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Found 959 results

  1. The World Series of Poker has announced its plans for the return of its live, in-person Las Vegas poker festival for 2021. The series is set to take place from Thursday, September 30 through Tuesday, November 23 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel with the first flight of the $10,000 Main Event kicking off on Thursday, November 4. “This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together,” said Ty Stweart, WSOP Executive Director. While a complete schedule was not released with the announcement, the opening weekend is expected to feature a special charity event to benefit frontline health workers, a $25,000 HORSE event, and a $5 million guaranteed No Limit Hold'em tournament dubbed “The Reunion.” The $10,000 Main Event will have four starting flights - one per day from November 4-7. Day 2 for the first two flights will be on Monday, November 8, and the final two flights will reconvene for Day 2 on Tuesday, November 9. The entire field will play together for the first time on November 10 and play down to a winner, who will be crowned on November 17. All of the laid-out dates for the series are subject to change and will hinge on both state and regulatory approvals. The series will also be following any and all specific COVID-19 safety protocols, such as social distancing and capacity limits, that may be in place. “In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas,” Stewart said. WSOP Online In addition to the return of the live festival, 2020's expanded WSOP Online series is set to return in 2021, with the first gold bracelet event taking place on WSOP.com in the U.S. on Thursday, July 1. The full schedule of domestic online gold bracelet events will be released on April 15, however, it is confirmed that the series will wrap up with a $1,000 Online Championship Event. It is also expected that there will be a 2021 WSOP Online international gold bracelet series, as there was in 2020, that will be held on GGPoker. WSOP Europe King’s Casino in Rozvadov is also preparing for the return of the World Series of Poker Europe which is set to take place from Friday, November 19 through Tuesday, December 8. “We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall,” said Stewart. “It’s important to us that we have an excelled tournament schedule available to our European players.” The series looks to have 15 live gold bracelet events, including a €10,000 buy-in WSOPE Main Event and a €50,000 High Roller. Like the fall WSOP series, the start of WSOPE is also subject to regulatory approval and COVID protocols.
  2. No, some of the best poker players in the world were not packed into the tables at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas chasing down World Series of Poker Circuit rings over the last two weeks. Players in Nevada and New Jersey were, in fact, playing on WSOP.com in the Planet Hollywood Circuit events with 12 rings on the line and the list of winners includes more than a handful of familiar faces including a pair of former #1-ranked online poker players. The 12-event series had a total guarantee of $1.125 million and all 12 tournaments easily cleared their individual guarantee to push the total prize pools to $1,791,499. Jared Jaffee Opens With a Win Jared Jaffee, who won his first WSOP Circuit ring at The Bicycle Club in Los Angeles in 2017, added another ring to his collection by outlasting 416 other entries in Event #1 ($250 NL Freezeout). Along with the win, Jaffee, playing under the screen name 'darrensrabbi', earned $23,804.44. Runner-up 'DaSurrealist' earned $13,359.63 while Zach 'ThePepster5' Epstein took third for $8,161.52. Ari Engel Breaks into Double Digits Ari Engel, who held the #1 spot on the PocketFives Rankings for five weeks in late 2006, became just the fourth player to win 10 WSOP Circuit rings when he bested the 151-entry field in Event #3 ($500 Big PLO $500). Engel banked $16,350.13 for the win. Daniel 'Bunzer07' Jordan, who won the WSOP Circuit Online $1,000 Six Max High Roller event back in January for his first career ring, fell one spot short of grabbing his second and had to settle for a $12,244 score. Seth 'weliketoprty' Anirudh finished in third for $9,186.87. Steve Gross Grabs First Ring Engel wasn't the only former #1 PocketFiver who grabbed some hardware. Steve Gross, who had four different reigns at the top for 55 total weeks, beat 469 other runners in Event #5 ($525 NL Monster Stack) for a $40,185 score and his first career Circuit ring. Michael 'miw201x' Wang finished one spot shy of the ring and added $29,727.50 to his bankroll. Jeff 'YanCanCook' Yanchek took third for $21,925.50. Daniel Buzgon Does Double Duty Daniel Buzgon, the #9-ranked online poker in the United States, emerged from the series with two rings. His first came in Event #8 ($300 NL Knockout Freezeout) where he worked his way through 280 other entries to win $14,896.92. Two days later, he beat 261 players in Event #10 ($500 NL BIG 500 8-Max) for a $24,840.57 score. The New Jersey resident now has six career Circuit rings with the last four all coming in the online arena. Derek Sudell Ships Main Event Title Derek 'rickyguan' Sudell made his way through 721 other entries in Event #12 ($525 Main Event) only to be left going heads-up against AJ 'jnja1719' Basselini-Truisi, the winner of the Main Event in the WSOP Circuit Super Series in January. There, Basselini-Truisi beat 892 other entries to capture his first career ring. This time however, the Howell, New Jersey resident had to settle for runner-up status. Sudell eliminated him in second place and earned the Connecticut native a career-best $57,623.10 score. Basselini-Truisi walked away with $42,657. James 'muskrrr' Moore wound up in third place and earned $31,450.50. WSOP.com Planet Hollywood Circuit Winners List [table id=179 /] The next WSOP Online Circuit series is the Silver Legacy Circuit which runs March 19 - 30 and offers 12 ring events.
  3. It’s been over six years since Brazil’s Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski was the #1-ranked online poker player in the world and this week he took another step closer to becoming it again. After weeks of hovering inside and out of the worldwide top five for the better part of two months, the tournament superstar unseated Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to assume the #2 spot and became the next player to make a run at fellow Brazilian Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, who has now held the #1 ranking for 11 weeks in a row. For many, Dzivieleski first stepped into the poker spotlight when he was featured on the ESPN broadcast during the 2019 Main Event. Ever since then, he has continued to pile up the accolades. He’s won two World Series of Poker gold bracelets, including one in 2020, as well as multiple partypoker POWERFEST events, and a total of four PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker titles. A regular in the online high roller scene, with over $10 million in total lifetime online earnings, Dzivielevski has become known as one of Brazil’s very best all-around players. But there are also plenty of poker players and fans who know that ‘Yuri Martins’ has been a must-respected tournament grinder years before his 2019 “breakout” year. In 2014, he soared to the top of the rankings and ended Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro’s first two-week run as #1. Dzivielevski held the top spot for three weeks, lost it, and then clawed his way back to the top three months later knocking Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz out of the top spot. Now, he’s in a position to reach #1 again. He did this by maintaining a disciplined grind and continuing to rack up large scores. Of course, his runner-up finish in America's Cardroom Venom Main Event, which was covered last week, set the stage and pushed him back into the top five. But it was his work over the past week and a half that put him where he is now. A deep run in the February 15 edition of the Natural8 Sunday 500 High Roller brought him a $9,826 payday and 148.04 PLB points. Three days later he bested a field of 242 entries in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for over $10,253 and another 245.97 PLB points. Finally, he tacked on another 310.92 PLB points with his sixth-place result in the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, High Roller) for $47,858. All of that said though, Dzivielevski has a tough task ahead of him if he’s going to reach #1. Botteon has not slowed down. He picked up three PLB qualifying scores of his own including a win in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder. Botteon currently holds a healthy lead on the field with a total of 13,963 total PLB points, 1,672 points above Dzivielevski. However, should Dzivielevski continues to pile on the results, as he did this week in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ where he finished in fourth place for $207,649, he has a real shot at becoming #1 in 2021. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • There were several notable jumps inside the top 100 this week including Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold who soared 125 places from #160 to a career-high #36 by stringing together 11-PLB qualifying cashes so far this month including a ninth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ where his final table finish brought him an $11,271 score. • ‘Olorion’ is Poland’s #1-ranked player thanks to his victory in the GGPoker Sunday Special $88 that brought him $21,572 and 416.82 PLB points. That spotlight score helped him leap from #217 in the world all the way to #58. However, it’s not a career-high for the longtime grinder who, back in 2013, reached as high as 28 in the world. • Alex ‘Veruz’ Butcher remains the #1-ranked player in the USA, landing at #64 worldwide. It’s hard for players in the USA to maintain high placements on the worldwide stage due to the limited offering of tournaments in America, but Butcher managed a pair of nice PLB scores one week ago and added to it this week with his win in the partypoker NJ Daily $10K GTD for $3,338 and 125.30 PLB points. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=178 /]
  4. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Buckle up folks ... fresh off of his $1.2 million win over Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk joins co-hosts Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters to talk about how much he ACTUALLY won, what he thinks of his longtime rival now, and what's next for him and his career. Lance and Donnie also get into Chris Moneymaker's new sponsorship, the launch of PokerStars in Michigan, what GGPoker's licensing in Pennsylvania means for players there and what would the world of poker be if there wasn't a massive Twitter drama bomb? Lance and Donnie give their take on the Terrence Chan/Mike McDonald Twitter beef over PokerShares' offering on the Landon Tice vs. Bill Perkins heads-up challenge. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  5. It’s not often that one gets a second shot at greatness. Very few have been afforded that opportunity when it comes to becoming the World Series of Poker Main Event champion. So when Damian Salas, who just three years ago finished in seventh place at the WSOP Main Event, found himself in a position to win the championship bracelet that eluded him in 2017, he leaned into his passion for the game and his desire to be known as one of the very best finally reach his championship goal. “Taking into account my experience in 2017, I didn’t see it as a rematch, I took it as a new opportunity granted by this beautiful mind sport so that I could win the World Championship,” said Salas. “I felt great and highly motivated. I’ve worked with tons of persistence during these last eight or nine years of my professional career, so I can give my very best in times of extreme pressure. I felt like I could make it and that was a determining factor to becoming the champion.” It may be that Salas, the Argentinian lawyer turned poker pro, made a name for himself in poker with his seventh-place finish 2017 Main Event when he won $1.425 million but as he mentioned, it was by no means the start of his poker journey. Salas has made the trip to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker for over a decade and prior to his first Main Event, final table appearance had posted a string of impressive results on the biggest poker tours in Latin America including the LAPT and BSOP. If Salas’ journey had essentially ended with his seven-figure score on ESPN it would be a poker success story by nearly every metric. However, for Salas, a few minutes in the spotlight was not what he was after. It still isn’t. “I don’t play for the money, that’s not my goal. It’s not what drives me,” Salas said. “It is great, taking those results into account, as it is paramount to meeting other ambitions in my life. But my basic motivation is to become better and better every day and remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” “As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t think winning [the Main Event] makes me the best player in the world, but I am worthy of the achievement since I believe I could compete for many years now with the world-class poker elite. That’s an honor I’ve earned, and it is my greatest challenge and motivation day in and day out - to remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” To get to where he is, Salas has embraced the grind. With live poker events essentially put on hold in 2020, Salas dove into online poker and quickly became the #1-ranked player in his native Argentina. He broke through into the worldwide top-20 with the help of a pair of impressive scores in some of the year’s biggest tournament series. First, he took third place in the first-ever WPT World Championship Main Event on partypoker which came with an $814,664 payday. Then he took home a PokerStars EPT Online title with a victory in Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE) for another $117,475. The success was paving the way to a run in the WSOP Main Event. “Honestly, I was having a great year,” he said. “So I wasn’t surprised by the [WSOP win] because I felt in great shape, I was really prepared. Obviously, it was incredible and even spectacular to close the year this way.” The path to the WSOP Main Event title was unlike any in years past. First Salas has to navigate the field of online entrants on GGPoker, then travel to the Czech Republic to play down the final table at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, and finally make his way to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to compete against Joseph Hebert, the winner of the domestic leg of the WSOP Main Event, in a for-broadcast heads-up match. “I can say that the online elements against international players at GGPoker were impressive. The poker world’s elite played in that tournament and I had to face them all,” he said, looking back on the tournament as a whole. “It was highly difficult. The clash was really hard from the beginning.” When he made the live final table he was third in chips but one of the toughest challenges awaited. Brazil’s Brunno Botteon, the current #1-ranked player in the world, held the chip lead and was also having a career year. “At the final table were at least five elite representatives of poker including Bruno Botteon, whose quality is extraordinary. And, well, the confrontation demanded my very best,” he said. “I was really inspired at the final table, where I took certain creative lines which I could capitalize in my favor. In the end, while I believe I also benefited from some good cards and good luck, I think those creative hands were responsible for my success.” Salas walked away with the win after defeating Botteon heads-up, which brought him a new career-high score of $1.55 million. It also put him in line to battle heads up for the championship bracelet. “Then came the heads up with Joseph [Hebert]. Either one of us could have won, really,” Salas said. But even after losing some key pots and being on the brink of finishing in second, Salas fought back. “I think I played with discipline, with concentration, with metered quantities of matured aggressiveness that was very efficient,” he said. “It is a great privilege because I understand I was very lucky. However, I also know I have done all I could so that I could meet my goal and that fills me with joy.” In the aftermath of reaching his goal, one might expect Salas to take some time off, perhaps enjoy a few of the finer things with his bonus $1 million payday he received for winning the bracelet. While some new doors are opening for the new World Champion, Salas insists that the main goal of being elite never stops. “Being totally honest, my daily routine has not changed much. As I always say, I’m not driven by money. There is another motivation, that’s to belong to the world elite. Added to the fact that I truly enjoy what I do and I do love playing poker, so my routine remains practically the same…I’m the World Champion, and that’s great, but understanding I’m the same person I was before the tournament.”
  6. The poker world might not like the idea, but Damian Salas will have no problem calling himself the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. The 45-year-old Argentinian beat Joseph Hebert in the heads up finale of the 2020 WSOP Main Event on Sunday night at the Rio Hotel & Casino to take home $1 million, the bracelet and the title of WSOP Main Event champ. The $1 million is in addition to the $1,550,969 Salas earned for winning the international leg at King's Casino in mid-December. Hebert, who earned $1,553,256 for winning the U.S. leg of the event, earned no additional prize money for finishing as the runner-up. “Joseph was a very hard opponent, and he played really well. In a few instances, he was about to win, it was a real fight and he never slowed down,” Salas said. “Going into the championship, I felt all the energy and support from my family and friends in Argentina tonight, and that helped me.” Both players started the heads up match with 500,000 chips and levels were 20 minutes long. Over the course of nearly six hours and 173 hands of play, both players took turns holding the chip lead with Salas being down 9-1 in chips before clawing his way back to win. After the third chip lead change, Hebert seemed to have Salas cornered. Down 9-1 in chips after hand #82, Salas doubled with [poker card="ad"][poker card="2c"] against Hebert's [poker card="kd"][poker card="5h"]. He doubled again on hand #101 and then took the lead on hand #136. Hebert was down 3-1 in chips before taking a slight lead after doubling through Salas on hand #153. Hebert increased that lead to as much as 3-1 before running [poker card="as"][poker card="8d"] into Salas' [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"] with only 20 big blinds in play on hand #170. Salas won that hand to hold his own 3-1 chip lead and just three hands later, finished Hebert off. With blinds of 25,000/50,000, Hebert jammed for 390,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] and Salas called with [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"] flop moved Salas in front and Hebert could only watch as the [poker card="5d"] turn and [poker card="kc"] river completed the board to give Salas the title. Salas is no stranger to WSOP Main Event success. In 2017, he finished in seventh place and won $1,425,000. The heads up match was the culmination of the WSOP decision to host a hybrid online-live Main Event on GGPoker and WSOP.com after hosting a "Main Event" on GGPoker as part of the 2020 WSOP Online. In December, each site hosted a $10,000 buy-in online event which played down to a final table of nine. The final tablists from each site met in a live setting to play down to just one player. Each of the two winners then met in Las Vegas to play for the right to be called Main Event champion. The heads-up finale was originally scheduled to take place December 30, but had to be delayed until Sunday after Salas was denied entry to the United States due to his recent travel activity and COVID-19 protocols.
  7. In the final days of 2020, former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Huckleberry Seed became the 60th person inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Seed, a four-time WSOP bracelet winner including the 1996 WSOP Main Event, is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of what should be considered poker’s highest honor. The mission of the Poker of Fame should be to celebrate the game itself while recognizing the players and people who have shined brightest and helped elevate the game during their careers. That being said, the current system responsible for nominating and enshrining people into the Poker Hall of Fame is broken and needs an overhaul to mitigate some issues which are already making themselves known and are only bound to get worse. A quick explainer on the current system: Following a public nomination process, the WSOP releases a list of 10 nominees based on the public input. Living PHOF members are given those 10 names to consider. Each voter has 10 points to distribute amongst the 10 nominees however they choose. All votes are tallied and the nominee receiving the most points is inducted. This is a change from the previous 10 years where a select panel of media (equal to the number of voting PHOF members) were also given a vote and the top two point earners were inducted. The criticisms of the current system are aplenty but there are two which stand out. The heavy bias towards American players has long been a frustration for players, fans and media from outside of the country. The second issue is a growing backlog of worthy candidates that has no hope of being cleared anytime soon as more and more worthy candidates become eligible each year. Let the Public Continue to Be Involved The one thing that doesn’t need any real change is the nomination process. The WSOP makes it so that anybody, a poker fan, a poker player, a family member, can nominate somebody for the PHOF so long as the person they’re nominating is at least 40 years old. It gives everybody an opportunity to be involved and gives WSOP executives a number of names to choose from when putting the final list of 10 nominees together each year. Remove the Cap on Number of Annual Inductees Seed was the only member of the 2020 class by design. From 2010-2019, the PHOF enshrined two nominees each year. That became a single inductee in 2020 with WSOP executives citing a return to tradition as the reason behind the change. “We like tradition. One per year is the way it was for the majority of the Poker Hall of Fame’s history. A single inductee seems to promote the prestige of the honor,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP, who oversees the administration of the PHOF. In fact, the PHOF has had a single inductee in 18 years, two inductees in 16 years, seven inductees in the inaugural class of 1979, and another five years with no inductees at all. Keeping one inductee, or even two, per year certainly keeps the PHOF exclusive, but there is already a backlog of candidates waiting to get in and the coming onslaught from the online poker generation is going to make the nominees list awfully crowded. Five years from now five of the most recent nominees will still be on the nomination list and the following players will be eligible for the first time in either 2025 or 2026: Justin Bonomo, Shaun Deeb, Phil Galfond, Isaac Haxton, Jason Koon, Chris Moorman, Nick Schulman, Scott Seiver, Vanessa Selbst. Neither the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or the Basketball Hall of Fame restrict the number of inductees on an annual basis. The PHOF needs to follow suit and this could be accomplished by eliminating the points system currently being used and replacing it with the system used by those other halls of fame. In all three instances, voters are given the name of all of those eligible for induction and simply vote yes or no. For basketball and baseball, a nominee becomes an enshrinee with 75% of the vote, for football, it’s 80%. Add More International Flavor Seed was the 60th inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame and one of the major criticisms of the current system is that it places an emphasis on American players. Of the 31 living Hall of Famers, who are eligible to vote, only four are not American. Carlos Mortensen, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, and Henry Orenstein are the only four voters born outside of the United States and most of them, if not all of them, spent a considerable amount of their poker career living and working in the United States. This fails to recognize the incredible worldwide growth that the game of poker has enjoyed over the last 50 years. Eliminating the maximum number of inductees rule as mentioned above could lead to an increase in the number of international members, which in turn leads to more international voters. Allowing select industry leaders, including members of the media, would also increase the number of international voters. Starting in 2010, a select media panel, intentionally equal in size to the number of HOF members voting, were afforded the opportunity to vote. That privilege was eliminated this year. Modifying this concept to include those who have worked long term in the poker industry puts in place a much needed system of checks and balances and ensures the international players get a fair shake. While the number American poker media outlets may be declining, the growth in international coverage of the game and the industry has grown immensely. Markets such as Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany, and India all have talented, knowledgeable media covering the game not only in their own country, but around the world. Vetting and filling a panel of 32 media members wouldn’t be difficult and would provide a much-needed sense of balance to the final vote. Make the Builder Category Official The current criteria that voters are asked to consider when voting is the following: A gambler must have played poker against acknowledged top competition, Played for high stakes, Played consistently well, gained the respect of peers, And stood the test of time. Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. While that last line certainly allows for a voter to recognize “non-players” in their voting, it also forces them to evaluate two completely different categories of nominee against each other. It also doesn’t tell voters how to apply the criteria to the nominees. For example, Chris Moneymaker was part of the PHOF Class of 2019 and a number of those who voted for him were doing so based on the “non-player” criteria because of his role in helping ignite the poker boom following his 2003 WSOP Main Event win. Moneymaker clearly doesn’t fit the criteria as a player and he would most likely be the first one to tell you that. Creating and properly defining a category specific for builders gives voters the opportunity to properly assess the entire body of work of that nominee. A yes or no voting system also removes the requirement that a five-time WSOP bracelet winner’s credential be considered against that of a longtime member of the industry whose impact was responsible for measurable growth. To ensure that the Hall continues to shine on light on the game’s best players, removing the minimum vote threshold and simply inducting the leading vote getter each year ensures no more than a single builder is recognized each year. Get Ceremonial and Show the World Over the years there have been varying types of ceremonies for the annual HOF induction. From a dinner at Binion’s with friends, family, fellow HOFers and industry leaders invited to a simple ceremony during November Nine festivities, the WSOP has, in the past, made an effort to afford the inductees a chance to be recognized in front of an audience. Budgetary restrictions and timing issues have made a ceremony of any magnitude a challenge the past few years, but adding a Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony to the calendar not only gives the newest members of the PHOF a night to shine, but it gives the WSOP a chance to thump its chest and strut. The WSOP already has a strong relationship with PokerGO and including a night of pomp and circumstance where the inductees, Hall of Famers, top players, and celebrities all gather to celebrate the game to the broadcast schedule seems like a win-win. Footing the bill for something like this comes down to finding a sponsor. WSOP executives have had success bringing non-endemic advertisers into the fold as sponsors and this seems like a great opportunity to bring one of those companies to the table. Small steps like the one's listed here aren't necessarily new, but re-vamping the entire process with an eye towards ramping up the intensity of the spotlight shined on poker's best and brightest is a win-win for everybody. FIVE THINGS is written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley and covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It appears periodically at PocketFives.com.
  8. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Don't miss this week's all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie reunite once again to bring you all of the latest news from this week in the world of poker. This week, the guys are discussing the World Series of Poker's recently announced hybrid live/online 2020 WSOP Main Event. The 10K freezeout will start by being played out on both WSOP.com (in the U.S.) and GGPoker and eventually end up with a televised heads-up match for broadcast on ESPN to determine poker's new World Champion. Plus, speaking of heads-up action, the Doug Polk-Daniel Negreanu high-stakes challenge is full speed ahead and the guys break down all of the action taking place and what they've learned in the early going. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  9. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Don’t miss this week’s all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie break down all of the news from a busy week in the world of poker. First up, the guys dive into the latest numbers coming out of the Doug Polk/Daniel Negreanu high-stakes heads-up challenge. Polk still holds a commanding lead while Negreanu has strung together a number of winning sessions - will the challenge end at 12,500 hands or extend to the full 25,000? The guys get to the bottom of it. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event is taking place this month with the first flights of the international leg taking place on GGPoker. In the United States, as players prepare to take their shot in the $10K buy-in event, an issue cropped up in one of the satellites on WSOP.com which had the poker community buzzing. Also, GGPoker’s signing of social media influencer Dan Bilzerian drew both praise and sharp criticism from all corners of the poker world. Is the controversial Bilzerian good for the game of poker? Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  10. When the United States leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event reached the final table two weeks ago, Louisiana native Joseph Hebert was the chip leader. Having two weeks to prepare for the biggest moment of his poker career, Hebert admitted that the nerves got to him as he took his seat at the Rio on Monday night. "The pressure was overwhelming for sure. When I sat down I was uncomfortable for sure," Hebert said. Hebert didn't break under the pressure though and late Monday night he was the last player standing and was $1.5 million richer because of it. The day began with news that Upeshka De Silva had failed a COVID test and was disqualified from the final table and awarded a ninth place finish. That left just eight players vying for the $1.5 million first place prize and the opportunity to play International leg winner Damian Salas for the bracelet and additional $1 million in prize money. Gershon Distenfeld started the final table with the third smallest stack but lasted just six hands before being eliminated. Ron Jenkins raised to 375,000 from middle position with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] before Distenfeld shoved for 1,430,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"]. Jenkins called and sweated the [poker card="9h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2h"][poker card="th"][poker card="5h"] runout to eliminate Distenfeld in eighth place. Distenfeld plans to donate his $125,885 winnings to charity. Seven-handed play went on for another 55 hands of play before the next elimination occurred. With blinds of 125,000/250,000, Shawn Stroke shoved his last 975,000 from TG+1 with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"], from his immediate left, Harrison Dobin moved all in over the top for 4,200,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"], and Jenkins called all in for 3,280,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] flop kept Jenkins in front and neither the [poker card="th"] turn or [j] river changed anything and Stroke was eliminated in seventh. Down to just four big blinds, Dobin only got to see two more hands. From the button, Hebert raised to 500,000 with [poker card="kh"][poker card="2d"] and Dobin called off his last 750,000 from the big blind with [poker card="5d"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2h"] flop left Dobin in dire straits before the [poker card="qc"] river sealed his fate. The [poker card="9s"] completed the board to send Dobin out in sixth. Hebert was responsible for the next elimination 11 hands later in a blind vs. blind situation. Tony Yuan moved all in for 2,830,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"] and Hebert called with [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"]. Yuan found no relief on the [poker card="5h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] flop and could only collect his things as the [poker card="7d"] turn and [poker card="9h"] river left Hebert to rake in the pot and bust Yuan in fifth place. Jenkins went back to work eliminating opponents 19 hands later. Action folded to Jenkins in the small blind and he moved all in with [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"] and Ryan Hagerty called all in from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2h"] flop gave both players a pair but left Jenkins in front. Neither the turn or river card saved Hagerty from being eliminated in fourth place. Six hands later, the tournament entered the heads-up portion of play after Hebert sent another player to the rail. Hebert opened to 600,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"] and Michael Cannon responded by moving all in from the small blind for 4,800,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"] and Hebert snap-called. Hebert was well in front and stayed there as the [poker card="ts"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5d"] didn't gave Cannon any real extra outs and he was eliminated in third. Hebert held a 2-1 chip lead when heads-up play began and it took just one single hand for him toe garner all of the chips in play. From the button, Hebert raised to 700,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] before Jenkins raised to 2,300,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. Hebert clicked back all in and Jenkins called with his tournament life on the line. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Hebert top pair and left Jenkins hoping for running straight or flush cards or the case queen. The [poker card="4h"] turn meant only one card in the deck could save Jenkins and the [poker card="8c"] river was not it. Hebert eliminated Jenkins in second place and banked the $1,553,256 score while Jenkins had to settle for runner-up status and $1,002,340. Hebert now waits for Salas, winner of the international leg of the tournament, to arrive from Argentina to play him heads-up for the bracelet and an additional $1 million. Salas was apparently denied entry to the United States this week after traveling to Europe in the last 15 days. Hebert plans on spending the next few days learning as much as he can about the former November Niner in preparation for their match. "I really don't much about him. I need to read up on him a little bit more. I was trying to focus on this final table first," Hebert said. "I'm super excited and I can't wait to face him." The finale is expected to be played next Sunday. Final Table Payouts Joseph Hebert - $1,553,256 Ron Jenkins - $1,002,340 Michael Cannon - $529,258 Ryan Hagerty - $387,130 Tony Yuan - $286,963 Harrison Dobin - $215,222 Shawn Stroke - $163,786 Gershon Distenfeld - $125,885 Upeshka De Silva - $98,813
  11. Sometime before the end of 2020, one person - and potentially two - will receive a phone call from World Series of Poker executives letting them now they have been enshrined into the Poker Hall of Fame. The list of ten finalists for the class of 2020 were announced Thursday with three first-time nominees and seven others who have been up for induction before. Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, the longtime voices of the WSOP on ESPN broadcasts, are nominated as a pair. This marks the first-time in Hall of Fame history that a duo has been nominated together and is the first nomination for the each of them. Patrik Antonius, who turned 40 earlier this month to meet the minimum age requirement is also a first-time nominee. The Finnish superstar has more than $12 million in lifetime tournament earnings but is more well-known for his high stakes cash game prowess both online and live. The third new name on the list of finalists is PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg. The 75-year-old Scheinberg founded the company that eventually became PokerStars in 2000 and turned it into the industry leader before selling the company to Amaya in 2014. In 2011, Scheinberg was one of 11 people indicated by the United States government in what eventually became known as Black Friday in the poker community. WSOP officials, who oversee the Poker Hall of Fame, had made it clear in years past that Scheinberg's inability to travel to the United States to accept a possible induction was part of the reason he had not been nominated. Scheinberg settled the case earlier this year. RELATED: Isai Scheinberg Leads Potential 2020 Poker Hall of Fame Nominees Scheinberg isn't the only finalist with connections to Black Friday. Full Tilt Poker co-founder and six-time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Ferguson is nominated for the second consecutive year. Ferguson, who disappeared from the WSOP scene following Black Friday before returning to action in 2016, won the WSOP Main Event in 2000 and sits third on the WSOP all-time cashes list. To many, Ferguson remains one of the most controversial figures in poker over his connections to Full Tilt Poker and refusal to address his role in the downfall of the company. The other six finalists are Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, Matt Savage, and 1996 WSOP Main Event champion Huck Seed. The list of finalists is now in the hands of the 31 living members of the Hall of Fame. Each member is given 10 votes to distribute to any of the finalists they deem worthy of induction. Voters are expected to consider the following criteria when casting their ballot: Player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Be a minimum of 40-years-old at time of nomination Played for high stakes Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results The finalist who receives the most votes will be the sole inductee this year with the announcement coming at the 2020 WSOP Main Event final table in Las Vegas on December 30.
  12. Making the trip from Argentina to the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event international live final table at King's Casino in the Czech Republic was well worth it for Damian Salas. The 45-year-old, who also made the final table of the 2017 WSOP Main Event, defeated Brunno Botteon, the #1-ranked online poker player in the world, heads-up to win $1.5 million and will now travel to Las Vegas to play the winner of the American final table live for another $1 million. The final table began eight-handed after China's Peiyuan 'fish3098' Sun not to travel to Rozvadov due to the coronavirus pandemic. It took just 45 minutes for the Salas to turn his aggression into an increased chip stack with the elimination of Hannes Speiser. Salas was the initial aggressor, raising to 425,000 from early position before Speiser, who started the final table with the fifth best stack, responded by moving all in for 1,925,000. Salas called and showed [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] while Speiser was in trouble with [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6s"] to eliminate Speiser in eighth place. Salas continued to accumulate and 30 minutes later, sent another player home. Stoyan Obreshkov raised to 900,000 from the cutoff and Salas re-raised to 1,750,000 and Obreshkov called all in. Salas showed [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"] which was the worst case scenario for Obreshkov who tabled [poker card="ks"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] flop changed nothing for Obreshkov and all he could do was sweat the [poker card="7s"] turn and [poker card="as"] river to seal his fate with a seventh place result. That pot moved Salas into striking distance of Brunno Botteon for the first time since the final table began. A battle of the blinds just 15 minutes later between Dominykas Mikolaitis and Manuel Ruivo ended things for one of them. From the small blind, Ruivo moved all in and Mikolaitis called and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"] while Ruivo was ahead with [poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"]. Ruivo improved to bottom set on the [poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"] flop. The [poker card="7s"] turn ended Mikolaitis' running clubs dream. The [poker card="4c"] completed the board to officially eliminate Mikolaitis in sixth. Ruivo found another victim but it wasn't until nearly two hours later. The Portugal native raised from the button to 600,000 and Marco Streda shoved from the small blind for somewhere north of 2,500,000. Ruivo called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Streda was in bad shape with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"] to eliminate Streda. Thanks to a 30-minute dinner break and a regularly scheduled 15-minute break, the next elimination didn't happen until nearly one hour and 45 minutes after Streda hit the rail. Ramon Miquel Munoz was down to approximately 800,000 and moved all in from UTG. Botteon followed that by moving all in, forcing the rest of the table to fold. Munoz had life with [poker card="as"][poker card="6d"] while Botteon showed [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"]. Munoz' tournament life was all but snuffed out on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"][poker card="3h"] flop. The [poker card="ks"] turn made a comeback impossible and the [poker card="ad"] river made Munoz' fourth place finish official. Three-handed play last just about an hour before Salas sent the tournament to the heads-up portion. Botteon folded his button, Salas completed from the small blind and then called when Ruivo raised to 1,500,000 in the big blind. After the [poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2d"] flop, Salas check-raised to 5,000,000. Ruivo moved all in for not much more and Salas called. Ruivo showed [poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"] for top two pair while Salas tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="7c"] for a flush draw. Salas added a straight draw on the [poker card="8s"] turn and then completed his flush draw on the [poker card="5c"] river to bust Ruivo in second. Heads-up play began with Salas holding nearly two-thirds of the chips in play. Over a full hour of play between Botteon and Salas, the Brazilian only managed to briefly take over the chip lead before Salas regained it and eliminated Botteon. On the final hand, Botteon completed from the small blind and Salas checked to see a flop of [poker card="kc"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2h"]. Both players checked to see the [poker card="6h"] turn card. Botteon check-raised to 2,800,000 and Salas called. The [poker card="8c"] completed the board and Botteon moved all in and Salas tank-called. Botteon showed [poker card="7h"][poker card="3h"] for a missed flush draw while Salas tabled [poker card="kd"][poker card="8h"] for top two pair to eliminate Botteon in second place. The win means Salas will be flying to Las Vegas right after Christmas to play the eventual winner of the U.S. leg of the 2020 WSOP Main Event for the $1 million prize. Final Table Payouts Damian Salas - $1,550,969 Bruno Botteon - $1,062,723 Manuel Ruivo - $728,177 Ramon Miquel Munoz - $498,947 Marco Streda - $341,879 Dominykas Mikolaitis - $234,255 Stoyan Obreshkov - $160,512 Hannes Speiser - $109,982 Peiyuan Sun - $75,360
  13. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event continued on Monday as the 179 players who survived the three $10,000 buy-in starting flights on GGPoker reconvened on Day 2 to determine which nine players would lock up a seat at King’s Casino in Rozvadov for a shot at the $1,550,969 first-place prize. When all was said and done on Day 2 it was worldwide #5-ranked Brunno Botteon out of Brazil who rose to the top of the final table chip counts, finishing the day with more than 10 million in chips. More than 4 million behind Botteon on the leaderboard sits Manuel Ruvio. Ruvio scored the final knockout of the day which helped elevate him to second in chips. The top-three is rounded out by 2017 World Series of Poker final table member Damian Salas. Salas, currently third in chips, would need to win the international portion of the Main Event to best his previous final table cash of $1.425 million which he earned for a seventh-place finish. Joining the chip leaders in Rozvadov will be ‘fullbabyfull’, Hannes Speiser, Dominykas Mikolaitis, Ramon Miquel Munoz, Peiyuan Sun, and short-stack Stoyan Obreshkov, who will start the final table with roughly 10 big blinds. Final Table Chip Counts [table id=136 /] Long before the final table was set, over half the field needed to go broke before the payouts began. Some of poker’s most notable names managed to make Day 2 but still ended up going home empty-handed. Former #1-ranked online pros Simon Mattsson and Yuri Dzivielevski were ousted before the money, as were the notable names of Ludovic Geilich, Anatoly Filatov, Anton Wigg, and Daniel Dvoress. WSOP gold bracelet winners Georgios Sotiropoulos, Simon Lofberg, Barak Wisbrod, Jonas Lauck, and Sung Joo Hyun all fell short of the money as well, leaving just Toby Joyce as the lone bracelet winner to sneak into the cash where he finished up in 32nd place for $26,507. Joining Joyce on the right side of the money bubble included Julien Menhardt (24th, $30,404) and Blaz Zerjav (25th, $30,404), the respective Day 1A and Day 1B overnight chip leaders. Alex Difelice (39th, $22,876), Sergio Aido (41st, $22,876), Antonine Saout (53rd, $18,421), Gary Hasson (54th, $18,421), and Gediminas Uselis (74th, $15,277), were also among those who managed to turn a profit. Roughly seven hours into Day 2, the final two tables battled to see who would survive to see the live portion of the tournament. Diego ‘Ushuaua1’ Zeiter got his [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] it all-in preflop against Stoyan ‘UncleToni’ Obreshkov’s [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] but failed to improve, falling in 18th for $34,115. He was quickly followed out the door by China’s ‘sunnyzyang1982’ who got in a raising war with Salas after the pair saw a [poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"] flop. The pair got it all in the middle, ‘sunnyzyang1982’ was holding the [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] but was out-kicked by Salas’ [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="7h"] river didn’t help ‘sunnyzyang1982’ and they fell in 17th for $39,356. Roughly 30 minutes later it was Fazel ‘waterproo’ Dawood’s turn to go broke. The South African open-shoved holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] and was called by Salas and his [poker card="8s"][poker card="8d"]. The board ran out pah][poker card="qs"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"] giving Salas more chips and Dawood a 16th place finish for $39,356. Another 30 minutes passed before Evaldas ‘Man14c’ Aniulis made his move with his short stack holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. He was called by Dominykas ‘MickeyMouse’ Mikolaitis in the big blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="6d"] flop paired Mikolaitis, which held through the [poker card="4h"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river. Aniulis was ousted in fifteenth place a $39,356 payday. ‘BorisLeBlade’ found himself all-in and at risk holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="kd"] against Christopher Puetz’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The board ran out clean for ‘BorisLeBlade’ right up until the [poker card="as"] on the river flipped the script awarding the hand to Puetz and sending ‘BorisLeBlade’ home in fourteenth place with $39,356. Despite securing that knockout, Puetz wasn’t long for the tournament either. He shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack from late position holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] and was re-shipped on by Hannes ‘BlackFortuna’ Speiser and his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop, but the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river put Speiser’s kicker into play and Puetz exited in thirteenth place for $44,914. The eliminations kept coming as Canada’s Carter Swidler clashed with Day 1C chipleader Senthuran Vijayaratnam in a pre-flop all-in contest. Swidler held [poker card="as"][poker card="7c"] while Vijayaratnam showed down [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. The board ran out clean for the pocket kings and Swidler hit the rail in twelfth place, earning $44,914. Vijayaratnam entered Day 2 with an overwhelming chip lead but with just 11 left he found himself engaged in an all-in clash with Botteon. After Botteon raised from late position with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"], Vijayaratnam three-bet shipped his nearly 20 big blind stack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"]. Botteon, who had Vijayaratnam covered, made the quick call with his premium pair. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"] bringing Vijayaratnam’s day to an end in eleventh place for $50,131 and sending Botteon to the top of the chip counts. The bubble for the final table finally burst when Manuel ‘robocup’ Ruvio raised from under the gun and the UK’s Thomas ‘ggmbn’ Macdonald moved his short stack all-in from the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"]. Ruvio completed the call holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"]. Ruvio took the lead on the [poker card="qc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop and held on through the [poker card="jd"] turn and [poker card="qs"] river to send Macdonald home in tenth place for $50,131, just one spot shy of a trip to Rozvadov. Now, with the final table of nine in place, the players will ditch their screen names and accept the challenge of making their way to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Rebublic by December 15 to play the international portion of the WSOP Main Event out in person. Final Table Payouts [table id=138 /]
  14. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event has arrived. The unique live-online hybrid solution to finding a successor to current reigning World Champion Hossein Ensan gives players, both in the United States and internationally, one final shot at winning a gold bracelet in 2020. Last updated: Sunday, December 7, 2020 The tournament, which comes with a traditional $10,000 buy-in and is a true freezeout, will hold all of its starting flights online. Players in the United States can travel to Nevada or New Jersey to play in a single opening flight on WSOP.com while international players have three starting flights to choose from on GGPoker. These two separate online tournaments will spawn two different final tables which will be played out live. The final nine from the WSOP.com player pool will determine a winner in Las Vegas as GGPoker's final table will battle it out at King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Ultimately, the winner of each final table will face off in a winner-take-all heads-up battle in front of the ESPN camera on December 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of that match will take home an additional $1 million and the title of WSOP World Champion. WSOP Main Event Schedule (GGPoker) [table id=130 /] WSOP Main Event Schedule (WSOP.com) [table id=128 /] Julian Menhardt Leads GGPoker Day 1A Survivors [caption id="attachment_633135" align="aligncenter" width="799"] The opening flights of the 2020 World Series of Poker are underway online. (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] The first flight of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event had 246 entries take their one-and-only shot in the $10,000 buy-in tournament. At the end of 16 30-minute levels, just 62 players advanced to day two with Germany’s Julian ‘VWgunther’ Menhardt bagging the chip lead with 534,490 chips (107 big blinds). Germany’s Paul ‘AsiaStylez’ Esau finished the day with 472,075 (94 bbs) for second in chips while the Netherlands Dirk Gerritse rounded out the top three with a 472,075 stack (91 bbs). Plenty of star power entered and survived through Day 1A. This includes former WSOP Main Event standout Preben Stokkan, a pair of Brazil’s best in Brunno Botteon and former #1-ranked player Yuri Dzivielevski, Anatoly Filatov, Daniel Dvoress, and Russia’s Artur Martirosian among others. For others though, the dream of becoming the WSOP Main Event champ will have to wait another year. Fedor Holz, Kristen Bicknell, Christian Rudolph, Julien Martini, and former #1-ranked players Steven van Zadelhoff and Andreas Nemeth were among those notable players who busted before the day was done. Joining them on the rail are the likes of Pablo Brito Silva, Jans Arends, Ole Schemion, Rainer Kempe, Christian Jeppsson, Sebastian Sikorski, and Patrik Antonius. The players that made it through to Day 2 of the WSOP 2020 Main Event will return to the online tables on December 7 and merge with the remaining fields of Day 1B and Day 1C to play down to a final table of nine. Day 1A Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=129 /] Blaž Žerjav Takes Overall Chip Lead On Day 1B [caption id="attachment_633168" align="aligncenter" width="696"] The 2020 WSOP Main Event has a new chip leader after Day 1B. (photo: PokerFactor)[/caption] The World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event continued on December 5 as 171 players opted to take their $10,000 shot on Day 1B. After roughly nine-and-a-half hours of play, 16 total levels, just 42 players survived the day with their dream of becoming the next WSOP World Champion in tact. Slovania’s Blaž Žerjav, third-place finisher in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online, finished the day atop the chip counts with a stack of 639,394 (128 bbs), good for an overall chip lead through two flights. Žerjav was followed closely by Brazil’s #9-ranked player, Rodrigo Valente (592,043, 118 bbs) in second place and Isreal’s Amir Divr (538,003, 108 bbs) in third. Online poker’s former #1-ranked crusher from Russia, Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov was the only other player to end the day with over 100bbs, finishing in fourth place with 551,114 in chips, good for 102 big blinds. Day 1B saw its share of notable names make it through to Day 2 including World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Simon Lofberg, Toby Joyce, and Barak Wisbrod. Joining them in advancing was the likes of PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo SHR winner Sergio Aido, Swedish pros Anton Wigg and Simon Mattsson, as well as PokerStars WCOOP winner Alex Difelice. With nearly 3/4th of the field busting throughout the day, it’s fair to say that there was plenty of big-time talent that found themselves on the outside looking in. Some of those who shot and missed included GGPoker ambassadors Felipe Ramos and Kevin Martin, 888poker ambassador Daria Feshchenko, Team partypoker pro Dzmitry Urbanovich, Sylvain Loosli, Bert ‘girafganger’ Stevens, Jens Kyllonen, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Adrian Mateos, and former #1-ranked Swedish pro Niklas Astedt. Day 1B Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=133 /] Senthuran Vijayaratnam Tops Day 1C, Takes Overall Chip Lead Into Day 2 The final starting day of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker saw another 257 players post their $10,000 buy-in to boost the field size to a three-day total of 674 runners. This landed the total prize pool at $6,470,400 assuring a seven-figure score of $1,550,969 for GGPoker’s eventual winner as well as awarding $1,062,723 for the runner-up. At the end of another 16 levels, 75 players virtually bagged chips in Day 1C making for a total remaining field size of just 179 players who will return for Day 2 on Monday. Of those still in the hunt to become the 2020 WSOP World Champion, 80 will make the money and just nine will lock up a seat at the live final table, which set to take place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on December 16. Canada’s Senthuran Vijayaratnam leveraged the largest of the three starting flights to launch himself to the top of the overall chip counts. Vijayaratnam has a healthy lead on the field after dragging 966,714 (193 bbs) in chips, a number far above the tournament’s second-place player, the UK’s Jesse Wigan. Wigan just out chipped Day 1b chip leader Blaž Žerjav after finishing the day with 642,276 (128 bbs) in chips. Russia’s Viacheslav Buldygin rounds out the Day 1C top three, locking up 480,671 in chips to advance to Day 2. Day 1C had its fair share of notable names who made their way to the end of the day including WSOP bracelet winners Jonas Lauck and Sung Joo Hyun. Joining them in advancing to Day 2 include the likes of Gediminas Uselis, Damian Salas, Alexandros Kolonias, Ludovic Geilich, Antonine Saout, and Gary Hasson among others. Just like all of the other starting flights before it, Day 1C also saw plenty of big-time talent bust out before the end of the day. Eleven former bracelet winners failed to advance including GGPoker ambassador Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Davidi Kitai, Mike Leah, and 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev. It was the same fate for the notable names of Dietrich Fast, Patrick Tardif, Dario Sammartino, Benjamin Rolle, Maksim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov, Mikita Badziakouski, David Peters, Kitty Kuo, and 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson. Day 1C Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=134 /] Day 1 Combined Top 10 Chip Counts [table id=135 /]
  15. The recent announcement from the World Series of Poker of a hybrid online-live event that will crown the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion has drawn strong reactions from the poker community. Many players were quick to question the safety of holding a live event in Las Vegas given the current status of the global pandemic while others had questions about the confusion over the status of the title of the "Main Event champion". The new event, which has a $10,000 buy-in and will run on WSOP.com in New Jersey and Nevada and GGPoker.com in international markets, is a freezeout event similar in format to the traditional annual WSOP Main Event. With COVID-19 restrictions around the world making a traditional live Main Event impossible, the WSOP created a hybrid format The final nine players from the NJ/NV online event will travel to Las Vegas to play down to a winner while the final nine players from the international market will travel to Rozvadov, Czechia to play down to a winner. Those final two players will then meet for a heads-up match in Las Vegas with $1 million on the line. This follows a summer in which WSOP organizers held 85 bracelet events across the two online poker sites. The news was initially greeted with a mixed reaction from the poker community. Veteran pro David 'ODB' Baker tweeted his support for the idea and pushed back against some of the backlash directed at the WSOP for extending its brand even further. According to Stewart, each of the nine players who make the live final table in Las Vegas for American players will be subjected to testing prior to play. Any personnel involved in the production of the show will also be subjected to the same testing allowing the WSOP to create a "production bubble" where only those who have passed the testing will be allowed entry. Players will not be require to wear masks and plexiglass will not be in use. "There are only nine players in each bracket who are asked to voluntarily come to a live setting, where they will be protected by the most advanced Covid-19 testing prior to facing their competitors," Stewart said. "Our strategy here was intentional to keep the majority of play at home or in a controllable environment and keep the finale live environment small, manageable, and at the option of those with most to gain." Those same protocols will be used for the heads-up finale in Las Vegas on December 30. The decision to hold a made-for-TV WSOP Main Event before the end of the year lead some to wonder if a contractual obligation with ESPN forced WSOP's hand. Stewart dismissed this theory and indicated that the production costs are being absorbed by Caesars and GGPoker. "For the first time in over a decade, WSOP and its partner GG will be fully subsidizing all the costs of this production to guarantee the television coverage, given timelines and scope of programming could not be delivered in 2020," Stewart said. "Given that investment, and our $1M money added, the 51st Main Event will be a marketing expense. Which is fine with us. We are in poker for the long haul."
  16. When the COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of the 2020 World Series of Poker live events early this year and pushed WSOP organizers to offer 85 online bracelets in its place, many believed that was it for WSOP events for the year. Not so fast. On Friday, the WSOP announced a hybrid online-live Main Event to take place on WSOP.com inside the United States and on GGPoker.com in international markets. "There must be a World Champion in 2020," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. "Poker’s history is too important. It’s a unique format for the Main Event, but this is a unique year. We want to keep players’ health and safety top of mind and still deliver a great televised showcase for the game we love." The buy-in for this event (on both platforms) is the traditional $10,000 and just like every other WSOP Main Event in history, players can enter just once. Players on WSOP.com and GGPoker will each play down to a final table of nine players before pausing to play a final table live. Players on WSOP.com will reconvene at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas while players on GGPoker will meet at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech. Each of those final tables will play down to a winner and each winner will travel to Las Vegas in late-December to play for the title. The International Tournament, for players outside of the United States, gives players three starting flights to choose from; November 29, December 5, December 6. Players who make it through their starting flight will advance to Day 2 on GGPoker on December 7. The final nine players will then travel to King's Casino to play down to a winner on December 15. Players in New Jersey and Nevada, where WSOP.com is available, have just a single starting day, December 13 with the tournament pausing after approximately 12 hours of play before continuing on December 14. That final table takes place December 28 in Las Vegas. Both tournaments will pay out players according to a regular payout structure with the final two players playing for $1 million provided by the WSOP and GGPoker. This tournament is a continuation of the partnership between the WSOP and GGPoker which was first showcased with a WSOP Super Circuit Online series in May and then the 54 WSOP Online events this summer. That series culminated with Stoyan ‘Nirvana76’ Madanzhiev winning the $5,000 buy-in Main Event for $3.9 million. "We’re very happy to continue to deepen our relationship with WSOP," said Steve Preiss, GGPoker Head of Poker Operations. "It was a huge summer of record-setting action on GGPoker and we’re excited to offer players access to the biggest tournament of all." The ESPN broadcast of the heads-up portion on December 30 will feature Lon McEachern and Norman Chad in the commentary booth. With travel restrictions and casino availability constantly in flux due to COVID-19, the WSOP has contingencies in place which could include playing the final tables online or at another venue. Players traveling to play either final table will be subject to local COVID-19 testing policies.
  17. The poker resume of Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson is overflowing with incredible achievements. From seven-figure scores to capturing major online titles, Canada’s current #1-ranked online crusher has added a new accolade by entering the elite air of the top five of the online poker rankings for the first time in his over 14 year career. Thanks to a late-summer surge filled with a string of impressive scores, Watson jettisoned into his current spot at #4 in the world and, for the time being, has eclipsed some of online poker’s biggest names, including ‘Lena900’, Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski and Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver, to enjoy a career-high worldwide ranking. One just needs to look at Watson’s dominance in the month of August to see how he leveraged an online heater to hit new heights. He found early month success playing in big buy-in events including the August 9 edition of the PokerStars $5,200 High Roller where he finished as the runner-up for a $92,337 score. Two days later, Watson found another second-place finish in the Natural8 $5K High Roller Blade Prime for $80,176. Watson really hit a mid-month stride when he won back-to-back $10K Short Deck High Rollers on Natural8. On August 12, he topped the small-but-elite field of 20 entries and eventually defeated Mikita Badziakouski heads up to walk away with a $66,569 win. He took those winnings and played the same event the very next day. This time he bested Rozvadov's King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik to pick up another $110,400 victory. While all of those big money scores were an important part of Watson’s month, none of them helped him when it came to his PLB point total. He was smashing huge scores but the field sizes hadn’t done anything for him in terms of rankings. But Watson isn’t just a small-field specialist and he showed that late in the month. ‘SirWatts’ was in the midst of grinding the World Series of Poker on GGPoker and at the same time playing large field events on PokerStars when he racked up an impressive string of results that sent his PLB score soaring. It got started on August 25 when Watson picked up a cash in the High Roller Super MILLION$ on Natural8 for $21,665 and 190.63 PLB points. The next day he took 5th place in WSOP Event #72 ($1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship) on GGPoker for another $26,069 plus 260.52 PLB points. On August 30, Watson was battling for titles during PokerStars 2020 World Championship of Online Poker finishing in second place in Event #2-H ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max, PKO) for a total of over $198,000 and 597.43 PLB points, the eighth-highest score of his career. He again nearly grabbed the title in Event #3-H ($5,200 PLO 6-Max High Roller) where he fell in third place for $20,184 and 205.44 PLB points. The very next day Watson switched his focus and ran deep in a pair of WSOP side events, earning a total of more than $12,000 and, more importantly for his ranking, another 271 PLB points. And while, no longer technically August, he finished off his stretch of PLB pickups with a final table finish in the September 1 edition of the High Roller Super MILLION$ which earned him $45,324 and 420.83 PLB points. In total, over the course of three days and five events, Watson earned nearly 1,500 PLB points. In the month of August alone, Watson earned roughly $677,000 (and 2,031 PLB points) which helped push past the $7 million mark in lifetime online earnings. Of course even though August was over, the winnings didn’t stop there for Watson. Since then, he’s picked up 10 five-figure scores and a considerable amount of PLB points which has helped him hold on to his #4 ranking for the past three weeks. However, in order to keep the momentum going, and take a shot at the #1 spot, Watson will need to get back to the online grind. After a summer of heavy grinding, he only racked up four total results in the entire month of October. That said, with over $20 million in total career earnings, when Watson decides to set his sights on climbing even higher than his current #4 spot, he’s a good bet to get there.
  18. Sao Paulo born Vivian Saliba has grown up with poker around her, first playing the game at 12-years-old and then accompanying her father to card rooms for the first time at the age of 17. Primarily a Pot Limit Omaha cash game player, but no stranger to poker tournaments, the Brazilian has put in strong performances during various years of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Most notably in 2017, she made the money in three No Limit Hold’em events and two in her specialized game of Pot Limit Omaha. But it would be a PLO hand, a game that has allowed her to amass a small fortune, that still gives Saliba nightmares to this day. “By the end of 2015, I decided to quit college and follow my dream as a professional poker player. The beginning of my career was a real rollercoaster and even though in 2016 I played WSOP events for the first time, I didn't actually play that many tournaments,” Saliba said. So, 2017 was the first time playing in her dream tournaments and marked a special year for her as a poker player. The tournament in question was WSOP Event #54 and was the most important tournament for her at the time due to the buy-in and what was at stake. “Back in 2017 during the WSOP in Las Vegas I was playing my first ever $10,000 buy-in event. That was a PLO event, my main game at the time, and still is nowadays. The tournament had 428 entries and I managed to finish it in 11th place.” Despite making it to the final two tables and winning $47,923 for her efforts but busting that event negatively affected her feelings as there was a strong desire to make It as a professional poker player “That tournament seemed to be the perfect opportunity, giving the high level of the competitors, price of the buy-in, prize pool and it being WSOP bracelet event.” Playing five-handed, holding an average stack of 30 big blinds, and playing her strongest poker variant, it was almost a certainty that Saliba would make the final table and be in with a chance of claiming the $938,732 prize. But of course, nothing is guaranteed in poker. Defending her big blind with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6d"] following a raise from the button, Saliba smashed the board making top set on the [poker card="9c"][poker card="6c"]2x flop. “I check-raised the flop with my top set and my opponent re-raised so that all the money is in the middle, he had [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Js"][poker card="7c"]8x for an overpair and open-ended straight draw.” The turn card brought a jack, leaving Saliba pretty much dead as only the case nine on the river would have saved her from elimination. “If I had won this hand, I would be up to top-3 stacks of the tournament and also would bust my opponent. I was left with 3bb and on the next hand I end up busting. Looking back that is nothing I would do differently at that specifically play but I would definitely take it easier with myself," she said. “I literally had nightmares with this hand for months. I believed that I would never get so close to a WSOP final table ever again.” Despite the setback, in November of that same year she became part of the 888poker team, which was one of her poker career ambitions. Shortly after, the Brazilian recalled another hand that would make anyone shudder, but this time the 888poker ambassador was on the more fortunate side of lady luck. Playing Event #64 - $888 No Limit Hold’em – Crazy Eights in the 2019 WSOP with six players and eight big blinds remaining. Saliba ended up getting it all in for her tournament life with ace-four versus Ireland’s Patrick Clarke's ace-ten. Despite being dominated and in horrific shape, she out-drew her opponent to secure the full double up and keep her WSOP bracelet ambitions alive. “I won and he was left with a couple of big blinds and busted a few hands after. That bad beat gave me the chance of cashing for $131K more. “I imagine that my opponent must have felt very bad in this situation giving that he had me dominated, it was a huge event with a huge prize pool and we were all so close to the bracelet so the stakes were that much higher!” Vivian narrowly missed out on securing her first-ever WSOP gold bracelet, instead finishing in 4th place out of a field of over 10,000 entries for the biggest payday of her career for $308,888.
  19. It’s official. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker has been certified as the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament by the Guinness World Records. The $5,000 Main Event took place from August 16 - September 6 and drew a total of 5,802 entries which boosted the prize pool to $27,559,500, crushing the originally posted $25 million guarantee. When all was said and done, Stoyan Madanzhiev from Bulgaria etched his name in the online poker history books by taking home the largest-ever first-place prize of $3,904,685. “This Guinness World Records title was on our radar from the very beginning,” said Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker. “Players and fans of poker expect nothing less than record-breaking prizes when it comes to the World Series of Poker, and GGPoker delivered.” After “reviewing the evidence and going through all the details”, Michael Empric, an Official Adjudicator for Guinness World Records, placed a video call to GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu to deliver the news.  “Breaking a Guinness World Records title show what happens when you combine GGPoker’s amazing platform with the World Series of Poker brand,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Director. “This will be a tough record to beat,” Stewart is likely right. The Main Event had 23 starting flights and allowed players to enter three different times which helped them set the new record. The previous record for an online poker prize pool was established by partypoker in 2018 with their $5,300 buy-in $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online tournament in which the company spent the better part of the entire year qualifying players to ultimately reach a prize pool of $21,780,000. In 2019, partypoker took a shot at their own record by offering the same tournament with a $10,300 buy-in. However, they missed the mark falling just short with a prize pool of $21,090,000. Online Poker All-Time Largest Prize Pools [table id=115 /] Even though the new prize pool record was widely recognized by the poker industry, GGPoker and the WSOP took the extra step of getting their achievement stamped by Guinness. And they are far from the first in poker to officially set a recognized world record. While many have claimed to have played longer, Phil Laak is the official record holder of the longest live cash game session when he played for 115 hours straight at the Bellagio back in 2010. Perhaps that is what inspired the Netherlands’ Tom Maaswinkel to get into the record book with his 24-hour session of online poker in May of 2019. There are other niche poker records in Guinness as well. Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew put his multi-tabling talent on display for his world record for most online poker hands played in eight hours (14,548) back in 2012. Former PokerStars ambassador, and current GGPoker pro, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier still holds the record for the most online poker tables played in one hour when he played 62 tables back in 2009 (a record unlikely to be challenged with modern-day table limits.) The Guinness World Records also acknowledges Joe Cada as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion and Antonio Esfandiari as having won the single-largest first-place prize for his $18.3 million score at the 2012 Big One For One Drop. While many of poker’s Guinness World Records are centered around some of the game’s biggest events, for individuals looking to set their own records, Guinness World Records is ready to review the achievement. According to their website, all it takes is an attempt at creating a new record or breaking an existing record (with evidence) plus an application fee of $800-$1000.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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