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  1. Another televised World Poker Tour final table is set. This time, it’s the Season XVIII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. The event drew 490 entries to Commerce Casino and generated a prize pool of $4.727 million. Just six players remain and they’ll be on hiatus until action resumes at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 2. Leading the way in the chase for the $1.015 million top prize is Balakrishna Patur. Patur brings 6.32 million in chips to the final table. He’ll be joined by two WPT Champions Club members in Matas Cimbolas and James Carroll, Ka Kwan Lau, Scott Hempel, and WPTDeepStacks champion Upeshka De Silva. De Silva will be the short stack with 930,000 when action resumes in April. WPT LAPC Final Table Seat 1: Scott Hempel - 1,670,000 Seat 2: James Carroll - 4,125,000 Seat 3: Matas Cimbolas - 4,310,000 Seat 4: Ka Kwan Lau - 2,250,000 Seat 5: Upeshka De Silva- 930,000 Seat 6: Balakrishna Patur - 6,320,000 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] Each of the six is guaranteed a minimum payday of $185,330. Included in the event’s first-place prize is a $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal. How the Final Table Was Reached Day 1 saw Demo Kiriopoulos emerge as the event’s chip leader when the first day of play was in the books. Then it was Isaac Baron atop the field at the end of Day 2. Entering Day 3, 104 players remained and the top 62 were set to reach the money. With 63 players left, WPT Champions Club member Jordan Cristos was all in against fellow WPT champion Daniel Strelitz. According to the WPT Live Updates team, Cristos was all in with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="8c"] on the [poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"] flop. Strelitz had made the call with the [poker card="Td"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="Jh"] on the turn and 8h on the river allowed Cristos to double up, but that would be the last time he doubled up this tournament. Shortly thereafter, still on the money bubble with 63 players remaining, Cristos was all in on the [poker card="Js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5d"] flop with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Jd"]. His opponent, Claude Codru, had the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Ts"]. Once again, it was Cristos needing to fade a draw. This time, the [poker card="Qs"] came right out on the turn and gave Codru an unbeatable flush. The river completed the board with the [poker card="2d"] and Cristos was sent home as the "bubble boy." Once in the money, the eliminations began to stack up, including Barry Greenstein (61st - $16,905), Jesse Sylvia (55th - $18,845), and Lee Markholt (41st - $21,290). To close out Day 3, 39 players remained with Patur on top of the pack. Day 4 saw the field whittled down to 11 players. Baron remained in contention and finished Day 4 as the chip leader, with Hempel sitting second and Patur sitting third. Donald Maloney (37th - $24,375), John Hennigan (34th - $24,375), JC Tran (29th - $28,275), and Dylan Linde (14th - $58,215) were among the casualties on Day 4. Baron couldn’t get anything going on Day 5, though, and he fell in 11th place for $71,950. Charles Kassin and Lau both scored early double ups through Baron, and then De Silva picked off a bluff from Baron. On his final hand, Baron held pocket eights against Hempel’s pocket tens but could not come from behind. Hempel also knocked out WPT Champions Club member Kevin Eyster in 10th place. Strelitz went bust in eighth, and his elimination came in a three-way clash of WPT champions involving Carroll and Cimbolas. Strelitz was all in preflop with side action between Carroll and Cimbolas. On the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="8c"] flop, Cimbolas bet 300,000 and Carroll shoved for more than 5 million. Cimbolas called all in for 1.56 million total with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"]. Carroll had the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="2c"] and then Strelitz had the [poker card="Td"][poker card="9d"]. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] and the river was the [poker card="3s"], keeping Cimbolas’ aces in front and eliminating Strelitz. After Strelitz busted, Shi Chen was sent packing in seventh place to set the official TV final table. Play Resumes in April Guaranteed $185,330 each with the chance to win $1.015 million, the final six players in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic will resume action on Thursday, April 2, at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table is the third delayed final table during Season XVIII of the World Poker Tour. Taking place in the days before it are the finales to the WPT Gardens Poker Championship and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. Chance Kornuth leads the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table, with action set to resume on Tuesday, March 31. Veerab Zakarian leads the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table, with action set to resume on Wednesday, April 1. All three of these final tables - the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, and WPT L.A. Poker Classic - will play out at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
  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. While poker Hall of Famer Barry Greenstein (pictured) may be well-known today, the three-time bracelet winner was an unknown entity during his first forays into the Las Vegas poker scene in the 1990s. In an interview with PokerNews, Greenstein revealed how he got his start in poker and how he banked double the $2.5 million won by Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP Main Event. While working toward a PhD in mathematics, Greenstein could often be found not editing his thesis, but rather playing marathon sessions at the poker tables. After explaining to his academic advisor that he was making far more money gambling than what he could make as a professor, Greenstein decided to abandon his nearly complete thesis and focus on poker. Also an avid bridge player, the 60-year-old met his wife during a bridge tournament and later applied to adopt her three children. Greenstein knew the judge would not look favorably on his status as a professional gambler, so he decided to take a job in Silicon Valley with Symantec and worked on what would become a popular word processing application. Greenstein toiled at the successful startup for seven years, all the while honing his skills in Lowball and Texas Hold'em. While games in Las Vegas seemed juicy, the future Hall of Famer was wary to risk his bankroll there, as some of the regulars had a reputation for cheating. It was his wife, also poker player, who convinced him to quit his job and play full-time. In his first appearance at the WSOP Main Event, Greenstein shared a table with well-known players like Dewey Tomko, TJ Cloutier, and Johnny Chan. Greenstein, however, was virtually unknown and used his anonymity to his advantage. He recalled how a Scottish bookie had offered 50-1 odds that Greenstein would win the tournament that year. "All the cash game players who knew me bet on me because the odds were so good," he said. "And [the bookie] came up to me and said, 'I just wanted to meet you. All the big cash game players bet on you to win this and if you win, I'm gonna go broke.'" After banking millions in cash games, Greenstein decided to start giving back and began donating all of his tournament winnings to charity groups like Children Incorporated. The gifts were substantial; in the 2008 WSOP alone, Greenstein banked a total of $768,461. His generosity would earn him the nickname "The Robin Hood of Poker." But even with three bracelets under his belt, Greenstein has always preferred cash games over tournaments. In fact, the 60-year-old grinder recalled making double what 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Moneymaker(pictured) earned for winning the prestigious event. "During the World Series in the year when Moneymaker won, I made more than $5 million playing in cash games," said Greenstein. "I remember laughing when people said [Moneymaker]was the biggest winner. He won $2.5 million and I said, 'Well, I won twice that.'" Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. Barry Greenstein (pictured), Poker Hall of Famer and Team PokerStarsPro, took to his blog this week to make a case for why his sponsor doesn't deserve to be labeled a "bad actor" and prohibited from doing business in the US by state governments considering legalizing online poker. Read the blog. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- "Bad actor" language is technically meant as a protection to consumers from nefarious gaming operators and has been inserted into the online poker legislation of various states. Generally, any company that continued to offer online gambling in the US after the UIGEA was passed is branded with the label. But as the three-time bracelet winner says, it's no secret that this type of verbiage is targeted directly at PokerStars, the site that upstart gambling interests fear will quickly corner the market, leaving little profits for them. Before Amaya's acquisition of PokerStars, the company's opponents highlighted the fact that founder Isai Scheinberg (pictured) had been indicted for violating the UIGEA, yet was still involved with the company. But Greenstein questions the legality of that indictment altogether after years of discussions with company lawyers and executives. "In every case, in every decision that was made, I was told PokerStars had lawyers who closely examine every detail to ensure that they were not violating any law and that their actions could be defended if they have to go to court or make their case for being licensed in the United States," he said. He gave one example where Stars' attorneys did, in fact, find issue with the legality of a situation and decided to play it safe when other companies did not. "When the state of Washingtonpassed a law banning online poker, PokerStars pulled out," he reminded. "Because UIGEA made it more difficult for payment processors to accept payments, some of them used deceptive (and probably illegal) methods for accepting funds." The consequences for those operators who blatantly disregarded the law, as he pointed out, were severe. "Full Tilt's decision to continue accepting deposits from these payment processors ended up contributing greatly to their bankruptcy," he continued. Greenstein also highlighted the fact that soon after Scheinberg's indictment, the DOJ had a change of heart and issued a memo clarifying that the Wire Act only prohibited online sports betting, not all forms of internet gambling. "You would think that after this judgment was handed down, all the charges would be dropped and PokerStars would be viewed in the right," he said. "[But] due to the indictment, PokerStars [was] worth too much money to the Department of Justice." The pro bashes his employer's competitors, whom he said spend "an incredible amount of time and money" lobbying to keep PokerStars out of the US. But now that the company has been sold to Amaya, he said, the proponents of the "bad actor clause" lose their argument again. Greenstein described the company as having a "family culture," which only tries to be the best "and will spare no expense to do it." He believes that other operators can't compete against Stars, "because PokerStars gained deep respect from the poker community for quickly repaying US customers after Black Friday and bailing out Full Tilt." In the end, he believed the opposition is simply based on the fear that, if PokerStars reenters the market, "they will continue to be the leading company as they have been for the last several years in Europe and as they were doing in the United States before they got shut down." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. The World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the entire world. It’s full of elite players. Those that are considered to the best of the best will tell you that it’s the most meaningful poker tournament to them, while others spend entire careers just trying to build up enough skill, experience, respect, and bankroll to simply compete in it. When it comes to the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, who are the best? That’s what we're going to take a look at here. The event’s first year was in 2006 and it drew 143 entries. David 'Chip' Reese, of whom many will tell you was the greatest all-around poker player ever, won the inaugural tournament by beating Andy Bloch in heads-up play. He earned $1.784 million for the win and is still one of the event’s top earners. In 2008, following the death of Reese in December 2007, the tournament’s trophy was named the 'Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.' With the completion of the 2019 edition of the event, the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship has been played 14 times. From those 14 events, a total of 1,556 entries have been generated and 140 individual players have cashed. The total prize money that’s been awarded from the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship stands at $74.61 million. Twenty-one different players have cashed for $1 million or more in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and it’s none other than three-time winner Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi sitting atop the event’s all-time money list with $4.63 million in winnings. Mizrachi has cashed four times in the event, with each being a run to the final table. His success has been so great in this tournament that he’s nearly $1.5 million ahead of Brian Rast’s second-most winnings of $3.16 million. WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship Facts and Figures Michael Mizrachi is the event's all-time money leader with $4.63 million won 140 individual players have cashed at least once in the event 21 individual players have cashed for a total of $1 million or more Five individual players have cashed for a total of $2 million or more Three individual players have cashed for a total of $3 million or more Freddy Deeb holds the record for single-largest payday, winning $2.276 million for his victory in 2007 Five players are tied for most cashes in the event at four each - Michael Mizrachi, John Hennigan, Andy Bloch, Phil Ivey, and Barry Greenstein 19 individual players have cashed at least three times in the event Ralph Perry has cashed three times in the event but never reached the final table In 2013, Gary Benson and Joe Cassidy busted simultaneously with 17 players left, splitting 16th-place prize money and taking $55,947 each Michael Mizrachi has made the most final tables at four; John Hennigan has made the second most at three The event has awarded a total of $74.61 million Largest field size and prize pool came in both 2007 and 2008 - each year drew 148 entries for a prize pool of $7.104 million 2019 marked the event's smallest turnout and prize - 74 entries and $3.552 million WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship All-Time Money List PLAYER WINNINGS CASHES FINAL TABLES WINS Michael Mizrachi $4,630,641 4 4 3 Brian Rast $3,160,474 3 2 2 John Hennigan $3,091,166 4 3 1 Freddy Deeb $2,360,462 2 1 1 Matthew Ashton $2,025,385 3 1 1 Scotty Nguyen $1,989,120 1 1 1 Andy Bloch $1,813,988 4 2 0 Chip Reese $1,784,640 1 1 1 John Hanson $1,641,679 2 2 0 Mike Gorodinsky $1,519,715 3 1 1 Elior Sion $1,512,338 2 1 1 Bruno Fitoussi $1,448,599 2 2 0 David Bach $1,436,646 2 1 1 Michael DeMichele $1,243,200 1 1 0 Chris Klodnicki $1,148,249 2 2 0 Vladimir Schemelev $1,131,904 2 1 0 Phil Hui $1,099,311 1 1 1 Don Nguyen $1,096,254 1 1 0 Phil Hellmuth $1,063,034 1 1 0 Matt Glantz $1,044,458 3 2 0 Phil Ivey $1,013,457 4 1 0 Minh Ly $975,593 2 2 0 Brandon Shack-Harris $937,975 1 1 0 Barry Greenstein $928,919 4 2 0 Jean-Robert Bellande $873,455 2 1 0 David Oppenheim $869,955 3 1 0 Johannes Becker $862,649 1 1 0 Josh Arieh $803,969 2 1 0 Justin Bonomo $801,048 1 1 0 Erick Lindgren $781,440 1 1 0 David Singer $749,280 2 2 0 Huck Seed $708,651 3 2 0 David 'ODB' Baker $657,123 2 1 0 Abe Mosseri $642,726 3 1 0 Isaac Haxton $595,812 1 1 0 Jesse Martin $594,570 1 1 0 Amnon Filippi $586,080 1 1 0 Lyle Berman $573,957 2 1 0 Jim Bechtel $549,120 1 1 0 Eric Wasserson $545,772 1 1 0 Daniel Negreanu $535,634 3 1 0 Erik Sagstrom $522,393 1 1 0 Dan Smith $521,782 1 1 0 Robert Mizrachi $516,650 3 1 0 Shaun Deeb $507,791 3 1 0 David Benyamine $497,122 1 1 0 Daniel Alaei $492,771 3 1 0 Scott Seiver $484,567 3 1 0 Owais Ahmed $482,058 1 1 0 TJ Cloutier $480,480 1 1 0 Dewey Tomko $474,624 2 1 0 Mike Wattel $467,046 3 1 0 John Esposito $466,407 1 1 0 Kenny Tran $444,000 1 1 0 John Juanda $436,865 1 1 0 Ivo Donev $419,337 1 1 0 Luke Schwartz $406,736 1 1 0 Doyle Brunson $398,880 2 1 0 Ralph Perry $392,200 3 0 0 George Danzer $388,523 1 1 0 Vitaly Lunkin $368,812 1 1 0 Mike Leah $364,197 1 1 0 Ben Sulsky $353,928 1 1 0 Bryce Yockey $325,989 1 1 0 Roland Israelashvili $317,882 1 1 0 Paul Volpe $312,813 2 1 0 Jonathan Duhamel $307,018 2 1 0 George Lind $300,441 1 1 0 Ray Dehkharghani $299,617 2 0 0 Aaron Katz $288,562 2 1 0 Chun Zhou $286,122 1 1 0 Tommy Hang $279,292 2 0 0 Will Wilkinson $272,558 1 1 0 David 'Bakes' Baker $272,275 1 1 0 Benny Glaser $260,578 1 1 0 Stephen Chidwick $253,497 1 1 0 Jeff Lisandro $248,635 2 0 0 Patrick Bueno $230,880 1 1 0 Ville Wahlbeck $219,655 1 1 0 Frank Kassela $212,829 1 1 0 Gavin Smith $205,920 1 0 0 Patrik Antonius $205,920 1 0 0 Robert Williamson III $205,920 1 0 0 Bill Chen $205,856 1 1 0 Brett Richey $204,579 2 0 0 Ben Lamb $201,338 1 1 0 Joe Cassidy $193,227 2 0 0 James Obst $192,767 2 0 0 Thor Hansen $188,256 1 1 0 Mike Matusow $186,128 2 0 0 Daniel Kelly $184,222 1 1 0 Chau Giang $184,087 1 1 0 Mikael Thuritz $182,463 1 1 0 Chris Vitch $182,391 2 0 0 Raymond Davis $177,600 1 0 0 Michael Glick $173,796 1 0 0 Jason Lester $168,529 1 0 0 Dan Cates $168,305 1 1 0 Melissa Burr $165,435 1 1 0 Erik Seidel $162,381 1 1 0 Alexander Kostritsyn $152,730 1 0 0 Nick Schulman $152,730 1 0 0 Talal Shakerchi $149,398 2 0 0 Bryn Kenney $147,882 1 0 0 Greg Mueller $144,049 1 0 0 Yan Chen $143,400 1 0 0 Joseph Michael $142,080 1 0 0 Jason Mercier $139,265 1 0 0 Shawn Buchanan $139,265 1 0 0 Cong Do $137,280 1 0 0 David Levi $137,280 1 0 0 Allen Kessler $134,101 1 1 0 Gabe Kaplan $131,424 1 0 0 Kevin Song $128,620 1 0 0 Ian Johns $125,142 1 0 0 Mike Binger $124,723 1 0 0 Gus Hansen $123,895 1 0 0 Mark Gregorich $117,216 1 0 0 Stephen Wolff $117,216 1 0 0 Rep Porter $116,571 1 0 0 Todd Brunson $115,447 1 0 0 Allen Bari $113,030 1 0 0 Troy Burkholder $111,893 1 0 0 Justin Smith $110,073 1 0 0 Sebastian Ruthenberg $108,503 1 0 0 Viktor Blom $105,235 1 0 0 Greg Raymer $103,008 1 0 0 Tim Phan $103,008 1 0 0 David Chiu $99,590 1 0 0 Ilya Bulychev $98,330 1 0 0 Dario Sammartino $93,764 1 0 0 Chris Reslock $88,800 1 0 0 John Racener $87,010 1 0 0 Antanas 'Tony G' Guoga $83,630 1 0 0 John Kabbaj $72,914 1 0 0 Steve Billirakis $72,914 1 0 0 Randy Ohel $72,500 1 0 0 Yehuda Buchalter $72,500 1 0 0 Andrew Brown $72,078 1 0 0 Gary Benson $55,947 1 0 0 Last updated Saturday, June 29, 2019.
  6. Garry Gates grew up and went to college in Pennsylvania, but he's always been drawn to Las Vegas. He was also drawn to poker and has been an avid player ever since his father taught him how to play cards in his younger years. After attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, it only took Gates half a year to make the leap to Sin City. That was in 2003. In 2011, Gates competed in the greatest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker Main Event, and placed 173rd for $47,107. He also reached the money in the WSOP Main Event in 2015 and 2017, but none of those results came close to his run in 2019 when Gates finished fourth from a field of 8,569 entries to win $3,000,000. With the score, Gates moved to ninth on Pennsylvania poker's all-time money list, according to Hendon Mob, ahead of Aaron Mermelstein and behind Michael Martin. Here are some of the key hands that helped land Gates at the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table and poker's biggest stage, along with his thoughts on the moments he'll likely never forget. Day 5: Pocket Nines Crack Aces On Day 5 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event, with just under 300 players remaining, Gates found himself involved in a four-way pot with Alex Dovzhenko, Chris Wynkoop, and Alex Greenblatt. Dovzhenko had raised to 60,000 from the hijack seat, Gates called on the button with the [poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"], Wynkoop called from the small blind, and Greenblatt came along out of the big bling. The four players saw the flop come [poker card="9h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3h"], giving Gates top set, and action checked to Dovzhenko. He bet 90,000, Gates called, and both Wynkoop and Greenblatt folded. The turn was the [poker card="Jh"] and Dovzhenko checked. Gates took the initiative with a bet of 150,000 from his stack of 760,000. Dovzhenko check-raised all in and had Gates covered. Gates went into the tank. "I certainly felt a lot more confident about my hand on the flop than I did on the turn, that’s for sure," Gates told PocketFives. "I think I knew deep down I was probably never folding in this spot, but I took my time with the decision regardless. Whenever you're facing a call for your tournament life in the WSOP Main Event, it's important to be confident that you're making the right decision. Alex played his hand fairly face up here, so once I'd made the decision to call, all I could think was, 'Hold, please,' and we did." Gates called with his set of nines. Dovzhenko turned over the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="As"] for an overpaid and a heart flush draw. The river was the [poker card="5c"] and Gates held for the double. Day 6: An Ace On the River To Never Forget On Day 6, Gates called all in for his tournament life with the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"] against Robert Heidorn. Gates had one of the better hands to get all in preflop with in tournament poker, but his German opponent turned up the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"] to have Gates dominated. "Obviously it's never a good feeling to find out that you're completed dominated with your tournament life on the line, but I did have an eery calm rush over me in that moment," Gates said. "I was at peace with the result no matter what… I had already bested my previous top finish in the Main, so I was going to be happy regardless. After we completely bricked the flop, I remember thinking about Barry Greenstein's book and saying to myself… 'Ace on the river, maybe?'" The [poker card="Qc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop didn’t give Gates much to be thrilled about. His had whiffed on hitting an ace and was left with just one card to help him make a Broadway straight. When the [poker card="5h"] hit the turn, Gates was pushed further out the door as his chance of making a straight were no longer possible. The only card Gates could hit was an ace on the river. Lo and behold, the dealer found the [poker card="Ad"] to put on fifth street and Gates came from behind in dramatic fashion to double up. "When it hit, I shot out of my chair and ran over to my rail," Gates said. "I couldn’t believe it. Anytime you attempt to navigate through a field of 8,500-plus, you're going to need to get lucky every now and again. But man, that ace gave me new life. When you think about it, it was probably a $2.7 million card." Day 7: Cowboys Against the Chip Leader On Day 7, with 13 players left in the field, Gates was involved in another kings-versus-ace-king confrontation. Again, Gates was at risk, but this time he was the one holding pocket kings - [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"]. Hossein Ensan, who was the big chip leader at the time, had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"]. The preflop action started with Gates raising to 1.2 million from the hijack seat. Ensan three-bet to 3.75 million out of the small blind, and then Gates made it 10 million. Ensan shoved and Gates called off for 23.5 million total. "The adrenaline was pumping, and I knew that if we held here, I would be very well positioned to make a run at the final table," Gates said. "I remember walking over to Robert Heidorn, who made a terrific comeback after being on the losing hand of this same confrontation, and saying something like… 'I know what you're thinking right now, Robert, and I don't want to experience your pain.' Once all the money gets in though, the rest is up to the deck." The [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"] flop missed Ensan and kept Gates in the lead. The [poker card="2d"] hit the turn, followed by the [poker card="Jc"] on the river, and Gates had doubled to fourth place on the leaderboard. "Securing that double-up and celebrating with my rail was a moment I'll remember for a long, long time," Gates said. [caption id="attachment_625802" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Garry Gates with his rail moments after securing a big double up with pocket kings against Hossein Ensan's ace-king (photo: 888poker)[/caption] Day 7: Trip Kings with 13 Players Left Shortly after Gates' double up through Ensan, a 20-minute break took place. On the sixth hand back, Gates tangled with Timothy Su in another pivotal hand. Su raised to 1.3 million from the cutoff position to start the action. Gates three-bet to 3.9 million on the button, and Su called. Su then checked the [poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop. Gates kept his foot on the gas with a bet of 3.5 million, and Su called. The turn was the [poker card="Ks"], and both players checked to see the [poker card="Kh"] pair the board on the river. Su passed the action to Gates once again, and Gates fired 6.5 million. Su took a little time and then called, but he mucked his hand after seeing Gates’ [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qs"] for trip kings with a queen kicker. This pot moved Gates ahead of Su in the chip counts and up to third place on the leaderboard with a stack of 118 big blinds. Day 7: Out-Kicking Henry Lu for the Knockout With 11 players left, Gates was on the main feature table that had five players seated at it. The blinds were up to 400,000-800,000 with an 800,000 big blind ante, and this is when Gates knocked out Henry Lu. Lu raised to 1.8 million from the cutoff seat, Gates reraised to 7 million from the small blind, and Lu called. The dealer fanned the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Td"][poker card="7s"] flop and Gates bet 4.5 million. Lu called to swell the pot to nearly 25 million. After the [poker card="6d"] fell on the turn, Gates slowed down with a check. Lu bet 7.8 million, leaving himself with 25.8 million behind, and Gates went into the tank. Eventually, Gates shoved all in to put Lu to the test. Lu tanked for a handful of minutes before calling all in with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Js"] for top pair. Gates had him out-kicked with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jh"]. "Yeah, when you check-shove with top pair, top kicker on a board like this, I think you're always happy with a fold," Gates said. "He spent an awful long time in the tank, so my mind was racing a mile a minute. I tried to keep composed and not give anything away. Once he made the call and tabled his hand, I was mostly just happy to find out that my read was correct and knew the rest was out of my hands." Gates gave a slight fist pump when he saw Lu's hand. "It was one of those spots where my intuition allowed me to extract max value in a spot that a lot of pros probably play differently," Gates said. "That, plus I got some phenomenal intel from a good friend who plays with Lu a lot in California, and said he's capable of making the occasional sticky hero call, so in the end it was a case of things lining up just about perfectly for me. All that said, I'm pretty sure I lost a week's worth of life expectancy, due to an increase in blood pressure and stress… I don't know how these guys do this on a daily basis, but hats off to them (laughs)." Gates finished Day 7 in second place in chips, behind only the event's eventual winner, Hossein Ensan. Each of these hands played a pivotal role in propelling Gates to the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table. From there, the man from Titusville, home of John Heisman and the place where the first United States oil boom was sparked, went on to finish fourth for $3,000,000.
  7. Even after the fanfare of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller died down with Canadian Sam Greenwood earning his sixth career seven-figure score of $1.775M, the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort & Casino was still buzzing. Day 1B of the 2019 PCA Main Event was in full swing and, in the afterglow of the PokerStars NL Hold'em Poker Championship, players were eager for one more chance at a huge score to start the year. Along with the Main Event, the superstars of the high roller scene continued to battle it out on the felt - this time in a $50K Single-Day tournament. Enjoy some photos from around the room on this action-packed day. $50K Single-Day [caption id="attachment_622269" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Mikita Badziakouski is a high fashioned high roller.[/caption]   Mikita Badziakouski is a stone-cold killer in high roller tournaments and he’s got the results to prove it. He has over $20.8m in live earnings and also finished 34th in the 2019 PSPC as a Platinum Pass winner for over $86,000. [caption id="attachment_622270" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Christoph Vogelsang's decision to cover up in this manner has sparked some debate.[/caption] Christoph Vogelsang is at the center of an ongoing debate/discussion on how to handle it when players use extreme measures to cover up any facial tells. At first, it was just a scarf, but Vogelsang has now moved to this current look. Say what you want about the Super High Roller Bowl winner - he has results and is currently Germany’s #2 leader in all-time cashes, right behind Fedor Holz. [caption id="attachment_622271" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kurganov is consistently finding himself at high roller final tables. His last victory came in Dec. 2017.[/caption] Daniel Dvoress (left) pocket nines outrace Igor Kurganov’s AJ. When a nine hits the turn, the Jack on the river is nothing but a needle for the PokerStars ambassador Kurganov. Kurganov is coming off a sixth-place finish in the PCA $100K for over $378,000. [caption id="attachment_622272" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Dominik Nitsche has amassed over $17M in lifetime earnings.[/caption] Dominik Nitsche reflects on his time in front of a solver while contemplating a decision as Timothy Adams (left) looks on. Nitsche’s most recent high roller success was a fourth-place finish in the WPT Five Diamond $100K for $370,000 in December. PCA Main Event Day 2 Shots from around the room shortly after the dinner break. [caption id="attachment_622273" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Poker legend Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the PCA Main Event.[/caption] Beresford and The Bear. Along with Scott Stewart (right), we look over the shoulder of top-ranked UK online grinder Conor Beresford as he sits with the legend Barry Greenstein. [caption id="attachment_622274" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ole Schemion (left) won the 2019 PCA National for over $148K.[/caption] Two of the final four in the 2019 PCA National are side-by-side once again in the Main Event. National champ Ole Schemion (right) chats with Alexandre Mantovani. READ: Alexandre Mantovani WCOOP Score Into Live Success [caption id="attachment_622276" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Julien Martini finished as the runner up in the historic $25K PSPC for $2.9M.[/caption] PSPC Runner-Up Julien Martini (right) is still feeling good after his multi-million score. Here he sits with Netherlands pro Martijn Gerrits in the PCA Main. [caption id="attachment_622277" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Chino Rheem bubbled the final table of the 2019 PCA National.[/caption] Chino Rheem doing what he does best. Building big stacks in large field tournaments. [caption id="attachment_622278" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Leo Margets has over $1.1 million in live tournament earnings.[/caption] Winamax pro Leo Margets already made a deep run during the 2019 PCA National. Here's she's putting together some chips to make a run in the Main Event. [caption id="attachment_622279" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Has the covering of faces gone too far or is it just no big deal?[/caption] What do you think of this look? Hate it? Love it? Does it bother you or is it fair game? We want to know what you think - tweet at us @PocketFives
  8. [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.
  9. [caption width="640"] The Run It Up Resorts Rumble is the first live event PokerStars is hosting in New Jersey.[/caption] Run It Up Legion is invading Atlantic City this weekend and we’re not just talking about the New Jersey chapter. Poker players and fans of Jason Somerville’s wildy popular Twitch stream are travelling from all over the Northeast for Saturday’s Run It Up Resorts Rumble at the Resorts Casino - the first live event PokerStars has hosted since returning to New Jersey. And while Somerville is hosting the event but he’s bringing along a number of other Team PokerStars Pros to join in the festivities. Chris Moneymaker, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree and Jen Shahade will all be in attendance. The schedule for the Rumble includes a breakfast with the pros, a Team PokerStars Q&A session, an "onlive" event where players play on PokerStarsNJ from their laptop or mobile device while seated in the same room and of course a party at the end of the evening to wrap everything up. Somerville will be streaming on his RunItUp Twitch channel during the tournament. For some attendees, the opportunity to rub elbows with some of poker’s biggest names is a pilgrimage they just had to make. "I really wanted to make run it up Reno but I'm doing the WSOP this year so I went with that," said Adam Taormina, from Lock Haven, PA. "Then I heard of a close Run It Up event I could attend and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to celebrate PokerStars in New Jersey and meet some poker pros." Philip Neiman, a 33 year old Queens native, has one simple reason for heading to Atlantic City this weekend. “Has to be meeting Jason, the guy has brought my game to a new level by just watching his streams,” said Neiman. He’s not the only one. Chris Kusha, a 29 year old from Staten Island, is making the trip after learning that two his poker heros would be involved. "I’ve always heard how fun these VIP parties are and couldn't not jump at the opportunity to go to one nearby," said Kusha. "I’m most looking forward to getting to meet the players who were very influential to me coming up in poker, particularly Vanessa Selbst and Jason Somerville." Somerville, who will travel from Canada where he is streaming Spring Championship of Online Poker action, seems excited about the wardrobe change the event requires. "I'm incredibly excited to host our first one-day Run it Up festival on the East Coast with two great partners in PokerStars and Resorts," said Somerville. "I can't wait to hang out with all of our awesome Run it Up fans in person. It'll totally be worth putting on pants." The Schedule Breakfast with the Pros - 10:00 am Attendees can mingle with Team PokerStars Pros and enjoy a light breakfast and conversation. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble - 11:30 am The $30 buy-in ‘onlive’ tournament gets underway and is available only to those in attendance. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble Final Table - 3:00 pm With just nine players remaining the Run It Up Resorts Rumble is paused so players can be set up at a single poker table to finish the tournament using the “Battleship style”. Team PokerStars Q&A - 4:00 pm Players will be able to ask their favorite Team PokerStars Pros any questions about the world of poker. VIP Club Live: NJ - 7:30 pm Hosted by the Landshark Bar & Grill at Resorts, the party comes complete with food, games and entertainment and, of course, an open bar. Players were able to earn tickets to the event through PokerStarsNJ freerolls, by completing a series of challenges on the site, or by making a real money deposit using a special bonus code. For those that failed to qualify on PokerStarsNJ.com, tickets can be purchased on site for just $10, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks. For more information check out www.pokerstarsnj.com/vip/live/resorts/
  10. 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. This list details the players who made spots #21 - #30 on our list. If you haven't yet caught up on the other names we've announced so far you can check out #41 - #50 here and #31 - #40 here. #30 - Barry Greenstein BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 102 $3,196,072 24 Barry Greenstein has one of the most recognizable faces in poker, plus plenty of accolades to go along with it. He has three WSOP gold bracelets with the first coming in 2004 when he won the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw event to the tune of $296,200. Greenstein went on to win his second gold bracelet in 2005 before landing his third in 2008. Interestingly, each of Greenstein's three bracelets has come in different variants. In addition to the No Limit 2-7 Single Draw bracelets he has, Greenstein won one in pot-limit Omaha and razz. When poker exploded in the early- to mid-2000s, Greenstein's face was one of those that was everywhere. He was a high-stakes cash game player who constantly found himself in the money in WSOP events. To date, Greenstein has racked up 102 cashes and 24 top 10 finishes in World Series of Poker events. At the WSOP in 2017 and 2018, Greenstein cashed 13 times each year. “Dubbed ‘The Robin Hood of Poker’, Barry Greenstein is one of the games all-time great grinders. His 101 summer series cashes is good for fifth on the all-time WSOP cashes list and his three bracelets have come in three different disciplines, proving that he’s a master of all the games. But Barry has brought more than results, being one of the most approachable of the poker boom superstars while in the halls of the Rio. Between his results, his philanthropy, and his ability to connect with his fans Greenstein is an all-time great.” - PocketFives Senior Writer Jeff Walsh #29 - Huck Seed BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 53 $3,579,604 28 Huck Seed is very much known for his 1996 WSOP Main Event victory that saw him win the $1 million top prize when he topped a field of 295 entries in the world championship tournament. What many don't know is that Seed had actually already won a WSOP gold bracelet. Seed earned his first bracelet in 2004 when he won the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event for $167,000. That first win seemed inevitable for Seed, who prior to it had six WSOP cashes and all of them were top 10 finishes. Seed returned to the WSOP Main Event final table in 1999 and won bracelets three and four in 2000 and 2003, both of which came in razz. #28 - Berry Johnston BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 67 $2,112,340 30 In similar fashion to Huck Seed, many don't know that Berry Johnston had already won a WSOP gold bracelet before he won the WSOP Main Event. He first claimed gold in 1983 before going on to win the granddaddy of them all in 1986. Interestingly, Johnston's first-ever recorded cash came when he placed third in the WSOP Main Event in 1982. In 1985, he took third again in the event and then finally won it the following year. Further adding to Johnston's WSOP standing, he finished fifth in the WSOP Main Event in 1990 and has several other deep runs in the event. #27 - Shaun Deeb BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 66 $4,281,461 17 Shaun Deeb came up in poker as an online player, but he's transitioned to the live realm very well and has been quite the WSOP performer over the years. Since his first WSOP cash in 2007, Deeb has won four bracelets, finished in the top 10 17 times, and cashed 66 times. Deeb's first taste of WSOP gold came in 2015, when he won the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $318,857. He added his second bracelet in 2016, and then two more in 2018 en route to winning the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year title. His two bracelets in 2018, were worth $1.402 million and $814,000. Deeb cashed 16 times at the 2018 WSOP and then four more times at the 2018 WSOP Europe. "Not many players who came up in the world of online poker have been able to move to the live felt with as much success as Shaun Deeb. His talents make him one of the top poker players in the world and we're really starting to see him carve out his place in poker history over more recent years. Deeb appears to be as all in as possible when it comes to the WSOP. Deeb first hit the WSOP winner's circle in 2015 and won four gold bracelets and one Player of the Year title in the four-year span from 2015-2018. Plus, he had 10 additional cashes in the top 10 of events over that span. If the volume is there in any sort of way, Deeb is a threat to win WSOP Player of the Year and multiple bracelets every summer, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see him challenge Phil Hellmuth for most bracelets all time if he keeps playing these events at such a high frequency over the next decade or two." - PocketFives Managing Editor Donnie Peters In today's poker world, Deeb is considered to be as tough a competitor as any. He's a threat to win a WSOP bracelet, or two or three, every single year, and a strong contender for WSOP Player of the Year. #26 - Daniel Alaei BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 36 $4,427,139 8 Daniel Alaei may not make a lot of noise at the table, but the game he brings to the WSOP each and every year speaks volumes. Alaei has five WSOP gold bracelets, with the first coming in 2006 when he won the $5,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw event. He later added bracelets two, three, four, and five in 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2015. Each time he won his way to the WSOP winner's circle, Alaei did it facing some of the toughest competition around. His first gold bracelet in the $5,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw tournament saw Alaei battle through a final table that included David Williams, Men Nguyen, Greg Raymer, and Allen Cunningham. His other four bracelets were all in Omaha tournaments and each of those events had a buy-in of $10,000. His wins in 2010 and 2013 were in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, when he took home $780,599 and $852,692, respectively. "Daniel Alaei is an incredible poker talent, and his skills have led to WSOP success several times, especially when it comes to Omaha. Personally, I wish Alaei would play more WSOP events every summer because I don't feel his actual results are anywhere near the potential he has. If there was ever a player to be called a "silent killer" on the felt, it's Alaei. He doesn't say much, he's quiet when he does talk, and his demeanor is unassuming, but his poker prowess is as loud as they come. When it comes to Omaha, the WSOP's second most popular variant, Alaei is one of the best, if not the absolute best, in the world and his four bracelets in the game are clear evidence of that." - Donnie Peters #25 - Chris Moneymaker BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 1 4 $2,532,041 2 Chris Moneymaker is as important a player in WSOP history as anyone. His storybook win in the 2003 WSOP Main Event played a part in igniting the poker boom and the ambassadorship he's served in since rivals anyone in the game. But for as important a figure as Moneymaker is when it comes to WSOP history, his results since his moment of glory in 2003 have been minimal and it's the reason he's not higher on this list. Of his $2,532,041 in WSOP earnings, $2,500,000 of that is from his 2003 WSOP Main Event victory, and he only has three other cashes and one other top 10 finish. Moneymaker's last WSOP cash was more than a decade ago in 2007. “An argument can be made that the most famous accountant from Tennessee to ever play poker simply doesn’t have the numbers needed to be on this list. However, if Chris Moneymaker is not in the field in 2003, if he did not bluff Sammy Farha and he never took home the Main Event title - poker may not be where it is today. The man that sparked the poker boom influenced a generation of poker players who saw what he did on ESPN and thought to themselves ‘I can do that too.’ Moneymaker is the poker icon that the industry needed and his being where he was, when he was has helped the World Series of Poker become the series that it is today.” - Jeff Walsh #24 - David Chiu BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 71 $3,653,340 26 Another WSOP stalwart to find his way to PocketFives' Top 50 Greatest WSOP Players list is David Chiu, with 71 cashes, 26 top 10 finishes, and five gold bracelets. Chiu's first WSOP cash came in 1996, and it also turned out to be his first WSOP gold bracelet win when he took down the $2,000 Limit Hold'em tournament for $396,000. Future bracelets wins for Chiu came in 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2013. Chiu's skills have been on display at the WSOP ever since he started playing there, and he's a player well-versed in all games. His bracelets have come in hold'em, seven-card stud, and Omaha. Additionally, Chiu has four runner-up finishes in gold bracelet tournaments. "Many of his colleagues will make the argument that David Chiu could be the most underappreciated player of his generation. His WSOP record is impressive. He's one of just 25 players to have won five or more bracelets. He also has four runner-up finishes and two thirds. Had a hand or two (or six) gone differently during those events, we could be talking about him as pushing to join the double-digit bracelet club." - PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley. #23 - Barbara Enright BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 22 $463,499 4 Barbara Enright is a three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner best known for being the only woman to date to ever reach the WSOP Main Event final table. That came in 1995 when she placed fifth in the big one. In 1986 and 1994, Enright won the WSOP Women's Event, and then she took down the 1996 $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em tournament for $180,000. In a male-dominated industry, especially in the 1990s, Enright helped pave the way for female poker players around the world. #22 - Jeff Lisandro BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 71 $3,790,497 27 Not too many players can claim to have won three WSOP bracelets. Even fewer can claim to have won three in the same year. Jeff Lisandro has six WSOP gold bracelets in all, and three of those came in 2009 when he absolutely crushed seven-card stud at the WSOP, winning the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, $2,500 Razz, and $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low. He won his first bracelet back in 2007, also in seven-card stud, and won his other two in pot-limit Omaha. Further adding to the chapter Lisandro wrote in the WSOP history books, he won one of his bracelets at WSOP Europe and another at WSOP Asia-Pacific. "Half of Lisandro's six bracelet wins came in 2009 when he was clearly a dominant force on his way to winning WSOP Player of the Year. It would be a shame to let that performance overshadow the other things Lisandro has done in his career. He's won at least one bracelet in all three variants of Seven Card Stud and is part of an elite group of players who have won a bracelet on three different continents. You could easily make the argument that at #22, he gets the short end of the stick." - Lance Bradley #21 - Ted Forrest BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 38 $2,055,472 23 Ted Forrest also has six WSOP gold bracelets and he is also a player who can claim to have won three gold bracelets in a single year. Forrest achieved the feat in 1993, when he stormed onto the poker scene with three gold bracelet wins in three different games. First, he won the $5,000 Seven-Card Stud tournament. Then, he won the $1,500 Razz event. He followed that up with a victory in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low tournament. In 2004, Forrest was back winning multiple bracelets in the same summer, taking home two that year. He'd add his sixth in 2014. Forrest has always been a feared player at the table, and when he reaches the money he's playing to win, as evidenced by his 38 WSOP cashes resulting in 23 top 10s. In addition to his six gold bracelets, Forrest has reached the top three of a gold bracelet event on five other occasions.
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