 World Series of Poker gave poker fans the first bracelet winner of the year and a massive turnout on Day 1A of the newest $500 buy-in tournament on the schedule and set the tone for what should be an amazing first weekend of play. Opening Day of Big 50 Draws Massive Crowd; Cosimo Bisogno Leads WSOP organizers knew that the $500 buy-in, $5 million guaranteed Big 50 event was going to be popular, but Thursday's turnout probably exceeded their expectations. Over 6,100 players packed each and every available table at the Rio on Thursday with 1,620 of them surviving to play Day 2A. Leading the way after Day 1A is Italy's Cosimo Bisogno with 932,000. His closest competition, Luis Pinho, bagged up 808,000. Other players to advance to Day 2A include former #1-ranked PocketFiver Steven Van Zadelhoff, Ismael Bojang, Loni Harwood, Dietrich Fast, 2018 WSOP Main Event runner-up Tony Miles, and Shaun Deeb. All surviving players will return to the Rio for Day 2A on Friday at 5 PM to play eight more levels. There are still three starting flights available for players to enter and the previous record for largest WSOP bracelet event ever appears to be in danger. In 2015, 22,374 players entered the $565 Colossus. With field sizes expected to increase each day, the likelihood of passing 25,000 players appears to be realistic at this point. Top 10 Chip Counts Cosimo Bisogno - 932,000 Luis Pinho - 808,000 Andrew Baldwin - 785,000 Brenton Rincker - 762,000 Ronald Leonard - 703,000 Sophal Yon - 700,500 Dwayne Kawar - 679,000 Marko Maher - 677,000 Tal Avivi - 671,000 Matthew Garvey - 666,000 Brian Green Wins First 2019 Bracelet, Denies Imsirovic, Conniff, Negreanu At a final table that included Daniel Negreanu, three-time bracelet winner Loren Klein, former WPT World Championship winner Asher Conniff, and breakout star Ali Imsirovic, Brian Green stole the show to win the first bracelet of 2019 and the first of his career. "I tend to do well when I’m playing against pro-heavy fields. I know a lot of those guys," said Green, who recently moved to Las Vegas. "I’ve been coming out here for at least one hundred days a year over the last few years. I got my dog here, sleeping in my own bed, I thought that might be an advantage this summer." When action began on Wednesday, all eyes were squarely on Negreanu. Having sold pieces of himself at no markup, Negreanu had a chance to give his investors a guaranteed net positive score for the summer had he finished in second place or better. Unfortunately for those who were fortunate enough to have some of his action, the two-time WSOP Player of the Year winner lasted just 12 hands and was eliminated in sixth place. After Ping Liu was eliminated in fifth place, Klein was denied the opportunity to become the first player to win a bracelet in four consecutive years when he was eliminated in fourth place. Despite starting the final table with the chip lead, Conniff wasn't able to go wire-to-wire and instead had to settle for a third place result. This was Conniff's first WSOP final table in Las Vegas. Green ended up heads-up against Imsirovic, the Global Poker Awards Breakout Player of the Year. The pair are actually friends away from the felt thanks to a mutual friend. The final table took just 72 hands to complete thanks to the Turbo strucuture. Final Table Payouts Brian Green - $345,669 Ali Imsirovic - $213,644 Asher Conniff - $145,097 Loren Klein - $100,775 Ping Liu - $71,614 Daniel Negreanu - $52,099 Casino Employees Event Down to Final Table A familiar face sits atop the chip counts after Day 2 of the $565 Casino Employees event. Isaac Hanson, who finished 38th in this event last year, leads the final six players heading into the final day of play. Hanson, a WSOP media relations employee, bagged up 5,550,000 and will have the best chance to walk away with the bracelet and the $62,345 first place prize when action resumes Friday at Noon. Bracelet winner Jon Friedberg was one of the 97 players to be sent packing on Day 2. Final Table Chip Counts Isaac Hanson - 5,550,000 Jorge Ruiz - 4,820,000 Nicholas Haynes - 2,725,000 Jesse Kertland - 1,620,000 Adam Lamers - 1,490,000 Jeffrey Fast - 1,190,000 Andrew Brown Ends Day 1 of $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo in Front Despite the masses in the Big 50 taking up a good chunk of the available tables, 853 players got registered and seated in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Andrew Brown, who won his only bracelet in a $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event in 2008, finished Day 1 atop the chip counts with 78,000 chips. Only two other players managed to build up a stack of at least 60,000. Derek McMaster finished with 66,700 for the second biggest stack and Eric Watkins bagged up 61,100. Just 373 players moved onto Day 2 including David Benyamine, Jeff Madsen, John Monnette, Jason Somerville, Robert Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, Brandon Shack-Harris and Mike Matusow. Action resumes at 2 PM and players will need to navigate through another 10 levels if they hope to have a shot at the bracelet and the $228,228 first place prize money. Top 10 Chip Counts Andrew Brown - 78,000 Derek McMaster - 66,700 Eric Watkins - 61,100 Curtis Phelps - 58,200 Ian Johns - 53,800 Sean Yu - 51,800 John Esposito - 46,500 Kevin Gerhart - 46,000 Cory Chaput - 41,000 Eli Elezra - 41,000
  14. There’s a reason that summer in Las Vegas is often called ‘poker player summer camp’ and it’s not just because the World Series of Poker is going on. During the summer bracelet chasing takes center stage in Sin City but over the past decade, many other Las Vegas poker rooms have battled with the WSOP for the hearts and minds of the poker playing public by consistently scheduling competing summer series that offer players excellent value through great structures and big guarantees. Here's a quick look around the city at some of those non-WSOP tournaments keeping poker players in action. ARIA Poker Classic and High Roller Series There are basically two tournament series happening at the same time inside the ARIA. The first is for the everyday player. It's filled with buy-ins right around the $400 and $240 buy-in level, The ARIA Poker Classic. The second is home to the high rollers - small fields, high buy-in, and elite competition - The ARIA Summer High Roller Series. Even though the Rio has offered some big buy-in tournaments early in the WSOP schedule, many of the biggest names in the game have been spending more time in the ARIA this summer simply because it’s where the biggest games are. Before he was embroiled in controversy for folding out of order at the WSOP, Sam Soverel bested the 23 player field in Aria High Roller 11 on May 30 for a $235,880 payday. He was joined in the money by David Peters (runner-up, $189.620), Jake Schindler (3rd, $92,000) and Poker Central founder Cary Katz (4th, $57,500). Australia’s Michael Addamo won the $10,000 buy-in ARIA High Roller 12 on June 4 for $136,000, defeating Germany’s Manig Loeser heads up. Loeser finished in second place taking home $88,400 for his efforts while fellow countryman Rainer Kempe finished in third for $54,400. Spain’s Juan Dominguez is having a nice start to his summer as he went back-to-back at the ARIA. First, he topped the 45 player field of the $10,000 ARIA High Roller 13 for $153,000 and the very next day he won the $10,000 ARIA High Roller 14 for another $126,682. Ben Yu was the official runner-up, taking home $125,318 while the familiar faces of Jake Schindler (3rd, $67,500), Manig Loeser (4th, $45,000) and Ali Imsirovic (5th, $36,000) also made final table appearances. The 2019 Wynn Poker Classic One of the nicer properties on the Las Vegas strip, the Wynn/Encore hosts the Wynn Poker Classic and through the first week and a half, players have been turning up en masse to play in their daily offerings. The Wynn has been offering multiple $1K+ buy-in tournaments and some well-known names have been showing up for them. On June 3, 484 runners showed up for the $1,100 in which the UK’s Louis Salter took home the $98.452 first-place prize and defeated a final table that included Connor Drinan (runner-up, $64,295) and Lily Kiletto (7th, $13,907). The next day 432 players jumped into the $1,600 buy-in which saw Florida’s Evan Teitelbaum hold off one-time WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen to take down the $138,209 first place prize. McKeehen settled for $89,018 as the runner-up. Other notable final table players included Mark Radoja (5th, $31,068) as well as Entourage and Ballers music supervisor Scott Vener (9th, $12,468). Keven Stammen bested the 618 runners of the $550 daily on June 6 for a $50,940 payday while Justin Liberto defeated Germany’s Bart Lybaert on June 8 to win a $1,100 tournament for $94,659. Lybaert’s $61,412 runner-up prize helped push him to over $3M in career earnings. The DeepStack Championship Poker Series at The Venetian The Venetian continues to provide large field tournaments for players looking for action outside the Rio. They have a partnership with the Mid-States Poker Tour for some of their larger events but also provide daily tournaments for players looking for buy-ins under $1,600. Although the Deepstack Series starts in the middle of May, the $1,100 ‘Summer Kickoff ‘ Event from May 27-29 brought out 518 runners where World Poker Tour Champion Brian Altman took home the $90,905 first-place prize. He defeated Robert Kuhn who ended up with $84,390 as the runner-up. The final table included popular Twitch Poker streamer Ricky ‘RatedGTO’ Guan who finished in fourth for $36,364, a top-3 score for his young career. Pot Limit Omaha cash game grinder Sasha Liu outlasted the 144 runners in the $800 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Max Bounty to take down the $20,161 first-place prize. Canadian Kevin Barton fell in second place for a $11,995 payday.
  15. The madness continued at the 2019 World Series of Poker on Friday as the second flight of the Big 50 brought out another massive field that impacted nearly every other event on the schedule. ARIA Dealers Go Back-to-Back in $565 Casino Employees Event Last year, Jordan Hufty, a dealer at the ARIA poker room, won the Casino Employees event. Friday afternoon on the ESPN main stage, Nicholas Haynes, another ARIA dealer, picked up his first bracelet and $62,248 for winning this year's Casino Employees event. Haynes, 39, believes being able to deal to some of the world's best players at ARIA has helped him develop as a player. "There’s a lot of incredible players (at ARIA) and I watch them and just pick up little bits here and there and over time you just become better," Haynes said. "I feel like they were very instrumental in my play today. That’s why I’m thankful for my job and the players there.” WSOP media relations manager Isaac Hanson finished as the runner-up and walked away with $38,447. Final Table Payouts Nicholas Haynes - $62,248 Isaac Hanson - $38,447 Jorge Ruiz - $26,642 Jesse Kertland - $18,758 Adam Lamers - $13,421 Jeffrey Fast - $9,761 Big 50 Day 1B Draws Capacity Field, Creates Chaos for Other Events Another 6,000+ players filled the tables at the Rio for Day 1B of the $500 Big 50 event. This puts the Big 50 on pace to surpass the 2015 Colossus event as the largest live poker tournament in history. In anticipation of having almost all tables in play, WSOP officials initially told Day 2A players on Thursday night that their restart, which was originally scheduled for 2 PM, was pushed back to 5 PM. On Friday, that restart was pushed back again and players didn't get cards in play until nearly 7 PM. To help thin the field in for Day 2B, players were made to play extra level on Friday night and will play one less on Saturday. There were so many players on Friday that WSOP officials were forced to put tables in an abandoned bowling alley in the casino portion of the Rio. The chaos that filled the Rio hallways on Friday reminded some players of another recent event that had great intentions in the planning but struggled with execution. Alexander Kartveli had no trouble with the big field though. He ended with the largest Day 1B stack, putting 892,000 in the bag when play wrapped up for the night. Brenton Rincker ended with the second biggest stack at 762,000. Some of the notables who bagged chips on Friday include Phil Hui (414,000), Chris Ferguson (345,000), Jake Schwartz (257,000), and Jamie Kerstetter (115,000). Top 10 Chip Counts Alexander Kartveli - 892,000 Brenton Rincker - 762,000 Michelle Porter - 703,000 Jordan Bane - 685,000 Michael Abratique - 660,000 Aaron Duczak - 625,000 Michael Anton - 622,000 Jesse Solano - 610,000 Patricia Altizer - 598,000 Azad Arazm - 597,000 Mikhail Vilkov Overcomes Chaos to Build Big 50 Day 2A Top Stack Once the 1,580 returning players were able to take their seats and play some cards, only three other players managed to surpass the 3,000,000 mark: Mikhail Vilkov (3,475,000), Joshua Thibodaux (3,215,000), and Amer Torbey (3,025,000). Some of the notables that managed to make Day 3 include Daniel Zack (1,700,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (1,365,000), Blake Bohn (1,265,000), John Racener (980,000), Matt Berkey (750,000). Those players will now to wait until Day 3 on Wednesday to resume. Top 10 Chip Counts Mikhail Vilkov - 3,475,000 Joshua Thibodaux - 3,215,000 Amer Torbey - 3,025,000 Justin Powell - 2,800,000 Yuliyan Kolev - 2,800,000 Bao Le - 2,600,000 Omer Mecica - 2,555,000 Anthony Marquez - 2,300,000 Amit Makhija - 2,275,000 Sarkis Karapetian - 2,200,000 Rick Fuller Leads Final 36 in $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo The decision by WSOP officials to make most $1,500 tournament four-day tournaments was front and center on Friday night as 36 players advanced to Day 2 in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Some players voiced concern that too many advancing late into Day 2 and Day 3 might not have the impact WSOP officials expected. Rick Fuller finished Day 2 with 474,000 and now finds himself in pole position heading into Day 3. Ben Yu, Mike Matusow, Andrey Zaichenko, Patrick Leonard, Shannon Shorr, Jeff Madsen, and John Monnette were among the notable names to advance to Day 3. Top 10 Chip Counts Rick Fuller - 474,000 Clifford Schinkoeth - 448,000 Tom McCormick - 400,000 John Esposito - 350,000 David Halpern - 349,000 Curtis Phelps - 314,000 Nathaniel Wachtel - 314,000 Ben Yu - 294,000 Danny Chang - 270,000 Zachary Hench - 270,000 Ali Imsirovic Rides Early Success to $50,000 High Roller Day 1 Chip Lead Ali Imsirovic already has a runner-up finish in this year's WSOP. Based on what he did Friday night, he has plans to improve on that finish soon. Imsirovic finished with the Day 1 chip lead in the $50,000 50th Annual WSOP High Roller after eliminating Ryan Laplante, Chance Kornuth, and Elio Fox in the first level of play. He finished the night with 1,549,000 from a 300,000 starting stack. Fox shook off the first bullet elimination, re-entered and ran his stack up to 1,185,000 to sit second heading into Day 2. Ben Heath is right behind him at 1,180,000. The opening day drew 92 entries and registration remains open until mid-way through Day 2. 52 players managed to survive Day 1 and the field is full of notable names. Daniel Negreanu finished with 861,000 for the 12th biggest stack. Other players that will be back battling on Day 2 include Nick Petrangelo, Adrian Mateos, Bryn Kenney, Isaac Haxton, and Erik Seidel. Top 10 Chip Counts Ali Imsirovic - 1,549,000 Elio Fox - 1,185,000 Ben Heath - 1,180,000 Barry Hutter - 1,081,000 Sean Williams - 1,060,000 Dmitry Yurasov - 1,000,000 Chance Kornuth - 999,000 Justin Bonomo - 947,000 Tobias Ziegler - 936,000 Manig Loeser - 912,000
  16. Winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is widely considered by many to be poker’s ultimate achievement. For some players, it defines his or her career. For others, it’s the one prize eluding some of the game’s best. For years, Stephen Chidwick was considered the best poker player without a WSOP gold bracelet. At the 2019 WSOP, Chidwick bucked that monkey off his back like the most turbulent bull does to a rider at a rodeo when he won the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $1.618 million. Shawn Buchanan was another player in the "best without a bracelet conversation," but, like Chidwick, he broke through at the 2019 WSOP, winning the $800 buy-in WSOP.com Online NL Six-Handed. Now that Chidwick and Buchanan have each won an elusive gold bracelet, let's take a look at who are the best players remaining without a bracelet entering the 2020 WSOP. Patrick Antonius CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 15 2 0 $929,518 Widely considered one of the best all-around players in poker for quite some time, Patrik Antonius is still missing a WSOP gold bracelet from his résumé. He's come close a couple of times, finishing in the top 10 on four occasions and placing at the final table twice, but he's never scored better than third place. Antonius has been known to pass on tournaments for cash games these days, but he's still a threat to win a bracelet in the bigger buy-in WSOP events when he does compete. Niklas Astedt CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 0 0 $110,645 Sweden's Niklas Astedt is one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world, but his live success hasn’t been too plentiful, especially at the WSOP. Astedt’s skills should not be overlooked, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2014 and his highest WSOP finish was a 26th-place result in the 2019 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. He's also cashed in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, with a 182nd-place finish in 2016 and a 899th-place finish in 2019. Mikita Badziakouski CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 4 4 1 $3,161,362 Mikita Badziakouski plays some of the biggest buy-in events around the world, and his career to date includes more than $26.1 million in live tournament earnings. At the WSOP, Badziakouski has four cashes. Each cash has been a final table appearance and each has come at WSOP Europe. If there's a high roller event on the WSOP schedule, Badziakouski will likely be in the field and a threat to win the gold bracelet. Darren Elias CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 28 3 0 $645,659 With four World Poker Tour titles and more than $7.5 million in live tournament earnings, it’s a matter of when, not if, Darren Elias will finally win WSOP gold. His first WSOP cash came in 2009. He has three WSOP final table appearances and two finishes in third place, although he’s never made it to heads-up play. The two times Elias finished in third came from the same event, the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship in 2017 and 2019. Alex Foxen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 39 4 0 $808,918 Alex Foxen has been around the WSOP for a much shorter time than some of the players on this list, with his first WSOP cash coming in 2015. He has, however, built up quite the reputation as one of the best tournament poker players in the game today and it seems very much just a matter of time before he finds himself in the WSOP winner’s circle with his first gold bracelet. Already, Foxen has racked up 39 WSOP cashes and four final tables ahead of 2020. His highest finish to date was a third-place finish at the 2017 WSOP in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Matt Glantz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 61 13 1 $3,232.669 Pennsylvania's Matt Glantz has been around the WSOP block a few times, but he’s still looking for that first gold bracelet. Glantz first cashed in a WSOP in 2000 and he’s been producing everything but wins since, including 13 final table appearances. Glantz has reached heads-up play once and finished third on three occasions. At the 2019 WSOP, Glantz picked up his third WSOP Main Event cash. Mark Gregorich CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 69 11 1 $1,168,497 Mark Gregorich is another player on this list who has been around for quite some time, earning his first WSOP cash back in 1999. He has 69 cashes and 11 final table appearances at the WSOP, with one runner-up finish that came in the 2003 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. Gregorich also has a trio of third-place finishes at the WSOP to date. Nick Guagenti CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 37 3 0 $583,181 Ohio's Nick Guagenti has 37 WSOP cashes with the first coming in 2006. He has three final table appearances. Guagenti's highest WSOP result came in 2019 when he took third in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $85,265. His best finish in terms of money won came from his 46th-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event, for which Guagenti won $145,733. Guagenti is a regular in mid- and high-stakes cash games in his region, and he also has 15 cashes on the WSOP Circuit. Christian Harder CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 53 2 0 $1,050,784 Christian Harder’s first WSOP cash came in 2009. He’s won titles elsewhere in the poker world, just not at the WSOP just yet. He’s been close before with a pair of fourth-place finishes and is known to put in a high amount of volume in the big bet games of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Maurice Hawkins CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 29 3 0 $623,240 Maurice Hawkins has been a longtime grinder of the WSOP and WSOP Circuit, racking up 29 WSOP cashes and 110 WSOP Circuit cashes. He has a whopping 14 WSOP Circuit gold rings, but Hawkins has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Hawkins has three WSOP final tables and they've come in big-field NL tournaments. With as many big-field NL events that are on the WSOP schedule these days, one has to figure that Hawkins is going to break through and win one at some point. Isaac Haxton CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 7 1 $2,923,424 Isaac Haxton is widely considered as one of the best minds in poker, and he’s certainly lived up to that with more than $27.6 million in live tournament earnings, millions more won in cash games, and who knows how much won online. The one thing he doesn’t have is a WSOP gold bracelet. Haxton has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. The second-place finish came to Vitaly Lunkin in the 2009 WSOP $40,000 No Limit Hold’em. Maria Ho CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 55 5 1 $1,644,554 Maria Ho is another long-time regular at the WSOP, with cashes dating back to 2005. She has five final table appearances and one runner-up finish in WSOP events, and she’s known to mix it up in most of the games. Ho’s runner-up finish came to Allen Bari in the 2011 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em. Ho has been the last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, 2007 and 2014, and she finished sixth in the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. Ali Imsirovic CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 10 3 1 $583,986 Ali Imsirovic is one of the newest kids on the block in all of poker, not just the WSOP, and he’s quickly acquired a reputation of one of the game’s best when it comes to No Limit Hold’em tournaments. Imsirovic’s first WSOP cash came in 2017, so there isn’t a ton of sample to draw from, but he’s already made three WSOP final tables in top-level events and has one runner-up finish. Given his success in his young poker career, Imsirovic is considered one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit Hold’em event. Rainer Kempe CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 3 0 $1,142,997 Rainer Kempe has won more than $21.3 million in his poker career and he’s been in the winner’s circle many times, but he’s yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. His WSOP career is still pretty young, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2015, but over a short period of time he’s already earned 31 in-the-money finishes and more than $1.1 million in earnings. Kempe has been to a WSOP final table three times to date. Jason Koon CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 42 7 1 $1,789,462 For all of the poker success that Jason Koon has enjoyed over the course of his career, he’s still searching for his first WSOP gold bracelet. Koon has more than $31.1 million in live tournament earnings to date and his first WSOP cash came back in 2009. He has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. Koon is similar to Haxton and Imsirovic in the sense that he’ll almost always be one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit hold’em tournament. Timofey Kuznetsov CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 0 0 0 $0 Timofey Kuznetsov, also known as ‘Trueteller,’ is highly regarded in the poker community as one of the best, especially within the high-stakes community. He has zero WSOP cashes to date, but he simply doesn’t play a lot of tournaments. That said, Kuznetsov is still one of the best players in poker without a WSOP gold bracelet. Maria Lampropulos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 0 0 $136,731 Maria Lampropulos first cashed a WSOP event in 2016 and that first year she walked away with five WSOP cashes in total. She followed that up with six cashes in 2017 and seven cashes in 2018. At the 2019 WSOP and WSOP Europe festivals, she cashed nine time. With partypoker MILLIONS and PCA Main Event wins on her résumé, both for seven-figure paydays, Lampropulos has shown she has the chops to compete in some of the biggest events in the world. Toby Lewis CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 24 0 0 $409,171 Toby Lewis’ first WSOP cash came in 2011 when he took 11th in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship. He’s racked up 24 WSOP cashes to date, but he’s never reached a WSOP final table. Tom Marchese CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 26 4 1 $1,295,638 A player with more than $19.1 million in live tournament earnings, Tom Marchese is often considered one of the better tournament players poker has to offer. He's yet to score a WSOP gold bracelet, though, but he has come close a few times, with four WSOP final tables and one runner-up finish. The time Marchese finished second was at the 2015 WSOP in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em tournament. Steve O‘Dwyer CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 18 2 0 $675,717 Like Haxton and like Koon, Steve O’Dwyer has a ton of live tournament winnings. O’Dwyer has scored more than $30.4 million from the live felt, plus plenty more online, and his first WSOP cash came in 2007. O’Dwyer is a player who put in more WSOP volume at the beginning of his career compared to what he does now, which could be holding him back in terms of winning his first gold bracelet. At this point in his career, it seems that if O'Dwyer does win a gold bracelet, it will come at WSOP Europe or a similar international WSOP stop. Adam Owen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 34 5 0 $570,961 Adam Owen is another one of the younger guns on this list, but he’s widely regarded as one of the best all-around players in the game these days. Having earned his first WSOP cash in 2014, Owen has racked up 34 WSOP cashes to date, including five final tables and three third-place finishes. Owen has shown a propensity to perform well in the $10,000 buy-in championship events at the WSOP and many think that’s where he’ll earn his first gold bracelet from. Felipe Ramos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 4 0 $526,047 One of best poker players to come out of Brazil is Felipe Ramos, with 31 WSOP cashes dating back to his first in 2009. Ramos is known as a solid player who can compete across all variants, and the more tools you have in your shed, the better when it comes to chasing gold bracelets. Ramos has four WSOP final tables and they've all come in Omaha. Three of those four final tables were in Pot Limit Omaha. Dario Sammartino CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 41 10 0 $9,927,947 Italy’s Dario Sammartino first cashed in a WSOP event in 2011 and he’s been performing very well ever since, except winning a WSOP gold bracelet is something he’s yet to achieve. Sammartino has found the money in WSOP events 41 times to date. Of those, he’s reached the final table on 10 occasions. Sammartino's biggest claim to World Series of Poker fame was a runner-up finish in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $6 million. He's also one of the few players to have made the final table of both the WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event in his career. Sammartino has learned how to play all the games and play them well, so don’t be surprised to see him finally win WSOP gold much sooner than later. Ole Schemion CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 1 0 $469,735 Although his WSOP results don’t pop off the page, Ole Schemion is one of the best players out there and an absolute force when it comes to poker tournaments. He’s amassed more than $16.3 million in live tournament earnings, numerous high roller victories, and one World Poker Tour title. He’s still in search of his first WSOP gold bracelet, though. In terms of winning WSOP gold, it’s very likely just a volume game for Schemion. If he puts in the volume, he’ll get it eventually and probably in the near future. It also works to his benefit that WSOP Europe looks as though it will remain at King’s Casino in Rozvadov where Schemion has shown success before, including a sixth-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Europe €100,000 Diamond High Roller for €341,510. Jake Schindler CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 33 4 0 $1,050,644 The first of two players named Jake on this list, Jake Schindler has 33 entries and four final tables at the WSOP entering 2020. His best finish was a third-place result in the 2014 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for $212,373. Over his entire poker career, Schindler has more than $25 million in live tournament earnings. Jake Schwartz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 60 3 1 $658,477 Jake Schwartz earned his first WSOP cash in 2012 and has built up 60 in-the-money finishes since. He was first widely known as a No Limit hold'em player but he's since branched out and has been playing more of the games. In 2013, Schwartz earned the top WSOP finish of his career when he took second in the $1,500 NL Shootout, earning $202,035. To date, he has two other WSOP final table appearances in addition to that one. Shannon Shorr CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 79 9 2 $2,217,846 When is Shannon Shorr going to finally win a WSOP gold bracelet? Shorr first cashed in a WSOP event back in 2006, which seems like ages ago when you consider he’s still very much on the younger side of poker players. Ever since that first WSOP cash, not a year has gone by that Shorr hasn’t racked up multiple WSOP cashes. Plus, he’s been very close on several occasions with nine final table appearances and two runner-up finishes. He also has a pair of third-place finishes. Shorr can play all of the games very well. Before Chidwick winning his bracelet, Shorr was right there at the top of this list with Chidwick. Dan Smith CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 36 10 1 $9,884,615 Another high roller with a knack for all the games, Dan Smith has been close to winning WSOP gold before but it just hasn’t happened for him yet. His first WSOP cash came in 2010. Since then, he’s earned 36 total WSOP cashes and won more than $9.8 million at the WSOP. He has 10 final table appearances, six third-place finishes, and one second-place finish in WSOP events. Like some of the other high rollers on this list, with Smith it feels like more of a volume game than anything. Christoph Vogelsang CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 13 6 0 $8,668,735 Christoph Vogelsang has come close at the WSOP on a handful of occasions, including two third-place finishes in a pair of the biggest events the WSOP has ever offered. In 2014, Vogelsang placed third in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $4.48 million. In 2019, he took third in the WSOP Europe €250,000 Super High Roller for more than $1.3 million. If there's a big buy-in event at the WSOP, Vogelsang is considered a threat to win it. Mike Watson CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 63 11 4 $2,917,143 Mike Watson has been knocking at the WSOP gold bracelet door for several years now. His first WSOP cash came in 2007 and he’s put up more than 60 cashes to date since. Of the 11 WSOP final table appearances Watson has on record, four of the times he’s finished runner-up. Interestingly, Watson did win the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe, but it was an added non-bracelet event for the high rollers. Had that event been in a later year, it very likely would have been for a gold bracelet. Watson usually plays a high volume of events and can play all the games, much like Shorr, and it’s only a matter of time before he finally scores a WSOP gold bracelet. Jerry Wong CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 38 7 0 $1,899,225 Jerry Wong may be most well known for reaching the now-defunct WSOP November Nine in 2016, when he finished eighth for more than $1.1 million, but he has plenty of other success at the WSOP. With 38 total WSOP cashes and seven final table appearances, the only thing left for Wong to do is win a gold bracelet. One would think that has to be on the horizon soon for Wong, who has the ability to compete highly in all of the games. His WSOP final table appearances have come in No Limit Deuce to Seven, Pot Limit Omaha, Big Bet Mix, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, H.O.R.S.E., and No Limit Hold'em.
  17. Shaun Deeb and Brandon Adams both bagged up chip leads in "post-lim" events in the shadows of the Main Event at the 2019 World Series of Poker on Tuesday. Those two were the headliners in two of the five events outside of the Main Event on the calendar but Dan Zack also put on a show in his pursuit of WSOP Player of the Year honors. Brandon Adams Leads $50,000 Final Fifty Final Table Brandon Adams has already won one WSOP bracelet this summer and on Tuesday he took a gigantic step towards winning a second one. Adams finished Day 2 of the $50,000 Final Fifty event with the chip lead and just six players standing between himself and that second victory. Adams bagged up 11,970,000 and sits well ahead of the rest of the field. 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Adrian Mateos has the second biggest stack with 7,375,000. Michael Addamo sits third with 5,765,000. Daniel Tang, Sam Soverel, Ali Imsirovic, and Keith Tilston round out the final table. There were 14 players who registered on Day 2, including Cary Katz. This presented the PokerGO owner with a challenge. He started the day with a healthy chip stack in the Main Event and was forced to actually multi-table between the two events. Katz managed to survive past the bubble of the Final Fifty before busting in 12th for $112,357. Final Table Chip Counts Brandon Adams - 11,970,000 Adrian Mateos - 7,375,000 Michael Addamo - 5,765,000 Daniel Tang - 4,550,000 Sam Soverel - 3,600,000 Ali Imsirovic - 2,190,000 Keith Tilston - 1,500,000 Shaun Deeb Tops Little One for One Drop After Day 2 Shaun Deeb continues to chase down Player of the Year points and a fifth career bracelet. The former #1-ranked PocketFiver soared to the top of the chip counts after the $1,111 Little One for One Drop after Day 2 with 412 players still remaining. Deeb ended the day with 2,892,000 and holds a 526,000 chip lead over the next biggest stack belonging to Matt Souza. This is Deeb's 14th cash this summer and he sits just over 620 points behind WSOP Player of the Year leader Robert Campbell. There's a number of notables still in contention including Loni Harwood (1,121,000), Mike Sexton - (1,030,000), Ryan Laplante (747,000), and Day 4 Main Event casualty Cliff Josephy (676,000). An additional 787 players joined the field on Day 2 to push the final number of entries to 6,248 and the prize pool to $5,623,200. The eventual champion will earn $690,686. Top 10 Chip Counts Shaun Deeb - 2,892,000 Matt Souza - 2,366,000 Jeremy Dresch - 2,300,000 Naor Slobodskoy - 2,109,000 Jaime Lewin - 1,980,000 Ian Simpson - 1,961,000 Dustin Goff - 1,751,000 Keith Carter - 1,700,000 Alan Schein - 1,637,000 Nick Shkolnik - 1,620,000 Tu Dao On Top of $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em Final Table Tu Dao finished fourth in the Ladies Championship event in late June, but now she's in position to improve on that after finishing Day 2 of the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event with 954,000 and the lead. Right behind Dao is Alain Alinat with 805,000. The two middle-of-the-pack stacks, Oleg Chebotarev and Jan Suchanek have 672,000 and 599,000 respectively. Chade Eveslage sits fifth 431,000 and Ian O'Hara rounds out the final six with 410,000. Among those who cashed on Tuesday include Patrick Leonard (15th - $6,748), Greg Mueller (23rd - $5,484), Joao Vieira (27th - $4,571) and Daniel Zack (28th - $4,571). Zach also picked up 46.1 POY points to move just 112.46 points behind current POY leader Robert Campbell. The day started with 57 players and needed just 11 hours to get down to a final table. The players will now take Wednesday off before returning to action on Thursday to play down to a winner. Final Table Chip Counts Tu Dao - 954,000 Alain Alinat - 805,000 Oleg Chebotarev - 672,000 Jan Suchanek - 599,000 Chad Eveslage - 431,000 Ian O'Hara - 410,000 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty Event Draws 1,130 Runners A year after 833 players entered the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty event, 1,130 players gave the event a decent-sized boost in entries and prize pool and so far nobody can be happier about that than Tobias Schwecht. The Austrian finished Day 1 with 419,200 and the chip lead. Richard Kellett is right on his heels though. The Brit finished with 414,600 and is just 4,600 behind Schwecht. China's Yingui Li and Kazuhiko Yotsushika wound up third and fourth respectively. The top American, Jason Young, bagged up the fifth biggest stack with 356,300. READ: A FIGHT FOR FATHERHOOD: THE BIGGEST WIN OF JASON YOUNG’S LIFE Some of the familiar faces that made it to Day 2 include Jesse Sylvia (205,800), Christian Harder (147,300), Connor Drinan (124,300), JC Tran (95,800), Gordon Vayo (90,600), Daniel Negreanu (64,800), Robin Ylitalo (62,800), and Daniel Zack (51,300). Just 247 players made it to Day 2 and the bubble will burst on Wednesday after 77 more players are sent to the rail. Top 10 Chip Counts Tobias Schwecht - 419,200 Richard Kellett - 414,600 Yingui Li - 379,400 Kazuhiko Yotsushika - 359,600 Jason Young - 356,300 Jan-Peter Jachtmann - 354,100 Bradley Butcher - 341,200 Denis Strebkov - 331,700 Senovio Ramirez III - 302,400 Jonathan Depa - 300,400 Vlad Darie Edges out Andras Nemeth for $3K NLHE Lead Vlad Darie finished Day 1 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event with the chip lead, just ahead of former #1-ranked PocketFiver Andras Nemeth. Darie wound up with 284,000 while Nemeth accumulated 264,500. Darie and Nemeth are just two of the 148 players who advanced to Day 2. Other notables who bagged and tagged include Kristen Bicknell (192,000), Justin Bonomo (170,500), Patrick Leonard (103,500), Asher Conniff (92,500), Rainer Kempe (80,500), and Paul Volpe (46,500). Remarkably, Dan Zack managed to finish with chips in this event as well. Daniel Zack will have a busy day on Wednesday as he plays his stack in the $1,500 PLO Bounty event adn this one. Top 10 Chip Counts Vlad Darie - 284,000 Andras Nemeth - 264,500 David Margi - 263,500 Guillaume Nolet - 230,000 Peter Walsworth - 222,000 Athanasios Polychronopoulos - 221,000 Jay Sharon - 218,000 Dennis Brand - 216,500 Ronald Paolucci - 210,500 Michael Tureniec - 209,000  
  18. Get inside the mind of Chris 'moorman1' Moorman. As an 888poker ambassador Moorman has played poker on camera a countless number of times. But in this latest video for 888poker and PokerGO, the man with over $16 million in online earnings jumps into the role of the commentator to break down a now-famous hand from Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl between two heavyweight poker pros in Daniel Negreanu and Mikita Badziakouski. “I remember watching it at the time, live on the stream, and I was amazed by the end results,” Moorman said. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] In the video, the former #1-ranked PocketFiver takes a moment to give props to the high caliber of players at the table including Ali Imsirovic, Jake Schindler and Brian Rast. Then he proceeds to break the hand down. Street-by-street the PocketFives Legacy Award winner offers his insight and analysis, even taking issue with some of the decisions that were made. He discusses the importance of re-evaluating your thought process and decisions when information you weren’t expecting is introduced, such as when Negreanu is faced by an overbet by Badziakouski on the river. Ultimately, Negreanu finds himself in a tight spot where he makes an amazing laydown where many people might have called off. “It looks amazing because it’s right,” Moorman says. “Definitely in-game though you have a weird sort-of spidey sense feeling. Your gut is telling you to fold and there are definitely times I’ve listened to my gut over the theory and made an exploitable fold and been right.” Check it out below.
  19. Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, Kristen Bicknell made history by becoming the first woman to win a Poker Masters title after defeating a final table that included current Purple Jacket points leader Chance Kornuth and defending Purple Jacket champion Ali Imsirovic. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] “It feels incredible to win this event. I final tabled the World Poker Tour event last week and I did not feel happy with my final table play, so that run was kind of bittersweet. I wasn’t planning on playing this tournament but I felt the itch and in Las Vegas and I’m very happy with how it played out,” Bicknell said. A cooler just three minutes into the day sent one player to the rail. Ben Heath moved all-in from UTG for 125,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. Action folded to Ralph Wong in the small blind and he called with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"] before Andras Nemeth moved all-in for 525,000 from the big blind [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"] forcing Wong to fold. The board ran out [poker card="9h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] to bust Heath in sixth place. Less than 10 minutes, action folded to Wong on the button and he moved all in for 590,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. Nemeth folded his small blind but Kornuth called from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"] flop kept Kornuth ahead and the [poker card="ah"] turn kept Wong drawing to a nine but the [poker card="7s"] failed to connect and he was out in fifth. Kornuth moved all-in from UTG with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] and Nemeth called from the big blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="3h"]. Nemeth failed to connect on the [poker card="8h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="th"] board and was eliminated in fourth place. Kornuth continued to be the aggressor and it resulted in finding yet another victim. Bicknell folded the button and Kornuth moved all in for 1,050,000 withh [poker card="jc"][poker card="3c"] and Ali Imsirovic called all-in with [poker card="ks"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4s"] flop was a safe one for Imsirovic, but the [poker card="js"] turn gave Kornuth the advantage before the [poker card="jd"] river finished Imsirovic off in third. Heads-up play began with Bicknell holding 3,470,000 of the 6,375,000 chips in play. Over the next two hours, Bicknell and Kornuth each took turns with the lead before Bicknell captured it for the final time and finished Kornuth off. Bicknell moved all-in with [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"] and Kornuth called all-in with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"] flop gave Bicknell a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="ac"] turn was a brick but the [poker card="6c"] river completed her straight and gave her first Poker Masters title. This marked the third time in six Poker Masters events this year that Kornuth finished as the runner-up. He previously came second to Isaac Baron in Event #1 and Ryan Laplante in Event #2 and now leads the Purple Jacket championship standings by more than double any other player. Final Table Payouts Kristen Bicknell - $408,000 Chance Kornuth - $267,500 Ali Imsirovic - $178,500 Andras Nemeth - $127,000 Ralph Wong - $102,000 Ben Heath - $76,500 David Stamm - $63,750 Elio Fox - $51,000 Purple Jacket Standings Chance Kornuth - 630 Kristen Bicknell - 300 Isaac Baron - 300 Ryan Laplante - 300 Julien Martini - 300 Jared Bleznick - 300 Jonathan Depa - 300 Sam Soverel - 270 Jorryt van Hoof - 270 Alex Foxen - 270
  20. By the time the final day of the 2019 Poker Masters Main Event started, Sam Soverel had already done enough to have locked up the Purple Jacket as the Poker Masters Champion. Having accumulated 830 points through the first nine events, there was nobody at the Main Event final table that could catch him. Then he added an emphatic exclamation point to an incredible 10-day run by winning the $50,000 buy-in Main Event. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Thursday's action began on the money bubble with six players remaining. The reigning and defending Purple Jacket champion, Ali Imsirovic was eliminated by Stephen Chidwick in sixth just 30 minutes into play to put all players in the money. Just 20 mins later, Soverel found his first victim of the night. Seth Davies raised to 55,000 from the button with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] only to have Soverel re-raise to 175,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"]. Davies responded by moving all-in for 545,000 and Soverel called. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="6h"] to eliminate Davies in fifth place. Just over an hour later, a nearly identical hand sent another player home. Chris Hunichen raised to 80,000 from the button wiht [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"], Soverel folded his small blind and Chidwick made it 220,000 from the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. Hunichen moved all-in and Chidwick called with his tournament on the line. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] flop changed nothing for Chidwick and after the [poker card="6d"] turn and [poker card="5c"] river he was out in fourth place. A battle of the blinds all but eliminated Elio Fox. Hunichen folded his button and Soverel raised to 205,000 from the small blind with [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"] and Fox defended the big blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4s"] flop gave Fox middle pair but left him trailing Soverel. Soverel checked and Fox checked behind. The turn was the [poker card="9d"] and Soverel lead out for 425,000 and Fox called. The river was the [poker card="9s"] and Soverel bet 1,500,000 forcing Fox to a decision for his tournament life. After using two time banks, Fox called and was given the bad news. Left with just 40,000, Fox was eliminated by Soverel two hands later. Soverel controlled 83% of the chips in play when heads-up play began. It took him just six hands and 12 minutes to pick up the rest. Soverel moved all-in from the button with [poker card="qd"][poker card="th"] and Hunichen called with [poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"][poker card="9d"] flop gave Soverel top pair and a gutshot straight draw. Hunichen found no relief through the [poker card="6s"] turn or [poker card="4s"] river to give Soverel the Main Event title to go along with his Purple Jacket. All told, Soverel cashed in seven of the 10 events, picking up two wins, three fourth-place finishes, as well as a fifth and sixth-place finish. He earned $1,396,800 for his efforts and now has lifetime cashes of $12,888,684. Poker Masters $50K Payouts Sam Soverel - $680,000 Chris Hunichen - $442,000 Elio Fox - $272,000 Stephen Chidwick - $170,000 Seth Davies - $136,000 Purple Jacket Final Standings Sam Soverel - 1160 Kahle Burns - 630 Chance Kornuth - 630 Sean Winter - 480 Ali Imsirovic - 450
  21. On Tuesday, Chance Kornuth final tabled the opening event of the Poker Masters before finishing second to Isaac Baron. On Wednesday, Kornuth once again took on the role of bridesmaid as Ryan Laplante eliminated the final four players to win the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $186,000. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] With blinds of 25,000/50,000, Tim McDermott was down to just 140,000 when he moved all in with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"] from early position. John Riordan made 545,000 from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"]. Thai Ha and Laplante folded their blinds. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] to give Riordan a flush and eliminate McDermott in sixth place. Five minutes later, defending Purple Jacket winner Ali Imsirovic went up against Laplante. From the cutoff, Laplante raised to 125,00 with -[poker card="as"][poker card="jh"][poker card="td"][poker card="2s"] before Imsirovic re-raised from the button to 450,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2h"] and Laplante called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] flop gave Laplante the nut flush. Laplante bet 190,000 - exactly what Imsirovic had left - and Imsirovic called. The [poker card="5c"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river combo were unable to save Imsirovic from a fifth place finish. Laplante found himself on the good end of a bustout an hour later. Riordan raised to 280,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"] and Laplante defended his big blind with [poker card="th"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"]. After the [poker card="qd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"] flop, Riordan called Laplante's pot-sized bet with his tournament life on the line. The [poker card="8c"] turn moved Laplante ahead and the [poker card="jd"] river was no help for Riordan and he was eliminated in fourth place. While all the excitement in his home state of Pennsylvania has been focused on the launch of PokerStars PA, Thai Ha has been putting in the work at the Poker Masters. Following his eighth place finish in Event #1, Ha was guaranteed a better finish but couldn't manage to grab a win. After Kornuth folded his button, Ha called from the small blind with [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"] before Laplante raised to 240,000 from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6d"] flop gave Ha a straight and he bet 560,000. Laplante instantly moved all in and Ha called. The [poker card="4d"] turn gave Laplante a flush and Ha could only shake hands and say goodbye as the [poker card="3h"] river completed the board. Heads-up play began with Laplante holding a better than 2-1 chip lead over Kornuth. It took just two hands of one-on-one play for Kornuth to put a wrap on his first live win since December 2016. Kornuth raised to 240,000 from the button with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3s"] and Laplante called with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Laplante a flopped full house and Kornuth lead out for 225,000. Laplante moved all in and Kornuth called. The [poker card="ad"] turn and [poker card="7s"] river failed to give Kornuth any relief and he was eliminated in second place for the second time in two days. "I've been working a lot on my training site, Learn Pro Poker, it's a lot of GTO-based content. When you're working on stuff like that it really helps a lot of aspects of your game and I've just been running very, very well this year," Laplante said after the win. Final Table Payouts Ryan Laplante - $186,000 Chance Kornuth - $124,000 Thai Ha - $86,000 John Riordan - $62,000 Ali Imsirovic - $49,600 Tim McDermott - $37,200
  22. Last month Kahle Burns was in Rozvadov, Czech Republic winning the first two World Series of Poker bracelets of his career at WSOP Europe. On Wednesday he was in Las Vegas taking down his first Poker Masters title by beating Ali Imsirovic heads-up in Event #9 ($25,000 No Limit Hold'em). The win was Burns' third cash of the 2019 Poker Masters and moved him into second place in the Poker Masters Championship standings behind only Sam Soverel with just the $50,000 NLHE event left to play. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] The final six players played for over 90 minutes before the first elimination. From middle position, Sean Winter moved all-in for 360,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] and action folded to David Peters in the big blind who called all-in with [poker card="qh"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="ad"][poker card="9d"] runout gave Winter two pair and Peters was out in sixth. It took another 45 minutes before five players became four. From the button, Burns moved all-in for 1,350,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"] and Elio Fox called all-in from the big big blind [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3h"] flop kept Fox in control, but the [poker card="ah"] turn put Burns on top and the [poker card="jh"] was unable to save Fox from his fifth-place finish. Soverel entered the final table with the chance to lock up the Purple Jacket. All he needed to do was win Event #9 and none of the other contenders would have been able to catch him. Unfortunately for Soverel, but fortunately for poker fans hoping for a race to the finish, that didn't come to fruition. Imsirovic and Winter folded before Burns raised all-in from the small blind with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"]. Soverel called all-in from the big blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2d"] flop gave Soverel no help but the [poker card="td"] turn gave him an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="3h"] river failed to complete that draw and Soverel was eliminated in fourth place. Soverel added 120 points to his Poker Masters Championship points total to extend his overall lead for the Purple Jacket. It took just five minutes to get to heads-up play. Winter raised to 675,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"], Burns re-raised to 1,250,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"] and Winter called all-in. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8d"][poker card="kd"][poker card="ac"] to give Burns a full house and eliminate Winter in third place. Burns started heads-up play with a better than 5-1 chip lead over Imsirovic but over the course of 45 minutes, Imsirovic battled back to take a 2-1 lead. Burns was undeterred however and doubled back into the lead before putting the finishes touches on his first Poker Masters win. Imsirovic called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"] before Burns raised to 395,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"]. Imsirovic responded by moving all-in for 2,005,000 and Burns called. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"] gave Ismirovic top pair but gave Burns a flush draw. The [poker card="2s"] turn was safe for Imsirovic but Burns completed his flush on the [poker card="2d"] river. Final Table Payouts Kahle Burns - $416,500 Ali Imsirovic - $269,500 Sean Winter - $183,750 Sam Soverel - $122,500 Elio Fox - $98,000 David Peters - $73,500 Alex Foxen - $61,250 Purple Jacket Standings Sam Soverel - 810 Kahle Burns - 630 Chance Kornuth - 630 Sean Winter - 480 Ali Imsirovic - 450 George Wolff - 420 Alex Foxen - 330 Kristen Bicknell - 300 Sergi Reixach - 300 Isaac Baron - 300
  23. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. In April, there was plenty of online poker news, including one player scoring a Sunday Million victory for the second time in eight weeks and operator approvals from Pennsylvania. For Second Time in 8 Weeks, 'Lucky_Jew_17' Wins Sunday Million Most online poker players dream of winning the PokerStars Sunday Million once in their lives, but the vast majority fall short of that goal. Not only did PokerStars player 'Lucky_Jew_17' achieve the highly sought-after feat of winning online poker's most iconic event, but he did it twice in the span of eight weeks. At the beginning of March, 'Lucky_Jew_17' topped a field of 11,525 entries in the PokerStars Sunday Million, taking home a career-best score of $117,222. On April 21, he won the event again with a very similar outcome. The second time around, 'Lucky_Jew_17' bested a field of 11,212 entries to earn $114,039 in first-place prize money. Earning the second Sunday Million title was made even sweeter for 'Lucky_Jew_17' because he had to top one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world to get the win. Finishing in second place was Sweden's 'Lena900.' [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Online Operators Approved in Pennsylvania In more online poker news that grabbed headlines in April, PokerStars and partypoker were among the operators approved for licenses in the state of Pennsylvania. PokerStars had previously linked up with Mount Airy Casino Resort in August 2018 so that it could eventually offer online poker in Pennsylvania, and partypoker's potential partnership comes through Valley Forge Casino, owned by Boyd Gaming. Boyd Gaming has a strategic partnership with GVC, who is the parent company of partypoker. The two global brands weren't the only operators that received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, though. Joining PokerStars and partypoker as approved Pennsylvania online poker operators were WSOP/888poker, GAN and Kambi for Parx Casino, IGT, Rush Street, and Sands Bethlehem. Although the word was that legal online poker would be operational in Pennsylvania on July 15, the launch date was pushed back a handful of months. Eventually, PokerStars launched on Monday, November 4, and has been operating since, including recently completing its first run of the PokerStars PACOOP. Five-Way Chop in 13th Anniversary Sunday Million One week before 'Lucky_Jew_17' won his second PokerStars Sunday Million title in eight weeks, the 13th Anniversary Sunday Million took place. The two-day event started on Sunday, April 14, 2019, and attracted an enormous field of 61,342 entries. With a buy-in of $215, a prize pool of $12.268 million was generated, which easily surpassed the tournament's $10 million guarantee. Winning the event was 'wangli0402,' although he actually took home the second most money following a five-way chop. Earning the most money was fifth-place finisher 't4rz4n_21,' who took home $625,073. The other three players involved in the five-way deal were 'xbambi' (2nd - $550,689), 'idzake' (3rd - $509,664), and 'kacer148' (4th - $520,535). Quads Over Quads for Neeme at Run It Up Reno Things were good for Andrew Neeme on April 16, 2019. That's when he held pocket nines and flopped quads against John Snyder. Unfortunately for Snyder, he held pocket fives and flopped a full house. Little did Snyder know, he was drawing dead. If you thought the [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="5s"] was bad for Snyder and his [poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"], things only got worse for him when the turn brought the [poker card="5d"] to give him quads fives. With Neeme holding the [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"], Snyder was not going to win this hand despite the cartwheels he was doing inside. The result was caught on the Run It Up Reno stream and resulted in one of the most epic bad beats you will ever see. Moorman Honored with PocketFives Legacy Award Another big happening in the poker world in April was the first-ever Global Poker Awards, as the industry got together to celebrate some of the game's best across a wide variety of categories. Among those to take home hardware were Maria Ho for Broadcaster of the Year, Ali Imsirovic for Breakout Player of the Year, and Paul Campbell for Tournament Director of the Year. One of the best moments of the night focused on the presentation of the PocketFives Legacy Award. The award was presented to the one and only Chris Moorman, as an honor for a player who has collected more accolades over the course of his online poker career than any player in the 15-year history of PocketFives.com. Moorman boasts more than $16.2 million in online earnings, 30 PocketFives Triple Crowns, two Yearly PLB titles, and he's been ranked #1 in the world on 13 separate occasions.
  24. The first World Poker Tour event of 2020 reached its final table on Monday. Now, just six players remain in the Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship, with Chance Kornuth leading the way. The final six will be on hiatus until Tuesday, March 31, when they will resume play at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The final six come from a 257-entry field and are guaranteed $111,795 in prize money. First place takes home $554,495, including a $15,000 buy-in into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a Hublot watch. Joining Kornuth at the final table are Markus Gonsalves, Tuan Phan, Jonathan Cohen, Qing Liu, and Straton Wilhelm. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table Seat 1: Straton Wilhelm - 435,000 Seat 2: Markus Gonsalves - 2,370,000 Seat 3: Qing Liu - 795,000 Seat 4: Tuan Phan - 2,070,000 Seat 5: Jonathan Cohen - 1,615,000 Seat 6: Chance Kornuth - 2,995,000 How the Final Table Was Reached The Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship had a field of 257 entries. It wasn't the largest turnout for a WPT Main Tour event, but the $10,000 buy-in attracted some of poker’s biggest names and generated a prize pool of $2.467 million. Among those to compete were Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno, Maria Ho, and Phil Laak, but none of them made the money. Entering Day 3 of the tournament, 48 players remained. The top 33 places paid, which meant whoever finished in 34th place would win the unwanted title of 'bubble boy.' The player to fall in 34th was former WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock, who couldn't win a flip with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kd"] against the pocket queens of Gonsalves. After the money bubble burst, WPT Champions Club member Larry Greenberg was the first player to bust. Others followed him to the payout desk, including David Peters (30th - $18,825) and David 'ODB' Baker (18th - $25,130), before Day 3 ended with 14 competitors left. Among the final 14 returning for Day 4 was Jared Griener, who ultimately finished in 13th place for $35,720. Griener is no stranger to WPT success in the Southern California region. He’s cashed seven times in WPT Main Tour events in Southern California, and that’s the region where all of his WPT final tables have taken place. Additionally, Griener has a deep run in a WPTDeepStacks event in San Diego and two deep runs in WPT500 LA. On Day 4, Ali Imsirovic busted in ninth place to take home $53,950, and then Sebastiaan de Jonge finished in eighth for $67,790. One more player needed to be eliminated to set the official TV final table, and it happened when Phan knocked out Qi Hu in seventh place. Kornuth the One To Beat With a stack of 2.995 million, Kornuth is the player to catch at the final table. He's been one of the big stacks throughout the event, including finishing atop the field after Day 3. Kornuth came into this event with more than $7.4 million in live tournament earnings and one previous WPT final table under his belt. That previous final table was a sixth-place finish in the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $247,954. Kornuth has several other deep runs in World Poker Tour events, including a handful that have come at the $10,000 buy-in level, but his first WPT title has eluded him. Closest to Kornuth on the leaderboard is Gonsalves, who bagged 2.37 million in chips for the final table. Like Kornuth, Gonsalves has been close to a WPT title before, but he's also yet to win one. Gonsalves' deepest run in a WPT event came in the Season XIV WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event, where he took fourth and picked up a payday of $91,616. Gonsalves also has a 10th-place finish in the Season XIV WPT Five Diamond for $68,181. The final six will now wait until the end of March to play for the title in Las Vegas, as the event moves from the Gardens Casino to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. There is no former WPT champion in the final six, which means there will be a brand new member of the WPT Champions Club when this one is all said and done.
  25. Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC
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