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Found 11 results

  1. Five months ago, Jeremy Hilsercop became the center of the poker world's attention after his wife Randi posted a video showing Jeremy getting a WSOP Big 50 buy-in for Christmas. The video quickly went viral and in the 48 hours that followed, Jeremy ended up with a free seat in the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players Championship and had the entire poker world cheering him on. The chaotic days that followed included getting passports, airplane tickets, and planning for a trip to the Bahamas that was just a few days away. While the PSPC trip certainly had the makings of a potential fairytale, Jeremy busted out on Day 1, well before the money. With all of that now behind them, the Hilsercops are now in Las Vegas with Jeremy playing Day 1A of the Big 50. It's a completely different experience from what he went through in January and it's got very little to do with the difference in buy-in. "It's a lot different. I'm a lot more comfortable. I actually slept last night. It's not real hectic. I can just be myself and go play poker. It's 100% different this time," Jeremy said. "I'm calm, collected and just ready to play." Since leaving the Bahamas in early January, life has largely returned to its normal state for Jeremy. He's been working and focused on spending time with his family while also finding some time to play some cash games. That doesn't mean he hasn't had this day circled on his calendar since Christmas though. "This is what got me. This is my dream. My dream is to play at the WSOP and this is what I've always wanted to do," Jeremy said. He's got a huge virtual rail back home in Tennessee with nobody more excited than his two kids, Michael and Madison. The early bust out from PSPC was his first taste of a big buy-in live tournament action and while it didn't come with a Hendon Mob entry, he learned a thing or two along the way. He's brought those lessons with him to the WSOP and has a simple gameplan to make the most of this whole experience. "Play smart, keep my chips in front of me and get ready for Day 2," Jeremy said. During his time in the Bahamas, Jeremy got to understand a little bit of what it's like to be a well-known poker pro. Players at his table knew who he was and he was frequently asked about his story. He also got a fair bit of media attention. Returning to civilian life, Jeremy doesn't expect too many people are going to remember him and he's just fine with that. "Whether I get recognized or not, I'm not thinking about it. I'm just thinking about playing," Jeremy said.
  2. Not only was the World Series of Poker ‘Big 50’ the talk of the town for those in Las Vegas, but it quickly became the talk of the entire global poker community as the 2019 WSOP kicked off. With the event now firmly in the rearview mirror, PocketFives spoke to a few players to get their take on the record-setting 28,371-player field. “This event was unbelievable. The way the WSOP handled everything, just hats off to them. To see everybody come out here, the numbers, the turnout it got - poker is definitely not dead. It’s just a great tournament and I’m very happy to be able to participate in it.” - Ronnie Bardah “I think for a first event, it’s understandable that some of it was unorganized because I’m sure that they didn’t expect the amount of players that they had. I think that if they did it again and it was more organized, that they would probably have an even larger field than the one they already have because people who have may reentered were deterred because of the amount of time they had to wait to reenter to sit again. I think structure-wise it was excellent. I think the players were from all over the world, you have the best and you have people who were here recreationally. For the most part, I think it was a really good tournament.” - Judith Bielan “The event was great. This is what brings everyone back to the world of poker. I don’t think any other organization can orchestrate this particular event except for the WSOP. Maybe they can even do a bigger and better one next year in 2020. This was great for everybody.” - Robert Cheung “I think the turnout for the Big 50 was fantastic. I actually think it’s crazy how many people were complaining. At the end of the day, to run a tournament of this magnitude, it’s unprecedented, and I don’t know what else you could possibly ask for. There are always going to be little hiccups, but everybody at my table was so nice and so many people expressed to me that this event was something that they were looking forward to. For a lot of them, it’s their first time in Vegas. Forget about live poker tournaments, it’s their first time in Vegas. I think that’s what this kind of tournament does. It brings out the real poker fans who have likely saved up to come out here and play this event. I think that’s amazing for poker, obviously.” - Maria Ho “The Big 50 had a ‘Main Event’ like feel to it. I met countless people who came out to the Series specifically for that event or are playing their first live tournament ever. For a lot of recreational players, they saw the improved structure as a good return on their investment and a great chance to make a Day 2, and most people seemed to be having a blast. Despite all the difficulties of managing 6,000-plus players simultaneously playing the same tournament in the same building, you can't deny how special this event was, and it's pretty cool regardless of results to say that you participated in the biggest live tournament of all time.” - Ben Ludlow “Anybody who complains about the opportunity to get everybody in the poker world together to play an event seems insane to me. This is exactly what you should want. What could be better for poker? This is what ‘good for poker’ looks like.” - Nathan Manuel “I spend a lot of time in the trenches of the mid-stakes poker scene and based on all the conversations I was hearing at the tables these past few months, I had a feeling it was going to be massive. I’m honestly blown away that one venue can seat 28,000 players over the course of four days, so when problems were rumored I wasn’t surprised, nor was I upset. I probably waited in line a total of three hours over the course of registering two flights, but I understood it was a small price to pay to be part of the biggest live poker tournament in history. Once I got my seat, it was a blast. The buzz, banter, and fun at the tables was everything I hoped.” - Johnnie Moreno “This is like a dream for players who can’t afford to play bigger tournaments. Like your average guy from his home game, like people who play the smaller events like the deep stacks and the smaller events. Here, they have a chance to come out to the big dance and a chance to win a bracelet. It’s a wonderful event. I don’t care about all the crap you’re hearing about lines and this and that. Listen, for $500 you can win $1 million. How often do you get a chance to do that? I stood in line for four and a half hours. I said, ‘Wow, this is crazy!’ But here I am, playing for $1 million for $500, so it’s all a plus. It’s great for the game.” - Victor Ramdin “Nowhere else could you find a group of people who could run something like this. I don’t know what they’re going to do with the different 5Ks and 25Ks, but it’s great. It’s really great.” - Eddy Sabat “I played Day 1a and made it to Day 3 on my first bullet, so I didn’t have any experience waiting forever to register after busting. The event has been a lot of fun so far! I’ve played at three total tables and two of them had almost all recreational players. Lots of loose and fast play.” - Max Steinberg
  3. The poker dream is alive in all of us. At the 2019 World Series of Poker, Femi Fashakin enjoyed living out his dream as he turned $500 into $1.147 million in a single poker tournament. This wasn't just any poker tournament, though. Fashakin won the world's largest-ever live poker tournament, the WSOP Big 50, from which he topped a record-setting field of 28,371 entries to earn a life-changing payday and his first WSOP gold bracelet. "It's huge," Fashakin said. "I've always felt I could play a lot of poker, and I have room for improvement and I have some skills, but obviously this will help with a lot of buy-ins. My goal would be to play more main events where I can actually develop my skills and keep playing." Born in Nigeria, Fashakin came to the United States in 2001 for college. He attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, on scholarship and studied computer science. After graduating, Fashakin went to work as a software engineer for a handful of different companies, some of them Fortune 500 companies. He eventually became a consultant and that opened the door for him to play a bit of poker. Fashakin used to play a lot of chess and became pretty good at it, but there came a point in time when Fashakin would either have to start studying chess a lot in order to get to the next level or accept that he wasn't going to advance his ability. That's when Fashakin drifted, he said. That's also when he found poker. "When I found poker, I couldn't believe it," Fashakin said. "This was a game where I could analyze it and use my mind. So I got a little more interested in the game, started watching WSOPs and WPTs." Bitten by the poker bug in 2010, Fashakin began playing in his wife's cousin's home game, mostly for fun, and graduated from there. "I started playing at local bars where they had hold'em games, and I played those for about six months to one year," Fashakin said. "I thought I had graduated, so I started going to Hard Rock in Tampa because it's just a short drive. I was playing $150 buy-in tournaments. In the first one, I cashed. I had a few little runs here and there, then I started going to South Florida and playing $360 buy-ins, then $570 ones. I had very modest cashes that I don't think speak well to my skillset. I like to think that I'm a little more skilled than that." Most recently, Fashakin took some time away from his career to truly focus on the game. "It's been a side thing, but for three months I kind of took off from my work and I've just been playing poker, cash games, just to build some bankroll," Fashakin said. "I've always played tournaments and usually I satellite into main events. Late last year, I had a few good runs but couldn't just close it, so this is amazing, words can't describe it." In 2018, Fashakin cashed in 60th place in the WPTDeepStacks Tampa Main Event and in 41st place in the WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open Main Event. He also had a 28th-place result in the $360 opener from that same WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open series. Back in Tampa in December, Fashakin finished 39th in a $570 buy-in 2018 Winter Poker Open tournament. Those were solid runs but nothing quite like what Fashakin experienced in the Big 50. He also previously cashed in the 2016 WSOP Colossus, which could likely best compare to the Big 50 in that it was at the same buy-in level with an enormous field of players - 21,613 entries. According to Fashakin, though, the Big 50 and the Colossus were much different because of the structures. "It can't compare," Fashakin said. "Colossus, I think any poker player would agree, there was less skill to prevail because you're so short. With a 50K stack, there's room to stay alive. My whole strategy, different from Colossus, was just to stay alive." Fashakin ran up his starting stack of 50,000 in chips to 350,000 on Day 1c. He turned those chips into 950,000 at the end of Day 2c and headed into Day 3 a little ahead of the average with 1,597 players remaining. Day 3 is really when Fashakin made some big moves, and this was also the day he really began to feel like he just might have a shot. "I remember two or three incidents," Fashakin said. "Even though I wasn't at risk to bust, another regular from South Florida had queens and I had ace-jack of hearts. I three-bet him with my ace-jack suited, he shoved, and I called. I spiked the ace, so that was the first one. Then, somebody had kings, this was Day 3. I spiked an ace with ace-king. So now I'm like, 'Woah, what's going on here?' And it happened a third time and I thought, 'I'm running really good, so I might have a shot.' I just wasn’t sure if it was going to stall, because that happens all the time, right? You get a little boost and then it just stalls and you're like 'Ugh!'" Fashakin ended Day 3 with 21.825 million and was 11th on the leaderboard with 126 players remaining. Already guaranteed $7,169, Fashakin was quickly pushing towards earning the largest live score of his career. Ahead of the Big 50, his largest live score stood at $11,250 and Fashakin needed to reach the top 81 places to earn a new career best. With such good chip position entering Day 4, he was a favorite to do so. Not only did Fashakin reached the top 81 and earn a new career high score, but he climbed into the chip lead that day. Fashakin finished Day 4 atop the final seven players with 314 million. On Day 5, the day Phil Ivey arrived at the 2019 WSOP by hopping into an event across the room, Fashakin maintained his chip lead at the final table while he watched other players take one another out. But then, with five players left, he started to slip back to the pack. That was followed by a slide down to the bottom. The next thing Fashakin knew, he was the short stack. As the short stack with four players left, Fashakin found a double and worked his way back up the leaderboard. He eventually reclaimed the lead and began to put distance between himself and the others. Fashakin knocked out Nick Chow in fourth place and Rafi Elharar in third place to set up the heads-up match with Paul Cullen. Nine hands later, it was all over and Fashakin was a millionaire. With a seven-figure poker score added to his bankroll, Fashakin looks forward to putting his skills to the test in bigger events. Other than that, he doesn't plan on doing too much with the money for six months or so and said he'll see how it goes. "My wife is going to beg me to go play now," Fashakin said with a big smile. "I told her that my goal was to cash for $50,000 and she let me go. Now, I have more than that."
  4. What could possibly overshadow the conclusion of the largest poker tournament of all time where one player walked away with $1 million at the 2019 World Series of Poker? The unexpected and unannounced return of Phil Ivey. While the Big 50 was playing down to a winner on the ESPN main stage Friday afternoon, the 10-time bracelet winner casually entered the Rio through a back entrance and was one of the last players to register for the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship event. Femi Fashakin Wins Largest Tournament Ever, Turns $500 in $1.15M Femi Fashakin started the Big 50 final table with the chip lead on Friday afternoon and when all was said and done he was posing for pictures with the bracelet as poker's newest millionaire. Fashakin topped the record-setting 28,371-player field to win $1,159,620. He eliminated Nicholas Chow in fourth, Rafi Elharar in third, and then bested Canadian Paul Cullen heads-up to win the prize. The 37-year-old Florida resident and father of two came to the United States from Nigeria in 2001 to study computer science at Bethune-Cookman University. He started playing poker in 2010. "When I found poker, I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'This is a game I can analyze and use my mind on.'," Fashakin said. "So I got a little more interested in the game and started watching WSOPs and WPTs." He started playing bar poker near his home in Orlando before graduating into smaller buy-in events in local casinos. Prior to this win, Fashakin's live earnings totalled just a hair over $59,000 and his single biggest score was $11,250 in the WPT Seminole Rock n Roll Poker Open last November. Final Table Payouts Femi Fashakin - $1,147,449 Paul Cullen - $709,183 Rafi Elharar - $534,574 Nicholas Chow - $405,132 Walter Atwood - $308,701 Danny Ghobrial - $237,609 Adrian Curry - $182,192 Morten Christensen - $141,126 David Rasmussen - $109,922 Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza Make Event #14 a Two-Horse Race In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza bagged up chips in the $1,500 HORSE event as the only two players remaining. There were 28 players still in contention at the start of the day but through over 13 hours of play, just two remain. Stockfish and Souza attempted to finish things on Friday night but agreed to come back Saturday to play down to a winner. Earlier in the day, Andre Akkari busted in 26th, WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu finished 19th, and 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Rich Zhu went home in 15th place. The final table included Chris Klodnicki going out in fifth and Phillip Hui following him to the rail in fourth. Chip Counts Jason Stockfish - 4,095,000 Murilo Souza - 3,425,000 Isaac Baron Heads Up for First WSOP Bracelet Isaac Baron reached as high as #2 in the PocketFives Rankings in his online poker career. He's hoping for anything but second best on Saturday when he and Ong Dingxiang return to finish off the $1,500 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em event. The pair bagged up early Saturday morning after outlasting 19 other players on Day 3. With 53.8% of the chips in play, Baron has a slight lead over Dingxiang. Both players are looking for their first career WSOP bracelet. Baron's previous best finish came in 2014 when he finished fourth in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event. Dingxiang meanwhile has never cashed in a WSOP event. Romain Nussmann, who started the day in the chip lead, busted in ninth Chip Counts Isaac Baron-24,475,000 Ong Dingxiang - 21,025,000 $1,500 Shootout Down to Final Table Cary Katz is one of the regulars on the High Roller and Super High Roller circuit. He's one of 10 players who has managed to navigate their way through two tables to advance to the final table of the $1,500 Shootout event. Despite having $19.5 million in lifetime earnings, mostly from those big buy-in events he frequents, Katz has never won a WSOP bracelet. He has two runner-up finishes, first 2013 in a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event and then in 2017 when he finished one spot behind Mohsin Charania in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. The final table also marks the return of Kenna James. He last made a WSOP final table in 2009 when he finished 6th in a $2,500 Razz event. He has 36 WSOP cashes but has yet to secure a bracelet. Brett Apter starts the final table with a slight chip lead. Some of the players who made Day 2 but were unable to advance included Joe Cada, Erik Seidel, Daniel Ott, Dillon Ott, Jonathan Proudfoot, Qui Nguyen, Felipe Ramos, Kelly Minkin, Loni Harwood, and Maurice Hawkins. Final table action begins at Noon PT and Final Table Chip Counts Brett Apter - 2,258,000 Anatolii Zyrin - 2,306,000 Marko Maher - 2,240,000 Shintaro Baba - 2,237,000 Adrian Scarpa - 2,286,000 Michael O'Grady - 2,298,000 Kenna James - 2,203,000 Cary Katz - 2,266,000 Manuel Ruivo - 2,245,000 Tommy Nguyen - 2,213,000 Phil Ivey Return Highlights $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1 The $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship usually brings out a cross-section of the best poker players in the world and players who specialize in this variant. Day 2 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship certainly lived up to that reputation and even brought about the return of Phil Ivey. Ivey was one of a handful of players who took advantage of the late registration extending into Day 2 and his return to the WSOP for the first time this year set the poker world abuzz. Unfortunately for poker fans, Ivey wasn't one of the 23 players who were able to bag up chips at the end of the day. Ken Aldridge leads the final 23 players with 1,178,000, but Owais Ahmed is hot on his heels with 1,078,000. Robert Mizrachi sits third with 703,000. Shaun Deeb picked up his third cash of the 2019 WSOP and will begin Day 3 with 652,000 in chips. Other notables still chasing the bracelet and $443,641 first place prize money include David Benyamine, Jake Schwartz, Mike Wattel, Mike Matusow, and David 'Bakes' Baker. Action resumes at 2 PM PT and will play down to six players. Top 10 Chip Counts Ken Aldridge - 1,178,000 Owais Ahmed - 1,074,000 Robert Mizrachi - 703,000 Frankie O'Dell - 692,000 Andrew Yeh - 677,000 Nick Guagenti - 667,000 Shaun Deeb - 652,000 Yarron Bendor - 647,000 David Benyamine - 605,000 Richard Ashby - 587,500 Millionaire Maker Opening Flight Draws Nearly 4,000 Players Amidst all of the hype for the Big 50, other smaller buy-in gimmick tournaments could have suffered. That doesn't appear to be the case for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker though. Day 1A drew 3,930 players, a 29% increase over 2018 Day 1A. Topping the 968 who managed to bag up chips at the end of the day was Garrett Greer with 570,600. Two former #1-ranked players also bagged top 10 stacks. Calvin Anderson finished with the second-best stack of the day, right behind Greer, with 563,600. Chris Hunichen rounded out the top 10 with 366,800. Chance Kornuth, Jack Sinclair, Daniel Strelitz, Joe McKeehen, David Pham, Asher Conniff, Scott Clements, and Jared Jaffee were just some of the notable players who managed to put chips in a bag at the end of Day 1A. Day 1B begins at 10 AM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Garrett Greer - 570,600 Calvin Anderson - 563,600 Eder Murata - 506,000 Orson Young - 417,300 Soheb Porbandarwala - 406,000 Keith Lehr - 383,000 Susannah Altman - 381,200 Luis Pinho - 373,800 Jacob Naumann - 372,500 Chris Hunichen - 366,800 Daniel Negreanu Among Leaders $1,500 Seven Card Stud Day 1 of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event drew 285 players and Daniel Negreanu, Julien Martini, Andre Akkari, Scott Seiver, and Joao Simao were a handful of the notables who moved on to Day 2. Negreanu built his 10,000 starting stack into 56,900 for the sixth best moving on to Day 2. Martini is right behind him with 56,100. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Constantine Moustakis - 76,600 David Singer - 69,000 Joshua Mountain - 60,500 Joachim Sanejstra - 57,500 Pawel Andrzejewski - 57,500 Daniel Negreanu - 56,900 Julien Martini - 56,100 Perry Friedman - 54,400 Kyle Hinnerichs - 52,500 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 52,100
  5. For the last week, the poker world has been buzzing and the hallways at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino have been jam-packed all thanks to the $500 Big 50 event at the World Series of Poker. While big crowds and plenty of hype are nothing new for the opening week of the WSOP, the Big 50 was unprecedented in many ways. Largest All-Time Live Poker Tournament The 28,371-player field made the Big 50 the largest live tournament in poker history. The previous title holder in that category, The Colossus in 2015, which had a $565 buy-in and allowed players to enter each of the four starting flights once, drew 22,374 players, many of whom checked 'Play a WSOP event' off of their bucket list. The Big 50 is a staggering 26.8% bigger than the Colossus ever was. The Big 50 is now the big dog, but Colossus events hold down the next three spots on the all-time largest live poker tournament list. The 2011 Legends of Poker $1M Guaranteed, which had just a $150 buy-in and allowed for unlimited re-entries through 20 starting flights over 10 days, sits in the fifth spot with a 13,178-player field. Last year's Colossus is the sixth largest field of all time with 13,070. Year Event Players 2019 WSOP: The Big 50 28,474 2015 WSOP: $565 The Colossus No Limit Hold'em 22,374 2016 WSOP: $565 Colossus II No Limit Hold'em 21,613 2017 WSOP: $565 The Colossus III No Limit Hold'em 18,054 2011 $150 Legends of Poker $1M Guaranteed 13,178 2018 WSOP: $565 Colossus No Limit Hold'em 13,070 2012 $150 Winnin' o' the Green 11,704 2013 $150 Winnin' o' the Green Mega Millions 11,608 2012 $150 Mega Millions V 11,146 2014 $160 Mega Millions X 10,939 Just 13 events have ever had a field of 10,000 players or more. Six of them are WSOP events and the other seven are all from the Bicycle Casino events with upwards of 20 starting flights. Uniques vs. Re-entry Players were allowed to enter each of the four Big 50 flights once. There were 17,970 unique entries in the Big 50. Had that been its own event, it would have been the fifth-largest field of all-time just behind Colossus III. There were 10,401 re-entries in the Big 50, making up 36.2% of the total field. The number could have been much bigger had WSOP officials been better prepared for the massive Day 1A turnout. Just 990 players (15.4%) managed to navigate the long lines and waits to re-enter. The three days that followed say 2,188 (1B - 36.6%) 3,322 (1C - 46.3%), 3955 (1D - 43.4%) re-entries as WSOP officials improved the registration process. For comparison's sake, Colossus I had 6,987 re-entries to make up 31.2% of the field. Similar to the Big 50 re-entry rules, players could enter each flight one time. The only difference was there were six flights compared to four for the Big 50. Colossus II and Colossus III both saw an uptick in the % of the field that was re-entry. Colossus II had 9,900 players re-enter (45.8%) while Colossus III had 8,980 (49.7%). This can largely be attributed to an increase in the number of starting flights. Colossus I had just four, while II and III each had six. Flight-by-Flight Success of the Big 50 Flight 1D of the Big 50 was so huge that had it been its own event, it would have been the 14th largest tournament ever. The 9,121 players that packed the Rio and made for long lines on the final opening day actually outdrew the PokerStars Sunday Million this week. PokerStars' flagship event had just 8,984 runners. For events that have multiple starting days, Big 50 flights occupy the top two and four of the top five starting flights ever. The only other event in the top five is Flight C from the 2015 $565 Colossus. Year Event (Flight) Players 2019 $500 Big 50 (D) 9,121 2019 $500 Big 50 (C) 7,183 2015 $565 Colossus (C) 6,283 2019 $500 Big 50 (A) 6,095 2019 $500 Big 50 (B) 5,972 Even Day 2 Was Huge From the 28,371 players in the Big 50, 6,455 advanced to their respective Day 2. Had the combined Day 2 restarts been its own tournament, it would fall right between the 2009 and 2015 WSOP Main Event as the 37th largest tournament ever.
  6. Making his first-ever World Series of Poker cash, Justin Landis was faced with a tough decision: play poker or play golf, and it wouldn’t be the first time he had to pick between golf and another one of his favorite things to do. Landis had advanced to Day 3 of the record-breaking Big 50 at the 2019 WSOP. He played Flight B and was on to Day 3 with 740,000 in chips. He bagged that stack on Saturday and didn’t have to return to play until Wednesday, when he came in a little below the average chip stack of 888,000 but was well into the money. With a few days off, Landis headed back home to Hanford, California, but he didn’t know if he’d be back. Landis had an opportunity that was one of those things that many would consider once in a lifetime. As a scratch golfer who has been playing the game his entire life, Landis had an opportunity to play at the famed Pebble Beach golf course. It’s the home of the 2019 U.S. Open and a course that Landis has never played. Being such an avid golfer, it was an opportunity he didn’t know if he wanted to pass up, even for a chance at more than $1 million and a gold bracelet. "I could've gone to Carmel and played golf in a golf tournament and then played Pebble Beach the next day," Landis said. Landis knew going into the start of the Big 50 that this could be a possible conflict. But Landis has been around a poker table or two and knows what it takes to get deep. You have to play well and the cards have to go your way. He decided to take the shot at playing and then deal with the conflict if it came up. Well, it did. "I drove home to Hanford and decided to come back," Landis said. "If I did make it, I was going to make my decision on my drive home, and I made the decision to come back." "Not really," Landis said of the decision being a difficult one. "Once I got to driving home, I thought of what [WSOP tournament director Charlie Ciresi] said. He said, 'the Big 50 is a bucket list item,' and I said, 'You're exactly right.' That made me come back." Many would say playing at Pebble Beach is also a bucket list item, and it certainly is for golfers around the world, but Landis pointed out that Pebble Beach will always be there and he'll likely get the chance to play it again at some point. "It's always there, so I'll have my chance," Landis said. The Big 50 might not return, being a part of the 50th annual WSOP and all. Even if it does, the opportunity to have a healthy stack heading into Day 3 might not come with it. "Absolutely golf," Landis said when asked what’s more important to him, golf or poker. Landis' run ended in 931st place, good for a payout of $2,202. He had finished in the top 4% of the 28,371-entry field. As mentioned, it was his first WSOP cash, but it wasn’t the first time Landis had to make a tough decision at a crossroads. Landis' father is Bill Landis, a former Major League Baseball player from 1963 to 1969 for the Kansas City Athletics and Boston Red Sox. As you might expect, Justin was a bit of a baseball player himself then and said that he had to make a decision when he was younger to pick between baseball and golf. He may have picked golf that time, but this time around he went with poker. On his final hand in the 2019 WSOP Big 50, Landis got the money in on a nine-high flop with two tens in the hole. His opponent had flopped top two pair with nine-six and held. When asked if he would return to play more events this summer, Landis said he doesn't have plans to come back. He was thinking about playing in the WSOP Main Event, but with it being the 15th anniversary for him and his wife, he's going to pass this year. "I'm as happy as can be," Landis said.
  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. The opening week of the 2019 World Series of Poker has had a bit of madness in the opening week. Lance and Donnie are joined by Maria Ho, Victor Ramdin, and Nathan Manuel to get player reaction to the record-sized field in the Big 50. They also recap the bracelets awarded to Nicholas Haynes and Derek McMaster and talk about the somewhat disappointing turnout for the debut of Short Deck on the WSOP schedule. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  8. 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
  9. 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. Lance and Donnie are both in Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker. The guys discuss the smashing - and somehow unexpected - success of the Big 50 and the amazing buzz that has filled the hallways at the Rio in the first couple of days of play. They also recap Brian Green's bracelet win in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty and what a sixth place finish means for Daniel Negreanu as he chases down WSOP Player of the Year. Lastly, they leave the friendly confines of the Rio and head over to the Luxor to recap the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and James Carroll's big win. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  10. Dates for the 2020 World Series of Poker were announced on Wednesday, and the 51st WSOP is scheduled for May 26 through July 15, 2020. The 2020 WSOP will once again be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, with 51 action-packed days of poker planned, despite the recent sale of the property. Although the full schedule of events is yet to be released, the WSOP did give the dates for the WSOP Main Event, the BIG 50, and the Seniors Championship. Main Event Scheduled for July 1-14 The 2020 WSOP Main Event runs July 1-14. It kicks off on Wednesday, July 1, for the first of three starting flights. The second and third flights are scheduled for Thursday, July 2, and Friday, July 3, respectively. Competitors to advance from either of the first two flights will resume action on Saturday, July 4, and those to advance from the third flight will play their Day 2 on Sunday, July 5. All remaining entrants will combine into one field on Monday, July 6. Play is scheduled to continue each day through Friday, July 10, when it is anticipated that the final table will be reached. The final players will have an off day on Saturday, July 11, before resuming the competition on Sunday, July 12. A winner is expected to be crowned on Tuesday, July 14. The 2020 WSOP Main Event will look to draw off the success that was delivered in 2019, when it attracted the second largest field size in the event’s history at 8,569 entries. It was only the second time ever that the field size for the WSOP Main Event topped 8,000 entries, and it was the fourth consecutive year that the Main Event field size increased. The 2019 WSOP Main Event winner was Hossein Ensan, who took home the mammoth $10 million first-place prize. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] BIG 50 Scheduled for May 28-June 4 The beginning of the 2020 World Series of Poker will feature the incredibly popular $500 buy-in BIG 50 tournament. It’s the second year for this event and big things are expected after the 2019 edition absolutely shattered the record books with 28,371 entries. The 2020 WSOP BIG 50 is scheduled to start on Thursday, May 28, and wrap up on Thursday, June 4. In 2019, it was Femi Fashakin finishing in first place from the enormous field. Fashakin took home the lion’s share of the $13.509 million prize pool, winning $1.147 million. Seniors Champions Scheduled for June 18-21 The third event that WSOP officials did confirm in the announcement is the $1,000 buy-in, single reentry Seniors Championship. Scheduled to take place June 18-21, the WSOP Seniors Championship is open to all participants age 50 or older. In 2019, the WSOP Seniors Championship drew 5,916 entries. Howard Mash, a 50-year-old financial advisor from Florida was triumphant, scoring $662,594. Online Satellites Already Running At the time of the announcement, the start of the 2020 WSOP was five and a half months away, so there’s plenty of time to get ready for what should be another record-setting series. The 2019 WSOP was the biggest ever, with 187,298 total entries and more than $293 million in prize pool money generated. The 2020 edition is likely going to set new records, and part of the reason why is because online satellites are already running on WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey. Will Pennsylvania Be Involved? Pennsylvania could certainly be involved with the 2020 WSOP, at least to some capacity. With regulated online poker now up and running in Pennsylvania, the Keystone State could become a player when WSOP.com is up and running, although there is no WSOP.com online client available in Pennsylvania at the time of this announcement. When WSOP.com becomes available in Pennsylvania, we should expect there to be online satellites running that will function to qualify players for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. What we shouldn’t expect is for PA online poker players to be able to play in online gold bracelet events with players from Nevada and New Jersey from within Pennsylvania state lines. Although Nevada and New Jersey share player pools, Pennsylvania is not yet involved in any interstate compacts, so they’ll likely have to wait to compete for an online gold bracelet from within the State of Pennsylvania.
  11. 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 June, all eyes were on the 2019 WSOP, which kicked off with a bang that included the largest live poker tournament ever and Phil Ivey's return. WSOP Big 50’s Gigantic Turnout The first installment of the World Series of Poker $500 buy-in 'Big 50' tournament was one for the record books, literally. The tournament that was marketed to give comers from all levels a shot at WSOP glory did that and more, becoming the largest live poker tournament in history. The event attracted a field size of 28,474 entries, crushing the previous record of 22,374 entries set by the 2015 WSOP Colossus. Lance Bradley took a look at the record-breaking event to see how it stacks up against another monstrous tournaments, the number of unique entries versus reentries, and more. Nigerian-born Femi Fashakin turned a $500 entry into $1.147 million in the Big 50 and will forever be remembered for such an achievement. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Controversy at the WSOP The $50,000 High Roller tournament at the 2019 WSOP drew a lot of attention. Understandably so, given it’s huge buy-in and star-studded field. The resulting headlines were less than what was desired, though, as a bit of controversy came about. With four players left in the tournament, Sam Soverel opened with a raise, Dmitry Yurasov moved all in, Andrew Lichtenberger folded, and then Ben Heath asked for a count. While thinking, Heath tossed in a time bank card and Soverel, who might’ve thought the time bank card was Heath’s actual playing cards, quickly folded his hand. This allowed Heath to think through his decision without having to worry about what Soverel was going to do as the original raiser. Yurasov was not happy with Soverel’s play, as were many people on Twitter, including Isaac Haxton. Phil Ivey Returns Guess who’s back? Phil Ivey’s back! It seems that every summer the poker world is waiting to see if Phil Ivey will return to the WSOP tournament tables or not. In 2019, he returned a week into June, kicking things off with the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. The poker world was buzzing with his return to the series, but it’d have to until about a week later for him to get back on the WSOP scoreboard by cashing in the $800 NL Deep Stack. Ivey went on to cash five times at the WSOP in the summer and twice more at the 2019 WSOP Europe festival in Rozvadov. His best finish in Las Vegas was an eighth-place result in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $124,410. Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life Jason Young has had his fair share of success on the poker felt, with more than $1.2 million in live tournament earnings and a World Series of Poker gold bracelet to his credit. Despite all of that, it was a victory off the felt that proved to be the biggest win of his life. After Young and his girlfriend welcomed their daughter, Kaeley, into the world, things took a turn for the worse. His girlfriend abruptly moved to Florida, away from their home in New York, and she took the daughter with her. Young’s restaurant was lost and he fell into big debt. Through it all, Young kept fighting. He was fighting for his daughter and fighting to get his life back in order. Along the way, poker helped Young get things back together, and the story on Young by Lance Bradley is an absolute must-read. Chidwick, Engel, Schwartz All Wins Bracelets The conversation of who is the best player without a WSOP gold bracelet lost three key figures in the summer of 2019. That’s when Stephen Chidwick, Ari Engel, and Luke Schwartz all claimed their first pieces of WSOP hardware and can no longer be referred to as the "Best Player Without a Bracelet." To make things even more exciting, all three won their first gold bracelet on the same day.

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