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Found 30 results

  1. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Don't miss another all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie recap the latest and greatest news and views from this week in the world of poker. In addition to recapping all of the action and bracelet winners from the 2020 World Series of Poker, the guys discuss the latest developments in the simmering heads-up match between long-time rivals Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. While Negreanu and Polk still have to sort all the details out, friends (and rivals) Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth played a $100K heads-up match in the first episode of PokerGO's High Stakes Duel for free and all to see. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  2. Poker Central has acquired the brand and assets for High Stakes Poker, the company announced on Tuesday, and will begin streaming episodes of the show on the PokerGO platform in the coming months. Additionally, Poker Central is said to have future plans for the series, including new episodes. "High Stakes Poker was a remarkable poker program," said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. "With star players, massive pots, and memorable moments, the show beautifully conveys the drama of cash game poker. Bringing the existing episodes of High Stakes Poker to our platform and producing more in the future will enable us to recapture the nostalgia and magic of the show for our PokerGO subscribers in the present-day poker climate." [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] High Stakes Poker took place from 2006-2011 and included seven seasons of high-stakes, cash game action during the height of the poker boom. Over its many seasons, the show was hosted by Gabe Kaplan, AJ Benza, Kara Scott, and Norm Macdonald, with Kaplan and Benza hosting together through the show’s first five seasons. The show’s success was propelled by the astronomical stakes of poker that were being played by superstar poker players and celebrities, oftentimes sitting behind huge bricks of cash and mounds of large denomination chips that became staples of the show. Notable players to appear on High Stakes Poker were Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, Phil Galfond, and Barry Greenstein. Brunson, Negreanu, Esfandiari, and Greenstein appeared in all seven seasons of the show. If you don't already have a subscription to PokerGO and are interested in watching High Stakes Poker, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Minimum buy-ins for High Stakes Poker ranged from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the season, and plenty of episodes featured millions of dollars at stake. During Season 4 of High Stakes Poker, poker pro David Benyamine went at it with celebrity businessman Guy Laliberte to create the largest pot in the show’s history, only it came with a plot twist. Largest Pot in High Stakes Poker History In a game with $300-$600 blinds and a $1,200 straddle, Farha started the action with a raise to $4,200 from under the gun with the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="3s"]. Benyamine made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="8c"] and Laliberte called from the big blind with the [poker card="Kd"][poker card="5d"]. The flop was [poker card="Kc"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"]. Farha picked up bottom pair, but it was the top two pair for Laliberte and nut flush draw for Benyamine that really made this hand explode. On the flop, Laliberte checked, Farha bet $13,000, and Benyamine raised to $43,000. Laliberte reraised and made it $168,000 to go. Farha folded and Benyamine, behind bricks of cash, stood up, contemplated the decision, and then moved all in for $600,000. Laliberte turned his hand over and thought about the decision before making the call. Laliberte first said to run it once but then the two players went back and forth on what to do. Laliberte had said that the money doesn’t matter to him and would do what Benyamine wanted. Laliberte eventually offered to just take the pot before Benyamine’s all-in raise, which Benyamine agreed to. High Stakes Poker also helped young guns such as Tom Dwan get immense exposure. Of course, it also helps when you play $919,600 pots against one of the game’s greats on television. Although the hand between Laliberte and Benyamine created the largest pot in High Stakes Poker history, the hand ultimately finished with a much cheaper result. The hand Dwan played against Greenstein in Season 5 was played to the fullest for more than $900,000 and it had a single winner. Playing $500-$1,000 blinds, Peter Eastgate raised to $3,500 with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Kh"] and Greenstein reraised to $15,000 with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ac"] on the button. Dwan was next and made the call from the small blind with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qs"]. Eastgate also called and the flop came down [poker card="Qh"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"]. Dwan fired $28,700, Eastgate folded, and Greenstein raised to $100,000. Dwan made it $244,600 to go and Greenstein moved all in for what was effectively $436,100 total. Dwan called and the pot ballooned to $919,600. Like the Laliberte and Benyamine hand, the question of how many times to run the board out came up. Greenstein said he wanted to run it once but asked if they wanted to take a couple hundred thousand back. Dwan declined and they were off to the races. The turn was the [poker card="Qc"] to vault Dwan into the lead with trip queens. The river completed the board with the [poker card="7d"] and Dwan was the winner of the biggest hand in High Stakes Poker history.
  3. Forty-two players showed up for this year's $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker. After officials thought the tournament might sell out, there were more than a dozen openings in the 56-max tournament. Nevertheless, a cavalcade of brand name players turned out, including Sam Trickett (pictured), who has a pace-setting stack of 13.4 million entering Day 2 on Monday. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Trickett recorded the first elimination of the tournament to set the tone for the first day. Coverage on WSOP.com explained, "Trickett clashed with David Einhorn in a hand where the former turned the nut straight against the latter's flopped set of jacks. Einhorn was eliminated from play and Trickett suddenly held double the starting stack." Then, Trickett cracked the pocket queens of Igor Kurganov after hitting a straight on the river. From there, WSOP.com added, "Trickett and Vanessa Selbst played an 8 million chip pot where the three-time WSOP bracelet winner six-bet shoved with A-K. Trickett called with pocket kings and the two endured a roller coaster of a run-out. Trickett finished on top and the first-ever woman to participate in the Big One for One Drop was eliminated from play." Although this author swore up and down that 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (pictured) would participate in this year's One Drop, "The Poker Brat" was a no show. He spent the weekend trying to raise $600,000 of his $1 million buy-in, at one point posting on Twitter, "This would make a great reality show: me raising $600,000 in the last couple hours for a poker tournament!" However, Hellmuth's meal ticket never came to fruition, as he Tweeted, "Thought I had $1 million, went over to buy into One Drop, but $130,000 that was supposed to be at cage wasn't there!" Thus, Hellmuth, who finished fourth in the 2012 One Drop, will watch this year's version from the sidelines. Trickett finished second in the One Drop in 2012 and the man he lost out to, Antonio Esfandiari (pictured), has the fifth largest stack after Day 1 this year. Esfandiari doubled up early on during Sunday's play courtesy of Dan KingDan Smith, who checked on a board of A-K-4-10-8. Esfandiari shoved and Smith, after asking for a count, called and turned over A-K for aces-up. Esfandiari had him beat with 4-4 and moved up to over 3 million in chips. Here's how the One Drop field looks as play begins on Day 2 at 1:00pm PT: 1. Sam Trickett - 13,400,000 2. Tom Hall - 9,125,000 3. Phil Ivey - 7,675,000 4. Daniel Colman - 6,875,000 5. Antonio Esfandiari - 6,725,000 6. Noah Schwartz - 6,275,000 7. Rick Salomon - 5,890,000 8. David Doc Sands Sands - 4,615,000 9. Phil Galfond - 4,390,000 10. Daniel Negreanu - 4,270,000 11. Erik Seidel - 4,250,000 12. Brandon Steven - 4,205,000 13. Tobias Reinkemeier - 4,125,000 14. Doug Polk - 3,885,000 15. Connor blanconegro Drinan - 3,685,000 16. Gabe Kaplan - 3,475,000 17. Tony Gregg - 3,415,000 18. Isaac Haxton - 3,370,000 19. John Juanda - 3,215,000 20. Cary Katz - 2,945,000 21. Paul Newey - 2,845,000 22. Bill Klein - 2,840,000 23. Erick Lindgren - 2,175,000 24. Christoph Vogelsang - 2,060,000 25. John Morgan - 1,800,000 26. Talal Shakerchi - 1,685,000 27. Daniel Cates - 1,670,000 28. Greg gregy20723 Merson - 1,625,000 29. Scott Seiver - 1,165,000 30. Guy Laliberte - 1,030,000 31. Jean-Robert Bellande - 1,005,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. Episodes 3 and 4 of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event on ESPNaired on Monday night, going head-to-head with the offensive debacle known as Monday Night Football. There were 416 players left on Day 4 when coverage began and Joe dude904McKeehen held the chip lead. Joe Hachem was the sole Main Event winner left. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Whereas last week's episodes were all about Phil Hellmuth, this week Daniel Negreanu (pictured), who was seated at the featured table, was the centerpiece. The first episode began with Phil Laak calling all-in pre-flop against Christian charder Harder. Laak had A-K to Harder's aces and couldn't pull out the win, ending his Main Event run. Then, inaugural One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari (pictured) had a player with 6-6 all-in before the flop. Esfandiari showed K-J of diamonds and hit a jack on the flop, winning the critical flip and boosting his stack by 55%. Former blackjack dealer Lance kingpin023 Harris checked on the river of a J-5-A-7-J board with A-K. An opponent with 9-8 bet 155,000 and Harris called, raking in the pot. Back at the featured table, Negreanu, holding pocket sevens, raised to 22,000 and Austin Lewis3bet all-in with A-K of spades. Lewis called Negreanu's hand before "Kid Poker" rolled over his hole cards and the board came 10-5-10-9-4. Negreanu boosted his stack by 22% amid phrases like "You might be just doing that bully thing on me too" and "I wonder what would happen if I stuck this fork in my eye." To start the second episode, Hachem moved all-in with jacks, but ran into aces. His opponent spiked a set on the flop and Hachem was drawing dead after the turn. It was his first Main Event cash since 2009. Negreanu remained busy, putting a player who had bottom two pair all-in when Negreanu had a flush. His opponent wisely folded and Negreanu's stack soared to over 1.1 million. Fellow pro Esfandiari, meanwhile, called all-in pre-flop with pocket tens and held against A-K of hearts. His father, Bijan, cheered him on from the rail as Esfandiari yelled, "Holy **** I won a flip. It's been like three years." Three-time Olympic medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo (pictured) made a deep run in this year's Main Event, but bit the dust on Day 4 after running A-6 into A-10. Then, PocketFiver Josh asdf26 Beckley triple-barreled with a busted flush draw, but got his opponent to lay down second pair. Monday night's coverage ended with Esfandiari putting a player all-in who had 8-8 when "The Magician" held Q-7 of clubs. Esfandiari fell short and his stack dropped to five big blinds. However, he doubled up with A-10 against A-J and again with 10-6 against K-J to stay in the hunt as the screen faded to black. New WSOP on ESPN episodes will air on Wednesday, September 30 at 9:00pm ET. Then, the action permanently moves to Sundays starting October 4. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  5. We're three months away from the second-ever running of the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop, a charity tournament with a hefty $1 million buy-in that last took place in 2012. The steep price tag certainly hasn't stopped people from signing up in droves, as 23 poker players, businessmen, and qualifiers have already confirmed their attendance: 1. Antonio Esfandiari 2. Guy Laliberté 3. Bobby Baldwin 4. David Einhorn 5. Phil Galfond 6. Philipp Gruissem 7. Phil Ivey (pictured) 8. Jason treysfull21 Mercier 9. Paul Newey 10. Bill Perkins 11. Vivek Psyduck Rajkumar 12. Brian tsarrast Rast 13. Andrew good2cu Robl 14. Erik Seidel 15. Brandon Steven 16. Sam Trickett 17. Noah Schwartz 18. Anonymous Businessman 19. Anonymous Businessman 20. Anonymous Businessman 21. Aria Resort Satellite Seat 22. Bellagio Resort Satellite Seat 23. World Series of Poker Satellite Seat The first 17 players on the list above all participated in 2012, the first and only other time the Big One for One Drop has taken place. The tournament sold out at 48 entrants last time and, with the addition of another eight-max table this year, 56 players can be accommodated. If the tournament sells out once again, as expected, the first place prize could reach $20 million. Antonio Esfandiari (pictured), who won the 2012 installment and became poker's all-time money leader in the process, commented in a WSOP press release, "I can't wait to defend my title. The event was life-changing, but so was my trip to El Salvador after it with the One Drop organization to see first hand what a difference the money raised from this event can do for those in dire need of help." WSOP officials plan to reach out to additional players to recruit them to the One Drop field after already contacting everyone who played in 2012. The tournament is scheduled for three days beginning June 29 and $111,111 of each buy-in goes to charity. If the event sells out, the prize pool would be around $50 million. Anyone interested in playing is encouraged to contact WSOP officials. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. [caption width="640"] Antonio Esfandiari is no stranger to high stakes, high pressure situations.[/caption] There are a number of ways in which a poker player can be disqualified from a tournament. On Sunday, Day 2 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, Antonio Esfandiari was disqualified and it had nothing to do with anything the Poker Tournament Directors Association has ever made a rule for. Esfandiari was disqualified for urinating into a bottle while at a table. You read that right. Mother nature called and rather than leave the table and head to the men's room, Esfandiari took care of business at the table. It turns out getting from the table to the men's room would have been all too painful thanks to a prop bet Esfandiari had made with Bill Perkins. To win the bet, Esfandiari had to lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours. Sunday was the second day of the bet and Esfandiari was apparently feeling the effects of lunging around the Atlantis Resort for two days straight. Before Day 2 began, Esfandiari took to Twitter to give an update on the prop bet and ended up foreshadowing the big incident of the day. Esfandiari's punishment was only for the Main Event and he is allowed to play other PCA events beginning Monday.
  7. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Donnie is back from his wedding weekend just in time to talk about one of the strangest weeks in poker history. The guys cover the million dollar debt that Randall Emmett apparently owed to 50 Cent, the childish Twitter war between Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb and some sort of boxing match between Antonio Esfandiari and Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Hart. They also talk about Negreanu's big announcement that he is selling action for the 2019 World Series of Poker with no markup. And it just wouldn't be an episode of The Fives in 2019 without an update on the dwindling fields in the PokerStars Sunday Million. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  8. The 2019 Poker Hall of Fame finalists includes nine World Series of Poker bracelet winners, three former Main Event champions, and for the first time ever, a magician. Well, The Magician. Antonio Esfandiari, once known as 'The Magician, is the only first-time finalist in the group of 10 players selected by the WSOP Hall of Fame Committee that will now be voted on by living Hall of Fame members and a select panel of poker media and industry personnel. The top two vote-getters will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame later this summer. Voters are tasked with considering the following criteria when awarding their votes: A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination Played for high stakes Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. The other nine finalists are Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Eli Elezra, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Mike Matusow, Chris Moneymaker, David Oppenheim, and Huck Seed. The final group of 10 was put together by the "WSOP Hall of Fame Committee". In years past, the public was invited to submit names for inclusion with the 10 most-suggested names being the finalists. This marks Bjorin's seventh time as a finalist. No other player has been nominated as often as the two-time bracelet winning Swede. Now 71, Bjorin has earned $5.75 million in lifetime earnings. He's been nominated in seven of the last eight years. Chiu has now been a finalist six times, including the last three in a row. The 58-year-old has five WSOP bracelets, won the WPT World Championship in 2008, and has just over $8,000,000 in lifetime earnings. Ferguson, Moneymaker, and Seed are all former Main Event champions. For Ferguson, this marks a return to the list of finalists. His only previous nomination came in 2010, before Black Friday and the Full Tilt Poker scandal. He's since won WSOP Player of the Year, a sixth bracelet and cashed 65 more times. Moneymaker was previously a finalist in 2016 and 2018. The 2003 WSOP Main Event champion is credited with being an integral part of poker's explosion in popularity in the mid-2000s. So much so, that it's often called 'The Moneymaker Effect'. Seed has four bracelets, including the 1996 Main Event championship. He also won the 1998 Carnivale of Poker and the 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Matusow, who has four WSOP bracelets, is a finalist for the fifth time. He won the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship and has just over $9.5 million in lifetime earnings. Six WSOP bracelets, an NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship title, and a World Poker Tour victory are just the highlights from Forrest's tournament resume. He was also an integral figure in the Andy Beal cash games in the mid-2000s. Fresh off of winning his fourth bracelet, Elezra's nomination is his second. He was a finalist first in 2016. Oppenheim is the only player nominated that has not won a WSOP bracelet. Mainly a cash game player, Oppenheim has $1,866,190 including just nine WSOP cashes, three of which came in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The 2019 Poker Hall of Fame inductees will be announced during the WSOP Main Event in early July.
  9. On Tuesday, Dan Colman won the Big One for One Dropat the World Series of Poker for $15.3 million. While Colman might have won the battle, Daniel Negreanu (pictured) won the war, becoming tournament poker's all-time money leader according to the Hendon Mob. Negreanu passed Antonio Esfandiari, who won the 2012 One Drop. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- "Kid Poker" has a staggering $29.7 million in career tournament winnings after picking up $8.2 million for finishing second in the One Drop on Tuesday. Last September, he took second in the EPT Barcelona High Roller for $352,000 and followed that up with a win in the WSOP Europe High Roller for $979,000, a final table in the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for $492,000, and a fourth place finish in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for $1.1 million. He has amassed $10.2 million in tournament winnings this year alone. Negreanu told WSOP staff after finishing second in the One Drop on Tuesday, "The $8 million is [a good consolation prize], but… it's really important to reinforce [that] $4.6 million was raised for charity. Otherwise, it's a bunch of rich people with too much money gambling for stakes that are obscene." He posted on Twitter when the $1 million buy-in One Drop had finished, "Thanks for all your support everyone and congrats to those who bought a piece of my action! I'm happy with how I played and proud too… Had a blast battling Daniel Coleman! Actually joyful and amazing experience. What a great player and great kid. Congrats to him." Negreanu is second to Carlos Mortensen (pictured) on the World Poker Tour's all-time money list at $5.7 million and has failed to pass $1 million in tournament winnings in a year just three times since 2004, according to the Hendon Mob. Negreanu has six bracelets, tied for ninth all-time, and has 78 WSOP in the money finishes, good for fifth all-time. Here are the top 10 players on the tournament poker all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob. You'll notice that Colman, this year's One Drop winner, is already in sixth place: 1. Daniel Negreanu - $29,796,381 2. Antonio Esfandiari - $26,244,377 3. Phil Ivey - $21,431,318 4. Erik Seidel - $20,445,359 5. Sam Trickett - $20,065,545 6. Daniel Colman - $18,200,842 7. Phil Hellmuth - $18,146,522 8. John Juanda - $16,052,904 9. Michael Mizrachi - $14,579,583 10. Scott Seiver - $12,607,348 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  10. The 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro is in the books, and several huge winners emerged from the high-stakes poker series held at the Maestral Resort & Casino along the Adriatic Sea. Chief among them was Bryn Kenney, who won more than $4.1 million total and jumped to No. 4 on poker's all-time money list, per Hendon Mob. Kenney only cashed twice in the series, but both times he won the tournament. In the first, Kenney topped a field of 79 entries to win the HK$500,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event for HK$11.23 million ($1.43 million). In the second, he topped a field of 75 entries in the HK$1 million Main Event to win HK$21.3 million ($2.71 million). With those two wins, Kenney improved to just shy of $34.8 million in career live tournaments earnings, of which he's won more than $9.1 million in 2019 alone. Kenney’s previous best year on the live tournament felt was in 2017 when he won more than $8.5 million. Other big winners to come out of the 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro include Rui Cao ($3.61 million), Paul Phua ($3.59 million), Nikita Badziakouski ($2.91 million), and Daniel Dvoress ($2.71 million). Both Phua and Dvoress cashed five times in the series and a total of 12 players earned combined prizes of more than $1 million. Top 10 Triton Poker Series Montenegro Money List Bryn Kenney - $4,145,235 Rui Cao - $3,611,013 Paul Phua - $3,594,983 Nikita Badziakouski - $2,912,467 Daniel Dvoress - $2,717,155 Arnaud Romain - $2,130,372 Daniel Tang - $1,976,217 Sam Greenwood - $1,943,613 Peter Jetten - $1,865,303 Ben Lamb - $1,192,009 Just outside of the top 10 were Kenneth Kiang and Seng 'Ivan' Leow, who cashed for $1.08 million and $1.06 million from the series, respectively. Triton Poker Series Montenegro Results HK$250,000 Eight-Handed NL Turbo Entries: 45 Prize Pool: HK$10,575,000 Steve O'Dwyer - HK$3,708,784 ($472,788) Isaac Haxton - HK$2,901,216 ($369,841
) Linus Loeliger - HK$1,720,000 ($219,262) Kok Beh - HK$1,240,000 ($158,073) Sam Greenwood - HK$1,005,000 ($128,115) [caption id="attachment_624174" align="alignnone" width="1354"] Bryn Kenney won two tournaments at the recent Triton Poker Series in Montenegro (photo: Triton Poker)[/caption] HK$500,000 Six-Handed NL Entries: 79 Prize Pool: HK$37,130,000 Bryn Kenney - HK$11,230,000 ($1,431,376) Daniel Dvoress - HK$7,430,000 ($947,028) Seng 'Ivan' Leow - HK$5,070,000 ($646,222) Sergio Aido - HK$3,820,000 ($486,897) Jason Koon - HK$2,970,000 ($378,556) Christoph Vogelsang - HK$2,300,000 ($293,158) Richard Yong - HK$1,820,000 ($231,977) Daniel Tang - HK$1,410,000 ($179,719) Cheong Ieng - HK$1,080,000 ($137,657) HK$100,000 Short Deck NL Ante Only Entries: 70 Prize Pool: HK$6,580,000 Winfred Yu - HK$2,040,000 ($259,952) Isaac Haxton - HK$1,370,000 ($174,576) Peter Jetten - HK$920,000 ($117,233) Leon Tsoukernik - HK$700,000 ($89,199) Steffen Sontheimer - HK$540,000 ($68,811) Ihor Shkliaruk - HK$420,000 ($53,520) Tam Lon - HK$330,000 ($42,051) Jordi Urlings - HK$260,000 ($33,131) HK$1,000,000 NL Main Event Entries: 75 Prize Pool: HK$70,500,000 Bryn Kenney - HK$21,300,000 ($2,713,859) Daniel Tang - HK$14,100,000 ($1,796,498) Peter Jetten - HK$9,600,000 ($1,223,148) Nikita Badziakouski - HK$7,260,000 ($925,005) Sam Greenwood - HK$5,650,000 ($719,873) Paul Phua - HK$4,440,000 ($560,609) Erik Seidel - HK$3,460,000 ($440,842) Matthias Eibinger - HK$2,680,000 ($341,462) Jason Koon - HK$2,050,000 ($261,193) HK$250,000 NL Turbo Entries: 37 Prize Pool: HK$8,972,500 Henrik Hecklen - HK$3,410,000 ($434,500) Alex Foxen - HK$2,200,000 ($280,323) Timothy Adams - HK$1,460,000 ($186,032) Daniel Dvoress - HK$1,052,500 ($134,109) Michael Watson - HK$850,000 ($108,306) HK$1,000,000 Short Deck NL Main Event Entries: 98 Prize Pool: HK$92,120,000 Rui Cao - HK$26,300,000 ($3,351,130) Paul Phua - HK$17,100,000 ($2,178,871) Arnaud Romain - HK$11,800,000 ($1,503,549) Daniel Dvoress - HK$9,070,000 ($1,155,694) Kenneth Kiang - HK$7,200,000 ($917,420) Ming Liu - HK$5,620,000 ($716,097) Choon Siow - HK$4,400,000 ($560,645) Isaac Haxton - HK$3,400,000 ($433,226) Timofey Kuznetsov - HK$2,630,000 ($335,113) Nikita Badziakouski - HK$2,300,000 ($293,065) Guang Lu - HK$2,300,000 ($293,065) HK$200,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Entries: 37 Prize Pool: HK$6,956,000 Hing Chow - HK$2,640,000 ($336,383) Ben Lamb - HK$1,706,000 ($217,375) Viacheslav Osipov - HK$1,130,000 ($143,982) Henrik Hecklen - HK$820,000 ($104,483) Wai Chan - HK$660,000 ($84,096) HK$200,000 Short Deck NL Ante Only Turbo Entries: 64 Prize Pool: HK$12,032,000 Quek Sheng - HK$3,700,000 ($471,416) Peter Jetten - HK$2,500,000 ($318,524) Paul Phua - HK$1,700,000 ($216,596) Kenneth Kiang - HK$1,292,000 ($164,613) Wai Chan - HK$980,000 ($124,861) John Gabe Patgorski - HK$770,000 $98,105) Daniel Dvoress - HK$610,000 ($77,720) Rui Cao - HK$480,000 ($61,157) [caption id="attachment_624175" align="alignnone" width="1354"] John Juanda was among the winners at the recent Triton Poker Series in Montenegro (photo: Triton Poker)[/caption] HK$250,000 Short Deck NL Ante Only Entries: 65 Prize Pool: HK$15,275,000 John Juanda - HK$4,720,000 ($601,358) Daniel Dvoress - HK$3,160,000 ($402,604) Wai Yong - HK$2,150,000 ($273,924) Peter Jetten - HK$1,620,000 ($206,398) Sergey Lebedev - HK$1,250,000 ($159,258) Daniel Cates - HK$980,000 ($124,858) Christopher Soyza - HK$780,000 ($99,377) Paul Phua - HK$615,000 ($78,355) HK$750,000 Short Deck NL Ante Only Entries: 52 Prize Pool: HK$38,122,500 Nikita Badziakouski - HK$13,300,000 ($1,694,397) Sam Greenwood - HK$8,600,000 ($1,095,625) Qiang Wang - HK$5,700,000 ($726,170) Paul Phua - HK$4,400,000 ($560,552) Andrew Robl - HK$3,422,500 ($436,021) Xuan Tan - HK$2,700,000 ($343,975) [caption id="attachment_624173" align="alignnone" width="1354"] Ben Lamb was another big name to score a victory at the recent Triton Poker Series in Montenegro (photo: Triton Poker)[/caption] HK$500,000 Short Deck NL Ante Only Entries: 42 Prize Pool: HK$20,080,000 Ben Lamb - HK$7,650,000 ($974,634) Arnaud Romain - HK$4,920,000 ($626,823) Seng 'Ivan' Leow - HK$3,250,000 ($414,060) Xuan Tan - HK$2,350,000 ($299,397) Timofey Kuznetsov - HK$1,910,000 ($243,340) HK$300,000 NL/Short Deck Mix Entries: 27 Prize Pool: HK$7,857,000 Daniel Cates - HK$3,930,000 ($500,682) Jason Koon - HK$2,367,000 ($301,556) Rui Cao - HK$1,560,000 ($198,744) Effect On Poker’s All-Time Money List The big results coming out of the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro caused plenty of shifting towards the top of poker’s all-time money list. As already mentioned, Kenney jumped to No. 4 overall. Jason Koon, who cashed three times in Montenegro for just under $1 million, slid up one spot ahead of Antonio Esfandiari to be No. 8. Isaac Haxton, who, like Koon, won just under $1 million from this series, is now No. 13 and Badziakouski jumped to No. 15. John Juanda, who won an event in Montenegro for just more than $600,000, actually dropped back to No. 14. Then, looking a bit further down the leaderboard, Phua can now be found at No. 62 on the list after winning $3.59 million in Montenegro. High roller and super high roller events are as plentiful as they have ever been on the poker circuit. Numerous stops have $25,000 or $50,000 buy-in events, and some even push the envelope even further with $100,000 price tags on the schedule. Then, there are several festivals a year that are solely dedicated to ultra high-stakes players, such as the Triton Poker Series festivals. If there was ever a 'steroid era' in poker, similar to what baseball went through for an extended period of time, most commonly referred to as the latter half of the 1990s and into the 2000s. It's not that poker players are using performance-enhancing drugs to boost their earnings, but rather that there’s such an injection of these super high buy-in small-field events that are causing grand shifts in money lists. It doesn’t appear that these events and festivals are going anywhere, so poker will need to go through a bit of a market correction and rankings adjustments to correctly account for the juiced results.
  11. After Day 5 of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, just 106 players remain in contention for the $10 million top prize. Antonio Esfandiari is among them, as is Sam Greenwood, Alex Foxen, and former PocketFives #1 Chris Hunichen, but it's Timothy Su leading the way. Newcomer Su in the Lead Su bagged 19.235 million in chips and is hands down making the biggest splash of his poker career. Not only has Su never cashed in the WSOP Main Event before, but he’s never played it. He’s a software engineer by trade, not a professional poker player. Prior to the 2019 WSOP Main Event, Su had just three cashes on record and a combined $2,467 in live tournament earnings. His largest cash to date was for $1,080. He did place in the money in the $400 Colossus at the 2019 WSOP, but the $927 that he earned for his 814th-place finish is a far cry from the $59,295 he’s guaranteed. Although that’s what Su is guaranteed, he’s favored to earn a lot more due to his towering chip position. Immediately following up Su on the leaderboard at the conclusion of Day 5 were Greenwood (11.95 million), Duey Duong (11.765 million), Warwick Mirzikinian (11.43 million), and Luke Graham (11.28 million). Top 10 Chip Counts Timothy Su - 19,235,000 Sam Greenwood - 11,950,000 Duey Duong - 11,765,000 Warwick Mirzikinian - 11,430,000 Luke Graham - 11,280,000 Nicholas Marchington - 10,835,000 Milos Skrbic - 10,715,000 Romain Lewis - 10,600,000 Laurids Nielsen - 9,955,000 Ian Pelz - 9,635,000 [caption id="attachment_625562" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Antonio Esfandiari (left) and Garry Gates both advanced to Day 6 in the 2019 WSOP Main Event[/caption] Esfandiari "Feels Great" Reaching Day 6 Antonio Esfandiari has won a lot in his career. He has more than $27.7 million in live tournament earnings and has won three WSOP gold bracelets. His best result in the WSOP Main Event came in 2009 when he took 24th for $352,832. Outside of that result, Esfandiari has never finished in the top 150 of the WSOP Main Event. That’s where he finds himself this year and he’ll be headed to Day 6 with 6.63 million in chips. "It feels great," Esfandiari told PocketFives. "I think I’ve only made it to Day 6 one time and that was a long time ago, so to come back and have a chance at making the final table, it feels pretty good." Hunichen and Dzivielevski Representing Former PocketFives #1 Joining Esfandiari on the Day 6 run will be a couple of former PocketFives #1 players, Hunichen and Yuri Dzivielevski. Hunichen bagged 6.28 million, with Dzivielevski coming in at 3.53 million. Hunichen received a nice boost to his stWSOPack when start-of-day chip leader and 888poker qualifier Dean Morrone five-bet shoved into him with the [poker card="As"][poker card="9d"]. Hunichen was waiting with the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Kd"]after he had four-bet and made the call. An ace flop, but a king also flopped, and Morrone was eliminated as the board ran out [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="4s][poker card="5h"][poker card="8c"]. Hunichen did lose some chips towards the end of the night when Foxen doubled through him, but he was still able to bag a very healthy stack for Thursday. Foxen bagged 2.655 million for Day 6. Down To Four from Pennsylvania Pennsylvania online poker is just about ready to go. It’s been legalized and the launch date is coming up soon. When things get up and running, four players left in the field of the 2019 WSOP Main Event are going to have some extra money to deposit thanks to deep runs and could even become representatives of PA online poker rooms. Chad Power is the one with the most chips for Day 6 at 7.48 million, and then it’s Thomas Parkes with 7.31 million. Kenny Smaron has 2.505 million and Jake Schindler has 1.39 million. Former NFL Players Seymour and Stocz Bow Out Starting Day 5 was a group of 354 players. Plenty of them hit the rail on the way to 106, including former NFL players Richard Seymour and Eric Stocz. Seymour and Stocz started at the same table and it was Stocz to bust first when his pocket tens couldn’t hold up against the king-ten of Chance Kornuth for a 347th-place finish. Seymour made it a bit deeper but ultimately came to the same fate. Seymour’s exit happened in 131st place. He was all in against Zhen Cai and Anuj Agarwal on the same hand. Seymour had the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="4d"], Cai had the [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Qh"], and Agarwal had the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="3d"]. The flop came Seymour the lead with the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"] falling, but the turn was the [poker card="Qs"] to give the hand to Cai. The [poker card="Ks"] on the river meant nothing. Seymour’s run earned him $59,295. Also hitting the rail on Day 5 were Scott Bohlman (146th - $59,295), Mike Matusow (199th - $50,855), Matt Glantz (205th - $50,855), Matt Stout (217th - $50,855), and Allen Kessler (320th - $38,240). Jill Bryant was this year’s last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event. The Illinois native went out in the late stages of Day 5 with a 116th-place exit. She earned $59,295 for the result to add to the near $200,000 in live tournament earnings she had entering the event. Day 6 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event starts at 12 pm PT on Thursday, July 11 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.
  12. The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event is down to 35 players, all guaranteed $261,430 and vying for the event’s $10 million first-place prize. After what was an incredibly entertaining day of poker, Nick Marchington is in the lead with 39.7 million. 21-Year-Old Marchington Leads the Way Marchington hails from England and is 21 years old. Despite his youth, he’s a professional poker player, but Marchington’s success in the game comes from the online poker world and not so much the live tournament world. Entering this event, Marchington had just $12,415 in live tournament earnings, stemming from one cash at this WSOP. Marchington was one of the biggest stacks remaining as the night neared its close, and then he knocked out Ian Pelz in 37th place with pocket sevens against the [poker card="As"][poker card="Qc"] to solidify his position as chip leader. Behind Marchington on the leaderboard are Hossein Ensan with 34.5 million, Timothy Su with 34.35 million, and Milos Skrbic with 31.45 million. Those are the only players above 30 million in chips. Top 10 Chip Counts Nick Marchington - 39,800,000 Hossein Ensan - 34,500,000 Timothy Su - 34,350,000 Milos Skrbic - 31,450,000 Henry Lu - 25,525,000 Garry Gates - 25,025,000 Duey Duong - 21,650,000 Warwick Mirzikinian - 20,700,000 Dario Sammartino - 19,850,000 Cai Zhen - 19,800,000 Dzivielevski and Sammartino Remain Yuri Dzivielevski, a Brazilian who already has one gold bracelet this summer, bagged 13.75 million for Day 7. Dzivielevski is a former PocketFives #1 and the only former #1 remaining in the field. Dario Sammartino, who is one of the best players in the world still in search of a WSOP gold bracelet, finished with 19.85 million for Day 7. Wild and Crazy Hands Steal the Day 6 Show Day 6 was filled with plenty of action, that’s for sure. There was an enormous clash between Su and Sam Greenwood on the main feature table that could go down as one of the greatest hands in poker history. It will also go down as one of the ultimate bad beats. On one of the outer tables, Garry Gates nailed an ace on the river to crack Robert Heidorn’s pocket kings. On another outer table, at pretty much the same time as the hand between Gates and Heidorn, Kevin Maahs beats aces with his pocket kings to knock out Chang Luo. The incredible hand between Greenwood and Su started with Su opening to 500,000 from the cutoff position. Greenwood three-bet to 2.5 million out of the big blind, and Su called. The flop was [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="4c"] and Green bet 1.8 million Su called to see the [poker card="Js"] land on the turn. Greenwood bet 3.5 million and Su raised all in. Greenwood made the call for about 11.5 million total and turned up his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ac"]. Su had the [poker card="Tc"][poker card="9c"] for a brave semi-bluff. Needing a king or an eight on the river, Su got it when the [poker card="Kc"] hit to complete his straight. Greenwood was eliminated in 45th place for $211,945. On the hand involving Gates and Heidorn, Heidorn opened to 550,000 from middle position before action folded to Gates in the big blind. He three-bet to 2.1 million. Heidorn reraised all in to put Gates to the test. Gates tanked, then called to put himself at risk for 11.35 million total, and turned up the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"]. Heidorn had the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Kh"]. The [poker card="Qc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop and [poker card="5h"] turn weren’t what Gates needed, but the [poker card="Ad"] on the river allowed him to survive with the double up. For the one with Luo and Maahs, it started with Luo opening with a raise to 550,000 from early position. After Milos Skrbic reraised to 1.675 million on the button, Maahs reraised to 3.75 million out of the big blind. Luo shoved all in for 8.1 million, Skrbic folded, and Maahs made the call. Luo had the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"], and Maahs had the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"]. The board ran out [poker card="Qc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="Qh"][poker card="Tc"] to give Maahs a club flush and crack the aces of Luo. Luo was eliminated in 43rd place for $211,945. Esfandiari, Hunichen, Hachem Among Day 6 Eliminations Day 6 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event began with 106 players remaining. Greg Himmelbrand was the first player knocked out and then the eliminations began to flow. Four-time gold bracelet winner Jeff Madsen was knocked out in 102nd place, Mukul Pahuja went out in 95th, and Antonio Esfandiari busted in 82nd. Esfandiari’s bust out came after he was hurt in a big hand against Sammartino that left him with just a handful of big blinds. Esfandiari got the last of his chips in against Chris Hunichen with the [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"] but Hunichen’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] did the trick. Daniel Hachem, son of 2005 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem, fell in 79th place, and Pennsylvania's Jake Schindler headed out the door in 67th place. Romain Lewis busted in 60th, and Lars Bonding fell in 55th. Hunichen, a former PocketFives #1 player and the one who knocked out Esfandiari, busted in 54th place for $173,015. Another one of the top tournament players in the world was knocked out in 40th place when Alex Foxen was eliminated. The highest finish for a Pennsylvania poker player in the 2019 WSOP Main Event belonged to Thomas Parkes. He took 59th for $142,215. Day 7 On Friday On Friday, the 2019 WSOP Main Event will play from 35 down to its final table of nine, however long that may take. Action is set to kick off at 12 p.m. PT from the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, and if Friday is anything like Thursday, buckle up for a thrilling ride.
  13. Have you ever dreamed of getting a private poker lesson from Daniel Negreanu or partying with One Drop champion Antonio Esfandiari in Vegas? Well, now you can, but it'll cost you. A company called If Only is in the business of offering what it calls "extraordinary experiences for good," where fans of sports stars, musicians, world-class chefs, and more can pay to hang out with their favorite celebrities. The company, which donates a portion of its sales to charity, recently added famous poker players to its roster, but the pricey packages on offer have raised eyebrows. Poker fans have their choice of spending time with six well-known poker personalities: Liv Boeree, Phil Laak, Jamie Gold, Phil Hellmuth (pictured), Negreanu, and Esfandiari. But it was Hellmuth's profile in particular which drew the attention of the poker world, which had a lot to say about the "Poker Brat's" high-priced options. The 13-time WSOP bracelet winner offers fans five experiences, ranging from $16,700 to $42,900. At the low end, you can meet Hellmuth at the WSOPand "have a drink with Phil as he poses for photos and signs autographs." At the high end, you can set up a two-hour private game with the outspoken pro and five friends, where "Phil will share the tactics and strategies that made him one of poker's most dangerous players." In addition, Hellmuth offers his time as a motivational speaker and will serve as the master of ceremonies at your poker tournament for an undisclosed price. A portion of his payment will go to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation. Many poker players were shocked at the high prices and pointed out that one could simply catch up with the personable pro at the Rio for no charge. "Considering Phil will take a picture and sign an autograph for free, that's one hell of an expensive drink," said "1p0kerboy." "AdamSchwartz" agreed, replying, "or you could fly to Vegas for $300, walk up to Phil, hand him a drink, and ask him what it's like to be back at the WSOP. Save yourself about $16,300." Others pointed out the high prices charged by poker players compared to the cost of meeting world-famous celebrities on the site. Miley Cyrus (pictured), for example, offers a $2,000 backstage concert package where fans can meet the singer and receive VIP treatment during the show. Pop sensations Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga offer similarly priced packages. "These guys are so full of themselves… They do know they are poker players right?" said "beauvanlaanen." But some defended the inflation, like one poster who recalled an event at which Hellmuth was paid to emcee. "The organizers paid Hellmuth $25,000 to appear. He schmoozed, he was funny, went table to table with a microphone," he said. "He gave all the players a nickname and ragged on everyone. He ended up coming in third and hung out for an hour after and everyone loved him." Other poker players on the site charge similar prices, like Esfandiari, who will take you out for a "VIP Vegas night" for $35,800, and Negreanu, who will sit down with you and your friends for a private game for $42,900. A portion of Esfandiari's payment will go to Guy Laliberte's One Drop organization, while Negreanu's donation will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Other experiences include a private game with Laak for $42,900, a poker lesson with Main Event bracelet winner Gold for $16,700, and a hike along Red Rock Canyon with European Poker Tour winner Boeree for $5,000. Hellmuth has a stellar career at the WSOP, nearly snagging his 14th gold bracelet in this year's $1,500 Razz event, but coming up short against Ted Forrest to take second place. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  14. There are 115 players remaining in the World Series of Poker's $1,500 Extended Play No Limit Hold'em event. It began with over 1,900 entrants on Saturday and a bracelet should be awarded on Tuesday. In the meantime, Yevgeniy Jovial Gent Timoshenko (pictured) is out in front with a stack of 405,000. He's the only person to cross the 400,000-chip mark. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The Extended Play event is brand new to the WSOP this year and features 90-minute levels instead of the usual 60. As you might expect, and as has been the theme of the WSOP this year, the cream of the crop has risen to the top. Timoshenko, for example, has almost $5 million in career online tournament cashes and won the 2009 WCOOP Main Event. He also took down that year's World Poker Tour Championshipfor over $2 million. Timoshenko is #69 on the all-time money list and was ranked #1 on PocketFives in 2007. Timoshenko also scored big on prop bets on Sunday, winning $2,300 after throwing a water bottle into a trash can 30 feet away. As coverage of the bet on WSOP.com detailed, "It sails through the air, dodges the bottom of the Pius Heinz banner, and hits dead center. A cheer goes up and the loser of the bet goes to his wallet to hand over $2,300." He Tweeted when all was said and done, "Ran hot and bagged the chip lead heading into Day 3 of #WSOP42. All credit goes to my lucky #TiasHope card protector!" Right behind Timoshenko on the leaderboard with a stack of 368,000 is Antonio Esfandiari (pictured). He's #2 on poker's all-time money list thanks to a win in the inaugural Big One for One Drop in 2012 for an incredible $18 million. He has three bracelets and two WPT titles. On Sunday, Esfandiari stacked chips courtesy of Blair blur5f6Hinkle, also a bracelet winner. On a board showing 9-J-A-5, Hinkle checked and Esfandiari pushed out a bet of 17,600. Hinkle check-raised to 55,000, Esfandiari shoved, and Hinkle tossed his hand into the muck. Fourth place in the Extended Play event belongs to Patrick pleno1 Leonard. He was ranked #1 on PocketFives last year and bagged 354,000 in chips on Sunday night. Leonard is searching for his first career five-figure cash at the WSOP, but has almost $2 million in career online tournament winnings. The winner of this tournament will get $478,000 and everybody still in is guaranteed $3,500. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  15. Twenty-six players remain in the $1,500 Extended Play No Limit Hold'em event at the World Series of Poker. At stake is a $478,000 first place prize and bracelet winner Barny Boatman (pictured) owns the lead with a stack of 1.15 million in chips. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Antonio Esfandiari was the chip leader when we checked in on Monday night, but Boatman crippled him. Coverage on WSOP.com detailed what happened when Boatman faced a 4bet from Esfandiari pre-flop: "There has been a bit of recent history between these two players and now they are in a blind-on-blind confrontation. The action is on Boatman and he looks in no mood to give up to Esfandiari's aggression and slides out his own raise to 174,000." Esfandiari asked for a count and responded by shoving all-in. Boatman called with K-K only to see Esfandiari had aces, but a flop of 5-5-K put the Brit out in front for good. The hand moved Boatman to almost one million in chips. Shortly thereafter, Esfandiari was eliminated. After doubling up late in the day on Monday, Jonathan FieryJustice Little went busto after 3betting all-in before the flop with 6-5 of diamonds and getting a call from a player with 8-8. Little flopped a straight draw and turned a flush draw, but couldn't connect on the river and earned $11,000 for 28th place. Yevgeniy Jovial GentTimoshenko (pictured), the chip leader entering Monday's restart, is now the second shortest stack in the room at 226,000. He gave some chips to Nick Duvall late in the day after Duvall was all-in on a board of 9-8-6-K. Timoshenko questioned, "Do you have a flush draw? What do you want me to do? Are you going to show if I fold?" Timoshenko ultimately folded and Duvall showed 7-6. Timoshenko said he had an overpair. Here's how the field looks. The blinds were 5,000-10,000-1,000 when the action stopped: 1. Barny Boatman - 1,152,000 2. Luis elpim Duarte - 1,079,000 3. Artem Metalidi - 1,056,000 4. Yehoram Houri - 895,000 5. Anthony ott-man87 Diotte - 817,000 6. Ross Gottlieb - 780,000 7. Enrico Rudelitz - 732,000 8. Auddie Reynolds - 605,000 9. Patrick pleno1 Leonard - 581,000 10. Adrian Apmann - 574,000 11. Kurt Lichtman - 554,000 12. April Facey - 498,000 13. Nicholas Duvall - 495,000 14. Gabriel Andrade - 493,000 15. Daniel Buckley - 481,000 16. Andrew Mackenzie - 426,000 17. Leonardo Oliveira - 390,000 18. Johnathan Dahlberg - 390,000 19. Justin win0rgohome Zaki - 381,000 20. Joshua Reynolds - 379,000 21. Konstantin Puchkov - 367,000 22. Ryan Lee - 323,000 23. Craig Roberts - 254,000 24. Ruslan Gazaev - 250,000 25. Yevgeniy Jovial Gent Timoshenko - 226,000 26. Yuri Ishida - 223,000 The Extended Play event restarts at 1:00pm PT on Tuesday. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  16. At this year's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, no matter how big a tournament's field is, brand name pros are rising to the top. We've already seen pros like Phil Hellmuth, Phil Galfond, and Shaun Deebwin bracelets this year. Now, we could have bracelet #1 from Chris moorman1 Moorman (pictured), the most successful PocketFiver in history. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Kai Yang from Plano, Texas leads the way with a stack of 1.35 million in chips as we enter Day 3 of a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event (#30). He's one of two players to bag more than one million in chips on Day 2, along with Artur jaggalo1231 Rudziankov. Twenty-one players remain. Then there's Moorman, who has the third largest stack in the tournament at 966,000. Moorman, the owner of a record 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns, already has a World Poker Tour title. He has been the runner-up in two bracelet events during his career, but is still looking for his first WSOP win. Moorman busted Ronald Lee in 25th place on Monday after his pocket sixes beat Lee's pocket fives. The money went in before the flop and both players hit full houses. That hand sent Moorman's stack to almost one million. 2012 Big One for One Drop winnerAntonio Esfandiari (pictured) is also still alive and has the 15th largest stack at 249,000. "The Magician" luck-sacked his way to an elimination of Fernando Brito late on Monday after he spiked a king with K-Q against Q-Q. He has $21.1 million in career WSOP winnings and is #2 on poker's all-time money list. Eleventh place belongs to Bertrand ElkY Grospellier, who has a stack of 471,000. The French bracelet winner will record his first 2015 WSOP cash in this tournament and is seeking his first final table since 2013. Finally, we wanted to single out PocketFivers Jordan Jymaster0011Young and Jason JAKoon1985Koon, who are at #17 and #14 on the leaderboard, respectively. Young was #1 in the PocketFives Rankings in 2011, while Koon cracked the top 40 in 2009. Both are in search of their first bracelet. The $1,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament restarts at 1:00pm Pacific Time on Tuesday from the Rio in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  17. WSOP Big One for One Drop champ Antonio Esfandiari (pictured) and fellow poker pro Phil Laak have hooked up with the Discovery Channel to create the pilot episode of "Underground Poker," a show which they say goes against the grain of traditional poker programming. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- In the episode, the two longtime friends travel to New Orleans and use their connections to buy into real, private home games. "We called around to some people and said, 'Hey look, we want to come and play, are there any games?"' Esfandiari told PokerNews. "They said there were a few games. They had to be okay with being on camera, but we wanted real players, real money, and real games. Not a single hand is staged. Everything is legit." Laak emphasized that the show wouldn't be completely focused on poker hands. "I think the entire show is 24 minutes and they only show between two and five hands," he said. "It's not a lot. It's more about the feeling a pro has as he drifts around the city trying to find home games to play in, the 'who do you know' aspect." "Underground Poker" was born when the pair met producer Jennifer Killoran while filming a cameo for the movie "Runner Runner." While their scene never made it into the final cut, Esfandiari and Laak became fast friends with Killoran, who found the pair to be highly entertaining together. "She said, 'You guys need a TV show."' Esfandiari revealed. "We said we already had one and she said, 'Well, you need another one.' We said that's great, but nobody ever makes it happen. She said she could make it happen and the next thing you know we have a TV show." Esfandiari explained that the show started out as a five-minute teaser that was lengthened to 13 minutes before the production company finally decided to pull the trigger on a full pilot. So far, only the initial New Orleans episode has been filmed. If reaction is good and the series is picked up, the two pros will travel to different cities looking for new games and filming their antics along the way. "We could go to any city where there are private poker games - Atlanta, Charlotte, San Francisco, Vancouver - there are cities all over the world that have poker games, so it could be anywhere," Esfandiari said. Laakis pictured. "Underground Poker" won't be the first time the two friends have appeared on television together. In 2007, the pair starred in "I Bet You," a series in which the two made high-stakes prop bets on anything and everything in their path. Two seasons of the series aired on MOJO, with the third having been filmed, but left unaired. The pros have also appeared on "Poker After Dark" and in movies like "Lucky You," "Deal," and "Freelancers." "The more viewers we have, the better chance we have of having the show picked up and really creating something new," added Esfandiari. "You can never judge a series by the first show. You have to develop the characters. If we get the poker community behind us, we will have a show on Discovery for sure. Hopefully, people will like it and won't bash it too much. We want minimal bashing." You can catch "Underground Poker" on Wednesday, September 10 at 10pm Eastern Time on the Discovery Channel. Esfandiari and Laak will be tuning in and Tweeting live with fans during the episode. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Before jumping into who made #31-40, make sure you check out the names of the players who made #41-50. #40 - Jay Heimowitz BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 43 $1,526,281 22 New York’s Jay Heimowitz has captured six bracelets over the course of four decades, the first of which he won back in 1975 ($1,000 No Limit Hold'em). His sixth bracelet was won 26 years later in 2001, taking down the $1,000 Seniors’ Championship 26. At 81 years old, Heimowitz continues to make the trek to the World Series of Poker, having cashed in each of the last three Seniors events as he continues to add to his $1.5 million in WSOP career earnings. “Modern day players may not know the name Jay Heimowitz as he wasn’t one of the pre-Moneymaker grinders to make it big on TV during the boom. However, his resume speaks for itself and his consistency and dedication to the WSOP, having played and cashed in the series in every decade in its history, makes him one of the greats.” – PocketFives Senior Writer, Jeff Walsh. #39 - David ‘Chip’ Reese BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 25 $2,246,089 16 The man that Doyle Brunson once declared as “the best poker player that ever lived” was David ‘Chip’ Reese, winner of the WSOP's very first $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament for over $1.78M. After Reese’s death in 2007, the WSOP honored him by putting his name on the trophy for the prestigious event (later named the Poker Players Championship). Widely considered one of the best cash game players of his era, Reese made a lasting impact on the WSOP by winning three bracelets and over $2.2 million over the course of his 25 cashes. #38 - Chris Bjorin BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 92 $2,630,156 33 Sweden’s Chris Bjorin is a model of World Series of Poker consistency. His first WSOP cash came back in 1991 and he’s had a presence at the series ever since. Amassing 86 cashes in Las Vegas, and another six during the WSOPE, Bjorin has earned over $2.6 million from WSOP events, helping him to the #2 on Sweden’s All Time Money List, right behind WSOP Main Event Champion Martin Jacobson. Bjorin picked up bracelets in 1997 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha) and 2000 ($3,000 No-Limit Hold’em). "The consistent nature that Chris Bjorin brings to the WSOP is remarkable. He's one of Europe's most distinguished players and has been recording numerous cashes each summer at the WSOP for decades now. His success, done so through performances across all variants, served as a model for European players at the WSOP." - PocketFives Managing Editor Donnie Peters #37 - Sammy Farha BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 11 $2,586,105 6 Legendary gambler Sammy Farha’s contribution to the explosion of poker in the early 2000’s simply cannot be overlooked. With his unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth, Farha’s one-of-a-kind personality made almost as much impact on the WSOP as the man he sat across from at the final table of the 2003 Main Event. Farha, as we all know, finished runner-up to Chris Moneymaker, an event that served as ground zero for the poker boom. After that, Farha remained a fixture of the WSOP. He showed up and played in some of the biggest events of the series. He picked up two of his three gold bracelets after 2003, winning one in 2006 ($5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo) and another in 2010 ($10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Championship). "The character that is Sammy Farha is as important to WSOP history as is Sammy Farha the poker player. He epitomizes the gambler and his legend only grows in that regard when you realize his game of choice is and will always Omaha. Farha only has 11 WSOP cashes, but that's largely because he focuses on high-stakes cash game play and only really plays tournaments when they are Omaha. Even so, six of those 11 cashes have resulted in top 10 finished and three of them were bracelet wins. Omaha is the second most popular variant in WSOP history and Farha is one of the most iconic Omaha players the WSOP has ever seen." - Donnie Peters #36 - Jonathan Duhamel BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 41 $14,647,089 12 The first of the modern day Main Event winners to grace this list, Jonathan Duhamel seemed to come out of nowhere when he took down the 2010 Main Event for $8.9 million. That victory alone is not enough to land in the top 50 of all-time, however, Duhamel was more than a one-hit wonder. He continued to make the trip to Las Vegas and in the years since has tacked on two more bracelets. First, he won the $111,111 High Roller For One Drop in 2015 for another $3.989M and then added a WSOPE bracelet in the same year in the €25,600 NLHE High Roller for $628K. Duhamel has over $14.6M in WSOP earnings with 11 final tables over the course of 40 cashes. #35 - Dan Harrington BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 13 $3,534,237 5 Despite his limited WSOP resume, Poker Hall of Fame member “Action” Dan Harrington (and his iconic green Boston baseball cap) was an important presence during some of the biggest moments of the WSOP. In 1995, Harrington bested the 273 player field to take home the $1,000,000 first-place prize of the Main Event. He then made it back to the final table in 2003, finishing in third place to Farha and Moneymaker for $650,000. He navigated the field in 2004 to reach his third Main Event final table, finishing in fourth place for $1.5 million. “Harrington may only have 13 cashes at the World Series of Poker, but this results made a major impact on the WSOP brand and poker itself. His back-to-back final tables in the Main Event came just as cameras captured the birth of poker boom and Harrington’s Boston toughness at the table is something that still resonates with those in the pre-Moneymaker generation. Having had the opportunity to play with Harrington once, I can attest to his on-the-felt charisma that was broadcast to millions in 2003.” - Jeff Walsh #34 - Layne Flack BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 52 $2,803,470 20 The first time Layne Flack went to the World Series of Poker in the late ’90s, he was there to work as a dealer. After one week in the box, he switched sides and started his WSOP career as a player. Now, over 20 years later Flack has won six WSOP titles and over $2.8 million in earnings. Although he earned his nickname of ‘Back-to-Back’ Flack before 2003, Flack lived up to his moniker after winning a bracelet in the $2,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and then jumping right into a $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout and taking that one down as well. #33 - Brian Rast BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 35 $6,012,256 11 Las Vegas pro Brian Rast has proven himself to be a favorite in just about any tournament he enters, having picked up four bracelets in his career and earned over $6 million at the WSOP. One of only two people to have won the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship more than once, Rast picked up his first PPC victory in 2011, denying Phil Hellmuth the win, and taking home $1.7M for first. Then in 2016, he bested current All-Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo to pick up his second Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and another $1.29M prize. "Rast is a very special breed of poker player. He doesn't play a 30-40 event schedule each summer in pursuit of Player of the Year points. He picks and chooses the events where he has an edge and then crushes them. Having won the Poker Players Championship twice, Rast has proven his mettle against the best players of his era. If we do this list again in ten years, I suspect Rast will be higher up the list." - Lance Bradley, PocketFives Editor in Chief. #32 - Jeff Madsen BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 68 $2,958,415 13 In 2006, when 21-year-old Jeff Madsen won his first gold bracelet in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $660,948, he became the record holder for the youngest bracelet winner in history (a distinction that now belongs to Annette Obrestad). Madsen followed that performance in the same year with a victory in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max for another $643,381. His success in his first year earned him WSOP Player of the Year honors. Madsen has returned to the Rio every year since 2006, accumulating 73 cashes for nearly $3M in earnings and adding another two bracelets in 2013 and 2015. #31 - Antonio Esfandiari BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 48 $21,835,096 9 One of the most popular players on the planet is the bracelet winner of what was the largest tournament ever held at the World Series of Poker, the 2012 $1M buy-in Big One For One Drop. ‘The Magician’ was literally lifted in the air, on the shoulder of his rail, after claiming the first-place prize of $18.3M, the current record for largest payout ever at the WSOP. The iconic image of a barefoot Esfandiari basking in the victory of a lifetime is the current peak of a WSOP career that dates back to 2003. Esfandiari claimed his first bracelet in 2004 ($2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em) and added a third bracelet after his One Drop win, by taking home a €1,100 No Limit Hold’em title from World Series of Poker Europe. In addition to his 48 cashes and over $21M in lifetime earnings, Esfandiari’s personality has been affiliated with the WSOP brand in front of the camera, both on the felt and in the commentary booth on ESPN. For more discussion on PocketFives' Top 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History, check out the latest episode of The Fives podcast. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher Stay tuned to PocketFives as we continue to count down the 50 greatest players in WSOP history leading up to the start of the 2019 festival.
  19. The Triton Million: A Helping Hand for Charity will be a record setter when action kicks off Thursday. The £1,050,000 buy-in tournament will make it the biggest buy-in in poker history, and the event comes with a unique format. It's a freezeout where recreational/businessmen players can enter via invite only. Those invited can then issue one invite of their own to a guest/professional players. As of Wednesday morning, 26 pairings had been named, but it's the 'what could have beens' that are equally as intriguing. Let's take a look at a handful of recreational-professional pairings that we would've liked to have seen compete in the Triton Million. Chamath Palihapitiya and Phil Hellmuth It's no secret that Chamath Palihapitiya and Phil Hellmuth have a close relationship. We've seen it on Hellmuth's social media accounts all too often. A former Facebook executive and now a successful investor, Palihapitiya fits the mold of the perfect recreational poker player to enter this field. He's played poker in the past, including the first-ever World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop that cost $1,000,000 to enter, and has three WSOP cashes and two World Poker Tour cashes. Being good friends with Hellmuth makes Hellmuth the perfect invitee for Palihapitiya, and getting the polarizing 15-time gold bracelet winner in the field would be very entertaining. Isai Scheinberg and Daniel Negreanu Now this, this is a pairing, and we'll call it 'getting the band back together.' The founder of PokerStars, Isai Scheinberg, paired with the company's former golden boy, Daniel Negreanu. It would be absolutely tremendous to see, and we all know both parties have enough money to afford the gigantic £1,050,000 buy-in. We all know how skillful and experienced of a poker player Negreanu is, but Scheinberg has conquered the felt before, too. He won the UKIPT Isle of Man High Roller in the same year that Negreanu finished second in the 2014 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Tiger Woods and Antonio Esfandiari How can we not want to have Antonio Esfandiari, 'the magician,' the first-ever $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop winner, in the field? In order to make this happen, he needs a recreational player to invite him. Who bigger and better than Tiger Woods? You may be asking yourself, does Woods play poker and what's the connection here? Yes, Woods plays poker. He might not be entering the priciest tournaments in the world as some of these other recreational players are, but he’s the host of Tiger's Poker Night as part of Tiger Jam, held in partnership with the World Poker Tour each year, so he knows the game. On more than one occasion, Esfandiari has been one of the celebrity professionals to attend Tiger's Poker Night. Dan Fleyshman and Phil Ivey How do we get Phil Ivey in this field? We pair him with Dan Fleyshman, that’s how. Fleyshman doesn’t dabble in poker as he once did, but he’s still around the game enough that he could perform well in this tournament. One of his claims to fame is being the youngest founder of a publicly traded company and he's an active businessman and investor. Ivey is Ivey. His star power alone is worthy of entry into a £1,050,000 buy-in tournament, and we all know he has the chops to perform on the felt. He knows Fleyshman, so the pairing works, and we’d absolutely love to see Ivey in the field. David Einhorn and Erik Seidel Investor and hedge fund manager David Einhorn may not be a professional poker player, but he’s as avid a recreational player as they come. He's been known to compete in the highest buy-in poker tournaments the world has to offer, and he took third place for $4,352,000 in the first-ever $1,000,000 buy-in poker tournament the world has ever seen. With Einhorn being a New York guy, a perfect pairing would be Erik Seidel. Seidel is currently third on poker’s all-time money list with more than $35,000,000 in winnings, he’s an eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, and also a WPT champion. Although he’s of an older generation of players, Seidel continues to be a crusher on the high-stakes poker scene and has plenty of experience against the fellow professional players in the field. Haralabos Voulgaris and Daniel Colman Since Haralabos Voulgaris' new gig with the Dallas Mavericks, he hasn't been around the poker scene much. Not that the former professional sports bettor was grinding every tournament under the sun before he became the NBA team's Director of Quantitative Research and Development, but Voulgaris was known to get down in the high-stakes arena. Having played a couple million-dollar buy-ins before, this event is right in his wheelhouse. Voulgaris and Daniel Colman have a relationship that saw Voulgaris on Colman’s rail when Colman won the 2014 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. It would also be fitting to see Colman return to poker’s public stage in the largest buy-in event in the game’s history. Evan Mathis and Alex Foxen Maybe we’re reaching here, maybe we’re not, but these are dream scenarios so let’s keep rolling with it. Evan Mathis spent 12 years in the NFL and was one of the league’s top offensive lineman. He won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos and reached the Pro Bowl on two occasions. According to Spotrac, Mathis has estimated career earnings from football at more than $21,000,000. He recently grabbed headlines when he sold a 1952 Topps rookie card of Mickey Mantle for nearly $3 million. That’s enough to pay for his entry, his guest’s entry, and have plenty left over. Sticking with the football tie-in, Mathis’ guest could be Alex Foxen, a former football player for Boston College. These two would be quite the presence on and off the felt and both have the skills to compete. Richard Seymour and Ryan Riess Another fantasy Triton Million pairing is Richard Seymour and Ryan Riess. This would give us who is arguably poker’s strongest mainstream connection, Seymour, in the field and the three-time Super Bowl winner has plenty of experience on the felt. He just came off a 131st-place finish in the WSOP Main Event. A huge sports enthusiast and a player friendly with Seymour is Ryan Riess, winner of the 2013 WSOP Main Event and also a WPT champion. Steve Aoki and Brian Rast The last dream pairing we'll look at involves superstar DJ Steve Aoki and top poker player Brian Rast. The two know each other, so the connection works for the invite, and Aoki has been known to play a bit of poker in his spare time. With Aoki being billed as one of the richest DJs in the world, the cake-tossing music maker should have enough cash to enter. If not, Rast can certainly front or find the money to get Aoki in so that he can play in the event. How To Watch the Triton Million Fans from around the world can watch the Triton Million for free on PokerGO. Ali Nejad will call the action, with professional poker player Nick Schulman alongside to provide expert commentary. Action starts Thursday, August 1, at 8 am ET and PokerGO will have coverage for the entirety of the event. If you don't already have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  20. On Wednesday, "Underground Poker" featuring Phil Laak (pictured) and Antonio Esfandiari aired on the Discovery Channel. If you've never heard of the show before, check out our official preview. This article is a recap of the one-hour pilot, which aired at 10:00pm Eastern Time in case you missed it. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- The opening credits featured Esfandiari telling the audience, "Everything you see on this show is 100% real. No mock-ups, no makeup, no nothing. We're going to show you how the pros make money outside the casino." The setting for the pilot was New Orleans, with Laak coming off a six-figure pummeling in Los Angeles. Laak and Esfandiari met a chef named "Spikey Mike," who said the games in the "Big Easy" were slow after two guys were busted marking cards with ultraviolet ink. He said he knew of a smaller game in a bad neighborhood and, despite the risks, Laak agreed to play. The players' faces in the underground game, as well as the building's exterior, were shown on camera and the crew was allowed to film the game itself. Speaking of the first game, at one point, Laak was dealt K-K in a $750 pot and went all-in, leading Esfandiari(pictured), who was chatting it up with two women on the rail, to say, "For a game this small, that's huge." A tense moment saw the person to Laak's direct left stand up and yell, "How much money do you need before you leave town" in a rather angry voice reminiscent of really bad acting in a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Laak jokingly responded, "Maybe a little bit more." Later, Laak told Esfandiari that he was up $700 and Esfandiari advised him to lose a couple hundred back before quitting the game. Flash-forward to Bourbon Street, the pulse of New Orleans, where Esfandiari and Laak met a man called "505," nicknamed so because at one point he was charged with 505 felony counts. 505 said Laak and Esfandiari could come to a game he's involved in if they brought a fish and Laak agreed, ultimately meeting with a lawyer who said he was in. The game was in a building where you entered through the basement and went down an elevator, but despite the dingy atmosphere and staunch security, cameras were allowed. In that game, Esfandiari picked up two aces and shoved with $4,000 in the pot headed to the river, but his opponent had a set. The lawyer then referred Esfandiari and Laak to a wealthy man in the boondocks whose yard had glass bottles hanging from the trees with bones in them, which he attributed to his belief in voodoo. Scary. That game featured Pete "The Greek" Vilandos (pictured), who was mostly seen laughing hysterically and came off looking like a Batman villain. He has three WSOP bracelets. The buy-in was $10,000 and the game was PLO. Laak was dealt 7-J-J-8, but folded with $30,000 in the middle, leading "The Greek" to show a bluff and, once again, laugh like a crazy person. As Esfandiari put it, "I think the universe just took a big dump on Phil." Later in the game, Esfandiari was dealt the second highest straight and two pair versus the aforementioned lawyer with $22,000 in the pot. The lawyer ended up with a straight of his own, but Esfandiari improved to a boat to win the hand. There are no future episodes of "Underground Poker" planned at this time. We'll keep you posted on whether the Discovery Channel picks up the show. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. According to co-host Antonio Esfandiari (pictured), Discovery Channel has passed on the opportunity to air additional episodes of "Underground Poker." The show, which starred Esfandiari and longtime cohort Phil Laak, profiled underground card games and the pilot took place in New Orleans. The first and only episode aired last month and its opening credits emphasized that it wasn't your regular brand of reality show: "Everything you see on this show is 100% real. No mock-ups, no makeup, no nothing. We're going to show you how the pros make money outside the casino." The pilot received generally solid reviews from the poker community and, while it felt scripted and forced at times, the chemistry between Esfandiari and Laak helped carry the day. When asked on Twitter whether "Underground Poker" would continue airing on Discovery Channel, Esfandiari responded, "Looks like a no go." Later, "The Magician" told PokerListings, "With any TV series, the first show is never going to be great. If we had a full season, I think we could deliver a great product. It has a lot of potential and I think Phil and I can do better. The production value was high." Esfandiari added that "Underground Poker" was being pitched to other networks, although if anyone has taken the bait is not known. "The producers have a lot of contacts in LA," explained Esfandiari. "It’s life. Some things work. Some things don't. What can I do? Dwell on the fact it didn't work out?" Reaction from the PocketFives community in the comments section of our original article recapping "Underground Poker" was fairly positive. One poster wrote, "Finally! A good poker show that doesn't cast it in a bad light and make it look like the only people playing are a bunch of crazy, criminal, degens. Truly great ambassadors for the game." Another opined, "It was kind of eh, but it's a poker show, and I love poker, and Antonio and Laak (pictured) are awesome." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  22. Daniel Negreanu's recent blog post on Full Contact Poker lauding Choice Centerhas once again brought his association with the self-help organization into light, prompting a debate over whether the institution's primary focus is exploiting its members for financial gain. Read the post. Choice Center describes itself as a "leadership university" for successful people, offering a 100-day course "designed to take you to your next level of performance and in the fastest time possible." Negreanu (pictured) had positive comments about the program, which he outlined in his post. In one session on "emotional intelligence," he explained the result of having defined three specific goals for himself in a three-month period. "One of those goals was poker-related, getting back in the top 15 of the GPI, and quickly after completing the course, I jumped to #1 and held that spot for about 19 weeks," he said. According to the 39-year-old, the program also teaches students "the value of making a difference in the world via a legacy project." In his own project, Negreanu and his team were able to raise $280,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital in just one week. Other poker pros have taken Choice Center courses as well, including Nick Binger and Antonio Esfandiari (pictured). Binger described his experience in a TwoPlusTwo post: "Going into it, I knew that there was a broad spectrum of LGAT-type trainings that range from the craziest cults imaginable to really boring mainstream business development courses… From the beginning, I was on the lookout for violations of integrity that would signal time for me to go, but I never saw anything that would qualify." In the end, he summed up the course as "very interesting, fun, and generally a catalyst for positive life changes." Esfandiari seems to have found working with Choice Center to be even more impactful. After going on to take first and $18 million in the inaugural WSOP Big One for One Drop, the Iranian-born pro credited two people for his success: his father and his life coach Robyn Williams, the Founder and CEO of Choice Center. But not everyone is a fan of the organization's methods or what they say is an aggressive recruiting campaign to sign up new students. Brian tsarrast Rast is another poker pro who was convinced to take classes at the urging of a friend, but after a few sessions decided not to go back. In an interview with Bluff, Rast called the $2,700 program "interesting," but believed that Negreanu and Esfandiari were assigning too much credit to Choice Center for their success and too little to themselves. "It's basically a crash course in psychology and group therapy," he said, recalling his experience. "I think anyone can benefit, whether it's at Choice or not, or going and doing meditation with Buddhist monks for three days. Choice was valuable… but I don't think it's special in that it's the only way you could help yourself." He was also concerned that the program's methods of "tearing students down" before "building them back up" could lead to people being dependent on the Center for their happiness. "The whole point of Choice is great… but I'm not going to replace my family with Choice Center," he said. Furthermore, since Choice Center is for-profit, students are "basically turned into recruits," he said. "You could make an analogy that it's like a self-replicating virus or bacteria if you want to put it in a negative spin." Negreanu was quick to respond to Rast (pictured) in his own video and reiterated that out of 100 of his friends who had taken classes, only four had decided to quit early, while the others had a great experience. He said that since Rast had only finished a small portion of the class, it would be hard for him to be critical of it. Whatever you think of Choice Center or its methods, Negreanu's recent results in the poker world speak for themselves. Since 2013, the Canadian pro has earned nearly $5 million in tournaments worldwide. This year, he is banking on the fact that Phil Ivey or he will win a bracelet in this year's WSOP, offering a $5,000 minimum wager on the proposition. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. [CAPTION=100%]Only four players remain in the WPT Champions Challenge.[/CAPTION] After three weeks of fan voting the World Poker Tour Champions Challenge is down to just four players. And surprisingly, there isn't a single number one seed remaining. When the voting closed for the Elite Eight, Antonio Esfandiari beat out Spades region number one Gus Hansen, Barry Greenstein beat out Diamonds region top seed Anthony Zinno, Phil Ivey dusted off Erik Seidel in the Hearts region and Jonathan Little, fresh off of beating out Daniel Negreanu, beat Doyle Brunson to advance. That round sets the final two matches with Esfandiari up against Ivey and Greenstein squaring off with Little. Each player brings a solid WPT resume to the penultimate round. Antonio Esfandiari WPT Earnings: $2,956,243 Wins - Final Tables - Cashes: 13 - 8 - 2 Antonio Esfandiari burst onto the WPT scene in 2002 with a near-miss third place finish at the Gold Rush event in Colma, CA and then solidified his place in the game with a win at the 2004 LA Poker Classic. That event had a field of 382 players with Esfandiari beating out Vinny Vinh heads up for the title. Nearly seven years later he added a second title to his resume, beating out a stacked final table with Ted Lawson, Kirk Morrison, John Racener, Vanessa Rousso and Andrew Robl to win $870,124. Phil Ivey WPT Earnings: $4,027,221 Wins - Final Tables - Cashes: 14 - 10 - 1 Phil Ivey is the only player in the final four with just one WPT title to his credit, but he has the most final tables out of all of them. Ivey made eight WPT final tables before broke through and won the LA Poker Classic in 2008. He has one runner-up finish, three third place finishes, two fifth and two sixth places. At the 2008 LAPC Ivey beat out a final table that included Konstantin Puchkov, Scott Montgomery and Nam Le to win $1,596,100. Barry Greenstein WPT Earnings: $2,427,428 Wins - Final Tables - Cashes: 20 - 5 - 2 During the poker boom Barry Greenstein made a name for himself as the "Robin Hood of Poker" on the World Poker Tour after donating a good chunk of his WPT winnings to charity. And there were a lot of winnings early on. In January 2004, Greenstein won $1,278,370 after taking down the World Poker Open in Tunica, MS. Two months later he finished fifth at the PartyPoker Million III for just under $200,000. Greenstein's second title came in 2006 at the WPT Invitational in Los Angeles. Jonathan Little WPT Earnings: $ 3,695,510 Wins - Final Tables - Cashes: 21 - 4 - 2 Jonathan Little won two WPT titles in 2007, spread over two seasons. His first win came at the Mirage Poker Showdown where he beat out Ivey, Darrell Dicken and Cory Carroll to win $1,091,795. He found himself in the winner's photo again six months later, this time at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Casino. There he beat out Mike Matusow, David Pham and Jonathan Jaffe to earn $1,120,310. He almost won a third title that year, finishing second behind Scott Clements at the North American Poker Championships in Niagara Falls. Final Four voting is open now through Friday, April 1. Voting for in the championship round runs April 1 - April 8 and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 11.
  24. All good things must come to an end. And that end has come for the PCA. As PocketFives reported, when PokerStars announced the return of the PSPC in 2020 they also, unceremoniously, announced that the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure would not be back in 2020, ending its run of 16 years. For many, the PCA kicked off the yearly poker calendar with players making plans to escape their winter hardships for weeks of poker, sun and waterslides. At the height of the poker boom, the PCA was one of the most popular stops on the tour as winners of the Main Event added millions to their career earnings and a marquee victory to their resumes. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] However, as many tour stops experienced, the numbers began to decline after Black Friday and the fatigue of making the trip to the Atlantis Resort & Casino began to weigh on the players. Now, PokerStars has pulled the plug on one of the most enduring poker stops of the last two decades. But even though it’s gone, it certainly won’t be forgotten. With that, we’ve compiled nine of the most memorable moments in the history of the PCA. Gus Hansen’s On A Boat Before the PCA became the flagship stop for PokerStars, it has a very different look. In fact, in 2004, the first year it ever took place the PCA was then a World Poker Tour event. Also, it took place on a boat. The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas to be exact and just as poker was about to hit mainstream a young up-and-coming player from Denmark, Gus Hansen, was in the middle of making a reputation for himself, a reputation that lasts to this very day. Hansen bested the likes of Daniel Negreanu for the $455,780 first-place prize and his third WPT title. Right from the get-go, the PCA drew premier poker star power and eventually the PCA would be the engine to create that star power. Ryan Daut And Isaac Haxton Take It Outside In 2007, rising online phenom Isaac Haxton was in prime position to take down the 2007 PCA Main Event and it’s massive $1.5 million first-place prize. Ryan Daut had other ideas and the pair put on a famous heads up battle at the final table which took place…outside. The weather outside was nearly as volatile as the play on the felt. The winds whipped as evening fell and it looked like the sky was going to open up and pour at any moment. In the eye of the storm was Haxton and Daut who played an iconic hand where both players had “absolute Garfunkel!” Haxton won the famous battle of the bluffs but Daut took home the PCA title. ESPN Took The PCA Live The PCA made history in 2011 when PokerStars struck a deal with ESPN to bring ‘near-live’ coverage of the PCA final table to the network. The final table was shown on ESPN2 and online on ESPN3.com on a one-hour delay so viewers could see the hole cards. According to the PokerStars Blog, it was the first time that poker fans were able to see a final table, every hand, every decision completely unedited. “For the first time viewers at home will see a poker telecast from start to finish, with all the strategy of world class-poker players playing in real-time,” said ESPN’s Matt Volk back in 2010. Galen Hall Finds A Fold Not only did 2011 produce one of the first unedited accounts of a final table, but it also produced one of the finest folds every caught on camera. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Chris ‘Getting Daize’ Oliver was cruising in the PCA Main Event and at the start of heads up play he had a 3:1 chip advantage over fellow online pro Galen Hall. On the third hand of play, the pair both make monster hands by the river. Hall rivered a straight while Oliver had just gone runner-runner to a full house. After being checked to by Oliver, Hall put out a bet and was check-raised for his tournament life. “If Hall calls it’s all over,” said commentator James Hartigan. “I don’t see Hall getting away from this hand,” declared Daniel Negreanu. After minutes in the tank, Hall makes the laydown of his poker life and ended up turning the tables on Oliver to become the 2011 PCA Main Event champion for $2.3 million. Antonio Esfandiari DQ’d From Main Event Antonio Esfandiari loves to prop bet. So does Bill Perkins. When the two of them got together at the 2016 PCA they agreed to a bet that had Esfandiari only able to perform lunges when moving for 48 hours. Sore and not wanting to lunge himself to the bathroom, Esfandiari made the unfortunate decision to go to the bathroom in a bottle…under the poker table. When officials caught wind of Esfandiari’s makeshift restroom he was quickly disqualified from the Main Event. However, the prop bet continued and he got up and lunged his way out of the tournament area. Read: Antonio Esfandiari Disqualified from PCA Main Event Vanessa Selbst’s Big Bet So the story goes…after a night of having (perhaps too much) fun in the Bahamas, Vanessa Selbst made a big bet against her friend Jason Mercier that he couldn’t win three WSOP bracelets the following summer. It’s hard enough for pros to count on winning one WSOP bracelet, much less three and so she ended up giving 180:1 odds on a $10,000 wager. The bet was made in a bit of an 'altered state' and when Selbst woke up the next day, she tried to cancel it but according to Mercier, the bet was booked. She offered Mercier a $1K buy-out, he declined. Mercier went on to pick up two bracelets that summer and finish second in another tournament nearly completing the challenge that would have paid him $1.8 million. Christian Harder Battles Bax Long-time online and live pro Christian Harder became a bit of a footnote in PCA history in his 2017 Main Event win. That’s because, technically, it wasn’t the PCA. That year PokerStars shelved their popular PCA brand and tried to rebrand the tour stop the ‘PokerStars Championship Bahamas’. That is the year Harder fought through the field of 738 entries to find himself heads up for the title. When he looked up he saw he sitting across from him was his former backer (and PocketFives Legacy Award winner) Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy. Josephy was a bit of a mentor to Harder and had put him in the PCA in the past so when they got heads up, a deal was quickly struck between the two friends with Harder going on to take home the extra $10K and the first (and last) PSC Bahamas trophy. Maria Lampropulos First Woman Winner of PCA Argentina’s Maria Lampropulos made PCA history in 2018 by becoming the first-ever female to capture a PCA Main Event title. She overcame a 2:1 heads up chip deficit to defeat Canadian crusher Shawn Buchanan and take home the $1,081,100 first-place prize, her second seven-figure score in under 12 months. The Main Event final table was not only notable for who won the title but how she won it. Lampropulos was quite visibly extremely sick throughout the final day, having fits of coughing and seemingly struggling to stay focused. This also led to her taking a long time on many decisions, which prompted other players to call the clock on her on a number of occasions. In the end, she fought through the sickness, made the right decision and won some crucial flips to become the first (and now last) female PCA champion. The PSPC Breaks Records In 2019 PokerStars has a plan to revitalize the PCA and that was by hosting the largest ever $25,000 buy-in tournament - the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Player Championship. The PSPC was the culmination of a year-long marketing campaign. One that doled out over 320 Platinum Passes, a ticket worth $30,000 that allowed players from all over the world to live their dream of playing in a tournament with life-changing money on the line. When the event got underway, the tournament room was electric with players of every skill level giddy with excitement over such a special event. The tournament exceeded all expectations with 1,039 players registering for the event creating a prize pool of $26,455,500. In fairytale fashion, Platinum Pass winner Ramon Colillas from Spain ended up as the winner and took home the massive $5.1 million first-place prize.
  25. After several delays, Joe "Chicago Joey" Ingram finally was able to bring poker pro Antonio Esfandiari (pictured) to his "Poker Life" podcast after the conclusion of the 2015 World Series of Poker. Over the span of roughly 45 minutes, the duo talked about a wide array of subjects that were poker and non-poker related. The podcast got off to a fun start as Ingram joshed with Esfandiari, telling the audience that they had been trying to pull something together for "Poker Life" since December. "I didn't want to have to give you that $5,000 freeroll if I didn't show up this time," Esfandiari poked back at Ingram as they sat in the family room of Esfandiari's condo. After a bit more small talk, they broached a subject that has had the poker world buzzing of late. A few episodes prior to Esfandiari's appearance, Ingram welcomed European poker pro Lex Veldhuis. On that program, Veldhuis talked about Esfandiari, in particular calling him out for being phony. Apparently, the situation dated back to dinner arrangements at a tournament nearly a decade ago and it seems that Veldhuis was still steamed about the situation. Esfandiari spent far less time talking about the flap with Veldhuis, stating, "It was many years ago. I've kind of moved on since that time." After Ingram, who had a friendship with Veldhuis and admitted it to Esfandiari, spelled out the actual problem Veldhuis had, Esfandiari effectively ended the conversation by saying, "I really don't care what Lex thinks." After those tense moments, the conversation between Esfandari and Ingram (pictured) lightened as the former talked about his early life. "When I was growing up, my home country (Iran) was involved in a war with Iraq," he said. "It was consistently nerve-wracking to have to deal with bombings on a daily basis, the fact that a home just down the street from you was destroyed and your house was still standing… My father took a huge chance getting our family out of Iran and I wake up every day glad to be in America." Known for his hard-living lifestyle when he was younger, Esfandiari admitted that he didn't take poker as seriously in the past. "I wanted to enjoy my youth as much as possible, and I did," he said to Ingram. "I really didn't start to take poker seriously until about three years ago." Even though he may not live the "rock star" life that he used to, Esfandiari passed along several tips about how to do Las Vegas right ("the biggest tip I can pass along is always use a professional host to get things set up"). Almost as well-known as his partying life is Esfandiari's relationship with Phil Laak. "He's one guy who has made life fun," Esfandiari said about Laak as he regaled Ingram's audience with a particularly funny story about their show "I Bet You" and an Ambien challenge that never made it to the air. Esfandiari also revealed that Laak was the man who taught him about money management. "We were in New York and I spent like $4,000 while we were there," Esfandiari said. "I only had about $3,000 more to my name and I said to Phil, 'I got to go home, I'm about out of money.' He said 'For the trip' and I replied 'No, altogether!" Esfandiari laughed. "You've spent more than 60% of what you're worth on this trip," Esfandiari remembered Laak (pictured) saying. "At that exact moment, Phil sat me down and taught me everything about money management." Capping off the show was a visit from the aforementioned Laak, indicating that the friendship between the two is still strong. Laak showed off a video of lake surfing at Lake Mead, but Esfandiari joked that "no one cares about watching you surf on your cell phone." The discussion between Esfandiari and Ingram may not be groundbreaking in its technical or strategic content, but it does feature a man who has become comfortable in the game as it has exploded over the past decade. The podcast can be found on iTunes or YouTube and is worth a look. Click here to watch it. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
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