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  1. Tonight in Hunterdon County, New Jersey Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano will be sitting with his feet up, watching his nearly three-year-old daughter run around the house after her busy day at the preschool she just started. Two weeks ago though, things were quite a bit different for the 31-year-old poker pro. Gagliano was in Las Vegas, heads-up for a bracelet at the 2016 World Series of Poker against Daniel Cooke in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Gagliano knew he had to win. “I got heads up against a guy that was definitely an amateur and I don’t think he’s played much heads-up before in his life. So when it was even, it was my tournament to lose,” said Gagliano. “Beating someone like that, that I’m expected to beat is more of a relief winning than a celebration, which is a weird thing to say.” That’s not to say that Cooke didn’t do his best to cause Gagliano, one of the most highly respected New Jersey grinders going, a level of discomfort and confusion though. “Heads-up was the most interesting I think because, like I said he was definitely a recreational player, and he was playing really tight the whole tournament, and he started heads-up by playing really tight and then five or six hands he double-barrelled me, I folded and he showed me this jack-four off, no equity bluff,” said Gagliano “And he just showed it, which I thought was strange too and it’s like he was saying ‘Okay, I’m going to play. I’m not here to just fold. You can’t run me over’.” From that point on Cooke was a different player and it forced Gagliano to make some adjustments of his own. “He totally changed his strategy after that and went bananas. He started raising every hand and he started raising really big, shoving 40 big blinds. I would just raise for the minimum and he would just shove 40 big blinds,” said Gagliano. “And that’s really frustrating to deal with especially when I know I’m going to have a skill edge because he’s just going to make me just gamble for the bracelet, which is honestly a good strategy for him. I obviously didn’t want to do that, so I started playing smaller pots, I did a lot more limping and stuff like that and getting him post flop.” Gagliano eventually got the better of Cooke and found himself posing for pictures with the WSOP bracelet, the first of his career and surprisingly the first live win of his career. “That’s definitely the biggest thing for me. I’ve made a number of fairly big final tables. I have two seconds in pretty big tournaments, I have a third at Borgata. I have another second in a smaller daily tournament,” said Gagliano. “Just a bunch of really close calls in live tournaments and never got a win, so it feels good to get that out of the way. I don’t think it’s quite even sunk in that it’s a WSOP bracelet or how big the win was money-wise.” For the record, Gagliano won $448,463, the biggest score of his career by almost $280,000, but it was the outpouring of support and congratulations from other players, long time grinders like himself, that hit home for Gagliano. “I mean, it means a ton. Every time I tweeted anything at the final table, I had so many people wishing me luck and liking the tweet and saying I can do it and that kind of thing. I was super short on Day 3, I was super short basically the entire tournament, and people were still like you got this, just hang in there, you can do it. It’s just pretty cool having so many people rooting for you from literally all over the world,” said Gagliano. “It’s definitely special that it’s the WSOP. I can tell because of how many people have messaged me and told me congratulations and people that I hadn’t heard from in so long that were like ‘dude, I heard you won, Im so excited’. So it’s definitely a little bit more special than other stuff and it will get more special as time goes on.” Gagliano is back home in New Jersey for a quick break before heading back out for the duration next week. While home he gets to spend time with his daughter, play online and refresh a little bit for what he’s hoping will be another deep run or even a second bracelet. While he’s in Las Vegas his wife Megan and daughter stay out east and that’s something Gagliano struggles with, even if the poker keeps him distracted. “She just started her preschool,” said Gagliano. “It’s definitely hard being away, it’s just hard. It is what it is. I play poker all day long when I’m out here so the days go by fast.”
  2. [caption width="640"] Cesar Garcia was one of three WSOP bracelet winners on Saturday )WSOP photo)[/caption] Many poker players used to grinding day in and day out at the 2016 World Series of Poker took the weekend off for the Electric Daisy Carnival along with 100,000 other party-goers at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a much-needed breather about halfway through the Series. But action pressed on and Saturday saw three bracelet winners and seven events in action. Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano is mostly well-known for his success on the virtual felt as a top New Jersey player, but he broke through and won his first WSOP bracelet in an event he final tabled in 2012. “I’ve never won a live tournament before, at least nothing on this scale before,” Gagliano said. “I came close a few times and definitely wanted to get a win, so it’s nice to that over and done with.” “I’ve played plenty of tournaments before, it’s all just a matter of adjusting,” he added. “You have to play the tougher aggressive players differently than you play against your recreational players who are taking their one shot – It’s all about adjusting.” Gagliano was 16th in chips of 24 returning players at the start of Day 3, navitigated his way to the final table and on the 223rd hand of the final table he opened, Daniel Cooke shoved all in holding [poker card="ks"] [poker card="qc"] and Gagliano called holding [poker card="ah"] [poker card="9s"]. He hit a nine on the flop, faded the Broadway cards and took down the tournament. Final Table Payouts Michael Gagliano – $448,463 Daniel Cooke – $277,128 Shankar Pillai - $196,119 Remi Castaignon - $140,596 Zu Zhou - $102,120 Niall Farrell - $75,164 Michael Laake - $56,073 Darryll Fish - $42,405 Gavin O’Rourke - $32,514 Cesar Garcia Outduels Viliyan Petlshkov on Day 4 It was a tall order to crown a winner when 27 players returned for Day 3 and Cesar Garcia and Viliyan Petleshkov were the last two left standing when time ran out on the day. Petleshkov and Garcia played 76 hands of heads-up when they bagged up for the night. Petleshkov bagged the lead with 8.7 million and Garcia had 5.4 million when the returned and after 19 hands Garcia took down his first bracelet and $447,739. Garcia doubled up after flopping bottom two pair against Petleshkov’s flush draw. Garcia check-raised the flop and called all in to see the board blank and swing the counts his way of 10 million to 4.1 million respectively. The final hand saw Petleshkov shove with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"], Garcia call with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"] and the board run all blanks for Garcia to collect just his fourth career WSOP cash. Final Table Payouts Cesar Garcia - $447,739 Viliyan Petleshkov - $276,660 Yuriy Boyko - $198,185 Adrian Buckley – $143,598 Kamel Mokhammad - $105,253 Craig McCorkell - $78,053 Craig Varnell - $58,569 Thiago Nishijima - $44,478 Anthony Spinella - $34,188 Benny Glaser Survives Marathon to Win Second Bracelet Almost a year to the day Benny Glaser won his first bracelet in a $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event and he returned to the final day of play with 24 other players. He built a dominating chip lead at the final table, kept pressure on the short stacks and defeated Benjamin Gold heads-up. “Obviously, winning a gold bracelet is a massive goal. I hope to win more,” Glaser said after winning. “This is the game I put the most hands in online. So, perhaps I just am more used to this game since I play it all the time.” The final table featured bracelet winners Max Pescatori, Brandon Shack-Harris and Phillip Hui while Ari Engel, Allen Kessler and Thomas Muhlocker all returned for Day 3 but fell short of the final table. Final Table Benny Glaser - $244,103 Benjamin Gold - $150,828 Motohiro Kondo - $106,070 Phillip Hui – $75,627 Brandon Shack-Harris - $54,680 Zachary Milchman - $40,098 Ilya Krupin - $29,830 Max Pescatori - $22,517 Scott Packer - $17,250 Event 27: $1,000 Seniors Championship The record-breaking Seniors Championship advanced a staggering 675 players, exactly the number of in-the-money finishers, to Day 2 and 57 remained at the end of play. While that’s a huge number of players to eliminate, the event will almost certainly stretch to a fourth day to crown a winner. Paul Runge ended the day with the lead holding 1.24 million and only two other players bagged up million chip stacks – Robert Musser and Kenneth Ho. Toto Leonidas, Fred Berger and Pete Vilandos bring stacks to Day 3 also. Billy Baxter, Neil Blumenfeld, John Gale, Ken Aldridge and 2005 Main Event Final Tablist Scott Lazar all cashed in the event, but did not survive the day. The structure only calls for three days of play, but with 57 players, only ten levels of play until the hard stop and with huge pay jumps the experienced field has a long road ahead of them to even reach the final table. Top Ten Chip Counts Paul Runge – 1,240,000 Robert Musser – 1,215,000 Kenneth Hayo – 1,007,000 Deborah Fineberg – 901,000 Wesley Chong – 889,000 Toto Leonidas – 727,000 Victor Adams – 692,000 David Litt – 665,000 Scott Kelly – 639,000 Fred Berger – 614,000 Event 28: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship The second of three Limit Hold’em events on the schedule wrapped up the Championship event on Day 2 with ten players after returning with 41. Jeff Thompson leads the final table as the only player over a million chips but has a long road ahead with a loaded field. Multiple bracelet winners Brian Rast, David Chiu, Bill Chen and Brock Parker also return for the final day with Ian Johns second in chips and the always dangerous Anh Van Nguyen lower down the leaderboard. Ronnie Bardah, Georgios Sotiropoulos and Mark Radoja cashed in the event but did make the final table. Marco Johnson, Howard Lederer, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Matt Glantz and Jeffrey Lisandro each returned for Day 2 but were eliminated short of the money. Top Ten Chip Counts Jeff Thompson - 1,047,000 Ian Johns – 800,000 Brian Rast – 731,000 Alexander Balynskiy – 700,000 David Chiu – 554,000 Sean Berrios – 507,000 Bill Chen – 411,000 Anh Van Nguyen – 378,000 Brock Parker – 284,000 Philip Tom – 90,000 Event 29: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em The weekend No Limit Hold’em benefitted from the Seniors Championship crowd and drew 1,796 entrants and 274 survivors bagged up chips for Day 2. Leading them all is Alexander Ziskin with 170,400 with David Vamplew and Tony Ruberto also finishing with top ten stacks. Hollywood’s James Woods, Matt Stout, Jeff Papola, Justin Young, Brandon Meyers and Daniel Weinman all bagged up above average stacks. The field juiced the prize pool to $2,412,450 to pay out the top 270 finishers, a trip to the final table locks up $31,736 and the winner earns $401,287 for a few days of work. Top Ten Chip Counts Alexander Ziskin – 170,400 Brock Wilson – 152,200 David Vamplew – 147,300 Julian Stuer – 144,000 Eric Brix – 135,100 Timothy Ulmer – 130,000 Tony Ruberto – 128,000 Javier Gomez – 125,500 Gabriele Patti – 122,000 Matthew Reed – 120,100 Event 30: $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha The Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event, a precursor the huge $25,000 PLO event later in the Series, drew 580 entrants and by day’s end 119 players survived. Las Vegas pro Randy Ohel holds the lead after putting 273,200 in the bag. Mike Watson, Christian Harder and Allan Le finished just outside the top stacks and Joey Ingram, Gordon Vayo, Jason Mercier, Max Silver and Daniel Negreanu also advanced to Day 2. Mercier is in the midst of a historic WSOP where he’s already won two bracelets and one runner-up in in a week in $10,000 events. Top Ten Chip Counts Randy Ohel – 273,200 Nick Schwarmann – 228,200 Sean Winter – 207,400 Joshua Ladines – 179,600 Christopher Frank – 174,400 Thibaut Klinghammer – 171,400 Aleksandr Denisov – 167,200 Henri Koivisto – 157,500 Joseph Couden – 152,400 Alex Manzano – 148,000 Super Senior Sunday While nine players convene for the Seniors Championship Final Table on the final day of the event, the $1,000 Super Seniors event, for those at least 65 years-old, kicks off at 10 am. The afternoon sees the $10,000 Omaha HiLo Championship kickoff at 3 pm.
  3. [caption width="640"] Peter Smyth came all the way from England to play the PokerStars Festival New Jersey after winning an online qualifier (PokerStars photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Every time PokerStars hosts a live event, whether it’s the European Poker Tour, the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour or the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, there’s always a slew of players who have made their way to the tournament by qualifying online. With the rebranding of all of their live tournaments under the PokerStars Live umbrella that didn’t change and as the first PokerStars Live Festival event plays down to a champion Friday night, two players remained who had a shot at turning a small online buy-in into a five-figure live score. And that’s basically where the similarities end. Peter Smyth is a 60-year-old British retiree who plays on PokerStars.com more as a hobby than as a means of making any money. He does okay - he’s a SuperNova - but playing poker for him is all about having some fun and taking advantage of his math, statistics and gambling background. “When it comes to mathematics and gambling, everybody is good at something and that just happens to be my thing. I’m certainly not a professional, there’s much better players than me, I’m very pragmatic and realistic about that. It’s the mathematical challenge, I’m not great at reading people, which is part of the reason I prefer to play online, I think I play a lot tighter live, maybe a bit frightened to make a fool of myself or something,” said Smyth, a former trading director for one of Britain’s largest gambling companies. Smyth was playing on PokerStars.com from his home in England and noticed the satellite in the tournament lobby. “(The buy-in) was like $200 and I just happened to notice, I was playing in a couple of other tournaments at the time, and it looked like there might possibly be an overlay,” said Smyth. “I haven’t played live for maybe five or six years, just the traveling and stuff, and I thought well it looks like value. I think there were three packages and there were just 12 players and you could re-enter once. And I thought well why not and I got through okay, so that was fine.” Next thing he knew he was booking airfare on his way to Atlantic City. [caption width="640"] Michael Gagliano is one of New Jersey's most respected online pros (PokerStars photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano is a professional poker and the #8-ranked poker player in his home state of New Jersey. He makes his living playing on the regulated poker sites his state has to offer and the surrounding live tournament scene in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He also won his first World Series of Poker bracelet this summer. Gagliano qualified in a $109 buy-in satellite that guaranteed 25 seats. Being a pro in one of the only three states to offer regulated online poker means being able to take advantage of low buy-in qualifiers for some of the bigger land-based events that fill the calendar. ‘I knew they had satellites for this. There was a few that ran during the week that only had one seat. So I played a couple. I was pretty sure I was going to come to this anyway, but once I won a seat, obviously I had to come,” said Gagliano. “I play all of the satellites. I played all of the satellites for this, all of the satellites for Borgata. Anything that runs that’s going to be in the area, I definitely play a satellite for it.” Smyth eventually busted in eighth place, turning his $200 investment into a $4,455 payday. He had dreams of turning his satellite win into top three money and sticking around the East Coast in hopes of running it up, but it wasn’t meant to be. “If I finish in the top three I might well stay and play next week in the Borgata, possibly,” said Smyth before he was eliminated. “If I finish seventh or eighth I’m back on the plane, back to England and back in front of the screen again.” Gagliano, as he’s done for most of the tournament, is still hovering near the chip lead with seven players remaining in the hunt for the $38,220 first place prize.
  4. After a monster August saw him take over the top spot, Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger spends a second consecutive month atop the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings. Danger won 15 tournaments in August and he only let up slightly in September. He took down another 14 tournaments in September as he heads into the final three months of the year. Danger had a lengthy list of tournament results in September, but his crowning achievement for the month was taking down the Sunday High Roller on PokerStarsNJ for $8,173. Fred ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell held onto his second place spot for the second month in a row. Like Danger, he also had a big August to move up the leaderboard and a strong showing in September kept him there. He started out the month on a frantic pace, winning four tournaments in the first three days of the month. He started out the month earning his biggest score of the month, a win in the $10,000 guaranteed nightly on WSOP.com with rebuys and add-ons for $2,800. Dan ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo made the most noise in the rankings, jumping five spots and finishing in third place, less than seven points behind Ferrell. Lupo burst into the rankings last month and continued to improve his results. After winning four tournaments in August, he found himself taking down six events in September. Lupo earned one of the bigger scores of the month after winning The Ultimate Warriror for $13,500 on WSOP.com. Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon remained in the fourth spot and Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan dropped another two spots to fifth. Despite earning nine outright tournament wins, including a win for $3,141 in the Sunday Seconds on BorgataPoker.com, Donovan has dropped in the rankings for two consecutive months. Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano is one of the more recognizable names when it comes to New Jersey Online Poker and his ranking remains unchanged for September, sitting in sixth place. With over $2.6 million in tournament earnings to his name, his month was highlighted with a win in the Warriors’ Opening Strike on WSOP.com for $3,501. It was Lupo who made the most upward movement, but it was JohnnnyDrama who fell the most in the rankings. He dropped three spots down to eighth. He didn’t have many results early in the month, but found won two tournaments in the final four days of the month to put up some results. Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg and phatcoy888 dropped out of the top 10 this month and were replaced by Jacob ‘jtsnakes’ Perry and Jason 'JLaw' Lawhun, who rounded out the final two spots of the top 10. New Jersey Online Poker Ranking Top 10 Jermz – 3,302.84 (-) BiggDaddy – 3,174.43 (-) centrfieldr – 3,167.51 (+5) ykwon17 – 3,123.51 (-) donnysack – 3,022.98 (-2) Gags30 – 2,799.80 (-) Mergulas – 2,638.34 (-) JohnnnyDrama – 2,630.44 (-3) jtsnakes – 2,528.75 (NR) JLaw – 2,508.36 (NR) Dropped Out of Top 10 – phatchoy888, Lav519 Just Missed – 7douche (11th), RedsoxNets5 (12th), phatchoy888 (13th)
  5. [caption width="640"] Jason Acosta grabbed his biggest live score after taking down the PokerStars Live Festival New Jersey (PokerStars photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Jason Acosta qualified for the PokerStars Live Festival New Jersey Main Event on PokerStarsNJ.com not for $200, not for $109, not for $39 - but for 5,000 StarsCoins. Late Friday night in Atlantic City the 30-year-old from Little Ferry, NJ turned that small investment into a $38,220 score and the PokerStars Festival NJ title after beating out Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano heads-up. Day 3 started with 23 players and a plan to play down to a final table of eight players, but action moved quickly enough that tournament organizers gave the players the option to play it out. Peter Smyth, who also qualified via an online qualifier, was the first player officially eliminated from the final table. With nine players remaining Smyth opened to 30,000, Jovy Ounthongdy moved all in from the button for just over 100,000 an Eli Kim move all in from the big blind and Smyth called all in. Smyth tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"], Ounthongdy had [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] but Kim was ahead of both of them with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"]. The board ran out [poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ah"] to to give Kim an unneeded set of aces and eliminate both Ounthongdy and Smyth at the same time with Smyth taking home eighth place money. It took just over 90 minutes for the next player to be sent packing. Matt Affleck raised to 36,000 before Rocco Dicondina moved all in for 120,000 from the button. Affleck called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] while was ahead with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"] flop put Affleck ahead with a pair of nines. The [poker card="9s"] gave Affleck trips and left Dicondina hoping for a jack on the river for a chopped pot, but the [poker card="3d"] was a complete miss and Dicondina was eliminated in seventh. Just 15 minutes later, another player was eliminated. From the hijack, Sridhar Sangannagari raised to 42,000 before Gagliano made it 90,000 from the cutoff. Sangannagari moved all in for just over 170,000 total and Gagliano called. Sangannagari flipped over [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"] and found out he was in rough shape when Gagliano tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5c"] flop gave Sangannagari some hope and the [poker card="qh"] turn put him ahead, but the [poker card="ks"] river gave Gagliano a rivered full house to eliminate Sangannagari. Despite starting the final table with the chip lead, Affleck couldn’t out run a cold deck. Down to just seven big blinds, Affleck raised all in after Kim opened to 48,000 from UTG. Kim called with [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] and found he had Affleck’s [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] dominated. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"] flop left Affleck drawing nearly dead and the [poker card="4d"] on the turn made it official. The river was the [poker card="9s"] and Affleck was out in fifth. Another player who had spent time with the overall chip lead during the course of the tournament was eliminated just 15 minutes later. Action folded to Kim in the small blind and he raised enough to put David Johnston all in from the big blind if he called. Johnston called and tabled [poker card="8s"][poker card="3s"] and found himself out-pipped by Kim’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="4c"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4d"] flop put Kim ahead. The [poker card="9s"] turn gave Johnston a flush draw but the [poker card="7c"] river was a complete brick and he was out in fourth place. Kim had been responsible for a number of Day 3 bustouts and was the big stack early on in the day, but his run ended in third place. Kim raised to 70,000 from the button with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"] and Gagliano re-raised to 215,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. Kim responded with a four-bet to 650,000 and Gagliano moved all in. Kim called all in. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"] flop put Gagliano ahead and the [poker card="9h"] turn and [poker card="9d"] river kept him there. When heads-up play began Gagliano had 4,410,000 of the 5,025,000 chips in play with Jason Acosta sitting on the short stack. Over the course of the next two hours Acosta closed the gap and flipped the chip counts to leave Gagliano as the short stack. “He’s obviously a much more accomplished player than me, I knew I was at a huge disadvantage,” said Acosta, who plans on going back to work at his trucking company on Monday. “Once I doubled up I knew I had to double up again because he still had me like 3-1, 4-1 in chips.” Acosta did exactly that, in a hand where both players made a straight and Gagliano called with the lower straight. That hand put Acosta ahead for the first time. It took him 90 minutes to finally put away Gagliano and claim the title, his first live win. Gagliano opened all in for 900,000 and Acosta called. Gagliano tabled [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] and found out he was racing against Acosta’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"] flop gave Acosta even more outs. The [poker card="jh"] turn added even more drama and when the [poker card="9d"] fell on the river, Gagliano’s pair was counterfeited and Acosta was the last player standing. Final Table Payouts Jason Acosta - $38,220 Michael Gagliano - $28,116 Eli Kim - $20,683 David Johnston - $15,215 Matt Affleck - 11,193 Sridhar Sangannagari - $8,234 Rocco Dicondina - $6,057 Peter Smyth - $4,455
  6. [caption width="400" align="alignleft"] Josh Rothberg won two Sunday Majors in the span of a few hours on April 9 and has his goals set even higher for the rest of 2017.[/caption] Winning a Sunday Major in New Jersey is usually the highlight of any player's weekend. Given the week and online series taking place, anywhere from 5-10 majors with five-figure guarantees are up for grabs on New Jersey’s three websites with PokerStarsNJ offering some of the highest prize pools to fight over. Sunday, April 9 started like an ordinary day for Josh ‘thejberg’ Rothberg as he opened a dozen or so windows to commence his weekend grind. The 24-year-old Rothberg crossed over the $100,000 mark in 2016 for online earnings and as had a few quality results to his name, including a major victory on partypokerNJ last September. As the windows gradually started to close, Rothberg found himself deep in two majors on PokerStarsNJ, the $200 buy in $50,000 guaranteed Sunday Special and the $500 buy in $15,000 guaranteed Six Max High Roller. By the time his grind ended at 2:00 am, Rothberg was victorious in both MTTs for a combined haul of $18,849. Rothberg says he didn’t fully register how much money he had won until a few days later but work the next day for the New York City tech sales rep was anything but normal. “I was really tired going to work the next day. There was a lot of adrenaline from winning and making a deep run. I got three hours of sleep and was up at 7:00 am to head into the office.” The wins are the product of hard work and diligence to the craft for Rothberg, who sought out Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano as a coach on a consistent basis about six months ago. The player-coach relationship for the two has been immensely positive for Rothberg as he calls Gagliano a “mentor” and notes how the many sessions they have shared together all clicked when it mattered most. “We have gone over specific situations late in the game and realized I used to be too tight in opening. I had the chip lead at both final tables and needed to hammer away. I’ve been playing a lot more and am more comfortable doing it and taking initiative. It was way easier than it should have been. I was locked in and felt confident.” It almost wasn’t meant to be for Rothberg as his computer stopped cooperating as he gained the chip lead in both events. As his computer charge waned, Rothberg was able to borrow one a laptop from one of his Hoboken roommates to continue his nighttime grind. Even though both final tables were playing out simultaneously, Rothberg maintained firm concentration on each as he navigated through the highest equity spots of his online career. Rothberg says he felt prepared for this exact scenario due to Gagliano’s coaching, which taught him how to balance action on multiple tables; the exact mindset needed for grinding a New Jersey Sunday. Rothberg’s poker goal coming into 2017 was to become a top-25 player in the United States and to make a live final table, and so far he’s achieved one of those by virtue of his current ranking of #24. The second part of that list might be on the horizon for Rothberg, who is currently in Atlantic City for the first weekend of the Spring Poker Open at the Borgata. Rothberg notched a top-100 finish in last year’s World Series of Poker Monster Stack and will be back in Las Vegas this summer for the Main Event. The variance in winning Sunday Majors is volatile but for a magical couple of hours, Rothberg harnessed the magic needed to wrap up two wins and potentially propel him to the next level of success he is chasing.
  7. [caption width="640"] Michael Gagliano is ending the year on a high note with his ascension to #1 in NJ[/caption] The two-man race between Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon and David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman for #1 in the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings is at end. Following a consistent stint in the top-10 during the better part of the year, Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano is now in pole position in his home state. Gagliano is the only player in New Jersey with over 4,000 PLB points. In November, Gagliano achieved five wins with a win in the $500 PokerStarsNJ High Roller serving as the highwater mark. That score earned Gagliano $7,708 and he also collected a win in the 888poker NJ New Jersey Poker Classic series. Gagliano was #4 in the previous rankings and will look to stay on top for at least another month. Kwon is #2 in New Jersey after notching eight wins. All of Kwon’s wins were for under $2,000 but he reversed that trend to start December. On December 3, Kwon won the Half Price Sunday High Roller on PokerStarsNJ for $7,754. He will be playing the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond event this week and for now, Coleman sits in third place. Coleman won a seat on PlayMGM and will attempt to add to his three wins from November once he returns from Las Vegas. Close behind Coleman by less than 50 PLB points is Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo. As a result of the rise of Gagliano, Lupo goes from #3 in the rankings to #4. One of the largest scores of November belonged to Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger, who claimed victory in the November 5 Sunday Special on PokerStarsNJ. The victory earned Danger almost $10,000 and he is up to #5 in the NJ rankings. John ‘Selurznug’ Cosgrove has been putting in infinite volume over the recent months since he first entered the top-10 and did so again in November. Cosgrove entered the winner’s circle eight times and made 14 additional trips to the podium. In seventh place for the second straight month is Freddy ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell, who won two sizable events. Ferrell shipped the PokerStarsNJ Sunday High Roller on November 26 for $7,614 and won NJPC Event #33 (Sunday Funday $25,000 GTD) for $9,894 more. Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman and Andrew ‘Mergulas’ Glauberg are back in the top-10 and #8 and #9, respectively. Haberman shipped two NJPC events and Glauberg took down one of his own. Rounding up the group is Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan. Donovan moved into the top-10 last month and collected seven top-three finishes in order to keep himself there. New Jersey Online Poker Ranking Top 10 Gags307– 4,331.93 (+3) ykwon17 – 3,950.78 (-1) dehhhhh– 3,694.36 (-1) centrfieldr – 3,652.15 (-1) Jermz – 3,451.14 (+1) Selurznug – 3,218.69 (-1) BiggDaddy – 3,217.58 (-) JohnnnyDrama – 2,940.52 (NR) Mergulas – 2,843.31 (NR) donnysack – 2,797.74 (-1) Dropped Out of Top 10 – papmat25, Lav519 Just Missed – mjpaol (#11), hags021 (#12), thejberg (#13)
  8. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz kicked off the High Rollers Series with a win in Event #1 (WPT photo)[/caption] The PokerStars High Rollers series wrapped up on December 4 completing a comprehensive 22-event schedule with over $10,000,000 in guarantees. If participation is an indicator of success, the High Rollers Series certainly proved there was ample space in the marketplace for such an event as 20 of the 22 events had no problem generating prize pools greater than their guarantees. As expected, the action was more than enough to bring out some of the best and brightest stars in the game to compete creating a number of highlights throughout the week. Main Event Deal Making In the Main Event, Event #19 ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em, $2M Gtd) after navigating a field of 1,135 entrants, a four-way deal was struck giving Finland’s ‘Sanderssi’ first place and the lion share of the $2,270,00 prize pool with a $294,685 payday. For Germany’s ‘jutrack’, the third bullet was a charm as his runner-up finish brought in $226,162 while both‘Maz&Yauskas’ from the UK and Canada’s ’MATT HOLVIK’ were also guaranteed no less than a quarter million in the deal. Holz gunna Holz Fortune smiled on the series early when one of the biggest names in the game, and the current undisputed “King Of The High Rollers”, Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz not only found his way into the event, despite his hectic travel schedule, but managed to do what he always seems to do - score another six-figure victory. Event #1 ($2100 No Limit Hold’em) was one of the two events to miss its guarantee, coming up roughly $116,000 short, but it could be argued that the media attention of having Holz score a victory right off the bat brought a much-needed reminder to the community and energized the series. Holz walked with $178,498 for first while Argentinian runner-up ‘88maca88’ was compensated with $134,058. World’s #1 ‘C Darwin2’ Destroys Event #3 As we’ve mentioned, it’s going to be hard for the rest of the world to catch the current reigningPocketFives.com Worldwide #1-ranked player, Sweden’s‘C Darwin2’ when he continues to post results like he did in the Event #3 ($1,050 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Progressive KO) of the High Rollers. The Progressive Knockouts have been a popular tournament for PokerStars and this event proved it by more than doubling the $250,000 guarantee. ‘C Darwin2’ not only won the tournament outright for the $45,290 first place prize but racked up a significant number of bounties, including his own by winning, and dragged another $42,929 in bounties on top. The next closest bounty hunter was Finland’s ‘€urop€an’ who collected $23,218 while finishing in fourth place and after him, there wasn’t another five-figure bounty hunter in the field. ’T-Macha’, 'MITS 304' Claim Two Titles UK player ’T-Macha’ may go on to be considered high roller royalty after his double-victory performance this week. He first found the winner’s circle in one of the largest Progressive Knockout tournaments of the year in Event #11 ($10,300 No Limit Hold’em Progressive KO). The aggressive $1 million guarantee was shattered by $300,000 as 130 runners went for the kill in this two-day event. ’T-Macha’ not only won $142,470 for first but exceeded that total by collecting an additional $170,781 in bounties, including his own. Finishing this tournament was the aforementioned ‘€urop€an’ who, again, collected the second most bounties adding $69,062 to his second place prize of $110,281. Three days later ’T-Macha’ would again be victorious. This time in Event #15 ($5,200 No Limit Hold’em) where he would defeat Canada’s #2-ranked superstar Chris ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk heads-up for another $156,377. Kruk, on his third entry, would take home $121,341 for second place. 'MITS 304', from Cyprus, accomplished two titles in two different disciplines. First, he chopped up Event #8 ($2,100 8-Max No Limit Hold'em) for $82,615 with the Netherlands' 'Elmagico19A1'and the Worldwide #15-ranked Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford. Then 'MITS 304' played some four card poker and won Event #20 ($2,100 6-Max Pot Limit Hold'em) outright, adding another $85,020 to his bankroll. PokerStars High Rollers Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 01$1,000,000 NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]CrownUpGuy$178,498 02$200K 5-Card PLO [6-Max]$2,100][poker card="TD"]BlackFortuna$54,404.19 03$250K 8-Max, Turbo, Progessive KO NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]C. Darwin2$45,290.72 + $42,929.67 04$400K 8-Max, Progressive KO NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]raidalot$45,470.53 + $60,187.50 05$200K 6-Max Shootout NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]23noraB$44,000 06$1,000,000 NLHE$10,300][poker card="TD"]PlayaPlz$258,639.41 07$400K Turbo, Progressive KO NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]SilliSuhonen$62,269.79 + $70,507.81 08$500K 8-Max NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]MITS 304$82,615.05* 09$500K 6-Max NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]Zagalo87$130,390.08 10$250K 6-Max, Turbo NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]GotURead$88,498.31 11$1,000,000 Progressive KO NLHE$10,300][poker card="TD"]T-Macha$142,470.84 + $170,781.25 12$400K Turbo NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]hello_totti$101,912.30 13$400K 6-Max NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]Graftekkel$80,061.07 14$250K NLHE$1,050+R][poker card="TD"]VbV1990$64,291.42 15$500K 8-Max NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]T-macha$156,377.32 16$200K 6-Max NLO8$2,100][poker card="TD"]BERRI SWEET$51,256.82 17$400K 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom NLHE$1,050OLD TIME GIN$37,309.92* + $28,375.45 18$500K Progressive KO NLHE$5,200][poker card="TD"]KuuL$118,256.62 + $125,537.10 19$2,000,000 Main Event NLHE$2,100][poker card="TD"]Sanderssi$294,685.23* 20$300K 6-Max PLO$2,100][poker card="TD"]MITS 304$85,020.23 21$500K 8-Max, Turbo NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]ruthless848$122,913.93 22$250K Wrap-Up NLHE$1,050][poker card="TD"]Storimos$76,354.04 * denotes final table deal
  9. New Jersey completed its fourth full year of regulated online play last week. Tournaments have played a major role in having the state be formally recognized for the poker talent living within the borders. Scott Blumstein winning the WSOP Main Event certainly helped. The grinders who make up the online rankings did their part as well. With the calendar officially turned, Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano starts 2018 as the #1 player in the New Jersey Online Rankings. Gagliano played a selective schedule in December with seven cashes to his name. The best of the group came in the 888poker NJ $15,000 guaranteed Tuesday Showdown where Gagliano placed second for $4,932 on December 13. 2017 proved to be a good one for Gagliano, who made two WSOP final tables and boosted his career online tournament earnings to over $3 million. Staying at #2 for another month is Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon. The artist also known as ‘LuckySpewy’ won seven MTTs in December. During the PokerStarsNJ Half Price Sunday on December 3, Kwon won the $250 Sunday High Roller for $7,754. Taking his place as the last member on the podium is David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman. The 24-year-old spent most of 2017 among the top echelon of New Jersey online players and opens 2018 in the same position. Coleman is $120,000 away from cracking the $1 million mark. Should he put up a few strong months, he will likely hit that target in the first half of the year. Batting cleanup is Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo. In the past year, Lupo remained in the top 10 for nearly the entire campaign. Lupo surpassed $1 million in lifetime online earnings in October and is less than $60,000 from breaking that barrier on New Jersey sites. In the fifth position, Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger resides. The all-time leader in career New Jersey online winnings is over the $1.5 million landmark as 2018 starts. In December, Danger racked up five victories to pad his total. John ‘Selurznug’ Cosgrove ends his breakout year in sixth place. The New Jersey teacher finished his 2017 by winning 10 tournaments. Three of his gold medals came in the PokerStarsNJ Midnight Express Hyper. Another familiar screen name is in the top 10 with Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman. Who climbs one spot to #7. Haberman earned himself some holiday cash by winning the 888poker NJ $20,000 guaranteed Ultimate Warrior on Christmas Day. The triumph booked Haberman $6,060. Fred ‘BigDaddy’ Ferrell moves down a notch to #8 and Andrew ‘Mergulas’ Glauberg remains at #9. Only 20 points separate the two players, who finished in the winner’s circle a combined 16 times in December. Glauberg won back-to-back Super Tuesdays on PokerStarsNJ between December 12 and 19, earning $6,000 and $6,151, respectively. Back in the rankings after a month away is Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg, who closed this year in a big way. Lavenburg defeated the partypokerNJ Sunday $40,000 guaranteed field of 118 for a Christmas bonus worth $6,570. Then, on December 27, Lavenburg shipped the 888poker NJ $500 Tuesday Showdown for $6,739 more. The Borgata Winter Poker Open starts in the middle of this month and it will be interesting to see how the live game changes the look of the rankings by February. New Jersey Online Poker Ranking Top 10 Gags307– 4,248.45 (-) ykwon17 – 3,961.73 (-) dehhhhh– 3,482.38 (-) centrfieldr – 3,423.78 (-) Jermz – 3,282.78 (+1) Selurznug – 3,177.63 (-1) JohnnnyDrama – 3,132.01 (+1) BiggDaddy – 3,072.99 (-1) Mergulas – 3,052.23 (-) Lav519 – 2,893.34 (NR) Dropped Out of Top 10 – donnysack Just Missed – shipthesherb (#11), donnysack (#12), senor stinks (#13)
  10. Michael ‘gags30’ Gagliano opened 2018 as the king of the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings and maintains his position after the first month of the year. Gagliano widened the gap between him and second-place Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon thanks to major wins across NJ’s regulated network. The PokerStarsNJ Nightly went to Gagliano twice, as did the 888pokerNJ Tuesday Showdown on January 31. The January 28 $45,000 guaranteed Sunday Special earned Gagliano his largest win of the month and he collected $10,546 along with 233.45 PLB points. Kwon performed to his usual standard in January. Seven wins sum up Kwon’s month including a win in the PokerStarsNJ Winter Series Sunday Special. Kwon won the $55,000 GTD MTT for $11,625. In the third hole for another month is David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman. Five tournaments resulted in a gold medal for Coleman, including two PokerStarsNJ Sunday High Rollers. Coleman cashed in for a few hundred dollars shy of $15,000 between the two wins. Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman made a jump up from #7 to #4 in this edition of the NJ rankings. Haberman won nine tournaments in January and performed well on the live side via his cash in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship. Nestled in the fifth spot is Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger. “Poker Jermz” entered the winner’s circle 11 times in January, with the largest victory worth $1,610. Danger’s best score came in the January 9 Super Tuesday where third place awarded $3,483. Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo lowered his volume in January. His best result was a third-place run in the January 7 Sunday Special. Another player down a smidge in the rankings is John ‘Selurznug’ Cosgrove. With the help of five wins, Cosgrove pushed his career earnings up over the $650,000 mark. Andrew ‘Mergulas’ Glauberg climbed the ladder to the #8 spot. Matt ‘papamat25’ Iles joins him in that pursuit by rejoining the rankings after a couple of months outside. Iles won the Winter Series Main Event on January 21 for $21,696 and used the 334.85 points to push back into the top-10. The final member of the rankings is Fred ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell, who rode the Moonlight Express three times on his way to 10 overall wins. New Jersey Online Poker Ranking Top 10 Gags30 – 4,261.37 (-) ykwon17 – 3,663.81 (-) dehhhhh– 3,426.26 (-) JohnnnyDrama – 3,153.16 (+3) Jermz – 3,090.88 (-) centrfieldr – 3,042.79 (-2) Selurznug – 2,997.86 (-1) Mergulas – 2,985.58 (+1) papamat25 – 2,858.07 (NR) BiggDaddy – 2,801.83 (-2) Dropped Out of Top 10 – Lav519 Just Missed – senor stinks (#11),shipthesherb (#12), donnysack (#13)
  11. The New Jersey Online Poker Rankings continues to be topped by none other than Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano. Gagliano (4,288.22 PLB points), who routinely plays the highest online buy-ins that New Jersey has to offer, put together another impress month in March. He strung together 11 four-figure cashes, eight of which counted toward his PLB total. He cashed for over $38,000 in March, with the highlight being his runner-up finish in the PokerStars NJ Sunday Special for $6,750. Rising to the #2 ranking is David ‘dehhhh’ Coleman (3,814.89) thanks to a solid end-of-the-month heater in March. Coleman cracked the Worldwide Top 300 rankings thanks to a trio of cashes, each worth over $5,000. First up was his third-place finish on March 25 in Borgata Poker GSSS Spring ’18 Event #16 High Roller for $9,000. He followed that up the very next day by taking down the WSOP NJ BIG Deal for another $9,600. The run continued one day later with another outright win in the PokerStars NJ Super Tuesday for over $5,600. Taking a small step back into the #3 ranking is Yong ‘kwon17’ Kwon (3,636.84). Kwon was victorious in eight different tournaments in March which is the same number of four-figure scores the former New Jersey #1 raked in. Mike ‘lav519’ Lavenburg (3,527.23) retains his #4 ranking in New Jersey with the help of his mammoth victory in the partypoker NJ GSSS Spring ’18 $50,000 GTD High Roller. He took home the rare five-figure score of $15,500 and added 223.61 PLB points to his total. In addition to his big victory, Lavenburg pulled in roughly $66,000 in the month. Rounding out the top 5 in New Jersey is Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo (3,413.93). Lupo amassed seven PLB qualifying cashes including an over $5,000 score for his runner-up finish in the March 26 WSOP NJ BIG Deal. ’sri100k’ (3,015.28) rose six spots to claim the #6 ranking this month thanks to playing heavy volume and working his way to 16 podium finished in March. He earned $6,356 for his victory in the PokerStars NJ Turbo Series Event #26 which was one of 14 of his four-figure cashes in the month. Atlantic City’s #7-ranked Andrew ‘Mergulas’ Glauberg (3,001.91) cashed over 50 times in March including four outright wins. Though not one of his victories, his month was capped by a runner-up finish in the March 27 PokerStars NJ Super Tuesday for over $3,700. On March 26, ‘Jermz’ (2,964. 25) scored a trio of four-figure cashes including two fourth-place finishes on WSOP NJ and a final table finish in the Borgata Poker GSSS Spring ’18 Main Event for over $3,700. In total, he added nearly $10,000 to his bankroll on that day along and three qualifying cashes to help him remain at the #8 ranking. Michael ‘JohnnnyDrama’ Haberman (2,925.11) rose one spot to the #9 ranking in March on the back of nine podium finishes including a victory in the WSOP NJ $10,000 Fierce Warrior for $2,850. Weehawken’s #1 player, ‘ol muggins’ (2,922.78) completes the current top 10 ranked players in New Jersey due to a heavy schedule and the lift he received him his runner-up finish in the NJPC II Main Event at the very end of February which brought him a career-high cash of just over $20,000. New Jersey Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Gags30 4,288.22 2 dehhhhh 3,814.89 3 ykwon17 3,636.84 4 Lav519 3,527.23 5 centrfieldr 3,143.93 6 sri100k 3,015.28 7 Mergulas 3,001.91 8 Jermz 2,964.25 9 JohnnnyDrama 2,925.11 10 ol muggins 2,922.78
  12. On April 16, online poker operator WSOP.com announced that they would be combining the player pools for all three states (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware) where online poker is currently legalized and regulated in the United States. The combined player pool is set to begin on May 1. The announcement comes with less than two months before the WSOP flagship event, the 2018 World Series of Poker which will contain four different online bracelet events. “We hope to break records in all of our events this year,” said Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker for WSOP. “We started off with the $1,000 WSOP bracelet event (in 2015) and the next year we had two events, last year we had three and this year we’re hosting four online bracelet events and we expect they’ll all perform spectacularly.” His hopes are warranted with players from New Jersey being able to participate in bracelet events for the first time from over 2,500 miles away. Though players in Delaware will be wrapped into the new player liquidity agreement, WSOP.com doesn’t operate those online poker rooms, keeping players from that state from participating in a sanctioned WSOP-specific tournament. The timing of the announcement is no coincidence according to Rini, it was important for the online arm of the most recognizable poker series to have liquidity happen before the start of this year’s WSOP. Then again, it’s been something of importance for quite some time. “We started working on this as soon as the multi-state agreement was announced by regulators in October of 2017,” Rini said “It was very important to us to get pooled liquidity out there before the WSOP. We really wanted to have New Jersey players eligible to play in our online bracelet events. And, of course, players were anxious to start playing interstate as well. I can’t think of a week that has gone by since last year where someone hasn’t asked me about it.” One of those players eager to dive into the new player pool is Jed ‘JCHAK’ Hoffman, a one-time #1-ranked player in Nevada and consummate grinding online player at WSOP.com. “A six-figure score will once again be possible in legal online gaming in the U.S. so that’s going to be pretty sweet,” Hoffman said. “I just hope that WSOP.com realizes that keeping poker relatively pure is extremely important and valuable moving forward.” As Hoffman looks forward to swelling prize pools and improved customer support, Rini promises that there will be some tweaking in the tournament schedule in the near future, even if he cannot expand on that just yet. “We’ll take advantage of the increased prime-time resulting from two time-zones to have a really powerful lineup of tournaments and guarantees are being tweaked accordingly. We also have a lot of other things in the works worth getting excited about, but you’ll have to wait for further announcements on that.” As players look forward to logging more hands with more players, the issues access of hand histories once again has risen to the surface with New Jersey's #1-ranked player Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano recently voicing concern over player security. "Big unanswered question is what is happening with hand histories," Gagliano tweeted on April 16, shortly after the initial announcement. "Players need access to downloadable hh (hand histories) to ensure game integrity and security. Removing huds is fine, however downloadable hand histories are vital to a safe gaming environment." Understanding the need for game security, Rini addressed the topic of hand histories and the current state of reviewable hands. "Players can replay their hands in the hand re-player that is in the client. That covers the last thirty days of hands played. We will, on a limited basis and within certain limits, provide hand histories over thirty days old. While the hands can't be imported into tracking software, it does allow players to review their gameplay which we, of course, recognize is a valid need," Rini said. "We're aware of the arguments made for unfiltered access to hand histories in order to audit game fairness but there are other mechanisms to deal with those concerns. This has worked for the Nevada market for close to five years now without incident and there will be additional regulatory bodies monitoring the integrity of the games with shared liquidity. If players are concerned about game integrity they can contact us or the relevant regulators to conduct an investigation." In addition to integrating the three player pools, WSOP.com is gearing up for another wave of poker tourists ready to fire up their online client for another summer grind when the official WSOP starts on May 29. While players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have discovered a couple items that need attending such as the need for re-creating screen names and the removal of HUD's for players in New Jersey, Rini anticipates a fairly smooth re-integration of anyone playing on WSOP.com during the series. “For the most part it will be business as usual, except that they will have to create a new account if they had one previously,” Rini said. “The only thing that we want to make players aware of, and this applies to new players also, is if we have difficulty verifying identity we may need you to upload some documents like a recent utility bill or bank statement. We have always had this policy but if someone is coming to Vegas for the WSOP and has done this already, we will not be migrating that data over to the new multi-state platform, so they may have to do that again.” “That’s especially important for anybody visiting us from outside of the U.S. as it is often a little more difficult to access those documents after they leave.” Though not yet enabled, the shared player pool is being looked at as a major step forward in the progress of online poker in the U.S. When additional states like Pennsylvania finally get online, WSOP.com is Rini is hoping that they’ll be able to bring them into the fold as soon as possible. “Obviously, we’ve been encouraged by what we’ve seen so far and we’re hopeful that Pennsylvania will allow shared liquidity from the start.” Players located in both New Jersey and Nevada will be available to register and vie for all four of the official WSOP online bracelet events beginning on June 3. June 3 – Event #10: $365 No Limit Hold'em June 22 – Event #47: $565 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max June 29 – Event #61: $1,000 No Limit Hold'em June 30 – Event #63: $3,200 High Roller
  13. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker, beating out a tough field in the €25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe. Now, the Scottish poker pro is in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker hoping to add another bracelet to his collection. Over the course of the 2018 WSOP, 50 Days & 50 Nights chronicles Farrell’s summer; the highs and the lows and all the stuff that happens in between. Here's how the opening two weeks of the 2018 World Series of Poker has gone for Niall Farrell. He's cashed once - for $1,096, been knocked out of $110,000 worth of poker tournaments by Justin Bonomo (before the money bubble), woke up with a horse screensaver on what he thought was his phone, and is now banned from drinking any booze. Despite all of this, spirits (his, not the ones that come in a glass) are still quite high. His WSOP started with the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty where he picked up a couple of bounties but busted before the bubble. Next up was the $100,000 High Roller, an event he initially had no intention of playing. "Then I saw the field, it was pretty good, so I got in. I got up to 100 bigs but then ran into Bonomo - that's becoming kind of a theme," said Farrell. "The $100K was going really well, I sat down and was just winning every hand and then I got it in with kings to Bonomo's king-five suited on a jack-eight-four flop for like 2.5 starting stacks and promptly lost." "When someone's on that kind of a heater, it feels kind of inevitable, you see their hand and you're like 'oh, for god's sake'. It just feels like that because they're doing so well at the moment," said Farrell. A few days later, Farrell played the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship event. "The very first round I got to play with Bill Klein and he had me in stitches the whole time. He's a really funny guy, really nice guy," said Farrell, who beat Klein and then Adam Greenberg to advance to a matchup with one of his summer roommates, Michael Gagliano. Before the match, Farrell and Gagliano swapped a bit of action. During the match, they traded a bit of friendly banter. "We were just shit-talking each other a lot and he was folding a lot, and he was like 75% correct to be making these folds. We were just needling each other. It was just fun because although it's a serious tournament, one of us was going to win anyways and we're both playing. I had some good fun with it," said Farrell. As the match continued, another one of their roommates, Daniel Strelitz, walked over to check in on the match. He had just bagged chips in another tournament and was headed back to the house. Farrell asked him to wait so he could drove everybody home. His timing couldn't have been better and set up a perfect spot for Farrell to inflict max pain on Gagliano. "He was down to about 15 bigs and shoved. I looked down at one ace and I almost went 'Oh wow, this is a good one. I think this is going to be it.' Then I looked down at the other ace and I actually stopped before I said anything, and I was like 'Oh, can I have a count, please? This is going to be pretty close'," said Farrell. "I said to Daniel 'This might be it, it's pretty close,' and I thought that would give it away because I would never have called him over if I wasn't slowrolling to be honest. I got the count again and I said 'Okay, call' and Gags turned his hand over and he had jack-ten and I said 'Oh, how is it such a dirty flip? It's so absurd', and then he looked kind of happy. I turned over aces and he just burst out laughing. It was too perfect of a spot not to do it." All kidding aside, Farrell eliminated Gagliano and then found himself heads-up against, you guessed it, Bonomo, in the next round. That was the end of the road for Farrell as Bonomo continued his hot streak and went on to win the bracelet. "He's on a Fedor heater now. I seem to always run into that. I ran into Fedor on his heater as well in 2016 and just winning any hands against him was pretty tough at that point," said Farrell, who finished just outside the money. We Need to Talk About Hal [caption id="attachment_619522" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Everybody ... meet Hal. He already knows you. (Kevin Mathers photo)[/caption] While it might seem like he's seen a lot of Bonomo through the first two weeks of the 2018 WSOP, Farrell has also seen a lot of Hal. Who the hell is Hal? Hal is the friendly and popular bartender who works the temporary bar set up in the hallway that connects all of the tournament rooms. Over his eight years coming to the WSOP, Farrell has gotten to be quite friendly with Hal. "The absolute highlight of your summer every year is seeing Hal," said Farrell. After Farrell busted the One Drop High Roller in a "ridiculous spot" last summer, Farrell was walking to get a cab home when he ran into Hal. "Hal sees me, and I'm pretty tilted, and he's like 'Niall, how are you my man?' and I said 'Not great Hal, just busted the $100K in a weird spot,' and he says 'Oh, well I haven't got the bar set up yet, but come with me'," said Farrell. "He takes me through the back doors of the Rio, where the Brasilia room is, to this secret bar and just gives me a free beer. That's an absolute legend of a guy." "I'm currently on a self-imposed Hal ban and alcohol ban," said Farrell. How'd We Get Here? (No, Seriously .. How Did We Get Here?) Farrell woke up one morning, feeling the effects of a night of drinking. The events of the next 24 hours convinced him that maybe he needed to put himself in the penalty box for a bit. "I woke up and my phone was lying in my bed and I pressed it to see if it still had any charge and it had a horse screensaver. I was like 'oh, this just isn't my phone, is it?'," said Farrell. "Okay, we've got a 1% chance I've just changed my screensaver to a horse for some reason. I tried to put my code in and it obviously just bricks off and I'm like 'ugh'. At this point I'm thinking someone's got my phone, I've got their phone." Farrell actually found his phone a few minutes later in the jeans he had worn the night before. But wait - whose phone had the horse on it? "I did some detective work with messages on my phone and stuff and managed to find out it was some Australian girl's that we'd met the night before," said Farrell, who then tracked her down on Facebook and made plans to get her the phone back. "It's the least I can do since I now apparently steal phones. So I gave her the phone and I sat down and said 'Okay, I'm taking a couple of weeks off drinking'." "To be fair to me, the girls were like 'We don't remember much,' so it wasn't all my fault," joked Farrell. It's Still Early - Patience is a Virtue Despite the rough start, Farrell's understands that variance can sometimes be a cruel temptress. "I've had stacks in everything. I bubbled the $10K Heads Up, I lost the $3K shootout heads up, I had a lot of chips in the $10K Turbo, I got it in good for 2.5 stacks in the $100K, I lost a 250 big blind pot to Qui Nguyen in the $1,500," Farrell said. "Every bullet in the $1,500 I had 30K from 7K. I've been building stacks and just been dealt out a lot of the time. Confidence is fine, it's still early. It's not like I'm just sitting down to a starting stack and playing badly and blinding out. I've been pretty unfortunate so far - confidence is still high." "I'm a pretty confident person, so it's going to take a lot more than that."
  14. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker, beating out a tough field in the €25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe. Now, the Scottish poker pro is in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker hoping to add another bracelet to his collection. Over the course of the 2018 WSOP, 50 Days & 50 Nights will chronicle Farrell’s summer; the highs and the lows and all the stuff that happens in between. For the past five years, Niall Farrell has always arrived in Las Vegas the day before the WSOP begins. He takes that day to get settled and take care of some of the errands that need to be run before settling in for the WSOP grind. This year was different though. The World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions was running in Las Vegas on May 24 and Farrell, who put his name on the WPT Champions Cup in 2016, wanted to play. “For the last three years I've been in Vancouver for SCOOP anyways, so I can come the day before because I'm already adjusted to the time zone,” said Farrell. The TOC didn’t end with Farrell at the final table, but that doesn’t mean his confidence at the start of the Series is wavering. “I had a winning SCOOP. I got to Vancouver and basically won the first SCOOP I played, which made the whole trip very relaxing, which was nice,” said Farrell, who won Event #3 High ($2,100 PKO No Limit Hold’em) for his second career SCOOP title. “I've been pretty lucky that I always do pretty well at the Series, even though it took me a little while to win a bracelet. The year before I won a bracelet I had three final tables, including the One Drop and won a bunch of money and I'm lucky enough that all my friends tend to do quite well as well, so that tends to build the confidence. I feel like I'm good to go and ready to win another one.” As he’s done over past few years, Farrell rented a house along with a few other poker players that are all in town to chase big scores and bracelets. His choice of roommates is strategic too. “Same people as always; it's Michael Gagliano, Daniel Strelitz, and Brandon Shane. It's all the American guys, none of the UK guys really,” said Farrell. “It's a tactical thing because if I stay with the UK guys I just go out to the bar most nights. So for the last five years or so I've stayed with the American guys so that keeps me out of trouble a little bit.” While Farrell was putting together his personal schedule for the summer, he referred to his notes from summer 2017 where he cashed six times. It reminded him of an important change he wanted - maybe even needed - to make. “I've got my Google Calendar on my phone and in big capital letters it just says “DO NOT REGISTER THE GIANT”. So I'm going to just trust past me and not do that. So I guess I'll take a couple days off during those events,” said Farrell, who actually cashed in The Giant for $1,343 but grew frustrated by the inability of tournament staff to keep things moving on Day 2. "You've got to take a couple of days off. It's pretty easy to get burned out. If you're doing really well it's easier, but some summers you can just come out and start bricking off, it's pretty easy to get burned and stop playing your best.” Farrell’s schedule will mainly be focused on WSOP bracelet events, with the odd trip to the Venetian or Wynn to take advantage of big fields full of soft players. He’ll also stray a little bit away from his comfort zone of No Limit Hold’em to find some fun in other bracelet events. “Yeah, pretty much all of the No Limit Hold'em events. I usually play some of the $1,500 smaller ones that I'm not very good at, like the Deuce to Seven Single Draw I always play because it's fun. I'll maybe play a $1,500 Omaha or something, but I'm not very good at those games, it's more just for fun.” Having finally won his first bracelet, Farrell has turned his focus to picking up his second, if only to give him some more ammunition for the good-natured ribbing that happens back at the house. “It was quite a relief to get it, but we have some banter (in the house) as well. We'll talk about it and Gagliano will be like 'Nah, it was in Europe - it doesn't count' and I'll be like 'it was in Europe, so you know there were good players in the field, not like your bracelet',” said Farrell. “So we have some banter back and forth. We have a bit of fun with it. It's cool to have it, especially after getting two seconds. Now that I've got one, I want to try and get more.” Adding a new piece of jewelry to his collection is what Farrell thinks it will take for him to call the 2018 WSOP a success, but that goalpost could be a moving one depending on how the first few weeks goes. “Saying it now, I would say a bracelet but I'm sure if I get to the end of the summer and I've made any decent amount of money I'll count it as successful,” said Farrell. “Start-of-the-Series-Optimism is going to say "bracelet only”, but maybe halfway through I'll be like "let's see if I can get out of this hole", and that will count as successful.”
  15. The New Jersey Online Poker Rankings return with the most familiar of faces in first place. Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano is the clubhouse leader at the effective midway point of 2018 thanks to another stellar month. The first full month of interstate play results in more PLB points and larger prize pools. Gagliano took full advantage and leads second-place David 'dehhhhh' Coleman by a touch over 100 points. Two marquee results stand out for Gagliano in the month of May. The PokerStarsNJ Sunday High Roller on May 13 shipped to Gagliano and he earned $8,272 for the result. The following week, Gagliano won the Coast 2 Coast Classic High Roller for $28,851 on WSOP.com. Coleman earned himself five victories in May. The largest score by a wide margin was Coleman's win in the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown on May 23. A $25,000 guarantee resulted in $39,000 in the prize pool and Coleman earned $12,329 for beating the field of 54. The wide gap between Gagliano and Coleman and the rest of the state leads Yong 'ykwon17' Kwon to be in third place with about 400 points of separation. Kwon put together a solid month with 12 podium finishes and two wins. The largest score ever earned by Kwon came the Coast 2 Coast Classic $85,000 guaranteed High Roller. Kwon withdrew $19,697 from the prize pool for the silver medal. Mike 'Lav519' Lavenburg is in fourth place for another month. Lavenburg's summer is off to a quality start thanks to a Day 2 appearance in the Colossus. Online-wise, Lavenburg lowered his volume and put up only a single medal result. Lavenburg did place 10th in the Coast 2 Coast Classic Main Event in a field of 359. A new face in the rankings is Ryan 'shipthesherb' Hohner. The Borgata Winter Poker Open Event 1 runner-up put up a monster May with seven wins. Hohner climaxed in the final weekend of the month by winning the PokerStarsNJ Sunday High Roller for the first time to collect $8,272. Another player to pick up a huge win in May was Jason 'JLaw' Lawhun. The increased prize pools on WSOP.com worked to Lawhun's advantage as he won the May 28 $100,000 guaranteed Sunday event for $35,190. Lawhun earned his largest career online prize with the win. Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo and 'ol muggins' changed their positions by two spots. Lupo won the May 29 Super Tuesday but is now in seventh place over. 'ol muggins' joined the rankings last month and is up to eighth place following their 12-medal month. Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman and 'sri100k' are both in the top-10 for another month. Both players won three events and stepped on to the podium a combined 16 times. The summer should be interesting in the state with most grinders who travel to Las Vegas eligible to pick up points on WSOP.com. New Jersey Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Gags30 4,057.26 2 dehhhhh 3,954.97 3 ykwon17 3,568.49 4 Lav519 3,556.69 5 shipthesherb 3,502.03 6 JLaw 3,377.60 7 centrfieldr 3,321.48 8 ol muggins 3,120.38 9 sri100k 3,115.16 10 JohnnnyDrama 2,862.03
  16. The opening days of the third annual PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker had one of the regions top-ranked players walking away with a $30,000 trip to the Bahamas. Anthony 'FlawlessBINK' Maio beat out 408 other players to win Event #6 ($86 Moneymaker Tour No Limit Hold'em) to win a $30,000 Platinum Pass which includes the $25,000 buy-in to the PokerStars Players Championship this January in the Bahamas. The runner-up in that event, 'LuieAnderson', had to settle for a $5,800.49 score while third-place finisher 'CrazyIKilla' earned $4,263.27. Sunday's biggest NJCOOP score went to 's3lfreliance' after topping the 285-player field in Event #5 ($250 No Limit Hold'em Sunday Special Special Edition). That win earned him $12,663.73. Daniel 'AvaGray' Lupo banked $9,418.06 for finishing second and Alex 'Ajax624' Jim banked $7,004.41 for finishing third. The first non-Hold'em event on the schedule, Event #7 ($100 Pot Limit Omaha Eight Max) drew 146 players with 'solidluck' earning $2,915.24 for the win. Michael Gagliano picked up $3,622.71 and his first NJCOOP title of the year in Event #8 ($150 Hyper Turbo No Limit Hold'em Sunday SuperSonic Special Edition) by beating 'You Are Tim' heads up. Action kicked off Saturday with 'Bornagain118' winning Event #1 ($100 No Limit Hold'em) for $4,432.13. The opening event brought in 251 runners for a $23,041.80 prize pool. Maio finished seventh in that event for $759.97. '$gt. Tibbs' took down Event #2 ($200 Turbo No Limit Hold'em) for a $4,856.38 score. Second-place finisher '09123459' earned $3,656.66 while Lupo pocketed $2,753.36 for outlasting all but those two players in the 114-player field. Event #1 - $100 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 251 Prize pool: $23,041.80 Bornagain118 - $4,432.13 T1111111111M - $3,303.43 thewholefunk - $2,462.25 Big Chips79 - $1,835.26 Schwibbs - $1,367.93 MommaBluffsBIG - $1,019.60 FlawlessBINK - $759.97 BENN DOVERR - $566.45 GUUUULP - $422.21 Event #2 - $200 Turbo No Limit Hold'em Entries: 114 Prize pool: $21,204 $gt. Tibbs - $4,856.38 09123459 - $3,656.66 AvaGray - $2,753.36 MartinChatwn - $2,073.19 iFoldN0T - $1,561.05 HowieWelper - $1,175.42 roflmfao_wp - $885.06 thewholefunk - $666.42 Event #3 - $200 No Limit Hold'em Progressive KO Entries: 168 Prize pool: $31,248 T1111111111M - $3,613.65 BabyRaizer - $2,709.79 rosseg - $2,032.05 jimmyblingz - $1,523.82 Renorick1946 - $1,142.70 roflmfao_wp - $856.91 scamfest - $642.59 HowieWelper - $481.87 Cass N Hoes - $361.35 Event #4 - $150 Deepstack No Limit Hold'em Eight Max Entries: 207 Prize pool: $28,503.90 Gay4Tray - $5,772.29 scamfest - $4,418.10 JohnnyMania - $3,277.94 cl1ckinbtns - $2,422.83 NewJerseySux - $1,567.71 loosebad - $1,282.67 D.Drumpf - $997.63 RikNmorty - $783.85 Event #5 - $250 No Limit Hold'em Sunday Special Special Edition Entries: 285 Prize pool: $66,405 s3lfreliance - $12,663.73 AvaGray - $9,418.06 Ajax624 - $7,004.41 sonboi - $5,209.32 skeemer1 - $3,874.28 tsax20 - $2,881.38 martycohen - $2,142.94 OctoberSky23 - $1,593.75 iFoldN0T - $1,185.30 Event #6 - $86 Moneymaker Tour No Limit Hold'em Entries: 409 Prize pool: $62,004.25 FlawlessBINK - $30,000* LuieAnderson - $5,800.49 CrazyIKilla - $4,263.27 AvaGray - $3,133.65 gatorgrinds - $2,303.34 HankingArown - $1,693.04 NewJerseySux - $1,244.44 Schwibbs - $914.70 hagz2richez - $672.34 *Platinum Pass includes $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship buy-in and $5,000 for travel and accomodations. Event #7 - $100 Pot Limit Omaha Eight Max Entries: 146 Prize pool: $13,402.80 solidluck - $2,915.24 $gt. Tibbs - $2,077.43 cubsters - $1,608.33 MisAnnthr0pe - $1,139.23 OptCableGuy - $737.15 iFoldN0T - $603.12 HowieWelper - $469.09 Wsopboy1997 - $368.57 Event #8 - $150 Hyper Turbo No Limit Hold'em Sunday SuperSonic Special Edition Entries: 111 Prize pool: $15,817.50 J3tBl@ckP0pe - $3,622.71 You Are Tim - $2,727.75 Wsopboy1997 - $2,053.91 aad0906 - $1,546.53 thewholefunk - $1,164.49 T1111111111M - $876.83 FunkyJesus - $660.22 KoolerU - $497.13
  17. Three-quarters of the way through the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, 'SaucyPaws' had gotten as close as a player can to winning a title without winning it not just once, but twice. That all changed on Wednesday night as 'SaucyPaws' beat Michael 'J3tBl@ckP0pe' Gagliano heads-up to win Event #33 ($200 No Limit Hold'em [Win the Button]) for $5,136.92. Gagliano, who already has two titles this NJCOOP, earned $3,907.52 for his runner-up finish. Edwin 'GiantGeniu$' Roman banked $2,972.40 for coming in third place. 'PokrStarsWIN' outdueled 'Big Chips79' to take down Event #33 ($25 No Limit Hold'em [w/rebuys]) for $2,595.35. 'Big Chips79' pocketed $1,805.44 while third place finisher 'jimmy2xtimes' had to settle for $1,371.00. NJCOOP continues daily until Sunday when the $500 buy-in, two-day Main Event begins. Event #33: $25 No Limit Hold'em (w/rebuys) Entries: 175 + 236 rebuys + 85 add-ons Prize pool: $11,284 PokrStarsWIN - $2,595.35 Big Chips79 - $1,805.44 jimmy2xtimes - $1,371.00 SaucyPaws - $1,015.56 DosQuattros - $677.04 MisAnnthr0pe - $564.20 mmenz08816 - $451.36 BUTTERTHEPUP - $338.52 funnybottom7 - $282.10 Event #33: $200 No Limit Hold'em (Win the Button) Entries: 126 Prize pool: $23,436 SaucyPaws - $5,136.92 Michael 'J3tBl@ckP0pe' Gagliano - $3,907.52 GiantGeniu$ - $2,972.40 HuySmakuy - $2,261.06 solidluck - $1,719.96 phly you - $1,308.35 WhostolemyRR - $995.24 coles93 - $757.06 AvaGray - $575.89
  18. Since New Jersey began offering regulated online poker, Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano has been one of the highest-ranked players in the Garden State. His dominance apparently knows no bounds and he's now the top-ranked player in the United States. Gagliano owns the #1 spot nationally thanks to his dominance in New Jersey. In the month of October, Gagliano picked up 12 cashes that qualified for PLB points. His biggest score came on October 8 when he took down PokerStars NJCOOP Event #28 ($300 Four Max NLHE) for $12,440 and 197.28 points. That same day he won the $25,000 Weekly Sunday event on WSOP.com for $11,507 and 189.63 points. All told, Gagliano earned 1,399.87 points and now has a 196.28-point lead over the rest of the field. Right behind Gagliano is the top-ranked player from Nevada, David 'bewater' Goodman. Just twice in October was Goodman able to find a cash big enough to add to his PLB score. He won the $15,000 Weekly on WSOP.com on October 14 and then celebrated Halloween with a third place finish in the Tuesday Showdown on WSOP.com. He added 242.89 PLB points to his total thanks to those scores. Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo rounds out the top three. Another New Jersey regular, Lupo added 1,617.06 points to his PLB score. Playing a full online schedule, Lupo won six events in October including two NJCOOP titles and a Garden State Super Series. United States Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano 4,883.36 2 David 'bewater' Goodman 4,687.08 3 Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo 4,399.59 4 Hurricane27 4,271.27 5 Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein 4,223.89 6 David 'dehhhhh' Coleman 4,156.76 7 Ricky 'ratedGTO' Guan 4,097.08 8 Artim 'aceszhuited' Zhuta 3,676.09 9 Daniel 'dkonpf' Kang 3,671.84 10 engineered2eat 3,581.97
  19. The second half of the third annual PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker continued on Monday two more tournaments and $48,000 worth of guarantees. After taking a trip to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut to participate in another stop of the Moneymaker Tour, PokerStars Ambassador and one-time World Series of Poker Champion Chris Moneymaker was back inside New Jersey borders and back in the hunt for yet another NJCOOP title. Moneymaker made his presence felt in the first of the two tournaments on the schedule. Event #28 ($300 NLHE Four Max) drew 139 runners which created a prize pool of $38,920. Moneymaker not only made the final table, but he got heads-up for the title. However, he was facing one of New Jersey’s most talented grinders in the #3-ranked US player, Michael ‘J3tBl@ckP0pe’ Gagliano. Galliano and Moneymaker battled it out with Gagliano coming out on top. The Borgata sponsored pro earned $12,439.67 for first place and added a second 2018 NJCOOP title to his long resume. The score was the highest take-home score of the night and puts him in striking distance of $3.5 million in career earnings. For ‘Gags’ it was his tenth NJCOOP cash of the series and second of the evening. Moneymaker, who earned back-to-back titles just last week, was denied his third NJCOOP title but still earned $7,677.74 for his second-place efforts. ‘bvays’ finished in third place for $4,021.60 and rounding out the Four Max final table was Mike ‘MartinChatwn’ Lavenburg finishing in fourth place for $2,559.37. This was Lavenburg’s third final table of the series and fourth cash overall. Event #29 ($500 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller Six Max) brought out 49 players that helped create a prize pool of $23,030. Matthew ‘MattEMenz’ Mendez joined the two-time winners club as he secured his second 2018 NJCOOP title and earned $6,909 for the win. Yong ‘iFoldN0T’ Kwon finished as the runner-up, adding $4,606 to his bankroll. Kwon has had a number of close calls in the past few days, finishing in the top four players three times for his past three results. His second-place finish is the most lucrative of his nine NJCOOP cashes. It seems that Daniel ‘loxonbagel’ Buzgon has started a heater himself. He finished in sixth place on the Six Max final table for $1,266.65 and had made the money in each of the last four NJCOOP events. Event #28 ($300 NLHE Four Max) Entries: 139 Prize pool: $38,920 1. J3tBl@ckP0pe - $12,439.67 2. Money800NJ - $7,677.74 3. bvays - $4,021.60 4. MatrinChatwn - $2,559.37 Event #29 ($500 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller Six Max) Entries: 49 Prize pool: $23,030 1. MattEMenz - $6,909 2. iFoldN0T - $4,606 3. JinxySkunk - $3,454.50 4. $gt. Tibbs - $2,303 5. LookAtMyDabx - $1,727.25 6. loxonbagel - $1,266.65
  20. David 'bewater' Goodman returned to the top spot in the PocketFives United States Online Poker Rankings, as Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo jumped into second place and Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano fell to third. United States Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 David 'bewater' Goodman 4,938.33 2 Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo 4,770.75 3 Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano 4,473.54 4 Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein 4,259.79 5 David 'dehhhhh' Coleman 4,142.56 6 Hurricane27 4,134.38 7 Ricky 'ratedGTO' Guan 3,932.65 8 Yong 'ykwon17' Kwon 3,740.64 9 Artim 'aceszhuited' Zhuta 3,659.22 10 engineered2eat 3,609.70 Goodman is the top-ranked player in Nevada and makes his bread playing on WSOP.com. In the month of November, Goodman has 29 online poker cashes, including four victories and two additional top-three finishes. He captured wins in the $7,500 Weekly Wednesday [Re-entry, 6 Max] on November 1 for $2,250 and 86.60 points, the $15,000 Weekly Friday [Re-entry, 6 Max] on November 3 for $5,301 and 123.07 points, the Coast 2 Coast III #13 - $20,000 NLH - Classic Freezeout on November 8 for $5,827 and 148.28 points, and the $7,000 Daily Turbo Deepstack [R&A] on November 8 for $1,995 and 82.74 points, all on WSOP.com. His largest score of the month came from a fifth-place finish in the WSOP.com Coast 2 Coast III #33 - $85,000 NLH - High Roller [Re-entry, 6 Max] for $9,027 and 137.71 points. Lupo, who plays out of New Jersey and is currently the top-ranked player in the Garden State, has wins on partypokerNJ and WSOP.com in November and has 52 cashes in the month to date. Lupo’s largest score in November came on November 21 when he won the WSOP.com $20,000 Weekly Tuesday [Re-entry] for $8,175 and 166.51 points. Gagliano dipped back to third on the leaderboard, and he has the least amount of cashes in November among the top three players with 10. Gagliano won the same event on BorgataPoker.com twice in November, as he took down the Mega $535 Tuesday - $12,000 GTD Six-Max NLH [3x RE] on November 7 and November 21. The first time, Gagliano scored $4,830 and 109.54 points. The second time, Gagliano won $5,610 and 130.38 points.
  21. Join PocketFives throughout the month of December as we bring you the PocketFives 12 Days of Christmas to help keep you in the spirit of giving. It would be nice to think that, as we grow older, the old adage of “it’s better to give than receive” is a feeling that most people come to embrace. That said, there’s an amazing feeling when the right person gives you the perfect gift. Quite often it’s not only the gift itself, but it’s the fact that there’s someone out there that knows you so well and wants nothing more than to make you happy. “This is a close one,” said PokerStars and WSOP broadcaster Joe Stapleton when thinking about the best gift he’s ever been given. “I’m gonna go with the original NES [Nintendo Entertainment System]. “Everyone on my block had one and my parents pretty much swore they weren’t going to get us one. Also, maybe Santa was still a thing then...I can’t remember. “When we finished opening our presents and the NES we so desperately wanted was not contained therein, we, my brother and I, did our best to hide our disappointment. We were good kids, (read: terrified of our parents), and it would have been rude and ungrateful to complain about not getting something for Christmas. Also, we were kinda genuinely good kids who didn’t want to make our parents feel bad.” However, not all hope was lost for Stapes. “My Grandma would always come over when we were done opening present for her non-Santa presents. You see where this is going so I’ll cut to the chase. She brought us the Nintendo. It was some real Red Rider BB Gun shit. We were thrilled.” New Jersey poker pro Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano has a similar story. For him, it was a gaming system that led him to a lifetime of playing games. “I would have to my favorite gift was when I got Nintendo 64. It was 1996, I was 11 and really into video games,” said Gags. “I had no idea what the N64 would bring. It was a video game system like I had never seen before. The games were amazing and I would spend the next seven years glued to it, playing every game imaginable. It really grew my interest and obsession with game and video games a ton, and probably is partly responsible for leading me to poker.” While some a gift may be an item that helped shape their future, for some, the best gifts of Christmas can’t be bought. Solve For Why coach and former PocketFives #1-ranked player Jordan Young didn’t have to think twice when recalling his perfect gift. “I have received the perfect Christmas gift,” Young said. “The best gift I ever received was from my parents and it was a memory book full of pictures of my dog, Doogan. That was the first time I ever received something and got emotional because I had just spent three years without him while I had moved abroad to play online poker.” For others that perfect gift isn’t an object at all. “It may sound a bit cheesy…” said partypoker Pro Kristen Bicknell “…but I think the true gift and magic of the holidays is being with family and loved ones. There really is something special and unique about the spirit of the season. One of my favorite things about Christmas that never fails is Christmas dinner. It’s definitely the best meal of the year.” World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage’s favorite gift falls in line with that sentiment. “My favorite gift has always been spending time with family. This year is going to be a tough one as my father recently passed away,” Savage said. “Christmas was his favorite holiday. He made every Christmas special when I was young with gifts I never needed but wanted. I always enjoy giving more than receiving and the perfect gift is the one that makes Maryann [his wife] smile.” Still looking for that perfect gift to give the poker player in your life? We have some suggestions to make their eyes light up with The Definitive Poker Player Holiday Gift Guide.
  22. Join PocketFives throughout the month of December as we bring you the PocketFives 12 Days of Christmas to help keep you in the spirit of giving. Get some popcorn; it's movie time. With good reason, some of the biggest blockbusters of all-time made their debut around the holidays. With extra time off, families flock to the theaters to take in a film and rewatch classics in the comfort of their home. So many great holiday films that have come out over the years, sometimes it’s hard to pick which one to throw on but there are some that are just so good they are worth watching over and over again. “My favorite movie has to be ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and I make it a point to watch it every year as it reminds me that if you do good deeds you will be repaid tenfold,” said World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. “It’s also tough to beat Will Ferrell in 'Elf' or Bill Murray in 'Scrooged'.” [caption id="attachment_621631" align="alignnone" width="768"] It's A Wonderful Life, Elf and Scrooged are a trio of holiday classic films.[/caption] When it comes to taking the temperature on the poker world’s favorite holiday movie, the modern-day Christmas classic “Elf” starring Will Ferrell as a North Pole Elf making his way in New York City is clearly a top choice. “ELF! It isn’t even close,” says former #1-ranked PocketFiver and Solve For Why Academy coach Jordan Young. “Will Ferrell is just so damn hilarious and I love all the quotable lines from the movie.” Young. Team PokerStars Online pro and Twitch streamer, Jeff Gross agrees with Young. “I liked the movie and it puts a comedy spin on the holiday season, which can be stressful,” Gross said. “Bringing a lightness to the season is a nice twist.” Not everyone is looking for maximum relaxation during the holidays. An all-out action-packed Christmas classic is the favorite of online crusher ‘Girafganger7.’ “It’s easy and it’s not close - it’s 'Die Hard'. Bruce [Willis], barefoot, slaying German-accented baddies in a blaze of bullets and exposition, riddled with perfect one-liners,” Giraf said. Favorite character is Hans Gruber played by the untouchable Alan Rickman.” partypoker Ambassador Kristen Bicknell is on the opposite end of the spectrum, opting for sentimentality over swinging off a building from a fire hose. “There are so many good Christmas movies!” Bicknell said. “But if I had to pick one right now it would be ‘Love Actually.’ It’s full of emotion and charming characters.” One of which is also played by Alan Rickman. “Some other favorites of mine that come to mind are ‘The Santa Clause’ and ‘Home Alone’” [caption id="attachment_621632" align="alignnone" width="768"] Die Hard, Love Actually and Home Alone are other holiday favorites of the poker world.[/caption] One of New Jersey’s top online grinders, Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano couldn’t agree more. “Without a doubt, ‘Home Alone’,” Gagliano said. “I think I saw it when it came out in the mid 90’s. I don’t remember, but I do remember being obsessed with it as a kid and watching it over and over. The scene where Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) draws the battle plans to save his house was the best, and I used to try and make ones just like his.” But not every Christmas movie is a winner, right? Sometimes, those holiday movies miss the mark and can just take you right out of the holiday mood. “Even though everyone loves it, I’ve never cared for 'A Christmas Story'. It’s probably because I don’t remember watching it as a kid. I think I first saw it when it was a little older and I didn’t have the nostalgia that others have. It was just kind of boring to me and I didn’t really think the ‘classic’ scenes were funny or interesting at all,” Gagliano said. “My least favorite Christmas movies are the corny Hallmark movies that all seem to follow true to the same script,” Savage said. For Jordan Young, he’s simply not going to let some spoiled cinema take him out of the holiday spirit. “I’m sure I have a least favorite Christmas movie but for the same of being ‘cheery’, I will pretend that I don’t have one,” he laughed. Do you have a favorite holiday movie? Let us know by commenting on this article or tweet to us at @PocketFives. Happy Holidays!
  23. Pennsylvania is preparing for a much-anticipated launch of regulated online poker. Once it does, it will make regulated online poker play available to the population a nearly 13 million people that live in the Keystone State. With its population, Pennsylvania will be the largest state to legally offer online poker in the United States, eclipsing that of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, and adding a welcomed boost to the regulated US online poker market. Whether you're an experienced online poker player or someone that's new to the virtual felt, you likely have questions surrounding what to expect when real-money online poker finally becomes live in Pennsylvania. To help provide you with some answers, PocketFives tapped into the community and spoke to those with experience playing online poker in the new regulated landscape. We spoke with some of the top players from New Jersey, where online poker is legal, regulated, and growing. Here's what Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano, Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo, Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein, and 2012 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Merson had to say. What can Pennsylvania players expect when online poker launches in the state? Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano: "Like others, I'm not positive what we'll see, but I think players can expect a nice mix of cash games and tournaments from the various sites. Players need to remember, though: these sites won't be like you remember them from 2011 - they are going to be much smaller. That means fewer games at off-peak hours and less liquidity when it comes to things like sit-n-gos. But this shouldn't' discourage Pennsylvania players. Just because you can't win $100,000 on a Sunday doesn't mean that there won't be good tournaments. Don't let a ‘small' first-place prize turn you off. A smaller field means you have a much higher chance of winning that tournament. So sure, $10,000 isn't as alluring as $100,000, but having a real shot at winning a tournament instead of buying into what can sometimes feel like a lottery ticket is a positive in my book!" Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo: "Based upon experiences with New Jersey's intro and when the Nevada merger came on board, there were some initial hiccups around the launch times. So I would recommend signing up early and preparing yourself for some early bumps in the road, such as potential software or geo-location issues, but not to be deterred by them as they tend to be short-lived. But the initial 'bumpy road period' will have its perks, too. I'm assuming (hoping) there will be a number of welcome bonuses, new-player bonuses, welcome freerolls, as well as some sort of initial online tournament series to celebrate the expansion... so signing up early would definitely be to a player's benefit to take advantage of these timely promotions. "I would also recommend that Pennsylvania players make sure they have viable internet connections, and back-up options like some sort of mobile hotspot option, as well as a strong wifi signal which will help alleviate a lot of the early potential geo-location headaches." Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein: "Pennsylvania players can expect to have a new poker outlet in addition to the many casinos in the Pennsylvania area, which should only help grow the game and draw new players in that wouldn’t otherwise be able to make it to a casino regularly." Greg Merson: "I think when Pennsylvania launches there will be a decent amount of traffic to start, but unfortunately with only approximately 12 million people, I don’t think it will be all that special in the long run." What are the benefits of regulated online poker and why should players in Pennsylvania be excited about it? Gagliano: "The by far biggest benefit of regulated Pennsylvania online poker is safety and peace of mind in playing online poker again. Legal and regulated sites mean that players won't have to worry about having to deposit using cryptocurrencies, or worrying that a site won't pay out their cash-out. It means that players won't have to worry if a site is ‘rigged’ and can come to expect the same level of game security that they get when they play in Pennsylvania brick-and-mortar casinos." Lupo: "Having a regulated site where your money is safe has been a huge peace of mind for me versus playing on unregulated sites, which always give you a sense of worry. Payouts are fast and secure and there are numerous safe deposit options. But overall, the best thing about online poker in my experience has been the convenience of it. With a family, it allows me to be home more, versus spending time in a casino, and work around my family's schedule so I can have dinner with them every night and put the kids to bed. And if you're playing a cash session and just not feeling it, you can comfortably stop playing and do something else, whereas a casino trip has a lot more overhead and commitment time-wise." Borenstein: "It's nice to play online without worrying about shady practice or the sites getting shut down out of nowhere. You know your money is safe. I think that for anyone who is serious about poker or wants to get serious about poker, regulated online sites are a great tool to have as a way to practice and get in exponentially more hands than you would if you were playing live, and being able to do it all from the comfort of your own home." Merson: "The benefits of playing in a regulated industry mean you know your money is safe, the play is secure, and there are no ways for outside countries to VPN the system." With the anticipation of Pennsylvania online poker being very high, what are you most looking forward to when thinking about having Pennsylvania on board for online poker? Gagliano: "The thing I look most forward to with Pennsylvania poker is just another state coming online, thus giving more players in the Northeast a chance to play online poker again. It also brings the U.S. one state closer to allowing everyone the ability to once again play poker from the comfort of their homes." Lupo: "Being primarily a tournament player, it's always nice when the increased player pools can generate larger prize pools. These larger prize pools are like a domino effect and not only encourage players from Pennsylvania to join the action but will also increase the traffic in other states that previously may have been skipping some tournaments due to smaller guarantees than they would like. "I'm also looking forward to a new influx of players. After playing in a small market like New Jersey for the past 4-5 years, some fresh faces would be a welcomed change." Borenstein: "I'm looking forward to increased prize pools, player traffic, and more multi-table tournaments to play each night. I’m also looking forward to what it means to overall growth of online poker in the US. Hopefully, more and more states will follow suit and begin legalizing online poker." Merson: "I actually don’t think Pennsylvania will join the New Jersey pool anytime soon, if at all. This Wire Act issue may cause Nevada to pull out of New Jersey and if that happens I think the hopes of more states joining in are bleak. If they do join, I gladly welcome the liquidity as volume has dropped a good bit in New Jersey over the years."
  24. After turning a Platinum Pass he won for $86 into a $35,000 score in the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship, Anthony 'tonydatiger' Maio now finds himself atop the PocketFives United States Online Poker Rankings. Maio currently has 5,134.21 points and is ahead of David 'bewater' Goodman in second and Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano in third. United States Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Anthony 'tonydatiger' Maio 5,134.21 2 David 'bewater' Goodman 4,716.53 3 Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano 4,596.22 4 Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein 4,497.39 5 Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo 4,196.83 6 Justin 'Lappy' Lapka 3,992.79 7 'Hurricane27' 3,978.63 8 David 'dehhhhh' Coleman 3,914.59 9 Chance 'Chances Cards' Kornuth 3,770.43 10 'jordanfrog' 3,665.53 Maio has a handful of recent four-figure scores, including a good number of those coming from WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ. Maio’s biggest score on WSOP.com recently was a first-place finish in the $20,000 Monthly Saturday [PLO, 6 Max] for $6,400 and 141.42 points on January 27, 2019. Just a few days before that, Maio took fourth in the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown - $30,000 GTD [Re-entry] for $5,137 and 98.65 points on January 23. On PokerStars NJ, Maio recently finished runner-up in the Sunday Special - $200, $25,000 Gtd for $4,000 and 104.32 points on February 3. Also on PokerStars NJ, but back in the middle of January, Maio won the Winter Series 6: $1,000 NL Hold'em [High-Roller,6-Max], $25,000 Gtd for $11,020 and 165.98 points. Goodman’s recent results have all been on WSOP.com, highlighted by scores of $8,336 (146.09 points), $4,387 (98.09 points), and $6,893 (129.11 points) in the month of January. For Gagliano, all but one of his cashes in 2019 have come from WSOP.com or PokerStars NJ, and he already has five victories in online poker tournaments this year. He won the BorgataPoker.com Mega $535 Tuesday - $12,000 GTD Six-Max NLH [3x RE] for $6,975 and 150 points on January 23, the PokerStars NJ Winter Series 13: $200 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO,6-Max], $18,000 Gtd for $3,458 and 115.32 points on January 20, the PokerStars NJ Winter Series 4: $150 NL Hold'em [4-Max], $20,000 Gtd for $7,222 and 153 points on January 14, the PokerStars NJ Sunday High Roller [6-Max] - $500, $10,000 Gtd for $5,405 and 103.97 points on January 13, and the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown - $30,000 GTD [Re-entry] for $11,357 and 188.39 points on January 2.
  25. As the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was playing down to a final table inside the Amazon Room, another eight events were in action on Friday including three that resulted in a player winning the first gold bracelet of their career and another player earning his second. James Anderson, Maximilian Klostermeier, Ivan Deyra, and Shankar Pillai all contributed to tying the record for most bracelets awarded in a single day. James Anderson Ships Little One for One Drop Just five players returned to a chip stack on Day 5 of the $1,111 Little One for One Drop and James Anderson was right in the middle with an average stack. He overcame that and the massive chip lead of Brazil's Fernando Karam to win $690,686 and his first bracelet. The 33-year-old recently returned to playing poker after taking some time away. “I just started playing again a couple of months ago so this one definitely feels good,” Anderson said. “I wanted to get away from the game for a little bit. I was grinding really hard and wanted to take a little break from it. I feel good now. My mind is a lot fresher now, I have a different perspective, and hopefully, it continues. It’s a good start.” Karam ended up taking home $426,543 for his runner-up finish. Final Table Payouts James Anderson - $690,686 Fernando Karam - $426,543 Marco Guibert - $316,233 Liran Betito - $236,151 Shalom Elharar - $177,639 Nils Tolpingrud - $134,608 Mark Strodl - $102,757 Ying Fu - $79,029 Bob Mather - $61,238 Bounty Hunter Maximilian Klostermeier Wins $1,500 PLO Bounty Event Maximilian Klostermeier really did live out a poker players dream this week. The 23-year-old German turned his first career WSOP cash into gold. Klostermeier beat Ireland's David Callaghan heads up to win the first bracelet of his career and $177,823. “I have only played poker professionally for about a year, so to win a bracelet this soon is amazing," Klostermeier. "This is the only PLO game I have played. I have only played a couple of online tournaments, 25 at the most. PLO is not my main game, I play Hold’em.” Bryce Yockey finished third for $77,893. That's his eighth cash this summer and fourth time finishing in the top eight. Final Table Payouts Maximilian Klostermeier - $177,823 David Callaghan - $109,844 Bryce Yockey - $77,893 Ryan Lenaghan - $55,939 Jason Stockfish - $40,691 Tim Seidensticker - $29,987 Scott Sharpe - $22,391 Heng Zhang - $16,944 Joseph Liberta - $12,996 Vive la France: Ivan Deyra Wins $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Ivan Deyra has been to a WSOP final table before, but only to cheer on his friends. On Friday he was the one being serenaded after beating David Gonzalez for the bracelet in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event. “The main goal was to have a bracelet. When I was young I watched TV with stars in my eyes. To be here and to win it, it’s amazing. It’s like a real dream,” Deyra said. He's the third player from France to win gold this year joining Jeremy Saderne and Thomas Cazayous. Deyra's previous best WSOP result came earlier this summer when he finished eighth in the $1,000 Double Stack for $78,638. Gonzalez, who started the day with the chip lead, earned $234,882. Guillaume Nolet earned $162,575 for finishing third. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Patrick Leonard came in fourth for $114,347 and his seventh cash of the summer. Final Table Payouts Ivan Deyra - $380,090 David Gonzalez - $234,882 Guillaume Nolet - $162,575 Patrick Leonard - $114,347 David Dibernardi - $81,749 David Weinstein - $59,421 Andras Nemeth - $43,925 Dennis Brand - $33,032 Diego Zeiter - $25,278 Shankar Pillai Takes Down Bracelet Winners Only Event Shankar Pillai got his second bracelet on Friday and wouldn't have done it had he not gotten the first one. Pillai beat out 184 other WSOP bracelet winners to win the $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only event for $71,580. New Jersey online poker grinder Michael Gagliano finished runner-up for $44,232. Tommy Nguyen rounded out the podium finishers with a third-place finish and $31,176 score. The event was part of the celebrations for the 50th annual WSOP and only players who had previously won a gold bracelet could enter. Final Table Payouts Shankar Pillai - $71,580 Michael Gagliano - $44,232 Tommy Nguyen - $31,176 Brett Apter - $22,349 Kevin Gerhart - $16,299 Andreas Klatt - $12,097 Thom Werthmann - $9,140 Scott Bohlman - $7,032 Haixia Zhang - $5,512 Ayaz Mahmood Leads $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO Final Table Ayaz Mahmood won his first bracelet nine years ago in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship event at the 2010 WSOP. He's been waiting to win his second ever since and on Saturday he'll start the final table of the $1,500 NLHE/PLO event in pole position with seven players left. Mahmood bagged up 8,430,000 and sits almost 2 million ahead of the second biggest stack. Lucas Greenwood is the owner that 6,515,000 stack. Jeremy Kottler is third with 5,145,000. There were 47 players at the start of the day. David 'ODB' Baker, Lexy Gavin, Steve Sung, Matt Giannetti, and Anton Wigg all busted before the final table but did manage to pick up a cash. The final table resumes at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Ayaz Mahmood - 8,430,000 Lucas Greenwood - 6,515,000 Jeremy Kottler - 5,145,000 Eddie Blumenthal - 3,240,000 Peter Linton - 3,115,000 Jerry Odeen - 2,380,000 Adam Demersseman - 2,315,000 Freek Scholten Leads $1,500 Double Stack Final Table Freek Scholten is hoping to put the Netherlands on the board on Saturday. The Dutchman finished Day 2 of the $1,500 Double Stack with 26,000,000 and leads the final eight players into an extra day of play. Darren Rabinowitz snuck past the 20,000,000 mark with 20,050,000 and sits second. Barry Shulman is third with 18,450,000. Of the 349 players to be sent to the cashier window on Friday were Kristen Bicknell, Jerry Wong, Shannon Shorr, Conor Beresford, Ismael Bojang, Phil Hellmuth, Jake Schwartz, and Ryan Laplante. Mike Leah, who started the day with the lead, finished 34th for $13,808. The final table begins at 11 AM PT. Final Table Chip Counts Freek Scholten - 26,000,000 Darren Rabinowitz - 20,050,000 Barry Shulman - 18,450,000 Kunal Punjwani - 15,500,000 Adam Hendrix - 15,350,000 Philip Scaletta - 13,575,000 Tom Koral - 10,550,000 Kalyan Cheekuri - 9,925,000 Keith Tilston Leads $100K High Roller Just six players remain in the $100,000 High Roller event with Keith Tilston on top with 14,475,000. Brandon Adams, who started the day with the biggest stack, sits second now with 12,375,000. Nick Schulman is third with 11,650,000. The other three players at the final table are Dominik Nitsche, Igor Kurganov, and the shortest remaining stack belongs to Daniel Negreanu. Six players took the Day 2 late registration option to push the total to field to 99 players. Sam Grafton, Stefan Sontheimer, $50,000 High Roller Danny Tang, and Christoph Vogelsang made into the money before busting. Kainalu McCue-Unciano, who won the $1,500 Monster Stack earlier this month, finished 12th for $195,862. Prior to this event, he had never cashed in an event with a buy-in grater than $3,500. Cards are in the air beginning at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Keith Tilston - 14,475,000 Brandon Adams - 12,375,000 Nick Schulman - 11,650,000 Dominik Nitsche - 9,850,000 Igor Kurganov - 8,500,000 Daniel Negreanu - 3,150,000 Ari Engel in Contention After Day 1A of The Closer The first of three starting flights in the $1,500 The Closer brought out 463 entries, 30 of whom survived all the 20 levels of play. Roman Korenev ended Day 1A with 1,198,000 and the biggest stack. Griffen Abel was the only other player to finish with a seven-figure stack after putting exactly 1,000,000 in the bag. Former #1-ranked Ari Engel sits third with 936,000. Other notables moving on to Day 2 include Ian O'Hara, Steven Wolansky, Kristen Bicknell, and Mike Sexton. Day 1B begins at 11 AM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Roman Korenev - 1,198,000 Griffin Abel - 1,000,000 Ari Engel - 936,000 Ian O'Hara - 756,000 Fabian Gumz - 628,000 Steven Wolansky - 610,000 Daniel Neilson - 538,000 Brian Croak - 520,000 Christopher Fisher - 500,000 James Pavlick - 400,000 $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Paresh Doshi topped the 173 players who made it through Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha with the biggest stack. The Londoner finished with 359,300. That gives him a 67,800-chip lead over the next closest player. Kenneth Lucas is that player with 291,500 while Hao Chen and Christopher aren't far behind with 287,800 and 284,300 respectively. Anton Morgenstern, David Williams, Max Silver, Denis Strebkov, Joseph Cheong, Bruno Fitoussi, Fabrizio Gonzalez, Vivian Saliba, and Michael Mizrachi were among the familiar faces moving onto Day 2. The 835-player field put the total prize pool at $2,254,500 with the first place score being $448,392. Top 10 Chip Counts Paresh Doshi - 359,300 Kenneth Lucas - 291,500 Hao Chen - 287,800 Christopher Wehner - 284,300 Alan Sternberg - 270,100 Keith Lehr - 235,400 Anton Morgenstern - 233,000 Martin Zamani - 231,700 Niko Soininen - 224,700 Ka Lau - 218,900

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