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Found 13 results

  1. The partnership between 888poker and the World Poker Tour has proved once again to be a fruitful one as 1,087 entries piled into the lobby of the $1,050 WPTDeepStacks London Main Event to take their shot at the six-figure sums that were up for grabs. After several Day 1 flights, 177 players returned to the 888poker tables for Day 2. It was Brazilian grinder ‘paulinhoo00’ who not only made his way to the final table but navigated a tough final nine that included 888Live London champion Tom Hall and high roller extraordinaire (and 888poker ambassador) Dominik Nitsche to capture the $233,705 first-place prize. The Final Table Brazil’s ‘B. Drumond’ was the first of the final table to fall when he shipped his [9h][9c] all-in preflop into Fabiano ‘FranciscoAI’ Kovalski’s [kd][kc]. The [4d][jd][3c][ts][3s] board was clean for Kovalski’s pocket kings and ‘B. Drumond’ was sent home in ninth place for $16,305. After an open by ‘AllanSheik’ in late position with [ad][ks], 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche put in a three-bet from the small blind with his [qc][qh]. The big blind got out of the way and ‘AllanSheik’ four-bet all-in having Nitsche covered. Nitsche quickly called and the players were off to the races. ‘AllanSheik’ hit the [kh][ts][kd] flop hard and it held through the [4c] turn and the [7s] river to eliminate Nitsche in eighth place for $21,740. Two hands later short-stacked Brazilian Kelvin ‘Kelvin_Kerbe’ Kerber opened from mid-position with [kd][9d]. ‘mylly8’ put in a three-bet holding [ad][th] and when folded to Kerber shipped for not much more. ‘mylly8’ called, putting Kerber at risk. The board ran out [ah][5d][5c][4h][ts] giving ‘mylly8’ top pair and ending Kerber’s run in seventh place for $32,610. ‘mylly8’ was in good shape after that hand, but lost a big pot holding pocket aces to ‘AllenSheik’ who had [ad][8d] when the flush came in. It wasn’t long after that ‘mylly8’ shipped his short stack all-in from the small blind holding [5d][5h]. Tom ‘sheeeeeeeeet’ Hall was in the big blind with a larger stack and the [ah][tc] and so he made the call. The flop came [c][8d][9c] keeping ‘mylly8’ in the lead, but the [7c] turn gave both players a straight, however, it gave Hall the ten-high straight leaving ‘mylly8’ drawing dead to the [qc] river. ‘mylly8’ busted in sixth place for $43,480. Kovalski put in a raise holding the [ad][5d] and ‘SteliosCy’ made the call from the big blind with [jc][7c]. The flop came down [qs][7d][6d]. ‘SteliosCy’ checked to Kovalski who put in a bet. ‘SteliosCy’ then moved all-in with middle pair and with the nut-flush draw, Kovalski called putting his tournament on the line. The [jh] turn was of no help to Kovalski and neither was the [8h] river, sending him home in sixth place for $54,350. With four left, Hall found himself short and in need of a double up. His opportunity came when, from the small blind, ‘SteliosCy’ shoved on Hall holding [qh][jh] and Hall made the call with [2d][2c]. The flop came [ac][ts][8d], but when the turn came the [9d] giving ‘SteliosCy’ the straight. It was all over for Hall who watched as the meaningless [kd] hit the river and he fell in fourth place for $65,220. Then perhaps the biggest hand of the final table took place. From the button, chip leader ‘AllanSheik’ put in a raise holding [ac][as]. Then from the small blind, ‘SteliosCy’ moved all-in holding [ah][kh]. Then, ‘paulinhoo00’ in the big blind re-shipped his stack with his [jh][jd] and ‘AllanSheik’ quickly called - it was a three-way all-in with three players left. The flop came [qh][jc][7h] giving ‘paulinhoo00’ middle set and ‘SteliosCy’ the nut flush draw. The turn was the [qd] improving ‘paulinhoo00’ to a full house. ‘SteliosCy’ was drawing dead and ‘AllanSheik’ was left looking for the last ace in the deck to pull off the win. However, the river was the [6d], eliminating ‘SteliosCy’ in third place for $84,786 and flipping the chip lead to ‘paulinhoo00’ who closed it out roughly 20 minutes later. The final hand of the tournament was another cooler. ‘paulinhoo00’ and ‘AllanSheik’ got all the chips in the middle with ‘AllanSheik’ holding [tc][th] to ‘paulinhoo00’s [ts][th]. Unlike the previous hand, there was no comeback to be had and the board ran out [as][ks][3h][2d][8h] eliminating ‘AllanSheik’ as the runner-up for $130,440. Brazil’s ‘paulinhoo00’ earned $233,705 fort first and the title of WPTDeepStacks London champion. Final Table Payouts 1. paulinhoo00 - $233,705 2. AllanSheik - $130,440 3. SteliosCy - $84,786 4. Tom ‘sheeeeeeeet’ Hall - $65,220 5. Fabiano ‘FranciscoAl’ Kovalski - $54,350 6. mylly8 - $43,480 7. Kevin ‘Kelvin_kerbe’ Kerber - $32,610 8. Dominik Nitsche - $21,740 9. B.Drumond - $16,305
  2. In a few short weeks, players on the European and global networks of 888poker will be battling it out for a slice of mouth-watering guarantees, prestigious titles and online poker glory with three WPTDeepStacks online series coming to the virtual felts of 888poker in April. The online poker platform has had a massive makeover in the last few months. Their new Made to Play platform and online tournament revamp has been at the heart of these changes. And now 888poker players around the world will have the opportunity to play for massive cash prizes and a WPTDeepStacks title on the site. WPTDS London Online (Worldwide), WPTDS Iberia Online (Portugal and Spain), and WPTDS Italy Online (Italian network) will offer players the opportunity to compete versus their respective network. This is a special occasion as it is first time ever that 888poker’s three networks will be synced for a major online poker series. The WPTDS series begins April 18 and concludes on April 26. Across the events, more than $3 million in prizes is guaranteed. There will be 16 flagship online poker tournaments across all three networks. In addition to an online payday to remember, all tournament winners being recipients of the lauded after WPTDeepStacks trophy. Those that reside and ply their trade in Italy will be vying for a piece of the €350,000 available to them. With €400,000 in prizes available to Portuguese and Spanish based poker players. The main event for both the WPTDS Italy and WPTDS Iberia networks feature a single starting flight on April 25. Both Main Events have a €125 entry fee as well as having a prize pool of at least €150,000. Poker players on the worldwide network will be the happiest of the bunch. These players will have the chance to compete for a lion’s share of the $3 million up for grabs in the WPTDS London Online. With over $2 million in guaranteed prizes and a $1 million guaranteed Main Event, there will be plenty of happy smiles from those who are eligible to play. The WPTDS London Main Event is a multi-flight event with satellite tournaments already underway. Flights will run daily from April 18 through April 25. Day 2 will be played on April 26 until a winner is crowned. Players can buy-in to the WPTDS London Online main event for $1,050. Players will have the chance to lock horns with some of their poker heroes as 888poker ambassadors and WPT® Champions Chris Moorman and Dominik Nitsche will be taking part in the festival along with the rest of the 888poker pros. Four streaming days are scheduled for the series across major streaming platforms and will feature commentary from David Tuchman, Nick Wealthall and Matt Savage. Entering the WPTDS London Main Event on a Budget Getting into high stakes tournaments via satellite tournaments is a great way for recreational players, with modest bankrolls, to win life-changing scores. Those eligible to play the WPTDS London Main event can save a small fortune by securing their seat from as little as 1¢. Those that want to achieve this feat will have to navigate through three separate tournaments. If that sounds like too much work, playerscan skip the ‘pennybuy’ and register to sub-satellites for $11. There is also the option to bypass the first two steps by participating in direct satellites for $109.
  3. It's the end of December, which means the various Player of the Year races will come to a close. One leaderboard that has already wrapped up is for the WPT DeepStacks Player of the Year. Longtime PocketFiver Tristan Cre8ive Wade (pictured) took it down with 712 points, 118 more than the second place player. Wade opened the year by finishing 25th at the WPT DeepStacks Hollywood event in Florida before exiting in fifth place from the tournament series' stop in Iowa. Then, he recorded top-25 finishes in Immokalee, San Diego, and Redding, adding to his Player of the Year score. All told, he cashed in seven DeepStacks events, with finish positions of 25th, 15th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 23rd, and 37th. He played in 14 of 16 WPT DeepStacks events this season and, accordingly, cashed in half of them. Wade is actually a WPT DeepStacks Ambassador and, as such, the sponsorship package that goes to the winner of the Player of the Year leaderboard will instead be awarded to Rex Clinkscales, who finished second. Here's how the top 10 of the WPT DeepStacks Player of the Year looked. The leaderboard is powered by the Global Poker Index: Wade commented in a blog post about his win, "It was a great experience to travel and play for most of the season of the tour. I went to a lot of different places, met a bunch of great people, learned a ton, had a blast playing poker and representing the DeepStacks brand… Traveling the tour and getting to know the people who play our events has given me a lot of wisdom to help grow the poker circuit. I'm excited to put the new knowledge I've learned to good use." Wade told PocketFives on Saturday, "I feel great about winning Player of the Year for Season 2 of the WPT DeepStacks tour. I have worked diligently on my poker game over the years, from playing to studying to coaching others. It's always nice to have success and your efforts recognized. Winning the POY has opened more doors for me. I plan on taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Also, the support I've received is amazing. Thank you. I want to keep the momentum going." The Floridian has $1.4 million in career live winnings, according to the Hendon Mob, the largest of which was worth $292,000 and came in 2011 via a fourth place finish in a Six-Max event at the World Series of Poker. He won a WSOP Circuit ring in 2014 in West Palm Beach and won a WSOP bracelet in Cannes in a Shootout event in 2011. Wade's bracelet was one of 23 won by PocketFivers that year. Wade is #33 on the all-time live money list for Florida and #258 worldwide in the Global Poker Index. PocketFives has tracked another $1.4 million in online winnings for Wade, the largest of which was worth $47,000 for final tabling the PokerStarsSunday 500 in 2010. He pocketed $46,000 one year prior after a third place finish in the Full Tilt $1K Monday. He has won the PokerStars Sunday $109 Rebuy multiple times. Congrats to Wade on winning the WPT DeepStacks Player of the Year race! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. [caption width="640"] The World Poker Tour and WPTDeepStacks are bringing the WPT experience to India in November 2017.[/caption] It seems the World Poker Tour is determined to make sure they really are a global poker. While the tour is currently running WPT and WPT DeepStacks events in Amsterdam, they've announced plans to expand into India and partner with a real power player in the country that has a population of 1.3 billion. This November 7-13, WPTDeepStacks is hosting a $1,000 buy-in tournament at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, India. Not only will there be the first ever WPTDS champion crowned in India, the inaugural WPT India Player of the Year award will be handed out as well. Along with the WPTDeepStacks India Main Event, players can earn points for the WPT India Player of the Year through two other events that are part of the Deltin Poker Tour Goa schedule of events. The other tournaments that make up that schedule are the Deltin Poker Tour Goa $540 Main Event (July 20-24), and the Deltin Poker Tour Goa $540 Main Event taking place (September 6-11). All of the events are rake free and take place at the Deltin Royale Casino. RELATED:Sacheen Ramchandani Chasing Poker Dream from India to The BahamasThe winner of the Player of the Year points race earns $5,000 in buy in credit toward World Poker Tour events and designated Deltin events over the course of WPT Season XVII. To help take advantage of the booming poker market in India, the World Poker Tour has partnered with Adda52.com, the largest online poker site in India. Adda52 founder and CEO, Anuj Gupta is enthused about the new affiliation. “We are excited for WPT and Adda52 to take its partnership to new heights by bringing WPTDeepStacks to one of India’s most beautiful locations, Goa. WPTDeepStacks India will be an exceptionally unique event since the tournament will be held onboard a floating ship. As poker’s premier mid-major tournament circuit, WPTDeepStacks is the perfect fit for the Indian poker community.” Similar to Gupta, WPT’s VP of Global Tour Management, Angelica Hael, feels strongly about the addition of India to the WPT’s already widespread global presence. “With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape. Together with our partner Adda52.com, the WPT looks forward to not only sharing the WPT experience through the expansion of WPTDeepStacks to the region, but also giving Indian players incremental value with the WPT India Player of the Year award.”
  5. This news might surprise the most casual of poker fans. The World Poker Tour is openly encouraging players to play in an upcoming PokerStars Championship event and PokerStars is encouraging players to make their way to Amsterdam for an upcoming WPT event. You read that right. Two of poker's biggest brands – both top-tier competitors in the live tournament landscape – have teamed up to encourage players to play in each other's tournaments - and they're giving away over €50,000 in prizes in the process. The PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing, announced Friday, is a first-of-its-kind leaderboard that allows players to collect points for cashing at the upcoming WPT Amsterdam and PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo events. While players might not realize, the companies have worked together before, just not so much in the public eye. “For many years, PokerStars and the World Poker Tour have collaborated behind the scenes to ensure the scheduling of our major events is done in the best interest of the players,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “We are proud to take the collaboration a step further with the creation of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing, and we welcome all players to kick off a spectacular three weeks of poker by attending PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo starting April 25.” There a total of four events - two at each stop - that allow players to earn leaderboard points. The top five players at the conclusion of the fourth event win prizes, including buy-ins to upcoming PokerStars Championship and World Poker Tour events including a PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event package valued at €7,500. The four qualifying events are: €1,100 buy-in PokerStars National Championship Monte Carlo (April 26 – 30) €5,300 buy-in PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Main Event (April 29 - May 5) €1,500 buy-in WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam (May 5 – 8) €3,300 buy-in WPT Amsterdam Main Event (May 9 – 13) To be eligible for the leaderboard, players must cash at least once at both locations. “Both PokerStars and the World Poker Tour are committed to growing the game of poker, and the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing was developed to benefit players competing at both PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo and WPT Amsterdam,” said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars Director of Live Events. “This exciting partnership allows players a natural transition from one world-class festival to another, and we encourage our players to head to WPT Amsterdam following their time in Monte Carlo.” Complete list of prizes: 1st place: PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event package (€7,500 value) 2nd place: WPT Main Event* package (€6,000 value) 3rd place: WPTDeepStacks* package (worth €3,000 value) 4th place: PokerStars National Championship Barcelona Buy-in (€1,100) plus a €500 Barcelona hotel voucher 5th place: WPTDeepStacks* Buy-in (€1,500) On top of that, players who play in at least on event at both stops receive a ticket to play in a $30,000 freeroll on PokerStars and players who play in both Main Events receive a $300 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker voucher.
  6. [caption width="640"] World Poker Tour and 888poker annouunced a new global partnership that will ultimately send players to WPTDeepStacks events[/caption] A new global partnership between 888poker and the World Poker Tour will allow players from all over the world to qualify for select live WPTDeepStacks events while playing on 888poker. The WPTDeepstacks brand aims to offer players a global tour that features mid-stakes buy-ins for their Main Events with deeper, "bang-for-your-buck" structures. Now, with WPTDeepstacks partnership with 888poker, certain international stops will be augmented with even more online qualifiers. The first event players will have an opportunity to satellite into will be the Main Event of WPTDeepstacks Berlin held at the Casino Spielbank Berlin in Germany. It's a three-day, €1,500 tournament that marks the start of the Season XVI European Championship Festival. WPTDeepstacks Berlin kicks off the New Year, running from January 5-8 2018, and features a €500,000 guaranteed prize pool as well as a live-streamed final table. Qualifiers are available now on 888poker. Players can win their way into the Main Event starting as little as $.01 by clicking on the Live Events tab in the player client. 888poker is providing two options for players to help them with their shot at the big one in Berlin. First, players can opt to satellite into the $1,750 "seat-only" qualifier where 888poker will provide winners a seat in the tournament with no hotel or travel provided. Additionally, there is a larger $2,400 WPTDeepStacks Berlin package that provides not just a €1,500 ticket into the tournament, but an additional €300 to assist with accommodations as well as €250 in travel expenses. Take note: While entry to the satellite is made in USD, the tournaments entries and additional funds are in Euros. The $109 seat-only satellite runs every Monday night at 7:35pm GMT now through December 24 and awards one seat for every $1,750 included in the prize pool. The $160 package to Berlin is scheduled to run every Thursday, also at 7:35pm GMT and also through December 24. One package is awarded for every $2,750 collected in the prize pool. The €1,500 WPTDeepStacks Berlin Main Event is part of a larger festival that hopes to keep players in action all week long with 11 additional side events. The schedule includes a pair of €10,000 High Roller tournaments, a €500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, a number of one-day NLHE Turbos, as well as the €3,300 World Poker Tour European Championship, a five-day event with a €1,000,000 guarantee that begins on January 10. The WPT European Championship event will be filmed for inclusion in WPT's televised Season XVI. WPTDeepStacks Berlin is the penultimate event in the current WPTDeepStacks Season IV one that, when completed, will have seen 28 events taking place while making a mark on five Continents. Although Berlin is thus far the only announced stop in the new partnership between WPT and 888poker, with both companies touching worldwide audiences, it is expected that more online-to-live event qualifying between the two will take place in WPTDeepStack Season V in 2018.
  7. The global expansion of the World Poker Tour and WPTDeepStacks hits Amsterdam next week. From April 13-20, Holland Casino in Amsterdam is the home for two major tournaments from one of poker's largest brands. WPTDS has traveled to Belgium, Portugal, and France in the last 12 months and makes a return trip to Amsterdam. The WPT is in Amsterdam for the second time in Season XVI. In May 2017, Daniel Daniyar won $166,344 for defeating a field of 224 entrants. That event was the second of the season for the main tour. Start of a New Tradition Europe is proving to be a hotbed for the WPT brand in the last 12 months and the combination of the two events into one week is starting to become a tradition. The WPT opened 2018 with a Main Tour and WPTDS event in Germany at the Spielbank Berlin Casino. The two events offer players a chance to win championship packages that can be used on the American side of poker. WPT European Championship winner Ole Schemion earned $255,352 for his win and is now one of at least 16 players who have a $15,000 seat waiting for them at the Tournament of Champions. WPTDS winners in Season V of the tour earn a seat in the season-ending WPTDS Championship in December and all players who cash earn points for WPTDS Player of the Year. Full Week of Poker The action starts on April 13 with the WPTDeepStacks competition. The €1,500 buy-in event carries no guarantee but the field is expected to hit somewhere in the range of 500 entrants. Players can expect the same structure as the one used in North American events. All levels are 40 minutes for the three-day event and entrants start with 25,000 chips. There are two Day 1s for the WPTDS Main Event with the final table wrapping up the four-day tournament on April 16. The WPT Main Tour offers a €3,300 buy-in and opens play on April 16. Two starting flights are available for players with a single re-entry available each flight. Levels are 60-minutes throughout and starting stacks are 30,000. WPT Amsterdam is a four-day event and wraps up on April 20. Familiar Venue Both tournaments take place at the Holland Casino in Amsterdam. The property has hosted the World Poker Tour and WPTDS in previous seasons. The first-ever WPT Amsterdam event in Season XIV coincided with the inaugural WPT Tournament of Champions. Farid Yachou won both events for a combined $621,159. Andjelko Andrevic earned his first career WPT title at WPT Amsterdam in Season XV and collected $228,000 in the process. The two tournaments brought in 318 and 341 entrants, respectively. Midway Point for One Tour and Near the Finish line for Another WPTDS is approximately halfway through their 2018 campaign and WPTDS Amsterdam is the 10th of 17 officially scheduled events. The World Poker Tour has only two stops left after WPT Amsterdam. WPT travels to Las Vegas for the Elite Poker Championship from May 4-6 and then back again for the Bobby Baldwin Classic along with the Tournament of Champions in mid-May. WPT Amsterdam also directly coincides with the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
  8. The World Poker Tour was back at Gardens Casino in Southern California for the second time in Season XVII, this time for the WPT Gardens Poker Championship. Six players remain from the 253-entry field, and it was Frank Stepuchin who bagged the chip lead. Stepuchin was joined at the official final table by Shannon Shorr, Steve Sung, Brent Roberts, Ray Qartomy, and Jonathan Abdellatif. The $10,000 buy-in event was the first WPT Main Tour event to feature the delayed TV final table format. After playing down to the final six players on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the tournament was put on ice for what will be nearly two months before play resumes on Tuesday, March 12 - 55 days, to be exact. That is when the final six will compete for the $548,825 top prize at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Stepuchin, who hails from Park City, Utah, and entered this event with $354,625 in live tournament earnings, bagged the chip lead in a very large way, with 4.065 million in chips. The next closest was Shorr with 1.71 million. Belgian player Jonathan Abdellatif, who held nearly $1.7 million in live tournament earnings entering the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship, finished as the short stack with 555,000. WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table Seat 1: Shannon Shorr - 1,710,000 Seat 2: Frank Stepuchin - 4,065,000 Seat 3: Brent Roberts - 1,385,000 Seat 4: Jonathan Abdellatif - 555,000 Seat 5: Ray Qartomy - 820,000 Seat 6: Steve Sung - 1,580,000 Road To the Final Table Stepuchin emerged as a big stack right out of the gate. He finished as the Day 1a chip leader and was second in chips entering Day 2. At the time, he was behind another player that reached the final table, Qartomy. Stepuchin finished sixth in chips after Day 2 when Shorr bagged the chip lead, then Stepuchin led the final 19 players after Day 3 before riding that chip lead into the final table. On Day 4, Stepuchin eliminated Toby Lewis in seventh place and Allen Pock in 15th place. Eliminating Lewis in seventh set the official WPT final table, and it came just before 10 p.m. PT on Wednesday when the tournament was in Level 24 with the blinds at 15,000-30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante, according to WPT coverage. Shorr had opened with a raise from the cutoff seat to 60,000, Lewis called from the button, and Stepuchin called from the small blind. The flop was [poker card="Jc"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2h"] and action checked to Lewis. He bet 75,000 before Stepuchin check-raised to 190,000. Shorr folded, but Lewis made the call to see the [poker card="Kd"] land on the turn. Stepuchin fired 360,000 and Lewis called to see the [poker card="3d"] appear on the river. Stepuchin bet all in, having Lewis and his remaining 360,000 covered. Lewis called with the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jh"] but saw the bad news when his two pair was second best to Stepuchin’s pocket fives - [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"]. For Shorr, Sung, and Roberts, they’re second, third, and fourth in chips, respectively. Shorr ended Day 2 with the chip lead, but it wasn’t without a couple of very eventful hands that saw Shorr with plenty of chips on the line. First, he was all in with pocket kings against the pocket queens of Dan Smith and earned a double up. After that, Shorr took out Mike Eskandari, but did so with an inferior hand when his pocket sevens came from behind against Eskandari’s queens. On that hand, all of the money went in preflop and Shorr flopped a set. Qartomy reached the final table as the second shortest stack remaining, but he could’ve been knocked out by the lowly [poker card="9c"][poker card="4d"] in seventh place had his [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qd"] not held up. Qartomy three-bet jammed for 410,000 over a raise to 60,000 from Stepuchin. Stepuchin called, but Qartomy’s hand held strong to give him the double up. On Day 3 of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, Qartomy was the player to send everyone into the money, doing so when he knocked out Raul Lozano in 33rd place. Qartomy held the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qs"] and was behind Lozano’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"], but a queen flopped and Lozano couldn’t come back from it. Some of the notable players to cash in the event but fall short of the final table were Garrett Greer (8th - $66,955), WPT Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier (11th - $43,220), Ricky 'RatedGTO' Guan (13th - $35,550), and Nicole Schwartz (20th - $25,225). Schwartz won her way into the event by winning a $100 charity event. She fired an additional $100 bullet in that event, so her $10,000 seat cost her $200, but she then turned that into more than $25,000 in prize money. Can Shorr, Sung, and Roberts Finally Break Into the WPT Champions Club? Shorr, Sung, and Roberts are no strangers to tournament poker. They’ve been around the game for a long time and have impressive career résumés. Entering this event, Shorr had nearly $6.7 million in live tournament earnings, Sung had more than $5.5 million, and Roberts was just over $2 million. All three have experienced podium finishes in WPT events, but none have won a WPT title. Shorr’s best WPT finish was a second-place result in the Season XII WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. In a field of 415 entries, Shorr finished runner-up to James Calderaro and took home $190,039. "I'm on cloud nine after reaching the Gardens final table," Shorr told PocketFives. "I've been putting a ton of work into my poker game and my mind and body lately, so to have a big result like this in a major tournament is really special, personally." Shorr also placed fourth in the Season IX WPT Southern Poker Championship and fifth in the Season VII WPT World Championship for $144,985 and $408,550, respectively. "Winning a WPT title would be incredible," Shorr added. "I've had tons of final tables in big events worldwide but haven't won a 'major.' Maybe this is the one." Sung has three official WPT final tables on record, with his best result coming in the Season VI WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event when he took second to Brandon Cantu and won $585,000. "It feels amazing to have reached the Gardens final table, to be able to enjoy the next couple months knowing that the final table will always be there," Sung said. "I always wanted to experience making the 'November Nine,' and this is the next best thing, the 'March Six!'" Sung also has a pair of fourth-place finishes on the World Poker Tour, first in the Season VI WPT Spanish Championship for €117,400 ($164,943) and then in the Season VII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $396,205. “Winning a WPT title means that my goal has been finally accomplished,” Sung said when asked what a winning a WPT title would mean to him. “I've expected to win one over a decade ago and had to come back from self-inflicted setbacks in multiple aspects of my being.” Roberts does have a WPTDeepStacks title from back in 2016, but a WPT Main Tour title has eluded him. His best WPT Main Tour finish was in the Season XIV WPT Legends of Poker when he took third in a field of 786 entries to win $251,035. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications The final six have locked up 600 points in the Season XVII Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, currently led by Tony Ruberto with 1,850 points, and there are 1,200 points up top. The points could mean the most to Qartomy, who already has 650 points on the season and is in 40th place on the leaderboard. A win would vault him to the same 1,850 points as Ruberto, but Qartomy would hold the tiebreaker of most money won as he’d have $652,474 to Ruberto’s $530,692. Sung also stands to benefit well from the Hublot WPT Player of the Year points earned at this final table. Entering the event, Sung has 450 points and was in 57th place. He’s guaranteed to move to 1,050 points, which would put him in the top 15, and has upside to move into second place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with a victory. Sung now has five WPT Main Tour cashes in Season XVII, including a ninth-place finish in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival that kicked off the season. Stepuchin entered this event with 100 points, Shorr 100 points, Roberts 175 points, and Abdellatif 50 points. Champion To Be Crowned on March 12 The final six competitors have locked up $110,225 for reaching the final table and will be back in action on March 12 in Las Vegas to compete for the $548,825 top prize. First place includes a $15,000 buy-in into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. "It's a bizarre feeling traveling to LA for five days, playing nonstop in a tournament, and to not know my result upon leaving," Shorr said. "I really like the format, though, and am all for anything that helps grow the game." "I'm going to enjoy the next 55 days like no other!" Sung said.
  9. Poker’s Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker’s brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker. World Series of Poker Circuit Elik Vodovoz Takes Down World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond Main Event The World Series of Poker Circuit was seemingly everywhere in the month of March, holding no fewer than four different series in different parts of the U.S. The first saw the WSOPC travel to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Illinois where Elik Vodovoz took down the 1,050-entry field of the $1,700 Main Event for a career-high score of $294,290. The event crushed its $1M guarantee, generating a prize pool of over $1.59 million, awarding eight of the final nine players their own career-best cashes. Sean Yu Dominates Los Angeles WSOPC Event at The Bike South Korea’s Sean Yu bested cash game grinder Andrew Moreno heads-up to capture the $1,700 Main Event WSOPC title from the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. The $210,585 score helped Yu, who currently resides in Los Angeles, up over the $2M mark in career earnings. It was the second circuit ring of the series for Yu, who has seven rings total as well as a WSOP bracelet. Moreno ended up with $130,295 as the runner-up. With the event being held in Los Angeles, plenty of well-known names made the money including Scott Vener (6th, $40,910), Ralph Wong (8th, $24,815), Mohsin Charania (15th, $12,890), Joseph Serock (20th $8,855) and Joe Kuether (22nd, $7,470). Ryan Eriquezzo Wins Fourth WSOPC Event In Atlantic City On the East Coast, veteran tournament grinder Ryan Eriquezzo picked up his fourth WSOPC ring when he finished atop the 357 entry field of the $1,700 Main Event at Harrah’s in Atlantic City for $124,397. With the win, Eriquezzo now has more than $1.5M in career earnings. Phillip Pope Takes Down Tulsa WSOPC Event Phillip Pope captured a career-high cash when he picked up the win in the $1,700 WSOPC Main Event from the Hard Rock Hotel & Cainso in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pope outlasted the field of 533 entries to take home $215,000 after beating Kou Vang heads up. Vang walked with a six-figure cash of $132,930, also a career-high score for the well-traveled grinder. Superstar WSOP Circuit grinder Maurice Hawkins just missed out on what would be a record-tying 12th ring after finished in third place. Hawkins added $97,110 to his over $3.5M in career earnings. World Poker Tour DeepStacks Vitor Coleho Wins WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville Tampa resident a former restauranteur, Vitor Coleho secured the fifth six-figure cash of his career by besting the 446-entry field of WPTDS Jacksonville. The score propels him up over $1M in total recorded earnings. “In my mind, I was going to win this tournament,” Coelho said after his victory. It marks his ninth WPT cash where he’s accumulated over $423,000 in earnings. Simon Brandstrom Takes Down WPTDeepStacks Barcelona Sweden’s Simon Brandstrom posted only the fourth recorded cash of his poker career when he won WPTDS Barcelona for €270,000 plus a €2,000 seat to the WPTDS Europen Championship. The 1,232 player field was the largest ever outside of North America and ranks as the fifth largest ever in the history of the tour. WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg & Vietnam Crown Champions You Zeng took home the $69,451 first-place prize and the trophy after surviving the 452-entry field of WPTDS Johannesburg. The score marks the South African resident’s second career recorded cash. Thailand’s Vincent Chauve eliminated each of his final five opponents to take home a career-high cash of $99,000 as the top prize of WPTDS Vietnam. Justin Liberto Adds WPTDS Title To Resume In Maryland Accomplished tournament pro Justin Liberto finally captured a WPT title, after 14 cashes, by finishing in first in the WPTDS Maryland Main Event for $116,363. Liberto, who has over $3.3M in career earnings had a near-miss in this very event two years ago when he finished in fourth place. Noah Shefrin finished as the runner-up, taking home $81,472 as a consolation and popular poker vlogger Matt Vaughn wrapped up in eighth place for $15,026. Felix Schulze Is The WPTDS Amsterdam Champ Felix Schulze wrapped up an incredible run at the Holland Casino Amsterdam Center after winning the €1,200 WPTDS Amsterdam Main Event for €104,304. It was his third tournament victory of the week after, earlier in the series, Schulze bested a 50 player field in a €330 Hyper and 61 entries in the €330 Short Deck event. “I feel good, it’s been a decent week,” Schulze said after finishing off the 507- entry field of the Main Event. Heartland Poker Tour Bill Byrnes Bests Heartland Poker Tour in St. Louis Hailing from Wentzville, Missouri, 47-year old criminal defense attorney Bill Byrnes picked up a career-high cash by defeating the 444 entries in the Heartland Poker Tour $1,650 Main Event in St. Louis. With the win, Byrnes moves into fourth place in the HPT Season 15 standings, siting right behind Nick Davidson, Nick Pupillo and current leader, Greg Wood. Kou Vang, who finished as the runner-up in the WSOPC event in Tulsa, finished in fifth place for $31,978. Mid-States Poker Tour Steven Federspiel Wins Mid-States Poker Tour Iowa 409 players flocked to the Meskwaki Casino and Bingo Hall for the Mid-States Poker stop in Tama, Iowa. North Liberty’s Steven Federspiel made his way to his second career MSPT final table and took home the title and a career-high cash of $86,949. The score helped push him over $250K in lifetime earnings. It was Federspiel’s sixth MSPT cash of his career.
  10. A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s LifeLance BradleyJune 16, 2019 Jason Young has a decent collection of stuff he can put up on the mantle. The World Series of Poker bracelet he won in 2008 could be the centerpiece of it all. The trophy he got for taking down a WPTDeepStacks event in January should be there as well. But neither of those hold any weight compared to what he likely woke up to Sunday morning. A handmade Father’s Day card from his six-year-old daughter, Kaeley. It’s a moment only possible because four years earlier Jason completely upended his life, went broke, and never stopped fighting. Looking back at the winner photo from Jason's bracelet win in 2008 you see everything you’d expect to see from a 26-year-old who’d just won $335,565 in a pre-Black Friday poker world. His fitted cap is on backwards, the top two buttons on his Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees jersey are unbuttoned, and he’s got a shit-eating grin on his face. When Jason Young won his World Series of Poker bracelet in 2008, he had no idea what was in store for him. (WSOP photo)"I was literally on borrowed money," Jason says. "I left the job that I had. Thought I was gonna have a career in my hometown. I had a pension job. I thought that I was pretty much just gonna go through the motions, the 9-5 motions, and maybe do some stuff on the side or whatever." The win afforded Jason the opportunity to travel around the United States and play poker professionally. The 40-hour work week wasn’t for him anymore and that was just fine. That is, until 2012, when he broke his leg and had to spend a few months hanging out on his couch recovering. Given the chance to reflect on the time he spent going from tournament to tournament, Jason realized that as much as he enjoyed it, he was ready to do something else. He wasn’t seeking out a return to that pension job, though. He needed a challenge and wanted something with some risk involved. He decided to get into the restaurant business. "The idea of doing something different was appealing," Jason says. "When I was laid up, I just got this idea, and I said, 'That’s it. I’m gonna go for it full force.'" By April 1, he had his signature on contracts to take over a restaurant in Suffern, NY, on May 1, and he opened 'The Turn' on June 1. Things moved quickly. Despite having no experience in the restaurant business, Jason Young made The Turn a success."I’m 30 years old, and I have this place," Jason says. "It was the coolest place around. It was packed when we opened. It was a madhouse. I owned a house. I’m single. I was experiencing something that I had never really had anything like before." Not long after the restaurant opened, a girl came into the picture. Everything was going great for the new couple and almost seven months later, she told Jason she was pregnant. Again, things moved quickly. “I’ve always wanted to have a child," he remembers. "It’s literally been my dream my whole life to have a child, and I’m financially stable at that moment. I have a business. I have a house. Things are good on my end." On May 29, 2013, Kaeley was born and as much joy as it brought Jason to become a father, it was also when he noticed that things were changing at home, and not for the better. Jason was more than prepared for the sleepless nights and extra work of having to take care of a newborn, but he mistakenly assumed his girlfriend was too. "(My girlfriend) was a little bit younger," Jason says. "The idea of having a child maybe sounder better to her than the actual act of having a child, because once my daughter arrived … man, I was up every morning at six for four hours with Kaeley before I’d go into work." He’d work the lunch hour at The Turn and then race home to take care of Kaeley for a couple of hours before heading back to work to get through happy hour and the dinner rush. He handled all of that while also doing the payroll, scheduling, and everything else that the business needed. "I lived five minutes away," Jason says. "I was always there at bedtime, and then I’d go back to the restaurant, work for another three hours, four hours. On weekends, sometimes I was working until one, two in the morning. Then everything would start again the next morning at six o’clock. I tried to give her a break." That schedule was starting to take its toll on Jason. His girlfriend's family was in Florida and when she asked to take Kaeley to see her parents, Jason was more than happy to oblige. He thought it was a win-win situation. He’d be able to catch up on some much-needed rest while Kaeley would get some time with grandma and grandpa. If only it was that easy. "I couldn’t figure it out until later what was going on," Jason says. "She’d take these long trips to Florida … 15, 16, 17 nights or whatever. I’d say, 'It's just too long. It's weird for me. I don't know. I'm missing a lot of stuff.' Kaeley is not even two years old." In April 2015, they discussed the idea of selling the business and the house they lived in and moving to Florida permanently. If that’s what his family needed, Jason was ready to make it happen. That’s when his girlfriend rocked Jason's world with a decision he had no say in. "I remember her telling me that she wasn’t coming back to New York, that she was gonna stay down in Florida," Jason says. "I was like, 'What do you mean?' She was staying at her parents' house." He spent the next month commuting between Florida and New York, staying in hotels in Florida. "I didn’t really know what was going on," he says. "It was one of those situations where everyone else knows what's going on, and I didn't know what was going on." Jason went back to New York and talked with a lawyer friend who gave him straight-up honest counsel that was not easy to hear. "He told me point blank, 'If you fight for this in New York, you're not gonna see her for two months. Judges don't take children from their mothers. So if her only place to be was in Florida, they just don’t care what the other circumstances are,'" Jason says. He was told the best-case scenario should he stay in New York would be one where he would get his daughter for parts of each summer. Jason showed no hesitation. "I just did what I thought was right," he says. "It didn’t take long. A couple of days. Packed up my truck and left New York. I didn't even know where I was going. I rented a place online, sight unseen. I came to Florida. That was when I started trying to first see if there was reconciliation for my family." There was no reconciliation to be had, though. The move back to Florida for his now ex-girlfriend was more about getting back the social life she gave up when she first got pregnant than anything else. "She was running around with her friends partying, hanging out, going on boats, leaving our daughter with her parents because she just didn’t wanna do that," Jason says. So here was Jason, 31 years old, living in a city where he knew nobody. All of his family and friends were some 1,250 miles away. There was one massive upside, though. "In the beginning, I had Kaeley all the time, because what did [her mother] care?" he says. "That was great. I mean I had her all the time, but at some point, I was gonna have to figure out some sort of a life for myself, and figure out something a little more concrete than winging it." That’s when everybody got a lawyer. Jason wanted to lock up an amicable custody split and ensure that he’d get the time with Kaeley that he felt was his right. His ex was looking to establish Jason's financial responsibilities. There was just one major problem. "It was Easter Sunday," Jason says. "The manager from the restaurant called me and told me, 'The chef is drunk. What do we do?'" Jason says. "I said, 'Just close it down.' He goes, 'You mean for the day?' 'I mean no, just close it. I can’t keep going back and forth, and trying to sell it, and trying to keep it going and all that.' It was just too much. "I ended up just losing it. Took a loss on it. I had about a million dollars invested into the restaurant. I got zero dollars out of it." Both parties changed lawyers. There were three court-ordered mediation attempts. Months passed and the legal bills were piling up. and it was starting to become a financial hardship on Jason. So much so that some friends started a GoFundMe campaign to help. "I would fight forever," Jason says. "Maybe she didn’t know that about me. I would never give up. I would’ve never stopped, ever. If it cost me $10 million, I would’ve never stopped. Never. I was never, ever, ever, ever, ever stopping." Amidst all of this, there was a nine-week stretch where Jason never saw his daughter. That hurt far more than the financial strain. "She kept her from me for 63 days," Jason says. "Sixty-three days. I’ll never forget that. Sixty-three days. I’m in Florida, here for my child, and she wouldn’t even let me see her. This is after we had been seeing each other all the time," Jason says. "She had friends in my neighborhood, birthday parties, things like that. Sixty-three days with no reasoning other than the judge saying, 'You're not adjudicated the father, so I don't have to let you see her.'" It took nearly three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Jason's persistence won and he ended up with the 50/50 custody he wanted so badly. Losing his restaurant and his house was a humbling experience that forced Jason to start from scratch. There was no career, just jobs. He sold alarm systems for a security company. He managed a restaurant, which was just like running The Turn at about 1/10 of the pay and none of the upside. “I had no money for three years, four years," Jason says. "It was just massive debt. I was buried to the point of I really don't know how to keep going. I just tried to keep going, and going, and going. The lawyers buried me. Losing the house buried me. Losing the restaurant buried me. I was buried." With all the debt building up, Jason was fortunate enough to have some people in his life that were willing to help him out. "There were really two or three people that pretty much helped me when I was in super binds throughout the years, like power being turned off, the car being repossessed, that kind of good stuff," he says. "It was ugly. It was really hard." He also returned to the poker tables. Nothing fancy and no high stakes. Most days, Young didn’t even have enough cash to put gas in his car or a proper meal in his stomach, let alone afford a buy-in. One night in June 2017 illustrates just how difficult things were. “I had 40 [comp] dollars’ from the Isle Casino," he recalls. "So on a Monday night, they had a $40 tournament. I don’t even think I had gas money. I’m going there needing to make a dollar just to be able to get home. I use the card. I get into the $40 tournament. There are 300 people in it. First place was $2,500 too, in a $40 tournament. That $2,500 may as well have been a million dollars at the time." Jason busted in 20th place, losing with ace-king against ace-jack. He got $98. At that moment, his fight-or-flight instincts were waging war with each other. Fight was telling him to walk back into the poker room and spin the $98 into something bigger. Flight was reminding him how hungry he was for something other crackers or instant noodles, that the power bill was due, and that his car didn’t have enough gas in it to get him home. The war didn’t last long. As is usually the case with Jason, Fight defeated flight. “As soon as I busted, I went to $1/$2 and I turned it into $270," Jason remembers. "Then I went to $2/$5 and I turned it into $750 and I left for the night. I kept that $750. I was able to run that $40 into enough to pay the bills for three months." Paying the bills meant making sure the rent, his car, the utilities were all caught up and that Kaeley didn’t want for anything. Jason put his personal needs and wants aside – sometimes to an extreme. “It was really hard," Jason says. "Throughout everything, I still managed to make sure that my daughter always had whatever she needed. By that, I literally mean if I was gonna go four or five days without seeing her, I didn’t really even eat sometimes. I was eating croutons, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and stuff like that. Just doing what I had to do to make sure that I had money when I was getting her to be able to make sure she was taken care of." Fortune smiled down on Young again last summer when one of his friends offered to put him into the WSOP Main Event, another offered to use their points to pay for a flight to Las Vegas, and yet another friend agreed to pay for a hotel room. Jason headed to Vegas with no cash and quite literally hit the jackpot before a single card was even dealt. “When I was at the hotel, I got this $10 free casino play," he says. "I had no money when I went out there, so I take the $10 and I put it in play in one of these slots. I think I hit $600. I busted out of the Main but ended up playing cash with that $600. I came home with two or three grand from the $10 free play." Seeking some stability, in early 2018, Jason got into the real estate game. He realized being a broker had the potential to provide him and Kaeley with a better life without taking away from their time together. "I didn’t really see the point in spending $180,000 fighting to get my custody of her and then taking some job that was, if anything, barely paying the bills, and I was gonna lose out on all this time with her because I was working," Jason says. "Some people are built like that. Me, I prioritize things a little bit differently. It doesn’t have to make sense to everybody, but it makes sense to me." He sold a few houses in 2018, but as the end of the year approached, finances got tight again. He had money coming on a deal that was set to close any day. Unable to wait for that commission check, Jason sold the commission at a discount to have enough cash on hand to pay the bills. A friend of his had talked to him about playing some Lucky Hearts Open events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. The first on the calendar was a $360 buy-in ultimate re-entry event with $500,000 guaranteed. Players that bag chips more than once get $2,500 cash. Jason, who had never had a backer for tournaments, found one to give him three bullets for this event. Jason was all set to play when his backer backed out at the last minute. He talked to a few other people who he thought might be interested but they all passed. The friend who had originally suggested he play the event was across town playing in a $120 nightly tournament at another card room. "He's like, 'Listen, I’m gonna make money in this, and we’re going to that tournament tomorrow,'" Jason remembers his friend telling him. "This was on a Wednesday night. I had nine dollars in my pocket. He sends me a message, I asked him how it’s going. It’s nine o’clock. He’s got 12,000 chips at 1,500/3,000. He has four blinds. I go, 'Oh, all right.' He comes back from that, and ends up getting to the final table and chopping for $1,500." Jason was in the next day’s first flight. He ran his stack up to almost 260,000 before finishing. His friend showed up to play the next flight that same night and agreed to put Jason into that flight as well. Jason’s run good from the first flight continued. “I’ve done this before," he says. "I thought I had it planned out pretty good. I got to enough chips where I could just coast. I’m sitting there, and the chips are going down, down, down. People weren’t getting knocked out as fast as I had thought, so I had to start playing again. I had a huge stack from the first fight. I was just trying to grab that $2,500, because that, again, at the time was like a million dollars for us." He managed to finish with chips and earned that bonus payday. When he returned to his original stack for Day 2, he worked his way to the final table. “I grinded that final table for a while and it didn’t work out," Jason says. "I got knocked out ninth. I never get ninth. It just never happens, and it happened. It was a little deflating, because I mean, it was $13,000. We had to split it. I didn’t look at it negatively, though. I didn’t freak out. I didn’t say, 'Oh, I could’ve just changed my life today, but didn’t work out.' I was happy to have a couple months of rent paid and be able to breathe. That was a lot of money to me there." The WPTDeepStacks $1,100 Main Event at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open was a week later and Jason knew he had to play it. Things started terribly though and he was down to just 8,000 from a 30,000 starting stack by level six. He finished the first night with 109,000. The next day he ran that up to almost 750,000 before the dinner break. "I felt like it was 10 years ago," Jason says. "That was the first time I had that feeling really come back. I mean I was like a madman on dinner break. I was pacing, power-pacing around the casino. I couldn't eat anything, so when I can’t eat I know I’m in the zone. I’m screaming, 'Let’s go!' at garbage cans and stuff. I’m a maniac. I couldn’t calm down. I was really fired up." Jason got to the final table with 30% of the chips in play and 2.5 times the next biggest stack. The fear of blowing a big lead like that with $260,000 on the line is understandable, but the events of the last five years had put stuff like this into perspective for Jason. "I get asked a lot if I get nervous or whatever," Jason says. "Nervous? I’m nervous having to stand in front of a judge who I've never met, who's gonna decide whether or not I get to spend time with my own child. "It was very reminiscent of winning the bracelet 11 years ago where the money starts to get to a point where it's like of course, you wanna win. You really wanna win, but it's like whatever happens is gonna be okay, and once you get to that level, it's just very freeing." Jason coasted to the win, beating Leif Force heads-up to win the second biggest score of his career at a time when he needed it more than ever. The heater continued two weeks later when he made the final table of a WSOP Circuit $1,700 Main Event at Coconut Creek. He busted in third for $110,859. Jason Young won the WPTDeepStacks Main Event at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in January. (WPT photo)"It really hasn’t sunk in totally still that things are okay," Jason says. "It's hard to accept that things are okay. That’s a little weird, but it’s also keeping me grounded. It’s a reminder of what I went through and everything." Almost $400,000 in earnings in a one-month span – even after paying backers – still left Young in a position he hasn’t been in years. He paid some bills, took care of some of the debt and then celebrated by buying himself a new pair of sandals from his local Walmart. He took Kaeley to New York to see his family and then to Orlando to hang with Mickey Mouse for a day. After that, they went grocery shopping and that was a new, almost unsettling experience. "Being able to put anything we wanted into the cart felt wrong," Jason says. "It was like, 'Wow, we don’t have to see if we have enough money for this?' It was quite the thing." Those days where he wasn’t allowed to see Kaeley was an extremely difficult time for Jason. Sleepless nights were common and it was by far the roughest patch of his life. "There was a lot of time over that time that it was really dark," Jason says. "Really dark, like don’t know if you can go on dark. It’s still a taboo thing to talk about or whatever, but I don’t know. I was in a dark place. It was really rough. Everything I did, and everything I thought, and every bad thought, and every negative thought I just kept thinking about her to get me through everything. Just praying that everything was gonna be okay one day." Jason says he relied on friends and family for emotional support and spent countless hours talking through things on the phone. He admits that during the darkest hours he contemplated suicide. "It seems like there’s no way out," Jason says. "A lot of people think about it. It doesn’t mean you’re ever getting close to it. It doesn’t mean you’re ever gonna actually do something. As I said, it’s odd that it’s not talked about more, because I feel like it really is something that needs to be talked about. There are too many people there killing themselves. They’re OD'ing and stuff like that. It’s because there’s a lot of people that are hurting really badly. I don’t know. It’s just not easy." Jason and Kaeley at a wedding in New York.That darkness is behind him now. Jason understands that everything he’s been through from the moment he found out he was going to be a father has shaped him into the dad that he is today. That’s the silver lining that he takes from all of this. “I can see daylight again," Jason says. "Life is all right. I have my daughter. I have my family. I have my health. I have a few bucks. Things are good. It’s great. I’m trying to raise a child. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I’m happy."
  11. Exactly six months ago, Ryan Quail picked up his first career live cash when he finished 30th in the WPTDeepStacks Pittsburgh Main Event for almost double his buy-in back in what was his first-ever live score. This weekend Quail returned to the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and won this version of the WPTDeepStacks Pittsburgh Main Event for $80,001. Quail started Monday's final table as the chip leader and then eliminated his final five opponents on his way to the win. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Matthew Radcliffe was on the short side of the chip counts at the start of the final table and was the first one eliminated. After a flop of [poker card="ts"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7d"] and 300,000 in the pot, Radcliffe got the last of his stack in the middle holding [poker card="9h"][poker card="8h"] against William Reilly's [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. Neither the [poker card="ks"] turn or [poker card="kh"] river were any help and Radcliffe was eliminated in ninth. Jaynesh Patel was one of four players who started the day with more than a million chips, but the opening hour of play didn't go his way. Patel got his last 800,000 in the middle with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] after the [poker card="6c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"] flop only to have Reilly call with [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] for a flopped set. The board ran out [poker card="4d"][poker card="9s"] to officially send Patel home in eighth place. Another flopped set lead to the next elimination. With a board of [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"][poker card="6h"], Mark Milburn shoved for 200,000 and Ryan Ashman called. Milbrun turned over [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"] but Ashman showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="7c"] were no help for Milburn and he was out in seventh. The most high-profile player at the final table became Quail's first victim of the night. Jared Jaffee, a WPT Champions Club member, was all in for 930,000 preflop with [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"] against Quail's [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"][poker card="3c"][poker card="jc"][poker card="5s"] runout improved Jaffee's hand but not enough to survive the hand and he was eliminated in sixth place. Quail continued to apply pressure on his way to picking up another elimination. After a flop of [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3d"], Jamie Rotellini moved all in for 545,000 from the small blind and Quail called from the big blind. Rotellini showed [poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"] while Quail turned over [poker card="7c"][7s. The [poker card="qh"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river made Rotellini's fifth place elimination official. Not longer after Rotellini left, Quail sent another player home. With the board showing [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"], Stan Lee moved all in from the button and Quail called from the big blind. Quail was ahead with [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"] against Lee's club flush draw with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"]. The [poker card="3d"] turn was a complete blank and the [poker card="6d"] river gave Quail an unneeded full house to send Lee to the rail in fourth. Quail's run to the title claimed yet another victim before heads-up play got underway. Ryan Ashman moved all in for 1,800,000 on a [poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2d"] board and Quail called. Ashman held top pair with [poker card="8d"][poker card="3d"] but was dominated by Quail's [poker card="ks"][poker card="8c"]. The [poker card="ac"] river completed the board sent Ashman out in third and Quail began heads-up play with 80% of the chips in play. Despite the overwhelming lead, Quail wasn't able to shake Reilly quickly. Reilly continued to pick up doubles up to stay alive, but after 3.5 hours of play, Quail finally found a way to finish things off. Quail checked his option after Reilly completed the small blind. The flop came [poker card="9h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] and both players checked. The turn was the [poker card="6h"] and Reilly checked. Quail bet 300,000 and then called Reilly's all-in check-raise. Reilly turned over [poker card="6d"][poker card="5h"] for two pair but Quail showed [poker card="7s"][poker card="4h"] for a turned straight. The [poker card="8d"] river gave Quail an even better straight and eliminated Reilly in second place. The $1,100 buy-in event drew 386 entries - up from the 316 that played in April - to create a total prize pool of $374,420. The event wrapped up as many poker players in the state are anticipating the launch of the first regulated PA online poker site in the coming weeks. Final Table Payouts Ryan Quail - $80,001 William Reilly - $53,919 Ryan Ashman - $34,665 Stan Lee - $22,917 Jamie Rotellini - $17,642 Jared Jaffee - $14,615 Mark Milburn - $12,238 Jaynesh Patel - $9,961 Matthew Radcliffe - $7,700
  12. Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC
  13. On Wednesday, Britain's Jareth East topped a record field in the WPTDeepStacks Online event at partypoker to win $557,658.14. East's triumph came from besting a 3,554-entry field. The $1,050 buy-in event proved the largest field size in WPTDeepStacks history. The win also proved to be the largest score of East's poker career. Prior to this WPTDeepStacks Online win, East's largest online score was for $132,200. His largest live tournament score was for $35,940. East, a PocketFives member since 2013 who has been ranked as high as 12th in the world, defeated Jon Van Fleet in heads-up play. Van Fleet earned $392,717 for his runner-up performance. East entered the final day of the event in ninth chip position with 15 players remaining. When it was all said and done, East was the last man standing to win the $557,658.14 first-place prize. Notable deep runs were had by Ludovic Gelich (12th - $27,259.18), Govert Metaal (19th - $15,282.20), Connor Drinan (29th - $11,052.94), and Julien Martini (41st - $8,636.22). Event #40 $1,050 WPTDeepStacks Entries: 3,554 Prize pool: $3,554,000 Jareth East - $557,658.14 Jon Van Fleet - $392,717 Dimitrios Farmakoulis - $253,755.60 Maksim Bukreev - $167,748.80 Phillip Mighall - $116,215.80 Rimantas Petras Boguzas - $79,431.90 Mihail Zavoloka - $55,087 Sergei Denisov - $35,113.52 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] Maksim Bukreev, who entered the final day as the chip leader, placed fourth for $167,748.80. On his final hand, Bukreev opened from under the gun to 3.52 million with the blinds at 400,000/800,000 with a 100,000 ante. Bukreev left himself with 420,628 behind after the raise. On the button, Van Fleet called and the two took a flop of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"]. Bukreev moved all in and Van Fleet called, to reveal that it was Bukreev's [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Tc"] up against the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qs"] for Van Fleet. The turn was the [poker card="5d"] and the river was the [poker card="2c"] to bust Bukreev. Farmakoulis fell in third place. East raised to 1.68 million from under the gun and Farmakoulis called out of the big blind to leave himself with 3.85 million behind. On the [poker card="Ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2c"] flop, Farmakoulis moved all in and East made the call with the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qd"]. Farmakoulis had the [poker card="Js"][poker card="8s"] and bricked out with the [poker card="6d"] and [poker card="4h"] hitting the board. Van Fleet had the lead to start heads-up play, with 65.54 million to East's 40.75 million. The two battled for about 40 minutes before the final hand was played. On the final hand, East limped the button for 1.2 million and Van Fleet checked his option in the big blind. The flop was [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"] and Van Fleet checked. East bet 1.2 million and Van Fleet raised to 3 million. East then made it 5.4 million and Van Fleet shoved for 18.73 million. East called with the [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qc"] and Van Fleet had the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="3s"]. The turn was the [poker card="5c"] and the river was the [poker card="2h"] to give Van Fleet the win. Anton Yakuba Wins Mini WPTDeepStacks Online As with the entire WPT Online Series at partypoker, there was a mini version of the WPTDeepStacks event. The Mini WPTDeepStacks Online had a $109 buy-in and drew a field of 10,400 entries for a $1.04 million prize pool. The winner was Anton Yakuba for $137,396.29 after a deal was made with Luiz Antonio Duarte Ferreira Filho. Filho took home $129,311.72 Michael Tureniec finished third in the Mini WPTDeepStacks Online for $70,262.40, and Griffin Benger took fifth for $31,116.80. Event #40 $109 Mini WPTDeepStacks Entries: 10,400 Prize pool: $1,040,000 Anton Yakuba - 137,396.29* Luiz Antonio Duarte Ferreira Filho - 129,311.72* Michael Tureniec - 70,262.40 Rodrigo Semeghini - $45,552 Griffin Benger - $31,116.80 Peter Haden - $21,008 Ivan Tononi - $14,622.40 Bernardo Soares - $9,287.20 *Denotes a deal. Also running deep were Shawn Buchanan (12th - $7,134.40), Jan-Eric Schwippert (21st - $3,723.20), Paul Vas Nunes (26th - $2,506.40), and Kenneth Hicks (36th - $2,121.60).

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