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The second annual Poker Masters high roller series is almost here. Taking place from September 7-13 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the week-long series is set to feature the best and brightest nosebleed tournament players in the poker world. The schedule kicks off with a $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Event on September 7 and ramps up to the $100,000 Main Event, a three-day tournament beginning on September 13. Updated Schedule The 2018 version of the Poker Masters has a revamped schedule that includes a variety of buy-ins as well as the addition of new poker variants. In 2017, the Poker Masters schedule stuck to four $50,000 No Limit Hold’em tournaments with a $100,000 Main Event. This year, the schedule expands by two events and the buy-in for the first five events does not exceed $25,000. The penultimate event of the series then jumps up to $50,000 before the Main Event. With the extra events comes a chance for the players to participate in a couple of different games. Event #3, the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, is the first PLO tournament to be included on the Poker Masters schedule. However, it’s Event #4 that is likely to draw the most attention. For the first time on PokerGO, fans will be able to catch a glimpse of the game that is the current darling of the high roller community as Short Deck (aka Six-Plus Poker) makes its first appearance on the felts at the Aria. Short Deck, the high-action game featured on the Triton Poker Series live-streams, removes the 2-5 cards in the deck. The result is a variation on the traditional hand rankings. In Short Deck, three of a kind is superior to straights and flushes more valuable than full houses. Event #4, the 2-day, $10,000 Short Deck NLHE event, starting on September 10, will be one to watch. Where To Watch Of course, Short Deck isn’t the only part of the Poker Masters that can be watched on live-stream. The entire series was basically created as content for Poker Central’s popular poker streaming platform PokerGO. Every final table, as well as select feature tables, will be available for viewing on the PokerGO website or on their mobile app. High Roller Rules As is customary in just about every modern high roller event, a 30-second shot clock will be implemented. Players will receive five time-extension chips should they need a little more in a spot or two. Another new addition to the Poker Masters is how the title will be awarded. Last year, the winner was determined solely by total earnings over the five events. This year, the Poker Masters will be using Poker Central’s High Roller Of The Year scoring system. The Aria's regularly running high roller series currently uses the system, developed in part by tournament player Tom Marchese. The points system gives a base amount of points for placing and cashing in an event with multipliers applied for buy-ins over $10,000. The Purple Jacket The player who accumulates the most points over the course of the series will be awarded the Poker Masters Purple Jacket. In 2017, that player was Steffan Sontheimer, the 27-year-old German pro who ended up cashing in four out of the five events for over $2.7 million. Though Sontheimer had earned a seven-figure score in his career before the Main Event of the 2017 Poker Masters, his victory in the $100,000 Main Event in 2017 marked his first career-defining victory. The $1.5 million payday helped him stave off the likes of Bryn Kenney and fellow German Fedor Holz en route to getting fitted for the Purple Jacket. The first event, Event #1, will begin streaming on Saturday, September 8 at 1:00 pm local time (4:00 pm ET) Poker Masters Full Schedule of Events Date Event Buy-In Sept. 7 Event #1: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $10,000 Sept. 8 Event #2: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 9 Event #3: Pot Limit Omaha (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 10 Event #4: Short Deck No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $10,000 Sept. 11 Event #5: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 12 Event #6: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $50,000 Sept. 13 Event #7: No Limit Hold'em (3 Day Event) $100,000
Inaugural Poker Masters Champion Steffen Sontheimer entered the final day of the partypoker $250,000 Super High Roller Championships with both the chip lead and an eye on taking home a new career-high score. Sontheimer leveraged that chip lead for the entirety of the final table, never relinquishing the chip lead and, in the end, he earned the mammoth $3,685,000 first place prize, besting a table of poker’s elite in the process. At the beginning of play only six players of the original 35 entries remained. Sontheimer was joined by partypoker ambassador Isaac Haxton, Nick Petrangelo, David Peters, Sean Winter, and Mikita Badziakouski. Of the remaining six, only four made the money. After the elimination of Haxton in sixth place, it was time to sweat the massive $710,000 money bubble. After mixing it up with chip leader Sontheimer, Petrangelo was left with a short stack and not many moves left. Sontheimer opened the action with [ah][5s] which prompted a three-bet shove from Petrangelo with [as][ks]. It folded to Peters in the small blind who four-bet shoved holding [js][jd]. Sontheimer folded and Petrangelo was flipping for his tournament life. The board ran out [th][9d][2d][4c][8s] giving Peters the pot and eliminating Petrangelo as the last player to walk without a payday. The final four including Sontheimer, Peters, Winter and Badziakouski battled four-handed for hours as Sontheimer continued put distance between himself and the other three. Winter managed to make a little headway as Peters and Badziakotuski’s stacks drifted downwards. The next elimination occurred when, in a blind on blind confrontation, Winter open shipped from the small blind with [ah][qd]. Badziakouski, with just over ten big blinds left, called with his tournament life on the line with [kd][jc]. The [ac][9h][2h] flop gave Winter a virtual lock on the hand. While the [kh] turn gave Badziakouski some life, the river came the [3d], sending Badziakouski to the rail in fourth place. Badziakouski collected the $710,000 payday and added it to his current $20 million total live earnings. In 2018 alone, Badziakouski has earned over $13.8 million in live tournaments, second only to Justin Bonomo. Peters, who was now left on the bottom of the chip counts, exited next. Facing a raise by Sontheimer, Peters looked down at [kh][qc]. He moved all in over the top from the small blind only to be snap called by Sontheimer and his [ah][kc]. The flop came [9d][5c][5d] keeping Sontheimer in the lead. The [kd] turn paired both players, however, the [6s] sealed Peters fate and he fell in third place for $1,420,000. The sum lifted Peters to over $9 million in earnings for 2018. It also allowed Peters to pass Dan Colman on the All-Time Money List and enter the top-5. At the start of heads-up play Sontheimer held a 2-1 chip lead over Winter. A pre-flop cooler made sure that what could have been a long battle, ended the tournament only 30 minutes into heads-up play. The final hand saw Winter limp the button with [ac][qh]. Sontheimer then raised from the big blind with [ah][kh]. Winter three-bet, Sontheimer shoved and Winter snap called for the rest of his stack. Dominated, Winter was going to need some help. It did not come as the board ran out [ts][5d][3h][4s][9h]. Winter finished the tournament as the runner-up, earning a career-high cash of $2,430,000. It was his second runner-up finish in as many days as he also finished in second place in the partypoker $50,000 Super High Roller for $550,000. With the win, Sontheimer earned himself his third seven-figure live cash and a career-high score of $3,685,000. The victory pushes his total live earnings up over $12.5 million in lifetime earnings. Final Table Results 1. Steffen Sontheimer - $3,685,000 2. Sean Winter - $2,430,000 3. David Peters - $1,420,000 4. Mikita Badziakouski - $710,000
November was a big month for attention-grabbing poker headlines. There was a hard-to-believe $100,000 prop bet that generated incredible buzz, the return of a high-profile lawsuit between a WSOP Main Event runner-up and the largest online poker site in the world, and the conclusion of a handful of prominent live poker tournaments that found winners. Here are PocketFives' top five stories from November 2018, plus a look at who won the PocketFives Monthly PLB title. Rory Young Reveals Details of $100K Pitch-Black Bathroom Prop Bet Poker players can be known to make wild prop bets, and that was certainly the case for Rory Young and Rich Alati. The two grabbed more than just poker headlines in November when their $100,000 bathroom prop bet was featured in headlines from several mainstream media outlets. It was one of the craziest prop bets we've ever heard of and will be one that is remembered for years and years to come. The bet was made to see if Alati could live in a pitch-black bathroom with no human contact and no electronics, among several other stipulations, for 30 days straight. Soon after the bet was made and began making its way around the poker world, PocketFives spoke with Young about the details of the bet and how it came to fruition. READ: Rory Young Reveals Details of $100K Pitch Black Bathroom Prop Bet Vayo Dismisses PokerStars Lawsuit; Stars Counters Alleging Forgery Back in May, it was made known that Gordon Vayo, runner-up in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, was suing PokerStars for the winnings the online poker site withheld from him from a 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker tournament that was worth nearly $700,000. That story made headlines everywhere within the poker world, but it made even bigger news in November when a November 12 California court filing revealed that Vayo had voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit. What really kicked things up a notch, though, were two things. First that the lawsuit was dropped amid accusations of forgery committed by Vayo. Second, PokerStars was seeking repayment of their attorney fees for nearly $300,000 - quite the tipping of the scales. READ: Vayo Dismisses PokerStars Lawsuit; Stars Counters Alleging Forgery Jack Sinclair Beats Laszlo Bujtas to Win WSOP Europe Main Event A former eighth-place finisher in the WSOP Main Event in 2017 for $1.2 million, Jack Sinclair was back in the World Series of Poker spotlight in November 2018, only this time in Europe. Sinclair made his way to the 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event final table and emerged victorious atop the 534-entry field to win the €1.222 million ($1.277 million) first-place prize. To claim victory, Sinclair had to defeat one of online poker's toughest players in heads-up play, Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas. The victory earned Sinclair the largest payday of his poker career and first WSOP gold bracelet. READ: Jack Sinclair Beats Laszlo Bujtas to Win WSOP Europe Main Event Patrick Serda Wins WPT Montreal for C$855,000 The World Poker Tour was in action in Canada in November for the Season XVII WPT Montreal. The event attracted 792 entries, and it was Patrick 'prepprepprep' Serda who came out on top after entering the final table with the chip lead. Serda defeated the first female winner of an open WPT Main Tour event, Ema Zajmovic, in heads-up play to take home the C$855,000 ($652,801) first-place prize, denying Zajmovic her second World Poker Tour title. READ: Patrick Serda Wins WPT Montreal for C$855,000 Big Titles Won at partypoker Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas While the WSOP and WPT were busy dishing out titles in colder climates, partypoker LIVE was down in the Bahamas for the much-anticipated partypoker Caribbean Poker Party tournament festival. The series was full of big buy-in events, notables faces capturing huge sums of cash, and nine seven-figure prizes awarded. The first big tournament of the series to find its winner was the $25,500 buy-in partypoker MILLIONS World. The event generated 394 entries and fell just short of its $10 million guarantee, but enormous prizes were still to be had, including the $2 million first-place prize that Roger Teska took home after he defeated Steve O'Dwyer in second place. O'Dwyer scored $1.3 million for the runner-up result, and third-place finisher Charles La Boissonniere also took home seven figures, winning $1 million. READ: Roger Teska Battles Back to Win partypoker MILLIONS World for $2M We then saw a $3.685 million winner come from the partypoker $250,000 Super High Roller Championships event, and it was Steffan Sontheimer earning a new career-best score. The event generated a field size of 34 entries for a prize pool of $8.235 million. Sontheimer beat out Sean Winter in heads-up play, and David Peters finished in third place. Winter and Peters took home $2.43 million and $1.42 million, respectively. READ: Steffan Sontheimer Wins partypoker $250K SHR Championships For $3.68M In the $5,300 buy-in Main Event, another $10 million prize pool guarantee was on the line. The event fell short of the guarantee with just 1,815 entries, but the top three spots still gave out a million dollars or more each. Winning the event was Portugal's Filipe Oliveira, taking home the $1.5 million top prize. Craig Mason finished second for $1.2 million, and Marc MacDonnell took third for $1 million. READ: Filipe Oliveira Wins 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Sweden's 'lena900' Wins Another Monthly PLB Title in November Sweden's 'lena900' stayed hot and won another PocketFives Monthly PLB title in November after cashing 191 times for a total of $585,250. It was a dominating performance for 'lena900,' who racked up more than 4,900 points. The closest competitor was 'girafganger7' with a monthly point total of less than 3,900. A couple of the notable November scores for 'lena900' included a third-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million on November 25 for $80,555 and 569.39 points and a win in the partypoker Sunday Super High Roller: $100K Gtd on November 18 for $41,480 and 387.30 points. READ: Top-Ranked ‘lena900’ Wins November Monthly PLB Title
The 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the books, with notable victories coming from Ramon Colillas in the PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship, David 'Chino' Rheem in the PCA Main Event, Sam Greenwood in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, and Martin Zamani in the PCA $25,000 High Roller. Each of those players earned mammoth payouts from their victories, but where do they stack up on the 2019 money leaderboard? Let’s take a look. The $25,000 buy-in PSPC was such an enormous tournament that the top three finishers from that event make up the top three spots on the 2019 PCA money list, with Colillas on top thanks to the huge $5.1 million score he earned. Runner-up in that event, Julien Martini, sits second on the list, and third-place finisher Marc Rivera is third on the list. Here are the top 25 money earners from the 2019 PCA festival. Top 25 2019 PCA Money List 1. Ramon Colillas - $5,102,100 2. Julien Martini - $2,974,000 3. Marc Rivera - $2,168,000 4. Sam Greenwood - $1,954,860 5. Scott Baumstein - $1,657,000 6. David 'Chino' Rheem - $1,576,200 7. Jason Koonce - $1,304,000 8. Henrik Hecklen - $1,284,260 9. Rainer Kempe - $1,202,760 10. Jesus Cortes - $1,153,440 11. Stephen Chidwick - $1,084,322 12. Marc Perrault - $1,040,520 13. Talal Shakerchi - $994,300 14. Daniel Strelitz - $964,020 15. Alex Foxen - $904,040 16. Martin Zamani - $895,110 17. Farid Jattin - $746,000 18. Igor Kurganov - $697,100 19. Sean Winter - $673,120 20. Scott Wellenbach - $671,240 21. Chris Hunichen - $627,340 22. Steffen Sontheimer - $623,220 23. Dominik Nitsche - $606,360 24. Pavel Veksler - $560,240 25. Justin Bonomo - $533,370 As you can see, Greenwood sits fourth after having won $1.954 million from the 2019 PCA series. Greenwood's big win was in the $100,000 Super High Roller when he scored a $1.775 million first-place prize, but he also added scores of $89,320, $69,100, and $20,980 to his bankroll. Greenwood was one of 21 players to cash at least four times at the 2019 PCA. Another player to cash four times was the player 18th on the 2019 PCA money leaderboard, Igor Kurganov. He banked scores of $378,760, $129,780, $121,040, and $67,450 for a total of $697,100. The largest of those four scores was a sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Super High Roller that Greenwood was victorious in. Other than Greenwood and Kurganov, no player cashed four times in the top 25. Several players in the top 25 cashed three times, though, in addition to Greenwood and Kurganov, of course. Those players were Rainer Kempe, Jesus Cortes, Stephen Chidwick, Daniel Strelitz, Alex Foxen, Sean Winter, and Steffan Sontheimer. Kempe won the most money of that bunch with more than $1.2 million in payouts. He placed fourth in a $25,000 no-limit hold’em event before he won a $50,000 no-limit hold’em event and a $10,200 no-limit hold’em knockout turbo. The $50,000 buy-in tournament that Kempe won earned him $908,000. Foxen doesn't appear that he's going to slow down after an epic 2018 saw him haul in more than $6.6 million in live tournament earnings. Foxen has already won more than $900,000 in 2019 thanks to his performances at the 2019 PCA. He placed 11th in a $25,000 buy-in event, second in the $50,000 event that Kempe won, and third in another $50,000 buy-in tournament. Foxen's three scores were for $45,020, $651,980, and $207,040 in those three events, respectively. Four players cashed five times each at the 2019 PCA, but none of them ranked higher than 75th on the 2019 PCA money list. Sitting in 75th overall with a total of $136,460 won was Ariel Celestino. Daniel Tang, Sean Legendre, and Fernand Dos Santos Ferreira were the others to cash five times during the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament series. How did the 2019 PCA change the festival's all-time money list? With a little help from our friends at HendonMob.com, here’s a look at the new top 25 following the completion of the 2019 PCA. Top 25 PCA All-Time Money List 1. Bryn Kenney - $6,262,731 2. Ramon Colillas - $5,102,100 3. Steve O'Dwyer - $3,910,382 4. Tony Gregg - $3,183,095 5. Poorya Nazari - $3,000,000 6. Julien Martini - $2,974,000 7. Scott Seiver - $2,970,620 8. Sam Greenwood - $2,927,337 9. Galen Hall - $2,877,080 10. Vanessa Selbst - $2,824,640 11. Jason Koon - $2,645,595 12. Isaac Haxton - $2,583,616 13. Justin Bonomo - $2,524,742 14. Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier - $2,484,120 15. Daniel Negreanu - $2,348,097 16. Harrison Gimbel - $2,329,220 17. Dan Shak - $2,323,840 18. Byron Kaverman - $2,307,235 19. Cary Katz - $2,257,420 20. Marc Rivera - $2,168,000 21. Mustapha Kanit - $2,077,000 22. Dimitar Danchev - $1,985,000 23. John Dibella - $1,960,700 24. Daniel Dvoress - $1,946,102 25. Tyler Reiman - $1,937,770 As you can see, Bryn Kenney reigns supreme. He came into the 2019 PCA with a big lead on this list, thanks to $6.245 million in earnings from the PCA, and Kenney added a small cash by his standards of $17,620 to move up to $6.262 million. The most notable additions to the top 25 of the PCA all-time money list were three players we already talked about, Colillas, Martini, and Rivera. Those three finished first, second, and third in the 2019 PSPC. Colillas moved to second on PCA's all-time money list, Martini jumped to sixth, and Rivera went up to 20th. Another big jump was had by Greenwood, who entered the 2019 PCA with $972,477 in earnings from the series. After winning nearly $2 million this year, Greenwood shot up the all-time PCA leaderboard to eighth with nearly $3 million in earnings total from the event. Justin Bonomo also increased his standing, going from 17th to 13th on the all-time PCA list after winning $533,370 at the 2019 PCA. Notable departures from the top 5 PCA all-time money list were Christopher Oliver, Eugene Katchalov, Will Molson, and Nick Petrangelo.