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  1. Satellite tournaments give poker players with modest bank rolls an opportunity to play outside of their usual comfort zone. And with the latest tournament changes at 888poker, MTT grinders will want to find out how they can get in amongst the action on the cheap. Turning a small buy-in into a huge score is the poker dream with the most famous example being of course, Chris Moneymaker. The man who sparked the poker boom of the noughties qualified into the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event for a mere $87 and the rest, they say, is history. With 888poker adding $500,000 in guarantees to their weekly schedule as well as holding more events with at least $10,000 prize pools, poker players can look to have their own Moneymaker moment on the platform. How to Satellite into 888poker's Featured Tournaments The Big Shot The Big Shot is the new daily main event, with direct buy-ins for this event falling under both the mid and high-stakes range. The most notable Big Shot tournament takes place 7 pm each night and has a buy-in of $109 with $20,000 guaranteed ($150,000 on a Sunday). From now until April 2, players can acquire tickets for freeroll tournaments from the Winner Spinner which will satellite them directly into the Big Shot $109. If a player is unlucky and misses out on these tickets then there's the following routes to get a seat at the table: $16.50 buy-in with 5-10 tickets up for grabs. $5.50 buy-in with three seats guaranteed. $2.20 - $3.30 sub-satellites: If a player is successful in navigating through this event, then they win a $16.50 ticket. Players must then survive this second satellite to make it to the Big Shot. For the Big Shot $33-$55 tournaments, plays can qualify from as little as $0.50 and $1 respectively. The Classic This tournament is a throwback, it's a classic freezeout and has a short late registration period. There are two events, the Classic $5.50 and $55. For the low buy-in tournament, there are no sub-satellites and you can qualify for this event from $0.01 - $0.50. Those who want to get into the Classic $55, sub-satellites start at $1 with direct satellites varying from $2.20 - $8.80. The Dash This turbo tournament is for those who can't spend all day grinding, and is yet another event that has varied buy-ins. The Dash $109 is the big boy for this structure with $5,000 guaranteed. Players can advance to this high-stakes event for $5.50. Mid stakes ($22-$44) Dash tournaments can be accessed for as low $1 and the $5.50 & $8.80 Dash's have $0.10 - $0.50 satellites. These all have guarantees between $1,000 and $3,000. The Mayhem Mayhem tournaments are six max turbos with rebuys. There are three Mayhem's ($11, $22 & $55) which players can get into for a fraction of the price. Sub-satellites for the $11 and $22 events begin at just $0.50 and direct satellites to these fluctuate from $1 to $3.30. The Mayhem $55 satellites can cost a player $2.20 or $8.80, it's important to note that the $8.80 tournament will have more seats up for grabs than that of the $2.20. The Rumble PKO's are all the rage at the moment and they now feature far more on 888poker than in previous years. Using satellites to enter either the Rumble $109 or $215 can allow low-stakes recreational players to earn a couple hundred bucks, boosting their bankroll, without even needing to make the final table of a tournament if they're able to knock out a few players. Like the Big Shot $109, players can either choose to play the $5.50 or $16.50 satellite for direct entry or they can opt to try their luck at the $3.30 sub-satellite The Voyage Voyage $5.50 - $0.10 and $0.50 satellites Voyage $8.80 - $0.10 sub-satellite with $0.50 and $1 direct satellites Voyage $16.50 - $0.10 sub-satellite with $0.50 and $2.20 direct satellites Voyage $22 - $0.1 to $0.50 sub-satellites with $1 and $3.30 direct satellites Voyage $55 - $1 sub-satellite with $2.20 and $8.80 direct satellites
  2. Super Bowl 55 is just hours away, and it is a matchup for the ages, as Patrick Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs into battle, looking for their second straight Super Bowl title. Standing in their way is the most successful playoff quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, leading his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of the biggest names in poker are betting on in the big game, and not just on which team is going to cover the spread. Tony Dunst Two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and current World Poker Tour commentator Tony Dunst says that he is holding off on betting the game, for now, content to wait and see how the line moves closer to the contest on Sunday. “I don’t have a side yet. I want to wait and see if the Bucs get more points approaching the game.” Dunst is leaning towards the underdog and said that while he hasn’t bet on the game yet, he did go to the casino and place a bet on Tom Brady to win the MVP award, getting good odds too, at +230. “There’s a decent gap between Bucs money line price and Brady MVP...but if Bucs win, I think Brady is a massive favorite to win MVP considering how spread out their offense is and how much QBs are favored for the award,” Dunst said. Dunst also added that he will likely bet all the unders on Kansas City wide receiver Byron Pringle, under the condition that Sammy Watkins ultimately plays, which he is expected to do at this point. According to Dunst, “If Watkins plays, Pringle may not see a touch.” David 'ODB' Baker Another multiple bracelet winner, David 'ODB' Baker proved he is a man of many talents in 2020, when he and fellow poker pro Mark Gregorich took down the Las Vegas Super Contest. They also finished tied for second in the Circa Sports Million. All in all, the duo took home nearly $800,000 total. Of course, Baker is ready to make some bets on the final football game of the season. For the die-hard New England Patriots fan, it was a bit difficult to hide his bias towards the former Patriots Quarterback, Tom Brady. “I think the (Tampa) defense and the running game lead the GOAT Brady to title number seven! I think this is a tight one and I don't have a ton of confidence. Buyer beware I'm a huge Brady fan and want to see the GOAT get another,” Baker said. However, unlike Dunst, Baker decided to go a bit off the board with his MVP pick, instead opting for a player who has been on fire in the playoffs, and is also getting great odds. “Anyone can pick the QBs as an MVP but I want to go off the board. I'm seeing MVP odds at over 30-1 on Playoff Lenny [Leonard Fournette] and I will take a longshot here. I also really like the overs on all Fournette props. I think they will feature the running game and attempt to limit Chiefs possessions. If the Bucs fall down early you don't have to worry about Lenny getting pulled as he is the passing down back anyway,” Baker said. Chris Moneymaker So that’s two poker pros on the underdog in this one, but one player who disagrees with them is 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker. While the avid sports bettor said that he didn’t have any player props yet, he was rather straightforward when asked who he thinks will win the big one. “Chiefs.” When asked to elaborate, Moneymaker was once again kept it short and simple. “Mahomes and Kelce.” To be fair to Moneymaker, he’s not wrong. The dynamic duo will likely be the determining factor in the outcome of the game, one way or the other. If the Bucs are able to slow the big tight end down, it will stymie the effectiveness of Mahomes. But if the two are able to hook up all night, it will be a long day for Tampa Bay and their backers.
  3. Chris Moneymaker didn’t become of the best ambassadors in poker by being a high-stakes crusher or a Hollywood celebrity. It was practically divine intervention that married the Moneymaker name with his down-to-earth personality and stuck him in front of the ESPN cameras holding up bricks of cash as the winner of the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. It turns out, he was perfectly suited for the role of a poker ambassador. But on the final day of 2020, Moneymaker took to Twitter to announce that, effective immediately, he and PokerStars were mutually parting ways bringing to an end his 17-year run with the world's largest online poker site. Not a bad run for a job that was thrust upon him. Moneymaker’s tenure at PokerStars makes him if not the - one of the - longest-running ambassadors in poker history. But over his time at PokerStars, the job description of poker ambassador changed quite a bit. Here at the end of an era, Moneymaker took some time to reflect on what it means to be an ambassador, how it’s evolved, and what it takes to succeed in the role today. “When I signed, there was no such thing as an ambassador. Tom McEvoy was the only one who had a deal, and I don’t really know what his role was,” said Moneymaker. “My first year with PokerStars, I really didn’t do anything. There was nothing going on. Tournaments were probably three or four a year, there wasn’t a whole lot televised. So basically they were giving me money for nothing, just to wear a patch. But I never got to wear a patch because it was never on TV. That was the first year. “As the years progressed, tons of TV shows, tons of tournaments, tons of everything started coming out. To be an ambassador back then was, essentially just wear the patch and represent the site and do interviews and play on the site. Nothing that I normally wouldn't do anyways. So it wasn't really work to me. I just got to be myself and it, again, made it really easy.” But that was then. It was an era where poker participation was skyrocketing and companies like PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Ultimate Bet, among others, looked to lock up top talent in hopes that slapping a patch on a player at a televised final table would entice the next wave of depositors. “It went from three of us, there was me, Joe [Hachem] and Greg [Raymer] to, freaking, I think we got to 100 almost. It was a revolving door of people coming in and going out. I never even met some of them,” he said. According to Moneymaker, PokerStars' aggressive ambassador stance was in part due to PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg’s belief in the ambassador role as a means to grow the industry. They snapped up players in any country where poker could explode. “It was a while there where every day I’d wake up and there would be a new pro.” Over a decade later, and after the fallout from Black Friday, the abundance of televised cash games and made-for-broadcast tournaments like the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship is all but gone. For online operators, the landscape of how new customers are obtained continues to be a challenge and the role of an engaged ambassador requires much more than simply playing on a site with a custom avatar. “The role of the ambassador changed quite a bit. I might be a little bit of a unicorn in the fact that I don’t stream a whole lot, but to be an ambassador in today’s game, you almost have to be a streamer or do things of that nature, because there’s not enough opportunity to be on TV,” Moneymaker said. “Once Black Friday happened, they took away patches on TV, so there’s just not as many opportunities for someone to get patched up to be on TV. Really the way to get into an ambassadorship role in today’s game is to be as a streamer of some kind, or be a personality that would attract outside of poker.” That is part of what makes Moneymaker the “unicorn” he is. He’s not a 40-hour per week online poker streamer showcasing a platform. And while his social media following is impressive, he doesn't have the millions of followers that names like Neymar, Rafael Nadal or Usain Bolt have (all of whom have passed through the turnstile of poker ambassadorship.) Yet, even though multiple ownership changes at PokerStars, his ambassador deal was "rubber-stamped" time and time again. Moneymaker is one of the rare poker personas who transcended company marketing. People feel connected to Moneymaker by having watched him live out the same poker dream that they have themselves. He’s an ambassador for poker as a whole and it’s that connection that Moneymaker feels is his real value as an ambassador is. It’s a connection he doesn’t take for granted. “For me, personally, [the job] was going out and actually meeting people and meeting the guys that want to win a big tournament, or change their life, or want to take the game a little more seriously.” Moneymaker said. “They get the experience of playing with me and meeting me, and [being an ambassador] was more about the person-to-person experience for me.” “The one thing that’s made me last 17 years, I believe, is whenever they ask me to do something I’ve always just said ‘yes’. I’ve never told them no to anything. But I always felt like they really didn’t ask me to do a whole lot.” That’s not to say that the ambassador's life is always easy. Time away from family can be taxing. Trips to Europe, Australia, and China may be exciting but the travel can be grueling. Adding the travel to the event and half-a-month is spent on the road and according to Moneymaker, “eventually it gets old after 17 years.” On December 31, Moneymaker cited the desire to spend more time with his family as a reason for his mutual parting of ways with PokerStars. The news was a surprise for many fans and members of the poker industry alike as the association between the WSOP champ and the site he won his $10K seat on felt like the strongest in poker. Moneymaker’s decision was also a bit of a surprise to Moneymaker himself who, at one time, imagined a future that extended well past 17 years. “It’s a good company. I was really happy with them,” he said. “I’m still really happy with them, I have no problem. It was a mutual thing and they really didn’t ask me to do a whole lot and they paid me pretty good. So, from my side, I was really happy and I felt like they got a lot of value out of me. In any good business deal, you’re going to have both sides coming out good, and I think that’s the case we had. I know the relationship would have continued…I actually expected it to go on another decade, but then the coronavirus happened and everything changed from my standpoint.” When asked to reflect on the peak of being an ambassador for PokerStars, Moneymaker paused, as if there’s were too many to count or perhaps the seventeen years is all a blur. He talked about his connection with Donald Hobbs back in 2008 and his successful Moneymaker Tour where he handed out a series of $25K Platinum Passes to players who could never afford to play in the high-roller event. “Those types of things are what really stick out to me, changing people’s lives and giving people experiences. Honestly, some of the best times I had was when I’d take someone’s bankroll at the table but then they’d get up and shake my hand and say ‘That was awesome’. Basically, I know I’ve done my job.” The Moneymaker ambassador era at PokerStars may be over, but Moneymaker’s not headed off into the sunset yet. Just 45 years old, in his farewell video he hints at future endeavors, and as one of poker’s ultimate ambassadors, one would think that it’s just a matter of time before he’s called on again. “I’ve already had phone calls and I’ve already answered a few of them, so yeah, you’ll be seeing some things from me in the near future.”
  4. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Listen in to the first episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast of 2021 and Lance and Donnie return with all of the latest news from the world of poker. First, controversial casino magnate and long-time political opponent to online poker Sheldon Adelson passed away early Tuesday morning leading the guys to discuss what, if anything, his passing will mean to the future prospects of online poker legislation. Huck Seed is the newest member of the Poker Hall of Fame leading to a conversation surrounding the future of the Hall of Fame and the onslaught of qualified people who will be eligible in the next few years. Also, after seventeen years as an ambassador for PokerStars, Chris Moneymaker announced that he and the online poker company have mutually decided to part ways. What does this mean for Moneymaker's future? Listen in and find out. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  5. In a series of Tweets, poker pro Olivier livb112Busquet (pictured) seemingly called out the "old guard" of poker. He Tweeted last week, "This idea that current pros 'owe' some past group of pros for paving the way or growing the game is just nonsense." According to a later Tweet, the one person who could receive an exemption from Busquet's blanket statement is 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- Moneymaker garnered support from several posters on Twitter, including 2010 November Niner Joseph subiime Cheong, who wrote, "Everyone owes Chris for winning with such an awesome last name." Busquet clarified, "If anyone should be 'thankful,' it's pros who were at the right place at the right unique time and made money without having to be good at poker." "Late Night Poker" host Jesse May responded, "But comparing poker skill in 2014 to skill in 2003 is like harping on Newton for being dominated by Einstein. It's relative." Haralabos Voulgaris said, "Right place right time and a real willingness to be camera whores can and did pay off back then." Voulgaris promptly called out Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari for "going through the Foxwoods buy-in line over and over again to make sure cameras were present." You can check out the full responses to Busquet's Tweet here: In response to Busquet's ambassador comments, one person called out his friend, Dan Colman, who has come under fire for ducking the media and refusing to promote poker while at the same time sounding off on message boards about the evils of the game ad nauseam. Another poster singled out Daniel Negreanu as being a face of poker, but Busquet responded, "Seems like you're assuming pros are doing this stuff for free? Usually, they are paid. It's part of their contract to promote, etc." Busquet has done a variety of poker broadcasting and won the Estrellas Poker Tour High Roller Event in August for $1.1 million. He has over $6 million in live tournament winnings to his credit, according to the Hendon Mob, along with another $359,000 online. What do you think? How much do the rising stars of poker, and the community as a whole, owe the "old guard"? And who should be considered an ambassador of the game? Leave a comment here and let us know. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. While poker Hall of Famer Barry Greenstein (pictured) may be well-known today, the three-time bracelet winner was an unknown entity during his first forays into the Las Vegas poker scene in the 1990s. In an interview with PokerNews, Greenstein revealed how he got his start in poker and how he banked double the $2.5 million won by Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP Main Event. While working toward a PhD in mathematics, Greenstein could often be found not editing his thesis, but rather playing marathon sessions at the poker tables. After explaining to his academic advisor that he was making far more money gambling than what he could make as a professor, Greenstein decided to abandon his nearly complete thesis and focus on poker. Also an avid bridge player, the 60-year-old met his wife during a bridge tournament and later applied to adopt her three children. Greenstein knew the judge would not look favorably on his status as a professional gambler, so he decided to take a job in Silicon Valley with Symantec and worked on what would become a popular word processing application. Greenstein toiled at the successful startup for seven years, all the while honing his skills in Lowball and Texas Hold'em. While games in Las Vegas seemed juicy, the future Hall of Famer was wary to risk his bankroll there, as some of the regulars had a reputation for cheating. It was his wife, also poker player, who convinced him to quit his job and play full-time. In his first appearance at the WSOP Main Event, Greenstein shared a table with well-known players like Dewey Tomko, TJ Cloutier, and Johnny Chan. Greenstein, however, was virtually unknown and used his anonymity to his advantage. He recalled how a Scottish bookie had offered 50-1 odds that Greenstein would win the tournament that year. "All the cash game players who knew me bet on me because the odds were so good," he said. "And [the bookie] came up to me and said, 'I just wanted to meet you. All the big cash game players bet on you to win this and if you win, I'm gonna go broke.'" After banking millions in cash games, Greenstein decided to start giving back and began donating all of his tournament winnings to charity groups like Children Incorporated. The gifts were substantial; in the 2008 WSOP alone, Greenstein banked a total of $768,461. His generosity would earn him the nickname "The Robin Hood of Poker." But even with three bracelets under his belt, Greenstein has always preferred cash games over tournaments. In fact, the 60-year-old grinder recalled making double what 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Moneymaker(pictured) earned for winning the prestigious event. "During the World Series in the year when Moneymaker won, I made more than $5 million playing in cash games," said Greenstein. "I remember laughing when people said [Moneymaker]was the biggest winner. He won $2.5 million and I said, 'Well, I won twice that.'" Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  7. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is the only GPL manager with a team named for him.[/caption] 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker is already credited with being one of the driving forces of poker's explosion in popularity following his win, but over a decade later Moneymaker is part of what he hopes to be a second boom. Moneymaker is heading up the Las Vegas-based Global Poker League team with his last name leading the way, an honor that the former world champ is greatly humbled by. "When you look around at all the great players in today’s game, it’s a huge honor to be one of 12 team owners. It means I am still respected by my peers, and that is very humbling," Moneymaker said, noting that the GPL is something that poker needs to create that "next wave of poker superstars." As an icon of the first poker boom, Moneymaker said he’s been pitched with dozens of poker-related ideas over the last few years but has also been hesitant to get involved in most of them, as he "didn’t believe in the concept or the people behind it." That is not the case with the GPL, as Moneymaker believes wholeheartedly in the brand and the people behind it. "I met with Alex (Dreyfus) a year ago in the infancy of the idea. I think we shared the same vision for the league and what it could do for poker," Moneymaker said. While he was more or less there from the start, he admits that it was "all Alex." "He put all the time, money, and effort into making it a reality," he said. "I truly think that the GPL is a great idea and has the right guy at the helm." While Dreyfus is at the helm of the upstart league, Moneymaker is at the helm of the Las Vegas Moneymakers, a name he is honored by but also thinks "fits well" with Las Vegas and poker culture. Moneymaker doesn't want to look too far into the future, remaining focused on the inaugural season before anything else, a year in which he expects "slow and steady growth," but admits that he wouldn’t be surprised if the GPL became bigger than most expect through the early stages of development. "There has already been extreme interest from the poker community. I think it will be a great thing for poker," he said. Since Moneymaker’s 2003 victory, which took the poker world by storm, the game has grown exponentially. Moneymaker’s hope is that the GPL can have a similar effect on the game that his WSOP win did. It’s impossible to tell whether that will happen, but Moneymaker is willing to do his part and will be using a draft strategy to do just that. "I’m looking for team players first, but also players who will utilize media opportunities to grow the GPL and their respective brands." Moneymaker knows a thing or two about branding, as he’s been a face of PokerStars and the WSOP over the better part of the last decade-and-a-half. He hasn’t forgotten his roots through all of that, though, as he’s hoping the GPL not only helps produce the next wave poker superstars, but also encourages players who haven’t yet made it. "I’m also looking for that unknown guy who, like me, is looking for his shot," he said. Moneymaker already took his "shot" and hit, big. He’s now hoping that the Global Poker League can do the same, as he leads the Las Vegas Moneymakers into this week’s draft and beyond. The Las Vegas Moneymakers pick fifth overall.
  8. [caption width="640"] New Jersey players now have another online series to look forward to with PokerStars NJ SCOOP.[/caption] PokerStars is wasting no time making its presence known in New Jersey, announcing the first ever New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker. With $1.1 million in guaranteed prize money, the series promises to be the biggest one ever held since the state regulated online gaming. The inaugural championship will take place from May 15-29 and feature 27 events, run in both high-stakes and low-stakes formats, for a grand total of 54 tournaments. The two-week schedule will culminate with a $50 (low) and $500 (high) No Limit Hold'em Main Event, offering $30,000 and $200,000 in guaranteed cash, respectively. The series offers myriad tournament formats and variants, including Three-Max Hypers, Six-Max Turbos, Ultra Knockouts and Progressive Super Knockouts, among others. Buy-ins start as low as $10 and go all the way up to $1,000 for the No Limit Hold'em High Roller tournament on Tuesday, May 24. Other standout tournaments include: $150 buy-in No Limit Hold'em, $30,000 guarantee (Sunday, May 15) $250 buy-in No Limit Hold'em, $100,000 guarantee (Sunday, May 15) $300 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Turbo (Sunday, May 15) $100 buy-in No Limit Hold'em [1R1A] (Monday, May 16) $100 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Zoom (Wednesday, May 25) "The global PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker is one of the must-play poker events of the year," said 2003 WSOP Main Event champ and Team PokerStars pro Chris Moneymaker. "It's awesome that it’s coming to New Jersey so that players in the region can experience the exciting tournament structures and the thrill that comes with chasing a major tournament title and big prize money." "I can’t wait to play in the first NJSCOOP and I plan to stream most of my play live on Twitch. I would love to win a title in its debut year," said Moneymaker. Player of the Series Leaderboard Consistent series winners will have a chance to win even more prizes by placing on the Player of the Series Leaderboard. Each time a player cashes in an event, they’ll receive points awarded on a sliding scale. The top earners, for both the low and high-stakes tiers, will share in $10,000 in prizes, with the overall winner taking home a trophy and $2,000 cash. Also up for grabs are two spots on Team USA for the Americas Cup of Poker live event, which will be played out at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City from June 24-25. There, players will compete for at least $100,000 in guaranteed cash. PokerStars received its license to operate in New Jersey late last year after undergoing heavy scrutiny by New Jersey regulators. The site decided to delay its launch, however, until last month. With its $1.1 million in NJSCOOP guarantees, the online poker giant narrowly eclipses partypoker’s Garden State Super Series, which gave away $1 million in prizes in its event last year. If you don't already have a PokerStarsNJ account you can sign up here and get yourself some of the $1.1 million in guaranteed NJSCOOP prizes.
  9. [caption width="640"] Ten players worth considering as the Poker Hall of Fame public nomination process opens[/caption] The public nomination process for the Poker Hall of Fame to determine the top ten candidates for official voting for the Class of 2016 opened earlier this month. The nomination period allows poker fans around the world to submit the names of players they think should be considered for inclusion in the Poker Hall of Fame. The Criteria: A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination Played for high stakes Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. And while everybody has an opinion on who should or shouldn’t get in, PocketFives has created a guide for you of 10 names you should consider nominating. Keep in mind, many thought Phil Ivey would be a shoo-in this year, but turns out he's not quite eligible yet. With that in mind, we’ve broken the names into three groups: Obvious Choices, Dark Horses and Long Shots. Obvious ChoicesChris Moneymaker Rule of thumb – if an era is named after someone, then that person is probably a Hall of Famer. Chris Moneymaker was the right guy, at the right place, bluffing at the right time when he won the WSOP Main Event in 2003. ESPN audiences drank up a 20-something accountant from Tennessee facing down Sammy Farha for $2.5 million dollars. Moneymaker not only won, but somehow graciously handled the media firestorm of attention that no one could be prepared for. He was the face of the poker boom that followed and soon every line cook in the country was hosting a home game. Moneymaker wasn’t a flash in the pan, since his historic win he’s earned $1.1 million in tournaments and solidified himself as one of the top ambassadors of the game, greeting every critic with a smile. But his influence goes beyond a player and undoubtedly “contributed to the overall growth and success of the game.” Carlos Mortensen Carlos Mortensen first rose to poker fame after winning the 2001 WSOP Main Event but he is also the all-time leading money winner in World Poker Tour history thanks largely to his three WPT titles. His lifetime earnings are just north of $11.8 million. Mortensen has two bracelets in 35 WSOP cashes with another 20 cashes and seven WPT final tables. Should he get into the Hall of Fame, he would undoubtedly be the most WPT-centric player in the Hall of Fame to date, Mike Sexton withstanding (almost all tournament success in WSOP events). But with his banner hung in the Amazon Room the stewards of the HOF can breathe easy. Bruno Fitoussi One can’t discuss French poker without mentioning Bruno Fitoussi’s name. He was one-part Mike Sexton, one-part Mori Eskandani and one-part Chris Moneymaker when poker boomed on TV in France. He was one of the operators of The Aviation Club – one of Europe’s premier poker rooms – and the lack of European inductees is one of the PHOF’s most warranted criticisms. As a player he’s won $2.8 million around the world while logging 20 WSOP cashes. He finished runner-up in the 2007 $50,000 HORSE Championship for $1.2 million and finished 15th in the 2003 Main Event. Ted Forrest The six-time bracelet winner’s name keeps coming up in this conversation. He’s one of five players to win three bracelets in a year, nine of his 34 WSOP cashes were in events with a $5,000 buy-in or greater. Forrest doesn’t have the flash that screams Hall of Famer but he’s got a track record in all the games, was a part of “The Corporation”, the group of top level pros that took on billionaire banker Andy Beal, and as far as standing the test of time is concerned – he’s got 21 years between his first and most recent bracelet. David Chiu David Chiu just passed the $8 million in career earnings mark and he has five WSOP bracelets, 25 final tables and 73 cashes in the WSOP alone and finds himself in rarified air among the five-bracelet club, he’s one of three or four players that could arguably keep adding to his total. His game hasn’t aged like many in his age bracket – he’s cashed in six $10,000 or greater events since 2014, including the 2015 $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Dark HorsesChris Bjorin Chris Bjorin’s grandfatherly smile and non-threatening demeanour masks that he’s won $5 million, two bracelets and a European Poker Tour title and it took Martin Jacobson winning $10 million in the 2014 WSOP Main Event to top him on Sweden’s all-time money list. Huck Seed If there was a Hall of Fame of Not Giving a Sh*t, Huck Seed would be there. There’s certain politicking and campaigning many nominees endure to gain entry, but that’s something this former Main Event Champ and four-time bracelet winner just won’t do. Todd Brunson Todd Brunson isn’t discussed much in after-hours PHOF talk but has won $4.2 million and has 50 WSOP cashes. He has spent most of his career focused on high stakes cash games. The largest strike against him is that he has just one bracelet and while nowhere in the requirements does it say “multi-bracelet winner”, it’s implied. Mike Matusow Mike Matusow’s life shows highs and lows of the life of a professional gambler better than any Hollywood flick ever could. He’s a true blue-collar player that’s won and lost at least $8.6 million, has four bracelets, spent time in jail and battled life-threatening medical problems all while being a big star in the TV boom era. The Long ShotIsai Scheinberg International poker politics are a curious thing, and while the entity that owns the PHOF prefers their own version of worldwide poker history, most everyone else recognizes Isai Scheinberg as the single most influential businessman in poker the world will probably ever see. Scheinberg was the former CEO of PokerStars and directed the company during its profitable and expansive rise to the top of the online poker world. The private ownership allowed Scheinberg and his management team room to innovate and become the overwhelming leaders in the industry. Photos courtesy of World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour.
  10. [caption width="640"] The first ever NJSCOOP Main Event goes Sunday.[/caption] If PokerStars executives had any anxiety about turnout for the inaugural New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker, they can rest easy now. Over the first week and a half of play, Garden State poker players turned out in droves for the series, covering 37 out of 44 total guarantees. That's good news for everybody with the Main Event set for Sunday. While some of New Jersey's best have dominated the first week and a half of play, a former WSOP Main Event champ stole the show on Thursday night. Chris Moneymaker won the High editon of the Pot Limit Omaha event. Moneymaker, playing under the screenname 'Money800NJ' beat out 45 other players to win $5,397 in the $150 buy-in event. NJSCOOP features low and high buy-in editions of its events, excluding the middle tier offered in PokerStars’ main SCOOP series. The tournament’s first day of action included three No Limit Hold‘em tournaments along with a Pot Limit Omaha event. A player, fittingly named ‘1stp1ace’, took the top spot in the first high event of the series, banking a prize of $1,015. In Event #2, a $100,000 gauranteed NLHE tournament, ‘Richardv1109’ bested ‘9islive’ for a $22,327 payday. In the $20,000 guaranteed companion event, ‘maddoggrik’ found his way to the top, taking home a $4,382 score in the process. Later in the day at the $40,000 guaranteed event, ‘TeethofBags’ came out on top, adding $8,945 to his bankroll. Sunday’s NLHE $30 buy-in event was the first tournament to miss its guarantee. ‘JohnnyMania’ took the top spot in that contest, beating out ‘Pokersanz715’ for a $2,902 payday. Monday’s first two events of the day also failed to meet their guarantees. The final two No Limit Hold‘em tournaments, however, easily surpassed their target prize pools, with ‘HowieWelper’ outlasting 95 opponents in the high event to win the $6,886 first-place prize. Both of Tuesday’s events covered, with the Eight Game low tournament doubling the $5,000 guarantee. Wednesday featured just one event, a No Limit Hold‘em Four Max contest. The high tournament went to Scooby-D0O for $10,175, with ‘#3lynvhmob’ taking the low for $1,708. Thursday’s biggest payday went to ‘0ceans07’, who banked $6,672 for winning the $25,000 guaranteed NLHE event. PokerStars changed the pace a bit that day by offering two Limit Stud tournaments, both of which covered. On the docket for the following day were two NLHE/PLO tournaments, with $15,000 guaranteed for the high, and $5,000 reserved for the low. In the high event, Scooby-D0O claimed his second title of the series along with a $1,966 prize. ‘ForTheThr1ll’ took home the biggest payday on Saturday when he defeated ‘Stever625’ to pocket $4,338. Neither guarantees on Sunday were met, although the day’s low tournament attracted a respectable 505 runners. 158 players turned out for the Event #15 $25,000 guaranteed NLHE rebuy tournament. Player ‘MrKK1985’ banked the top payout of the day, taking home $8,334 for his victory over the unfortunately named player ‘NewJerseySux.’ NJ grinder ‘DerekSutton0’ found his way to the top of the day’s second NLHE event, taking the first-place prize of $4,427. Tuesday’s Pot Limit Omaha tournaments both doubled their guarantees, with ‘pwrdysteam’ winning the high and ‘muirheadt’ taking the low. Later in the day, the $1,000 buy-in $100,000 guaranteed High Roller event played out and saw ‘SGTPowell’ besting ‘solidluck’ to take the title and a $27,743 payday. The event’s low buy-in equivalent attracted a large crowd of 487 runners, who created a $44,700 prize pool. When all was said and done, ‘SneakyPete85’ came out on top for a $7,528 score, with Scooby-D0O once again cashing, this time for $6,599. On Wednesday, 281 players turned out for the $20,000 guaranteed Zoom event, with ‘0verbot : )’ triumphing over the competition for a $5,235 score. The action continued Thursdya with a pair of 1R1A Pot Limit Omaha tournaments. ‘Money800NJ’ took the high edition for $5,397, with ‘DellaBarca7’ locking up the low for $1,139. Later, 239 runners generated a $22,000 prize pool during the day’s $100 NLHE event. ‘J3Bl@ckP0pe’ claimed victory and took home the $4,486 first-place prize. The Main Event Only a few tournaments remain before NJSCOOP’s dual Main Events kick off on Sunday. The Main Event tournaments will be played out over two days and boast unlimited re-entries during an extended registration period. The High event features a $200,000 guarantee with a $500 buy-in. Four places will be paid, with first receiving at least $90,000, second taking $60,000 and third banking $30,000. The Low tournament sports a $30,000 guarantee along with a more affordable $50 buy-in. First place will go home with $30,000.
  11. Nearly five years after they left the United States entirely, PokerStars is back for real money in New Jersey and comes complete with all the features that made them the world’s largest online poker site. Whether you love cash games, multitable tournaments or sit n gos, PokerStarsNJ has what you’ve been missing. They’ve even added a few new features that poker players around the world have taken to. Sign-up here for PokerStarsNJ and get in on the action with the world's largest online poker site. Multitable Tournaments No matter what you’re type of tournaments you’re looking for, PokerStarsNJ has you covered. They’ve created a daily tournament schedule with six different categories and have buy-ins from $1 on up. The Daily Bigs are freezeout tourneys running daily running from 4 PM - 7 PM that feature 10,000 chip stacks with 8-12 minute blind levels. Buy-ins for the four events on offer start at $5 and max out at $50. The $50 tournament boasts a $1,500 guarantee, the highest of the group. The Hot Turbos feature fast-paced action, with players starting with 10,000 chips and blind levels increasing every five minutes. Tournaments run from 8 PM-12 AM with buy-ins going as high as $50. KO Fever is comprised of four Super Knockout or Progressive Super Knockout tournaments which start at 1:30 PM and run until 10:30 PM. The $50 entry tournament is the highest on offer for the group and guarantees $3,000. Nightly Stars is a $100 nightly tournament beginning at 7 PM, which boasts a $10,000 guarantee, the biggest of all the daily events. Change-Up is made up of three tournaments with buy-ins of $5, $15 and $20. As the name implies, these events shake things up by offering Omaha Hi-Lo, Omaha and Stud. Moonlight Express is a $20 buy-in late-night tournament which kicks off at 11 PM. It features a Hyper-Turbo structure and a $1,000 guarantee. Check out the PokerStarsNJ Tournament Schedule including all the information on the marquee events, the Sunday Majors. Spin n Gos One of the latest innovations from PokerStars is the Spin n Go tournament. These three-handed events allow you to win up a massive prize each time out, as long as the pre-tournament spin of the wheel goes your way. Each tournament has a randomly assigned prize pool ranging from 2X to 3000X the buy-in that you won't know about until you buy-in. Zoom Poker Similar to Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker, Zoom is a fast-paced game that means never having to wait for another hand. As soon you as fold your hold (or choose fold as a pre-selected action) you’re moved to a new table and dealt another hand. The game moves quickly and makes sure there is never a dull moment. It’s currently available for both No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Check out our PokerStars NJ FAQ for answers to any questions you may have.
  12. [caption width="640"] Phil Ivey is going to wait one more year for Poker Hall of Fame eligibility. (WPT photo)[/caption] The World Series of Poker – the custodians of the Poker Hall of Fame – have opened the public nomination process for the Class of 2016 and fans hoping to nominate one of the most dominant players of all time are going to have to wait one more year. Phil Ivey, who many assumed was eligible for the first time this year, does not meet the minimum age requirement for nomination. Sources close to Ivey confirmed that he turned 39 this year – not 40 as his Wikipedia page had previously indicated. One player who is eligible for the first time is Chris Moneymaker. As the person largely responsible for sparking the “poker boom” following his 2003 WSOP Main Event win, Moneymaker’s impact on poker is well known, but public debate in the last year has centered around whether or not Moneymaker meets enough of the criteria for inclusion. The criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame contains six main points: Player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Played for high stakes Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time For non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results Moneymaker, who won $2.5 million for his WSOP victory, has $3.6 million in lifetime earnings, including six wins and 54 cashes. Many observers previously assumed that Ivey would be a first-ballot inductee in 2016, leaving only one other spot open in 2016, making it more difficult for Moneymaker to get in. Ivey not being eligible to 2017 could shift things in Moneymaker’s favor. Fans can to go to WSOP.com/phof and nominate anybody they feel meets the criteria and should be considered for inclusion in 2016. This part of the process is open until August 31. All submissions are then tallied and reviewed to make sure they meet eligibility requirements. The final ten names – based on popularity and eligibility - are then made public and submitted to the 39-member voting panel for consideration. The two names with the most votes will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame during ceremonies as part of the November Nine festivities. In 2015 the ten finalists were Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Bruno Fitoussi, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage and David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott. Harman and Juanda were ultimately the two players inducted as the class of 2015. All previous nominees not elected to the Hall of Fame are again eligible for nomination.
  13. [caption width="640"] The Run It Up Resorts Rumble is the first live event PokerStars is hosting in New Jersey.[/caption] Run It Up Legion is invading Atlantic City this weekend and we’re not just talking about the New Jersey chapter. Poker players and fans of Jason Somerville’s wildy popular Twitch stream are travelling from all over the Northeast for Saturday’s Run It Up Resorts Rumble at the Resorts Casino - the first live event PokerStars has hosted since returning to New Jersey. And while Somerville is hosting the event but he’s bringing along a number of other Team PokerStars Pros to join in the festivities. Chris Moneymaker, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree and Jen Shahade will all be in attendance. The schedule for the Rumble includes a breakfast with the pros, a Team PokerStars Q&A session, an "onlive" event where players play on PokerStarsNJ from their laptop or mobile device while seated in the same room and of course a party at the end of the evening to wrap everything up. Somerville will be streaming on his RunItUp Twitch channel during the tournament. For some attendees, the opportunity to rub elbows with some of poker’s biggest names is a pilgrimage they just had to make. "I really wanted to make run it up Reno but I'm doing the WSOP this year so I went with that," said Adam Taormina, from Lock Haven, PA. "Then I heard of a close Run It Up event I could attend and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to celebrate PokerStars in New Jersey and meet some poker pros." Philip Neiman, a 33 year old Queens native, has one simple reason for heading to Atlantic City this weekend. “Has to be meeting Jason, the guy has brought my game to a new level by just watching his streams,” said Neiman. He’s not the only one. Chris Kusha, a 29 year old from Staten Island, is making the trip after learning that two his poker heros would be involved. "I’ve always heard how fun these VIP parties are and couldn't not jump at the opportunity to go to one nearby," said Kusha. "I’m most looking forward to getting to meet the players who were very influential to me coming up in poker, particularly Vanessa Selbst and Jason Somerville." Somerville, who will travel from Canada where he is streaming Spring Championship of Online Poker action, seems excited about the wardrobe change the event requires. "I'm incredibly excited to host our first one-day Run it Up festival on the East Coast with two great partners in PokerStars and Resorts," said Somerville. "I can't wait to hang out with all of our awesome Run it Up fans in person. It'll totally be worth putting on pants." The Schedule Breakfast with the Pros - 10:00 am Attendees can mingle with Team PokerStars Pros and enjoy a light breakfast and conversation. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble - 11:30 am The $30 buy-in ‘onlive’ tournament gets underway and is available only to those in attendance. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble Final Table - 3:00 pm With just nine players remaining the Run It Up Resorts Rumble is paused so players can be set up at a single poker table to finish the tournament using the “Battleship style”. Team PokerStars Q&A - 4:00 pm Players will be able to ask their favorite Team PokerStars Pros any questions about the world of poker. VIP Club Live: NJ - 7:30 pm Hosted by the Landshark Bar & Grill at Resorts, the party comes complete with food, games and entertainment and, of course, an open bar. Players were able to earn tickets to the event through PokerStarsNJ freerolls, by completing a series of challenges on the site, or by making a real money deposit using a special bonus code. For those that failed to qualify on PokerStarsNJ.com, tickets can be purchased on site for just $10, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks. For more information check out www.pokerstarsnj.com/vip/live/resorts/
  14. PokerStars is celebrating the upcoming holiday season with a calendar filled with goodies, including special giveaways and bonus opportunities, a $1 Million Freeroll and a special Monday Million tournament with a $2 million guarantee. In total, the site will award upwards of $5 million during its six-week long Christmas Festival. “Playing online at PokerStars has led to one of the best experiences of my life,” said PokerStars Team Pro Chris Moneymaker. “Who knows, one of the Christmas Festival tournaments or games could be the start of an epic ride for another talented new player.” $1 Million Freeroll First up on the schedule is PokerStars’ $1 Million Freeroll, which plays out on December 1 and kicks off the site’s Christmas calendar. To win a seat, players must first earn an entry into an All-in Shootout Qualifier by completing a simple Daily Challenge. Starting Monday, participants can begin working on said Challenges, and will have a total of nine chances to earn their spot in a Shootout, one per day until November 29. To get started, you’ll need to opt in to your daily Challenge through the Challenge Window in the software client. Once you’ve completed the task, you’ll be automatically registered for the next All-in Shootout. You do not need to be present during the Shootout, each of which will send 8,192 players on to the $1 Million Freeroll. For those who don’t make the cut by November 29, the site is holding a Last Chance Skill Qualifier tournament on the day of the seven-figure event. Make sure to complete a Challenge on November 30 to gain entry into the last-minute tournament. Christmas Calendar and MicroMillions Marathon Starting in December, PokerStars will begin giving away $2 million in prizes, which players can unlock through a series of daily Challenges. Each day brings a new surprise, and can include Mega Bonuses, Christmas Giveaways and Freerolls. Check behind your Christmas Calendar Door from 00:00 ET each day to find out the latest offer. On December 11, PokerStars celebrates smaller stakes players with a one-day MicroMillions Marathon which features 21 events. The site has earmarked $1 million for the action-packed day of low stakes poker, which culminates in a $22 buy-in Main Event. $2 Million Monday Million The PokerStars Christmas Festival wraps up on December 26, concluding with the much-anticipated $2 million guaranteed Monday Million. The tournament will take the place of the site’s regular Sunday Million tournament, and will feature the normal $215 buy-in. The winner of the event will receive one final Christmas gift in the form of a $200,000 first-place prize. Satellites for the Monday Million will run around the clock throughout December.
  15. [caption width="640"] Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson are the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2016 (WPT photos)[/caption] The Poker Hall of Fame officially has two more members as Carlos Mortensen and Todd Brunson were announced as the Poker HOF Class of 2016 on Thursday morning. The two were chosen by the voting panel consisting of living members of the Poker Hall of Fame and select media members. WSOP officials, who oversee the PHOF, called the 2016 voting process the closest in years. Mortensen and Brunson will be officially inducted on October 26 at a ceremony at Binion's Gambling Hall in Downtown Las Vegas. Mortensen is the only player in history to have won the World Series of Poker Main Event and the World Poker Tour World Championship and is also the leading money winner in WPT history, having won $6,738,670. In 2001, Mortensen topped a 613-player field, and a final table that included Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, and runner-up Dewey Tomko, to capture the WSOP Main Event for the first major win of his career. Two years later he captured his second WSOP bracelet in a $5,000 Limit Hold'em event. Mortensen is also one of only three players to have won three WPT titles. His first came in 2004 when he won the inaugural Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In 2007 he won the WPT World Championship at Bellagio for $3,970,415 - the largest single score of his career. He then won the Hollywood Poker Open in 2010 for his third WPT title. "I have been playing poker professionally for more than 20 years,” said Mortensen. “This game has given me so many things that I have come to cherish. I've always wanted to be included among the great players who make up the Poker Hall of Fame. To be included with the legends makes me very happy. I want to thank my friends, the poker fans, and all the people who vote for me. I take this honor very seriously." Mortensen is the first European-born player to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. While Mortensen has been the model of success for tournament players of his era, Brunson has found the most success at the highest stakes cash games available. The son of poker legend Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson was a key figure in the heads-up limit hold'em matches against Texas billionaire banker Andy Beal in 2004 and 2006. In 2015 he reportedly won $5 million from Beal in 2015 inside Bobby's Room at Bellagio. Brunson has had some tournament success over the course of his career. He won his only WSOP bracelet in 2005, beating 358 other players to win a $2,500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo event. He's had two runner-up finishes and two third-place finishes in WSOP events over the course of his career. His lifetime tournament earnings of $4,291,671 put him 69th on the all-time list. "It's a true honor to be inducted by my peers into this prestigious institution,” said Brunson. “I literally grew up attending these ceremonies and have always respected and admired its members. To join their ranks is the honor of a lifetime. Todd and Doyle Brunson are the only father-son combination in the Poker Hall of Fame. The eight nominees that were not inducted this year, Chris Bjorin, Humberto Brenes, Eli Elezra, Bruno Fitoussi, Chris Moneymaker, Max Pescatori, Matt Savage and David Ulliott are eligible for nomination in 2017 and beyond.
  16. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is one of the Team PokerStars Pros making their way to Atlantic City for the first ever Pokertars Festival New Jersey(PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] For the last six years American poker players have watched as PokerStars-branded live events took place in countries around the world other than their own. Not since Black Friday, when the North American Poker Tour was in the midst of an event at Mohegan Sun, has PokerStars held a live event on U.S. soil. That all changes beginning Sunday. The PokerStars Festival New Jersey is the first official event under the new global PokerStars Live banner and runs for nine days at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With 40 events on the schedule, and the conclusion of the first ever PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, you might think PokerStars Team Pro Chris Moneymaker was excited to get the cards in the air. You’d be wrong. “The foosball and corn hole and all that stuff. Stars is really focused on this StarsFun thing, so there’s gonna be ping pong tables, foosball tables, corn hole, a lot of side stuff. I’m just a big kid so I like doing all that stuff,” said Moneymaker, who recently finished runner-up in an NJCOOP event. To be fair, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion is also looking forward to the poker. “As far as the festival goes, the first day - which I might miss, but it would be exciting for me if I could play, but I may miss it because the NJCOOP Main Event is on Sunday - they have a $600 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament which I would like to play, but I probably won’t get to,” said Moneymaker. “I’m looking forward to anything with four cards and there’s (also) a $5K Eight Max that will be interesting depending on the field. If i have to go sit down and just play with Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, myself and Jason Somerville, I’ll probably pass on that, but if it gets 40 people, I’ll jump in.” The Main Event is an $1,100 buy-in event scheduled to run November 1-5, with two-starting days. Players are able to qualify online through PokerStarsNJ.com or a number of live qualifiers in the days leading up to the Main Event. Complete PokerStars Festival New Jersey Schedule “After the Main Event, I’m looking forward to playing the Run It Up events, Jason Somerville’s mixed game events,” said Moneymaker. Run It Up Day is Saturday, November 5 and consists of two live events and other events built around Somerville’s popular live stream. It’s been six years since Black Friday and the Festival will be the first taste of PokerStars Live for an entire generation of online poker players that haven’t experienced one before. Moneymaker things they’re in for a very different experience than anything else they’ve seen or done. “PokerStars just does things different. You go to a lot of tournaments and you play and that’s it. If you’ve ever played in basically any tournament here in the U.S., you show up, you play poker, you go home. That’s really what you’ve got,” said Moneymaker. “But when you come to a PokerStars event, the first night there’s a reception/cocktail party, they have the StarsFun which is going to have a room set up to where people can mingle and have fun. They’re gonna have live streams. They’re going to have Q&As with us. There’s other activities going other than just sitting down and playing poker.” The return of PokerStars to the U.S. was a big deal when it was announced and the live event is another positive step for the company that was the largest U.S-facing online poker site on Black Friday. Moneymaker is optimistic that while all of this seems like a big deal now, there’s still so much more potential should other states get on board with regulated online poker. “It’s obviously a great first step. We’ve got a long way to go. Just the fact that I’m able to play in the U.S., I don’t have to get a passport and go out of the country and all that madness. I can actually come here and stay within the borders and play,” said Moneymaker. “It’s a phenomenal thing. But we’re a long way from being where we need to be. We’re in one state right now, hopefully we’ll be in more next year but it’s a good first step.”
  17. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is one of 10 nominees for the Poker Hall of Fame (PokerStars photo)[/caption] The list of players eligible for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2016 include two former WSOP Main Event champions, a highly respected tournament director, five players with strong ties to the success of poker in their home country and the son of a current Hall of Famer who has dominated cash games in Las Vegas for the better part of the last 15 years. The World Series of Poker, which oversees the Poker Hall of Fame, announced the list of 10 nominees for the Class of 2016 on Friday and the biggest name on the list might just be 2003 WSOP Main Event winnerChris Moneymaker. The one-time "accountant from Tennessee" is largely credited with helping ignite the poker boom following his Cinderella story win in 2003 after qualifying online. Moneymaker, who turned 40 earlier this year to become HOF eligible, is one of three new names on the list this year. Todd Brunson and Eli Elezra, who both play high stakes cash games in Las Vegas, were also nominated for the first time. Brunson, son of Doyle Brunson, has one WSOP bracelet to his credit while Elezra has three. The rest of the nominees have all been nominated before but none more so than Swedish poker pro and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Bjorin who has been nominated every year since 2012. Carlos Mortensen, who won the WSOP Main Event in 2001 and WPT World Championship in 2007, is nominated for the third time after failing to be inducted in 2013 and 2015. David 'Devilfish' Ulliott, who passed away in April 2015, and Max Pescatori were nominated for the first time in 2015 while Bruno Fitoussi has now been nominated in three straight years. Costa Rica's Humberto Brenes rounds out the nine players nominated for induction this year. The only nominee who is not a player is WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. Savage, who co-founded the Poker Tournament Director's Association, is one of the most highly respected tournament directors in the world. He was first nominated in 2015 and is hoping to become the second tournament director inducted into the HOF joining 2014 inductee Jack McLelland. The list of 10 nominees will be sent to 45 voters, comprised of 25 living Poker Hall of Fame members and 20 members of the media, for consideration. Voters will consider the following criteria when voting: A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination Played for high stakes Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time For non-players: contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. Voters have until October 7 to submit their ballot and the two nominees receiving the most votes from the 45 voters will be inducted on Wednesday, October 26 at Binion's in Downtown Las Vegas.
  18. [caption width="640"] Dan DiZenzo rose above the rest of New Jersey to close out NJCOOP with a win in the main event. (Borgata photo)[/caption] The PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker series wrapped up on Monday with the last of $1,200,000 in guarantees handed out. A total of 46 events made it onto the NJCOOP calendar with the $200,000 guaranteed Main Event bringing in 420 entries, leaving a slight overlay. Dan ‘R@zzleDazz1e’ DiZenzo emerged victorious Monday night to win the $36,015 first place prize. The Main Event field was filled with PocketFivers and other notable players who made deep runs. Ryan ‘ACpoker027’ Lee finished runner-up and 2017 World Series Of Poker Colossus Champion Thomas ‘PompYouUp’ Pomponio took seventh. Two former World Series of Poker Main Event winners cashed as well with Scott Blumstein and Chris Moneymaker both earning a payday. Moneymaker also earned a win in Event #28 ($500 Pot Limit Omaha) and collected $9,000, beating Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano heads up. The NJCOOP Main Event was not the highest buy-in event on the schedule with a $1,000 Six Max that carried an $80,000 guaranteed taking that honor. This event had a small overlay as well and ended in a three-way deal. The only PocketFiver to finish in the deal was Greg ‘MissAnnthr0pe’ Donatelli, who earned $15,000 for his eventual third place finish. David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman took fifth place along with $5,600. Coleman recently moved back into the #1 spot in the New Jersey rankings at the start of October and picked up nine cashes during the NJCOOP series. The month isn’t quite over yet and for now, Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon is in first place in New Jersey. Kwon put in a tremendous volume during the series and came away with 21 cashes. Two of those cashes were wins and Kwon picked up victories on both October 8 and 9. He won Event 25 ($200 Progressive KO) for $5,245 along with nearly $1,872 in bounties. Kwon followed that win up by taking down Event 27 ($300 4-Max) for $15,426 more. There was movement at the bottom of the NJ Online Rankings top 10 on PocketFives with Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan moving back in after a few months out and ‘senorstinks’ climbing up to #8. Donovan cashed six times in NJCOOP highlighted by his win in Event #14 ($200 Limit Hold’em 6-Max) where he won $4,156. Other PocketFivers who picked up wins include 'OceansO7' in Event #5 ($85,000 guaranteed Sunday Special SE) for $15,904, Chris ‘zootsuit101’ Bilinsky in Event 10 ($30,000 guaranteed Super Tuesday SE) to win $8,980, and Andrew ‘mergulas’ Glauberg in Event #11 ($300 Heads Up), who earned $6,000. The BorgataPoker.com Garden State Super Series is underway and runs through October 22. That series combined with the rest of the standard PokerStarsNJ schedule will have plenty of say in how the rankings pan out once November hits.
  19. "In 2004 poker was in such a boom you couldn’t walk into a 7/11 without seeing a display of chips and cards and stuff like that." When it comes to the rise of poker, and more specifically online poker, few have the same perspective of Dan Goldman, the one-time Chief Marketing Officer for the, then, fledgling online poker site PokerStars. Back in the pre-Moneymaker days Goldman and his team were tasked with finding a way to not just overtake the industry-leading Paradise Poker but also, make online poker more acceptable to the masses. Goldman wasn’t just "around" for the Moneymaker effect, he was in the room, watching the final table when Chris Moneymaker bested Sammy Farha to become the 2003 World Series of Poker Champion, helping elevate online poker to heights no one could have predicted. "I was regularly asked what the things are that drove this boom and I always said there were three things," Goldman recalls. "One of them was online poker. One of them was Chris Moneymaker winning the World Series. And the third was poker on television actually becoming interesting." Goldman was at the helm of marketing for PokerStars from 2002-2007 and has 17 years of internet gaming experience. Now, over a decade after helping make the PokerStars brand the industry leader it is, he’s back in the saddle, taking on the new challenge of introducing a whole new generation of players to the world of crypto poker and blockchain poker as CMO for upstart online poker operator Virtue Poker. It turns out, that despite the evolution of the online poker industry - some challenges remain the same. Goldman recalls going to conferences or sitting around the poker table trying to convince people that online poker was the future of the game, but having to answer all the same questions. "Number one: how do I know that I’m not playing against one guy, sitting with eight computers and he can see all cards but mine. Number two: how do I know that the site isn’t just rigging the deck so that I lose? And number three: how do I know that they’re not going to steal my money?" "The truth is, it was pretty hard to combat any of those things. Goldman said. Here we are 16 years later and the funny thing is the same arguments still come up every day…the difference now is that there’s evidence that there is such a thing as a superuser account, practical evidence that sites steal player’s money. In 2002, people were just suspicious now they know that these things can happen but we’re finally at the stage where we have technology that is capable of preventing these things from happening." Goldman asserts that he's in a similar situation from back in 2002, having to still answer those questions, but that Virtue is using technology – specifically the blockchain – to help change the game through security. "The thing that keeps typical players away is that they are afraid. That they feel like the chance that they are being cheated is high, the chance that they have their money stolen is high and they have clear evidence to support that." The idea the Virtue Poker team is working on is decentralization of the poker experience through the use of smart contracts and the blockchain. "The way our system works is we don’t have a trusted third party. If you are playing, you sit at a table or you enter a tournament, what happens is you have a wallet that has Ether or Bitcoin or Litecoin and you want to play in a tournament that costs $100 to play in. You sign up for that tournament but you don’t send $100 to Virtue Poker. What you do is you commit that $100 from your wallet in a smart contract that is mediated on the blockchain by everybody else." Win or lose, at the end of the tournament, the smart contract is enabled and the prize pool funds are distributed. According to Goldman, there's a next-level of security for player funds that comes without having that trusted third party holding on to funds that, should they go under or decide to skip town, players would lose. A story that's been told a number of times in the history of online poker. "In no case have you transferred control of that money to any other trusted third party. All you’ve done is deposit that money in a smart contract that can be arbitrated by the millions of people that have participated in the Ethereum blockchain." The safety of player funds is just one of the ways Goldman says that Virtue Poker is attempting to address the questions that have weighed on the minds of the casual online poker player. "What players care about in my experience is they want to know they’re not being cheated, they want to know that no one else can see their cards and they want to know that their money is safe," Goldman says. "We are also attacking the issue of fairness, game safety and making sure that the site isn’t hacked. We’re using some unique technology that we’ve built so that when the deck is shuffled, instead of sitting on a central server somewhere, which can be hacked, we have every player in the hand participate in shuffling the deck." Goldman says that through the use of encryption, that players won't be reliant on that third party to make sure the deal is above board. So while Goldman is optimistic that Virtue will deliver on an online product that will help advance the technology of online poker, he's still one of the guys who is going to have to try and bring it to not just the hardcore poker community, but those who have stayed away in recent years. "One of the questions I’m asked all of the time is: ‘Is there going to be another poker boom?’ and up until a few months ago I was skeptical that there was ever going to be an opportunity to be a new poker boom because of the questions that have been raised by the twenty years of online poker that we’ve had so far are so serious and so alarming to players that I just didn’t believe," Goldman said. "Using the blockchain is that seismic thing that could change the future of online poker." Goldman acknowledges that it's going to take more than blockchain poker to ignite the wick of a new poker boom, poker would likely have to come back to the U.S. In a meaningful way, but he's now more optimistic than he has been in years. His current situation also poses another similarity to the pre-poker boom era. "When I started at PokerStars our primary deposit method was PayPal and people were very skeptical about PayPal." In order to get people to play on Virtue Poker, he's going to have to get them comfortable with crypto. "Clearly we are depending on the broader acceptance of cryptocurrency to help drive our business and that is absolutely going to be a struggle. We are going to have to teach people how to buy cryptocurrency. Our typical customer, one year from today, will be somebody that bought cryptocurrency for the first time specifically to play on our site." "I have no doubt that in a year, we will have introduced most of our customers to crypto. Four years from now, that won’t be the case." For Goldman, it's challenge accepted. While online poker is now a well-established entity, the idea of blockchain poker is a new frontier. And while it's unlikely that the universe will deliver another Moneymaker-like boom, Goldman has the tools he needs to help usher in what Virtue Poker hopes will be the next generation of online poker.
  20. On more than one occasion, it has been said that winning the World Series of Poker Main Event is every poker player's dream. For most though, plunking down $10,000 just for a ticket to the big show is a tough pill to swallow. That’s where satellite tournaments come into play. Year after year, players of every skill level take their shot in satellite tournaments, hoping that they can earn a seat into the WSOP Main for a fraction of the cost. After all, there’s no better feeling than being able to play for the big money while still maintaining your bankroll. No doubt in 2018 there will be plenty of players looking to become the story of the series by grabbing a huge score. Players hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of the most notable players who ever made major career moves by winning their way into the ME and grabbing some WSOP glory. Tom McEvoy Even twenty years before the poker boom, the World Series of Poker was a big deal to fans of the game. Some of the biggest names to ever play poker had claimed WSOP Main Event titles - Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin and Stu Unger, just to name a few. In 1983, in only the second year that the Main Event drew over 100 players, Tom McEvoy made his mark on the series by becoming the first person to ever win the Main Event after winning his seat through a satellite. McEvoy won $540,000 for first that year and while he’d been a professional player for a number of years prior, it helped him continue his poker journey. McEvoy continues to enjoy a career of over $3 million in lifetime earnings. The Nevada resident can still be spotted in a variety of events in the Las Vegas tournament poker scene, always remembered as a champion. Fernando Pons If he could have cashed out he would have. But after Spain’s Fernando Pons played a €30 satellite tournament on 888poker he was forced into the next step, a 250 satellite. According to the 888poker blog, Pons claims that had he been able to take the cash - that would have been the end of it. But he did play, he did win and the Spaniard did turn that original €30 into a seat into the Main Event. What Pons ended up with was something beyond his wildest dreams. He battled through seven days of poker and claimed a seat in the 2016 November Nine. He found himself seated alongside players like Griffin Benger, Kenny Hallaert, Cliff Josephy and eventual winner Qui Nguyen. Pons' run ended in ninth-place for which he earned $1,000,000 - far and away a career-high score. Since that time, Pons has continued to play, mostly in Spain. He did, however, take down a summer side event at the Wynn in 2017 for over $40,000. Tommy Yates Another great story of maximizing one’s ROI is that of Tommy Yates. In 2015, the Grecian bar owner began grinding $0.01 satellites online in an effort to win his way into the Main. An eight-year poker vet, the game was a part-time passion for him. After a number of attempts, he found himself in the final stages of the steps satellites, on the cusp of winning a seat. With four players left, three who would win seats and the fourth a $6,000 return - Yates thought about just trying for the cash. After all, he was in for just $2.18. He was convinced otherwise and played it out. Yates won his seat, went to the show and played his heart out - finishing well within the money bubble. Yates turned his $2.18 investment into a $19,500 payday. Shaun Deeb In 2012 when high-stakes mixed game cash pro Shaun Deeb entered the $25,000 satellite for a seat to the inaugural $1 million Big One For One Drop, he scored a major victory - without actually winning the event. At the final table, after the departure of fan favorite Jason Sommerville in third-place, Deeb found himself up against three-time World Poker Tour winner Gus Hansen. There was one final seat in the tournament up for grabs. Second place would receive a million dollar payday, but be unable to participate in the tournament. Deeb decided that cash was king and it quickly became obvious that a deal was struck between the two. He raise-folded the majority of his stack to Gus who ended up closing it out and winning the seat. Deeb was then gifted his first million dollar cash score. Legend has it that the Rio, rather than cut out cool million in stacks, decided to pay Deeb in tournament lammers. The lammers, which have zero cash value and can only be used to enter tournaments at the Rio, would have been nearly impossible to use up if the idea had stuck. In the end, Deeb was allowed to cash out those lammers and take home the million in cash. Hansen ended up busting out of the One Drop without cashing. Chris Moneymaker No list of epic satellite winners would be complete without the accountant from Tennessee, Chris Moneymaker. Moneymaker sparked the powder keg that was the “poker boom” in 2003 with his WSOP Main Event win and fortuitous name. He was also the first player to win the Main Event after having won his way into the Main through an online site. Moneymaker is the dream. You know the story: He wasn’t the best player in the tournament and he wasn’t the most experienced at the final table but he got in for the minimum, made the maximum and from there his career took off. He has kept his sponsorship of 15 years with PokerStars, he’s still one of the game’s most recognizable faces and has gone on to amass over $3.7 million in lifetime live earnings. Satellites run around the clock at the World Series of Poker and online sites like 888poker offer players way to win their way into the Main Event. Will this be the year another satellite winner takes it all down?
  21. You’ll now have to go way back to Jamie Gold’s 2006 victory to find a larger Main Event field than the one created at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Over the past three days a staggering 7,874 players have taken their shot in the $10,000 pinnacle of the poker calendar, making this the second largest Main Event in history. Here’s all the news from Day 1C on July 4. Biggest Main Event Flight in History Monday’s Day 1A got 925 runners. Tuesday’s Day 1B attracted 2,378 more. And now that play is over on Wednesday’s Day 1C, it’s been revealed that a massive 4,571 players came to play. That amount not only creates the largest single flight of poker in WSOP history, but makes 2018 the second largest Main Event of all time, too. The total entries show a 10% increase compared with last year, and have created a $74,015,600 prize pool. There’s $8,800,000 up top for the eventual champ, and the Rio was absolutely rammed today full of hopefuls. After five two-hour levels though, roughly 3,500 made it through. Samuel Touil is believed to be the Day 1C chip leader with 352,800, although with so many players there’s a chance a bigger stack may have slipped through the cracks. If Touil is indeed the chip leader, he’ll be the overall boss moving into the Day 2 flights. Yep, Day 2 is still so big that it’s needing to be split up. So, survivors from 1A and 1B will play tomorrow (Thursday 5th), while 1C survivors will return on Friday (July 6). Who Made It Through Today? Some of the biggest names in all of poker sat down to play today, and a bunch of them made it through when all was said and done. Two notables in particular returned to the WSOP this year after taking a break from the spotlight. High Stakes legends Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius were in action, with Ivey turning his 50,000 starting stack into 92,300, and Antonius quadrupling his up to 208,700. Antonius, who hasn’t played at the WSOP for six years, told reporters: "It felt very special to be back. I got in after dinner break, brought a lot of action to the table and managed to get some big hands. It was great to see so many poker players I have not seen in so long. I am very tired and going to rest for a while after this.” Former Main Event champions Phil Hellmuth (63,700), Martin Jacobson (38,400), Jonathan Duhamel (17,500), and Joe Cada (16,500) all advanced too. A deep run by any of them would certainly be exciting to follow. Then you’ve got the likes of bracelet winners Loni Harwood (194,200), Jessica Dawley (140,600), Davidi Kitai (104,200), Jake Cody (98,700), David Benyamine (90,400), Liv Boeree (63,400), and Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman (59,200) to name just a handful of today’s survivors. Of course, not everyone could find a bag at the end of play. Daniel Negreanu was the victim of some bad luck when his pocket jacks were all-in versus pocket tens, only for a ten to hit the board. Chris Moneymaker was another notable to depart. His run was short today after getting all his money in with a flopped set of fives. He was up against the pocket tens overpair, but just like Negreanu, fell victim to a ten on the river. Andrew Moreno, Marcel Luske, Chris Vitch, Jonas Mackoff, John Racener, and Vanessa Selbst are just a few of the other casualties throughout the day. Tomorrow’s Action (July 5) Thursday will see the Main Event continue, with survivors from Day 1A and 1B playing through their Day 2. We’ll also see a bracelet winner though, as the $888 Crazy Eights event returns three-handed. Galen Hall holds the chip lead in that one, making him the favourite for the massive $888,888 first-place prize. A new event also kicks off at 3pm: Event #66: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
  22. It was 15 years that Chris Moneymaker turned an $86 satellite win into $2.5 million, a World Series of Poker Main Event title and a special place in poker history. Now, with the help of the PokerStars Platinum Pass, Moneymaker is hoping to make magic happen for somebody else. The Moneymaker PSPC Tour is nine-stop tour running across the United States that will award one $30,000 Platinum Pass at each stop - and the buy-in is just $86. Each Platinum Pass comes with a buy-in to the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship this January at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and an additional $5,000 for travel and hotel. PokerStars is giving away 300 through various means leading up to the event. While Moneymaker doesn't want to take all of the credit for the new tour, when PokerStars approached him about giving away a Platinum Pass, he knew he wanted to reach a certain audience. "It was a little bit of a collaboration. We were trying to figure out a way that we could get more passes into the United States and do some things. One, to have a better presence in the U.S. and two, give other people opportunities that aren't getting opportunities playing online or going to some of these other stops," said Moneymaker. "This a way to do that and give everybody a really good price point to get in and promote this and hopefully have a story to tell at the end of it." The nine stops are all inside the United States, including one being played online in New Jersey. While details for each stop are up to the host venue, Moneymaker expects each one to unlimited re-entry but don't think this means it'll be full of well-bankrolled players taking shot after shot after shot. "I would imagine every single stop is going to be packed where there's going to be alternates, so if you bust it's going to be difficult to bust multiple times and get back in," said Moneymaker. Each stop on the tour will award a Platinum Pass to the winner on top of the normal prize pool with payouts determined by the host venue. "Every casino is probably going to have a different method to how they're going to run their tournaments. We're going to be at MGM Harbor and they're going to run different from Stones, probably. The payout structures are going to be different. I think Stones is leaning more towards paying almost zero to first and giving all the money to second and back and first place will get the $30,000 package." The Moneymaker PSPC Tour Schedule Date Venue Location August 4 - 5 Stones Gambling Hall Citrus Heights, CA August 19 - 26 Lucky Chances Colma, CA September 9 Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, CT September 15 MGM National Harbor Oxon Hill, MD September 22 Gardens Casino Hawaiian Gardens, CA September 23 Talking Stick Scottsdale, AZ September 30 PokerStarsNJ.com Online October 7 Mohegan Sun Uncasville, CT October 10 - 14 Maryland Live Hanover, MD While obviously designed to be affordable, the $86 buy-in is also a nod to one of the most misreported parts of Moneymaker's historic 2003 WSOP victory. In the moments and days after his win, mainstream media reported that Moneymaker had turned his win in a $39 satellite on PokerStars into $2.5 million. In reality, the buy-in for his first satellite was $86 - but even Moneymaker ran with the $39 story for years. "I remember that night doing the interviews it was $39, and I thought for 12 years it was $39. I wrote a book, $39 to $2.5 million," said Moneymaker, who was told by a PokerStars staffer at an event in London in 2015 that the buy-in was actually $86. "I was like, 'I did not know that, but okay, good to know'." The confusion actually continued though. Moneymaker misheard the number and was under the impression it was $81. When they started putting plans together for this tour, everything was built around an $81 price point. "Somebody had to come back and say 'No, it was $86'. So it goes up every couple of years - it'll be $100 before long," joked Moneymaker. The historical tie-in was obviously important, but Moneymaker wanted to make sure that players that aren't able to otherwise travel to play in bigger buy-in tournaments were able to get into this one with a shot at winning something special. "I'd rather go and play the Festivals or the Cups with the smaller buy-ins. Go to some of the smaller stops. That's where people like to see me and it's just a lot more fun and I enjoy that atmosphere. This fits really well with that mold," said Moneymaker. "I'm excited about this tour. This tour is going to be a really awesome thing. Hopefully one of them makes a deep run and it changes their life."
  23. On Monday, the Poker Hall of Fame revealed their list of 10 finalists that will be considered for induction in 2018. After a public nomination process and vetting by the Poker Hall of Fame Governing Council the list of finalist have been deemed to fulfill the qualifications for induction. This year, the list of nominations include (in alphabetical order): Chris Bjorin David Chiu Mori Eskandani Bruno Fitoussi John Hennigan * Mike Matusow Chris Moneymaker David Oppenheim * Matt Savage Huckleberry Seed * First-time nominees The voting process is now turned over to the current 28-member Hall of Fame members as well as an 18-person “blue ribbon” panel of media members. These 46 voters will determine who will ultimately be inducted. The current criteria for consideration remain the same as in years past: - A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition - Be at a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination - Played for high stakes - Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers - Stood the test of time - For Non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results Official ballots will be sent to those who are eligible to vote with a deadline of July 8 for their votes to be received by the WSOP Governing Council. Then, once all the votes have been counted, the official inductees will be announced to the public. On July 13, in Las Vegas as a part of the WSOP Main Event Final Table festivities, the two honored recipients will officially become part of the Hall of Fame during the ESPN broadcast. Career Highlights of Finalists Chris Bjorin - One of Sweden's most celebrated poker players, Bjorin is a two-time bracelet winner with over $5.7 million in career earnings. David Chiu - Hailing from China, Chiu had accumulated five WSOP gold bracelets and a World Poker Tour title. His over $8 million in lifetime earnings currently has him sitting just inside the top 100 on the All-Time Money list. Mori Eskandani - A one-time high-stakes player in the 1980's, Eskandani is now known as the head of Poker PROductions, the production company responsible for seminal poker shows including High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and, currently, producing the WSOP on ESPN. Bruno Fitoussi - Fitoussi is credited for the introduction of Texas Hold'em in his native country of France. With over $2.8 million in lifetime earnings, Fitoussi has a runner-up finish in the 2007 $50K Poker Players Championship on his resume as well as being recognized as a key individual in getting poker televised in France. John Hennigan - The 2014 WSOP Poker Players Championship winner, Hennigan has a total of five bracelets and over $8 million in career earnings. Hennigan is known for being exceptional at all of the variants of poker. Mike Matusow - A consistent presence in early iterations of televised poker, Matusow is a four-time bracelet winner with over $9.4 million in career earnings. Matusow won the NBC Heads-Up Championship and has made the final table of the WSOP Main Event twice. Chris Moneymaker - The man whose victory was the spark that ignited the poker boom in 2003, Chris Moneymaker is a WSOP Main Event Champion. "The Moneymaker effect" is the common phrase used when discussing the massive mainstream popularity that poker enjoyed in the early 2000's as well as the inspiration for a generation of poker players. Moneymaker has been a long-time ambassador for PokerStars and for poker in general. He has accumulated over $3.7 million in lifetime earnings. David Oppenheim - A Los Angeles cash game pro, Oppenheim is considered a pro's pro with the respect that can only come when one has mastered most of the games in poker. He currently has $1.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings. Matt Savage - One of the inaugural, founders of the Tournament Directors Association (TDA), Savage is the Executive Tour Director for the World Poker Tour. One of the most vocal and consistent voices for standardization of poker rules, Savage has a player-friends style that has for years continues to move the game forward. Huckleberry Seed - Seed is a four-time bracelet winner with over $7.6 million in career tournament earnings. The 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion also has a victory in the NBC Heads-Up Championship as well as the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions. Seed was a regular presence on televised poker during the poker boom.  
  24. It's time for another major tournament series in the Garden State. The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker returns to PokerStarsNJ from September 29 to October 15. The online series stretches over 18 days and features 47 different events with $1.5 million total guaranteed prize pool. NJCOOP offers a wide variety of tournaments with buy-ins that range from $25 up to the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em High Roller. Platinum Passes “I’m looking forward to playing and streaming another great online tournament series in New Jersey with over $1 million in guaranteed prize pools, hoping the recent success from NJSCOOP continues into this tournament series,” said Chris Moneymaker. “The Main Event, as well as the $86 Moneymaker PSPC Tournament, is a great opportunity for New Jersey players to win big and get their hands on a $30,000 PokerStars Platinum Pass.” PokerStars will be awarding three Platinum Passes to their upcoming PokerStars Poker Players Championship. For the initiated, the Platinum Pass covers the $25,000 buy-in to what is likely to be the largest tournament of that size in history as well as an additional $5,000 to cover the expenses of traveling to the Bahamas, where the event will take place. There are three ways for players to get their hands on the pass. The first Platinum Pass will be awarded to the winner of the $86 Moneymaker Tour event which takes place on Sunday, September 30 online at PokerStarsNJ. On the back end of the NJCOOP schedule, two more passes will be handed out. One pass will be awarded to the winner of the ‘NJCOOP Main Event Entrants All-in Shootout’. This tournament will take place on October 16 at 8 pm ET. The champion of the 'NJCOOP Entrants All-In Shootout' will win the final $30K pass. This event begins an hour later on the same day at 9:00 pm ET. Continued Growth NJCOOP looks to expand on their successful 2017 campaign in 2018. PokerStars is adding another event to the schedule. Additionally, the total prize pool guarantee is getting a $300,000 boost above the $1.2 million that they promised in 2017. It was just last year that PocketFiver Dan ‘R@zzleDazz1e’ DiZenzo took home the Main Event title by defeating a field of 420 runners in the $200,000 NJCOOP Main Event for a career-high payday of over $36,000. Finishing right behind him in second place was Ryan ‘ACpoker0271’ Lee who also banked a career-high cash, his being for just over $26,000. The 2017 series ended up with a total prize pool of $1.45 million. PokerStars is going to need plenty of qualifiers if they want to make sure they don’t have overlay this year. Plenty of Chances To Play Satellites for events will begin on September 18 with buy-ins starting as low as $1. They will also be running Second Chance Freerolls. When a player registers for an event during NJCOOP and bust outside of the money, they will automatically receive a ticket into the Second Chance Freeroll. The freeroll awards tickets into other NJCOOP events as well as tickets into satellites. The Second Chance Freerolls run just about every day from September 30 - October 15. NJCOOP is also a good time to reload. Players who deposit $50 or more before 6:59 pm ET on October 13 will receive a free ticket into the NJCOOP $10K Main Event Depositor freeroll. This tournament gives the top 20 players a $500 NJCOOP Main Event entry. EVENT # TOURNAMENT DATE TIME GTD 1 $100 NL Hold'em (Nightly Stars - NJCOOP Warm-Up) Sept. 29 6:00 PM $20,000 2 $200 NL Hold'em (Turbo - NJCOOP Warm-Up) Sept. 29 8:00 PM $12,000 3 $200 NL Hold'em (Progressive SuperKO) Sept. 30 2:00 PM $22,000 4 $150 NL Hold'em (Deepstack, 8-Max) Sept. 30 3:30 PM $20,000 5 $250 NL Hold'em (Sunday Special SE) Sept. 30 5:00 PM $60,000 6 $86 Moneymaker Tour Event ($30K Platinum Pass ADDED) Sept. 30 7:00 PM $30,000 7 $100 PL Omaha (8-Max) Sept. 30 9:00 PM $10,000 8 $150 NL Hold'em (Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo) Sept. 30 10:00 PM $15,000 9 $100 NL Hold'em (Speed-Down) Oct. 1 6:30 PM $14,000 10 $75+R PL Omaha Hi/Lo (8-Max) Oct. 1 8:00 PM $12,000 11 $250 NL Hold'em (Super Tuesday SE) Oct. 2 7:00 PM $30,000 12 $150 NL Hold'em Escalating Antes Oct. 2 8:00 PM $15,000 13 $100 NL Hold'em (Bubble Rush) Oct. 2 9:30 PM $10,000 14 $100 NL Holdem (Progressive SuperKO) Oct. 3 6:30 PM $22,000 15 $200 FL Holdem (6-Max) Oct. 3 8:00 PM $10,000 16 $300 Eight-Game (6-Max) Oct. 4 6:30 PM $12,000 17 $50+R NL Hold'em Oct. 4 8:00 PM $18,000 18 $100 NL Hold'em (Turbo) Oct. 4 9:30 PM $12,000 19 $200 Triple Stud Oct. 5 8:00 PM $7,000 20 $50+R NL Hold'em (3-Max, Hyper-Turbo) Oct. 5 9:30 PM $8,000 21 $100 NL Hold'em (Deepstack, 8-Max) Oct. 6 5:00 PM $15,000 22 $200 NL Hold'em (Bigstack Turbo) Oct. 6 8:00 PM $15,000 23 $100 Mixed NLHE/PLO (6-Max) Oct. 7 2:00 PM $10,000 24 $150 NL Hold'em (Win the Button) Oct. 7 3:30 PM $18,000 25 $350 NL Hold'em (Sunday Special SE) Oct. 7 5:00 PM $70,000 26 $200 NL Hold'em (Progressive SuperKO) Oct. 7 7:00 PM $35,000 27 $100 NL Hold'em (Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo) Oct. 7 9:00 PM $10,000 28 $300 NL Hold'em (4-Max) Oct. 8 6:30 PM $30,000 29 $500 PL Omaha (High-Roller, 6-max) Oct. 8 8:00 PM $18,000 30 $150 NL Hold'em (1R1A) Oct. 9 6:30 PM $12,000 31 $1,000 NL Hold'em (High-Roller) Oct. 9 7:00 PM $50,000 32 $100 No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (8-Max) Oct. 9 8:00 PM $8,000 33 $25+R NL Holdem Oct. 10 6:30 PM $10,000 34 $200 NL Hold'em (Win the Button) Oct. 10 7:00 PM $18,000 35 $50+R PL Omaha (6-Max) Oct. 11 6:30 PM $8,000 36 $150 NL Hold'em (Turbo) Oct. 11 9:00 PM $16,000 37 $100 PL 5-Card Omaha (8-Max) Oct. 12 8:00 PM $8,000 38 $200 NL Hold'em (Deep, Hyper-Turbo) Oct. 12 9:00 PM $10,000 39 $300 NL Hold'em (6-Max) Oct. 13 6:00 PM $25,000 40 $75 NL Hold'em (Zoom) Oct. 13 9:00 PM $12,000 41 $100 NL Hold'em (Big Antes) Oct. 14 2:00 PM $12,000 42 $500 NL Holdem (Main Event, 2-Day Event) Oct. 14 5:00 PM $150,000 43 $50 NL Hold'em (Main Event Structure) Oct. 14 6:00 PM $25,000 44 $100 NL Hold'em (Win the Button) Oct. 14 8:00 PM $15,000 45 $75 NL Hold'em (Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo) Oct. 14 10:00 PM $10,000 46 $150 NL Hold'em (Nightly Stars SE - NJCOOP Wrap-Up) Oct. 15 7:00 PM $22,000 47 $100 NL Hold'em (Deep, Hyper-Turbo, 6-Max) Oct. 15 9:00 PM $10,000
  25. Chris 'Money800NJ' Moneymaker has done it again. The PokerStars ambassador has won yet another title during the third annual New Jersey Championship of Online Poker. Just one day after winning Event #14 ($100 NLHE Progressive KO) the man behind the “poker boom” was at it again. Moneymaker registered all three NJCOOP tournaments that took place on Thursday and made the final table of two of them - winning one outright. In Event #16 ($300 Eight Game Six Max) Moneymaker found himself heads-up with one of New Jersey’s hottest players, Dan ‘R@zzleDazz1e’ DiZenzo. DiZenzo had been crushing NJCOOP tournaments, having made the final table three times in the previous three days. On Wednesday, when Moneymaker won his first NJCOOP title, DiZenzo did as well. When the two went head to head though, it was the WSOP Main Event Champion that came out on top. Moneymaker bested the 66 player field and won $5,544 for his effort. DiZenzo added another top-three NJCOOP finished to his 2018 resume and earned $3,696.00. It was the second day in a row that Moneymaker has won the largest cash prize of the day. Joining the pair at the final table was Brian ‘Wsopboy1997’ Sherrier who finished in fourth place for $1,386 for his sixth cash of the series. Moneymaker wasn’t quite done for the evening. In Event #17 ($50+R NLHE) he fought his way to another final table. In the early morning hours on the East Coast, the final five players battled it out but Moneymaker couldn’t make it a double victory day. He fell in fourth place for $1,678.95. When the tournament got heads-up the final two players, ‘IllbILLYmAC’ and Ryan ‘hagz2richez’ Hagerty agreed on a chop. There was $450 left to play for and it was Hagerty that came from behind to pull out the win, adding $3,768.96 to his bankroll and the NJCOOP title to his accomplishments. Although he took a larger sum in the chop, ‘IllbILLYmAC’ settled for second place and $3,506.55. PocketFiver Jason ‘jayriv’ Rivkin felted ‘SaucyPaws’ in heads-up play in order to take the title in Event #18 ($100 NLHE Turbo). The late tournament brought in 153 runners and posted a prize pool of $14,045.40. Rivkin took home the lions share with his $2,911.46 first place score. It was his second NJCOOP cash of the day as he finished in ninth place in Event #16 for $739.20. ‘SaucyPaws’ battled back to even the chip counts after being at a huge deficit, but eventually ran his top pair into Rivkin’s two pair for the final hand of the tournament. ‘SaucyPaws’ settles for $2,218.79 A pair of PocketFivers joined Rivkin at the final table as ‘D.Drumpf’ battled his way to sixth place for $748.54 and ‘bub242’ fell in eighth for $434.77, his second cash of the series. Event #16 - $300 Eight Game 6-Max Entries: 66 Prize pool: $18,480 Money800NJ - $5,544.00 R@zzleDazz1e - $3,696.00 CrazyKilla - $2,772.00 Pokeher299 - $1,848.00 Wsopboy1997 - $1,386.00 loosebad - $1,016.40 Event #17 - $50+R No Limit Hold'em Entries: 139 Prize pool: $18,655 hags2richez - $3,768.96 IllblLLYmAC - $3,506.55 gdtrfb62 - $2,266.58 Money800NJ - $1,678.95 MisAnnthr0pe - $1,119.30 mocbel - $932.75 WhostolemyRR - $746.20 ForTheThr1ll - $559.65 mmenz08816 - $466.37

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