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  1. [caption width="640"] Stefan Schillhabel outlasted Adam Geyer to win WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] German poker players have had so much success on the international poker circuit the past three to four years that it's really no surprise when another German star emerges to take down a major title. That's exactly what happened Friday night in San Jose as Stefan Schillhabel came out on top of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star event to win $1,298,000. Schillhabel started the final table with the chip lead, but watched as Adam Geyer was the most active player early, picking up three eliminations in the first two hours of play. Maria Ho entered the final table third in chips with a shot at becoming the first female player to win an open WPT event. Ho lost a significant pot early on to Adam Geyer only to have her tournament come to an end an hour later. After Geyer opened to 175,000 from the cutoff and Schillhabel re-raised to 460,000 from the button, Ho, the last remaining Shooting Star left in the field, cold four-bet all in for 1,735,000. Geyer tank-called and Schillhabel folded. Geyer was in control with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] against Ho's [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="qs"] to send Ho out in sixth. After losing over 2,600,000 in a hand with Bryan Piccioli, Season XIII Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown champ Griffin Paul was left short-stacked and in need of an opportunity to double-up. Paul moved all in from UTG for 610,000, Geyer called from the button, but Andjelko Andrejevic announced he was all in for 1,130,000. Geyer called and turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"] and found himself way behind Andrejevic's [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] and Griffin's [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"] flop changed everything though and gave Geyer top two pair with two cards to come. The [poker card="6s"] turn and [poker card="7s"] river were blanks for Andrejevic and Griffin and both players were eliminated, Griffin in fifth place and Andrejevic in fourth. Having been responsible for the first three eliminations, Geyer was in full control with just three players remaining and over 50% of the chips in play. Things got close to even, though, after Schillhabel clashed with Piccioli. From the button, Geyer opened to 240,000. Schillhabel made it 73,000 from the small blind before Piccioli moved all in from the big blind. Geyer folded, but Schillhabel called and got great news when he found out his [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] had Piccioli's [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"] dominated. Neither player connected on the [poker card="th"][poker card="td"][poker card="5s"][poker card="js"][poker card="6c"] run out and Piccioli was eliminated in third place. That hand moved Schillhabel to within 350,000 of Geyer, but as heads-up play began, both players had more than 90 big blinds. Heads-up play took nearly three hours and 54 hands. Schillhabel took down a 6,750,000 chip pot early on to take a nearly 2-1 chip lead, but Geyer battled back to take even and took a small chip lead himself. Schillhabel then took down a 9,000,000 chip pot without showdown to put himself clearly ahead of Geyer for the final time. On the 102nd hand of play, Geyer, left with just 1,850,000, moved all-in and Schillhabel called. Geyer showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="9s"] and Schillhabel needed help with [poker card="8s"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"][poker card="3c"] flop moved Geyer even further ahead with top pair, but the [poker card="8h"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river gave Schillhabel running trips to eliminate Geyer and take down the title. Along with $1,283,000 in prize money, Schillhabel also earned a $15,000 seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions next month at Seminole Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The WPT now heads north to Sacramento for the WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino with the Main Event beginning Saturday. Final Table Payouts Stefan Schillhabel - $1,298,000 Adam Geyer - $752,800 Bryan Piccioli - $493,350 Andjelko Andrejevic - $331,500 Griffin Paul - $231,310 Maria Ho - $179,930
  2. [caption width="640"] Bryan “theczar19” Piccioli leads the 2016 WSOP Main Event after Day 4[/caption] Just 251 players remain in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event and the chip leader is a very familiar name to anybody familiar with the PocketFives Rankings over the years. Bryan ‘theczar19’ Piccioli ended Day 4 with 4,026,000 and is the only player above 4 million. “So much fun. I had a short stack to my left to start the day but he ended up busting and his seat was taken by Brendon Rubie and Jon Turner was on his left,” said Piccioli. “So I had those two on my immediate left for almost the whole day, so I was kind of being more selective knowing that they’re prone to playing back and what not. It just seemed like everything I was going was working. Right behind him is former Big One for One Drop winner Dan Colman with 3,711,000. Melanie Weisner held the chip lead at one point on Friday and ended up bagging a top 10 stack. Other notables still in the hunt for a trip to the 2016 November Nine include Jared Bleznick (2,568,000), Tom Marchese (2,108,000), Tony Gregg (2,013,000), Max Silver (1,810,000), Gaelle Baumann (1,724,000) and reigning WSOP Player of the Year Mike Gorodinsky (1,612,000). Former #1s Making Moves There are seven former #1-ranked PocketFives players still in the Main Event. Piccioli leads the way but he’s joined by the likes of Griffen Benger, Chris Hunichen and Cliff Josephy. Day 4 actually began with 11 former #1-ranked PocketFives players but Dan Kelly, Eisenhower1, Tim West and Kevin Saul all found themselves out sometime on Friday. Remaining Former #1-Ranked PocketFives Bryan Piccioli - 4,026,000 Griffin Benger - 2,409,000 Chris Hunichen - 2,241,000 Cliff Josephy - 1,554,000 Shaun Deeb - 1,089,000 Sorel Mizzi - 1,000,000 Paul Volpe - 640,000 Seven Ladies Continue Chasing History Not since Barbara Enright finished fifth has a female made the WSOP Main Event final table. Weisner leads a group of seven players looking to change that and put a female into the November Nine for the first time ever. Right behind Weisner is Louise Francoeur. Gaell Baumann who famously finished 10th in the 2012 WSOP Main Event finsiehd with 1,791,000. Maria Ho, who has cashed in the Main Event three other times in her career, finished with 691,000 after hanging around the chip lead during the early part of the day. Melanie Weisner - 3,078,000 Louise Francoeur - 2,107,000 Gaelle Baumann - 1,791,000 Stacy Matuson - 1,186,000 Dee Friedman - 1,038,000 Jennifer Shahade - 976,000 Maria Ho - 691,000 The remaining players return Saturday at Noon. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Piccioli - 4,026,000 Dan Colman - 3,711,000 Thomas Miller - 3,684,000 Pierre Merlin - 3,396,000 Farhad Jamasi - 3,380,000 Goran Mandic - 3,216,000 Adi Abugazal - 3,180,000 Daniel Zack - 3,085,000 Melanie Weisner - 3,078,000 Tom Middleton - 3,025,000
  3. [caption width="640"] Bryan Piccioli is enjoying his deepest run in the WSOP Main Event and hopes to keep going.[/caption] This time last year Bryan Piccioli, once the #1-ranked online poker player in the world, was deep in the World Series of Poker Main Event and updating his friends and family back home in Olean, New York as he made his way through the field. His parents, Dan and Diana, were following along right up until their son busted in 84th place. The day a player busts out of the Main Event is the worst day of their year and Bryan and his girlfriend Karissa made plans to get away for an extended European vacation. “I didn’t want to play poker for a little bit, I was ready for a nice break. My girlfriend and I had a nice vacation planned,” Bryan said. “It was supposed to be a 28-day trip and then on the fifth day I got the phone call you never want to get from your mom.” Bryan’s dad had suffered a serious spinal injury after falling at home. A medevac was brought in to take him to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo – some 75 miles away - for surgery to alleviate some of the pressure on his spine. “She didn’t know how serious it was at first. So she kind of waited a little bit to see exactly what the situation was before calling me and it turned out it was very serious,” Bryan said. Bryan’s dad was suddenly a quadriplegic. Abandoning the vacation, Bryan flew from Copenhagen to Amsterdam to New York City to Buffalo to get back to his family. Once stable, doctors recommended that he be transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the nation’s leaders in spinal injury rehabilitation. With bills to pay, Bryan’s mom couldn't afford much time off work and his sister had just started the nursing program at George Mason University in Virginia. Bryan realized what needed to happen. “Poker gives me the freedom to pretty much do whatever and take however long off I want, whether it be good or bad comes up. Obviously this is very unfortunate. I’m extremely close with my dad,” said Piccioli. “Somebody had to step up to the plate and my girlfriend and I got a two month lease in an apartment in Pittsburgh just to be there with him day after day while he was going through rehab. I can’t imagine what he was going through mentally and he just needed someone to be there.” In the meantime, his sister Lauren set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family raise money to pay for the extensive renovations the family home in Olean was going to need to accommodate Dan. Co-workers from Cattaraugus County, where Dan served as Social Services Commissioner, started selling t-shirts to help with the fundraising. [caption width="640"] Lauren Piccioli started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for some of the renovations needed for the Piccioli house.[/caption] The campaign was a huge success and while Dan was in Pittsburgh learning how to cope with his new reality, contractors went to work. “For a while there were workers coming in and out every day, construction sounds throughout the house,” Bryan said. “The house is finally done, it looks great. His room had to get expanded for room for his bed and stuff. It looks super nice, the guys did an amazing job. At least he has like a sense of home now.” Once his dad was back home, Bryan and Karissa had a decision to make. The pair had planned on moving to San Diego in January. That move would mean Bryan would be almost 2,600 miles away. “I talked it over with both my girlfriend and my parents of course, and they want us to live our lives,” said Bryan. “With poker, I’m able to have the freedom to go back whenever, so once a month I can go back for a week, look after my dad, give my mom a break, and then come back.” The rehabilitation process gave Dan some limited improvement, but the reality is that his situation is unlikely to improve any time soon, if at all. “It’s very little and honestly the chances improvements we’ve come to realize are extremely low,” said Bryan. “We’ve heard so many miracle stories about people in the same situation and he’s just so strong and he’s a hard worker so we just hope and pray that things come, but either way we’re there for him.” Before the start of Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event, Bryan was still playing, looking to better his 2016 finish and was again keeping family and friends up to date on his progress, including his biggest fan. “He can’t really use a phone right now, but we usually have somebody there during the day with him so sometimes messages get relayed,” Bryan said. “Usually I just copy and paste my mom and dad the same message, so he’s been getting a lot of updates.” But Dan isn’t just some railbird who has no clue about the game. He’s the one who introduced Bryan to the game years ago. In 2006, Dan played the Main Event, finishing 537th. It was a memorable experience for a lifelong poker fan, there was just one small problem. “Him and his buddy came and they both cashed within ten places of each other in the money. They got the min-cash for $12,500,” Bryan said. “He told me this story, they lost money on the trip after hotel and airfare. They cashed the Main Event and lost money.” He’s also picked up a few other cashes over the years. The last few times he’s been out to Las Vegas though was the cheer on his son. “He was here last summer, not during the Main, but he came out a couple weeks before the Main,” Bryan said. “He got to see me play in the money of the $5K No Limit. He was sweating that, but then he had to go back to work.” Through the first two levels of play on Day 6, just 60 players remain and Piccioli sits right in the middle of the pack. While he’s trying hard not to get too far ahead of himself, he’d love to find a way to have his biggest fan on the rail should be make it to the final table. “We’re still not exactly sure as far as accessibility for him to start traveling in the near future. We have a van, we can drive him wherever, but we’re not sure about airplanes,” said Bryan. “If need be, I’ll hire a team of chauffeurs to drive the van across the country. There’s two days before the final table. I will hire people to drive him in a van. I looked it up, it’s 36 hours from Buffalo to Vegas.” One of this year’s most endearing stories has given Bryan even more inspiration though. Kenneth ‘K.L’ Cleeton finished in 917th place. The 27-year-old suffers from spinal muscular atrophy and is paralyzed from the neck down – just like Dan. What if Dan could play the Main Event next year? “Shortly after the accident I’d mention, ‘When are we going to get you back at the poker table?’ and he was always like, ‘Oh no, that’s the last thing on my mind’,” Bryan said. “But in the past couple of months he’s slowly started to be like, ‘We could make it work somehow, right?’. So I feel like things are slowly starting to work things out. We’re going to figure out a way.” Sharing the story with his family, Bryan hopes it serves as a bit of inspiration for dad. “I was tearing up honestly. I told my Dad the whole story. I was FaceTiming with him, ‘Dad, look at this guy. This is the perfect example. You could be out here next year’,” said Bryan. The 28-year-old has learned a lot about himself in the past year, but he says he’s had some important things reinforced for him. “I’ve always been super aware that I have amazing parents and I love them so much and for something like that to happen to them, it really puts life in perspective,” said Bryan. “My family is so strong, we’re doing great. We’re getting through it together.” Even though he’s in Las Vegas now, and enjoys the lifestyle in San Diego, putting his entire family under one roof so they could be together would be the ideal situation. The deeper he gets in the Main Event, the easier it will be to make that happen. “My dream, hopefully one day, is to be able to get a big house and live with my parents, I don’t know where but if I win this tournament that would help,” Bryan said.
  4. [caption width="640"] Conor Beresford is the current king of the UK rankings. Photo: PokerStars.[/caption] As an online poker powerhouse country, the UK continues to be in the conversation of producing some of the best poker players in the world. Just as the country itself has been a major world influence in popular culture, players hailing from UK have helped shape the modern-day poker landscape including old school veterans like David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott,Neil Channing and Roland de Wolfe, high-rolling regulars like Sam Trickettand Charlie Carrell and even some of the most recognizable faces of the game in PokerStars Team Pro Liv Boeree and online poker legend, Chris Moorman. The current crop of Top 10 online players from the United Kingdom uphold the tradition of influential talented grinders and current at the top of the list is Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford (6,76.34 PLB Points). Beresford is not only the #1-ranked player in the UK, but also currently sits as the #15-ranked player in the world, according to the PocketFives.com Worldwide Rankings. His last month is highlighted third-placed place finish in Event #8 of the PokerStars High Rollers Series ($2,100 8-Max No Limit Hold’em) where he took home $57,781. Beresford, constantly grinding a schedule of the largest online MTTs, cashed 30 times for four-figures or more in November and looks to out do that pace here in December already notching nine four-figure or more paydays including a sixth place finish in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for $10,929. Despite Beresford’s amazing stats and consistency, he’s being hotly pursued by Team partypoker ambassador Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard (6,612.64). The former Worldwide #1-ranked superstar, currently sits as the UK’s #2-ranked player having just recently reached a new personal benchmark of eclipsing over $4 million in lifetime earnings. Leonard also did a good deal of damage in the PokerStars High Rollers Series cashing in five of the events for over $130,000. He final tabled three of the events and his largest score of the month came with his seventh place finish in Event #6 ($10,300 No Limit Hold’em - $1M Gtd) for $55,635. David ‘davaman’ Lopez (5,894.23) has ascended to the UK’s #3 spot. While there’s a pretty big gap between him and the duo of Beresford and Leonard, that could be in part due to a lighter play schedule in November. Originally from Spain, but currently playing out of London, Lopez reportedly at one point earned the title of Supernova Elite on PokerStars in only three months but with only a handful of scores for the month of November it looks like the pro is simply taking some time off after a month of everyday scores in October. Still sitting in the Worldwide Rankings at #40, his best recent score was a tenth place finish in the partypoker High Roller back on November 13 for $3,000. Literally right behind Lopez is the UK’s #4-ranked player Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot (5,874.55). Proudfoot has been making waves in the Worldwide rankings, climbing just about every week in the month of November, where he currently resides at #41. Proudfoot has been putting in the time and his results have shown it. On the precipice of conquering $1 million in lifetime earnings, Proudfoot racked up 25 four-figure scores in November, not including his victory in the partypoker High Roller on November 28 for $19,734. Sitting less than 20 PLB points behind Lopez, he could, once again, climb the rankings in no time. Charlie ‘chaz_man_chaz’ Combes (5,843.76), caps off the UK’s Top 5, having recently taken down the partypoker High Roller on November 23 for $12,170. Combes is the third of the UK trio that occupies virtually the same space in the Worldwide rankings as he currently stands only 2 spots back from Proudfoot at #43 and as of now is trailing him only 30.79 PLB points, meaning things can change in a hurry on both the UK and Worldwide rankings list. Combes’ December is off to a hot start as well as the daily mid-high stakes tournament grinder has won nearly $40,000 in the first week of play. There’s a little breathing room between the #5 and #6 spots, where Owain ‘sngwonder’ Carey (5,581.54) ranks. Carey was recently featured in the PocketFives.com Milestones column for surpassing the $3 million lifetime earnings mark and he also is enjoying his highest placement in the Worldwide Top 100, currently sitting just outside the Top 50 at #51. Playing out of Glasgow as its #1 player, Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen (5,554.91) checks in at #7. After a light November schedule, Geilich-Jonsen emerged to cash in the PokerStars High Rollers Event #19 for over $7,800. PokerStars WCOOP Event #1 Champion‘carpediem200’ (5,426.14) checks in at #8. While still benefitting from the massive points boost a major victory like a WCOOP will give you, he’s not sitting idly by having put in a full schedule over the past two months raking in over 20 four-figure scores in that time period. Bristol’s Oscar ‘MendaLerenda’ Serradell (5,408.48), a former #2-ranked Worldwide professional, occupies the #9 spot. His victory in PokerStars Bounty Builder on November 14 for $7,297 was his highest PLB points score of November and is basically the difference between him and the #10 spot which belongs to…Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman (5,278.54). As we previously mentioned, Moorman is one of the UK’s most popular and accomplished tournament grinders. The 888poker ambassador recently published his second book as well as took down one of the side events at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond (Event #9 $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Turbo) for $37,132. Even with all of his media duties and live play, he still finds the time to grind and add to his over $14 million in lifetime earnings. His most recent only victory came just days after his live win as he took down the PokerStars Bigger $162 for over $5,200. UK Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 11_conor_b_16,6776.34 2pleno16,612.64 3davaman5,894.23 4proudflop5,874.55 5chaz_man_chaz5,843.76 6sngwonder5,581.54 7ludovi333r5,554.91 8carpediem2005,426.14 9MendaLerenda5,408.46 10moorman15,278.54
  5. [caption width="640"] Michael Ruane is on the verge of recording his first cash since busting from the WSOP Main Event in July (WPT photo)[/caption] For a lot of poker players, getting to the final ten of the World Series of Poker Main Event along with one their good friends sounds like a dream scenario. The two of, on the verge of winning a million dollars and maybe more, along with the chance of winning the whole thing. For Michael Ruane, that dream scenario turned nightmarish this past July when he found himself in a hand with his good friend Bryan Piccioli on the final table bubble. Piccioli was the one that was all in, but the result of the hand all but guaranteed one of the two good friends would eventually become the 10th place finisher. That was Ruane's fate as Piccioli, holding [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"], called for his tournament life after Ruane, holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"], had moved all in. The board brought no help for Ruane and a few minutes later he was eliminated in 10th place. "It was the worst. If somebody's going to win I'd rather have it be him. It was just a terrible situation because getting to the final table together with a very good friend of mine would have been awesome," said Ruane. "All of our mutual friends were on the rail and nobody knew who to root for. It was silent. It was awful." The cliche says that the day a poker player busts out of the Main Event is their worst day of the year. Ruane got to live that moment, in an extremely important spot, live on ESPN for all the world to see. As the cards were turned over and the board ran out, Ruane looked upset and some mistook that as something directed towards Piccioli. Ruane insists that's not the case. "I was immediately obviously pretty angry, just because I wanted to make the final table, but I handled it a lot better than I thought I would. It just took me an hour or two to decompress, said Ruane. "I called my brother, Sean, and we talked on the phone for a bit. I actually didn't even realize there was a pay jump between 10th and 11th." Even though the two are good friends, and saw each other later that night, the big hand wasn't brought up. Five months after that fateful day, Ruane says that he and Piccioli have yet to discuss it at all. "We saw each other that night actually, and I congratulated him and I was happy for him. There's nothing really to talk about. It's just a shitty situation, I think we both just understood that. It's just poker. It's all good," said Ruane. The WPT Five Diamond, where he's starting Day 3 with a decent stack, is just the third live tournament Ruane has played since July. As long as he avoids a monumental misstep early on Friday, he's going to record his first cash since then. He had no cashes between his fourth-place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the 10th place finish last summer either. "I'm really pumped for this tournament because I haven't played in a while. I don't really like traveling and playing live - I like playing live a lot, but only when I want to. So I don't want to just go and play," a aid Ruane, who plans on spending the holidays with friends and family before heading off to Australia and Asia for prolonged vacation. "I was in Europe before the World Series and I've been to South America, so it's kind of the next place I haven't been yet and I feel like it's a pretty good time to go in my life right now," said Ruane. "Plus, I've never played the Aussie Millions. I've got a friend that lives there and a friend in China, so it just makes sense for me to this right now."
  6. [caption width="639"] Christian Pham has over 31 million reasons to smile after Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event.[/caption] Christian Pham once registered for a World Series of Poker tournament by mistake and won it. On Sunday, Pham made all the right moves to end Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event and ended up as the chip leader with just 27 players remaining. Pham’s move up the chip counts came at the expense of the player who spent the previous few days playing wearing a Superman costume, Jonathan Dwek. Pham raised to 425,000 from late position before Dwek raised to 690,000 from the small blind. Pham called and then called Dwek’s bet of 800,000 after the [poker card="kh"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="2d"] and Dwek bet 1,400,000 and Pham called. The river was the [poker card="4d"] and Dwek bet 2,000,000. Pham announced all in and Dwek went into the tank before calling all in. Pham happily showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] for the straight flush while Dwek showed [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"] for a straight. The hand eliminated Dwek in 38th place and gave Pham 25,800,000. Pham, who won the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven bracelet in 2015, ended the night with 31,250,000. Frenchman Valentin Messina finished with the second biggest stack at 28,590,000 while English pro Jack Sinclair ended with 27,535,000. Ben Lamb is one of three former November Niners still in contention for a return trip to the final table. The high stakes cash game regular finished Day 6 with 25,685,000 while Antoine Saout ended with 9,945,000 and last year’s fourth place finisher Michael Ruane ended up 16th after bagging 9,340,000. Bryan Piccioli doubled up late in the night to end up with a top 10 stack. This marks the third straight year that Piccioli has cashed in the Main Event with each improvement outdoing the previous one. RELATED: Bryan Piccioli Thriving Through Tragedy with WSOP Main Event Run There were 85 players at the start of the day. Some of the eliminations on Sunday included WSOP bracelet winners Ian Johns, Arash Ghaneian, Max Silver, Chris Wallace, Kevin Song and Martin Finger. Other notables who saw their Main Event end early include Tom Middleton, Charlie Carrel, Vitaly Lunkin, Kenny Hallaert, Connor Drinan and Brandon Meyers. One player who was eliminated on Day 6 was 70th place finisher Paul Senat. The 37 year old is facing a manslaughter charge in Palm Beach County, Florida the Palm Beach Post reported. They were unsure about any possible conditions on the bond he agreed to. Action resumes at Noon PT on Monday and will play down to a final table of nine. Top 10 Chip Counts Christian Pham - 31,520,000 Valentin Messina - 28,995,000 Jack Sinclair - 27,690,000 Ben Lamb - 25,685,000 Pedro Oliveira - 22,540,000 John Hesp - 20,880,000 Randy Pisane - 18,370,000 Scott Blumstein - 14,900,000 Bryan Piccioli - 14,500,000
  7. In the illustrious history of the PocketFives Rankings, 55 different players have managed to hold down the #1 spot. This edition of the RANK & FILE focuses on how those players did during the 2018 World Series of Poker. Just past the three-quarters mark of the WSOP and Paul Volpe is no longer the only former #1 to pick up a new piece of jewelry. Shaun Deeb Earnings: $1,583,588 Cashes: 11 Shaun Deeb beat out 229 players including a final table featureing Jason Koon, defending champ James Calderaro, Scotty Nguyen and Ben Yu to win the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event for $1,402,683. Deeb now has three WSOP bracelets and is tied with Volpe for most by a former #1. It's the largest live tournament score of his career by a factor of over four. His previous biggest cash came in the 2015 WSOP $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em Championship event. With 11 cashes at the 2018 WSOP, Deeb is now just one cash behind Chris Ferguson for the overall lead. Calvin Anderson Earnings: $35,772 Cashes: 8 Just one year after playing a very limited WSOP schedule, Calvin Anderson is back playing his normal pace and has so far managed to pick up eight cashes. His best result came in the $10,000 Triple Draw Deuce-tot-Seven event where he finished 12th for $19,428. Anderson also returned to his online roots to earn a baby cash in the $565 WSOP Online Pot Limit Omaha event. Eight is the most cashes Anderson has recorded in a single WSOP, breaking his previous best of six (2016 & 2013). Chris Moorman Earnings: $27,815 Cashes: 7 Chris Moorman sits just behind Anderson with seven cashes this summer. He picked up two cashes in the last week, the first coming in the $1,000 Big Blind Antes (30 minute levels) event where he finished 181st for $1,621. He followed that up with a 106th place finish in the $1,000 Tag Team event where he teamed with Jeremy Menard. Paul Volpe Earnings: $798,234 Cashes: 6 Since winning the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event on June 5, Volpe has picked up just two WSOP cashes. He finished 14th in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and followed that up with a 32nd place finish in the $25,000 PLO event that Deeb won. Those two cashes earned him almost $56,000. Bryan Piccioli Earnings: $15,062 Cashes: 4 The four cashes that Bryan Piccioli has picked up so far this summer aren't exactly anything to write home about. He finished 1,406th in the Colossus ($920), 730th in the Millionaire Maker ($2,808) and 231st in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Bounty event. His best result came in the $1,000 Double Stack where he finished 58th for $9,758.
  8. The improbable story of John Hesp, the eccentric Englishman that took the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event by storm, is being given the Hollywood treatment. According to The Daily Mail, Hesp’s inspiring fourth place finish in the Main Event for $2.6 million dollars has been optioned by “two renowned movie producers.” This means that in the not-so-distant future Hesp’s trademark colorful coat will be able to be seen in actual technicolor. Fans who followed the Main Event in 2017 will be familiar with his story: a grandfather from East Yorkshire who had played poker about once a month for $10 went on the heater of a lifetime. Hesp battling some of the best young players the game has to offer and, in the process, he reminded a legion of poker players what it means to bring the fun back to the game of poker. “I feel blessed to have achieved this great success and truly hope my story will inspire others to have fun playing poker as that was my mood throughout my amazing run last year,” Hesp said. “Thought my run in Vegas last year I was playing in Party Mood and I often commented ‘let’s make poker fun!’” With his fastidious flare and colorful wardrobe which matched his personality, it didn’t take long for word of his incredible run made it into the mainstream. Film producer Marc Ambrose knew that this was just the kind of feel good story that could transcend poker itself. “Most poker movies are about the dark and seedy side to the game,” Ambrose told The Daily Mail. “This story flips that right on its head.” “Saying this movie is about poker is like saying The Full Monty is about stripping. This is really a story about living life to its fullest but realizing that the grass isn’t always greener.” For Hesp, he’s surprised at the interest. “I have been completely overwhelmed and humbled with the large number of people who have reached out to me from all parts of the world and told me how much they had enjoyed watching me on TV and how inspiring it was," Hesp said. As for who will play Hesp in the movie, nothing is concrete but Hesp has an idea or two. “George Clooney or Tom Hanks is acceptable.” While it’s unlikely that either of these actors have the chops to play the energetic Hesp, we would like to offer a few suggestions of fantasy casting for the upcoming movie. Here are some options for Ambrose as to who we think would make for a fantastic cast for the climatic WSOP Main Event Final Table scene. John Hesp as played by Michael Caine. Two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine can likely capture Hesp's English essence. WSOP Champ Scott Blumstein as played by young Seth Rogan. Sure, we may have to go back in time a few years, but Rogan's jovial nature and charisma would suit the likable personality of the 2017 champ. Dan Ott as played by Keanu Reeves. The scruffy silent type, Keanu Reeves would jump at the chance to play the runner-up. Benjamin Pollak as played by Bobby Cannavale. Bobby Cannavale, the star of Martin Scorcese's HBO show Vinyl would be a perfect fit for third-place finisher Pollak. Antoine Saout as played by Bradley Cooper. Is there another actor in Hollywood that wears a backward hat as well as Bradley Cooper? Bryan Piccoli as played by Emile Hirsch. Emile Hirsch would use what he learned playing the lead in Into The Wild to navigate Piccoli's Main Event journey. Damian Salas as played by Jon Stewart. C'mon, check this out! It's perfect! Jack Sinclair as played by Daniel Radcliff. British wizard as played by a British wizard. Ben Lamb as played by Matt Damon. The return of Mike McDermott. Have a better casting option for the John Hesp film? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter: @pocketfives
  9. In the illustrious history of the PocketFives Rankings, 55 different players have managed to hold down the #1 spot. This edition of the RANK & FILE focuses on how those players did during the 2018 World Series of Poker. The World Series of Poker Main Event starts this week and former PocketFives #1 will get to work on trying to become the first player to have reached the mountaintop in both online and live poker. While this has yet to happen, there have been plenty of former #1-ranked online poker players that have made their mark on the biggest live poker tournament of the year. Here are just a few of the elite online player looking to make history here in 2018. Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy Main Event Cashes: 3 Total Earnings: $3,496,985 New York family man, and one-time poker staking kingpin, Cliff Josephy has produced the best results in the Main Event when it comes to pure profit. Josephy has made the money three times dating back to 2008 when he cashed for the first time, finishing in 386th place for just over $28,000. In 2015, he found his second Main Event score as he min-cashed for another $15,000. His breakthrough cash in the Main Event came in 2016 when he battled poker pros Gordon Vayo and, the eventual winner, Qui Nguyen in three-handed play at the end of the tournament. Falling in third, Josephy took home a career-high cash of over $3.4 million and , in the process, ended up earning himself the American Poker Awards PocketFives Legacy Award for contributions to both the live and online arenas. Sorel ‘Imper1um’ Mizzi Main Event Cashes: 5 Total Main Event Earnings: $245,224 Sorel Mizzi’s poker legacy may be a controversial one, having been involved in a number of poker controversies over the years, but his success in the Main Event is incontrovertible. Mizzi has cashed in the Main Event five times going all the way back to 2007. His best result was in 2011 when he breached the top 100, finishing in 95th place, for $64,531. Mizzi currently sits with over $11.9 million in lifetime live career earnings so should he find a way to add a sixth WSOP Main Event cash to his resume, he may propel himself up over the $12 million mark. Bryan ‘theczar19’ Piccioli Main Event Cashes: 3 Total Main Event Earnings: $1,757,855 Second only to Josephy in terms of pure cash, bracelet winner Bryan Piccoli has been a portrait of consistency in the Main Event in recent years. Piccoli has cashed in each of the last three Main Events, including his sixth-place finish in 2017 for $1.675 million. Headed into the 2018 Main, Piccoli has picked up four cashes in the 2018 WSOP highlighted by a relatively deep run in Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack for $9,758. He’ll be looking to cash in his fourth straight Main Event and, if that happens, he’ll be in line to make a run at Ronnie Bardah’s standing record of five straight Main Event cashes. Griffin ‘Flush_Entity’ Benger Main Event Cashes: 3 Total Main Event Earnings: $1,361,012 Another PocketFiver that always has a shot at going deep in the Main is Griffin Benger. One of 10 former #1-ranked PocketFivers to have cashed in the Main three times or more, Benger’s deepest run came in 2016. It was during that televised deep run that Benger’s verbal altercation with William Kassouf turned Toronto’s Benger from a pro's pro into a name known by recreational poker players all over the world. He wrapped up his run in seventh place that year, earning a career-high cash of over $1.25 million. Banger’s has a pattern of cashing the Main Event in every even year since 2012. In each of his results, he improved on the last time he cashed. If the pattern stays true, Benger should not only make the money this July but make a real run at becoming the World Champion. Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe Main Event Cashes: 3 Total Main Event Earnings: $557,919 Hitting the nail on the head, one of Paul Volpe’s nicknames is “The Main Event.” If Volpe is in the field and focused, you’re likely to see him make a deep run. Volpe already has six cashes in the 2018 WSOP series, including a bracelet win in Event #9: $10,000 Omaha H/L 8 or Better for $417,921. Volpe has come extremely close to making the final table of the Main Event on two of his three results. In 2012, Volpe’s deep run ended in the 20th spot for $294,601. Again in 2016, Volpe was poised to make it to the end, bowing out in 29th place for over $216,000. In total, the Pennsylvania pro has accumulated three bracelets and over $3 million in WSOP earnings alone. Perhaps this is the year he breaks through the 20th place threshold and makes his way to the final nine.
  10. In the eight years since the World Series of Poker Main Event went to a three-starting flight schedule, only once has the Day 1A field reach 1,000 or more players and that was 2012 when they snuck into four-digit territory with 1,066 players. There was no sneaking in on Wednesday. 1,336 players showed up to play Day 1A, giving WSOP officials hope that this year's event might be a record-breaker. Williams wasn't the only notable to suffer an early end to his Main Event. Shane Warne, Frank Kassela, Bryn Kenney, Mohsin Charania, Brandon Shack-Harris, and Kristen Bicknell all ended with a zero as their Day 1A chip count. Former Main Event Champs Advance Just two former Main Event winners managed to work their way through the five levels of play on Day 1A. Chris Moneymaker, fresh off of his ninth-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Las Vegas, ended the day 95,000 while 2016 Main Event winner Qui Nguyen had a much better day, finishing with 180,500. Foxen, Strelitz, Bonomo Highlight Notables Moving on to Day 2A There were 960 players who made it through Day 1A. While a number of top players like to wait until Day 1C to play, there were a plethora of poker superstars who played on Wednesday and finished with chips in a bag. Daniel Strelitz, still basking in the flow of winning his first bracelet, finished with 185,300. Poker vlogger Johnnie Moreno (aka Johnnie Vibes) tripled his starting stack and finished with 184,000. Alex Foxen nearly did the same, ending with 173,200. Justin Bonomo accumulated 96,000 through the day to move on to Day 2. Other notables advancing from Day 1A include Patrick Serda (216,700), Jeff Lisandro (180,100), Jack Sinclair (153,800), Isaac Baron (146,600), Kelly Minkin (137,100), Billy Baxter (131,500), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Arlie Shaban (113,600), Brian Rast (109,100), Kevin MacPhee (82,500), Garrett Greer (69,300), Ben Yu (63,600), Mike Gorodinsky (57,800), Erik Seidel (57,400), Stephen Chidwick (45,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (30,800), and Poker Hall of Fame finalist Chris Bjorin (18,000). Rapper Hoodie Allen Goes to Work, Bags Big Rapper Hoodie Allen, real name Steven Markowitz, was a Happy Camper at the end of Day 1A. The 31-year-old University of Pennsylvania grad lived up to The Hype and finished with 151,500, good enough for a top 100 stack. Markowitz will hope People Keep Talking when he returns for Day 2AB on Sunday. He has one previous WSOP cash, a 35th place finish in a 2016 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event. Michael Miller Leads Pennsylvania Contingent into Day 2A With the launch of Pennsylvania Online Poker looming, 17 players from the Keystone State managed to turn Day 1A into a trip to Day 2A. Leading the way is Michael Miller. The Haverford, PA native just missed out on having a top 10 stack after finishing with 235,800. The next biggest Pennsylvania stack belongs to Gregory Fishberg with 168,800. They're joined by Jesse Smith (136,600), Alan Schein (135,000), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Alexander Krisak (117,000), John Andress (104,900), Joseph Palma (100,100), Sean Magee (88,500), Dennis Cronin (85,700), David Knudsen (76,600), James Hundt (72,900), Jennifer Shahade (72,400), Ronald Lankin (49,500), Gary Bowker (25,800), and Seth Berger (DNR). The Day 1A Numbers Could Be Hinting at Something Big Historicially, Day 1A is always the least popular Main Event starting flight. It requires being in Las Vegas the longest amount of time, there's a two-day gap between Day 1A and Day 2A, and it means being in Sin City on July 4th. Over the last five years, Day 1A has accounted for an average of 11.44% of the overall field size, staying steady with a high of 11.75% last summer and a low of 11.01% in 2017. If that trend were to hold true this year, WSOP officials are looking at a record-setting year that will eclipse the 8,773 runners that turned out in 2006. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Campanello - 417,500 Timothy Su - 297,300 Quentin Roussey - 266,400 Takehiro Kato - 259,200 Charidimos Demetriou - 252,000 Craig Chait - 249,600 Stephen Graner - 247,100 Mark Zullo - 245,600 David Lolis - 245,100 Thomas Roupe - 238,800
  11. From 5,802 entries over 23 total flights in the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Main Event, former #1-ranked PocketFiver Bryan Piccioli holds the chip lead heading into Day 3 action. Just 38 of the 1,145 players who started Day 2 managed to work their way through Sunday's play. Piccioli, who held down the #1 spot on PocketFives for two weeks in May 2011, finished Day 2 with 18,417,494 and more than 2.5 million more than any other player. The 38 players will return to the felt on Saturday to play down to a winner. Thanks to the record-setting turnout, the prize pool swelled to $27,559,500 with the eventual champion walking away with $3,904,686 and the top four players all grabbing a seven-figure score. The Rest of Top 10 Just two other players crested the 15 million chip mark. Scotland's Michael Kane earned the prestige of sitting second in chips after bagging up 15,907,969 chips. Right behind him is Bulgarian Stoyan Madanzhiev with 15,299,783. One of just a handful of players whose real name is still not known, 'kellyyy' has the fourth biggest stack with 13,108,575. England's Craig Timmis is in fifth place with 12,809,181. He's already cashed 13 times in WSOP events this summer on GGPoker including a third place finish in Event #37 ($1,050 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty) and then a runner-up result in Event #53 ($800 Double Stack Pot Limit Omaha). Not surprisingly, Piccioli isn't the only big stack who has had previous online poker success. Dinesh Alt, who won the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker Main Event in 2016, sits sixth with 11,681,173. One of the most talked-about online poker players in the world also worked his way into the top 10. Benjamin Rolle, known as 'bencb789', finished with 10,789,181 and will start Day 3 on Saturday with the eighth largest stack. Rolle, the founder of the Raise Your Edge coaching site, booked a trademark win in 2016 when he defeated Fedor Holz heads-up to win the $102,000 buy-in WCOOP Super High Roller. Lauck, Schillhabel & Vousden Highlight Chase Group In 2016, Jonas Lauck had a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing in 37th place. He followed that up just a few months later by beating 2,090 other players to win the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker for a little more than $1.5 million. Now, the German sits with the 22nd biggest stack in the Main Event at 6,118,751. Samuel '€uropean' Vousden was the Day 1A chip leader. The WCOOP and SCOOP winner finished Day 1A of the Main Event with 717,497 and turned that into 4,241,694 through the end of Day 2. Both of those stacks pale in comparison though to the one owned by Stefan Schillhabel. The German poker pro, a regular in the biggest buy-in tournaments around the world with $9.35 million in live earnings, ended Day 2 with 8,412,841 and sits in 15th position heading into Day 3. Michael Lech Goes for History Way back in July, Michael Lech took down Event #13 ($1,500 NLHE High Roller) on WSOP.com to win his first career bracelet. The eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner now has a shot at becoming the first player to win WSOP bracelets on WSOP.com and GGPoker.com after he finished with the 30th biggest stack at 4,192,636. 2020 WSOP Main Event Day 3 Chip Counts Bryan Piccioli - 18,417,494 Michael Kane - 15,907,969 Stoyan Madanzhiev - 15,299,783 kellyyy - 13,108,575 Craig Timmis - 12,809,181 Dinesh Alt - 11,681,173 TiroGiro - 11,116,489 Benjamin Rolle - 10,789,181 HappyDX - 10,553,281 Joao Santos - 10,433,786 Tyler Cornell - 10,152,249 Dingxiang Ong - 9,320,927 Xuming Qi - 8,842,916 WhyEsEl - 8,635,342 Stefan Schillhabel - 8,412,841 Satoshi Isomae - 8,359,674 Maicon Gasperin - 8,171,017 Joshua Mccully - 7,906,110 Tyler Rueger - 7,692,938 Tzai Wei Phua - 7,338,038 Martin Arce - 6,131,772 Jonas Lauck - 6,118,751 Avidan Cohen - 5,880,731 Manuel Saavedra - 5,847,283 Lucas Tabarin - 5,695,282 Phachara Wongwichit - 5,153,525 Chris Brewer - 4,908,096 Julien Perouse - 4,866,548 Samuel Vousden - 4,241,694 Michael Lech - 4,192,636 Thomas Ward - 4,083,422 Mateusz Rypulak - 4,079,246 Ricky Tang - 3,397,845 Arkadiy Tsinis - 2,394,388 Freek Scholten - 2,248,788 Julian Stuer - 2,111,979 Aleksandr Trofimov - 1,602,207 Evgeny Galakhov - 958,516

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