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  1. After playing in every single one of the 42 editions of the GGPoker Super MILLION$, high-stakes tournament superstar Adrian Mateos finally broke through in his fifth final table appearance to capture his first Super MILLION$ title and this week’s $428,624 first-place prize. It has been a grind for Mateos who had not only never missed a week of this $10K tournament, but, in all of his previous efforts, had fired a total of 96 entries without locking up a win. However, this week it all came together for the Spanish pro. Mateos entered the final table as the chip leader, navigated a tough field that included Sam Greenwood, Joao Vieira, David Coleman, Art Papazyan, and last week’s winner (and current #1-ranked player in the world) Yuri Dzivielevski, and battled back from a significant heads-up chip deficit against Belarusian grinder Aliaksei Boika to take home the win. After mounting a heads-up comeback of his own last week to win a Super MILLION$ title, Dzivielevski entered this week’s final table with the rare chance to go back-to-back. That opportunity came to an end thanks to an early final table clash with Mateos. When folded to in the small blind Mateos open-shoved his [poker card="kd"][poker card="th"] on a short-stacked Dzivielevski in the big blind with [poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"]. Dzivielevski made the call and when the flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3d"], Mateos took the lead in the hand leaving Dzivielevski looking for one of the final two sixes in the deck. The turn came the [poker card="2d"] and the river the [poker card="ah"], ending Dzivielevski’s final run and sending him home in ninth place for $53,578. Pocket nines were just no good to Sam Greenwood in this event. First, Greenwood picked them up and promptly lost the majority of his stack to David Coleman who held [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] in an all-in preflop confrontation. The very next hand Greenwood, now crippled, picked up pocket nines up again. When folded to in the small blind, Greenwood moved all-in with his [poker card="9s"][poker card="9d"] and Joao Vieira made the call from the big blind with his [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8h"] flop kept Greenwood in the lead. And the [poker card="8c"] was still safe but added some flush outs for Vieira. The [poker card="ah"] river completed a straight for Vieira and sent Greenwood out in eighth place for $69,482. Despite starting the day fourth in chips, Russia’s ‘RRomashka’ found themselves short on chips in the early going. They open-shoved their final five big blinds with [poker card="ks"][poker card="ts"] and got called by ‘Nator’ on the button holding [poker card="2d"][poker card="2h"]. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="6s"], holding up for ‘Nator’ small pocket pair and ending ‘RRomashka’s run in seventh for $90,107. On the hand before the first break of the day, the current Online Player of the Year race leader Joao Vieira opened with the [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] in late position. ‘Nator’ three-bet from the small blind with the [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"]. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"], giving ‘Nator’ a flopped full house. ‘Nator’ led with a bet and Vieira called with his flush draw. The [poker card="7d"] turn brought in Vieira’s flush, which proved to his undoing. After 'Nator’ checked, Vieira put out a bet and ‘Nator’ just called. The [poker card="8c"] hit the river and ‘Nator’ checked his full house once again. Vieira took his time and eventually settled on quarter-pot bet, leaving himself with just three big blinds behind. ‘Nator’ promptly check-raised Vieira and after taking a few more seconds to think about it, Vieira called off, ending his tournament in sixth place for $116,854. Play slowed down after Vieira’s elimination and nearly an hour later, Art Papazyan put in a raise under the gun with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. It folded around to Coleman in the big blind who found himself with under five big blinds behind. Coleman made the call and the pair saw a flop of [poker card="7h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2d"]. Coleman then put the rest of his stack in the middle with his flopped pair and Papazyan made the call with his two overcards and backdoor flush draw. The turn was the [poker card="ks"], putting Papazyan in control. The [poker card="9c"] river was no help for Coleman who adds another Super MILLION$ cash to his resume by finishing in fifth for $151,541. Despite picking up the knockout, Papazyan wasn’t quite in the clear. The well-known cash game pro remained the short stack through most of four-handed play. When action folded to Aliaksei Boika in the small blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"], he decided to move all-in over Papazyan’s 12 big blind stack. Papazyan made the call holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="5h"] and the pair watched as the flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="3c"], giving Boika top pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="4c"] river didn’t improve Papazyan who, after entering the final table as the short stack, laddered up five spots and took home a $196,525 payday for fourth place. On the very next hand, with just under 20 big blinds, ‘Nator’ raised from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="td"]. Mateos, in the big blind, made the call with [poker card="4h"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Mateos both flush and straight outs to ‘Nator’s overcards. ‘Nator’ took the lead and bet out, after a couple of seconds Mateos simply shoved all-in. Going into the tank themselves, ‘Nator’ let a few seconds pass before making the call. The turn was the [poker card="qd"], bringing some ‘Nator’ some additional outs but the river was the [poker card="3d"], bringing Mateos a pair of threes and sending ‘Nator’ out in third for $254,861 in just their sixth Super MILLION$ tournament. Boika started the heads-up match against Mateos with a nearly 2:1 chip lead. But over the first dozen hands, Mateos wrestled that away. Not finished, Boika battled back and chipped up. Eventually, it looked like Boika was going to wrap up the tournament with a more than 5:1 chip lead. The pair got it all-in with Boika holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] and the short-stacked Mateos holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"]. Mateos flopped a flush draw, completed the flush on the turn and after that double up rode the momentum back into the chip lead. On the final hand, Mateos raised on the button with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="jd"] and Boika three-bet the big blind with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"]. After Mateos called, the flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"] bringing both players a pair. Both players checked and the [poker card="5d"] came on the turn, keeping Mateos in the lead, but bringing an open-ended straight draw for Boika. Boika put out a bet and Mateos flat called. The river was the [poker card="qs"] giving Mateos top two pair and when Boika checked to him Mateos moved all-in. Boika, with only two seconds left in his timebank, was forced to make a quick decision. He called. Boika ended up as the runner-up and took home $330,514 while Adrian Mateos, after 42 attempts, ended the day as the Super MILLION$ champion, earning $428,624. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/30) 1. Adrian Mateos - $428,624 2. Aliaksei Boika - $330,514 3. ‘Nator’ - $254,861 4. Art Papazyan - $196,525 5. David Coleman - $151,541 6. Joao Vieira - $116,854 7. RRomashka - $90,107 8. Sam Greenwood - $69,482 9. Yuri Dzivielevski - $53,578
  2. Former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski denied Michael Addamo a fourth GGPoker Super MILLION$ title this week by battling back from a nine-to-one chip deficit in a gripping heads-up match to clinch the $408,406 first-place prize and his first Super MILLION$ victory. By all accounts, this week’s 41st edition of the GGPoker $10K Super MILLION$ was Michael Addamo’s for the taking. The Australian superstar entered the final table with an overwhelming chip lead and over the course of the final table went on an impressive heater against a final table full of elite competition that included Connor Drinan, Thomas Muehloecker, Joao ‘Naza114’ Vieira, and Isaac Haxton. However, even though Addamo held an overwhelming chip lead against Dzivielevski when the pair got heads up Dzivielevski made all of the right moves at the right time and in doing so February's Online Player of the Month flipped the script and walked away with the win. The bulk of the final table took place in short order with seven of the nine players busting in the first four levels of the day. The first to exit the tournament was a short-stacked Conor Drinan who moved all-in for nine big blinds with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] and was quickly called by Thomas Muehloecker in the big blind with his [poker card="kd"][poker card="qc"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] giving Muehloecker top pair. It held through the [poker card="8s"] turn and the [poker card="7h"] river sending Drinan out in ninth for $51,050. Twenty minutes later, Addamo opened in late position with [poker card="8s"][poker card="8c"] and Aliaksei Boika moved all in for his 27 big blinds with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] in the small blind. Addamo took a couple of seconds and made the call. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5d"] shipping the chips to Addamo and eliminating Boika in eighth place for $66,204. Then the bustouts came at a rapid pace as ten minutes later, after Muehloecker opened in the hijack with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"], Chris Puetz shipped his final six big blinds with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Muehloecker made the call and the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="4s"] giving Muehloecker a flush draw to go with his pair outs. The [poker card="7h"] turn was safe for Puetz but the [poker card="7h"] river brought in the flush and sent Puetz out of the tournament in seventh for $85,856. The very next hand, Muehloecker, who was second in chips at the time, picked up [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] and opened in mid-position. The action folded to Addamo who woke up with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] and put in a three-bet from the small blind. Muehloecker flat called and the flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2c"], giving Muehloecker top set. Addamo put out a small bet and Muehloecker just called. The turn was the [poker card="4c"] and Addamo led out again, putting out roughly a half pot bet. Muehloecker, again, just called. Then, Addamo hit his two-outer when the [poker card="ac"] spiked on the river. Addamo bet small, prompting Muehloecker, with a half pot bet left behind, to move all-in. Addamo snap-called and Muehloecker saw the bad news. Addamo’s chip lead increased while Muehloecker settled for sixth place and a $111,342 score. Just two hands later, wielding a six-to-one chip lead over the next closest competitor, Addamo opened his [poker card="7d"][poker card="4d"] from the cutoff. On the button, Uruguay’s former #1-ranked Fabrizio ‘DrMikee’ Gonzalez moved all-in holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The action folded back to Addamo who called the short-stacked shove. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] giving Gonzalez two pair and a 95% chance to win the hand. The turn was the [poker card="9d"], bringing Addamo’s hand some extra life. The [poker card="8d"] river completed Addamo’s runner-runner flush and eliminated Gonzalez in fifth place for $144,393. One more hand passed before current OPOY points leader Joao Vieira called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"] from under the gun four-handed. Addamo checked his option with the [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] and the flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"], giving Addamo two pair. Addamo checked it over to Vieira who bet the minimum. Addamo put in a check-raise which Vieira just called. The turn was the [poker card="6d"] and Addamo led for half pot, which Vieira called. The river was the [poker card="9d"] and after a few seconds, Addamo moved all-in putting Vieira to the test with his pocket aces. After tanking for more than four minutes, Vieira clicked the call button and fell in fourth place for $187,255. With three left, Addamo held more than 17 million in chips compared to the 2.1 million of Isaac Haxton and the 750K of Dzivielevski. Having been quiet for the majority of the tournament, Dzivielevski began to chip up at Addamo’s expense. However, when it was Haxton’s turn to move all-in, it was once again Addamo on the other end. Addamo raised the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"] and Haxton, with 10 big blinds left in his stack, moved all-in from the small blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"]. After Dzivielevski folded, Addamo made the call and the flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"][poker card="4d"]. Haxton picked up both flush and straight outs when the [poker card="9s"] fell on the turn. But the [poker card="5h"] was no help for Haxton and the high-roller hit the rail in third place for $242,839. Just two hands into heads-up play, it looked like Addamo was going to walk away with his fourth Super MILLION$ title. From the button, Addamo raised with the [poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"] and Dzivielevski defended holding the [poker card="qh"][poker card="6s"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="4s"] and Dzivielevski check-called a bet by Addamo. The turn was the [poker card="2d"], hitting Addamo’s gutshot straight draw. Again, Dzivielevski check-called a bet by Addamo. When the [poker card="qs"] hit the river, Dzivielevski led out a quarter-pot bet with his trips and Addamo promptly moved all-in. Dzivielevski went into the tank and after two minutes, he found the fold that kept him in the tournament. After that fold, the momentum shifted. Even though Addamo held a nine-to-one chip lead, the hands started falling Dzivielevski’s way. Another important clash took place when Dzivielevski raised the button with [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"] and Addamo three-bet his [poker card="kc"][poker card="5d"]. After Dzivielevski called the flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3d"] giving Dzivielevski middle pair. Addamo fired out and Dzivielevski made the call. The turn came the [poker card="qs"] and Addamo fired again, and again, Dzivielevski called. The river was the [poker card="4h"] which saw Addamo move all-in, completing the three-barrel bluff. With third pair and his tournament life at risk, Dzivielevski made the call. For the first time in the tournament, Dzivielevski took over the chip lead. Addamo didn’t go quietly, in fact, he took back the chip lead as the heads-up battle continued. Soon thereafter, Dzivielevski put in a raise with the [poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] and Addamo three-bet from the big blind, this time holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. Dzivielevski called and the flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"], giving Dzivielevski a pair and a flush draw and Addamo the nut flush draw. Addamo bet out which brought a raise from Dzivielevski. Addamo flat called the raise and the pair watched as the [poker card="ts"] hit the turn. Addamo checked and Dzivielevski moved all-in. It only took a couple of seconds for Addamo to call off, looking for a club, ace, king, or queen to end the tournament. The river was the [poker card="7d"] and as the pot was shipped to Dzivielevski, the tables had officially turned and it was the Brazilian who now held an ample chip lead. On the final hand of the tournament, Addamo opened the button with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="td"] and Dzivielevski three-bet holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"]. Addamo made the call and the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"]. Dzivielevski checked his pocket jacks and Addamo checked back. The turn was a fateful [poker card="ts"] and Dzivielevski checked again. This time Addamo bet and Dzivielevski check-shoved his overpair. Addamo made the call with his pair of tens and when the river came the [poker card="kh"] Dzivielevski’s comeback was complete. Addamo finished in second place for $314,924, an amount enough to put him back atop the Super MILLION$ All-Time Money List. Dzivielevski took home his first GGPoker Super MILLION$ title for $408,406. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (3/23) 1. Yuri Dzivielevski - $408,406 2. Michael Addamo -$314,924 3. Issac Haxton - $242,839 4. Joao Vieira - $187,255 5. DrMikee - $144,393 6. Thomas Muehloecker - $111,342 7. Chris Puetz - $85,856 8. Aliaksei Boika - $66,204 9. Connor Drinan - $51,050
  3. The final weekend of SCOOP began with Belarus PocketFiver ale6kacoming away with the win in a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Variable Level Progressive Super Knockout (say that ten times fast) for $111,000 following a heads-up deal. As if the agreed-upon prize money weren't enough, ale6ka also banked $40,000 in bounties for over $150,000 total. As the PokerStars Blog explained about the tournament's structure, "The variable levels designation meant initial levels were short (just four minutes long) then gradually increased as the tournament wore on, with the structure eventually maxing out with 20-minute levels." The Belarus player was the leader in the clubhouse by the time the six-handed final table rolled around, but was almost a 2:1 underdog entering heads-up play. An hour later, the final two agreed to a deal that left $15,000 to play for and, as coverage noted, "They were playing for more, too… namely half of each other's remaining bounties, which meant about $12K more for hhecklenwith a win, or about $16K extra for ale6ka by triumphing." In the end, hhecklen put his tournament life on the line with J-2, but could not overcome K-3. hhecklen hit a deuce to make things interesting, but Boika spiked a three on the river for the win and his first SCOOP title: 1. ale6ka (Belarus): $111,061 (+ $40,213 in bounties) 2. hhecklen (Denmark): $91,558 (+ $32,400 in bounties) 3. Katz0r (United Kingdom): $62,935 (+ $11,750 in bounties) 4. Kamchatka 1 (Switzerland): $42,980 (+ $15,191 in bounties) 5. psyhoagromor (Ukraine): $30,700 (+ $17,632 in bounties) 6. 1nvoker (Ukraine): $19,648 (+ $9,250 in bounties) ale6ka is up to $2.6 million in career online tournament winnings. He won the PartyPoker$300K in 2013 for $40,000 and took down the Sunday $109 Rebuy the same year for $51,000. He's currently the #3 player in Belarus and is ranked #301 worldwide, but should quickly climb the PocketFives Rankings with this SCOOP victory. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. When the complete schedule for the online iteration of the 2020 World Series of Poker was announced, the high-stakes tournament pros from around the world cleared their calendar to be available for the $25K NLHE Poker Players Championship. Sure, this year’s PPC wouldn’t have the traditional variety of mixed games as the live version in Las Vegas has in year’s past, but this tournament had the biggest buy-in of the entire 2020 WSOP and gave players a shot at the largest first-place payday outside of the Main Event. Now, only nine players from the star-studded field of 407 remains. It's a mix of some of poker's brightest superstars, online poker savants, and even a shot-taker or two. They will return on Saturday, August 29 to play down to a winner and award the $1.8 million first-place prize and World Series of Poker gold bracelet. Jason Koon Country: United States Chip Count: 7,863,055 Final table chip leader Jason Koon is one of the most well-known high-stakes tournament players in the world. The Las Vegas, by-way-of Weston, West Virginia, poker pro has climbed into ninth place on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List with over $31 million in lifetime live earnings. Koon boasts eight seven-figure scores including a career-high $3,579,836 cash at the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro series. In addition to his success in Triton events, for which he’s an ambassador, Koon has high roller victories on both the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour. Should he take this chip lead all the way to victory, it will be his first WSOP title. [caption id="attachment_632398" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Shankar Pillai (photo courtesy of The Borgata)[/caption] Shankar Pillai Country: United States Chip Count: 6,875,234 New York’s Shankar Pillai first garnered the attention of the poker world back in 2007 when he won his first WSOP gold bracelet by winning a $3,000 NLHE event for over $527,000. Twelve years later Pillai earned his second bracelet by battling through the field of the 50th Annual Bracelet Winners event for a $71,580 score. In addition to his nearly $2 million in live earnings, Pillai recently earned two WSOP Online Circuit rings in 2020 as well as a victory in the 2020 WSOP.com Winter Online Championships for more than $69,000. [caption id="attachment_632397" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Christian Rudolph (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Christian Rudolph Country: Germany Chip Count: 5,544,188 German superstar Christian Rudolph enters the final table third in chips and in a good position to add to his more than $2.2 million in live career earnings. Although Rudolph looks to have opted out of Hendon Mob tracking, some high-profile scores one simply can’t hide including his recent runner-up finish in the partypoker 2020 MILLIONS UK Main Event for $620,00. Online, Rudolph is well-known for playing under his PokerStars screen name ‘WATnlos’ where he regularly competes in the highest stakes tournaments online and has a victory in the marquee Sunday Million from back in 2018. [caption id="attachment_632396" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aram Zobian (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Aram Zobian Country: United States Chip Count: 4,405,440 Many will recognize Aram Zobian from his final table finish at the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event where he finished in sixth place for a $1.8 million score. Zobian’s first live result dates back to 2016 and since that time he’s put together more than $2.1 million in total live earnings. In addition, the Las Vegas-based pro also earned his first WSOP Circuit ring in 2020 after winning the WSOP.com Online $215 Turbo Deepstack for $20,910. Should Zobian work his way from fourth in chips to taking down the $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship he’ll eclipse his career-high score by $290 and have a new top-line result on his poker resume. [caption id="attachment_632395" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Chris Hunichen (photo courtesy of Poker Central)[/caption] Chris Hunichen Country: United States Chip Count: 4,175,274 Chris ‘BigHuni’ Hunichen is one of poker’s elite grinders. Hunichen is found in the biggest buy-in tournament field both live and online and boasts a career that has amassed more than $20 million in total earnings. According to Hendon Mob, Hunichen has earned over $8 million which includes a $927,000 victory in the 2019 EPT Barcelona High Roller and a $1.1 million score in a podium finish in the partypoker MILLION World Bahamas Main Event. While Hunichen’s live resume is impressive, his online career is even more elite. ‘BigHuni’ is a former worldwide #1-ranked online player with more than $12.6 million in total online earnings, which currently places him at #13 on the Online All-Time Money List. He holds titles in both POWERFEST and the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker as well as a number of six-figure super high roller scores. [caption id="attachment_632394" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aleksejs Ponakovs (photo courtesy of World Poker Tour)[/caption] Aleksejs Ponakovs Country: Latvia Chip Count: 3,883,951 Long-time Latvian online high-stakes grinder Aleksejs Ponakovs has put himself in position for a career-high payday coming into the final table of the $25K sixth in chips. Ponakovs is an online crusher, having reached #4 in the worldwide rankings and topped more than $7 million in online earnings. He won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2017 for more than $159,000 and holds partypoker POWERFEST and PokerStars Turbo Series titles as well. With more than $400,000 in live earnings, Ponakov has nearly a decade of experience including a deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event where he finished in 33rd place for $229,281. [caption id="attachment_632392" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Aliaksei Boika (photo courtesy of PokerStars)[/caption] Aliaksei Boika Country: Belarus Chip Count: 3,297,276 For more than 10 years, Belarusian pro Aliaksei ‘ale6ka’ Boika has been grinding both live and online. He’s amassed more than $248,000 in World Series of Poker earnings alone, nearly capturing a bracelet with his fourth place finish in the tough 2018 $5,000 NLHE event for $142,458. While those in the high-stakes online community will know his screen name thanks to his multiple PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker titles, he may be best known for his 2016 EPT Malta Main Event victory for $386,962. [caption id="attachment_632391" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Paullis Plausinaitis (photo courtesy of The Hendon Mob)[/caption] Paulius Plausinaitis Country: Lithuania Chip Count: 2,905,555 Lithuania’s Pauliuis Plausinaitis nearly made his mark in another high-profile $25,000 event back in 2018. However, he just missed out on winning a Platinum Pass to the PSPC by falling in fifth place in the PokerStars Festival London High Roller for a career-high score of just over $30,000. But now, after winning his way into the WSOP $25K NLHE Poker Players Championship in a $1K satellite, Plausinaitis has already locked up a six-figure score with the potential for life-changing money should the cards fall his way. [caption id="attachment_632390" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Brunno Botteon (photo courtesy of SuperPoker.com.br)[/caption] Brunno Botteon Country: Brazil Chip Count: 1,750,027 The #1-ranked online Brazilian pro (current #4 in the world) has more than $3.2 million in online earnings and has been in the midst of a career-heater in 2020. In January, he took second in the PokerStars Winter Series Medium Main Event for $196,908 while at the same time finishing in third in the Winter Series High Main Event for $265,463. Picked as one of the Brazilian players poised to dominate the 2020 World Series of Poker, Brunno 'bbotteon' Botteon has already racked up eight cashes during the series including a runner-up finish in Event #67 for over $41,000.
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