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Found 715 results

  1. 2020 was a career year for UK online crusher Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford who not only spent more than half the year as the #1-ranked player in the world but also earned more than enough PocketFives PLB points to run away as the 2020 Online Poker Player of the Year. For years, Beresford had been considered one of the toughest online poker tournament players in the world, but in 2020 he cemented himself as one of the very best. He hit new heights by earning six six-figure scores, four of which are currently a part of his top-5 results. He also padded his poker resume with victories in high roller events as well as his first PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker title. Beresford’s year got off to a quick start when on January 30 he finished as the runner-up in the GGPoker $2,020 2020 Series Championship for what was easily a new career-high cash of $611,134. Although he settled for second in that spot, Beresford spent the rest of the year finding ways to take home the win in the face of huge paydays at major final tables. For Beresford, those final tables often came with a title attached. He started his 2020 collection in March when he took down the partypoker POWERFEST Event #8 for $70,588. It was then that the online poker industry ramped up its offerings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which meant more opportunities for players like Beresford. On March 22, he picked up a win in the PokerStars High Rollers Week Kickoff Event ($5,200 NLHE) for $180,438. That fed right into back-to-back six-figure scores, the first of which took place during High Rollers 32 ($5,200 8-Max Main Event) for $378,205. That was closely followed by another huge win in High Rollers 39 ($10,300 NLHE) where Beresford defeated fellow UK pro Michael 'mczhang' Ch Zhang heads up for $239,652. All three of those PokerStars High Rollers victories were good enough to enter Beresford’s top-5 career results. The highlights continued in April as Beresford walked away with the win in the GGPoker GSS #162-HR for $74,066. Then again in May when he picked up a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker title with a win in Event 32-H ($530 NLHE) for $85,959. It was only fitting that in the middle of his 29-week long run as the #1-ranked player in the world, Beresford took down his first PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker title for $162,674. By the end of the year, Beresford’s lifetime career cashes soared over $14.7 million in earnings and he accumulated 29,804 PLB points, more than 4,000 ahead of Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon who ended the year with 25,730 points. Botteon had a well-documented incredible year in his own right highlighted by a second-place finish in the international leg of the World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event for a career-high score of $1,062,723. He also finished as the runner-up in the WSOP $25,000 Heads Up NLHE event on GGPoker for $622,300 as well as making an appearance at the final table of the WSOP $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship where he finished in sixth place for another $388,837. In total, Botteon, who is currently the #1-ranked player in the world, earned 14 of his top 15 scores in 2020, seven of which were good for six-figures or more. The current #2-ranked player, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic also made a run at the Online Player of the Year title by accumulating 23,773 points. The largest score of his year came in August when he earned a WSOP gold bracelet in Event #63 ($500 Mini Main Event) and collected a career-high cash of $843,460. After winning the PocketFives Yearly PLB title in both 2018* and 2019, ‘Lena900’ finished fourth in the 2020 race with 22,918 points. ‘Lena900’ started the year off as the #1-ranked player and held on to it for the better part of five months until Beresford assumed the top spot. Despite everything he’s accomplished in his career, all of his titles, the online great managed to add even more last year. His yearly highlights included a win in the PokerStars Stadium Series for $230,435 which was the third-highest cash of his career plus two WCOOP titles. In total, ‘Lena900’ has extended his lead on the Online All-Time Money List to more than $21.5 million. Former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski finished in fifth place with 20,411 points on the back of his second career WSOP bracelet and three World Championship of Online Poker titles which included one in Event #48-H ($5,200, 8-Max PKO) for a total of $245,000. 2020 Online Poker Player of the Year Standings [table id=150 /] * In previous years, players were awarded the title of PocketFives Yearly PLB winner. This title has been changed to PocketFives Online Player of the Year.
  2. Chris Moneymaker didn’t become of the best ambassadors in poker by being a high-stakes crusher or a Hollywood celebrity. It was practically divine intervention that married the Moneymaker name with his down-to-earth personality and stuck him in front of the ESPN cameras holding up bricks of cash as the winner of the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. It turns out, he was perfectly suited for the role of a poker ambassador. But on the final day of 2020, Moneymaker took to Twitter to announce that, effective immediately, he and PokerStars were mutually parting ways bringing to an end his 17-year run with the world's largest online poker site. Not a bad run for a job that was thrust upon him. Moneymaker’s tenure at PokerStars makes him if not the - one of the - longest-running ambassadors in poker history. But over his time at PokerStars, the job description of poker ambassador changed quite a bit. Here at the end of an era, Moneymaker took some time to reflect on what it means to be an ambassador, how it’s evolved, and what it takes to succeed in the role today. “When I signed, there was no such thing as an ambassador. Tom McEvoy was the only one who had a deal, and I don’t really know what his role was,” said Moneymaker. “My first year with PokerStars, I really didn’t do anything. There was nothing going on. Tournaments were probably three or four a year, there wasn’t a whole lot televised. So basically they were giving me money for nothing, just to wear a patch. But I never got to wear a patch because it was never on TV. That was the first year. “As the years progressed, tons of TV shows, tons of tournaments, tons of everything started coming out. To be an ambassador back then was, essentially just wear the patch and represent the site and do interviews and play on the site. Nothing that I normally wouldn't do anyways. So it wasn't really work to me. I just got to be myself and it, again, made it really easy.” But that was then. It was an era where poker participation was skyrocketing and companies like PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Ultimate Bet, among others, looked to lock up top talent in hopes that slapping a patch on a player at a televised final table would entice the next wave of depositors. “It went from three of us, there was me, Joe [Hachem] and Greg [Raymer] to, freaking, I think we got to 100 almost. It was a revolving door of people coming in and going out. I never even met some of them,” he said. According to Moneymaker, PokerStars' aggressive ambassador stance was in part due to PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg’s belief in the ambassador role as a means to grow the industry. They snapped up players in any country where poker could explode. “It was a while there where every day I’d wake up and there would be a new pro.” Over a decade later, and after the fallout from Black Friday, the abundance of televised cash games and made-for-broadcast tournaments like the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship is all but gone. For online operators, the landscape of how new customers are obtained continues to be a challenge and the role of an engaged ambassador requires much more than simply playing on a site with a custom avatar. “The role of the ambassador changed quite a bit. I might be a little bit of a unicorn in the fact that I don’t stream a whole lot, but to be an ambassador in today’s game, you almost have to be a streamer or do things of that nature, because there’s not enough opportunity to be on TV,” Moneymaker said. “Once Black Friday happened, they took away patches on TV, so there’s just not as many opportunities for someone to get patched up to be on TV. Really the way to get into an ambassadorship role in today’s game is to be as a streamer of some kind, or be a personality that would attract outside of poker.” That is part of what makes Moneymaker the “unicorn” he is. He’s not a 40-hour per week online poker streamer showcasing a platform. And while his social media following is impressive, he doesn't have the millions of followers that names like Neymar, Rafael Nadal or Usain Bolt have (all of whom have passed through the turnstile of poker ambassadorship.) Yet, even though multiple ownership changes at PokerStars, his ambassador deal was "rubber-stamped" time and time again. Moneymaker is one of the rare poker personas who transcended company marketing. People feel connected to Moneymaker by having watched him live out the same poker dream that they have themselves. He’s an ambassador for poker as a whole and it’s that connection that Moneymaker feels is his real value as an ambassador is. It’s a connection he doesn’t take for granted. “For me, personally, [the job] was going out and actually meeting people and meeting the guys that want to win a big tournament, or change their life, or want to take the game a little more seriously.” Moneymaker said. “They get the experience of playing with me and meeting me, and [being an ambassador] was more about the person-to-person experience for me.” “The one thing that’s made me last 17 years, I believe, is whenever they ask me to do something I’ve always just said ‘yes’. I’ve never told them no to anything. But I always felt like they really didn’t ask me to do a whole lot.” That’s not to say that the ambassador's life is always easy. Time away from family can be taxing. Trips to Europe, Australia, and China may be exciting but the travel can be grueling. Adding the travel to the event and half-a-month is spent on the road and according to Moneymaker, “eventually it gets old after 17 years.” On December 31, Moneymaker cited the desire to spend more time with his family as a reason for his mutual parting of ways with PokerStars. The news was a surprise for many fans and members of the poker industry alike as the association between the WSOP champ and the site he won his $10K seat on felt like the strongest in poker. Moneymaker’s decision was also a bit of a surprise to Moneymaker himself who, at one time, imagined a future that extended well past 17 years. “It’s a good company. I was really happy with them,” he said. “I’m still really happy with them, I have no problem. It was a mutual thing and they really didn’t ask me to do a whole lot and they paid me pretty good. So, from my side, I was really happy and I felt like they got a lot of value out of me. In any good business deal, you’re going to have both sides coming out good, and I think that’s the case we had. I know the relationship would have continued…I actually expected it to go on another decade, but then the coronavirus happened and everything changed from my standpoint.” When asked to reflect on the peak of being an ambassador for PokerStars, Moneymaker paused, as if there’s were too many to count or perhaps the seventeen years is all a blur. He talked about his connection with Donald Hobbs back in 2008 and his successful Moneymaker Tour where he handed out a series of $25K Platinum Passes to players who could never afford to play in the high-roller event. “Those types of things are what really stick out to me, changing people’s lives and giving people experiences. Honestly, some of the best times I had was when I’d take someone’s bankroll at the table but then they’d get up and shake my hand and say ‘That was awesome’. Basically, I know I’ve done my job.” The Moneymaker ambassador era at PokerStars may be over, but Moneymaker’s not headed off into the sunset yet. Just 45 years old, in his farewell video he hints at future endeavors, and as one of poker’s ultimate ambassadors, one would think that it’s just a matter of time before he’s called on again. “I’ve already had phone calls and I’ve already answered a few of them, so yeah, you’ll be seeing some things from me in the near future.”
  3. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Listen in to the first episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast of 2021 and Lance and Donnie return with all of the latest news from the world of poker. First, controversial casino magnate and long-time political opponent to online poker Sheldon Adelson passed away early Tuesday morning leading the guys to discuss what, if anything, his passing will mean to the future prospects of online poker legislation. Huck Seed is the newest member of the Poker Hall of Fame leading to a conversation surrounding the future of the Hall of Fame and the onslaught of qualified people who will be eligible in the next few years. Also, after seventeen years as an ambassador for PokerStars, Chris Moneymaker announced that he and the online poker company have mutually decided to part ways. What does this mean for Moneymaker's future? Listen in and find out. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. In the same month that Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon captured the worldwide #1 ranking for the first time in his career, he leveraged his first seven-figure score to take home the title of PocketFives Player of the Month for December. Botteon’s outstanding performance in 2020 has been well documented. Continually reaching new career-high cashes throughout the year, Botteon made a name for himself with high-profile appearances in the WSOP Online $25K Poker Players Championship as well as earning a spot in the finals of the WSOP Online $25K Heads-Up Championship. However, in December he was able to, once again, find a way to reach new heights. Botteon’s runner-up finish in the international leg of the $10K WSOP Main Event earned him $1,062,723, his first million-dollar score. It was also the fifth time in 2020 that he earned himself a new career-high cash. But it wasn’t just his deep run in the WSOP Main Event that helped him lock up the Player of the Month. Early in the month, he took down the December 6 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club ($1,050 Sunday Cooldown) for $10,478 and 232.78 PLB points. The very next day he won the GGPoker Sunday Forty Stack for another $35,985 and 451.43 PLB points. He picked up yet another win in the GGPoker $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for $25,645 and another 342.05 PLB points. In total for December, Botteon picked up nine five-figure scores from his 37 total results (outside of his WSOP cash). He also had nine PLB scores for a total of 5,308 points, just enough to help him outpace the competition to win the monthly award for the second time in his career. It was a perfect finish to an incredible year in which Botteon was named one of poker’s brightest rising stars. It seems like for the past month, whatever Botteon has done Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic has been right behind him, chasing him down. The #2-ranked player in the world finished as the runner-up in December’s Player of the Month race with 5,237 PLB points, just 71 behind Botteon. Zufic may not have had an avalanche of PLB points like one gets for taking second in the WSOP Main Event, but he did have a massive score of his own. His runner-up finish in the December 13 GGPoker High Roller Million$ brought him $228,682 and 821.52 PLB points. He added to his PLB point total with a victory in the GGPoker WSOPC Series $400 Sunday Forty Stack for $41,934 and 547.42 PLB points. In December Zufic was on a non-stop grind. He logged 131 in-the-money results, 12-PLB qualifying scores, and ten cashes of five-figures or better. He’s off to a fast start in 2021 as well, already locking up multiple large scores and keeping himself in the race for the worldwide top spot. Anton ‘AnteSvante’ Wigg, Austria’s #1-ranked pro, finished in third place in December after accumulating 4,091 PLB points. He finished in fourth place in the GGPoker Super Million$ High Rollers on December 1 for a career-high online cash of $176,631 and 587.22 PLB points. Two weeks later, Wigg defeated the 321 runners in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,389 and another 566.57 PLB points. Over the final two weeks of the year, Wigg went on a run on GGPoker picking up five-figure cashes and PLB points in bunches. A runner-up finish in the WSOPC Series $1,500 Sunday High Rollers brought him $44,369 on the same day he won the Sunday Special for $31,929. The next day he earned another $22,477 in the WSOPC Event #2 ($10, 300 Super MILLION$ High Roller) and another $32,729 in WSOPC Event #3 ($3,000 Deepstack) the very next day. His late-year results have pushed Wigg into the worldwide top-10 ranked, where he currently sits at #7. December 2020 Player of the Month Results [table id=153 /]
  5. A flurry of tournament wins in the middle of the month helped Jonathan ‘luckyfish89’ Clark pick up an early holiday present in the form of winning the PocketFives Monthly Leaderboard for the month of November. Clark, currently the #3-ranked player in the United Kingdom, hit a career-high ranking of #18 in the world last month after racking up 95 cashes for just over $330,000 in earnings. Much of those earnings was due to Clark’s fast start in the month, especially on November 2, when he crushed the GGMasters $1,050 High Rollers as the runner-up which earned him a career-high $118,941 score and 659.75 PLB points. At the same time, Clark was making a deep run in GGPoker’s Battle of Malta Event #3 ($215 Kings of Tallinn Main Event) where he picked up $37,360 and 382.78 PLB points. Clark was nowhere near done racking up results though. He picked up another nice score during GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #12 ($1,050 Deepstack) where he finished in seventh for another $19,754 and 269.09 points. In the middle of the month, the BBZ Poker coach went on a heater, collecting PLB points in bunches during the Battle of Malta Online series side events. He first won the Bounty Hunters Malta High Roller for $8,044 and 242.38 points on November 16. Five days later he won again, this time in the $315 Bounty Grand Master Side Event for another $22,132 and 378.29 points. He closed out the win with yet another victory in another $315 Bounty Grand Master Side Event, this time picking up $7,858 and 267.49 points. Clark’s 16 PLB-qualifying cashes was just enough to deny Dan ‘SmilleThHero’ Smilikovic back-to-back Monthly PLB titles. Smilikovic, who took down the October title, comes in a close second after another incredibly productive month that saw him rack up 136 results for roughly $387,144 in earnings. Currently sitting ranked at #7 in the world, Smilikovic held his elite status in the top 10 thanks in part to a resume-building victory in GGPoker’s marquee Sunday Major tournament, the $150 buy-in $500K GTD GGMasters. The Austrian battled his way through the 4,172-entry field to lock up the victory and $82,223 and 758.77 PLB points in the process. He continued to add to his accolades during PokerStars EPT Online after he finished in fifth place in Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) for $87,274 and 397.49 PLB points. He backed that up with another EPT Online score, this time he went the distance in Event #7 ($2,100 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller) and added the $54,451 first-place prize to his career totals which skyrocketed past $3 million in November. The November PLB top three is rounded out by perennial online crusher Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens. ‘Giraf’ didn’t put in quite the same amount of volume as Clark or Smilikovic, racking up just 60 results. However, when it came to earnings the online pro had a career month, taking in just over $1,191,000. ‘Giraf’s heater started on November 9 when he took down the GGPoker Battle of Malta High Roller Championship for $439,747 and 1,573.21 PLB points, the second-largest online score of his career. He followed that up with a three-tournament set that included a final table appearance in EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, High Roller) for $51,445 and 324.83 PLB points, a runner-up finish in GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #7 ($10,300 NLHE) for $262,470 and 752.24, and finally an outright win in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE) for another $96,144 and 707.11 PLB points. To add to all of those scores, ‘Giraf’ also took down EPT Online Event 15 ($10,300 NLHE, Turbo High Roller) for $186,238. The score contributed to his leap to over $12 million in total career earnings, placing him 15th on the All-Time Online Money List. It also helped him return back to being ranked #1 in the world, which he held on the week of December 5 for the first time since 2017. November PocketFives Top 10 [table id=142 /]
  6. There are a variety of ways to reach the top of the online poker rankings. For some, their ascension is based around a signature score, perhaps outlasting an overwhelming field in a massive marquee event. For others, it’s about the online grind. It’s a day-in, day-out battle against competition (and variance) where players register every tournament in sight and rack up results and PLB points in the process. Whatever path a player takes to succeed in online poker, it’s hardly ever easy. So when big moves in the rankings are made, it’s worth taking a look at who is making them and what they are doing right. Here are some of the biggest rankings risers of this week and some of the scores that helped them get it done. Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens (+54) Online poker crusher Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens saw a massive spike this week thanks to a series of massive scores in November. The former #1-ranked pro is once again in a position to potentially take the top spot after soaring an incredible 54 spots to land this week as the worldwide #4-ranked player. While ‘Giraf’ is constantly grinding, consistently picking up PLB points, his jolt into the top 5 can be credited to a three-tournament heater in the middle of the month. First up, a deep run in EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) on November 10 gave found him battling against a final table full of online poker’s best. Current #1-ranked Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford, Tim ’Tim0thee’ Adams, and Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson all had a seat and in the end, ‘Giraf’ secured a seventh-place finish for $51,444 and 324.83 PLB points. The very next day, he once again found success again in a high roller when he nearly grabbed the gold in GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #7 ($10,300 High Roller). At another star-powered final which featured Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro, Isaac Haxton, and Dan Smith among others, ‘Giraf’ outlasted the 130 total entries and struck a heads-up deal with Julian Stuer in which he officially finished in second place for $262,470 earning him another 752.24 PLB points. He wasn’t finished though. On the very same day, he booked an outright win PokerStars EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) for another $96,143 and 707.11 PLB points. In total, over those 48 hours, Stevens earned over $410,000 and 1,784.18 PLB. While he still sits over 1,500 PLB points behind Beresford, another 48 hours like that in November could propel him to return to the #1 spot. ‘Futti18’ (+11) ’Futti18’ jumped back into Russia’s top-5 rankings this week after an 11 spot leap to #31 in the world. ‘Futti18’ has leveraged podium results in PokerStars High Roller Club events throughout November to rack up PLB points and five-figure scores. Back on November 8, the Russian outlasted popular Twitch streamer Hristivoje ‘All In Pav’ Pavolic and Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro at the final table of the High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder Two-Day Event for a runner-up finish worth $42,855 and 373.07 PLB points. On November 22, he did it again. ‘Futti18’ finished as the runner in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for another $47,052 and 382.43 PLB points. This time though he added on. The very same day he picked up a third-place finish in the High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday Cooldown which earned him another $6,938 and 116.82 PLB points. ‘Futti18’ is 18 spots away from his career-high rank of #13 which he hit earlier this year and just under $125,000 away from eclipsing $5 million in career earnings. Sam ‘TheSquid’ Grafton (+15) Sam Grafton may have a reputation of being fun to be around, a lot of laughs at the poker table. But don’t get confused, his charm is just one part of his poker arsenal that, live or online, makes it so when you play against ‘TheSquid’ your playing against one of the best. He shot up 15 spots this week, back into the worldwide top 50 (#46) and back into the top 5 in the competitive country of the UK. Unlike others who make leaps with a single big score, Grafton, who grinds a wide variety of buy-ins, accomplished it by racking up PLB scores in several smaller tournaments. On November 26, Grafton cashed in back-to-back High Roller Club tournaments, the first for $3,030 and the second for $1,848 which brought him a total of 153.35. Those scores were on the back of his November 22 runner-up finish in the High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $10,391 and 148.99 PLB points. Those scores contributed in part to Grafton's recently surpassing $8 million in total lifetime online earnings. Javier ‘que_te_crio’ Fernandez (+27) A pair of nice scores helped Spain’s Javier ‘que_te_crio’ Fernandez jump up 27 spots in the rankings this week, back into the top 100 into #76 in the world. The pro, who plays out of the UK, found success in the November 18 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder HR, winning it all for over $14,000 and 286.36 PLB points. Perhaps even more impressively, Fernandez then outlasted the 673 runners in the November 22 edition of the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-up, taking home the $23,354 first-place prize and another 366.88 PLB points. Fernandez continued to tack on PLB points, posting additional results in the partypoker $5K GTD Gladiator, putting him just 16 spots from his all-time high ranking of #60. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screen names to their PocketFives profile.
  7. In a career that has spanned more than 12 years, 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche has evolved from a small stakes online grinder to one of the most prolific high rollers in the poker world today. The results of his hard work speak for themselves as Nitsche has amassed more than $6.5 million in online earnings and an amazing $18.65 million in live earnings, a total which places him 32nd on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List. Even after so much success, Nitsche continues to grind. A successful week at the online tables helped Nitsche surge 27 spots in the online poker worldwide rankings to #68, one of the biggest moves inside the top-100 for the week. The rise in rankings helped him take over the #1-ranking in Germany and close in on a career-high spot of #60, which he last hit back in 2009. As Nitsche continues to climb the rankings, it makes for a good time to look back at some of the biggest scores in the DTO private poker coach’s history, including his most recent victory which added a major title to his long list of accomplishments. 2019 PokerStars WCOOP Just over a year ago, Nitsche booked the biggest win of his online poker career during the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker when he made a deep run in Event #25-H ($25,000 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller). The tournament drew 90 entries and generated a prize pool of over $2.2 million fueled by some of the toughest competition the poker world has to offer. Nitsche battled his way to the final table, outlasting the likes of Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen, Tim ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and Mustapha ‘lasagnaaammm’ Kanit, all of who made the money. In the end, Nitsche ended up falling in fifth place walking away with $188,139. Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov ended up winning the event for more than $527,000. 2017 PokerStars SCOOP Two-and-a-half years prior to his big risk, big reward run in the 2019 WCOOP, Nitsche entered another high roller looking to take home a massive score. The field size in the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #15-M ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a good deal larger as 772 entries drove the prize pool to just over $1.5 million. Again, Nitsche made a deep run to the final table where he battled the impressive online poker talent of Ami ‘UhhMee’ Barer and former #1-ranked Calvin ‘Cal42688’ Anderson. Nitsche finished in fourth place that day but locked up a massive $115,800 score for his efforts. $5K High Roller One of the very first high roller tournaments in 2018 took place on January 3 that year and featured a who’s who of top online poker talent. The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller was littered with notable screen names that finished in the money that day. Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich, Mike ‘telks’ Telker, Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk, and Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick all picked up huge scores that day. Nitsche surpassed all of them though and notched himself a podium finish with a third-place score of $82,445 which helped him get the year off to a good start. In the end, Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas bested ‘DEX888’ for the win and the $139K first-place prize. 2020 PokerStars SCOOP It seems that Nitsche only gets better with age as two of his top 5 all-time scores were won in 2020. The first of which took place on May 22 in the 2020 PokerStars SCOOP when Nitsche fired in the $500,000 guaranteed Event #87-H ($530 NLHE). The field swelled to 956 entries but Nitsche outlasted every single one of them, booking the win and adding the $82,365 first-place prize to what was, at that time, $5.8 million in online earnings. 2020 EPT Online Cup Nitsche’s latest major online score proves that while he may be known for crushing the small field, nosebleed buy-in tournaments he still has what it takes to work his way through a massive field MTT and get the win. On November 14, just over a week ago, Nitsche nabbed himself a title in PokerStars’ first-ever EPT Online series when he outlasted the massive field of 2,833 runners and took down EPT Online Event #14 ($215 NLHE, EPT Online Cup) for $82,093. Along with the major online title, Nitsche picked up 752.73 PLB points which sent him sailing past Germany’s ‘nilsef’ in the rankings and has positioned himself to reach ranking heights he hasn’t seen in over a decade. Since taking home the gold in the EPT Online event, Nitsche continues to add to his PLB point total, grabbing another 169.49 points with his runner-up finish in the $215 Fast Friday just last week. If Nitsche continues to grind the kind of volume he’s been putting in as of late, he’s a favorite to hit a new career-high ranking by the end of the year. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screennames to their PocketFives profile.
  8. The PokerStars EPT Online series wrapped up on Thursday after Sweden’s ‘WhatIfGod’ was crowned the champion of the $5,200 NLHE Main Event and walked away with the $1,019,082 million first-place prize. The first-ever EPT Online looked to bring players similar offerings to that of one of their popular live stops which have been understandably postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And over the past two weeks, some of the world’s top online poker talent packed the PokerStars lobbies to battle for a piece of the $21.1 million in total prize money that was spread out over the series’ 20 events. The Main Event After four days of play, the final nine players reconvened to fight for the biggest prize of the series and the right to be called EPT Main Event Champion. The first three eliminations happened in short order as ‘vip25459’ fell was the first to fall, busting out ninth place for $78,797. Soon after busting ‘vip25459’, online poker legend Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet hit the rail in eighth place ($97,344) when he lost a huge flip holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] against ‘VbV1990’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. Then Andreas ‘daskalos20’ Christoforou busted in spectacular fashion when he got his [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] all in preflop against David ‘MissOracle’ Yan’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] and when the [poker card="3c"] hit the river, Christoforou was drawing dead. He settled for seventh place and $136,147. Play slowed down at six-handed until Enio ‘Bozzano JNR’ Bozzano suffered a bad beat in sixth place ($190,419) as Yan again came from behind and cracked Bozzano’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. Russia’s Viacheslav ‘Vbv1990’ Buldygin was the next to exit when he moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][aj] and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. The pocket eights held and Buldygin was eliminated in fifth place for $266,323. Not long after, ‘tikidiii’ busted in fourth place when he open-shoved his [poker card="js"][poker card="th"] into Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams who showed down [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"]. Adams’ pocket eights flopped a set and held through the river as ‘tikidiii’ fell in fourth place for $372,485. The experienced final three players battled for roughly thirty minutes before Yan became short-stacked after he was called on a bluffed missed flush draw. Unlike earlier in the tournament when he was able to chip up from the short stack, Yan was unable to recover. He shoved his remaining 16 big blinds in the middle holding [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] against Adams’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="4s"]. Although the tens held to the turn, the [poker card="as"] spiked on the river, shipping the pot to Adams and sending Yan home with a third-place $520,966 payday. Despite both being deep-stacked, Adams and ‘WhatIfGod’ had a brief heads-up battle of just seven hands. It came to a head when Adams raised the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ three-bet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"] which brought a bet from ‘WhatIfGod’ which Adams called. The turn came the [poker card="8s"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked it over to Adams who put in a bet of his own. ‘WhatIfGod’ called. The case ace, the [poker card="ac"], fell on the river and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked again. Adams then shoved his remaining stack and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’ who used his [poker card="tc"] to outkick Adams and clinch the championship. Adams earned $728,633 as the runner up and ‘WhatIfGod’ locked down the seven-figure $1,019,082 first-place prize. EPT Online Main Event Final Table Payouts [table id=123 /] Series Highlights The series got off to a fast start as EPT Online Event #1 ($1,050 NLHE, Arena Championship) racked up a total of 2,426 entries to shatter the $1.5 million event guarantee to the tune of a $2,426,000 prize pool. After four days of play, ‘DON JOHAN’ walked away with a $356,769 payday setting the stage for a series that promised players big-time payouts throughout. While not the first tournament numerically, EPT Online Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was the first to reach the finish line and, in the end, it was David ‘MonkeyBausss’ Laka that became the answer to the trivia question “Who was the first EPT Online Champion?” Laka outlasted a talent-packed final table that included former #1-ranked pros Chris ‘ImDaNuts’ Oliver and Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov as well as current #2-ranked player from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to lock up the $143,567 score. After a three-handed deal was made in EPT Online Event #4 ($530 NLHE), former PokerStars Team Online member Tatiana ‘Mysters_Y’ Barausova took home a trophy, surviving the field of 1139 runners and earning herself $74,951 in the process. The final table of EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a who’s who of online poker. Belarusian crusher Mikita Badziakouski and Mathias Eibinger made a deal heads-up that saw both players take home just over $221,000 but it was Badziakouski who will receive the trophy. 2020 WSOP NLHE PPC Champ Christian Rudolph finished in third place on a final table that included October PLB winner Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic, Canada’s #1-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and current #1-ranked player in the world Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Also at the final table of Event #6 was high-stakes pro Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens who finished in seventh place for $51,445. A good result to be sure, but it was the beginning of a few days that found him locking up not one, but two EPT Online titles. First, in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) he struck a deal with Greece’s Alexandros ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis heads up which locked up a $87,984 payday and the trophy. Three days later he bested Michael ‘Imluckbox’ Addamo heads up in EPT Online Event #15 ($10,300 Turbo, 6-Max, High Roller) to take home another $186,238 score. EPT Online Event #10 ($25,000 Super High Roller) had 81 entries fighting over a piece of the $2,000,000 prize pool. Finnish pro Eelis ‘EEE27’ Parssinen denied the victory to likes of Christian Rudolph, Benjamin ‘bencb789’ Rolle, Joao Vieira, and Artur Martirosian and took home $539,819 for first, the largest prize outside of the Main Event. PokerStars popular 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck) was on display in EPT Online Event #13 ($10,300 6+ Hold’em, High Roller) when Canadian crusher Sam Greenwood topped the small field of 41 entries to add $177,599 to his more than $11.6 million in lifetime career online earnings. One of Brazil’s best and brightest online stars, Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha blasted through the 818 entries of EPT Online Event #18 ($1,050 NLHE, Turbo) to capture the $138,358 first-place prize, a top-5 career score for the longtime grinder. In the final event of the series, former World Series of Poker final tablist Damian Salas used his last chance to pick up a six-figure score by winning EPT Online Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE Last Chance) for $117,475, the second-largest online win of his career. EPT Online Event Winners [table id=121 /] With the big buy-in tournaments of the EPT Online behind them, PokerStars next series caters to the other side of the poker pyramid. The MicroMillions series kicks off on November 19 and runs through November 29.
  9. It takes a special player to reach the top of the online poker rankings. In addition to elite skills on the virtual felt resulting in extraordinary results, it requires a dedication to the online grind that provides the amount of volume needed to surpass the competition. This is what makes it so amazing that the UK’s current top talent Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford’s reign at the top of the rankings is closing in on historic highs. Beresford has held on to the #1 spot for more than half of 2020, currently sitting at 26 weeks straight. However, Beresford, who once held a PLB point lead that looked insurmountable, is within striking distance for his fellow online pros for the first time in months. While there are a number of players who could catch Beresford in the upcoming weeks, including current #2 -ranked Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, it might just take a former #1-ranked player to put an end to Beresford’s current hot streak. There are currently 12 former #1-ranked players in the top 100, some of whom it’s been years since they’ve reached the top spot. One thing is for sure, all of them know exactly what is required to get back to the top and take back the throne. The Top 10 The three former #1-ranked players with the best shot at Beresford all are occupying a spot in the top 10. World Series of Poker standout Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski has been turning up the heat all summer long and currently sits at #6 in the world. His rise was thanks in part to a pair of six-figure scores in September. The first was his PokerStars WCOOP win in Event #48-H ($5,200 NLHE, PKO, Sunday Slam) which brought him more than $245,000 and 817.01 PLB points. Days later he picked up another $185,350 with a fifth-place finish in the Natural8 Super MILLION$ High Rollers which brought him an additional 703.52. Dzivielevski held on to the #1 spot two different times back in 2014 and while he has some ground to cover, should he continue to put up big numbers he’s got a shot at closing the gap on Beresford. Right behind him at #7 in the rankings is Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver. The American, who plays out of Costa Rica, last held the top spot in 2010 and now he’s once again in striking distance thanks to his non-stop grind. Oliver’s recent scores include a win in the October 18 PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for $48,072 and 500.00 PLB points. He tacked on another 251.80 PLB points on November 8 with a final table finish in the EPT Online Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) for $31,057 and 251.80 PLB points. Sweden’s ‘Lena900’ knows what it’s like to spend extended time at #1, having held the spot for 33 weeks back in 2018-2019. Now, the Swedish superstar, who was the last player to hold #1 before Beresford, is still in the mix thanks to a pair of PokerStars WCOOP wins back in September. He scored a six-figure score by winning Event #39-H ($5,200 PKO High Roller) for more than $200,000 and 753.33 PLB points. He then went back-to-back and grabbed another WCOOP title in Event #44-H ($2,100 NLHE) for $80,642 and 632.46 PLB points. If ‘Lena900’ can rack up more wins like his October 25 score in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR, where he added more than $48,000 to his All-Time Online Money List leading $21.2 million, sooner than later he may just rule the rankings once again. Not Far Behind partypoker ambassador Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard last held the top spot just last year and currently sits at #21. Leonard who is known to fire in the biggest buy-in tournaments online built a nice base this summer during WCOOP where he racked up 1,356.38 PLB points. He didn’t have any October scores that added to his rankings performance, but he looks to be back at it in November, which means a good chance he pushed back into the top 20 in upcoming weeks. Sweden’s ’C Darwin2’ is one of online poker’s most prolific players having held the #1 spot eight different times for a total of 66 weeks. He retained a spot in the top 50 this week with a deep run in PokerStars EPT Online Event #5 ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Win The Button) for $5,436 and 130.54 PLB points. He also earned a pair of five-figure scores in the recent PokerStars Bounty Builder Series when he booked the win in Event #37 ($1,050 NLHE Super Tuesday) for $21,522 and 356.37 PLB points. He then finished as the runner-up in Event #164 ($1,050 NLHE, Thursday Thrill) for another $28,844 and 279.91 PLB points. It’s been over four years since Russia’s ‘veeea’ last touched #1, but he’s still one of the most feared online grinders playing today as he sits at #52 in the world. This week alone, ‘veeea’ racked up four PLB-qualifying scores including two wins in the PokerStars High Roller Club for a total of over $17,500. His spotlight score of the month so far came in EPT Online Event #3 where his third-place finish earned him $86,183 and 418.65 PLB points, his 11th largest career online cash. Big Names In The Back Half While they may be in the back half of the top 100, all of these former #1-ranked players have continued to put up impressive results. Former PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event winner Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff touched the top spot in 2017 and currently sits at #61. His victory in the October 18 PokerStars $125 Sunday Subsonic kept him in good shape with a $17,814 score and 316.11 PLB points. It’s been an amazing week for #68-ranked ‘girafganger7’ who has been crushing the PokerStars EPT Online. One day after a final table finish in Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE) for $51,445, he won Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE) for another $96,144 and 707.11 PLB points. He topped that three days later with another win in Event #15 ($10,000 6-Max, High Roller) for $186,238, a top-5 career score. It’s been a year since nosebleed cash game legend Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro first held the #1 ranking. Now, at #75, he continues to turn in impressive tournament results including his runner-up finish in EPT Online Event #5 ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Win The Button) for $34,900 and 321.86 PLB points. Mike ‘telks’ Telker is a true grinder. The American, playing out of Costa Rica like the aforementioned Chris Oliver, has more than $11.7 million in lifetime cashes and was the #1 player in the world back in 2011. Today, he’s ranked #78 and stays there by playing anything and everything on the tournament schedule and booking scores like his deep run in EPT Online Event #1 for $7,058 and 167.79 PLB points. Sweden’s Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren spent three weeks at #1 back in 2014 and continues to be a force in online poker today. With seven PocketFives Triple Crown awards and just under $14 million in lifetime earnings, Berggren could soar up the rankings at any point using results like his deep run in EPT Online Event #1 where he earned $8,541 and 215.59 PLB points. Finally, Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman who spent the better part of his summer in Mexico grinding the online events in the World Series of Poker, sits at #90 in the world. After purchasing a house in Mexico, Moorman has been splitting his time between his home in Las Vegas where he grinds on WSOP.com and being able to play against the international player pools as he did on November 10 when he won the $109 NLHE on PokerStars for $3,219 and 123.53 PLB points. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screennames to their PocketFives profile.
  10. The obsession with competition, dedication to improvement, and doing what it takes to be the best. These are just some of the themes on display in Netflix’s new binge-worthy hit The Queen’s Gambit, the mini-series that depicts a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the chess world - a world, it turns out, that is not so far from that of poker. Adapted from Walter Tevis’s novel of the same name, the new TV show tells the fictional story of chess prodigy Beth Harmon, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy, as she battles through her childhood struggles and breaks through into the upper echelons of the chess world. Jennifer Shahade knows a thing or two about the correlation between chess and poker. Shahade is a two-time United States Women’s Champion, Women’s Program Director at U.S. Chess, and, perhaps better known to poker players, an ambassador for PokerStars. “I loved it, because it showed a different side of chess,” Shahade said about the series. “The glamorous side, the grown-up side. So many of the movies and series about chess are about scholastic chess and the triumph. And I love those movies, but I really liked that this was a different side of it. Yes, it's not suitable for children. And in a way, I feel like, sets it apart from all of those other chess content pieces, and makes it into something that could potentially build a bridge between people who play chess as children and people who play chess later in their life. “It’s kind of like the poker side of chess. It's the travel, the glamour, the relationships between the people that you meet on the tour. The individualistic side of it.” Depiction of poker in movies and TV has a tendency to be unrealistic with famous scenes setting up improbable hands for impossible stakes. While still entertaining, for poker players movies like Rounders endures due to how true it speaks to the culture of the game. For Shahade, The Queen’s Gambit does just that for the world of chess. A realistic portrayal of the study, the friendships, and the game itself. Part of that, she credits to production consultants like Russian chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov and renowned chess author and instructor Bruce Pandolfini. “If you are a chess person, or even if you're just interested in learning more about it, you can kind of watch The Queen's Gambit twice. Once for the story, and second to look at all the games, and see what happened in the games. So it's amazing that you get to have this dual viewing. “I think the main thing is that they nailed the emotion and the intensity of the intellectual struggle. The ability to just completely focus on the chess, and try to find the correct moves, and how that almost gives you this brief period of ecstasy where you're just absorbed in your own thoughts. And that also has some correlation with poker as well, especially heads up poker.” In 2010, the International Mind Sports Association officially recognized poker as a mind sport, putting it, categorically, on the same level as chess. For those that enjoy both games, it makes sense as there’s plenty of similarities when it comes to succeeding. A Venn diagram of the qualities that top players in both games possess would have plenty of overlap and for Shahade, one doesn’t have to look too deep to see how the games compare. “I think the approach to the game, to getting better, is very similar. No matter what amount of time you have to put into poker or chess, there's a different strategy to improving, and it's similar for both games. You look at what types of situations are going to come up most frequently, like in the Sicilian Defense, or the Queen's Gambit opening. You study those, and you also study this stuff that might happen at the end of the game, which we also saw, the rook and pawn endgame. “Well in poker, there're corollaries to that," she said. “You study your opening ranges, you study your late tournament ICM, and shoving ranges. Cause you know that it's going to come up, and so if you study it, you're definitely going to get better. That's the kind of things you're also looking for in chess.” Poker and chess have also shared a recent resurgence in interest in the midst of the global pandemic. With nearly a million followers on Twitch, the chess category brings top-tier players and fans together to watch games and discuss strategy in the same way poker fans tune in to players like Lex Veldhuis or to watch matches like the Polk-Negreanu challenge. “There's been a huge chess boom over the last 10 years even. But it's obviously accelerated in the last six months, and the last year,” Shahade said. “There are so many factors to it. I mean, part of it is its depiction and movies and TV, and obviously now The Queen's Gambit. A lot of it is streaming on Twitch, chess is really well-suited for streaming, much like poker.” “Fellow PokerStars pro Fintan Hand had a great thread on why poker and Twitch are such a natural marriage, because of the fact that you can actually watch people play for real money, and that adds that layer of excitement on top of the other inherent interesting things about getting to see people's hole cards,” she said. “Chess is a really good fit for Twitch too because the games are so fast. So you can really chunk it up, you can play a game, then interview someone, play a series of 10 games against your top subs. There are so many things you can do in a game that is so fast, where you literally can finish a game in one minute. And then visually it's rather simple, right? There's just a square, and so I think that also allows for some really beautiful layouts. That really contributed to its growth.” Aside from gameplay, poker and chess also share the quality and challenges of being a male-dominated industry. The Queen’s Gambit showcases this time and time again as Beth Harmon often times finds herself alone in her chess journey. Shahade, who has excelled in both chess and poker, understands what it means to succeed in these fields. “I think both of them are somewhat similar in that there's a lot of great enthusiasm for top women players. There can be some extra opportunities, but then there can also be a lot of resentment and sometimes harassment,” she said. “It really privileges a personality type that's strong and likes positive attention and is able to withstand negative attention. And that's great because the women you meet from chess and poker are usually really tough and strong people. “That said, I think that there's also a lot of space in our worlds for more sensitive people. It's not like it's the only positive personality type is to be super strong, and like positive attention, and not care about negative attention. No, people who are a little bit shyer and more sensitive, we want them too. You want that diversity of personality. And so that's what I struggled with in both games, that the women who end up succeeding are often extremely successful, and really inspirational. “But if we just look at them we don't really get the answer, because we have survivorship bias. What you really need to do is look at the people who aren't there, because they stopped playing, because they're more sensitive to harassment, which is totally legitimate. They might've had a bad experience, they might not have the same support system, who knows? It's not my job to psychoanalyze it, but the point is they're not there, and these games could give them a lot of amazing things in their life, so we want to keep them. That, I guess, is something that in both fields, I think we have to do better of. Not falling prey to the survivorship bias when we analyze how to get better.” As both industries strive to be more inclusive for women, Shahade has found a position that has allowed her to be an example and proactive in reaching out to women in chess including starting The Madwoman’s Book Club which was inspired by the chess queen. “When chess was first born, the queen was the weakest piece on the board,” she said. “She could only move one square in each direction. Then, as the game evolved, they realized this game was kind of boring, it took too long, so they made the queen the most powerful piece on the board. There was some resistance to it at first, they called it the ‘crazy woman’ or ‘mad woman’s’ chess game at first, and then it became the game that we play now.” “So I always think that it’s funny that people have this resistance to powerful women that actually end up making the game better.”
  11. The poker resume of Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson is overflowing with incredible achievements. From seven-figure scores to capturing major online titles, Canada’s current #1-ranked online crusher has added a new accolade by entering the elite air of the top five of the online poker rankings for the first time in his over 14 year career. Thanks to a late-summer surge filled with a string of impressive scores, Watson jettisoned into his current spot at #4 in the world and, for the time being, has eclipsed some of online poker’s biggest names, including ‘Lena900’, Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski and Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver, to enjoy a career-high worldwide ranking. One just needs to look at Watson’s dominance in the month of August to see how he leveraged an online heater to hit new heights. He found early month success playing in big buy-in events including the August 9 edition of the PokerStars $5,200 High Roller where he finished as the runner-up for a $92,337 score. Two days later, Watson found another second-place finish in the Natural8 $5K High Roller Blade Prime for $80,176. Watson really hit a mid-month stride when he won back-to-back $10K Short Deck High Rollers on Natural8. On August 12, he topped the small-but-elite field of 20 entries and eventually defeated Mikita Badziakouski heads up to walk away with a $66,569 win. He took those winnings and played the same event the very next day. This time he bested Rozvadov's King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik to pick up another $110,400 victory. While all of those big money scores were an important part of Watson’s month, none of them helped him when it came to his PLB point total. He was smashing huge scores but the field sizes hadn’t done anything for him in terms of rankings. But Watson isn’t just a small-field specialist and he showed that late in the month. ‘SirWatts’ was in the midst of grinding the World Series of Poker on GGPoker and at the same time playing large field events on PokerStars when he racked up an impressive string of results that sent his PLB score soaring. It got started on August 25 when Watson picked up a cash in the High Roller Super MILLION$ on Natural8 for $21,665 and 190.63 PLB points. The next day he took 5th place in WSOP Event #72 ($1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship) on GGPoker for another $26,069 plus 260.52 PLB points. On August 30, Watson was battling for titles during PokerStars 2020 World Championship of Online Poker finishing in second place in Event #2-H ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max, PKO) for a total of over $198,000 and 597.43 PLB points, the eighth-highest score of his career. He again nearly grabbed the title in Event #3-H ($5,200 PLO 6-Max High Roller) where he fell in third place for $20,184 and 205.44 PLB points. The very next day Watson switched his focus and ran deep in a pair of WSOP side events, earning a total of more than $12,000 and, more importantly for his ranking, another 271 PLB points. And while, no longer technically August, he finished off his stretch of PLB pickups with a final table finish in the September 1 edition of the High Roller Super MILLION$ which earned him $45,324 and 420.83 PLB points. In total, over the course of three days and five events, Watson earned nearly 1,500 PLB points. In the month of August alone, Watson earned roughly $677,000 (and 2,031 PLB points) which helped push past the $7 million mark in lifetime online earnings. Of course even though August was over, the winnings didn’t stop there for Watson. Since then, he’s picked up 10 five-figure scores and a considerable amount of PLB points which has helped him hold on to his #4 ranking for the past three weeks. However, in order to keep the momentum going, and take a shot at the #1 spot, Watson will need to get back to the online grind. After a summer of heavy grinding, he only racked up four total results in the entire month of October. That said, with over $20 million in total career earnings, when Watson decides to set his sights on climbing even higher than his current #4 spot, he’s a good bet to get there.
  12. The time has come for Croatia's top-ranked online poker pro Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to take his shot at the top spot. After a hot start to the year, Zufic’s results surged this summer and brought him career-defining scores and resume-topping titles. This week, he finally ascended all the way up to take over the worldwide #2 spot from Brazilian powerhouse Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon with only Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford left in his path. Early Returns At the start of the year, Zufic was spending most of his time playing mid-to-high stakes, looking to eclipse a $16,000 career-high score that he had set back in 2019. In April, he was ranked 83rd in the world when he picked up a title in the PokerStars EU Spring Championship of Online Poker for a little over $28,000. The win was not only a mile marker for Zufic but the start of a heater that lasted all summer long. He backed up his new SCOOP title by taking home another trophy in late March in the PokerStars.com SCOOP series. He bested the 630-entry field in Event #81-H ($530 NLHE, 6-Max) for a massive $61,202 score. Then four days later he grabbed a win in the World Series of Poker Circuit Series $250 Daily Special on GGPoker for another $10,965 bringing his weekly PLB point total to more than 631 and putting him as the #1-ranked player in Croatia. Red Hot Summer The hits kept coming for Zufic, who again put himself in a position to hit new career highs. Just one week after taking down the $250 WSOPC side event he did it again, this time in the June 1 edition of the $500 Sunday Main on GGPoker. He outlasted the tough 1,249-entry field to take home $93,755 first-place prize and a new spot inside the worldwide top-50. Zufic continued to rise in the rankings in the following weeks by taking down tough tournaments like the PokerStars $109 Sunday Kickoff and nabbing a podium finish in a WSOP Side Event. However, as good as it was going for him, the best for him was right around the corner. Gold Bracelet Glory Zufic’s poker career would never be the same after August 17 when he took down the 2,055-player field in the 2020 World Series of Poker Online $500 Mini Main Event for a life-changing score of $843,460, far-and-away a new career-high cash. Additionally, Zufic earned himself a place in WSOP history by becoming the first-ever player from Croatia to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Prior to the win, Zufic was ranked 29th in the world, but a win of such magnitude added 2,685.21 PLB points to his total, jettisoning him into the top 10 for the very first time. Even after all that success, Zufic kept on his grind and found success once again on GGPoker. In the September 14 edition of the High Roller MILLION$, Zufic struck gold again and added another $355,375 to his incredible year plus another 1,457.30 PLB. These two scores combined pushed him into the top 10, putting his name among the elite grinders. Throughout his success in some of the biggest tournaments of the summer, Zufic was still grinding a daily schedule. His work ethic can scene in the results which brought him three PocketFives Triple Crown awards this year. He booked his first three victories (on three different networks in the same week) on April 1. He did it again on June 1 as well as September 22, accomplishing a feat three times in the same year that many players will labor to do even once. Despite all his success this year, Zufic is going to need to keep his head down and put in the hours if he hopes to catch Beresford. The current #1-ranked UK grinder is known for putting in plenty of volume and, like Zufic, he is also in the midst of a career year. Currently, just under 2000 PLB points shy of Beresford, it will take some big-time results from Zufic in order to close the gap and for Zufic to make history. But with nine of Zufic’s top-10 career cashes coming this year, he currently has the momentum to possibly make it happen.
  13. For many, 2020 has been a year fraught with anxiety in the face of a global pandemic. If that’s the case for UK online poker superstar Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford it certainly hasn’t shown in his remarkable results this year. After nearly nine years of posting results to PocketFives, Beresford climbed to the top of the worldwide rankings on May 16 and has yet to relinquish the top spot. He got there by putting up some of the biggest cashes of his career and he’s held on to by posting consistent results over an impressive amount of volume. Hitting Career Highs The story of Beresford's rise in the rankings can be traced back to the beginning of 2020 when Beresford binked four of his top-five career online cashes before the end of April. It all started with his career-high cash in the GGPoker 2020 Series Championship where he earned a massive $611,134 score in a runner-up finish. Beresford had a just few six-figure scores prior to this result, but this one seemed to break open the dam. He followed that up with a victory in the PokerStars $5,200 High Roller Kickoff for $180,438 in late March but the real push to the #1 ranking came in the first weeks of April. During the PokerStars High Rollers Series, Beresford picked up two victories in four days. First, he locked up the $378,205 first-place prize in Event #32 ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max, Main Event) on April 5 for his second-largest career cash. Then on April 9 he added $239,652 with a victory in Event #39 ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max) for a total of more than $617,000 in less than a week. Those four early year results gave Beresford a more than 3000 PLB point surge, sending into the top 5. But the tipping point that put him over the top was his May 7 PokerStars SCOOP title run in Event #32-H ($530 NLHE) which added another $85,959 to his bankroll and enough PLB points to take over the top spot. Applying The Pressure For Beresford, there was no slowing down. In the midst of some of the biggest tournament series of the year, Beresford continued to put up phenomenal results. This included a victory in one of PokerStars longest-running marquee tournaments. In early July, Beresford topped the 10,931-entry field of the $109 Sunday Million for $112,185. The results kept coming. He picked up victories in both the PokerStars Stadium Series and the World Series of Poker Side Events and pushed his PLB point total north of 14,000, create significant distance between himself and those who were looking to catch him. Then, in early September, Beresford added a new title to his poker resume when he took home his very first career WCOOP title in Event #33 ($5,200 High Roller) for $162,674. Including that score, fourteen of Beresford’s top-twenty career cashes have taken place in 2020, six of which were good for six-figures. It’s elevated him to more than $14.5 million in career earnings, which is currently #8 on the All-Time Online Money List. Headed For History Beresford currently sits at 19 weeks as the top-ranked player in the world and, should he hold his position for another week, he will join an elite list of players who have reigned for more than 20 weeks. Sweden’s ‘C Darwin2’ spent 20 weeks at the top in the longest stint of his 66 total weeks at #1. Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson held on to the #1 spot for 22 weeks when he first took over in 2012. Back in 2009, Steve ‘gboro780’ Gross was atop the list for 24 weeks. ‘Lena900’s extensive time at the top comes with two runs of more than 20 weeks at a time. The first was in 2018 when he lead the world for 33 weeks straight. Then he returned to the top in late 2019 and held on for 20 weeks until Beresford claimed the #1 spot. Online poker legend Chad ‘m8kingmoves’ Batista still holds the record for consecutive weeks at #1 at 45 weeks back in 2007. With the current lead that Beresford has in the online rankings it could be a while before any of the other top contenders like Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, Mike ‘SitWatts’ Watson or even ‘Lena900’ are able to catch him and thus locking in Beresford’s 2020 performance in 2020 as one of the very best in online poker history.
  14. The party in Portugal is probably going to last for a few days after Andre 'PTFisherman23' Marques came out on top of the 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event (High) on Wednesday. Marques, who was playing from the Netherlands, was one of three players to earn at least $1 million at the final table after Marques, Tonio 'prrak4783' Roder, and Teun 'tinnoemulder' Mulder chopped up just north of $3.32 million after four days of play in $10,300 buy-in WCOOP Main Event. Marques emerged as the champion and picked up $1,147,270.86 while Roder came in second place for $1,082,522.50 and Mulder took home $1,101,527.64 for taking the final spot on the podium. Sweden's Robin 'robinho' Ylitalo, who has been ranked as high as #2 in the world, came in fourth place for a career-best cash of $543,301. That cash also made Ylitalo just the 13th player to surpass $13 million in online tournament earnings. Winning the WCOOP Main Event (Medium) is a pretty solid way to grab the first WCOOP title of your career. That's exactly what Thailand-based grinder '1mSoWeeeaK' pulled off on Wednesday night after beating 'Y.Zakaharov' heads up to claim the crown and secure the bag. With no deal made, the champion walked away with $504,583.85 while 'Y.Zakaharov' had to settle for $359,679.96. Lastly, 'klimono' turned their $55 buy-in into $186,841.09 by outlasting 38,659 other entries in the Main Event (Low). It was the first WCOOP title for the Polish poker player. WCOOP #72-H: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 1,977 entries $10,000,000 prize pool ($115,000 overlay) Andre ‘PTFisherman23’ Marques - $1,147,270.86* Tonio ‘prrak4783’ Roder - $1,082,522.50* Teun ‘tinnoemulder’ Mulder - $1,101,527.64* Robin ‘robinho’ Yitalo - $543,301 Andriy ‘Andre_Hansen’ Lyubovetskiy - $387,284 Denys ‘SantaZzz’ Chufarin - $276,069 Michael ‘munchenHB’ Telker - $196,792 77atlant77 - $140,280 Cecilia ‘princes chu’ Cafaro - $99,997 WCOOP #72-M: $530 NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 7,105 entries $3,552,500 prize pool 1mSoWeeeaK - $504,583.85 Y.Zakaharov - $359,679.96 $harkFlo - $256,392.09 ZAR84 - $182,764.75 GM_VALTER - $130,280.83 tzini9 - $92,868.38 kirbyi17 - $66,199.41 owilson25 - $47,189.27 cladarth - $33,637.91 WCOOP #72-L: $55NLHE [8-Max, NLHE Main Event] 38,660 entries $1,933,000 prize pool klimono - $186,841.09 Tangawi26 - $132,092.52 ID IMPOSS - $93,403.33 pvss - $66,045.97 Mr.Skinny.00 - $46,701.47 vrodrguez1 - $33,022.98 Clutch Hero - $23,350.83 Jemisis - $16,511.49 benton24 - $11,675.32
  15. While the three 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Events all played down to a final table on Tuesday, the fans of the great game of Pot Limit Omaha were tuned into to watch the PLO Main Events crown a new champion and all three of the buy-in levels came through with a top player standing in the winner's circle. Sweden's 'jedimaster82' beat Ola ‘Odd_Oddsen’ Amundsgaard heads up to win Event #73 High ($10,300 PLO Main Event) for $283,368.15 and their first WCOOP victory. Amundsgaard collected $217,808.59 for his runner-up performance. Kahle 'ROFLshove' Burns outlasted 787 other entries in event #73 Medium ($1,050 PLO Main Event) to pocket $133,757 along with the first WCOOP title of his storied career. The final PLO Main Event went to the current #1-ranked online poker player in Germany. 'nilsef' and 'GHOSTFACE9.8' chopped Event #73 Low ($109 PLO Main Event) with 'nilsef' taking home $40,224.38 and the title. This is the fifth time 'nilsef' has captured WCOOP glory, making him the fifth player to do so. 'Roche9797', who captured Event #68 Medium just two days earlier, came out on top of Event #75 High ($1,050 NLHE Series Saver) to become the 18th player to win two WCOOP titles this year. The win came with $97.526.11 from the prize pool and another $74,277.26 in bounties. The first event on the 2020 WCOOP schedule finally wrapped up on Tuesday. 'estebangocu' topped Phase 2 of Event #1 ($215 NLHE) to win $215,006.07 and their first WCOOP title. The other four players who were crowned WCOOP champs on Tuesday were 'JannikB541' (Event #1 Medium), 'timaozanho' (Event #1 Low), 'r-w patriot' (Event #75 Medium), and 'Jungurcew' (Event #75 Low). WCOOP #73-H: $10,300 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 135 entries $1,350,000 prize pool jedimaster82 - $283,368.15 Ola ‘Odd_Oddsen’ Amundsgaard - $217,808.59 d.apollo777 - $167,416.87 WCOOP #73-M: $1,050 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 788 entries $788,000 prize pool Kahle ‘ROFLshove’ Burns - $133,757 Guilherme ‘guilherme12’ Decourt - $94,178.13 Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich - $66,310.98 WCOOP #73-L: $109 PLO [6-Max, PLO Main Event] 3,066 entries $306,600 prize pool nilsef - $40,224.38* GHOSTFACE9.8 - $34,964.21* the_eel_89 - $21,512.80 WCOOP #75-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 1,490 entries $1,490,000 prize pool Roche9797 - $97.526.11 + $74,277.26 in bounties Leonardo 'LeoMattosAK' Mattos - $97,525.34 + $1,531.25 in bounties Gary ‘quiditbear’ Hassan - $58,313.31 + $30,761.69 in bounties WCOOP #75-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 9,838 entries $983,000 prize pool r-w patriot - $56,873.81 + $26,787.98 in bounties DemonKrasnod - $56,866.19 + $12,036.88 in bounties fpfeifer97 - $33,740.06 + $7,080.05 in bounties WCOOP #75-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Series Saver] 28,031 entries $274,703.80 prize pool Jungurcew - $11,618.24 + $5,841.66 in bounties ryanpcallme - $11,593 + $1,205.20 in bounties aek aek aek - $6,878.43 + $269.03 in bounties WCOOP #1-H: $215 NLHE [Phase 2] 1,143 entries $2,153,200 prize pool estebangocu - $215,006.07 Torben ‘Tralllle’ Sorensen - $159,299.10 chtrumfeinz - $118,029.01 WCOOP #1-M: $22 NLHE [Phase 2] 5,379 entries $1,013,180 prize pool JannikB541 - $92,664.56* NOK123 - $79,648.86* fcb-serv - $52,245.31 WCOOP #1-L: $2.20 NLHE [Phase 2] 11,439 entries $250,000 prize pool timaozanho - $25,051.42 Pavelx3 - $17,727.86 tiag1 - $12,571.02
  16. The 2020 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker is nearly finished and multiple times over the past three weeks of play former champions have added to their legacy by picking up another title and the all-time leaderboard is starting to get a little crowded. On Monday night, Jussi 'calvin7v' Nevanlinna won Event #69 Medium ($1,050 8 Game) to earn his second title of 2020 and fifth overall. He now sits tied for third all-time with Dan Kelly, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Andrey Zaichenko, who won his fifth title last Thursday - the same day that Nevanlinna picked up his fourth title. 'RaulGonzalez' beat Stephen Chidwick heads-up to win Event #69 High ($10,300 8 Game High Roller) for a $235,530.76 payday and their first WCOOP title. Joao 'Naza114' Vieira finished third. Michiel 'utreg' Brummelhuis shipped Event #71 High ($1,050 NLH PKO Sunday Warm Up) to earn $81,357.28 from the prize pool and an additional $84,076.10 worth of bounties. Brummelhuis had never won a WCOOP title before, but does have a Spring Championship of Online Poker title to his name. Brazil's 'RRagazzo' joined the double champion club on Monday night, beating 971 other entries in Event #71 ($530 NLHE) for $80,082.59. Their first 2020 title come on September 13, when they shipped Event #51 High ($530 NLHE) for a little more than $67,000. Other players who took home WCOOP titles on Monday included 'giuliano156' (Event #69 Low), 'bcostin993' (Event #70 Medium), 'Aand river..' (Event #70 Low), 'powerpokerBR' (Event #71 Medium), and 'stipinas666' (Event #71 Low). WCOOP #69-H: $10,300 8-Game [High Roller] 67 entries $670,000 prize pool RaulGonzalez - $235,530.76 Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick - $156,000.92 Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira - $103,325.32 WCOOP #69-M: $1,050 8-Game 135 entries $150,000 prize pool ($15,000 overlay) Jussi 'calvin7v' Nevanlinna - $31,642.70 RolldUpTrips - $23,671.18 merla888 - $17,707.92 WCOOP #69-L: $109 8-Game 841 entries $84,100 prize pool giuliano156 - $13,993.03 woodbine ave - $9,749.67 m00nflow - $6,793.30 WCOOP #70-H: $530 NLHE [Freezeout] 972 entries $486,000 prize pool RRagazzo - $80,082.59 twirlpro - $58,600.95 Stiffler8818 - $42,881.77 WCOOP #70-M: $55 NLHE [Freezeout, Sunday Kickoff] 4,417 entries $220,850 prize pool bcostin993 - $29,943.35* CinemaniaK - $23,823.83* Dark Azazel - $15,746.98 WCOOP #70-L: $5.50 NLHE [Freezeout, Mini Sunday Kickoff] 8,659 entries $42,429.10 prize pool Aand river.. - $5,959.35 mr.celeste - $4,119.51 aleks52815 - $2,851.03 WCOOP #71-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Warm-Up] 1,185 entries $1,185,000 prize pool utreg - $81,357.28 + $84,076.10 in bounties arielssouls - $81,356.41 + $22,029.30 in bounties MrHyde97 - $49,462.25 + $12,957.03 in bounties WCOOP #71-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Warm-Up] 6,828 entries $682,800 prize pool powerpokerBR - $41,269.27 + $22,462.09 in bounties aJarov - $41,265.08 + $5,481.93 in bounties hateraises - $23,883.66 + $2,431.24 in bounties WCOOP #71-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout] 16,542 entries $162,111.60 prize pool stipinas666 - $7,515.63 + $3,702.04 in bounties nego1001 - $7,502.91 + $1,394.58 in bounties Jucaltajai - $4,451.67 + 88.53 in bounties
  17. The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event took full control of the spotlight on Sunday but while that event was playing Day 1, there were nine other champions crowned. Dinesh 'NastyMinder' Alt, the 2016 Turbo Championship of Poker Main Event winner, worked his way through 607 other entries in Event #66 High ($530 NLHE Afternoon Deep Stack) and then chopped the remaining $94,000 with 'DeM1st3r' before eliminating them to earn their first WCOOP title. Alt's share after the deal and victory ended up being $48,197.37. Dimitri 'MITS 304' Michaelides became the latest player to become a two-time WCOOP winner. Michaelides won Event #74 High ($1,050 NLHE Sunday Cooldown) for $58,484.46 and another $50,331.98 in collected bounties. Michaelides' first WCOOP title came in 2016 when he won the $1,050 Razz Championship. The third and final High level event to play to.a winner on Sunday was Event #68 High ($1,050 NLHE PKO) which drew 860 entries. Paul 'Fold Machiii' Dando stood tall at the end of the tournament and earned $62,635.90 and another $59,428.66 in bounties to go along with his first WCOOP victory. The other six players who collected WCOOP wins on Sunday were 'diego_1901' (Event #66 Medium), 'Super7Sunday' (Event #66 Low), 'Roche9797' (Event #68 Medium), 'MarioDutraJR' (Event #68 Low), 'TonyGPT' (Event #74 Medium), and 'BrunoBezerr4' (Event #74 Low). WCOOP #66-H: $530 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 609 entries $304,500 prize pool Dinesh 'NastyMinder' Alt - $48,197.37* DeM!st3r - $45,634.61* IHackedRNG - $29,885.73 WCOOP #66-M: $55 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 4,295 entries $214,750 prize pool diego_1901 - $26,947.19* Quarantine86 - $25,405.95* sarakinosg3 - $15,333.12 WCOOP #66-L: $5.50 NLHE [Freezeout, Afternoon Deep Stack] 11,375 entries $55,737.50 prize pool Super7Sunday - $5,884.79* FARTOVIY36 - $5,048.31* GBZJB - $5,047.01* WCOOP #68-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 860 entries $860,000 prize pool Paul 'Fold Machiii' Dando - $62,635.90 + $59,428.66 in bounties mmetsla - $62,635.21 + $18,495.10 in bounties MarToMchat - $38,879.74 + $11,773.43 in bounties WCOOP #68-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 7,285 entries $728,500 prize pool Roche9797 - $39,653.17* + $22,854.49 in bounties Zisiman98 - $34,153.30* + $4,782.17 in bounties pelicameli - $40,350.55* + $5,805.37 in bounties WCOOP #68-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, PKO] 24,450 entries $239,610 prize pool MarioDutraJR - $7,729.26* + $3,826.15 in bounties Deividas - $7,729.25 + $544.89 in bounties matheusgd5 - $7,729.25 + $1,276.46 in bounties A.Pats88 - $7,729.25 + $1,410.88 in bounties WCOOP #74-H: $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 803 entries $803,000 prize pool Dimitri 'MITS 304' Michaelides - $58,484.46 + $50,331.98 in bounties DaanOss - $58,483.81 + $25,417.97 in bounties CUERVO1126 - $36,302.82 + $21,226.57 in bounties WCOOP #74-M: $109 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 4,828 entries $482,800 prize pool TonyGPT - $29,244.31 + $22,714.52 in bounties nilkk1 - $29,241.21 + $7,661.12 in bounties grinja321 - $16,924.40 + $3,604.28 in bounties WCOOP #74-L: $11 NLHE [8-Max, Turbo, PKO, Freezeout, Sunday Cooldown] 11,761 entries $115,257.80 prize pool BrunoBezerr4 - $6,310.01 + $2,660.85 in bounties tikidiii - $6,301.77 + $302.57 in bounties LucasRenanMa - $3,738.99 + $72.27 in bounties
  18. The top-ranked online poker player in Dorset, England is Ninemil, better known in the real world as Clayton Hamm (pictured). He stormed to the top of the leaderboard of the Winamax High Rollerlast month and bagged $19,000, helping push his career online cash total to over $1.2 million. We caught up with Hamm, who is known on Full Tilt Poker as ScrillaGorila. PocketFives: Awesome job in the Winamax High Roller. Tell us how you're feeling. Clayton Hamm: Thanks. It was a lot of fun. It feels great to win any MTT, let alone the Winamax High Roller on a Sunday since it pays quite a bit to first place. It had been a while since I won something, so it was definitely a confidence-booster; any momentum helps. PocketFives: Can you tell us about that tournament's structure and field? Clayton Hamm: The structure of basically every tournament on Winamax is really good. I believe every MTT except the Sunday Surprise starts with 20,000-chip stacks and very low blinds. The High Roller is my favorite because of the smaller field size and the big first prize. I like High Rollers in general because of their smaller fields, which I think cuts down on variance, even though it is a higher buy-in. I don't run into a lot of very good regs in the High Roller, which is always nice, although there are definitely a few very good grinders who play it every week. PocketFives: You've had a ton of success in general. How big was that PokerStars Sunday Millionfinal table you had in 2011 for $69,000? Clayton Hamm: It was a great feeling to get that far in the biggest weekly online MTT. I was having a sick year at that point and still playing on my own dime, so that was a life-changer for sure. I think first prize was around $240,000. There were some very talented players at the final table, so I was very happy with a fifth place finish, especially considering I came into the final table as the short stack. It would've been nice to win the flip at the end, but c'est la vie. PocketFives: How did that tournament change your career? Clayton Hamm: It gave me the confidence and bankroll to play basically every online MTT there was at the time, although I stayed away from the Super Tuesday and the $1K Monday. I just didn't want to take on that variance at that point since I wasn't staked or anything. I started playing $100 rebuys after that with real success, although I wasn't able to win one. Also, I used a lot of that money to play the WSOP that year. A big part of that was Black Friday, though. Since I couldn't play all of those MTTs online anymore, I decided to take a big chunk of that score to Vegas. I'm definitely an introvert, so I prefer online to live poker any day. I just didn't have a choice at that point. Vegas went okay. I won a Rio Daily for about $15,000, which was great, but wasn't able to break through the fields in any bracelet events. I really thought I was going to final table the large $1K bracelet event, but took a really bad beat with four tables left in a pot that would've given me the chip lead. But again, c'est la vie and onto the next one. PocketFives: What were you doing before playing poker full-time? Clayton Hamm: I mostly worked construction with my dad during high school, which was a great experience but mostly taught me that I didn't want to have to do something that physically demanding for the rest of my life. I joined the Marine Corps directly after high school, but unfortunately crashed my motorcycle while on leave after boot camp, which eventually led to my discharge a few months later. After that, I really didn't have any idea what I wanted to do, so I decided going to college was a good bet. It turns out it was. I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made. That's where I found poker, which changed my life for the better. We used to play $0.25/$0.50 cash games in the dorms and buy in for $5 or $10, which is hilarious to me now, but it was a great learning experience and I met some of my very good friends there. PocketFives: What do you do outside of poker now? Clayton Hamm: When I'm not playing poker, I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend and our crazy dog; they're both awesome. I try to enjoy life to the fullest. We're on this planet for such a short amount of time, so I think we really need to focus on getting the maximum out of the little time we have. For me, this means spending more time with family and friends, which I intend to do a lot more of this year since I've been primarily in the UK over the last year. PocketFives: Is there anyone you'd like to recognize? Clayton Hamm: I'd like to give a shout out to Pfizer Jordan (phyzer23). He was one of the guys I met playing short-stack cash games in college and is a good friend of mine to this day. Also, I'd like to thank mlagoo for coaching me and taking my game to the next level a few years ago. Finally, thanks to everyone in our Skype group; you know who you are. If you don't already have a Winamax account but have an EU bank account, you can sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives Training with no sign-up fee and be tracked for our exclusive March PLB competitionon Winamax that awards €1,100 in tickets! Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. Last month, Nohaymiedo(pictured), who calls the Dominican Republic home, was part of a four-way chop of the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Upand earned $71,000, the second largest amount given away. He is $25,000 away from receiving his $500,000 cash badge here on PocketFives and is the top dog in his home country. Any time we can get a word with someone from the Dominican Republic, we jump at it! PocketFives: Awesome job in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Nohaymiedo: I feel great. This is why we grind every day: to win big MTTs. The last time I was at a big final table like this was in 2012 in the Sunday Million. I finished sixth after starting the final table with the chip lead, so I think this time my experience was key. I tried to make the best decisions I could. In the end, chopping the Warm-Up was a really good score and put the name of my country and Latin America at the top of the leaderboard. PocketFives: Can you talk about the chopand how that went down? Nohaymiedo: The pay jumps were insane. I didn't really want to chop because I thought I had an edge over the other guys, but I had the chip leader on my left who was 3betting too much. With four players left, you can't fold top ranges for ICM and the risk is higher. $71,000 was more than third place paid and put me in a spot where I could play for $81,000 so since we left $10,000 to the winner. With the chip leader on my left, I thought it was a smart decision. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Nohaymiedo: Practicing good bankroll management. I will be grinding hard every day, trying to win tournaments like this, and the money will help me do that. This is a good way to start the year. I booked some live tournaments in Latin America and I'll probably have some World Series of Poker action, so this money gives me the peace of mind to do what I want to without any problems. PocketFives: What live tournaments are you headed to? Nohaymiedo: The LSOP Millions in Panama, LAPT Chile, and the WSOP on June 26 until the Main Event ends. Then, I will try to keep booking LAPTs and other tournaments over the rest of the year like the Punta Cana Poker Classic. PocketFives: Who plays poker in the Dominican Republic and how is the game viewed? I can't recall the last time we've interviewed a player from your country. Nohaymiedo: It's a small country with a lot of players. We are trying to be recognized in the poker community. My good friend Alberto Meran(pictured, image courtesy PokerStars), whose nickname is alberto.m7on PokerStars, is another PocketFiver who is moving up fast. Don't be surprised if you contact him soon for an interview after he wins some majors. It's all about gaining momentum in the poker world, grinding online, and doing something good. It's not easy, either, because only over the last two years have we started to produce more professional players, but we are moving forward day by day. Live, we have a small poker room with a good community that has been fully supportive every day, trying to make poker a way to have fun. We are getting stronger every day. PocketFives: You told us you play four or five days a week for about 1,000 MTTs per month. What do you have time to do away from the game? Nohaymiedo: I have my own business with my father where I work in the morning and then start grinding at 1:00pm for the rest of the night. PocketFives: Is there anyone you'd like to recognize? Nohaymiedo: Special thanks to the community, my friends, my family, and my mentor who you probably know – Sergio zcedrick Aido – who gives me the support I need. The Sunday Warm-Up runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training. Get started here.
  20. Denmark's therealfuddebuf, known in the real world as Mikael Hansen (pictured), turned in quite an impressive feat last November and December, finishing third in the PokerStars Sunday 500 twice for well over $80,000 officially. He is one of a handful of players from Denmark we've interviewed lately, so is Denmark the new hotbed for poker? We sat down with Hansen, who has one of the coolest full-time jobs ever, to find out. "Final tabling it twice within a short period of time is clearly running good. Even though the tournament is one of the toughest every week, the combination of players taking shots and winning satellites to get in combined with the superb structure gives you a chance to take advantage if you build a stack," Hansen responded when asked what he attributed his Sunday 500 success to. He earned 600 PLB Points total from the pair of third place runs. Even if Hansen is coming out on the right side of variance, he is clearly taking an optimal approach as well. "Early on, I try to play pots in position with hands that flop well to build a big stack," Hansen said of his game plan entering the Sunday 500 each week. "If that doesn't happen, I kind of nit it up, take advantage of the great structure, and wait for my spots. I think it is the major with the best structure, which allows you to be patient." His 2013 was a roller-coaster. He explained that he finished second in a SCOOP event in May for over $50,000 before going on a downswing over the next five months. His two Sunday 500 final tables ended the year, so the money from them will help replenish his bankroll. He stands at $1.5 million in tracked scores from nearly 1,800 in the money finishes, an average of $880 apiece. Let's get to the heart of the matter: the Denmark pokercommunity. "Poker is really popular in Denmark," Hansen relayed. "If you look at the PocketFives Country Poker Rankings, you can see that Denmark is doing really well. There is pretty big pool of gifted players playing online and live here. At one point, Denmark won three EPT Main Events in a row." Who plays online and live poker in Denmark? And why has the game become so popular? "I think online is mostly a young man's game," Hansen said. "Live, you have the usual mix of older grinders and younger online players. Poker was in limbo in Denmark for years. That changed in 2013, when online poker was regulated by the State and now it seems like the environment is good for the game to thrive. You can see the Danish community growing and the results showing up." Hansen got started in poker after watching coverage of the World Poker Tour on television and witnessing fellow Dane Gus Hansen (pictured) railroad the competition. He said, "I remember watching Gus Hansen winning a lot and thinking, 'That looks fun.' I grew up playing a lot of card games, so learning poker came pretty quickly for me. I dabbled online in small-stakes for fun, but then started having success in MTTs. In the last three or four years, I have worked hard on my game and the results are coming now." When we think of poker in Denmark, Gus Hansen and Peter Eastgate (pictured) are the first two names that pop into our head. The former spurned Denmark's thirst for the game, according to our interview subject: "Gus Hansen was huge. I think he is the biggest part of poker taking off in Denmark 10 years ago. Peter Eastgate was, and is, a really well liked member of the Danish community. Everybody thought him winning the Main Event was fantastic, but I don't think it changed poker in Denmark. If you want to speak of a Moneymaker Effect in Danish poker, it was Gus doing so well in the early WPT events." Interestingly, poker is not his full-time gig. Instead, he is a production manager for the largest television network in Denmark. He mainly works at major sporting events where his network is the host broadcaster or has general coverage. As such, he has been juggling playing poker with working 40 to 50 hours per week, a balancing act he described as "hard… Until now, it has worked, so I try to enjoy it while it lasts." When we caught up with Hansen, he was hard at work on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where he was able to take Mondays off in order to play poker. He explained his inner circle's reaction to his success: "Without a really understanding wife and good coworkers, it would not be possible to balance work, my private life, and poker. Sometimes I sell packages for live events or big online tournaments with no markups to my coworkers so they can have a sweat. Sometimes I get 40 or 50 buyers that way. I think that shows most of them believe poker is pretty cool." He wanted to send a shout out to "the grinders out there who combine a normal life with poker. I think it is good for the game not to have just 20-year-old wiz-kids cleaning up online, but also players who show that if you dedicate yourself, you can mix it up with the best of them." The Sunday 500 runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training. Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. We love seemingly random stories about how PocketFivers came up with their user names. For Toronto's melontown, a friendship with another PocketFiver was to blame: "My very good friend bananazoo was the original person who got me interested in poker, so when coming up with a screen name, I figured I might as well use some type of fruit." And so it began. You might have noticed melontown's name atop the leaderboard in a PokerStars TCOOP $320 No Limit Hold'em Progressive Super Knockout in late January for nearly $100,000. "I'm quite excited," melontown told PocketFives. "I've been working full-time as a web developer, so I hadn't been playing much at all. When I was playing, I was mostly playing cash games since I didn't have long hours to put in. Now, I'm especially excited for SCOOP because winning a title would mean a Triple COOP, which would be crazy." In January, Shawn Buchanan became the very first Triple COOP winner. Shortly thereafter, James Andy McLEOD Obst became the second. His WCOOP win, the second leg of a potential Triple COOP nod, came in 2012 in a $530 Rebuy and was worth nearly $200,000 officially. Why does he retain his job as a web developer if poker has been so lucrative? He commented, "One of the main reasons is that I'm in Canada on a work permit, so I have to put in at least one year of work in a field related to my degree in order to get my permanent residency. Also, I wanted to give something a little different than poker a try. I love poker, but figure that experiencing the working world will be a great experience regardless. If I hate it, then it'll just get me to appreciate poker even more." He has $1.5 million in tracked scores in his profile and reached an all-time high of #38 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings two years ago. He is one of nearly 2,700 PocketFivers with PLB scores in Canada and said of his eclectic past, "I'm originally Syrian, but was raised in Dubai. I moved to Toronto after high school for university and have been here for about six years now. I absolutely love Toronto and consider it my home. It's a wonderful city." Next on his radar is SCOOP, whose final schedule hasn't been announced, but took place last year in May on PokerStars. "Being a Triple COOP winner would mean a lot to me," melontown gleaned. "I mostly will be playing on the weekends for the majority of the year, which I'm always excited about. I'm also working on my cash game on the weekdays, which I'm equally excited about." He has also been able to hit up a few live events, including a recent series at Niagara Falls. He added that positioning himself for a run in 2015 was near the top of his list of priorities for this year: "I'm hoping to set myself up to be able to play comfortably in 2015, when I intend on making Supernova Elite or doing some traveling on the live circuit. I feel like a full-time job has definitely given me some much needed work ethic; I'm a little lazy by nature." melontown's WCOOP victory was massive any way you slice it. The prize pool of the $530 Rebuy passed $1 million and there were well over 700 entrants. He said of the colossal score, "At the time, I felt I was playing the best I had ever played and was consistently making deep runs without having any big scores. That day, I was actually supposed to do something with a friend who cancelled at the last minute; I wouldn't have played otherwise. I felt I played the final table perfectly and the whole thing felt very surreal." That score put him in position to play virtually any game he wanted, which has allowed him to rise up the stakes ever since. He noted, "Regardless of how my poker career turns out, it's certainly something that will be one of the highlights of my life." PocketFivers made up 10 of the top 20 finishers in that tournament and scooped 47% of the prize pool. He started playing poker in home games and discovered a passion for the game. He met bananazoo at university, where the two were enrolled in the same program, and melontown said, "bananazoo was already making a killing playing cash games and I couldn't believe that was something you could actually make a living doing. I started playing small heads-up games and quickly moved up. I then played six-max cash games for a year or two before transitioning into high-stakes MTTs." bananazoo recently hit $2 million in tracked scores and has been a major influence on melontown's game. The latter said, "I would like to give a shout out to bananazoo and Adam001. I wouldn't be here today without them. I really owe a lot to those guys and I'm proud to have not just two of the best poker players around, but also two of my best friends." The COOP series run regularly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training when you make a deposit. Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  22. You have to love the advice that GoGooseGo(pictured), whose goes by Paul, gave to his fellow regs on PocketFives: "Never work on your game. You just have bad luck!" All kidding aside, Paul final tabled the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy last month, cashing for $23,000 following a fourth place finish. He is on the cusp of breaking $900,000 in tracked scores. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "$23,000 is not a bad result for a Sunday tournament," Paul told us, "but every poker player wants to win a tournament, not finish fourth." The fourth place finish marked his first ever Sunday $100 Rebuy final table and his third largest tracked score to date. He had a big stack throughout the tournament and became chip leader in a hand in which he raised with aces and got two callers, one of whom had 7-6. His bullets held and he called the hand "a defining moment." As far as the money goes, Paul's wife plans to make repairs to the kitchen and hallway in the couple's house. "She plans to put down tile and laminate flooring," he said. By the way, you can find him on PokerStars and Full Tiltunder the screen name He3HaiKa. He got started in poker through a free $50 offer and his early games included $5 and $10 sit and gos on iPoker until he "accidentally" entered an MTT. He wound up winning the third MTT he registered for and has never looked back. In mid-2012, he cashed for $62,000 after taking second in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. He described 2012 as "the best time for me as a professional poker player. That Sunday Warm-Up second place was the best result I've had, but the entire year was really awesome. My girlfriend and I traveled a lot. I went to ten countries that until then I had never been and played poker on several continents. Generally, during that year, everything went perfectly." The largest cash PocketFives tracked for Paul in 2013 was a $17,000 hit for placing second in thePokerStars $109 No Limit Hold'em Turbo 2X Chance. On his 2013, Paul told us, "Last year was hard for me because my worst downswing occurred while we were spending a lot of money as a family: we bought a new car, had a wedding, and had other related costs to start a family. Apparently, all of the events in real life did not allow me to play my best game." Paul is part of the Russia poker community here on PocketFives, which has 1,329 members. The group has combined for $121 million in career earnings, including $13.6 million in the last three months. Our interview subject is Russia's 48th ranked player. The Sunday $100 Rebuy runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives' link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives' PokerStars link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. Here's a new adage for you: "To beat poker, you have to be poker." We'll tell you why we care about that phrase in the first place in a little bit, but in the meantime, we'll say that Andy andyh26Holman took down the PokerStars Sunday Storm last month for a commanding $36,000 after a three-way deal. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "It feels great to win a any tournament, let alone one of that size," Holman said of the 47,000-entrant tournament. "The cash is pretty useful too." When five players remained, Holman was offered a chip-chop for $36,000 with $6,000 left to play for. "I made a mistake," he said. "One of the players asked me for an extra $2,000. I declined and offered him $750. I really should have just given it to him, as there was a real danger he would ask to see ICM numbers rather than chip-chop." That's exactly what happened, too. Rather than deal, play continued on and the tournament was ultimately chopped three-handed. Holman admitted, "I probably would have won an extra $6,000 if I just said 'yes' right away." Holman told us that the final table was "pretty soft, as you would expect in a low-stakes tournament with 47,000 players. I was very confident I was going to win anyway. No one gave me any trouble at all. I was opening an absurd amount and 3betting a lot. It's easy to win when you have so many chips and you are certain that all of the other players are playing scared." Facing off against nearly 50,000 entrants can be quite a daunting task, even with a chip stack to carry the day. "I like to play quite a few hands in the early stages when there are so many terrible players waiting to give you their chips," Holman said of his strategy. "I would always plan on adjusting my ranges depending on the players at the table, but the whole way through the tournament, I had so many chips at soft tables. I kept stealing pots without much resistance." He potentially plans to purchase an iPad with his newfound earnings and started playing poker in 2006 when his roommate won a freeroll. "I was a student at the time," Holman said, "and decided to deposit $50. I lost that quickly and did the same thing again a bunch of times. I saw how much money some people were making and wanted to do the same, so I took up sit and gos seriously." He began grinding sit and gos full-time two years after he started playing and never looked back. "I have always been a competitive person," Holman said about the allure of poker. "I enjoyed the competition and obviously winning money is great. I spent a lot of time studying and thinking about poker, particularly early in my career. I remember someone once said, 'to beat poker, you have to be poker.' It couldn't be truer." We think a fortune cookie might have that phrase one day. Holman has $1.1 million in tracked scores in his PocketFives profile, including a $22,000 hit for finishing second in the iPoker $200,000 Guaranteed in 2011. He is the #4 ranked player in Cardiff in the UK and just passed 1,800 in the money finishes, including 51 wins. He is a pool and snooker player away from the game and said he plays a few times each week. He concluded by commenting, "I want to thank all of the people who have had an influence on my game over the years. I've met a lot of great people through poker and wouldn't be where I am today without them." The Sunday Storm and other big-time tournaments run regularly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives' link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives' PokerStars link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  24. Two weeks ago, Mexico's Dan Eich64Eichhorn (pictured) drove to a second place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. His reward was a blistering $78,000 and he nearly defeated a sizable field of over 3,300 entrants. Eichhorn is up to $613,000 in tracked cashes in his PocketFives profile from over 2,000 in the money finishes. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "It feels great," Eichhorn told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "It's nice to run well when it counts and I feel like I'm playing as well as ever."Count_NN won the un-chopped Warm-Up that week for $105,000 and the top 495 players landed in the money. It was Eichhorn's largest tracked cash since a Full Tilt Poker Double Deuce win in 2010 that was worth $34,000. Last year, Eichhorn went on a major downswing, so the money from the Warm-Up will go to replenish his bankroll. He said of his 2013, "Last year was really a struggle, both online and at the World Series of Poker. At least this year is starting off well. I've been on a heater for a few months now. I have an interesting backing deal where I play mid- to low-stakes on my own and majors for my backer, so I've been winning for myself lately and it's nice to be almost out of make-up." What's the key to success when it comes to righting the ship and finishing second in the Warm-Up? "I woke up a little late and registered about an hour in," Eichhorn said of the blockbuster Sunday. "In the beginning, I was just trying to feel out the table and pick spots. When we made the money, I was down to about five big blinds, but I feel like I play the short stack well." He went out to celebrate at a local bar in Playa del Carmen where many poker players head to after a long Sunday grind. Eichhorn's fortunes have certainly turned bright. He is the 43rd-ranked online poker player in Mexico and described his recent run: "It started in the beginning of December when I got second in the $11 Rebuy, fourth in a $16 Turbo, and had a nice $10,000 day. A few days later, I finished second in the Hot $44 and then chopped the Speedway a few weeks ago. Before December, my bankroll was on life support and I definitely cut down on living expenses." Now that he's on the up-and-up, it's important to sustain that momentum going forward for the rest of 2014 and beyond. "To keep it up, I need to keep working hard on improving," Eichhorn relayed. "I need to watch videos and talk with friends. There are so many great poker players here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico that I've been able to learn from and obviously I need to cooler the heck out of people at the final table too." He said the last phrase with a grin, by the way. The poker community camped out in Playa del Carmen is extremely talented. PocketFivers with the beach town entered as their location include Randal RandALLinFlowers (pictured), Jon PearlJammerTurner, and buckguy 2200, who is its top-ranked player. There are 26 PocketFivers in Playa del Carmen who have PLB scores. Away from poker, you can find Eichhorn hanging out with friends, playing basketball and tennis, and indulging in the food scene in Playa, a city of 150,000 people. If you're looking for a recommendation for a low-key bar, according to Eichhorn, check out Club de La Cerveza. The Sunday Warm-Up and other big-time tournaments run regularly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives' link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives' PokerStars link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  25. Late last month, Talal eg23Shoush (pictured) took down the 900 millionth tournament on PokerStars for $152,000 following a three-way chop. The gala drew nearly 19,000 entrants and Shoush, who has been a member of PocketFives since 2006, laid claim to his first six-figure score. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "I don't think it has really sunk in yet," Shoush said after the fact. "Even at the time it happened, my girlfriend was needling me about my reaction, saying I was way too robotic. I guess that's just my personality. It will probably really hit me once I see it in my bank account." He is up to nearly a half-million dollars in tracked scores. What's a person to do with $152,000 in cash? Save it? Spend like they've never spent before? Shoush said, "I'm sure a lot of regs in my local PLO game are hoping I jump in, but I'm going to try to stay away from that. I plan on helping out my family, paying off the rest of my school loans, leaving a little online, and maybe playing some live tournaments that weren't really feasible before." Shoush regularly plays live No Limit Hold'em, but occasionally dabbles in PLO. Speaking on his PLO experience, he said, "I'm usually one of those players who just tries to limp re-raise with A-A-X-X and ends up getting punished post-flop for playing my hand face up." The winner of tournament #900 million on PokerStars calls Edmonton, Alberta, Canada home. He is the fourth-ranked player in his home city and said of poker there, "There is a huge contingent of poker players in Alberta. There are a lot of great players too. It's sad that no one has a bracelet yet and I hope one of my friends can change that this summer. Until recently, Edmonton alone had six casinos offering poker, which is quite a lot for a city with under a million people." A year ago, Tom titantom32Braband and Andres andressoprano Pereyra (pictured) coached him. The two players combined have about $4.5 million in tracked scores, giving Shoush access to a wealth of knowledge. "I wanted to personally and publicly thank them for everything they've done for me," he told us. Shoush said of Braband and Pereyra, "Tom is as professional as it gets, not to mention one of the best short-stack players I've ever been able to watch. He never mentally checks out of a tournament and really showed me you can still maneuver in spots that I did not think were possible with certain stack sizes. He also has an amazing ability to slow the game down and not be on autopilot, which I think is a huge leak for many others and myself. Andres is an amazing hand reader and always stressed that poker is not about ego; it can be much simpler than I tend to make it." Despite the help from the two online studs, Shoush has transitioned more toward live poker, saying, "Since I've decided to go back to school, I have been concentrating more on live poker. To really be competitive online, I think you need to have both feet in the pool. The players are on another level. With this score, I hope to be able to play on a more consistent basis." Besides having the designation of winning the 900 millionth tournament on PokerStars, Shoush might also be the only player we know to win one MTT on three different platforms. He narrated, "I was playing a live charity satellite to the WSOP at a local casino. I opened up my iPad because they had free WiFi and saw that the tournament was already going for over and hour, so I decided to take a flyer and jump in. After I busted the satellite, I was about four hours into the tournament and really wanted to go home, so I drove whatever back-roads I could and played on my phone and finally got back to my girlfriend's, where I got on the PC and eventually won it on my girlfriend's birthday. It was a crazy story I'll never forget." He closed by saying, "I'd like to give a shout out to all my friends and family who were rooting me on. I appreciate it a lot. Thanks for interviewing me." If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus along with one free month of PocketFives Training with no sign-up fee. Sign up here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
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