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On the heels of the 2018 World Series of Poker, the month of August is usually a reset for many in the poker world after they take some time to recharge from the strenuous Vegas grind. That doesn't mean the news slows down, though. Here are PocketFives’ top stories from August. Former CardPlayer Employee Charged With Theft of $1.1M from Company August closed with a bang as far as news headlines were concerned, after it was made known that Shelby "Anna" McCann, a former employee of poker media outlet CardPlayer, was charged with the theft of $1.1 million from the company. As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, McCann had been stealing from the company for quite some time, writing checks to herself, increasing her own salary without approval, and paying off personal debt with company money. READ: Former CardPlayer Employee Charged With Theft of $1.1M from Company Badziakouski Wins EPT Barcelona €100K Super High Roller for €1.65M Mikita Badziakouski has had himself quite the 2018. Entering the December Super High Roller Bowl, Badziakouski had already earned more than $14.5 million on the live felt, including four seven-figure scores. One of those huge scores came in August when Badziakouski won the EPT Barcelona €100,000 Super High Roller. Badziakouski topped a field of 54 entries in the six-figure buy-in tournament to continue his incredible pace in 2018. He won the event for the third-largest score of his live tournament career, €1.65 million, and did so in one of the toughest high-stakes tournaments in the world. READ: Badziakouski Wins EPT Barcelona €100K Super High Roller for €1.65M SHRPO Big 4: Eisen Wins Championship, Foxen Goes Back-to-Back Seminole Hard Rock's 'Big 4' group of poker events has quickly risen the ranks as one of the best tournament festivals in the world. This year's event saw Brandon Eisen, Alex Foxen, Marc MacDonnell, and Jake Schindler earn the four major victories. Foxen's win stuck out in particular, and it’s because the event he won, the $2,650 No-Limit Hold'em event, was the same one he won the year before. In 2018, he took home $208,452 for topping a field of 422 entries. In 2017, he bested a field of 395 entries to win $204,600. READ: Eisen Wins Championship, Foxen Goes Back-to-Back The Year of the Fox: Alex Foxen Now Living the Poker Dream Sticking with Foxen, PocketFives' Jeff Walsh sat down with the poker pro in August to discuss the year he was having, bookended by the two SHRPO wins in South Florida. At the time, Foxen stated that he was "aiming to reach #1 in the GPI rankings." He reached that goal in October and remained #1 on the GPI for the rest of the year. READ: Alex Foxen Now Living the Poker Dream SUNDAY MAJORS: Sunday Million DDoS’d; Moorman, Leonard Win Elsewhere Although the names of Chris Moorman and Patrick Leonard are included in the headline on this story, the big story from Sunday, August 12, was that PokerStars had to cancel many of its tournaments due to a DDoS attack across its network that caused outages in events such as the Sunday Million, Sunday Warm-Up, High Roller, and Bounty Builder High Roller, with refunds and prize money distributed. In more positive news from this Sunday, Moorman and Leonard both scored sizable victories on the platforms of their sponsors. READ: Sunday Million DDoS’d; Moorman, Leonard Win Elsewhere ‘hellohellohello’ Wins August Monthly PLB Title PocketFiver 'hellohellohello' claimed the Monthly PLB title for August with 3,062.21 points. His biggest score came on August 19 when he won the PokerStars Sunday Million for $160,888 and 1,091.60 points. He also won the PokerStars $1,050 Thursday Thrill [Progressive KO], $175K Gtd for $27,270 and 378.15 points during August.
Prior to last year, the Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event was a staple of the World Poker Tour schedule. After a one-year hiatus, the Shooting Star returned to the poker calendar this week, just without the WPT TV cameras in tow. That didn't prevent the final table from being a star-studded affair, though. Sandeep Pulusani beat out a final table that included two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Loni Harwood, WPT Five Diamond winner Ryan Tosoc and Super High Roller regular Dan Shak to win $354,400 and the third live title of his career. Only five players remained at the start of the final day of play Friday, with Harwood on top with 34.4% of the chips in play. Early action wasn't kind to Harwood as she lost 25% of her chips to Tosoc and then doubled up Pulusani. She got a chunk of those chips back through John Andress before the Pennsylvania-based poker pro met his demise. Andress was down to 80,000 in the big blind. With the tournament using the Big Blind Ante format, Andress was all in for 80,000 before seeing a card. Shak called the 40,000 from the button and Tosoc completed from the small blind. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"] and Tosoc checked. Shak bet 50,000, forcing Tosoc to fold, and tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="2d"]. Andress turned over [poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"]. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] to officially end Andress' run in fifth place. The river was the [poker card="5s"]. Harwood managed to hang around another 90 minutes before losing a flip in heartbreaking fashion. Tosoc raised to 125,000 from the button before Harwood moved all in for just over 1,000,000 from the big blind. Tosoc called and turned over [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"] while Harwood showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6s"] flop kept Tosoc ahead. The [poker card="ks"] turn, however, gave Harwood top pair but the [poker card="7c"] river filled Tosoc's straight and eliminated Harwood in fourth place. It took nearly an hour for the next elimination to occur. Shak raised to 150,000 from the button, Tosoc called from the small blind and Pulusani folded his big. Tosoc checked after the flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"][poker card="5h"] and Shak continued for 200,000. Tosoc raised to 725,000 and then called when Shak moved all in for 3,760,000. Tosoc tabled [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"] for top two pair while Shak showd [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] for top pair with a flush draw. Neither the [poker card="9d"] turn or [poker card="jd"] river were of any help for Shak and he was out in third place. Tosoc started heads up play with a 2.5-1 chip lead over Pulusani and it took just over 15 minutes for the final two players to agree to a deal. Pulusani was guaranteed $304,300 and Tosoc locked up $336,500 with an additional $50,100 for the eventual champion. It took another two hours before Pulusani finished off his comeback. Tosoc raised to 300,000 from the button, Pulusani re-raised to 900,000 and Tosoc announced he was all in and Pulusani called. Tosoc showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"] while Pulusani was well ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"][poker card="5s"][poker card="8c"] to give Pulusani top set and eliminate Tosoc. The $354,400 score for Pulusani is the second six-figure score of his career and his first since he won a $3,000 NLHE event at the 2013 WSOP for $592,684. Despite not being a part of the WPT, the Shooting Star still drew 440 players for a total prize pool of $2,156,000. Final Table Payouts Sandeep Pulusani - $354,400* Ryan Tosoc - $336,500* Dan Shak - $200,055 Loni Harwood - $142,440 John Andress - $103,710 Steve Kim - $76,850 Hiroaki Harada - $57,980 Antonios Roungeris - $57,980 John Ko - $44,555