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Found 27 results

  1. Winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is widely considered by many to be poker’s ultimate achievement. For some players, it defines his or her career. For others, it’s the one prize eluding some of the game’s best. For years, Stephen Chidwick was considered the best poker player without a WSOP gold bracelet. At the 2019 WSOP, Chidwick bucked that monkey off his back like the most turbulent bull does to a rider at a rodeo when he won the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $1.618 million. Shawn Buchanan was another player in the "best without a bracelet conversation," but, like Chidwick, he broke through at the 2019 WSOP, winning the $800 buy-in WSOP.com Online NL Six-Handed. Now that Chidwick and Buchanan have each won an elusive gold bracelet, let's take a look at who are the best players remaining without a bracelet entering the 2020 WSOP. Patrick Antonius CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 15 2 0 $929,518 Widely considered one of the best all-around players in poker for quite some time, Patrik Antonius is still missing a WSOP gold bracelet from his résumé. He's come close a couple of times, finishing in the top 10 on four occasions and placing at the final table twice, but he's never scored better than third place. Antonius has been known to pass on tournaments for cash games these days, but he's still a threat to win a bracelet in the bigger buy-in WSOP events when he does compete. Niklas Astedt CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 0 0 $110,645 Sweden's Niklas Astedt is one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world, but his live success hasn’t been too plentiful, especially at the WSOP. Astedt’s skills should not be overlooked, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2014 and his highest WSOP finish was a 26th-place result in the 2019 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. He's also cashed in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, with a 182nd-place finish in 2016 and a 899th-place finish in 2019. Mikita Badziakouski CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 4 4 1 $3,161,362 Mikita Badziakouski plays some of the biggest buy-in events around the world, and his career to date includes more than $26.1 million in live tournament earnings. At the WSOP, Badziakouski has four cashes. Each cash has been a final table appearance and each has come at WSOP Europe. If there's a high roller event on the WSOP schedule, Badziakouski will likely be in the field and a threat to win the gold bracelet. Darren Elias CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 28 3 0 $645,659 With four World Poker Tour titles and more than $7.5 million in live tournament earnings, it’s a matter of when, not if, Darren Elias will finally win WSOP gold. His first WSOP cash came in 2009. He has three WSOP final table appearances and two finishes in third place, although he’s never made it to heads-up play. The two times Elias finished in third came from the same event, the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship in 2017 and 2019. Alex Foxen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 39 4 0 $808,918 Alex Foxen has been around the WSOP for a much shorter time than some of the players on this list, with his first WSOP cash coming in 2015. He has, however, built up quite the reputation as one of the best tournament poker players in the game today and it seems very much just a matter of time before he finds himself in the WSOP winner’s circle with his first gold bracelet. Already, Foxen has racked up 39 WSOP cashes and four final tables ahead of 2020. His highest finish to date was a third-place finish at the 2017 WSOP in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Matt Glantz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 61 13 1 $3,232.669 Pennsylvania's Matt Glantz has been around the WSOP block a few times, but he’s still looking for that first gold bracelet. Glantz first cashed in a WSOP in 2000 and he’s been producing everything but wins since, including 13 final table appearances. Glantz has reached heads-up play once and finished third on three occasions. At the 2019 WSOP, Glantz picked up his third WSOP Main Event cash. Mark Gregorich CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 69 11 1 $1,168,497 Mark Gregorich is another player on this list who has been around for quite some time, earning his first WSOP cash back in 1999. He has 69 cashes and 11 final table appearances at the WSOP, with one runner-up finish that came in the 2003 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. Gregorich also has a trio of third-place finishes at the WSOP to date. Nick Guagenti CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 37 3 0 $583,181 Ohio's Nick Guagenti has 37 WSOP cashes with the first coming in 2006. He has three final table appearances. Guagenti's highest WSOP result came in 2019 when he took third in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $85,265. His best finish in terms of money won came from his 46th-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event, for which Guagenti won $145,733. Guagenti is a regular in mid- and high-stakes cash games in his region, and he also has 15 cashes on the WSOP Circuit. Christian Harder CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 53 2 0 $1,050,784 Christian Harder’s first WSOP cash came in 2009. He’s won titles elsewhere in the poker world, just not at the WSOP just yet. He’s been close before with a pair of fourth-place finishes and is known to put in a high amount of volume in the big bet games of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Maurice Hawkins CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 29 3 0 $623,240 Maurice Hawkins has been a longtime grinder of the WSOP and WSOP Circuit, racking up 29 WSOP cashes and 110 WSOP Circuit cashes. He has a whopping 14 WSOP Circuit gold rings, but Hawkins has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Hawkins has three WSOP final tables and they've come in big-field NL tournaments. With as many big-field NL events that are on the WSOP schedule these days, one has to figure that Hawkins is going to break through and win one at some point. Isaac Haxton CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 7 1 $2,923,424 Isaac Haxton is widely considered as one of the best minds in poker, and he’s certainly lived up to that with more than $27.6 million in live tournament earnings, millions more won in cash games, and who knows how much won online. The one thing he doesn’t have is a WSOP gold bracelet. Haxton has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. The second-place finish came to Vitaly Lunkin in the 2009 WSOP $40,000 No Limit Hold’em. Maria Ho CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 55 5 1 $1,644,554 Maria Ho is another long-time regular at the WSOP, with cashes dating back to 2005. She has five final table appearances and one runner-up finish in WSOP events, and she’s known to mix it up in most of the games. Ho’s runner-up finish came to Allen Bari in the 2011 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em. Ho has been the last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, 2007 and 2014, and she finished sixth in the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. Ali Imsirovic CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 10 3 1 $583,986 Ali Imsirovic is one of the newest kids on the block in all of poker, not just the WSOP, and he’s quickly acquired a reputation of one of the game’s best when it comes to No Limit Hold’em tournaments. Imsirovic’s first WSOP cash came in 2017, so there isn’t a ton of sample to draw from, but he’s already made three WSOP final tables in top-level events and has one runner-up finish. Given his success in his young poker career, Imsirovic is considered one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit Hold’em event. Rainer Kempe CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 3 0 $1,142,997 Rainer Kempe has won more than $21.3 million in his poker career and he’s been in the winner’s circle many times, but he’s yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. His WSOP career is still pretty young, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2015, but over a short period of time he’s already earned 31 in-the-money finishes and more than $1.1 million in earnings. Kempe has been to a WSOP final table three times to date. Jason Koon CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 42 7 1 $1,789,462 For all of the poker success that Jason Koon has enjoyed over the course of his career, he’s still searching for his first WSOP gold bracelet. Koon has more than $31.1 million in live tournament earnings to date and his first WSOP cash came back in 2009. He has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. Koon is similar to Haxton and Imsirovic in the sense that he’ll almost always be one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit hold’em tournament. Timofey Kuznetsov CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 0 0 0 $0 Timofey Kuznetsov, also known as ‘Trueteller,’ is highly regarded in the poker community as one of the best, especially within the high-stakes community. He has zero WSOP cashes to date, but he simply doesn’t play a lot of tournaments. That said, Kuznetsov is still one of the best players in poker without a WSOP gold bracelet. Maria Lampropulos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 0 0 $136,731 Maria Lampropulos first cashed a WSOP event in 2016 and that first year she walked away with five WSOP cashes in total. She followed that up with six cashes in 2017 and seven cashes in 2018. At the 2019 WSOP and WSOP Europe festivals, she cashed nine time. With partypoker MILLIONS and PCA Main Event wins on her résumé, both for seven-figure paydays, Lampropulos has shown she has the chops to compete in some of the biggest events in the world. Toby Lewis CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 24 0 0 $409,171 Toby Lewis’ first WSOP cash came in 2011 when he took 11th in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship. He’s racked up 24 WSOP cashes to date, but he’s never reached a WSOP final table. Tom Marchese CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 26 4 1 $1,295,638 A player with more than $19.1 million in live tournament earnings, Tom Marchese is often considered one of the better tournament players poker has to offer. He's yet to score a WSOP gold bracelet, though, but he has come close a few times, with four WSOP final tables and one runner-up finish. The time Marchese finished second was at the 2015 WSOP in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em tournament. Steve O‘Dwyer CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 18 2 0 $675,717 Like Haxton and like Koon, Steve O’Dwyer has a ton of live tournament winnings. O’Dwyer has scored more than $30.4 million from the live felt, plus plenty more online, and his first WSOP cash came in 2007. O’Dwyer is a player who put in more WSOP volume at the beginning of his career compared to what he does now, which could be holding him back in terms of winning his first gold bracelet. At this point in his career, it seems that if O'Dwyer does win a gold bracelet, it will come at WSOP Europe or a similar international WSOP stop. Adam Owen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 34 5 0 $570,961 Adam Owen is another one of the younger guns on this list, but he’s widely regarded as one of the best all-around players in the game these days. Having earned his first WSOP cash in 2014, Owen has racked up 34 WSOP cashes to date, including five final tables and three third-place finishes. Owen has shown a propensity to perform well in the $10,000 buy-in championship events at the WSOP and many think that’s where he’ll earn his first gold bracelet from. Felipe Ramos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 4 0 $526,047 One of best poker players to come out of Brazil is Felipe Ramos, with 31 WSOP cashes dating back to his first in 2009. Ramos is known as a solid player who can compete across all variants, and the more tools you have in your shed, the better when it comes to chasing gold bracelets. Ramos has four WSOP final tables and they've all come in Omaha. Three of those four final tables were in Pot Limit Omaha. Dario Sammartino CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 41 10 0 $9,927,947 Italy’s Dario Sammartino first cashed in a WSOP event in 2011 and he’s been performing very well ever since, except winning a WSOP gold bracelet is something he’s yet to achieve. Sammartino has found the money in WSOP events 41 times to date. Of those, he’s reached the final table on 10 occasions. Sammartino's biggest claim to World Series of Poker fame was a runner-up finish in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $6 million. He's also one of the few players to have made the final table of both the WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event in his career. Sammartino has learned how to play all the games and play them well, so don’t be surprised to see him finally win WSOP gold much sooner than later. Ole Schemion CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 1 0 $469,735 Although his WSOP results don’t pop off the page, Ole Schemion is one of the best players out there and an absolute force when it comes to poker tournaments. He’s amassed more than $16.3 million in live tournament earnings, numerous high roller victories, and one World Poker Tour title. He’s still in search of his first WSOP gold bracelet, though. In terms of winning WSOP gold, it’s very likely just a volume game for Schemion. If he puts in the volume, he’ll get it eventually and probably in the near future. It also works to his benefit that WSOP Europe looks as though it will remain at King’s Casino in Rozvadov where Schemion has shown success before, including a sixth-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Europe €100,000 Diamond High Roller for €341,510. Jake Schindler CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 33 4 0 $1,050,644 The first of two players named Jake on this list, Jake Schindler has 33 entries and four final tables at the WSOP entering 2020. His best finish was a third-place result in the 2014 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for $212,373. Over his entire poker career, Schindler has more than $25 million in live tournament earnings. Jake Schwartz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 60 3 1 $658,477 Jake Schwartz earned his first WSOP cash in 2012 and has built up 60 in-the-money finishes since. He was first widely known as a No Limit hold'em player but he's since branched out and has been playing more of the games. In 2013, Schwartz earned the top WSOP finish of his career when he took second in the $1,500 NL Shootout, earning $202,035. To date, he has two other WSOP final table appearances in addition to that one. Shannon Shorr CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 79 9 2 $2,217,846 When is Shannon Shorr going to finally win a WSOP gold bracelet? Shorr first cashed in a WSOP event back in 2006, which seems like ages ago when you consider he’s still very much on the younger side of poker players. Ever since that first WSOP cash, not a year has gone by that Shorr hasn’t racked up multiple WSOP cashes. Plus, he’s been very close on several occasions with nine final table appearances and two runner-up finishes. He also has a pair of third-place finishes. Shorr can play all of the games very well. Before Chidwick winning his bracelet, Shorr was right there at the top of this list with Chidwick. Dan Smith CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 36 10 1 $9,884,615 Another high roller with a knack for all the games, Dan Smith has been close to winning WSOP gold before but it just hasn’t happened for him yet. His first WSOP cash came in 2010. Since then, he’s earned 36 total WSOP cashes and won more than $9.8 million at the WSOP. He has 10 final table appearances, six third-place finishes, and one second-place finish in WSOP events. Like some of the other high rollers on this list, with Smith it feels like more of a volume game than anything. Christoph Vogelsang CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 13 6 0 $8,668,735 Christoph Vogelsang has come close at the WSOP on a handful of occasions, including two third-place finishes in a pair of the biggest events the WSOP has ever offered. In 2014, Vogelsang placed third in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $4.48 million. In 2019, he took third in the WSOP Europe €250,000 Super High Roller for more than $1.3 million. If there's a big buy-in event at the WSOP, Vogelsang is considered a threat to win it. Mike Watson CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 63 11 4 $2,917,143 Mike Watson has been knocking at the WSOP gold bracelet door for several years now. His first WSOP cash came in 2007 and he’s put up more than 60 cashes to date since. Of the 11 WSOP final table appearances Watson has on record, four of the times he’s finished runner-up. Interestingly, Watson did win the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe, but it was an added non-bracelet event for the high rollers. Had that event been in a later year, it very likely would have been for a gold bracelet. Watson usually plays a high volume of events and can play all the games, much like Shorr, and it’s only a matter of time before he finally scores a WSOP gold bracelet. Jerry Wong CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 38 7 0 $1,899,225 Jerry Wong may be most well known for reaching the now-defunct WSOP November Nine in 2016, when he finished eighth for more than $1.1 million, but he has plenty of other success at the WSOP. With 38 total WSOP cashes and seven final table appearances, the only thing left for Wong to do is win a gold bracelet. One would think that has to be on the horizon soon for Wong, who has the ability to compete highly in all of the games. His WSOP final table appearances have come in No Limit Deuce to Seven, Pot Limit Omaha, Big Bet Mix, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, H.O.R.S.E., and No Limit Hold'em.
  2. The first World Poker Tour event of 2020 reached its final table on Monday. Now, just six players remain in the Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship, with Chance Kornuth leading the way. The final six will be on hiatus until Tuesday, March 31, when they will resume play at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The final six come from a 257-entry field and are guaranteed $111,795 in prize money. First place takes home $554,495, including a $15,000 buy-in into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a Hublot watch. Joining Kornuth at the final table are Markus Gonsalves, Tuan Phan, Jonathan Cohen, Qing Liu, and Straton Wilhelm. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table Seat 1: Straton Wilhelm - 435,000 Seat 2: Markus Gonsalves - 2,370,000 Seat 3: Qing Liu - 795,000 Seat 4: Tuan Phan - 2,070,000 Seat 5: Jonathan Cohen - 1,615,000 Seat 6: Chance Kornuth - 2,995,000 How the Final Table Was Reached The Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship had a field of 257 entries. It wasn't the largest turnout for a WPT Main Tour event, but the $10,000 buy-in attracted some of poker’s biggest names and generated a prize pool of $2.467 million. Among those to compete were Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno, Maria Ho, and Phil Laak, but none of them made the money. Entering Day 3 of the tournament, 48 players remained. The top 33 places paid, which meant whoever finished in 34th place would win the unwanted title of 'bubble boy.' The player to fall in 34th was former WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock, who couldn't win a flip with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kd"] against the pocket queens of Gonsalves. After the money bubble burst, WPT Champions Club member Larry Greenberg was the first player to bust. Others followed him to the payout desk, including David Peters (30th - $18,825) and David 'ODB' Baker (18th - $25,130), before Day 3 ended with 14 competitors left. Among the final 14 returning for Day 4 was Jared Griener, who ultimately finished in 13th place for $35,720. Griener is no stranger to WPT success in the Southern California region. He’s cashed seven times in WPT Main Tour events in Southern California, and that’s the region where all of his WPT final tables have taken place. Additionally, Griener has a deep run in a WPTDeepStacks event in San Diego and two deep runs in WPT500 LA. On Day 4, Ali Imsirovic busted in ninth place to take home $53,950, and then Sebastiaan de Jonge finished in eighth for $67,790. One more player needed to be eliminated to set the official TV final table, and it happened when Phan knocked out Qi Hu in seventh place. Kornuth the One To Beat With a stack of 2.995 million, Kornuth is the player to catch at the final table. He's been one of the big stacks throughout the event, including finishing atop the field after Day 3. Kornuth came into this event with more than $7.4 million in live tournament earnings and one previous WPT final table under his belt. That previous final table was a sixth-place finish in the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $247,954. Kornuth has several other deep runs in World Poker Tour events, including a handful that have come at the $10,000 buy-in level, but his first WPT title has eluded him. Closest to Kornuth on the leaderboard is Gonsalves, who bagged 2.37 million in chips for the final table. Like Kornuth, Gonsalves has been close to a WPT title before, but he's also yet to win one. Gonsalves' deepest run in a WPT event came in the Season XIV WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event, where he took fourth and picked up a payday of $91,616. Gonsalves also has a 10th-place finish in the Season XIV WPT Five Diamond for $68,181. The final six will now wait until the end of March to play for the title in Las Vegas, as the event moves from the Gardens Casino to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. There is no former WPT champion in the final six, which means there will be a brand new member of the WPT Champions Club when this one is all said and done.
  3. 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. This week's episode of The Fives has Lance and Donnie going over the details from Darren Elias' home robbery and finally give some good news about the PokerStars Sunday Million field. They also talk about the new #1-ranked online poker player in the world, Roman Romanovsky and recap the action from the partypoker MILLIONS South America and the Bay 101 Shooting Star event. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. 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. The month of March was headlined by the attempted home invasion robbery of WPT champion Darren Elias and the emotional career-defining victory of David 'ODB' Baker. Darren Elias Targeted In Home Robbery In one of the scariest stories of 2018, four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias was the target of a home invasion robbery by Shannon Soroka, a 24-year old part-time poker player. Elias and his wife were not at home at the time. A babysitter was watching over Elias' two-year-old daughter when Soroka, armed with a handgun, burst into the house and demanded to know where Elias kept his cash. Elias had recently returned home from a third-place finish at the World Poker Tour Los Angeles Poker Classic where he earned more than $473,000. Soroka locked the babysitter in one of the home’s bathrooms and fled, eventually being caught by the Medford Township Police Department. Soroka was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, mischief and making terrorist threats. No one, including Elias’ daughter or the babysitter, was harmed during the incident. “It’s incredibly scary for me and my family,” Elias said. “It was an awful feeling.” [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] David Baker Wins LAPC In March, long-time professional poker player David ‘ODB’ Baker secured a career-defining win at the 2019 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic, taking home a career-high score of over $1 million. In the aftermath of his victory, an emotional Baker spoke about what the win meant to him. More than simply how much the money would help his family, Baker reflected on how it felt as validation of a hard-fought career on the grind. “It kinda sounds corny, but it means so much to me,” Baker said. “I’ve battled my whole life in this business. I care about this business. I care about the prestige of these things and I know sometimes some of the guys are a little too cool for school to say that, but I do.” Baker continued to run good in 2019 as he racked up 17 World Series of Poker cashes, including winning his second career gold bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em. West Virginia Legalizes Online Poker West Virginia officially became the fifth U.S. state to legalize online gambling, including online poker. After the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act soared through both the House and Senate, all eyes were on the office of Governor Jim Justice. After all, it was just months ago that Michigan was in a similar situation. In Michigan, a bill had cleared and was simply awaiting a signature but outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder shockingly vetoed the bill on his way out the door. For West Virginia, once the Interactive Wagering Act passed, the Governor had 15-days to act on the bill. That time came and went without any movement from Justice which made it official - online poker would be legal by late June. At the time of this writing, no online poker operators have gone live in West Virginia. partypoker Launches Team Online Less than a month after stepping away from his position as an ambassador for PokerStars, Jeff Gross announced he was joining the rapidly growing team of online ambassadors for partypoker. At the time, the Poker Flow Show host was the highest-profile poker player to be picked up by partypoker. Eventually, the team was filled out with over 13 players including Jaime and Matt Staples, Hristivoje ‘AlLLinPav’ Pavlovic, and Kevin Martin, who has since left the squad. Geraldo ‘grealdocesar’ Cesar Wins Monthly PLB Brazilian online pro Geraldo‘ grealdocesar’ Cesar picked up his first PocketFives Leaderboard victory in March holding off top-tier pros like ‘C Darwin2’ and Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Cesar picked up seven five-figure scores in the month including a spotlight victory in the March 11 edition of the partypoker Sunday High Roller Bounty Hunter for over $47,000.
  5. The Season XVIII World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic crowned its winner on Saturday, with Alex Foxen topping the record-breaking field of 1,035 entries to win the $1.694 million first-place prize. "It feels, I don't know… surreal," Foxen said in the moments following the win. "It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that I played heads up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win. I don’t have words." Back in Season XVI, Foxen found himself heads up with Ryan Tosoc in this very event. Tosoc had finished runner-up the year before and was back in heads-up play with a chance to better his previous result. Back then, Foxen couldn’t overcome Tosoc in what was a very lighthearted heads-up battle with plenty of fun had between the two and he had to settle for a second-place payout of $1.134 million. "I do feel like I was so excited about having that opportunity," Foxen said of the difference between his two WPT Five Diamond heads-up appearances. "I think that score I locked up was already five or six times my biggest score to date at that point, so there was an element of me feeling like I lost a little bit of focus and maybe didn’t take it as seriously as I should have because, regardless of the outcome of heads-up play, it was such an amazing result that in the moment I didn’t see the severity of that situation. I definitely didn’t make that same mistake twice." Much like Tosoc had redeemed his second-place finish with a victory the following season, Foxen came back two seasons after his runner-up finish to get the job done and capture the WPT Five Diamond throne. The victory gave Foxen his first WPT title. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Final Table Results 1st: Alex Foxen - $1,694,995 2nd: Toby Joyce - $1,120,040 3rd: Seth Davies - $827,285 4th: Peter Neff - $617,480 5th: Danny Park - $465,780 6th: Jonathan Jaffe - $355,125 Foxen came into Saturday’s final table in second position on the leaderboard with six players remaining. In fewer than 30 hands, Foxen had improved to the chip lead. Shortly after gaining the top spot, he knocked out WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Jaffe in sixth place. Although others did some damage of their own, such as Toby Joyce knocking out start-of-day chip leader Danny Park in fifth place and Seth Davies busting Peter Neff in fourth place, Foxen never gave up the lead once he had it. Three-handed play between Foxen, Joyce, and Davies lasted for quite some time. Even though both Joyce and Davies scored double ups during the battle, things never appeared to get away from Foxen as he stayed strong behind the wall of chips he built. Eventually, Davies’ stack shrunk and he got the last of his money in against Foxen in a dominated position. Foxen had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qh"] to Davies’ [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"]. Davies, a WPT Champions Club member, did flop some outs to a chop but he was ultimately done in thanks to the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="As"][poker card="8d"] board. Entering heads-up play with Joyce, Foxen had the chip lead with 29.5 million to Joyce’s 11.9 million, and the match was never really close. Joyce narrowed the gap ever so slightly at the beginning of the duel, but Foxen’s dominance was too much and he quickly started to distance himself. On the final hand, Foxen had limped on the button with the blinds at 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 big blind ante. Joyce checked and the dealer fanned the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop. Joyce checked, Foxen bet 400,000, and then Joyce check-raised to 1.1 million. Foxen put in a raise of his own and made it 2 million to go. Joyce called to see the [poker card="Kc"] land on fourth street. Joyce checked and Foxen shoved all in, for what was effectively 4.5 million because he had Joyce covered. Joyce tanked and used four 30-second time extensions to think things through. Joyce eventually made the call with the [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9c"] for a pair of jacks, but Foxen had him out-kicked with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Js"]. The river was the [poker card="4c"] to seal the deal for Foxen. For his runner-up finish, Joyce scored $1.12 million in prize money. Fourth Consecutive Record Turnout for Five Diamond It was the fourth consecutive record-setting turnout for WPT Five Diamond, and this season’s 1,035 entries topped last season’s 1,001. The seasons prior to that were 812 entries for Season XVI and 791 entries for Season XV. In this event, the top 130 finished reached the money. Included in those to cash were Eric Afriat (9th - $168,005), Darren Elias (14th - $107,840), Chino Rheem (22nd - $60,435), Cary Katz (44th - $37,670), Kitty Kuo (67th - $26,220), Cliff Josephy (74th - $23,830), and Maria Ho (116th - $19,345). Also running deep was Timo Kamphues, who placed seventh in the Season XVIII WPT Five Diamond for $273,695. He has had quite the week of poker in Las Vegas, as just a few days prior to his run at Bellagio, Kamphues won the Wynn Poker Winter Classic $1,100 NL $500,000 Guarantee tournament for $202,787. Foxen Takes Player of the Year Lead With the victory, Foxen moved to first place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings. Both Foxen and Joyce have the same amount of points, 1,400, but Foxen holds the tiebreaker of most money won. Joyce earned his second cash of the season and is currently second in the race. 1st: Alex Foxen - 1,400 points 2nd: Toby Joyce - 1,400 points 3rd: Donald Maloney - 1,300 points 4th: Aaron Van Blarcum - 1,275 points 5th: Geoffrey Hum - 1,250 points 6th: Milen Stefanov - 1,200 points 7th: Kevin Albers - 1,200 points 8th: Simon Brandstrom - 1,200 points 9th: Peter Neff - 1,150 points 10th: Seth Davies - 1,100 points WPT Gardens Poker Championship Up Next Up next for the WPT Main Tour is the WPT Gardens Poker Championship at the Gardens Casino in Southern California. The $10,000 buy-in event kicks off January 9, 2020, and runs through January 13.
  6. Police in Medford Township, New Jersey have arrested a 24-year-old in connection with the attempted armed burglary of the home of professional poker player Darren Elias. Shannon Soroka, a part-time poker player, was arrested Friday, one day after he burst into Elias' home armed with a handgun. Elias and his wife were out at the time and Soroka allegedly demanded the 19-year-old babysitter that was home show Soroka where Elias kept his cash. During the robbery, Soroka allegedly held a gun to the woman's back. Elias and his wife were not home at the time. The babysitter was watching the couple's two-year-old daughter when Soroka forced his way into the home and eventually locked the babysitter in an upstairs bathroom before fleeing. "It's incredibly scary for me and my family. It was an awful feeling," Elias told NBC10. "I would say he was familiar with what I do for a living and thought that I might have things of value in the house." Elias recently returned from Las Vegas where he finished third in the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic. Soroka, who has 23 cashes on his HendonMob profile for $37,745 in earnings, has been charged with robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, mischief and making terroristic threats. Neither the babysitter or the child were injured during the robbery.
  7. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings #5-Ranked ‘Sheater’ Has Huge Week, Passes $9 Million One week after fellow countryman ‘lena900’ crossed the $8 million mark, Sweden’s #3-ranked player ‘Sheater’ did him one better and sped past the $9 million lifetime earnings milestone. The former Worldwide #1 (currently ranked #5 in the world) absolutely shattered the high money mark with his runner-up finish in Event #12 of the PokerStars High Rollers Series ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em) for $77,405. In addition to the cash, the score also brought ‘Sheater’ over 480 PLB points, bringing him dangerously close to overtaking Brazil’s Joao Simao in the Worldwide rankings, now only trailing him by less than 40 points. The score was part of a solid week for ‘Sheater’ that included four final tables and just over $100,000 in earnings. The next step for the Swede is a step-by-step uphill climb to joining the prestigious $10 million club. ’nilsef’ Puts $6 Million In The Rearview Mirror German grinder ‘nilsef’ rocketed past the $6 million lifetime earnings mark this week by putting in a massive amount of volume and posting a string of seemingly non-stop results. The exact tournament that helped him make the mark was his first-place finish in the PokerStars $109 No Limit Hold’em on November 30 for $4,491. While for many, even for ‘nilsef’, $4,491 is a solid score, the #1-ranked German player had himself a fantastic week by taking home massive five-figure scores in two of the recent PokerStars High Rollers. The first was a runner-up finish in Event #5 ($1,050 No Limit Hold’em) for $30,700 and then less than a week later, once again. finishing in second during Event #14 ($1,050+R No Limit Hold’em) for another $49,600. ‘nilsef’ recorded 66 cashes this week, including five outright victories in over 25 final tables. $5 Million Lifetime Badge For Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman Like ‘Sheater’ before him, Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman, yet another Top 10 Swedish beast, passed a major milestone when he took 14th place in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for $3,666 and passed the $5 million in lifetime earnings. Currently sitting in the Top 20 Worldwide (#18), Hellman kept busy at the online tables taking in 12 four-figure scores this week and amassing total earnings of over $33,000. ’proudflop’ Enters Top Half of Top-100, ‘kofi89’ Scratches Top-25 The UK’s Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot continues to march into the upper echelon of the Worldwide Top 100, making one of the largest leaps of the week, right into the top half of the rankings, currently sitting at #41. Joining him in making major moves is Argentina’s #1-ranked player, ‘kofi89’. Just last week we announced his surpassing the $2 million lifetime mark, this week he enters the Top 25 in the Worldwide rankings. His upwards move is in part to his victory in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller for $23,355 and 363.32 PLB Points. In addition, eight others reached new career highs in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 100 rankings. Career High Rankings In Top 100 Gary ’quiditbear’ Hasson - #96 to #92 ’untaktik’ - #98 to #91 'lofidream' - #93 to #82 'aziz.mancha' - #94 to #80 ’imlucknuts’ - #75 to #74 Patrick ’thebigdog09 Brooks' - #79 to #73 Owain ’sngwonder’ Carey - #55 to #51 Jonathan 'proudflop' Proudfoot - #51 to #41 'drupalucker'- #41 to #33 'kofi89'- #30 to #25
  8. 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 Bradley and Donnie Peters are LIVE from the HyperX Esports Arena covering the World Poker Tour final tables. This episode features a full recap of David Baker's win in the LA Poker Classic final table including a conversation with an emotional Baker after his win. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  9.   Frankie O'Dell Wins Third Omaha Hi-Lo Bracelet Frankie O'Dell just might be the best Omaha Hi-Lo tournament player ever. On Sunday he beat out a final table that included Robert Mizrachi and Owais Ahmed to win his third bracelet in that variation and if you're still unsure about his place in the game, just ask him. "Well if you don't know, there's only one person who has three limit Omaha eight bracelets and you're talking to him," O'Dell said after his win. "So until someone passes me or catches me, I'm not going to say nothing. I'm just going to leave it right there." O'Dell's first bracelet came in 2003 when he outlasted 258 other players to win a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Four years later he beat Thang Luu heads-up to win a $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event. He's also adept at other games. Last summer he finished second in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event and that performance has stuck with him since. "I thought about it the whole year. I came back this year and my mentality was to do better," O'Dell said. "I had an opportunity here today, I had chips, we had the best Omaha players in the world in this tournament and I ended up on top. So that was my motivation." Ahmed earned $443,641 for his win while Ahmed, who won his sole bracelet in a $1,500 Seven Card Stud/Omaha Hi-Lo event in 2011, earned $274,192 as the runner-up. Final Table Payouts Frankie O'Dell - $443,641 Owais Ahmed - $274,192 Robert Mizrachi- $194,850 Nick Guagenti - $140,522 Robert Campbell - $102,868 Jake Schwartz - $76,456 David Benyamine - $57,709 Edmond Vartughian - $44,245 Shaun Deeb - $34,467 Joe McKeehen Amongst Millionaire Maker Day 2 Leaders Joe McKeehen is mostly known for winning the 2015 WSOP Main Event, but it's impossible to ignore the success he's had at the WSOP in massive No Limit Hold'em fields. In 2014, he finished runner-up out of 7,862 entries in the $1,500 Monster Stack. In 2017, he managed to outlast all but 25 other players in the 6,716-player $1,500 Monster Stack. Last summer, he finished third out of 7,361 players in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker. Now he's in position to do it again. McKeehen finished Day 2 of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker with the fourth largest stack. The day started with 2,263 players all hoping for a seven-figure score but just 309 players made it through Day 2. Samuel Cosby leads the way with 3,023,000 while McKeehen bagged up 2,416,000. Former #1-ranked Joao Simao finished in the top 10 with 1,891,000. Other notables moving on to Day 2 include Calvin Anderson, Steven van Zadelhoff, Scott Clements, Shawn Buchanan, Ramon Colillas, Olivier Busquet, JC Tran, Chris Hunichen, and Daniel Strelitz. There were 941 players who started the day with the chips, but failed to make it past the money bubble. Vitaly Lunkin, Jim McManus, Phil Hellmuth, Faraz Jaka, Elio Fox, Eric Baldwin, Bryan Piccioli, Adrian Mateos, and Dzmitry Urbanovich were among the players who did manage to sneak into the money but not survive the day. Action resumes Monday at Noon. Top 10 Chip Counts Samuel Cosby - 3,023,000 Unknown Player - 2,521,000 Nathan Russler - 2,443,000 Joe McKeehen - 2,416,000 Renato Kaneoya - 2,351,000 Ryan Leng - 2,277,000 Vincas Tamasauskas - 2,265,000 Ricky Welch - 1,920,000 Joao Simao - 1,891,000 Joshua Reichard - 1,854,000 Eli Elezra Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table Sunday's action in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event started with just 10 players left and finished after three hours of play with six players. Action was stopped with six players left to accommodate streaming of the final table on CBS All Access/PokerGO. Eli Elezra started the day in the middle of the pack, but made the most of those three hours and finished with the chip lead. Elezra ended with 1,221,000 which puts him just 2,000 ahead of Anthony Zinno. He bagged up 1,219,000. Those two are comfortably ahead of the rest of the field. Valentin Vornicu is third with 262,000 and the three remaining players all have 61,000 or less. Rodney Pardey Jr., Tim Frazin, Scott Seiver, and Joshua Mountain were the players eliminated on Sunday. The final six players resume play at Noon PT and will be streamed on CBS All Access/PokerGO at 1 PM PT. Final Table Chip Counts Eli Elezra - 1,221,000 Anthony Zinno - 1,219,000 Valentin Vornicu - 262,000 Rep Porter - 61,000 Tab Thiptinnakon - 60,000 David Singer - 30,000 Jean-Robert Bellande On Top of $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Final Table To the surprise of nobody, the final table of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship is a star-studded group. Jean-Robert Bellande ended Day 2 action with 1,231,000 and the chip lead. For Bellande to pick up the second bracelet of his career, he'll need to outwit, outsmart, and outplay Prahlad Friedman, Paul Volpe, Darren Elias, Jim Bechtel, Day 1 chip leader Pedro Bromfman, and Vincent Musso. Friedman was the only other player to end Day 2 with a seven-figure stack. The former online prodigy finished with 1,019,000. Right behind him is former #1-ranked Paul Volpe with 938,000. Elias, who has a third and ninth place finish in this event on his resume, sits fourth with 887,000. There were 29 Day 1 survivors who were joined before registration closed at the start of Day 2 by Mike Watson, Per Hildebrand, Jake Schwartz, Kane Kalas, Chris Klodnicki, Matt Glantz, and Dan Smith. The remaining seven players are now being forced to take a day off before returning to play on Tuesday. The day off is to allow for the event to be streamed on PokerGO. Final Table Chip Counts Jean-Robert Bellande - 1,231,000 Prahlad Friedman - 1,019,000 Paul Volpe - 938,000 Darren Elias - 887,000 Jim Bechtel - 665,000 Pedro Bromfman - 395,000 Vincent Musso - 360,000 Massive Fields Continue: $1,000 Double Stack Event Draws 3,253 First, there was the Big 50, then the $600 Deepstack, and the Millionaire Maker. Huge fields in some of the more recreational player-focused events are becoming the norm at the 2019 WSOP. The $1,000 Double Stack event started Sunday and 3,253 players packed the tables to the max with just 430 of them making their way through 20 levels of play and onto Day 2. Bulgaria's Ivan Uzunov bagged up the Day 1 chip lead after amassing 1,912,000 in chips. Only five other players ended the day with a million chips in the bag. Israel's Timur Margolin is the closest challenger to Uzunov, finishing with 1,333,000. Some of the notable names moving on to Day 2 include WPT Player of the Year Erkut Yilmaz, Adam Levy, British boxer Audley Harrison, Blair Hinkle, Jennifer Tilly, Maria Ho, Maria Konnikova, and Dan Ott. Day 2 begins at Noon and is scheduled to play down to a champion. Top 10 Chip Counts Ivan Uzunov - 1,912,000 Timur Margolin - 1,333,000 Jose Carlos Brito - 1,147,000 Sridhar Natarajan - 1,096,000 Jorden Fox - 1,075,000 Christopher Andler - 1,062,000 Eugenio Pernia - 901,000 Sven Reichardt - 852,000 Philip Wang - 830,000 Zachary Donovan - 824,000 Michael Mizrachi Bags Top 5 Stack in $1,500 Eight Game Mix A year after drawing 481 players, the $1,500 Eight Game event saw a huge uptick in attendance with 612 players sitting down to play the mix game event. Aleksandr Gofman finished with 95,800 to top the 225 players who managed to move on to Day 2. Mihails Morozovs sits second with 77,100 and Michael Mizrachi is right behind him in third with 74,500. John Cernuto, Matt Glantz, and WPT Aria Summer Poker Championship winner Matthew Wantman all finished with top 10 stacks. Other notables who are moving on to Day 2 include Andrey Zaichenko, Ian O'Hara, Jen Harman, Matt Grapenthien, Patrick Leonard, Dan Smith, Mike Sexton, and David 'ODB' Baker. Top 10 Chip Counts Aleksandr Gofman - 95,800 Mihails Morozovs - 77,100 Michael Mizrachi - 74,500 John Cernuto - 74,000 Keeth Beharrell - 73,500 Ashish Gupta - 72,600 Matt Glantz - 66,300 Isaac Crow - 63,900 Ben Ponzio - 62,600 Matthew Wantman - 60,400 'loofa ' Wins $600 Online Pot Limit Omaha Championship It took 13 hours, but 'loofa' wasn't complaining as he beat out 1,215 other players to win the $600 Online PLO Championship early Monday morning. The win came with a WSOP bracelet and $139,470.33. Runner-up 'TheBigGift' earned $85,560.10. Phil Galfond, who had the chip lead with five left, finished fifth for $29,680.12. This is the second online event of the 2019 WSOP. Yong 'LuckySpewy1' Kwon won the $400 No Limit Hold'em event in the opening week. Final Table Payouts loofa - $139,470.33 TheBigGift - $85,560.19 jebronlames1 - $59,163.26 bathroomline - $41,565.31 Phil 'heyguys' Galfond - $29,680.12 babycow - $21,537.79 FlushStr8ted - $15,956.35 Tane. - $12,016.51 Daval_17 - $9,192.96
  10. [caption width="640"] The latest episode of The Fives is now available on iTunes and Stitcher.[/caption] Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. GREAT NEWS: The Fives is now available on Stitcher. Check out the links below to start listening on your favorite podcast app. Lance Bradley and Matt Clark recap Sam Greenwood's Punta Cana heater, Darren Elias' continuing domination of East Coast poker tournaments and the final table from the Seminole's Rock & Roll Poker Open. They also jump into early action from the PokerStars High Roller Series and preview the WPT Five Diamond event and the PokerStars Championship Prague event that wrap up the 2017 tournament schedule. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THE FIVES ON STITCHER
  11. Joseph Cheong is one of the most consistent, prolific tournament players in the world today. His rise to poker prominence came during a roller-coaster run at the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event, where he finished in third place for over $4.1 million dollars. Cheong proved that he was no one-hit wonder, as his resume only continues to add accolades and grow in the years since. He’s amassed over 15 six-figure scores, including a victory at the APT Manilla Millions in 2013 for over $1 million. In total, his lifetime live earnings have soared to over $12 million and he’s earned over $280,000 thus far in 2018 alone. Joseph Cheong is good. If you follow his career, you already know this. So we reached out to get his opinions on topics in both poker and pop culture that you just gotta know. Unlimited Rebuys What’s the best format for a tournament? Old school freeze outs, single re-entry or unlimited re-buys? Poker tours try to balance the desire for larger prize pools, the need to accommodate players that travel great distances and keeping the playing field level for recreational players. “I hate unlimited re-buys. Generally, it is a rake trap and even soft events end up becoming extremely tough by the end. You might start with a field that has 40% recs but by the time all the entries are tallied it won’t be anywhere near that. Many people claim this is good for the pros and this is true for the best pros. However many lesser top pros and mid-level pros don’t realize it will kill their longterm ROI. It’s also bad for their backers and buyers because their expected ROI sitting down in Level 1 and with 30 sick players left is completely different but they still only look at the field as an overall. I do have one exception to this - smaller buy-in events with many more recs. Recs tend not to care about the rake and really enjoy huge prize pools for their buy-ins. These are bad for pros as well though since rake is insanely high.” Marvel Movies Marvel’s 'Avenger: Infinity War' looks to shatter all box office records in a culmination of 10 years of cinematic build up. Fans continue to flock to the theaters and the superhero genre shows no signs of slowing down. “I never watched a Marvel movie past the first Superman. They don’t interest me at all...I meant Spider-Man, I’d never watch Superman. I just think they are too simplistic with the ‘good versus evil’ thing…and I’m not into stupid costumes. I much prefer alternative categories like The Watchmen.” #BraceletHunting The WSOP is right around the corner and Cheong recently picked up his second WSOP Circuit ring. For many, the dream of holding up a coveted WSOP bracelet is still the quintessential poker dream. “I’ve never been interested in trophy collecting other than for the fact that first place pays the most money. Also…why a bracelet? Who wants a bracelet? Something cooler might make me want one. I have no interest in any trophy or trinket.” Sublime (the band) Followers of Choeng will note that his Twitter handle is @subiime, sometimes conjuring up the 90’s ska/punk/reggae trio from Long Beach who had hits like "What I Got", "Santeria" and "Wrong Way." “They’re good. I was never a huge fan or anything. My name isn’t from them, I just like the word ‘sublime’. (The band) is nostalgia from high school.” Taking Shots Prior a cash in the short-lived NAPT back in 2010, a $5,000 buy-in event, Choeng had never recorded a live cash in an event with a greater than $500 buy-in. Plenty of players dream of playing in the Main Event against the pros they see on TV. “Taking shots is part of being a poker player. None of the richest guys got there by grinding with strict bankroll management, aside from a select few who fortunately got into poker early and could easily grind it up. I’m not saying always put your entire bankroll on the line and risk going broke all the time. I sold action all summer during the 2010 World Series of Poker and decided I didn’t want to for the Main Event. World out well for me but some of my friends are still bitter. Not gunna name names but his name might start with a ‘D’ and rhymes with ‘blias.’” Spontaneity Despite having no plans to make it out to the WSOP Circuit in Cherokee, North Carolina, Cheong booked a win in Event #11 of the WSOPC for over $34,000. “I’m not sure what to say about this. I’m not very spontaneous even though it might seem like I am to people I know. I just suck at making plans ahead of time. I did go to WSOP APAC in 2013 on a whim. Mohsin Charania and I booked a flight the night before leaving and ended up going on a really nice Super High Roller run, taking 2nd in the $50K (he won over $530,000) followed by winning the Manila Millions HKD$1 million (for ~$1.3 million). Then second in the $100K WPT Championship at Bellagio (for over $600,000).” Cheong continues to play tournaments at the highest level and is currently a pro for the new online poker site Highstakes.com. Follow along on his journey on Twitter: @subiime.
  12. History was made in the Caribbean on Friday, as longtime PocketFiver Darren darrenelias Elias (pictured) became the first person ever to win back-to-back World Poker Tour Main Events in the same season. --- PocketFives' news 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! --- Elias won the WPT Borgata Poker Open in September in Atlantic City and followed that up with a victory in the WPT Caribbean event in St. Maarten on Friday. According to WPT officials, "Elias [also]becomes the first player to win multiple WPT Main Events in the same season since Season III. Both Tuan Le and Daniel Negreanu won a pair of events in Season III and Negreanu was crowned WPT Player of the Year." The first person ever to win back-to-back WPT Main Events was Marvin Rettenmaier (pictured), who took down the Season X WPT World Championship and the Season XI WPT Merit Cyprus Classic, but failed to secure both titles in the same season. The Caribbean event marked Elias' seventh WPT in the money finish. Incredibly, four of those are final tables. He finished fifth in the 2011 Borgata Poker Open Main Event for $230,000 and followed that up a few months later with a third place showing in Jacksonville for $147,000. Elias' Borgata Poker Open Main Event win in September was worth $843,000, bringing his all-time live earnings to north of $2.5 million, according to the Hendon Mob. Elias was nearly a 5:1 dog entering heads-up play in St. Maarten against Christophe Rosso, but doubled up twice to claim the chip lead. Rosso turned in two double-ups of his own and on the final hand, he moved all-in before the flop with 7-6, but ran into Elias' aces. Rosso actually made two pair on the turn, but the river paired the board, giving Elias aces-up for the record-setting title. Here were the WPT Caribbean final table results: 1st Place: Darren darreneliasElias - $127,680 2nd Place: Christophe Rosso - $64,900 3rd Place: George Griffith - $42,100 4th Place: Mike Linster - $28,950 5th Place: Ziga Jamnikar - $22,280 6th Place: Dan Agentu Murariu - $17,370 Online, Elias has $3.4 million in career tournament winnings and won the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance two weeks ago for $49,000. He has two monster wins online: a WCOOP High Roller victory in 2012 for $574,000 officially and a WCOOP Main Event final table two years prior for $396,000. Elias has five six-figure scores in his PocketFives profile. Congrats to Elias for his historical finish in St. Maarten. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  13. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour prepares to trek to Choctaw to start the US portion of Season XVI. (WPT photo)[/caption] The World Poker Tour’s new season gets into full swing this week when it returns to Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. This is the third time the WPT has made its way to Choctaw and is the only stop in the Midwest in Season XVI. In 2015 and 2016, the fields reached the 1,000 player mark and expectations are similar for 2017. Set about 90 miles north of Dallas, TX, Choctaw has been a poker hotbed for the entire decade. The World Series of Poker Circuitrecently added a second stop there for the upcoming season while other tours including Poker Night in America and Card Player have made stops in years past. Inside of the Choctaw Grand Theater sits one of the best environments to play poker in the entire country where over 100 tables sit with the banners of previous Choctaw Main Event winners swinging from the rafters. The fields at Choctaw are consistently in the four-figures not only because of the large overall demand for poker, but also the satellites run. For any players looking for as many opportunities to qualify for less than the $3,700 buy in and play a WPT event, Choctaw is the place to do it. The Choctaw WPT stop offers the familiar price point of $3,700 and has one starting flight available on Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5. The $2,000,000 guaranteed event includes unlimited re-entry and players have the option to register as late as the start of Day 2 on Sunday, August 6. As with last year, all levels for the four days are 60-minutes up until heads up play, where they go to 30 minutes. The tournament is scheduled to take place over the course of four days with the six-handed final table being filmed for television on Day 4. This event is also the first use of the Action Clock in Season XVI following an announcement made by WPT last week of its implementation across all Main Tour stops for this season. Choctaw has been the setting for top-heavy fields at the final table in both years of the WPT event. In 2015, Jason Brin defeated the likes of Andy Hwang, Jake Schindler, and three-time WPT Champion Darren Elias. Last year, James Mackey beat eventual WPT Season XV Player of the Year Ben Zamani heads up to win his first WPT title while also conquering Craig Varnell and Jack Duong, who were among the final six. After a long summer in Las Vegas, most of the professional ranks have had time in the last two weeks to recharge themselves for a busy stretch of upcoming events with the first leg of that trip coming at Choctaw. WPT fields are always tough to conquer and Choctaw will be a great test for those hoping to start the new season off on the right foot.
  14. The Season XVII World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic final table was set on Wednesday evening, with the tournament reaching its final six players from a field of 546 entries. The $10,000 buy-in event is now on a short break from action before the final table plays out on March 11, 2019, in Las Vegas. Four-time WPT champion Darren Elias topped the leaderboard entering the hiatus, with a first-place prize of $1.015 million awaiting the winner. The final six players were guaranteed $201,650. When action resumes on March 11, Elias will have a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. Not only with Elias’ opponents have to battle with his powerful chip stack, but they’ll have to go up against a chip leader with an incredible amount of WPT experience. Elias holds the record for most World Poker Tour titles with four. Of the $6.628 million in live tournaments he had to enter this event, Elias had won more than $3.2 million in WPT events. He’s making his 33rd cash and 12th final table on the WPT Main Tour and is in line to earn an unprecedented fifth title. The reason for the delay is so that the event can move to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. That’s where the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s Season XVII television schedule alongside the WPT Gardens Poker Championship and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The final six in the WPT Gardens Poker Championship will play to a winner on March 12, and the final six of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will grind to a champion on March 13. WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 The Grind To the Final Table The WPT L.A. Poker Classic remains one of the few $10,000 buy-in tournaments with a freezeout format. Blake Bohn emerged as the Day 1 chip leader, and Andrey Zaichenko was atop the pack after Day 2. Day 3 brought about the money bubble, as 69 players of the 546-entry field would reach the money. On Day 3, 108 players returned to action and began to work their way towards a payday. Eventually, Andy Park busted in 70th place when he found the last of his chips in the middle on the flop of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kh"][poker card=“5h"] holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card=“Jd"] for top pair. He was up against the [poker card="Ah"][poker card=“7h"] of Oscar Carrasco. Park had the lead on the flop due to his kicker, but Carrasco had plenty of outs thanks to holding a flush draw. The turn and river were the [poker card=“4h"] and [poker card=“Qh”], respectively, giving Carrasco his flush and busting Park on the bubble. From there, players began to pile up in the payouts, including Bohn going out in 68th, Billy Baxter bowing out in 51st, Adam Levy busting in 49th, Mike Del Vecchio falling in 41st, and Gordon Vayo hitting the rail in 36th place. Vayo, who famously dropped his lawsuit against PokerStars, was the final elimination to take place on Day 3 and he scored $26,830 for his finish. With 35 players remaining, David Baker headed the charge into Day 4. Baker entered the event with only one WPT Main Tour final table on his résumé and just more than $4.4 million in live tournament earnings. On Day 4, Baker busted Brock Wilson in 34th, Douglas Smith in 22nd, Carrasco in 19th, and Zaichenko in 18th en route to leading the final 12 players heading into Day 5. Elias came into Day 5 second in chips behind Baker. He stumbled out of the gate when Mike Meskin doubled through him, but Elias was back in form after taking a big pot from Tony Tran before busting the fellow WPT Champions Club member a short while later in 11th place. After Jeffrey Colpitts was eliminated by Matas Cimbolas in 10th place, Elias sought revenge on Meskin by busting him in ninth. Paul Fontan would later fall in eighth place to Baker, and after that, it was a series of double ups that tried to derail Elias. First, Jean-Claude Moussa doubled through Elias, not once but twice. Then, it was Steve Yea’s turn to double through Elias. The four-time WPT champion steadied the ship each time and would go on to bust James Carroll in seventh place and set the official final table. On the final hand of Day 5, Elias opened to 100,000 from the hijack seat with the blinds at 25,000-50,000 with a 50,000 ante. Carroll reraised all in for 800,000 from the cutoff position and Elias called with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card=“Qs”]. Carroll had the dominated [poker card="Kc"][poker card=“Jh”]. The flop, turn, and river came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="9d"][poker card=“3s”] to eliminate Carroll in seventh position. He took home $155,900 in prize money and Elias soared into the final table with the chip lead. Elias Continues To Shine as "Mr. WPT" If there was a player to be named “Mr. WPT,” it would be Darren Elias. His run on the World Poker Tour is tremendous and he now has a chance to claim a record fifth WPT title. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open, when Elias topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744 and his first World Poker Tour title. Less than a month later, Elias topped a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT title came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. Not only would a victory be Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, but he’d earned the largest payday of his live tournament career. Right now, the result is the eighth largest score of Elias’ live tournament career. [caption id="attachment_623019" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas looking for second WPT title (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Cimbolas Also Looking for Another WPT Title Matas Cimbolas, a Lithuanian player who won the Season XIII WPT Nottingham title for €313,327, is also looking to add another WPT Champions Cup to his trophy case. He’ll enter the final table third in chips with 4.675 million. Interestingly, this won’t be the first time Cimbolas and Elias share the stage at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. To close Season XVI of the World Poker Tour, both Cimbolas and Elias reached the WPT Tournament of Champions final table. Cimbolas finished second to Matt Waxman for $265,590, and Elias took third for $177,060. Waxman won that event for $463,375. [caption id="attachment_623020" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker is chasing his first WPT title and a career-best score (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Baker Chasing First WPT Title and Career-Best Result David Baker has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and comes into the final table second in chips with 4.76 million. Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Final Table Takes Place On March 11 The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events, plus the live stream can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  15. [caption width="640"] Zachary Smiley has one career live cash - a World Poker Tour win (Joe Giron/WPT photo)[/caption] At a final table that included current World Poker Tour Player of the Year frontrunner Benjamin Zamani, Season XIV breakout star Cate Hall and two-time WPT champion Darren Elias it was a relative unknown that was left standing on Wednesday night as WPT Maryland Live played down to a winner. Zachary Smiley, who dropped out of medical school last week, beat out that group of players to win WPT Maryland Live and $356,536 for his first career live cash. Cate Hall began the final table as the shortest stack and wasn’t able to improve her position before being eliminated in sixth place. Ryan Belz raised to 230,000 from UTG and Hall shipped her last 800,000 from the big blind and Belz called. Hall tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"] and was racing against Belz’s [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"][poker card="7s"][poker card="qd"][poker card="2s"] to eliminate Hall. She now has eight career WPT cashes including two fifth place finishes, a ninth place and a sixth. While it took 73 hands for the first elimination, it took just 11 more hands to get the second. Smiley moved all in from UTG, Zamani called from the small blind and Belz called from the big blind. When the hands were table Smiley was behind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"], Belz held [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and Zamani had [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"]. Fortunately for Smiley the flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="3c"] to put him ahead. The [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="9c"] river were no help for his opponents and Smiley tripled up while Zamani was eliminated in fifth place. Zamani now has three WPT final table appearances this season and has twice as many WPT Player of the Year points as his nearest competitor. Just 20 minutes later the only former WPT champion at the final table was eliminated. Left with just over six big blinds, Darren Elias moved all in from the UTG and Mario Silvestri called from the big blind. Elias got bad news after turning over [poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"] and discovering Silvestri had him dominated with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. It only got worse for Elias as the board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="qc"][poker card="5c"] to give Silvestri a flush and end Elias’ run in fourth place. Despite picking up the extra chips, Silvestri didn’t stick around much longer. Just eight hands later Silvestri raised to 240,000 from the button, only to have Smiley make it 525,000. Silvestri moved all in and Smiley called. This time it was Silvestri who was dominated; Smiley showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] while Silvestri had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"] run out couldn’t save Silvestri and he was out in third. When heads up play began Smiley had a better-than 3-2 chip lead over Belz. Over the next 42 hands of play Smiley only increased his lead before finally finishing Belz off. Smiley opened to 300,000, Belz raised to 800,000 and Smiley moved all in. Belz called and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] while Smiley showed [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6d"] flop was no help for Belz but the [poker card="jh"] turn gave him eight extra outs for a straight. The [poker card="4s"] river was not one of those outs and Smiley eliminated Belz to capture the title, the $356,536 first place prize, including a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions. Final Table Payouts Zachary Smiley - $356,536 Ryan Belz - $239,412 Mario Silvestri - $153,983 Darren Elias – $113,905 Benjamin Zamani – $85,429 Cate Hall - $68,554
  16. [caption width="640"] Darren Elias became one of just five players to win three World Poker Tour titles Friday night in Niagara Falls, Canada {WPT photo)[/caption] Over the course of his career, Darren Elias has shown a real flair for the dramatic at World Poker Tour final tables. He added to his legacy Friday night in Niagara Falls, Ontario, winning WPT Fallsview for his third career WPT title. The final day of play started with 22 players still in contention for the $335,436 first place prize money. It took just over six hours to get down to the six-handed WPT final table but just over three hours to get to a champion thanks to Elias' late rampage. Elias actually started the final table third in chips behind Andrew Chen and chipleader David Eldridge. An early double-up through Chen put Elias into the top two but neither he or Eldridge had anything to do with the first elimination. Just 27 hands into play, Abdul Hassan raised to 275,000 from UTG before Jean-Christophe Ferreira moved all in from middle position. Hassan called and tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] while Ferreira showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="ks"][poker card="5d"] flop put Ferreira ahead and when the [poker card="2h"] hit the turn and [poker card="js"] river completed the board, Hassan was out in sixth place. Just four hands later Manig Loeser, who began the final table with the smallest stack, shoved his remaining stack of 780,000 from UTG and Eldridge called from the big blind. Loeser tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="3h"] while Eldridge showed [poker card="4d"][poker card="4s"]. The baord ran out [poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"][2][poker card="kd"][poker card="js"] to send Loeser home in fifth and extend Eldridge's lead. Eldridge maintained his chip lead over the next 35 hands before the next elimination, but that's about as close as he would get as he played bystander to Elias. On the 66th hand of the final table, Chen, down to just four big blinds, moved all in from the small blind and Elias defended from the big. Chen tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="6c"] whil Elias showed [poker card="as"][poker card="3c"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="ah"] to give Elias an unneeded two pair and bust Chen in fourth. Elias and Eldridge battled on the very next hand with Elias taking down the blind vs. blind battle with a turn bet to move within 900,000 of Eldridge. It would prove to be the last time Eldridge held the chip lead. On the very next hand Elias opened from UTG to 250,000 and Ferreira called from the big blind. After the [poker card="qh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"] flop, Ferreira checked, Elias bet 150,000, Ferreira raised to 360,000 and Elias moved all in. Ferreira called and turned over [poker card="kc"][poker card="3c"] for trip threes while Elias showed [poker card="7h"][poker card="6h"] for a flush draw. The [poker card="9c"] turn kept Ferreira ahead but the [poker card="jh"] river completed Elias' flush, eliminated Ferreira in third and sent Elias to heads-up play with 54% of the chips in play. Elias won the next two hands to extend his lead to over 9-1 before ending the tournament for good. Down to just 400,000, Eldridge shoved and Elias called. Eldridge turned over [poker card="tc"][poker card="9s"] and Elias had [poker card="jh"][poker card="6c"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="td"][poker card="5c"] flop put Eldridge ahead with middle pair. Elias picked up a straight draw with the [poker card="qc"] turn and completed it with the [poker card="9h"] river to win the tournament, leaving Eldridge to settle for runner-up. Elias first two WPT titles came in the Borgata Poker Open and WPT Caribbean back-to-back in 2014. Only four other players have won WPT titles: Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Chino Rheem and Anthony Zinno. The next WPT stop is the $10,000 L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, February 25 - March 2. It marks the first stop of the 'California Swing' which includes the Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose and the WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Final Table Payouts Darren Elias - $335,436 David Eldridge - $224,613 Jean-Christophe Ferreira - $144,465 Andrew Chen - $106,865 Manig Loeser - $80,149 Abdull Hassan - $64,316
  17. The World Poker Tour rolls on. Just days after Eric Afriat’s epic victory in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open the Championship tour turns its attention north of the border to Niagra Falls, Ontario in Canada and the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic. The second Canadian stop of WPT’s Season XVI, the Fallsview Poker Classic brings with it a $5,000 CAD (~ $4,025 USD) Main Event. Unlike the recent WPT stops of the Lucky Hearts Poker Open or the Borgata Winter Poker Open, the Fallsview Poker Classic has a more compact schedule with a single starting day, February 10. Should players bust out on that starting day, it offers a single same-day re-entry to get back into the action. While the event doesn’t carry a guarantee, event organizers advertise the Main Event prize pool to be an estimated $2,055,000 CAD based on projected number of players. The first nine levels of the four-day tournament come with slightly expedited 40-minute levels and increase to the more-standard Main Event 60-minute levels thereafter. Once the final two participants are ready to determine a winner, the levels dip back down to 30-minutes. Despite the rate of play moving a little faster, players can expect to get more hands in per hour as the Main Event is once again utilizing a shot clock. The shot clock gives players 30 seconds with which to make any given decision and time extensions for those extra tricky spots. The Fallsview Poker Classic has been a staple of the World Poker Tour since Season XII when Canadian Matthew Lapossie bested 383 runners to take the inaugural Fallsview Poker Classic trophy and $342,266. After a successful start in 2014, the stop has become more popular every year since with ever-growing prize pools. In Season XIII Anthony Zinno took down the tournament helping propel him to earn Player Of The Year honors that year. Season XIV’s brought it’s own distinction of having an “all hometown” final table as six Canadian players dueled for the top prize of $383,407, eventually won by David Ormsby. Finally, last year, in Season XV, Darren Elias used the Fallsview Poker Classic to make history when he won his third World Poker Tour title, becoming only the fifth player in history to do so. Of course, if chasing history in the Main Event isn’t enough action for you, the festival comes with a pair of big-time prelims. On February 5 the $1,100 CAD event gets underway. This tournament has two starting days and wraps up on February 8. Organizers expect the prize pool to be over $1.3 million CAD. Just as the $1,100 tournament is ending the $2,500 CAD tournament kicks off. The four-day tournament is expected to have a prize pool of just under $1.5 million CAD. Finally, should you bust out of the Main Event and are looking for a "trip-saver", there’s a Shootout starting on February 11 for $1,500 CAD and an expected prize pool of roughly $132,000 CAD. Headed into the final stretch of Main Tour contests, two-time Main Event winner Art Papazyan still holds the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. But after Eric Afrait’s victory at Borgata, combined with his prior final table in Montreal, there’s finally someone who can possibly overtake the one-time seemingly insurmountable lead held by Papazyan. With only five events left on the WPT Season XVI schedule before the season-ending Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, everyone will be keeping an eye on if one of these two men post another big result or if someone else makes a move for the POY crown. The WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event fires up on February 10 with live updates available by the World Poker Tour.
  18. Some of the biggest names in poker will put a target on their back as the World Poker Tour returns to Jacksonville, Florida for the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble. The WPT’s $5,000 Main Event will take place from October 19-23 at bestbet Jacksonville and feature 24 players with a $2,500 bounty on their head. The Main Event A staple of the WPT Main Tour, the bestbet Jacksonville has been a key stop for the past seven seasons. The Bounty Scramble Main Event carries a $5,000 buy-in ($4,630 + $290 entry fee + $80 staff) and a $1 million guarantee. Players have the option of two starting days beginning on October 19 with both starting days allowing players unlimited re-entry. The four-day structure has the final table playing out on a lifestream on Friday, October 23. Additionally, the WPT has incorporated the big blind ante as well as a 30-second Action clock which starts when the tournament is only one table away from the money. Capture A Bounty The standard structure of a WPT event is normally enough to get players excited to attend an event. However, the bestbet Bounty Scramble gives players an extra incentive to grab a seat and make a loose call. There will be (at least) 24 players in the field that, if they are eliminated of the tournament, will give the player that knocked them out $2,500 on the spot. This year, bestbet Jacksonville has taken a positive step in continuing to promote the game of poker to women. They have doubled the number of women invited to participate as bounties from 2017. In 2018, ten of the 24 players that have been selected as bounties are not only some of the best players on the planet but they also happen to be women. The list includes 2018 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion Jessica Dawley, 2-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood, Kitty Kuo, Jamie Kerstetter, WSOP Main Event standout Kelly Minkin and more. Joining them are some of poker’s most notable names. A sampling of those with a price tag on their backs includes 4-time WPT Champion Darren Elias, Bryan Kaverman, Martin Rettenmaier, Matt Affleck, 3-time NFL Super Bowl Champion Richard Seymour, actor Kevin Pollack and 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Tony Miles among others. A Look Back Bounty tournaments at the highest level come with an extra level of adrenaline. The idea that after taking out an opponent, the tournament director may be giving you four-figures on the spot gives players extra incentive to get in the mix. bestbet Jacksonville has appeared on the WPT schedule since Season 10 (2011-2012). It wasn't until Season 13 that they formally changed the name to the Bounty Scramble and increased the buy-in to $5,000. In that year, Ryan Van Sanford from Colorado Springs, CO took down the field of 461 players to win a career-high cash of $421,668. Tyler Patterson, who returns again as a bounty in 2018, took down the title in 2014 besting Benjamin Zamani heads-up for $375,270. Patterson returned to the final table of the very next year in what was a stacked final table that included Noah Schwartz, Ankush Mandavia and eventual winner Sam Panzica. Panzica won over $350,000 for his first WPT title. He would go on to win a second WPT title in another bounty tournament - the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Stars for over $1.3 million. Like Patterson before him, Panzica also made the final table the year after he won it. Just last year, Panzica finished runner-up to Paul Petraglia. Petraglia, a Florida local, defeated the 323 player field for a cash of over $315,000. Prior to his win, his largest recorded cash was for just over $3,000. What To Watch For It’s still early in WPT season 17 with WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble as only the fifth event, but the WPT Player of the Year race is in full swing. After his victory in the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event, two-time WPT Champion Tony Ruberto has taken the POY lead. If he makes the trip to Jacksonville, he will be looking separate him from the field of other Season 17 winners. Keep an eye on the core group of bounties as well. The WPT has chosen a refreshing group of young pros as well as players who have traditionally done well in this event. Minkin, Miles and Dawley will be mixing it up with players who have multiple WPT titles like Elias and Rettenmaier to vie for the title of last bounty standing. With so much talent, it’s not altogether unlikely that a bounty (maybe two) will make it to the final table of six. Finally, the industry will be watching for the number of runners bestbet Jacksonville will register in 2018. Over the past three years, entries and the prize pool have been on the decline in Jacksonville. The $1 million guarantee placed on the Main Event is the lowest guarantee on tour (WPT Choctaw also had a $1 million guarantee which was more than doubled). Even though there’s $60,000 taken out for the bounties, the hopes are that there is an uptick at the Bounty Scramble. A prize pool of over $1.5 million, exceeding 2017, should be considered a win. Follow Along Live updates for the event will be provided by the World Poker Tour on their website. Also, the final table will be broadcast on a live streamed on Tuesday, October 23. The final table will start at 4:00 pm ET on a 30-minute delay. Complete List of Bounties $2,500 Bounty Player Allison Hollander Byron Kaverman Darren Elias Ester 'Etay' Taylor James Calderaro Jamie Kerstetter Jessica Dawley Jo Kim Kelly Minkin Kevin Pollack Kitty Kuo Lacey Jones Lexy Gavin Loni Harwood Marvin Rettenmaier Matt Affleck Matt Glantz Matt Savage Nabil (Doc) Hirezi Paul Petraglia Richard Seymour Tony Miles Tristan Wade Tyler Patterson
  19. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. In this week's edition of The Fives, Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters take a journey back through the biggest stories of 2018. They break down the phenomenal years that Justin Bonomo, Alex Foxen and Ali Imsirovic put together and remember Phil Hellmuth's 15th bracelet win, Darren Elias' fourth WPT win and go over some of the biggest news from off the felt, including Gordon Vayo's failed bluff.
  20. 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 World Poker Tour has taken over Las Vegas this week with three final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The LA Poker Classic, the Gardens Poker Classic, and the Borgata Winter Poker Open are all going to crown champions this week and Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters preview all three final tables in the first of four podcasts from the city of Las Vegas. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  21. May was a jam-packed month in the poker world and there were plenty of major headlines that grabbed our attention. Here are PocketFives' top five stories from May 2018, including a regulated online poker milestone, a lawsuit against PokerStars, and a handful of record-breaking performances. Interstate Online Poker Now Live in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware It's a new era for online poker in the United States, and the regulated online poker market has been growing slowly and continues to gain momentum. In May 2018, it received another big boost when Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware went live with interstate online poker on WSOP.com, allowing players from the three states to play against players in other states for the first time in the history of regulated online poker in the United States. The game-changing development paved the way for more robust interstate online poker series and online gold bracelets events available to those in New Jersey and Delaware. READ: Interstate Online Poker Now Live in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware Gordon Vayo Suing PokerStars for Confiscating 2017 SCOOP Winnings Gordon Vayo went on an incredible ride in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, finishing second for $4.66 million, but his roller coaster 2018 was even more dramatic. It started when news dropped in May that Vayo was suing PokerStars for confiscated winnings from a 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker tournament. Vayo's score was worth nearly $700,000, but PokerStars denied payment of the funds based on suspicions he violated the site's terms of service and played from the United States. READ: Gordon Vayo Suing PokerStars for Confiscating 2017 SCOOP Winnings SCOOP: Calvin Anderson Does It Again, Wins 10th SCOOP Title We're going to cheat a little bit here and roll two stories into one, but they both involve the record-breaking success of Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson in the PokerStars SCOOP. Anderson, a former #1-ranked online poker player, won his ninth and 10th SCOOP titles in 2018, both of which set records, and he did it in back-to-back days. Anderson first won Event #19 (High): $2,100 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em for $126,659 and then he captured the Event #26 (High): $1,050 Omaha Eight-or-Better (Eight-Max) title for $26,305. READ: Calvin Anderson Does It Again, Wins 10th SCOOP Title WPT: Darren Elias Wins Bobby Baldwin Classic, Record 4th WPT Title Anderson wasn’t the only high-profile player to have a record-setting victory in May, but this next player did it in the live realm. Darren Elias, one of the World Poker Tour's most successful competitors, earned his record-setting fourth WPT title when he took down the WPT $10,000 Bobby Baldwin Classic in May. Elias topped a field of 162 entries to win $387,580. At the final table, Elias battled with an elite group that included Kitty Kuo, Joe McKeehen, Dietrich Fast, Sam Panzica, and Jonathan Little. READ: Darren Elias Wins Bobby Baldwin Classic, Record 4th WPT Title Justin Bonomo Beats Daniel Negreanu to Win Super High Roller Bowl Justin Bonomo had himself an absolutely tremendous 2018 and the month of May was huge for him. Just two months after winning the Super High Roller Bowl China for more than $4.8 million, Bonomo won the Super High Roller Bowl IV title in Las Vegas for $5 million. Bonomo topped the field of 48 entries in the $300,000 buy-in tournament and defeated Daniel Negreanu in heads-up play. The score was part of Bonomo's $25.4 million year that became the most winningest year in poker history and vaulted Bonomo to the top spot on poker's all-time money list. READ: Justin Bonomo Beats Daniel Negreanu to Win Super High Roller Bowl Sweden’s ‘lena900’ Wins May Monthly PLB Title From a PocketFives Monthly PLB perspective, Sweden’s 'lena900' had the best month ever for an online poker player, earning 7,135.57 points. His largest Monthly PLB point win was worth 1,414.21 when he won the $10,300 buy-in Powerfest #53-SHR: $2M Gtd [Championship Event - PKO] for $430,047. 'Lena900' also won not one but two SCOOP titles in May. His first was a victory in the SCOOP-25-H: $530+R NLHE, $400K Gtd $102,115 and 748.70 points. His second came in the SCOOP-39-H: $1,050 NLO8 [6-Max], $175K Gtd for $50,391 and 513.81 points. *Photos courtesy of the World Poker Tour.
  22. Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. This week's show kicks off with Chris Ferguson wasting everybody's time with an apology and ends with Lance and Matt picking their teams for the PocketFives Super High Roller Bowl Fantasy Contest. Good times. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THIS EPISODE ON STITCHER GET THIS EPISODE ON GOOGLE PLAY
  23. Darren Elias was the headliner Saturday night in Las Vegas as the World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions played down to a winner. Just days after winning his record-setting fourth WPT title, Elias entered the TOC final table with the chip lead and a chance at going back-to-back against some of the toughest fields in WPT history. Matthew Waxman wasn't thinking about that narrative though and after eliminating Elias in third place, had little trouble cruising to victory to capture the TOC and the $463,375 first-place prize money at the Esports Arena at the Luxor Las Vegas. After a double-elimination on the final hand of Day 2, only five players returned for Saturday. With blinds at 8,000/16,000 (8,000) Elias raised to 35,000 from the cutoff before Nick Schulman moved all in for 438,000 from the small blind. Elias called and turned over [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] which put him ahead of Schulman's [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] flop put Schulman in the lead but only briefly as the [poker card="7d"] hit the turn. The river was the [poker card="jd"] sending Schulman out in fifth place. Another 22 hands later and Elias, who began the day with the chip lead, was picking up another elimination thanks to fortuitous turn card. David Benyamine moved all in for 370,000 from the small blind and Elias called from the big. Benyamine showed [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] while Elias found he was behind with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ts"] flop changed nothing but the [poker card="5h"] turn moved Elias ahead. The river was the [poker card="4s"] and Benyamine was out in fourth place. Any momentum that Elias had built up was erased in hand with Waxman that saw Elias queens outrun by Waxman's jacks, doubling up Waxman and leaving Elias reeling. It wasn't long before Elias' run at back-to-back victories was snuffed out. Matas Cimbolas raised to 50,000 from the button and Elias moved all in the small blind for 645,000. Cimbolas called and showed [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] while Elias was drawing live with [poker card="tc"][poker card="8c"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="9c"] to give Matas top pair and eliminate four-time WPT champion Elias in third place. Waxman began heads-up play with a 2-1 lead over Cimbolas and he never surrendered it, eliminating his Lithuanian opponent after 38 hands of play. Cimbolas completed from the small blind and Waxman checked to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"][poker card="2h"]. Waxman check-called Cimbolas' bet of 40,000. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] and Waxman check-called again, this time for 125,000. The river was the [poker card="8h"] and Waxman checked again. Cimbolas moved all in for 425,000. Waxman used one of this time extension before announcing a call. Cimbolas showed [poker card="th"][poker card="3s"] and Waxman happily tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="7d"] for second pair, good enough to win the pot and eliminate Cimbolas. The event, which allows champions from previous seasons to buy-in for $15,000 while Season XVI earned their entry by winning a WPT title, attracted a record-setting 80 players. This was the first year the event was played in Las Vegas after spending the previous two years at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Final Table Payouts Matthew Waxman - $463,375 Matas Cimbolas - $265,590 Darren Elias - $177,060 David Benyamine - $123,045 Nick Schulman - $89,290 J.C. Tran - $67,800
  24. When the final table of the inaugural World Poker Tour Bobby Baldwin Classic started Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas there was no shortage of star power or storylines. Darren Elias was going for his record fourth WPT title. Jonathan Little and Sam Panzica were attempting to become the sixth player with three titles. Dietrich Fast was hoping to etch his name onto the Champions Cup for the second time. Joe McKeehen was hoping to put an exclamation point on a WPT Player of the Year season. Kitty Kuo was hoping to become just the second woman to ever win an open WPT event. Elias rose above all of those to etch his name in the WPT history books yet again. Little's run at his first WPT title since 2008 ended just 13 hands after the final table began. Action folded to Little in the small blind and he completed the bet. Sam Panzica moved all in from the big blind and Little called. Panzica tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] which put him behind Little's [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"] flop put Panzica ahead and all Little could do was watch as the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river failed to help him out, eliminating him in sixth place. Despite picking up Little's stack, Panzica didn't stick around much longer. One hour later Panzica clashed with Elias and was unable to survive. Panzica raised to 35,000 from UTG and Elias made it 110,000 to go from UTG+1. Panzica moved all in for 385,000 and Elias called. Panzica turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] and was racing against Elias' [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"] to send Panzica packing in fifth. It was another later when Kuo raised to 125,000 from the big blind after Fast limped his button and Elias defended his small blind. Fast called Kuo's bet and Elias got out of the way sending the two players to a [poker card="kc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop. Kuo moved all in for 980,0000 and Fast called all in. Kuo showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] while Fast had [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"]. The drama ended on the [poker card="qd"] turn as Kuo completed her flush and Fast was eliminated in fourth place as the [poker card="3h"] river completed the board. Ten hands later McKeehen, who needed a win in this event to pass Art Papazyan for WPT Player of the Year, found himself on the ugly side of variance and headed out the door. Elias raised to 45,000 from the button before McKeehen re-raised to 180,000 from the big blind. Elias responded by moving all in for 2,078,000 and McKeehen quickly called all in and turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"]. Elias turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"] but got great news on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"] flop. The [poker card="5c"] turn left McKeehen with just two outs and the [poker card="8s"] river wasn't one of them, eliminating the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion in third. Elias started heads up play with a nearly 3-1 chip lead over Kuo but it took him 103 hands and just over three hours to put a cap on his fourth title. Down to just 7.5 big blinds, Kuo moved all in from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="5d"] and Elias called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Kuo and give Elias $387,580 and his fourth WPT title. Elias' previous WPT titles came at the Borgata Poker Open (2014), WPT Caribbean (2014), and the Fallsview Poker Classic (2017). Final Table Payouts Darren Elias - $387,580 Kitty Kuo - $248,380 Joe McKeehen - $178,610 Dietrich Fast - $130,895 Sam Panzica - $97,795 Jonathan Little - $74,520
  25. [caption width="640"] Paul Petraglia topped the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble field to win his first WPT title. (WPT photo)[/caption] In the history of the World Poker Tour, no player has ever won the same event twice. Sam Panzica had a chance to be the first to do it on Wednesday, but ran into local player Paul Petraglia who played his way to victory, forcing Panzica to settle for runner-up in the event he won last year. Shankar Pillai came to the final table with just 14 big blinds and lasted just 24 hands. Pillai moved all in from middle position for his last 150,000, Darren Elias called from the cutoff and Petraglia defended from the small blind. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] and Elias and Petraglia both checked. They also checked through the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river. Pillai showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] for a flopped top pair, but Petraglia turned over [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"] for top set, Elias mucked [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] and Pillai was out in sixth. Just 13 hands later, Guarav Raina saw his run end thanks to a bad beat delivered by Panzica. Raina moved all in from the cutoff for 355,000 and Panzica called from the big blind. Raina was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] to Panzica's [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"], but the [poker card="td"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"] flop changed everything. Raina was unable to catch up on the [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river and was out in fifth place. Elias, who was aiming to be the first four-time winner in WPT history, picked off another John Esposito in a blind-vs-blind battle. Action folded to Esposito in the small blind and he moved all in for 1,155,000 and Elias called from the big blind. Eposito turned over [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] but got bad news when Elias showed [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"]. The board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="5c"] to give Elias the pot and send Esposito out in fourth. After that hand, Elias had 73% of the chips in play but over the course of the next 24 hands, anything that could go wrong for Elias, did. On his final hand, Panzica button-raised to 125,000 and Elias,down to 24 big blinds, moved all in for 1,435,000 and Panzica called. Elias turned over [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] and Panzica showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"][poker card="3h"] flop changed everything though and neither the [poker card="6s"] turn or [poker card="4d"] river were able to save Elias from a third place result. Heads up play began with Petraglia holding 57% of the chips in play. Panzica changed the narrative over the course of the next 2.5 hours, taking the chip lead from Petraglia once and even holding a 9-2 chip lead at one point. Petraglia wouldn't be denied though and battled back to regain the lead and eventually finished off Panzica. Petraglia raised to 350,000 and Panzica called. Panzica check-raised all after the [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"] flop and Petraglia called and tabled [poker card="9s"][poker card="7s"] for a flopped straight while Panzica showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="3h"] for a flush draw. The [poker card="8c"] turn kept Petraglia ahead and the [poker card="2c"] river kept him there to eliminate Panzica in second place and give Petraglia his first WPT title and $315,732. Final Table Payouts Paul Petraglia – $315,732 Sam Panzica – $210,783 Darren Elias – $135,548 John Esposito – $86,440 Gaurav Raina – $66,674 Shankar Pillai – $55,191
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