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Found 44 results

  1. On Friday, Livingston, New Jersey's Michael miw210Wang (pictured) became the first open bracelet winner of the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP). He took down a $5,000 No Limit Hold'emevent for his first WSOP title. --- 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. --- Wang overcame a final table that had not one, not two, but three bracelet winners at it: Bryn BrynKenneyKenney, Greg gregy20723Merson, and Amir Lehavot. As coverage on WSOP.com dictated, "Kenney seemed easily on his way to victory, but then lost critical hands late which see-sawed the title over to Wang, who had been speechless and contemplative throughout until the final hand when he finally revealed emotion and relief." Coverage detailed the dramatic fashion in which the $5K ended: "The final hand occurred when both players completed a flush on the turn, but Wang's jack-high hearts topped Kenney's nine-high. Wang moved all-in on the river and after about a minute of thoughtful deliberation, Kenney(pictured) announced a call, thus ending the night in spectacular and unexpected fashion." Wang gave a shout-out to all of his railbirds on Twitter, saying, "Can't respond to everyone, but want to say I read all the messages and a big thank you for all the love!! #shipthebracelet" Ship the bracelet indeed. The tournament drew 422 players and Wang claimed $466,000 in prize money. Incredibly, the event had 415 males and just seven females (1%). Wang told WSOP officials after the $5K had ended, "I'm still trying to process it. This is the most prestigious prize in poker. This is the best thing in the game that's ever happened to me. It's going to take some time for this to sink in." Here's how the final nine cashed out: 1. Michael miw210Wang - $466,120 2. Bryn BrynKenneyKenney - $287,870 3. Artur Koren - $208,177 4. Greg Merson - $152,126 5. Jason jdpc27 Wheeler - $112,339 6. Amir Lehavot - $83,838 7. Joe ender555 Ebanks - $63,210 8. Long Nguyen - $48,137 9. Byron Kaverman - $37,030 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.
  2. [caption width="640"] After two third place finishes, Bryn Kenney finally got his hands on the PCA SHR Championship trophy Friday[/caption] Before the final table of the $100,000 buy-in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller began on Friday afternoon there were a number of storylines in play. Joe McKeehen, just two months from winning the WSOP Main Event was third in chips. Isaac Haxton, just weeks after leaving Team PokerStars Online, was fifth in chips at PokerStars’ marquee live event. Mustapha Kanit, who won the €50,000 buy-in Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final last May, was looking for another title and seven figure score to add to his impressive resume. And then there was Bryn Kenney. Five years ago Kenney finished third in this event. He did that again in 2015, finishing third behind runner-up Roger Sippl and champion Steve O’Dwyer. But on Friday Kenney exorcised the demons and came through with a victory - and a $1,687,800 payday - against the stacked field. McKeehen got the party started in all in preflop confrontation with Haxton. With just over 14 big blinds left, Haxton moved all-in with [poker card="ts"] [poker card="9s"] on the button and McKeehen called from the big blind with [poker card="as"] [poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"] [poker card="jd"] [poker card="4h"] [poker card="td"] [poker card="5s"] to give McKeehen top pair and eliminate Haxton in sixth place. Almost 90 minutes later David Peters was shown the door. Working with just over 10 big blinds, Peters moved all-in holding [poker card="ad"] [poker card="9s"], Kenney called from the big blind with [poker card="as"] [poker card="td"]. The [poker card="ks"] [poker card="qd"] [poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters but the [poker card="qh"] turn gave Peters some chops outs. The [poker card="ts"] river however sealed Peters’ fate with a fifth place finish. Ankush Mandavia completed from the small blind before Mustapha Kanit raised to 290,000 from the big blind. Mandavia responded by moving all-in and Kanit called. Mandavia was racing with his [poker card="ah"] [poker card="jh"] against Kanti’s [poker card="7c"] [poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="td"] [poker card="9h"] [poker card="8d"] flop gave both players straight draws. The [poker card="4h"] turn changed nothing the but the [poker card="qs"] river completed Mandavia’s straight and sent Kanit to the rail in fourth. Despite the chips he picked up by busting Kanit, Mandavia’s run ended not long after that hand. Mandavia moved all-in from the small blind for 2,135,000 and Kenney called from the big blind. Mandavia had kicker issues after turning over [poker card="ks"] [poker card="4h"] and seeing Kenney held [poker card="kd"] [poker card="9d"]. After the [poker card="jc"] [poker card="th"] [poker card="6s"] [poker card="3d"] [poker card="7d"] board Mandavia was out in third and Kenney was left to play heads-up with reigning WSOP Main Event champ McKeehen. When heads-up play began Kenney had the chip lead, holding 7,945,000 chips to McKeehen’s 6,550,000. The two played 46 hands of heads-up poker with both players taking turns with an overwhelming chip lead. On the final hand of the night McKeehen raised his button to 480,000 before Kenney moved all-in. McKeehen called and tabled [poker card="5d"] [poker card="5h"] while Kenney turned up [poker card="kh"] [poker card="7c"]. The [poker card="7d"] [poker card="7h"] [poker card="4c"] flop put Kenney ahead with trips and when the [poker card="3s"] turn and [poker card="js"] river failed to give McKeehen a full house, he was out in second place leaving Kenney as the champion. The event attracted a total of 58 entries - down slightly from the 66 that played last year. Final Table Payouts Bryn Kenney - $1,687,800 Joe McKeehen - $1,220,480 Ankush Mandavia - $787,640 Mustapha Kanit - $596,360 David Peters - $461,340 Isaac Haxton - $360,060 Daniel Dvoress - $286,920 Kathy Lehne- $225,040
  3. Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES Once again Lance Bradley and Matt Clark get together to talk about the amazingly impressive career of Adrian Mateos and the lack of American superstars under the age of 25 while discussing whether or not Bryn Kenney might just be under-appreciated after his big win in the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Super High Roller. They also review the Commerce Casino’s Social Experiment, the final table of the Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event and somehow end up talking about World Star Hip Hop.
  4. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney won the PokerStars Championship Monaco Super High Roller event on Saturday (PokerStars photo/Tomas Stacha)[/caption] In the era of High Roller of Super High Roller tournaments, maybe no player has enjoyed more success than American Bryn Kenney. He’s had six High Roller or Super High Roller wins, two seven-figure scores and 29 six-figure scores. On Saturday in Monaco the 31-year-old added another win and the single biggest cash of his career when he took down the PokerStars Championship Monaco €100,000 Super High Roller event. The win earned Kenney €1,784,500 ($1,944,326 US) and pushed him to 15th on the all-time earning list with just over $17.1 million. After having already won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2016, Kenney now has another prestigious title on his resume - the first for him in Monaco. "I'd never had a good trip in Monaco. It's nice to finally win the biggest tournament here," said Kenney. Nine players started the final day with only eight spots paying. Isaac Haxton busted on the bubble leaving the final eight to play and it didn’t take long for action to pick up. Just fives minutes after Haxton left empty-handed, Sam Greenwood was shown the door. Viacheslav Buldygin raised to 160,000 from UTG and Greenwood called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"], Greenwood then check-raised all in after Buldygin bet 150,000. Buldygin called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Greenwood showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] for top pair. Neither the turn or river were any help though and the Canadian was out in eighth. It took just another five minutes for Buldygin to find another victim. Buldygin raised to 160,000 from late position and Martin Kabhrel raised all in for a little over 1,000,000 from the big blind and Buldygin called. Kabhrel tabled [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] while Buldygin showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"] flop kept Buldygin ahead and neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="8c"] river were any help for Kabhrel, eliminating him in seventh. Buldygin took a back seat to Kenney for the next few bustouts. Kenney raised to 175,000 from middle position before German Steffen Sontheimer moved all in right after him for just under 1,000,000. Kenney called instantly and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] while Sontheimer found himself in trouble with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2c"] runout did nothing to help Sontheimer and he was out in sixth for €380,700 - the largest score of his career. Kenney stayed hot and ten minutes later busted another high roller regular who was on a heater of his own. Ole Schemion, who won the €10,000 High Roller earlier this week, opened to 175,000 from the cutoff before Kenney moved all in from the big blind. Schemion called and showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] while Kenney had [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"] flop kept Schemion in front. The [poker card="8d"] turn gave Kenney a gutshot straight draw and the [poker card="7c"] river filled the straight, sending Schemion out in fifth. Kenney showed no signs of slowing down after picking up those two eliminations and found himself adding another player’s entire stack to his own just over 30 minutes later. With blinds now at 50,000/100,000 (10,000), Kenney raised to 200,000 from the cutoff before David Peters moved all in from the button for 2,200,000. Kenney called and showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] after Peters tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters and neither was the [poker card="kh"] turn or [poker card="9s"] river. That hand gave Kenney almost 80% of the chips in play with just two opponents, Buldygin and Daniel Dvoress, standing in the way of the title. Kenney finally got to take a back seat ten minutes later as the other two players clashed. Buldygin moved all in from the button and Dvoress called all in from the small blind before Kenney folded. Buldygin was racing with [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"] against Dvoress’ [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"] flop didn’t directly connect for Buldygin, but he did pick up a number of extra outs. The [poker card="Ks"] turn was one of them and Buldygin eliminated Dvoress in third as the [poker card="3c"] river completed the board. When heads up play began, Kenney had 13,000,000 chips while Buldygin had just 2,250,000. Despite the huge advantage, in both chips and relative experience closing a big tournament, it wasn’t exactly an easy ride for Kenney. Finally, with Viacheslav Buldygin down to just 10 big blinds, Kenney moved all in after Buldygin attempted to limp his button. The Russian called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] against the [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] of Kenney. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"] flop put Kenney in nearly complete control and the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river sealed Kenney’s win, eliminatiing Buldygin in second place. Payouts Bryn Kenney - €1,784,500 Viacheslav Buldygin - €1,290,800 Daniel Dvoress - €832,800 David Peters - €630,600 Ole Schemion - €487,715 Steffen Sontheimer - €380,700 Martin Kabrhel - €303,350 Sam Greenwood - €237,950
  5. [caption width="640"] Jason Koon beat Charlie Carrel to win the 0,000 buy-in PokerStars Championship Bahamas Super High Roller (PokerStars photo)[/caption] Jason Koon overcame one of the toughest high roller fields on the poker calendar to win the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Super High Roller and a career-best $1,650,300. For the 31-year-old, the win brought back memories of time when he was playing smaller buy-ins but dreaming bigger. “My first PCA, I was walking out of the casino and before I knew Scott Seiver that well, I saw him walk by me with headphones on, walking to the final table of a $100K or a $25K and being like ‘hell yeah, that’s Scott Seiver and he’s going to play the final table of this $100K’,” said Koon. “I was trying to satellite into the Main. I was thinking, one day I hope I can play those $25Ks and $100Ks. Sitting there with the trophy in front of me was just kind of a surreal moment.” Over the last six months Koon has recorded eight cashes, six of them for at least six-figures and total earnings of $3,909,741. Along with this Super High Roller he’s also won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event and the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic High Roller. “It’s just ridiculous. Poker tournaments are silly. That’s all I can say,” said Koon. “I don’t know how much of that is bias is from like ‘oh, I’ve been running well so I’m going to come in and feel good’ and when you’re running bad that’s not the case.” Koon started the final table with the third-biggest stack, trailing only Charlie Carrel and Dan Colman, but got to work on moving up the chip counts. Just and hour into play Koon raised to 100,000 from the button before Bryn Kenney, who won this event last year and has cashed in the event two other times, moved all in for 655,000. Koon called and tabled [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] and Kenney turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"][poker card="2c"] flop kept Kenney ahead and the [poker card="6h"] turn was no harm, but the [poker card="qs"] completed Broadway for Koon and eliminated Kenney in seventh place. Almost two hours later, Carrel picked up his first elimination of the final table. Carrel raised to 205,000 from the button before Connor Drinan moved all in from the big blind for just under 700,000. Carrel called and tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"] which put him well ahead of Drinan’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="4c"]. The [poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"] flop put Drinan ahead and gave him a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="ks"] turn flipped the script though and left Drinan drawing thing on the river. The [poker card="ac"] river gave Carrel top two pair and eliminated Drinan in sixth. Byron Kaverman was the next victim, falling victim to Dan Colman in a blind-vs-blind batle. Action folded to Colman in the small blind and moved all in, Kaverman called off his 720,000 stack. Colman had [poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"] while Kaverman had [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="9s"][poker card="8h"][poker card="2s"] flop put Colman ahead and neither the [poker card="2h"] turn or [poker card="ks"] river were any help for Kaverman and he was out in fifth. Just over an hour later a pair of back-to-back eliminations got the tournament to heads up. Carrel raised to 225,000 from the button before Daniel Dvoress moved all in for 2,000,000. Carrel called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"], having Dvoress’ [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] dominated. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4h"] flop gave Carrel even more reason to breathe easy, but the [poker card="8h"] turn gave Dvoress a flush draw. The [poker card="ah"] river completed Dvoress’ flush but filled up Carrel to send Dvoress to the rail in fourth place. On the very next hand Colman raised to 3,000,000 and Carrel called from the button. Colman turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"] but got bad news when Carrel showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="8h"][poker card="9d"] board was no help for Colman and he was out in third place. After being responsible for eliminating both Dvoress and Colman, Carrel began heads-up play with Koon holding 8,700,000 of the 12,500,000 chips in play. Over the course of the next two hours, with neither player interested in looking at chop numbers, Koon turned the tables on Carrel and finally put the young Brit away. The two checked through a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"][poker card="2s"] and [poker card="8s"] turn. Carrel bet 400,000 after the [poker card="jd"] river and Koon moved all in. Carrel called off his remaining stack and then mucked his [poker card="kc"][poker card="7d"] after Koon showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="8d"] for two pair and the win. The $100,000 buy-in event attracted a total of 54 entries with 41 unique entries for a total prizepool of $5,239,080. Final Table Payouts Jason Koon - $1,650,300 Charlie Carrel - 1,191,900 Dan Colman - 759,660 Daniel Dvoress - 576,300 Byron Kaverman - 445,320 Connor Drinan - 340,540 Bryn Kenney - 275,060
  6. [caption width="640"] Koray Aldemir earned his first career main event win by topping an elite 39 player field. (WSOP photo)[/caption] The Triton Super High Roller Series wrapped up another exciting festival filled with high rollers populated by the best players in the world. Capping off the series was the HKD$ 1,000,000 Main Event. Poker’s best and brightest were in the 39-player field with Phil Ivey among them. No stranger to high rollers himself, 2016 One Drop final tablist Koray Aldemir walked out of the six-handed final table victorious after defeating the star-studded field. Among the final tablists were Daniel 'Jungleman' Cates, Bryn Kenney, and defending Triton Main Event Champion, Wai Kin Yong, who was also the first player eliminated. Yong was crippled by Kenney in one of the first hands at the final table and was sent to the rail one hand later. Kenney opened for 110,000 and Yong shoved all in from the small blind. Kenney called with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"] and was a huge favorite to double through Wong's [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"][poker card="8h"] flop gave Yong hope with a flush draw but the ensuing turn [poker card="3c"] and river [poker card="8c"] ensured there would be a new main event champion. Yong was crippled after the hand and Sergio Aido finished him off. Only a few more hands would go by before Devan Tang was eliminated by Aldemir. Tang moved all in for eight big blinds from the cutoff with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"] and Aldemir called from the small blind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9d"] flop provided plenty of action as Tang flopped two pair and Aldemir picked up a flush draw and a straight draw. The [10d] turn filled Aldemir’s straight and Tang failed to fill up on the [poker card="3c"] river. Down to his last 15 big blinds at the start of the new level, Kenney moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="6s"] and was dominated by Cates [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"] in the big blind. With only three immediate outs, Kenney missed on the [poker card="ks"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4c"] board. With his finish, Kenney earned yet another high roller score in 2017 and he is now over $1,800,000 in earnings for the year. Shortly after the elimination of Kenney, the remaining trio agreed to a deal that gave Aido the most money but still left HKD$ 400,000 to play for along with the main event trophy. Cates was knocked out soon after the deal was made as the third place finisher. With the blinds at 30,000/60,000, Aido raised to 150,000 on the button and Cates jammed for about 1,400,000 out of the small blind. Aido called with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] and had the [poker card="kh"][poker card="js"] of Cates one step out the door. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2s"] flop put a few chop outs in play but the turn and river both bricked to seal Cates’s fate. Aido brought a 3:2 chip lead into heads up play but was soon overtaken by Aldemir. Aldemir took a sizable portion of Aido’s stack a level into their match and took down the title not long after. Aldemir raised to 190,000 and Aido defended his big blind to see a [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"] flop. Both players checked and Aido bet 275,000 on the [poker card="js"] turn. Aldemir called and the [poker card="ad"] hit the river. Aido bet 930,000 and Aldemir called with [poker card="qh"][poker card="tc"] for a rivered straight to beat the trip jacks of Aido [poker card="jd"][poker card="4d"]. The blinds moved up to 50,000/100,000 and Aido was down to less than 15 big blinds. Aido limped in with [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"] and Aldemir pushed with [poker card="ah"][poker card="2h"] to put Aido at risk. Aido called and was live to extend his heads up match. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8d"] flop gave Aido plenty of help by putting a straight draw in place and he improved to a flush draw on the [poker card="3s"] turn. Despite his smorgasbord of outs, Aido missed on the [poker card="5d"] river and Aldemir sealed the win. The second place finish was the second final table for Aido in the Triton Super High Roller Series after finishing fourth in the Six Max event. Aldemir officially locked up his first career main event victory and should be a familiar face for future high roller events. Final Table Payouts Koray Aldemir - HKD$ 10,032,869* ($1,292,653) Sergio Aido - HKD$ 10,378,375* ($1,337,186) Daniel Cates - HKD$ 7,765,156* ($1,000,490) Bryn Kenney - HKD$ 3,893,000 ($506,090) Devan Tang - HKD$ 2,780,000 ($361,400) Wai Kin Yong - HKD$ 2,224,000 ($289,120) * - reflects three-handed deal
  7. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney took home another six-figure score by winning Poker Masters Event #3 on Saturday (Poker Central photo)[/caption] While the storyline from the first two Poker Masters final tables has been the success of the Germans in the field, one of the questions heading into the final table of Event #3 was where are the Germans? There were no German players among the final seven players in Event #3 but the storyline ended up being Bryn Kenney's ability to bob and weave Erik Seidel's attacks to win the event and $960,000. Sergio Aido was one of three short stacks when the final table began and ended up being the first player sent packing. Jake Schindler made it 35,000 to go from the cutoff and Aido responded by moving all in for 341,000. Schindler called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"] while Aido was hoping his [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] would hold up. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2s"] flop gave Schindler the nut flush draw and while the [poker card="ks"] turn was a blank, the [poker card="qc"] river completed his flush and eliminated Aido. It took over two more hours before another player was eliminated. Seidel raised to 100,000 from the button and Cary Katz defended his big blind. Katz moved all in afer the [poker card="8d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3h"] flop and Seidel called. Katz showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"] whil Seidel had [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"]. Katz got no help from the [poker card="6d"] turn or [poker card="5d"] river and was out in sixth place. Before Katz could even leave the final table area, Doug Polk joined him on the way out the door. After every other player folded, Bryn Kenney moved all in from the small blind and Polk called all in and tabled [poker card="4c"][poker card="4d"]. Kenney showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"]. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7s"] to give Kenney top two pair. The [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="5c"] river were bricks for Polk and he was done in fifth. Kenney continued in his role as table captain when he sent yet another player out just 30 minutes later. From UTG, Dan Smith raised to 80,000 and Kenney made it 295,000 from the small blind. Smith moved all in for 1,420,000 and Kenney called. Smith showed [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] but got bad news when Kenney showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="5d"] to eliminate Smith. The final three players played for almost a full hour without an elimination before Seidel and Schindler clashed. Schindler called, Kenney folded and Seidel moved all in from the big blind. Schindler called quickly and tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] while Seidel showed [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"]. Schindler could only watch as the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4d"] flop, [poker card="6d"] turn, and [poker card="3c"] river all missed his hand and eliminated him in third place. Heads-up play began with Kenney holding 3,255,000 to Seidel's 2,745,000. It took just under two hours for Kenney to overcome eight double-ups by Seidel to finally put the Poker Hall of Famer away to win $960,000. Final Table Payouts Bryn Kenney - $960,000 Erik Seidel - $576,000 Jake Schindler - $312,000 Dan Smith - $192,000 Doug Polk - $144,000 Cary Katz - $120,000 Sergio Aido - $96,000
  8. The 2017 PokerStars [B}World Championship Of Online Poker started off with a bang as four multi-day events opened on Sunday and finished play on Monday. Over $4,000,000 in prize pools were handed out among the four events with massive field sizes setting the tone for the series. WCOOP Event #1 ($215 Sunday Kickoff No Limit Hold’em) put up a $300,000 guarantee and a field of 4,034 entries combined to push the final prize pool over $800,000. ‘Carpediem200' walked away with the win and $115,278 first place prize. The popular bounty format premiered on the schedule for Event #2 ($530 Six Max Progressive Bounty No Limit Hold’em) and brought in 2,943 entries. Winning almost as much in bounties as they did for first place was 'serevsini', who earned $81,292 in bounties and $106,262 for taking down the WCOOP title. Bryn Kenney was the first of poker’s superstars to make a run at a WCOOP title as he made the final table of Event #3 ($1,050 Sunday Million No Limit Hold’em). Kenney would end up finishing fourth for $109,704 with 'KumariOy’ winning the event for $319,290. The first non-Hold’em tournament on the schedule was Event #4 ($530 No Limit Omaha High Low) and 501 entries pushed the prize pool up to $250,500. ‘WeakyLeeks’ took down the win and claimed the top prize of $62,354. WCOOP Event #1(High): $$215 Sunday Kickoff No Limit Hold’em Entries: 4,034 Prize pool: $806,800 carpediem200 - $115,278 BBlackkk - $81,512 -shameLi- $57,638 n1ksis - $40,756 AS Leshly - $28,819 ImluckNuts - $20,378 Bizik1993 - $14,409 HogWoo - $10,189 bettoBR - $7,205 WCOOP Event #2 (High): $530 Six Max Progressive Bounty No Limit Hold’em Entries: 2,943 Prize pool: $1,471,500 serevsini - $106,263 ($81,293 in bounties) Hoelle1 - $74,040 ($14,207 in bounties) w4lrusk4ne - $51,588 ($11,832 in bounties) smir9david - $35,945 ($6,441 in bounties) nikautiashvi - $25,045 ($8,762 in bounties) glu77ps - $17,451 ($9,280 in bounties) WCOOP Event #3 (High): $1,050 Sunday Million No Limit Hold'em Entries: 2,074 Prize pool: $2,074,000 KumariOy - $310,290 a Bull 67 - $219,407 M Cunha G - $155,145 BrynKenney - $109,704 NEWFlat - $77,573 terror777727 - $54,852 JuilioFantin - $38,787 ShootTheSky - $27,426 pochi - $19,393 WCOOP Event #4 (High): $530 No Limit Omaha High Low Entries: 501 Prize pool: $250,500 WeakyLeeks - $62,535 raconteur - $44,448 Dorniation - $31,684 Juicy_J_93 - $22,586 bob43155 - $16,100 K.V.K.777 - $11,477 Unemployed - $8,181 nkeyno - $5,832 joaoMathias - $4,157
  9. [caption width="640"] Daniel Negreanu is taking a new approach to tournaments after spending a few months working with coaches (WPT photo)[/caption] Daniel Negreanu's first tournament score was over 20 years ago. Since then he's become poker's all-time leading money earner with $35,269,814 in winnings and become one of the most widely recognized poker players in the world, if not the most. And yet the 42-year-old recently realized he needed to go back to school if he wanted to continue to consider himself elite. After posting just one cash - an eighth-place finish for $102,000 - in five PokerMasters events, Negreanu looked around the table and recognized that the high roller tournaments were being dominated by one group of players, and if he was going to continue to play in them, he needed to change some things about his approach. "I've been playing poker 20 years, so I know the difference between running bad and playing bad or being outclassed. I know I had been running bad in those things, there's no question, but there's no real value in focusing on that stuff because it's out of your control," said Negreanu. "What I can focus on, what about the little spots? I'm getting outplayed in those. And that was happening more than I'd like." The Poker Masters events allowed Negreanu to get a better-than-front-row view as to what the German players were doing and how they were dominating the high rollers. "It became pretty obvious to me that as a team, not in any collusive way, the Germans have worked together to become really, really good at this specific format and they're sharing information with each other," said Negreanu. "So I knew that in order for me to be able to compete that I needed to find some people that I could do that with today, that's more up to date on what's available in terms of learning tools." While trying to figure out what his approach should be or who he should start working with, Negreanu's agent, Brian Balsbaugh, mentioned that he knew of two players who were interested in taking on more coaching projects and might be right up his alley. Negreanu was skeptical at first, but agreed to meet with them and hear their pitch. "I really liked what they had to share. They showed me some data, and they showed me some flaws in other peoples systems and I said, 'Let's make this thing work'," said Negreanu. "I went into partnership with them to work hard for two to three months, three to four times a week at the house for five or six hours a day. It's been a combination of a lot of different things we're studying and I'd say we're probably 25-30% of the way down. There's a lot more to go." As Negreanu sat down with "Matt and MJ" for their first coaching session, Negreanu found himself intimidated by what they were coaching and wondered if he'd ever be able to pick it up and change his game. "Then a couple of hours in, I was like 'Wait - I get it!' I was starting to get it. For 20 years in poker, I've been thinking 100% exploitatively, just do things based on what your opponents perceive of you. So learning how to come from a more game theory baseline was totally alien to me. I didn't grow up with that. It was a little hard in the beginning, but it's really helped a lot of balance and aggression to my game," said Negreanu. German players such as Fedor Holz, Steffen Sontheimer and Stefan Schillhabel have turned the high roller poker world on its head over the past few years by emphasizing the game theory optimal approach to the game. While that's a big part of what Negreanu is learning now, it's not everything he's working on. "I love the way they teach things because they're essentially a hybrid. They're not teaching me how to play GTO, because GTO is not the best way to play, it's just not. Theoretically, exploitative play is better. The problem with exploitative play is you become exploitable," said Negreanu. "What I think about now is what would be the GTO line if I was playing a robot? Then I deviate by saying, well this guy's not a robot, he folds way too often, so I'm going to up my bluffing frequency an extra 20-30% or this guy never folds so I'm going to go down. So I'm deviating from what would be considered the correct play against a robot." After taking time off and focusing on re-tooling his game, Negreanu jumped back into action last week at the Bellagio for a $100,000 Super High Roller event, eventually finishing runner-up behind Dan Smith and earning $936,000 in the process. While he ultimately didn't win the event, Negreanu's quite happy with the outcome not only because it came with a huge cash score, but proved to him he's on the right path. "I like the results. The results are good. I essentially feel like I won that tournament. I got it in with 82% for all the chips and I did everything I could to win that tournament. I felt really, really good about a wide variety of things," said Negreanu.
  10. [caption width="640"] PokerStars returns Prague with a 43-event schedule over 12 days beginning on December 7[/caption] All the presents in the Twelve Days of Christmas are nice and all, but for poker players from around the world twelve days of non-stop poker action is what they really want for the holidays and the PokerStars Championship Series is more than happy to oblige. From December 7-18 the PokerStars Championship series returns to Prague, the largest city in the Czech Republic, for their final stop of the calendar year, PokerStars Championship Prague. The festival includes a little something for everyone in the 43-event schedule, including the €5,300 Main Event. The Hilton Prague Hotel will once again play host to the competition, as it has ever since PokerStars began bringing players to Prague back during the European Poker Tour Season 4 in 2007. One of the more popular winter destinations for players, both for the action and the city that surrounds it, many memorable moments have been made over the years in Prague for the PokerStars crew. In 2009, local grinder Jan Skampa won the main event for over $1 million and two years later the live poker world was introduced to German superstar Martin Finger when he won his EPT Main Event in Prague. Of course, just last year, Dutch player Jasper Meijer was crowned the final EPT champion and as he hoisted the trophy in Prague, the final stop of Season 13, it marked the final stop of the entire tour. It was the end of the EPT era. Now PokerStars is back in Prague for the first time since that emotional finale, ready to start new traditions and anoint new champions in the Golden City. To help with that, PokerStars is bringing out a number of their pros to both mingle with the players as well as test their mettle on the felt. Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who makes his home in Prague, have all confirmed to be on hand. While there is plenty to do in the city of Prague like check out the city’s Christmas markets, stroll across the Charles Bridge or visit the St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the tournament schedule PokerStars has put together is likely to keep dedicated grinders indoors and on the felt. The massive 43-event line-up hopes to have a number of events for players managing any type of bankroll. From the €330 multi-flight Prague Poker Cup for those looking for a big score on a modest buy-in to the €50,000 PokerStars Championship Super High Roller, which is likely to have big names vying for even bigger payouts and every buy-in level in between. Of course, all eyes will be on the €5,300 Main Event. Registering 1,192 runners in 2016, last years participants were the most the Prague stop had ever seen, making it a benchmark for comparison here at the start of the Championship years. The Main Event gets started on December 12 and has two starting days. Then, if one can't be in Prague, beginning on Day 2, would-be viewers can tune-in to all-star commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton as they host featured-table action from the event on PokerStars.tv. PokerStars also is continuing their PokerStars Championship Player of the Year leaderboard promotion awarding the winner of the Prague tournament leaderboard a chance to win a $17,000 VIP package to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a seat at a $100,000 free roll in the winner-take-all 2017 PokerStars Championship Player of the Year Sit & Go. If that sounds like an amazing opportunity, one had better be prepared to bring their “A” game as the list of players that have already qualified include some of the best in the game, including Koray Aledmir, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Daniel Dvoress, Nick Petrangelo, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen and high roller regular Bryn Kenney. Online satellites to the Main Event are currently running on PokerStars and, just in case the tournaments scene doesn’t agrehoursth you, PokerStars will be running 24-hour a day cash games with all the action beginning on December 7.
  11. [caption width="640"] Steffen Sontheimer had the hottest run of any player in 2017 and it led to him winning the first ever Poker Masters title. (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. We've already looked back at the top five news stories from off the felt and now we remember the five best heaters that players enjoyed in 2017. Poker players dream of making multiple deep runs in a row but only a few actually turn it into reality. In 2017, there were a few players whose heaters stood out above the rest and were paid handsomely for their rapid success. #5 - Nadar Kakhmazov Heaters come in all forms and Nadar Kakhmazov’s run to over $1 million in earnings from two tournament wins in a matter of three weeks was astonishing. Kakhmazov conquered two casinos and two distinct fields to win his respective tournaments with the Venetian and Rio giving him massive payouts. The $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour event at the Venetian drew 3,273 runners, easily eclipsing the $2.5 million guarantee. Kakhmazov beat a final table that included former November Niner Jacob Balsiger and East Coast grinder Je Wook Oh to claim the $440,029 first place winnings. He was far from done after that win as Kakhmazov made it to another high profile final table. The $5,000 Six Max event at the World Series of Poker is a top-tier event by any metric and held to form this year. Chris Hunichen, Sam Soverel, and Faraz Jaka were among the final tablists but none could solve the Kakhmazov riddle. Kakhmazov defeated Hunichen heads up to win the bracelet and $580,338 first place prize. Since his wins, Kakhmazov has yet to record any tournament cashes. Who knows when the Russian will show up next but when he does, he will have a lot to live up to in order to repeat his summer 2017 run. #4 - Nipun Java In the spirit of summer runs, Nipun Java deserves credit for winning two bracelets at the WSOP and then taking his talents to South Beach. Java and his native India won their first two bracelets in the $1,000 Tag Team event when Java and countryman Aditya Sushant shipped the title. Following the win, Java put together a string of three more cashes before striking gold again. Playing under the screen name ‘Javatinii,’ Java won the $1,000 WSOP Online Championship event for $237,688. In a matter of only 14 hours, Java defeated a field of 1,312 and added a second piece of hardware to his Las Vegas trip. It wasn’t over quite yet for Java, who traveled to Hollywood, FL for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. In the $570 $1 million guaranteed opener, Java outlasted 3,173 entrants to take first place in a four-way deal and add $230,848 to his growing bankroll. Java’s wins catapulted him into must-watch territory for all events as he looks to build on his breakout campaign in 2018. #3 - Art Papazyan If not for the dollar figure won by places #1 and #2, Art Papazyan would have a major case of being #1 on this list. Not only did Papazyan win two consecutive played World Poker Tour events, he did so in the first two WPT events he ever entered. Papazyan was mostly known by Los Angeles grinders and fans of ‘Live at the Bike’ for his high stakes cash game skills but that changed for Papazyan in a hurry. In his hometown, Papazyan beat Phil Hellmuth heads up to win Legends of Poker for $668,692 and put his name on the tip of every poker fan’s tongue. Not a tournament grinder in any respect, Papazyan opted not to play the Borgata Poker Open Main Event in September but made up for lost time at WPT Maryland. In a field of 561, Papazyan was among many notable faces who made Day 2 and the money, with Darren Elias, Matt Glantz, and Christian Harder included. As the field narrowed down on Day 3 near the final table, it became clear that Papazyan was the dominant storyline. Coming into the final table of six sitting third in chips, Papazyan quickly ascended into the chip lead and never looked back on his way to his second victory of Season XVI. Papazyan is still an unknown quantity to some but his natural poker skill is not to be taken lightly as he attempts to close out the WPT season as Player of the Year. #2 - Bryn Kenney In a year that turned Bryn Kenney into a living legend, he had to start somewhere and that was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. Kenney put on a display that no other player matched in a single series as he cashed six times, reached a final table in every time he made the money and won two tournaments. In total, Kenney racked up $1.76 million in winnings in the Bahamas. That number set Kenney up for a year where he finished as the highest earning player of 2017 with tournament earnings of $8.5 million. The events Kenney played were against the world’s toughest competition and he beat a $50,000 final table that included a top four finishers of Mustapha Kanit, Byron Kaverman and Dan Colman. If there was ever a question about Kenney’s consistency, he put all to rest over the course of fewer than two weeks in paradise. #1 - Steffen Sontheimer On one of poker’s richest stages, no player put on a better show over the course of the Poker Masters series than Steffen Sontheimer. The breakout year of “Goose” hit a peak for a week in September when he steamrolled over the best No Limit tournament players in the world to win the first Purple Jacket. Sontheimer cashed in four of the five events in the series and won two of them for a total of $2.73 million added to his account. He may have run hot but Sontheimer’s play stole the attention of viewers and his opponents, who were never able to get a firm edge on Sontheimer. Heading into the $100,000 Poker Masters Main Event, Sontheimer had the title all but locked up and decided to win that one just for kicks. Out of the six who cashed in the final, four were German and included Fedor Holz. Sontheimer’s beasting of the best players in the world put an exclamation point on a year dominated by Germans and forced, of all people, Daniel Negreanu to reevaluate his own game moving forward. Now that he’s a name brand of his own entity, Sontheimer will have a target on his back when 2018 gets started. When the Big One For One Drop returns to the WSOP schedule next year, Sontheimer will be in the field with nothing but another one of the most prestigious titles in poker in his sights.
  12. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure returns January 6 - 14 to kickoff 2018. The perennial first festival stop of the year underwent a branding change in 2017, but is back to its familiar name this time around. A whopping 92 events were listed on the schedule last year and that figure has been pared down to just 31. The only games available on the tournament calendar are No Limit Hold’em and variants of Pot Limit Omaha. Of the 31 events, 29 are strictly No Limit. Gone are the Flipouts and Win the Button events, in their place are more standard fare like the Single Re-Entry $1,100 and $1,650 PCA National Championship. Plenty of High Rollers Available PCA opens on Saturday, January 6 with one of the most prestigious Super High Roller events of the year. The $100,000 PCA Super High Roller brought in 43 entries along with 13 rebuys a year ago and expectations are raised for this year. Jason Koon defeated Charlie Carrell heads up to win the title and $1.65 million first-place prize. The $100,000 Super High Roller isn’t the only High Roller event in the PCA lineup. Other High Rollers include the two-day $50,000 High Roller starting on January 7, single-day $25,000 with one re-entry on January 11, and the three-day PCA $25,000 High Roller starting on January 12. The 2017 PCA High Roller drew 121 entrants and 38 rebuys with Lucas Greenwood finishing on top. Greenwood and Nick Petrangelo chopped the prize money of the first two places before Greenwood won the heads up match. Other players to make the final table include Byron Kaverman, Daniel Negreanu, and Bryn Kenney. The PCA Main Event Buy-in is Back to $10K Of the many changes to PCA for the upcoming series, the most significant alteration comes with the Main Event. After two years of the buy-in being reduced to $5,300, it is back up to $10,300 for 2018. The six-day event starts on January 8 and will crown a new champion on January 14. Christian Harder claimed his first major title by winning last year’s tournament. Harder defeated a field of 738 entrants and beat Cliff Josephy heads up to hoist the PokerStars Championship trophy. The last time the PCA Main Event featured a $10,300 buy-in was 2015 and Kevin Schulz outlasted 816 entrants to walk away with nearly $1.5 million. This year’s structure is plenty familiar with the event not offering any re-entry option and players able to buy-in up until the start of Day 2. Levels are 60 minutes for all of Day 1 and then transition to 90 minutes from the beginning of Level 9 all the way through the end of the tournament. PokerStars is guaranteeing 400 online qualifiers for the PCA Main Event and it will be interesting to see what the total field size winds up being. Post-Lims of All Shapes and Sizes The festival winds down with competitive multi-day events. A trio of three-day events are on the agenda with three different price points all offering a single re-entry option. The $3,300 event opens on January 10 followed by the $1,100 on January 11. Capping off the relevant three-day post-lims is the $2,200 event. That tournament starts on January 12. On Sunday, January 13, four single-day Knockout events are featured ranging in buy-in from $330 all the way up to $10,300. The last event takes place on January 14 in the form of a one-day $10,150 buy-in with unlimited re-entry. The tourney is a 15-minute level turbo that features a shot clock for the event’s entirety. Every PCA series brings about its own unique storyline. Bryn Kenney dominated in January of last year to start his record-setting year. In just a few days, the action begins in one of poker’s favorite places. Complete 2018 PCA Schedule Date Event # Name Buy-in Jan 6 1 PCA Super High Roller (Three-Day Event) $100,000 Jan 6 2 NL Hold'em (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 7 4 NL Hold'em - PCA National (Three-Day Event) $1,650 Jan 7 5 PL Omaha - High Only (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 8 7 NL Hold'em - PCA Main Event (Six-Day Event) $10,300 Jan 8 8 NL Hold'em - High Roller (Two-Day Event) $50,000 Jan 8 10 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 9 12 PL Omaha - Hi/Lo 8 or Better (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 9 14 NL Hold'em - Turbo - (One-Day Event) $2,100 Jan 10 15 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $3,300 Jan 10 16 NL Hold'em - (Two-Day Event) $550 Jan 11 18 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $25,000 Jan 11 19 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $1,100 Jan 12 22 NL Hold'em - PCA High Roller - (Three-Day Event) $25,000 Jan 12 23 NL Hold'em - PCA Cup - (Two-Day Event, Two Starting Flights) $330 Jan 12 24 NL Hold'em - (Three-Day Event) $2,200 January 12 25 NL Hold'em - Turbo - (One-Day Event) $1,050 Jan 13 26 NL Hold'em - $100 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $330 Jan 13 27 NL Hold'em - $500 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $1,650 Jan 13 28 NL Hold'em - $100 Knockout - (One-Day Event) $550 Jan 13 29 NL Hold'em - $5,000 SuperKnockout - (One-Day Event) $10,300 Jan 14 31 NL Hold'em - (One-Day Event) $10,150
  13. A few days ago Cary Katz contemplated skipping the opening few days of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure altogether and flying his family to Atlanta to watch his alma mater, the University of Georgia Bulldogs, play in the NCAA Championship football game. He didn't though, and Monday night, just minutes after the game kicked off, Katz capped off an impressive three-day run to win the $100,000 Super High Roller for nearly $1.5 million. "I did think about flying to the game to watch it, but decided I'd rather watch it here with my family, even if it's not live," said Katz. "If Georgia wins, it will be the greatest night of my life for sure," said Katz. It took just 10 hands before the first player was sent packing. Bryn Kenney raised to 110,000 from UTG before Sam Greenwood moved all in from the big blind. Kenney called and tabled A♦A♥ while Greenwood showed K♣K♠. The board ran out J♠8♣6♣9♦J♣ to eliminate Greenwood in seventh place. Ivan Luca picked up the next elimination. The table folded to Luca in the small blind and he moved all in. Isaac Haxton gave some consideration to folding before eventually calling all in for 1,410,000. Luca tabled A♥4♥ while Haxton showed Q♥J♥. The K♠9♣3♣ flop gave Haxton extra outs but neither the K♣ turn or 7♣ river was any help and he was out in sixth. That hand propelled Luca to the chip lead but just two hands later, the Argentinian was shaking hands and heading to the payout window. After losing almost 1,000,000 on one hand against Kenney, Luca went to battle against the American again. Luca raised to 175,000 from the cutoff and Kenney re-raised to 635,000 from the small blind. Luca moved all in for 3,095,000 and Kenney called instantly. Luca turned over A♥J♣ and found himself in bad shape after Kenney tabled A♣K♣. The board ran out 9♦7♣3♥A♦7♥ to send Luca out in fifth place in dramatic fashion. Kenney had a small part in another elimination 28 hands later. Kenney raised to 210,000 from UTG and action folded to Daniel Negreanu in the small blind. He moved all in for 840,000, Justin Bonomo then moved all in over the top from the big blind and Kenney folded. Negreanu turned over K♥K♠ and Bonomo showed A♣J♥. Kenney told the table he folded an ace, leaving Bonomo just two more to hit. The flop came A♦5♦4♣ to put Bonomo ahead. Neither the Q♥ turn or 2♦ river were any help for Negreanu and he was forced to settle for a fourth-place result. Kenney's run eventually ended in a confrontation with Bonomo. Katz folded his button, Bonomo moved all in from the small blind and Kenney called all in from the big. Bonomo showed Q♠10♦ which put him behind Kenney's K♥9♦. The J♦10♣3♥ flop flipped the script though and Kenney was unable to catch back up after the A♥ turn or 4♠ river. The tournament ended just seven hands later. Bonomo moved all in for 3,300,000 and Katz called, having Bonomo covered. Bonomo revealed A♣K♥ while Katz had 8♣8♦. The 9♥3♠2♠ flop changed nothing and Katz remained safe through the Q♠ turn and J♥ river to eliminate Bonomo and win a second career $100,000 buy-in event. Final Table Payouts Cary Katz - $1,492,340 Justin Bonomo - $1,077,800 Bryn Kenney - $686,960 Daniel Negreanu - $521,140 Ivan Luca - $402,700 Isaac Haxton - $307,940 Sam Greenwood - $248,720
  14. The U.S. Poker Open starts Thursday and has the potential to be one of the best events of the year. More than a handful of the best players in the world are confirmed for some, if not all, of the eight-event schedule. All participating players are worthy of previewing but we decided to cut right to the chase and look at six that stand out. Three No Limit specialists, two Mixed Game maestros and one dark horse. Bryn Kenney The 2017 American GPI Player of the Year made the majority of his over $8 million in earnings in events like the ones in USPO. Kenney, who won a Poker Masters event in 2017, is one of the betting favorites to win take home the US Poker Open Championship, which will be awarded to the best overall player. Already in 2018, Kenney is off to a strong in high rollers thanks to a third-place run in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller. Kenney measures himself against a high standard and the USPO is the perfect chance for him to show why he is the greatest high roller player in the world. Adrian Mateos If Kenney was the best of the high rollers in 2017, Mateos proved once again why he’s #1 in terms of all-around No Limit excellence. This year is off to an excellent start for the young Spaniard with a final table run at the PCA Main Event and two second-place finishes at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open. Mateos won his third WSOP bracelet last summer and picked up two cashes in the Poker Masters. At only 23-years-old, Mateos is already proving himself to be one of the best in the game. USPO could be the tipping point that places him at the top of the game. Jake Schindler Alongside Tom Marchese, Schindler is the co-ruler of the ARIA High Roller Series. Schindler has cashed 26 times in ARIA high roller events is second all-time on that list and earnings. The Super High Roller Bowl served as Schindler’s coming out party to a national audience and built on his dominance against the tough fields assembled at ARIA. Schindler is a quiet threat and always locked in to pick up more wins at his home away from home. Brian Rast The mixed game aspect of USPO is drawing the best all-around players to ARIA. Rast is an excellent No Limit player but also excels in all games. The two-time $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner plays literally every game in the book in Ivey’s Room at ARIA and excels in the tournament format. Rast won the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl in 2015 and is one of the most well-rounded players in the USPO field. Isaac Haxton The android brain of Haxton has optimized No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha in the online realm. Those skills have downloaded onto the live felt. Haxton consistently performs well in High Rollers across the world and is well adjusted to playing in the USPO format. The full eight-game slate in the Mixed Game Championship is fine for Haxton, who made the final table of the 2017 PPC. Almedin Imsirovic Who? Well, 'Ali', as he’s called online, is only 23-years-old as of this week but already competing and winning against the best in the world. Imsirovic entered the $25,000 high rollers at Seminole and PCA and won a $10,000 turbo to wrap up the Bahama series. He might be the one of the youngest in the field but Imsirovic’s experience of playing online for years gives him the necessary reps to take on the world’s best, making him the perfect dark horse for USPO.
  15. On Thursday, February 22 the Global Poker Index returns to Los Angeles to host the 4th Annual GPI American Poker Awards. Sponsored by PokerStars, the awards ceremony looks to celebrate not just the players of the game but the industry and influencers that help create and support the poker community. Having spent the last three years in Beverly Hills, the ceremony now moves to the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on the Sunset Strip. “We are very excited to return to the Los Angeles area for a fourth straight year to reward the most deserving poker players, industry leaders and media members in the business,” Alex Dreyfus, American Poker Awards President said. “We are proud to once again host the poker world and look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles.” In total, the ceremony will hand out 20 total awards including mainstay categories such as Breakout Player of the Year, Moment of the Year and Event of the Year. The awards also shine the spotlight on members of the media including Poker Journalist of the Year and Poker Media Content of the Year. In addition to these and other previously awarded categories, three new awards will be included in 2018 - all of which reflect the growing landscape of how poker is both presented and consumed. For the first time the categories of Video Blogger of the Year, Poker Broadcaster of the Year and Biggest Influencer will be presented, likely recognizing a new wave of content creators that are helping grow the industry. Two awards that need no nomination and have already been determined are the GPI American Player of the Year and the GPI Female Player of the Year. Both are pre-determined by tournament results of the players that scored the most points on the Global Poker Index during the 2017 season. The GPI American Player of the Year is New York’s high-rolling crusher Bryn Kenney. Kenney takes the award after an amazing 2017 that saw him rake in 15 six-figure scores headlined by a victory in the PokerStars Monte Carlo €100,000 Super High Roller for $1,946.911. Canada’s Kristen Bicknell will be honored as the GPI Female Player of the Year. Her spectacular season was topped by a victory in the $5,000 side event during the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas for nearly $200,000. Once again, PocketFives is proud to be co-presenting the PocketFives Legacy Award. The award is presented to an online legend who has come out from behind the keyboard to make significant contributions to the live tournament circuit. Last year, one of the greatest, Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy was presented with the award. All the winners will be revealed on February 22 at 7:00 pm at the Andaz West Hollywood. If you are looking to reserve your spot, simply fill out the necessary form, noting that space is limited. 4th Annual American Poker Awards Categories GPI American Player of the Year - Bryn Kenney GPI Female Player of the Year - Kristen Bicknell Breakout Player of the Year Poker Journalist of the Year Poker Media Content of the Year Poker Podcast of the Year Video Blogger of the Year Poker Streamer of the Year Poker Broadcaster of the Year Mid-Major Circuit of the Year Event of the Year Industry Person of the Year Biggest Influencer in Poker Charitable Initiative of the Year PocketFives Legacy Award Award for Lifetime Achievement In Poker Jury Prize People's Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year
  16. The Global Poker Index and PokerStars presented the 4th Annual American Poker Awards on Thursday night in Los Angeles, CA. The collection of the best in the poker world offered a year’s worth of awards handed out to players, media, and everything else encompassing the game. Poker Central Wins Big Cary Katz and Poker Central lead the unofficial group category for most winners. “Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story” took home honors for Media Content of the year. Matt Berkey’s story of his road to playing the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl captured the voting audience’s attention. Katz himself took down the title of Poker’s Biggest Influencer. The development of Poker Central and PokerGO all happened under the watch as Katz as the businessman continues to grow the game through is new ventures. Poker Central wrapped up its trio of wins with the Best Podcast award. Host Remko Rinkema accepted on behalf of his co-hosts, Brent Hanks, and Will O’Connor. Young Talent Gets Their Due The new generation of poker received their fair share of accolades from the APA voting body. A pair of 25-year-old received hard-earned awards. Two-time WPT Season XVI Champion Art Papazyan collected the Breakout Player award. Papazyan’s wins came in his first two WPT events ever played. Scott Blumstein beat an elite group to score the Tournament Performance trophy. Blumstein’s win in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event defeated Darren Elias, 2018 GPI American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney, and Doug Polk. Other members of poker’s new generation also did well for themselves. Ema Zajmovic’s win at WPT Montreal last February to become the first female champion in an open event in WPT history was recognized for Moment of the Year. Jaime Staples notched a tough group of nominees to emerge with the Streamer of the Year honors. Kristen Bicknell was formally awarded the 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year. Andrew Neeme Cleans up The new age of poker is here and Andrew Neeme is in the center of it. The vlogger shipped two wins to further certify himself as one of poker’s new-age godfathers. Neeme won the award for Video Blogger and the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality. Over 10,000 turned out to vote for the latter award and Joe Ingram accepted on behalf of Neeme on both occasions. Telling it like it is PocketFives held their own at the American Poker Awards with site Editor-in-Chief Lance Bradley walking away with Journalist of the Year. Bradley was also nominated for Media Content of the Year for “Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising His Two Boys #ForCathy.” Nick Schulman’s rousing rise to the top of the poker broadcasting ranks was made official with his win for Broadcaster of the Year. Longtime ESPN poker commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern received the award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker. Good day for the World Poker Tour The World Poker Tour had themselves a day with Matt Savage and WPTDeepStacks receiving hardware. The WPT’s Executive Tour Director triumphed in the Industry Person of the Year category. WPTDeepStacks completed their rise from the U.S. circuit to the global stage by taking down the Mid-Major Circuit award. Special Awards and Prizes The venerable Jury Prize went to long-time poker media member and contributor Eric Danis. Joining Danis in the achievement award section was fellow Canadian Ari Engel, who shipped the PocketFives Legacy Award. In a category where literally all nominees are a winner, Jacob Zalewski won the prize for Charitable Initiative for the One Step Closer Foundation. The foundation is a charity whose main goal is to positively impact the lives of those who suffer from cerebral palsy. To date, Zalewski's foundation has raised over $1 million. The American Poker Awards put a bow on 2017 and gave a look ahead at what's to come this year. If the this year's awards are any indication, the poker world is in for a great 2018.
  17. On Thursday, February 22 the Global Poker Index and PokerStars present the 4th Annual American Poker Awards. The ceremony, being held in Hollywood, will bring together some of the biggest names in poker to celebrate the achievements of both players and industry members in 20 different categories. There’s a lot to look forward to when the celebration of the year-that-was takes place at the Andaz Hotel this week. PokerCentral Leads The Way There’s no doubt that Cary Katz’ PokerGo streaming service, part of Poker Central, has had an important impact on not just how fans can consume their favorite game but how much poker they now have at their disposal. Poker Central leads the way in award nominations with eight opportunities to pick up a trophy. Both the Super High Roller Bowl and the Poker Masters are included in the Event Of The Year category. Nick Schulman and the longtime poker voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad are competing for the Broadcaster of the Year. Additionally, “Tom Dwan’s Return to Poker After Dark”, Matt Berkey’s “Dead Money” documentary, the Poker Central Podcast and Cary Katz himself are all up for awards as well. Doug And Daniel Go Head To Head It’s no secret that Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, two of poker’s biggest personalities, have an acrimonious relationship. At the American Poker Awards the pair finds themselves nominated in a trio of categories against one another. Both are nominated for the Video Blogger Award (along with Joe Ingram and Andrew Neeme), The People’s Choice For Poker Personality of the Year (along with Jonathan Little and Andrew Neeme) and Poker’s Biggest Influencer (along with tournament director Matt Savage and Poker Central’s Cary Katz). Players Of The Year A pair of awards are pre-determined as both Bryn Kenney and Kristen Bicknell will be honored for their tournament performances in 2017. Kenney, who destroyed the high roller scene last year, earned himself the 2017 GPI American Player of the Year on the back of 15 six-figure scores. Bicknell will be presented with the 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year award with the help of her victory in the $5,000 prelim at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December of 2017 for just under $200,000. The Favorites There’s little doubt that all of the players and industry members that have been nominated are deserving. That said, there are a few that would likely be considered favorites in their respective categories. Vlogger Andrew Neeme crashed the poker personality party in 2017 with his engaging, well-produced vlogs. In a little over a year, the bulk of which occurred in 2017, he’s amassed over 80,000 subscribers to his YouTube Channel. He’s up against some heavy hitters including the award-winning Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu, but his consistent vlogging has opened up the new space of poker content like none other. The Broadcaster of the Year category is stacked with class as well. Longtime ESPN WSOP commentator Lon McEachern, Poker After Dark’s Ali Nejad and the lovable voice of both the PokerStars EPT and Poker Night In America, Joe Stapleton are some of live poker’s biggest assets. But the smooth delivery and easy-to-grasp hand analysis of Nick Schulman took over the coverage of the High Roller Bowl and was as highly-acclaimed as one could be by just about everyone who heard it. In the Podcast category, there’s some amazing content to be had, but the longevity and entertainment of the TwoPlusTwo Pokercast with Adam Schwartz, Terrence Chan and Ross Henry may have an edge this year. The trio does it all: addressing poker’s biggest issues, answering listener email, expounding on the latest #pokertwitter drama all while giving their listeners a glimpse into their real lives. It could be a close one, but it should be their year. An Industry Showcased Performances both at the table and away will be celebrated with both players and industry members getting their due. The categories of Breakout Player, Tournament Performance and Moment of the Year shine a light on the people and moments of 2017 that players and fans won’t soon forget. Event Of The Year, Industry Person of the Year, Journalist of the Year and the Media Content category celebrate the efforts of some in the world of poker who dedicate their time to showcasing the game we love. A Pair For PocketFives PocketFives.com is not without its own nominations this year as well. President and Editor-In-Chief of PocketFives.com, Lance Bradley, scored a nomination for Journalist of the Year for his work covering the personalities of both the live and online poker scene. Additionally, his article entitled "Resilience Defined: Sheddy Siddiqui Raising His Two Boys #ForCathy" was honored with a nomination for Media Content of the Year. Special Awards A handful of awards are without nominations but will be unveiled on Thursday including the Charitable Initiative award, the Jury Prize, our own PocketFives Legacy Award (celebrating an online legend who has made great strides in the live tournament circuit) and the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poker. In a field that thrives on competition of the highest order, the American Poker Awards is more of a celebration of another successful year of those moments and individuals that expand the reach and grow the game of poker.
  18. After its successful event in Sochi, Russia PokerStars’ European Poker Tour continues on to the more comfortable climate of Monte Carlo, Monaco. From April 24 - May 4, the EPT returns to the Sporting Monte Carlo Casino for EPT Monte Carlo, the sight of some their biggest events in the history of the tour. Main Event Makeover When PokerStars removed the European Poker Tour branding in 2017 they saw a steep decline in attendees to their Monte Carlo stop. In 2017, for the PokerStars Championship, 727 players entered as compared to the 1,098 runners that packed the field for the EPT stop in 2016. The result not only saw a first-place prize reduced by over 50% but also revealed some much-needed tweaking to both the branding and the Main Event itself. PokerStars fixed the branding issue with the much-celebrated return of the EPT moniker, but in addition, they are looking to return the field size to its former glory as well. The Main Event, which gets underway on April 28, is a €5,300 tournament but this year they are allowing players a single re-entry. Not only does this change give players who travel a long distance the security that they can have a second chance at a big-time tournament should things go sideways early, but it will likely ensure more total entries, resulting in a healthier prize pool and larger payouts. The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event is joining the wave of events that are implementing the big blind ante. With a single player paying the ante for the entire table, helping increase the speed of play. Also, adding to the idea of players getting more hands per hour is the addition of a shot clock in the Main Event. From Day 2 through the end of the tournament, players will be on the clock with 30 seconds to make their decisions. Fan Favorite Event Another relatively new development for the PokerStars team has been the expansion of the coverage of their major events. When we last saw the EPT in 2016, streaming coverage had not included “cards-up” coverage until the tournament reached the final table. More recently, fans have been able to tune into the PokerStars.tv stream to watch the Main Event, essentially from wire-to-wire, getting to see the players’ holdings at the feature table. The broadcast crew has also been expanded. EPT anchors Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan are still front and center to bring you the action, but, as was debuted at the 2018 PCA, the company continues to expand their team by bringing a regular rotation of professional analysis. More than “pop-in” commentary, at the 2018 PCA we saw the likes of Lex Veldhuis, Maria Ho, Jonathan Little and Griffen Benger have the privilege to provide color commentary for long stretches of time giving viewers exceptional insight into what’s happening at the table. More Than Just The Main While the Main Event will draw the most attention the EPT stop players will have plenty of reasons to forgo the beauty of the French Riviera in favor of the action on the casino floor. Thirty-nine total events span the 11 day festival with buy-in ranging from as little as €220 up to the €100,000 Super High Roller. In fact, there are no fewer than eight events that have a buy-in of €10,000 or more, which is sure to bring out the best players in the world to fight for what is likely to be massive prize pools. History has shown that the pros love to make it out to Monte Carlo. Past winners of the Main Event include poker superstars such as Adrian Mateos and Steve O’Dwyer while last year’s €100,000 Super High Roller was won by GPI North American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney where he defeated a final table of high rolling elite talent including David Peters, Ole Schemion, Poker Masters inaugural winner Steffen Sontheimer and partypoker LIVE Barcelona 5$0K Super High Roller Winner Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood. For fans of the game, PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo is shaping up to be quite the spectacle. One doesn't even need to make it to Monte Carlo in order to win as one viewer of the PokerStars stream is going to win themselves a coveted $30,000 Platinum Pass package to the 2019 PCA to participate in the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Player Championship. So set aside some time and enjoy the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo, festivities kick off on April 24.
  19. Over the last 12 months, Jake Schindler has proven to be a legitimate threat in high roller tournaments around the world. He finished runner-up in the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl, runner-up in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller, third in a Poker Masters $50,000 event, runner-up in the US Poker Open Main Event. In March, he picked up two wins in Aria High Rollers, but on Wednesday in Barcelona he posted what could be considered a breakthrough win. Schindler beat Stephen Chidwick heads-up and overcame a final table that included Erik Seidel, Jason Koon and Bryn Kenney to win the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller for €1,750,000 ($2,163,174 US), the second biggest score of his career. The day began with 11 players still in contention for the €1.75 million first place prize but Koray Aldemir, Dominik Nitsche, Mikita Badziakouski, Steffen Sontheimer all failed to make the money, and once Keith Tilston went out in seventh, the remaining six players were all in the money. The first player to bust was Seidel. Down to less than five big blinds, Seidel three-bet all in over Kenney's UTG raise. Kenney called and showed [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"] which put him ahead of Seidel's tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2h"] gave Seidel more outs but the [poker card="td"] turn and [poker card="ah"] river were no help and he was left with a sixth place finish. Despite picking up the first in-the-money elimination, things went south from that point on for Kenney. Kenney was on the button and raised to 350,000 and Schindler called from the big blind and then checked after the [poker card="th"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5d"] flop. Kenney bet 305,000 and Schindler raised to 1,200,000. Kenney moved all in for 4,410,000 total and Schindler called. Kenney showed [poker card="8c"][poker card="7s"] for an open-ended straight draw while Schindler showed [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] for middle set. The [poker card="ac"] turn was a blank and Schindler improved to quads with the [poker card="6s"] river to bust Kenney in fifth. A little over an hour later two more players were sent packing in quick succession by Chidwick. From the button, Chidwick raised to 400,000 and Koon moved all in from the small blind for 5,975,000. Chidwick called and turned up [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] while Koon showed [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"]. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"][poker card="th"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] to eliminate Koon. Left with just three big blinds, Jean-Noel Thorel moved all in for 600,000 from the button and Chidwick and Schindler called from the small and big blind respectively. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"] flop saw both remaining players check. The [poker card="5h"] turn got Chidwick to be enough for Schindler to fold. Chidwick showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"] for top pair with the second nut flush draw. Thorel needed help with the [poker card="qd"][poker card="8c"] but got none after the [poker card="9h"] river to go home in third. Heads up play began with Schindler holding just 54% of the chips in play. The two players traded the led back and forth for almost three hours before Schindler was able to finish Chidwick off. On the final hand, Schindler raised to 875,000 and Chidwick called. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"], Chidwick checked, Schindler bet 500,000 and Chidwick called. The turn was the [poker card="5c"] and Chidwick checked again, Schindler bet 1,800,000 but Chidwick raised to 5,100,000. Schindler called and both players saw the [poker card="7s"] river. Chidwick moved all in and Schindler called. Schindler showed [poker card="qs"][poker card="6h"] for a bluff while Schindler showed [poker card="as"][poker card="3h"] for a wheel and the final pot of the night. Final Table Payouts Jake Schindler - €1,750,000 Stephen Chidwick - €1,100,000 Jean-Noel Thorel - €726,000 Jason Koon - €500,000 Bryn Kenney - €340,000 Erik Seidel - €240,000
  20. In 2018, online poker sponsorships for American poker pros are a rarity. Those who have followed Bryn Kenney's career know he has a habit of trusting his instincts and sometimes doing things in an unconventional way. So it should come as no surprise that Kenney has landed himself a sponsorship contract. Kenney will be the face of GGPoker.com, a non-US online poker site that has roots in Asia but services players in Canada, Europe, and South America. " I’m really happy to become part of the GGPoker team," said Kenney. " They are the western face of Asia’s largest poker network, with lots of opportunities for growth, and it’s great to be in a position to both represent the brand and to positively influence the further development of GGPoker." Kenney, who has over $21.1 million in lifetime live earnings, will be adorned with a GGPoker patch at all live events but will be more than just a patch-wearing ambassador. Kenney will help GGPoker as they continue to develop their product and expand their audience. " Bryn is a one-of-a-kind poker player, a massive winner who plays using gut instincts as much as anything else, and we’re just thrilled to welcome him to Team GGPoker," said Paul Burke, Head of GGPoker. " In addition to representing the GGPoker brand worldwide and helping us reach out to those who not played at our tables, Bryn is going to help us further improve the GGPoker experience, ensuring that our players both new and old have something very special to look forward to." Kenney is the 2017 Global Poker Index American Player of the Year and currently sits #10 on the GPI. In 2017 he won the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Super High Roller for $1.9 million - the largest score of his career. To celebrate Kenney's signing, GGPoker is running a $2,500 freeroll on Sunday, March 25 at 12 pm EST. Sign-up for a GGPoker.com account today and get a 200% bonus on your first deposit (up to $1,000).
  21. The opening day butterflies are officially behind us as the 2018 World Series of Poker picks up steam headed into week #2. There is plenty to look forward to, including a long list of upcoming bracelet events as well as plenty of opportunities for fans to tune in to Twitch or PokerGo to rail the action. Welcome Weekend Warriors, Value Hunters This week is rife with tournaments for those looking to play some of the lower buy-in events with hopes to bink a bracelet. The week starts off with the final two flights of the mammoth Colossus event. Monday is the final day for players to find a bag and win a spot in the Day 2 field. The end of the week is just as plentiful for those looking to spend under $1K. Friday brings both flights of the $565 Pot Limit Omaha Event. The $565 PLO Giant will field its second flight on Sunday. Add to those, another flight of the $365 NL Giant and there will be no shortage of players spinning up the prize pools all weekend long. For the recreational player, perhaps one of the most anticipated events on the calendar is Event #21 - The $1,500 Millionaire Maker. The cornerstone event gets underway on Saturday, June 9 and offers two flights, with a single re-entry per flight. The winner is guaranteed a minimum payday of $1,000,000. Last year, Canada’s Pable Mariz, outlasted the 7,761 entries for a $1,221,407 payday. 2018 WSOP Week 2 Schedule Day Event # Event Defending Champion Monday 7E $565 Colossus Thomas Pomponio Monday 12 $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed David Bach Monday 7F $565 Colossus - Tuesday 13 $1,500 NL Big Blind Ante NONE Tuesday 14 $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Frank Kassela Wednesday 15 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. David Singer Wednesday 16 $10,000 Heads Up NL Championship Adrian Mateos Thursday 17 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Anthony Marquez Thursday 18 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed John Racener Friday 19 $565 PLO Tyler Smith Friday 20 $5,000 NL Big Blind Ante NONE Friday 19B $565 PLO -- Friday 6B $365 NL Giant Dieter Dechant Saturday 21 $1,500 NL Millionaire Maker Pablo Mariz Saturday 22 $1,500 8-Game Mix Ronald Ware Sunday 21B $1,500 NL Millionaire Maker -- Sunday 23 $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship John Monnette Sunday 11B $565 PLO Giant --   Big Money Broadcasts There are no days off this week when it comes to the streaming schedule. Big money is on the line right off the bat as PokerGo streams the final table of the $100,000 NL High Roller on June 4. Some of the game’s biggest names, including Bryn Kenney, Stephen Chidwick, and final table chip leader Nick Petrangelo will be vying for the first million-dollar payouts of the summer. There’s so much streaming action this week that on June 4, 7, and 8 there are multiple streams, giving players the non-stop action they crave. Date Time Event Outlet June 4 6:00 PM $100,000 High Roller FT PokerGO June 4 6:00 PM $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Day 2 Twitch June 5 6:00 PM $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo FT PokerGO June 6 3:00 PM $1,500 NL Day 2 Twitch June 7 4:00 PM $1,500 NL Final Table PokerGO June 7 6:00 PM $10,000 NL Heads-Up Day 2 Twitch June 8 4:00 PM $10,000 NL Heads-Up FT PokerGO June 8 6:00 PM $565 Colossus FT Twitch June 9 4:00 PM $1,500 NL 6-Max FT PokerGO June 10 6:00 PM $565 PLO FT Twitch News & Notes Elio Fox, another one of the big names sitting at the final table of the $100,000 NL High Roller, will have the opportunity to become the first double bracelet winner of the young summer. Headed into the final table, he's currently third in chips. The first of the four online bracelet events to be held on WSOP.com, which includes players from New Jersey for the first time, closed registration with 2,972 runners. The $365 tournament saw a 16% increase in players from the $333 online bracelet event held in 2017 which attracted 2,509 players. Will the Colossus live up to its name in 2018? Keep an eye on Monday's numbers for players registering for the final two flights of the $565 Colossus. In 2017, the field exceeded 18,000, generating a prize pool of over $9 million. Through four flights, the total number of runners ended up right around 7K, leaving only two flights (on a Monday) to make up a massive difference to even get close to those 2017 numbers.
  22. The second annual Poker Masters high roller series is almost here. Taking place from September 7-13 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the week-long series is set to feature the best and brightest nosebleed tournament players in the poker world. The schedule kicks off with a $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Event on September 7 and ramps up to the $100,000 Main Event, a three-day tournament beginning on September 13. Updated Schedule The 2018 version of the Poker Masters has a revamped schedule that includes a variety of buy-ins as well as the addition of new poker variants. In 2017, the Poker Masters schedule stuck to four $50,000 No Limit Hold’em tournaments with a $100,000 Main Event. This year, the schedule expands by two events and the buy-in for the first five events does not exceed $25,000. The penultimate event of the series then jumps up to $50,000 before the Main Event. With the extra events comes a chance for the players to participate in a couple of different games. Event #3, the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, is the first PLO tournament to be included on the Poker Masters schedule. However, it’s Event #4 that is likely to draw the most attention. For the first time on PokerGO, fans will be able to catch a glimpse of the game that is the current darling of the high roller community as Short Deck (aka Six-Plus Poker) makes its first appearance on the felts at the Aria. Short Deck, the high-action game featured on the Triton Poker Series live-streams, removes the 2-5 cards in the deck. The result is a variation on the traditional hand rankings. In Short Deck, three of a kind is superior to straights and flushes more valuable than full houses. Event #4, the 2-day, $10,000 Short Deck NLHE event, starting on September 10, will be one to watch. Where To Watch Of course, Short Deck isn’t the only part of the Poker Masters that can be watched on live-stream. The entire series was basically created as content for Poker Central’s popular poker streaming platform PokerGO. Every final table, as well as select feature tables, will be available for viewing on the PokerGO website or on their mobile app. High Roller Rules As is customary in just about every modern high roller event, a 30-second shot clock will be implemented. Players will receive five time-extension chips should they need a little more in a spot or two. Another new addition to the Poker Masters is how the title will be awarded. Last year, the winner was determined solely by total earnings over the five events. This year, the Poker Masters will be using Poker Central’s High Roller Of The Year scoring system. The Aria's regularly running high roller series currently uses the system, developed in part by tournament player Tom Marchese. The points system gives a base amount of points for placing and cashing in an event with multipliers applied for buy-ins over $10,000. The Purple Jacket The player who accumulates the most points over the course of the series will be awarded the Poker Masters Purple Jacket. In 2017, that player was Steffan Sontheimer, the 27-year-old German pro who ended up cashing in four out of the five events for over $2.7 million. Though Sontheimer had earned a seven-figure score in his career before the Main Event of the 2017 Poker Masters, his victory in the $100,000 Main Event in 2017 marked his first career-defining victory. The $1.5 million payday helped him stave off the likes of Bryn Kenney and fellow German Fedor Holz en route to getting fitted for the Purple Jacket. The first event, Event #1, will begin streaming on Saturday, September 8 at 1:00 pm local time (4:00 pm ET) Poker Masters Full Schedule of Events Date Event Buy-In Sept. 7 Event #1: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $10,000 Sept. 8 Event #2: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 9 Event #3: Pot Limit Omaha (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 10 Event #4: Short Deck No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $10,000 Sept. 11 Event #5: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $25,000 Sept. 12 Event #6: No Limit Hold'em (2 Day Event) $50,000 Sept. 13 Event #7: No Limit Hold'em (3 Day Event) $100,000
  23. With the elimination of Brandon Adams on Day 2 in the 2018 Poker Masters $100,000 Main Event, the distinction of who would win the player of the series and the Poker Masters Purple Jacket was no longer a mystery. That honor belongs to 24-year old Ali Imsirovic. But while the Purple Jacket was already being tailored for Imsirovic, there was still the matter of who would take home the $1,150,000 first place prize in final event. As it turned out, the 2018 Poker Masters finished much in the way it started: Event #1 champion David Peters adding another victory, and million dollar payday, to his resume. At the start of the final day of play only four players remained, all well-known for their prowess at the high roller level. Peters, who held the chip lead and 220 big blinds. Dan Smith who was right on Peters heels. Germany’s Koray Aldemir sitting third in place and Bryn Kenney, with 23 big blinds looking to find some double ups in order to get back into contention. A little over an hour into play, Kenney found a hand to make a move. With roughly 10 big blinds Kenney shoves on the button with [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"] only to be called from the small blind by Aldemir and his [poker card="qc"][poker card="jh"]. The flop came [poker card="5d"][poker card="as"][poker card="7s"] and Kenney needed some help on the turn. It came [poker card="8d"] which didn’t open the door to any more outs. Kenney would need one of the remaining three tens. The [poker card="5c"] completed the board, ending Kenney's tournament. Kenney, who had recently remarked on the Poker Central podcast that he was down seven-figures in 2018, picked up $250,000 for fourth place. After the elimination of Kenney, play wore on for hours. The three players took turns making big hands and bigger calls. Aldemir, who was the short stack for most of three-handed play, evened out the stack and even took the chip lead at one point. But a crucial hand in which Peter shoved with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] and was called by Aldemir holding [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] proved to be a tipping point. Peters hit running cards to back into a straight. Aldemir who had worked so hard to climb back into the tournament was once again crippled. In the end, Aldemir couldn’t rebuild. He eventually busted on a hand where he shoved from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"] and ran into Smith’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="8d"] and despite his best efforts, Aldemir finishes the Main Event in third place for $400,000 leaving him under $35,000 to hit $10 million in lifetime live tournament earnings. Smith and Peters opted to decrease the time of the levels to 15 minutes and got to the work of determining who would win the $1.15 million. Smith started heads-up play with the slightest of chip advantages. But once Peters took the lead in the first few hands, he wouldn’t give it up. Finally, on the 198th hand of final table play, Peters sealed the deal. Applying pressure, Peters shoved the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="7c"] and was called by Smith’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="7d"]. Peters was dominated but it was Smith’s tournament that was at risk. The flop looked clean for Smith as it came [poker card="3s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="th"]. But when the turn came [poker card="ks"], Peters was looking to hold. The river card was the [poker card="6s"] ending Dan Smith's Main Event run in second place for $700,000. And also wrapping up the 2018 Poker Masters. David Peters, secured his second victory of the series for $1,150,000. Final Table Payouts David Peters - $1,150,000 Dan Smith - $700,000 Koray Aldemir - $400,000 Bryn Kenney - $250,000 What a difference a cash makes. With his victory in the $100,000 Main Event, Peters was only 10 points shy of Imsirovic on the 2018 Poker Master leaderboard. Though both Peters and Imsirovic each had two victories during the series, Imsirovic also scored an eighth-place finish in Event #1 for $27,600. That ended up being the cash that made the difference for the Purple Jacket. Purple Jacket Final Standings Ali Imsirovic - 660 points David Peters - 650 Brandon Adams - 510 Issac Haxton - 480 Jake Schindler - 390 Koray Aldemir - 385 Ben Yu - 360 Dan Smith - 305 Keith Lehr - 300 Jonathan Depa - 270 Koray Aldemir - 210
  24. Just like every other year going back to 2004, a fresh start to poker's yearly tournament calendar kicks off with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. This year brings a heightened level of excitement with the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship headlining the event in what is lining up to be a record-setting PCA. Speaking of records, in anticipation of the 2019 PCA festival, PocketFives went looking through the poker history books at HendonMob to find the biggest winners in history from PCA. Here’s what was found. Thanks to a gigantic $3 million payday in 2009, Poorya Nazari holds the record for the largest first-place prize at PCA. He won the 2009 PCA Main Event from a field of 1,347 entries to claim that prize. Three other times in history has the PCA Main Event winner taken home at least $2 million. In 2008, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier took home $2 million, Harrison Gimbel won $2.2 million in 2010, and in 2011 it was Galen Hall scoring $2.3 million. But, none of those players is the top all-time money earner from PCA. That title currently belongs to Bryn Kenney, and it doesn’t appear that Kenney is going to be caught anytime soon. Top 25 PCA All-Time Money List PLAYER EARNINGS 1 Bryn Kenney $6,245,111 2 Steve O'Dwyer $3,800,542 3 Tony Gregg $3,096,596 4 Poorya Nazari $3,000,000 5 Scott Seiver $2,970,620 6 Galen Hall $2,877,080 7 Vanessa Selbst $2,824,640 8 Isaac Haxton $2,583,616 9 Jason Koon $2,555,555 10 Daniel Negreanu $2,521,490 11 Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier $2,484,120 12 Harrison Gimbel $2,329,220 13 Dan Shak $2,278,140 14 Cary Katz $2,257,420 15 Byron Kaverman $2,213,355 16 Mustapha Kanit $2,020,200 17 Justin Bonomo $1,991,372 18 Dimitar Danchev $1,985,000 19 John Dibella $1,955,300 20 Ty Reiman $1,937,770 21 Chris Oliver $1,834,160 22 Eugene Katchalov $1,763,220 23 Will Molson $1,750,735 24 Daniel Dvoress $1,607,302 25 Nick Petrangelo $1,581,665 As you can see, Kenney is worlds ahead of the competition, winning more than $2.4 million more than anyone else on the list. That $2.4 million gap alone is good enough for 12th place on this leaderboard. Kenney's largest score from PCA came in the 2016 Super High Roller, an event with a buy-in of $100,000 that saw him win $1.687 million. The following year, Kenney won a $50,000 and $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em events for $969,075 and $392,876, respectively. He also has a trio of third-place finishes over the years worth $873,880, $686,960, and $643,000. Steve O'Dwyer is the second highest money earner from PCA entering 2019, taking home more than $3.8 million in prize money throughout the years. O'Dwyer's a pretty good chunk of change away from Kenney, and he's also more than $700,000 ahead of Tony Gregg in third place. Knowing some of the performances O'Dwyer has put together over the years combined with what's on the schedule for 2019 doesn't make it out of the realm of possibilities that he can catch Kenney in 2019. O'Dwyer has one win in a $100,000 buy-in event and two wins from $50,000 buy-in events at PCA for $1.872 million, $945,495, and $760,500, respectively. The 2019 schedule features the $25,000 buy-in PSPC, three additional $25,000 buy-in tournaments, one $50,000 buy-in event, and two $100,000 tournaments, there certainly won’t be a lack of opportunities for O'Dwyer to win a ton of money in the Bahamas this January. That's not to mention the PCA $10,300 Main Event as well. Looking at the rest of the list for players we could see make big moves on the leaderboard after 2019, Isaac Haxton, Jason Koon, and Daniel Negreanu are a few of the ones to watch, given their appetite for and success in high buy-in tournaments coupled with the robust schedule to suit their palate. Negreanu's largest score out of PCA came in 2011 when he finished second to Eugene Katchalov in the event’s inaugural $100,000 Super High Roller. Negreanu earned a cool $1 million for that result. He followed that finish up by returning to the final table of the event in 2012, when he took fifth for $250,900. In 2018, he took fourth in the same event for $521,140. Another big score Negreanu had from PCA came in the 2017 PCA $25,000 High Roller. In that one, he took fifth for $268,780. Byron Kaverman and Justin Bonomo are also ones from this top 25 list to keep an eye on. For players not currently in the top 25, don't be surprised if you see Mikita Badziakouski, Alex Foxen, Stephen Chidwick, or David Peters take home a ship full of money from the Bahamas and find themselves listed on the updated list of top 25 winners from PCA when the 2019 version is all said and done. Action from the Bahamas kicks off Sunday, January 6, 2019, with the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship from Atlantis Resort & Casino. PovketFives will be on site all the way through until the event's final day on January 16, so stay tuned for more coverage from the 2019 PCA poker series.
  25. The 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the books, with notable victories coming from Ramon Colillas in the PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship, David 'Chino' Rheem in the PCA Main Event, Sam Greenwood in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, and Martin Zamani in the PCA $25,000 High Roller. Each of those players earned mammoth payouts from their victories, but where do they stack up on the 2019 money leaderboard? Let’s take a look. The $25,000 buy-in PSPC was such an enormous tournament that the top three finishers from that event make up the top three spots on the 2019 PCA money list, with Colillas on top thanks to the huge $5.1 million score he earned. Runner-up in that event, Julien Martini, sits second on the list, and third-place finisher Marc Rivera is third on the list. Here are the top 25 money earners from the 2019 PCA festival. Top 25 2019 PCA Money List 1. Ramon Colillas - $5,102,100 2. Julien Martini - $2,974,000 3. Marc Rivera - $2,168,000 4. Sam Greenwood - $1,954,860 5. Scott Baumstein - $1,657,000 6. David 'Chino' Rheem - $1,576,200 7. Jason Koonce - $1,304,000 8. Henrik Hecklen - $1,284,260 9. Rainer Kempe - $1,202,760 10. Jesus Cortes - $1,153,440 11. Stephen Chidwick - $1,084,322 12. Marc Perrault - $1,040,520 13. Talal Shakerchi - $994,300 14. Daniel Strelitz - $964,020 15. Alex Foxen - $904,040 16. Martin Zamani - $895,110 17. Farid Jattin - $746,000 18. Igor Kurganov - $697,100 19. Sean Winter - $673,120 20. Scott Wellenbach - $671,240 21. Chris Hunichen - $627,340 22. Steffen Sontheimer - $623,220 23. Dominik Nitsche - $606,360 24. Pavel Veksler - $560,240 25. Justin Bonomo - $533,370 As you can see, Greenwood sits fourth after having won $1.954 million from the 2019 PCA series. Greenwood's big win was in the $100,000 Super High Roller when he scored a $1.775 million first-place prize, but he also added scores of $89,320, $69,100, and $20,980 to his bankroll. Greenwood was one of 21 players to cash at least four times at the 2019 PCA. Another player to cash four times was the player 18th on the 2019 PCA money leaderboard, Igor Kurganov. He banked scores of $378,760, $129,780, $121,040, and $67,450 for a total of $697,100. The largest of those four scores was a sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Super High Roller that Greenwood was victorious in. Other than Greenwood and Kurganov, no player cashed four times in the top 25. Several players in the top 25 cashed three times, though, in addition to Greenwood and Kurganov, of course. Those players were Rainer Kempe, Jesus Cortes, Stephen Chidwick, Daniel Strelitz, Alex Foxen, Sean Winter, and Steffan Sontheimer. Kempe won the most money of that bunch with more than $1.2 million in payouts. He placed fourth in a $25,000 no-limit hold’em event before he won a $50,000 no-limit hold’em event and a $10,200 no-limit hold’em knockout turbo. The $50,000 buy-in tournament that Kempe won earned him $908,000. Foxen doesn't appear that he's going to slow down after an epic 2018 saw him haul in more than $6.6 million in live tournament earnings. Foxen has already won more than $900,000 in 2019 thanks to his performances at the 2019 PCA. He placed 11th in a $25,000 buy-in event, second in the $50,000 event that Kempe won, and third in another $50,000 buy-in tournament. Foxen's three scores were for $45,020, $651,980, and $207,040 in those three events, respectively. Four players cashed five times each at the 2019 PCA, but none of them ranked higher than 75th on the 2019 PCA money list. Sitting in 75th overall with a total of $136,460 won was Ariel Celestino. Daniel Tang, Sean Legendre, and Fernand Dos Santos Ferreira were the others to cash five times during the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament series. How did the 2019 PCA change the festival's all-time money list? With a little help from our friends at HendonMob.com, here’s a look at the new top 25 following the completion of the 2019 PCA. Top 25 PCA All-Time Money List 1. Bryn Kenney - $6,262,731 2. Ramon Colillas - $5,102,100 3. Steve O'Dwyer - $3,910,382 4. Tony Gregg - $3,183,095 5. Poorya Nazari - $3,000,000 6. Julien Martini - $2,974,000 7. Scott Seiver - $2,970,620 8. Sam Greenwood - $2,927,337 9. Galen Hall - $2,877,080 10. Vanessa Selbst - $2,824,640 11. Jason Koon - $2,645,595 12. Isaac Haxton - $2,583,616 13. Justin Bonomo - $2,524,742 14. Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier - $2,484,120 15. Daniel Negreanu - $2,348,097 16. Harrison Gimbel - $2,329,220 17. Dan Shak - $2,323,840 18. Byron Kaverman - $2,307,235 19. Cary Katz - $2,257,420 20. Marc Rivera - $2,168,000 21. Mustapha Kanit - $2,077,000 22. Dimitar Danchev - $1,985,000 23. John Dibella - $1,960,700 24. Daniel Dvoress - $1,946,102 25. Tyler Reiman - $1,937,770 As you can see, Bryn Kenney reigns supreme. He came into the 2019 PCA with a big lead on this list, thanks to $6.245 million in earnings from the PCA, and Kenney added a small cash by his standards of $17,620 to move up to $6.262 million. The most notable additions to the top 25 of the PCA all-time money list were three players we already talked about, Colillas, Martini, and Rivera. Those three finished first, second, and third in the 2019 PSPC. Colillas moved to second on PCA's all-time money list, Martini jumped to sixth, and Rivera went up to 20th. Another big jump was had by Greenwood, who entered the 2019 PCA with $972,477 in earnings from the series. After winning nearly $2 million this year, Greenwood shot up the all-time PCA leaderboard to eighth with nearly $3 million in earnings total from the event. Justin Bonomo also increased his standing, going from 17th to 13th on the all-time PCA list after winning $533,370 at the 2019 PCA. Notable departures from the top 5 PCA all-time money list were Christopher Oliver, Eugene Katchalov, Will Molson, and Nick Petrangelo.
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