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  1. Arguably one of the most accomplished players that made it to Day Six of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event was Brian Stinger885 Hastings. The then-26-year-old from Hanover Township, Pennsylvania had been able to build a career out of the online poker world while dabbling in the live tournament poker scene since 2008. Hastings exited the 2014 Main Event in 64th place for $103,000. One of the founders of CardRunners, at one time one of the top poker training sites in the industry, Hastings was known for his abilities in high-stakes heads-up cash games. After starting online play in 2006, Hastings would take on many of the top names in live and online poker on the virtual felt. Most notable of his battles there was the 2009 clash against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, whom Hastings was able to best to the tune of $5.6 million over two sessions of online play. Hastings would earn his first live tournament cash in 2008 and then would take some time off for college before returning in 2011. He would win a World Poker Tour Regional tournament in Florida and, in 2012, earned his first WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up World Championship event, earning his largest career score of $371,498 in the process. Although his $1.15 million in winnings might seem a bit paltry for someone with his time in the game, Hastings has used a balanced lifestyle, keeping poker in perspective and having other outlets, that not only has helped his live game, but his online one also. Arguably, Hastings had a fairly easy opening table draw for Day Six of the 2014 Main Event. The only notable names among his tablemates was Andrey ZayaZaichenko (3.565 million), but Hastings had to gain some ground on table leader Jason Weber's 4.13 million chip stack. Hastings should have been well prepared for these battles as he attempted to make a career-defining moment in the WSOP Main Event.
  2. Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured) was formerly a staple of the highest stakes online poker games on the planet. He faced off against some of poker's brightest minds on the cash game felts and has $1.3 million in career live tournament scores, according to the Hendon Mob. Now, he's a regular in daily fantasy sports games on sites like FanDueland DraftKings, which take US players. PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. How does your typical week go? What are you playing? Brian Hastings: Especially since basketball started, I play about every day. Sunday and Thursday, I am entering football games. I am pretty much doing something every day. For a few weeks, I was doing 100 entries into the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings, so that took a little while. I've been ramping it down recently and only doing 20. When I was doing 100, I was making a spreadsheet to prepare and found all the players I wanted to use and tracked my exposure. I would say some weeks I spent 20 hours a week on it. PocketFives: Walk us through what it takes to create 100 lineups. Brian Hastings: I try to diversify quite a bit. The spreadsheet is to track exposure on how much of each player I have. I'll identify what QBs I want to use and make a bunch of teams around them. I'll add that up to 100 and start making all my Peyton Manning teams at once, for example, and then try to diversify among them. PocketFives: What resources do you use when setting your lineups? Brian Hastings: One simple resource is FantasyPros. They have rankings and projections of a bunch of experts on one site. I tend to believe in the wisdom of the crowd approach. I subscribe to FootballGuys too. PocketFives: How do you split your time and money between DraftKings and FanDuel? Brian Hastings: I usually try to play a decent amount on both sites. It depends on how big the games are and how much value is in them. On DraftKings, when they're running the Millionaire Maker, they've been overlaying it huge. FanDuel hasn't had a lot of overlays, but there are quite a few recreational players on that site. PocketFives: What have you been doing poker-wise? Brian Hastings: Mostly just playing live. I'm not playing as much as I used to. I still play a decent bit, though. I'm living in Florida and there's a decent amount that goes on here. The Hard Rock has big series every year. There are some cash games here. I miss poker in its previous state. It's a tougher game than it used to be, but I still enjoy it. I can still make money doing it, but it's not nearly as profitable. PocketFives: Do poker players have any sort of advantage in daily fantasy sports? Brian Hastings: Yes, poker players have some built-in advantages. The structure of the games is similar to poker. Poker players have an inherent understanding of things like EV and variance, which are crucial in DFS. Part of it is that it's natural for poker players in general because the average person might be skeptical about putting money online. It's right up your alley being able to bet money online. It's incredible how much FanDuel and DraftKings have been advertising too. You can't watch "Sunday NFL Countdown" without seeing a FanDuel or DraftKings commercial. If you don't have a FanDuel account, sign up through PocketFives by clicking hereand get a generous deposit bonus plus access to 5,000 one-day leagues each week! Plus, play in this week's Sunday Million, which has a $2 million prize pool. DraftKingshas a special Millionaire Maker running for Week 15.
  3. What started as a field of 6,420 in the World Series of Poker Main Event has been whittled down to just 69. On Monday, the field will likely be trimmed even further down to 27. Right now, Pierre Neuville leads the way with a stack of 7.1 million. Neuville calls Belgium home and had eight in the money finishes at last year's WSOP. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- A total of 237 players started on Sunday, paced by Joe dude904McKeehen (pictured). On Sunday, McKeehen dipped a bit on the leaderboard, but still ended in 20th place with 3.6 million. He also knocked out former November Niner John $JMONEY$ Racener. In that hand, WSOP.com coverage explained, "Racener (pictured) was all-in and at risk before the flop for his last 394,000 in chips and was called by McKeehen's ace-king. An ace on the river spelled disaster for Racener and he was sent to the rail in 162nd place. McKeehen, on the other hand, survived the day and will be returning for Day 5. McKeehen retained his chip lead through the first two levels of play and was finally sur++passed just before the dinner break." Brian Stinger885Hastings, whom we've seemingly written about in every WSOP Main Event update, is in 10th place with 4.7 million and seems destined for his first November Nine birth. Hastings has two WSOP bracelets already this yeardespite being engulfed in multi-accounting accusations. Fan favorite Daniel Negreanu is also still in. The Canadian sits in 22nd place with a stack of 3.6 million and chipped up on one of the final hands of the night, showing A-7 on a board of A-10-8-5-J. His opponent, Upeshka De Silva, mucked and Negreanu moved to almost 100 big blinds. He final tabled the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship this year for $113,000. Two PocketFivers who signed up for accounts on our site in 2005 also remain: Steve gboro780Gross (pictured) and Mark P0ker H0Kroon. We'll start with Kroon, who is in 27th place with 3.2 million. He took a pot from Alexander Turyansky on Sunday after Turyansky folded to a check-raise on a flop of J-4-3. Kroon was chatty during the hand, at one point telling the dealer, "You look like you're in the Secret Service" because of his earpiece. Gross is at 2.7 million, good for 32nd on the leaderboard, and will make his sixth cash at this year's WSOP. He dropped multiple pots to Bradley St. Vincent on Sunday, but managed to end the day in the middle of the pack. He's a former bracelet winner and #1 player on PocketFives. Here are the top 10 chip stacks entering Day 6, which starts at Noon PT on Monday: 1. Pierre Neuville - 7,105,000 2. David flopmynuts33 Stefanski - 6,480,000 3. Thomas Paul - 6,140,000 4. David Peters - 6,130,000 5. Mozheng Guan - 6,030,000 6. Andrew Moreno - 5,320,000 7. Matt Jarvis - 5,250,000 8. Thomas Cannuli - 5,070,000 9. George McDonald - 4,940,000 10. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 4,740,000 Click here for the full leaderboard. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. The survivors of Days 1A and 1B of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event took to the Rio on Wednesday for Day 2AB. The players from Day 1A made their way to the Amazon Room, while the players from Day 1B were seated in the Brasilia and Pavilion rooms inside the cavernous convention center. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- As coverage on WSOP.com explained, there was a runaway leader after Day 2AB: "Amar Anand seized control of Day 2 almost immediately after the dinner break. Anand edged his way into the chip lead by winning a flip with ace-queen, then extended his advantage with an aggressive final two levels. He was the first player to cross the 500,000-chip mark and he's still the only player to crest 600,000. Anand finished the day with 603,500 chips, the biggest stack in the room." Fedor CrownUpGuy Holz made the most of the final level of play, doubling up after shoving on a board of J-6-5-5-8. He received a taker who had K-K and rolled over A-A for the win. Holz ended the day in 18th place with a stack of 303,900. Also still alive is Chris moorman1Moorman (pictured), the most successful PocketFiver ever. Moorman's stack shot up to 145,000 after winning a pot with 6-6 on a board of 8-5-2-8-2. The Brit ended the day just inside the top 100 at #99 with 190,700. Moorman has a record 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns, seven more than the next closest person. Then there was Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured at top). Despite being enveloped in a multi-accounting scandal, Hastings successfully navigated through the second day of the Main Event, winning a sizable pot with K-8 on a board of 2-K-7-5-9 to nearly pass 340,000. He finished strong, ending Day 2AB with a top 10 stack of 367,300. There were numerous high-profile eliminations on Day 2AB. As coverage on WSOP.com explained, "Chris Moneymaker took an early exit when he lost a flip with ace-king against Daniel Colman's pocket queens. Jorryt van Hoofand his king-queen couldn't beat Talal Shakerchi's ace-jack during his final hand… Amit amak316Makhija got his money in even better than those two, holding pocket queens against Vivek Psyduck Rajkumar's ace-ten. Two more aces flopped, though, and Makhija joined the list of eliminations." Former November Niner Jason PBJaxx Senti was among those who made it through to Day 3 on Friday, Tweeting, "Day 2 started with a bang & ended with a whimper. Got up to as much as 150k pretty quickly, but ended up bagging 78k. Very happy with my play." Former champion Jonathan Duhamel added, "Day 2 of @WSOP Main Event is over, 177,400 in the bag, again up and down at the end, but good day overall! Back for Day 3 on Friday!" Jordan Jymaster0011Young (pictured) escaped Day 2AB, telling his followers, "Made one bad read that cost me 50k and lost a few others to end the night with 84,100. Coming back Friday to 800/1,600/200." Ryan ryanghall Hall reported, "Bagged 55,500 to end the day and I'll take it! Day 3 Friday at 800/1,600!" On Thursday, the survivors from Day 1C will migrate to the Rio for Day 2C. They'll play the same five levels that the Day 2AB players did. Then, the field will merge for Day 3 on Friday. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  5. Tournament after tournament at the 2015 World Series of Poker has featured brand name pros at the top of the leaderboard. Event #39, a $1,500 10-Game Mix, is no exception. We're down to our final nine and the group is loaded with talent, including three bracelet winners. In fact, 2015 bracelet winner Brian Stinger885 Hastings (pictured) leads the way. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Hastings has a stack of 651,000, over 200,000 ahead of the second place tally belonging to Tim Reusch. Hastings won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship a week ago for $239,000 and his second bracelet. His first came in 2012 in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up Championship. Hastings was active on Twitter on Saturday morning, but he wasn't talking about the 10-Game Mix and a possible third bracelet. Instead, he was trying to sell action for a $500,000 buy-in event at Aria. Fifth place in the 10-Game event belongs to PocketFiver Mike SirWatts Watson (pictured), who has a stack of 277,000. Watson has had an impressive showing thus far at the 2015 WSOP, recording four top-25 finishes and two final tables. He has $1.1 million in career WSOP winnings despite not having a bracelet. Eric Wasserson, known on PocketFives as gpokerg, is in sixth place entering Saturday's finale. Wasserson has five top-20 finishes already at the WSOP and took second in a $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout last year. He bagged 255,000 in chips on Friday. Bracelet winners Owais Ahmed and Todd Brunson are also still in the mix, which means we have a 33% chance of having a repeat bracelet winner. Here's how the field stacks up: 1. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 651,000 2. Tim Reusch - 434,000 3. Owais Ahmed - 383,500 4. Alexey Makarov - 352,000 5. Mike SirWattsWatson - 277,000 6. Eric gpokergWasserson - 255,000 7. Rostislav Tsodikov - 206,500 8. Todd Brunson - 191,500 9. Dan Matsuzuki - 96,000 The tournament will restart at 2:00pm PT with two tables. The winner gets $133,000 and a bracelet and everyone left is guaranteed $9,000. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  6. Old memories were drudged up late last week as one of online poker's most successful players, Cole South (pictured), was interviewed by Joe "Chicago Joe" Ingram on his Poker Life podcast. The podcast was quite lengthy – about three hours – so there were plenty of topics discussed, but one of particular interest was about a controversial incident from more than five years ago that resulted in Full Tilt pro temporarily getting his "Red Pro" status stripped. Turning back the clock to early December 2009, a mysterious player named "Isildur1" had exploded onto the high-stakes online poker scene, winning and losing six- or seven-figure sums with regularity. December 8th, in particular, was astounding. Isildur1 started out great, up at one point around $2 million, but as soon as Brian Hastings stepped up to the table against him, everything went south. Over the course of nearly 2,900 hands, Hastings won $4.2 million from Isildur1. It was incredible. Hastings could do no wrong. Following the crazy day, Hastings was interviewed by Gary Wise on ESPNand gave much of the credit to his friends South and Brian Townsend. Hastings said, "Obviously I'm happy and I'll take it, but Brian [Townsend] did a ton of work. The three of us discussed a ton of hands and the reports that Brian made, so I'm very thankful to him and to Cole as well." That comment generated a huge controversy, as people in the poker community accused the trio of friends of colluding against Isildur1, of inappropriately sharing private hand histories to bilk a mark of his money. Full Tilt Poker's terms of service certainly state that players may not use hand histories for hands in which they did not participate. As a result of his comments, Townsend, a CardRunners instructor at the time, had his "Red Pro" status stripped by Full Tilt for a month. On his blog, Townsend posted his response to the allegations, saying that of the three friends, he was the only one to do anything wrong. Nobody shared their hand histories with him, but he acquired 30,000 hand histories to go along with the 20,000 he already had on Isildur1 to allow him to study up on his opponent. He acknowledged it was against Full Tilt's rules, but stressed neither Hastings nor South gave him the hand histories. All they did was discuss his analysis with him. Fast forward to 2015 and South, speaking with Ingram, backed up everything Townsend said. He explained that the only input he and Townsend had for Hastings(pictured) was the usual discussions poker playing friends would have. No collusion, no sharing of hand histories, just poker talk. In his words, "Stinger [Brian Hastings]gave an interview with ESPN - Gary Wise, I think was the reporter - and said something to the effect, or at least Gary thought, that we merged our hand histories into one database and then used that to come up with some strategy against Isildur, which absolutely did not happen. I've got my hand histories, I've never sent them to Stinger or Brian Townsend, and I never received any of theirs. Stone cold, zero of that." South added, "What did happen was Brian Townsend bought some hand histories from PTR… He then just had some overall tips for playing against Isildur. It was not anything remotely, I hesitate to say, 'useful'... 'The guy's aggressive in this spot;' it was just like talking to your friends about poker. He sent an e-mail with three points on things he would do when he's playing against Isildur. And I talk about my opponents' strategies pretty frequently with people I'm playing. This was extremely tame, nothing I would remotely consider out of line." Whether or not people believe South, Townsend, and Hastings, it is interesting that this topic still comes up, more than five years later. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  7. Just days after winning his second 2015 WSOP bracelet, high-stakes pro Brian Stinger885Hastings began to receive some unwelcome media attention. The 27-year-old was accused by fellow poker pros of violating PokerStars' terms of service by using a virtual private network (VPN) to obfuscate his location and play on the site from the United States. At the same time, they say he gained unfair advantage by misleading his opponents as to his true identity. While many pros have remained silent on the issue, Australian grinder James Andy McLEOD Obst (pictured) is speaking out and blasts Hastings' response to the criticism. In an interview with CalvinAyre, Obst called Hastings' purported actions "pure scum" and expressed his discontent that other high-stakes pros didn't seem to be angry at the 27-year-old. "I played a number of hands with him in the SCOOP and, yeah, you feel cheated finding out later you were actually playing at a disadvantage against someone who is already one of the top players in the game," said Obst. In fact, it was after a SCOOP tournament that poker pro David BakesBaker suggested that Hastings had been playing on PokerStarsfrom the US under an Ireland-based account called NoelHayes. "So, after I final tabled the SCOOP $2k, a bunch of well-known pros message me telling me Brian Hastings (pictured) was behind the NoelHayes account on Stars," Baker Tweeted to his 10,000 followers. In the interview, Obst called Baker a "true hero" for outing Hastings and described the poker industry as having "such a stench that almost no one has gone near… for fear of having to smell it." After Baker's Tweet, Hastings was compelled to respond in a post on 2+2, where he tried to deflect the issue, made condescending remarks toward posters, and suggested he had given so much to the community that he should be praised, not criticized. "I've never turned someone down when they've asked for strategy advice or whatever," he said. "It's unfortunate that many of you don't really understand or care about that." Obst described the poker pro's comments as laughable and summarized the 27-year-old's claims in his own words. "[Hastings]claims he doesn't care what 'strangers on the internet' think despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary," he began. "[Hastings] suggests that those who express dissension toward his replies are displaying sociopathic tendencies," he continues. "[Hastings] thinks that the people coming after him for this are the ones doing real harm to the game." When asked how PokerStars should handle the situation, Obst called for the site to simply do "something" and "something transparent" at that. "Players have been losing faith in the game, and in PokerStars, for a long time now and this really feels like a tipping point where we will find out whose side they are truly on." Obst furthered his argument against Hastings, whom he says regularly posts bad beats on Twitter for the same internet strangers about whom he supposedly doesn't care. He claims that in the process, Hastings also criticizes his peers "in no uncertain terms as though he's never made a bad play." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured) came into the 2015 World Series of Poker making bet after bet on Twitter. A week ago, he won his second career gold bracelet in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship and collected more in bracelet bets than he won for first. On Saturday, he one-upped himself, winning another one and becoming the first repeat winner of the 2015 WSOP. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- This time around, Hastings won a $1,500 Ten-Game Mix event for $133,000. The tournament drew 380 entrants and Hastings beat a final table that had several pros and two other bracelet holders. Hastings told WSOP staff after his latest win, "I really felt like it - yeah I thought I'd win. You have to feel that way when you go into one of these, but I think I'm going to win almost every time I sit down and play." Hastings' first bracelet came in 2012 in the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em Championship. At one point, it seemed as if win #3 wasn't in the cards, as Hastings was down 4:1 in chips heads-up against Rostislav Tsodikov, but battled back during the three-hour heads-up session. If you're not familiar with the genre, Ten-Game consists of Seven-Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, No Limit Hold'em, Razz, Badugi, Omaha High-Low Split, Limit Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw, Limit Hold'em, and Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split. As Hastings put it, "I really pride myself on being able to play all of these games well." Also potentially pushing Hastings along this year is his girlfriend, who has been flying back and forth from Florida to watch her beau play. Hastings explained, "I think that's one of the more underrated aspects of this game, having the balance between your personal life and what goes on at the tables. She really helps me believe in myself and I really love her a lot." Next up for Hastings is the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship, another mixed game contest. He'll try to add to his resume this year that includes five cashes, three final tables, and two wins. The tournament starts on Sunday at 4:00pm PT, so Hastings will have a pretty quick turnaround and ideally carry over some of his momentum. Sixth place went to PocketFiver Mike SirWatts Watson (pictured). It was his third sixth place finish at this year's WSOP and fifth cash. He Tweeted after busting, "Out in my usual spot. Sigh." Watson, who has a degree in math from the University of Waterloo, has $1.1 million in career WSOP winnings and is still hunting for his first bracelet. Here's how the final six in the Ten-Game event cashed out: 1. Brian Stinger885Hastings - $133,403 2. Rostislav Tsodikov - $82,398 3. Todd Brunson - $52,977 4. Alexey Makarov - $35,130 5. Tim Reusch - $23,982 6. Mike SirWattsWatson - $16,846 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. We're down to 237 players in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. If you're a regular reader of PocketFives, then you'll recognize the name Joseph McKeehen (pictured), who is known as dude904 on our site. He has the chip lead in the tournament entering Day 5 with 3.1 million and is one of only two players to have more than 3 million. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- McKeehen entered Saturday's play as one of the chip leaders and needed all of two levels to move to the top of the pack. Towards the end of the day, he relegated former November Niner and fellow PocketFiver Scott r_a_y Montgomery to the rail. Coverage on WSOP.com narrated, "After a series of bets and raises, Montgomery found himself all-in and at risk for approximately 550,000 on a jack-high flop with three diamonds. The Canadian held two black queens, while McKeehen rolled over ace-jack with the ace of diamonds. An ace on the river would give McKeehen the knockout." Just behind the PocketFiver on the leaderboard is Upeshka De Silva, who shipped a chunk of his chips to Yuri Dzivielevski, who shoved on a board of 5-K-9-8-3. De Silva tanked for a whopping 15 minutes before finally folding. Despite the setback, he ended the day at a little over 3 million in chips. Then there's Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured), who has already won two WSOP bracelets this year and is gunning for a third in the Main Event. Hastings has been at or near the top of the leaderboard for the majority of the Main Event and sits in fourth place with 2.4 million. Here's a look at the number of eliminations by level during four of the levels of play on Saturday. You'll notice the vastly slower pace of bustouts as the tournament creeps on: Level 16: 130 eliminations Level 17: 90 eliminations Level 18: 92 eliminations Level 19: 63 eliminations About six hours into Saturday's action, 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth was knocked out of the Main Event by none other than Daniel Negreanu. Hellmuth's Main Event run ended in a race with pocket queens against A-K. Negreanu spiked a king on the flop to knock out Hellmuth in 417th place. We're pretty sure that hand will make ESPN's coverage of the tournament this year. Busting at almost the exact same time as Hellmuth was former Main Event winner Ryan Riess(pictured), who ran pocket sevens into pocket queens. Shortly thereafter, 2005 Main Event winner Joe Hachem exited in similar fashion with jacks against aces. Play resumes on Sunday at Noon PT. We're scheduled to play down to the November Nine on Tuesday. Here's how the top 10 in chips looks right now. Incredibly, players from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania make up seven of the top 10: 1. Joseph dude904McKeehen - 3,122,000 2. Upeshka De Silva - 3,067,000 3. Erasmus Morfe - 2,502,000 4. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 2,464,000 5. Thomas Cannuli - 2,271,000 6. Charles Chattha - 2,157,000 7. Jewook Oh - 2,153,000 8. Jay Sharon - 2,118,000 9. Jake Toole - 2,106,000 10. Mozheng Guan - 2,034,000 Click here for the full leaderboard. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  10. The 2015 World Series of Poker began with Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured) blowing up Twitter with bracelet bets. With almost 70 bracelet events on deck this year, Hastings seemingly had plenty of chances to make good on his wagers. Sure enough, within a couple of weeks of the 2015 WSOP starting, Hastings took down the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship for $239,000 and reportedly made over $400,000 more from prop bets. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- One week later, he was back at it, becoming the first repeat bracelet winner of this year's tournament series. This time around, Hastings took down a $1,500 Ten Game Mix for $133,000. Ten days after that, he nearly got a third bracelet, but finished 11th in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Still, he cashed out from that event for $332,000. Over $700,000 and three top-ten finishes later, Hastings has had one heck of a WSOP. Intermixed were allegations that he multi-accounted, reportedly from the US, under the screen name NoelHayeson PokerStars. This has hardly been a distraction, however, as he's third in the Main Event after Day 3 with a stack of 1.03 million, one of only three players to cross the seven-figure chip mark. Former Main Event winner Greg Merson (pictured) summed it up pretty succinctly on Twitter, calling 2015 the "Summer of Hastings." We couldn't agree more. Despite his ups and downs, controversies and successes, Hastings has made mincemeat of the WSOP. He Tweeted just before the money bubble popped on Friday, "This hand for hand is zzzzzz, who wants to play some #OFC? #needmorehandsperhour." Hastings helped himself late in the day by eliminating a player with K-6 against Q-7 after hitting a king-high flush. That hand brought Hastings to 1.16 million in chips and he ended that level on top. One of your 2015 Bubble Boys was Roy Daoud, who was ousted on Friday with pocket fives against 7-5. The board ran out K-9-4-K-9, which counterfeited Daoud's pocket pair and left everyone else in the room in the money. Across the hall at the same time, Germany's Jonas Lauck tanked for five minutes before calling for his tournament life with A-Q on a board of K-5-4-10-A. However, his opponent rolled over Broadway and Lauck became the second 2015 WSOP Main Event Bubble Boy. Following the bubble bursting, there were almost 70 eliminations in an hour. Here's how the top 10 in chips looked at the end of the day. There are 661 runners left: 1. Amar Anand - 1,139,000 2. Joseph dude904 McKeehen - 1,052,000 3. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 1,034,500 4. Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz - 994,000 5. Jason Roberts - 948,000 6. Emmanuel Lopez - 942,000 7. Jake jet5087 Toole - 940,000 8. Chad Power - 917,500 9. Stephen Graner - 916,000 10. Dmitry Chop - 901,500 Click here for the full leaderboard. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  11. Brian Hastings(pictured), known on PocketFives as Stinger885, won his second career World Series of Poker bracelet on Saturday night in a $10,000 Seven Card Stud event. His reward was $239,000, which came after outlasting a rock solid final table in which the top three finishers were all members of the PocketFives community. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The longtime nosebleed-stakes online poker player told WSOP officials when all was said and done, "This tournament is more meaningful because it's what a lot of the older, more established players played for many years. Anytime you win, it feels good… I felt really good coming into this year's series. I came in with some high expectations. I thought I was in a very good place, with my girlfriend here with me and really on top of my A-game." Seven years ago, Hastings posted online that he was "totally lost" at Stud and was looking for books to help him learn the game. Now, he's won the most prestigious Stud tournament around. At the start of the 2015 WSOP, Hastings was quite active on Twitter making bets with other members of the poker world. WSOP officials said, in fact, that he made some "substantial wagers" that apparently mean over $400,000 is coming his way: "It's about twice what the top prize money was for this event," he said. "But I won't say who it was with." He offered 3.3-to-1 to win a bracelet. Hastings now has over $1.1 million in WSOP winnings and recorded his fifth cash in Las Vegas this year. The 26-year-old's other bracelet came in 2012 in the Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em Championship and was worth $371,000. He now has 14 WSOP cashes and seven final tables. Second place went to PocketFiver Scott BigRiskky Clements (pictured), who recorded his second final table at this year's WSOP. Clements made his 40th career WSOP cash, his first in Seven Card Stud. He already owns two Omaha bracelets. Dan djk123Kelly took third place in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event. Like Clements, Kelly has two WSOP bracelets, including a mammoth $1.1 million hit in 2010 for winning a $25,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max event. He used to be a staple of the PocketFives Rankings and was ranked #1 as recently as 2009. Here's how the final table cashed out: 1. Brian Stinger885Hastings - $239,518 2. Scott BigRiskkyClements - $148,001 3. Dan djk123Kelly - $92,691 4. Chris George - $67,114 5. Oxana Cummings - $52,453 6. Harley Thrower - $41,829 7. Mikhail Semin - $33,967 8. Max Pescatori - $28,031 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  12. Eight players remain in the World Series of Poker's $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, including three brand name members of the online poker community. Brian Stinger885 Hastings (pictured), a longtime fixture of the poker and daily fantasy sports worlds, leads the way with a stack of 770,000. Hastings was a top-five chip leader after Day 1 and has already cashed in three WSOP events this year. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- In order to score his first WSOP win, Hastings must outlast three bracelet winners: Max Pescatori (three bracelets, sixth place), Scott BigRiskkyClements (two bracelets, fourth place), and Dan djk123 Kelly (pictured, two bracelets, seventh place). Clements and Pescatori have already made final tables at the 2015 WSOP. Kelly has $2.2 million in career WSOP winnings across 30 cashes. Hastings has a lot on the line in addition to the bracelet, as WSOP coverage explained, "He is currently ranked #23 in the 2015 WSOP Player of the Year standings and is guaranteed at least another 245.15 points for eighth place, which would put him in the top 10 on the POY leaderboard." Here's how the final eight will stack up when play resumes at 2pm Pacific Time on Saturday: 1. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 770,000 2. John Thrower - 426,000 3. Mikhail Semin - 399,000 4. Scott BigRiskkyClements - 384,000 5. Chris George - 251,000 6. Max Pescatori - 207,000 7. Dan djk123Kelly - 172,000 8. Oxana Cummings - 128,000 Hastings Tweeted after Friday's play had ended, "Bagged either 769k or 770k depending on whether I win the chip race. Probably 770k #yupiwonit #bracelethunting #WSOP27 Restart 2pm." He scored a double knockout to surge into the lead when 16 remained and said, "237k got a double KO! 17 left 16 pay avg 160k #pain." Pain indeed. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  13. A few scant hours are all that's left of 2015. As the countdown to 2016 begins, many of you will spend time reminiscing about 2015 and making big plans for 2016. The last 12 months in the poker world have produced controversy, countless victories, feuds, and even some tragedy. While these might not be the most important stories of the year, here's a look at the ten most-read stories of 2015 on PocketFives.com. 10. Nevada Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Could Have Limited Tournament Backing Poker players backing other players in tournaments is pretty common, even if it's not reported all that often, but in early January, the Nevada State Senate almost made it illegal to buy a piece of another player. The bill, which was amended to only apply to sports betting, eventually passed, but not before putting a scare into players who piece themselves out to the play WSOP events. STORY: WSOP Staking Could Be in Danger 9. Lex Veldhuis Said, "What About Antonio Esfandiari?" Feuds in the poker world are fairly common - even predictable - but in early January Lex Veldhuis introduced poker fans to a new feud that seemed to come out of nowhere. Appearing on Joe Ingram's 'Poker Life Podcast', Veldhuis somehow started talking about Antonio Esfandiari and let Ingram know exactly how he felt about the former Big One for One Drop champion, calling him "worthless" and relaying a story about their first interaction. STORY: Lex Veldhuis: Antonio Esfandiari is "Worthless" 8. Twitch Audience Gets an Unexpected Surprise One of the biggest stories of 2015 was the emergence of Twitch as a streaming platform for poker players and tournaments. While Jason Somerville and Jaime Staples were building big audiences with their poker play and personalities, Casey ' bigdogpckt5s' Jarzabek found himself in the headlines for leaving his stream running during some "personal time." STORY: bigdogpckt5s Banned from Twitch After Mistakenly Streaming Porn 7. Ivan Demidov Claims His Backer Never Paid Him His WSOP Winnings When Ivan Demidov finished runner-up to Peter Eastgate in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, he won what should have been life-changing money. Instead of walking away $5.8 million richer, however, Demidov never saw a cent. Or so he claims. In an interview with ALL IN, Demidov casually mentioned that his backer never paid him his share of the winnings. STORY: Ivan Demidov on 2008 WSOP Main Event Cash: "My Backer Did Not Pay Me" 6. Aria Poker Room Theft Investigation Leads to Staff Changes Poker room management and dealers found themselves unemployed following reports of widespread theft at the Aria Poker Room in Las Vegas. While the matter never went the legal route, Aria management spoke to numerous employees and concluded that changes needed to be made. STORY: Report: Theft Results in Major Shakeup at Aria Poker Room 5. The Merge Poker Network Struggles to Make Payouts Since Black Friday, poker players in the United States have had limited options for playing online poker. One company that was still accepting U.S. players was the Merge Gaming network. Unfortunately, the company struggled to pay players throughout 2015, as was first reported by PocketFives in April. STORY: Poker Players Troubled by Merge Gaming Withdrawal Issues 4. Online Poker Loses a Legend Chad Batista was outspoken and many would consider him brash, but to deny that he was a talented poker player would be a massive mistake. In August, Batista passed away following what was described as a period of declining health. After his passing, a number of poker players took to Twitter to offer their condolences and own stories about Batista, the person. STORY: Chad Batista (M8kingmoves) Passes Away 3. Bank of America Won't Do Business with Poker's Biggest Winner Daniel Negreanu is a wealthy man. Between his poker winnings (he is the all-time leading in money earned from tournaments), his PokerStars endorsement contract, and other marketing opportunities he has, Negreanu does just fine. That's not good enough for the Bank of America though. In late December, Negreanu had his bank accounts closed by Bank of America as part of 'Operation Chokepoint'. STORY: Bank of America Closes Daniel Negreanu's Bank Accounts 2. In the Midst of WSOP Success, Brian Hastings Called Out for Multi-Accounting on PokerStars In many ways, Brian 'Stinger88' Hastings had a year to remember. He cashed seven times at the 2015 WSOP, including two bracelet wins, and found himself in contention for WSOP Player of the Year. There was a dark cloud, however, as David 'Bakes' Baker brought to light some accusations that Hastings had played on PokerStars under an account other than his own during a deep SCOOP run. STORY: Allegations of Brian Hastings Multi-Accounting Surface 1. PokerStars VIP Changes Lead to Player Boycott Things at PokerStars have been, for the lack of a better word, different since Amaya acquired the site in mid-2014. Small changes here and there were met with mild disdain from players, but things got heated in November when the company announced it was essentially axing the SuperNova Elite VIP program for 2016 - even if players had done enough in 2015 to qualify. The changes got players fired up enough to organize a protest aimed at the company's bottom line. STORY: Players Organizing Boycott of PokerStars from December 1 to 3
  14. [caption width="640"] Brian Hastings is going from poker pro to entrepreneur (SHRPO photo)[/caption] Once one of the most feared nosebleed stakes online cash game players in the world, Brian Hastings says he is "moving on from poker as a full-time job." Hastings made the announcement in a wide-ranging blog post on his website on Sunday. The three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner touched on his battles with depression, post-Black Friday life and some of his brushes with controversy. "... four months after I graduated, I was visiting my parents in PA. I tried to log into online poker sites, and got the DOJ screen of death. I saw everyone around me panicking, but I knew that would do no good. I tried to take a deep breath and calmly assess the situation. It wasn’t pretty" Hastings wrote that he went from playing online to live as his primary focus before deciding to make the move that so many online poker pros were forced to do in the aftermath of April 15, 2011. After looking through his options, Hastings chose Vancouver, Canada. "From a poker standpoint, Vancouver was great. I left for 3 weeks mid-trip to play EPT London and WSOP Europe in Cannes, but when I was in Vancouver playing online, I crushed it. 50/100 PLO games were great; I focused on those and banked $350k or so online during my 3 month stay. Something else was happening though. I felt really far away from home," Hastings wrote. "I missed my friends and family (not hating on the good friends I made in Vancouver, much love). It started to be cold and rainy every day in November, and going outside was no longer fun. I was seeing a girl casually, and one day I called her and told her I had to stop, not because of her but because my depression made leaving my apartment unbearable." From there Hastings went back to his parents' home in Pennsylvania, before moving on to South Florida. "I found fun, big live cash games to play in (games which I mostly get shut out of today). I played some live tournaments from $1k to $10k buyin and found out that they were actually pretty fun," wrote Hastings. " I met some people I liked, one of whom was a local realtor I met playing a $1k at Hard Rock. I decided that buying a $790k beachfront condo and putting 30% down due to the nature of my profession was expensive but justified because I wouldn’t go back to hopeless depression." It took less than two years for the depression to return according to Hastings. Hastings then had a brief stint in Chicago, where he was getting "hands-on" with daily fantasy sports operator DraftDay, a company he had invested in. Not long after that, while back in Florida, Hastings says he met another poker player, who had a way for him to get back to playing online without leaving the United States. "At one point, he said he could set me up with a PokerStars account that I could play on from Florida with no trace. I was depressed again and missing online poker dearly and feeling out of good options, so I took him up on it. It was the wrong thing to do, but I justified it by how wronged I felt by the entire industry. Mental health played a big role in my decision," Hastings wrote. It was during the 2015 WSOP, where Hastings won two bracelets and cleaned up on prop bets,where his allegations of playing on PokerStars from the United States under another player's screenname first came to light. While being thrust into the media spotlight for his WSOP success, Hastings refused to talk about the then unproven allegations. "I didn’t respond to the attacks well, and lashed out back some. When the dust settled, I realized I had effectively turned into the person that I resent (if only for a short period of time)," Hastings wrote. He also tackled the subject of his first bit of media attention, which came much earlier in his career, after he beat Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom for over $4 million in $500/$1,000 heads up Pot Limit Omaha. During an interview with former ESPN poker writer Gary Wise, Hastings shared that he had worked with fellow CardRunners instructors Cole South and Brian Townsend before the session. "21-year-old Brian was humble by nature and felt kind of awkward doing an interview touting me, so I went into it thinking that I wanted to credit my friends for their help in preparation. Somehow that lead to socially awkward 21-year-old Brian uttering the phrase “conglomerated hand history databases” on tape in the interview (For the record – I don’t even know if that’s an actual thing that can be done. Mania and anxiety phrased that sentence for me.). I explained to Gary post-interview that the words were inaccurate and taken out of context. He replied that I said them on tape, so of course they were true." Hastings, Townsend and South were all eventually cleared of any wrongdoing except, according to Hastings, in the eyes of the public. (Editors note: The ESPN story Hastings referred to does not quote Hastings as using the term “conglomerated hand history databases". Wise used the term himself in a preface to a quote from Hastings which detailed the group's studying of Blom's habits and tendencies. That story is here.) Hastings now plans to take a turn as an entrepreneur, with plans to open a tea shop in Florida. "The time is now for me to shift my focus to my new company – UniTea (@uniteafl on Twitter and Instagram). More details on that in a blog to come. I feel reborn and I can’t wait for this new journey." Hastings later clarified on Twitter that he doesn't intend to stop playing entirely, and will probably play a schedule similar to what he played in college, 10-20 hours per week.
  15. Scott 'Aggro Santos' Margereson has two World Championship of Online Poker titles and won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2015. On Wednesday night he added World Poker Tour champion to his resume. The final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown featured a couple of high profile players, including a former WPT Player of the Year, but Margereson outlasted all of them to win $696,740, including a seat in the upcoming WPT Tournament of Champions. When the final table began, Jeff Fielder was sitting fourth in chips but over the first 45 hands of play, the two-time WPTDeepStacks champion saw his stack dwindle before a four-way pot ended his night. Faraz Jaka raised to 210,000 from UTG, Scott Margereson called from the cutoff, Fielder called from the button, and Brian Hastings defended the big blind. After Hastings checked the [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"][poker card="4s"] flop, Jaka bet 325,000 and Margereson and Fielder called while Hastings folded. The [poker card="7c"] turn got Jaka to check before Margereson bet 1,350,000. Fielder called and Jaka folded. The [poker card="6c"] got Margereson to move all in and Fielder called. Fielder tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] for a rivered flush, but Margereson showed [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"] for a flopped full house and Fielder was eliminated in sixth. Three hands later, Matt Stout tangled with Jaka, the Season VIII WPT POY, in what was ultimately his final hand of the tournament. From UTG Stout raised to 225,000 before Jaka raised to 675,000 from the button. Stout came over the top, moving all in for 2,925,000 and Jaka called. Stout showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] but got bad news when Jaka showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5s"] flop was a brutal one for Stout and as the dealer placed the [poker card="qh"] on the turn, Stout was out in fifth place. The meaningless river was the [poker card="3h"]. Four-handed play last 66 hands before Jaka found himself on the good end of another cooler. Joey Couden raised to 475,000 from UTG and Jaka made it 1,500,000 to go from the big blind. Couden responded by moving all in for 9,600,000 and Jaka called, tabling [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"] in the process. Couden tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] and then stood to watch the board run out [poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ah"][poker card="3d"] to end his tournament with a fourth-place finish. Brian Hastings started the day with almost 33% of the chips in play but he was unable to turn that into his first WPT title. After 36 hands of three-handed play, Margereson button-raised to 500,000 and Hastings raised to 1,800,000 from the small blind. Jaka folded his big blind and Margereson called. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"] flop saw Hastings check-raise Margereson's 1,200,000 bet to 3,800,000. Margereson clicked back, moving all in and Hastings called all in for 9,825,000. Margereson showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"] for a flush draw and an overcard to Hastings' [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="3d"] turn changed nothing but the [poker card="7c"] river filled Margereson's flush and ended Hastings' run in third place. Heads-up play began with Margereson holding a nearly 3-1 chip lead. Jaka eventually evened out the stacks, but after 2.5 hours and 81 hands, Margereson was too much for Jaka to overcome. On the final hand of the night Margereson open-shoved and Jaka called all in for 12,375,000, tabling [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"]. Margereson showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="js"] and then watched the dealer fan out the [poker card="qd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"] flop to give him two pair. Neither the [poker card="7h"] turn or [poker card="ah"] river were enough to save Jaka, giving Margereson his first major title and almost $700,000. Final Table Payouts Scott Margereson - $696,740 (incl. $15,000 WPT TOC entry) Faraz Jaka - $454,496 Brian Hastings - $336,466 Joey Couden - $251,523 Matt Stout - $189,880 Jeff Fielder - $144,775
  16. On Saturday, Alex Foxen tweeted that he was looking to make some bracelet bets for the 2019 World Series of Poker. Sifting through the responses, it appears he found a few takers. One of the first players to pop into Foxen’s mentions was recent WPT L.A. Poker Classic winner David 'ODB' Baker, who offered $20,000 per bracelet against Foxen. After a little bit of back and forth between the two, they settled on the original offer from Baker at $20,000 per bracelet. Baker then tweeted that his "shop is open for business" and took in a few "friendly" offers of his own. He booked $2,000 per bracelet with both Brandon Shack-Harris and Brian Hastings. Back to Foxen, Adrian Mateos was one of the players to join in the fun. He asked Foxen if he’d bet on mutual no-limit hold’em events played and it appears Foxen accepted. If they were accepted, the two likely worked out the details out of public view. Rainer Kempe was next in line and offered a similar bet to what Mateos did, for mutual no-limit hold’em events played. If we’re understanding the details correctly, Kempe and Foxen are on for the first bullet of every no-limit hold’em event they both play this summer. A min-cash wins $1,000 from the other person, an official final table appearance wins $5,000, and a bracelet wins $25,000. Dominik Nitsche chimed in at the end and said he’d like the same bet, but there was no visible confirmation from Foxen. Foxen did like the tweet, though. Foxen has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet, but he's still relatively new to the poker scene. He had some notable live tournament results in 2015 and 2016, but his 2017 is really what put him on the map. That year, Foxen won more than $1.7 million on the felt after having won just over $500,000 in the five years prior combined. In 2018, Foxen had an even bigger year with more than $6.6 million won. In 2019, he’s already won more than $3 million entering the 2019 WSOP. Foxen had just four cashes at the 2018 WSOP, but one of those was a final table to kick off the summer. At the 2017 WSOP, Foxen cashed 14 times and then added two more cashes at WSOP Europe. Among those cashes in 2017 were two final tables and three other top-15 finishes.
  17. Three players won bracelets on Day 15 of the 2019 World Series of Poker and a couple of four-time champions put themselves in position to win their fifth. John Gorsuch, Rami Boukai, and Andrew Donabedian all ended their day by posing for winner photos. John Gorsuch Rallies to Win Millionaire Maker John Gorsuch was in a position that a lot of poker players have been in. Down to just two big blinds in a tournament and expecting the inevitable bust out. It never came for Gorsuch though. He went from two big blinds to WSOP bracelet winner and millionaire a few hours later after rallying to win the $1,500 Millionaire Maker Wednesday night. The 42-year-old from Florida has been at a WSOP final table before, finishing fifth a $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event in 2017. On Wednesday night, Gorsuch left nobody in his wake, including runner-up Kazuki Ikeuchi who started heads-up play with a 3-2 chip lead. Along with the $1.34 million score and WSOP gold bracelet, Korsuch was coveting something even simpler - the victory. “I haven’t won a tournament outright since maybe 2013 and it was a little bar tournament,” Korsuch said. Having recently sold his company, Korsuch seems to be set on simply playing cards for now and seeing where that takes him. “I’m a poker player for right now. I’ve talked to other people who’ve bought companies, sold companies. You always have that itch to figure out what’s next," Korsuch said. "Poker is awesome. I can play poker all day and all night long. This kind of helps figure out whether I want to keep doing it. Which I think I do.” Final Table Payouts John Gorsuch - $1,344,930 Kazuki Ikeuchi - $830,783 Lokesh Garg - $619,017 Vincas Tamasauskas - $464,375 Joshua Thibodaux - $350,758 Cory Albertson - $266,771 Bob Shao - $204,306 Fabian Gumz - $157,565 Joshua Reichard - $122,375 Rami Boukai Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix After bagging up chips on Tuesday night, Rami Boukai and John Evans returned Wednesday to finish off the $1,500 Eight Game Mix event. Boukai wasted little time, taking Evans' final chips after just 45 minutes of play to capture his second bracelet and $177,294. “I don’t sleep too well in this city, I just didn’t want to fuck things up, I had a big chip lead," Boukai said of the need to play a fourth day. "It was as good of a spot as I could see myself in.” Boukai's first win came in 2009. Evan earned $109,553 as the runner-up for his largest career score and just second WSOP cash. His first came last week when he min-cashed the $1,500 HORSE event. Chris Klodnicki finished third for $72,933. Final Table Payouts Rami Boukai - $177,294 John Evans - $109,553 Chris Klodnicki - $72,933 Philip Long - $49,531 Allen Kessler - $34,329 Donny Rubinstein - $24,292 Andrew Donabedian Ships $600 PLO Deepstack Andrew Donabedian outlasted 2,576 other players to win the $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack bracelet and $205,605. He finished the job on Wednesday night, beating Todd Dreyer heads up for the third live tournament win of his career. A WSOP Circuit regular, Donabedian has yet to win a WSOP Circuit event. His two previous wins also came in PLO events on the Las Vegas Strip. His previous biggest score came last summer when he won $22,723. "Winning a bracelet is awesome honestly. I got a bracelet before I got a ring, I play a lot of circuit events and got a lot of second and thirds, but no win yet," Donabedian said. "I guess I was saving the win for the bracelet. I don’t feel like I need to win a ring now, because I have one better." Final Table Payouts Andrew Donabedian - $205,605 Todd Dreyer - $126,948 Robert Valden - $92,672 Corey Wright - $68,258 Mihai Niste - $50,732 Alexandru Ivan - $38,051 Tom Franklin - $28,803 Florian Fuchs - $22,006 Alexander Condon - $16,971 52 Players Left in the Running in Marathon Event Day 3 of the $2,620 Marathon No Limit Hold'em event was a busy one. The day began with 188 players still in contention and after 25 players were eliminated, the bubble burst leaving 163 players in the money in one of the longest tournaments on the WSOP schedule. At the end of the day just 52 players were left with Matt Russell bagging up the chip lead. His lead is a narrow one, however, as Peter Hong ended with 1,205,000 and Johan Guilbert finished with 1,204,000. Five other players finished with a stack of at least 1,000,000. Joseph Cheong, TK Miles, Mohsin Charania, Anatoly Filatov, Day 2 chip leader David Coleman, and reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Erkut Yilmaz all moved on to Day 4. Some of the notables who cashed on Wednesday but weren't able to stay in the tournament included Andre Akkari, Joao Vieira, Maria Lampropulos, Kane Kalas, Matt Berkey, Ian O'Hara, Bertrand Grospellier, Cliff Josephy, Olivier Busquet, and Ole Schemion. Players return to action at 1 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Matt Russell - 1,260,000 Peter Hong - 1,205,000 Johan Guilbert - 1,204,000 Vladimir Alexandrov - 1,107,000 Tuan Phan - 1,041,000 Joseph Liberta - 1,030,000 Jason Wandling - 1,007,000 Sergio Fernandez - 1,000,005 Francis Anderson - 900,000 Preston Lee - 796,000 Michael Mizrachi Grinds His Way to $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Final Table Lead Michael Mizrachi, recently named the ninth greatest player in WSOP history, has just five more players to outlast in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo to claim his fifth career bracelet. Mizrachi, who started the day with the chip lead with 22 left, ended in the same position with just six players left. Mizrachi bagged up 1,355,000. Michael Sopko and Robert Gray are in the chase group, with 1,184,000 and 1,028,000 respectively. Mizrachi is the only player at the final table with a WSOP bracelet already to his credit. Yuval Bronshtein, fresh off of winning his first bracelet, busted in 13th place. The final table gets underway at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Michael Mizrachi - 1,355,000 Michael Sopko - 1,184,000 Robert Gray - 1,028,000 Elias Hourani - 425,000 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 300,000 Jan Stein - 264,000 Stephen Song Leads $1,000 No Limit Hold'em Final Table From 346 players that started Day 2 of the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, just six remain and Stephen Song sits with an overwhelming chip lead. Song finished with 24,655,000 and only one other player, Sevak Mikaeil, finished with more than 6,000,000. Ryan Laplante finished with the fourth biggest stack at 4,885,000. Phil Hellmuth picked up his fourth cash of the 2019 WSOP with a 16th place finish for $13,830. Daniel Alaei, Rich Zhu, and Phillip Hui all managed to find a cash before busting late on Day 2. Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Paul Volpe and defending champion John Hennigan were among the players who busted before the money bubble burst. Day 3 begins at 3 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Brian Hastings - 1,125,000 Dario Sammartino - 1,120,000 Daniel Ospina - 1,112,000 Greg Mueller - 734,000 Phil Galfond - 734,000 Marco Johnson - 631,000 David Brookshire - 611,000 Matthew Gonzales - 551,000 Nick Guagenti - 537,000 Tom Koral - 425,000 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Draws 1,526 Players One of just two events to get underway on Wednesday, the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event attracted 1,526 and through 10 levels of play, Bulgaria's Stefan Ivanov finished with the chip lead. Ivanov was one of 309 players who survived Day 1. Right behind Ivanov is Luis Zedan with 374,000. The third biggest stack belongs to Joseph Sabe with 330,000. JC Tran, Pim de Goede, Dan Shak, Ismael Bojang, Chris Moorman, Joao Simao, Eoghan O'Dea, Erik Seidel, Joao Vieira, and John Racener all managed to move on to Day 2. Day 2 begins at 2 PM PT and will see the money bubble burst after 80 more players are eliminated. Top 10 Chip Counts Stefan Ivanov - 386,000 Luis Zedan - 374,000 Joseph Sabe - 330,000 Szymon Wysocki - 306,500 Neil Yekell - 277,000 Andrew Whitaker - 274,000 Joshua Gibson - 261,500 Jon Turner - 258,000 Christopher Aiello - 251,500 Anatolii Zyrin - 248,000 Former #1 Griffin Benger Tops $3K Six Max NLHE Day 1 Griffin Benger is no stranger to the spotlight at the World Series of Poker. Benger, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, finished seventh in the 2016 WSOP Main Event. On Wednesday, Benger finished on top of the 140 players who survived Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event. Benger ended the day with 427,000. The next biggest stack belongs to Upeshka De Silva with 306,000 chips in the bag. 2018 WSOP Main Event runner-up Tony Miles, Joe Cada, Jonathan Proudfoot, Ben Heath, Adrian Mateos, Dan Ott, Daniel Negreanu, and Chris Ferguson all moved on to Day 2. The tournament attracted a field of 754 players, down from the 868 that played in 2018. Top 10 Chip Counts Griffin Benger - 427,500 Upeshka De Silva - 306,000 Michael Tureniec - 263,000 Onur Unsal - 258,000 Manig Loeser - 245,000 James Obst - 242,000 Aleksandr Shevliakov - 222,000 Robert Bickley - 221,500 Kunuk Shin - 221,000 Francisco Torrecillas - 219,500 Thursday Schedule
  18. Nick Schulman spends a lot of time in the commentary booth during the World Series of Poker but on Monday he wasn't able to do the commentary for one of the $10,000 Championship events. He was busy winning it. Schulman was the sole bracelet winner on Monday as nearly every table was in play for the opening day of one of the new additions to the schedule. Nick Schulman Wins $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo for Bracelet #3 Nick Schulman arrived at the Rio on Monday with the chip lead and just six other players standing between him and the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship title. It took just a smidge over five hours, including four hours of heads-up play, for Schulman to stand tall against a stacked final table and earn his third WSOP bracelet. Schulman eliminated three of the six including Joe Hachem in third place and Brian Hastings in second. The four-hour long heads-up battle so each player hold the chip lead before Schulman ultimately prevailed. Schulman, who last won a bracelet in 2012, tweeted after his win a tongue-in-cheek Marlo Stanfield warning for the rest of the poker world. The win came with $463,670 for Schulman while Hastings, who was 4-0 when heads-up for a bracelet before Monday, took home $286,570 for his runner-up finish. Final Table Payouts Nick Schulman - $463,670 Brian Hastings - $286,570 Joe Hachem - $201,041 Denis Strebkov - $143,700 Christopher Vitch - $104,688 Corey Hochman - $77,763 Michael McKenna - $58,918 Bryce Yockey - $45,551 $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em (Event #64) Just 91 players remain after Day 2 of the $888 Crazy Eights event with none other than 888poker Team Pro Vivian Saliba among the chip leaders. Saliba ended with the fourth-best stack at the end of the 10 levels of play trailing only Ryan Leng, Scott Davies, and leader Natalia Panchenko. Some of the more notable names to move on to Day 3 include Jerry Odeen, Leo Margets, Martijn Gerrits, Matt Matros, and Jesse Sylvia. The day started with 1,223 players still in contention. There were a number of players who didn't make it through the day but did manage to pick up an in-the-money finish including Max Steinberg, Asher Conniff, Ryan Laplante, Jay Farber, Ryan Riess, Cliff Josephy, Josh Arieh, Anatoly Filatov, Calvin Anderson, Blair Hinkle, Greg Raymer, and Alex Foxen. Day 3 begins at Noon PT and is scheduled for 10 more 60-minute levels. Top Chip Counts Natalia Panchenko - 11,870,000 Scott Davies - 11,855,000 Ryan Leng - 11,765,000 Vivian Saliba - 9,565,000 Roland Rokita - 9,515,000 Andrew Brokos - 9,485,000 Jean Fabre - 9,305,000 Oren Rosen - 8,550,000 Rick Alvarado - 8,475,000 Jeanpierre Besancon - 8,190,000 David 'ODB' Baker Leads $1,500 Limit Hold'em Final Six David 'ODB' Baker started Day 3 of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event with the chip lead and then worked his way through 15 other players to finish with the chip leading with just six players remaining. Baker nearly doubled his stack on Monday, finishing with 2,493,000 after starting with 1,275,000. The player closest to Baker is Ruiko Mamiya with 1,551,000. Brian Kim is the only other player in seven-figure territory with 1,106,000. Chris Ferguson sits fifth in what is his third final table and 15th cash of the summer. Daniel Negreanu busted in 20th place for his 12th cash of the summer. Matt Glantz, Roland Israelashvili, and Greg Mueller also busted on Monday. The final table begins at Noon PT. Final Table Payouts David 'ODB' Baker - 2,493,000 Ruiko Mamiya - 1,551,000 Brian Kim - 1,106,000 Dominzo Love - 620,000 Chris Ferguson - 246,000 Chicong Nguyen - 152,000 Old School Representing Well in $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Eli Elezra already picked up one bracelet this summer for the Old School Set and on Monday he made all the rights moves to put himself in position for another. And he's got some Old School company. Elezra finished Day 2 of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event with 1,362,000 and the chip lead with just 16 players left. Right behind Elezra is Mike Matusow with 1,005,000. Andrey Zhigalov, fresh off of his runner-up finish in the $10,000 Razz event, bagged up the third biggest stack with 968,000. Anthony Zinno, Ryan Hughes, Robert Campbell, and Yueqi Zhu all bagged up top 10 stacks as well. There were 17 players who took advantage of the start-of-Day 2 registration period to push the total field to 151 players, a 10-player bump over the 2018 field. Day 3 begins at 2 PM PT and is scheduled to play down to six players. Top 10 Chip Counts Eli Elezra - 1,362,000 Mike Matusow - 1,005,000 Andrey Zhigalov - 968,000 Anthony Zinno - 738,000 Steven Wolansky - 733,000 Qinghai Pan - 727,000 Ryan Hughes - 601,000 Mike Wattel - 596,000 Robert Campbell - 528,000 Yueqi Zhu - 410,000 $1,000 Mini Main Event (Event #69) One of the new additions to the WSOP schedule this summer could be offering a hint at massive things to come in the Main Event. The $1,000 Mini Main Event runs the same structure as the $10,000 Main Event with 30-minute levels. WSOP officials were expecting somewhere in the neighhorhood of 3,000 players for this event. Then 5,521 players showed up. All of the tables inside the Rio were in use and hallways snaked throughout the hallways as players waited for their chance to sit down and play. Lula Taylor finished Day 1 with 2,695,000 and the chip lead. Liran Betito isn't far behind with 2,625,000. Heidi Orloff bagged up 1,935,000 for the third best stack. Rex Clinkscales, Yuval Bronshtein, and Chris Ferguson all managed to make it through Day 2. Just 546 players made it through Day 1 with 280 of those eliminated finishing in the money. Action resumes at Noon PT. Top Chip Counts Lula Taylor - 2,695,000 Liran Betito - 2,625,000 Heidi Orloff - 1,935,000 Alexis Urli - 1,925,000 Lazaro Hernandez - 1,890,000 Kunal Punjwani - 1,765,000 Aleksandr Merzhvinskii - 1,725,000 Ming Li - 1,700,000 Gal Sharvit - 1,670,000 Brian Andrews - 1,640,000 Barry Hutter Leads $5,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em The $5,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event always draws some of the best NLHE players in the world. Barry Hutter worked his way through 539 of them to lead the remaining 212 players into Day 2. Hutter ended the 10 levels of play with 400,000. Darren Elias, Roberto Romanello, Samuel Vousden, Brian Yoon, Cord Garcia, Peter Traply, Chris Hunichen, Ryan Laplante, Koray Aldemir, and Dan Smith all advanced to Day 2. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top Chip Counts Barry Hutter - 400,000 Eder Murata - 319,300 Faisal Shihabi - 291,600 Darren Elias - 257,500 Joseph Couden - 256,700 Tamer Kamel - 236,500 Torrey Korsog - 233,700 Alberto Morales - 232,400 Alexandros Theologis - 227,300 Pfizer Jordan - 218,700
  19. Sunday at the 2019 World Series of Poker saw three players from three different countries win the first bracelets of their careers including an American pro taking down the largest Online Championship event in history. Sejin Park Takes Down Colossus for $451K For the second time in a week, a South Korean player has won a WSOP bracelet. Sejin Park started the final table with the third shortest stack and battled his way to having the chip lead heads-up before eliminating Georgios Kapalas to win the bracelet. Park, a 37-year-old poker pro, had never cashed a WSOP event before. Along with sending Kapalas to the rail, Park also eliminated Norson Saho in sixth and Juan Lopez in fourth. Park banked a career-best $451,272 score for the win. Kapalas, who started the day with the biggest stack, took home $278,881 for his second-place finish. Kapalas was also responsible for three eliminations at the final table. Final Table Payouts Sejin Park - $451,272 Georgios Kapalas - $278,881 Ryan Depaulo - $208,643 Juan Lopez - $157,106 Andrew Barber - $119,072 Norson Saho - $90,838 Patrick Miller - $69,757 Maksim Kalman - $53,925 Diego Lima - $41,965 Russian Anatolii Zyrin Binks $1,500 Omaha Mix Rich Zhu almost defended his title. The only player who prevented was Russian poker streamer Anatolii Zyrin. The 29-year-old Zyrin actually trailed Zhu when heads-up play began. It took a little more than an hour for Zyrin to flip the script and eventually eliminate Zhu in second place. This is Zyrin's eighth cash of the 2019 WSOP. He finished runner-up to Brett Apter in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event in early June. Zhu, who won this event last summer, took home $123,466 for his runner-up finish. This is Zhu's 10th cash this summer and 88th of his career. James Van Alstyne finished third for $84,106. Final Table Payouts Anatolii Zyrin - $199,838 Yueqi Zhu - $123,466 James Van Alstyne - $84,106 Mesbah Guerfi - $58,289 Aron Dermer - $41,112 Iori Yogo - $29,518 Alan Sternberg - $21,582 Ivo Donev - $16,075 Nicholas 'Illari' Baris Takes Down $1,000 Online Championship Nicholas 'Illari' Baris beat out a record-setting field to win $303,738.75 and the first WSOP bracelet of his career. Baris beat Tara 'bertperton' Cain heads-up to win the title. Cain ended up with a $187,530 payday. William 'TheBurrSir' Lamb rounded out the podium finishers with a third-place result and won $113,332.50. Chris Ferguson finished seventh. This is the largest field in the history of the $1,000 Online Championship. The 1,750 runners beat the 2018 field by 115 players. Final Table Payouts Nicholas 'Illari' Baris - $303,738.75 Tara 'bertperton' Cain - $187,530 William 'TheBurrSir' Lamb - $113,332.50 David 'YoungPitts' Baker - $96,092.50 Jason 'LuckDuck' Lawhun - $69,991.25 Jack 'Mr. Yang' Maskill - $51,703.75 Chris 'Camdi' Ferguson - $38,736.25 Ryan 'PlzCumAgain' Jones - $29,260 Antonio 'karma007' Guerrero - $22,443.75 Massive Day 1D Field in $888 Crazy Eights The $888 Crazy Eights event kept the hallways at the Rio packed on Sunday with 4,494 players pushing the four-day total to 10,188. Just 561 players survived Day 1D with Luis Pinho bagging up 1,419,000 for the biggest stack through all four starting flights. Gal Erlichman finished with 1,275,000 for the second-best stack while Vlad Darie rounded out the top three with 1,200,000. Everybody in the top 10 from Day 1D finished with more than 1,000,000 in chips. Some of the notables who managed to make it through Day 1D include Chance Kornuth, Andrew Brokos, Ryan Leng, Mark Radoja, Greg Merson, Anatoly Filatov, William Kassouf, Greg Raymer, Jay Farber, and Ryan Riess. The 1,223 players who survived the four opening flights will be back in action on Monday beginning at Noon PT. Top Day 1D Chip Counts Luis Pinho - 1,419,000 Gal Erlichman - 1,275,000 Vlad Darie - 1,200,000 Muhammad Abdel Rahim - 1,118,000 Pierre Merlin - 1,085,000 Nino Ullman - 1,074,000 Artem Metalidi - 1,052,000 Kee Fredkove - 1,041,000 Soukha Kachittavong - 1,030,000 Grayson Ramage - 1,030,000 Nick Schulman Leads $10K Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Final Table Just seven players are still standing after three days of play in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and Nick Schulman stands tallest among them all. Schulman bagged up 3,355,000 and leads Brian Hastings by 620,000. Hastings, who has four bracelets including two $10,000 Championship events, bagged up 2,735,000. Right behind him is 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem with 2,430,000. 2018 World Championship of Online Poker leaderboard winner Denis Strebkov finished with 885,000 for the fifth-biggest stack. The day started with 43 players and after 14 players busted without cashing to burst the bubble, Steven Wolansky busted in 29th place to 13th cash of the summer. He's now tied with four other players for the most cashes this year. Other players who busted in the money include Randy Ohel, Dylan Wilkerson, Leif Force, Darryll Fish, Matt Vengrin, Connor Drinan, and Bryce Yockey. The final table begins at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Nick Schulman - 3,355,000 Brian Hastings - 2,735,000 Joe Hachem - 2,430,000 Christopher Vitch - 1,940,000 Denis Strebkov - 885,000 Corey Hochman - 170,000 Michael McKenna - 65,000 David 'ODB' Baker Leads Final 21 in $1,500 Limit Hold'em David Baker already won a World Poker Tour title this year. On Sunday, he took a step towards adding a WSOP bracelet to his list of 2019 accomplishments. Baker, who won his only WSOP bracelet in 2012, finished Day 2 of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event with 1,275,000 and a massive lead over the rest of the field. Ron Carmona bagged the second largest stack with 488,000. Right behind him is Ruiko Mamiya with 486,000. Chris Ferguson, who finished seventh in the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em Online Championship, bagged up the sixth biggest stack in this event. Other familiar faces who advanced to Day 3 include Greg Mueller, Matt Glantz, and Daniel Negreanu. The final 21 return to action at 2 PM PT and will play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts David 'ODB' Baker - 1,275,000 Ron Carmona - 488,000 Ruiko Mamiya - 486,000 Nicholas Pupillo - 403,000 Brian Kim - 373,000 Chris Ferguson - 361,000 Dominzo Love - 360,000 Kenneth Donoghue - 324,000 Greg Mueller - 262,000 Matt Glantz - 247,000 Ali Eslami Leads Day 1 of $10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Ali Eslami hasn't cashed in a WSOP event in five years, but he finished Day 1 of the $10,00 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event atop the 68 players who made it through the day. Eslami finished with 275,000 to edge out Rich Zhu, who registered only after busting the $1,500 Mixed Omaha event in second-place. The event drew 134 runners with registration open until the start of Day 2. Eli Elezra, Jon Turner, Anthony Zinno, Jason Mercier, Randy Ohel, Jeff Lisandro, Jake Schwartz, Brandon Shack-Harris, Erik Seidel, Chris Bjorin, and Dan Zack also bagged up chips to advance to Day 2. Play resumes at 2 PM PT. Top Chip Counts Ali Eslami - 275,500 Yueqi Zhu - 272,000 Andres Norbe - 266,500 Eli Elezra - 264,000 Harvey Goldstein - 242,500 Jon Turner - 229,500 Anthony Zinno - 223,000 Jason Mercier - 216,500 Randy Ohel - 195,500 Perry Friedman - 191,000

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