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Found 144 results

  1. It’s been over six years since Brazil’s Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski was the #1-ranked online poker player in the world and this week he took another step closer to becoming it again. After weeks of hovering inside and out of the worldwide top five for the better part of two months, the tournament superstar unseated Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to assume the #2 spot and became the next player to make a run at fellow Brazilian Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, who has now held the #1 ranking for 11 weeks in a row. For many, Dzivieleski first stepped into the poker spotlight when he was featured on the ESPN broadcast during the 2019 Main Event. Ever since then, he has continued to pile up the accolades. He’s won two World Series of Poker gold bracelets, including one in 2020, as well as multiple partypoker POWERFEST events, and a total of four PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker titles. A regular in the online high roller scene, with over $10 million in total lifetime online earnings, Dzivielevski has become known as one of Brazil’s very best all-around players. But there are also plenty of poker players and fans who know that ‘Yuri Martins’ has been a must-respected tournament grinder years before his 2019 “breakout” year. In 2014, he soared to the top of the rankings and ended Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro’s first two-week run as #1. Dzivielevski held the top spot for three weeks, lost it, and then clawed his way back to the top three months later knocking Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz out of the top spot. Now, he’s in a position to reach #1 again. He did this by maintaining a disciplined grind and continuing to rack up large scores. Of course, his runner-up finish in America's Cardroom Venom Main Event, which was covered last week, set the stage and pushed him back into the top five. But it was his work over the past week and a half that put him where he is now. A deep run in the February 15 edition of the Natural8 Sunday 500 High Roller brought him a $9,826 payday and 148.04 PLB points. Three days later he bested a field of 242 entries in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for over $10,253 and another 245.97 PLB points. Finally, he tacked on another 310.92 PLB points with his sixth-place result in the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, High Roller) for $47,858. All of that said though, Dzivielevski has a tough task ahead of him if he’s going to reach #1. Botteon has not slowed down. He picked up three PLB qualifying scores of his own including a win in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder. Botteon currently holds a healthy lead on the field with a total of 13,963 total PLB points, 1,672 points above Dzivielevski. However, should Dzivielevski continues to pile on the results, as he did this week in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ where he finished in fourth place for $207,649, he has a real shot at becoming #1 in 2021. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • There were several notable jumps inside the top 100 this week including Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold who soared 125 places from #160 to a career-high #36 by stringing together 11-PLB qualifying cashes so far this month including a ninth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ where his final table finish brought him an $11,271 score. • ‘Olorion’ is Poland’s #1-ranked player thanks to his victory in the GGPoker Sunday Special $88 that brought him $21,572 and 416.82 PLB points. That spotlight score helped him leap from #217 in the world all the way to #58. However, it’s not a career-high for the longtime grinder who, back in 2013, reached as high as 28 in the world. • Alex ‘Veruz’ Butcher remains the #1-ranked player in the USA, landing at #64 worldwide. It’s hard for players in the USA to maintain high placements on the worldwide stage due to the limited offering of tournaments in America, but Butcher managed a pair of nice PLB scores one week ago and added to it this week with his win in the partypoker NJ Daily $10K GTD for $3,338 and 125.30 PLB points. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=178 /]
  2. There’s not a single year-end list that won’t be heavily influenced by the pandemic, and this one is no different. Nearly every industry faced overwhelming challenges in the face of COVID-19, the same was true for poker. As live poker events took a backseat to an online poker surge, some of this year’s brightest rising stars had career-making moments take place while playing online in the strangest of times. While there were plenty of poker players (and personalities) who succeeded in continuing their poker pursuits in 2020, these are our five Rising Stars who took what this year gave them and used it to step into the spotlight. Brunno 'bbotteon' Botteon Some in South America knew what Brazilian poker powerhouse Brunno Botteon had to offer, but after a year where Botteon seemingly never cooled off, now the whole poker world knows how great he really is. In 2020, no matter the online series, no matter the stakes, Botteon found a way to thrive. At the end of 2019, Botteon could regularly be seen playing mid-stakes, with the occasional high roller mixed in. That all began to change at the very start of 2020. In early January, on the same day at the same time, he finished as the runner-up in the PokerStars Winter Series $530 Main Event for $196,908 and third place in the Winter Series $5,200 Main Event for another $265,463. The hot start to his year set him up to make deep runs in many of the marquee series that made the move online when forced to postpone their live events. During the World Series of Poker Online events on GGPoker, Botteon found himself in the mix for a bracelet in some of the most prestigious events of the series. After he finished as the runner-up in Event #67 ($500 NLHE) for $41,855, Botteon made another final table in the $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship. He ended up finishing in sixth for $388,837 for what was, at the time, a career-high cash. He bested that just days later when he made it to the finals of the WSOP $25,000 Heads Up Championship. He finished in second place, just behind German superstar Fedor Holz, for a new career-high score of $622,300. Botteon then turned his attention to the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker where he picked up his second career title in Event #36-H ($2,100 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for $80,642. He also finished as the runner-up in Event #48-H ($5,200 8-Max PKO) for another $95,458. By this time, Botteon had soared in the rankings and was sitting as the #3-ranked player in the world and was regularly competing and cashing in the biggest buy-in tournaments online. However, as much as Botteon had already achieved in 2020, he decided to save the best for last. Botteon weaved his way through the international leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker hybrid Main Event, taking the chip lead into the live final table. The Brazilian made his way to Rozvadov where, in the end, he finished in second place to Damian Salas, but locked up his first career seven-figure score of $1,062,723. It was the third time in 2020 that Botteon set himself a new career-high cash and, in total, in his first WSOP experience, Botteon earned more than $2.16 million. Sitting with more than $5.2 million in lifetime online earnings (excluding his WSOP Main Event haul) Botteon’s tenacity at the tables has helped him into online poker history as one of the elite few who has reached the top of the worldwide rankings. On December 12, Botteon finally became the #1-ranked player in the world, capping off an incredible year for one of 2020’s biggest breakout stars. Artur ‘marathur1’ Martirosyan Also known by his screen name ‘marathur1’, Russia’s Artur Martirosyan took his career to the next level in 2020 after capturing multiple titles and big-time cashes. During the Poker Masters Online series in April, Martirosyan narrowly missed out on winning the Purple Jacket after cashing in nine of the 30 high roller event events for a total profit of $551,674. Just weeks later Martirosyan’s heater extended into the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker where he took down Event #17 ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max High Roller) for over $271,000. Days later he grabbed his second title of the series in Event #19 ($5,200 NLHE Midweek Freeze) to add another $157,426 to his ever-expanding bankroll. In June, he was back dominating another Poker Central series when Martirosyan took a series victory in the Super High Roller Bowl Online Series. He made six final tables, eight cashes overall, over the series' 27 events and he earned just under $1.8 million for his efforts. He wasn't done. After a deep run in the World Poker Tour World Online Championships Main Event, he took down the WPT Mini Super High Roller for $239,500 which led to the Russian being named player of the series and winning an additional $50,000 for topping the leaderboard. Landon Tice When you make the leap from online micro-stakes to playing in some of the biggest live games Las Vegas has to offer in a matter of just a couple of years, people are going to take notice. That is exactly what 21-year old Landon Tice has done and his story, and talent, brought youthful energy and excitement to poker 2020. For those that follow poker closely it was hard not to encounter Tice in some form or another, from his on-stream appearances with Joey Ingram to guest co-hosting the Solve For Why podcast with Matt Berkey and Christian Soto, Tice took little time letting his personality shine in the poker media. At the same time, Tice's poker game has reportedly been taken under the wing of the likes of Nick Schulman, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Berkey among others. Tice's Las Vegas cash game exploits at the higher limits were recounted and analyzed on podcasts and social media. At the same time, he quickly proved that his talent translated to the tournament scene as well. Tice took down one of the few major live tournaments to take place this year, besting a field of 1,123 entries in the 2020 MSPT Venetian Main Event for a $201,529 first-place payday. And if the World Series of Poker is able to be run in its traditional form in 2021, one should expect to see a lot more of Landon Tice in the chip counts. Ryan Depaulo When it comes to seizing the spotlight in 2020, perhaps no one did it better than Ryan Depaulo. With his star already on the rise from his popular YouTube channel Ryan Depaulo: Degenerate Gambler, the New York pro successfully pulled off one of the most improbable WSOP gold bracelet victories of the year. In order to play WSOP Online Event #13 ($500 No Limit Hold’em, The Big 500), Depaulo drove his car to a Whole Foods parking lot in New Jersey in order to “borrow” a little internet. From the front seat of his car, Depaulo played all night and reached the final table. When he got there, he dominated. Depaulo eliminated six of his final eight opponents and grabbed the gold bracelet and a $159,563 score as the sun rose over the hood of his car. https://twitter.com/depaulo_ryan/status/1282600527839334400?s=20 After he locked up the win, Depaulo, stunned, jumped out of his car and as the Whole Foods employees were coming in to start their morning shift he screamed out loud “I’m a Legend!” He may not yet be a full-blown poker legend yet but if he continues to pull off insane feats like this one he might just be on his way to becoming one. Jeff Platt It would be fair to say that poker commentator Jeff Platt could have, and rightfully should have, been named a rising star a year ago. Maybe he was and if so, it would have been true. But in 2020, Platt found the opportunity to level up in poker once again by becoming one of the premier faces and voices of some of this year’s most-watched poker streams on Twitch. If Nick Schulman is the current GOAT when it comes to poker commentary, then Platt is the People’s Champion. Platt seemed to be everywhere he was needed in 2020. From grabbing a glass of wine and anchoring the WSOP pre-final table broadcast throughout the summer, to holding down the GGPoker Twitch stream during the Polk-Negreanu challenge, you could count on Platt to be a consummate pro juggling talking thru the action with indulging the chat. With so many events taking place online this year, plenty of content creators have taken a stab in the commentary booth, with varying degrees of success. But it’s Platt’s professionalism that will likely put him in line for more and more work in the poker industry for years and years to come.
  3. In a career that has spanned more than 12 years, 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche has evolved from a small stakes online grinder to one of the most prolific high rollers in the poker world today. The results of his hard work speak for themselves as Nitsche has amassed more than $6.5 million in online earnings and an amazing $18.65 million in live earnings, a total which places him 32nd on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List. Even after so much success, Nitsche continues to grind. A successful week at the online tables helped Nitsche surge 27 spots in the online poker worldwide rankings to #68, one of the biggest moves inside the top-100 for the week. The rise in rankings helped him take over the #1-ranking in Germany and close in on a career-high spot of #60, which he last hit back in 2009. As Nitsche continues to climb the rankings, it makes for a good time to look back at some of the biggest scores in the DTO private poker coach’s history, including his most recent victory which added a major title to his long list of accomplishments. 2019 PokerStars WCOOP Just over a year ago, Nitsche booked the biggest win of his online poker career during the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker when he made a deep run in Event #25-H ($25,000 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller). The tournament drew 90 entries and generated a prize pool of over $2.2 million fueled by some of the toughest competition the poker world has to offer. Nitsche battled his way to the final table, outlasting the likes of Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen, Tim ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and Mustapha ‘lasagnaaammm’ Kanit, all of who made the money. In the end, Nitsche ended up falling in fifth place walking away with $188,139. Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov ended up winning the event for more than $527,000. 2017 PokerStars SCOOP Two-and-a-half years prior to his big risk, big reward run in the 2019 WCOOP, Nitsche entered another high roller looking to take home a massive score. The field size in the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #15-M ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a good deal larger as 772 entries drove the prize pool to just over $1.5 million. Again, Nitsche made a deep run to the final table where he battled the impressive online poker talent of Ami ‘UhhMee’ Barer and former #1-ranked Calvin ‘Cal42688’ Anderson. Nitsche finished in fourth place that day but locked up a massive $115,800 score for his efforts. $5K High Roller One of the very first high roller tournaments in 2018 took place on January 3 that year and featured a who’s who of top online poker talent. The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller was littered with notable screen names that finished in the money that day. Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich, Mike ‘telks’ Telker, Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk, and Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick all picked up huge scores that day. Nitsche surpassed all of them though and notched himself a podium finish with a third-place score of $82,445 which helped him get the year off to a good start. In the end, Damian ‘pampa27’ Salas bested ‘DEX888’ for the win and the $139K first-place prize. 2020 PokerStars SCOOP It seems that Nitsche only gets better with age as two of his top 5 all-time scores were won in 2020. The first of which took place on May 22 in the 2020 PokerStars SCOOP when Nitsche fired in the $500,000 guaranteed Event #87-H ($530 NLHE). The field swelled to 956 entries but Nitsche outlasted every single one of them, booking the win and adding the $82,365 first-place prize to what was, at that time, $5.8 million in online earnings. 2020 EPT Online Cup Nitsche’s latest major online score proves that while he may be known for crushing the small field, nosebleed buy-in tournaments he still has what it takes to work his way through a massive field MTT and get the win. On November 14, just over a week ago, Nitsche nabbed himself a title in PokerStars’ first-ever EPT Online series when he outlasted the massive field of 2,833 runners and took down EPT Online Event #14 ($215 NLHE, EPT Online Cup) for $82,093. Along with the major online title, Nitsche picked up 752.73 PLB points which sent him sailing past Germany’s ‘nilsef’ in the rankings and has positioned himself to reach ranking heights he hasn’t seen in over a decade. Since taking home the gold in the EPT Online event, Nitsche continues to add to his PLB point total, grabbing another 169.49 points with his runner-up finish in the $215 Fast Friday just last week. If Nitsche continues to grind the kind of volume he’s been putting in as of late, he’s a favorite to hit a new career-high ranking by the end of the year. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screennames to their PocketFives profile.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  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 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.
  10. PokerStars announced the return of its popular World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) this week. The series will run from September 7 to 28 and feature 66 events and $40 million in guaranteed prize money. The $5,200 buy-in Main Event will play out on September 28 and 29 and see players battling for $10 million in guaranteed cash and a $1.5 million first place prize. In a WCOOP first, railbirds will be able to watch the final table action in a delayed, cards-down webcast on PokerStars.tv. EPT regulars like James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton will be on-hand along with other Team PokerStars pros to give a play-by-play commentary. The series offers a huge selection of games including Draw, Stud, and Razz in a number of different formats like Ante Up, Big Antes, Four-Max, and Shootouts. Stars has also brought back its Progressive Super Knockout events, which proved popular after being introduced last year. In the first day alone, players can expect $3 million in guarantees, with $1.5 million offered in a special edition of the Sunday Million. Event buy-ins start at $109, but players have the chance to win entries through online qualifiers for as low as $1 or through FPP satellites. There is plenty of action for high-rollers as well, with four- and five-figure buy-in events being spread throughout the series. A $10,300 NLHE tournament kicks off on September 14 and a $10,300 NLHE High-Roller Heads-Up event is scheduled for September 21. After that, three $2,100 events in NLHE, PLO, and HORSE will be offered followed by a $10,300 Eight-Game tournament and culminating in a $5,200 NLHE Main Event. Apart from the individual events, players will also be fighting for the title of the WCOOP Player of the Series. Any runner who cashes in an event will receive points that go toward their Player of the Series ranking. The first place finisher will walk away with the coveted Champions Trophy, a 2015 PCA and EPT Grand Final package, and a 2015 TCOOP Main Event ticket. Created in 2002, the WCOOP is the longest running online poker championship, giving away over $350 million in total prize money. In the inaugural series, $730,000 was awarded, with 238 players buying into the Main Event to create a $238,000 prize pool. MultiMarineof Sweden took the title of first series champ and went home with $65,450 for the victory. Since then, the tournament series has grown exponentially. Just two years later in 2004, total prize money reached $6 million, with over 10,000 players taking part. In 2007, the total prize pool shot up to $24 million and saw almost 3,000 runners buy into the Main Event. Last year, that number increased again, with $62 million being awarded, and Germany's PlayinWasted taking down the Main Event for nearly $1.5 million. According to a press release, PokerStars has dealt over 115 billion hands and boasts over 65 million members. The online poker behemoth was recently acquired by the Canadian gambling supplier Amaya Gaming, which shelled out $4.9 billion to complete the surprising purchase. If you don't have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training with no signup fee. Click here to create your account. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. In Las Vegas, the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event will guarantee $10 million to its winner. Online, we're seeing another $10 million guarantee. This time, the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Eventwill have a $10 million guaranteed prize pool, officials for the site announced on Wednesday. Satellites are up and running for the WCOOP Main Event already and, according to a PokerStars press release, "The $10 million guaranteed prize pool will ensure that the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event is the biggest online poker tournament of the year and will continue to build on its reputation as one of the most sought-after titles in the poker world." Last year's WCOOP Main Event had a $10.6 million purse. The WCOOP Main Event will carry a $5,200 buy-in and start on September 28. The rest of the 2014 WCOOP schedule is still up in the air, but players can qualify for the Main Event through the popular Mega-Path option for as little as one FPP. Additionally, there are $215 satellites that take place on Saturdays at 11:30 ET and on Sundays at 12:30 ET, with Round 1 satellites starting as low as $1.65. Last year's WCOOP Main Event saw Germany's PlayinWasted come away with the win following a three-way deal. His reward was a blistering $1.4 million and, crazily enough, the top three finishers in the 2,133-man field were all from Germany. The winner, a 22-year-old student, told PokerStars at the time, "I am definitely a recreational player. Earlier in my 'career' when grinding to get a bankroll to work with, I played a lot more, but recently, especially while finishing my bachelor, I have not played all that much." If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get a 100% up to $600 bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training. Create your PokerStars account by clicking here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. Earlier this month, PocketFiver David d.quangQuang (pictured) lit up the field of the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl, coming in second place for $17,000. There were 612 entrants and the cash helped push him to just shy of $2.5 million in lifetime scores. "It's always a great feeling to final table any major, but it's never an awesome feeling if you don't win it," he told us. "I also final tabled the Big $109 that Sunday and lost a flip on the river for the chip lead to bust in sixth. If I had finished in the top three in that, I would've felt pretty awesome." The Brawl is a $255 No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Knockout tournament and, as such, you accumulate cash for every opponent you bust. We've heard varying degrees of how much the bounties affect a player's strategy, leading Quang to say, "Aside from Progressive Knockout tournaments where the bounty's value increases, I just play my normal game. To be honest, I didn't even look at how many bounties I accumulated in this." While finishing second in the Brawl is a solid accomplishment, it's even more impressive when you consider it came a few weeks after Quang final tabled the WCOOP Super Tuesday for $63,000. "That one felt awesome," Quang gleaned. "It was a WCOOP event and it was my largest online cash ever." He finished third in the Super Tuesday twice in a four-week span in 2013 for almost $100,000 combined. In the WCOOP Super Tuesday, he made it through Day 1 with a scant 17 big blinds and seemed to be hanging on by a thread. However, on Day 2, he ran his stack up to 100 big blinds in the first few levels. As he joked, "I was definitely the dealer's favorite player, as I was getting dealt premium hand after premium hand and getting paid every time. That heater lasted until the final two tables; that's when I ran out of ammo and busted in sixth place. I thought the level of competition was the same as a normal Super Tuesday: always very challenging with very few soft spots." As you might have guessed by the title of this article, his plans for the money consist of "doubling down on MTTs." He has certainly come a long way since getting into poker while attending school in Waterloo, Ontario. He saw a clip about poker prodigies from Waterloo on a WPT episode "where they were saying there's something in the city's water. They nailed it. I thought poker was interesting because there are so many aspects of the game you can apply to real-life decisions." Mike timexMcDonald (pictured), Steven stevejpaPaul-Ambrose, Will TheDreamerMa, Nenad Medic, and Mike SirWattsWatson all come from the Waterloo carousel. Across the country, Quang grinds online in an office in Gastown, Vancouver with taikogod, CaptnKrnch, and Bryan PrimordialAA Pellegrino. He said, "We all have goals written on a white board. My goals are to get below 180 pounds by the end of the month and play over 750 tournaments per month." He closed by sending a shout out to shhhookem, Mike Pipedream17Dietrich, Ankush pistons87Mandavia, and GINS FINEST "for teaching me how to strategically win coin flips like a boss." The Sunday Brawl runs weekly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  13. We haven't seen a run like Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz's (pictured) in some time. He hit it big last month in the WCOOP Main Event, winning it after a six-way chop for a staggering $1.3 million, one of the highest payouts ever logged by a PocketFiver. Last weekend, he took down the Full TiltSunday Major for another $38,000. On the same day he won the WCOOP Main Event, he finished third in the PokerStars Bigger $109 for $34,000. Other than that, Holz hasn't done much on the felts recently. "It's a very good feeling," Holz told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "I have worked hard away from the tables, especially on my mindset, and am constantly talking with other players." As far as his approach goes, Holz said one of the keys to success is "not tilting in sessions." He added, "Preparing well is key. You have to be focused all the way and always try to play your best game. I think I improved those aspects a lot recently." Holz has rocketed all the way to #4 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings and has $2.6 million in tracked online tournament scores to his name. He is the top-ranked player in Austria and said he'd like to allocate a portion of his newfound winnings toward buying property. However, he also wants to attend EPT London, so the real estate plan may get tossed out the window for the time being. If he ends up buying property, it'll likely be in Germany. Holz said, "My family lives there and I could increase their quality of life a lot and take some of the weight off their shoulders." Speaking of the live scene, we'd expect Holz to turn in some sort of breakthrough performance soon. He is #132 on the all-time money list for Germany, according to the Hendon Mob, and has $306,000 in live scores. His largest live cash was $58,000, which came by virtue of a win in an EPT Barcelona Eight-Max event in August. So what advice does a WCOOP Main Event champion have for the rest of us? What can we learn from Holz's recent run? He advised, "As long as you love what you are doing, keep doing it. Give it all you have and you'll get there at some point. Always work on the weakest parts of your game and be open-minded. Try to get as much input from others as possible and always question yourself in a healthy way." Congrats to Holz on his recent success. 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 a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your door. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  14. "You don't go to the Galapagos to play poker." There's perhaps the understatement of the year and it came out of the mouth of TiltTheBho(pictured), who chopped the PokerStars WCOOP Sunday Warm-Up last month and earned $179,000. He officially took third place and was second in chips when the four-way deal was struck. "It was a pretty big week," TiltTheBho told PocketFives. "I won the Bigger $162 the Sunday before for $49,000 also. Part of it is running good at the right times, but I have also put a ton of work into my game over the last year and I'd like to think that has paid off and been a big reason for my success this year." In May, he final tabled a SCOOP event for $33,000. Part of his success has come courtesy of Mexico's chancew, Jon apestyles Van Fleet, and another unnamed high-stakes MTT pro who has really helped him improve. The result: he has piled up $1.1 million in online tournament winnings. What are his plans for the $179,000? Traveling, of course. He explained, "I want to take a few trips. I'm thinking about heading to the Galapagos Islands around December, as it's a place I have always wanted to visit. You don't go to the Galapagos to play poker. If poker were my life, I think that would be pretty sad, to be honest." Why the Galapagos, a small chain of islands due west of Ecuador famous for its abundance of wildlife? Why not some place a little less rustic? "It's one of the most bio-diverse places in the world," TiltTheBho argued. "It's like the Mecca if you want to see a ton of different species and it's supposed to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Also, I hear the surf is pretty decent." As you might be able to tell, he is a huge fan of traveling. In fact, in the last year, he has racked up frequent flyer miles heading to New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. That's more than half the continents on Earth. "I travel a ton," he pointed out. "There have been a few other less-than-a-week trips in there as well, so I've spent time in some other places too." TiltTheBho played hockey up until a few years ago. The hobby resulted in his housing and car being provided for. However, he has since turned his full attention to perfecting his poker game and completing his degree, saying, "I'll probably never actually give hockey up, but I stopped playing at a competitive level because I decided to go back to school to finish my degree a few years back." You can find him playing as CrazyB15 on PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world where he is the proud owner of $802,000 in winnings. He is currently ranked #133 on PocketFives, two off his all-time high, and has a Sliding PLB score of 5,176 points. The WCOOP and other big-time tournament series take place 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 a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. 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. Last month, BenFazcame away with a third place finish as part of a chop of the PokerStars WCOOP Sunday Warm-Up, which attracted over 8,000 entrants. He walked away with $164,000, the second highest total of anyone, and boosted his lifetime winnings to over $800,000 online. "I'm feeling super happy," BenFaz told PocketFives. "However, it still really hasn't sunk in. I think once I actually get the money, it might hit me." BenFaz brought up the topic of a chop when there were four players remaining. He was second in chips at the time and explained what went down: "I got offered $164,000, which I was very happy about. I didn't feel the need to go for the win, as $164,000 for third and $200,000 for first are both ridiculous amounts of money. I'd have been happy with either one. If I didn't deal and came in fourth for $80,000, I would have been slightly upset, so I feel it went pretty well. I knew GadMO, who took fourth, was capable of causing some havoc. gregor7878, who won it, is a good player too." He claims he's going to be "sensible" with his newfound riches and will put a significant portion of it toward his mortgage. He added, "I have a decent list of things I am going to buy as well and I will be going to Las Vegas next year, which should be fun. It'll be nice to meet a lot of people I have met through playing." In addition to chopping the Warm-Up, over the years he has final tabled the Sunday Second Chance and won the Hotter $44, $22 Cubed, and $1 Rebuy, just to name a few. Accordingly, we asked BenFaz what advice he'd give to players trying to hit it big in large-field tournaments. He responded, "It's a marathon, not a sprint. Don't get your hopes up either. I have been on many swings due to the fact that I mainly play massive field-events and sometimes play badly, but the variance is huge in them too." On the variance, he said, "The last two times I played the Warm-Up, I came in 40th and 20th, so I was jokingly saying I am due a top-five finish. It doesn't hurt to pretend anyway and then somehow get there." He said he got aces quite a few times down the stretch as well, which certainly did not hurt. When he first got started in poker, BenFaz final tabled the Big $55 for about $5,000. That success seemed to put him on the fast track to success: "I managed to spend that $5,000 within two weeks thinking I was a poker god. Once that had run out, I got myself a backer through PocketFives, mcandrews3rd, and he helped me progress. I have had a steady two or three years of playing since, have learned a lot along the way, and will continue to learn." You won't see the user name BenFaz on PokerStars, by the way, as he plays as fabaz, and he's the lone PocketFiver with a PLB score in the town of Coleshill, UK. 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 a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. 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.
  16. On the final weekend of September, Steve Illini213Barshak (pictured) took down the 888 Poker Mega Deep outright for $33,000, defeating a field of 715 entrants. While it wasn't the largest score he has recorded, it snapped a month of bleeding. As he put it, "The WCOOP didn't go nearly as well as I hoped, but that's how it goes sometimes. It was a very rough three weeks before Sunday, so I am thrilled I could cut some of my losses." Given the number of players online for the WCOOP, Barshak called the fields that weekend "insanely soft," pointing out, "Even the $5K WCOOP Main Event field was quite weak. It was definitely one of the best weekends of the year in online poker." The $215 Mega Deep runs weekly on 888 and, if you've never played it, we asked Barshak how the tournament stacks up to other $215 ones on PokerStarsand Full Tilt. He explained, "The structure in the $215 on 888 Poker is much better than the structure of the Stars $215 tournaments. In a lot of the Stars ones, the average stack is much closer to 30 big blinds when you get deep, while in the 888 Mega Deep, the blind levels are 30 minutes and the average stack was probably 50+ big blinds at the final table." He added, "I really enjoy the structures at 888, especially the deep stack events. It really makes for a lot more play and I feel like the better players will come out on top much more often with these great structures." Barshak has had plenty of success over the years, including a second place finish in the FTOPS Main Eventin December of last year for $261,000 and victories in a WCOOP $1,050 NLHE event, the Sunday Warm-Up, and the Sunday 500, just to name a few. He has had a comparatively slow 2014, although he's won the Mega Deep twice. "The middle of 2014 was pretty rough for me overall," Barshak told us. "I was on the biggest downswing of my poker career in mid-2014. I wasn't playing well enough in many spots and needed to make a few adjustments with how the game has evolved. I am feeling great about my game right now, though, and plan to have a good mix of live and online poker coming for me in the next six months. I am craving some ridiculously massive live score very badly!" On the live scene, Barshak has almost a half-million dollars in winnings according to the Hendon Mob. His largest cash was $68,000, which came by virtue of a fourth place finish in WPT Denmark in late 2012. He has 11 in the money finishes in WSOP events stretching back to 2010 and is the owner of two Circuit rings. If your game seems to be stuck in a rut and you're not sure what to do, Barshak advised, "Being a top poker player is all about adjusting with the times and not letting your ego get in the way. You have to appreciate and love the challenge of getting better." If you're wondering what Barshak did specifically in order to stop his bleeding, he told us he started "being more disciplined in certain post-flop spots where you might have to make a tough laydown on the river or something of that nature." Additionally, he has gotten better at "dealing with the ridiculous aggression of online poker. Small things like knowing when not to c-bet can go a long way." "Adjustments a lot of times come from noticing leaks in your own game, figuring out how you bust certain tournaments or are losing big spots, and making adjustments accordingly. Adjustments are all about noticing your own leaks, being honest with yourself about it, and fixing it. Sometimes it can take months to make changes since it's quite easy to not think you are doing much wrong." Barshak is from the US, but makes his home in Costa Rica alongside a bevy of other PocketFivers. In fact, he is one of 156 players with PLB scores in Guanacaste and was ranked #2 on PocketFives in 2012. He called the Costa Rican atmosphere "the most relaxed lifestyle possible" and "a great environment for poker." Some of his fellow Costa Rican players like Brian brianm15England (Four-Max bracelet, pictured) and Chris Big Huni Hunichen (two runner-up finishes) also excelled during the recently completed WCOOP. Maybe there's something in the water? If you don't already have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400), $88 free in most locations, and a free PocketFives t-shirt shipped to your doorstep. 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.
  17. In the span of a few days earlier this month, England's Scott Aggro SantosMargereson (pictured) won not one, but two PokerStarsWCOOP titles. The first was worth $106,000 and came in a $320 No Limit Hold'em Zoom event. The second occurred two days later in the series' Sunday Warm-Up and was worth nearly a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Not surprisingly, he has shot up to #33 worldwide in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings and is #6 in the UK. Margereson sat down with PocketFives to talk about his latest accomplishment. PocketFives: How are you feeling about your WCOOP titles? It must be surreal at this point. Scott Margereson: It's quite strange. After the $320 Zoom win, I was over the moon. After the Warm-Up, I don't really feel that much different. To be honest, it doesn't really feel like real life. I've barely logged any volume this year, as my main game has been cash for a while now. I was expecting to continue the steady grind up. I was still going to play on Sundays and during the big series, so I knew there was a chance I could have a decent score, but I never expected this. PocketFives: What do you attribute it to? Scott Margereson: Honestly, I'm just a guy who has gone on a heater at the right time of year. The Warm-Up played kind of deep up until we started getting toward the final table and I'm much more skilled deep now than I was six months ago, so that may have helped slightly, but for the most part, I got extremely lucky. PocketFives: Do you want to play more cash games or stick to the mix you currently have? What cash games do you play? Scott Margereson: I'm quite happy with the mix I have right now. Tournaments are nice to play when the games are big, but I don't have the heart to do it day in, day out anymore. I'm mainly playing $500 Zoom on PokerStars and also some of the Rush games when they run on Full Tilt. I like the flexibility of the hours when playing cash games and as far as an actual hourly rate goes, I'm pretty sure that on a standard weekday I'm making a higher hourly than I would playing an MTT session. PocketFives: What advice do you have for aspiring cash game players? Scott Margereson: My advice would be that if you can hack the variance of MTTs day in, day out, then stick to those since switching to cash games is a lot of hard work. I came from cash games originally before I switched to MTTs. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker originally and why did you gravitate toward cash games at the beginning? Scott Margereson: I got started in poker in a home game originally, then won a free $50 deposit on Full Tilt, and started out that way. A friend of mine told me about this free $50 that I could get and he was playing cash games, so I started out like that as well. PocketFives: How often do you get to play live poker? Scott Margereson: I enjoy playing live every once in a while. It's kind of refreshing, but eventually it becomes pretty boring with the small number of hands you play. One thing it does, though, is makes you appreciate online poker a lot more. I play most EPTs when I can and went to the WSOP for the first time this year for the Main Event, which unfortunately saw me busting before the dinner break on Day 1. The WCOOP and other big-time series run 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 along with one free month of PocketFives Training with no sign-up fee. Click hereto get started.
  18. The end of 2014 has been mighty kind to Austria's Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (pictured). On the last weekend of September, he took down the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event for $1.3 millionfollowing a six-way deal. The following Sunday, he was back at it, winning the Full Tilt Sunday Majorfor another $38,000. And, in case you were caught up in the WSOP November Nine hoopla, you might have missed Holz winning the PokerStars Sunday 500 outright over the weekend for $65,000 and a hat trick. It was the second time Holz has won the Sunday 500 this year. "It feels good," Holz told PocketFives on Thursday. "It's not surreal at all." He attributes his recent hot streak to exploiting the tendencies of his opponents, a proper mindset, working on his game away from the tables, and, as he put it, "a lot of luck." Holz told PocketFives that he uses a Heads-Up Display, or HUD, and said, "I also value game flow and my intuition a lot." In terms of his studies away from the tables, Holz commented, "I work with CREV and HRC and talk a lot with other high-stakes-players about their way of thinking. We go through hand histories and talk about possible improvements. In addition to that, I coach, so there I have to explain my thought process as well, which helps. That's at least one-third of the time I invest in poker." It's hard to believe that we're already near the end of 2014 and, as such, it's time to start looking ahead to 2015. "I want to establish myself in the highest buy-in tournaments," Holz said of his goals for next year, "so I will play a lot of Super High Rollers. I really want to win a big live major." Speaking of his live game, Holz turned in five in the money finishes during EPT Barcelona in August and has $306,000 in career live tournament scores, according to the Hendon Mob. "I have played a lot of live poker in the last 12 months," Holz admitted, "but things didn't go my way in the big tournaments. I'm still confident, though, and enjoy playing live a lot more. I will definitely be at the PCA and Aussie Millions." Finally, the poker community has had a considerable amount of praise for Holz's accomplishments. After all, it's not very often that you see someone win three major tournaments in a span of seven weeks. Holz told us, "It's pure variance. I'm happier that I've consistently been doing well on the highest stakes against the toughest opponents and that I feel comfortable playing those stakes. The wins were awesome and I'm really happy about the way it worked out, but my game didn't change much in that time span." Congrats to Holz on his recent run. 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 a free PocketFives t-shirt. Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. PocketFiver CrownUpGuy(pictured), whose real name is Fedor Holz, won the 2014 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event early Tuesday morning for $1.3 million. The 21-year-old outlasted a field of 2,142 entrants in the $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournament. A six-way chop ended matters and, according to PokerStars, the names of each finisher, along with their hometown and the amount they cashed for, were as follows: 1. Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (Vienna, Austria) - $1,300,000 2. Yuri theNERDguy Martins (Curitiba, Brazil) - $708,251.21 3. Claas neckbr4ke Stoob (Potsdam, Germany) - $651,430.61 4. Elior Crazy Elior Sion (London, England) - $780,227.66 5. Faraz The-Toilet Jaka (Gdansk, Poland) - $945,000 6. Daniel 19Dan86 Rudd (London, England) - $769,813.52 7. Dylan Pokerl)eviL Hortin (Vancouver, Canada) - $214,200 8. Todd MaltLiquor40 Sisley (Toronto, Canada) - $160,650 9. Viktor Isildur1Blom (London, England) - $107,100 As you can see, there was a considerable amount of firepower at the final table, including high-stakes cash game guru Viktor Blom as well as Dylan Hortin, who incredibly also finished seventh in last year's WCOOP Main Event for $213,000. Faraz Jaka, who has been a member of PocketFives since 2006, has over $7 million live and online cashes to his name, according to PocketFives and the Hendon Mob. It was definitely not a walk in the park for Holz. The WCOOP Main Event deal left $200,000 to play for. In the final hand, Holz bested a full house with quads to rake in $1.3 million, the only player in the tournament to walk away with seven-figures. Holz told PokerStars after the WCOOP Main Event had ended, "I always wanted to run deep in such a tournament and it feels amazing to win the biggest tournament of the year. It's my biggest achievement so far and I can't put in words how happy I am." He won an FTOPS jersey a year ago. The $10.7 million prize pool of the WCOOP Main Event was the largest for the tournament since Black Friday and, according to PokerStars, "the 66-event Championship's total of $61,934,886 in prizes makes it the third richest WCOOP, a little over $1 million less than the 2010 World Championship, which still holds the record." The 2014 WCOOP Player of the Year was PocketFiver Alan ajgold23 Gold from the UK, who had a rousing 17 WCOOP cashes this year and two final tables. For being bestowed the title of WCOOP Player of the Year, Gold gets a Champions Trophy, a 2015 PCA package, a 2015 EPT Grand Final package, and a 2015 TCOOP Main Event ticket. 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 a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. 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.
  20. On the first Sunday of September, longtime PocketFiver Ryan gutshtallinWelch (pictured), who joined our site in 2007, took down the PokerStars Sunday Million, a WCOOP event, after a seven-way chop for $200,000. There were over 11,600 entrants that week and Welch was one of two to pocket at least $200,000. "It feels really awesome to finally win a WCOOP tournament," Welch told PocketFives. "It's one of those things where it's nice to know I'm still able to keep up with the young guns. I basically have been traveling to Canada to play only SCOOP and WCOOP each year." It's not every day that you see a seven-way chop. Welch said it happened due to a "weird dynamic" and explained, "One guy who was on my direct left had almost half the chips in play. I was second with 35 big blinds and there were five other stacks with 20 big blinds or less. The blinds were getting big and I was happy to lower my variance since my spot was pretty horrible with ICM implications." The amounts given out in the chop ranged from $80,000 to $269,000. Welch and his wife are planning to start a family soon, so a portion of the cash will go toward a baby fund. In the meantime, he has been shuttling back and forth from Canada to play online poker, which he called "really easy," saying, "My wife is Canadian, so I stay with my mother-in-law. I have a nice area to grind whenever I want to make the quick flight up to Calgary." When he's not in Canada, you can find Welch in Las Vegas, where he has owned a house for the last four-and-a-half years. He travels around the world to live events and plays quite a bit of PLO cash. On the latter, he critiqued, "It has been nice to dive into a new game and really learn the game as a beginner. I find it to be more interesting than NLHE cash and a nice change of pace." Speaking of Vegas, Welch finished fourth in a $1,500 NLHE event during this year's World Series of Poker for $119,000. Four years ago, he won a bracelet in a $3,000 Triple Chance NLHE tournament. He said it was "great to close one out" this year in Nevada. Fun fact: Welch's brother, Thomas Welch (pictured, image courtesy RantSports), was selected by the New England Patriots in the final round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has formerly played for the Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, and New Orleans Saints. He played his college ball at Vanderbilt. Speaking of his family, our interview subject labeled himself a "family guy" and explained, "My wife and I live in a quiet neighborhood filled with families. I'm hoping soon to be able to play PokerStars from my own home. Fingers crossed that happens sooner than later. Poker allows me to be home a lot, or at least close to home." As Welch said, and we immortalized in the title of this article, he is one of the old school members of PocketFives and was ranked as high as #5 on our site in 2009. He has $3.5 million in career online tournament winnings and two tracked scores of at least $200,000. On his longevity in the highly competitive world of poker, Welch rationalized, "Old guys can still win online! Of the original regs I played with six or seven years ago, most aren't around anymore. I take a lot of pride and work hard to keep ahead. It's important to be passionate about your job. As long as poker can do that for me, I'll be playing and giving 100%." The WCOOP and other major poker series run on PokerStars. Sign up for PokerStars through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training with no sign-up fee. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. The 2014 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and the Winamax W Series both started their second weeks, which meant plenty of action online. As of 12:00 Eastern Time Monday, several key WCOOP events were still in progress. We will update this article after the covered tournaments are concluded. Former #2 ranked 1banditpandashould see a rise in this week’s PocketFives Rankingsthanks to a second place finish in WinamaxW Series Event #58 for $16,194.22 and a third place finish in the 888 Poker $100K Mega Deep for $13,198. Bulgaria's Psykee86 finished in third place in a three-way chop of the Sunday 500 for $64,491.58, beating out several other PocketFivers at the final table. Congratulations to all PocketFivers who cashed in Sunday's online tournaments. Here are the final table results: PartyPoker "$200k Guaranteed" ($200 NLHE) *$200k Gtd. 1,016 entrants - $200,000 paid out to 234 spots Full Cash List 1. Nild0n $21,488.00 (Nild0n) 2. onlyGoodMusic $18,141.00 (Sbjstyle) 3. Never_Tilt $14,071.00 * 3-way chop 4. JWPRODIGY11 $7,400 5. BamBamPoGubam $5,300 (Ravic85) 6. aggr0vated $3,900 (nofair18) 7. Anomander_R $2,900 8. asdfaa288 $2,400 9. nilm4r $1,920 (Nilm4r) Winamax "W Series Event #58" ($116.65 NLHE) 1,036 entrants - $120,853.91 paid out to 117 spots Full Cash List 1. LeGrandJouer $25,333.44 2. COBRA_NASTY $16,194.22 (1banditpanda) 3. KOSOVO381 $11,782.09 4. vengaprinxet $8,987.57 5. –Salima- $6,344.70 6. Yatoumi59 $4,349.91 7. MrGoldenBoy $3,503.52 8. BigGibJoints $2,778.97 9. Marcel Diel $2,054.41 Winamax "W Series Event #51" ($116.69 NLHE) 1,704 entrants - $198,846.03 paid out to 189 spots Full Cash List 1. fox1j $38,923.82 2. JaimeLeJeu $25,750.41 3. Andoni11 $18,790.28 4. Labus77 $14,366.29 5. Cochouune $10,091.41 6. tarbAA $6,934.20 7. horyna $5,541.65 (horyna) 8. chichek1 $4,348.78 9. wetrustmich $3,180.55 iPoker"Sunday Prime" ($47.44 NLHE) 655 entrants - $32,403.99 paid out to 90 spots Full Cash List 1. suckmyfeet $6,043.34 2. ReyBoan $4,374.54 3. 13Vaughan $3,256.60 4. foldxxREALLY1 $2,440.02 (Scouse_AA) 5. PLSTAKEME2 $1,707.69 6. mikefromcz $1,377.17 7. StefanRaab77 $1,053.13 (4StefanRaab) 8. gamblor12 $729.09 9. IGrindTimbeys $456.90 (Larks Jr) 888 Poker "$100k Mega Deep" ($200+15 NLHE) *$100k Guaranteed 761 entrants - $152,200 paid out to 108 spots Full Cash List 1. ilgallino $35,767 2. smgdgd12 $21,445 3. 1banditpanda $13,698 (1banditpanda) 4. E.Schniedel $9,993 (oussale) 5. them3ntalist $7,610 6. Fabahaba $6,088 7. zigo_zig $4,566 (SuFF) 8. wywrotx $3,196 (wywrot) 9. CoinShipper $2,587 888 Poker "$100k Sunday Challenge" ($90 NLHE 1R) *$100k Guaranteed 851 entrants - $116,492 paid out to 140 spots Full Cash List 1. 1981wardy $24,532 2. LetsRocRoll$15,946 3. XulescuX $9,930 4. OMGEdMelly $7,009 (Madeyell) 5. robykenjobi $5,841 6. Travel99 $4,673 (Traveller99) 7. maxtere789 $3,505 8. dmg34 $2,366 9. konnhand $1,752 (konnhand) Full Tilt Poker "The Sunday Major" ($200+15 NLHE Re-Entry) *$150k Guaranteed 891 entrants - $228,400 paid out to 135 spots Full Cash List 1. paigowpro $45,680.00 2. s3c3 $30,422.88 (s3c3) 3. insanocut $21,698.00 4. f3nix35 $16,216.40 (f3nix35) 5. PrettyFlacko $12,105.20 6. Al Robbya $8,907.60 7. kirigiribot $6,623.60 (psyhoagromor) 8. scrubbyz $4,796.40 9. HoIy $3,426.00 Full Tilt Poker "The Sunday Brawl" ($240+15 NLHE Re-Entry KO) *$100k Guaranteed 811 entrants - $162,200 paid out to 90 spots Full Cash List 1. Jellyfish223 $33,251.00 (Jellyfish223) 2. dante-sp $22,708.00 3. LivesWithMommy (DoubleS00ted) $17,047.22 4. My Brim Low $12,976.00 5. pingueen $9,407.60 6. negroblanco $6,650.20 (blanconegro) 7. thereal_bandito $4,866.00 (seba29072) 8. antesvante $3,730.60 (AntesVante) 9. timorm1 $2,757.40 (timorm1) PokerStars "Sunday 500" ($500+30 NLHE) *$300k Guar. 1,023 entrants - $511,500 paid out to 144 spots Full Cash List 1. ömpsä $71,083.24 2. Turko_man $65,240.08 3. psykee86 $64,491.58 (Psykee86) * 3-way chop 4. joaoMathias $35,600.40 (joaomathias) 5. bossamtisch $ $25,319.25 6. WICKED617 $20,204.25 (Wicked617) 7. MonkeyBudg $15,089.25 (monkeybudgie) 8. m8675309a $9,974.25 (m8675309a) 9. Demonic16 $5,626.50 PokerStars "Sunday Storm" ($10+1 NLHE) *$300k Guaranteed 35,402 entrants - $354,020 paid out to 5,400 spots Full Cash List 1. AKQJT M-V $23,859.33 2. Bespont $19,554.21 3. Re3PTyLa $19,662.16 4. Re8uZ $16,000 (Re8uZ) *4-way deal 5. AfterBeatMSc $7,788.44 6. Postwaiter $4,779.27 7. trylobit $3,274.68 8. KirkoBangzz $2,301.13 9. maços13 $1,610.79 PokerStars "WCOOP Sunday Warm-up Event #22" ($200+15 NLHE) *$1m Guar. 8,139 entrants - $1,627,800 paid out to 1,080 spots ~ In progress PokerStars "WCOOP 8-Max Re-Entry High Roller Event #23" ($10,000+300 NLHE) *$2m Guar. 365 entrants - $3,650,000 paid out to 48 spots ~ In progress PokerStars "WCOOP Sunday Warm-up Event #24" ($665+35 NLHE) *$1.5m Guar. 3,417 entrants - $2,272,305 paid out to 432 spots ~ In progress
  22. Last month, longtime PocketFiver Jamie pokerjamersArmstrong (pictured) finished third in a $215 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max WCOOP event and booked a $141,000 score, his second largest all-time. He has almost $4.5 million in career winnings and was ranked as high as #3 on our site in 2011. Armstrong has been a member of the PocketFives community since 2006. PocketFives: Congrats on final tabling a $215 WCOOP event. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Jamie Armstrong: I'm obviously very happy, but more so I feel a sense of relief. I had a rough WSOP. Then, WCOOP went about as badly as possible until that weekend. Sunday and Monday were my only winning days of the series. My confidence was pretty low and in tournaments it's important not to second-guess yourself, otherwise you're going to end up making a lot of bad decisions. The field was pretty soft and the slower WCOOP structure makes it that much better. I honestly can't recall everything from Day 1 because I had so many tables all day. I don't think I've ever run as well as I did across all the tournaments I played on Sunday. I was not busting anything and it was insane. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the cash besides poker? Jamie Armstrong: Not really. Mostly I'll put it back into poker. I really need a new car, though, so I might consider that. My brother, sister-in-law, and 1.5-year-old nephew are moving to Germany for six months for work and I already have a trip planned out there with my mom for Christmas, but somehow I've never even been to Europe, so maybe I'll extend the trip and travel around to some other countries. PocketFives: How important was that $380,000 SCOOP score six years ago to your poker success? How did that change your career? Jamie Armstrong: It was definitely a huge moment in my career. I never dreamed of winning that much money in a single tournament. I was backed by dipthrong (pictured) at the time, so after that I felt comfortable playing any tournament stakes online without backing. I also started backing other people, which was fun for the sweats, but was also the most stressful thing I've ever dealt with. If I could go back in time, I definitely wouldn't have done the same thing. dipthrong and I were backing like 20 people at one point, so either I'd avoid it entirely or stick to backing a smaller group of players. PocketFives: Remind us how you got started in poker and why the game was interesting to you. Jamie Armstrong: I started playing poker with my friends in high school for fun. We would play cash games with $10 in front of us. Then in college, I started playing online. BPV3 and crzysavage sent me transfers on PokerStars and PartyPoker. We started with some 10-cent sit and gos and then gradually built our way up to the $20 180-mans. Eventually, I got into tournaments where I was absolutely awful. It's funny looking back on old hand histories from 2006. The biggest contributor to my success was getting backed by dipthrong and Mr_BigQueso (pictured). I don't think I ever would have been very successful without Mark's help. He was always way ahead of the curve. PocketFives: What else do you do besides poker? What else interests you? Jamie Armstrong: I really enjoy golfing. I love all sports, but besides basketball it's tough to go out and find a game to play. You only need one friend to play a round of golf. I'm terrible at the game, but it's still fun for me. I'm trying to get better, but it has been a slow process. Maybe I'll spend my winnings on some coaching. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  23. PocketFivers continue to roll in the ongoing PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, or WCOOP. Two of the most recent winners were Kyle KJulius10Julius (pictured) and eisenhower1, who both took down high-stakes tournaments for their first WCOOP titles. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- We'll start with Julius, who won a $1,050 Limit Hold'em Six-Max event and Tweeted, "Ft of 1k limit WCOOP! Don't really know what I'm doing... fun nonetheless." When all was said and done, Julius wrote, "I won the 1k WCOOP championship! Now for some cocktails and football to get ready for the big day tomorrow!" There were 153 entrants in the $1,050 Limit Hold'em Six-Max tournament and by the time the final table rolled around, Julius held the chip lead. Entering heads-up, Julius was up 2:1 in chips. After a brief discussion of a chop, Julius and Dancer King played on, with the former taking down three big pots in a row. On the final hand, Dancer King was all-in on a flop of J-7-6 with K-9 of diamonds only to see that Julius had aces. The board ran out 2-Q, giving Julius his first WCOOP bracelet and $36,000: 1. KJulius10 (Canada) - $36,720 2. Dancer King (Russia) - $25,321 3. Mrdawwe (Sweden) - $19,125 4. Naza114 (Czech Republic) - $13,005 5. Kroko-dill (Russia) - $9,945 6. Beeeehto (Brazil) - $6,885 PocketFives has tracked $4.1 million in online tournament winnings for Julius, who has been a member of our site for the last nine years. He has almost $3 million in live winnings, according to the Hendon Mob, highlighted by a runner-up finish in the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for $1.5 million. Also taking down his first WCOOP title in recent days was eisenhower1, who calls Sweden home. He won a $700 No Limit Hold'em Cubed tournament for $105,000 following a three-way deal. The event drew 518 entrants and eisenhower1 led the final table, which included fellow PocketFiver Mike timex McDonald (pictured), who took seventh place. The three-way chop took almost no time to be agreed on and heads-up play lasted all of eight minutes. On the final hand, A.Tricarico check-raised all-in on a flop of 9-8-3 with 8-6 for middle pair only to see eisenhower1 roll over 9-3 for two pair. The board completed J-7 and eisenhower1 locked up his first WCOOP win: 1. eisenhower1 (Sweden) - $105,942 2. A.Tricarico (Belgium) - $95,124 3. 42ayay (Sweden) - $102,259 4. VitinhO Dzi (Brazil) - $54,379 5. blakjak19 (Cyprus) - $38,136 6. 0Human0 (Romania) - $30,014 7. Tîmex (Canada) - $22,952 8. PolecatRider (Germany) - $15,890 9. RGRGINDIA (India) - $10,805 The Swede has a commanding $7.5 million in career online tournament winningsand is one of only ten PocketFivers to cross the $7.5 million mark. He is currently the #9 player in the PocketFives Rankings and, like Julius, has been a member of our site since 2006. Sunday marks the start of the $5,200 WCOOP Main Event, which has a guarantee of $10 million. It starts at 14:30 ET. Visit PokerStars to sign up for it. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  24. With one week to go in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, or WCOOP, three PocketFives members lead the WCOOP Leaderboard. At stake for the winner of the series-long leaderboard is a Champion's Trophy, $20,000 in cash, and a 2016 TCOOP Main Event ticket. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Austria's Fresh_oO_D (pictured above) leads the way right now with 365 points. He has five top-ten finishes in WCOOP events thus far as part of 13 cashes, the most of anyone so far. Here's how the Austrian has cashed out: WCOOP-02: $215 NL Hold'em: 303rd place WCOOP-04: $215 NL Hold'em: 70th place WCOOP-06: $700 PL Omaha: 9th place WCOOP-18: $1,050 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship: 17th place WCOOP-19: $320 NL Hold'em: 206th place WCOOP-29: $700 7-Card Stud Championship: 2nd place WCOOP-30: $215 PL 5-Card Omaha H/L: 42nd place WCOOP-33: $700 FL Badugi Championship: 9th place WCOOP-34: $320 NL Hold'em: 174th place WCOOP-36: $215 NL Hold'em: 81st place WCOOP-37: $320 8-Game: 49th place WCOOP-39: $700 Triple Draw 2-7 Championship: 5th place WCOOP-43: $320 HORSE: 3rd place In a two-way tie for second place is Norway's Orjan athilla Skommo (pictured), who has 295 points. He has five top-25 finishes so far and two fourth place runs. He's the fourth-ranked player in Norway on PocketFives. Here's how he has cashed out so far: WCOOP-01: $109 NL Hold'em: 342nd place WCOOP-08: $700 NL Single Draw 2-7 Championship: 10th place WCOOP-09: $1,050 NL Hold'em: 145th place WCOOP-13: $320 NL Hold'em: 108th place WCOOP-18: $1,050 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship: 4th place WCOOP-20: $109 NL Hold'em: 454th place WCOOP-26: $700 NL Hold'em: 45th place WCOOP-27: $215 PL Omaha: 4th place WCOOP-36: $215 NL Hold'em: 22nd place WCOOP-41: $320 NL Hold'em: 14th place Also tied for second place is Rui RuiNF Ferreira (pictured). He has taken his screen names out of his profile, but is still tied at 295 points on the WCOOP leaderboard. Ferreira plays poker from the Czech Republic, according to PokerStars, and has 11 in the money finishes with one win: WCOOP-01: $109 NL Hold'em: 1,374th place WCOOP-02: $215 NL Hold'em: 627th place WCOOP-11: $215 NL Hold'em: 108th place WCOOP-13: $320 NL Hold'em: 42nd place WCOOP-14: $215 NL Hold'em: 1st place WCOOP-19: $320 NL Hold'em: 6th place WCOOP-20: $109 NL Hold'em: 861st place WCOOP-21: $530 NL Hold'em: 237th place WCOOP-25: $10,300 NL Hold'em: 25th place WCOOP-31: $1,050 NL Hold'em: 4th place WCOOP-34: $320 NL Hold'em: 166th place Russia has the most 2015 WCOOP wins so far with five, one more than the UK. Canadians have made the most final tables so far at 33, also one more than the UK. Visit PokerStars for more details on the ongoing WCOOP. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  25. Longtime PocketFives grinder Mike goleafsgoehLeah (pictured) added another PokerStars WCOOPtitle to his name earlier this week after besting a field of 1,777 in Event #27, a $215 buy-in Six-Max Pot Limit Omaha tournament featuring progressive super-knockout bounties. When all was said and done, Leah banked a total of $37,226.91 after more than 13 hours of play. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The Toronto native has enjoyed a hugely successful career in both online and live tournaments. Leah boasts over $4.7 million in recorded live cashes, his biggest score coming after a second place finish at the 2014 Seminal Hard Rock Poker Open for $1.04 million. He also boasts a WSOP bracelet and even won two Circuit events within the same 24-hour period in 2014. With $2.58 million in recorded cashes, his online track record is just as impressive. Leah's first WCOOP win came in 2011 after topping a field of 292 players in a $320 Badugi event for $17,082. This week, Leah was back at it, battling his way through the PLO event's final table to take the biggest chunk of the $355,400 prize pool. When final table play began, Leah commanded the chip lead with 2.49 million, with Germany's 75PTI on his heels with 2.23 million. After a few small skirmishes, Leah got involved in a big hand with two-time WCOOP winner youngblood51 of Germany. Leah opened with a min-raise, which his opponent 3-bet to 300,000. It was folded around to Leah, who called, and the pair saw a flop of 9s-7h-Jh. Leah bet out over 145,000, which youngblood51 called, putting him all in. Leah showed Ad-Qh-5d-4h for a flush draw, with his opponent turning over As-Ac-Kh-5s for an overpair of aces. The turn came the 6h, completing the flush for Leah and leaving youngblood51 with no outs on the river. Soon afterwards, Colombia's Mayu marroca5 Roca (pictured) was sent to the rail after calling all-in after a 3-bet on a flop of 3c-2c-Js. Roca showed top two pair and a flush draw against 75TGI's two pair. The turn and river brought sixes, leaving both players with the same two pair and giving 75TGI the hand with his ace kicker. 75TGI continued amassing chips and took the lead before the action sped up with two players busting in just two hands. The first casualty was Norway's Orjan athillaSkommo, who succumbed to Leah's backdoor flush, giving him a fourth place finish and $10,662. Next, it was Denmark's Jonas Palsgaard1 Palsgard Christensen, who made a lesser two pair against Leah, leaving him in third place with a $15,993 score. When heads-up play began, 75TGI held the chip lead with 5.15 million to Leah's 3.73 million stack. The pair battled until the 13-hour break, which saw the tables turn in Leah's favor; Leah now held the lead with 5.16 million to 75TGI's 3.72 million. After another half-hour of play, 75TGI wrangled the chip lead back from his opponent before losing it again and facing an even larger 6.76 million stack in the final hand of the event. In it, Leah raised 160,000 from the button with Kc-Jc-Jd-7d, which 75TGI called with As-Td-Tc-4s. The pair saw a flop of 3h-6h-2s, giving 75TGI in overpair of tens and Leah an overpair of jacks. Both players checked and the turn came the Js. 75TGI check-called a 160,000 bet from Leah. After the 3s fell on the river, 75TGI bet out 480,000 and was raised all-in by his opponent. 75TGI called and showed his ace-high flush, but was trumped by Leah's backdoor full house, putting 75TGI in second place and giving Leah the win and a $28,432 payday plus $8,794 and bounties. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.

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