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  1. It's hard to believe that 2015 will mark the 10th year PocketFives has been around. One of the members of the poker world who signed up for our site in Year 1 was Ari Engel(pictured), known to many in our community as BodogAri. He has $2.3 million in tracked scores online plus another $1.4 million in the live arena, according to the Hendon Mob. In the last few weeks, Engel won a PokerStarsSpring Championship of Online Poker $109 No Limit Hold'em event for $187,000 after a four-way deal. Engel said, "I'm feeling good. It's always really good to get a big score. They don't come very often, so it's good to get them." A total of $2.1 million was handed out to 2,700 in the money finishers. "There was definitely a lot of money on the line," Engel said of his motivation to chop. "I am always open-minded to chops because I have gotten good deals over my career, but I'm not necessarily looking for one. There were two players who didn't seem as experienced, while another guy and I were co-chip leaders and he seemed experienced. The short stacks wanted to chop and we all agreed to look. I got a little more than ICM and, with so much money on the line, I had to deal." Interestingly enough, this was Engel's first six-figure tracked online score. He has 42 cashes of at least $10,000 and said of his performance over the last nine years, "I have run really well to get the results coming consistently. One of the things that has helped is I play lower buy-ins than people with my record would play. Even this tourney was a $109 buy-in tourney, so there weren't a lot of experienced players. It's a little easier to do better in those kinds of fields." Engel has been focused on lower buy-in tournaments ever since this author can remember meeting him. We asked where his approach came from and he responded, "I'm so nitty outside of the tables and it has definitely affected the choices I have made regarding tournament buy-ins." He added that he doesn't play nitty in tournaments themselves, however. Engel has also been heavily into poker training and famously ran a "Poker Batcave" of sorts in Las Vegas. "A challenge a lot of coaches get into is that being a good coach doesn't take the same skill set it takes to be a good player," BodogAri told us. "It's about condensing your thoughts into good sound bytes. If you asked a lot of great players, I don't think many of them could condense their plays and rationally explain them. A lot of them could, but there are plenty who couldn't." As you've probably guessed by now, Engel will be entering many of the $1,000 and $1,500 buy-in events at the World Series of Poker at the Rio this year. He has 16 WSOP cashes for $100,000 total, but has made a name for himself on the WSOP Circuit, where he owns six rings, two shy of the most ever (Alex Masek, eight). His first ring came in 2007 in Atlantic City and his most recent was last year at Foxwoods (pictured). As we said at the top, almost 10 years have passed since Engel signed up for PocketFives, back then a quaint community that had just developed a system for ranking online poker players. On the changes over the years, he said, "The game has changed so much. Even if I took my mind now and went back in time, I wouldn't play the same way I do now or did back then." SCOOP and other big-time tournament series take place on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and deposit to get a 100% up to $600 bonus along with one free month of PocketFives Trainingwith no sign-up fee. Register your PokerStars account here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. The three PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker Main Events wrapped up on Monday and, when the smoke cleared, $12.7 million had been distributed to over 26,000 total entrants. All three Main Events more than doubled their guarantees. We'll start with the High-Stakes Main Event, which saw Ivan "vandir4rek" Soshnikov (pictured) emerge victorious in a $10,300 buy-in tournament from a field of 657 entrants after a three-way deal. Soshnikov is an EPT High Roller champion and followed in the footsteps of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, who won the High-Stakes Main Event last year for about the same amount. Heads-up play between Soshnikov and Peter "Se7enTr3y" Akery lasted an hour, with A-6 outlasting K-9 for the win. Soshnikov amassed a seven-figure score, the only one given out during any of the SCOOP Main Events this year: 1. vandir4rek $1,048,000 2. Se7enTr3y $860,000 3. Better C4ll $890,820 *3-way deal 4. M.nosbocaJ $499,320 5. Grindation $350,838 (Grindation) 6. NeverScaredB $279,225 (NeverScaredB) 7. VVVILELAAA $213,525 8. sanpri $147,825 9. sat1337en $98,550 In the Mid-Stakes Main Event, LexaLucky666held onto a 5:1 chip lead to defeat EPT Loutraki champion and WCOOP bracelet winner Zimnan Zimmy Ziyard. In fact, heads-up play lasted a scant five hands, with LexaLucky666's pocket nines crushing Ziyard's pocket sevens when the money went in. No deal was struck in this one: 1. LexaLucky666 $635,379.00 2. Zimmy86 $473,499.00 (Zimmy) 3. marek_heinz $333,877.50 (marek_heinz) 4. secky0222 $232,702.50 5. Four-7-Kevin $171,997.50 (Kevish) 6. €urop€an $131,527.50 (European) 7. seonkett1 $91,057.50 8. Andr the gun $50,587.50 9. 1337Gambl0r $32,376.00 Last, but certainly not least, a former #1 player in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings, Ari Engel(pictured), won the Low-Stakes Main Event after entering heads-up play against jeppinhowith a 3:1 chip lead. The prize pool was chopped four ways and Engel recorded his first six-figure tracked online score. He is over $2.3 million in career online MTT earnings and has six World Series of Poker Circuit rings, the third highest total ever behind Alex Masek (eight) and Chris Reslock (seven): 1. BodogAri $187,669.27 (Ari) 2. jeppinho $136,418.37 3. MAKKAPAKK $172,207.27 (makkapakk) 4. MoscowNo1 $117,442.65 *4-way deal 5. camikater $75,407.50 6. vlaviusz $53,862.50 7. sksjohny $32,317.50 8. capinhabr $19,390.50 9. Didcot4 $12,927.00 This year's SCOOP was the largest one ever, with $81 million being given out over 135 tournaments. Incredibly, every single tournament surpassed its guarantee. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus along with one free month of PocketFives Trainingwith no sign-up fee. Sign up here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Known to many on PocketFives as BodogAri, Ari Engelhas hit it big in the live poker world over the years. This week, Engel won his seventh World Series of Poker Circuit ring and moved into a tie for second all-time on that leaderboard behind only Alex Masek, who has eight. Also with seven Circuit rings is Chris Reslock. Engel's latest ring came after taking down a $580 HORSE event during the WSOP Circuit's stop in Hammond, Indiana, which drew 128 players. Engel told WSOP officials, "It definitely doesn't get old. It's nice to get a win. It's been a little bit of time. I spend a lot of time grinding and you only very occasionally actually get a win. I'm trying to savor the moment." Engel added that catching Masek has been driving him to buy into more Circuit events around the United States: "Definitely the main thing is making a living [playing poker]. One of the reasons I choose to play Circuit events is because I do have a lot of rings. I'm trying to catch [Masek]. I don't know if I would have played a $580 HORSE tournament if it weren't a ring event." Here's a look at Engel's Circuit wins over the years: 2007: $300 NLHE for $63,000 2009: $1,060 NLHE Heads-Up for $22,000 2012: $345 Mixed PLHE/PLO for $8,200 2012: $1,125 NLHE for $55,000 2013: $580 NLHE for $26,000 2013: $580 NLHE for $29,000 2014: $580 HORSE for $17,000 All told, Engel has 37 Circuit cashes totaling $405,000 and another 19 WSOP cashes in Las Vegas for $120,000. His seventh ring was his first in HORSE. Online, Engel has $2.3 million in tournament winnings in his PocketFives profile and won a SCOOP Main Event earlier this year for over $200,000 officially, his largest payday ever. The Canadian was ranked #1 on PocketFives in 2006, the same year he signed up for our site. Congrats to Ari Engel on his seventh WSOP Circuit ring! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event[/caption] Life-changing money was awarded at this year's Aussie Millions. The annual poker series Down Under ended with 732 entrants showing up for the Main Event. In the end, a former #1 ranked player on PocketFives, Ari Engel, took it down for USD $1.1 million. He joins the ranks of former Aussie Millions Main Event winners like Tyron Krost, Alexander Kostritsyn, Gus Hansen, Tony Bloom, and Ami Barer. Engel beat World Poker Tour host Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up in a battle of longtime, accomplished online poker players. Dunst took $700,000 back to the US for his runner-up performance. "I'm not a partier," Engel said a few hours after his groundbreaking win. "I went out to dinner with friends and had a couple of drinks. I had to rearrange my flight schedule too, but luckily because of my status, I could change my ticket without a penalty." Engel headed back to the US two days later than he had planned, but $1.1 million probably made any travel headaches well worth it. Engel is no slouch in the live and online poker world, and success has been a staple of his career. However, playing in the Aussie Millions Main Event was a whole new animal. "The amount of money on the line made this experience totally different," Engel explained. "My biggest score before this was $190,000, so these were much bigger stakes and it was intimidating playing for that much money. I've never played for that much before." Despite jockeying for a seven-figure first place prize, Engel stayed composed, treating the tournament like any other, for the most part. "I've played millions of hands and tons of final tables, so you try to approach it like poker. But, there's no getting around that the stakes are too big for my bankroll. I wasn't at all comfortable with the stakes, but that's what happens." Engel approached the tournament one step at a time, eventually treating the final table like a seven-handed sit and go, albeit with a monstrous first place prize. No deal was made in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event. Instead, according to Engel, Dunst's "investor wasn't interested in a chop." The former explained that he was practically begging to chop because the end game of the Main Event was "out of my comfort zone. Results-wise, it worked out, but I certainly would have wanted to split it." Heads-up play lasted almost four hours and both players held the chip lead on several occasions. Engel entered the final table with over one-third of the chips in play. Engel eliminated four players at the final table, ending with Dunst. Engel first recorded a live tournament score ten years ago in 2006, according to the Hendon Mob, and Dunst recorded his first one year before that. Both are longstanding members of both the live and online poker communities, making their encounter heads-up in Melbourne event entertaining for the entire industry. "Playing against Tony heads-up was pretty amazing," Engel admitted. "We have both been playing poker for years and years. We're friendly whenever we see each other. It was very interesting playing against a longtime poker pro and someone who had some of the best poker minds in the world on his rail and watching the stream. I also had a team working with me, but he had the best players in the world on his side. He is a very accomplished player himself and hangs out with these great players all the time." [caption width="640"] Tony Dunst finished second[/caption] Engel lived in Melbourne from age three to age 11 and still has plenty of friends in the Australian city, many of whom came out to see him battle against Dunst and company in the final stages of the Aussie Millions Main Event. "There's no place in the world I would have had a bigger rail," Engel admitted. "I had tons of friends there. A lot of them were into poker and a lot of them, not-so-much, but they came out anyway. I had family come see me. It was a really cool experience to have all of that support, especially given that the stakes were intimidating and my opponent was intimidating." Engel said that Melbourne was the first place he can remember living, way back at age three. "I grew up liking Australian sports and had an Australian accent and went to school here," he recalled. "It was a great place to be and I'd strongly consider living here. When I first got into poker, my parents moved to New Zealand, so there was a time when I was going to New Zealand a couple of times a year and visited Australia too. I went to the Aussie Millions in 2008 and 2009." Engel is well-known for his seven World Series of Poker Circuit rings, tied for second most all-time behind Alex Masek's nine. In 2014, the Aussie Millions champ won the Punta Cana Poker Classic Main Event for $177,000 and, one month later, took fifth in the Eureka High Roller for another $119,000. His first six-figure live cash was in 2008 in a $2,150 Borgata Deep Stack event in Atlantic City. Online, Engel was the third #1 player ever in the PocketFives Rankings, ascending the throne in September 2006 and holding it for five weeks. Two years ago, he won a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker $109 No Limit Hold'em event for $187,000 after a four-way deal. Engel has had plenty of wins and top-tier scores, yet is still trying to convince himself to move up in stakes and play higher. After he pays his backers, Engel said he'll "potentially continue to move up in stakes, although I've basically been playing some of the highest stakes already. I'm not sure how many more high roller events I'd want to enter. As I get more confident and get a bigger bankroll, what's considered good value and not-so-good value changes. There are some people in the world who have an edge in every tournament they play, but I'm not quite there yet." The Aussie Millions emanated from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, where it has resided since 1998, and consistently delivers a world-class experience to players. "Crown is one of the nicest casinos I've been to," Engel lauded. "I've spent a lot of time grinding in some places that aren't very nice. Crown is in a nice part of the city and there are restaurants and things to do around it. The poker room is great. They have professional staff, which is what you'd expect from a major tournament. The casino and atmosphere are really nice." It also doesn't hurt to get out of the path of a major winter storm. "The fact that it's summer here and winter in the Northern Hemisphere means the traveling pros aren't as bitter as they normally are, so there's a good vibe," Engel observed. "Australians are also really nice and have treated me well."
  5. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event.[/caption] Ari Engel, the former #1 ranked online poker player in the world, made big noise Sunday in Australia, beating Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up to win the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event and A$1,600,000 ($1,133,650 US). The final table began with Engel holding 37% of the chips in play with just six other players between himself and the first major win of his career. It didn’t take long for the first elimination. On just the third hand of the day John Apostolidis raised from UTG to 205,000. Action folded to Samantha Abernathy in the small blind and she moved all in. Apostolidis called and turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and found he was racing against the [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"] of Abernathy. The board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="7c"] to keep Abernathy ahead and send Apostolidis out in seventh place. It took nearly a full hour before another player was eliminated. Engel raised to 135,000 from the button and Kitty Kuo moved all in for 690,000. Engel called and flipped over [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"] while Kuo showed [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. After the [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4d"] flop Ari was still ahead. Neither the [poker card="qs"] turn or [poker card="6c"] river were any help for Kuo and she was eliminated in sixth. Despite starting the final table with the shortest stack Dylan Honeyman managed to make it past two pay jumps before his tourney came to an end. Dunst raised to 125,000 from UTG, Engel called from the button and Honeyman made it 380,000 to go. Dunst four-bet to 800,000 forcing Engel to fold. Honeyman then moved all in for 1,500,000 and Dunst called. Honeyman had [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] and Dunst had [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="th"][poker card="3c"] flop was a good on for Honeyman. The [poker card="kc"] turn was of no help for Dunst but the [poker card="qs"] river gave Dunst Broadway and eliminated Honeyman in fifth place. Following Honeyman’s exit, Alexander Lynskey spent nearly 90 minutes as the short stack before running into a monster. Engel limped from UTG and Lynskey moved all in for 1,600,000. Engel called and turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Lynskey was drawing thin wiht [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"]. The community cards provided absolutely no relief for Lynskey and he was out in fourth place. While Engel and Dunst continued to build their stacks it came at the expense of Abernathy. Dunst folded from the button and Abernathy moved all in from the small blind. Engel snap-called from the big blind and table [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"] while Abernathy showed [poker card="th"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"] flop gave Engel two pair but also gave Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="jh"] turn missed her as did the [poker card="8s"] river and Abernathy was eliminated, leaving Engel and Dunst to play heads-up for the title. Abernathy’s third place finish is the highest by a female in the history of the Aussie Millions. Engel and Dunst played heads up for nearly four hours with the chip lead swinging back and fort between the two players. On the last hand of the night Dunst raised to 325,000 from the button before Engel re-raised to 925,000. Dunst called and the two saw a flop of [poker card="ts"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2h"]. Engel bet 825,00 and Dunst called again. Engel bet again, 1,700,000 this time, after the the [poker card="jc"] turn. Dunst called to see the [poker card="9s"] river. Engel announced he was all in, sending Dunst into the tank. After a few minutes Dunst called all in and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] only to see Engel turn over [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] for top pair, good enough to take the the title and the A$1.6 million top prize. Final Table Payouts Ari Engel - A$1,600,000 Tony Dunst - A$1,000,000 Samantha Abernathy - A$625,000 Alexander Lynskey - A$445,000 Dylan Honeyman - A$340,000 Kitty Kuo - A$270,000 John Apostolidis - A$210,000
  6. Anybody who has followed the career of Shaun Deeb knows he's racked up more than his fair share of World Championship of Online Poker titles, going so far as to win one on the day his son was born. On Saturday, he gave his now three-year-old son Chance an early birthday present by winning the exact same event he won three years ago for the seventh WCOOP title of his career. Deeb beat 2018 WCOOP Overall Leaderboard champ Denis ‘aDrENalin710’ Strebkov to win Event #9 High ($1,050 NL Five-Card Draw PKO) for $10,500 plus and additional $14,875 in bounties. Strebkov had to settle for $7,000 as well as $2,937.50 in bounties. Saturday's biggest winner was 'I’mYourTeddy'. The German grinder banked $95,756.97 after chopping Event #4 High ($530 No Limit Hold'em) with 'TheDegenFund'. The pair outlasted 1,398 other entries before coming to an agreement on splitting up the remaining prize money. 'TheDegenFund' ended up with $89,148.87 as his share of the deal. Third-place finisher 'Kovalski' added $55,546.40 to his bankroll. Alan 'Mr Negreanu' Gold beat Ari 'BodogAri' Engel heads up in Event #5 Medium ($109 HORSE) to win $13,518.75 and capture the first WCOOP title of his career. Engel wound up with $9,733.50 as the second-place finisher. Other WCOOP winners on Saturday included 'sep_itl1914' (Event #4 Low), 'cautiioN' (Event #4 Medium), 'facper' (Event #5 Low), 'sandman201' (Event #5 High), 'MAZAAZAZI' (Event #9 Low), 'Pycckui AA' (Event #9 Medium), 'marval231' (Event #10 Low), 'Gukiz' (Event #10 Medium), and 'Ti0373' (Event #10 High). Event #4 (Low): $5.50 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 23,192 Prize pool: $113,640 sep_itl1914 - $11,651.39 csmala77 - $8,359.42 Mossop7 - $6,010.49 justfour0 - $4,321.58 FlavioLN - $3,107.24 Ic€Rink - $2,234.13 Nickwin888 - $1,606.34 laloubidou - $1,154.96 Gladi3 - $830.41 Event #4 (Medium): $55 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 9,208 Prize pool: $460,400 cautiioN - $55,442.23* naldezz - $52,942.23* Dieferson09 - $31,010.10 DAAnielof2 - $21,607.03 MITS 304 - $15,055.21 Doum - $10,490.07 milennial - $7,309.21 conradofpg - $5,092.85 HoffmanGC - $3,548.57 Event #4 (High): $530 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 1,400 Prize pool: $700,000 I’mYourTeddy - $95,756.97* TheDegenFund - $89,148.87* Kovalski - $55,546.40 the*god88 - $39,910.15 mindgamer - $28,675.50 proggrezive - $20,603.38 rickv17 - $14,803.53 jnfpoker - $10,63.36 x CoLiTi x - $7,642.18 Event #5 (Low): $11 HORSE Entries: 3,031 Prize pool: $29,704 facper - $4,466.15* TimTainer - $4,150.12* asteras666 - $2,673.34 drkamikaze1 - $2,079.26 anggm - $1,485.19 imdvb6307 - $891.11 MAZAAZAZI - $564.07 anateodora - $274.76 Event #5 (Medium): $109 HORSE Entries: 721 Prize pool: $72,100 Mr Negreanu - $13,518.75 BodogAri - $9,733.50 Coriolanus92 - $7,210.00 Muka82 - $5,407.50 Afret - $3,605.00 FONBET_RULIT - $2,523.50 The Artesian - $1,622.25 Cruel_TeK - $1,081.50 Event #5 (High): $1,050 HORSE Entries: 157 Prize pool: $157,000 sandman201 - $34,147.50 lb6121 - $24,335.00 rtspurs - $18,840.00 tonkaaaa - $13,345.00 M1TR4ND1R - $8,635.00 kidpokerX7 - $7,065.00 WTFOMFGOAO - $5,495.00 pads1161 - $4,317.50 Event #9 (Low): $11 NL Five-Card Draw PKO Entries: 2,269 Prize pool: $22,236 MAZAAZAZI - $1,716.83 + $957.68 in bounties cvltvre - $1,252.48 + 376.06 in bounties kaziu1962 - $925.75 + 85.07 in bounties Vactra - $599.01 + $144.05 in bounties M-U-C-K-Y-O- - $381.19 + $126.39 in bounties molodnyak - $206.38 + $142.63 in bounties Event #9 (Medium): $109 NL Five-Card Draw PKO Entries: 379 Prize pool: $37,900 Pycckui AA - $3,193.16* + $3,399.37 in bounties ionica969 - $3,193.16* + $1,197.86 in bounties pantri - $2,037.12 + $251.95 in bounties maaitee - $1,402.30 + $506.26 in bounties Mr Negreanu - $1,004.35 + $807.81 in bounties barretta111 - $644.30 + $453.91 in bounties Event #9 (High): $1,050 NL Five-Card Draw PKO Entries: 70 Prize pool: $70,000 shaundeeb - $10,500.00 + $14,87.500 in bounties aDrENalin710 - $7,000.00 + $2,937.50 in bounties scuel1975 - $5,250.00 + $1,125.00 in bounties Kroko-dill - $3,500.00 + $2,062.50 in bounties facper - $2,625.00 + $750.00 in bounties krakukra - $1,925.000 + $0 in bounties Event #10 (Low): $2.20+R No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 6,638 Prize pool: $37,701 marval231 - $5,360.16 awfulz - $3,818.47 Honey Dick - $2,721.94 Raabinator93 - $1,940.29 viralatafeio - $1,383.11 IceKot - $985.92 nikolay 2003 - $702.80 Sellezneff - $500.98 Event #10 (Medium): $22+R No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 2,973 Prize pool: $153,020 Gukiz - $18,350.50* klem90 - $19,491.91* Galochina10 - $11,225.65 Absick^KaKu - $8,002.02 MASUR0N1KE - $5,704.12 22ehnutzz - $4,066.10 santylopez29 - $2,898.45 arean1982 - $2,066.12 Event #10 (High): $215+R No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 557 Prize pool: $286,839 Ti0373 - $50,634.31 TruthBeTold7 - $37,546.04 LEN1234980 - $27,841.02 FeriBo - $20,644.60 Big Huni - $15,308.33 A.A_THE_W.55 - $11,351.33 10YURA10 - $8,417.26 cocojamb0 - $6,241.53

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