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Found 21 results

  1. It's Wednesday, which means the PocketFives Online Poker Rankingshave been updated once again. We had several players enter the top 10 this week, but one thing that hasn't changed is our #1 player, p0cket00. In fact, p0cket00 holds a veritable stranglehold on the top spot with a PLB score of 7,708 points, almost 700 ahead of second place. --- 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! --- Moving up eight spots to enter the top 10 at #5 this week, his highest ranking ever, is Russia's MAMOHT_T(pictured). He finished second in a WCOOP $320 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Shootout two days ago for $46,000 and won the 888 Poker Mega Deep on the last day of August. All told, the Russian has $84,000 in online MTT winnings this month after just 10 days. Sweden's lena900moved up from #16 to #8, his all-time high, on the strength of a runner-up finish in the PokerStars.fr Sunday Special and a final table in the PokerStars Bigger $162 over the weekend. The day before, lena900 won the Saturday Six-Max on Full Tilt for $4,400, his 58th career win in tournaments we track. Outside of the top 10, one of the biggest jumps of the week went to Brazil's GM_VALTER, who settled up 32 spots to #18. He won the Super Tuesday on PokerStars last week for a commanding $114,000 and 777 PLB Points, which has helped vault him into the upper echelons worldwide. On the last day of August, he final tabled the iPoker Sunday Special for another $18,000. Longtime PocketFiver Chris Big Huni Hunichen (pictured) rose almost 40 spots to #25 in the world thanks to recent runner-up finishes in a WCOOP $320 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max event and the PokerStars Big $109 for almost $80,000 combined. He is over $6.5 million in online tournament cashes and has been a member of our site since 2007. Up 43 spots to #38 was fzkk, who calls Malta home. He final tabled the PokerStars Sunday 500 over the weekend and had a profitable September 2, when he won the PokerStars $20,000 Guarantee and finished third in the site's Super Tuesday for over $70,000 total. He stands at $1.4 million in tracked scores. Finally, we wanted to single out Brazil's pedrohennn, who reentered the top 100 at #67. He finished second in the Full Tilt Sunday Major over the weekend for $31,000 and is the top-ranked PocketFiver from the Brazilian municipality of Santo Andre. He plays as peterwhooo on PokerStars. Here are the top 10 players in the Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. p0cket00 - 7,708 points 2. r4ndomr4gs - 7,082 points 3. pleno1 - 6,990 points 4. European - 6,961 points 5. MAMOHT_T - 6,809 points 6. huiiiiiiiiii - 6,740 points 7. 1bigacehole - 6,712 points 8. lena900 - 6,711 points 9. Romeopro - 6,638 points 10. TheClaimeer - 6,626 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Last weekend, Costa Rica's Chris Big HuniHunichen (pictured) came away with the win in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Upfollowing a heads-up chop with Phemo. His reward was $89,000 and he became the ninth PocketFiver ever to pass $7 million in online tournament scores for his career. PocketFives: Talk about how you're feeling. You're all the way up to #4 in the world in the PocketFives Rankingsafter your Sunday Warm-Up score. Chris Hunichen: For the most part, I feel great. As far as my game, I'm very happy with the way I have been playing the past year. I have worked extremely hard, put in a ton of hours, and the results are starting to come along with it. I have moved up the Rankings pretty fast lately and didn't realize I was up to #4. I have only gotten up to #2 before, but have never held the top spot, so it would be nice to take over the top spot. I plan on playing a lot of live poker in the next few months, however, so unless I hit some big scores on Sundays, I don't see it happening because my volume will be too low. PocketFives: How did the chopgo down? Are you still happy with it? Chris Hunichen: When we got heads-up, we pretty much had even stacks. It was almost 7:00am here in Amsterdam, so I was pretty tired and didn't feel like I was playing my best. I was also deep in the Bigger $109 and the Sunday 500, so it made more sense to play a $10,000 heads-up match instead of a $25,000 heads-up match. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Big holiday presents? Chris Hunichen: I really don't have many plans. I have taken a lot of big shots lately in some higher stakes cash games and was on a decent-sized downswing between that and buying action, so as crazy as it sounds, I kind of needed this to get back on the track I was on. I am constantly firing, so my swings are much larger than most people are aware of. I'm also playing around $100,000 to $150,000 in live buy-ins over the next three months in Europe, so the money is getting used to buy into more tournaments. PocketFives: You just passed $7 million in career tournament winnings. Did you think you'd be around as long as you have? Talk about a few of the keys to your success. Chris Hunichen: I knew going back to college that poker was what I was going to do with my life. I made some big decisions back then and lost some friends and a relationship because I chose poker over everything else and, once I made those decisions, there was no looking back. I always knew I would still be here, but am very thankful and blessed to have learned as much as I have since moving to Costa Rica and being able to improve my game over the past few years to become a top-ranked player. Once you put in the amount of time and money I have and once you start playing higher limits, you tend to lose a little respect for the value of money. When it's on the table, it doesn't seem nearly as real as if you are at a mall about to spend the same amount on items for yourself. It can be good and bad for poker players to have this mindset, but I feel like in order to play the highest stakes, you almost have to have this type of mindset to be successful. PocketFives: How has the game changed in 2014, from your perspective? Chris Hunichen: The game seems to change every day. Overall, it has gotten a lot harder. There are so many good players and sites putting out training videos and there are other tools like HUDs and Holdem Resources that have really advanced the overall play on average. Even the "weaker" players are much better and a lot of the spots are drying up. Unless there is a big change coming, online poker seems to slowly be dying. PocketFives: Do you have any poker goals for 2014? Chris Hunichen: My main goal is to hit a seven-figure score. I have several friends who have hit the million-dollar-plus tournament score and I am quite jealous. There are very few opportunities a year for me, though, so it's definitely a possibility it never happens. PocketFives: Do you play cash games? Chris Hunichen: I have played a whole lot more cash games the past year than ever before. I have been told by several high-stakes cash game players and heads-up regs to stay away from the $25/$50 tables, but I can't help myself. I think this is where the best players are and I feel the only way for me to learn as much as I want to is to play against the best players and learn from them. I started off running hot and was up around $55,000, but have recently given most of it back. It's all a learning experience for me, but I feel I will take some time away until I build my roll bigger and can handle the swings a little better. One other goal is to play more live. I really feel online is dying and drying up and I enjoy playing live tournaments. I am currently in Amsterdam playing the MCOP and will be heading to Prague after that. I plan to head to the Bahamas in January and hopefully to Australia for the first time for the Aussie Millions. Then, I may hit up more EPTs or take a break and go back to Costa Rica to play online until the WSOP starts. My final poker goal is to win a WSOP bracelet, which I feel like I have been so close to. The last couple summers have been very good to me in Las Vegas and I hope to keep it up, finally securing my first WSOP win. PocketFives: What do you do away from poker? What else interests you? Chris Hunichen: I put in a lot of hours in poker and lately haven't had too much time away from the game. I believe balance is very important, but sometimes you have to go after it a little harder than normal. With the games getting harder and drying up, I have increased my workload because you never really know how much longer the money will be there. My girlfriend has a two-year-old named Derek who has been living with me since he was four months old, so away from the tables I spend time helping raise the kid and, apart from that, hang out with friends in Costa Rica. I have always been a sports fan as well, so I spend a lot of time watching games or playing sports games on Xbox with my friends. I also enjoy playing daily fantasy sports on FantasyDraft. I haven't had much success at it so far, but I have had a lot of fun with it. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Another week, another update to the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings. This week was a big one for longtime PocketFiver Chris Big Huni Hunichen (pictured), who moved up five spots to #4 in the world and is knocking on the door of #1. He has 7,569 PLB Points, 266 shy of being ranked #1 for the first time ever. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- Hunichen's movement came as a result of a heads-up chop in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up over the weekend in which he took home $89,000. The field numbered over 3,100 entrants and Hunichen logged his third largest cash to date. He final tabled a WCOOP Super Progressive Knockout in September for almost $80,000 officially and just passed $7 million in tracked online tournament winnings. Knocking on the door of the top 10 worldwide this week is Romeopro, who moved up 13 spots to #11. He has had a productive last four days, taking down the 888 PokerTwister, the PokerStars Big $55, and the Full Tilt T-Rex for $23,000 combined. We're reasonably confident he'll crack the top 10 when the Rankings are recalculated next week. Peru's Diego Ventura Chunga, known on PocketFives as Die Ventura, rose 22 spots to settle at #49 in the world on the strength of a final table in the Sunday Million over the weekend for $29,000. He has $1.4 million in career online tournament winnings and his current ranking is his best ever. Across the Pacific from Peru in New Zealand is asjbaaaf, who moved up 19 spots and landed at #56. He has three wins in the last seven days and reached an all-time high of #21 worldwide on PocketFives last year. asjbaaaf is the top-ranked player in New Zealand. Finally, we wanted to single out Austria's king2173, who debuted in the top 100 at #76. He won the PokerStars $109 NLHE Turbo on Tuesday for $9,100, one of five in the money finishes that day. He is the fifth-ranked player in the poker mecca of Austria with $2.2 million in career winnings. Here are the top 10 players in the PocketFives Rankings this week, along with the PLB score for each: 1. p0cket00 - 7,835 points 2. PokerKaiser - 7,740 points 3. CrownUpGuy - 7,638 points 4. Big Huni - 7,569 points 5. Yuri Martins - 7,563 points 6. pleno1 - 7,420 points 7. vicenfish - 7,304 points 8. joaomathias - 6,937 points 9. jbrown8777 - 6,932 points 10. r4ndomr4gs - 6,906 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. We had a fair amount of movement within the top 10 of the PocketFives Rankingsthis week, including a 17-spot jump by longtime member Big Huni(pictured), who cracked the top 10 at #8 in the world. Hunichen won the PokerStars $109 NLHE Turbo on Tuesday for $10,000 after taking down the site's Big $55 seven days prior for $17,000. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- Patrick pleno1 Leonard retained the top spot on PocketFives for the second straight week. He has 7,918 PLB Points, 100 more than second place, and has three five-figure scores already in November. Leonard won the PokerStars Bigger $55 for $41,000, finished third in the Big $109 for $12,000, and took second in the Big $162 for another $13,000, helping boost his lifetime total to nearly $1.4 million. We officially have a hat trick for CrownUpGuy(pictured). After winning the WCOOP Main Event and Full Tilt Sunday Major on back-to-back weekends at the end of September and beginning of October, CrownUpGuy took gold the PokerStars Sunday 500 over the weekend for $65,000 to continue his hot streak. He rose one spot in the Rankings this week and stands at #4 in the world. London's vicenfish is the new sixth-ranked player on PocketFives, up five spots on the week. vicenfish, whose real name is Vicente Delgado Zamorano, won a $320 Six-Max tournament on PokerStars on Tuesday for $10,000 and now is at his all-time high in the Rankings. He won a WCOOP event two months ago for a blistering $702,000 officially and almost 2,000 PLB Points. Outside of the top 10, we wanted to single out MendaLerenda, who jumped 50 spots to land at #27 in the world. This Bristol resident, whose real name is Oscar Serradell, won the PokerStars Super Tuesday and $215 NLHE Turbo on back-to-back days this week for almost $120,000 total. Serradell is up to $2.5 million in online tournament winnings and is just $9,000 away from hitting $2 million on PokerStars. Here are the top 10 players worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. pleno1- 7,918 points 2. PokerKaiser - 7,817 points 3. p0cket00 - 7,769 points 4. CrownUpGuy- 7,614 points 5. Yuri Martins - 7,525 points 6. vicenfish- 7,116 points 7. jbrown8777 - 7,034 points 8. Big Huni - 6,965 points 9. r4ndomr4gs - 6,944 points 10. joaomathias - 6,916 points Congrats to all of our ranked players. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. It's Wednesday, which means the PocketFives Rankingshave been updated. On top for the fourth straight week is Brazil's Yuri Martins, who is enjoying the longest stint at the top of the Rankings for any PocketFiver since September and the third longest streak since April. Martins has 7,462 PLB Points, 136 more than the second place player in the Rankings, p0cket00 (pictured). This Canadian player finished second in a $215 No Limit Hold'em Turbo on PokerStars one day ago for $7,000 and 142 PLB Points, meaning, all else equal, he's another score of equivalent value away from being the #1 player worldwide on PocketFives. We'll have to wait until next Wednesday to see if he succeeds. There were no new entrants into the top 10 worldwide this week. Outside of the top 10, Alex Lynskey, known as lynskey99on PocketFives, moved up from #37 to #19 on the strength of a win in the PokerStars Sunday Six-Max over the weekend for $25,000 and a solid 377 PLB Points. Lynskey is up to $1.4 million in tracked MTT scores and is one spot shy of his all-time high worldwide. He is the top-ranked PocketFiver in Australia. One of the biggest jumps of the week inside the top 100 belonged to Russia's MatveichukR (pictured), who moved up 26 spots to settle at #56. He won the PokerStars Big $55 on the third day of 2015 for $21,000 and his 231st career tracked win. MatveichukR, who is celebrating his fifth anniversary of signing up for PocketFives on Wednesday, has $3.6 million in winnings and is five spots shy of his all-time high in the Rankings. Also climbing high was former #4 ranked Shyam s_dot111 Srinivasan, who moved up from #99 to #58, or 41 spots. He has been on a tear since 2015 began, winning the PokerStars $109 Quad once and $109 Rebuy twice for a total of almost $25,000. This follows a six-week stretch without a tracked win, so he has certainly made up for lost time. Srinivasan is the #10 ranked player in Canada and #5 in Toronto. Here are the top 10 players in the PocketFives Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. Yuri Martins - 7,462 points 2. p0cket00 - 7,306 points 3. Big Huni - 7,170 points 4. joaomathias - 7,143 points 5. PokerKaiser - 7,123 points 6. pleno1 - 7,052 points 7. r4ndomr4gs - 6,833 points 8. Ssick_one - 6,631 points 9. Fresh_Oo_D - 6,630 points 10. CrownUpGuy - 6,581 points Congrats to all of our ranked members! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. For the first time since November of last year, Chile's Nico PokerKaiserFierro (pictured) is the #1 player in the PocketFives Rankings. He swapped spots with Chris Big Huni Hunichen to claim the honors and is ranked #1 for just the second time in his career and the first time since last November. Fierro won the WinamaxHigh Roller on March 2 for almost $10,000. The same day, he took down the PokerStars.fr Monday Night on Stars for $9,900. He has six wins in the last two weeks and will soon become the seventh PocketFiver ever to hit $7.5 million in online tournament scores. London's Vicente Delgado Zamorano, aka vicenfish, reentered the top 10 this week and can be found at #9. He took second in the Big $55 late last month for $11,000 and final tabled the Bigger $152 earlier in the month for about the same amount. Working against him is the fact that he hasn't won an MTT since November, but he has more than enough volume to make up for it. Zackattak13rose 21 spots this week to land at #16, seven places off his all-time high set in 2011. He won a $109 Turbo on PokerStars on Tuesday for $10,000 and captured the "W" in the Super Sized Sunday on Full Tilt over the weekend for $16,000. He won four tournaments in the span of two days on February 25 and 26: PokerStars $109 Turbo Re-Entry for $7,100 PokerStars $22 Rebuy for $1,700 PokerStars $109 Rebuy for $10,000 PokerStars $101 Heads-Up Hyper-Turbo Knockout for $1,400 Finally, we wanted to single out Portugal's Edgar Zaureos Oliveira (pictured), who moved up from #73 to #42 in the world thanks to a blockbuster last few weeks during which he won the Big $162, won the Full Tilt Sunday Major, and won the PokerStars $10,000 Guaranteed. He is our top-ranked Portuguese player and is nearing $900,000 in tournament scores. Here are the top 10 players in the Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. PokerKaiser- 7,542 points 2. Big Huni - 7,371 points 3. joaomathias - 7,224 points 4. CrownUpGuy - 7,086 points 5. Yuri Martins - 6,929 points 6. norfair18 - 6,815 points 7. MendaLerenda - 6,751 points 8. pleno1 - 6,566 points 9. vicenfish- 6,544 points 10. x_zola25 - 6,493 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  7. Thanks to being part of a five-way chop of a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em TCOOP event over the weekend, Denmark's x_zola25rocketed into the top 10 of the PocketFives Rankingsthis week, debuting at #9 in the world. He was up 15 spots thanks to the mammoth $177,000 score. Amazingly, it came just one week after a victory in the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance for $43,000. Now we'll see if he can keep up his hot streak. This is the highest x_zola25 has ever been on PocketFives and he is up to $1.1 million in career online tournament winnings. He's the top-ranked Danish player on our site and plays on rooms like Betfairunder the handle Zola25gud. Number one on PocketFives for the second straight week is Chris Big HuniHunichen (pictured above), who took down a $55 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Turbo on PokerStars over the weekend for $4,400 and 144 PLB Points to preserve his #1 ranking. Hunichen has 7,549 PLB Points in total and leads the second place player in the Rankings, Yuri Martins, by a scant 90 points. Another fast riser this week is David Davidp18Peters (pictured), who rose 20 spots to land at #11. Peters won the PokerStars $215 Weekly Turbo over the weekend for $24,000 and, since January 27, has also taken down the Full Tilt Tuesday Turbo and PokerStars Wednesday Hundred Grand for a combined $27,000. Peters is the #2 ranked player in Ontario and #1 in the hamlet of Belle River. Finland's OgSulttaanihad the biggest jump of anyone inside the top 100, leaping 48 spots to #23. He won nine tournaments in four days to help his cause: the PokerStars $109 Rebuy, PartyPoker $5,000 Guaranteed, PartyPoker Daily Major, PokerStars $320 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max, PokerStars $55 Saturday PLO, PokerStars $215 Weekly Six-Max, PokerStars $27 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Turbo Progressive Super Knockout, PokerStars $82 Weekly Stud, and Winamax Royal Omaha. Well done! Finally this week, we wanted to single out Bosnia and Herzegovina's Alen lilachaa Bilic, who reentered the top 100 at #68 thanks to wins in a TCOOP $109 No Limit Hold'em Turbo and the PokerStars Bigger $33 on Super Bowl Sunday for almost $50,000 total. Bilic was ranked as high as #7 on PocketFives last year. Here are the top 10 players in the PocketFives Rankings this week, along with their PLB scores: 1. Big Huni - 7,549 points 2. Yuri Martins - 7,459 points 3. joaomathias - 7,429 points 4. PokerKaiser - 7,222 points 5. CrownUpGuy - 7,130 points 6. p0cket00 - 6,913 points 7. Romeopro - 6,646 points 8. r4ndomr4gs - 6,646 points 9. x_zola25 - 6,581 points 10. pleno1 - 6,570 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  8. For the third straight week, Chris Big HuniHunichen (pictured) is the #1 player in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings. This is his first stint at #1 and he is certainly making his presence felt, as he won the Betfair/iPoker €25,000 Grand Friday last week for $7,100 and the PokerStars Big $162 two days prior for another $18,000. He has 7,670 PLB Points, the metric used to determine the Rankings, and leads the second place player by about 300. London's Vicente Delgado Zamorano, better known as vicenfish, moved up four spots to reenter the top 10 at #8. He final tabled the Bigger $162 over the weekend for $11,000 and took third in the PokerStars $109 Cubed the same day for almost $10,000. He's two spots off his all-time high in the Rankings. Jumping 32 spots in the Rankings to land at #22, his best showing ever, is Brazil's fred_volpe. He won two tournaments on Sunday to help his cause: the Bigger $162 for $39,000 and an $82 NLHE Six-Max Hyper-Turbo for another $8,700. He received over 700 PLB Points combined and is now #3 in his home country. Russia's Blackkreentered his screen names and is now at #23 on PocketFives, his best mark ever. He has three wins in the last week, including a victory in the WinamaxHigh Roller for $6,900. Blackk is a five-time PocketFives Triple Crownwinner and plays on PokerStars and 888 Pokerunder the user name Biack88. Finally this week, we wanted to single out Rob rtinnionTinnion, who won the Sunday Million for the second time in five months over the weekend and shot up to #62 in the world, his all-time high. Tinnion banked well over $400,000 from his two Sunday Million wins and is #7 in the UK. Here are the top 10 players in the Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. Big Huni - 7,670 points 2. joaomathias - 7,391 points 3. PokerKaiser - 7,163 points 4. Yuri Martins - 7,120 points 5. CrownUpGuy - 7,040 points 6. p0cket00 - 6,731 points 7. r4ndomr4gs - 6,594 points 8. vicenfish- 6,581 points 9. pleno1 - 6,545 points 10. x_zola25 - 6,532 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. Oh yes, the title of this article is most definitely a Nelly reference. It's relevant because earlier this week, Chris Big HuniHunichen (pictured) became the #1 player in the PocketFives Rankings for the first time ever. He's the first player from Costa Rica to top the Rankings in a year and is closing in on $7.5 million in tracked online MTT scores. PocketFives: How does it feel to be #1? We know it has been a goal of yours for a while. Chris Hunichen: As expected, it feels really good. Last year around this time, I made it as high as #2 and then was forced to take a couple months off, so I dropped down pretty far and never really had a shot at #1 again until now. Previously when I got in the top 10, I would follow the Rankings a lot, but this time around it kind of just happened. I had moved into the top 10, but was about to travel around Europe for a bit to play live and then to the Bahamas for the PCA, so I thought I wouldn't have any chance because I didn't expect to play much online. Luckily, I was able to win the Warm-Up on a Sunday while in Amsterdam during one of my first weeks in Europe. Unfortunately, I bricked pretty hard the rest of my Europe trip. At PCA, I invested a lot into myself and final table bubbled the $5K I had chopped the previous year. I bricked everything else including the $25K High Roller twice, so after an expensive couple of months, I immediately came back to Costa Rica and have been putting in a lot of hours trying to recover. I have been running pretty well since I got back and had a couple of good scores, so I had a feeling the Full Tilt Sunday Major win might would propel me to #1 even though I started the week all the way down at #4. PocketFives: Talk about winning the Full Tilt Sunday Major last weekend. Chris Hunichen: The Sunday Major is unique because it has incremental blind increases as the tournament goes on and allows one reentry. The blinds start off at 12 minutes, go up to 15, and then eventually end at 20. I feel like this benefits good players a lot and gives me an advantage over some of the recreational players and satellite winners that were still in the tournament deep. It used to be one of the best tournaments on the internet pre-Black Friday, but since Full Tilt has re-opened, there have been a lot fewer people playing and the prize pools have been much smaller, with fewer recreational players. When I got to the final table, two of my friends were there, Sean Ripp (SirCrafty) and former November Niner Joseph Cheong (subiime, pictured), who are very tough opponents, and the rest of the players I knew absolutely nothing about. Joe ended up going out in seventh, which allowed me to be able to work my position throughout the final table without any problems. I eventually got three-handed with Sean and donkno2and was fortunate to come out on top in a big all-in pre-flop flip, my 6-6 to Sean's K-Q. I won the heads-up match to get my first ever Sunday Major win on Full Tilt. PocketFives: Do you do anything to celebrate these kinds of achievements? Chris Hunichen: Not really. I play a lot of poker, have been playing high-stakes for years, and one thing that's for sure is if you play high volume like I do, you have to win consistently not to go broke. Every day I play, my tournament buy-ins range from $3K to $10K, usually around $4,500 on average, and so it's important to stay consistent in order to be successful. I also quit drinking alcohol over a year ago, so I don't do too much celebrating these days. I stay on the grind and continue to try to improve every day to stay ahead of the curve. PocketFives: Did you ever think when you started in poker that you'd come this far? Chris Hunichen: From the beginning, I always knew this is what I wanted to do. I have always been very competitive and played several sports year-round growing up. After growing up and not being able to play sports competitively anymore, poker allowed me to get that competitiveness back in my life. Add on the fact that I could make this my job if I took it seriously enough and could make a career out of poker and I knew this was for me. After getting my Bachelor's degree in four years from East Carolina University in 2006, I went back for another three years and earned my MBA. I started playing poker my freshman year and continued to play throughout college. After receiving my degrees, I ultimately had to make a life decision whether I would get a real job or play poker professionally. I asked my first ever backer at the time, Matt Graham (mattg1983, pictured), for his thoughts and he told me he was positive I could go the poker route if I worked hard. So, that's what I did and, ever since, I have given my heart and soul to this game and put in many hours to try to give myself a chance to play at the highest level. PocketFives: What advice do you have for up-and-coming tournament players? Chris Hunichen: My advice would be to try to never get backed, always play on your own dime selling action if you need, and be really good with bankroll management. Unfortunately for me, I wish I had people to tell me this because I have made a lot of money that has disappeared in many ways. It's okay to take shots from time to time, but it's very important to keep strict bankroll management, and that has always been one of my biggest flaws. Additionally, make sure to pay your taxes and be very smart about keeping up with write-offs and deductions. If you allow taxes to get backed up, the IRS can make your life pretty miserable. One of the biggest problems I've seen in the poker industry is players getting into tax troubles. It can be very difficult to stay organized and difficult to keep up with records. Once you get behind on your taxes, the fines and fees add up and it makes it very difficult to get back on track. PocketFives: Besides yourself, who is the top online tournament player out there right now? Chris Hunichen: Poker has gotten extremely hard. It's very difficult these days and everyone has become very good. It's hard to say, but if I had to name a few of the people I thought were the best online players in the game right now, it would probably be European, p0cket00, Fresh_Oo_D, s_dot111, cal42688 (pictured), pleno1, and an honorable mention to Zackattak13 because despite a lot of hate, he has consistently crushed year after year and his graph goes straight up. PocketFives: Remind us how you got started in poker. Chris Hunichen: I started out in college playing $20 home games for fun with friends and progressed to online poker mainly for fun as well. I started off on PartyPoker before it was originally banned in the US and played on PokerRoom and Hollywood Poker. I was not very good at the time, but it was where it all started and where I first gained an addiction to play consistently. For a period of my college life, I was too dedicated, had lost touch with balance in my life, and was glued to my screen, but it was all a great learning experience and allowed me to freely live the life that I have now in Costa Rica with my friends and gorgeous girlfriend Heilyn. PocketFives: What else do you do besides poker? What else occupies your time? Chris Hunichen: I have always been a sports fanatic, so I spend a lot of time following sports. Every year, I purchase MLB TV, NFL Sunday Ticket, and the NBA package. I play some daily fantasy sports here and there, but haven't gotten into it too much. My girlfriend's kid just turned two years old and he is a little wild man these days, so most of my non-poker time goes toward my girlfriend, the kid, hanging out with my friends in Costa Rica, playing video games, and tubing or wakeboarding on the boat. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  10. It's Wednesday, which means the PocketFives Rankingshave been updated. Chris Big Huni Hunichen is at the top spot for the fourth straight week and seems poised to be ranked #1 again next week, as he has an almost 300-point lead on second place with 7,657 PLB Points. The top 10 was relatively unchanged this week, so we'll start at #11, where MendaLerenda(pictured) now resides after moving up 20 spots. The Bristol resident has had a rock solid last week, which included him winning the PokerStars Big $109 and $215 Weekly Six-Max for $33,000 total. He also finished second in the site's $109 Cubed for another $14,000. This is the highest he has ever been in the Rankings. Chris Gettin DaizeOliver moved up 37 spots to settle at #32. The former #1 ranked playerwon the PokerStars Bigger $162 for $39,000 three days ago and bagged almost 500 PLB Points. The Costa Rican plays on PokerStars under the user name imdanuts. Chris NigDawG Brammer moved up 38 spots after finishing second in the Sunday Warm-Up over the weekend for $75,000. On February 8, he tore through the field of the Hotter $75 and earned $25,000. Brammer, who was ranked #1 as recently as 2012, now has $4.6 million in career online tournament winnings. Denmark's Bull1967 sits at #65 in the Rankings, his highest position ever, after climbing 26 spots. He has had four wins since 2014 began along with more than 15 final tables. He also finished fourth in the Sunday Warm-Up in January for $36,000, just a few weeks after final tabling the Sunday 500. Finally this week, we wanted to single out Greece's blakjak19 (pictured), who entered the top 100 of the Rankings at #70. He has $1.6 million in online tournament winnings and has won the PokerStars $215 NLHE Turbo twice this month as well as the Bigger $109 once. blakjak19 is the top-ranked player in Greece. Here are the top 10 players in the Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. Big Huni - 7,657 points 2. joaomathias - 7,376 points 3. CrownUpGuy - 7,077 points 4. PokerKaiser - 7,013 points 5. Yuri Martins - 6,901 points 6. pleno1 - 6,711 points 7. vicenfish - 6,506 points 8. p0cket00 - 6,502 points 9. x_zola25 - 6,493 points 10. r4ndomr4gs - 6,341 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. The latest installment of the PocketFives Rankingswere released on Wednesday and Chris Big HuniHunichen (pictured) became our #1 player for the first time ever. Part of the reason: a victory in the Full Tilt Sunday Major over the weekend for $36,000 and 421 PLB Points. Hunichen has $7.2 million in career online tournament winnings, the eighth highest total of any PocketFiver, and is nearing 5,000 tracked scores. The Sunday Major was one of six MTTs he has taken down in January. Hunichen is the first #1 player from Costa Rica we've had in a year. We had two new entrants into the top 10 worldwide this week. The first is CrownUpGuy, who has been bouncing around the top 10 for several months now. He ticked up two spots to #9 and won the Full Tilt Tyrannosaurus Rex on the first day of 2015 for $4,100. In the last four months, he has won the WCOOP Main Event, Full Tilt Sunday Major, and PokerStars Sunday 500. Also cracking the top 10 this week was Romeopro (pictured), who, like CrownUpGuy, moved up two spots. Romeopro can be found at #10 in the world and is $8,000 shy of hitting $5 million in online tournament winnings for his career. He won a $265 NLHE Knockout on PokerStars five days ago for $8,300 and is the top-ranked Ukrainian PocketFiver. Outside of the top 10, one of the biggest jumps of the week went to Austria's mindgamer, who moved up 28 spots to #14. He has won four tournaments in the last six days on PokerStars: the $320 NLHE Six-Max, $109 Cubed, $215 Rebuy, and $82 NLHE Six-Max Hyper-Turbo. He was last ranked #1 on PocketFives in 2013. Finally this week, we wanted to single out x_zola25, who moved up 29 spots to #24 after a weekend in which he won the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance and final tabled the Sunday $109 Rebuy for $65,000 and 732 PLB Points combined. He is now just $5,000 shy of hitting $1 million in career online tournament winnings. Here are the top 10 players in the PocketFives Rankings this week, along with the PLB score for each: 1. Big Huni - 7,664 points 2. Yuri Martins - 7,599 points 3. joaomathias - 7,384 points 4. PokerKaiser - 7,260 points 5. p0cket00 - 7,133 points 6. pleno1 - 6,865 points 7. Ssick_one - 6,779 points 8. r4ndomr4gs - 6,508 points 9. CrownUpGuy- 6,499 points 10. Romeopro- 6,474 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. [caption width="658"] 'lena900' hit #1 this week in the PocketFives Rankings[/caption] Three of the last four players to hit #1 on PocketFives all call Sweden home. The poker powerhouse has churned out top-tier talent after top-tier talent. The latest Swede to hit #1 is 'lena900', who moved into the top spot for the first time ever on Wednesday. Heading into last week 'lena900' trailed fellow Swede 'C Darwin2' by only a few PLB Points. He won a $215 No Limit Hold'em Turbo on PokerStars on Tuesday for $6,400 and, on March 20, won a Powerfest event on partypoker for $34,000, his second Powerfest victory in three days. "It feels good," 'lena900' said. "I've been playing more tournament this year instead of cash games and it's fun that you can be ranked and compete in a different way than in cash. 'C Darwin2' is a good friend of mine, so it's even more good for that reason alone." 'lena900' has $4.1 million in career online tournament winnings, breaking through the $4 million mark thanks to 30 in the money finishes in the last three days. He hails from the western coastal county of Vastra Gotaland. 'C Darwin2' had been #1 on PocketFives since February 10 - a seven-week reign. He swapped places with 'lena900' this week to land at #2, but only trails by 50 points. 'C Darwin2' finished second in the partypoker High Roller six days ago for almost $10,000. On the 20th of March, he won both the Sunday Supersonic and Sunday High Roller in an impressive showing on PokerStars' French-facing site. Up eight spots this week to #6 in the world is Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen. He reached #1 on PocketFives last year and is fresh off an impressive last eight days during which he finished seventh in the PokerStars Super Tuesday, won the site's $109 Sunday Kickoff, and took down the $320 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max. His total haul from those three tournaments was over $55,000. [caption width="638"] Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen moved up six spots[/caption] Hunichen has 559 top-three finishes and $8.3 million in career winnings, the eighth highest total of anyone. He's the top-ranked online poker player that Costa Rica has to offer and owns $1.2 million in career live winnings to boot, according to the Hendon Mob. "I have been focusing on working really hard to correct a few leaks I had last year that really put a dent in my overall ROI," Hunichen said. "I finally feel like I'm back on top of the game and really excited for the near future grinding online and then heading to the WSOP. I have been playing this game a long time, but I feel like now I am finally peaking at the highest level I have ever played at and don't plan on looking back. Expect bigger and better things to come from me in 2016." Greek poker player Damianos 'damourinio' Aslanidis is up 17 spots this week to #14, his highest ranking ever. Aslanidis won the Wednesday $320 on PokerStars one week ago for $25,000 and has 44 in the money finishes since then to bolster his resume. He's the top-ranked player in Greece and owns $1.6 million in career winnings. Malta's Pim 'joppiesaus' de Goede moved up 19 spots to #25. After a two-week absence from cashing in online MTTs, de Goede made the money 10 times on March 27 to hit his all-time high in the rankings. He plays as 'PIPI tapis!' on PokerStars, where he has $1.2 million in career winnings, more than half of his overall haul of a little over $2 million. He's the #2 ranked player in his home country. England's Andy 'wiisssppppaa' Taylor hit #51 this week, up 24 places over last Wednesday, after wins in the PokerStars Bounty Builder Battle Royale and 888 Saturday Challenge. Those were the 37th and 38th online wins of his career and propelled him to the top of the leaderboard in the English county of Lancashire. Taylor's big online claim to fame is winning a WCOOP bracelet last year in the Sunday Million for almost $300,000. "It feels good to be going in the right direction again since I know I dropped off a lot after traveling for a month and only playing the odd session here and there," Taylor said. "I've been playing really well lately and studying hard, which only bodes well for SCOOP." Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar won the partypoker High Roller and finished second in the PokerStars Bounty Builder in the last week for almost $30,000 combined. Consequently, the $7.6 million man landed at #62 worldwide in the rankings, up 19 spots. Amazingly, he's the 14th ranked Swede despite being at #62, which should tell you all you need to know about Swedish poker domination. Finally this week, Sweden's 'Discoovery' entered the top 100 at #77, his highest position ever. He turned in three wins on March 28: the 888 Monsoon, partypoker Heavyweight Rocky, and PokerStars $82 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Hyper-Turbo. The trio of gold medals was worth almost $10,000 total and moved this up-and-coming player's win total to 17. He has $678,000 in career online winnings, about half of which has come on PokerStars under the screen name 'shipitftw911'. Here are the top 10 players in the rankings: lena900 - 7,277 points C Darwin2 - 7,226 points Ariados - 7,042 points veeea - 6,924 points SvZff - 6,728 points Big Huni - 6,689 points MendaLerenda - 6,506 points DeathbyQuads - 6,404 points eisenhower1 - 6,396 points jbrown8777 - 6,396 points
  13. [caption width="450"] Bryan Paris was one of nine players to pass .5 million in career online tournament winnings in 2015[/caption] In 2015, nine members of the PocketFives community passed $7.5 million in career online tournament winnings. It started in January with Bryan bparisParis, who passed $7.5 million and is already up to $8.5 million, meaning he has amassed about $1 million in winnings in the last year. Paris' 2015 included winning the PokerStars Sunday $109 Rebuy for $39,000. One month later, Chris Gettin Daize Oliver reached $7.5 million in lifetime winnings. Oliver is now at $8.1 million and won the Bigger $162 on PokerStars last February for $39,000, his largest score of the year. He also took third in the MiniFTOPS Main Event in February for $37,000. March saw Nico PokerKaiserFierro, from Chile, hit $7.5 million for his career. Fierro was ranked #1 on PocketFives for three different stretches in 2015 and amazingly won 11 Triple Crownsduring the year, the most of anyone. Fierro earned gold in the 888 Mega Deep in April of last year for $35,000 and continues to be the top-ranked poker player in Chile. [caption width="640"] Nico PokerKaiser Fierro, Chile's top-ranked player[/caption] Chris Big Huni Hunichen was the next player to hit $7.5 million, doing so in May. Hunichen closed out 2015 by lapping $8 million and finished second in the Super Tuesday in November for $83,000, his largest cash of the year. Hunichen is currently the top-ranked player in Costa Rica and #42 in the world. Eight days after Hunichen passed $7.5 million in online tournament winnings for his career, Jon PearlJammer Turner followed suit. He finished second in a SCOOP Triple Draw tournament for $31,000 in May, his largest score of the year, and was ranked as high as #3 on PocketFives back in 2008. Turner is currently the 25th-ranked PocketFiver in Mexico. [caption width="410"] Jon PearlJammer Turner passed .5 million in May[/caption] After a four-month summer break, eisenhower1 was the next PocketFiver to hit $7.5 million, doing so in September. Our current #1 ranked player, eisenhower1 recorded his two largest career cashes during the year: a sixth place finish in the SCOOP Main Event for $294,000 and a WCOOP No Limit Hold'em Cubed bracelet for $133,000. He has been ranked #1 worldwide since September. On October 16, Nicholas Carrillo, aka rounder63, won the award. He finished third in the Sunday Supersonic for $32,000 in June, his largest score of the year, and amazingly has over 1,100 top-three finishes. Carrillo is the fifth-ranked player in Costa Rica and plays under the user name Hooodflatteron PartyPoker. Five days after Carrillo hit $7.5 million, TJ 1bigacehole Ulmer did the same. Ulmer, who was last ranked #1 on PocketFives in 2012, turned in his largest score of 2015 in a TCOOP No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max event for $53,000. Ulmer is sitting at $7.7 million in online tournament winnings now and is ranked #57 in the world. The final player to hit $7.5 million in career winnings during the year was Zackattak13, who did so four days into December. He has $6 million in winnings on PokerStars alone and is ranked #28 worldwide. He is approaching 10,000 in career in the money finishes and has been a member of PocketFives since 2007, our second year in business. Out of the 21 players who passed $5 million in career cashesin 2015, 12 did so in the second half of the year. Five of those were formerly ranked #1 on PocketFives. Jordan Jymaster0011Young, who was the top dog on PocketFives in 2011, hit $5 million in mid-August, while Taylor taypaur Paur, who was also ranked #1 in 2011, followed suit in September. Paur won a WCOOP Second Chance event in 2015 for almost $100,000. [caption width="500"] Taylor taypaur Paur reached https://cdn.pocketfives.com/p5wp/2017/11/593300-taylor-taypaur-paur.jpg million in 2015[/caption] Mike telks Telker, who like Young and Paur was #1 in 2011, passed $5 million in November 2015. Telker won a WCOOP Second Chance tournament last year for $87,000, his largest score of 2015. Yuri Martins, who hit $5 million in November, was also ranked #1 in January, while Christopher kid_bramm Brammer, who was last #1 in 2012, hit $5 million in August. Brammer is the owner of six PocketFives Triple Crowns and won the Super Tuesday for the second time in his career in August.
  14. [caption width="450"] Yuri Martins opened 2015 as the #1 ranked player[/caption] There were nine players who laid claim to the title of #1 in the PocketFives Rankingsin 2015. Plus, there were 14 lead changes during the year, which means there was plenty of movement atop of the Rankings. Let's take a look back at the #1 ranked players of 2015. 2015 began with Brazil's Yuri Martins ranked #1. He had assumed the role on December 27, 2014 and was the top dog until January 21, 2015, or five weeks. Martins won a WCOOP bracelet in September in a $1,050 Pot Limit Omaha High-Low event. Another Brazilian, Joao joaomathiasMathias, bumped his fellow countryman from the #1 spot on January 21. He held down the fort for one week until January 28 when Chris Big HuniHunichen became the #1 ranked online poker player in the world. Hunichen won the PokerStars Super Tuesday around the same time and was ranked #1 on PocketFives for five weeks. It was the only time Hunichen has been ranked #1. On March 5, Nico PokerKaiserFierro and Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz began taking turns at #1. Fierro was #1 for one week before Holz knocked him out, also for a week. Then, Fierro reclaimed the #1 spot before Holz stole it back on March 25. Fierro promptly became the top-ranked player for three weeks until April 22. Fierro won the 888 Mega Deep on March 22 and April 19 to solidify his spot atop the Rankings. [caption width="640"] Nico Fierro spent 21 weeks at #1 in 2015[/caption] On April 25, norfair18 became #1 on PocketFives for the first time in his career. He held the title for two weeks on the strength of a Super Tuesday runner-up finish and Million Dollar Sunday final table before ceding the top spot to Fierro on May 5. Fierro then spent 16 weeks at #1, or almost four months, the longest reign of anyone in 2015. During his run, Fierro took down an OPS event and the 888 Mega Deep. He also earned three PocketFives Triple Crowns. All told, Fierro spent 21 weeks at #1 in 2015, the most of anyone. On August 26, Aaron aguskb Gustavson bucked Fierro from the top spot for a week, the first and only time he has been ranked #1. Gustavson final tabled the Super Tuesday three times in 2015, the best showing of which was a second place finish in June for $52,000. Gustavson is currently ranked 18th in the world on PocketFives. [caption width="450"] Aaron Gustavson was ranked #1 for one week[/caption] One week after Gustavson became #1, StrungOut1assumed the role, also for a week. He won the Sunday Million a few days before becoming #1, a cash worth almost $150,000. Gustavson then retook the #1 spot for a week before Sweden's eisenhower1 became #1 on September 30 and closed out the year on top. eisenhower1 has a PLB score of 7,313 points, only 27 ahead of the second-ranked player, so we could see a changing of the guard in the first week of 2016 when the Rankings are recalculated on Wednesday. If you're a fan of lists, here were the top-ranked PocketFivers of 2015: eisenhower1 September 30, 2015 to Today aguskb September 9, 2015 to September 30, 2015 StrungOut1 September 2, 2015 to September 9, 2015 aguskb August 26, 2015 to September 2, 2015 PokerKaiser May 6, 2015 to August 26, 2015 norfair18 April 22, 2015 to May 6, 2015 PokerKaiser April 1, 2015 to April 22, 2015 CrownUpGuy March 25, 2015 to April 1, 2015 PokerKaiser March 18, 2015 to March 25, 2015 CrownUpGuy March 11, 2015 to March 18, 2015 PokerKaiser March 4, 2015 to March 11, 2015 Big Huni January 28, 2015 to March 4, 2015 joaomathias January 21, 2015 to January 28, 2015 Yuri Martins December 17, 2014 to January 21, 2015
  15. Even over $500,000 in earnings so far this summer, Chris Hunichen is looking to cap things off with another deep WSOP Main Event run (PokerStars photo)[/CAPTION] Almost three weeks ago, Chris ‘Big-Huni’ Hunichen was heads-up for a World Series of Poker bracelet against Nadar Kakhmazov. Hunichen started with the chip lead, watched Kakhmazov even things up and eventually shook the Russian’s hand to congratulate him on his victory. “It’s still a little salty because winning a bracelet means so much to me. To get that close, I think that’s my fourth or fifth WSOP final table, so I’ve had my shots and that was the closest and I really feel like if I had it again, I have a small edge over my opponent but that’s how it goes,“ said Hunichen. “The last hand has been eating me alive, I kinda misplayed it a little bit, it was a little bit of a cooler but I still shouldn’t have stacked off an had a chance to rebuild back up.” The pair actually agreed to a chop heads-up, giving Hunichen $450,000 for his efforts. That’s a big part of the reason Hunichen, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, believes this summer has been one of his best yet and it started early on with a six-figure score away from the Rio. “I got fourth in the $10K at the Venetian for just under $100K, I think that was the third or fourth tournament of the summer, so that was nice. Covered a lot of my buy-ins, gave me a lot of confidence going forward,” said Hunichen. “ He’s also picked up some smaller cashes along the way and believes that as the Main Event begins, he’s in a great spot to put up a result better than the 114th place finish he had last year. “I believe that might have been my first cash in the Main out of five attempts. I had a couple of bad years and then I had some years where I just ran really bad in the Main. But I think I’m on top of my game now, I’m playing the best that I’ve ever had before so I think this year I’m set up for another deep run,” said Hunichen. The results this summer are the result of a shift in Hunichen’s focus when it comes to stuff away from the felt. He’s dedicated more of his time to studying the game than he ever had before. “I used to play lot of but never put in a lot of work off the felt. I really put in time studying, started a stable and we’ve we’ve done a lot of coaching for that, so that helps too, to kind of fine tune and refresh,” said Hunichen. “Other than that, I really think that a lot of the off the felt work is just so important in poker nowadays because it’s just constantly evolving, it gets harder and harder everyday. You can’t get content with your skill level because you’re just never where you need to be.” Hunichen was one of those players who decided to move to Costa Rica after Black Friday to continue to play online poker. it’s been home now for six years for him. He’s married and six months the couple had their first baby to add to the son, Derek, his wife had before they met. With all that in mind, Hunichen things big changes are coming for the family of four. “I think we’re going to move, maybe out here to Las Vegas, sometime in February or March or something. The school systems (in Costa Rica) aren’t where I want my kid to be growing up, and now that Derek’s four, he’ll be five in October, so he’s going to be starting school,” said Hunichen. “I think a year or two would be fine in Costa Rica, but anything after that I want to get him into some good public schools or maybe even some good private school around here or something.” A move to Las Vegas would mean no longer being able to play online on PokerStars, partypoker and 888poker. Hunichen’s okay with that though, he’s ready to take a new challenge that might see him playing in something a bit bigger than the PokerStars $215. “Out here I can actually still work. I’d consider playing some bigger cash games at Aria, and getting into that kind of mode, maybe start playing the $25Ks regularly or something, possibly if things keep going well,” said Hunichen. He’s hoping to be busy for the next week or so though with the Main Event. He’s playing Day 1A this year after always having played Day 1C in previous years. Deep stacked, big field events are where Hunichen goes to feast. “I feel like these kind of fields play to my strengths. I final tabled the Millionaire Maker a couple of years ago which is about the same size field as this. I also a top 50 in the Millionaire Maker a year or two after,” said Hunichen. “The good thing is there’s a lot of rec players in this tournament, so I’m kind of chatty and friendly at the table, and I think that plays to my advantage as well. Make some friends and they don’t mind losing to you and they respect you and they’d rather lose to you than lose to the guy who’s treating people like shit.”
  16. [caption width="640"] Steffen Sontheimer had the hottest run of any player in 2017 and it led to him winning the first ever Poker Masters title. (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. We've already looked back at the top five news stories from off the felt and now we remember the five best heaters that players enjoyed in 2017. Poker players dream of making multiple deep runs in a row but only a few actually turn it into reality. In 2017, there were a few players whose heaters stood out above the rest and were paid handsomely for their rapid success. #5 - Nadar Kakhmazov Heaters come in all forms and Nadar Kakhmazov’s run to over $1 million in earnings from two tournament wins in a matter of three weeks was astonishing. Kakhmazov conquered two casinos and two distinct fields to win his respective tournaments with the Venetian and Rio giving him massive payouts. The $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour event at the Venetian drew 3,273 runners, easily eclipsing the $2.5 million guarantee. Kakhmazov beat a final table that included former November Niner Jacob Balsiger and East Coast grinder Je Wook Oh to claim the $440,029 first place winnings. He was far from done after that win as Kakhmazov made it to another high profile final table. The $5,000 Six Max event at the World Series of Poker is a top-tier event by any metric and held to form this year. Chris Hunichen, Sam Soverel, and Faraz Jaka were among the final tablists but none could solve the Kakhmazov riddle. Kakhmazov defeated Hunichen heads up to win the bracelet and $580,338 first place prize. Since his wins, Kakhmazov has yet to record any tournament cashes. Who knows when the Russian will show up next but when he does, he will have a lot to live up to in order to repeat his summer 2017 run. #4 - Nipun Java In the spirit of summer runs, Nipun Java deserves credit for winning two bracelets at the WSOP and then taking his talents to South Beach. Java and his native India won their first two bracelets in the $1,000 Tag Team event when Java and countryman Aditya Sushant shipped the title. Following the win, Java put together a string of three more cashes before striking gold again. Playing under the screen name ‘Javatinii,’ Java won the $1,000 WSOP Online Championship event for $237,688. In a matter of only 14 hours, Java defeated a field of 1,312 and added a second piece of hardware to his Las Vegas trip. It wasn’t over quite yet for Java, who traveled to Hollywood, FL for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. In the $570 $1 million guaranteed opener, Java outlasted 3,173 entrants to take first place in a four-way deal and add $230,848 to his growing bankroll. Java’s wins catapulted him into must-watch territory for all events as he looks to build on his breakout campaign in 2018. #3 - Art Papazyan If not for the dollar figure won by places #1 and #2, Art Papazyan would have a major case of being #1 on this list. Not only did Papazyan win two consecutive played World Poker Tour events, he did so in the first two WPT events he ever entered. Papazyan was mostly known by Los Angeles grinders and fans of ‘Live at the Bike’ for his high stakes cash game skills but that changed for Papazyan in a hurry. In his hometown, Papazyan beat Phil Hellmuth heads up to win Legends of Poker for $668,692 and put his name on the tip of every poker fan’s tongue. Not a tournament grinder in any respect, Papazyan opted not to play the Borgata Poker Open Main Event in September but made up for lost time at WPT Maryland. In a field of 561, Papazyan was among many notable faces who made Day 2 and the money, with Darren Elias, Matt Glantz, and Christian Harder included. As the field narrowed down on Day 3 near the final table, it became clear that Papazyan was the dominant storyline. Coming into the final table of six sitting third in chips, Papazyan quickly ascended into the chip lead and never looked back on his way to his second victory of Season XVI. Papazyan is still an unknown quantity to some but his natural poker skill is not to be taken lightly as he attempts to close out the WPT season as Player of the Year. #2 - Bryn Kenney In a year that turned Bryn Kenney into a living legend, he had to start somewhere and that was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. Kenney put on a display that no other player matched in a single series as he cashed six times, reached a final table in every time he made the money and won two tournaments. In total, Kenney racked up $1.76 million in winnings in the Bahamas. That number set Kenney up for a year where he finished as the highest earning player of 2017 with tournament earnings of $8.5 million. The events Kenney played were against the world’s toughest competition and he beat a $50,000 final table that included a top four finishers of Mustapha Kanit, Byron Kaverman and Dan Colman. If there was ever a question about Kenney’s consistency, he put all to rest over the course of fewer than two weeks in paradise. #1 - Steffen Sontheimer On one of poker’s richest stages, no player put on a better show over the course of the Poker Masters series than Steffen Sontheimer. The breakout year of “Goose” hit a peak for a week in September when he steamrolled over the best No Limit tournament players in the world to win the first Purple Jacket. Sontheimer cashed in four of the five events in the series and won two of them for a total of $2.73 million added to his account. He may have run hot but Sontheimer’s play stole the attention of viewers and his opponents, who were never able to get a firm edge on Sontheimer. Heading into the $100,000 Poker Masters Main Event, Sontheimer had the title all but locked up and decided to win that one just for kicks. Out of the six who cashed in the final, four were German and included Fedor Holz. Sontheimer’s beasting of the best players in the world put an exclamation point on a year dominated by Germans and forced, of all people, Daniel Negreanu to reevaluate his own game moving forward. Now that he’s a name brand of his own entity, Sontheimer will have a target on his back when 2018 gets started. When the Big One For One Drop returns to the WSOP schedule next year, Sontheimer will be in the field with nothing but another one of the most prestigious titles in poker in his sights.
  17. [caption width="640"] Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen is making a charge at #1, but 'C Darwin2' seems to have a firm grasp on it after another monstrous week.[/caption] Last month, former #1-ranked player Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen cracked the top 25 rankings and became just the fifth player to ever hit $10 million in lifetime earnings. It seems he's not interested in stopping there. Hunichen went from #13 in the world to #9 and could be setting himself up for another run at the top spot. Hunichen moved up into the top 10 based solely on a single qualifying cash. He finished third in the partypoker Heavyweight Title Fight Warm Up for $15,107.58 and 220.56 PLB points. This comes a week after he picked up 672.2 points from three qualifying cashes. He now sits just 148.21 points behind #8-ranked Robin 'inhoo' Ylitalo. The #1 spot continues to belong to 'C Darwin2', but he didn't just sit idly by this past week. The Swede picked up four qualifying cashes - three wins and one runner-up finish - to pick up a staggering 1,457.78 points. On October 15, he won the partypoker High Roller for $37,884 and 452.22 points. Two days later he won another partypoker High Roller for $19,183/310.64 and finished runner-up in yet another partypoker High Roller for $17,440/232.32. His final qualifying cash on October 19 when he won the PokerStars Thursday Thrill for $38,537 and 462.2 points. He now has a 806.35 point gap between himself and #2-ranked Steven 'SvZff' van Zedelhoff. That gap could have been wider had van Zedelhoff not picked up two qualifying cashes of his own. He finished third in the PokerStars Big $55 for $3,499 and 114.33 points and then capped off his week by finishing two spots behind 'C Darwin2' in the Thursday Thrill for $21,061 and 239.3 points. He now leads #3-ranked 'lena900' by 462.67 points. Hunichen wasn't the only player to move into the top 10 this week. Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez, also a former #1-ranked player, moved from #11 to #10 thanks to two qualifying cashes that earned him 267.17 points. Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas and Andras 'probirs' Nemeth were the two players who dropped out of the top 10, going from #10 to #12 and #9 to #14 respectively. PocketFives Rankings Top 25 RANKPLAYERPOINTSPREVIOUS 1C Darwin210,220.071 2Steven 'SvZff' van Zedelhoff9,413.722 3lena9008,951.053 4Joao 'joaosimaobh' Simao8,455.574 5veeea7,714.565 6Andreas 'r4ndomr4gs' Berggren7,633.326 7Sheater7,498.008 8Robin 'inhoo' Ylitalo7,256.877 9Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen7,108.6613 10Fabrizio 'SixthSense19' Gonzalez6,998.6111 11Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky6,969.1716 12Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas6,967.8110 13Ariados6,904.6912 14Andras 'probirs' Nemeth6,812.139 15Jonatan 'Pot4teUS' Hellman6,780.3718 16Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford6,775.3714 17Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar6,752.0319 18Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard6,751.9017 19nilsef6,638.0020 20DeathbyQuads6,611.4215 21Ramiro 'rayastar' Petrone6,574.4821 22Pedro 'PaDiLhA SP' Padilha6,554.6027 23Chris 'Apotheosis' Kruk6,504.8722 24Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert6,375.1229 25NoPlanB6,363.6326 ***
  18. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen Joins $10M Club Chris Moorman did it four years ago. Since then just three other players have managed to hit the $10M lifetime earnings mark and all three have done it in the last nine months. Bryan Paris (February), Nicolas Fierro (March) and Sebastian Sikorski(May) now have some company. Chris Hunichen hit the $10 million mark this week and he did it in style. Hunichen won the partypoker $530 High Roller on October 3 for a $15,430.90 score. The final table also included Fierro and current #1-ranked ‘lena900’. The next closest player to the $10 million milestone is Sweden’s Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar with $9,928,785.20. Jordan ‘JWPRODIGY’ Westmorland Hits $5M While Hunichen was busy joining the elite group of players at the very top of the all-time earnings list, Jordan ‘JWPRODIGY’ Westmorland was doing his part to join him. Westmorland, who know calls Thailand home, became the 87th player to pass $5 million in lifetime earnings. Westmorland also broke through this latest milestone with a big win. He topped an 82-player field in the $320 PokerStars Six Max NLHE event on October 1 to win $6,639.79. That final table also included ‘lena900’. Hunichen and Westmorland weren’t the only players to hit lifetime earnings milestones this past week. Scott ‘Aggro Santos’ Margereson, the #17-ranked player in the United Kingdom, hit $4 million in earnings while Toby ‘JobyToyce’ Joyce, the #3-ranked player in Ireland, hit $2 million. Joao Victor ‘joaovalli’ Barroso Valli and Rômulo ‘Primao89’ Araújo each cracked the $1 million mark. Ramiro 'rayastar' Petrone Breaks Top 20 Ramiro 'rayastar' Petrone was one of nine players that managed to hit a career-high ranking inside of the top 100 this week. Petrone, whose previous best was #23 in the world, now sits at #18 after posting three qualifying cashes this past week for a total of 532.61 PLB points. João ‘lofidream’ Leão cracked the top 100 for the first time in his career, moving from #102 to #98. Other players who hit career-best rankings inside the Top 100: Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha - #28 to #27 rolandbauer - #35 to #31 Andrey ’drupalucker’ Chernokov - #50 to #49 Mikensonas - #74 to #60 tiarc - #87 to #69 David ‘davaman’ Lopez - #45 to #44 Patrick ‘thebigdog09’ Brooks - #82 to #79
  19. Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES In this episode, Lance Bradley and Matt Clark talk about Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen hitting the $10 million earnings milestone, the latest in Isaac Haxton's anti-PokerStars crusade, the newly released World Poker Tour schedule and also preview WSOP Europe, which kicks off next week.
  20. Costa Rica is home to many displaced American online grinders in the post-Black Friday world. The result of the changed landscape is a rankings list that is a “who’s who” of the online community. Former PocketFives #1 players fill Costa Rica's top 10. Grinders who have honed their game as it has changed in front of them dominate in Costa Rica. The #1 ranked player in Costa Rica is Chris ‘BigHuni’ Hunichen. The North Carolina-born Hunichen passed the $10 million mark in career earnings and is sixth on the all-time money list. Hunichen reached #1 in the world in January 2015 and he is currently #20. Hunichen has increased his volume in live High Roller events in the last year and started his 2018 by competing in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller. Behind Hunichen is Michael ‘Telks’ Telker. Telker achieved #1 status in December 2011 and closed his 2017 by making the top-10 of the PLB Monthly Leaderboard. In terms of the all-time money list, Telker is 14th all-time and a shade over $1 million from becoming the seventh player ever to reach the $10 million mark. Kurt ‘kurt23x’ Fitzgerald is on the podium at number three. Fitzgerald put together a strong November with four wins in the neighborhood of 200 PLB points. The largest was on November 14 when Fitzgerald won the Sunday 500 on PokerStars for $22,697.Fitzgerald ranks 50th in the world. The third former #1 to crack the rankings is Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver. The 2010 Yearly PLB Leaderboard champion is on his way to hitting $10 million in the early part of 2017. Oliver stands less than $250,000 away from the landmark and is continuing to put in strong volume to reach that target. Brian ‘brianm15’ England achieved #1 status in 2014 and is over $6 million lifetime. England is a consistent online player and has increased his live volume as of late. In 2017, England won $144,901 in live tournaments with a few highlights mixed in. England made a Day 5 appearance in the WSOP Main Event and won a Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open tournament for $31,109. At #6 is Steve ‘Illini213’ Barshak. 2017 was kind to Barshak with a SCOOP title and movement over the $7 million career earnings checkpoint. Barshak won SCOOP Event 46-M ($109 Rebuy $150,000 guaranteed) and added $51,024 to his bankroll in the process. Robert ‘PlayaPlz’ Lipkin has the largest amount of immediate bragging rights of any player on this list. Lipkin shipped the PokerStars High Roller Series $10,300 $1 million guaranteed on November 28 for $258,639. Lipkin picked up 1,086.28 PLB points with the victory and notched the second six-figure score of his career. In the eighth spot is Grayson ‘gray31’ Ramage. The duel TCOOP and WCOOP winner ranked as high as #2 in 2016. Ramage closed out his 2017 with a third-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday High Roller to claim $26,490. The top-10 concludes with two more Americans in Michael ‘MindSlaver’ Acevedo and Mike ‘Flippa42’ Carter. Both players are under 3,000 PLB points and have a chance to cross that mark soon with more consistent volume. Costa Rica Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 BigHuni 6,446.64 2 Telks 5,573.02 3 kurt23x 5,491.13 4 Gettin Daize 4,765.64 5 brianm15 4,325.19 6 Illini213 4,250.50 7 PlayaPlz 3,937.22 8 gray31 3,240.39 9 MindSlaver 2,904.23 10 Flippa42 2,871.08
  21. The final day of PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker 2018 went into overtime, but as the final cards were dealt, Austrian grinder 'Tankanza' emerged victorious after taking down the SCOOP (High) Main Event for a $1.13 million score. That event was one of three Main Events to finish on Tuesday as the 17-day festival ended. As expected, the $10,300 buy-in High Main Event final table was a star-studded affair with two former #1-ranked PocketFivers and a Triple Coop winner. 'Tankanza' eliminated the Triple COOP winner, Thomas 'WushuTM' Muehloecker in sixth while the two former #1s couldn't stay out of each other's way and Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen sent current #1, 'lena900', to the rail in seventh. Hunichen went out in third place leaving 'Tankanza' and 'nailuj90' to battle for the title and seven-figure score. It didn't take too long for the final two players to start talking deal but 'Tankanza' had no interest in giving up any equity and the only thing the two players could agree on was to continue playing. It took almost four hours before 'Tankanza' picked up just his second elimination of the final table by busting 'nailuj90' to claim victory. 'nailuj90' took home $837,473.81 as runner-up. There were a total of five players at the final table from Austria: 'Tankanza', 'nailuj90', 'mikki696' (4th), Muehloecker (6th), and 'caaaaamel' (8th). Even with all the money at stake at each of the Main Event final tables, none of them managed to find common ground for a deal to be made. 'Wildace_hun' outlasted 3,846 other players to win the Medium Main Event for $783,165.95 while runner-up 'VICTOR TXR1' had to settle for $545,685.82. Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar picked up just over $89,000 for finishing seventh. The Low version Main Event, with a $109 buy-in, had a massive field of 18,511 plus 7,850 re-entries, to put the total prize pool to just over $2.6 million. Germany's 'Cashcid Linc' walked away with the title and $267,583.62 after beating 'marjanko89' heads-up. Event #58 (High): $10,300 NLHE Main Event Entries: 654 Prize pool: $6,540,000 Tankanza - $1,133,160.03 nailuj90 - $837,473.81 Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen - $618,943.63 mikki696 - $457,436.37 ULOSEMFKR!! - $338,072.87 Thomas 'WushuTM' Muehloecker - $249,856.12 Niklas 'Lena900' Åstedt - $184,658.86 caaaaamel - $136,474.10 JayP-AA - $100,862.49 Event #58 (Medium): $1,050 Main Event Entries: 5,508 (3,847 entries, 1,661 re-entries) Prize pool: $5,508,000 Wildace_hun - $783,165.95 VICTOR TXR1 - $545,685.82 Cottonbud07 - $380,219.44 OverTheTop43 - $264,926.53 ilir3 - $184,594.01 easy live - $128,620.06 Johannes 'Greenstone25' Korsar - $89,619.56 Flavio 'flavioreis88' Rei - $62,444.74 chry1982 - $43,509.89 Event #58 (Low): $109 Main Event Total entries: 26,361 (18,511 entries, 7,850 re-entries) Prize pool: $2,636,100 Cashcid Linc - $267,583.62 marjanko89 - $192,380.46 Kabotajoe - $138,323.54 aetos2drama - $99,456.09 allin0709 - $71,510.01 AcckiySotona - $51,416.33 B1GF1SH89 - $36,969.19 50km - $26,581.37 merla888 - $19,112.51
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