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  1. Sunday marked the beginning of the end for the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker as the six Main Events, with combined guarantees worth more than $15 million, got underway. At the same time as the Main Events were playing out, three more events played down to a winner including a pair of High buy-in events that paid out healthy six-figure scores. Of the six multi-day Main Events (three NLHE, three PLO at each of the tiered buy-ins) five have already surpassed the posted guarantee, and registration for new (and previously busted) players is available right up until the start of Day 2. While each of the Main Events promises final-table finishers a healthy payday, all eyes are on the NLHE Main Event High (Event #92-H $10,300 NLHE) which brought in 601 entries on Sunday and created a prize pool of $6,010,000. As the payouts currently stand, first-place is worth over $1 million. Sweden’s ‘ShipitFTW911’ ended Day 1 with the overnight chip lead and, along with second-in-chips ‘ZeBaronju’, has soared to more than 3,000,000 in chips (roughly 250 big blinds). UK pro Ben ‘1Don’tStop1’ Heath finished Day 1 third in chips with over 2.6 million and is just one of a number of notable names that finished towards the top of 194 players who virtually bagged at the end of the day. Jens ‘Graftekkel’ Arends, five-time SCOOP winner Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos, Linus ‘LLinusLove’ Loeliger, and PokerStars ambassador Benjamin ‘Spraggy’ Spragg all have top 25 stacks. Lex Veldhuis, former #1’s Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard and Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman, Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet, Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan and Christian ‘WATnlos’ Rudolph also finished the day with more than 1 million in chips. The final number in terms of the prize pool and entries will be locked in when Day 2 (of 4) of the $10K Main Event resumes at 1:05 pm ET. SCOOP $10K Main Event Top 10 Chip Counts [table id=208 /] Event #92-M ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Main Event) brought in 5,491 runners on Sunday and also surpassed its $5 million guarantee, currently at $5,491,000. Argentinian ‘Morrison830’ claimed the overnight lead and has the inside track, for now, on the over $780K first-place prize. The NLHE Low Event (Event #91-L $109 NLHE, 8-Max, Main Event) saw a flood of registrations and the field swelled to 35,919, helping the prize pool soar past its $3 million guarantee. Ireland’s ‘DAEBONK’ sits atop the 8,503 players who survived Day 1, but there’s always the possibility of a massive surge of registrations prior to the start of Day 2. In the events that crowned a winner on Sunday, it was success for Austria’s Jakob ‘Succeeed’ Miegel who topped the 301-entries in Event #86-H ($1,050 NLHE, Freezeout) to capture his first SCOOP title and the $56,626.06 first-place prize. It’s the fourth-highest score of his career and pushed his lifetime online earnings up over $3.5 million. Belgium’s top-ranked pro Thomas ‘MarToMchat’ Boivin took second place and added $42,890.87 to his $2.8 million in career earnings while David ‘davaman’ Lopez from the UK picked up third place honors and $32,487.38. It was a nice six-figure score for ‘mrG01R4NG’ playing out of Malta who crushed Event #87-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) to earn the $53,464.75 first-place prize and an extra payday of $90,000 in bounties, bringing their total score to $143,464.75. Finnish pro Olli ‘Era_Koira’ Ikonen ended up as the runner-up and collected $53,464.42 plus an additional $5,812.50 in bounties. ‘planty07/08’ took home the bronze and a total of $43,519.23, bounties included. Longtime online pro from Sweden ‘fkiw’ took down the evening Turbo by besting the 839-runner field in Event #94-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo, PKO). They picked up $61,106 for first place plus another $77,242.12 in bounties for a total earn of $138,348.35. Veteran grinder Tomi ‘elmerixx’ Tomatee fell just short of the title, finishing as the runner-up which was good for $73,652.63. Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas nearly picked himself up a second SCOOP title but ultimately finished in third place for $48,473.32, bounties included. Event #86-H ($1,050 NLHE, Freezeout) Entries: 301 Prize pool: $301,000 1. Succeeed - $56,626.06 2. MarToMchat - $42,890.87 3. davaman - $32,487.38 Event #87-H ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO) Entries: 330 Prize pool: $660,000 1. mrG01R4NG - $143,464.75 2. Era_Koira - $59,276.92 3. planty07/08 - $43,519.23 Event #94-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo, PKO) Entries: 839 Prize pool: $839,000 1. fkiw - $138,348.35 2. elmerixx - $73,652.63 3. pampa27 - $48,473.32
  2. There’s just one week left in the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker and as the start of the Main Events draws closer, the action is heating up. Wednesday’s highlights included the reigning WSOP Main Event champion tacking on another title while one of SCOOP’s most prolific players proved himself yet again. It was another galaxy of poker superstars battling for six-figure sums in Event #72-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max) with a lobby littered with all-world talent. But when the chips were all in a single stack it was 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas who was the last man standing, collecting the $263,022.96 first-place prize. To say it didn’t come easy would be an understatement as there were zero soft spots at the final table. Linus ‘LLinusLLove’ Loeliger (8th, $44,084.52), five-time SCOOP champion Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi (7th, $56,898.60), and Christoph ’26071985’ Vogelsang (6th, $73,437.36) all made the final eight. While online poker superstars Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet (5th, $94,783.44) and Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski (4th, $122,334.12) both nearly made the podium. Austrian grinder Thomas ’WushuTM’ Muhlocker used two entries and climbed his way to third place for a $157,893 score. Finally, Christian ‘WATnlos’ Rudolph made his third bullet count as he finished as the runner-up and collected $203,787.84. In February, Salas spoke about his continued drive to be considered one of the poker world’s best players and on Wednesday he not earned his first career SCOOP title to add to his resume but the over $263K score pushed him just above $10 million in lifetime online earnings. Former pool shark turned pro pro ‘FouEnculePL’ picked up his first career SCOOP title after topping the 154-player field of Event #73-H ($2,100 NLHE, Freezeout) for $64,649.98. Brazil’s ‘Kelvin_FR:AR’ grabbed his second High Event runner-up finished of the series which was good for another $50,013.07 while ‘Kraskata85’ took home third place honors and $38,690.03. Also of note, Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet finished in fourth place for $29,930.57, his second major final table of the day. It was a profitable, if not slightly frustrating day for four-time SCOOP champion Rinat ‘Zapahzamazki’ Lyapin. The Russian pro found himself heads-up for a fifth title in two spots on Wednesday, however, in both, he was regulated to the role of runner-up and denied what would be his third High event victory of the 2021 series. First in Event #76-H ($1,050 HORSE), Lyapin battled Germany’s ‘NicoBoko’ but was unable to wrap up the victory. ‘NicoBoko’ topped the 113-entry field and clinched their first SCOOP title for $27,685. Lyapin collected $19,210 for second place and ‘Gjeddekongen’ from Norway ended up in third place and received $14,690. Then, in another small field specialty event, Event #78-H ($1,050 FL Badugi, 6-Max), Lyapin went toe-to-toe against current worldwide #8-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson. The Canadian online poker veteran emerged on top of the 57-entry field to capture an incredible seventh career SCOOP title and the $20,037.71 first-place prize. Watson’s latest triumph is added to a SCOOP resume that proves that he’s one of the most well-rounded players in the game today. He’s earned SCOOP titles in Pot Limit Omaha, PLO Hi/Lo, two in 6+ Hold’em (Short Deck), 2-7 NL Single Draw, No Limit Hold’em, and now FL Badugi. All told, Watson’s earned more than $370,000 in SCOOP victories alone. That left Lyapin to settle for second place once again and this time he picked up $13,271.72. His two runner-up finishes earned him a total of $32,481 on the day. But when added to his victories in Event #20-H and Event 56-H, the Russian pro has taken in more than $186,000 in High event podium finishes this year. Not to be lost, Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk finished the FL Badugi event in third place for $8,790.36 while Benny ‘RunGodlike’ Glaser and two-time 2021 SCOOP winner ‘calvin7v’ also made the final table. Other winners on Wednesday included ‘Diplomatic_Boy’ (Event #72-L), ‘J0hnny_Dr@m@‘ (Event #72-M), ‘Dexxt3r’ (Event #74-L), ‘konsti1710’ (Event #74-M), ‘Fisherman FV’ (Event #76-L), ‘luckykuck653’ (Event #76-M), ‘HP Paque1’ (Event #78-L), and ‘FAL1st’ (Event #78-M). Event #72-H ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max) Entries: 120 Prize pool: $1,200,000 1. pampa27 - $263,022.96 2. WATnlos - $203,787.84 3. WushuTM - $157,893 Event #74-H ($2,100 NLHE, Freezeout) Entries: 154 Prize pool: $308,000 1. FouEnculePL - $64,649.98 2. Kelvin_FR:AR - $50,013.07 3. Kraskata85 - $38,690.03 Event #76-H ($1,050 HORSE) Entries: 113 Prize pool: $113,000 1. NicoBoko - $27,685 2. Zapahzamazki - $19,210 3. Gjeddekongen - $14,690 Event #78-H ($1,050 FL Badugi, 6-Max) Entries: 57 Prize pool: $57,000 1. SirWatts - $20,037.71 2. Zapahzamazki - $13,271.72 3. Apotheosis92 - $8,790.36
  3. In a career that has spanned more than 12 years, 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche has evolved from a small stakes online grinder to one of the most prolific high rollers in the poker world today. The results of his hard work speak for themselves as Nitsche has amassed more than $6.5 million in online earnings and an amazing $18.65 million in live earnings, a total which places him 32nd on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List. Even after so much success, Nitsche continues to grind. A successful week at the online tables helped Nitsche surge 27 spots in the online poker worldwide rankings to #68, one of the biggest moves inside the top-100 for the week. The rise in rankings helped him take over the #1-ranking in Germany and close in on a career-high spot of #60, which he last hit back in 2009. As Nitsche continues to climb the rankings, it makes for a good time to look back at some of the biggest scores in the DTO private poker coach’s history, including his most recent victory which added a major title to his long list of accomplishments. 2019 PokerStars WCOOP Just over a year ago, Nitsche booked the biggest win of his online poker career during the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker when he made a deep run in Event #25-H ($25,000 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller). The tournament drew 90 entries and generated a prize pool of over $2.2 million fueled by some of the toughest competition the poker world has to offer. Nitsche battled his way to the final table, outlasting the likes of Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen, Tim ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and Mustapha ‘lasagnaaammm’ Kanit, all of who made the money. In the end, Nitsche ended up falling in fifth place walking away with $188,139. Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov ended up winning the event for more than $527,000. 2017 PokerStars SCOOP Two-and-a-half years prior to his big risk, big reward run in the 2019 WCOOP, Nitsche entered another high roller looking to take home a massive score. The field size in the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #15-M ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a good deal larger as 772 entries drove the prize pool to just over $1.5 million. Again, Nitsche made a deep run to the final table where he battled the impressive online poker talent of Ami ‘UhhMee’ Barer and former #1-ranked Calvin ‘Cal42688’ Anderson. Nitsche finished in fourth place that day but locked up a massive $115,800 score for his efforts. $5K High Roller One of the very first high roller tournaments in 2018 took place on January 3 that year and featured a who’s who of top online poker talent. The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller was littered with notable screen names that finished in the money that day. Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich, Mike ‘telks’ Telker, Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk, and Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick all picked up huge scores that day. Nitsche surpassed all of them though and notched himself a podium finish with a third-place score of $82,445 which helped him get the year off to a good start. In the end, Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas bested ‘DEX888’ for the win and the $139K first-place prize. 2020 PokerStars SCOOP It seems that Nitsche only gets better with age as two of his top 5 all-time scores were won in 2020. The first of which took place on May 22 in the 2020 PokerStars SCOOP when Nitsche fired in the $500,000 guaranteed Event #87-H ($530 NLHE). The field swelled to 956 entries but Nitsche outlasted every single one of them, booking the win and adding the $82,365 first-place prize to what was, at that time, $5.8 million in online earnings. 2020 EPT Online Cup Nitsche’s latest major online score proves that while he may be known for crushing the small field, nosebleed buy-in tournaments he still has what it takes to work his way through a massive field MTT and get the win. On November 14, just over a week ago, Nitsche nabbed himself a title in PokerStars’ first-ever EPT Online series when he outlasted the massive field of 2,833 runners and took down EPT Online Event #14 ($215 NLHE, EPT Online Cup) for $82,093. Along with the major online title, Nitsche picked up 752.73 PLB points which sent him sailing past Germany’s ‘nilsef’ in the rankings and has positioned himself to reach ranking heights he hasn’t seen in over a decade. Since taking home the gold in the EPT Online event, Nitsche continues to add to his PLB point total, grabbing another 169.49 points with his runner-up finish in the $215 Fast Friday just last week. If Nitsche continues to grind the kind of volume he’s been putting in as of late, he’s a favorite to hit a new career-high ranking by the end of the year. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screennames to their PocketFives profile.
  4. The PokerStars Winter Series came to a conclusion on January 7 with the 152-event extravaganza shattering guarantees and paying out hefty sums to players from all over the world. With events running from December 25 through January 7 the Winter Series provided two straight weeks of value-packed action in the form of 38 different events, each broken into four different buy-in categories: micro, low, medium and high. PokerStars boasted $25,000,000 in guarantees for the tournaments and it was clear early on that this lofty number would clearly be shattered. Players helped generate well over $37,000,000 in prize pools and over 25 players were awarded six-figure sums during the series. Damian Salas Has A Career Series It’s going to be hard for Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas to ever reach his previous high point in poker. The #1-ranked Columbian was, after all, seated at the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table. That day in July he finished in seventh place for $1.425 million, far and away a career-high score. During the Winter Series, he put some of that Main Event money to use by playing in the two biggest buy-ins of the series and ending up with a new online poker career-high cash in the process. Early in the series in Event #7-High ($5,200 No Limit Hold’em 8-Max) Salas made his way to an absolutely stacked final table that included the #1-ranked player in the world, ‘C Darwin2’, who finished in sixth, Belgium’s #1 player Gary ‘quiditbear’ Hasson (fifth), the UK’s Phill ‘Grindation’ Mcallister (third), ‘girafganger7’ (runner-up) and top 30-ranked player ‘dattebayo’, who ended up winning the event for $138,000. It was a who’s who of online poker elite players and Salas, who fit right in, finished in fourth for over $63,000. A just a week and a half later, in Event #25-H ($5,200 No Limit Hold’em), Salas didn’t settle for fourth. Instead, he outlasted the talented 127 runner field to collect a no-chop first place prize of $139,182. By defeating ‘DEX888’ heads-up, Salas secured the largest online sum he’d ever won to date and helped propel him into the Worldwide top 100 to his current rank of #52 in the world. As was noted in the most recent Milestones column, Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick took fifth in Event #25 for $48,836, helping him push past the $5 million lifetimes earnings mark. ‘BadWolfOne’ 3713x’s His Money The largest tournament of the series belonged to Event #37-Micro ($2.20 No Limit Hold’em). This was the Main Event for the micro-grinders and it generated an impressive $111,900 prize pool. There were 55,966 entries and in the end it was ‘BadWolfOne’ who carved out the best of it in a four-way deal collecting $8,170.56 for his $2.20 investment. Impressively, he did it on a single bullet. The other three players in the deal ‘MatroSkin280’, ‘545TV’ and ‘Fabio_BH01’ all took home $5,932 for their efforts. Six-Figure Scores, Platinum Passes Highlight The Main Event ‘BadWolfOne’ wasn’t the only player to leverage the final day of the series to find a huge score. As expected, both the High and the Medium buy-in tiers of the Event #37 generated the two highest prize pools of the entire series, both crushing their guarantees. Event#37-M ($215 No Limit Hold’em ) saw 10,644 players pony up for a shot at a piece the over $2.1 million prize pool. At the final table, the final five agreed to a deal that would guarantee each of them a six-figure score. In the end, ‘The Haamer’ took the top spot and $221,965 for the win. PocketFivers ‘mrvogt’ (third for $145,633) and ‘NoTilit’ (fourth for $141,763) from Lithuania also were part of the chop. In the High buy-in of the Main Event, 1,116 entries helped surpass the $1.5 million guarantee by nearly $750,000. Five players in this event also won six-figure sums, but there was no deal made in this one. Canada’s ‘freezeplay’ ended up winning it all for $363,177 - the largest payday of the entire Winter Series. PocketFiver Alexandros ‘mexican222’ Kolonias finished as the runner-up taking home $266,207 for second. ‘ikkedus’, currently the #316-ranked player in the world, finished in third for over $195,000 and PocketFiver ‘B4NKR0LL3R’ took seventh for over $56,000. The four winners of the Main Events, all of those mentioned above as well as ‘smir9david’ who won Event #37 Low, all received a coveted PokerStars Player Championship pass. The pass gives them free entry into the 2019 $25,000 buy-in Hold’em Championship to be held at the 2019 PokerStars PCA. The tournament is being touted as likely to be the largest $25,000 buy-in event in poker history. With the Winter Series in the rearview mirror, online players can begin dreaming about the next big PokerStars series which is likely to be the 2018 Spring Championship of Online Poker, coming in the first half of the year.

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