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  1. After an opening week featuring some of the world's best players battling it out, the GGPoker Spring Festival had a very quiet day on Friday with just three High buy-in events wrapping up and a fourth bagging and tagging and headed to a second day of play. Christian Rudolph beat out 139 other runners to win Event #27-H ($2,100 Bounty) for $58,033.04. Runner-up Francisco ‘VaPaCooler’ Benitez, who came in third place in $610,079.27 at the start of the Festival, walked away from this one with $24,512.91 and yet another close call. Third place went to 'TheWrigler' for $2.5,448.22. 'BIG HAI', a regular in the GGPoker high roller tournament streets, went bounty hunting in Event #29-H ($1,050 Bounty Turbo), and came back with $33,440.21 and a victory. The final bounty 'BIG HAI' collected belonged to 'JustbcOfU' who walked away with $12,801.82 for their efforts. Marco Streda took the final spot on the podium for $8,748.87. The last High event to play down to a champion on Friday was Event #30-H ($525 Hyper [6-Max]) which drew 173 runners. Markus Prinz beat all of them to add $24,317.38 to his bankroll while runner-up Wei Zhao banked $17,581.85. Former #1-ranked Andras Nemeth finished in third for $12,712.04. Nemeth also finished Day 1 of Event #28 ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) with the chip lead. The event drew 243 runners for a $7,000 overlay. Just 14 of those players moved on to Day 2 with Viktor Ustimov, Mike Watson, Brock Wilson, and Shyngis Satubayev all part of the group chasing Nemeth for the $52,176.54 first place prize. Event #27-H ($2,100 Bounty) Entries: 140 Prize pool: $280,000 Christian Rudolph - $58,033.04 VaPaCooler - $24,512.91 TheWrigler - $25,448.22 Event #29-H ($1,050 Bounty Turbo) Entries: 134 Prize pool: $134,000 BIG HAI - $33,440.21 JustbcOfU - $12,801.82 Marco Streda - $8,748.87 Event #30-H ($525 Hyper [6-Max]) Entries: 173 Prize pool: $100,000 Markus Prinz - $24,317.38 Wei Zhao - $17,581.85 Andras Nemeth - $12,712.04
  2. After three full days of play in the partypoker 2021 MILLIONS Online $5,300 Main Event, UK grinder Endrit Geci outlasted the 1,084-entry field to take home the title and a career-high online score of $774,838.27. Geci started the day with an overwhelming chip lead as the only player to have more than 200M in chips, a full 23 big blind advantage over the rest of the field. However, even with a healthy lead headed into the final table, his path to victory would not be an easy one with some exceptional poker talent including Daniel Dvoress, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Christian Rudolph, and fellow UK grinder Jonathan Proudfoot all earning a seat for Day 3. Once play got underway, it didn’t take long for the fireworks to start. Roughly thirty minutes into the day, Geci went to work and put in a raise under the gun with his [poker card="ts"][poker card="th"]. The UK’s former #1-ranked pro Jonathan Proudfoot then three-bet holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. Geci promptly four-bet enough to put the short-stacked Proudfoot all-in. Proudfoot made the call and board ran out [poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kh"], shipping the pot to Geci and taking out Proudfoot in ninth place for $72,260. Geci was back at it a few minutes later when he raised in early position with the [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"]. Martin Brinkmann then three-bet shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"]. Geci quickly called and the flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="4c"] giving Geci top set and Brinkmann a flush, straight and straight-flush draw. The turn was the [poker card="ks"] bringing Geci a full house and leaving Brinkmann looking for just the [poker card="td"]. But the river was the [poker card="6h"] adding to Geci’s growing stack and sending Brinkmann out in eighth for $91,542. Canada’s Richard Mullen had fewer than 10 big blinds when he moved all-in from early position with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. On the button, Christian Rudolph made the call holding the [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3c"] giving the at-risk Mullen extra flush draw out and when the [poker card="th"] hit the turn he picked up a gutshot straight draw as well. However, the river was the [poker card="8s"] giving shipping the pot to Rudolph’s ace-high kicker and sending Mullen home in seventh for $115,425. Not long after busting Mullen, it was Rudolph’s turn to put his tournament on the line. Rudolph raised from under the gun with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and when it folded back to Geci in the big blind, he three-bet enough to cover Rudolph with [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"]. Rudolph committed the rest of his chips and the board rank out [poker card="9h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] giving Geci another full house. For the second time in an all-in situation, Geci’s pocket tens won the flip and that sent Rudolph to the rail in sixth place for $146,300. After an early position raise from Daniel Dvoress holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"], Brazil’s Hermogenes Gelonezi moved all-in with his [poker card="7s"][poker card="7d"] When folded back to, Dvoress called with his dominating pair and Gelonezi was left looking for help. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"] flop gave Dvoress a set, but brought some additional straight outs for Gelonezi. The turn was the [poker card="as"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"] ending Gelonezi’s tournament in fifth place, good for $189.320. The momentum for partypoker ambassador Dzmitry Urbanovich had been trending upwards and at one point, he climbed into second in chips. But shortly after the third break, after taking a bit of a hit to his stack, that momentum came to a halt when he and Dvoress clashed in a cooler. Dvoress put in a raise from under the gun with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and Urbanovich, with slightly fewer chips, three-bet shipped his [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"]. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"], giving Dvoress top sent and when the [poker card="2s"] hit the turn, Urbanovich was drawing dead to the [poker card="9h"] river. The partypoker pro fell in fourth place and added $276,128 to his over $3.2 million in career online earnings. At three-handed, Dvoress assumed the chip lead. However the three stacks were bunched together and when Dvoress lost a flip to Geci, he found himself short. Eventually, he put in a raise holding [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] and Francisco Correia called him in the big blind with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7d"] and the action checked through. The turn was the [poker card="8s"] giving both players a straight. Correia led out and Dvoress called. The river was the [poker card="jh"], lifting Correia’s hand to a queen-high straight and he shoved, having Dvoress covered. Dvoress eventually made the call and ended up at the third-place finisher, earning $422,422. As heads-up play started, Correia and Geci tried to negotiate a heads-up deal. They couldn’t agree so they played on. As their stacks grew closer together, they tried again and finally agreed. The deal awarded Correia $731,960 and Geci locked up $724,838 with $50,000 be left to the winner. After the deal, Geci went on a run and took back the chip lead he started the day with. This time, he didn’t let it go. On the final hand, Geci limped the button holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] and Correia checked his option with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="ts"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] and both players checked. The [poker card="tc"] fell on the turn and after Correia checked, Geci put out a bet which Correia called. The river came the [poker card="kd"] and Correia checked again. With this top two pair, Geci shoved and after taking his time, Correia made the call. Correia finished as the runner-up and took home the $731,960 he negotiated in the deal. Endrit Geci collected the additional $50,000 set aside for the winner and became the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online champion, earning a total of $774,838. partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event Final Table 1. Endrit Geci - $774,838.27* 2. Francisco Correia - $731,959.84 3. Daniel Dvoress - $422,421.80 4. Dzmitry Urbanovich - $276,127.53 5. Hermogenes Gelonezi - $189,320.45 6. Christian Rudolph - $146,300.43 7. Richard Mullen - $115,424.85 8. Martin Brinkmann - $91,542.10 9. Jonathan Proudfoot - $$72,259.60
  3. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event has arrived. The unique live-online hybrid solution to finding a successor to current reigning World Champion Hossein Ensan gives players, both in the United States and internationally, one final shot at winning a gold bracelet in 2020. Last updated: Sunday, December 7, 2020 The tournament, which comes with a traditional $10,000 buy-in and is a true freezeout, will hold all of its starting flights online. Players in the United States can travel to Nevada or New Jersey to play in a single opening flight on WSOP.com while international players have three starting flights to choose from on GGPoker. These two separate online tournaments will spawn two different final tables which will be played out live. The final nine from the WSOP.com player pool will determine a winner in Las Vegas as GGPoker's final table will battle it out at King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Ultimately, the winner of each final table will face off in a winner-take-all heads-up battle in front of the ESPN camera on December 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of that match will take home an additional $1 million and the title of WSOP World Champion. WSOP Main Event Schedule (GGPoker) [table id=130 /] WSOP Main Event Schedule (WSOP.com) [table id=128 /] Julian Menhardt Leads GGPoker Day 1A Survivors [caption id="attachment_633135" align="aligncenter" width="799"] The opening flights of the 2020 World Series of Poker are underway online. (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] The first flight of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event had 246 entries take their one-and-only shot in the $10,000 buy-in tournament. At the end of 16 30-minute levels, just 62 players advanced to day two with Germany’s Julian ‘VWgunther’ Menhardt bagging the chip lead with 534,490 chips (107 big blinds). Germany’s Paul ‘AsiaStylez’ Esau finished the day with 472,075 (94 bbs) for second in chips while the Netherlands Dirk Gerritse rounded out the top three with a 472,075 stack (91 bbs). Plenty of star power entered and survived through Day 1A. This includes former WSOP Main Event standout Preben Stokkan, a pair of Brazil’s best in Brunno Botteon and former #1-ranked player Yuri Dzivielevski, Anatoly Filatov, Daniel Dvoress, and Russia’s Artur Martirosian among others. For others though, the dream of becoming the WSOP Main Event champ will have to wait another year. Fedor Holz, Kristen Bicknell, Christian Rudolph, Julien Martini, and former #1-ranked players Steven van Zadelhoff and Andreas Nemeth were among those notable players who busted before the day was done. Joining them on the rail are the likes of Pablo Brito Silva, Jans Arends, Ole Schemion, Rainer Kempe, Christian Jeppsson, Sebastian Sikorski, and Patrik Antonius. The players that made it through to Day 2 of the WSOP 2020 Main Event will return to the online tables on December 7 and merge with the remaining fields of Day 1B and Day 1C to play down to a final table of nine. Day 1A Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=129 /] Blaž Žerjav Takes Overall Chip Lead On Day 1B [caption id="attachment_633168" align="aligncenter" width="696"] The 2020 WSOP Main Event has a new chip leader after Day 1B. (photo: PokerFactor)[/caption] The World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event continued on December 5 as 171 players opted to take their $10,000 shot on Day 1B. After roughly nine-and-a-half hours of play, 16 total levels, just 42 players survived the day with their dream of becoming the next WSOP World Champion in tact. Slovania’s Blaž Žerjav, third-place finisher in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online, finished the day atop the chip counts with a stack of 639,394 (128 bbs), good for an overall chip lead through two flights. Žerjav was followed closely by Brazil’s #9-ranked player, Rodrigo Valente (592,043, 118 bbs) in second place and Isreal’s Amir Divr (538,003, 108 bbs) in third. Online poker’s former #1-ranked crusher from Russia, Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov was the only other player to end the day with over 100bbs, finishing in fourth place with 551,114 in chips, good for 102 big blinds. Day 1B saw its share of notable names make it through to Day 2 including World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Simon Lofberg, Toby Joyce, and Barak Wisbrod. Joining them in advancing was the likes of PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo SHR winner Sergio Aido, Swedish pros Anton Wigg and Simon Mattsson, as well as PokerStars WCOOP winner Alex Difelice. With nearly 3/4th of the field busting throughout the day, it’s fair to say that there was plenty of big-time talent that found themselves on the outside looking in. Some of those who shot and missed included GGPoker ambassadors Felipe Ramos and Kevin Martin, 888poker ambassador Daria Feshchenko, Team partypoker pro Dzmitry Urbanovich, Sylvain Loosli, Bert ‘girafganger’ Stevens, Jens Kyllonen, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Adrian Mateos, and former #1-ranked Swedish pro Niklas Astedt. Day 1B Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=133 /] Senthuran Vijayaratnam Tops Day 1C, Takes Overall Chip Lead Into Day 2 The final starting day of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker saw another 257 players post their $10,000 buy-in to boost the field size to a three-day total of 674 runners. This landed the total prize pool at $6,470,400 assuring a seven-figure score of $1,550,969 for GGPoker’s eventual winner as well as awarding $1,062,723 for the runner-up. At the end of another 16 levels, 75 players virtually bagged chips in Day 1C making for a total remaining field size of just 179 players who will return for Day 2 on Monday. Of those still in the hunt to become the 2020 WSOP World Champion, 80 will make the money and just nine will lock up a seat at the live final table, which set to take place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on December 16. Canada’s Senthuran Vijayaratnam leveraged the largest of the three starting flights to launch himself to the top of the overall chip counts. Vijayaratnam has a healthy lead on the field after dragging 966,714 (193 bbs) in chips, a number far above the tournament’s second-place player, the UK’s Jesse Wigan. Wigan just out chipped Day 1b chip leader Blaž Žerjav after finishing the day with 642,276 (128 bbs) in chips. Russia’s Viacheslav Buldygin rounds out the Day 1C top three, locking up 480,671 in chips to advance to Day 2. Day 1C had its fair share of notable names who made their way to the end of the day including WSOP bracelet winners Jonas Lauck and Sung Joo Hyun. Joining them in advancing to Day 2 include the likes of Gediminas Uselis, Damian Salas, Alexandros Kolonias, Ludovic Geilich, Antonine Saout, and Gary Hasson among others. Just like all of the other starting flights before it, Day 1C also saw plenty of big-time talent bust out before the end of the day. Eleven former bracelet winners failed to advance including GGPoker ambassador Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Davidi Kitai, Mike Leah, and 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev. It was the same fate for the notable names of Dietrich Fast, Patrick Tardif, Dario Sammartino, Benjamin Rolle, Maksim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov, Mikita Badziakouski, David Peters, Kitty Kuo, and 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson. Day 1C Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=134 /] Day 1 Combined Top 10 Chip Counts [table id=135 /]
  4. The PokerStars EPT Online series wrapped up on Thursday after Sweden’s ‘WhatIfGod’ was crowned the champion of the $5,200 NLHE Main Event and walked away with the $1,019,082 million first-place prize. The first-ever EPT Online looked to bring players similar offerings to that of one of their popular live stops which have been understandably postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And over the past two weeks, some of the world’s top online poker talent packed the PokerStars lobbies to battle for a piece of the $21.1 million in total prize money that was spread out over the series’ 20 events. The Main Event After four days of play, the final nine players reconvened to fight for the biggest prize of the series and the right to be called EPT Main Event Champion. The first three eliminations happened in short order as ‘vip25459’ fell was the first to fall, busting out ninth place for $78,797. Soon after busting ‘vip25459’, online poker legend Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet hit the rail in eighth place ($97,344) when he lost a huge flip holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] against ‘VbV1990’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. Then Andreas ‘daskalos20’ Christoforou busted in spectacular fashion when he got his [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] all in preflop against David ‘MissOracle’ Yan’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] and when the [poker card="3c"] hit the river, Christoforou was drawing dead. He settled for seventh place and $136,147. Play slowed down at six-handed until Enio ‘Bozzano JNR’ Bozzano suffered a bad beat in sixth place ($190,419) as Yan again came from behind and cracked Bozzano’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. Russia’s Viacheslav ‘Vbv1990’ Buldygin was the next to exit when he moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][aj] and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. The pocket eights held and Buldygin was eliminated in fifth place for $266,323. Not long after, ‘tikidiii’ busted in fourth place when he open-shoved his [poker card="js"][poker card="th"] into Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams who showed down [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"]. Adams’ pocket eights flopped a set and held through the river as ‘tikidiii’ fell in fourth place for $372,485. The experienced final three players battled for roughly thirty minutes before Yan became short-stacked after he was called on a bluffed missed flush draw. Unlike earlier in the tournament when he was able to chip up from the short stack, Yan was unable to recover. He shoved his remaining 16 big blinds in the middle holding [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] against Adams’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="4s"]. Although the tens held to the turn, the [poker card="as"] spiked on the river, shipping the pot to Adams and sending Yan home with a third-place $520,966 payday. Despite both being deep-stacked, Adams and ‘WhatIfGod’ had a brief heads-up battle of just seven hands. It came to a head when Adams raised the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ three-bet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"] which brought a bet from ‘WhatIfGod’ which Adams called. The turn came the [poker card="8s"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked it over to Adams who put in a bet of his own. ‘WhatIfGod’ called. The case ace, the [poker card="ac"], fell on the river and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked again. Adams then shoved his remaining stack and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’ who used his [poker card="tc"] to outkick Adams and clinch the championship. Adams earned $728,633 as the runner up and ‘WhatIfGod’ locked down the seven-figure $1,019,082 first-place prize. EPT Online Main Event Final Table Payouts [table id=123 /] Series Highlights The series got off to a fast start as EPT Online Event #1 ($1,050 NLHE, Arena Championship) racked up a total of 2,426 entries to shatter the $1.5 million event guarantee to the tune of a $2,426,000 prize pool. After four days of play, ‘DON JOHAN’ walked away with a $356,769 payday setting the stage for a series that promised players big-time payouts throughout. While not the first tournament numerically, EPT Online Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was the first to reach the finish line and, in the end, it was David ‘MonkeyBausss’ Laka that became the answer to the trivia question “Who was the first EPT Online Champion?” Laka outlasted a talent-packed final table that included former #1-ranked pros Chris ‘ImDaNuts’ Oliver and Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov as well as current #2-ranked player from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to lock up the $143,567 score. After a three-handed deal was made in EPT Online Event #4 ($530 NLHE), former PokerStars Team Online member Tatiana ‘Mysters_Y’ Barausova took home a trophy, surviving the field of 1139 runners and earning herself $74,951 in the process. The final table of EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a who’s who of online poker. Belarusian crusher Mikita Badziakouski and Mathias Eibinger made a deal heads-up that saw both players take home just over $221,000 but it was Badziakouski who will receive the trophy. 2020 WSOP NLHE PPC Champ Christian Rudolph finished in third place on a final table that included October PLB winner Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic, Canada’s #1-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and current #1-ranked player in the world Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Also at the final table of Event #6 was high-stakes pro Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens who finished in seventh place for $51,445. A good result to be sure, but it was the beginning of a few days that found him locking up not one, but two EPT Online titles. First, in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) he struck a deal with Greece’s Alexandros ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis heads up which locked up a $87,984 payday and the trophy. Three days later he bested Michael ‘Imluckbox’ Addamo heads up in EPT Online Event #15 ($10,300 Turbo, 6-Max, High Roller) to take home another $186,238 score. EPT Online Event #10 ($25,000 Super High Roller) had 81 entries fighting over a piece of the $2,000,000 prize pool. Finnish pro Eelis ‘EEE27’ Parssinen denied the victory to likes of Christian Rudolph, Benjamin ‘bencb789’ Rolle, Joao Vieira, and Artur Martirosian and took home $539,819 for first, the largest prize outside of the Main Event. PokerStars popular 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck) was on display in EPT Online Event #13 ($10,300 6+ Hold’em, High Roller) when Canadian crusher Sam Greenwood topped the small field of 41 entries to add $177,599 to his more than $11.6 million in lifetime career online earnings. One of Brazil’s best and brightest online stars, Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha blasted through the 818 entries of EPT Online Event #18 ($1,050 NLHE, Turbo) to capture the $138,358 first-place prize, a top-5 career score for the longtime grinder. In the final event of the series, former World Series of Poker final tablist Damian Salas used his last chance to pick up a six-figure score by winning EPT Online Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE Last Chance) for $117,475, the second-largest online win of his career. EPT Online Event Winners [table id=121 /] With the big buy-in tournaments of the EPT Online behind them, PokerStars next series caters to the other side of the poker pyramid. The MicroMillions series kicks off on November 19 and runs through November 29.
  5. Austria's Christian 'WATnlos' Rudolph had himself a day on Sunday, winning more than $148,000 after taking down a pair of High Roller tournaments on PokerStars to highlight the Sunday Majors. Rudolph beat 91 other entries in the $5,200 buy-in High Roller to win $119,483.15. He followed that up by chopping the $2,100 High Roller Club Sunday High Roller for $28,630.02. Runner-up and former #1-ranked 'C. Darwin2' walked away with $28,170.24. Despite the two wins, Rudolph was far from the biggest winner on the day. That distinction belonged to Australian Michael Addamo who earned $376,937.50 for winning the $25,500 buy-in partypoker High Roller Club: Main Event. Rok Gostiva finished with the silver medal and earned $245,125 while bronze medalist Vyacheslav Buldygin added $152,625 to his bankroll. Bujtas Lazslo chopped the partypoker High Roller Club: The Big Game with Fedor Holz to win $165,894.95. Holz had to settle for runner-up status and $146,115.55. 'GTOEXPERT' came away with the title and $248,887.40 after chopping the $500 GGPoker High Roller MILLION$. Runner-up 'hurSt' banked $242,308.40. 'Simon Higgins' won the $100 buy-in GGPoker Global MILLION$ for $132,092.20. PokerStars High Roller Club $2,100 Sunday High Roller Buy-in: $2,100 Entries: 38 Prize pool: $80,000 ($4,000 overlay) WATnlos - $28,630.02* C. Darwin2 - $28,170.24* XMorphineX - $14,153.98 PokerStars High Roller Buy-in: $5,200 Entries: 92 Prize pool: $500,000 ($40,000 overlay) WATnlos - $119,483.15 Passiveaggro - $92,337.85 Joao 'Naza114' Vieira - $71,359.65 PokerStars $109 Bounty Builder Buy-in: $109 Entries: 3,076 Prize pool: $307,600 Legenden - $18,944.11 + $18,539.58 jonimella - $18,941.94 + $2,085.54 PaPi7092 - $11,095.96 + $3,372.02 PokerStars Stadium Series Heat #9-M Buy-in: $109 Entries: 4,544 Prize pool: $454,400 AkulaGame - $64,803.12 TRIGGA_TIGER - $45,819.78 caramelo123 - $32,399.49 PokerStars Stadium Series Heat #9-H Buy-in: $1,050 Entries: 515 Prize pool: $515,000 BC1989RF - $61,295.07* NoTilit - $60,600.21* needdollarz - $72,572.05* Tomatee - $54,919.42* partypoker High Roller Club: The Big Game Buy-in: $5,200 Entries: 157 Prize pool: $790,100 Bujtas Lazslo - $165,894.95 Fedor Holz - $146,115.55 Ramiro Petrone - $94,812 partypoker High Roller Club: Main Event Buy-in: $25,500 Entries: 37 Prize pool: $925,000 Michael Addamo - $376,937.50 Rok Gostisa - $245,125 Vyacheslav Buldygin - $152,625 partypoker High Roller Club: Mix-Max 2nd Chance Buy-in: $10,300 Entries: 22 Prize pool: $330,000 Pascal Lefrancois - $148,500 Mark Davis - $97,262.88 Ali Imsirovic - $49,500 GGPoker GGMasters Buy-in: $150 Entries: 3,331 Prize pool: $500,000 ($40,322 overlay) NoodleMuncha - $71,947.50 Ezio Auditore - $50,874.60 HarSh_985 - $35,973.80 GGPoker High Roller MILLION$ Buy-in: $500 Entries: 659 (Day 2) Prize pool: $2,000,000 GOTEXPERT - $248,887.40* hurSt - $242,308.40* maotsetung888 - $145,719.20 GGPoker Global MILLION$ Buy-in: $100 Entries: 1,609 (Day 2) Prize pool: $1,000,000 Simon Higgins - $132,092.20 24hourban - $94,159.90 sydens - $67,120.50
  6. When the complete schedule for the online iteration of the 2020 World Series of Poker was announced, the high-stakes tournament pros from around the world cleared their calendar to be available for the $25K NLHE Poker Players Championship. Sure, this year’s PPC wouldn’t have the traditional variety of mixed games as the live version in Las Vegas has in year’s past, but this tournament had the biggest buy-in of the entire 2020 WSOP and gave players a shot at the largest first-place payday outside of the Main Event. Now, only nine players from the star-studded field of 407 remains. It's a mix of some of poker's brightest superstars, online poker savants, and even a shot-taker or two. They will return on Saturday, August 29 to play down to a winner and award the $1.8 million first-place prize and World Series of Poker gold bracelet. Jason Koon Country: United States Chip Count: 7,863,055 Final table chip leader Jason Koon is one of the most well-known high-stakes tournament players in the world. The Las Vegas, by-way-of Weston, West Virginia, poker pro has climbed into ninth place on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List with over $31 million in lifetime live earnings. Koon boasts eight seven-figure scores including a career-high $3,579,836 cash at the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro series. In addition to his success in Triton events, for which he’s an ambassador, Koon has high roller victories on both the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour. Should he take this chip lead all the way to victory, it will be his first WSOP title. [caption id="attachment_632398" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Shankar Pillai (photo courtesy of The Borgata)[/caption] Shankar Pillai Country: United States Chip Count: 6,875,234 New York’s Shankar Pillai first garnered the attention of the poker world back in 2007 when he won his first WSOP gold bracelet by winning a $3,000 NLHE event for over $527,000. Twelve years later Pillai earned his second bracelet by battling through the field of the 50th Annual Bracelet Winners event for a $71,580 score. In addition to his nearly $2 million in live earnings, Pillai recently earned two WSOP Online Circuit rings in 2020 as well as a victory in the 2020 WSOP.com Winter Online Championships for more than $69,000. [caption id="attachment_632397" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Christian Rudolph (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Christian Rudolph Country: Germany Chip Count: 5,544,188 German superstar Christian Rudolph enters the final table third in chips and in a good position to add to his more than $2.2 million in live career earnings. Although Rudolph looks to have opted out of Hendon Mob tracking, some high-profile scores one simply can’t hide including his recent runner-up finish in the partypoker 2020 MILLIONS UK Main Event for $620,00. Online, Rudolph is well-known for playing under his PokerStars screen name ‘WATnlos’ where he regularly competes in the highest stakes tournaments online and has a victory in the marquee Sunday Million from back in 2018. [caption id="attachment_632396" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aram Zobian (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Aram Zobian Country: United States Chip Count: 4,405,440 Many will recognize Aram Zobian from his final table finish at the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event where he finished in sixth place for a $1.8 million score. Zobian’s first live result dates back to 2016 and since that time he’s put together more than $2.1 million in total live earnings. In addition, the Las Vegas-based pro also earned his first WSOP Circuit ring in 2020 after winning the WSOP.com Online $215 Turbo Deepstack for $20,910. Should Zobian work his way from fourth in chips to taking down the $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship he’ll eclipse his career-high score by $290 and have a new top-line result on his poker resume. [caption id="attachment_632395" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Chris Hunichen (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Chris Hunichen Country: United States Chip Count: 4,175,274 Chris ‘BigHuni’ Hunichen is one of poker’s elite grinders. Hunichen is found in the biggest buy-in tournament field both live and online and boasts a career that has amassed more than $20 million in total earnings. According to Hendon Mob, Hunichen has earned over $8 million which includes a $927,000 victory in the 2019 EPT Barcelona High Roller and a $1.1 million score in a podium finish in the partypoker MILLION World Bahamas Main Event. While Hunichen’s live resume is impressive, his online career is even more elite. ‘BigHuni’ is a former worldwide #1-ranked online player with more than $12.6 million in total online earnings, which currently places him at #13 on the Online All-Time Money List. He holds titles in both POWERFEST and the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker as well as a number of six-figure super high roller scores. [caption id="attachment_632394" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aleksejs Ponakovs (photo courtesy of World Poker Tour)[/caption] Aleksejs Ponakovs Country: Latvia Chip Count: 3,883,951 Long-time Latvian online high-stakes grinder Aleksejs Ponakovs has put himself in position for a career-high payday coming into the final table of the $25K sixth in chips. Ponakovs is an online crusher, having reached #4 in the worldwide rankings and topped more than $7 million in online earnings. He won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2017 for more than $159,000 and holds partypoker POWERFEST and PokerStars Turbo Series titles as well. With more than $400,000 in live earnings, Ponakov has nearly a decade of experience including a deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event where he finished in 33rd place for $229,281. [caption id="attachment_632392" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aliaksei Boika (photo courtesy of PokerStars)[/caption] Aliaksei Boika Country: Belarus Chip Count: 3,297,276 For more than 10 years, Belarusian pro Aliaksei ‘ale6ka’ Boika has been grinding both live and online. He’s amassed more than $248,000 in World Series of Poker earnings alone, nearly capturing a bracelet with his fourth place finish in the tough 2018 $5,000 NLHE event for $142,458. While those in the high-stakes online community will know his screen name thanks to his multiple PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker titles, he may be best known for his 2016 EPT Malta Main Event victory for $386,962. [caption id="attachment_632391" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Paullis Plausinaitis (photo courtesy of The Hendon Mob)[/caption] Paulius Plausinaitis Country: Lithuania Chip Count: 2,905,555 Lithuania’s Pauliuis Plausinaitis nearly made his mark in another high-profile $25,000 event back in 2018. However, he just missed out on winning a Platinum Pass to the PSPC by falling in fifth place in the PokerStars Festival London High Roller for a career-high score of just over $30,000. But now, after winning his way into the WSOP $25K NLHE Poker Players Championship in a $1K satellite, Plausinaitis has already locked up a six-figure score with the potential for life-changing money should the cards fall his way. [caption id="attachment_632390" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Brunno Botteon (photo courtesy of SuperPoker.com.br)[/caption] Brunno Botteon Country: Brazil Chip Count: 1,750,027 The #1-ranked online Brazilian pro (current #4 in the world) has more than $3.2 million in online earnings and has been in the midst of a career-heater in 2020. In January, he took second in the PokerStars Winter Series Medium Main Event for $196,908 while at the same time finishing in third in the Winter Series High Main Event for $265,463. Picked as one of the Brazilian players poised to dominate the 2020 World Series of Poker, Brunno 'bbotteon' Botteon has already racked up eight cashes during the series including a runner-up finish in Event #67 for over $41,000.
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