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  1. Three more high-stakes Super High Roller Bowl Online Series events wrapped up on Friday with Spain’s All-Time Money List leader, Adrian Mateos, adding to his outstanding poker resume with a SHRB Online title and another six-figure score. In the largest tournament of the day, Adrian Mateos outlasted the 61-entry field of Event #17 ($25,500 Super High Roller, 6-Max) to claim the $527,509.70 first-place prize. It was the second final table of the series for Mateos who also managed to make the money in Event #14 ($25,500 Super High Roller, 8-Max) where he finished in fifth place for an even $100,000. Mateos’ Friday score is the third largest of the series thus far falling in behind Justin Bonomo’s $622,634 win in Event #11 and Daniel Dvoress’ haul of $613,986.70 earlier in the week. For those keeping track of the $25K Super High Roller paydays, Mateos’ just barely beat out Dan Smith’s $527,000 victory in Event #8, despite the fact that there was $175,000 less in the prize pool. Seth Davies made a final table for the second time in three days, finishing as the runner-up in Event #17 for $343,125. Finishing in third was Ukraine’s Andrii Novak who earned $183,000 for his efforts. With his win in Event #16 ($10,300 High Roller, 6-Max) for $234,604.50, Russia’s Artur Martirosian has now stood on every step of the podium during the SHRB Online Series. On Wednesday, he finished as the runner-up to Justin Bonomo in Event #11 ($25,000 Super High Roller) for $405,000. Tuesday, he scored a bronze medal finish in Event #8 ($25,000 Super High Roller) which was good for $153,000. It’s been a solid spring for ‘marathur1’ who, in addition to his SHRB Online success, also shipped a pair of PokerStars SCOOP titles earlier in the month of May. Samuel Vousden wrapped up in second place and scored the six-figure sum $146,250 and Christopher Hunichen found his third final table in the past two days with a third-place finish for $90,000. Linus Loeliger battled through the 76-entry field of Event #18 ($10,300 High Roller, 6-Max) to score the $237,732.56 first-place prize in his first final-table appearance of the series. Vicent Bosca Ramon nearly became the second player to capture two SHRB Online titles but was forced to settle for second place and $148,200. David Peters followed up his victory on Thursday with a third-place finish and $91,200. Now, the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl Online Series enters its final weekend. Just a handful of events are left before the $102,000 buy-in, $3 million Gtd Super High Roller Bowl Online Main Event which gets underway on Monday, June 1. Event #16: $10,300 High Roller, 6-Max 75 entries $750,000 prize pool Artur Martirosian - $234,604.50 Samuel Vousden - $146,250 Christopher Hunichen - $90,000 Timothy Adams - $65,625 Michael Addamo - $46,875 Dan Smith - $31,875 Event #17: $25,500 Super High Roller, 6-Max 61 entries $1,525,000 prize pool Adrian Mateos - $527,509.70 Seth Davies - $343,125 Andrii Novak - $183,000 Jake Schindler - $137,250 Joao Vieira - $99,125 Vyacheslav Buldygin - $68,625 Event #18: $10,300 High Roller, 6-Max 76 entries $760,000 prize pool Linus Loeliger - $237,732.56 Vicent Bosca Ramon - $148,200 David Peters - $91,200 Sergi Reixach - $66,500 Selahaddin Bedir - $47,500 Anatoly Filatov - $32,300
  2. Just 48 hours after nearly capturing two Super High Roller Bowl Online Series prelim titles on the same day, online poker superstar Viktor Blom was back in the winner’s circle with another Super High Roller victory on Thursday. Blom topped the 40-entry field in Event #14 ($25,500 Super High Roller, 8-Max) to capture his second win in three days and a $407,500 payday. It marked the fourth SHRB Online Series final table cash for Blom, all of which have been either victories or runner-up finishes. His first score came last Sunday in Event #2 ($25,500 Super High Roller) where he finished as the runner-up to Christopher Hunichen, taking home $320,625. Then on Tuesday, Blom earned another second-place finish in Event #8 ($25,500 Super High Roller), falling to Dan Smith in heads-up play, which brought him $213,750. Finally, in Event #9 ($10,300 High Roller) Blom scored an outright win and added $213,750 to his totals. All told through 15 events, the man known as ‘Isildur1’ has earned more than $1.3 million in less than a week. Finishing right behind Blom in Event #14 was Mike Watson, who picked up $265,000 for second place. And David Peters found the podium for the second time on Thursday, finishing in third place for $165,000. David Peters’ first podium finish was in Event #13 ($10,300 High Roller, 8-Max) where he outlasted the 70-entry field to take down the $217,000 first-place prize. Joao Vieira finished as the runner-up which was good for $150,500. Then Justin Bonomo, who picked up the biggest win in the series thus far on Wednesday, notched another result with a third-place finish for $98,000. The third event on the schedule to wrap up today was Event #15 ($10,300 High Roller, 8-Max) which saw Mark Radoja take home the title and $195,000. Pauli Ayras fell in second place but locked up the six-figure sum of $132,000. Finally, Ole Schemion followed up his PokerStars SCOOP winning performance on Wednesday with a bronze in this one, taking home another $88,500. Three more high roller tournaments will wrap up on Friday including the conclusion of Event #17 ($25,500 Super High Roller, 6-Max) which has Adrian Mateos holding the overnight chip lead. Event #13: $10,300 High Roller, 8-Max 70 entries 700,000 prize pool David Peters - $217,000 Joao Vieira - $150,500 Justin Bonomo - $98,000 Matthias Eibinger - $63,000 Christopher Hunichen - $49,000 Aleksejs Meiess - $40,250 Kristen Bicknell - $33,250 Lucas Reeves - $26,250 Event #14: $25,500 Super High Roller, 8-Max 40 entries $1,000,000 prize pool Viktor Blom - $407,500 Michael Watson - $265,000 David Peters - $165,000 Adrian Mateos - $100,000 Sam Greenwood - $62,500 Event #15: $10,300 High Roller, 8-Max 60 entries $600,000 prize pool Mark Radoja - $195,000 Pauli Ayras - $132,000 Ole Schemion - $88,500 Guillaume Nolet - $55,500 Vyacheslav Buldygin - $43,500 Justin Bonomo - $34,500 Christopher Hunichen - $28,500 Timothy Adams - $22,500
  3. Wednesday's action in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker was all about big names, big prize pools and for the first time since 2017, and a Main Event High champion other than Gianluca 'Tankanza' Speranza. The final three players in Event #74 High ($10,300 NLHE Main Event) chopped up almost $2.4 million before Belarus' 'Alexgirs' took home the title and the $50,000 left to play for once the deal was made. 'Alexgirs' took home $920,595.81, runner-up Pablo 'pabritz' Brito Silva pocketed $764,941.51, and Alex 'dynoalot' Difelice had to settle for a $722,074.96 payday as the third-place finisher. The Medium and Low Main Events also played down to a champion on Wednesday. Brazilian Joao 'HayashiJoão' Hayashi beat Michael 'merla888' Gathy heads-up to take home $920,066.91 for the outright win. Gathy ended up with the runner-up prize of $655,853.39. The Low Main Event was also chopped up three ways with 'auercan' shipping the title to win $371,750.73. A pair of former #1-ranked players on the Global Poker Index added SCOOP wins and a six-figure score to their growing list of accomplishments. Adrian 'Amadi_017' Mateos topped the 937-entry field in Event #79 Medium ($1,050 NLHE Super Tuesday SE) to earn $164,397.70. Runner-up Bernardo 'Machadada RS' Rocha of Brazil also won six figures, earning $118,812.40 for falling one spot short of the title. Third-place finisher 'BBRS999' walked away with $85,867.20. Meanwhile Steve 'Mr. Tim Caum' O'Dwyer banked $241,956.69 and the title for winning Event #79-High ($10,300 NLHE High Roller). Second-place finisher Juan 'Malaka$tyle' Pardo $185,765.68 and Brunno 'botteonpoker' Botteon finished in third for $142,624.33. Murilo 'Muka82' Figueiredo earned a SCOOP title and $19,500 for beating 59 other players in Event #82 High ($1,050 Limit Badugi). Thomas 'WushuTM' Muehlocker finished second for $12,600 and 'lafarfarel' came third for $9,000. Other players who found their way to the SCOOP winner's circle on Wednesday included 'gotthismoney' (Event #79-L), '282828drakon' (Event #82-L), and 'alligator14' (Event #82-M). Event #74-L: $109 NLHE Main Event Entries: 46,238 Prize pool: $4,623,800 auercan - $371,750.73* UruRey - $323,656.17* penguy2 - $270,143.96* LOL_U_91 - $157,464.89 young_diam18 - $112,245.98 LukeN73 - $80,012.54 GeleiaTrsk - $57,035.49 HellRaiserSB - $40,656.61 marmo07 - $28,981.05 Event #74-M: $1,050 NLHE Main Event Entries: 6,475 Prize pool: $6,475,000 HayashiJoão - $920,066.91 merla888 - $655,853.39 luelue399 - $467,515.07 gkamei09 - $333,261.12 WNDRWMN23 - $2237,560.62 Oledjan - $169,340.67 Tydarax - $120,712.13 luckyfish89 - $86,048.21 MpZancan - $61,338.32 Event #74-H: $10,300 NLHE Main Event Entries: 609 Prize pool: $6,090,000 Alexgirs - $920,595.81* Pablo 'pabritz' Brito - $764,941.51* Alex 'dynoalot' Difelice - $722,074.96* Pieter 'XMorphineX' Aerts - $414,959.81 Daniel 'Oxota' Dvoress - $303,273.47 Michael 'imluckbox' Addamo - $221,647.98 Max 'goodeh99' Silver - $161,991.56 Benjamin 'bencb789' Rolle - $118,392.03 EEE27 - $95,745.15 Event #79-M: $1,050 NLHE Super Tuesday SE Entries: 937 Prize pool: $1,000,000 Adrian 'Amadi_017' Mateos - $164,397.70 Machadada RS - $118,812.40 BBRS999 - $85,867.20 MCalai - $62,057.40 samuraiUA - $44,849.70 IgorKarkarof - $32,413.50 AnFiieLD. - $23,425.60 DaanOss - $16,930.00 vladxxxro - $13,598.30 Event #79-H: $10,300 NLHE High Roller Entries: 105 Prize pool: $1,050,000 Steve 'Mr. Tim Caum' O'Dwyer - $241,956.69 Malaka$tyle - $185,765.68 botteonpoker - $142,624.33 Pass_72 - $109,501.87 PaDiLhA SP - $84,071.61 Jorryt 'TheCleaner11' Van Hoof - $64,547.17 Connor 'blanconegro' Drinan - $49,557.06 LLinusLLove - $38,048.11 Event #82-H: $1,050 Limit Badugi Entries: 60 Prize pool: $60,000 Murilo 'Muka82' Figueiredo - $19,500 Thomas 'WushuTM' Muehlocker - $12,600 lafarfarel - $9,000 Adam 'Adamyid' Owen - $6,000 Korrinho - $4,500 chininhaltig -$3,300 donthnrmepls - $2,700 lennart - $2,400
  4. As the live poker tournament comes to a halt for the foreseeable future in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the last high profile event to wrap up featured a winner putting on a repeat performance. Timothy Adams beat Christoph Vogelsang to win the Super High Roller Bowl Russia for $3.6 million. It was just 41 days ago that Adams beat Kahle Burns to win the Super High Roller Bowl Australia for $1.4 million. [ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] SHRB Russia drew 40 entries and just seven players returned for the final day of play in Sochi on Sunday. Ben Heath started the day with the chip lead while Adams was right in the middle of the pack. Only six players were getting paid, and it took just 45 minutes for the bubble to burst with Stephen Chidwick being eliminated in seventh place. Once Chidwick was out, it was just 10 minutes before the first player was sent to the cashier cage. Vogelsang raised to 60,000 from the cutoff and Ivan Leow called from the button. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3d"] and Vogelsang bet 55,000. Leow moved all-in for 300,000 and Vogelsang called. Leow turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] but got bad news when Vogelsang showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"]. Neither the [poker card="ts"] turn or [poker card="kc"] river were any help for Leow and he was out in sixth place. Five-handed play lasted just over an hour before a battle of the blinds ended with an elimination. Heath raised to XXX,000 from the small blind before Adrian Mateos moved all-in for 1,000,000 from the big. Heath called and showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"] and Mateos turned over [poker card="2c"][poker card="2d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] flop left Mateos needing one of two deuces. The [poker card="9h"] turn ended all of that though as Heath made a full house. The [poker card="8d"] river completed the board and Mateos exited in fifth place. The four remaining players battled for another five hours without a single elimination. Another blind versus blind situation finally broke that stalemate. Vogelsang and Mikita Badziakouski folded before Heath moved all-in for 1,200,000 and Adams called. Heath turned over [poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"] and Adams had a small edge with [poker card="as"][poker card="2d"]. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="td"][poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"][poker card="5c"] to bust Heath in fourth. Just 20 minutes later, Badziakouski's run ended. Adams folded the button and Vogelsang raised to 1,500,000 and Badziakouski called all-in and turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] which put him ahead of Vogelsang's [poker card="jh"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3s"] flop changed everything and left Badziakouski drawing thin. The [poker card="8s"] turn gave Badziakouski some outs to stay alive but the [poker card="4c"] river was a complete brick, eliminating the Belarusian poker pro in third place. When heads-up play started, Vogelsang held 55% of the chips in play. Over the next two hours both players took turns with the chip lead. As play wore on, the pair agreed to skip a level and just 20 minutes later, Adams put the finishes touches on his victory. Adams completed from the small blind but Vogelsang responded by moving all in for 3,700,000 and Adams snap-called. Vogelsang showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"] but was dominated by Adams' [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9d"] runout kept Adams ahead and even improved his hand to a pair of nines on the river to eliminate Vogelsang. Super High Roller Bowl Russia Payouts Timothy Adams - $3,600,000 Christoph Vogelsang - $2,400,000 Mikita Badziakouski - $1,600,000 Ben Heath - $1,000,000 Adrian Mateos - $800,000 Ivan Leow - $600,000
  5. Less than a week after winning the Industry Person of the Year award at the Global Poker Awards, Paul Phua took home $1.512 million for winning the MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi $100,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Final Table Payouts Paul Phua - $1,512,000 Matthias Eibinger - $1,008,000 Webster Lim - $672,000 Adrian Mateos - $420,000 Michael Addamo - $336,000 Kahle Burns - $252,000 The event attracted 42 entries and generated a prize pool of $4.2 million. The top six spots were set to be paid, with a min-cash being worth $252,000. Entering the final table, it was Michael Addamo in the lead. Following the eliminations of Cary Katz and Ben Heath, the tournament was on the money bubble. The next player to fall was Michael Soyza, hitting the rail just one spot outside the money and securing a cash for the others. Soyza went out at the hands of Matthias Eibinger. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] According to the partypoker LIVE reporting staff, first to bust in the money was Kahle Burns, going out in sixth place at the hands of Adrian Mateos. Then it was Addamo falling in fifth place to Webster Lim. With four players left, Phua was third in chips and Mateos was fourth. Mateos moved all in from the small blind with the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] and Phua made the call from the big blind with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="7c"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="9h"] and Mateos took his exit with a $420,000 payday. Shortly after busting Mateos, Phua doubled through Eibinger to take the chip lead. Eibinger had opened with a raise on the button and Phua had moved all in from the big blind. Eibinger called with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Jd"] but was dominated against Phua’s [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qc"]. The [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kd"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4c"][poker card="Tc"] board kept Phua in the lead and scored him the double. Despite losing a chunk of chips doubling up Phua, Eibinger wasn’t the next player to bust. That was Lim who fell after Phua made a very good call against him. After a preflop raise by Phua on the button and a call from Lim out of the big blind, Lim check-raised all in on the [poker card="4h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] flop. Phua tanked for a bit and eventually called with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5d"]. Lim had the [poker card="7c"][poker card="5c"]. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] and the river was the [poker card="9c"] to give Phua the win and send Lim out in third place for $672,000. Phua took the chip lead into heads-up play against Eibinger and made fairly quick work of his opponent. On the final hand, Phua had raised with the [poker card="As"][poker card="8s"] and Eibinger defended with a call holding the [poker card="Th"][poker card="8h"]. Eibinger then called bets on the flop and turn of the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="Kd"] board to bring the two to the [poker card="6c"] on the river. After Eibinger checked the river, Phua bet to put him all in. Eibinger made the call with his pair of eights but saw the bad news that Phua had two pair. With that, Eibinger was eliminated in second place for a $1.008 million payday. The victory pushed Phua to more than $18.2 million in career live tournament earnings, and the score was his sixth seven-figure payday from a live poker tournament.
  6. 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. Download and listen in to a brand new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast! This week on the show Lance and Donnie shine a light on the amazing 25-year old poker phenom Adrian Mateos who took down the partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas Main Event for his third career seven-figure score. Plus, there seems to be no slowing down the excitement surrounding the return of online poker in Pennsylvania and the Super High Roller Bowl announced a new stop in Australia. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  7. As we move into 2020, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of 2019. November involved two big pieces of news involving Daniel Negreanu, and then, of course, we got the launch of legal online poker in Pennsylvania. Data Error Finds Negreanu Not WSOP POY After it was originally announced that Daniel Negreanu was the 2019 World Series of Poker Player of the Year, a data-entry error was discovered by Russian poker journalist Alex Elenskiy that resulted in Negreanu being credited for more points than he should have. WSOP officials were made aware of the issue, verified the error, and then corrected the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year standings, with Australian Robert Campbell being awarded the title. "We have confirmed an error was made in our results for WSOP Event #68, affecting places 32-46," a WSOP statement read. "As a result, Daniel Negreanu was given 213.1 points erroneously in this event. We deeply regret this error and its impact. Recalculating our Player of the Year results has an impact to the standings. Robert Campbell finishes in 1st place in the now final results, with Negreanu dropping to third place. Again, we apologize profusely for the error in our calculations and the impact it has had." Also involved was Shaun Deeb, who ultimately finished second in the race. Deeb was vocal and very upset with what had happened, and the entire debacle caused plenty of a stir within the poker community. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Negreanu Signs with GGPoker After he parted ways with PokerStars back in May, Daniel Negreanu signed a new sponsorship deal with GGPoker. The new deal came six months following the part between Negreanu and PokerStars and saw Negreanu become an ambassador for GGPoker.com. Negreanu made the announcement via a social media video. PokerStars PA Goes Live November brought exciting times in the world of regulated US online poker, as PokerStars PA went live in the first week of the month. Following a couple of days for a soft launch period, PokerStars PA went fully live on November 6, 2019. The wait may have been extended, but Pennsylvania online poker players were out in full force when PokerStars PA went live. Cash games traffic was very good upon the site opening its virtual doors, and the first Sunday tournament schedule featured plenty of variety and guaranteed prize pools. PocketFives followed the launch of PokerStars PA through its live blog and captured some of the best moments from the start. Mateos Wins partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas Adrian Mateos just keeps on crushing, and November saw him take down the partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas Main Event. Mateos topped the 948-entry field to win $1.162 million. At the final table, a three-handed deal was made between Mateos, Aaron Van Blarcum, and Chris Hunichen, and it was Mateos coming out as the champion. Caribbean Poker Party Final Table Payouts 1st: Adrian Mateos - $1,162,805* 2nd: Aaron Van Blarcum - $970,000* 3rd: Chris Hunichen - $1,097,195* 4th: Scott Wellenbach - $650,000 5th: William Blais - $500,000 6th: Oleg Mandzjuk - $350,000 7th: Peter Jetten - $250,000 8th: Gregory Baird - $180,000 With the victory, Mateos has now won the WSOP Europe Main Event, European Poker Tour Grand Final, and partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas Main Event in just more than six years. 'Josef_shvejk' Wins Monthly PLB in November Russian online grinder Arsenii 'josef_shvejk' Karmatckii won the Monthly PLB title for November. He earned 1,958 points in the month to narrowly beat out 'DeathbyQuads' and 'C Darwin2.' Included in his November success was a victory in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for $14,298.
  8. Somehow, Adrian Mateos is just 25 years old. The Winamax Poker Pro burst onto the scene by winning the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. He's since gone on to win $19,423,996 in live tournaments after taking down the partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas Main Event on Saturday for $1,162,805. The final day of the $10,000 buy-in event began with 23 players remaining from the 948-player field including Mateos, Alex Foxen, Ludovic Geilich, Philip Gruissem, Ryan Riess, Peter Jetten, and two former #1-ranked PocketFivers, Chris Hunichen and Andras Nemeth. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] From that group only Mateos, Jetten and Hunichen survived to make the final table after Gruissem finished ninth to bubble the official final table. Hunichen started the final table with more than twice as many chips as the next biggest stack and it didn't take him long to find his first victim. With blinds at 2,000,000/4,000,000, Hunichen raised to 9,000,000 from with [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] before Gregory Baird re-raised to 44,000,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"], leaving himself 1,000,000 behind. Hunichen raised again and Baird called. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"] put Hunichen in control and neither the [poker card="9h"] turn or [poker card="ac"] river was enough to save Baird from an eighth-place finish. On the very next hand, Jetten, the man who dubbed 2019 as the 'Year of Action', saw his run end earlier than he had hoped. Action folded to Jetten in the cutoff and he moved all-in for 39,500,000 with [poker card="kd"][poker card="th"]. William Blais folded the button and Aaron Van Blarcum folded the small blind before Scott Wellenbach called from the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="6s"][poker card="td"] gave Jetten a rivered top-pair that was still only second best to Wellenbach and Jetten was eliminated in seventh. An hour passed and Wellenbach found himself on the winning end of another elimination hand. Wellenbach raised to 12,500,000 from the hijack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"] before Oleg Mandzjuk moved all-in for 51,500,000 from the small blind with [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"]. Wellenbach called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"] flop gave both players a flush draw which came through on the [poker card="td"] turn leaving Mandzjuk drawing dead as the [poker card="6c"] river completed the board to officially eliminate him in sixth place. One hand later, Hunichen re-took the role of executioner after he raised to 12,000,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"]. William Blais made it 19,000,000 from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="8d"] and Hunichen moved all-in and Blais called off his last 4,500,000. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"] flop kept Blais in front. Hunichen picked up extra outs on the [poker card="9c"] turn and the [poker card="qh"] river gave Hunichen second pair and sent Blais home with a fifth-place finish. Wellenbach made quite the name for himself earlier this year at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event when he vowed to donate all of his winnings to charity. He finished third there for $671,240. His MILLIONS World final table appearance gave him yet another opportunity to pick up a big score with charities the likely winner. Unfortunately for the Buddhist and Tibetan translator, he wasn't able to improve upon his previous finish. Action folded to Van Blarcum in the small blind and he moved all-in for 121,000,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"] and Wellenbach called all-in for 45,500,000 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="5c"]. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4h"] to eliminate Wellenbach in fourth. Down to just three players, a chop negotiation began and eventually agreed to with Hunichen getting $1,097,195, Mateos pocketing $1,062,805, and Van Blarcum pocketing $970,000. The three players left $100,000 and the title to play for while also agreeing to halve the levels to 30 minutes each. Just 15 minutes later, Hunichen, who had the lead at the time the deal was agreed to, was on his way to the cashier cage. The former #1-ranked player on PocketFives moved all-in for 171,000 from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="3c"] only to have Van Blarcum move all-in over the top for 265,000,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. Mateos folded and the two players sweated the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kh"] runout that gave Van Blarcum top two pair and eliminated Hunichen in third. Mateos and Van Blarcum battled for 30 minutes before the Winamax pro was able to cap off yet another major victory. Down 6-1 in chips, Van Blarcum declared he would be all-in blind and then followed through with [poker card="tc"][poker card="2h"] after Mateos completed from the big blind with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="qd"][poker card="6h"] runout eliminated Van Blarcum in second and gave Mateos the partypoker MILLIONS Main Event title. Mateos has now won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, the European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event and the Caribbean Poker Party Main Event in the span of just over six years. Caribbean Poker Party Final Table Payouts Adrian Mateos - $1,162,805* Aaron Van Blarcum - $970,000* Chris Hunichen - $1,097,195* Scott Wellenbach - $650,000 William Blais - $500,000 Oleg Mandzjuk - $350,000 Peter Jetten - $250,000 Gregory Baird - $180,000
  9. Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES Once again Lance Bradley and Matt Clark get together to talk about the amazingly impressive career of Adrian Mateos and the lack of American superstars under the age of 25 while discussing whether or not Bryn Kenney might just be under-appreciated after his big win in the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Super High Roller. They also review the Commerce Casino’s Social Experiment, the final table of the Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event and somehow end up talking about World Star Hip Hop.
  10. After its successful event in Sochi, Russia PokerStars’ European Poker Tour continues on to the more comfortable climate of Monte Carlo, Monaco. From April 24 - May 4, the EPT returns to the Sporting Monte Carlo Casino for EPT Monte Carlo, the sight of some their biggest events in the history of the tour. Main Event Makeover When PokerStars removed the European Poker Tour branding in 2017 they saw a steep decline in attendees to their Monte Carlo stop. In 2017, for the PokerStars Championship, 727 players entered as compared to the 1,098 runners that packed the field for the EPT stop in 2016. The result not only saw a first-place prize reduced by over 50% but also revealed some much-needed tweaking to both the branding and the Main Event itself. PokerStars fixed the branding issue with the much-celebrated return of the EPT moniker, but in addition, they are looking to return the field size to its former glory as well. The Main Event, which gets underway on April 28, is a €5,300 tournament but this year they are allowing players a single re-entry. Not only does this change give players who travel a long distance the security that they can have a second chance at a big-time tournament should things go sideways early, but it will likely ensure more total entries, resulting in a healthier prize pool and larger payouts. The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event is joining the wave of events that are implementing the big blind ante. With a single player paying the ante for the entire table, helping increase the speed of play. Also, adding to the idea of players getting more hands per hour is the addition of a shot clock in the Main Event. From Day 2 through the end of the tournament, players will be on the clock with 30 seconds to make their decisions. Fan Favorite Event Another relatively new development for the PokerStars team has been the expansion of the coverage of their major events. When we last saw the EPT in 2016, streaming coverage had not included “cards-up” coverage until the tournament reached the final table. More recently, fans have been able to tune into the PokerStars.tv stream to watch the Main Event, essentially from wire-to-wire, getting to see the players’ holdings at the feature table. The broadcast crew has also been expanded. EPT anchors Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan are still front and center to bring you the action, but, as was debuted at the 2018 PCA, the company continues to expand their team by bringing a regular rotation of professional analysis. More than “pop-in” commentary, at the 2018 PCA we saw the likes of Lex Veldhuis, Maria Ho, Jonathan Little and Griffen Benger have the privilege to provide color commentary for long stretches of time giving viewers exceptional insight into what’s happening at the table. More Than Just The Main While the Main Event will draw the most attention the EPT stop players will have plenty of reasons to forgo the beauty of the French Riviera in favor of the action on the casino floor. Thirty-nine total events span the 11 day festival with buy-in ranging from as little as €220 up to the €100,000 Super High Roller. In fact, there are no fewer than eight events that have a buy-in of €10,000 or more, which is sure to bring out the best players in the world to fight for what is likely to be massive prize pools. History has shown that the pros love to make it out to Monte Carlo. Past winners of the Main Event include poker superstars such as Adrian Mateos and Steve O’Dwyer while last year’s €100,000 Super High Roller was won by GPI North American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney where he defeated a final table of high rolling elite talent including David Peters, Ole Schemion, Poker Masters inaugural winner Steffen Sontheimer and partypoker LIVE Barcelona 5$0K Super High Roller Winner Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood. For fans of the game, PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo is shaping up to be quite the spectacle. One doesn't even need to make it to Monte Carlo in order to win as one viewer of the PokerStars stream is going to win themselves a coveted $30,000 Platinum Pass package to the 2019 PCA to participate in the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Player Championship. So set aside some time and enjoy the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo, festivities kick off on April 24.
  11. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz is one of the players that make PokerGO's Poker Masters a must-watch event (WPT photo)[/caption] The first-ever Poker Masters kicks off Wednesday night at the Aria Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with a number of the best players in the game today set to take their shot at some seven-figure prize pools and a custom-designed Purple Jacket. The Poker Masters is a series of five events; four $50,000 buy-in events with a single re-entry followed by a $100,000 buy-in freezeout. All five events will be streamed on PokerGO, giving poker fans around the world the chance to watch high roller action for eight straight days. The Purple Jacket will be awarded to the player with the highest total earnings across all five events. With cards in the air on Wednesday night, PocketFives has put together a list of five players to keep an eye on as the action progresses now through September 20. Daniel Negreanu He's poker's all-time leading money earner and easily the most visible star in the game today, but that doesn't mean Daniel Negreanu has any interest in resting on his laurels. Negreanu is - as he often is - very confident in how he thinks he's going to do during the Poker Masters. So much so, that he took on as many $50,000 must-win bets on himself against any other player in the field as he could book. Along with the prize money he'd win,Negreanu stands to win an additional seven figures if he takes home the Purple Jacket. It's worth noting that despite all of Negreanu's success, he has only won one event with a buy-in of $25,000 or more; the €25,600 2013 WSOP Europe High Roller. Fedor Holz Remember when Fedor Holz won the 2016 World Series of Poker One Drop High Roller and then promptly retired? Well, he still considers himself retired as he focuses his energy on his new company, Primed Mind, but the German superstar does come out of the woodwork every now and then to play an event or two. He'll be playing all five events and will be vlogging from start to finish for PokerCentral. Adrian Mateos At just 23 years old, Adrian Mateos already has a ridiculously impressive list of accomplishments next to his name. He's won three WSOP bracelets, the European Poker Tour Grand Final and almost $10,000,000 in live tournaments alone. Earlier this year, in the span of just 31 days, Mateos finished runner-up to Dietrich Fast at the $50,000 Super High Roller event at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida and then won the €50,000 Eight Max Shot Clock event at the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo. Doug Polk Doug Polk should probably make this list just for being the most recent WSOP One Drop High Roller champ, but Polk has become one of the game's biggest stories thanks to the content he's produced and his willingness to put himself out there. He's also got a growing rivalry of sorts with Negreanu and getting the opportunity to see those two clash during any of the five events is worth the price of subscription alone. Phil Hellmuth We've already mentioned that all five events are streamed on PokerGO and everybody knows that Phil Hellmuth has never met a camera he didn't like. The chance to be a constant part of an eight-day long broadcast while sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best players in the game is something Hellmuth lives for. On top of that, he's also coming into the Poker Masters with a little bit of momentum. Three weeks ago he beat Polk and Dan Cates to win the Poker Night in America King of the Hill event. He followed that up with a runner-up finish in the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker event for his 12th biggest score ever.
  12. On Saturday, Alex Foxen tweeted that he was looking to make some bracelet bets for the 2019 World Series of Poker. Sifting through the responses, it appears he found a few takers. One of the first players to pop into Foxen’s mentions was recent WPT L.A. Poker Classic winner David 'ODB' Baker, who offered $20,000 per bracelet against Foxen. After a little bit of back and forth between the two, they settled on the original offer from Baker at $20,000 per bracelet. Baker then tweeted that his "shop is open for business" and took in a few "friendly" offers of his own. He booked $2,000 per bracelet with both Brandon Shack-Harris and Brian Hastings. Back to Foxen, Adrian Mateos was one of the players to join in the fun. He asked Foxen if he’d bet on mutual no-limit hold’em events played and it appears Foxen accepted. If they were accepted, the two likely worked out the details out of public view. Rainer Kempe was next in line and offered a similar bet to what Mateos did, for mutual no-limit hold’em events played. If we’re understanding the details correctly, Kempe and Foxen are on for the first bullet of every no-limit hold’em event they both play this summer. A min-cash wins $1,000 from the other person, an official final table appearance wins $5,000, and a bracelet wins $25,000. Dominik Nitsche chimed in at the end and said he’d like the same bet, but there was no visible confirmation from Foxen. Foxen did like the tweet, though. Foxen has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet, but he's still relatively new to the poker scene. He had some notable live tournament results in 2015 and 2016, but his 2017 is really what put him on the map. That year, Foxen won more than $1.7 million on the felt after having won just over $500,000 in the five years prior combined. In 2018, Foxen had an even bigger year with more than $6.6 million won. In 2019, he’s already won more than $3 million entering the 2019 WSOP. Foxen had just four cashes at the 2018 WSOP, but one of those was a final table to kick off the summer. At the 2017 WSOP, Foxen cashed 14 times and then added two more cashes at WSOP Europe. Among those cashes in 2017 were two final tables and three other top-15 finishes.
  13. Shaun Deeb and Brandon Adams both bagged up chip leads in "post-lim" events in the shadows of the Main Event at the 2019 World Series of Poker on Tuesday. Those two were the headliners in two of the five events outside of the Main Event on the calendar but Dan Zack also put on a show in his pursuit of WSOP Player of the Year honors. Brandon Adams Leads $50,000 Final Fifty Final Table Brandon Adams has already won one WSOP bracelet this summer and on Tuesday he took a gigantic step towards winning a second one. Adams finished Day 2 of the $50,000 Final Fifty event with the chip lead and just six players standing between himself and that second victory. Adams bagged up 11,970,000 and sits well ahead of the rest of the field. 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Adrian Mateos has the second biggest stack with 7,375,000. Michael Addamo sits third with 5,765,000. Daniel Tang, Sam Soverel, Ali Imsirovic, and Keith Tilston round out the final table. There were 14 players who registered on Day 2, including Cary Katz. This presented the PokerGO owner with a challenge. He started the day with a healthy chip stack in the Main Event and was forced to actually multi-table between the two events. Katz managed to survive past the bubble of the Final Fifty before busting in 12th for $112,357. Final Table Chip Counts Brandon Adams - 11,970,000 Adrian Mateos - 7,375,000 Michael Addamo - 5,765,000 Daniel Tang - 4,550,000 Sam Soverel - 3,600,000 Ali Imsirovic - 2,190,000 Keith Tilston - 1,500,000 Shaun Deeb Tops Little One for One Drop After Day 2 Shaun Deeb continues to chase down Player of the Year points and a fifth career bracelet. The former #1-ranked PocketFiver soared to the top of the chip counts after the $1,111 Little One for One Drop after Day 2 with 412 players still remaining. Deeb ended the day with 2,892,000 and holds a 526,000 chip lead over the next biggest stack belonging to Matt Souza. This is Deeb's 14th cash this summer and he sits just over 620 points behind WSOP Player of the Year leader Robert Campbell. There's a number of notables still in contention including Loni Harwood (1,121,000), Mike Sexton - (1,030,000), Ryan Laplante (747,000), and Day 4 Main Event casualty Cliff Josephy (676,000). An additional 787 players joined the field on Day 2 to push the final number of entries to 6,248 and the prize pool to $5,623,200. The eventual champion will earn $690,686. Top 10 Chip Counts Shaun Deeb - 2,892,000 Matt Souza - 2,366,000 Jeremy Dresch - 2,300,000 Naor Slobodskoy - 2,109,000 Jaime Lewin - 1,980,000 Ian Simpson - 1,961,000 Dustin Goff - 1,751,000 Keith Carter - 1,700,000 Alan Schein - 1,637,000 Nick Shkolnik - 1,620,000 Tu Dao On Top of $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em Final Table Tu Dao finished fourth in the Ladies Championship event in late June, but now she's in position to improve on that after finishing Day 2 of the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event with 954,000 and the lead. Right behind Dao is Alain Alinat with 805,000. The two middle-of-the-pack stacks, Oleg Chebotarev and Jan Suchanek have 672,000 and 599,000 respectively. Chade Eveslage sits fifth 431,000 and Ian O'Hara rounds out the final six with 410,000. Among those who cashed on Tuesday include Patrick Leonard (15th - $6,748), Greg Mueller (23rd - $5,484), Joao Vieira (27th - $4,571) and Daniel Zack (28th - $4,571). Zach also picked up 46.1 POY points to move just 112.46 points behind current POY leader Robert Campbell. The day started with 57 players and needed just 11 hours to get down to a final table. The players will now take Wednesday off before returning to action on Thursday to play down to a winner. Final Table Chip Counts Tu Dao - 954,000 Alain Alinat - 805,000 Oleg Chebotarev - 672,000 Jan Suchanek - 599,000 Chad Eveslage - 431,000 Ian O'Hara - 410,000 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty Event Draws 1,130 Runners A year after 833 players entered the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty event, 1,130 players gave the event a decent-sized boost in entries and prize pool and so far nobody can be happier about that than Tobias Schwecht. The Austrian finished Day 1 with 419,200 and the chip lead. Richard Kellett is right on his heels though. The Brit finished with 414,600 and is just 4,600 behind Schwecht. China's Yingui Li and Kazuhiko Yotsushika wound up third and fourth respectively. The top American, Jason Young, bagged up the fifth biggest stack with 356,300. READ: A FIGHT FOR FATHERHOOD: THE BIGGEST WIN OF JASON YOUNG’S LIFE Some of the familiar faces that made it to Day 2 include Jesse Sylvia (205,800), Christian Harder (147,300), Connor Drinan (124,300), JC Tran (95,800), Gordon Vayo (90,600), Daniel Negreanu (64,800), Robin Ylitalo (62,800), and Daniel Zack (51,300). Just 247 players made it to Day 2 and the bubble will burst on Wednesday after 77 more players are sent to the rail. Top 10 Chip Counts Tobias Schwecht - 419,200 Richard Kellett - 414,600 Yingui Li - 379,400 Kazuhiko Yotsushika - 359,600 Jason Young - 356,300 Jan-Peter Jachtmann - 354,100 Bradley Butcher - 341,200 Denis Strebkov - 331,700 Senovio Ramirez III - 302,400 Jonathan Depa - 300,400 Vlad Darie Edges out Andras Nemeth for $3K NLHE Lead Vlad Darie finished Day 1 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event with the chip lead, just ahead of former #1-ranked PocketFiver Andras Nemeth. Darie wound up with 284,000 while Nemeth accumulated 264,500. Darie and Nemeth are just two of the 148 players who advanced to Day 2. Other notables who bagged and tagged include Kristen Bicknell (192,000), Justin Bonomo (170,500), Patrick Leonard (103,500), Asher Conniff (92,500), Rainer Kempe (80,500), and Paul Volpe (46,500). Remarkably, Dan Zack managed to finish with chips in this event as well. Daniel Zack will have a busy day on Wednesday as he plays his stack in the $1,500 PLO Bounty event adn this one. Top 10 Chip Counts Vlad Darie - 284,000 Andras Nemeth - 264,500 David Margi - 263,500 Guillaume Nolet - 230,000 Peter Walsworth - 222,000 Athanasios Polychronopoulos - 221,000 Jay Sharon - 218,000 Dennis Brand - 216,500 Ronald Paolucci - 210,500 Michael Tureniec - 209,000  
  14. One might think that with the holidays on the horizon December would be a quiet month of people spending time with their family. Not for the world of poker. December 2018 was full of record-breaking tournaments and huge headlines. Here are some of the names that made the news in December. Dan Smith Makes A Difference For the past five years, regular high-roller Dan Smith has been collecting donations for various charities at Christmas time. This year, Smith and his collaborators amassed $1.29M for the Double Up Drive and that they would use to match donations to spread to 10 carefully cultivated charities. They nearly got that amount in a single day when DFS champion Tom Crowley promised to give 50% of any winnings he might make from the DraftKings World Championship Final. Crowley, known as ‘ChipotleAddict’, went on to win the event for $2 million and over the weekend hauled in a total of $2.254 - half of which was donated to the Double Up Drive. The donation was ‘surreal’ but Smith wants to make sure people knew that donations of any size are welcome. “I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference,” Smith told PocketFives. “People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all.” READ: Dan Smith Charity Drive Gets “Surreal” $1.1M Donation via DFS Champ Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl V The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl saw Isaac Haxton best the field of 36 elite players to earn a career-high cash of $3.672 million dollars. “This is easily the best tournament result I’ve ever had and it’s an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt,” said Haxton after the win. The final table was replete with talent including Poker Masters champion Ali Imsirovic, Igor Kurganov, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, Stephen Chidwick, and eventual runner-up Alex Foxen. Foxen took home a career-best $2.1 million for his second-place finish. This capped off an amazing year that saw him earn 12 cashes of six-figures or better as well as rise to become the #1-ranked player on the GPI. READ: Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl for $3.672 Million READ: Alex Foxen’s Drive Takes Him to the Super High Roller Bowl The World Series of Poker Releases 2019 Dates Just before Christmas the World Series of Poker delivered players an early present by announcing a partial schedule of the 2019 WSOP. This summer will be the 50th anniversary for the longest-running tournament series and to help commemorate the occasion the WSOP is planning a number of special events for the players. The schedule included the announcement of the ‘Big 50’, a $500 buy-in tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool and a $1 million guarantee for first place. Additionally, in an extra effort to “make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around” many of the marquee events of the summer have an increased starting stack. This includes the WSOP Main Event which is increasing their starting stack to 60,000. READ: WSOP Releases 2019 Dates, New ‘Big 50’ Event - $500 Buy-in, $5M GTD Dylan Linde Wins WPT Five Diamond for $1.6 Million The crypto crash of 2018 has some in the industry fearing that the numbers for the World Poker Tour’s highlight event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, might see a dip in registration. However, just the opposite happened as players flocked to the Bellagio in record-setting numbers. The event attracted 1001 runners and generated a prize pool of $9.7 million. In the end, longtime poker pro Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde (who re-entered five times in the event) dominated a stacked final table that included Andrew Lichtenberger, Ping Liu, Lisa Hamilton, Barry Hutter and runner-up Milos Skrbic. Linde won a career-high $1.6 million and earned the title of WPT Champion. READ: Dylan Line Wins Record-Shattering WPT Five Diamond Title for $1.6 Million Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio, Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online. partypoker’s 2018 $20M GTD MILLIONS Online did not disappoint. The incredible online tournament surpassed its posted guarantee and set the record for the largest single online tournament in history with players vying for a first place prize of over $2.6M. In the end, after one hand of heads-up play, Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and PocketFiver Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede settled on a lightning-fast chop that awarded both players over $2.3M. Rubio, technically, earned the victory, taking home $20K more than De Goede and now owns the record for the single largest online payday in history. READ: Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop partypoker MILLIONS Online A December To Remember December was just one of those month’s where huge news seemed to break every day. Here are some of the other must-read major headlines in December. Michigan opens its doors to online poker. READ: Michigan Becomes Fifth State to Regulate Online Poker The poker world loses a legend in the passing of Thor Hansen. READ: Thor Hansen Passes Away at 71 The pitch black bathroom bet comes to an abrupt end. READ: The $100K Bathroom Prop Ends Early; Alati, Young Agree on $62K Buyout Bay 101’s Shooting Star returns without the WPT behind it. READ: After a Year Away, Bay 101 Shooting Star Returns With New Look
  15. The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl crowned its champion on Wednesday night, with Isaac Haxton topping the exclusive field of 36 entries to earn the $3.672 million prize. "I just feel f***ing great," Haxton said in the moments following the big win. "I'm just super happy, even a little relieved it's over. Obviously, a day like today is pretty stressful, in the best way." With the victory, Haxton moved to more than $23.65 million in live tournament earnings, which bumps him up ahead of Jake Schindler and into 13th place on poker's all-time money list. "I'm gonna have more than a couple drinks and probably eat at least 1,500 calories of something disgusting," Haxton said about his plans to celebrate, with a smile of course. "That should do it, and then hopefully sleep for about 12 hours. That would be a perfect victory party for me." Super High Roller Bowl V Results 1st: Isaac Haxton - $3,672,000 2nd: Alex Foxen - $2,160,000 3rd: Stephen Chidwick - $1,512,000 4th: Talal Shakerchi - $1,188,000 5th: Adrian Mateos - $972,000 6th: Igor Kurganov - $756,000 7th: Ali Imsirovic - $540,000 For the past three days, the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas played host to the high-stakes affair that attracted the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz, and Justin Bonomo, just to name a few. After Monday’s Day 1, 27 players remained. After Day 2, just seven were left, all in the money and guaranteed a $540,000 payday. Bubbling the money in eighth place was Mikita Badziakouski. Haxton started the final table as the chip leader and Ali Imsirovic was bringing up the rear with the shortest stack left. After starting the final table with 875,000 and blinds of 10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 big blind ante, Imsirovic worked his way to nearly 1.9 million before taking a dive in the other direction that ultimately resulted with his seventh-place elimination. Imsirovic lost a pot to Stephen Chidwick that knocked him all the way back down to 520,000 and then got the last of his stack in with pocket jacks against the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"] of Haxton. Haxton flopped a flush draw and hit it on the turn to knock out the 23-year-old in seventh. Next to go was Igor Kurganov, who was never able to get any real momentum going on the final day. On his final hand, Kurganov, on the button, moved all in for 350,000 over the top of a raise to 65,000 from Chidwick with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante. Talal Shakerchi reraised all in from the small blind and Chidwick folded. Shakerchi had pocket tens to Kurganov’s pocket sevens, and the board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="Ac"] to send Kurganov home in sixth place. Shakerchi continued to climb after he busted Kurganov and even worked his way into the chip lead, but then he started to slide the other way as Alex Foxen increased. Adrian Mateos was next out the door when he was eliminated in fifth place by Foxen, falling in the 25,000/50,000 level with a big blind ante of 50,000. Mateos raised and then four-bet all in with pocket nines against Foxen, who made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"]. Foxen flopped a king and held from there to send the young Spaniard to collect his $972,000 payout. With Foxen out in front by a large margin and Haxton in second place, the final four players moved into Level 21 with the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante. Shortly after the level went up, Shakerchi went out, and he was busted by Haxton. Haxton opened to 140,000 and Shakerchi reraised all in for 1.285 million. Haxton called with two nines and won the flip against Shakerchi's [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Td"]. Shakerchi collected $1.118 million for his finish. Not too long after, Haxton added another chunk of chips when he busted Chidwick in third place. The two got the money in a blind-versus-blind situation, with Chidwick on the ropes holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"] to Haxton’s pocket jacks. To make matters worse for Chidwick, Haxton flopped top set to leave him needing runner-runner. It didn't come and Chidwick was out in third for $1.512 million. Although Foxen held the lead going into heads-up play - his 5.84 million to Haxton's 4.965 million - Haxton made short work of the match. Haxton won the first heads-up pot to take a 2-1 chip lead and Foxen could never recover from there. On the final hand, Haxton limped the button holding the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jh"]. Foxen raised to 225,000 out of the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8d"] and Haxton jammed. Foxen called to put himself at risk for 1.33 million, but he wouldn’t be doubling up. The final board ran [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Js"] to give Haxton two pair and the victory. For Foxen, his second-place finish was worth a whopping $2.16 million and put quite the cap on an incredible year that saw him win more than $6.6 million on the live felt. "For tournament results, there's no competition," Haxton said of where he ranked this Super High Roller Bowl triumph. "This is my biggest score ever and the other ones that come somewhat close are second- and third-place finishes. This is easily the best tournament result I've ever had and it's an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt." Widely known as a high-stakes cash game player, Haxton certainly does his fair share of competing in the largest tournaments in the world. As for how he wins this much money, Haxton will take it any way he can get it. "If I can win $3.6 million, I'm not going to be picky about how I win it," Haxton said. "It can be in the lottery, on Wheel of Fortune, I don’t care. Give me the $3.6 million. I’m not going to complain about how I won it."
  16. The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker is one of the highlights of the online poker calendar year. A widespread outage on Monday however put a damper on the festivities as a number of events were cancelled as players were unable to connect to PokerStars. Before all of that though, Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert, Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos and Eric ''thechips55' Wasserson each managed to get into the winner's circle. Hallaert beat out 788 other players to win SCOOP Event #29 High ($1,050 Eight Max NLHE) and $147,937.50. It was the first SCOOP win of his career and the second from a 2016 November Niner this year. Jerry 'hummylun' Wong won Event #14 High ($2,100 Razz) earlier this week. Arne 'juarnes' Coulier finished second for $106,515. Former #1-ranked Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard, who also recently won a SCOOP title, finished fourth for $59,175. 'Hiran bass' won the Medium version of the event for $57,233.94 while 'Fralanganas' took home $13,517.36 after topping the 9,318-player field in the Low version. Mateos added a SCOOP title to his list of impressive accomplishments by taking down Event #30 High ($2,100 Six Max No Limit Hold'em) for $234,030.07 after coming to a heads-up deal with Luuk 'pokerkluka' Gieles. 'Naza114' walked away with $118,890.42 for winning the Medium version of the event while 'Jociasiee' beat out 10,572 players to win the Low. The final two players in Event #31 High ($2,100 No Limit Hold'em) got together after outlasting 874 others to chop up a little over $543,000. 'FaNjkEEE' ended up with $284,918.82 after eventually beating 'Nolet20'. The runner-up had to settle for $258,201.18. The final three players in the Medium version also chopped up the winnings. Korpieworm took home $173,243.90 after finishing first, 'D1ngD0ng11' got $163,024.88 as runner-up while 'Gaoyu123' earned $142,315.48 for a third place finish. 'Ekonom82' won the Low version outright for $39,100.55. Wasserson won Event #32 High ($1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO) for $36,393.40, plus another $14,190.41 in bounties, after chopping heads-up with 'Badger'. The Medium version went to 'Kinpez' for $15,814.73, plus $5,488.34 in bounties. The Low version was one of ten events cancelled due to a server outage. PokerStars has indicated that Events #32, #33 and #34 will be replayed next week. SCOOP Event #29 (High): $1,050 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 789 Prize pool: $789,000 Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert - $147,937.50 Juarnes – $106,515.00 Luisdono - $78,900.00 Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard - $59,175.00 Girafganger7 - $39,450.00 Schildy1984 - $27,615.00 Anton 'Antesvante' Wigg - $17,752.50 Fellatiado - $11,835.00 SCOOP Event #29 (Medium): $109 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 3,522 Prize pool: $352,200 Hiran bass - $57,233.94 Tolstiykry – $40,749.54 Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich - $31,698.00 dtjpoker - $24,654.00 Indiandurr - $17,610.00 Regadeitor - $10,566.00 King_one862 - $5,283.00 Pendall - $3,169.80 SCOOP Event #29 (Low): $11 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 9,318 Prize pool: $93,180 Fralaganas - $13,517.36 GhOtIII - $8,991.87 Noskillol - $6,988.50 Capitao1987 - $5,124.90 Ahusvizu - $3,261.30 MMF061 - $1,397.70 Kaitz20 - $708.16 Honey Dick - $512.49 SCOOP Event #30 (High): $2,100 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 693 Prize pool: $1,386,000 Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos - $234,030.07* Pokerkluka - $202,559.93* LEXER1986 - $138,600.00 WATnlos - $97,020.00 Anthony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg - $69,300.00 ross_654 - $41,580.00 SCOOP Event #30 (Medium): $215 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 3898 Prize pool: $779,600 Naza114 - $118,890.42 Ned_bg – $85,756.00 Danish7 - $62,368.00 Marelomig - $40,648.34 FaceStealer - $23,388.00 Lyonwin - $13,253.20 SCOOP Event #30 (Low): $27 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 10572 Prize pool: $259,542.60 Jociasiee - $36,344.21 Blackcapas – $25,305.40 Poyo123 – 417,519.12 StokedUp1863 - $9976.81 Rodrigovini - $5,190.85 Algaben - $3,244.28 SCOOP Event #31 (High): $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 876 Prize pool: $1,752,000 FaNjkEEE - $284,918.82* Nolet20 - $258,201.18* 33juggernaut - $169,944.00 Marc-Andre 'FrenchDawg' Ladouceur - $127,020.00 Sleepnot - $88,300.80 Rory ‘DeosOner’ Young – $70,780.80 Biocid - $53,260.80 C. Darwin2 – $35,916.00 Jeff710 - $21,900.00 SCOOP Event #31 (Medium): $215 No Limit Hold'em (Sunday Million SE) Entries: 6944 Prize pool: $1,388,800 Korpieworm - $173,243.90* D1ngD0ng11 - $163,024.88* Gaoyu123 - $142,315.48* PSCPRODIGY - $76,384.00 OyvindW - $58,329.60 Xandefla1982 - $44,441.60 Acske - $30,553.60 Jellßhilio - $16,665.60 Grindwizard – $10,673.20 SCOOP Event #31 (Low): $27 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 12738 Prize pool: $312,717.90 Ekonom82 - $39,100.55 Admiralph - $27,300.27 Miiga1986 - $20,952.09 Zumi10 – $14,697.74 NSK_AKA - $11,570.56 Tom ‘Jabracada’ Hall - $8,443.38 Malefactor9 - $5,472.56 AAnacleTTo - $2,814.46 Feb46 – $1,876.30 SCOOP Event #32 (High): $1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO Entries: 475 Prize pool: $475,000 Eric 'Thechips55' Wasserson - $36,393.40* + $14,190.41 in bounties Badger - $33,829.02* + $17,396.46 in bounties Azn_baller3 - $35,346.33* + $10,957.02 in bounties Thegr8str8 – $17,575.00 + $7,585.93 in bounties Mickl58 - $12,587.50 + $18,164.04 in bounties Argentin_God - $8,075.00 + $9,749.99 in bounties SCOOP Event #32 (Medium): $109 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO Entries: 2008 Prize pool: $200,800 Kinpez - $15,814.73 + $5,488.34 in bounties Fishycall - $11,797.00 + $2,945.64 in bounties DixyDix - $8,785.00 + $2,017.14 in bounties King2173 - $5,773.00 + $2,139.79 in bounties IIDepredator - $3,765.00 + $805.85 in bounties DonkCommitted – $2,106.39 + $1,967.53 in bounties
  17. Most of the attention of the poker world is on the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event right now, but on Monday a number of the best high stakes tournament players ventured into the Rio for one of the biggest buy-in tournaments on the calendar. The Final Fifty, the $50,000 buy-in high roller event that WSOP officials added to the schedule just a few weeks ago, drew 109 entries on Day 1 and was one of three non-Main Event tournaments on the schedule. Final Fifty Draws 109 Players on Day 1 Seth Davies bagged up 2,250,000 on Day 1 of the Final Fifty to lead the final 45 players into Day 2. As expected, the field reads like an all-star roster of some of the world's best No Limit Hold'em tournament players. Dan Smith sits second with 1,680,000 while Elior Sion rounds out the top three with 1,520,000. A pair of former GPI #1-ranked players take up the next two spots. Adrian Mateos finished with 1,450,000 while Fedor Holz has 1,320,000. Other notables among the 45 moving on to Day 2 include Brian Rast, David Peters, Jason Koon, Ben Yu, and Daniel Negreanu. Among those who busted on Day 1 were Joao Vieira, Kristen Bicknell, Bryn Kenney, Nick Petrangelo, Justin Bonomo, Stephen Chidwick, and Erik Seidel. Action resumes at Noon PT and registration remains open until the start of Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Seth Davies - 2,250,000 Dan Smith - 1,680,000 Elior Sion - 1,520,000 Adrian Mateos - 1,450,000 Fedor Holz - 1,320,000 Ali Imsirovic - 1,290,000 Ivan Luca - 1,260,000 Juan Pardo Dominguez - 1,220,000 Keith Tilston - 1,205,000 Daniel Tang - 1,035,000 Ron Carmona on Road to Redemption in $3K Six Max Limit Hold'em Just two weeks ago, Ron Carmona made the final two tables of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event before busting in 17th. On Monday he got off to a strong start in another Limit event, finished Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event with the chip lead. Carmona ended up with 142,500 to edge out Joshua Turner who finished with 139,000. Pennsylvania's own Zachary Gruneberg sits third with 137,000. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Patrick Leonard finished with 114,000 for the eighth-best stack. The event drew 193 entries, down from the 221 that Ronald Keijzer beat to win the event last summer. Just 57 players managed to make it through the first day. Some of the notables still in the field include Daniel Zack, Greg Mueller, Calvin Anderson, Joao Vieira, and Joe McKeehen. Cards are back in the air for Day 2 starting at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Ron Carmona - 142,500 Joshua Turner - 139,000 Zachary Gruneberg - 137,000 Stuart Rutter - 130,500 Jason Bawadi - 129,000 Oleg Chebotarev - 118,500 Mark Radoja - 117,000 Patrick Leonard - 114,000 Alex Torry - 109,000 Xiaofei Wen - 107,000 Little One for One Drop Final Starting Flight Brings Out 3,225 The final starting flight of the Little One for One Drop had 3,225 entries to push the total field to 5,461. The 2018 version of this event had just 4,732. Just 1,258 players got through Day 1C. Russia's Nikolay Fal finished with 437,000 to top all of Monday's survivors. Stefan Ivano, Hophuong Lay, Joris Ruijs and David Lolis round out the top five. Fal has to be happy with topping 1C, but that doesn't even get him into the top five of all starting flights. Six players from Day 1A and 1B finished with a bigger stack. Some of the familiar faces who played and bagged on Day 1C include Ryan D'Angelo, Men Nguyen, Shaun Deeb, Nipun Java, JC Tran, Steven van Zadelhoff, and Ray Henson. A total of 2,016 survived the three opening flights. Day 2 begins at 1 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nikolay Fal - 437,000 Darren Attebery - 368,000 Kenneth Golden - 359,600 Bruno Desimoni - 358,000 Richard Murnick - 346,200 Brett Mueller - 343,700 Dragos Trofimov - 340,300 Timothy Sheehan - 340,100 Wayne Keller - 338,500 Alice Sicconi - 338,400
  18. The dog days of June in the 2016 World Series of Poker saw Event 40 of 69 kickoff and the five-day march of the Summer Solstice came to a near end. There was also a Six Max event running for a Day 3, Day 2 and Day 1 on Thursday. Koray Aldemir Leads Adrian Mateos to Day 5 of Summer Solstice The massive field of 1,840 entrants returned 17 survivors to Day 4 of the $1,500 Summer Solstice and the event looked to finish a day early after reaching the final table. After 150 hands only Koray Aldemir and 2013 WSOPE Main Event champ Adrian Mateos remain at 7.515 million and 6.28 million chips respectively. Mateos headlined a Day 4 field that included Kathy Liebert, Jason Wheeler and Chris Moorman. Mateos was a newcomer in 2013 and his Main Event win was his first WSOP cash. He’s in line for his fifth cash, but did advance to the Round of 16 in the Heads Up championship and made a deep run in a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event earlier this Series. Aldemir has eight WSOP cashes dating back to 2014 and has been on a hot streak dating back to 2015. His largest cash came in the Main Event and this year he’s cashed in the Colossus, Millionaire Maker and a $1,000 NLH event. Cards will be in the air at noon where they’ll have the entire day to play for the bracelet. Final Table Payouts TBD – $409,171 TBD – $252,805 Alessandro Borsa - $182,835 Ralph Wong - $133,584 Jon Turner – $98,617 Jackson White - $73,563 Ronald McGinnity - $55,455 Stephen Ladowsky - $42,252 David Tovar - $32,540 Michael Gathy Wins 3rd Bracelet in 2nd Final Table of 2016 [caption width="640"] Mike Gathy picked up his third WSOP gold bracelet.[/caption]Michael Gathy lost to Rep Porter heads-up in the $1,500 Razz event three weeks ago for his 13th WSOP cash. He made another deep run a few days later in the $3,000 HORSE event finishing 12th but played his way to another final table this week, defeated Adrien Allain heads-up and won his third bracelet. Gathy had approximately 8.5 million to Allain’s 5 million on the final hand, they saw a three-bet flop of [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"] and Gathy bet 450,000. Allain called, the turn came [poker card="kd"] and after Gathy checked Allain bet 800,000. Gathy called again, the river came [poker card="jc"], Gathy checked and Allain shoved. Gathy called holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] for two pair and Allain tabled a busted flush draw to lose the match. Final Table Payouts Michael Gathy – $560,843 Adrien Allain - $346,632 Manuel Nunez - $229,990 Blake Eastman - $155,762 Scott Margereson - $107,723 Thi Nguyen - $76,112 Hani Awad Captures 1st Bracelet After Finishing Runner-Up in 2015 in Same Event [caption width="640"] Hani Awad wins first gold bracelet after 50 years in Vegas and wins event he finished runner-up in 2015.[/caption]Hani Awad won his first gold bracelet for $213,186 and denied Fabrice Soulier his second bracelet. Awad finished runner-up to Konstantin Maslak in 2015 and bested a loaded final table with Aditya Prasetyo, Michaeld Chow and Per Hilderbrand. Awad began heads-up play with a 3-1 chiplead over Soulier and despite doubling up a couple times, Soulier couldn’t mount a comeback. After 50 years of living in Las Vegas and playing poker Awad said moments after winning, “This means everything. I don’t even care about the money. I just wanted to win the gold bracelet.” “When I first moved here I lived in the same building as (Stu) Ungar – at the Regency,” he said. “I played with all the people you know – Ungar, Seymour (Leibowitz) – all of them. I have been gambling for over 50 years in Las Vegas, I still play all the action games.” Final Table Payouts Hani Awad – $213,186 Fabrice Soulier – $131,762 Aditya Prasetyo - $89,409 Denny Axel - $61,888 Michael Chow - $43,717 Gleb Kovtunov - $31,527 Per Hildebrand - $23,222 Timothy Burt - $17,479 Event 37: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Day 2 of the event returned 128 players and after a full day of action 16 players remain advancing to Day 3. Tommy Le holds a huge lead over the field as the only player over a million with Jon Ho Christensen in second place with 699,000. Jake Schwartz and Dylan Linde are the most accomplished players returning but sit in the second half of the counts – Linde as the shortest. Matt Brady, Joe Serock and Daniel Negreanu all made the final four tables but were eliminated before the end of play. Natasha Barbour, Dan Sindelar, Tyler Patterson, Jordan Smith and Leif Force also cashed in the event. All returning players are guaranteed $7,179 but after the first elimination they hit a pay jump. Then, a trip to the final table doubles what their guaranteed and the winner walks with $212,128 – which forecasts a deliberate pace of play. Top Ten Chip Counts Tommy Le – 1,040,000 Jon Ho Christensen – 699,000 Henri Koivisto – 597,000 Arundel Robinson – 590,000 Thibaut Klinghammer – 446,000 Dieyar Kakel – 339,000 Jiaqi Xu – 318,000 Bryce Eckhart – 280,000 Jake Schwartz – 218,000 Patrick Salo – 218,000 Event 38: $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em Day 2 of the$3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em event had 64 survivors playing for the 37 spots that paid and after ten levels of action Limit Hold’em specialist Matt Matros leads the field one green chip short of a million chip stack. 2015 Main Event champ Joe McKeehen sits second in chips and along with Georgios Zisimopoulos the top three players hold a huge lead over the bottom five stacks. Rep Porter,Chris Klodnicki, Jesse Martin and Jason Somerville finished in the final three tables as Terrence Chan, Jeffrey Lisandro and Jonathan Duhamel cashed further down the payouts. Top Eight Chip Counts Matt Matros – 978,000 Joe McKeehen – 825,000 Georgios Zisimopoulos – 788,000 Mikhail Semin – 302,000 Alex Queen – 243,000 Audrey Zhigalov – 195,000 Brad Libson – 178,000 Rafael Lebron – 167,000 Event 39: $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship The short-hand No Limit Hold’em Championship is one of the most action-packed events of the summer featuring the biggest names in the game. The event drew 294 players and 123 of them advance to Day 2 with Garbriel Andrade leading the field. Robert Mizrachi andJustin Bonomo already logged significant time on the ESPN Thunderdome in 2016 and both bagged up in the top ten. Steve Gross, Timothy Adams, Galen Hall and Ankush Mandavia bagged up just outside the top ten. Simon Deadman, Tony Gregg, Jake Schindler,Vanessa Selbst and Jeff Gross bagged more modest stacks. The field combined for a $2,763,600 prize pool to pay out the top 45 finishers. The min-cash comes in at $14,848 but the final table locks up at least $90,783 and the winner earns $665,709 for the championship win. A Who’s Who in poker made up the field and not all of them survived the day – Jason Mercier, Antonio Esfandiari, Dominik Nitsche, Doug Polk, Erik Seidel and Fedor Holz all hit the rail on Thursday. Top Ten Chip Counts Gabriel Andrade – 443,000 Brandon Steven – 397,700 Daniel Strelitz – 324,200 Eric Sfez – 296,600 Rahul Byrraju – 252,000 Robert Mizrachi – 250,100 Justin Bonomo – 241,500 Senh Ung – 228,000 Assani Fisher – 205,500 Nick Petrangelo – 200,000 Event 40: $2,500 Mix Triple Draw Lowball The mix of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Ace to Five and Badugi is a new event for the 2016 schedule and the Lowball mix drew 236 entrants. Former “Crew” member Anthony Lazar leads the field with Christopher Vitch close behind. 2011 Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko is second in chips and Jason Mercier finds himself advancing to another Day 2. Jon Turner put in a full day in the Summer Solstice event with a fifth place finish but jumped in the event and bagged up in the top 20. The field combined for a $536,900 prize pool for the final 36 players. Anyone making the final table has $18,336 locked up and the winner’s share is $136,854. Top Ten Chip Counts Anthony Lazar – 161,300 Christopher Vitch – 152,200 Martin Staszko – 97,900 Brandon Delnano – 93,600 Jason Mercier – 93,100 Tuan Le – 91,000 Daniel Hirleman – 87,200 Michael Noori – 86,700 Alan Myerson – 84,00 Timothy Burt – 81,400 The Monster Stack Arrives Day 1A of the player-favorite Monster Stack kicks off at 10 am Friday as the first of two flights. Players must choose either Day 1A or Day 1B as only on entry is allowed. Players begin the event with a 15,000 starting stack with the standard $1,500 No Limit Hold’em structure. The 3 PMevent is the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout.
  19. The U.S. Poker Open starts Thursday and has the potential to be one of the best events of the year. More than a handful of the best players in the world are confirmed for some, if not all, of the eight-event schedule. All participating players are worthy of previewing but we decided to cut right to the chase and look at six that stand out. Three No Limit specialists, two Mixed Game maestros and one dark horse. Bryn Kenney The 2017 American GPI Player of the Year made the majority of his over $8 million in earnings in events like the ones in USPO. Kenney, who won a Poker Masters event in 2017, is one of the betting favorites to win take home the US Poker Open Championship, which will be awarded to the best overall player. Already in 2018, Kenney is off to a strong in high rollers thanks to a third-place run in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller. Kenney measures himself against a high standard and the USPO is the perfect chance for him to show why he is the greatest high roller player in the world. Adrian Mateos If Kenney was the best of the high rollers in 2017, Mateos proved once again why he’s #1 in terms of all-around No Limit excellence. This year is off to an excellent start for the young Spaniard with a final table run at the PCA Main Event and two second-place finishes at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open. Mateos won his third WSOP bracelet last summer and picked up two cashes in the Poker Masters. At only 23-years-old, Mateos is already proving himself to be one of the best in the game. USPO could be the tipping point that places him at the top of the game. Jake Schindler Alongside Tom Marchese, Schindler is the co-ruler of the ARIA High Roller Series. Schindler has cashed 26 times in ARIA high roller events is second all-time on that list and earnings. The Super High Roller Bowl served as Schindler’s coming out party to a national audience and built on his dominance against the tough fields assembled at ARIA. Schindler is a quiet threat and always locked in to pick up more wins at his home away from home. Brian Rast The mixed game aspect of USPO is drawing the best all-around players to ARIA. Rast is an excellent No Limit player but also excels in all games. The two-time $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner plays literally every game in the book in Ivey’s Room at ARIA and excels in the tournament format. Rast won the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl in 2015 and is one of the most well-rounded players in the USPO field. Isaac Haxton The android brain of Haxton has optimized No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha in the online realm. Those skills have downloaded onto the live felt. Haxton consistently performs well in High Rollers across the world and is well adjusted to playing in the USPO format. The full eight-game slate in the Mixed Game Championship is fine for Haxton, who made the final table of the 2017 PPC. Almedin Imsirovic Who? Well, 'Ali', as he’s called online, is only 23-years-old as of this week but already competing and winning against the best in the world. Imsirovic entered the $25,000 high rollers at Seminole and PCA and won a $10,000 turbo to wrap up the Bahama series. He might be the one of the youngest in the field but Imsirovic’s experience of playing online for years gives him the necessary reps to take on the world’s best, making him the perfect dark horse for USPO.
  20. The 2019 World Series of Poker is almost here. It's the 50th annual WSOP and there's a lot of anticipation of what's to come this summer. One player who always looks forward to the summer is Phil Hellmuth. He's the poker player with the most WSOP gold bracelets (15) and most WSOP cashes (134), plus it's 30 years since he won the 1989 WSOP Main Event. "I love it!" Hellmuth told PocketFives when asked how it feels to have the WSOP right around the corner once again. "It's 30 years since my win in the WSOP Main Event." In 1989, a 24-year-old Hellmuth shocked the gambling world when he defeated two-time defending champion Johnny Chan to win the WSOP Main Event for $755,000. Hellmuth topped a field of 178 entries and launched himself into poker stardom. It was the first of his 15 gold bracelets, one of which was the WSOP Europe Main Event title in 2012, and 30 years later he's still hungry for more. "It would be nice to win a no-limit 2-7 tournament - I have two second-place finishes - as I've always seen myself winning one," Hellmuth said when asked what he's most looking forward to this summer, other than the Main Event. "It would be nice to win another razz tourney. That would solidify me as the best razz tourney player in the world, based on WSOP results. I would love to win a seven-card stud eight-or-better tourney or an eight-game mix or 10-game mix. Finally, winning a huge buy-in or field size no-limit hold’em tournament or heads-up tourney would be spectacular." In addition to those events, Hellmuth recently took to social media to proclaim, "I want to win a WSOP PLO bracelet in the next few years!" Of all the bracelets he's won, he has yet to earn one in the great game of pot-limit Omaha. His best WSOP performance in this exciting, four-card variant was a fourth-place finish at the 2000 WSOP. "I'm behind the curve in two tourney games: pot-limit Omaha and 2-7 triple draw," Hellmuth said. "I keep improving, which is wonderful, and who knows where that will lead. No one thought I would become the best razz tourney player in the world, and yet, I have shredded the WSOP razz tourneys since 2012 like no other. It's been a historic run, with two firsts, a second, a fifth, and a 13th. So, I need to improve at PLO tourneys. I need to learn something from Jason Mercier and Shaun Deeb." Speaking of Mercier and Deeb, Hellmuth included these two players, who hold five and four bracelets, respectively, when mentioning who might be able to catch him in the great bracelet race. "Daniel Negreanu says he will catch me in cashes," Hellmuth said. "A little known fact is that Negreanu has actually played more WSOP tourneys than I have. Others have said they will catch me in bracelets. Phil Ivey says his goal is to win 30. I was shooting for 24, until Ivey went public going for 30, then I changed my goal to 30. But 24 would still be amazing. Let me get there first. So, Ivey. Maybe Negreanu, Deeb, Mercier, John Monnette, or John Hennigan. In hold'em, of which I have 13 so far, maybe Joe Cada, Dominik Nitsche, or Adrian Mateos." Hellmuth is currently top of the charts in most WSOP gold bracelets and most WSOP cashes, two records that he holds by quite wide margins. In the bracelets category, the next closest are Ivey, Chan, and Doyle Brunson, who each have 10. For cashes, Hellmuth is first with 137 and then Chris Ferguson is second with 120. Negreanu currently sits third entering the 2019 WSOP with 108. "Let's not forget that I hold the record for most WSOP final tables," Hellmuth added. "It would be nice to own the money list title, but to me, it's all about the bracelets." Hellmuth's last gold bracelet win came last year when he won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 30-Minute Levels tournament for $485,082. For final tables, the last time he didn't make one at the WSOP was in 2013. Having played the WSOP for so long and racked up so many accolades, it wouldn't be out of the question for Hellmuth to slow down and take it easy a bit, just as most athletes can get their titles and then take it a little easier. But every WSOP, whether in Las Vegas during the summer or elsewhere in the world some other time of the year, Hellmuth is grinding away and looking to add another few lines to the record books that are already littered with his name. "It's in my nature, it's in my DNA," Hellmuth said when asked what continues to drive him. "I'm super competitive, and I'm competing against the best players in the world, in this era, and last and future eras, for greatest poker player of all time. Right now, I have all of the records, but 15 WSOP bracelets is not enough to keep the record. So I stay focused, I stay determined, I pay attention, and keep abreast of new strategies. I stay away from drugs, away from drinking too much, and I take care of myself; watching my weight and sleeping in almost every single day. Long-term health is a factor in this race." With decades of experience at the WSOP, Hellmuth has undoubtedly seen a lot over the years. For that reason, there are few better to ask what the biggest differences are between then and now. "The numbers," Hellmuth said. "The WSOP was special back then, and a lot more like a convention for all of the best poker players in the world. But now, it's out of control with huge numbers, and I love it. Also, back in 1988 and 1989, we had a lot of one-day tournaments." While excited for what's to come poker-wise, Hellmuth has been quite busy as of late, but not necessarily in the poker realm. If you follow him on social media, then you're likely aware of some of the off-the-felt moves he's been making. "I'm doing a lot of business deals right now, both as an investor and as someone that's honored to be joining advisory boards (just joined LassoGear.com advisory board). In the last six months, I have invested in b spot (online slot machines), TravelSmarter.com (direct-to-consumer hotel room rates, airfare, and a lot more), End Game Talent Agency (esports talent agency), and STEAM Role (mentoring site). "I love business, but all of the founders understand that I will disappear into poker on May 25," Hellmuth said. "I really need to cut off all communication for a few months and focus on playing great poker. For the 2019 WSOP, I'm adding back mediation." Lastly, with the WSOP Main Event seeing a rise in attendance over the previous year in each of the last three years, Hellmuth needed to be asked to give a prediction for the 2019 WSOP Main Event. "I think we will crack 10,000 players!" Hellmuth said. "The ESPN coverage, thanks to PokerGO and Cary Katz, has been spectacular, with 14 days of coverage, and the economy is crushing!"
  21. [caption width="640"] Over the last five years a number of poker superstars have been born on the European Poker Tour (photos PokerStars)[/caption] The European Poker Tour is coming to an end right now in Prague, as the last ever Main Event is underway. The tour has created many champions over the past 13 years, and here’s a look through just some of the more recent breakout stars. ICYMI read The Breakout Stars of the European Poker Tour: 2004-2010 Dominik PankaRemember how we said Mike McDonald almost became the first ever two-time EPT champ in January 2014? Well, the man who kept him from the top spot was Dominik Panka. The Polish player won a huge score of $1.42 million and became Poland’s all-time money winner…until a certain young wizard by the name of Dzimitry Urbanovich appeared (more on him later). When Panka took down the PCA Main Event in 2014 for $1.42 million, defeating McDonald heads-up, he became Poland’s all-time money winner. Panka followed up the PCA win later in the month with a €10K High Roller victory at EPT10 Deuville for €272,000, and in 2015 he placed third in the EPT11 Malta main event for €347,300. Panka was back to making final tables this year with a fifth-place finish in the IPT8 Malta Main event for €30,970, and taking ninth in the EPT13 Malta Main Event for €41,590. Adrian MateosTechnically, this Spanish whiz kid had already burst onto the scene long before his massive $1.21 million win in the EPT11 Grand Final Main Event in 2015. He’d already won an Estrellas Poker Tour title in 2013 ($137K), and a little-known tournament later that year called the WSOPE Main Event ($1.35 million). But there’s just no way we could have left Adrian Mateos off of this list. A glance through his live scores shows countless EPT side event cashes, including two wins at the same stop (EPT11 Deauville). Since his EPT win, Mateos has taken down his second WSOP bracelet ($409K) and become a high roller regular everywhere from the EPTs to the Las Vegas, where he’s won almost $400K in December 2016 alone. Niall FarrellThe man known as 'Firaldo87' was well-known on the poker circuit as a great online player and fun-loving guy before he took down EPT12 Malta for $588,592 in 2015 (he’d finished second in a $3K WSOP event, and made a few high roller final tables). But Farrell truly had his breakout moment with that huge score. It’s been a great catalyst for him too. He’s now a fixture in the biggest high roller tournaments on the EPT circuit, he finished eighth in the $111,111 high roller for One Drop at the 2016 WSOP, and just last month took down the WPT Punta Cana main event for $335,000. Dzmitry UrbanovichThe player who overtook Panka as Poland’s all-time money winner is Urbanovich, who seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere back in March and April 2015. At EPT11 Malta, the wunderkind won the €25K high roller for €572,300, followed by three more side event wins. The following month at the EPT11 Grand Final, he finished second in the €100K super high roller for €1.446 million. The man known online as ‘Colisea’ then went on to finish second in the €50K super high roller at EPT12 Barcelona for €841K, fourth in the EPT12 Prague super high roller for €285k, before finally capturing his first EPT main event title at EPT12 Dublin in February this year for €561K. An incredible run, considering in all this time he’s also notched up more than a million in online earnings, with two SCOOP and three WCOOP wins. Amazing. Sebastian MalecIf you missed the final hand of the EPT13 Barcelona main event, we suggest you go find it on YouTube. Sebastian Malec, a 21-year-old €27 PokerStars satellite winner, took down the title for €1,122,800, and a new star was born. It’s still a little early to see how Malec’s career will develop after the EPT is no more, but that’s exactly why we’ve included him on this list. Who knows what the future will hold? The PokerStars Championships kick off in the Bahamas in January, before heading to Panama and Macau in March. It’s time to find a whole new batch of breakout stars.
  22. The largest888poker Super XL Series ever held wrapped up the best players from the 11-day series battling in a freeroll for a variety of World Series of Poker packages with ‘trojanmouse’ beating the field to win a package into the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event. ‘trojanmouse’ won the Champion of Champions freeroll to win the package worth $12,500. Over the course of the 63-event series and the $5 million in guaranteed prizepool, the top 18 players on the Super XL Series leaderboard qualified into the series-ending freeroll. All 18 players were guaranteed at least a $160 tournament ticket with a bump in rewards for the top five finishers. ‘GoFighTer’ finished runner-up to earn a $3,000 WSOP Crazy 8’s package and a $1,050 Main Event qualifier ticket, while ‘Mindcrushers’ came in third to earn a $3,000 WSOP Crazy 8’s package. From the start of the tournament, it looked like it was going to be tough to stop ‘trojanmouse.’ In the just the second level of the tournament, ‘trojanmouse’ picked up [poker card="kh"][poker card="kd"] and got all in against ‘MrBester’ and ‘b.szaszko.’ ‘MrBester’ tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] and ‘b.szaszko’ showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="5h"]. After a [poker card="ts"][poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"] runout, the pocket kings held up and ‘trojanmouse’ rode an early chip lead all the way to a victory. PocketFives top ranked online player in the world Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez just missed out on one of the three WSOP packages. He finished fourth and earned a $600 tournament ticket. ‘ScratchyR’ came in fifth and also earned a $600 tournament ticket. The other 15 players in the tournament netted a $160 tournament ticket. 'Enigmasility' Wins Main Event The series came to an official last Sunday with the $1,050 Main Event. There was a massive 1,096-player field and 344 re-entries to bring the official field size to 1,440 entries. Gonzalez displayed why he is the top ranked online player on PocketFives, finishing 17th for $8,250. He came up just shy of his fourth final table of the series. When the final table was reached, it was ‘Enigmasility’ who stole the show. The player from Belarus dominated the final table and quickly amassed a huge chip lead. He had about an eight-to-one chip lead heads-up against ‘GoMore21’ before his [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"] bested the Poland native’s [poker card="th"][poker card="7h"] to earn the main event title. ‘Enigmasility’ won $262,200 for the win, while ‘GoMore21’ earned $190,500 for his runner-up finish. Adrian Mateos Takes Down Preliminary Event WSOPE Bracelet winner Adrian ‘ADRI_ATM’ Mateos came in ninth in the Main Event, earning $17,250 for his final table appearance. But that wasn’t his only final table of the series. Just a week earlier, Mateos took down the $150,000 guaranteed Super XL Mega Deep event. There were 959 entries in the $215 No Limit Hold’em event. Mateos came out on top to earn $35,524. Chris Moorman Adds Super XL Title To Resume Earlier in the series, 888poker Ambassador Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman added another title to one of the most successful online poker resumes in history. Moorman bested the 667-entry field in Event 38, a $55 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event with rebuys and add-ons. Moorman earned $16,453 for his first Super XL title of his career. Jon Van Fleet Defeats Fabrizio Gonzalez To Earn High Roller Title Amidst all of the other highlights of the Super XL Series, Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet took down the biggest buy-in of the series. Van Fleet bested a field of 204 players in the $2,100 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event for $87,290. Van Fleet’s road to the title was not an easy one. This was one of Gonzalez’s three final tables and the top ranked player in the world stood between Van Fleet and the title. Van Fleet started with a three-to-one chip lead over Gonzalez, but after some time, the stacks evened out. Van Fleet secured another title when he got all in preflop with his [poker card="kh"][poker card="7c"] against Gonzalez’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2d"] to send the pot to Van Fleet and send Gonzalez home with $62,930 for his second place finish.
  23. There’s a proud contingency of top-tier poker players that have their roots in the country of Spain. One of the most well known live poker players in the world, former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Carlos ‘The Matador’ Mortensen, helped put the Kingdom on the map in the world of poker. Nowadays, the game thrives there and he’s joined by a whole host of big-time talent that continues to elevate the game in Spain including high-roller Sergio Aido, World Series of Poker Europe Champion Marti Roca de Torres, Leo Margets and, of course, the Global Poker Index’s #1-ranked player in 2017 Adrian Mateos. The young Mateos is more than a national phenom for Spain, he’s ranked #1 on Spain’s All-Time Money list and #30 in on the All-Time List. He was the youngest ever to win three World Series of Poker bracelets and he captured the title during the European Poker Tour’s Season 11 Grand Final. However, in addition to all of Mateos' live results, he's also a prolific online player. Now, with Spain having moved forward with sharing player pool liquidity with France, Portugal, and Italy, there’s an emerging crop of players who would love nothing more than to follow in Mateo’s footsteps. ‘cuquejo25’ stands as the current #1 ranked online player in Spain. He shot up the rankings thanks in part to a hot start to 2018 that has seen him accumulate eight podium finishes, with four of them outright wins, that brought in over $5,000. Right on his heels though is the #2 ranked Spaniard, ‘Neowaca’. A relatively new PocketFiver, ‘Neowaca’ sits just shy of 220 PLB points from taking the pole position on this list. All he would need to do is repeat a performance like when he took down the PokerStars.ES $12 El Clasico for $5,878 and 144.87 PLB points in September of 2017 to truly make a run at the top spot. Sitting just inside the top 2000 players in the world is Spain’s #3 ranked grinder, ‘timote203’. Hailing from the city of Caceres, he recently eclipsed over $250,000 in lifetime earnings. In the first week of February, he earned his highest PLB point total for the period with a final table finish in PokerStars.ES FRESH-26 for $2,748 and 123.30 PLB points. ‘joslopgon’ checks in at #4, as he makes a run at a major career milestone. The Andalusian is just over $10,000 shy of $400,000 in lifetime earnings. It won’t be long before he gets there should he continues to do as he did when he finished in fourth place in the 50 PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $4,270.42 on February 11. Closing out Spain’s top 5 is ‘craizyfinn’. The player from Palma has accumulated ten PLB qualified cashes since the start of 2018 and sits just over $16,000 shy of earning an official $250,000 in lifetime cashes badge. Both ‘iceman_xddd’ (#6) and Guillem ‘camelCase’ Ulltstre (#7) are in a position to breach the top 5 and they find themselves within 35 PLB points of each other and both less than 100 away from ‘craizyfinn’. Daniel ‘PKdani1989’ Martines Sanz is currently ranked #8. Sanz is a small stakes tournament grinder that is looking for more scores like his February 6 $565 on PokerStars.ES, to help him move up in stakes. ‘twister88’ (#9) and San Sebastian’s ‘jounas14’ complete the current crop of top 10 players out of Spain. Spain's Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 cuquejo25 2,017.61 2 Neowaca 2,017.61 3 timote203 1,715.50 4 joslopgon 1,652.76 5 craizyfinn 1,542.09 6 iceman_xddd 1,478.41 7 camelCase 1,444.74 8 PKdani1989 1,403.20 9 twister88 1,391.13 10 jounas14 1,387.17
  24. Starting Wednesday, some of the world’s best heads-up No Limit Hold’em players will be battling it out at the 2018 World Series of Poker in one of the most prestigious events on the schedule. The $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship attracts nothing but the best of the best. The eventual winner will have gone through seven heads-up matches and come out with a W. The Championship event is a minefield of tough spots. The toughest in the entire field isn’t ranked in the top 13,000 on the Global Poker Index. He’s never won a WSOP bracelet or a World Poker Tour title. The closest he’s ever gotten to Bobby’s Room would be playing in a smaller cash game at the Bellagio. And he’s probably never played online poker for super high stakes. He’s 71-year-old war vet John Smith. And nobody wants to draw him in the first round of play. Over the last two years, Smith has beaten 12 of the 14 players he’s played, losing in the final in 2016 and 2017. So just how should somebody prepare for a match with John Smith? Who could help his opponent’ this year understand what it takes to outlast the retiree? Ryan Riess? Nope. Smith beat him in the semi-final last year. Chance Kornuth? Nah. He was dispatched by Smith in the round of 32 last year. Dietrich Fast? Second round victim last year. Alex Luneau? Couldn’t beat Smith in the 2016 semi-final. Antonio Esfandiari? Also had to shake Smith’s hand at the end of a match in 2016 after losing to him. His success in this event goes back even further. In 2014, Smith finished 11th and put Leo Fernandez, Eric Froehlich and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey on his list of victims. Smith’s history in this event is so dominant, that PokerShares opened Smith at 4.0 markup for those looking to buy pieces. No other player was above 1.6. The only players who have managed to beat Smith over the last two years were 2017 winner Adrian Mateos and 2016 champion Alan Percal. In 2016, Percal finished his semi-final match against Olivier Busquet first and was asked afterward who he would rather play, Luneau or Smith. “At the time, I said ‘I’ll play either one of them, it doesn’t matter’, but at the end of the day, obviously, there’s probably a slight bias in who I prefer to play,” admitted Percal. “At the time, I was just so excited to be there. I wasn’t thinking too much about who I wanted to play.” Smith beat Riess and then on the very first hand of the finals, gave Percal a glimpse into what exactly had gotten him this deep. With blinds of 40,000/80,000, Smith raised to 220,000 from the button and Percal called. The flop came [8d][8s][4d] and Percal check-called Smith’s bet of 305,000. The turn was the [9c] and this time Percal check-raised Smith’s 305,000 bet to 900,000. Smith called and the river was the [9s]. Percal check-called Smith’s bet of 1,050,000. Smith mucked and Percal took the pot without showdown. The livestream showed that Smith had his bottom pair counterfeited by the turn and river. “So that was the first hand in my introduction to John Smith, in addition to a little bit of the livestream that I watched after Olivier,” said Percal, who won’t be able to play the Heads Up event this year due to a scheduling conflict with his work. “I think that his ability or his willingness to make big plays and not be afraid is also something that I’d say is a real positive of his.” “I would, I guess, classify him as loose-aggressive - not so much in a negative way. Typically when you classify someone as laggy, then it’s bad. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s loose-aggressive and bad. I think his style is very hard to figure out what he’s got and when he’s got it,” said Percal. Percal believes that Smith’s age played a factor in how some of his other opponents viewed him before they played him. “I think it’s a mix of the fact that he plays very unorthodox and the fact that you look at him, and he looks like an older gentleman. You wouldn’t be as surprised if you saw a 21-year-old online kid play that way he did if you take away a few of the other outlier plays that he made. I think it’s a mix of the fact that he’s older and plays very contradictory to the way you expect older people to play the game.” Percal played the 2017 event as well but was bounced in the opening round. He found his way over to Aria to play some cash games a few days later and looked up at one of the TVs to find the livestream of the finals airing. Even though he hadn’t followed the event, he suddenly had a rooting interest. “I was 100% rooting for him. Based on my short interaction with him, he seemed like an outstanding individual, just outside of the poker scene. He seemed like a very nice guy,” said Percal. “I don’t think it’s embarrassing to lose to John Smith. Twelve people out of 14 lost to him over the last two years. I’m sure most of those, if not all of those players are professional poker players,” said Percal. “I’d love to see him play some of those other people, where he didn’t happen to lose a big pot in the first hand and see what he did to put those people in tough spots.” “It can’t be all luck beating 12 out of 14 people. I don’t know how else to put it. That just seems like a few deviations too many above the means.”
  25. [caption width="640"] Frank Kassela was one of two players to take home their third career WSOP bracelet on Thursday (WSOP photo)[/caption] The ninth day of the 2017 World Series of Poker was all about joining the three-time bracelet winner’s club. Not one but two poker veterans managed to win their third gold bracelets on Thursday, while the prestigious $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship is down to the semi-finals. Here’s what went down yesterday in the Rio. David ‘Dragon’ Pham defeats Jordan Young to win third bracelet [caption width="640"] David Pham beat former #1-ranked Jordan Young to win the ,500 No Limit Hold'em event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Eleven years after winning his second WSOP gold, 50-year-old Vietnamese legend David ‘Dragon’ Pham captured his third after taking down Event #12 - a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament for a fantastic payday worth $391,960. On Tuesday 1,739 players took their seats, and by the end of Day 2 on Wednesday they were down to a final table which included Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal, overnight chip leader Melissa Gillett, Russian beast Roman Korenev, and online star Jordan Young. Agarwal was the first final table casualty, followed by Huihan Wu, Billy Rodgers, Nathan Pfluger, and Kevin Trettin. When play got four-handed, Gillett lost a flip with pocket sevens against Pham’s king-queen, leaving the Australian with less than two big blinds. She busted shortly after, followed by Korenev in third. The Russian was all-in and dominated with king-queen against Pham’s ace-king, and couldn’t survive. That began an epic heads-up match which went on for 130 hands and around three hours. As always in a battle that lengthy, the two traded blows and stacks went up and down. Ultimately, Pham shoved on the button, and Young peeked down at the [poker card="as"]. That one card was enough for him to make the call, and it turned out to be [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"] against Pham’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="9h"]. Up until the river, the [poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="qd"] board was safe for Young, but the [poker card="kh"] on the river gave Pham the victory. Young banked $242,160 for the runner-up finish, while Pham adds to his previous bracelets, won in 2001 ($2,100 S.H.O.E. event), and in 2006 ($2,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout). "It feels amazing," Pham said. "It's been a long time. Every year I've come close; last year I made a final table, too. I had a stack, but I didn't make it [to the win]. "Of course the money comes first," he added, "but the bracelet means something, too. It took me 11 years to make it [back]. You get emotional." Final Table Payouts David Pham - $391,960 Jordan Young - $242,160 Roman Korenev - $174,559 Melissa Gillett - $127,180 Kevin Trettin - $93,667 Nathan Pfluger - $69,741 Billy Rodgers - $52,503 Huihan Wu - $39,969 Aditya Agarwal - $30,774 Frank Kassela also adds third bracelet; wins $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball With two bracelets in Stud, former WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela now has one in No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw too, after winning the $1,500 Event #13. Kassela faced a tough final table which included chipleader Bernard Lee, Matt Waxman, and Jared Bleznick- aka ‘harrington25’. To get there though, the final six had to battle their way through a 266-strong field, which had created a $359,100 prize pool. As the UK’s Stuart Rutter bowed out in sixth, followed by Bleznick and Waxman in fifth and fourth respectively, it was Tim McGuiganwho held the chip lead. But while Kassela and Lee fought on, McGuigan eventually fell short on chips and was eliminated in third for his first ever WSOP cash. Lee now held the heads-up chip lead, but Kassela found a way to battle back. In the final hand, Kassela stood pat with a jack after Lee had shoved, while Lee drew one but ended up hitting a pair. "Nothing feels better than winning a World Series of Poker bracelet when you're a poker player," Kassela said after his victory. "Poker, in general, requires a lot of patience, specifically at a final table, people are going to make mistakes. They're going to get a little bit too hasty, and you can't allow bad hands to f*** up your head.” When asked who he would least like to have faced heads-up, Kassela referenced final table bubble boy and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny Glaser. "Benny's a really good player. It was a bummer to see him get knocked out as a friend, but at the same time, it's nice to not have to play against him.” Kassela also stated that he considers himself one of the best recreational players in the world. With his three WSOP bracelets (the other two both coming in 2010), it’s hard to argue with him. Final Table Payouts Frank Kassela - $89,151 Bernard Lee - $55,086 Tim McGuigan - $37,032 Matt Waxman - $25,451 Jared Bleznick - $17,890 Stuart Rutter - $12,868 Benny Glaser - $9,477 Big names remain in $1,500 H.O.R.S.E (Event #14) Just 18 of 736 players remain after Day 2 of Event #14, the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E, and it’s Kyle Loman who leads the pack. However, he’s got stiff competition from the likes of David Singer, David ‘Bakes’ Baker, Richard Ashby, Max Pescatori, and Brandon Shack-Harris, who are all still alive. Those remaining are all guaranteed $5,882, but they’ll all have their eyes set on the $203,709 first-place prize. Play resumes Friday at 12 pm Vegas time, and here’s a look at the top 10 counts: Top 10 Chip Counts Kyle Loman - 580,000 Paul Sokoloff - 540,000 David Singer - 525,000 David 'Bakes' Baker - 479,000 Wayne LaMonica - 451,000 Frederic Moss - 419,000 Andrew Kelsall - 418,000 Esther Taylor - 336,000 Mike Coombs - 283,000 Richard Ashby - 269,000 Riess, Mateos, Carrel and Smith set to battle in $10K Heads-Up Championship Ryan Riess. Adrian Mateos. Charlie Carrel. John Smith. You’ll no doubt recognise the first three names there, but John Smith? Sounds pretty anonymous. So would you be surprised if I told you that the 70-year-old US Army veteran has more than $1M in live earnings, including a runner-up finish in this very event last year? Smith seems to absolutely crush this event, winning just shy of $200K last year. He’ll now face 2013 Main Event champ Riess in the semi-finals, while Mateos and Carrel will battle it out for the other final spot. None of the four have had easy routes to get to this point. Smith has beaten the likes of Dietrich Fast, Chance Kornuth and Russell Thomas. Riess has defeated Dimitar Danchev, Dan Smith and Olivier Busquet, among others. Carrel has vanquished Tim Adams, Stephen Chidwick, Chris Moore and Ryan Fee to get here. And Mateos also overcame five players including Daniel Negreanu, Eric Wasserson and Taylor Paur. The four have $112,379 in the bag, but if they make it through that payment will increase to $208,154. However, it’s the $336,656 and the bracelet they’re looking for. Smith and Riess begin their match at 3pm Vegas time on Friday, with Carrel and Mateos starting just after. Two more Day 1s in the books While several events were finishing, two more were just kicking off. Event #16, the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, got 1,748 entries which has created a huge prize pool and a first-place prize worth $393,273. Just 263 remain after the first stretch, and it’s Dustin Bush currently out in front. Meanwhile, Matt Berkeyended the day third in chips, while Aditya Agarwal, Toby Lewis, Shannon Shorr, Layne Flack, Shyam Srinivasan, Justin Bonomo, Paul Volpe, Ismael Bojang, Cate Hall, David Peters, ElkY, and Vanessa Selbst are all still in contention. Top 10 overnight counts are as follows: Dustin Bush - 182,800 Sebastian Winkelmann - 177,300 Matt Berkey - 166,500 Danny Noam - 155,400 Aditya Agarwal - 140,000 Matthew Zarcadoolas - 138,300 David Levy - 136,400 Michael Holm - 136,000 Daniel Colpoys - 133,700 Toby Lewis - 132,700 The other event to get started was the $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship (Event #17), and this one got 102 runners. The $958,800 prize pool means the winner will collect $273,962. When the chips were bagged and tagged, 37 players remained, all led by 2016 $10K Razz Championship winner Ray Dehkharghani. As you’d expect the remaining field is absolutely stacked, so we’ll just give you the top 10 chip counts instead of listing off every single player. But okay, if you insist - we’ll mention a couple. Outside of the top 10 which you’ll see below, there’s also Todd Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Lyle Berman, John Racener, Jared Bleznick, Chris Klodnicki, Matt Glantz and Rob Mizrachi in the mix. Play in this one resumes on Friday at 2 pm PT. Ray Dehkharghani - 265,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 258,400 Zachary Freeman - 257,200 Schuyler Thornton - 241,600 Dennis Eichhorn - 230,000 Jon Turner - 212,100 James Obst - 185,600 Mike Matusow- 179,200 Shawn Buchanan - 172,700 David Prociak - 164,700

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