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Found 704 results

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Say hello to one of the three players who chopped the 900 millionth tournament on PokerStarslate last month: Daniel judgedredd13 Charlton (pictured). The UK native earned $153,000 after a three-way deal, the second largest amount given out and a solid return on his $109 investment. He now has $1.4 million in tracked online poker MTT earnings. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: Awesome job in the 900 millionth tournament on PokerStars. How are you feeling about it? Daniel Charlton: Really happy. I've never really done well in any of the Sunday tournaments, so I am over the moon this time. PocketFives: Talk about how the tournament went in general. It had almost 19,000 entrants. Daniel Charlton: I wasn't feeling too motivated to grind that day. My team, Liverpool, had just lost to Chelsea and probably thrown the Premiership away, so I was a bit tilted, but I loaded up a few tables anyway. I was in the pack with about 30 to 40 big blinds for a good seven to eight hours. Then, I won a big pot with A-K versus A-Q with about 100 players left to put me in the top 15 in chips. I looked through the lobby, realized I didn't see almost any other reg, and thought, "I could have a shot at winning this." So, I started paying more attention and tried not to mess up too badly. PocketFives: How did the final table go? You were one of four PocketFivers at it. Daniel Charlton: I won a big flip just before the final table to go in four of nine. I think I had a little over 20 big blinds with a lot of short stacks also at the final table. I thought that people would be trying really hard to ladder with the money jumps being huge, especially considering most of my opponents had relatively low average buy-ins. So, I was min-raising tons of pots and stealing a bunch of chips. I ran A-K into A-A versus one of the other big stacks. That crippled me, but it wasn't my time, as my K-J got there versus A-K in a very important pot for me where I smashed my funny bone on the desk celebrating. I wanted to chop since the blinds were big and the money was quite big, so we chopped and I got semi-coolered blind-versus-blind to bust in third. It was a great experience. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Daniel Charlton: I'm going to a bunch of music festivals this summer with friends and flying out for the WSOP Main Event, but I had all of that planned before this cash. I'll try to not waste the money and have fun with it instead. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker? Daniel Charlton: I went to Liverpool University, where I got my first real introduction to poker about eight years ago. We were all broke students and one of the guys on my floor had a set of chips. Immediately, I loved the game and we played very low stakes. That escalated into full-blown play in live casinos and online. After about three years of getting crushed, I finally had learned enough to actually start winning and, even though I've had some bad times at points over the years, overall it has been great ever since. PocketFives: What poker-related goals do you have in 2014? Daniel Charlton: I want to continue beating the games and am looking into learning some other games like PLO and Mixed Games. I would like to switch over to cash as my default game and be a Sunday MTT grinder. I have some friends who do that and their quality of life is a lot more stable and less stressful. The game is constantly evolving and what was good three months ago isn't good now. You have to adapt constantly to changes in your surroundings. For example, I was discussing a spot with a friend the other day and he said, "I think we should always isolate the limper here with this hand." However, I like to do different things versus different opponents and not have a ton of set default plays. I want to be like a gas that can change and adapt to its surroundings. I want to be like neon. PocketFives: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Daniel Charlton: I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me out. There are way too many people to try to list, but everyone who has helped me, you know who you are and thanks. 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.
  14. Winning the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Upearlier this month was bittersweet for Feng Zhao, who is known on PocketFives as valkyri3. On the one hand, he earned $117,000 as a result of a heads-up chop, the largest amount given away. On the other hand, he warned PocketFives of a potential Black Friday of sorts coming to his home nation of Singapore. His big cash comes on the heels of a TCOOP final table for $175,000 in February. "I'm still trying to process the shock from shipping two six-figure cashes in back-to-back months, but I definitely feel extremely happy about it," Zhao told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "I think I played well throughout the tournament, but that is not to say it was an easy one for me. There weren't that many recreational players once we were down to the top 50, especially at the final table." The field of the Warm-Up had 4,183 entrants and the prize pool of $836,000 lapped its $500,000 guarantee. "I know the amount of luck-boxing it takes to reach a final table for a 4,000-player pool major," Zhao admitted, "but I can still extract an edge between the money bubble and the run to the final table. Having said that, the final table was one of the toughest I have played. There were so many big names and all of the players at the final table were at least as experienced and skilled as I was, if not better." Entering the final table, the task was even more daunting, as he was seated next to the chip leader, Apathy123. Zhao said, "I was pretty lucky to get to heads-up with him through winning all of the crucial flips at the final table." Apathy123 ended up with $111,000 after the chop for his second place finish, $6,000 less than Zhao. What to do with almost $300,000 in cashes in two months? Although he conceded that he's a "nit" when it comes to splurging, he bought his friends dinner at a fancy restaurant. You also might see him play more mid- and high-stakes tournaments on PokerStars, the world's largest online poker site. Right now, he plays "everything I find juicy" between $11 and $215. On what he attributes his recent stellar run to, Zhao explained, "I attribute a large part of it to my soul-crushing $30,000 downswing last year. Throughout most of the downswing, I brushed it off as bad variance. I did some soul-searching and stopped playing for a bunch of months to look through all of my hands and rethink all of my spots." He also signed up for a poker training site and tweaked his approach to the game. He'll be the first to admit that his game still has plenty of flaws, but remarked, "Poker is a game that is constantly evolving. There are no talented regs, only hardworking ones. I will constantly review my sessions to ensure I am not being exploited in any way. I am already well adjusted to the tendencies of certain regs who are always in the games I play." Zhao is the top-ranked player in Singapore (pictured), a nation that we said at the top of this article could soon undergo changes in how poker is viewed. "Since laws in Singapore forbid the hosting of real money live tournaments, Singapore tournament players generally lack live experience," he told us. "However, I do see poker tournaments gaining traction." He added that a Black Friday of sorts could soon descend upon Singapore: "Our Parliament is currently in discussions over the implementation of certain legislation aimed at curbing or preventing online gambling. Although some people would like to argue that poker is a game of skill, there is little we can do to change the views of our politicians. There is a high probability that online poker in Singapore could end up as road-kill." According to Zhao, Singapore is a rather conservative society. "Although Singaporeans love gambling," he said, "there are certain negative connotations associated with it." We'll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news from his homeland. Let's get back to cheerier conversational topics now. Zhao's poker career began four years ago when one of his schoolmates introduced him to the game. "Zygna poker was quite popular on Facebook at the time and I opened an account and started playing on it," he recalled. "After I won my first play money sit and go on Zynga, within the first few entries I was hooked. Then, someone told me about the magical site called PokerStars where you could play for real money, so I deposited $50 and started to play my way up from $0.20 90-mans." 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. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  15. There could be a virtual monopoly in the fast-fold market for PokerStars' parent company, Rational Group, according to a report on Monday from Pokerfuse. The article read in part, "Late last month, the [United States Patent and Trademark Office] decided to issue a patent to PokerStars' parent company, Rational Group, for fast-fold poker. On May 20, Patent Number 8,727,850 will issue as 'Computer gaming device and method for computer gaming.'" Pokerfuse concluded, "This would effectively result in a PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker stranglehold over fast-fold online poker games in the United States." An e-mail from PocketFives to PokerStars to confirm the Pokerfuse story was not returned at press time. In 2010, Full Tilt Poker launched Rush Poker, effectively changing the poker market forever. In the game, whenever a person's action in a hand ended, they were immediately whisked away to a new table with a new set of opponents where a new hand would begin. Overnight, players could log several hundred hands per hour, climb VIP ladders quicker, and generate more rake for an online poker room. After Rush Poker, a litany of Rush Poker variants were rolled out, including Zoom Poker on PokerStars (May 2012), Fast-Forward on PartyPoker(August 2012), and Speed Hold'em on the iPoker Network (June 2012). As Pokerfuse pointed out, Fast-Forward games on PartyPoker in New Jersey could go the way of the dodo and 888's Snap Poker, the site's fast-fold version, may never see the light of day if Rational's patent held. Lawyer Bill Gantz doesn't necessarily believe the patent will hold, however, writing in a piece that appeared on Dentons.com, "The amendments which allowed this patent to issue should seem obvious to the entire poker industry and there should be ample grounds for vigorously challenging this patent." The string of rejections of the patent application prior to it being granted stretched all the way back to 2008, according to the report. Enforcement of the Rush Poker concept surfaced at the end of 2012, when PokerStars, which acquired Full Tilt in July of that year, assumed control of Full Tilt's intellectual property. An attorney for PokerStars said at the time, "Together with our patent attorneys, we are undertaking a full analysis of the Rush Poker patent applications we have acquired. When the time is right, it is our intention to use these patents to protect the inventive elements of the Rush and Zoom products." According to Pokerfuse, Zynga, which offers a fast-fold game called Jump Poker, may be forced to jettison it if PokerStars chose to enforce its patent in the US. The site added, "According to intellectual property lawyer Bill Gantz… fast-fold games offered outside the US will not be affected." PokerStars and Full Tilt have no presence in the US in the three states that have legalized internet gambling: Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. We'll keep you posted on the latest. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  16. You never know what bombshells will be dropped in player interviews here on PocketFives. Sometimes we've wound up interviewing former professional athletes; other times, we've had natural disasters interrupt our chats, including several earthquakes. In our interview with ImDoneCallin (pictured), however, we were met with word of neck breakage. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- We'll start off by saying that we wanted to interview ImDoneCallin because he earned a $1 million cash badge here on PocketFives on April 24 and has been a member of our site for six years. He told us, "It means I have been very successful to be able to play a game for a living for several years." He was one of seven PocketFivers to receive a $1 million cash badge during the second half of April. We have had eight players accomplish the feat so far in May. In 2012, ImDoneCallin won one WCOOPevent and final tabled another for $150,000 total, catapulting his bankroll in the process and earning a coveted WCOOP bracelet. "The 2012 WCOOP was pretty sick for me," he said. "I think I played 27 MTTs and had nine cashes, three final tables, and one win. I couldn't have asked for much more. It took me to the Bahamas for the bracelet ceremony and that was an amazing experience." His WCOOP bracelet came in PLO, although he said he's a fan of PLO Eight or Better. You'll also find him in plenty of NLHE games. Okay, let's get into the meat of our discussion: the neck-breaking incident. We'll let ImDoneCallin narrate what happened: "I broke my neck in 2006 in a snowboarding accident and have been in a wheelchair since." The unfortunate accident happened during an amateur competition. "I took off badly on the jump and landed on my head," he told us. "It shattered the sixth spine disc in my neck. I probably wouldn't have played poker if I hadn't gotten injured." ImDoneCallin was in the hospital for seven months following the accident and said he's unable to use his fingers at all now. In order to play poker on his computer, he enlists the aid of a special trackball mouse, which he maneuvers with his hands and tweaks with his wrists. After he returned home from the hospital in 2006, he found himself with not a lot to do and so signed up for PartyPokersince he had seen a friend play there. "I made $10 deposits and lost it quickly. Then, I waited for the daily freerolls to maybe earn just a dollar." Now, you can find him on PokerStars, where he has won $556,000, under the screen name utvekklo2. On his original site, PartyPoker, he plays as NoSc00pForU. Despite the missteps out of the gate, ImDoneCallin said his mother was a bit skeptical of his poker-playing career at first, but has since come around, and it's easy to see why. ImDoneCallin was ranked as high as #407 on PocketFives and currently stands at #1,346 worldwide. He has 1,890 in the money finishes for an average cash of $535. He closed by wanting to send shout outs to andyh26and ApesAreFun. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  17. According to an article on the PokerStars Blog, Russia's shabalinvlad, who is known in the real world as Vladimir Shabalin (pictured), became the third player ever to hit 10 million VPPs on PokerStars. The world's largest online poker site detailed the impressive feat, saying, "Last year, Shabalin clocked up 4.5 million VPPs playing high-stakes sit and gos, which equates to 22.5 million Frequent Player Points (FPPs) or, if you were to cash them in at the VIP Store, more than enough to get seven Porsche Cayman S sports cars." He is off to a hot start in 2014 as well: "This year, he's already burned through more than 2 million VPPs, which is enough to get three more luxury cars." At this rate, he'll reach 6 million VPPs in 2014. Ten Porsches later, Shabalin is still trucking along on the world's largest online poker site. He was camped out in Monaco, site of the EPT Grand Final, and told the PokerStars Blog, "I'm really grateful for PokerStars. This is the only site that I've played through my whole career. I really appreciate the software and client service. Everything is organized to be comfortable for the players and this is really important for me." According to the PokerStars Blog, the 10 million VPP man is a sit and go player nearly exclusively. He told the site, "Poker gave me a lot of opportunities, a lot of chances to meet different people. It was very important because poker forced me to organize my life and organize myself. The main quality of poker as a professional is that everything depends on you." Shabalin is receiving an all-expenses paid, once-in-a-lifetime trip to enjoy from PokerStars, although where he is headed is not clear. A trip is given to anyone who reaches 10 million VPPs. On whether he travels in general, Shabalin said, "I'm a big fan of traveling, but there are two completely different periods in my life. When I'm playing, I'm only playing. I'm concentrating fully on the game, so I'm playing all day long, but when that period is finished, I enjoy traveling a lot and spending time with my girlfriend. I'm a big soccer fan, but traveling is my main hobby." PokerNews relayed that the two players to hit 10 million VPPs before Shabalin were George Jorj95 Lind and a yet-to-be-identified person. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest high-stakes poker news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. Holding down the fort with $7.3 million in tracked scores in his PocketFives profile is Shyam s_dot111Srinivasan (pictured), who took down the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy outright earlier this month and earned $58,000. In the process, he defeated a final table that included five members of the top 200 on PocketFives. --- 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 was actually in San Remo and wasn't supposed to play," Srinivasan said of the win. "I had the day off from live poker and just came off a final table in Vienna in a High Roller event. I was a feeling good and have been playing very well in the end stages lately. That wasn't the strongest part off my MTT game, but I've adjusted." Srinivasan edged out a pretty tough final table in the Sunday $100 Rebuy that included the likes of ninth ranked brianm15, who finished fourth, and jdpc27, who took ninth. "The most important pot I won was a flip against jdpc27, button versus big blind," he said of the final table. "We got it in with my A-Q versus his 8-8 and I really believed whoever won that pot would win the tournament." On his competition in the waning stages, Srinivasan said, "Anytime you get deep in the $100 Rebuy on a Sunday, you are going to have to face some tough regs. I'm lucky that I have a ton of experience playing all of those sharks because otherwise it would be really tough. jdpc27 and brianm15 are top-tier guys online, so I was lucky to bust jdpc27 (pictured), who was on my left, and had brianm15 on my right, which was key." Srinivasan has had a wealth of live scores recently, including a sixth place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in January for $328,000. Since then, he has earned another $100,000 combined from six live event cashes, according to the Hendon Mob, bringing his career total to $530,000. When you add that to his incredibly successful online results, you get nearly $8 million in tracked poker scores. "I'm from Toronto, so I can play there whenever I want," Srinivasan said of his schedule. "The traveling has been great. I've done well in every series I've played since the PCA and I'm adjusting well to the live structures." He is #55 on the 2014 live money list, according to the Hendon Mob, and on PocketFives he is #35 in our Online Poker Rankings. Starting in one month from the Rio in Las Vegas is the annual World Series of Poker, which Srinivasan is mixed on attending this year. "I haven't really decided what I want to do with the WSOP yet," he admitted. "Canadians have 30% withholding taxes and I'm not a big fan of Las Vegas anymore. I'm really enjoying traveling across Europe with a couple of other top sharks who are my friends and have some other obligations. I can assure you I will play all of the EPTs in the near future, though." Outside of poker, Srinivasan is a big fan of playing golf, but has devoted the majority of his attention to our favorite card game in the last year. "I have taken all of my energy and put it toward live poker," Srinivasan explained. "I really want to win a major live poker tournament at this point." He closed by crediting blanconegro, pistons87, and Flush_Entity (pictured), all Canadians, saying, "I would like to give credit to a couple of guys who I have been traveling with lately for a lot of my success: blanconegro, pistons87, and Flush_Entity, who I actually mentored, but now has become such a great player that he is teaching me things as well." 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.
  19. On the first weekend of April, Fedor Holz (pictured), who is known on PocketFives as CrownUpGuy, took down the PokerStars Sunday 500 for an even $75,000 after a heads-up chop. The tournament paid out nearly a half-million dollars and Holz, who calls Austria home, continued a tradition of an early morning breakfast after big poker wins. Let's check out what he had to say. --- 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 felt great," Holz said of his win in the weekly $530 poker tournament on the largest site in the world. "I was playing really focused the whole time andI think it's my first big win where I am really proud of the way I played." There were 990 entrants and Holz recorded his second largest tracked score to date, trailing only a $142,000 haul for winning an FTOPS event last year. Holz entered the final table as the chip leader and "played really aggressively because no one played back." He added, "Four-handed and five-handed, they had big ICM issues, so I played even more aggressively. I lost the lead three-handed where I folded against a tighter regular. I ended up heads-up against him, felt I played my A-game, and finally took it down." Following his win, he continued a breakfast tradition. He relayed, "I went to have breakfast with my roommates. It's kind of a tradition for us. We've had a couple of really good Sundays in the last few months and every time afterwards, we went to a little cafe here in Vienna and had breakfast on the Monday morning after the nice scores. I have a stable too, so if a stakee won something big, that counted too." He has $622,000 in tracked scores in his profile, a number we'd expect to blossom in the near future, and started playing small-stakes cash games and tournaments three years ago. He transitioned into Stud, where he said he was quite successful, before going back to tournaments after Black Friday. On his overall philosophy in life and poker, Holz posted in a blog on Two Plus Two, "You never know what's best for you and you never will, but you have to change your life if you don't feel right. Never let yourself down and give yourself a shot to reach things you would never have dreamed of." Among his projects at the time was donating five-figures to charity, matching donations from fellow players. Nowadays, Holz has built up a stable of players and told PocketFives, "I still have a big passion for the game, so I try to play as much as possible. I can't play in Las Vegas yet, but I am going to stay at a nice house in Canada for the next six weeks with 10 other high-stakes players. While there, I plan to improve my Mixed Game skills in order to win a SCOOP bracelet somehow. Later this year, I will spend two months in South America for the World Cup. I'll also travel around and will be back home for the next EPT season." He wanted to send shout outs to Team GatsbyKempinho and his stable: "These guys are the reason why I am still chasing my dream the way I am. I have big plans for the future and hope we can share even more great experiences. Special thanks to Rainerfor being so supportive." The Sunday 500 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.
  20. Orjan athilla Skommo (pictured) isn't the first PocketFives member we've interviewed who hit it big, lost most of it, and then built up a usable bankroll. In fact, that trend seems to be rather common. But, it's what you learn from the experience that defines you as a poker player. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- Let's go back in time six years to 2008, when Skommo final tabled the PokerStars Sunday Million for $84,000. He noted, "The 2008 score was my first really big one. After that, I thought I was a lot better than I really was and lost most of the money within the next few months. I'm glad I had that experience, though, because I learned a lot from spewing away all that money." Four years later in 2012, Skommo finished second in the Sunday Million for $180,000. The six-figure score was retribution of sorts, as he told us, "The 2012 score came when I had been away from the poker scene for almost a year, prioritizing my studies. So, it was nice to run good when I started playing again." His latest claim to fame was in late March in a WCOOP Challenge $700 Pot Limit Omaha Cubed tournament in which he took third place for $80,000. "It had a pretty high buy-in," Skommo said of the event, "and I expected a tougher field, to be honest. Yes, there were a lot of good players and PLO experts, but a lot of clueless people too. So, I felt I had a decent edge even though I'm not a PLO specialist." His bread and butter is in Hold'em MTTs and he plans to travel to plenty of live events this year. As Skommo said, he'll "reinvest the money from the WCOOP Challenge" in various tournaments around the world. All told, the member of the Norway poker community has $1.9 million in tracked scores in his PocketFives profile, about 80% of which has come on PokerStars, where he plays under the screen name Aftret. The Norwegian got started in the game after catching the World Poker Tour on television and, like other members of our community, firing up home games with friends. As he put it, "I won some money and got hooked. A lot of my friends are poker players and those who aren't think all of my success is pretty cool. My family is very supportive." Away from poker, Skommo plays football for fun and watches copious amounts of sports on television. He also hangs out with friends and goes to movies. Incidentally, he has a degree in Journalism, so he seems poised for plenty of success down the road one way or another. The Norway poker contingent here on PocketFives is over 1,000 members strong. The group has combined for $94.9 million in winnings overall across 149,000 cashes, including $3.7 million in the last three months. Skommo is its #6 ranked player. The WCOOP and other big series run 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.
  21. How did you get started in poker? Did you find the game because of a friend? Did you randomly run across it on television? Did your family play around a kitchen table? For Roundelay(pictured), who calls Newfoundland, Canada home, the cancellation of the 2004-2005 NHL season was enough to steer him to the game we all love. We caught up with him after he final tabled the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance for $25,000 last month. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: Great Second Chance score of $25,000. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Roundelay: Thanks! It feels really good to get a score like that. It's the biggest score of my life and to have it happen in a Sunday Major is even better. I'm not a pro by any means. I have a full-time job, but poker is my favorite hobby. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Roundelay: I'll be in Las Vegas later this year during the World Series of Poker for a friend's wedding, so I'll likely take some of it and use it for buy-ins while I'm down there and help pay for the trip. I'll probably take my girlfriend on a vacation and, of course, I'll have to keep some online to use for more tournaments. With whatever is left, if there is any, I'll probably keep it tucked under a mattress or in the bank. PocketFives: What WSOP events are you looking at? Roundelay: Looking at the dates we are going, the selection at WSOP is kind of slim for a primarily No Limit Hold'em player. I'll be looking to play the Millionaire Maker, the $1,500 Shootout, and, at a risk of getting flamed, some events at the Venetian as well. PocketFives: What do you do full-time and how do you allocate your hours? Roundelay: I work for an Italian-based company on the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Newfoundland, Canada. The workday is long, so if I play after work, I like to focus on Turbo MTTs and sit and gos. I work on a rotation - 14 days of work followed by seven days off. So, I'm able to play a more regular schedule during the time off. The rest of my time I spend with my girlfriend and with friends playing hockey, golfing in the summer, and playing a few musical instruments. I find it's good to balance your activities along with poker, especially for me, as it's more of a hobby for me these days compared to years past. PocketFives: That sounds quite busy. How did you get started in poker originally? Roundelay: I started like a lot of Canadians - when the National Hockey League season was cancelled in 2004-2005 and the sports channel had a lot of WSOP episodes on. That's when I first heard about Hold'em. Before that, I thought the only game was Five-Card Draw. I started playing small $5 and $10 home games with friends and it grew from there. My friend Mark Drover, who final tabled the PCA in 2012, introduced me to online poker and I actually finished second and first in the first two online MTTs I ever played for a total of about $6,000. I have a couple of five-figure scores, including a trip to the PCA in 2012, but this is the biggest result I've had. I'm lucky to have a group of friends in my hometown who like to talk about the game and talk strategy. My friends have been great to have. PocketFives: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Roundelay: I'd like to say that although I don't post a lot on PocketFives, I am on the site regularly reading a lot in the Poker Discussion section and in OT. The discussion forums are great places to get insight into different ways of approaching the game and get help and advice from other players. PocketFives is a great resource for players of all levels, from the micros up to the nosebleeds. The Sunday Second Chance 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. Photo courtesy NJ.com
  22. Last month, the PokerStars Micro Millions Main Eventplayed out on the world's largest online poker site. The $22 buy-in tournament attracted a ridiculous field of over 63,000 entrants and, when it finally concluded, PocketFiver Raphael Jude RainmanRJA Augustin (pictured) came away with the win following a heads-up chop and ran off with $78,000, or nearly 3,600 times his buy-in. --- 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 still hasn't really sunk in yet," Augustin said of his largest tracked cash to date by a sizable margin. "I'm on cloud nine. I can't believe I actually won!" The tournament stretched for 13 hours and Augustin said he began while watching the Barcelona versus Real Madrid football game with fellow poker players who were also grinding online. "I was playing pretty solidly," he said, "folding and waiting for good hands and good spots to get chips." He's not quite sure what his plans are for the money, telling us, "I'm going to save a chunk of it, spend a little of it, and use a little to allow me to play higher buy-in tournaments." Augustin originally tried to strike a deal four-handed when he was the chip leader and everyone agreed sans the short stack, who had only 10 big blinds. He said, "I didn't mind carrying on because I had a huge edge over the other two opponents." Augustin's older sister taught him how to play poker five years ago while he was in university. "She taught me the basics and I really got into it," he commented. "I joined a private poker club in London and started to take the game seriously." He plays part-time now and works in ladies fashion merchandising. "I really enjoy the balance now," he said. "Away from poker, I play and watch football and spend a lot of time enjoying life with my family and friends." What has helped this up-and-coming player score big in one of the largest-field tournaments ever held online? "The main thing that helped me coming up in poker was the group of players I was surrounded with. I have met several fantastic players, many of whom are now my best friends. Being able to discuss poker with some of the best players in the game has definitely helped me improve as a player. In addition, having a love for the game itself is vital. I enjoy the strategy and the difficult decisions and am always looking to improve my game because I love it." In case it wasn't obvious, his RainmanRJA user name here on PocketFives comes from a combination of his initials and the 1988 movie "Rain Man" with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman (pictured). Why are we talking about the 80s flick? "The 'Rain Man' part is what my dad used to and still calls me," he said. "I was always good with numbers." 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. In early 2010, Full Tilt Pokerlaunched a new variant called Rush Poker, introducing players to the wild world of fast-fold poker. Since then, many sites have started their own versions of fast-fold poker games, all more or less the same as Rush. What looked to some people as initially just a gimmick has proven to be a very popular game with staying power. For those of you who are new to online poker, let's take a brief moment to review what fast fold poker is. At its core, it's the same as regular poker with hole cards, flops, turns, and rivers. The big difference is that once you fold, you are whisked away to another table where a new hand is dealt immediately. There are no more boring waits while others are making their decisions. It's an action-lover's dream come true. PokerScout.com, the leading online poker cash game traffic monitoring website, made some interesting observations about fast-fold games and their impact on cash game traffic in its recent weekly Scouting Report. Overall cash game traffic has been trending downward, evidenced in part by PokerStars' sharp 11% decline from the same time last year. PokerScout noted that players have been migrating from the standard cash game tables at the world's largest online poker site to its Zoom Poker games. A year ago, Zoom Poker accounted for 21% of PokerStars' cash game players. Now, that number is up to 29%, with the same decline manifesting itself in regular Hold'em and Omaha cash games. PokerScout reminded us that hands are dealt much faster in Zoom Poker: two-and-a-half to three times as many hands per hour as regular cash games. Therefore, even though traditional cash game player traffic has decreased as PokerStars, the number of cash game hands dealt has stayed pretty much level because those players that have left the regular cash game tables are now seeing more hands over at the Zoom Poker tables. Nothing much has changed for PokerStars as far as its standing in the industry. It is still top dog and, according to PokerScout, has a seven-day average of 21,500 cash game players with a peak of about 36,000 in the past 24 hours. 888 Poker, the site in second place, had 2,400 cash game players in the last week. PartyPoker and the iPoker Network are tied for third with 2,000 players, while Full Tilt Poker, which is owned by PokerStars' parent company, Rational Group, is fifth with 1,900. 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. Recently, Denmark's Mads Pedersen (pictured), who is better known in our community as MadsMP, claimed his first PocketFives Triple Crown. Doing so requires taking down three tournaments with at least a 100-player field and a $10,000 prize pool across three sites tracked for the PocketFives Online Poker Rankingswithin a week. Pedersen did so in the PokerStarsBig $11, iPoker Super Tuesday, and PartyPoker $25,000 Guaranteed Rebuy in the span of six days for his newest profile badge. He was kind enough to lend us a few minutes. PocketFives: Awesome job on the Triple Crown. Tell us how you're feeling. Mads Pedersen: I'm feeling great. I have never felt better poker-wise. I've been close to getting one of them before, so it feels good to finally get there. PocketFives: You had some huge scores in it, including the PokerStars Big $11, which had 10,000 entrants. What was it like navigating that huge field? Mads Pedersen: The Big $11 was actually pretty straightforward, to be honest. I was single-tabling it from when there were about 50 players left. It's always fun to go deep in one of the "Bigs" on PokerStars. I can't remember if I had any huge suckouts, but of course it requires some run-good. That said, I really connected well post-flop and when I first had a stack, I was really cruising. PocketFives: Another leg of your Triple Crown came in the iPoker Super Tuesday. What was that field like? Mads Pedersen: The Super Tuesday at iPoker is a way harder tournament to get through, but I think the structure of it suits me greatly. I've been playing it close to every Tuesday for the last three or four months. PocketFives: Why does its structure suit you? Mads Pedersen: Tournaments with that buy-in are usually deeper, which gives me the opportunity to play more post-flop, where I believe I might have an edge over some or most of the field. Most poker players probably believe they have an edge, though, or else they wouldn't be playing. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money from the Triple Crown tournaments? Mads Pedersen: Building a bigger bankroll and moving up. I might participate in some EPTs in the future, but I'm not sure about that yet. I'm playing backed at the moment, so it's partly up to my backer as well. Right now, I'm playing mid- to high-stakes games and really want to establish myself at the highest stakes online, so that's what I'm trying to do. PocketFives: One of the hot topics in poker recently has been the implementation of a shot clockto limit time spent on decisions in hands. Are you in favor of it? Mads Pedersen: I haven't really thought a lot about that, but I wouldn't mind having it in some cases. Then again, in other cases, I like to have some time to think a specific line through. PocketFives: We have one more question before we let you go. Are you headed to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this year? Mads Pedersen: I'm not planning to go this year, but am way more likely to go next year. I've had one opportunity to go to the WSOP before this year, but don't feel like going there in 2014 since I have a lot of other plans and my live experience isn't really that great. So, I figured going from Denmark to the US to get smashed by live regs - I can probably find something more fun to spend my time on. Visit our Triple Crown Wall of Championsto learn how to get your own award. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  25. Patrick pleno1Leonard (pictured), who is originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, has had one heck of a run over the last three weeks. On February 23, he chopped the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Upfor $94,000, the largest amount given away, and final tabled the Eighth Anniversary Sunday Million one week later for another $110,000. On March 15, he won the site's $100 Rebuy for $13,000. Those three scores, which combined for $217,000, could push him even closer to the top 100 here on PocketFives. PocketFives: You finished ninth in the Eighth Anniversary Sunday Million for $110,000. Tell us how you're feeling about the six-figure score. Patrick Leonard: It's a little bit bittersweet. $110,000 is a lot of money to anybody who entered the tournament, so of course I'm really grateful for running well enough to be in a position to be playing for that kind of money, but of course I keep asking myself, "What if," especially since my exit hand was A-Q
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