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  1. [caption width="640"] Gordon Vayo's journey to the November Nine is a familiar tale (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] There have been plenty of documented cases of poker players lying about their age to play in cardrooms before they turned 21. Gordon Vayo, however, was lying about his age so that he could play online before he turned 18. At just 27 years old, the Illinois native cut his teeth on the virtual felt and has been playing poker professionally for over a decade. After earning over $1.4 million in online tournament earnings under the screen name “holla@yoboy,” Vayo comes into
  2. [caption width="640"] Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman has been able to crush online poker thanks to balanced meals he prepares (photo: Tomas Stacha)[/caption] A number of poker players will tell you that a healthy, balanced diet improves their performance at the tables by leaps and bounds. Eat greasy pizza, a fatty cheeseburger, or a big old hunk of chocolate cake and your ability to call, raise, fold, and read other players effectively will likely go downhill. Eat a grease-free, balanced meal before playing poker and you might find yourself winning the next big tournament you play. Sweden's
  3. [caption width="640"] Russia's Egor 'Egorrr' Boriskin says there's a little Fight Club in all of us[/caption] In 1996, 20 years ago, Chuck Palahniuk released a novel called Fight Club. The psychological thriller later caught the attention of director David Fincher, who turned it into a movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, two icons of the gambling film world with their roles in Roundersand Ocean's Eleven, respectively. And although the movie largely bombed at the box office, it hit the jackpot in DVD sales. It's probably hard for most people to relate to Fight Club, in which the
  4. [caption width="640"] Bryan 'bparis' Paris won a PocketFives Triple Crown while live-streaming on Twitch[/caption] Winning a PocketFives Triple Crown is hard enough. If you want one, you need to take down three $10,000 prize pool tournaments across three sites tracked by PocketFives within a week. Each tournament has to have at least 100 players and a real money buy-in. Satellites and qualifiers do not count. For Bryan 'bparis' Paris, winning his fifth Triple Crown was special enough. Only a handful of players have ever booked five of them, and for Paris, his fifth was also his second o
  5. [caption width="640"] Tomas 'dartazzzz' Jozonis is the top-ranked Lithuanian online poker player and budding beach volleyball star[/caption] Do you remember the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun? That completely needless scene to the tune of Kenny Loggins' "Hanging with the Boys"? For a few athletes, volleyball is more than just a beach day diversion. Tomas 'dartazzzz' Jozonis is a 25-year-old pro poker player from Lithuania. He has a Bachelor's degree in International Business and Communication and after getting a job out of school didn't pan out, Jozonis found poker. When he's no
  6. [caption width="450"] Aleksandr 'NoPlanB' Mordvinov talks about grinding his way to his first PocketFives Monthly Leaderboard title[/caption] Although grinding online poker games can be draining, it can also be extremely rewarding. For successful, +EV players, volume will invariably lead to deep runs and big scores. It's just a numbers game: the more you play, the more chances you have to hit it big. Case in point: Aleksandr 'NoPlanB' Mordvinov, who won last month's Monthly PocketFives Leaderboard (MPLB) with 3,899 points. It was Mordvinov's first MPLB win and just the third ever f
  7. [caption width="640"] Mike 'norfair18' Phillips has been able to hop around the world thanks to a desire to master Spanish[/caption] Remember in high school when you had to take a foreign language class? You were probably thinking, "Oh, this is going to be a giant waste of time" and then zoned out as you were taught French, Spanish, or for you Europeans out there, English. For American online poker transplants like Mike 'norfair18' Phillips, paying attention in Spanish class has paid off in a big way, as he just passed $2.2 million in career online tournament winnings, including a recen
  8. [caption width="640"] Australia's Nurlan 'Nur1ck' Bobekov shares keys to winning four PocketFives Triple Crowns (image: PokerNews)[/caption] There have been 1,063 PocketFives Triple Crowns awarded over the last 11 years. A Triple Crown requires a player to win three $10,000 prize pool tournaments across three sites tracked for the PocketFives Rankings within a week. Each tournament has to have at least 100 entries and satellites don't count. Needless to say, it's not easy. Despite the fact that it's challenging to get a Triple Crown, Australia's Nurlan 'Nur1ck' Bobekov has been able to
  9. [caption width="640"] Phil 'philroyal888' Mighall is hunting for a major live or online poker score[/caption] Despite ascending all the way up to #8 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings, his highest mark ever, Phil 'philroyal888' Mighall is still hunting for that first signature win. "It's a great achievement and I'm feeling very proud," he said of entering the top 10 of the rankings for the first time on June 8. He had been creeping up the leaderboard for several weeks and now finds himself knocking on the door of the top five. Getting there is a whole other story. Sure, he has $
  10. [caption width="640"] Ireland's Dan 'NukeTheFish' Wilson is a rocket scientist turned poker player[/caption] Normally when you call a person a "rocket scientist," you're kidding. When you call Ireland's Dan 'NukeTheFish' Wilson a "rocket scientist," however, you're telling the truth. Fact. "I have a Doctorate in Astrophysics, which I completed during my first two or three years as a poker pro," Wilson, who just hit $2 million in career online tournament winnings, said. "Since I left university, I've been traveling with my girlfriend and playing wherever we decided to settle down for a f
  11. [caption width="640"] Stevan 'random.chu' Chew talks about traveling around the world for major poker tournament series like SCOOP and WCOOP (photo: ACOP)[/caption] Now that it's the end of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, or SCOOP, players like Stevan 'random.chu' Chew who relocated during the tournament series are headed back home. The days of "poker tourism" are over, at least until the World Championship of Online Poker rolls around later this year. "I go away for SCOOPs and WCOOPs," Chew said. Last year, he went to Whistler, Canada for SCOOP and Panama for WCOOP.
  12. [caption width="640"] Luis 'luis_faria' Faria and his family[/caption] "The Bite Heard Round the World." It happened in mid-1997 on the Las Vegas Strip and involved Mike Tyson taking a big old bite out of Evander Holyfield's left ear. Tyson was immediately disqualified and, almost 20 years later, his blood-spewing actions still live on in infamy. Enter Luis 'luis_faria' Faria, who was heavily into rugby for 13 years before a mountain of injuries finally caught up with him, just as they do other athletes whose bodies have taken a beating. "With the injuries that I got through the y
  13. [caption width="640"] Jonas 'donut604' Mackoff shares how he's managed to stay successful in poker for the last 10 years.[/caption] As anyone who plays poker knows, spending long hours in front of the computer, your eyes darting back and forth across the screen as tables that require attention pop up, can be exhausting. So can live games in cold, dark tournament rooms around the world. Jonas 'donut604' Mackoff has been a member of the PocketFives community for nine years and, over that time period, continues to remain highly relevant. He's almost found his way back into the top 100 of t
  14. [caption width="640"] Troy ‘teckidtq’ Quenneville and his girlfriend Paulina[/caption] Back in November 2016, when Canadian Troy ‘teckidtq’ Quenneville turned up to play some live poker at the World Poker Tour partypoker Million festival in Punta Cana, the regs probably didn’t think anything of him. After all, he had just two live cashes to his name, combined to the tune of $559. But Troy was something of a Trojan horse. He ended up winning $220K for a runner-up finish in the $5K World Poker Tour main event, followed by victory in the $2,500 partypoker Million for $400,000. This Trojan
  15. [caption width="640"] Germany's 'Pappadogg' has his sites set on being the #1-ranked player in the world.[/caption] They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but even when you’ve been playing poker for years you always need to be learning and improving, both on and off the tables. Just ask 'Pappadogg' - a player who has just broke into the worldwide top ten rankings for the first time, currently sitting in the #7 spot. “I have been on a pretty crazy run for about the last six months,” says 'Pappadogg', who asked for his real identity to be kept secret. And he’s not lying: on
  16. Everyone dreams of that big score, and for many players, winning the PokerStars Sunday Millionis the Mount Everest of online accomplishments. After five years of playing poker seriously, German native Servej did just that, taking down the Sunday Million outright for a colossal $173,000, defeating a field of 5,552. "It was a dream come true," Servej told PocketFives, "because I'm a more of a low-limit grinder only taking some shots. I'm really happy." He bought in directly to the Sunday Million and plays higher buy-in games with the help of a backer. However, that Sunday, he said he was play
  17. In recent weeks, Bulgaria's #1 ranked Alex alexd2Dimitrov (pictured) hit $1 million in career online tournament winnings. Almost 60% of that total has come on PokerStars, where he plays as grinder1992, and he has shot up to #49 in the world in the PocketFives Rankings. In June, he final tabled the Super Tuesday for $45,000 and, in January, he was the runner-up in the 888 Poker Whale for $42,000. Not too shabby. PocketFives: Congrats on hitting $1 million in tracked scores. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Alex Dimitrov: I am feeling great. This was one of the goals I set for this yea
  18. In mid-October, Japan's Akira Ohyama (pictured), better known as Clutch Heroon PocketFives, hit $2 million in career online MTT winnings. As he told us, "I'm feeling great about it. I feel like it took a lot longer than I originally expected. The delay is mostly due to my lack of volume, but my recent 12th place finish in the WCOOP Main Event really helped push me past the $2 million mark." He has done the majority of his damage on PokerStarsand is currently the top-ranked player in Japan. He joked about his pace from $1 million to $2 million, "In my mind, I felt like I could go from $1 mil
  19. In late September, Goran mandza17Mandic (pictured) final tabled the PokerStars Sunday 500 and earned $25,000. He cashed for $27,000 in a WCOOP event the week before and is a former Supernova on PokerStars. Mandic has the distinction of being the #2 ranked player in Croatia, so we caught up with him to break down his big day. PocketFives: Congrats on final tabling the Sunday 500. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Goran Mandic: Thanks. I'm feeling very good, but I am kind of sad because I didn't take it down. PocketFives: Walk us through how the tournament went in general. How
  20. Our most recent PocketFives Openwas held earlier this month on TexasHoldem.com. It was our second PocketFives Open for US players on that site and ended up being the largest tournament in the history of TexasHoldem.com. Your winner: Matthew Tullo, who is known on PocketFives as PokerGuy92. We caught up with Tullo to break down his big win. As a reminder, PocketFives continues to hold a weekly US Poker League on TexasHoldem.com each Wednesday. It's free to play and awards monthly and weekly prizes. Click here for details. PocketFives: Tell us how you're feeling about winning the PocketFiv
  21. On September 27, almost exactly one month ago, Crazymoron(pictured) final tabled the Full Tilt Sunday Major and put back $10,000. While it wasn't the largest sum of money ever, it still represented his 11th richest score to date and helped get nearer to $1 million for his career. "It was good compensation for being unlucky in WCOOP events on that Sunday," he told PocketFives of his latest Sunday final table. In the Sunday Major, he fell heads-up to fellow PocketFiver Mark dipthrongHerm, who won it for $15,000. Herm, of course, has been part of PocketFives since 2006 and just passed $5 milli
  22. Last month, longtime PocketFiver Jamie pokerjamersArmstrong (pictured) finished third in a $215 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max WCOOP event and booked a $141,000 score, his second largest all-time. He has almost $4.5 million in career winnings and was ranked as high as #3 on our site in 2011. Armstrong has been a member of the PocketFives community since 2006. PocketFives: Congrats on final tabling a $215 WCOOP event. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Jamie Armstrong: I'm obviously very happy, but more so I feel a sense of relief. I had a rough WSOP. Then, WCOOP went about as badly as poss
  23. One of the top poker mind coaches out there is Elliot Roe (pictured), who runs PokerMindCoach.com and offers lessons on busting leaks, boosting your poker mindset, and cooling down post-game, just to name a few. Learn how to reduce tilt, improve focus, and prevent anxiety. With that, let's get on to the interview! PocketFives: Why is the mental game so important in poker? Elliot Roe: Poker is a game where mindset can often mean the difference between winning and losing. Many technically sound players gradually build their bankrolls, only to tilt them off in one evening. Other mental
  24. On the final weekend of July, N4kaicame away with the win in the 888 Poker Sunday Challenge. He certainly carried the banner for our community, as he was one of just two PocketFivers at the final table that day. His reward was $15,000 and you can find him on 888 under the user name EternallyYrs. "It felt good," N4kai told PocketFives, "especially considering that 888 has had some problems with disconnections recently and I was fortunate enough to dodge them." Thanks to the Poland poker community member, PocketFivers raked in about one-third of the prize pool. He added that at the final t
  25. Late last month, Matthias Lipp (pictured), known on PocketFives as MLS20, was part of a four-way chop of the PokerStars Sunday Millionand bagged $103,000. He officially finished in second place, falling heads-up to 180th ranked CheVeaU, and it was his largest online MTT score ever. The path to a near-victory for the live cash game player was quite impressive. "It was pretty funny because with 12 people left, I was second in chips," Lipp said. "Then, I lost close to my whole stack with A-K to K-K, so I was 12/12 and thought my dream was over, but I managed to make a comeback with my five b
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