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Found 36 results

  1. High-stakes cash game pro and former #1-ranked player in the world Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro bested 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian Salas heads-up in this week’s $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to take home his first Super MILLION$ title and the $408,406 first-place prize. Finland’s Kelopuro has proved to be a regular runner in the Super MILLION$, appearing in 32 out of the 36 times the tournament has taken place. This week marked the third time Kelopuro earned a trip to the final table however in his previous two attempts he had never finished higher than seventh place. The odds were stacked against him again this week as he entered the final table eighth in chips and facing off against a table full of poker’s toughest tournament players. In addition to Damian Salas, Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Adrian Mateos, and two-time Super MILLION$ champ Darren Elias all had eyes on this week's top prize. With just nine of the 202-entries left, Guillaume Nolet found himself slipping in the chip counts. The former Super MILLION$ winner started the day in the middle of the pack but nearly an hour into the final table, he had fewer than 20 big blinds. Nolet opened holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] only to be three-bet by Stevens on the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. Nolet four-bet jammed and Stevens called putting Nolet at risk. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"] keeping Nolet in the lead. The [poker card="8c"] was safe as well. But the [poker card="9c"] hit the river giving Stevens a pair and sending Nolet out the door in ninth place for $51,051 sending his Super MILLION$ total earnings above $900,000. Russia’s Aleksei Barkov had been grinding a short stack as well and six hands later, when it folded to him on the button, he put his final five big blinds in the middle with [poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"]. Salas, in the small blind, made the call with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] and the pair watched as the board ran out [poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="9d"] awarding the pot to Salas' ace-high and eliminating Barkov in eighth place for $66,205. Stevens had entered the day as the chip leader, but after losing some key hands his stack had dwindled down to roughly ten big blinds. From under the gun he shipped his remaining chips with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. In the small blind, with slightly fewer chips, ‘dimiasg’ made the quick call with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The flop was [poker card="qc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="3s"] giving ‘dimiasg’ top set and leaving Stevens looking for help. The [poker card="4c"] turn left Stevens drawing dead to the [poker card="7h"] river which allowed ‘dimiasg’ to double up. Stevens was left with less than a small blind, which he lost on the very next hand to Kelopuro. Stevens exited in seventh place for $85,857. Four hands later it was Adrian Mateos’ turn to tangle with Kelopuro. In the cutoff, Kelopuro raised with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. With fewer than ten big blinds, Mateos three-bet with his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"], leaving himself just a little over one big blind behind. The action folded back to Kelopuro who bet enough to put Mateos all-in and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner made the call. Kelopuro’s ace-king held through the [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"] board eliminating Mateos, who has played in every single edition of the Super MILLION$, in sixth place adding $111,342 to his $645,087 in previous Super MILLION$ earnings. With five left, Kelopuro had a dominating chip lead as well as [poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"] in the small blind. He opted to complete and Arsenii Malinov checked his option holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="5c"] in the big blind. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4c"] gave Kelopuro a flopped full house and he led out with a min-bet. Malinov put in a raise and Kelopuro called. The action went check-check on the [poker card="7s"] turn. Kelopuro put out a bet on the [poker card="5s"] river and Malinov, after hitting bottom pair, shoved all-in representing a number of made hands, one of which could have been the straight flush. After taking a few extra seconds, Kelopuro made the call which ended Malinov’s tournament in fifth place for $144,393. Roughly fifteen minutes later, Super MILLION$ satellite winner ‘dimiasg’ made their final move. From the button, they shipped their last nine big blinds in the middle with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] and was called by Salas in the big blind holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3h"] which gave Salas some additional flush outs to win the hand. The turn was the [poker card="kc"] which kept ‘dimiasg’ in the lead but increased Salas’ outs to include straight outs. The river was the [poker card="6h"], bringing in the flush for Salas and sending ‘dimiasg’ home in fourth place for $187,255 in their first appearance in the Super MILLION$. Just ten minutes later, Darren Elias, who started the day third in chips, needed to win a flip to stay alive. From the button, Elias moved all-in for roughly 12 big blinds holding [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"]. In the small blind, Salas made the call with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"]. After Kelopuro folded the big blind, the flop came out [poker card="ts"][poker card="td"][poker card="5h"] keeping Elias in the lead. The [poker card="ad"] turn changed all of that and in order to join Michael Addamo as the only three-time Super MILLION$ champions, he needed to hit one of the two remaining fours in the deck. However, the river was the [poker card="qs"] eliminating Elias in third for $242,840 which, when added to his $1,086,055 in previous earnings, propels him into the top 5 of the Super MILLION$ all-time money list leaders. After winning the hand, Salas took over the chip lead as the final two headed into heads-up play. Salas and Kelopuro passed the chip lead back and forth, eventually evening out the stacks. Then, in a critical hand, Kelopuro raised with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="9d"] which prompted Salas to three-bet his [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"]. Kelopuro made the call and the flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"]. Salas put out a small bet which Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] giving Salas a set and Kelopuro the nut straight. Salas then checked, and it was Kelopuro's turn to put out a bet. Salas called and the river came the [poker card="2c"]. Salas checked again to Kelopuro who, with less than a pot-sized bet behind, shoved. Salas tanked but eventually made the call. Kelopuro won the hand with his turned straight and took a commanding chip lead. Five hands later, Kelopuro raised from the button with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] and Salas made the call with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="8c"]. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4d"] giving Salas top pair, but giving Kelopuro a dominating top-two. When checked to, Kelopuro min-bet the flop. Salas then min-raised and Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and Salas put out another small bet. Kelopuro decided to ship all-in and Salas, after a few extra seconds, called with top pair drawing dead to the [poker card="3s"] river. Salas’ runner-up finish earned him $314,924, the second-largest online score of his career while Kelopuro’s $408,406 first-place prize becomes the third-largest score of his prestigious online career. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/16) 1. Sami Kelopuro - $408,406 2. Damian Salas - $314,924 3. Darren Elias - $242,840 4. ‘dimiasg’ - $187,255 5. Arsenii Malinov - $144,393 6. Adrian Mateos - $111,342 7. Bert Stevens - $85,857 8. Aleksei Barkov - $66,205 9. Guillaume Nolet - $51,051
  2. 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.
  3. [caption width="640"] Adrian Mateos won bracelet #2 on Friday - He's just 21 years old (WSOP photo)[/caption] At just 21 years, Adrian Mateos has established himself as one of the best No Limit Hold'em tournament players in the world. At 19 he won the WSOP Europe Main Event. He followed that up by winning the European Poker Tour Grand Final at 20. Now, just days before his 22nd birthday, Mateos has a second WSOP bracelet after winning the $1,500 Summer Solstive event on Friday at the 2016 World Series of Poker. And while Mateos was further establishing himself as one of the best young players, Rafael Lebron won te first bracelet of his career just four days after finishing second in another event. Event #33: Adrian Mateos Wins $1,500 Summer Solstice No Limit Hold'em Only two players returned for Day 5 of the $1,500 buy-in Summer Solstice and after just two hours of play, Adrian Mateos beat Koray Aldemir heads-up for the second bracelet of his career and first victory on U.S. soil. “It feels very good to win. It’s especially important for me to win one here in Las Vegas,” Mateos said. “It’s like a dream come true to play in this tournament because I have been wanting to do this in Las Vegas for a long time.” Mateos, who calls Madrid home, is one of three just Spaniards to win a WSOP bracelet joining Carlos Mortensen and Cesar Garcia. The event, which featured 90-minute levels instead of the standard 60-minute levels, drew 1,840 players. Final Table Payouts Adrian Mateos - $409,171 Koray Aldemir - $252,805 Alessandro Borsa - $182,835 Ralph Wong - $133,588 Jon Turner - $98,617 Jackson White - $73,563 Ronald McGinnity - $55,455 Stephen Ladowsky - $42,252 David Tovar - $32,540 Event #37: Jiaqi Xu Wins $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha [caption width="640"] Jiaqi Xu beat Jeffrey Duvall for the first WSOP bracelet of his career (WSOP photo)[/caption] Jiaqi Xu started Day 3 of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha in the middle of the pack, with the seventh biggest stack among the 16 remaining players. Over the course of the ten hours of play on Friday though, Xu found himself at the final table, and eventually posing with his own WSOP bracelet. “The cards fell my way at the right time,” Xu said. “I knew that if I could get deep I would have a chance and things went right for me.” England's Jeffrey Duvall finished second for $131,128. Pallas Aidinian matched Kindergarten teacher Lisa Meredith for the best finish by a female so far at the 2016 WSOP with her third place finish. She earned $91,369. Final Table Payouts Jiaqi Xu - $212,128 Jeffrey Duvall - $131,073 Pallas Aidinian - $91,369 Joshua Pham - $64,654 Tommy Le - $46,452 Richard Austin - $33,895 Jon Ho Christensen - $25,123 Thibaut Klinghammer - $18,922 Event #38: Rafael Lebron Comes Back to Win First Bracelet in $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em [caption width="640"] Rafael Lebron won the ,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Just four days ago Rafael Lebron finished runner-up to Viatcheslav Ortynskiy in the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event. On Friday he got past the runner=up finish to win the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event, even if he wasn't - by his own admission - the biggest threat at the table when it began. “I wasn’t the best player at the final table at all,” Lebron said. “I might have been the worst. But, I got lucky. This was my day.” Lebron outlasted a final table that included reigning Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, three-time WSOP bracelet winner Matt Matros and eventual runner-up Georgios Zisimopoulos to win the title. Lebron, who plays mostly cash games in Washington State, this has been the trip of a lifetime. “I only play about once a year,” Lebron said. “Sure I’ll come back again next year, as long as I haven’t spent all the money." McKeehen finished fourth for $46,489 and his second cash of the 2016 WSOP. Final Table Payouts Rafael Lebron - $169,337 Georgios Zisimopoulos - $104,646 Brad Libson - $68,896 Joe McKeehen - $46,489 Matt Matros - $32,172 Alex Queen - $22,848 Event #39: Star-Studded Final 21 in $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Championship After a bubble that took nearly four hours on Friday, the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Championship ended up with just 21 players remaining, including some of the best tournament players in the world. Nick Petrangelo leads the way with 1,946,000 chips, just ahead of Vanessa Selbst who finished with 1,942,000. Those two have clearly outpaced the rest of the field as Justin Bonomo, who finished with 1,278,000, is the only other player to crack the seven-figure chip stack mark. Other top players still in contention for the bracelet and the $665,709 first place prize money include Jonathan Little, Jack Salter, Scott Seiver, Davidi Kitai and Chris Ferguson. Two players who were once ranked #1 on PocketFives, Steve Gross and Paul Volpe, also bagged up chips on Friday. While the remaining players are almost all all-stars, the topic of conversation on Friday was the incredibly long hand-for-hand play while on the bubble. Some of those who made it past the bubble but did not advance to Day 3 include Amit Makhija (44th - $14,848), Jason Wheeler (40th - $16,078), Jake Schindler (35th - $17,986), Jonathan Duhamel (28th - $20,767) and Patrick Leonard (26th - $20,767). The remaining 21 players return Saturday at Noon PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nick Petrangelo - 1,946,000 Vanessa Selbst - 1,942,000 Justin Bonomo - 1,278,000 Jonathan Little - 963,000 Jack Salter - 883,000 Gilbert Diaz - 870,000 Scott Seiver - 860,000 Martin Kozlov - 766,000 Brandon Steven - 675,000 Eric Worre - 668,000 Event #40: David Gee Leads $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Final Table A new event on the WSOP schedule for 2016, the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw is down to just seven players with David Gee holding a commanding chip lead. The event, which includes rotations of Ace to Five, Deuce to Seven and Badugi, drew 236 players. Gee bagged up 803,000 while the player closest to him, Damjan Radanov, finished with jut 514,000 after Day 2. The only bracelet winner at the final table is Australian Gary Benson. Tony Lazar, once a member of "The Crew" along with Dutch Boyd, Brett Jungblut and Scott Fischman is the short stack. Final Table Chip Counts David Gee - 803,000 Damjan Radanov - 514,000 Christopher Vitch - 376,000 Sigi Stockinger - 357,000 Gary Benson - 344,000 Michael Schiffman - 342,000 Tony Lazar - 196,000 Event #41: Monster Stack Draws 4,054 Players on Day 1A Event #41: Day 1A of Monster Stack Draws Just 2,420 Players The lower buy-in "gimmick" events continue to see smaller fields than they did in 2015. Day 1A of the $1,500 Monster Stack drew just 2,420 players, down roughly 20% over the 3,027 that played Day 1A last summer. Leading that group with 253,300 is Gregory Alexander. While Alexander is leading the way, the most talked about player in the top 10 after Day 1A is T.J. Cloutier. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner, who will turn 77 later this year, finished with 180,800 - the fourth biggest stack. Other prominent names to make it through to Day 2 include Erik Seidel, Anton Wigg, Kevin Boudreau, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Cate Hall and Mohsin Charania. Saturday could be an even bigger field as Day 1B drew more than 4,000 last summer. Top 10 Chip Counts Gregory Alexander - 253,300 Andrew Moreno - 239,900 Ernest Smith - 212,400 TJ Cloutier - 180,800 Mohammad Moeini - 177,500 Mohammed Ladek - 161,800 Spencer Tep - 157,600 Fabian Ortiz - 153,000 Anna Antimony - 148,200 Antonio Bassani - 146,400 Event #42: 40 Players Advance in $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout Exactly 400 players showed up for the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em shootout with 40 of them moving on to Day 2. Included in that group of players who not only advanced to Day 2 but also recorded a WSOP cash were Maria Ho, Michael Mizrachi, Tom Marchese, Andrew Lichtenberger, Antonio Esfandiari, Faraz Jaka, Jordan Young, Stephen Chidwick, and 2015 November Niner Zvi Stern. The final 40 players will play four-handed on Saturday with the winner of each table advancing to a ten-handed final table to be played on Sunday.
  4. [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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. [caption width="640"] Adrian Mateos bested John Smith in the ,000 Heads Up Championship to win the third bracelet of his career. {WSOP photo)[/caption] A 70-year-old army veteran by the name of John Smith was the talk of the 2017 World Series of Poker Friday, as he had a heads-up shot at winning the very event he finished runner-up at last year. Meanwhile, one of poker's fastest rising stars became the youngest ever player to win three bracelets, David Singer captured his second bracelet, and the biggest Dealer’s Choice event on the schedule played down to ten players. Here’s a run through all of Friday’s action. Adrian Mateos wins $10K Heads-Up Championship for third bracelet History was made in the Rio Friday as Adrian ‘Amadi_017' Mateos became the youngest player ever to win three gold WSOP bracelets. The 22-year-old Spaniard was one of four players who returned to play the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship semi-finals, alongside the aforementioned John Smith, Charlie ‘Epiphany77’ Carrel, and 2013 Main Event champ Ryan Riess. All of them were guaranteed $112,379, and it was Smith against Riess in the first contest. Anyone who caught a few hands of the match on the live streams could see that Smith doesn’t play conventional poker. He seemed to be switching tactics every single hand, which might be the reason he’s had so much success in this event, having finished second last year for an almost $200K score. Smith eventually overcame Riess, first doubling with pocket jacks against ace-king, and finally winning a second flip with his king-queen against pocket nines. Meanwhile, in the Mateos vs Carrel semi-final, Mateos made a big call to take the chip lead. He opened the button to 50,000 and Carrel three-bet to 175,000. After that bet was called, the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4d"] and Carrel made a 150,000 c-bet. Call. On the [poker card="2c"] turn, Carrel barrelled a second time for 300,000, and Mateos didn’t budge. Finally the [poker card="qs"] hit the river and Carrel jammed for 648,000. Mateos tanked for around four minutes before opting to call all-in. Carrel turned over the [poker card="7d"][poker card="3d"] for pure air, while Mateos tabled the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] for third pair and the double up. Finally, Carrel was all-in with ace-ten against Mateos’ ace-king, and the big slick held up. We had ourselves a final. Mateos vs Smith, like a lot of heads-up affairs, went back and forth, with stacks virtually even 35 hands in to the battle. The two then chopped a monster two million chip pot when both had ace-queen after the river, before Mateos started to pull away with the lead. Eventually, Smith limped before calling a 300,000 raise from Mateos. They saw an [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3h"] flop which brought a 200,000 c-bet, before Smith jammed for roughly 1.3 million. Mateos made the call with the [poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"] for flush and straight draws, while Smith had the [poker card="qh"][poker card="8d"] for queen high, which was out in front. However, the [poker card="qs"] turn gave Mateos the flush and left Smith drawing dead. For his second consecutive runner-up finish in this event, Smith won $208,154, while Mateos picked up $336,656 and his third bracelet. "It’s insane that I have three bracelets," Mateos said. "It’s really difficult to win three bracelets and I’m 22. I run good and I think I play good so that’s all that matters." "There’s not many heads-up events in the year, but I really want to play," he added. "I was really focused for every round to win and I really like to play heads-up so it’s really fun.” 1. Adrian Mateos - $336,656 2. John Smith - $208,154 3. Charlie Carrel - $112,379 3. Ryan Riess - $112,379 4. Ryan Hughes - $54,986 4. Olivier Busquet - $54,986 5. Jack Duong - $54,986 5. Ryan Fee - $54,986 David Singer wins Event #14: $1,500 HORSE for $203,709 [caption width="640"] David Singer is now a two-time bracelet winner after winning the ,500 HORSE event on Friday (WSOP photo)[/caption] While Mateos was scooping his third bracelet, David Singer was winning his second. He took down the $1,500 HORSE (Event #14)for $203,709, after besting the 736-player field. When play got down to a final table Thursday evening, joining Singer were the likes of four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori and two-time bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker. However, it was Kevin LaMonica who would get down to heads-up play with Singer. It was an epic one-on-one match which went on for three hours before Singer finally took it down in an Omaha Hi-Lo hand. Singer raised on a [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="2c"] flop before calling the all-in raise from LaMonica. Singer had the [poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2s"] against LaMonica's [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"], and the [poker card="2s"] turn gave Singer an unbeatable full house, as there was no low draw available. "Obviously it went back and forth," Singer said after the lengthy duel was over. ”Most of the time I played well, but I was getting unlucky in the big hands. I was kind of frustrated but I always think I have a chance to come back." "It's fun to win. It's frustrating to get close when you don't win." Final Table Payouts David Singer - $203,709 Kevin LaMonica - $125,904 Andrew Kelsall - $88,221 Max Pescatori - $62,733 Mike Coombs -$45,281 David “Bakes” Baker - $33,184 Kyle Loman - $24,696 Esther Taylor - $18,669 21 remain in $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max (Event #16) Just 21 players are coming back for Saturday’s Day 3 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Six Max, with Demosthenes Kiriopoulos leading the way. Other notable players still alive include Matt Berkey, who sits fifth in the overnight counts, andIsmael Bojang, finishing ninth in chips. A total of 1,748 players entered this event, creating a healthy prize pool which leaves $393,273 for the winner. Play resumes at midday Saturday. Here’s the full top ten counts: Demosthenes Kiriopoulos - 1,450,000 Anthony Marquez - 998,000 Shivan Abdine - 970,000 Ilkin Amirov - 850,000 Matt Berkey - 796,000 Steven Buckner - 759,000 Bradley Lubetkin - 684,000 James Mackey - 662,000 Ismael Bojang - 627,000 Royce Matheson - 619,000 Stacked final ten to return in $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship (Event #17) We always knew this event would bring out the big guns, and when you check out the names still alive from the 102 starting field, it’s a who’s who. John Racener is the overnight chip leader; the former November Niner is still seeking his first WSOP bracelet, as are other notables James Obst, Chris Klodnicki, and Shaun Buchanan. Mike Matusow is still alive looking for this fifth WSOP win, while Viacheslav Zhukov is going for his third. They’ve all got their eyes set on the $273,962 first-place prize. Here’s how they stack up: John Racener - 1,124,000 Chris Klodnicki - 856,000 Dennis Eichhorn - 782,500 Viacheslav Zhukov - 700,500 Schuyler Thornton - 366,500 Eric Crain - 358,000 Mike Matusow - 295,000 James Obst - 260,000 Shawn Buchanan - 185,500 Ben Yu - 163,000 Huge field turns out for Event #18: $565 Pot Limit Omaha Friday saw two starting flights in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha (Event #18), attracting a massive total field of 3,332. Day 1A got 1,711 entrants, while the later 1B had 1,479 players. When all was said and done, just 107 total players will return for Saturday’s Day 2. Cody Slaubaugh bagged the Day 1A chip lead, which turned out to be the overall Day 2 big stack. His 726,000 is way out in front, followed by Hassan Tahsildar’s 425,000 (Day 1A), and Day 1B chip leader Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen, who ended with 410,000. Erick Lindgren, Ankush Mandavia, Martin Kozlov, Chris Ferguson, Rep Porter, Dermot Blain, Jason Mercier, and JC Tran are just a few of the names still in contention. Day 2 kicks off at 2pm Saturday. Day 1A of The Giant concludes With a buy-in of just $365, the inaugural The Giant tournament is set to be a big one. Friday saw Day 1A - one of five starting flights - and it attracted 1,497 players. After the bags were brought out, just 245 made it through to Day 2, which doesn’t take place until July 8th. Jeff Brin ended as the chipleader with 718,000, while Barry Greenstein (90,000), Dylan Wilkerson (258,000), William Vo (359,000), Asher Coniff(152,000), Jesse Yaginuma (163,000), and Bernard Lee (359,000) will all return.
  9. [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
  10. Day 5 of 888poker's XL Inferno provided 13 more stellar events that drew in some of the best and brightest in online poker. The largest win of the day belonged to 'bananove' for taking down the $215 Quarterback. A total of 599 entrants populated the field, including fifth place finisher Adrian 'ADRI_ATM' Mateos, but 'bananove' defeated them all to win the $20,895 first place prize that was made as part of a three-way deal. Taking second and third in the event as part of the deal were 'easylimp888' ($21,686) and 'Poker_Loco' ($21,239). The second largest winner of the day was 'doyleb102' for winning the $55 R&A tournament for $15,853, beating a field of 692 entrants. Among the players 'doyleb102' got the best of at the final table include Stefan 'IceStream' Ivanov and Jan 'hownorez' Nakládal. Next on the list is 'uR4useM3Up,' who scored $8,650 for winning the $160 Crocodile. Other big winners from Day 5 include 'backdown8,' who won $5,330 in the $109 Lightning Six Max, 'GotMyStr8,' who collected $6,762 for winning the $55 Monsoon, and 'In33dm0ney99,' who scored $6,312 for victory in the $12 Thursday Challenge. If you don’t have an 888poker account yet and want to get in on the XL Inferno action, sign up from this link and you’ll get a 100% bonus up to a maximum of $700. Use promo code 'pocket5s'. and you'll also get a free $10 on top of the first $10 you deposit available to you right away! XL Inferno Event #54: $109 No Limit Hold’em Lightning Six Max Entries: 133 Prize pool: $20,500 backdown8 - $5,330 i2out - $3,588 takecareaa - $2,665 GramNaKartke - $1,743 Cherman99 - $1,333 B4NKR0LL3R - $923 XL Inferno Event #55: $55 No Limit Hold’em Breeze Entries: 508 Prize pool: $25,400 RKOoutofNWHR - $4,801 Malygos1987 - $3,518 Ipoo1 - $2,591 GSwarrior30 - $1,956 petrofv5501 - $1,372 MatheusCG - $1,080 IMEool - $826 baclucktou - $572 hateVAMOS - $389 XL Inferno Event #56: $30 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack Swordfish Entries: 899 Prize pool: $24,722.50 yrkkk - $4,450 mpompos6 - $3,214 BetShove - $2,398 luffEEE - $1,792 fowler888 - $1,246 asomalefico - $999 Ern3sti7o - $752 VanUKR - $507 Ti0373 - $309 XL Inferno Event #57: $160 No Limit Hold’em Crocodile Entries: 298 Prize pool: $44,700 uR4useM3Up - $8,650 floatmasta - $6,482 iCrushU556 - $4,917 progree69 - $3,688 BigNich09 - $2,548 Vocaas - $1,967 DIACONU5555 - $1,520 Iplay4pipas - $1,073 Sacksinho10 - $782 XL Inferno Event #58: $30 No Limit Hold’em Swordfish Entries: 804 Prize pool: $22,110 F1oba - $4,002 dzoqer - $2,874 SuprNintend0 - $2,156 PycckuiAA - $1,614 Angryb1rds - $1,139 eStfu - $918 BredaBredaBR - $697 alankaras - $489 PANVLAD - $283 XL Inferno Event #59: $55 No Limit Hold’em R&A Entries: 692 Prize pool: $84,550 doyleb102 - $15,853 Cupido1992 - $11,414 LittleFlying - $8,455 23NoraB - $6,341 IceStream - $4,439 MiloRat - $3,593 _Phoenix___ - $2,748 hownorez - $1,902 askmetoprom - $1,192 XL Inferno #60: $5 Mini R&A No Limit Hold’em Entries: 1,248 Prize pool: $14,760 SupertrampBR - $2,509 Mocho9 - $1,845 ToriBlack7 - $1,401 MacAulush - $1,004 liamtrim - $731 jimbob227 - $583 absint90. - $435 SmartChix - $288 xEdieNashx - $159 XL Inferno #61: $55 No Limit Hold’em Monsoon Entries: 737 Prize pool: $36,850 GotMyStr8 - $6,762 QuicksyNR1 - $4,827 ohemgeh - $3,648 bubbleoybr - $2,745 HeyHohLetsGo - $1,916 wisimaki - $1,548 ourstheglory - $1,179 6oTaHik - $811 cshine87 - $479 XL Inferno #62: $215 No Limit Hold'em Quarterback Entries: 599 Prize pool: $149,500 bananove - $20,895 easylimp888 - $21,686 Poker_Loco - $21,239 *3-way deal cuadrado12 - $11,362 ADRI_ATM - $7,983 APOARSLAN - $6,354 AshTheSlave - $4,859 icebearrr - $3,364 Ivanlolas - $2,243 XL Inferno #63: $30 No Limit Hold'em Mini-Quarterback Entries: 933 Prize pool: $43,680 MalakiasCF - $7,862 OscarSJS - $5,678 ArKip89 - $4,237 BlackMajlo - $3,167 TobykasP - $2,202 brhomes21 - $1,765 Majkel.PL - $1,328 Zanicamaniac - $895 antypyszalek - $546 XL Inferno #64: $12 No Limit Hold'em Thursday Challenge Entries: 1,128 Prize pool: $36,712 In33dm0ney99 - $6,312 JungleJedi - $4,586 budvafish - $3,431 vanilaice888 - $2,564 itakeallofu - $1,806 takter79 - $1,445 BeerShake - $1,803 tianin - $722 $alexxabest - $415 XL Inferno #65: $109 No Limit Hold’em Tornado Entries: 177 Prize pool: $24,400 GSwarrior30 - $5,246 AshTheSlave - $3,782 zedonato - $2,867 alexxabest - $2,135 IQHAHA - $1,464 ZeroNineee - $1,220 hateVAMOS - $976 HkDeKo - $732 Zelja22 - $488 XL Inferno #66: $109 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Quarterback Entries: 261 Prize pool: $30,000 OTwenty - $6,135 PulledPorker - $4,500 TankeVicius - $3,390 KimberSlice - $2,550 almondhead - $1,740 Truchota - $1,350 Oduvanchik15 - $1,050 MrNorberto - $750 Isildur137x - $570
  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. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Nine months ago very few poker fans had ever heard of Maria Lampropulos. Outside of a runner-up finish in Eureka Poker Tour Main Event in March 2016, her poker resume wasn't much to write home about. She changed that last April, winning the partypoker MILLIONS Main Event at Dusk Till Dawn for $1.25 million. Late Sunday night at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, she picked up her second seven-figure cash by beating Shawn Buchanan heads up to win the 2018 PCA Main Event for $1.08 million and a Platinum Pass, which gives her free entry to the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship next January. "It's magic. It's a dream. It's incredible," said Lampropulos. "Sometimes they tell you that have to visualize that you, for example, winning the tournament or holding the trophy and I always try to do that, and it works." Lampropulos came to the final table sitting third in chips behind Shawn Buchanan and Adrian Mateos and didn't take the chip lead until just four hands before the event was over. She was, however, responsible for the first bust out. Lampropulos raised from early position to 170,000 and Christian Rudolph moved all in from the big blind. Lampropulos called and tabled [6c][6s] while Rudolph showed [ac][8d]. The board ran out [8s][7c][6d][qc][7d] to give Lampropulos a rivered full house while Rudolph was eliminated in sixth place. Just over an hour later, Buchanan picked up his first victim of the day. Buchanan raised to 125,000 from the button and fellow Canadian Daniel Coupal called from the big blind. Coupal then moved all in for 845,000 after the [kc][5c][3d] flop and Buchanan called. Coupal showed [8d][4d] which put him well behind Buchanan's [ks][js]. The [8h] turn gave Coupal some hope, but the [kd] river ended his tournament with a fifth-place finish. Just 30 minutes, Buchanan and start of day chip leader Adrian Mateos clashed in a massive pot that propelled Buchanan to a nearly overwhelming position atop the chip counts. Buchanan raised from UTG to 200,000, Mateos re-raised to 600,000 from the button, the blinds folded and Buchanan called. The flop came [kd][qc][6d]. Buchanan checked, Mateos bet 700,000 before Buchanan fired back with a raise to 1,800,000. Mateos didn't slow down, moving all in for 2,700,000 total and Buchanan called. Mateos showed [ac][kh] for top pair while Buchanan had [8d][5d] for a flush draw. The drama was over quickly as the [4d] hit the turn, completing Buchanan's flush. The river was the [9h] to officially eliminated Mateos in fourth place. Almost four hours into three-handed play, Lampropulos doubled through Koray Aldemir, setting up the German's elimination. Four hands after that hand, Aldemir moved all in for 3,525,000 from the button and Buchanan called from the big blind. Aldmir showed [kh][7h] while Buchanan was ahead with [ac][8c]. The [9s][8h][3c] flop gave Buchanan middle pair and the [8d] turn gave him trips to seal Aldemir's fate. The [kc] river was too little, too late for Aldemir and he was out in third. Buchanan began heads-up play with a 2-1 chip lead, but over the next hour Lampropulos chipped away before eventually finding back-to-back double ups to take a 3-1 lead. Buchanan limped before Lampropulos raised all in. Buchanan called and flipped over [kh][5s] while Lampropulos showed [tc][7c]. THe [ts][9c][5d] flop put Lampropulos in front, where she stayed through the [2h] turn and [9h] river to eliminate Buchanan and capture her second seven-figure score in the last nine months. Final Table Payouts Maria Lampropulos - $1,081,100 Shawn Buchanan - $672,960 Koray Aldemir - $481,560 Adrian Mateos - $372,600 Daniel Coupal - $293,560 Christian Rudolph - $229,760 Oleg Titov - $169,920 Adalfer Morales Gamarra - $116,860
  15. 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.
  16. 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.”
  17. It's Christmas Eve for poker players. Or, if you want to borrow from the more contemporary metaphor, it's the day before Poker Summer Camp officially kicks off. Poker players from around the world have been flooding into Las Vegas over the past week to get settled and ready for the 2018 World Series of Poker. So, as the tables are getting set up at the Rio and dealers are getting last minute instructions on how to deal Triple Draw, the staff here at PocketFives take their turn at predicting exactly how some of the things at the 2018 WSOP will go down. The Panel Editor in Chief - Lance Bradley Community Manager - Kevin Mathers Writer & The Fives Co-Host - Matt Clark Writer - Jeff Walsh [caption id="attachment_619256" align="alignnone" width="800"] PocketFives Staff (L to R) Lance Bradley, Kevin Mathers, Matt Clark, Jeff Walsh.[/caption] JUST HOW BIG CAN THIS THING GET? There are a record-setting 78 bracelet events on the 2018 WSOP schedule, including 13 events that being after the Main Event does. Our esteemed panel dove deep into some heavy math and analytics to break down eight key events. EVENT #7 - $565 Colossus Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 16,133 17,425 17,653 16,960 There’s been a steady decline in attendance over the past few years (roughly a 20% drop in runners from year one to year three), potentially due to a small cannibalization of the lower buy-in player pool from the $365 GIANT (which gets underway the same weekend as the Colossus) and also possibly because there may just be so much offered at any given time at the start of the series, the star event that is the Colossus may have just faded a little. -Jeff Walsh EVENT #20 - $5,000 Big Blind Ante Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 659 603 622 645 The Big Blind Ante is all the rage in tournament poker right now and 2018 marks its debut at the WSOP. The price point for this one is definitely going to draw out a certain group of players, many of whom have already played with the big blind ante before and have come to enjoy it more than the traditional ante system. There were two $5,000 full ring NLHE events on the schedule last year drawing 505 and 623 players respectively. I think the hype of BBA puts this one over the top and we end up with over 650. -Lance Bradley EVENT #21 - $1,500 Millionaire Maker Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 7.483 8,049 6,541 7,644 One of the most popular events on the 'Weekend Warrior' schedule, the enticement of a $1,000,000+ guaranteed reward for first brings the droves to the Rio. After a couple of flat years, allowing players to re-enter each flight (for a maximum of four total) brought the field to 7,761 entries, up almost 600 from 2016. I expect another increase, passing the record number from 2014's 7,977 entries, with 8,049 entries after late registration closes. -Kevin Mathers EVENT #33 - $50,000 Players Championship Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 107 110 110 106 Each year, the $50,000 Players Championship attracts a select field of players, all eager to play some eight-game mix. Last year's field drew 100 players and has hovered around that number in recent years after bottoming out to 84 in 2015. This year, I'm predicting another modest increase, to 110 players. -Kevin Mathers EVENT #42 - $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Eight Max High Roller Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 203 180 210 213 The $25K PLO is one of the true elite field tournaments of the summer. Not only will it attract a regular slate of high rollers but it’s one of those tournaments when $10K regs may stretch into shot taking mode. The last three years this event has been offered there’s been a nice uptick in registration, including a massive 21 player jump from 2016 to 2017. The 2018 Aria Summer High Roller has an event a couple days before and after WSOP’s $25K PLO and I’m going to err on the side of this helping push the PLO player pool up as players may want a break from NLHE but want to play the same stakes. Plus, this event will very likely provide a seven-figure score for the winner and for the players who can afford the buy-in and handle the swings, that’s very enticing. -Jeff Walsh EVENT #61 - $1,000 WSOP.com Online Championship Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 2,729 2,400 2,005 1,802 Last year's number of 1,312 is going to be shattered. The player pool combination is already seeing increases across all WSOP.com tournaments and the bracelet "Main Event" is a great test for the platform. The influx of players in Nevada for the WSOP combined with New Jersey grinders equals 2,005 runners in 2018. - Matt Clark EVENT #74 - $10,000 Six Max NLHE Championship Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 299 340 294 308 In years past, the $10,000 Six Max NLHE event has drawn out the elite short-handed players, many of whom cut their teeth online. It's all been afforded a decent spot in the schedule. That's not the case this year though as it was moved to one of the "post-lim" events on the schedule and will share Rio floorspace with Day 7 of the Main Event. For a lot of players, the end of their Main Event means their WSOP is over. Fatigue - physical, mental and bankroll - comes into play and players look to get out of Vegas. A number of players who normally play this event might decide to skip it out and get a head-start on the post-WSOP detox. -Lance Bradley EVENT #65 - The Main Event Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh 7,765 7,294 7,460 7,184 Go ahead and call me crazy, but I think the WSOP Main Event enjoys a big bump this year. I'm going to chalk a lot of it up to the crypto market. On July 8, 2017, Bitcoin was worth roughly $2,500. As of May 28, 2018, it's worth roughly three times that. Yeah, the market is volatile, but so many poker players were invested in crypto markets early. Poker is also in a better place than it has been in years. The bruises from 2011 are starting to heal and the live coverage from 2017 on ESPN/PokerGO will show some dividends. Seeing similar year/year growth this year that we did last doesn't seem out of the question. -Lance Bradley THE SUPERSTARS [caption id="attachment_619251" align="alignnone" width="1024"] This time last year nobody was picking Alex Foxen to do anything at the WSOP. (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Every year a few players emerge from relative obscurity to win a bracelet and launch themselves into the world of poker celebrity. That being said, poker's biggest stage is also where the game's best players want to shine brightest. Our esteemed panel picked seven of the biggest names in poker right now and took a stab at predicting just well each of them will do this summer. Note: the table indicates if each panelist thinks that player will win a bracelet or not. Alex Foxen Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh No No No Yes Frankly, I hate taking the position that any player will win a bracelet in any given year, but by taking a "NO" stance that would be asking me to essentially bet against Foxen. That's not a position I'm willing to take. In 2017, he fired up and down the WSOP schedule resulting in cashing 13 times. Foxen made the final table three times, including taking a 3rd place in a NLHE $1K. Headed into the 2018 WSOP he's got high-roller experience under his belt and he's red hot having earned four six-figure scores in 2018. If he has the same drive he had in 2017 and is playing all the games, it's going to be very difficult to deny Foxen from leveling up his poker career with a WSOP bracelet. -Jeff Walsh Chris Ferguson Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh No No No No Ferguson has made numerous final tables since his 2016 return but carries only a win in Europe to show for it. Expect Ferguson to reach two final tables this summer but finish no higher than third. -Matt Clark Phil Ivey Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh Yes No No No It was a pretty big deal when Phil Ivey announced he would be returning to the WSOP this year. There's a lot of opportunities for Ivey to be distracted in Las Vegas. The cash game scene during the WSOP is amazing, the high rollers offered at Aria and King's Lounge might take some of Ivey's attention, but many don't know that when Ivey went on his November Nine run in 2009, he would leave the Rio and head to Bobby's Room and play all night. He's wired for this. -Lance Bradley Daniel Negreanu Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh No Yes No Yes A revamped WSOP Player of the Year system gives Daniel Negreanu the motivation to play a full WSOP schedule to chase his third POY title. With the battering he's taken for his representing PokerStars in recent years, Negreanu wants to redeem himself in the eyes of the poker community and winning a bracelet, which he hasn't done since 2013, is his way of doing so. I predict Negreanu wins one bracelet and has at least two other top-three finishes, all in non-Hold'em events. -Kevin Mathers Adrian Mateos Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh Yes Yes Yes Yes This is the only player that everybody on the panel agrees is leaving the Rio with new jewelry this year. It's not surprising. He's been one of the top-ranked players in the GPI for a while now and already has three WSOP bracelets to his credit and at 23 years old, fatigues just isn't going to be a factor for him. He'll also play every NLHE event on the schedule. -Lance Bradley Phil Hellmuth Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh Yes No No No The all-time leader in bracelets is on a cold streak since his last win in 2015. Two final tables in the last two years for Hellmuth do not bode well for improvement in 2018. If there were 10 Razz events on the schedule, that would bolster his chances. -Matt Clark Stephen Chidwick Lance Bradley Kevin Mathers Matt Clark Jeff Walsh Yes Yes No No High Rollers have Chidwick's attention now and his paltry five cashes last year prove his preference. Winning bracelets takes volume and Chidwick won't be putting in enough to make consistent deep runs. -Matt Clark BIGGEST SURPRISE [caption id="attachment_619250" align="alignnone" width="1024"] He's baaaaaa-aacckkkk. Phil Ivey is set to return to the WSOP felt. (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] At the end of every summer camp, there's always a player who two that pulled off something really special or left poker fans wondering what happened. Each member of our esteemed panel took one player who might provide the poker world with a surprise performance - good or bad - this summer. Phil Ivey Phil Ivey's grand return in Montenegro gave poker fans a reason to believe Ivey might play this summer at the WSOP. Ivey confirmed as much when interviewed after the win. Poker fans teased themselves for years with a "Summer of Ivey." Sadly, this summer will not be that year. Cash games in Asia along with legal issues in the United States have Ivey's primary attention now for different monetary reasons. If the right bracelet bet comes along, maybe then Ivey will put in the volume to satisfy the masses. -Matt Clark Allen Kessler I'm going out on a very long limb here, but I'm going to predict than Kessler will win his first WSOP bracelet this year. The Chainsaw is quite the polarizing figure, especially if you're on #PokerTwitter, and I've surely had my war of words with him. He almost took down a bracelet during WSOP Europe in Rozvadov, Czech Republic finishing runner-up in the €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha. The last time he made a WSOP final table in Vegas was back in 2011, so that means he's gotta be due, right? When you play as many events as he does, eventually he'll be on the right side of variance for once, and I think it's time for him to win some gold. After his win, he'll go on a Twitter rant about the bracelet or some other trivial matter and everyone will turn on him once again #Drama. -Kevin Mathers Connor Drinan Every year since 2013 Connor Drinan has attended the WSOP and every year he's left without a single "trinket." This is the year I think he truly breaks through and not only wins himself a bracelet but perhaps takes down the biggest tournament of the summer - The $1 million Big One For One Drop. Drinan, the current PocketFives Worldwide #17-ranked online player is a consummate grinder, crushing just about any tournament series he dedicates himself to. Over the course of PokerStars' 2018 SCOOP series, Drinan made the money an impressive 32 times, putting him in the upper echelon of the series overall leaderboard. His WSOP resume consists of 25 cashes and nearly $1 million in total earnings, including in-the-money finishes in the $111,111 High Roller For One Drop in both 2017 and 2013. Should he find his way into the $1 million One Drop tournament, he's my pick to take it down. Should he not have the chance I see him taking his 2018 online success and translating it into multiple deep runs during the WSOP, including the Main Event, resulting in him being a player whose success won't be able to keep him out of the headlines. -Jeff Walsh Adam Owen So many people like to pigeonhole Adam Owen as a mixed game specialist. And while he's fantastic at games other than Hold'em (16 non-Hold'em cashes in SCOOP this year), he's also had some deep runs in bigger buy-in NLHE events. He finished second at the partypoker MILLIONS Barcelona Main Event for $1.6 million. He has 22 WSOP cashes over the last three years and given his recent big score, we could see him playing even more bracelet events this year. -Lance Bradley PLAYER OF THE YEAR [caption id="attachment_619252" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Mike Leah could finally capture WSOP Player of the Year this year. (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Outside of Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and apparently Phil Hellmuth, nobody was thrilled to see Chris Ferguson win Player of the Year last year. There were just as many people disappointed in the new system WSOP brass put in place which rewarded min-cashes in big fields with more points than runner-up finishes in Championship events. That same brass has promised the poker community that they fixed the POY issue, so the race is once again wide open. Our esteemed panel each made their pick for who reigns supreme this summer and through the end of WSOP Europe this fall. Mike Leah When you try to answer the ultimate poker question of "Who Loves It More?", you can't go wrong by answering Mike Leah. He loves everything about poker: the cash, the competition, and, yes, the awards. He's not shy about wanting it all and one would have to assume that the WSOP Player of the Year would be high on his list of wanted accolades. As a Canadian, he's faced with stiff tax laws on anything he wins in Las Vegas, but that has not stopped him from racking up 99-lifetime WSOP cashes and a bracelet. He plays everything at every buy-in level and in 2017, he cashed for 14 times in Las Vegas and another six time during the World Series of Poker Europe. His efforts left him in fifth place of the 2017 WSOP POY race but his determination did not go unnoticed. Leah is comfortable playing just about any buy-in level and has plenty of non-NLHE results in WSOP events. Should he get off to a fast start in 2018 or perhaps when capture his second bracelet, expect him to dive headlong into the WSOP Player of the Year race. -Jeff Walsh James Obst James Obst earned his first WSOP bracelet in 2017 and is a force in all games offered at the Rio. Since 2014, Obst has cashes in 10 events with a buy-in of at least $5,000. The Australian's consistency in 2017 put him in the running for POY despite the flawed scoring system. Four top-10 finishes and two podium results equal even more for Obst this summer. Two bracelets plus five total final tables equal a banner in 2019. -Matt Clark Daniel Negreanu The 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race was the most controversial edition yet, as Chris Ferguson took down the title after cashing a record 23 times in Vegas and Rozvadov. Many critiqued the criteria as others decided to not put in the volume to try and chase Ferguson. This year's POY criteria appears to be vastly approved, rewarding deep finishes over cashing. With plenty of events at a $10,000 or higher price point, it's likely someone who goes on a heater in those events will likely win (Ex. Jason Mercier in 2016, Phil Ivey in 2012). Negreanu was the most vocal critic last year, and he heartily approved the changes and I expect him to win WSOP POY for the third time. -Kevin Mathers John Monnette Avid readers will remember that I predicted Monnette would win Player of the Year last year. That was before the 2017 WSOP POY scoring system was discovered to be as ugly as it was. Monnette still managed to finish fifth, but probably put more emphasis on smaller buy-in No Limit Hold'em events than he wanted to. With the new system rewarding bigger buy-in events and mixed games, Monnette might be the odds-on favorite to win. He excels at mixed games and will play nearly every $10,000 or bigger buy-in event.
  18. [caption id="attachment_619208" align="alignnone" width="1000"] The 2018 Super High Roller Bowl gets underway Sunday night.[/caption] When the Super High Roller Bowl was created in 2015, nobody was quite sure what to make of it. It's since grown into one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the year and the 2018 event has all the potential to go down as the best yet. The field of 48 players includes some of the best players in the world and is highlighted by Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, and Erik Seidel. Former champions Brian Rast (2015) and Christoph Vogelsang (2017) are in while 2016 champion Rainer Kempe is hoping to win the final seat via satellite on Saturday, May 26. The field includes six of the top earning players of all time and ten players who have been ranked #1 on the Global Poker Index including the current top-ranked player, Adrian Mateos. The U.S. Poker Open and Poker Masters, which make up the other two legs of the High Roller Triple Crown will also be represented by their defending champions, Keith Tilston and Steffen Sontheimer respectively. THE FIELD The 47 confirmed players in the field have a combined $555 million in lifetime earnings. PLAYER EARNINGS PLAYER EARNINGS PLAYER EARNINGS Brandon Adams $3,089,595 Isaac Haxton $18,364,253 David Peters $21,248,708 Sergio Aido $7,214,913 Phil Hellmuth $22,247,568 Nick Petrangelo $10,809,516 Koray Aldemir $8,338,377 Fedor Holz $26,310,621 Doug Polk $9,454,009 John Andress $1,907,801 Matt Hyman $1,944,724 Brian Rast $20,870,265 Mikita Badziakouski $9,232,182 Cary Katz $14,025,248 Arne Ruge $152,847 Dennis Blieden $1,021,980 Byron Kaverman $12,366,380 Jake Schindler $18,364,853 Justin Bonomo $26,866,297 Rainer Kempe $15,459,312 Erik Seidel $34,507,095 Kahle Burns $3,260,332 Bryn Kenney $23,559,851 Dan Shak $9,253,794 Stephen Chidwick $15,583,698 Jason Koon $16,587,794 Talal Shakerchi $4,349,048 Christian Christner $4,025,048 Igor Kurganov $14,999,783 Dan Smith $19,948,430 Seth Davies $1,970,460 Kathy Lehne $980,938 Steffen Sontheimer $8,498,208 Markus Dürnegger $1,501,775 Andrew Lichtenberger $8,544,703 Keith Tilston $2,558,104 Andreas Eiler $4,240,166 Tom Marchese $16,863,175 Ben Tollerene $5,735,406 Antonio Esfandiari $27,628,047 Adrian Mateos $14,230,280 Christoph Vogelsang $16,847,209 Tony G $5,533,300 Daniel Negreanu $36,546,095 Sean Winter $6,300,687 Larry Greenberg $1,639,998 Bill Perkins $2,603,491 Satellite Winner Unknown LIVE STREAMING All four days of action will be streamed live on PokerGO. Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman will be in the booth for all four days calling the action. DAY # DATE START TIME 1 May 27 6 pm ET 2 May 28 6 pm ET 3 May 29 4 pm ET 4 May 30 4 pm ET GET IN ON THE ACTION While you probably can't afford the $300,000 buy-in, you can still have a sweat as the Super High Roller Bowl plays down to a winner. PocketFives is hosting a Super High Roller Bowl Fantasy Contest for all members. It's free to enter and will award $1,100 in prizes, including the eventual champion walking away with an Upswing Poker Tournament Master Class subscription. Read the rules and draft your team now.
  19. It's going a very high roller holiday season as Poker Central has announced that the return of the Super High Roller Bowl will be sooner than expected. The fifth edition of one of the most prestigious high roller tournaments of the year now takes place from December 17-19 at the PokerGO Studio at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The change to hold the newly dubbed Super High Roller Bowl V during the holiday season is a break of recent tradition for Poker Central. Over the past three years, the SHRB was played in late May, acting as an appetite-whetter for the World Series of Poker. Many expected the next tournament to be held at the same time in 2019. The move to December now takes advantage of the popular World Poker Tour Five Diamond schedule while simultaneously closing out the high roller circuit year with its biggest event. The upcoming December event will have many of the same specifics as the previous event held just six months ago. The $300,000 rake-free buy-in will generate a $14,400,000 prize pool with a $5 million first-place prize and championship ring for the winner. With a 48 seat cap, players who wish to have a shot at a seat need to place their $30,000 deposit by Monday, November 26. For those that do put down a deposit, there will be a live-streamed lottery on PokerGO to award players a seat into the tournament. The ARIA reserves eighteen of the 48 seats for ARIA VIP guests. Tournament officials will hand out these seats at their discretion. The five remaining seats are awarded to the top five players in Aria’s 2018 High Roller of the Year rankings. The current points system will be in place right up until the lottery for Super High Roller Bowl V. Currently the five players with the most points include Poker Central founder Cary Katz, Sam Soverel, Jake Schindler, David Peters, and Isaac Haxton. Poker Masters Champion Ali Imsirovic sits just outside the top five in sixth place with regular high rollers Adrian Mateos and Dan Smith not far behind. According to the Poker Central website, there are currently seven more opportunities for the high roller community to accumulate points. High roller events are taking place every day from October 31-November 6. “In its first five years of existence, Super High Roller Bowl has grown into one of the most exclusive and highly coveted poker championships in the world as the pinnacle of the High Roller Triple Crown,” said Vice President of Content for Poker Central, Sam Simmons. “We’re proud to celebrate that milestone in December, as we implement changes that will continue the success of the event for many years to come.” It just six months ago that Justin Bonomo won the previous Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million. The win was a significant contribution to Bonomo ascending to become the new leader of the All-Time Money List. He currently sits with over $43 million in career earnings. Daniel Negreanu finished as the 2018 runner-up, taking home $3 million for his efforts. The PokerGO platform will stream all of the Super High Roller Bowl. Additionally, the NBC Sports Network will air episodes on their website and the NBC Sports App. Super High Roller Bowl History Year Entries Winner Amount Won Prize Pool 2015 43 Brian Rast $7,525,000 $21,500,000 2016 49 Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 $15,000,000 2017 56 Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 $16,800,000 2018 48 Justin Bonomo $5,000,000 $14,400,000
  20. All eyes were on Dominik Nitsche as the final table of the €100,000 Super High Roller got underway Sunday evening at the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe. The German was going for back-to-back Super High Roller WSOPE titles against a tough field that included four other WSOP bracelet winners. Nitsche ultimately fell short of the win as Czech pro Martin Kabrhel rallied from a 3.5-1 heads-up chip deficit to win his second career bracelet. Nitsche actually started the final table with the chip lead and put them to good use early. Nitsche raised to 1,000,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] before Michael Addamo, who won the €25,600 High Roller earlier this week, move all in for 10,700,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"]. Nitsche called instantly. The [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] flop gave Addamo top pair but gave Nitsche middle set. Neither the [poker card="3c"] turn or [poker card="qs"] river was able to save Addamo and he was eliminated in eighth place. Just over 40 minutes later, another bracelet winner was sent packing. Julian Thomas raised to 1,200,000 from the hijack with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] and Adrian Mateos moved all in for 4,775,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. Thomas called to see the dealer put out the [poker card="js"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5d"] flop to give Mateos a flush draw. The [poker card="qc"] turn gave Mateos even more outs but the [poker card="3s"] river was not one of them and he was out in seventh. Kabrhel's chip stack enjoyed a major upswing after eliminating two opponents in a single hand. Jan-Eric Schwippert moved all in for 10,700,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"], Kabrhel looked down at [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] on the button and moved all in for 23,800,000 before Nitsche called all in for 15,500,000 from the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="kh"][poker card="tc"] to eliminate Schwippert in sixth and Nitsche in fifth. That hand more than doubled Kabrhel's stack to 51,500,000 and 10 minutes later he was adding even more to it. Kabrhel called from UTG with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"], before Mikita Badziakouski raised to 7,700,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"]. David Peters defended the big blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"] and Kabrhel called behind. The [poker card="4c"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"] flop got all three players to check. Badziakouski and Peters both checked the [poker card="9s"] turn but Kabrhel bet 6,000,000. Badziakouski called all in and Peters folded. The [poker card="2c"] river was no help for Badziakouski and he was out in fourth. It took almost two hours to go from three-handed action to heads up. Kabrhel min-raised to 2,400,000 from the button with [poker card="8s"][poker card="7d"], Thomas raised to 26,200,000 from the small blind with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] and Peters moved all in over the top with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"]. Kabrhel folded. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"][poker card="tc"] flop changed nothing for Thomas and neither did the [poker card="2h"] turn or [poker card="as"] river. Heads up play began with Peters holding 147,800,000 of the 190,000,000 chips in play. Over the course of the next hour, however, Kabrhel refused to budge and after chipping his way up, eventually found himself dead even with Peters before eliminating the American. Kabrhel opened to 5,500,000 from the button with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"] before Peters made it 22,000,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. Peters then checked the [poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3d"] flop and Kabrhel bet 14,900,000. Peters announced he was all in for 71,400,000 and Kabrhel called. The [poker card="8h"] turn officially left Peters drawing dead and the [poker card="9d"] river meant Peters was out in second place. This is Kabrhel's second career bracelet. He won the €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo BOUNTY last year also at King's Casino. He has 4 WSOP Circuit rings which also all came at King's. Final Table Payouts Martin Kabrhel - €2,624,340 David Peters - €1,621,960 Julian Thomas - €1,116,308 Mikita Badziakouski - €789,612 Dominik Nitsche - €574,466 Jan-Eric Schwippert - €430,218 Adrian Mateos - €331,943 Michael Addamo - €264,110
  21. 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
  22. 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."
  23. 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!"
  24. 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.
  25. 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  

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