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  1. Nicholas 'mrfinalt' Kiley navigated through 1,483 other players on Saturday night to the early hours of Sunday morning to win the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Event #25 ($500 NLHE Summer Saver) for $149K and his first career bracelet. Matt 'Berkey11_S4Y' Berkey made his second WSOP final table appearance in as many nights and started as chip leader. Looking to improve on his seventh place finish from Event #24, Berkey was also on the hunt for his first career bracelet. The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl champion also got the first final table elimination of the day. Raising all-in on the button to 9,149,831 with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="3c"], Ofir 'panda15' Mor called off his 2,941,919 stack with [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Qs"]. Despite Mor flopping middle set on the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="6d"] flop, he still had to evade the flush draw. The [poker card="8c"] turn completed the flush for Berkey and the [poker card="3s"] river ended the tournament for Mor. Four minutes later Nicholas 'mrfinalt' Kiley opened to 345,678 from late position and Michael 'ha8me' Policastro called from the small blind. Policastro took the initiative on the [poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="Qc"] flop, betting 758,517 which was called by Kiley. Policastro jammed for 3,526,398 on the [poker card="8s"] turn and was snap-called by his opponent. Policastro flopped two pair with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qd"] but was behind as Kiley rolled over [poker card="Ac"][poker card="3d"] for the stronger holding. The [poker card="Tc"] river wasn't one the two outs Policastro needed and finished the day in eighth. The next bust-out came seven minutes later when 'Daddyp69' open-jammed from the cutoff looking to get the walk. Unfortunately, Berkey woke up with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ah"] and called from the small blind looking for another elimination. 'Daddyp69' was drawing to two immediate outs with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] and was sent to the rail failing to connect with the [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="Tc"] runout. Six-handed play lasted for less than ten minutes when Berkey was again leading the action as he opened from UTG for 480,000. Kevin 'Specialk333' Calenzo moved all-in for 3,330,936 from the cutoff, Weiyi 'wymoney' Mo then four-bet jammed her 5,780,224 from the small looking to isolate Calenzo. The pre-flop action caused Berkey to fold and Calenzo with [poker card="As"][poker card="Qc"] was dominated by Mo's [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="5d"] and both made two-pair with the [poker card="5h"] turn. The at -isk Calenzo was looking for another ace, queen or five to preserve his tournament status but the [poker card="6h"] river meant Mo took all the chips. Berkey's bracelet hunt was dented after being on the wrong side of a cooler against Guo Liang 'Ct188' Chen. In blind versus blind action, Chen limped-called from the small when Berkey raised to 689,999 to see the [poker card="As"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3d"] flop. Berkey bet 1,166,248 after Chen checked his option, Chen made the call to see the [poker card="Jd"] turn. Chen again checked and Berkey put his opponent all in and was snap-called. Berkey, holding [poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"] connected hard, making two pair on the flop but was drawing dead as Chen flopped top set with his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ad"]. The [poker card="5d"] river meant nothing and left Berkey hanging in there by a thread. Two hands later Berkey was out in fifth, moving all in from the button for 3,237,065. Kiley called in the small blind. Kiley: [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Ts"] Berkey: [poker card="Jc"][poker card="9s"] Kiley made trips on the [poker card="Tc"][poker card="Th"][poker card="6s"] flop, the [poker card="5d"] turn and [poker card="Js"] river denied the storybook ending Berkey was looking for. Kiley quickly scored another final table knockout four minutes later. Stephen 'S.Dott22' Russo raised to 1,040,000 from UTG with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qd"] and called off his remaining 4,723,216 stack after Kiley three-bet jammed for 16,993,456 from the big blind with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="8d"]. Both players missed the [poker card="5s"][poker card="9d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="7s"] board but Kiley's ace-high was good enough to send Russo out in fourth. Mo, who is one of many female poker players who had deep runs in this year's WSOP, called Chen's 800,000 button raise from the big blind. Mo with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3d"] decided to ship her short stack on the [poker card="7h"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="6d"] flop, Chen holding [poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"] quickly called with third pair. The [poker card="5d"] turn meant Mo picked up a gutshot straight draw but the [poker card="As"] river ended Mo's chances of becoming the first female winner of 2020 WSOP Online event. That left Chen and Kiley both looking to win their first WSOP bracelet event and claim the $149K first place cash prize. Chen three-bet to 2,475,000 after Kiley opened 800,000 and the latter called to see the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4c"] flop. Chen fired a continuation bet, downsizing to 2,125,000, Kiley called again to see the [poker card="8c"] turn. Chen then decided to check-call after Kiley fired for 5,050,000, the [poker card="Jh"] completed the board and Chen checked again. Kiley, who had the chip lead, put Chen to the test for all his chips and he made the crying call with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jc"] but Kiley's [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Th"] was best and enough for him to scoop a six-figure payday and secure his maiden WSOP gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Nicholas 'mrfinalt' Kiley - $149,244.52 Guo Liang 'Ct188' Chen - $92,223.22 Weiyi 'wymoney' Mo - $67,300.65 Stephen 'S.Dott22' Russo - $49,554.22 Matt 'Berkey11_S4Y' Berkey - $36,850.50 Kevin 'Specialk333' Calenzo - $27,637.87 'Daddyp69' - $20,849.62 Michael 'Ha8me' Policastro - $15,903.90 Ofir 'panda15' Mor - $12,315.82 Faces in the Crowd Event #25 brought saw a plethora of familiar faces getting into the money while chasing for WSOP glory. Daniel 'RedSoxNets5' Sewnig finished 49th for $2,618.32 while Anthony 'heheh' Zinno (71st - $1,842.52), Brian Rast (87th - $1,454.62), and Chris Moorman (92nd - $1,357.65) also worked their way into the money. After spending part of the night at the same table, Daniel Negreanu (183rd - $969) and Phil Hellmuth (216th - $873) both added another WSOP cash to their long list of achievements.
  2. When the final table of 2020 WSOP Online Event #7 ($800 NLHE Knockout Deepstack Freezeout) started, Joon 'jykpoker' Kim sat atop a group of four players bunched up together all chasing chip leader Jeff Platt. Over the next 90 minutes, Kim picked off four of his eight opponents, including Platt, to capture his first WSOP bracelet and $106,127. The tournament, the second freezeout on the schedule, drew 989 players to create a $534,060 prize pool. From late position, 'smallmytable' shoved for 1,896,108 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] and 'thehoffx' called from the button with [poker card="ah"]kd]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="8h"][poker card="qs"] to miss multiple draws for 'thehoffx' and eliminate them in ninth place. Two minutes later, action folded to Eric 'CircleBall' Baldwin in the cutoff and he moved all in for 2,716,220 with [poker card="th"][poker card="9h"] before 'fan_sawyer21' called all in from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"] flop gave Baldwin extra outs but the [poker card="9d"] turn moved him ahead with a pair and 'fan_sawyer21' was unable to work his way back into the hand after the [poker card="5c"] river and was out in eighth. Seven-handed play lasted another 15 minutes before Platt saw his run end in a blind versus blind battle. Action folded to Kim in the small blind and he moved all in for 8,110,424 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"] and Platt tank-called off his last 3,312,484 with [poker card="kh"][poker card="2h"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"] flop moved Kim ahead and Platt could only watch as the [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="4s"] river completed the board with no help to cement his seventh place finish. That hand gave Kim more than 30% of the chips in play and he continued to use that stack to apply pressure. Twenty minutes after busting Platt, Kim found another victim. From the button, 'smallmytable' moved all in for 2,782,004 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jc"] and Kim called from the big blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="3d"] runout missed both players but left Kim in front with ace-high and eliminated 'smallmytable' in sixth. Three minutes later, Ian 'APokerJoker' Steinman moved all in from the cutoff for 2,997,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"] before 'bunsamllion' called from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="6s"] flop gave 'bunsamillion' top set but left Steinman looking for a ten for a straight. The turn was the [poker card="8h"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"] to miss Steinman's draw and eliminate him in fifth. Baldwin earned another elimination five minutes later. As the first to act, Jason 'Gunnger_Q10' Gunn moved all in for 2,078,846 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] and Baldwin moved all in for 6,475,798 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. Gunn was unable to find any relief on the [poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="qc"] runout and was eliminated in fourth place. Four minutes later, Baldwin and Kim met in a preflop all in confrontation. From the button, Kim raised to 640,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] and Baldwin shoved for 10,394,644 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. 'bunsamillion' folded the big blind before Kim called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"][poker card="4c"] flop changed nothing and neither did the [poker card="5c"] turn or [poker card="5d"] river and Baldwin was out in third. That pot propelled Kim to a massive heads-up chip lead over 'bunsamillion'. It took Kim 11 minutes to finish off his final opponent. Kim moved all in from the button with [poker card="kc"][poker card="9h"] and 'bunsamillion' called with [poker card="qh"][poker card="7h"]. The board ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="ah"] runout gave Kim the pot to eliminate 'bunsamillion' in second and give Kim his first career wsop bracelet. Final Table Payouts Joon 'jykpoker' Kim - $103,127 + $3,000 in bounties bunsamillion - $63,767 + $2,000 in bounties Eric 'Circle' Baldwin - $44,914 + $1,600 in bounties Jason 'Gunner_Q10' Gunn - $32,044 + $1,800 in bounties Ian 'APokerJoker2' Steinman - $23,178 + $1,400 in bounties smallmytable - $16,983 + $1,400 in bounties Jeff 'mavsusc' Platt - $12,657 + $2,400 in bounties fan_sawyer21 - $9,560 + $1,200 in bounties thehofffx - $7,316 + $1,400 in bounties Faces in the Crowd Frank 'spaghettiii' Marasco continued his strong play, posting a 12th place finish to pick $5,661.03 and another $1,600 from bounties. Other recognizable names that ended up in the money on Tuesday were Ryan 'bitc0in' Riess (33rd - $2,403.27 + $600), David 'bewater' Goodman (44th - $2,029.42 + $1,800), Matt 'RubberFist' Stout (80th - $1,228.33 + $600), and Brian 'JackBogle' Altman (86th - $1,121.52).
  3. FIVE THINGS is a column, written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley that covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It appears periodically at PocketFives.com. When Poker Central announced two weeks ago that they had acquired the rights to the High Stakes Poker brand and archive from GSN, the poker world reacted with one unanimous emotion. Pure joy. High Stakes Poker, which ran for seven seasons from 2006 until it was cancelled in the wake of Black Friday in 2011, is probably the most beloved TV poker show in history, rivalled only by Late Night Poker. HSP, was different than anything that had come before because it was focused on cash game action, rather than tournaments and as the name suggests, the stakes got big. Real big. Adding HSP to the growing collection of poker content on PokerGO seems like a slam dunk and Sam Simmons, President of PokerGO/PokerCentral, is already teasing poker fans about what's to come. Knowing that the brain trust that now holds the keys to HSP is already thinking of what to do with the HSP brand, this edition of FIVE THINGS is dedicated to some ideas to help make the second coming of High Stakes Poker live up to the lofty expectations. Don’t Livestream It It might seem counterintuitive in 2020 to not livestream an hours-long cash game session. Most poker content, whether it's the Super High Roller Bowl, the World Series of Poker Main Event, or LIVE At The Bike is streamed live. High Stakes Poker holds a special place in the hearts of poker fans and the attachment that many have for HSP meant that it became appointment viewing. There’s no reason that can’t be repeated. The original HSP filmed 24 hours of action to get 13-17 40-minute episodes for GSN. Have players sign the appropriate non-disclosure agreements, film an entire session, and put together hour-long episodes. Release one or two episodes each week and build up the FOMO via social media. The poker world will be waiting with bated breath. Make New School Players a Priority It’s been just over eight years since the last new episode High Stakes Poker aired featuring the likes of Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, and Daniel Negreanu. Bringing some of those players back will give viewers the nostalgic tie-in to the original run but an impressive number of talented players have emerged as stars since then and getting them involved will be an important part of the evolution of the show. Producers will have a bevy of players to choose from. Nick Schulman, Dan Cates, and Prahlad Friedman somehow never appeared on the original run and would make great additions. There are also stars from the high roller tournament scene such as Kahle Burns, Jason Koon, Sam Soverel, Kristen Bicknell, and Danny Tang that viewers at home will recognize. Others who should be in the discussion include 2017 GPI Breakout Player of the Year winner Art Papazyan, Nick Petrangelo, Kym Lim, Chance Kornuth, Garrett Adelstein, Danielle Andersen, and Christian Soto. The magic, of course, comes from producers finding the right mix of the original cast and some of the newer stars who will help carry poker into the next decade or so. Allow yourself to dream of an eight-handed lineup that consists of Schulman, Koon, Cates, Brunson, Papazyan, Jason Mercier, Bill Perkins, and Haralabos Voulgaris. They've Got a Story to Tell Getting the new players into the game is only half of the battle. Giving viewers at home a reason to love - or hate - them is the other half. Mori Eskandani is a Poker Hall of Famer because he’s been able to take the magic of the game and the players playing it and make it feel accessible to those watching. The table talk in the original HSP was an important part of getting to know the players, but dedicating a few minutes of each episode to telling the backstory of the players in the game will also be an important piece of the broadcast. Every player has a story to tell and as more and more of them are told, viewers can become fans who become invested in the success and failure of players. They’re more likely to tune in if they feel like they are emotionally invested in one or two of the players. PokerGO’s other outlet, Poker Central, can also play a central role in giving all of the players - new and old - significant build-up in the lead up to each episode. Give the Great Game Some Run Every episode of High Stakes Poker has been No Limit Hold'em. It made sense. Most people who were watching poker at the time knew the game and it was easy to follow. Viewers who found it while channel surfing could quickly pick-up the basics and enjoy what they were watching. The PokerGO viewer is a much more advanced viewer than that. Sure, they still watch a lot of No Limit Hold'em, but they've also seen the growth in other games over the years and may have even dabbled in playing some of them. Changing things up a bit will be well received and PokerGO has done something like this before with PLOMG week on Poker After Dark in 2017. Having 3-4 episodes of Pot Limit Omaha with a lineup of PLO killers and you're going to get a different group of players to build buzz around. Phil Galfond, Jens Kyllönen, Ben Tollerene, Tom Dwan, and Ben Lamb would be an incredible lineup Who knows, maybe 'VeniVidi1993' comes out of anonymity to play? Maybe more importantly, as anybody who remembers the Rail Heaven days on Full Tilt Poker will tell you, PLO is a game that naturally leads to some big pots that will generate buzz on their own. New Blood in the Booth Over the seven seasons of the original run, the show had the likes of AJ Benza, Gabe Kaplan, and Norm MacDonald in the commentary booth. MacDonald’s hiring wasn’t exactly met with cheers from the loyal fan base but both Benza and Kaplan connected with the audience and did their best work by letting the table talk carry the show. There would certainly be some nostalgic reasons to get Kaplan or Benza - or both - back in the fold and have them steering the ship, but there's a better approach here. Give Jeff Platt the keys. Platt is a broadcast professional with a passion for poker and his work with some of PokerGO’s live-streamed events has shown he’s ready for and deserving of a bigger stage. HSP is that stage and poker fans would be richer for having him in the booth on this.
  4. Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC
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