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As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. In April, there was plenty of online poker news, including one player scoring a Sunday Million victory for the second time in eight weeks and operator approvals from Pennsylvania. For Second Time in 8 Weeks, 'Lucky_Jew_17' Wins Sunday Million Most online poker players dream of winning the PokerStars Sunday Million once in their lives, but the vast majority fall short of that goal. Not only did PokerStars player 'Lucky_Jew_17' achieve the highly sought-after feat of winning online poker's most iconic event, but he did it twice in the span of eight weeks. At the beginning of March, 'Lucky_Jew_17' topped a field of 11,525 entries in the PokerStars Sunday Million, taking home a career-best score of $117,222. On April 21, he won the event again with a very similar outcome. The second time around, 'Lucky_Jew_17' bested a field of 11,212 entries to earn $114,039 in first-place prize money. Earning the second Sunday Million title was made even sweeter for 'Lucky_Jew_17' because he had to top one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world to get the win. Finishing in second place was Sweden's 'Lena900.' [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Online Operators Approved in Pennsylvania In more online poker news that grabbed headlines in April, PokerStars and partypoker were among the operators approved for licenses in the state of Pennsylvania. PokerStars had previously linked up with Mount Airy Casino Resort in August 2018 so that it could eventually offer online poker in Pennsylvania, and partypoker's potential partnership comes through Valley Forge Casino, owned by Boyd Gaming. Boyd Gaming has a strategic partnership with GVC, who is the parent company of partypoker. The two global brands weren't the only operators that received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, though. Joining PokerStars and partypoker as approved Pennsylvania online poker operators were WSOP/888poker, GAN and Kambi for Parx Casino, IGT, Rush Street, and Sands Bethlehem. Although the word was that legal online poker would be operational in Pennsylvania on July 15, the launch date was pushed back a handful of months. Eventually, PokerStars launched on Monday, November 4, and has been operating since, including recently completing its first run of the PokerStars PACOOP. Five-Way Chop in 13th Anniversary Sunday Million One week before 'Lucky_Jew_17' won his second PokerStars Sunday Million title in eight weeks, the 13th Anniversary Sunday Million took place. The two-day event started on Sunday, April 14, 2019, and attracted an enormous field of 61,342 entries. With a buy-in of $215, a prize pool of $12.268 million was generated, which easily surpassed the tournament's $10 million guarantee. Winning the event was 'wangli0402,' although he actually took home the second most money following a five-way chop. Earning the most money was fifth-place finisher 't4rz4n_21,' who took home $625,073. The other three players involved in the five-way deal were 'xbambi' (2nd - $550,689), 'idzake' (3rd - $509,664), and 'kacer148' (4th - $520,535). Quads Over Quads for Neeme at Run It Up Reno Things were good for Andrew Neeme on April 16, 2019. That's when he held pocket nines and flopped quads against John Snyder. Unfortunately for Snyder, he held pocket fives and flopped a full house. Little did Snyder know, he was drawing dead. If you thought the [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="5s"] was bad for Snyder and his [poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"], things only got worse for him when the turn brought the [poker card="5d"] to give him quads fives. With Neeme holding the [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"], Snyder was not going to win this hand despite the cartwheels he was doing inside. The result was caught on the Run It Up Reno stream and resulted in one of the most epic bad beats you will ever see. Moorman Honored with PocketFives Legacy Award Another big happening in the poker world in April was the first-ever Global Poker Awards, as the industry got together to celebrate some of the game's best across a wide variety of categories. Among those to take home hardware were Maria Ho for Broadcaster of the Year, Ali Imsirovic for Breakout Player of the Year, and Paul Campbell for Tournament Director of the Year. One of the best moments of the night focused on the presentation of the PocketFives Legacy Award. The award was presented to the one and only Chris Moorman, as an honor for a player who has collected more accolades over the course of his online poker career than any player in the 15-year history of PocketFives.com. Moorman boasts more than $16.2 million in online earnings, 30 PocketFives Triple Crowns, two Yearly PLB titles, and he's been ranked #1 in the world on 13 separate occasions.
Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC