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  1. [caption width="658"] Scott Blumstein starts the Main Event final table as the betting favorite, according to PokerShares.com.[/caption] The World Series of Poker Main Event final table starts Thursday evening and PokerShares.com has all the odds leading up to poker’s richest three days. Chip leader Scott Blumstein is the current betting favorite to win the tournament at +225. John Hesp, second in chips, pays nearly twice that at +520 to ship. Most of the field is bunched together after Hesp and Blumstein with Jack Sinclair the currently long shot at +1530. Short stack Ben Lamb and former November Niner Antoine Saout are listed at +1320 and +1250, respectively. Along with the odds to win, PokerShares is also offering the following markets: To NOT Win To Make Day 10 To NOT Make Day 10 To Make Day 9 To NOT Make Day 9 Right behind Blumstein and Hesp in the pecking order are Bryan Piccioli and Benjamin Pollack. Piccioli comes in at +760 to win and is an intriguing option at +195 to make it to the third day of final table play, which guarantees at least a third place finish. Pollack’s odds are listed as +730 to finish first and +285 to lock up a place on the podium. Despite being the two shortest stacks at the final table, Lamb (+390) and Sinclair (+420) have reasonable odds to make it to at least third place. Saout finished third in 2009 and has odds of +355 to make it at least that far this time around. Dan Ott (+1290) and Damian Salas (+1350) round out the list of final table candidates. All players have a manageable chance, according to PokerShares.com, of making the second day (Day 9) of the final table. To make it to Friday’s six-handed action, Blumstein is a huge favorite at -2500 while Lamb is the “longshot” at -111 with all other players falling somewhere in the middle. On the other end of the spectrum, Blumstein is listed as +890 to finish outside the top-six and be one of the first three players eliminated. Hesp comes in at +450 for the same bet with the other seven ranging between the -111 of Jack Sinclair and +270 of Benjamin Pollak. PokerShares.com is the one-stop shop for all items related to Main Event wagering for customers outside of the United States. Be sure to keep track of the final table odds as play moves toward the last day of play on Saturday.
  2. [caption width="640"] Scott Blumstein has almost half the chips at the 2017 WSOP Main Event final table (Fabian Gruber/888 photo)[/caption] The final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event began Thursday night in Las Vegas with Scott Blumstein sitting on the biggest stack. After 5.5 hours of play, two players were sent to the rail early but Blumstein? He remained on top throughout the night and ended with 49.4% of the chips in play with seven players left. John Hesp, the 64-year-old Brit that had endeared himself to poker fans and players alike, was in fine form early on and managed to end the night in the middle of the pack after cooler against Blumstein. Ben Lamb Busts Early Ben Lamb began the final table with just 18,050,000 and was looking for an early hand to double up with. On the fourth hand of the night, Jack Sinclair raised to 1,600,000 from the button and Ben Lamb moved all in from the big blind. Sinclair called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"], which put ahead of Lamb's [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"]. The board ran out [poker card="6c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="th"] to eliminate Lamb in ninth place for a $1,000,000 payout. Scott Blumstein Doubles Up Dan Ott It took almost two hours for the next key hand to come up. Dan Ott made it 2,200,000 from the button and Hesp and Blumstein defended their blinds. Both checked to Ott after the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2h"] flop and he bet 3,500,000. Hesp folded but Blumstein moved all in and Ott called off his last 14,525,000 and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"] for top pair, top kicker while Blumstein showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="tc"] for an inside straight draw and overcard. The [poker card="6h"] turn kept Ott ahead and the [poker card="as"] river gave him an unnecessary two pair and doubled him up to 36,850,000 while Blumstein dropped to 82,825,000. Scott Blumstein Takes Massive Pot from John Hesp The day started with Blumstein and Hesp as the top two stacks and though they swapped positions with Hesp on top, the two clashed in the biggest pot of the tournament just 47 hands in. Blumstein made it 2,200,000 from UTG and Hesp defended from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5h"] and both players checked. The turn was the [poker card="ts"] and Hesp check-raised to 7,000,000 after Blumstein bet 3,000,000. Blumstein announced a re-raise, putting a total of 17,000,000 in the middle. Hesp announced he was all in and Blumstein called. Hesp showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"] for top two pair but Blumstein showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] for top set. The river was the [poker card="3c"] allowing the dealer to officially push the 156,050,000 chip pot to Blumstein. Hesp was left with just 24,225,000. Jack Sinclair Eliminated in Eighth Left with just 15,600,000, Sinclair moved all in from middle position before Bryan Piccioli also announced he was all in. Ott took a minute to think over his options before folding. Sinclair showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"] while Piccioli did the Beth Shak "aces" signal to his rail and tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"].The [poker card="kh"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Sinclair half of what he needed but the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river were both bricks, sending the Englishman home in eighth place. "Didn't make any mistakes, I think. The cards were not in my favor," said Sinclair. "Got a double up, which earned me $200K, so that was good." Early End to Action The original plan was to play until just six players remained, but with the five shortest stacks all playing to ladder up, action was halted after 5.5 hours with seven remaining. The final table resumes Friday at 5:30 PM PT with action airing on ESPN beginning at 6 PM PT. Chip Counts Scott Blumstein - 178,300,000 Benjamin Pollak - 77,525,000 Bryan Piccioli - 35,750,000 John Hesp - 22,475,000 Dan Ott - 16,350,000 Damian Salas - 15,625,000 Antoine Saout - 14,550,000
  3. [caption width="639"] Christian Pham has over 31 million reasons to smile after Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event.[/caption] Christian Pham once registered for a World Series of Poker tournament by mistake and won it. On Sunday, Pham made all the right moves to end Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event and ended up as the chip leader with just 27 players remaining. Pham’s move up the chip counts came at the expense of the player who spent the previous few days playing wearing a Superman costume, Jonathan Dwek. Pham raised to 425,000 from late position before Dwek raised to 690,000 from the small blind. Pham called and then called Dwek’s bet of 800,000 after the [poker card="kh"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="2d"] and Dwek bet 1,400,000 and Pham called. The river was the [poker card="4d"] and Dwek bet 2,000,000. Pham announced all in and Dwek went into the tank before calling all in. Pham happily showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] for the straight flush while Dwek showed [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"] for a straight. The hand eliminated Dwek in 38th place and gave Pham 25,800,000. Pham, who won the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven bracelet in 2015, ended the night with 31,250,000. Frenchman Valentin Messina finished with the second biggest stack at 28,590,000 while English pro Jack Sinclair ended with 27,535,000. Ben Lamb is one of three former November Niners still in contention for a return trip to the final table. The high stakes cash game regular finished Day 6 with 25,685,000 while Antoine Saout ended with 9,945,000 and last year’s fourth place finisher Michael Ruane ended up 16th after bagging 9,340,000. Bryan Piccioli doubled up late in the night to end up with a top 10 stack. This marks the third straight year that Piccioli has cashed in the Main Event with each improvement outdoing the previous one. RELATED: Bryan Piccioli Thriving Through Tragedy with WSOP Main Event Run There were 85 players at the start of the day. Some of the eliminations on Sunday included WSOP bracelet winners Ian Johns, Arash Ghaneian, Max Silver, Chris Wallace, Kevin Song and Martin Finger. Other notables who saw their Main Event end early include Tom Middleton, Charlie Carrel, Vitaly Lunkin, Kenny Hallaert, Connor Drinan and Brandon Meyers. One player who was eliminated on Day 6 was 70th place finisher Paul Senat. The 37 year old is facing a manslaughter charge in Palm Beach County, Florida the Palm Beach Post reported. They were unsure about any possible conditions on the bond he agreed to. Action resumes at Noon PT on Monday and will play down to a final table of nine. Top 10 Chip Counts Christian Pham - 31,520,000 Valentin Messina - 28,995,000 Jack Sinclair - 27,690,000 Ben Lamb - 25,685,000 Pedro Oliveira - 22,540,000 John Hesp - 20,880,000 Randy Pisane - 18,370,000 Scott Blumstein - 14,900,000 Bryan Piccioli - 14,500,000
  4. [caption width="640"] The Main Event final table starts on Thursday with Scott Blumstein in the lead.[/caption] The third largest Main Event in World Series of Poker history reached a final table in the wee hours of Tuesday morning in Las Vegas and for the first time in ten years, will restart in July as a result of the termination of the “November Nine.” Following seven exciting and simultaneously grueling days of poker, New Jersey’s Scott Blumstein comes in Thursday’s first day of final table play as the chip leader. Blumstein is mostly an online player and made the trip out to Las Vegas last week to play in his first career Main Event. Day 7 was a boon for Blumstein as he started 8th out of 27 players with 18,125,000 and by the time the final table was reached, built himself all the way up to over 97,000,000. "I feel amazing, I can't believe it's real. I have a great group of guys and we're going to get to work and prepare for Thursday. This is one of the biggest moments of my life. And I'm super excited,” said Blumstein. Right behind Blumstein is 64-year-old Englishman John Hesp (85,700,000), who crossed an item off of his bucket list by playing in the Main Event and has been having the time of his life making a run to the final table. This year’s final table is a bit different than most as not one, but two, former November Niners are among the remaining contenders for poker’s biggest prize. Fellow third place finishers Ben Lamb (18,050,000) and Antoine Saout (21,750,000) are two of the shortest stacks left in play but have plenty of experience on their side as they attempt to capture the title that was nearly within reach once before. “You play a 7,000-player field; to make the final table, obviously, the odds are staggering. I don't care if you're ten times better than the second best player in the world, the odds are staggering to make the final table once, let alone twice, with six years in between,” said Lamb about his remarkable achievement. The rank of established professionals is well represented outside of Lamb and Saout with Benjamin Pollak (35,175,000) and Bryan Piccioli (33,800,000) sitting in the middle of the final table pack. This year was Pollak’s second time making it to Day 7, after doing so in 2013, and he along with Saout are attempting to become the first player from France to win the Main Event title. Piccioli won perhaps the most memorable pot of the tournament when he rivered a full house to beat the trip aces of Saout to stay alive on the brink of the final table. After coming into Day 5 in 2016 as the chip leader and falling short of making Day 6, Piccioli made it to the finish line this time around. One of the online poker world’s most respected tournament players, Piccioli has a chance to cement his legacy among the game’s greats this weekend. Speaking of online players, Dan Ott (26,475,000) and Jack Sinclair (20,200,000) fit the bill there. Ott is from Pennsylvania, and Sinclair from England, but both make their primary living playing online and are closing on the best piece of live tournament glory there is. Hailing from Argentina is Damian Salas (22,175,000), who started Day 4 as the chip leader and continued to build from there on the way to the final table. Salas has one previous WSOP final table to his name from 2016 ($1,500 No Limit Shootout) and brings an unconventional game with him into Thursday. As with recent years, the final table will be played down to a winner over the course of three consecutive days. All final table coverage will be on ESPN starting at 6:00 pm PT each day. On Thursday, July 20, the field will play from nine to six followed by six to three on Friday, July 21. On Saturday, July 22, the final three players will battle until only the newest Main Event Champion remains. Final Table Payouts 1st - $8,150,000 2nd - $4,700,000 3rd - $3,500,000 4th - $2,600,000 5th - $2,000,000 6th - $1,675,000 7th - $1,425,000 8th - $1,200,000 9th - $1,000,000 Seating Assignments Seat 1 - John Hesp (85,700,000) Seat 2 - Scott Blumstein (97,250,000) Seat 3 - Antoine Saout (21,750,000) Seat 4 - Benjamin Pollak (35,175,000) Seat 5 - Jack Sinclair (20,200,000) Seat 6 - Damian Salas (22,175,000) Seat 7 - Ben Lamb (18,050,000) Seat 8 - Bryan Piccioli (33,800,000) Seat 9 - Dan Ott (26,475,000)
  5. The improbable story of John Hesp, the eccentric Englishman that took the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event by storm, is being given the Hollywood treatment. According to The Daily Mail, Hesp’s inspiring fourth place finish in the Main Event for $2.6 million dollars has been optioned by “two renowned movie producers.” This means that in the not-so-distant future Hesp’s trademark colorful coat will be able to be seen in actual technicolor. Fans who followed the Main Event in 2017 will be familiar with his story: a grandfather from East Yorkshire who had played poker about once a month for $10 went on the heater of a lifetime. Hesp battling some of the best young players the game has to offer and, in the process, he reminded a legion of poker players what it means to bring the fun back to the game of poker. “I feel blessed to have achieved this great success and truly hope my story will inspire others to have fun playing poker as that was my mood throughout my amazing run last year,” Hesp said. “Thought my run in Vegas last year I was playing in Party Mood and I often commented ‘let’s make poker fun!’” With his fastidious flare and colorful wardrobe which matched his personality, it didn’t take long for word of his incredible run made it into the mainstream. Film producer Marc Ambrose knew that this was just the kind of feel good story that could transcend poker itself. “Most poker movies are about the dark and seedy side to the game,” Ambrose told The Daily Mail. “This story flips that right on its head.” “Saying this movie is about poker is like saying The Full Monty is about stripping. This is really a story about living life to its fullest but realizing that the grass isn’t always greener.” For Hesp, he’s surprised at the interest. “I have been completely overwhelmed and humbled with the large number of people who have reached out to me from all parts of the world and told me how much they had enjoyed watching me on TV and how inspiring it was," Hesp said. As for who will play Hesp in the movie, nothing is concrete but Hesp has an idea or two. “George Clooney or Tom Hanks is acceptable.” While it’s unlikely that either of these actors have the chops to play the energetic Hesp, we would like to offer a few suggestions of fantasy casting for the upcoming movie. Here are some options for Ambrose as to who we think would make for a fantastic cast for the climatic WSOP Main Event Final Table scene. John Hesp as played by Michael Caine. Two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine can likely capture Hesp's English essence. WSOP Champ Scott Blumstein as played by young Seth Rogan. Sure, we may have to go back in time a few years, but Rogan's jovial nature and charisma would suit the likable personality of the 2017 champ. Dan Ott as played by Keanu Reeves. The scruffy silent type, Keanu Reeves would jump at the chance to play the runner-up. Benjamin Pollak as played by Bobby Cannavale. Bobby Cannavale, the star of Martin Scorcese's HBO show Vinyl would be a perfect fit for third-place finisher Pollak. Antoine Saout as played by Bradley Cooper. Is there another actor in Hollywood that wears a backward hat as well as Bradley Cooper? Bryan Piccoli as played by Emile Hirsch. Emile Hirsch would use what he learned playing the lead in Into The Wild to navigate Piccoli's Main Event journey. Damian Salas as played by Jon Stewart. C'mon, check this out! It's perfect! Jack Sinclair as played by Daniel Radcliff. British wizard as played by a British wizard. Ben Lamb as played by Matt Damon. The return of Mike McDermott. Have a better casting option for the John Hesp film? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter: @pocketfives
  6. It's getting to the point where Stephen Chidwick winning a U.S. Poker Open event isn't news. Tuesday night in Las Vegas the British poker pro picked up his fourth career USPO title, beating Cary Katz heads up to win Event #6, the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. It's his second USPO win in 2019 giving him two wins in each year the tournament series has existed. Chidwick, who won the USPO title last season, now leads the overall standings this year with just four events remaining. Chidwick started Tuesday's final table with the chip lead and, along with Anthony Zinno, was one of just two players with a seven-figure stack. While Chidwick continued to build early, Zinno was less fortunate. After a little more than an hour of play, Zinno was down to just 365,000 and found himself tangling with Katz. Chidwick raised to 90,000 and Katz called before Zinno moved all in from the button. Chidwick folded and Katz called, tabling [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"][poker card="th"][poker card="5c"]. Zinno was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"][poker card="jh"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"] flop was a relatively safe one for Zinno. The [poker card="2c"] turn gave Katz a flush draw which came in on the [poker card="7c"] river to eliminate Zinno in sixth place. Chidwick then put his big stack to work 20 minutes to send Sean Rafael to the rail. Chidwick opened to 90,000 before Rafael made it 290,000. Chidwick called and the two players saw a [poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"] flop. Rafael bet 155,000 all in and Chidwick called. Rafael tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="ts"] but Chidwick showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"] for trips. Neither the [poker card="3h"] turn or [poker card="qh"] river were any help and Rafael was out in fifth. Katz then picked up another elimination just 30 minutes later. Katz limped his button, Ben Lamb completed from the small blind and Tom Marchese checked his option. The [poker card="as"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"] flop got Lamb bet pot. Marchese folded but Katz repotted and Lamb called all in. Katz turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8d"] while Lamb was drawing with [poker card="kh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="5h"] turn was no help for Lamb and after the [poker card="8h"] river failed to complete his draw, Lamb was eliminated in fourth place. Marchese actually started the day as the shortest stack but managed to outlast three other players before meeting his fate. Katz completed from the button and Marchese raised to 240,000 from the small blind. Chidwick folded and Katz called. After the [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] flop, Marchese bet 600,000 and Katz responded by repotting and Marchese called his last 240,000. Marchese tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"][poker card="js"][poker card="5s"] while Katz was drawing wiht [poker card="kc"][poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"]. The [sc] ended all the drama, completing Katz's flush draw. The meaningless river was the [poker card="6c"] and Marchese was out in third. Thanks to those last two eliminations, Katz began heads up play with 65% of the chips in play. Chidwick and Katz played heads-up for nearly two hours with the lead being traded back and forth before Chidwick finally put a cap on another USPO win. Down to just 3.5 big blinds, Katz moved all in for 410,000 after Chidwick had opened with a pot-size bet of 360,000. Chidwick called and turned up [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"] which put him behind Katz' [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="js"][poker card="3d"]. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="6c"] gave Chidwick a wheel and eliminate Katz. Final Table Payouts Stephen Chidwick - $351,000 Cary Katz - $234,000 Tom Marchese - $156,000 Ben Lamb - $97,500 Sean Rafael - $78,000 Anthony Zinno - $58,500 Chidwick now has four USPO wins and nine final tables over 14 events stretching the last two years. He now sits atop the USPO leaderboard and is 100 points clear of his nearest competitor, Sean Winter. USPO Top 10 After Event #6 PLAYER CASHES PRIZE MONEY POINTS 1. Stephen Chidwick 4 $705,950 540 2. Sean Winter 4 $419,400 440 3. Cary Katz 3 $580,200 340 4. Jordan Cristos 2 $206,200 240 5. Ali Imsirovic 1 $442,500 200 6. Lauren Roberts 1 $218,400 200 7. Manig Loeser 2 $146,200 180 8. Ben Lamb 2 $146,200 160 9. Dan Shak 2 $232,100 140 10. Koray Aldemir 1 $159,250 140   The final table for Event #7: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em takes place on Wednesday. USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO DATE EVENT TIME (ET) 02/20/19 Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #8: $25,000 8-Game 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 8 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 7:30 p.m. 02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  7. The 2019 U.S. Poker Open has really been about two names so far; Stephen Chidwick and Sean Winter. Chidwick got things off to a strong start by winning Event #1, while Winter had made every final table but hadn't picked up a win. That all changed Sunday night when Winter beat David Peters heads up to win $151,200 and his first USPO title in the $10,000 Short Deck event. Final Table Payouts 1. Sean Winter - $151,200 2. David Peters - $100,800 3. Seth Davies - $67,200 4. Ben Lamb - $42,000 5. Ben Yu - $33,600 6. Stephen Chidwick - $25,200 Chidwick also made the final table but started the day with the second shortest stack ahead of only Ben Lamb. Two double ups allowed Lamb to avoid elimination, whereas Chidwick wasn't so fortunate. Four players limped in front Chidwick before the 2018 US Poker Open champion moved all in for 725,000 with the [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"]. Seth Davies and Ben Yu both folded their hands but Winter called with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"]. The flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="td"][poker card="6d"] to give Chidwick outs to Broadway. The [poker card="6s"] turn left Chidwick drawing only to one of three aces. The river was the [poker card="kd"] to give Winter a full house and eliminate Chidwick in sixth place. It took 45 minutes before another player hit the rail. From under the gun, Yu moved all in for 655,000 with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"] and only Davies decided to look him up, calling with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"]. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="9h"][poker card="6s"] to completely miss Yu and eliminate him in fifth place. Lamb managed to last just one more hour before falling in fourth place. Winter limped with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] again before Lamb moved all in for 1,780,000 with the [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"]. Winter called and then watched the [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"][poker card="7s"][poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"] runout secure Lamb's fourth-place finish. Winter picked up yet another victim 45 minutes later. Davies limped with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"] before Winter moved all in from the button with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"]. Davies called off his last 3,525,000. The [poker card="js"][poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"] put Davies in dire straits and the [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="7d"] river both failed to save him from a third-place result. Thanks to the three players he had eliminated, Winter started heads-up play with a nearly 3-1 chip lead over Peters. It took almost exactly an hour for Winter to put the finishing touches on his first USPO title. Winter shoved all in with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="9c"] and Peters called all in with the [poker card="jd"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"][poker card="9d"] flop gave Winter two pair. The turn was the [poker card="th"] to give Peters outs to a straight. The river was the [poker card="as"] and Peters was eliminated in second place. The win gives Winter a total of four straight final table appearances in the 2019 USPO. He also has a second-place finish, a sixth-place finish, and a fifth-place finish. Those results and this victory moved Winter to the top spot on the overall 2019 USPO leaderboard through four events. USPO Top 10 After Event #4 PLAYER CASHES PRIZE MONEY POINTS 1. Sean Winter 4 $419,400 440 2. Stephen Chidwick 3 $354,950 340 3. Jordan Cristos 2 $206,200 240 4. Lauren Roberts 1 $218,400 200 5. Manig Loeser 2 $146,200 180 6. Koray Aldemir 1 $159,250 140 7. David Peters 1 $100,800 140 8. Seth Davies 2 $94,500 140 9. Joseph Cheong 1 $112,500 100 10. Martin Zamani 1 $83,200 100   The final table for Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em will take place on Monday. USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO DATE EVENT TIME (ET) 02/14/19 Event #1: #10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/15/19 Event #2: #10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m. 02/16/19 Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/17/19 Event #4: $10,000 Short Deck 5 p.m. 02/18/19 Event #5: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/19/19 Event #6: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m. 02/20/19 Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold'em 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #8: $25,000 8-Game 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 8 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 7:30 p.m. 02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  8. 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.
  9. The first three flights of the $500 Big 50 were busy and chaotic, but it turns out they were but a dress rehearsal for what happened Sunday at the 2019 World Series of Poker as 9,171 entries made the final flight the busiest day of the summer and officially turned the Big 50 into a record-shattering event. All of that somewhat overshadowed the two bracelets won on Sunday and a deep run by Phil Hellmuth that could have shaken the online poker world to its core. Big 50 Officially Becomes Largest Live Poker Tournament When the WSOP announced the Big 50 as the kickoff to their way of celebrating the kickoff to the 50th annual WSOP, expectations were high - but not high enough. After 19,326 players crammed the Rio hallways over the first three days, 9,171 showed up on Sunday to break the record for largest field ever. Players who didn't have a seat at the start of the day were lining up in the hallways as early as 8 AM with hopes of being one of the first players seated in the second wave of seating. The lines stretched in and out of nearly every one of the rooms in play with some players reporting waiting upwards of eight hours to get a seat. Andrei Khosh finished Day 1D with 970,000 for the biggest stack of the day. Arne Kern (963,000) and Kevin Mooney (944,000) were the only other players to break through the 900,000 chip mark. They're just three of the 2,103 players moving on to Day 2D. Some of the notables who also managed to bag chips on Sunday include Randy Lew, Grant Hinkle, David 'Bakes' Baker, Alex Lynskey, Craig Varnell and Anatoly Filatov. Players who advanced from Day 1C will return for Day 2C on Monday while Day 2D survivors will have an off day before returning to the felt on Tuesday. The players who survive the four Day 2s will combine into one field on Wednesday. Top 10 Day 1D Chip Counts Andrei Khosh - 970,000 Arne Kern - 963,000 Kevin Mooney - 944,000 Shahin Shojaeyan - 860,000 Muhammad Abdel Rahim - 860,000 Kevin Young - 823,000 Jeremy Martinez - 811,000 Fabrizio D'Agostino - 805,000 Richard Kirsch - 800,000 Wallace Dawkins - 779,000 Derek McMaster Wins $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Derek McMaster knows the key to playing well, no matter what the stage is he's playing on. "I try to just have fun when I’m playing. If I’m not having fun I’m usually not doing very well," McMaster said. "The more fun I have, it seems like stuff goes my way." He was clearly having a blast on Sunday afternoon as things definitely went his way at the final table of the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. The 46-year-old Minnesota native defeated Jason Berilgen heads-up to win the first bracelet of his career and $228,228. "It was very surreal to me. I’ve just been on cloud nine since (Saturday) night, all week," McMaster said. "I was happy to be here and I enjoyed playing with these guys." McMaster said John Esposito, who started the final table with the chip lead, was the player who he had the most difficulty with. Esposito finished third for $98,807. Final Table Payouts Derek McMaster - $228,228 Jason Berilgen - $141,007 John Esposito - $98,807 David Halpern - $70,231 Joe Aronesty - $50,646 Tom McCormick - $37,063 Ben Yu - $27,530 Yong 'LuckySpewy1' Kwon Wins $400 Online Event; Hellmuth Fifth The #2-ranked online poker player in the United States, Yong 'LuckySpewy1' Kwon, showed why he's ranked so high on Sunday, beating 1,964 other players to win the $400 Online No Limit Hold'em event for just over $165,000. Kwon's accomplishment was almost overshadowed though by the presence of Phil Hellmuth at the final table. Playing under the screen name 'lumestackin', Hellmuth finished fifth for $39,459.60. The event attracted 1,965 players to create a total prize pool of $1,017,000. Final Table Payouts Yong 'LUCKSYSPewy1' Kwon - $165.262.50 MeatIsMurder - $99,360.90 merrick - $73,020.60 LeakStain - $53,494.20 Phil 'lumestackin' Hellmuth - $39,459.60 DjPhilWiLL - $29,493 MeatJustice - $22,374 FlatcallSPC - $17,085.60 ROopert - $13,119.30 Ben Heath Leads $50K High Roller Final Table Just 12 players returned to the felt on Sunday in the $50,000 High Roller event and it took less than four hours to get to a final table of six. Britain's Ben Heath started and ended the day with the chip lead. Heath bagged up 7,630,000 which puts him just ahead of American Sam Soverel with 7,540,000. Heath eliminated three players on Sunday (Matthew Gonzales, David Einhorn, Elio Fox) on his way to the chip lead. Andrew Lichtenberger (5,615,000) and Chance Kornuth (5,000,000) make up the middle of the pack while Nick Petrangelo (4,100,000) Gonzales, Grafton, Manig Loeser, Einhorn, Cary Katz and Elio Fox were the six players eliminated on Sunday, all finishing in the money with a six-figure score. Action resumes at Noon PT with the event streaming on PokerGO beginning at 1 PM PT. Final Table Chip Counts Ben Heath - 7,630,000 Sam Soverel - 7,540,000 Andrew Lichtenberger - 5,615,000 Chance Kornuth - 5,000,000 Nick Petrangelo - 4,100,000 Dmitry Yurasov - 3,660,000 Jake Schwartz Continues to Lead $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw It's somewhat unusual to see a player finish Day 1 of a mix game event and hold onto that lead at the end of Day 2. Jake Schwartz accomplished exactly that on Sunday, bagging up 789,000 at the end of Day 2 of the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw event after finishing Day 1 with the biggest stack. Schwartz has yet to win a WSOP bracelet. His closest call came in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Simeon Naydenov in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event. Just 13 players remain in contention for the bracelet and $160,447 first place prize. Sumir Mathur sits second with 574,000. Two-time bracelet winner Mike Gorodinsky sits fourth with 483,000. Other notables still alive include Mark Gregorich (280,000), Jon Turner (228,000), Dan Zack (208,000), and Bryce Yockey (99,000). Action resumes at 2 PM and will continue until a winner is crowned. Top 10 Chip Counts Jake Schwartz - 789,000 Sumir Mathur - 574,000 Brayden Gazlay - 490,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 483,000 David Gee - 441,000 Jesse Hampton - 305,000 Andrew Yeh - 282,000 Mark Gregorich - 280,000 Jon Turner - 228,000 Dan Zack - 208,000 $10K Short Deck Gets Short Field on Day 1 One of the most highly-anticipated events on the 2019 WSOP schedule was the $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em event. Played by some of the game's highest stakes regulars, Short Deck has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past two years. So much so that the WSOP included it in their schedule. That being said, the first day of play drew just 61 entries - a far cry from the 200 players that some were expecting. Registration is open until the end of the second level of play on Monday and each player is allowed to re-enter once which should lead to a higher final number of players. Gabe Patgorski, one of just 25 players to have won more than $1 million in Short Deck tournaments, finished Day 1 with the lead after putting 388,000 in his bag. Alex Epstein, who has never cashed in a Short Deck tournament, ended in second with 323,000. Only 18 players finished Day 1 including Ben Lamb, Thai Ha, Jason Somerville, Justin Bonomo, Peter Jetten, and Dario Sammartino. Some of the players who were eliminated at least once on Sunday include Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, David Peters, Dan Smith, Mike WEatson and Brian Green. Players will return at 3 PM to play another eight levels of play. Top 10 Chip Counts Gabe Patgorski - 388,800 Alex Epstein - 323,000 Anson Tsang - 307,400 Liu Jiaxiu - 267,700 Galen Hall - 266,000 Yang Wang - 256,300 Thai Ha - 221,000 Ben Lamb - 209,300 Sean Winter - 207,800 James Chen - 140,400

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