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PocketFives had the opportunity to catch up with New Jersey Poker pro Dan dazedaceDiZenzo (pictured), who hails from Sussex and plays under the handle igetloston New Jersey poker sites. DiZenzo has over $950,000 in total live and online cashes under his belt and also won a WSOP Circuit ring in January 2012 in Las Vegas. He almost captured a bracelet at the 2014 WSOP, coming fourth in Event #4 for $113,550. On the virtual felts in New Jersey, he recently won the WSOP $10,000 Guarantee on back-to-back nights, banking a total of $6,336. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. PocketFives: Tell us how you got started in poker and why it was appealing. Dan DiZenzo: I started playing with friends in high school around 2002 and actually hated the game. Anytime I lost, I would explain how it was all luck and pointless to play. The appealing aspect to me was the competitive nature of the game; I hated to lose in anything I did. After losing a few times, I decided to pick up some books and realized there was more to the game than who gets dealt the best hand. PocketFives: Give us your thoughts and experiences of regulated online poker in New Jersey. Dan DiZenzo: I am glad that online poker is finally regulated and we can move away from all of these shady sites where you never know if you will get paid. I have been around a while and have heard and seen all the horrors that can happen in the unregulated market. I try to play as often as I can, but the limited schedule and player pools make it hard to want to play. We need to start forming compacts with other states to make regulated US poker worthwhile. PocketFives: What are your favorite New Jersey online poker sites to play and why? Dan DiZenzo: I only really play on WSOP and Borgata Poker. If I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be WSOP. I feel more comfortable and enjoy their software more. PocketFives: To what do you attribute your success playing online poker? Dan DiZenzo: I tell everyone the same thing over and over: there is no right way or some secret to winning at poker. Honestly, all you have to do is immerse yourself in the game. Play non-stop, read anything you can, talk to other players daily, watch others play, and don't be afraid to try new things and think for yourself.
[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.
The partypoker LIVE MILLIONS series hits its North American stop in Montreal in late April for a CAD $10 million guaranteed event. The buy-in for the event is CAD $5,300 but New Jersey online player Dan 'dazedace' DiZenzo is playing for one-tenth of that amount. DiZenzo earned his seat via satellite on partpokerNJ and is one of close to three dozen players from New Jersey to earn a qualifying seat. Familiar With The Territory The traveling pro has cashes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada so far in 2018 and could not miss a chance to win a seat to one of the largest events in the world. Between October, the month when he won the PokerStarsNJ NJCOOP Main Event, and his satellite seat finish, DiZenzo had not recorded an online cash, according to PocketFives. Sometimes it can take players a couple tries to win a satellite seat but DiZenzo claimed his on the first try. DiZenzo says he ran well during the middle stages of the tournament and “cruised” to the final table. DiZenzo has been a part of the New Jersey online ecosystem since play opened in 2013. A veteran of his experience recognizes the impact qualifiers can have on growing a player pool and looks forward to future offerings. “Having qualifiers, in general, is always a good thing for bigger buy-in MTTs,” DiZenzo said. “We all play MTTs to have that one massive score and satellites offer that experience for all players. Having these satellites in New Jersey is super convenient for us, and shows that people are willing to play if they simply offer them to us.” Second Chance On The Way? A massive score like the one DiZenzo speaks of almost happened for him in November of last year. DiZenzo took eighth place in a field of 1,061 at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event in Punta Cana won by Sam Greenwood for $1 million. The $70,000 score for DiZenzo might have been more were it not for pocket kings getting cracked right before the final table. The cash was the fifth-largest in a career that includes almost $2 million in combined live and online earnings. Although he fell short in a painful fashion of a life-altering win, DiZenzo had a positive enough experience with the partypoker brand to be hyped for the upcoming Montreal event at the Playground Poker Club. “I am pretty excited. Punta Cana was my first partypoker MILLIONS event and I was impressed with how everything was run there. My expectations for the event in Canada is that it will be just as good if not better, given the hype around the $10 million guaranteed.” DiZenzo logs his share of miles every year but this is the first time he is traveling beyond the wall to play in Montreal. An avid foodie as well as a poker player, DiZenzo looks forward to all that the city has to offer. “I have talked to all my friends who have played there in the past, and they all seem to tell me it is one of the best rooms to play in,” DiZenzo noted. “I haven't really looked too much into the city and what they have to offer outside of poker, but I have heard good things about the restaurants in Montreal.” More Online in the Future MILLIONS North America marks one of the final events for DiZenzo before he makes the annual trek for a summer in Las Vegas. In that time, it is possible that the online pipeline between New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and possibly Pennsylvania will officially open. Is that pipeline enough for DiZenzo to cut back on his travel and play more online? He’s weighing the options. “I am looking forward to when more states start combining liquidity and growing the player fields and prize pools. I would definitely play more than I have been playing once the player pools start to grow with new states coming on board.”
There was another $160,000 in total prize pools on the schedule during PokerStars third annual New Jersey Championship Of Online Poker. In the largest tournament scheduled for the day, Event #25 ($350 NLHE Sunday Special), ‘fireball1998’ captured his second NJCOOP title in as many days and $14,308.74 for the largest single score of the day for the series. He bested the 224 player field in the seven and a half hour contest, finally defeating ‘mocbel’ heads-up. ‘mocbel’ earned $10,689.97 as the runner-up making them the only other player on the day to earn five-figures in the series. The final table was stacked with talent including Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano who finished in ninth for $1,388.80 for his ninth cash of the series. Just ahead of him is the red-hot Dan ‘R@zzleDazz1e’ DiZenzo fell in eighth place for $1,858.92. DiZenzo already has four top three NJCOOP finishes in 2018, including a title. The first event completed on Sunday was Event #23 ($100 Mixed NLHE/PLO Six Max) where 133 runners created a prize pool of $12,209.40. ‘JohnnyMania’ was the last player standing and ended up with a $3,174.50 first place prize. PocketFiver ’senor stinks’ finished as the runner-up, hauling in $2,136.64 for his fourth NJCOOP cash of the series. The score puts ‘senor stinks’ under $25,000 away from his $500,000 lifetime earnings badge. Also making the final six was Yong ‘iFoldN0T’ Kwon who now has five NJCOOP final tables in 2018. Kwon finished in fourth for $1,037.79. Two spots earlier Michael ‘GUUUULP’ St. John bowed out in sixth for $549.42. In Event #24 ($150 NLHE Win The Button), the #3-ranked player in the United States Daniel ‘AvaGray’ Lupo booked his first 2018 NJCOOP victory for $4,167.31. To this point in the series Lupo has a first, second and third place finish among his six cashes. The runner-up was ‘LookAtMyDabx’ for $3,175.92. Also, PocketFivers ‘ROU$EY’ and Ted ‘TobogganM.D.’ Ely climbed into the final table falling in eighth and ninth place respectively. A pair of PocketFivers went one-two in Event #26 ($200 NLHE Progressive Super KO). Daryl ‘jordanofpkr’ Black outlasted Anthony ‘FlawlessBINK’ Maio to take the title and $3,995.69 (+ $4,074.14 in bounties) for one of the largest scores on the day. Main was denied a second 2018 NJCOOP title but received $3,083.00 (+ $1,388.82 in bounties) to add to his stellar series earnings. There were 137 players in the final tournament on the schedule. Event #27 ($100 NLHE Sunday Supersonic Hyper Turbo) may have been the last to start but with its fast structure, it finished well before midnight with the winner ’cl1ckinbtns’ going to sleep with $2,697.82 more in his account. Another PocketFiver ‘ADMSnackBar’ took the silver for $2,056.02 as he continues his climb to $1 million in lifetime earnings. Daniel ‘loxonbagel’ Buzgon finished in fourth for $1,194.20 for his third NJCOOP cash. Event #23 ($100 Mixed NLHE/PLO Six Max) Entries: 133 Prize pool: $12,209.40 1. JohnnyMania - $3,174.50 2. senor stinks - $2,136.64 3. Wizard81 - $1,587.22 4. iFoldN0T - $1,037.79 5. mocbel - $793,61 6. GUUUULP - $549.42 Event #24 ($150 NLHE Win The Button) Entries: 146 Prize pool: $20,104.20 1. AvaGray - $4,167.31 2. LookAtMyDabx - $3,175.92 3. ashiXIII - $2,420.44 4. s3lfreliance - $1,844.67 5. Cass N Hoes - $1,405.87 6. JinxySkunk - $1,071.44 7. ESD03 - 816.57 8. ROU$EY - $622.33 9. TobogganM.D. - $474.29 Event #25 ($350 NLHE Sunday Special) Entries: 224 Prize pool: $73,472 1. fireball1998 - $14,308.74 2. mocbel - $10,689.97 3. Cass N Hoes - $7,986.51 4. Iraisepros - $5,966.74 5. adsanman12 - $4,457.78 6. 801108 - $3,330.78 7. scamfest - $2,488.16 8. R@zzleDazz1e - $1,858.92 9. J3tBl@ckP0pe - $1,388.80 Event #26 ($200 NLHE Progressive Super KO) Entires: 220 Prize pool: $40,920 1. jordanofpkr - $3,995.69 (+ $4,074.14 in bounties) 2. FlawlessBINK - $3,083.00 (+ $1,388.82 in bounties) 3. HuySmakuy - $2,378.86 (+ $807.21 in bounties) 4. fkdtshfkdts - $1,835.55 (+ $696.04 in bounties) 5. IATA89 - $1,416.32 (+ $377.82 in bounties) 6. donnysack - $1,092.84 (+ $337.13 in bounties) 7. JohnnyMania - $843.24 (+ $383.64 in bounties) 8. supremetny - $650.65 (+ $450.47 in bounties) 9. fireball1998 - $502.05 (+ $825.38 in bounties) Event #27 ($100 NLHE Sunday Supersonic Hyper Turbo) Entires: 137 Prize pool: $13,015 1. cl1ckinbtns - $2,697.82 2. ADMSnackBar - $2,056.02 3. MrA.Iverson3 - $1,566.94 4. loxonbagel - $1,194.20 5. T111111111M - $910.12 6. Trojan526 - $693.63 7. Highlightttt - $528.63 8. solidluck - $402.88 9. Exit_3986 - $307.04