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  1. We're coming down to the wire in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, which has 17 players remaining at the time of writing and will determine its November Nine this evening from the Rio in Las Vegas. Play began with 27 still standing at Noon Pacific Time on Monday and consolidated to two tables just a few hours later. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Sweden's Martin Jacobson (pictured) continues to lead the way. He had a six million-chip lead coming into the November Nine play down day and, although he lost the lead for a fleeting few minutes, he had regained it by the time this author sat down to pound out an article. The first player eliminated after the field consolidated to two tables of nine was Scott Mahin, who called all-in on a flop of 6-10-8 with two diamonds. Mahin was ahead with 10-8 for top two pair, but Andoni Larrabe was drawing to the nut flush with Ad-Kd. The turn was an ace, improving Larrabe to a pair and adding more outs, and a diamond on the river sealed Mahin's fate. He cashed for $347,000 and left the stage fairly emotional, as it was his first live tournament cash. Craig mcc3991McCorkell (pictured) was still alive, although he had the third shortest stack in the room when 17 remained. He was a fan favorite on Twitter, with Phil Galfond among those rooting him on: "GL @CraigMcCorkell! Just do your thing and hopefully the cards will cooperate… Know you don't need tournament coaching, but if there's anything I could do to help, let me know." Bryan badbeatninjaDevonshire was one of the first eliminations of the day in 25th place. He Tweeted, "Busto TT to AJs. 0-fer three in flips this tournament. Bummed I couldn't win a pot on Day 7, but happy to make it here. Back to the river." He then Tweeted a picture of several wads of hundred dollar bills as well as a check for his winnings. Former Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka was among those consoling Devonshire on Twitter, writing, "Sorry man, good run." Still in the hunt for a 2014 WSOP November Nine birth is Mark Newhouse, who is looking to become the first two-time November Niner and the first person since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004 to make the WSOP Main Event final table in back-to-back years. Here are the stacks of the 17 remaining players in the 2014 WSOP Main Event: 1. Martin Jacobson - 22,600,000 2. Dan Sindelar - 18,800,000 3. Bruno Politano - 18,180,000 4. Felix Stephensen - 14,150,000 5. Luis Velador - 13,620,000 6. Jorryt van Hoof - 13,100,000 7. William Pappaconstantinou - 13,000,000 8. Thomas Sarra - 12,910,000 9. Andoni Larrabe - 12,880,000 10. William Tonking - 10,600,000 11. Maximilian Senft - 10,300,000 12. Christopher Greaves - 9,300,000 13. Mark Newhouse - 7,810,000 14. Eddy Sabat - 6,110,000 15. Craig mcc3991McCorkell - 6,060,000 16. Andrey Zaya Zaichenko - 5,830,000 17. Oscar Kemps - 5,400,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Brazil's Bruno Politano finished Day 5 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event with 5,475,000 in chips, which was good enough for fourth place with 79 players remaining. Although Politano was not a household name prior to his 2014 Main Event run, he has had some success playing live poker tournaments, amassing over $110,000 in cashes. Politano's biggest cash going into the Main Event was in October 2013, when he finished in second place in the Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event for over $47,000. Politano was in the chip lead for almost two hours on Day 5 after hitting set-overset before the Day 5 dinner break against Zach Jiganti. The action was 4bet pre-flop, with Politano holding Kd-Kh against Jiganti's 9s-9d. Jiganti was the victim of one of the biggest coolers of the day when the flop came Ah-Ks-9h, giving both players a set. It was inevitable that all the chips would eventually go in the middle of the table and Politano found his stack soar from about 2.2 million in chips to close to 5 million. While still having the chip lead, Politano battled it out in a pre-flop betting war against American poker player Adam Coats. Politano raised from the cutoff to 52,000 in chips with the blinds at 12,000/24,000 with Ah-Kc. Coats responded by shoving his entire 500,000+ chip stack in with Th-Ts, which Politano quickly called. It appeared that Coats might find himself with over a million chips when the board came 3s-3c-2h-Qc. However, luck was not on Coat's side when the Kd spiked on the river, shipping a healthy pot to Politano and sending Coats to the showers.
  3. If you're thinking of heading to the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio on Monday for the long-awaited restart of the World Series of Poker Main Event or are planning on watching the gala unfold on television, expect "the craziest year yet," according to Caesars Interactive Entertainment Vice President Seth Palansky. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. PocketFivers will love playing in the site's €1 million guaranteed iPOPS series, which runs through November 9. Visit William Hill today! --- "This is going to be the craziest year yet," Palansky told PocketFives this week in an exclusive interview. "We've never had more support from the players' rails than we'll have this year. That will impact the general public's ability to get in initially on Monday. Some will get in, but it'll probably take losing a player or two before we can take all of the general public that's interested in attending." The Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio seats 1,200. According to Palansky, players' families and friends will take up about 1,000 of those seats, or 83%. That leaves just 200 spots for the general public out of the gate. Bruno Politano (pictured), from Brazil, is bringing what should be a very rowdy rail of 120, the largest of anyone. Expect Carnival to invade the Rio next week. "We have never given away more seats to the players themselves than we did this year," Palansky revealed. "We don't have a short stack this year. We don't have a dominant chip leader, either." Therefore, the pace of the Main Event, at least at the outset, could be rather sluggish. This author has been to several November Nine finales. The atmosphere is unlike any other, as you're watching poker being played at the most prestigious level possible. The number of fans in attendance is also pretty remarkable considering the less-than-rapid pace of poker in general. Palansky explained, "You'll have enlarged big screens inside the theater showing you the table and updated chip counts. We'll have some pomp and circumstance to introduce everyone." Speaking of introducing everyone, reigning Main Event champ Ryan Riesswill give the ceremonial "Shuffle Up and Deal" command on Monday, while ring announcer Bruce Buffer will handle those duties on Tuesday. The November Nine is available on a 15-minute delay on ESPN2 on Monday night, with every hand shown and hole cards being revealed on-screen. Therefore, why would someone venture to the Rio to catch the action in person when they can sit and home in their pajamas and watch on TV? "If you're a poker fan or have ever played, to witness poker on this stage in this environment is unlike anything you've ever seen," Palansky argued. "You can be a fan of poker, absorb this setting, and be up on that stage next year playing for the bracelet." There are six countries represented in the November Nine this year, which should give the tournament's finale a World Cup flair. Prepare to see a potpourri of football jerseys as well as signs in various languages. There should be plenty of incoherent singing and fans draped in the flags of their home countries. One of the major storylines this year is Mark Newhouse (pictured) becoming the first player to make back-to-back November Nines, doing it in fields of 6,382 in 2013 and 6,683 in 2014. "I'm rooting for him to be successful," Palansky said of Newhouse. "Ultimately, the cards will dictate your fate. I've seen Phil Ivey go out with A-K versus A-Q. I've seen 2-2 beat J-J. I've seen Q-Q lose to 7-7. Anything can happen. He's achieved something incredible and will walk away from next week's experience having done something that probably won't be done again in the history of poker." Catch all of the action from the Main Event starting next Monday on ESPN2 and right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. On Monday, the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event will resume from Las Vegas with the November Nine. The short stack in the room will be Brazil's Bruno Politano, but according to WSOP officials, he'll have the largest rail in the Penn and Teller Theaterat 120 friends and family (and potentially more). He'll be repping 888 Poker at the final table. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. PocketFivers will love playing in the site's €1 million guaranteed iPOPS series, which runs through November 9. Visit William Hill today! --- "I'm feeling good," Politano told PocketFives on Thursday. "I have a lot of emotions. I am very, very excited. I'm at the Rio. I came into Vegas on Wednesday. I have been welcoming my family and friends since then. I'm really relaxing." Politano and the eight other members of the November Nine are vying for a $10 million top prize. As we said, Politano was given 120 tickets for friends and family in the 1,200-seat Penn and Teller Theater. He told PocketFives that he might have around 140 railbirds and added, "There are a lot of fans who are coming out to support me. I have played poker for 11 years and have a lot of poker friends in Brazil. It's a big moment, not just for me, but also for all my fans." Politano is the first November Niner from Brazil. As such, he has already made history, but commented that plenty of other Brazilians have made waves in major poker tournaments: "I'm the first November Niner, but there are other players from Brazil who have played big tournaments. In the coming years, we'll have more Brazilians make the final table of the Main Event. I'll have a rail screaming for me, but there won't be too much pressure. I'll do my best. I'll play poker and god knows what will happen." Jorryt Van Hoofis the November Nine chip leader with a stack of 38.3 million. Politano is stacked with 12.1 million and just ahead of him is Sweden's Martin Jacobson (pictured), who has 14.9 million. Interestingly, Politano told PocketFives that Jacobson will be the toughest opponent: he'll face "He has the same stack as me, but is more experienced. He's the best opponent at the table." If Politano wins, it's off to XS Nightclub at the Wynn in Las Vegas, which he called "the best nightclub in the city." On what he'd do following a $10 million score, he told us, "My rail and I are going to XS at the Wynn. It's the best club in Vegas. I don't have any plans for the money though. My family has what it needs to live. I have a plan to win my bracelet first. That's the only thing I'm focused on. I'll worry about the rest later." If you've ever played tournament poker or watched it in person, you know it's a grind. There's a whole lot of folding and a whole lot of inactivity, which can make it difficult for players to stay focused. "I've played poker for 11 years, so staying focused comes naturally to me," Politano said. "Sometimes I go talk to my rail and take a quick break. It's impossible to spend your time 100% focused for 11 or 12 or 13 hours. I usually turn it off and then turn it on." Politano's poker coach is PocketFiver Ariel Bahia (pictured), who will be relaying him information on other players' hole cards while the tournament airs on a delay on ESPN2 on Monday. "He'll be watching and talking to me and telling me what cards my opponents have," Politano said. "Everyone will have that information, but it's good to have a change in strategy." Finally, we asked Politano who his favorite Brazilian of all-time is. There are plenty of people to choose from and the country has gained even more recognition after hosting this year's World Cup. His choice: Ayrton Senna, a former master of the Monaco Grand Prix. "He is very focused and very determined," Politano said. "He doesn't have the best car, but he has the best preparation, the best focus, and the best arms for a pilot. He's an inspiration for me." Catch all of the action from this year's November Nine right here on PocketFives. If you don't have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400), $88 free in most locations, and a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. Last week, 888 Pokerhosted the PocketFives Open. We had well over 200 players enter including two 888 sponsored pros: Bruno Politano (pictured) and Sofia Lovgren. The former finished eighth in last year's World Series of Poker Main Event and said of that experience, "It was the best experience of my life. It was amazing! I wish all professional poker players could live that experience one day in their lives. It's unreal." Politano made almost a million dollars from the WSOP Main Event and said he learned that life is "full of good times. We should take of all of them the best possible way; we need to enjoy all of the good moments." He has since final tabled a Six-Max WSOP event in Australia. Let's get back to the PocketFives Open for a minute. 888 generously added $2,500 in cash to the prize pool. While it certainly didn't come close to the WSOP Main Event, Politano told us, "The Open was a good experience. There were a lot of players talking with me in the chat, which was a lot of fun." He busted in fourth place after an ill-fated semi-bluff. Impressively, his 888 partner in crime, Lovgren, also cracked the top 15 and finished 11th. The Brazil pokercommunity on PocketFives has almost 3,000 registered members, who have combined winnings in excess of $250 million. "I believe poker in Brazil has changed," Politano commented about the game in his home country. "Everybody now plays poker and tries to find tournaments to play online. Poker has also won a lot of space on media channels like magazines and radio." Brazil is #4 in PocketFives' Country Poker Rankingswith a combined PLB score of its top 20 members of 99,930 points. It owns 12 PocketFives Triple Crowns and its members have logged almost exactly 400,000 cashes over the years. In total, poker seems to be exploding in the South American nation. Politano got started in poker 12 years ago with his friends from university. While he was coming up in the game, he was concurrently working in the pharmaceutical industry for the US-based company Sanofi. According to ESPN, his promising poker career took a wrong turn at the 2011 WSOP. After a lackluster run in Las Vegas, "He began concentrating on a company, Couro & Cia, that sells handbags, shoes, and leather accessories. As the business expanded, he opened up a store in the chic downtown area of Sao Paulo. The timing of this store was perfect, as Brazil regulated poker in 2012 and one of the most active poker cities was San Paulo." Politano remains about as determined as it gets in the poker industry. Accordingly, his advice for other players is to "study, study, study. Success in poker is in the information." If you don't have an 888 Poker account, sign up through PocketFives' linksto get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400) and one free month of Tournament Poker Edge or CardRunners poker training. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. [caption width="640"] Poker success has opened a whole new world for 888poker ambassador Nicolau Villa-Lobos[/caption] Nicolau Villa-Lobos has made a deep run in the World Series of Poker Main Event, he posted a runner-up finish to Mike Watson in the stacked High Roller field at the 2013 WSOP Europe series, but rather than travel the globe seeking only the toughest competition at the higher stakes, Villa-Lobos spends much of his time at home playing in Brazilian Series of Poker events. Over the past four years, he has cashed in 14 BSOP events, most notably a runner-up finish in the Sao Paolo Main Event in 2012 and a final table appearance in the High Roller event at the same venue in 2014. While his success in Brazil has primarily come in Sao Paolo, Villa-Lobos has different reasons why another spot is his favorite on the tour. “I love the one in Natal (in northeastern Brazil). Nice hotel in front of the beach where I can surf a bit. Amazing food in that area too. Probably my favorite,” Villa-Lobos says. He has plenty of other reasons why the BSOP is worth his time too though. “Playing poker for an extended weekend is amazing. Besides that, BSOP it's an opportunity to visit amazing cities spread Brazil and meeting great friends. So, it's a combination of those factors that makes the experience amazing.” Natalie Hof Joins Team888As mentioned though, Villa-Lobos has found plenty of success outside of Brazil. Ever since his 77th-place finish in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, Villa-Lobos has been a representative of 888 Poker, which means he has played poker all over the world promoting the brand. “Traveling the world is amazing. 888 gave me the opportunity to travel to every continent playing the best poker tournaments in the world. This is a dream for every poker player,” Villa-Lobos says. “Being around of great people is such a great experience too.” What Villa-Lobos is really looking forward to is for the glamour of these major tournaments to head home when the WSOP Circuit visits Brazil for the first-ever South American Circuit series in WSOP history. Yes, it is a competition for rings and not bracelets, but the mere presence in Brazil is a big deal for Villa-Lobos and his peers. “It's massive! Huge! Having a WSOP circuit in Brazil is a great accomplishment for both WSOP and Brazil. The WSOP is now setting foot in the most successful place if we are talking about [the growth of] live tournaments. Brazil proved that we are in love to this amazing game, and our capacity to make huge events is great. On the other hand, Brazil is going to a next level if we are talking about international poker events. Having the WSOP here is mind blowing.” When you consider the spectacle Villa-Lobos experienced in Rio this summer, his words have even more weight. He was one of many Brazilians who attended the recent Summer Olympics, and his reviews for it are even more enthusiastic than those for the Circuit. “It was amazing,” he gushes.. “It was a once in a lifetime experience to have the Games in my city. I had a busy schedule and I went to almost every sport competition. I saw Phelps, judo, handball, basketball a few times, beach volley, volleyball, and football semis and final. And I’m probably missing some out of this list!” Villa-Lobos and friends, including fellow 888 Pro Bruno Kawauti, took in all the sights and sounds of the Olympics. If you have ever seen a Brazilian rail, you realize this was a truly epic celebration. “It was a huge party for two weeks. Everywhere was super-crowded and the arenas were amazing. Can't imagine that happens the same way in other places.” In some ways, it was making up for the missed opportunities that come with the sacrifices of a busy poker travel schedule. Villa-Lobos and many mother Brazilians had to make a choice between the WSOP and the World Cup in 2014. Villa-Lobos and most others opted for the poker equivalent of the World Cup instead of the real deal. He missed the major matches, but did manage to see some of the early games before heading to Vegas. “Went to Maracanã to watch Belgium and Russia, and that was it for me. In the end, I was actually glad to be in Vegas,” he says with a laugh. Many poker pros start playing high rollers, then never go back to the smaller stakes. Villa-Lobos is not motivated by ego though. His decisions both in what events he plays and how he spends his free time is about finding the best Brazil has to offer in tandem with international travel. He understands this is how you grow poker in Brazil. You travel to raise international awareness about all the great stops and events the country has to offer, then you come home when these events run to play in them and support them.
  7. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Bruno Kawauti is one of Brazil's biggest poker stars[/caption] Bruno Kawauti Talks Planning for the Future, and Predicting it Too There are not many things where, if you take 15th place, your life is going to completely change. That is the beauty of the World Series of Poker Main Event tough. Ever since Brasil’s Bruno Kawauti finished 15th in 2013, his life, his priorities, his opportunities all completely changed. From that point forward, Kawauti has done his best to make the most of these new possibilities while still balancing a social life with his time at the poker tables. "I used to play cash online in 2013 before my deep run in the Main Event," Kawauti recalls. “I was quitting tournaments. I used to play only cash games and decided to not play tournaments at all. Then I made the semifinal table of the Main Event, I got 15th, and everything changed.” The changes included a sponsorship with 888 poker and the opportunity to play poker all over the world. He continues to take part in events near his home, including a runner-up finish in the Brasilian Series of Poker Main Event in Sao Paolo for over $92,000. He was joined at the final table with some familiar faces, including Thiago Nishijima, another Brazilian who made a name for himself at the WSOP in Vegas. Often people will try to make a story out of the competition between women in poker or players from up and coming poker communities. Such was the case with Kawauti, who became the top Brazilian finisher in WSOP Main Event history. Shortly after his run, a question came up in an interview which threw Kawauti for a loop. "I was the best Brasilian ever [in the Main Event] and there was an interview here in Brazil. The guy asked how I felt about my record and if I wanted to keep it. I said of course not. I want this record to be broken,” Kawauti said. As fate should have it, the day after Kawauti finished in 15th, he had a dream about what would happen the following year. “I had a dream that someone broke my record and it was a friend of mine and I was on the rail,” Kawauti says. Then, Bruno Politano, a friend of his, broke his record by finishing eighth and Kawauti was on hand to watch the entire thing. “I have some sick, sick dreams.” His dreams weren’t just limited to Politano either. On the first day of the WSOP in 2015, Kawauti had a dream his friend Nishijima would win a bracelet. On June 18th, Nishijima won the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event. When not predicting the future, Kawauti spends his time working on the future of his own game. With the help of a team of players he works with, including Guilherme Cheveau, Kelvin Ferber, and Fabiano Kovalski. He previously intended to focus on cash games and shift away from tournaments, but post-2013, his mindset has completely changed. “I used to mostly play live cash games here in Brasil, but I decided that if you play lived games in general, you play against worse players, but your game doesn’t improve. Online gives you that need to be better in order to beat the games,” said Kawauti. So, he joined his team and now grinds five days a week, taking scheduled breaks every Saturday and Tuesday. His Saturdays off help him rest up for a busy day of Sunday grinding. His Tuesdays are spent away from his computer too for a pragmatic reason as well. “Tuesdays are the days I lose more money,” Kawauti admits, pointing out with higher buy-in offerings, there are more experienced players in the field, making all the MTTs a little tougher than other days of the week. From 888 poker Magazine: Poker – Is it a Game, a Sport or Both? Kawauti’s discussion of why he chose tournaments gives you a glimpse into how his competitive mind operates. As he mentioned, cash games were lucrative, but didn’t prepare you to improve and win long-term. Plus, there is an intangible reward to poker tournaments that can be summed up in a single word: validation. “I think one of the things that also made me change from cash games to tournaments is that feeling at the final table of every elimination down to heads-up. To win a trophy, to win a tournament…you really feel it," said Kawauti. "After the deep run, I started to look more for moments. It is more interesting and every hour that you study, the choice you made to be a poker pro is worth it and means so much in that moment.” The extrinsic rewards that come with winning tournaments keeps Kawauti hungry, focused, and professional about his poker player, both as an 888 ambassador and as a full time pro who grinds a dedicated schedule online week in and week out. He does find time to relax though and, like many poker pros in his home country, he returned from the WSOP in time to enjoy the recent Summer Olympics. "In the beginning I thought the Olympics would have a lot of riots. Rio is a very nice place, it is a must-visit place for everyone in the world, but it is a very small place. I thought there would be a lot of traffic jams and lines to everywhere. I thought it was going to be a mess. Then Nicolau (Villa Lobos), one of my best friends, said, ‘Bruno, you have to come here. It is one time in your life you’ll have the Olympics in your city.’” "It was the best decision I made in 2016, I think,” Kawauti claims. “I am addicted to sports. I love soccer, so I watched the semifinals and finals against Germany.” It seems Kawauti loves sports, but his life choices since he made his run in the Main Event tell you he loves any sort of competition, be it against the best players in the world, the best players in Brazil, or just competing against himself as he strives to grow and get better at the game that changed his life.
  8. [caption width="640"] You could find yourself in the 2017 WSOP Main Event for just thanks to 888poker[/caption] We are at the approximate halfway point of our 888poker World Series of Poker Main event satellite series and now at Step 3. The buy ins are starting to get more serious as $1 now marks the entry fee to hop on the ladder. As with Step 2, there is a slower structure in this step. Blinds go up every six minutes, rather than the five in Step 2 and three in Step 1. All entrants start with 2,000 chips and have rebuy options open for the first 10 levels of the satellite. Most importantly, instead of one out of every 10 entrants earning a seat to the next step, one of five advance. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $0.01With this new dynamic comes a need to adjust in strategy. Luckily for players, the newest member of the 888poker team, Parker ‘Tonkaaaa’ Talbot has just the suggestions anyone might need. “Satellites are a game where if you study enough, any tournament becomes soft. People make mistakes in all of them and someone could stack off with a big stack. Overall, satellites are profitable.” All of the 888poker team pros featured thus far in this series have offered strategy advice for how best to avoid bubbling and in turn, failing to move on to the next step. Talbot offers similar advice and suggests being aware of the playing habits of your opponents. “Don’t stack off on the bubble. Play the first half as you would a regular tournament. Making a 10 big blind shove on the button should be more profitable than calling with ace-king in the big blind.” Most of all, Talbot recommends players live by the saying of “shove wide, call tight” in order to be most profitable when making decisions for large portions of chips. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $0.10Fellow 888team pro and 2015 WSOP November Niner Bruno Politano is in agreement with Talbot. Politano suggests players treat it like a standard MTT and then ramp up the aggression late when chips are of the utmost importance. “I think the strategy for the lower satellites is to make it seem like a regular tournament. Play tight in the first levels and aggressive in the middle and the final stages. The important mental part is to not lose your focus because it’s a lower step. Play the first step like you will play the last step and you will have more of a chance to win all your steps.” Now that we are midway through the steps to qualify for the Main Event, our next part in the series will focus on how players should attack Step 4, the $5 section, before making their way into the world of Steps 5 and 6.
  9. [caption width="640"] Before making the WSOP Main Event final table, Bruno Politano learned a costly lesson (888poker photo)[/caption] I F*cked Up is a PocketFives series where the game's best tell stories of where they got it wrong. Mistakes happen every day in poker and let these players be the first to tell you it happens to everyone. Before making the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, Bruno Politano was a respected tournament player in his home country of Brazil. Politano had a fair amount of tournament success there prior to bringing his game to the United States. In 2013, Politano was among the final three at the Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event out of 572 entrants. Politano and an opponent held dominating stacks over the other play. Politano was attempting to win his second BSOP title after doing so in 2008. Things were looking good for Politano to make it to heads up but a costly bluff sent him out in third place. The Hand Politano opened the button with [poker card="6c"][poker card="5c"] and his similarly-stacked opponent called out of the big blind. The flop was J-7-3 with one club, giving Politano a straight draw and backdoor clubs for a flush. The big blind checked and Politano bet 75 percent of the pot. His opponent called and the [poker card="qc"] turn gave Politano the flush draw. After being checked to, Politano bet 85 percent of the pot. Politano says he did this in order to set up an all-in shove on the river. The [poker card="2h"] hit and Politano did just that, moving all-in for 35 big blinds. Politano’s opponent had roughly the same stack and tanked for three minutes for the biggest pot of the tournament. After the thought process was completed, Politano’s bet was called by pocket tens to pick off his bluff. Politano was eliminated in third place and had his chance at winning the title gone along with it. The Aftermath Politano was devastated after the hand and realized his mistake in being too aggressive with a spot effectively assured for heads up play. He would end up taking home $47,493 for his finish, a far cry from the $108,917 awarded for first place. In an attempt to put pressure on his opponent who had a nearly identical stack, the plan blew up in Politano’s face. “I tried to pressure because the other opponent had only 25 blinds. I learned pressure is important but there needs to be equilibrium. Pressure is good, but when it’s not intelligent, there’s a great chance to put it in the trash,” Politano said. The Lesson Politano says he didn’t run into any spots quite like that one in the WSOP Main Event but notes the overall experience taught him well for that run and future final tables. “I learned from the mistake to not run a triple bluff. At final tables, you should play more slowly. I put 50 blinds in the trash and it was unnecessary. When it hurts, you learn.” Politano recommends playing with your opponent’s mindset considered and making decisions that way, instead of on pure emotion. Try to play poker with more reason than emotion. Emotion is important but the reason is more important. Think if your move is intelligent.” Should Politano make another final table in the near future, rest assured he will not be making the same mistake twice.

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