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  1. The stakes have been raised in the 2021 Poker Masters as Chris Brewer took down Event #8 ($25,000 NLHE) on Wednesday for a career-high tournament cash of $427,500. The $10Ks on the schedule are in the rearview mirror and the super high rollers have made their way to the PokerGO studio in Las Vegas. In fact, Event #8 saw a total of 57 entries which created an impressive prize pool of $1.425 million. For Brewer, an emerging face on the high-stakes scene, he relied on both his experience and a little bit of luck to take down first of the $25Ks. “I won a lot of all-ins which was super helpful,” Brewer said after his win. “I’m pumped to win.” It looked like it could be a quick final table after the early exit of table short stack John Riordan. On the very first hand, with the blinds at 20,000/40,000 (40,000 bb ante), Darren Elias was looking to apply some pressure on the short stack as he moved all-in with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="4s"]. Riordan, the lone blind, picked up [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] and went with it, sticking his eight big blind stack in the middle. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"] giving Elias trips and leaving Riordan looking for runner-runner help to survive. The [poker card="8c"] opened the door for a possible flush for Riordan, but he missed when the river came the [poker card="td"]. Riordan’s fifth-place finish was good for $114,000 and it marked his fourth cash in the first eight events. Brock Wilson had also been on a Poker Masters heater, sitting at his third final table of the series and capturing a win in Event #4 for $189,800. For the better part of an hour, Wilson had been nursing the short stack and when the blind climbed to 25,000/50,000 (50,000 ante) he was sitting on just eight big blinds when he moved all-in from the small blind holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="8c"]. Elias was in the big blind, looked down at [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] and instantly called. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2c"] flop kept Elias’ dominating hand in the lead with top pair. The turn came the [poker card="6d"] and Wilson found himself drawing dead to the [poker card="4s"] river. He added to his Poker Masters resume with his fourth-place finish for $142,500, bringing his 2021 Poker Masters total to $414,300, good enough to assume the top of the leaderboard for the Purple Jacket. Lou Garza, who started the day with the chip lead continued to be the leader when three-handed play started. But as the first break approached, he lost that lead to a surging Elias while Brewer also found himself losing chips. By the end of the third hour, Elias was building a tower of chips as Garza slipped to the bottom of the chip counts. With the blinds at 50,000/100,000 (100,000 bb ante) the two short stacks went to war. Brewer opened from the small blind to 575,000 with his [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"], forcing Garza to go all-in if he wanted to call. Indeed he did as Garza put his chips in the middle with the [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8d"] flop paired up Brewer and left the former chip leader needing help to stick around. The turn was the [poker card="5d"] and the river was not an ace, but the [poker card="3d"], ending Garza’s back-to-back final table run in third place for $199,500. Elias held a healthy 2.5-to-1 chip lead over Brewer when heads-up began. But in a key hand where Elias had [poker card="qc"][poker card="5c"] and Brewer held [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] and the flop came [poker card="th"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2c"], Brewer was able to bring the two stack to even. It was just twenty minutes later that Brewer had flipped the chip counts, holding the 2.5-to-1 chip lead over Elias. The blinds escalated to 50,000/125,000 (125,000 bb ante) and Elias was sitting on just over 10 big blinds when he moved all-in from the button with his [poker card="tc"][poker card="9h"]. With the lead and [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"], Brewer defended, looking to finish off the four-time WPT champion. The [poker card="js"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"] board never really provided a sweat for the duo as Brewer’s king-high hand was good enough to score the win. Elias collected $285,000 as the runner-up and Brewer booked the win and $427,500 to go with it. Brewer’s third 2021 Poker Masters cash brings his series total to $490,800. 2021 Poker Masters Event #8 Final Table Results Chris Brewer - $427,500 Darren Elias - $285,000 Lou Garza - $199,500 Brock Wilson - $142,500 John Riordan - $114,000
  2. After starting the final table of 2021 Poker Masters Event #4 (10,000 No Limit Hold’em) dead last in chips, Brock Wilson willed himself to the top of the chip counts and found a way to take down the first Poker Masters event of his career, earning $189,800 and the top spot on the Poker Masters Purple Jacket leaderboard. For a relatively new face on the high roller scene, Wilson has been making quite the impression. Tor the better part of two years, the Las Vegas resident has been firing in some of the biggest live tournaments on the circuit. While he’d come close on numerous occasions to bringing home a win in the PokerGO studio, it had yet to materialize. On Saturday night, however, the win that felt inevitable finally came to pass. His victory in Event #4 is not only his most high-profile official victory, but the cash also ranks as a top-5 career score of over $3.5 million in earnings. READ: Empire State to Sin City: Brock Wilson Ready for Breakout Moment It took nearly an hour and a half before the final table had its first elimination. Wilson started the day as the short stack, and right behind him was Elio Fox. However, both players navigated the early levels to give themselves a little breathing room. The opposite was true for Nick Petrangelo who went from third in chips to the bottom of the chip counts. With blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 bb ante), Petrangelo, with just 10 big blinds, raised to 100,000 holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"]. It folded around to Chad Eveslage in the big blind who defended with his [poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"]. The flop came [poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2h"], giving Eveslage bottom set and offering Petrangelo a flush draw to go with his overpair. When checked to, Petrangelo min-bet 50,000. Eveslage check-raised all-in, and Petrangelo, covered, made the call. The turn was the [poker card="js"] and the river came the [poker card="2c"], improving Eveslage to quads and sending Petrangelo out in sixth for $43,800. Five-handed play took place for over an hour more. The blinds increased to 40,000/80,000 (80,000 bb ante) when Wilson raised to 175,000 from the cutoff holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ah"]. In the small blind, Brekstyn Schutten, who started the day with the chip lead, flatted with his [poker card="7h"][poker card="7c"]. Then, Sam Soverel, with just under ten big blinds came along holding the [poker card="qh"][poker card="9h"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"][poker card="3h"] and it checked through to Wilson who bet 150,000. Schutten let his pocket sevens go but Soverel didn’t follow suit, he made the call. The turn was the [poker card="9d"], bringing Soverel two pair. Soverel checked it to Wilson again, and Wilson moved all-in. Soverel snapped called, his hand ahead and just one card from a double. However, the river was the [poker card="ac"], bringing a set for Wilson and sending the 2019 Poker Masters champion to the rail in fifth place for $58,400. As Wilson climbed to second in chips, Eveslage found himself slipping. At 50,000/100,000 (100,000 bb ante), Eveslage had just eight big blinds. From the small blind, he moved all in with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"] and, in the big blind, Wilson made the call holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="7c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="kd"] leaving Wilson’s ace high as the best hand and finishing Eveslage in fourth place for $73,000. At three-handed, Wilson, Schutten, and Elio Fox were all roughly even in stacks. After Elio took a big pot to put a dent into Schutten’s stack, the former chip leader was looking for a spot to double up. At 50,000/125,000 (125,000 bb ante), Fox was applying pressure to Schutten’s big blind when he moved all-in from the small blind with his [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"]. Schutten woke up with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] and called for his final 8 bigs. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"], putting Fox in the lead with top pair. That held through the [poker card="jd"] turn and the [poker card="3d"] river. Schutten settled for third place and collected $94,900 for his efforts. After a short break, Wilson and Fox sat down to play heads-up with Fox holding a better than two-to-one chip lead. Unlike some of the recent heads-up matches in the Poker Masters, these two didn’t take long to determine a winner. Wilson picked up a big pot, assumed the chip lead, and closed it out in roughly thirty minutes. On the final hand, Fox called on the button with the [poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"] and Wilson checked his option in the big blind holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"]. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"][poker card="8d"] and Wilson checked it to Fox who checked it back. The [poker card="8h"] hit the turn, giving both players trips. Wilson checked again and Fox put out 175,000. Wilson check-raised to 600,000 and Fox made the call. The river was the [poker card="7h"], eliminating the chop by giving Wilson a full house. After letting the shot clock wind down, Wilson shoved and after thinking it over, Fox decided to call and was shown the winner. Fox laddered from fifth in chips at the start of the day to finishing in second for $138,700. Brock Wilson won Event #4 for $189,800 and surged to the lead in the Poker Masters leaderboard. Poker Masters Event #4 Final Table Results Brock Wilson - $189,800 Elio Fox - $138,700 Brekstyn Schutten - $94,900 Chad Eveslage - $73,000 Sam Soverel - $58,400 Nick Petrangelo - $43,800
  3. The record books will reflect that there was an official winner in Event #1 of PokerGO’s 2021 Poker Masters ($10,000 No Limit Hold’em), but it was hardly a definitive one as Shannon Shorr and David Peters effectively “played to a tie” on Wednesday night. After a lengthy, see-saw heads-up battle that lasted nearly two hours, the duo agreed that, in order to play the next event (Event #2), that they would simply split up the remaining prize pool and flip for leaderboard points. In the end, all the chips ended on Shorr’s side of the table and he was crowned the winner of the tournament and given 1st place points. The 12-event Poker Masters kicked off with 82 entries of Event #1 pushing the prize pool to $820,000. After a full day of play, the final seven returned for Day 2 to crown a winner and try to award a $205,000 first-place prize. Coming into the final table with fewer than ten big blinds, Ben Yu wasn’t long for the final table busting in the day’s opening moments when he got all-in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9c"] against Shorr’s [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"]. When the board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="qc"][poker card="4c"], Yu tapped the table and exited in seventh place for $41,000. With the blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 bb ante), Shorr opened to 100,000 on the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"]. In the small blind, Brock Wilson looked down at [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] and made the call. Then from the big blind, John Riordan who started the day as the second shortest stack moved all-in for his final 10 big blinds with [poker card="as"][poker card="8h"]. With the action on Shorr, he four-bet shipped all-in having Wilson covered. Wilson quickly released and the cards were put on their backs. The flop came [poker card="8d"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"], giving Riordan top pair and putting him in a good spot to double up. However, the [poker card="qh"] turn quickly put Shorr back in charge as Riordan was left looking for one of just two outs. The [poker card="qc"] river ended Riordan’s day in sixth place, good for $49,200. The final five battled for nearly two hours until the next player made their exit. The blinds had climbed to 40,000/80,000 (80,000 bb ante) and Jonathan Jaffe found himself on the short stack with roughly ten big blinds. When it folded to him in the cutoff with [poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"], Jaffe moved all-in. It folded through to Wilson in the big blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9h"] and he quickly made the call. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Wilson top pair and a commanding lead in the hand. The turn came the [poker card="5d"] bringing some additional gutshot straight outs for Jaffe. But the [poker card="ad"][ spiked on the river and Jaffe moved his chips into the middle, collected his belonging, and headed to the cage to collect $65,500 for fifth place. After losing a big hand against Peters, one in which Wilson was all-in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] against Peters’ [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"], Wilson moved to the bottom of the chip counts. At the 50,000/100,000 (100,000 bb ante) level, Wilson and Peters clashed again. Peters put in a raise on the button to 225,000 with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] and Wilson, in the big blind with just under 10 big blinds remaining, defended holding the [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"], giving both players top pair but keeping kickers in play. Wilson checked it over to Peters who bet the minimum, 100,000. Wilson then check-raised all-in and Peters made the call. The turn was the [poker card="ac"], bringing Wilson some chop outs. But the [poker card="3s"] ended Wilson’s run in fourth place, adding $82,600 to his bankroll. READ: Empire State to Sin City: Brock Wilson Ready for Breakout Moment At three-handed, the chip stacks evened out until at 50,000/125,000 (125,000 bb ante) Shorr crept out to a small lead, while Peters and Dylan DeStefano remained neck and neck. On the button, Peters looked down at [poker card="js"][poker card="jh"] and put in a raise to 250,000. After Shorr folded his small blind, action was on DeStefano in the big blind with [poker card="qh"][poker card="9h"] and just under 20 big blinds. He took a long look at Peters and then announced he was all-in and Peters, with the bigger stack, snap-called. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7h"] brought DeStefano a whole host of outs including potential flush, pair and backdoor straight outs. The turn was was the [poker card="ks"], leaving DeStefano with one more chance to his 10 outs. It didn’t come, the river was the [poker card="7c"] and DeStefano wrapped up in third place for $98,400. After taking out DeStefano, Peters started head-up play with a slight chip lead but Shorr was quick to even the stacks. Then the pair went to battle. Shorr built a considerable chip lead of roughly four-to-one and then Peters doubled. Shorr built it back up and Peters continued to hang around and then he took the lead. The pair bounced back and forth each taking turns trying to eliminate the other. All the while, registration for Event #2 was coming to a close and both players were eager to make sure they registered. Peters held a 7.6 million to 2.6 million chip lead over Shorr, at the 100,000/200,000 (200,000 bb ante) level, when he open shipped the big stack holding [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"]. Shorr made the call holding the [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] and it looked like Peters might finally lock up the win. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"][poker card="3c"] flop gave Shorr a flush draw which came in on the [poker card="9c"] turn. Peters needed a nine on the river to take the hand, but instead the river came the [poker card="qh"] and the pair were back to even with a quarter of an ante difference between them. At that point, they agreed to a deal (that may have been agreed to earlier) and then flipped for leaderboard points. “We’re effectively calling this a draw,” said PokerGO commentator Jeff Platt. “We can do an adjusted chop,” Shorr said, indicating that what little difference there was would be split in the aftermath. They both shipped all-in blind with Shorr winning the hand and being declared the official winner, claiming first-place leaderboard points. Poker Masters Event #1 Final Table Results Shannon Shorr - $205,000 officially* David Peters - $147,600 officially* Dylan DeStefano - $98,400 Brock Wilson - $82,000 Jonathan Jaffe - $65,600 John Riordan - $49,200 Ben Yu - $41,000 * Specific details of the deal were not made public but were discussed in the broadcast.
  4. Brock Wilson needs to be where the action is. A few years ago, Wilson could pull back the blinds on his apartment and look down upon the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City as he prepared himself for his day working on Wall Street as a financial analyst. More recently it’s meant being able to pull back his blinds and see the tourists and gamblers that give Las Vegas that Sin City vibe as he readies himself for day battling on the felt of the city’s poker tables. The 26-year-old moved to Las Vegas in mid-2020 to continue his recently-launched poker career. He could have picked some cozy three-bedroom house out in the suburbs with a pool in the backyard. Instead, he plopped himself right in the middle of the Strip, a stone’s throw from the poker rooms at Aria, Bellagio, and Wynn. “I wanted to be right on the Strip just because I always like the more city-type feels,” Wilson said. “I liked Manhattan a lot. I lived right in Times Square. I kind of like being in the heart of everything.“ It was in late 2019 when Wilson first started contemplating the move to Las Vegas. There’s no state income tax and he could use the city as his hub as he set out to travel the world and play poker. “We were going to go before the (2020) World Series of Poker. Then the pandemic happened. I was like, ‘you know what? I still want to move there. I’m just inside all day anyways’,” Wilson said. “I like it up here, the weather’s good. As time went on, I’ve known more people in Vegas. So it just made more sense socially, too, in terms of poker, to live (in Vegas).” Like a lot of poker players, Wilson spent the early part of the lockdown glued to his computer screen. While he was certainly actively playing online poker, he also jumped headlong into getting better at the game through study. He pinpointed specific elements of his game that he recognized as needing work and focused on those. “In quarantine, I think I improved a lot. I played every day and there wasn't much else to do, so I kind of played and then did some exercise and then went and reviewed all the hands I played. I think that I improved a lot in terms of ICM,” Wilson said. Moving to Las Vegas only became a possibility after Wilson stepped away from his career on Wall Street. That process actually started when Wilson was playing poker as a well-paying side hustle and Jonathan Dokler, a player that he respected who also worked in the banking industry, took him to the woodshed one night. “(Dokler) just completely crushed me and forced me to be like, ‘all right, I need to do a little bit more study and figure out how to actually learn some more sound strategy,” Wilson said. “I was just playing pretty aggressive and people would just tell you where they’re at. If they had a marginal hand, they would call. If they had a good hand, they would raise.” Wilson studied more and engrossed himself in the technical aspects of the game. He also expanded his circle of poker friends as he ran hands or theories by them as a means of learning. His game improved and he suddenly had a very nice nest egg from his poker winnings. Dokler got involved again - but instead of beating him out of it on the felt, he pushed him to invest his winnings into Bitcoin. “Since I had a full-time job, and all this money was money I made in poker, I kind of felt like, ‘I don't really need this money. I have a job that supports me going out on weekends’. I didn't really have much stuff to spend it on, and I was like, ‘Okay. It's worth taking the risk’," Wilson said. After putting a considerable percentage of his net worth into the cryptocurrency in 2017, Wilson watched his investment grow by 600%. Though he was still bullish on Bitcoin, he realized that his suddenly impressive portfolio presented him with a unique opportunity to put his money behind one of the players he’d met while trying to improve his game: Ali Imsirovic. “He was a lot better than me at the time, but every time I talked a hand with him, I felt like I was learning something new. I'd rail him on Sundays while he was playing stuff, and he would just be like, ‘Yeah. I'm just shoving here. I think that this guy would have always done X on an earlier street’ or ‘I'm calling here’,” Wilson said. “If someone's better than you at something, it's hard to really know how good they are. I just kind of had the confidence. He was winning at everything he always played at. If he played high stakes cash, he would win. He'd play heads-up, he would win. He'd play tournaments, he would win.” Wilson cashed out his Bitcoin and in 2018, started buying pieces of Imsirovic in high rollers. Imsirovic cashed for what was then a career-best $3.2 million in live earnings. “He ran hot at the beginning and made it real easy. He just won a lot of different stuff pretty quick,” Wilson said. “It made me not question it whatsoever. I would just continuously say, ‘I'll take the max’.” As Imsirovic kept having success, Wilson couldn’t help but look on with a tinge of envy. His bankroll continued to swell thanks to Imsirovic’s success and in mid-2018, Wilson decided he was ready to join him full time. “I gave two weeks notice in late May, and in early June is when I went to the World Series and started playing completely full-time and I've been completely focused on that without consideration for much else since then,” Wilson said. Wilson didn’t want to just gingerly enter the live tournament scene and test his mettle in some smaller buy-in tournaments. He was ready to be shoulder to shoulder with Imsirovic and the rest of the high roller regs. “I always had my sights on playing the High Rollers just because I felt that playing at the top level was the most interesting to me. Studying to know the real, correct way to do everything was always the most interesting. If you can do that well, it makes sense to play the biggest stakes,” Wilson said. Things didn’t go as well for Wilson right out of the gate as they had for Imsirovic. He was struggling to find consistency and a big cash was eluding him. There were some signs that he was doing good things, but the results weren’t there. “I played some $25Ks. I'd played two or three, and I bricked them. I had stacks in them and it kind of went south as we neared the money,” Wilson said. “I played a lot of the mid-stakes stuff, and my biggest score was $65K live. I was not getting it done live at all.” As it would for a lot of people, a trip the Bahamas allowed Wilson to clear his head and turn things around. Wilson traveled to the Bahamas to play in some partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas events, including a star-studded $25,000 buy-in Super High Roller. Wilson made his way through 123 of the 125 entries and got heads up with Adrian Mateos. The pair struck a deal with Wilson walking away with $619,536 and Mateos getting $520,464. After convincing Wilson that they had to play for the trophy, Mateos beat Wilson and is listed as the official winner - something Wilson is reminded of every now and then. “My friends like to troll me about this, (but) I fucking won the tournament, but he gets the first place and everything just because he said the Bahamas didn't have a policy as to who gets the trophy, and he was like, "Well, in the ARIA stuff, we always just flipped for it." So I was like, ‘All right, sure’. I don't think that's actually true, but whatever. He ended up getting the trophy,” Wilson said. Wilson returned to the United States with a big score on his resume and some confidence in his game. In December, he finished runner-up in a $25,000 High Roller at the Seminole Rock n Roll Poker Open for $301,215. He then took his talents to Los Angeles and won a $10,000 buy-in high roller event at the Bicycle Casino. He finished 2019 with $1.45 million in tournament earnings. He picked up eight cashes to start 2020 before the pandemic hit. Like nearly the rest of the poker world, Wilson then went back to playing online and picked up 12 World Series of Poker Online cashes. As live poker returned in late 2020, Wilson went back to playing the high rollers and came out on top of a $10,000 buy-in event at the Wynn where Alex Foxen and Imsirovic finished second and third respectively. Through the first half of 2021, Wilson has earned more than $900,000 from live tournaments. In June he played in the U.S. Poker Open and made two final tables, giving him his first opportunity to play on a PokerGO broadcast. Now he’s turned his attention to the WSOP Online events and in September will sit down to play the WSOP, something he’s had to use vacation time to do before. The poker scene in Vegas during the WSOP traditionally includes other tournament series at other casinos. For Wilson, he’s going to be zoned in on the bracelet events, but if he busts one of those, he’s going to look around for the other best value. “If I bust something, if there's anything else to play, I'll play it the same day. I'll bounce around everywhere and play everything,” Wilson said. “I'm not entirely sure how I'll prioritize the high rollers versus a Venetian $1,600. It kind of depends, but in terms of playing, my first priority will always be, I think, the WSOP events, because I think that they just are the highest value of anything.”
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