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  1. Last week, PocketFives published an article about players on the World Poker Tour voting 80-20 in favor of a shot clockfor decisions. The overwhelmingly slanted vote resulted in WPT ambassador Mike Sexton remarking, "I'm guessing/hoping you'll see some type of 'shot clock' incorporated by the WPT for Season XIII." The momentum for a shot clock has now spilled over to the World Series of Poker, whose Circuit may experiment with it this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart told PocketFives in an exclusive statement when asked about the prospects of a clock coming to the series, "We are watching it closely. We agree with trying to encourage 'fast play' and may experiment with a clock on the Circuit this year where there are smaller fields. I have observed mixed results to date on both the operation of it and the field sizes for such events." The WSOP Circuit's final event of the season is in May at Harrah's New Orleans. Then, it'll likely pause until August while the Summer Series runs in Las Vegas. While having a shot clock could help speed up play and make recreational players less vulnerable to the pro "stare-down," Stewart admitted that implementing additional rules isn't always in the best interests of the game. To that end, the WSOP Executive Director explained, "Generally, we want the WSOP to be a fun, welcoming environment. We have very high percentages of recreational players, speaking dozens of languages, who have never played under a shot clock. We're under the mentality that more penalties and more dead hands are bad. We are not going to rush to change anything until we see how people react to it." Thus, it appears that WSOP officials will closely monitor what happens when and if the WPT implements a shot clock before making a decision. Remember, the WSOP in Las Vegas utilizes hundreds of poker tables spread out across multiple rooms at the Rio. Thus, logistically a shot clock could be fairly difficult to implement and enforce. One other source close to a major poker tour told PocketFives that implementing a shot clock could mean that each player will take the maximum allotted time to act on every decision, thus potentially slowing down play overall, even while eliminating the drawn-out five- and ten-minute tanks. What do you think? Should the WSOP and/or WSOP Circuit introduce a shot clock? Let us know by commenting here or posting in this forum thread. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. In February, Nevada's Christina lindeyloo22Lindley (pictured) brought home the win in a Venetian Deep Stack event for $71,000, defeating a field of 317 entrants. That score came just a few months after a final table in a World Poker Tour event in Paris, a score that was worth $112,000. We caught up with her to gab about the World Series of Poker Main Event and her life away from the game. Visit PocketFives' Nevada poker community for the latest news and discussion from Nevada players. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: How pumped are you for this year's World Series of Poker? What are you looking forward to playing the most? Christina Lindley: I'm prepared. I have worked more on my game this year than I ever have before. Studying has become my favorite pastime when I'm not grinding. I put together a very different schedule for myself that will include more of the deeper-stacked events at the WSOP as well as the extremely good value tournaments such as the Venetian Deep Stacks and Wynn Summer Series. I have really found that I am extremely comfortable deeper-stacked after touring the WPT this year and playing deep-stacked cash games over the last year. By focusing on cash games on my days off, variety and a steady income when not in tournaments will help relax me for longer tournament days. Psychologically, when you are winning more consistently, such as in cash games, I think it starts a culture of winning within you that carries momentum to tournaments. PocketFives: You had a big win at the Venetian earlier this year for $71,000 (pictured with trophy) over a final table that included guys like Matt All In At 420Stout. Talk about that tournament and whether it gives you any momentum leading up to the WSOP and other events. Christina Lindley: The Venetian $1K I won had a rather large field. All of the Vegas regs, and a few non-Vegas regs who happened to be in town for March Madness, and several tourists were all there. The final table had several live cash game regs whose games I was unfamiliar with. There was a lot of variety in the styles of play within the field, as in any other tournament. Three-handed, we were all pretty evenly stacked and the structure was really Turbo-oriented at the end. Running hot in high equity spots and being super-aggressive once I got heads-up were the keys to taking it home. I feel like momentum from that tournament has definitely propelled me to work even harder leading up to the WSOP this summer. PocketFives: Did the WPT event in Paris you final tabled play any differently than other WPT events you've been part of? And how has it felt to be the highest scoring players featured as part of the WPT's "One to Watch"this season? Christina Lindley: I had never played poker in Europe in my life until the WPT event at the Aviation Club in Paris. I really wanted to commit to the WPT and play as many of their televised events in Season XII as possible. I had always wanted to go to Paris my entire life and this seemed as good a reason as any to go. Months before, I began learning French through Rosetta Stone, which is still one of my hobbies to this day. The poker players at the Aviation Club de France (pictured) played very similar styles to Euro online poker regs. Because of playing online for so long in the beginning of my career and intermittently sprinkled in the last two years, I feel like I am very familiar with how to adjust to that style. There was one point on Day 3 when I had a really crucial hand that I won against Martin Finger, an amazing German whose game I really admire, and I was really happy that I had studied all of the PokerStars EPT replays. When I was originally chosen as a "One to Watch," I knew I had a lot to prove. I hadn't played much on the live circuit compared to online and wanted to produce tremendous results to show how far my game had come. Cashing a few times this season and making the final table in Paris have been very rewarding. I'm super-competitive, so to be at the top of the "One to Watch" leaderboard so far is really just a bonus. PocketFives: What are your thoughts on a shot clock in poker? Should one be implemented and, if so, how? Christina Lindley: I am not a fan of the idea of a shot clock. Anything that discourages amateur and recreational players from coming out and playing events is not good for the game. In addition, I am of the opinion that if someone knows they have a certain amount of time on each street to make a decision, that might even increase the amount of time they take when they see a clock, whereas otherwise they would have decided quicker. PocketFives: What do you do away from poker nowadays? How else do you keep busy? Christina Lindley: I have a great group of friends in Las Vegas and enjoy different adventures with them on a weekly basis. Art, culture, traveling, fitness, hiking Red Rock, going to wineries, painting, scary movies, and watching sports are among my favorite pastimes. Traveling for fun in between poker tournaments has been the most rewarding experience in the last year. Aceplay and the Stratosphere keep me pretty busy as well with fun events, TV shows, photo shoots, etc. PocketFives: Speaking of Stratosphere (pictured), you signed with the casino's free-play site, Aceplay Poker. How is that going? Christina Lindley: Aceplay Poker is a really fun, free website for anyone in Nevada. They give away tickets to big events such as concerts, NASCAR, sporting events, hotel stays, shows, and dinners in free promotions that run year-round on the site. They also give away seats into the $15k Guaranteed at the Stratosphere every month. Aceplay intends to eventually launch real money gaming in Nevada. PocketFives: Do you get to play any real money online poker in Nevada? Christina Lindley: I play online in Nevada, which is a really nice option to have for the first time in forever. Cash games online are pretty decent and there are usually several $1/$2 to $5/$10 games running across the board. There are usually enough games going on that you can play multiple tables of cash at once. The tournament guarantees are still way lower than I would like to see, but occasionally there are good MTT events online in Nevada with solid guarantees. A nice added benefit to having online poker in Nevada and Jersey is that they are running satellites online for big live buy-in events like back in the old days. More people who cannot afford to play in big events like the WSOP Main Event or the WPT Borgata will be playing because of the satellites these online poker sites are offering. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. On Saturday, Sam SamDMND Holden (pictured) announced that he is taking a "semi-retirement" from poker to pursue further academic and professional goals. In his blog on the website of 888 Poker, where he has served as a poker ambassador for three years, Holden said that he took a gander at a professional poker career when he completed his last degree. Like many who end up going into poker, he didn't know what he wanted to do for a living, so, being a young man with the opportunity to take a risk, he decided to give it a go. If he failed, he "would've treated it as a gap year and headed back to education or perhaps another career." But, he didn't fail. He has amassed $821,965 in lifetime tournament earnings online as well as $1,195,067 on the live tournament circuit. Holden's career highlight was clearly in 2011, when he made the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, finishing ninth for $782,115. The next year, he made a rare follow-up deep run, coming in 55th. His desire to play, though, has been waning. Financial security sounds like it was Holden's primary goal when he set out on his poker career and, having gotten that, he "lost the financial motivation to play poker." "Although I enjoyed playing from time to time," he added, "I was not finding it fulfilling and began to realize that I should look into some new challenges to motivate me." Holden said that he was inspired in recent years by Phil Gruissem, who introduced him to "effective altruism." Holden explains the concept as "a structured process of earning as much as you can in a money-making career to then donating a significant proportion to charity." He said that while he was proud of some donations he was able to make, he ultimately felt he could "make a bigger impact in another career." To that end, Holden plans to attend the University of Kent to study philosophy. He explained some of how he arrived at his next path: "I find myself listening to debates, podcasts, lectures, and speeches while playing online. I've also started to develop some pretty strong opinions on politics and ethics, a position opposed to my previous relentless fence-sitting stance. This passion for what I think is right in the world has spurred me further in to the arts and I find myself reading more than ever." He added, "Above all else, I really want to question every opinion, to listen to others and be consistently skeptical of my own views. I am drawn to philosophy for those reasons and I am really enjoying the challenge of looking at every argument from several angles. After this degree, I could see myself continuing on through academia, perhaps going on to lecture and research." Holden won't disappear from the poker world entirely, though. He thinks he will still play a little online, perhaps enough to pay the bills, and will at the very least play at UKIPT Nottingham in May, as he has already qualified for it. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. We're three months away from the second-ever running of the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop, a charity tournament with a hefty $1 million buy-in that last took place in 2012. The steep price tag certainly hasn't stopped people from signing up in droves, as 23 poker players, businessmen, and qualifiers have already confirmed their attendance: 1. Antonio Esfandiari 2. Guy Laliberté 3. Bobby Baldwin 4. David Einhorn 5. Phil Galfond 6. Philipp Gruissem 7. Phil Ivey (pictured) 8. Jason treysfull21 Mercier 9. Paul Newey 10. Bill Perkins 11. Vivek Psyduck Rajkumar 12. Brian tsarrast Rast 13. Andrew good2cu Robl 14. Erik Seidel 15. Brandon Steven 16. Sam Trickett 17. Noah Schwartz 18. Anonymous Businessman 19. Anonymous Businessman 20. Anonymous Businessman 21. Aria Resort Satellite Seat 22. Bellagio Resort Satellite Seat 23. World Series of Poker Satellite Seat The first 17 players on the list above all participated in 2012, the first and only other time the Big One for One Drop has taken place. The tournament sold out at 48 entrants last time and, with the addition of another eight-max table this year, 56 players can be accommodated. If the tournament sells out once again, as expected, the first place prize could reach $20 million. Antonio Esfandiari (pictured), who won the 2012 installment and became poker's all-time money leader in the process, commented in a WSOP press release, "I can't wait to defend my title. The event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the One Drop organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help." WSOP officials plan to reach out to additional players to recruit them to the One Drop field after already contacting everyone who played in 2012. The tournament is scheduled for three days beginning June 29 and $111,111 of each buy-in goes to charity. If the event sells out, the prize pool would be around $50 million. Anyone interested in playing is encouraged to contact WSOP officials. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. On Tuesday, just two weeks away from the start of the 2014 World Series of Poker, WSOP officials held a conference call to preview the event and field questions from reporters. PocketFives was on the call and learned that we'll see Frisbee dogs before the "Shuffle up and deal" command at some point this summer. Who doesn't like Frisbee dogs? Answer: Everyone loves Frisbee dogs. 2014 marks the tenth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio after moving from Binion's in Downtown Las Vegas. WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart started the call by saying, "We hope to make summer in Vegas the happiest season of all. It's time to make poker big again. It's time to make poker fun again." A total of 15,000 WSOP virgins are expected this year and the series anticipates over 70,000 total entrants for the fifth straight year. The WSOP appears to be shooting for the "fun" angle this year, trying to move away from any staleness that has occurred. Officials teased additional cage staff, additional cage windows, new chairs in every playing area, a new zip line attraction, the High Roller Ferris Wheel on the Strip, fresh carpet in the convention center, live music, indoor blimps, and Frisbee dog shows. As most of us know by now, the 2014 WSOP Main Event will guarantee $10 million to the winner, with Stewart saying, "Eight-figures for a poker tournament – it's something that can't be accomplished in any other event in the world. It's something that has had people talking for months." WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel added that the entire series was "our Olympics. This is our Woodstock. This is our celebration." In changes from 2013, the 5:00pm events will now start at 4:00pm to allow for more play on Day 1. The first day will run for 10 levels, ending around 3:00am. Moreover, players will be able to compete on WSOP.com, a regulated online poker site in Nevada, in a special Grind Room that will be set up at the Rio featuring computers, plenty of power outlets, and a segregated wireless network. WSOP tournaments will largely feature six levels of late registration, with the exception of the Main Event (six hours), Poker Player's Championship (start of Day 2), and Shootout events (two levels or until the tournament sells out). Speaking on the internet situation outside of the Grind Room, Stewart(pictured) told the media, "We have free WiFifor everyone in the convention center. We believe we have enough bandwidth to service all of our guests… Unlike some other poker tournaments, we encourage players to Tweet, post, Instagram, sign autographs, and not have to rush back to their seats for the 'first card off the deck.'" One topic discussed at length was the absence of an Open Face Chinese Poker event, which does not grace the 2014 WSOP schedule. Officials reasoned, "This is the World Series of Poker. While we're not afraid to be innovative, is Open Face Chinese, without betting, raising, and bluffing, a poker tournament? We decided it was too gray to have that bracelet sit side by side with [other bracelets] that help determine a person's place in poker." Finally, 2013 Main Event champion Ryan Riess (pictured) was in the house for the call, saying, "I can't wait. I am super excited… I am playing about 15 to 20 tournaments this year." He added that his game might have gotten sharper in recent months: "I've been working on my game a lot the last few months. I have been fine-tuning my game, so I am excited for the summer." Last year, Riess was a guest on the ESPN football program "College GameDay," which he said was the highlight of his reign as Main Event champion: "I was invited to be on 'College GameDay' along with Joey Chestnut. The Spartans luckily beat Ohio State and I was fortunate enough to be there." The game was held in Indianapolis. Stay tuned to PocketFives for 2014 WSOP news and results. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. In mid-2012, Davidi Kitai (pictured), a Belgium native who is known on PocketFives as legrouzin, won the European Poker Tour's Main Event in Berlin for nearly a million bucks. In 2008, it was more of the same. That year, he took third in the EPT Barcelona feature tournament for $649,000. Kitai is a sponsored pro of Winamax, which accepts EU players, and you can sign up for Winamax hereto be eligible for a special April PLB Competitionthe site is running in conjunction with PocketFives. We also track Winamax for our Online Poker Rankings. --- 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 caught up with Kitai while the pro was camped out in Cyprus. He told us, "I'm on vacation right now and am playing some poker. I will move to London in a few weeks and will be there for six months or a year. London seems to be the safest choice if you are a poker player. Many poker players live there and everything is easy, although it's expensive." We can vouch for London being one of the most expensive cities in the world. Kitai said he loves the food, pubs, and clubs of the English city and is soon gearing up to head west to Las Vegas for the annual World Series of Poker. Kitai won his second WSOP bracelet in 2013 in a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event. His first piece of hardware came six years ago in a $2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em tournament. The two bracelet wins were worth about $500,000 combined. "I won my second WSOP bracelet last year, so it gives me confidence to do it again this year," Kitai said of his mindset entering the annual Nevada gathering of poker players. "The schedule looks awesome this year, with so many great tournaments. The beginning of this year has been nice, but could have been better. I have been playing more tournaments, so my ROI this year has not been that amazing. I expect to win a tournament and get a big score before the end of the year." How did his second bracelet compare to his first? What was different about the victory in 2013 compared to 2008? "It was a completely different feeling in 2013 than in 2008, which was my first big win," Kitai commented. "I had signed with Winamax a few weeks before, so it gave me confidence and credibility for the future. Five years later, I already have confidence and credibility, so the 2013 win was more like being able to join a small group of players who have won two bracelets." We've tracked nearly a half-million dollars in winnings for Kitai online. On the live scene, he has $3.6 million in cashes, according to the Hendon Mob, and leads the all-time money list for Belgium. Kitai is #176 on the money list worldwide for tournament poker. As we mentioned, he is a sponsored pro of Winamax. "It is amazing to have a team with so many talented players," Kitai said of the crew at Winamax. "It is always nice to be part of a group in an individual sport like poker. We help each other, share hands, and debate details to perfect our games. We have a great manager, Stephan Matheu, who helps us be on top of our game in every tournament. I also have a mental coach, Pier Gautier, who helps control my emotions." If you don't already have a Winamax account and have an EU bank account, you can sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get a 100% first-time deposit bonus up to €500 plus one free month of PocketFives Training. You'll also be able to play in our exclusive April PLB Competitionon Winamax. Click here for PocketFives' Winamax link. Remember, the site only accepts players with EU bank accounts. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  7. According to a series of Tweets from Phil Hellmuth (pictured), the poker pro has given away 11 of his 13 World Series of Poker bracelets, mostly to family members. Hellmuth has the most number of WSOP bracelets of anyone, leading Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson by three. He has amassed $12.2 million in cereer WSOP cashes, the most of anyone not named Antonio Esfandiari. Hellmuth Tweeted in recent days, "Bye bye WSOP Bracelet #13. Gave #WSOPBracelet13 to my best friend @Chamath. Gave 10 to family, 1 to bestie." He included a picture of said bracelet, which he won in the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event for $1.4 million. The picture is shown below. What about the other dozen bracelets that Hellmuth has won over the years? He Tweeted the fates of each one: "WSOP Bracelets: 1 & 12 me, 2 wifey, 3 4 mom dad, 5 sister Ann, 6 bro/law John, 7 8 sons Phillip Nick, 9 10 11 bro Dave sis's Kerry Molly." Love him or hate him, Hellmuth has been one of the top names in tournament poker for the last 25 years. Here's an overview of each WSOP bracelet "The Poker Brat" has won: Bracelet #1: 1989, WSOP Main Event, $755,000 Bracelet #2: 1992, $5,000 Limit Hold'em, $188,000 Bracelet #3: 1993, $2,500 No Limit Hold'em, $173,000 Bracelet #4: 1993, $1,500 No Limit Hold'em, $161,000 Bracelet #5: 1993, $5,000 Limit Hold'em, $138,000 Bracelet #6: 1997, $3,000 Pot Limit Hold'em, $204,000 Bracelet #7: 2001, $2,000 No Limit Hold'em, $316,000 Bracelet #8: 2003, $2,500 Limit Hold'em, $171,000 Bracelet #9: 2003, $3,000 No Limit Hold'em, $410,000 Bracelet #10: 2006, $1,000 No Limit Hold'em Rebuy, $631,000 Bracelet #11: 2007, $1,500 No Limit Hold'em, $637,000 Bracelet #12: 2012, $2,500 Seven Card Razz, $182,000 Bracelet #13: 2012, WSOP Europe Main Event, $1.4 million While you might think of Hellmuth as more of a No Limit Hold'em player, his 13 bracelets have come in four different games (Razz, No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, and Pot Limit Hold'em). Since winning bracelet #1, he has not gone more than five years without adding another one to his collection. He has earned multiple bracelets in three different years and is averaging $412,000 per WSOP victory, helped in part by his two Main Event wins. Finally, we should point out that Hellmuth is the only player ever to win the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas and the WSOP Europe Main Event. Congrats to Hellmuth on his continued success. Maybe PocketFives will be the recipient of his 14th piece of hardware? Now that would be cool! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  8. A longtime member of PocketFives, Ludovic CutsssLacay (pictured) is a sponsored pro of Winamax, which accepts players from across the European Union. Lacay has $3.2 million in live cashes under his belt, according to the Hendon Mob, including a win in the EPT San Remo Main Event in 2012 for nearly a million bucks. The acclaimed poker pro sat down with PocketFives to talk about his career and the upcoming World Series of Poker. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- By the way, if you don't already have a Winamax account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get a 100% first-time deposit bonus up to €500, one free month of PocketFives Training, and entry into our exclusive April PLB competition. Get started here. PocketFives: Talk about your plans for the upcoming WSOP. What events are you looking forward to the most and when are you playing? Ludovic Lacay: I will get there on June 3 and play my first event on June 5. As I only play No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha, I'm looking forward to the $10K PLO, the $10K Heads-Up, all of the Six-Max events, and the Main Event. Also, if anyone out there wants to back for the One Drop, I'm sure this is a really cool tournament to play. PocketFives: Do you have any advice for a first-timer to the WSOP? What do you think is most important for success? Ludovic Lacay: I think what is most important is to realize two things. First, you are there to play poker and not to party, which took me about four years to realize. Second, you will probably need to take small breaks in the middle of the series to avoid burnout. This is completely different than online poker, can be very frustrating, and is emotionally and physically very draining. PocketFives: Are you playing as much live poker now as you did in 2013 and 2012? Ludovic Lacay: I have had a slow start to 2014, but I've always been like that. I cannot play as many tournaments as some other players, either. I need to feel the passion and fun in poker to play 100% and I've learned that if I don't really feel like playing a tournament, forcing myself won't make me play well. That said, I have a huge spring coming up with San Remo, Monaco, the Winamax Poker Open in Marrakech, and the WSOP. PocketFives: What do you do away from poker nowadays? Ludovic Lacay: I try to make the most of my travels, something I've not been doing well in the past. I've found that if you link poker to discovering new places and new activities, it's much more fun. PocketFives: How did you first sign on with Winamax and what's it like representing the site? Ludovic Lacay: I signed on after meeting Michel Abecassis and Aurelien Guiglini in Las Vegas when I went there for the first time. The Winamax boss had a lot of ambition to create a team of talented young players and make them grow into great players. I loved that idea and also couldn't pass up such an opportunity, so I jumped onboard and I've been with them for about six years now. It has been a great ride and I don't think I could have picked a better sponsor. They are now the French leader, one of the world's biggest sites, and if you ask me, I think they have developed the best poker software in the world. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker originally? Why was the game interesting? Ludovic Lacay: I've always been a geek. I had my first computer at around 10 years old, was making websites when I was 12, and started playing video games competitively at 14. I didn't have as much success as ElkYor Flush_Entity, but I was on one of the five best teams in France and we were traveling a lot to competitions. But, then I was 19 and realized all that I earned from that were lots of useless motherboards, processors, hard drives, etc. I had failed my first year of mathematics studies and was under some pressure from my family, so I decided to stop the game, go to law school, and focus on that. During the summer, I heard about poker, had nothing better to do than try it, and when school started, I was already making a bit of money at it. I decided to do both and moved up in stakes. PocketFives: Where do allof the derivations of your poker name "Cutsss" come from? Ludovic Lacay: It's really a silly story. There was a French radio show in the 2000s called "Skyrock." My friends and I really liked it, so we all picked the name of someone from the show and called our first Counter-Strike team "Sky." I was "[Sky]Cutk!lleR" or something like that. With time, it evolved into different nicknames because "Cuts" is very often taken on busy online poker sites. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. In 2013, Team PokerStarsOnline member Randy Nanonoko Lew (pictured) logged five in the money finishes at the World Series of Poker, including a top-ten showing in a $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up tournament for $54,000, his largest WSOP cash to date. Now, Lew, whom we associate with mass-multi-tabling online, is one of the many players who are just three weeks away from descending on Sin City. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- It has been a while since we've caught up with Lew, so we wanted to take the next 1,000 words and let you know what the pro has had on his plate and also discuss a newfound photography hobby. PocketFives: What advice do you have for first-time WSOP attendees? Randy Lew: If it's your first time at the WSOP, something I learned was that it's important to have some days off in between tournaments. It gets really tiring day in and day out and you can easily get burned out, especially if the results aren't going your way. Having a relaxing day off from poker allows you to reset your mind and stay refreshed. PocketFives: You finished seventh in the Asia Championship of Poker Main Event last October for $102,000. What have you been up to since then on the live scene? Randy Lew: I was very pleased with my ACOP result last year. It's nice to make a final table again for the few times I've been to Macau. I told myself that I'm going to try to play more live tournaments this year. Not only have I been going to some of the bigger spots such as the PCA and Aussie Millions, but I've also been playing local WPT and HPT tournaments, trying to grind it out live a bit more. PocketFives: Have you had a chance to play online with all of your live events? Randy Lew: I've been grinding it out really hard when I get the chance to play online. Usually, it's cash games, as those are still my bread and butter and I still am trying to go for Supernova Elite this year, which seems to get tougher for me each time! I usually only play tournaments online on Sundays as well as the bigger tournament series like SCOOP and WCOOP. PocketFives: One of the hot topics in the poker industry lately has been whether we should implement a shot clock. Where do you stand? Randy Lew: I'm not a big fan of the poker shot clock idea even though I think I would be able to do pretty well with it. I think that live poker has its own vibe and culture. Thinking through decisions is definitely one of them and I think it has earned its place in live poker. We have to remember that not all players are the same. Whether you're a pro or someone who plays recreationally, some players enjoy playing fast, while others don't. Just because someone plays super fast, why does that mean he should force a rule set on other players to play to his standards? I think something that needs to come about is that for players who do habitually tank, the other players should be willing to call the clock without feeling guilty about it. I think, as players, we should advocate calling the clock more and bring the culture of calling the clock from taboo to the norm. PocketFives: What poker software do you use nowadays? Randy Lew: I've mainly been using the same two pieces of software since I started: PokerTracker 4 and Table Ninja. I think having some sort of poker tracking software is necessary as a professional and Table Ninja definitely makes multi-tabling a lot easier, although the new PokerStars hotkeys have been pretty good too. I think there are a lot of great tools out there that I could take advantage of, but I'm still a bit old-fashioned in that sense and really have no idea where to begin with some of the programs I've seen, as they look very time-consuming. PocketFives: You have been a member of Team PokerStars Online since 2009. Tell us what the crew has been up to and how it feels to reach five years on the team. Randy Lew: I've been with the team since the beginning and it has definitely evolved a lot. I think there's a lot of great talent all around, especially guys like Isaac Haxton and Alexander Millar. We all have our unique personalities and media-related content and PokerStars always has something new and cool to work with. PocketFives: What poker goals do you have for 2014? Randy Lew: While poker is still a very important and major part of my life, I want to introduce more balance and positive, healthier decisions into my life. I'm hoping to get into more of a routine by eating healthier and throwing in some exercise alongside poker so that it's not just me grinding 24 hours a day without food and feeling really tired. PocketFives: Speaking of balance, what do you do away from poker? What else interests you? Randy Lew: Recently, I've taken up photography and videography. I think it's a nice option for me because as a poker player, I have a lot of opportunities and free time to travel to places that most people never get a chance to go to. Capturing these new places and sharing my life with my fans is something I want to do more of and this works well. I plan on getting more into the groove of showcasing my stuff on my personal website, Nanonoko.com. Be sure to check that out when you get a chance! Catch Lew on Twitter under the handle @nanonokoand on Facebook at facebook.com/nanonoko. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  10. Five years ago, longtime PocketFiver Jason treysfull21 Mercier (pictured) took home a World Series of Poker bracelet in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event and cashed for $237,000. In 2011, he added a second piece of hardware in a $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max event for $619,000. Now, Mercier will be looking to add to his $2 million in career WSOP earnings starting later this month at the Rio in Las Vegas. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- Mercier told PocketFives that his tentative plans are to play all of the higher buy-in events at the WSOP, and by "higher buy-in," we mean $5,000 and up. "I'm looking forward to the new $10K events," Mercier said. "Generally, those fields are tougher, but I like the smaller field, bigger buy-in events with higher prize money and a better chance to win a bracelet." Mercier is eyeing two $10K disciplines in particular: Triple Draw and Razz. "I have only ever played a $2,500 or $3,000 event in those disciplines," Mercier admitted. "They are two of my favorite games and it's rare you get to play a tournament in that form, let alone a $10K event." The Floridian has 38 WSOP cashes to his name. Speaking of non-Hold'em games, Mercier began diversifying from the quintessential poker game in 2004 and started dabbling in Mixed Games in 2010. On what kind of group he foresees showing up for $10K Razz and Triple Draw events, Mercier commented, "I would imagine the Razz event will get 150-ish people. The Triple Draw event will probably get 100 people or so. Generally, they will be pretty tough fields with a lot of the regular Mixed Game players and the atmosphere will be pretty electric when I win one of them," he said with a smile. If Mercier manages to get a third bracelet, he'd become one of only 63 players ever to accomplish that feat. "Winning a third one would mean a lot to me," Mercier told us. "There aren't that many guys who have three bracelets, and to get to three when I'm still in my 20s would definitely be a cool accomplishment. I missed out on winning one in 2012 and 2013 and definitely don't want to go a third year in a row without winning one. I'm hungry to win a bracelet this summer." Mercier earned $1.4 million one year ago after taking second in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller in Monaco and has booked a pair of $200,000 live scores since then, one of which came in the WPT Alpha8stop in South Africa in February. "Going to South Africa was pretty incredible," Mercier relayed. "It was definitely unlike anywhere else I had been before and I'm looking forward to going back there eventually." One of his foes at the Alpha8 event was none other than Dan Cates (pictured), who won the tournament for $500,000. "Dan Cates played well in South Africa. I also played against him in the $100K in Monaco," Mercier said. "He has gotten a lot better since he first started playing live." Last week, Cates took second in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller for $1.7 million and is #5 on the 2014 money list thus far, according to the Hendon Mob; Mercier is #48. Online, Mercier won a PokerStars WCOOP event for nearly a half-million dollars in 2010, one of three WCOOP titles he has amassed over the years. He has $1.5 million in tracked scores total and is a sponsored pro at PokerStars, the largest online poker site on the face of the Earth. The 2014 WSOP begins on May 27 with the annual Casino Employees Event as well as a $25,000 Mixed-Max No Limit Hold'em tournament. The Main Event starts on July 5 with the first of three Day 1s and the winner of that tournament will pocket at least $10 million. Players in New Jersey and Nevada can qualify for $1,500 events and the Main Event at WSOP.com. Click here for WSOP.com Nevadaand click here for WSOP.com New Jersey. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. We're coming down to the wire in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, which has 17 players remaining at the time of writing and will determine its November Nine this evening from the Rio in Las Vegas. Play began with 27 still standing at Noon Pacific Time on Monday and consolidated to two tables just a few hours later. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Sweden's Martin Jacobson (pictured) continues to lead the way. He had a six million-chip lead coming into the November Nine play down day and, although he lost the lead for a fleeting few minutes, he had regained it by the time this author sat down to pound out an article. The first player eliminated after the field consolidated to two tables of nine was Scott Mahin, who called all-in on a flop of 6-10-8 with two diamonds. Mahin was ahead with 10-8 for top two pair, but Andoni Larrabe was drawing to the nut flush with Ad-Kd. The turn was an ace, improving Larrabe to a pair and adding more outs, and a diamond on the river sealed Mahin's fate. He cashed for $347,000 and left the stage fairly emotional, as it was his first live tournament cash. Craig mcc3991McCorkell (pictured) was still alive, although he had the third shortest stack in the room when 17 remained. He was a fan favorite on Twitter, with Phil Galfond among those rooting him on: "GL @CraigMcCorkell! Just do your thing and hopefully the cards will cooperate… Know you don't need tournament coaching, but if there's anything I could do to help, let me know." Bryan badbeatninjaDevonshire was one of the first eliminations of the day in 25th place. He Tweeted, "Busto TT to AJs. 0-fer three in flips this tournament. Bummed I couldn't win a pot on Day 7, but happy to make it here. Back to the river." He then Tweeted a picture of several wads of hundred dollar bills as well as a check for his winnings. Former Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka was among those consoling Devonshire on Twitter, writing, "Sorry man, good run." Still in the hunt for a 2014 WSOP November Nine birth is Mark Newhouse, who is looking to become the first two-time November Niner and the first person since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004 to make the WSOP Main Event final table in back-to-back years. Here are the stacks of the 17 remaining players in the 2014 WSOP Main Event: 1. Martin Jacobson - 22,600,000 2. Dan Sindelar - 18,800,000 3. Bruno Politano - 18,180,000 4. Felix Stephensen - 14,150,000 5. Luis Velador - 13,620,000 6. Jorryt van Hoof - 13,100,000 7. William Pappaconstantinou - 13,000,000 8. Thomas Sarra - 12,910,000 9. Andoni Larrabe - 12,880,000 10. William Tonking - 10,600,000 11. Maximilian Senft - 10,300,000 12. Christopher Greaves - 9,300,000 13. Mark Newhouse - 7,810,000 14. Eddy Sabat - 6,110,000 15. Craig mcc3991McCorkell - 6,060,000 16. Andrey Zaya Zaichenko - 5,830,000 17. Oscar Kemps - 5,400,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. American poker player Scott Mahin had a deep run in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. Heading into Day 7, Mahin had 1,460,000 in chips, which put him in 25th place with 27 players remaining. He ended in 18th place for $347,000. On Day 6, something happened with Mahin's stack that you don't see often in an event of this magnitude. When the World Series of Poker Main Event is this deep, it is typical that during breaks the WSOP staff takes a full breakdown of each player's stack to get an accurate chip count. When this happened during one such break, Mahin's stack somehow got merged into fellow American Matt Waxman's stack. Waxman was well aware of his stack count of 3.85 million at the time and Mahin agreed that the remaining 740,000 chips must be his. In order to confirm this was indeed correct, the WSOP staff went ahead and took a look at one of the many surveillance cameras. After a few minutes, it was determined that these counts were correct, preventing any controversy. Mahin seemed to receive double after double on Day 6 after this potential controversy occurred with his relatively short stack. However, not everything went his way. After building his stack to over 5.5 million in chips, Mahin couldn't get out of the way of a hand he had an overpair with. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000, Dutch poker player Jorryt van Hoofraised to 250,000, which Canadian Dong Guo quickly called. Mahin raised the action to 525,000 in chips, which both van Hoof and Guo called. On a flop of 3d-9h-8c, van Hoof and Guo checked leading Mahin to bet 1.125 million. Van Hoof had a set of eights and called most of his stack and Guo folded to leave the action heads-up. Before the turn card even hit the felts, van Hoof announced he was all-in, which Mahin called after the 2c appeared. His pocket tens were drawing to just two outs to van Hoof's set. The 6h was unable to improve his hand and, after losing a few more hands, he was down to under 12 big blinds at the end of the day.
  13. Just like in 2013 when Amir Lehavot, an originally a citizen of the country, made the WSOP November Nine, Israel had one hope left if it were to earn another berth in the 2014 World Series of Poker final table. That is Gal Erlichman, another transplanted Israeli who lives in the United States, who came into Day 6 of the $10,000 buy-in tournament with 1.65 million in chips and in 50th place. He ultimately finished in 37th place for $186,000, the last player eliminated before the payout jumped to $230,000. Entering his Main Event run in 2014, Erlichman had mixed success in his four years of tournament poker. It started in 2010 with his first WSOP cash in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event and he added six more cashes over the next four years, including a second WSOP resume mark. That said, Erlichman's career earnings of slightly more than $13,000 were extremely boosted by his performance in the 2014 Main Event. On Day 2AB of the tournament, Erlichman was mired way down the leaderboard in 237th place, but he was sitting on a respectable stack of 129,400 in chips. He tiptoed his way through the first combined day of the Main Event, Day 3, coming out of the day's action in 406th place with 194,500 in chips and still alive. Erlichman actually fell back on Day 4, dropping to 148,000 in chips, before multiplying his stack over tenfold on Day 5 to reach his starting plateau for Day 6. On PocketFives, the Israel poker community had 342 registered players as of the start of the 2014 WSOP Main Event who had combined for $30.4 million in career online winnings. The group had accounted for $2.8 million in the three months leading up to the WSOP Main Event in 2014 and had generated nearly 70,000 tracked in the money finishes all-time.
  14. Yorane Kerignard, who entered Day 6 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event with 1.75 million chips, had built quite a name for himself on the global poker circuit. He has played virtually every major circuit, including the European Poker Tour, the World Poker Tour, and the WSOP, since 2009, building a resume that spanned 20 cashes at the time of his Main Event run in 2014. The EPT has been the spot where Kerignard has made arguably his greatest impact. In 2010, Kerignard finished in fourth place at an event at EPT Copenhagen, his third career cash and one that earned him a $192,234 payday. In 2011, Kerignard picked up his first ever WSOP cash, driving deep in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament, but 2012 would be his breakout year. At EPT Deauville in 2012, Kerignard earned his career best cash when he finished fourth in that Main Event for a $341,939 score. He would follow that up later in the year by winning WPT Malta, taking home $155,049 in the process. Kerignard would add two more WSOP cashes in 2013 and, as of the time the 2014 Main Event started, was a "poker millionaire" with $1.063 million in career earnings. To start Day 7 of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, Kerignard was in 24th place out of 27 remaining players. He dropped a pot worth one million in chips late on Day 6 at the hands of Norway poker player Felix Stephensen. On a board of 10-2-A-Q-4, Stephensen pushed out a bet of 1.1 million and Kerignard tanked for two minutes before folding. A few hands prior, Kerignard won a pot off Stephensen and poker pro Eddy Sabat after making two pair. Needless to say, it was an up and down Day 7 for Kerignard. He ultimately exited the 2014 WSOP Main Event in 23rd place for $286,000.
  15. Coming into Day 6 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, Los Angeles' Eddy Sabat was looking to claim something that he has pursued for the last seven years – a WSOP bracelet. With his 2.215 million in chips, good for 39th place at the start of Day 6, Sabat was in an excellent position to add to what had already been a very successful tournament poker career. He finished in 16th place for $347,000. Although his first tournament cash came in 2007, the poker world began to learn about Sabat with his third place showing at the WSOP Circuit stop at Harrah's Rincon in San Diego in 2008. Buoyed by that deep run in a tough tournament, Sabat pursued the tournament trail throughout the 2008 calendar year, earning his first cash on the World Poker Tour and two cashes at the WSOP. It wasn't until the end of 2008 that Sabat was able to make his first significant mark on tournament poker. Playing on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, Sabat would fight through a 538-player field to take down the championship of the stop in Macau in September 2008. The $453,427 first place check, a lifetime of earnings for some poker players, only spurred Sabat onward. Between that victory and the 2014 Main Event, Sabat was able to claim 16 more WSOP cashes, including four in 2014 alone, three World Poker Tour cashes (including a third place finish in the 2013 WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic), and four European Poker Tour cashes among his 45 resume finishes. For his seven-year career from 2007 to 2014, Sabat made over $2 million in lifetime tournament poker earnings, not counting the 2014 Main Event. He was one of several California poker players making waves in the final moments of the 2014 Main Event.
  16. The Netherlands, in addition to being an excellent breeding ground for football players, has also lent some of its favorite sons to the game of poker. Such players as Noah Boeken, Rob Hollink, and the legendary Marcel Luske have plied their trade on the global tournament circuit for years, carrying the flag of the Netherlands. A player that may soon join them in that pursuit is a young newcomer by the name of Oscar Kemps, who made a deep run in the 2014 WSOP Main Event. He finished in 14th place for $441,000. Coming into Day Six of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event with 2.435 million in chips (good for 36th place), Kemps had quietly been making a name for himself on the European circuit. Earning his first cash in a European Poker Tour side event in Barcelona, Spain, Kemps had also cashed in Belgium, the Bahamas, and his home country since 2009. His total lifetime earnings had already been dwarfed by whatever he would ultimately earn from his trip to the 2014 WSOP. Kemps had performed quite well at his first WSOP in 2014, coming out of the massive Day 1C Main Event field with a decent 107,550-chip stack. By Day 3, Kemps had improved his standing to be in 60th place with a tidy 565,000 in chips, but he fell back on Day 4, finishing the day with only 215,000. Day 5 would be Kemps' finest hour, as he multiplied his stack over tenfold to head into Day 6 with almost 2.5 million in chips. Kemps has become the second player in as many years from the Netherlands to make the WSOP Main Event final table. Last year Dutch poker player Michiel Brummelhuis took 7th place in the WSOP Main Event for over $1.2 million.
  17. In a very short time, Serbia poker player Vladimir Bozinovic has been able to build a poker resume that anyone would be envious of. He was looking to add to that resume in starting the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event's Day Six with 2.91 million in chips among the 79 players that remain. However, he finished in 46th place for $152,000, the last player paid out before the jump to $186,000. From 2010 to 2012, Bozinovic primarily concentrated on building his game in his home country. He would make six cashes in tournaments in Belgrade over that time frame before his breakthrough came in 2013. In Austria at the World Poker Tour Baden that year, Bozinovic etched his name on the WPT Champions' Cup by defeating a final table that included Grzegorz Wyraz, Marvin Rettenmaier, Kimmo Kurko, and Paul Berende and take down his largest career tournament score of $247,588. If Bozinovic were able to make it to the final three tables of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, Bozinovic would have eclipsed that personal record and, if he made the final two tables, he would double his lifetime career winnings at the minimum. Nobody has ever said that making it to WSOP glory isn't without some challenges, however. Bozinovic faced off with fellow professionals Tony Ruberto(5.235 million chips) and Eddy Sabat(2.215 million) on Day Six of the 2014 Main event. Add into the mix some strong amateur players such as Jason Johnson(3.47 million) and Robert Campbell (3.215 million) and the road to making the second leg of poker's Triple Crown by Bozinovic was definitely a daunting task. When the 2014 Main Event played down, the Serbia poker community on PocketFives had a scant 344 players, which meant Bozinovic's run could spur a Moneymaker Effect of sorts should word of his run resonate throughout his homeland.
  18. Arguably one of the most accomplished players that made it to Day Six of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event was Brian Stinger885 Hastings. The then-26-year-old from Hanover Township, Pennsylvania had been able to build a career out of the online poker world while dabbling in the live tournament poker scene since 2008. Hastings exited the 2014 Main Event in 64th place for $103,000. One of the founders of CardRunners, at one time one of the top poker training sites in the industry, Hastings was known for his abilities in high-stakes heads-up cash games. After starting online play in 2006, Hastings would take on many of the top names in live and online poker on the virtual felt. Most notable of his battles there was the 2009 clash against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, whom Hastings was able to best to the tune of $5.6 million over two sessions of online play. Hastings would earn his first live tournament cash in 2008 and then would take some time off for college before returning in 2011. He would win a World Poker Tour Regional tournament in Florida and, in 2012, earned his first WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up World Championship event, earning his largest career score of $371,498 in the process. Although his $1.15 million in winnings might seem a bit paltry for someone with his time in the game, Hastings has used a balanced lifestyle, keeping poker in perspective and having other outlets, that not only has helped his live game, but his online one also. Arguably, Hastings had a fairly easy opening table draw for Day Six of the 2014 Main Event. The only notable names among his tablemates was Andrey ZayaZaichenko (3.565 million), but Hastings had to gain some ground on table leader Jason Weber's 4.13 million chip stack. Hastings should have been well prepared for these battles as he attempted to make a career-defining moment in the WSOP Main Event.
  19. William Pappaconstantinou was an unknown poker player prior to his run in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. Pappaconstantinou hails from Salem, New Hampshire and started Day 6 of the Main Event with 3,370,000 in chips, which was good for 25th place out of 79 players remaining. Pappaconstantinou had over $16,000 in live tournament cashes prior to the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, which came in October 2010 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Pappaconstantinou's first cash was on October 13 in a $400 No Limit Hold'em event where he finished in 69th place for slightly more than $1,000. Pappaconstantinou followed that up a little more than a week later with an eighth place finish in a $500 No Limit Hold'em event for over $15,000. While Pappaconstantinou might not be easy to pronounce, he is starting to become a household name thanks to his run in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. A turning point for Pappaconstantinou in the 2014 Main Event occurred on Day 5 when he found himself in terrible shape going all-in with pocket fours and going up against three other players. Darlene Leewent all-in with Ad-Jh, Justin Swilling followed suit with As-Ks, and Nicholas Nardello, who had everyone covered, called with pocket jacks. The tides turned for Pappaconstantinou when the flop of Th-4d-9d gave him bottom set and instantly made him a heavy favorite in the hand. The 8c on the turn made Pappaconstantinou sweat a bit, as this added some straight draws to Lee's Ad-Jh. Pappaconstantinou found himself with a full house on the river when a nine hit the board, sending Lee and Swilling to the showers while tripling up Pappaconstantinou. Nardello won a small side pot to stay in the action, but eventually found himself eliminated later on Day 5 in 88th place for just over $72,000. Image courtesy Poker Red
  20. American poker player Dan Sindelar entered Day 6 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event with over 5.2 million in chips, which was good enough for seventh place with 79 players remaining. Sindelar is not a stranger to the live poker tournament circuits, amassing well over $300,000 prior to the Main Event according to the Hendon Mob. Sindelar's biggest cash leading up to the 2014 World Series of Poker was winning the $1,080 No Limit Hold'em Championship Event at Canterbury Park Card Club in 2007 for over $105,000. Getting deep in the Main Event is partly about your big hands holding when it counts. With the blinds at 12,000/24,000, Sindelar got into a massive pre-flop raising war with fellow American Soon Hwang. Hwang eventually had his entire stack of 925,000 in chips in the middle pre-flop holding Ah-Kc. Sindelar turned over Kh-Ks, making him about a 70% favorite in the hand. The board of 9h-6d-5d-4h-9c was of no help to Hwang, sending a huge pot Sindelar's way and soaring his chip stack to a healthy 3.2 million in chips. Later on Day 5, Sindelar was in a similar spot with the blinds at 20,000/40,000 against American poker player Lee Taylor. Another pre-flop battle took place, with Taylor holding Ac-Kc and eventually getting his entire two million chip stack all-in pre-flop. Sindelar this time held As-Ah, making him a much bigger favorite than the hand earlier in the day against Hwang. Taylor had some hope, as a king hit the flop on a 2c-Kh-9h board; however, he failed to improve when the 2h hit on the turn and the Jh hit on the river, sending him to the rail in 86th place for over $72,000 while catapulting Sindelar's stack to well over 100 big blinds at 5.45 million chips.
  21. Spain's Andoni Larrabe entered Day 6 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event with almost 5.5 million chips, which was good enough for fifth place with 79 players remaining. While players outside Spain might not recognize Larrabe's name, he is well known in Spain and has amassed over $341,000 in live tournament earnings. Larrabe gained some fame and fortune back in January 2013 at the PokerStarsCaribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Resort and Casino when he chopped a $5,300 side event with poker superstar Justin ZeeJustinBonomo for almost $219,000. He eventually won that event, which included a star-studded final table including Ravi govshark2Raghavan, Grant Levy, and Jason jdpc27 Wheeler. Larrabe amassed chips each of the five days of the 2014 Main Event. On Day 4, he was in a pre-flop raising battle against India's Aditya intervention Agarwal. With the blinds at 3,000/6,000, Larrabe found himself on the winning end of a race when his Ac-Kc out-flopped Agarwal's Jh-Js on a Ks-6c-Ah board. Agarwal was unable to spike the J on the turn or river, sending him to the rail, while Larrabe's chip stack climbed to almost 1.8 million in chips. On Day 5, Larrabe found his stack climb to almost 3 million in chips when he sent American poker player Mark Rodriguez to the rail. Rodriguez was all-in with Ad-9d against Larrabe's Ac-Jc. While Rodriguez was behind from the beginning to the end of the hand, there was some distant hope for a chop or win for him when the board came out Qh-Qs-4c. The 7c on the turn gave Larrabe a nut flush draw and removed some possibilities for Rodriguez to improve his hand. The Kc on the river completed Larrabe's flush and sent Rodriguez to the rail in 161st place for over $52,000.
  22. If you blinked, you might have missed one-handed satellites to the World Series of Poker Main Event. Yes, one hand to determine whether or not a person will be able to enter poker's most prestigious tournament, which this year came with the promise of a $10 million first place prize. Why sit and grind a satellite when you can determine your fate in under 30 seconds? --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play now for a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- ESPN's Andrew Feldman posted on Twitter on Monday, "One hand satellites being run at this time. Same guy won the last two. Desperation/gambling at its finest." One person responded with a picture that had a caption reading, "Guy on the right won 2 in a row. Going for 3." Feldman posted a video on Vineof players being dealt cards, a board being run out, and one man, Frankie Flowers, fist-pumping in delight. He wrote, "And this is how you flip for a @wsop main event seat. Congrats to Frankie Flowers." Flowers, by the way, wrote on Twitter, "Flip for 10k. I got the 4d6h. Four diamonds on the board. I win 4-high flush." In case you're wondering how a one-handed satellite works, Feldman wrote in a blog on ESPN's website, "The dealer shuffles for high card, then gives everyone a hand. Nobody looks at their hand as the dealer runs out a board. One by one, the players look to see if they hit, and in less than 20 seconds, someone wins their seat into the Main Event." In a game where skill predominates, there's apparently a little room for Lady Luck to rear her head. Flowers told Feldman, "I've played in smaller events, but have no scores. The satellites have been good, though." One-handed satellites, a 25-seat guarantee on WSOP.comin Nevada, and a $10 million advertised first place prize all helped boost this year's Main Event to nearly 6,700 entrants, the fifth largest Main Event ever held. As Feldman said on Twitter, "Seeing Main Event growth in today's poker world is huge and will help push the industry forward. Don't underestimate that." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. We're down to two players remaining in Event #60 of the World Series of Poker, a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. After a grueling day of play on Thursday, Brandon AreTheseUtzHall (pictured) and Salman Jaddi elected to pack it in for the night and return on Friday at 1:00pm PT to determine a winner. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Jaddi has about a 3:2 chip lead, but, according to coverage on WSOP.com, we could be in for quite a finale on Friday: "Jaddi had the lead for some time, but the patient Hall chipped away at him and was never at risk of elimination despite some frustrating early hands. Jaddi too has been resilient and focused and never looked as if the pressure of playing heads-up for a WSOP bracelet was getting to him. Whoever goes on to win this, it is sure to be a continuation of an epic struggle, with neither player willing to give an inch." At stake is a $614,000 top prize; whoever finishes second will land $381,000. Zachary HustlerGrune Gruneberg (pictured) finished in third place in Event #60 for $270,000. He 4bet shoved pre-flop with pocket tens, but ran square into the queens of Hall. The board came out 5-K-9-A-A and Gruneberg was eliminated. Gruneberg recorded his fourth cash of the 2014 WSOP and, amazingly, all but one has been for a final table. He is up to $516,000 in career WSOP scores. If you're not familiar with Hall, he has over $2 million in scores in his PocketFives profile, including a runner-up finish in the PokerStars Sunday 500 in 2010 for $68,000 and a runner-up finish in the site's Super Tuesday one year prior for $63,000. He won the Aruba Poker Classic in 2009for $753,000, beating Robert Mizrachi heads-up and outlasting a field of nearly 500. Also today, a $1,500 Ten-Game Six-Max event (#63) should play down to a winner. There are nine players left, with New Zealand's Jan Suchanek out in front. The rest of the pack, including three PocketFivers, has some ground to make up, as WSOP.com coverage put it, "Suchanek bloomed toward the end of the night and shot his stack to the top of the chip counts during the final two levels. Suchanek holds a substantial lead over the rest of the competition, having right around 200,000 more than his nearest competitor." Here are the chip counts entering Friday's restart: 1. Jan Suchanek - 494,000 2. Bryn BrynKenney Kenney - 298,500 3. Andrey Zaya Zaichenko - 259,000 4. Randy mavsrule3 Ohel - 212,500 5. Fabio Coppola - 212,000 6. Daniel Zack - 205,000 7. Michael Mixer - 172,000 8. Haresh Thaker - 116,500 9. David Blatte - 41,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  24. Forty-two players showed up for this year's $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker. After officials thought the tournament might sell out, there were more than a dozen openings in the 56-max tournament. Nevertheless, a cavalcade of brand name players turned out, including Sam Trickett (pictured), who has a pace-setting stack of 13.4 million entering Day 2 on Monday. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Trickett recorded the first elimination of the tournament to set the tone for the first day. Coverage on WSOP.com explained, "Trickett clashed with David Einhorn in a hand where the former turned the nut straight against the latter's flopped set of jacks. Einhorn was eliminated from play and Trickett suddenly held double the starting stack." Then, Trickett cracked the pocket queens of Igor Kurganov after hitting a straight on the river. From there, WSOP.com added, "Trickett and Vanessa Selbst played an 8 million chip pot where the three-time WSOP bracelet winner six-bet shoved with A-K. Trickett called with pocket kings and the two endured a roller coaster of a run-out. Trickett finished on top and the first-ever woman to participate in the Big One for One Drop was eliminated from play." Although this author swore up and down that 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (pictured) would participate in this year's One Drop, "The Poker Brat" was a no show. He spent the weekend trying to raise $600,000 of his $1 million buy-in, at one point posting on Twitter, "This would make a great reality show: me raising $600,000 in the last couple hours for a poker tournament!" However, Hellmuth's meal ticket never came to fruition, as he Tweeted, "Thought I had $1 million, went over to buy into One Drop, but $130,000 that was supposed to be at cage wasn't there!" Thus, Hellmuth, who finished fourth in the 2012 One Drop, will watch this year's version from the sidelines. Trickett finished second in the One Drop in 2012 and the man he lost out to, Antonio Esfandiari (pictured), has the fifth largest stack after Day 1 this year. Esfandiari doubled up early on during Sunday's play courtesy of Dan KingDan Smith, who checked on a board of A-K-4-10-8. Esfandiari shoved and Smith, after asking for a count, called and turned over A-K for aces-up. Esfandiari had him beat with 4-4 and moved up to over 3 million in chips. Here's how the One Drop field looks as play begins on Day 2 at 1:00pm PT: 1. Sam Trickett - 13,400,000 2. Tom Hall - 9,125,000 3. Phil Ivey - 7,675,000 4. Daniel Colman - 6,875,000 5. Antonio Esfandiari - 6,725,000 6. Noah Schwartz - 6,275,000 7. Rick Salomon - 5,890,000 8. David Doc Sands Sands - 4,615,000 9. Phil Galfond - 4,390,000 10. Daniel Negreanu - 4,270,000 11. Erik Seidel - 4,250,000 12. Brandon Steven - 4,205,000 13. Tobias Reinkemeier - 4,125,000 14. Doug Polk - 3,885,000 15. Connor blanconegro Drinan - 3,685,000 16. Gabe Kaplan - 3,475,000 17. Tony Gregg - 3,415,000 18. Isaac Haxton - 3,370,000 19. John Juanda - 3,215,000 20. Cary Katz - 2,945,000 21. Paul Newey - 2,845,000 22. Bill Klein - 2,840,000 23. Erick Lindgren - 2,175,000 24. Christoph Vogelsang - 2,060,000 25. John Morgan - 1,800,000 26. Talal Shakerchi - 1,685,000 27. Daniel Cates - 1,670,000 28. Greg gregy20723 Merson - 1,625,000 29. Scott Seiver - 1,165,000 30. Guy Laliberte - 1,030,000 31. Jean-Robert Bellande - 1,005,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  25. One of the largest tournaments in the history of the World Series of Poker began on Thursday, as a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Monster Stack drew 7,862 entrants. Two flights occurred during the day, the first attracting 4,020 players, the most the Rio could handle at one time. The second flight drew nearly the same number of bodies, meaning first place will take home $1.3 million, nearly 900 times the buy-in. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- A total of 1,941 players from Flight A of the Monster Stack moved onto Day 2 on Friday, which begins at 3:00pm local time. It's unclear how many players from Flight B advanced, but players were looking at the tournament as a potential tune-up for the Main Event, which starts next week. Take Jeff Gross, for example, who Tweeted, "Up over 30K in #wsop51 monster stack tourney... Started at 11pm tonight, this feels like a good warm-up for the Main!" A field of 7,862 is the third largest tournament in WSOP history, trailing the 2006 Main Event, which had 8,773 players, and this year's Millionaire Maker, which had a field of 7,977. Prior to this year's WSOP, the largest non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history was last year's Millionaire Maker, which had 6,352 players. To give you a little taste of the mayhem that was the second flight of the day, coverage on WSOP.com noted, "The 5pm second flight quickly filled up and some of the 'Day 1b first wave' registrants had to wait nearly three hours before they were seated for play. Four more 'waves' for seating players were planned, but ultimately the large majority seemed to have to wait until the start of level six to be able to play some poker." Registration closed just before 11:00pm local time. PocketFivers were Tweeting about the tournament, several of whom started quite late, but still managed to move on to Day 2. Falling under that banner was Randy nanonokoLew, who Tweeted, "Only played for 4 hours today, but made Day 2 of the Monster stack! Got 28,300." Revealing his experience of reaching Day 2 was former skateboarder Darryll DFish Fish, who Tweeted, "Bagging 21k after a day of mostly folding in the #monsterstack." Two-time bracelet winner John Monnette is the chip leader in the Monster Stack event after Day 1 with 152,000. Incredibly, two former #1 ranked playerson PocketFives cracked the top 10 of the large-field tournament: Jordan Jymaster0011Young and Griffin Flush_Entity Benger (pictured), who bagged the sixth and tenth largest chip stacks on Thursday, respectively. Here are the top 10 stacks, according to WSOP.com: 1. John Monnette - 152,000 2. Alexander Ziski - 139,800 3. Matt Weber - 136,300 4. Jonathan Luckett - 110,800 5. Javier Ofbravetight Swett - 109,600 6. Jordan Jymaster0011Young - 105,000 7. Zachary HustlerGrune Gruneberg - 104,500 8. Gabe Paul - 96,600 9. Jamie mmmWawa Kerstetter - 88,800 10. Griffin Flush_Entity Benger - 87,700 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

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