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[caption id="attachment_617455" align="alignnone" width="640"] The World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Championship Event starts on January 19.[/caption] After a two year absence, the World Poker Tour brings a Championship Event back to the Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Set to take place from January 19-24, the $3,500 Main Event buy-in comes with a $2,000,000 guarantee. Do You Feel Lucky? For those who are looking to find shade from the South Florida sun and take a seat at the tables, here is everything you need to know about the big event. The Lucky Hearts Main Event offers two starting days, the first of which begins on January 19 at noon local time. While there is no re-entry during each individual day, players who opt to play Day 1A and bust are eligible to give it a second shot on Day 1B. Additionally, if players have a stack at the end of Day 1A, but they are unhappy with their stack size, they would need to forfeit that in order to register Day 1B. Days one and two have 60-minute levels, after that the time increases to 90 minutes until a final table of six is reached. Once your there, the levels drop back to 60 minutes and should you be lucky enough to make it heads-up, 30-minute levels are enacted. The WPT Action Clock will be active one the tournament reaches one table outside the money. The Action Clock, which has been touted as a positive addition to the WPT’s major tournaments, gives players 30 seconds in which to make decisions, cutting back on excessive tanking and allowing players to get more hands in per hour. A Look Back At Lucky Hearts The $2,000,000 guarantee is very likely to be crushed when all is said and done but it’s no sure thing. Of all the previous years in which the WPT brought a Championship Event to the Lucky Hearts Poker open only 2015's Season XIII event eclipsed that large of a prize pool. That year, Brian Altman bested a field of 1,027 to take home $723,008 from a total prize pool of over $3.2 million. In Season X, the WPT Main Event was a part of the Lucky Hearts Showdown and the $3,500 buy-in only saw 295 runners. The next year in Season XI, attendance rose and the Lucky Hearts Main Event received a large PR boost with a star-studded final table. Darryl Fish and Matt Salsberg made the final table that saw Matt Giannetti defeat Lily Kiletto heads-up to win $323,804 and the title of WPT Champion. Attendance jumped again to 415 in 2014 when James Calderaro won out over Shannon Shorr and Keven Stammen for over $270,000. WPTDeepStacks Adds Some More Action Expectations are high for this year and much of that is due to the popularity and involvement of the WPTDeepStacks brand. During the multi-year hiatus of the WPT main tour at the Lucky Hearts, the WPTDeepStacks have run one of their Main Events during the festival. The past two years have seen a pair of notable names take down the Lucky Hearts WPTDeepStacks with Salomon Ponte’s win in 2016 and Jerry Wong’s victory in 2017. This year the WPTDeepStacks teams up with the main tour for and opens the Lucky Hearts Poker Open with their $1,000,000 guarantee on January 11. In addition to the WPTDeepStacks event, there are plenty of chances for players satellite into the $3,500 Main Event. Eighteen different Mega Satellites will take place starting as early as January 14. In total, the schedule guarantees over 85 seats to the Championship event with buy-ins ranging from $140-$390. Finally, if that wasn’t enough action to pull you into the land of poker and palm trees there are a number of scheduled post-lims including a $25,500 High Roller and a $50,000 High Roller both with a $1,000,000 guarantee. The Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival kicks off on January 11. The $3,500 World Poker Tour Championship event, a five-day affair with a live-streamed final table, starts on January 19.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" 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. After what feels like a ridiculously long hiatus, Lance Bradley and Matt Clark are back with another episode of The Fives. In this episode, the guys talk about Darryll Fish's recent win at the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open and recap the other storylines out of that event, including the "controversial" return to action of the recently retired Vanessa Selbst. They also get into the recently announced WPT Finale schedule, the Super High Roller Bowl's decision to expand their event to China, and talk about partypoker's decision to sign Isaac Haxton. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THIS EPISODE ON STITCHER
In 2013, Darryll Fish finished third in the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Open at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In 2017, he finished runner-up at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, also at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. On Wednesday, Fish put those close calls behind him by winning the LHPO for his first WPT title and $511,604. Fish entered the final table with a middle-of-the-pack stack but worked his way through the final table to book his first live win since the 2016 Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions. Alan Krockey came to the final table with the second shortest stack but found himself leaving first after running into a hand that basically played itself. Ness Reilly raised to 160,000 from UTG before Krockey, down to just 12 big blinds, moved all in for 915,000. Reilly called and turned oer [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] while Krockey needed some help with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3h"] flop took away one of Krockey's ace outs and neither the [poker card="7c"] turn or [poker card="6d"] river was enough to save him and the 68 year old was eliminated in sixth. Just 13 hands later another all-in preflop race claimed a victim. Aleksandr Shevelev raised to 170,000 from UTG, Reilly made it 500,000 from the button before Brett Bader re-raised to 1,350,000. Action folded to Shevelev and moved all in for 7,005,000. Reilly folded before Bader called all in and tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. Shevelev showed [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="Kd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="9h"] to give the young Russian a pair of kings and send Bader out with a fifth place finish. After doubling up Andy Frankenberger, and dropping almost 4,000,000 to Shevelev, Reilly was down to just nine big blinds. Action folded to her on the button and she moved all in. Darryll Fish called from the small blind and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] while Reilly was ahead with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2s"] changed everything though and Reilly was unable to find a jack on the [poker card="qh"] turn or [poker card="9d"] river and was eliminated in fourth. Despite starting the day as the shortest stack, Frankenberger navigated his way to the top three. Unfortunately for the former WPT champion, that's as far as he could get. Frankenberger moved all in for 2,305,000 from the button, Fish called from the small blind and Shevelev fold his big blind. Frankenberger turned over [poker card="7d"][poker card="7h"] while Fish had [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"] flop kept Frankenberger in front but the [poker card="Jd"] turn put Fish in front and the [poker card="3s"] river couldn't save Frankenberger. Heads-up play began with Shevelev holding almost 60% of the chips in play. It took just 87 hands to go from six players to two, but it took 121 to go from two to a champion. Fish and Shevelev traded the lead back multiple times before Fish finally put away Shevelev for good. After doubling Fish up, Shevelev was left with just eight big blinds when he moved all in and Fish called. Shevelev was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] to Fish's [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="kc"][poker card="td"] to give Fish a king-high straight and his first WPT title. The Lucky Hearts Poker Open attracted 911 entrants, paying $3,500 to generate a $2,915,200 prize pool. Final Table Payouts Darryll Fish - $511,604 Aleksandr Shevelev - $331,116 Andy Frankenberger - $244,342 Ness Reilly - $182,249 Brett Bader - $137,440 Alan Krockey - $104,784
With the announcement that after 16 years PokerStars is putting an end to the long-standing PCA, there’s now room for new festivals to pick up where the PCA left off. Since before Black Friday, the PCA was a cornerstone of the poker calendar with players planning on grinding tournaments in the Bahamas at the beginning of the year. January belonged to the PCA. Now, without it, players are beginning to see that there are other options emerging on how to escape their winter situations and pick up a score that could set them up until the World Series of Poker. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] [ptable zone="GG Poker"] Here are a few of the festivals taking place this January that could fill the void left by the PCA. Aussie Millions Of course, the Aussie Millions is another poker calendar mainstay and it’s been a popular one for years. The difference in 2020 is that players may be more inclined to make the trip to the Crown Melbourne than in years past. Players who were wrapping up in the Bahamas and wanting to make their way to Melbourne were facing a flight time of no less than 19 hours. With connections in Miami and stops in the West Coast of the U.S., it could take well over a full day of travel before dealing with the extreme jetlag. However, other than the travel, by all accounts, the Aussie Millions has everything. A premier poker room with nearly 100 tables of action, a full slate of tournaments including high rollers to attract the best players in the world, and it’s located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In January, Australia is in peak summer and those looking for things to do outside of the poker room will have no shortage of options including the start of the Australian Open. This year the Aussie Millions takes place from January 4-24 with the $10,600 Main Event kicking off on January 17. MILLIONS UK The newest addition to January’s poker calendar is partypoker’s MILLIONS UK which boasts a $10,300 Main Event with a $5 million guarantee. Taking place from January 4-12 at Rob Yong’s Dusk Till Dawn card room in Nottingham, MILLIONS UK is a succinct set of tournaments with an eye at attracting the high rollers. In addition to the Main Event, the series has a $25,500 Super High Roller and a $10,300 High Roller both of which come with a $1 million guarantee. Additionally, there is the $1,100 MILLIONS Open. The tournament a $1M guarantee and also promises 20 seats to the $10K Main Event. Players can play the opening flight of the MILLIONS Open online as well as find satellites to the Main Event online. World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship The World Poker Tour is keeping it close to home as they bring back their Gardens Poker Championship from January 9-13 at the Gardens Casino in Hawaiian Gardens, CA (just outside of L.A.). The tournament is the first of the televised event of the current WPT season where the final table will be put on pause and moved to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. The $10,000 buy-in assures that even with a modest turnout, the first-place prize will be a hefty six-figure sum. With the PCA out of the picture, it could be a good sign for the WPT as players from L.A., Las Vegas and even the East Coast may opt to spend their allotted PCA budget on a trip to So. Cal and take a shot at a WPT title. Lucky Hearts Poker Open Florida is another premiere warm-weather destination in January and the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL has been bringing players to their sun-soaked Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival since 2012. In 2020, the LHPO runs from January 9-21 and features a $1,000 World Poker Tour DeepStacks Main Event that begins on January 9 with a $1,000,000 guarantee. While the full 2020 schedule is still pending, players can expect more of the same from the LHPO. Traditionally the festival features modest price buy-in tournaments and more than your standard No Limit Hold’em spread as mixed games are sprinkled throughout the schedule. More To Come…? These are just four of options for players at the start of the year, but is there something else yet to be announced? Will PokerStars jump back into the frey? On a recent episode of DAT Poker Podcast, former PokerStars ambassador Daniel Negreanu hinted that there may be something new announced on the horizon. Speaking about the demise of the PCA Negreanu said, “I do believe that something will replace, how do I say this all cryptic…I think there will be something that we see in that time slot in January that will offer players something to play.”