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  1. [caption width="640"] Josh Reichard is climbing the ladder of all-time WSOP Circuit winner after his sixth win in Wisconsin (WSOP photo)[/caption] For Josh Reichard, poker has always been a family affair. The 25-year-old poker pro is steadily climbing the all-time ring list on the World Series of Poker Circuit and won his sixth career ring last week at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee. The Janesville, WI native won the $365 Pot Limit Omaha event to earn $17,021 and him enough Circuit rings for two hands. But poker doubles as both a career and a way to spend time with his father. Reichard learned the game from his dad, Brett, as a young child. Poker was a game that his entire family would take part in, but the father-and-son duo took it to another level. “My dad got me started playing poker,” said Reichard. “He still travels around and plays with me. He used to be at like 100% of everything that I was at, but he doesn’t get to travel as much now. So he’s probably with me about half of the time now. He taught me the game. He taught me everything about it. We would have family tournaments when I was young.” Reichard began learning the basics of his game when he as young as eight years old in the aforementioned family games. As he got older, he started taking the game more seriously. He was too young to play during the glory days of online poker, but he would sit next to his father while he played online. The two would talk strategy and Reichard quickly honed his skills by sweating his dad. Once Reichard was old enough to play in games outside of the living room, they began to play local tournaments in town. “We started playing maybe some local stuff that they had at the bowling alley and the banquet hall,” said Reichard about the first poker tournaments he took part in. “We were both doing well so we decided to go with it. We started traveling and still we’re successful. So here we are.” After he graduated from high school, Reichard began working for his father’s property preservation company, which was responsible for cleaning out foreclosure properties for banks and realtors. He’d spend his weekdays working, but when he had an off-day from work, the two would get back on the road to find a poker tournament to play in. “We would go to Florida and Minnesota when I turned 18,” said Reichard. “And he would go and travel and play some stuff without me, but once I turned 21, that’s when we really started traveling and playing everything.” Once he was legal in all 50 states, Reichard stopped working for his father’s company and took on poker full time. “We both just hit the road and played a lot and enjoyed it,” said Reichard. “So we kept doing it.” It’s been a successful ride for the two of them. While Reichard is making a name for himself on the Circuit, his father was improving as well. Last August, Brett Reichard won his first ring in $580 No Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP Circuit stop in Cherokee, North Carolina. He earned over $32,000 for the win, which was his biggest of his career and brought his total earnings to over $152,000. Over the course of his pro career, the younger Reichard has amassed over $530,000 in tournament earnings to go along with his six rings and a Mid-States Poker Tour title. He is just three rings away from tying Alex Masek atop the all-time leaderboard and is quickly putting himself in elite company on the Circuit. “When I first started playing, I didn’t even think this was a possibility,” said Reichard about possibly sitting atop the all-time ring list. “It’s cool to be close. I idolize Ari (Engel) and Alex Masek. And two or three rings is a lot. They are still quite aways ahead of me, but it’s cool to be in that company.” Some players have used the Circuit as a springboard to bigger success. However, Reichard always sees himself as part of the Circuit community. He enjoys the environment that the Circuit brings to its venues as opposed to some of the bigger buy-in events. “I’ll probably move on a little bit, but I’m always going to play the Circuit no matter what happens,” said Reichard. “I enjoy the players on the Circuit. I haven’t played that many WPTs. I’ve played a couple and one was actually really fun. But most of them, all the players were kind of robotic and there wasn’t much talking or anything like that. “Obviously, I want to win and make money and all of that, but I also want to have fun. Most of the tables on the Circuit are going to be a lot of recreational players and they are there to have fun. I enjoy that aspect of it.” His preference for the Circuit doesn’t mean that he can’t compete with the players on the WPT. During last year’s Bay 101 Shooting Stars, Reichard earned a bounty for knocking out Kelly Minkin, one of the Shooting Stars at the event. He didn’t cash the event, but it isn’t stopping him from heading back out for another shot at it. At the end of the month, he is going to head back out to California to play all three legs of the WPT California swing. He’s optimistic about his ability and his chances, but regardless of the outcome, Reichard is coming back to the Midwest. “No matter what happens there, I’ll be back to playing local MSPT’s and Circuits that are close to home for a while probably,” said Reichard. “I don’t really plan on hitting the WPT tour or any high roller tours. I’m not going to just start playing anything big.” Reichard has accomplished a lot in his young poker career, but he lacks the big, six-figure score that could turn him into a household name. He’s realistic about his chances of hitting it big in in the Golden state, but he feels that the best chance for one of those could be this summer at the Rio. “I’ve been trying to get a six-figure score for a long time, but a lot of the tournaments that I play don’t even pay six-figures, so it’s tougher,” said Reichard. “I think the summer is a really good opportunity for something big to happen. Going to California, there is three big tournaments and it’s unlikely that you are going to make a run in them. The summer is a really good opportunity for something good to happen because it’s tournament after tournament. Day after day.” The 2016 WSOP was the first time that Reichard stayed out in Vegas for the entire seven-week tournament series. Outside of a one-week trip back home, he was out in the desert searching for a deep run in a bracelet event. During previous summers, he would make multiple one or two-week trips back-and-forth from Wisconsin. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to spend more time in Vegas, but he’s got a wife back at home in Wisconsin. The two met in high school and started dating 10 years ago before getting married a few years ago. It’s with the support of his loving wife that Reichard can maximize his results, focus on poker, and work on taking his career to the next level. “She’s the most supportive and understanding person you could ever imagine,” said Reichard. “People say you can’t run good in love and in gambling. But man, I’m just lucky to have her, for sure. She’s supportive and understanding. More than she should, which makes it a lot easier.”
  2. When PocketFives announced the 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History project, Eli Elezra narrowly made the cut, coming in at #50. On Monday, the 58-year-old made a case for an improved ranking the next time around by becoming the 47th player to win at least four bracelets. Elezra's win was the only bracelet victory on Monday as three other events on the schedule dwindled down and two more kicked off. Eli Elezra Wins $1,500 Seven Card Stud Eli Elezra started the final day of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event with the chip lead and though it wasn't a wire-to-wire win, he did eventually beat out Anthony Zinno heads-up to win the fourth bracelet of his career and $93,766. "I'm from the old school. I've still got it here, I've still got a feeling about hands. That's when I know when to fold," Elezra said after his win. "I think in the end though I was lucky because Anthony is a really good player." Elezra and Zinno came into the final table with over 85% of the chips in play and it was simply academic for David Singer, Rep Porter, Tab Thiptinnakon, and Valentin Vornicu to bust in front of them to lead to the seemingly inevitable heads up battle. The pair played for nearly four hours before Elezra prevailed. This is the second time Elezra has won the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. He won the previous one in 2015. Elezra's other two bracelets are in Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (2007) and Limit Deuce to Seven (2013). Final Table Payouts Eli Elezra - $93,766 Anthony Zinno - $57,951 Valentin Vornicu - $39,830 Tab Thiptinnakon - $27,933 Rep Porter - $19,996 David Singer - $14,619 Joshua Mountain - $10,920 Scott Seiver - $8,337 Josh Reichard Leads Final 34 in Millionaire Maker There are just 34 players left in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and one of them is going to win $1,000,000 this week - well, $1,344,930 to be exact. Josh Reichard, winner of 11 WSOP Circuit rings, leads the final 34 players with 20,645,000. He's the only player with at least 20,000,000 and one of only six with 10,000,000. Included in that second group is Andrew Hinrichsen with 18,700,000 and Cory Albertson with 15,150,000. There are two former #1-ranked PocketFivers in the top 10. Steven van Zadelhoff sits fifth with 10,600,000 and Joao Simao ended up ninth with 9,050,000. Another former #1, Calvin Anderson, finished with the shortest stack at 1,875,000. Samuel Cosby, who started the day with the chip lead, is still alive with 4,085,000. There were 275 players who saw their shot at the seven-figure windfall end on Monday. Some of the notables to bust included Anthony Spinella (41st - $31,224), Jonathan Karamalikis (45th - $31,224), Bruno Politano (48th - $25,511), Joe McKeehen (65th - $17,416) Olivier Busquet (93rd - $10,399), Justin Young (102nd - $8,893), JC Tran (128th -$8,893), Daniel Buzgon (136th - $8,893), Ramon Colillas (145th - $8,893), and 2019 bracelet winner Daniel Strelitz (146th - $8,893). The remaining players return to action Tuesday at Noon and will play down to six players. The final table is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Top 10 Chip Counts Josh Reichard - 20,645,000 Andrew Hinrichsen - 18,700,000 Cory Albertson - 15,150,000 Fabian Gumz - 11,675,000 Steven van Zadelhoff - 10,600,000 Jacob Naumann - 10,565,000 Stephen Nussrallah - 9,960,000 Joao Simao - 9,050,000 Nathan Russler - 7,060,000 Damon Musgrave - 7,045,000 $1,000 Double Stack Needs Third Day; 11 Remain The $1,000 Double Stack event was supposed to be a two-day event, but a larger-than-expected field made that nearly impossible but that's just fine with Jorden Fox and 10 other players still chasing the $420,693 first place prize money. The top three stacks heading into Day 3 all belong to players who call California home. Fox leads with 26,150,000 ahead of Jeffrey Smith with 21,775,000. Scott Vener, a Hollywood music supervisor, sits third with 17,600,000. Reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Erkut Yilmaz was the final player to bust on Monday, finishing 12th for $28,443. Other notables that were sent to the rail on Monday included Adam Levy, Maria Ho, Dylan Linde, former #1-ranked Tim West, Pennsylvani poker pro Zach Gruneberg, Andrew Lichtenberger, Ryan Laplante, and Kelly Minkin. The final 11 players will play down to a winner beginning at Noon. Final 11 Chip Counts Jorden Fox - 26,150,000 Jeffrey Smith - 21,775,000 Scott Vener - 17,600,000 Christopher Andler - 12,675,000 Jayachandra Gangaiah - 12,625,000 Sridhar Natarajan - 10,675,000 Ryan Teves - 8,725,000 Simon Legat - 7,950,000 Andrew Glauberg - 6,025,000 Atrayon Trevino - 4,550,000 Marco Garcia - 4,000,000 Alexander Livingston in Command in $1,500 Eight Game Alexander Livingston almost bagged up 600,000 chips at the end of Day 2 of the $1,500 Eight Game event. He finished with 587,000 and is the only player over 500,000 and the only one over 400,000. Chris Vitch finished with 395,000 for the second best stack on the day. Murilo Souza, who won the $1,500 HORSE event last week, sits third with 383,000. Only 28 of the 225 players who started the day managed to move on to Day 2. Pennsylvania poker is well represented with Chris Klodnicki and Matt Glantz both finding bags at the end of the night. Chris Bjorin, Allen Kessler, and Toby Lewis also stayed alive through the 10 levels of play. There were more than a few notable names that busted on Day 2. Ismael Bojang, Jeff Madsen, Mike Watson, Brian Yoon, Phil Hellmuth, Yuval Bronshtein, David 'ODB' Baker, Phillip Hui, Marco Johnson, Dan Smith, Shaun Deeb, Patrick Leonard, Alex Foxen, and Ian O'Hara didn't move on to Day 2 but did pick up a cash. Day 3 starts at 2 PM PT is scheduled to play down to a champion. Top 10 Chip Counts Alexander Livingston - 587,000 Chris Vitch - 395,500 Murilo Souza - 383,000 Philip Long - 353,000 John Trumbul - 348,500 Chris Klodnicki - 348,000 Matt Glantz - 342,000 Frederik Brink - 285,500 John Evans - 262,000 Rami Boukai - 257,500 Cliff Josephy Among $600 PLO Deepstack Top 10 Day 1 of the $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack event, a new event for 2019, drew 2,577 players with 215 making it through the day. Corey Wright finished as the chip leader with 1,726,000. Former #1-ranked Cliff Josephy made his 2019 WSOP debut on Monday and seems to have made the absolute most of it, finishing in the top 10 Day 1 chip stacks. There were 171 players who busted on Day 1, but still managed to make it into the money. Daniel Negreanu picked up his fifth cash of the 2019 WSOP, finishing 381st for $875. Other notables to pick up a score on Monday included Joseph Cheong, Chris Ferguson, Greg Raymer, Kenny Hallaert, Joao Vieira, and Jesse Sylvia. The event is scheduled to wrap up on Tuesday, with cards in the air beginning at Noon. Top 10 Chip Counts Corey Wright - 1,726,000 Robert Valden - 1,275,000 Ryan Bambrick - 1,159,000 Peter Linton - 1,130,000 Peter Eichhardt - 1,100,000 Rafael Lebron - 1,059,000 Cliff Josephy - 1,009,000 Alex Feiner - 1,003,000 Darko Stojanovic - 987,000 Ioannis Angelou - 970,000 Fewer Runners in $2,620 Marathon Event While most of the No Limit Hold'em events in the early part of the 2019 WSOP schedule have seen an uptick in attendance, the $2,620 buy-in Marathon appears to be the exception. Just 947 players bought in on Day 1, down from the 1,479 who did the same last summer. Registration is open for two more levels on Tuesday (just like 2018). Peter Hong bagged up the chip lead, finishing the six 100-minute levels with 179,000 from a starting stack of 26,200. There's a close group right behind with Christopher Godfrey, Scott Menard, and Thong Ho all finishing with 170,000 or more. There were 466 players who finished Day 1 with chips as 481 were sent to the rail. Matt Berkey, Dietrich Fast, Tristan Wade, Andre Akkari, Jonathan Proudfoot, and Live at the Bike's Ryan Feldman, were just a handful of the notables moving on to Day 2. The event is scheduled to run until Saturday. Top 10 Chip Counts Peter Hong - 179,000 Christopher Godfrey - 177,100 Scott Menard - 171,700 Thong Ho - 170,700 Uri Reichenstein - 163,400 Vladimir Alexandrov - 163,000 Vladimir Revniaga - 156,000 Xi Yang - 155,100 Zu Zhou - 149,000 Roman Korenev - 147,400 Dave Alfa Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Day 1 Dave Alfa might be leading $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event, but poker fans around the world could be rejoicing as ESPN commentator Norman Chad finished Day 1 with a top 10 stack. Alfa bagged up 87,900 while Chad finished with 48,600. Longtime PocketFiver Andrew Kelsall finished with 69,700 for the second best stack. Poker Hall of Famer Barbara Enright finished right behind Kelsall with 68,800. The opening day drew 460 runners, down from the 596 last year. Some of the notables among the 195 players to advance to Day 2 include Eric Rodawig, Yuval Bronshtein, Daniel Negreanu, John Racener, Michael Mizrachi, Brian Hastings, and Daniel Zack. Top 10 Chip Counts Dave Alfa - 87,900 Andrew Kelsall - 69,700 Barbara Enright - 68,800 Gregory Yohn - 65,900 Allen Green - 53,600 Bryan Pimlott - 52,100 Eugene Parenti - 51,400 Stephen Clough - 51,200 Anna Wroblewski - 50,200 Norman Chad - 48,600 WSOP PLAYER OF THE YEAR UPDATE Dan Zack won his first bracelet in the opening days of the 2019 WSOP and has made it quite clear he intends to chase down the WSOP Player of the Year title. He now has five cashes this summer, including two since his win, and leads the POY race by Rank Player Points 1 Dan Zack 1,754.40 2 Isaac Baron 1,396.76 3 Femi Fashakin 1,384.62 4 Brett Apter 1,356.43 5 Daniel Strelitz 1,353.20 6 Ben Heath 1,339.27 7 Jeremy Pekarek 1,278.95 8 Frankie O'Dell 1,259.10 9 Ben Yu 1,219.61 10 Scott Clements 1,217.26 STREAMING SCHEDULE The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven final table featuring Jean-Robert Belland, Prahlad Friedman, Paul Volpe, Darren Elias, and Jim Bechtel gets underway at NOON PT and will be streamed on both PokerGO and CBS All Access. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. TUESDAY at the WSOP

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