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Found 33 results

  1. Dan KingDan Smith didn't have to travel far to play in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, as he resided in Las Vegas at the time. Smith ended Day 5 with 5,360,000 in chips, putting him in sixth place with 79 players remaining. He finished the 2014 WSOP Main Event in 20th place for $286,000. The summer of 2014 had been kind to Smith, as prior to the Main Event, he found himself at two WSOP final tables. Smith finished in ninth place in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event and sixth place in a $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Handed event for approximately $29,000 and $96,000, respectively. While Smith had considerable success at the Rio in 2014, his much bigger success leading up to the Main Event occurred in the $102,000 Super High Roller at the Bellagio, where he outlasted 66 players for a huge $2,000,000 cash. Smith also ran well in a smaller $10,200 High Roller Event, besting a small field of 13 players for almost $71,000. This high roller specialist's excellent summer catapulted his live tournament cashes to $8.3 million before his Main Event run. One of the key hands for Smith in the Main Event came on Day 5 when he found himself battling it out with fellow American Kane Kalas. On a board of 9c-Qc-8h-Ah, Kalas put a stack of chips in the middle with Qs-9d. Smith pushed announced himself all-in with Qh-Qd, finding Kalas drawing dead. If the duo did not get it all-in on the turn, they definitely would have on the river when the 9s gave Kalas a full house. Smith almost doubled his stack on this hand and ended with about 5.4 million in chips, which is near where he ended the day with.
  2. The final six of the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship at the World Series of Poker are set. As has been a common theme this year, the final table is loaded with talent. Dan KingDan Smith (pictured) is your chip leader with a stack of 661,000, about 100,000 ahead of the next closest person. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Smith will pass $1 million in career WSOP winnings in this event and cashed in a previous No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament on this year's schedule. Second place with a stack of 554,000 in chips is Nick Schulman. According to coverage on WSOP.com, Schulman has been the talk of the town thus far: "Schulman, a two-time champion of this event, returned to Day 2 as the chip leader. He held that title for most of the day, only relenting his lead to Smith in during the last level of the night. Schulman, who won this event in 2009 and 2012, returns for Day 3 in second place with 554,000." Poker author and longtime PocketFiver Jon PearlJammer Turner (pictured) sits in third place with 439,000. Turner will cash for the 35th time in his career in a WSOP tournament and, like Smith, made the money in a previous No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event on this year's schedule. Turner was ranked as high as #3 on PocketFives in 2008. Three high-stakes pros round out the leaderboard of the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event. The first is Erik Seidel, who is in fourth place with 265,000. Seidel has eight WSOP bracelets dating back to 1992 and 90 WSOP cashes, six of which are in 2-7 Draw Lowball. Fifth place entering the six-handed finale is Phil Galfond, who is known in the online poker community as OMGClayAiken. Galfond has a stack of 255,000 and finished fourth in this year's $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship. He has one bracelet and continues to challenge the nosebleed-stakes tables live and online. Rounding out the star-studded final six is Eli Elezra, who is the short stack at 160,000. Elezra has two WSOP bracelets, the most recent of which came in a Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball tournament. The former Israeli army commando is a father of five and popped the money bubble on Sunday by sending Mike Gorodinsky to the rail. There were 77 entrants in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball event. The winner will take home $224,000, while the first person out on Monday pockets $31,000. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. [caption width="640"] Rainer Kempe leads the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl final table.[/caption] Rainer Kempe might have been one of the least celebrated players in the field when the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl began on Sunday, but the German poker pro now leads the seven-handed final and could be in line for a $5,000,000 score Wednesday night. Kempe finished Day 3 with 5,545,000 chips and the overnight chip lead thanks to a collision with Dan Smith late on Day 3. The final table bubble might go down as one of the most memorable of all time. After Jason Mercier was eliminated in ninth place, the remaining eight players combined to one table. About 30 minutes later Kempe and Smith found themselves playing the biggest hand of the tournament so far. Kempe raised to 110,000 from the cutoff, Smith called from the small blind and Fedor Holz folded the big blind. Smith then checked the [poker card="th"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] flop allowing Kempe to bet 165,000. Smith check-raised to 475,000 and after using one of his time extensions, Kempe moved all in and Smith called. Kempe tabled [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"] for middle set while Smith showed [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] for bottom set. The [poker card="ac"] turn and [poker card="qh"] river changed nothing and Smith was left with just 175,000 while Kempe moved into the lead for the first time. Smith was eliminated just 40 minutes later. Right behind Kempe is fellow German Holz, who bagged up 2,190,000. The former #1 ranked online poker player in the world is just five months removed from winning the $100,000 Alpha8 event at Bellagio and four months from winning the WPT Triton Super High Roller. While the young German contingent sits on top of the chip counts, two members of Poker’s Hall of Fame anchor the bottom. Erik Seidel sits sixth with 1,120,000 while Phil Hellmuth made it through the bubble with the shortest stack, 905,000. Sandwiched in between the Germans and the Hall of Famers is Bryn Kenney (2,085,000), Dan Shak (1,650,000) and the player who started Day 3 with the chip lead, Matt Berkey (1,205,000). All remaining players are guaranteed at least $600,000 with the eventual champion walking away with $5,000,000. The Smith and Mercier eliminations were the two most high-profile of Day 3, but they weren’t the only players sent to the rail. Tom Marchese, Dan Perper, Phil Galfond, Bill Perkins, Phil Laak, Ben Lamb and Andrew Robl also saw their run end on Day 3. Final Table Schedule A special ‘Road to the Final Table’ show airs on Twitch.com/PokerCentral at 6 PM ET with the final table being broadcast live on CBS Sports Network beginning at 7 PM ET. Final Table Chip Counts Rainer Kempe - 5,545,000 Fedor Holz - 2,190,000 Bryn Kenney - 2,085,000 Dan Shak - 1,650,000 Matt Berkey - 1,205,000 Erik Seidel - 1,120,000 Phil Hellmuth - 905,000
  4. [caption width="640"] Shawn Buchanan won his second SCOOP event in a week[/caption] Sunday was a good day to be a pro in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, or SCOOP. Pros ruled the roost on the final day of the weekend, with several familiar faces winning events. Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan, fresh off winning his fourth career SCOOP title last week in the high-stakes version of Event #14, won one for the thumb on Sunday in Event #24, a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max, after a heads-up chop with Rocco 'Sephirot88' Palumbo. Buchanan was second in chips when the final table started and faced a group of seven opponents that included Palumbo, Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom, and Dylan 'ImaLucSac' Lynde. After a swingy heads-up session, Palumbo and Buchanan ultimately struck a deal that gave the former $262,000 and Buchanan $260,125, leaving $10,000 in cash and a SCOOP title to play for. Down the stretch, Buchanan won 11 out of 13 hands. More importantly, he raked the decisive final pot in which his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] outlasted Palumbo's [poker card="ac"][poker card="2d"]. He succinctly Tweeted when the tournament was over, "BINK #scoopheater." Buchanan now has five career SCOOP wins. Dan 'Danny98765' Smith also found gold on Sunday. The high-stakes poker pro took down a $2,100 Zoom Mixed PLO Six-Max and now has two-thirds of a Triple COOP title, needing only a WCOOP win to fill it out. [caption width="640"] Dan Smith won a ,100 Zoom Mixed PLO Six-Max SCOOP event[/caption] Smith, who also won the Sunday Million four years ago, blasted through a field of 179 players and outwitted a final table that include heavyweights like Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb and Brazil's Felipe 'mojave' Ramos. His reward was $85,000, which pushed his career online tournament winnings past $2.8 million. In the high-stakes version of Event #21, a $700 Pot Limit Five-Card Omaha Six-Max Cubed event, Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson, who was ranked #1 in the world on PocketFives as recently as 2013, narrowly missed out on extending his own record of six SCOOP wins. His pursuit of #7 came up just short, as he finished in third place for $26,000. Switzerland's 'Kamchatka 1' ultimately won the Cubed event, although his heads-up opponent, 'danfiu', was the one who sent Anderson to the rail. Anderson has eight career COOP wins, tied with Shaun Deeb for the most ever. Longtime PocketFiver 'l33t_hax0r', who plays as 'goleafsgo41' on PokerStars, won a $215 Pot Limit Mixed Omaha event for $29,000. He's up to almost $2.5 million in career online tournament winnings and earned his first career SCOOP title. The entire tournament, which was played in a Turbo Zoom format, lasted only four-and-a-half hours. SCOOP-21-L ($7.50 PL 5-Card Omaha) Entrants: 2,309 (1,491 rebuys, 997 add-ons) Total prize pool: $32,715.54 Places paid: 300 big_pockett - $5,154.31 M-U-C-K-Y-O- - $3,762.28 geovou7 - $2,780.82 HYTTI - $1,881.14 eight4ever - $1,226.83 Premove - $653.65 SCOOP-21-M ($82 PL 5-Card Omaha 6-Max 1R1A) Entrants: 455 (281 Rebuys, 256 Add-Ons) Total prize pool: $75,640 Places paid: 60 WhattUBluffv$12,419.18* BlackOps02 - $11,585.21* Lovet89 - $9,617.59* DroNNer - $5,597.36 Alexander 'utvekklo2' Ceder - $4,008.92 NOR-playah - $2,571.76 SCOOP-21-H ($700 PL 5-Card Omaha 6-Max 1R1A) Entrants: 142 (76 Rebuys, 89 Add-Ons) Total prize pool: $204,769 Places paid: 18 Kamchatka 1 - $53,240.02 danfiu - $35,834.57 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson - $26,619.97 Roywing - $17,405.36 Dundermåsen - $13,309.98 Joseph 'subiime' Cheong - $9,214.60 SCOOP-22-L ($11 NL Hold'em [5-Stack]) Entrants:12,385 Prize pool: $123,850.00 Places paid:1,620 alex_13_12_9 - $12,895.53* Poulsen4 - $12,107.00* Alogish - $12,531.80* bica999 - $6,192.50 Snakefoxes - $4,954.00 555yull555 - $3,715.50 PanamaRespec - $2,477.00 steviepang - $1,238.50 pokerqmaster - $774.06 SCOOP-22-M ($109 NL Hold'em 5-Stack) Entrants: 3,545 Total prize pool: $354,500 Places paid: 450 Jan "hownorez" Nakladal - $55,657.63 Purple Haze - $41,476.50 TerjePower18 - $29,423.50 lil-lj198 - $20,383.75 dyno52 - $15,176.14 BernardoDG - $11,521.25 ragAAAila19 - $7,976.25 #2slim4gym#H - $4,431.25 HYZENBURG - $2,836.00 SCOOP-22-H ($1,050 NL Hold'em, 5-Stack) Entrants: 859 Total prize pool: $859,000 Places paid: 99 3P3NIPA - $157,626.50 RamsGold - $112,529 slayerv1fan - $85,041 Adrian 'Amadi_017' Mateos Diaz - $63,995.50 Artem 'FaNjkEEE' Kobylynskyi - $44,668 Nikolay 'NikolasDLP' Prokhorskiy - $36,078 Thomas 'WushuTM' Muhlocker - $27,488 Tobias 'PokerNoob999' Reinkemeier - $18,898 T-Macha - $11,167 SCOOP-23-L ($27 FL Badugi) Entrants: 1,071 Total prize pool: $26,293.05 Places paid: 136 BOLTAnticvet - $4,799.21 bullitek - $3,418.09 adrian432 - $2,629.30 MychuPychu - $1,971.97 Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos - $1,314.65 Walrus91 - $920.25 SVTamada - $525.86 George 'georgedanzer' Danzer - $381.24 SCOOP-23-M ($215 FL Badugi) Entrants: 186 Total prize pool: $32,200 Places paid: 24 Mati312 - $8,091 ugritaly - $5,776 Naoya 'nkenyo' Kihara - $4,464 The TJS - $3,162 gmd68 - $2,046 CAE$AR_08 - $1,674 Premove - $1,302 aDrENalin710 - $1,023 SCOOP-23-H ($2,100 FL Badugi) Entrants: 45 Total prize pool: $90,000 Places paid: 5 silna_rakia - $36,000.00 Alex 'BiatchPeople' Luneau - $24,300.00 Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara - $13,500.00 Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah - $9,000.00 warcabista - $7,200.00 SCOOP-24-L ($215 NL Hold'em, 8-Max, High Roller) Entrants: 3,782 Prize pool: $756,400 Places paid: 480 IvanaHarman - $107,530.81 jorginho88 - $90,049.81 Knightsgeee - $86,017.92 Romzess II - $52,948.00 IceStream - $37,820.00 PDGanev - $22,692.00 jareth3542 - $13,237.00 wizowizo - $6,996.70 SCOOP-24-M ($2,100 NL Hold'em, 8-Max, High Roller) Entrants: 825 (553 entries, 272 re-entries) Prize pool: $1,650,000 Places paid: 96 Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan - $270,125.00* Rocco 'Sephirot88' Palumbo - $262,000.00* ekziter - $165,000.00 Daniel 'ShippityShip' Nielson - $123,750.00 david owie - $82,500.00 Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom - $57,750.00 TanTanSWE - $37,125.00 Dylan 'ImaLucSac' Lynde - $24,750.00 SCOOP-24-H ($21,000 NL Hold'em, 8-Max, High Roller) Entrants: 143 Prize pool: $2,931,500 Places paid: 16 Secret_M0d3 - $718,217.50 Hhecklen - $498,355.00 hurrrrican3 - $381,095.00 GM_VALTER - $263,835.00 nizmo jiz - $190,547.50 bencb789 - $146,575.00 jakoon1985 - $117,260.00 tsarrast - $87,945.00 SCOOP-25-L ($7.50 NL Hold'em, 6-Max, Ultra-Deep) Entrants: 9,546 Total prize pool: $65,103.72 Places paid: 1,200 babbelz - $7,470.04* Zigslick - $6,790.96* harmatiuk - $6,918* Lars Botman - $2,766.90 pazipro - $1,464.83 goldenboy#36 - $976.55 SCOOP-25-M ($82 NLHE 6-Max, Ultra-Deep) Entrants: 2,457 Total prize pool: $184,275 Places paid: 330 Franco "rojorulez" Spitale - $29,024.92 RigasDinamo - $21,191.62 biszibosz - $15,663.37 goxomago - $10,135.12 Pokerfan89Gr - $6,449.62 neverdixs - $3,492.01 SCOOP-25-H: $700 NL Holdem [6-Max Ultra-Deep] - $250k Guaranteed Entrants: 754 Prize Pool: $501,410 Places Paid: 84 Malaka$tyle - $92,761.17 que_te_crio - $69,194.58 YukoEgawa - $51,394.52 bombuslol - $35,098.70 MrRabanne - $25,070.50 minusth3bear - $15,042.30 SCOOP-26-L ($11 NL Hold'em 8-Max Deep Payouts) Entrants: 11,618 Prize pool: $116,180 Places paid: 2,863 SONGJOY - $11,864.27 ohanaaa - $8,214.69 addo140 - $5,694.51 BalBadwal - $3,947.49 jointy333 - $2,736.43 grantul - $1,896.91 Solidthought - $1,314.96 Fahrenheit95 - $911.53 SCOOP-26-M: $109 NL Holdem [8-Max Deep Payouts, Sunday Kickoff SE] Entrants: 3,691 Prize Pool: $369,100 Places Paid: 879 Dejan 'dejanaceking' Divkovic - $45,038.52 Breakchips - $31,217.96 AJPokerpro - $21,640.59 jANKE - $15,001.47 winning elev - $10,399.17 Goran 'mandza17' Mandic - $7,208.78 Omon_Ra_AA - $4,997.20 gabransich - $3,464.11 SCOOP-26-H: $1,050 NL Holdem [8-Max Deep Payouts, Sunday Kickoff SE] Entrants: 911 Prize Pool: $911,000 Places Paid: 159 IN PROGRESS SCOOP-30-L ($27 PL Mixed Omaha, 6-Max, Turbo, Zoom) Entrants: 2,622 Total prize pool: $64,370.10 Places paid: 330 miomiomy79 - $7,858.73* sorenj1988 - $7,385.49* Abbe77 - $7,769.58* Schoebinho - $3,540.35 PartyTownUSA - $2,252.95 rodmarcos - $1,219.81 2016 SCOOP-30-M: $215 PL Mixed Omaha [6-Max Turbo Zoom] Entrants: 839 Prize Pool: $167,800 Places Paid: 108 goleafsgo41 - $29,583.14 robc1978 - $21,814.00 XD89lol
  5. [caption width="640"] Dan Smith is aiming to raise 0,000 for charities before year-end. (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] They say the winter holidays are a season of giving. Acclaimed poker pro Dan Smithis taking that to another level with his charity drive, which could raise as much as $350,000 for a group of select charities. This is the second year in a row Smith has done a charity drive. In 2015, he and fellow poker pro Dan Colman pledged to match donations up to $70,000. With the help of other donation matching sites, Raising for Effective Giving (REG), and, of course, the scores of people who donated, they were able to raise over $210,000 for a quartet of charities; Deworm the World, Against Malaria, Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and The Massachusetts Bail Fund. Smith said the initial idea came from a New Year’s resolution to give back to the world somehow. “I saw a charity running a matching drive, and got an idea. I did some math and saw if I ran my OWN matching drive, every $1 out of my pocket would be $4 towards a good cause. And it has been very successful. Two years ago I donated $25,000 and it raised a bit over $100,000. Last year I donated $35,000, (which I get to write off on my taxes) to raise $210,854.” This year, Smith is back at it with even loftier goals. He is flying solo and trying to raise and match up to $175,000 for nine different charities detailed on his website. Smith grouped the charities into three categories. There is a group for efficient giving, where a dollar can stretch rather far, a group of charities designed to help those in the prison system, and a group Dan describes as, “a few charities that I believe attempt to get to the core of certain issues,” rather than charities that try to solve smaller scale problems. Smith has a presence on Twitter as @dansmithholla, but other than placing some wagers on the election, he generally refrained from discussing politics or the election. Now that the results are in, many are looking for ways to reach out, be more philanthropic, and contribute and Smith put in ample time researching an array of causes to cover many areas of interests and offer something for someone of any political leaning. “The political landscape certainly has a lot to do with it,” Smith explained when discussing the motivation behind expanding the project. “The world is in a crazy place right now, and it’s hard to think of productive ways to make it better. It’s scary.” Since Colman and Smith started the pledge matching initiative last year, others in the poker community have followed suit. Dan Shak launched a drive to raise $35,000 in tandem with REG last month. Numerous poker pros over the years have displayed a penchant for philanthropy, playing in charity tournaments or donating a portion of their earnings to a cause. Smith’s tact is a little different in that not only is he contributing, but he is pushing to get numerous others involved and ensuring the capital is beneficial to donors who can write the money off on their taxes and to seek out charities which are efficient with the funds they raise. Throw in the fact he is matching pledges himself and it is entirely likely Smith will raise over a quarter of a million dollars for these organizations by year’s end. If you have questions about his program, Smith has volunteered to research them himself. He will not be matching donations for charities not on his list because of his extensive vetting process, but he is open to answering questions. Questions regarding the drive can be sent to receiptsforcharity@gmail.com. Those interested in donating have until the end of the year to participate in Smith’s matching initiative.
  6. The final day of the 2016 World Series of Poker before the Main Event kicks off buzzed with the arrival of the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop and the final table of the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. The Ladies Championship also got underway and three bracelets were awarded for two events while a power couple got a little stronger. Jens Kyllonen, Tommy Le, Dan Smith Return for $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Day 4 The $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event returned 20 of the world’s top players for Day 3 on Friday, but fell short of crowning a champion with three players remaining after ten levels of play. Jens Kyllonen leads Tommy Le with Dan Smith as the short stack. Smith doubled up on the last hand of the night with a straight against Le. Kyllonen bagged up 10,925,000, Le with 8,650,000 and Smith with 3,425,000. The final day saw ten full levels of action but with three players remaining there was no option but return for an additional day to play out. They’re all guaranteed nearly $500,000 but it may be a long day with $1,127,035 for the winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Anetta Holley – 117,600 Karen Xiu – 96,400 Barbara Johnson – 88,900 June Jenkins – 86,700 Alexis Sterner – 85,600 Linglin Zeng – 83,800 Donna Dicrescento – 82,400 Courtney Kennedy – 82,200 Vanessa Selbst – 80,800 Marie Acoba – 78,700
  7. The completion of the full second week of the 2018 World Series of Poker was a non-stop poker extravaganza. The summer series has reached full throttle as some of the biggest events on the schedule awarded huge sums of life-changing money. Social media surrounding the series had a few moments of sincerity as poker legend, Doyle Brunson, announced his retirement from tournament play. That said, poker Twitter’s trademark snark was in full form as grinders jumped into event after event, trying to capture gold. So if you are watching from afar, enjoy the view as here’s a little taste of life at the Rio in week 2. Brazilian Million Some of Brazil’s best and brightest talent celebrated Roberly Felicio’s victory in Event #7: $565 Colossus. Felicio defeated the over 13,000 players to take home the first place guaranteed prize of $1,000,000. On to Week 3!
  8. One of the most prestigious bracelets of the 2018 World Series of Poker was awarded today, and it went to a man who has now won the event an unprecedented three times. Tuesday also saw one other bracelet handed out. It was almost a three-bracelet day, but two players ended the Super Seniors event heads-up, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find who will take down their first WSOP gold. Here’s all the news from June 19. Michael Mizrachi Wins $50K PPC for a Third Time Maybe it was on the cards all the way back on Day 2. Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi bagged the chip lead that night in Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and then finished Day 3 as the chip leader too. He then had by far the biggest stack after Day 4, entering Tuesday’s final table in pole position. Now, The Grinder is a four-time bracelet winner, a three-time PPC champion, and $1,239,126 richer. "It's quite an accomplishment," Mizrachi said after the victory. "To win the first one was amazing. The second one was great. The third one is unheard of.” Mizrachi’s journey through this final table was almost entirely smooth sailing, despite such a tricky line-up. "I never had big swings this whole tournament," he admitted. "All the cards went my way. I hit a bunch of hands. Everything went my way. I just won every pot.” Aaron Katz was the first to fall today, when his top pair was outdrawn by Benny Glaser’s bottom pair and backdoor flush draw. Glaser and Mike Leah remained the short stacks during five-handed play, and ultimately Glaser would exit in fifth. He lost a large chunk of his stack in a stud hand, when he made a value bet with two pair on seventh street only for John Hennigan to call with a better two pair. Leah then felted Glaser a little later in a 2-7 hand. Leah managed a double up shortly after, but that couldn’t prevent him from finishing in fourth, busting to Mizrachi in a PLO pot. Dan Smith would then depart in a limit hold’em hand. Smith had an open-ended straight draw to Hennigan’s ace-high with two overs, but the board bricked for Smith. Hennigan, a former PPC winner, lost two big 2-7 hands to Mizrachi right off the bat in heads-up play. It all ended in NLHE, with Hennigan shoving a flop with an open-ender and Grinder calling with a pair and flush draw which hit on the turn. A huge crowd then burst onto the stage to congratulate your 2018 $50K PPC champion, Michael Mizrachi. Final Table Results: Michael Mizrachi - $1,239,126 John Hennigan - $765,837 Dan Smith - $521,782 Mike Leah - $364,197 Benny Glaser - $260,578 Aaron Katz - $191,234 China’s Yueqi Zhu Finishes the Job in $1,500 Mixed Omaha Only three players returned Tuesday in Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha, and Yueqi Zhu of China had a dominating lead with almost 80% of the chips in play. [caption id="attachment_619627" align="aligncenter" width="628"] Yueqi Zhu Takes It Down[/caption] It didn’t take long for Zhu to seal the deal today and win his first WSOP bracelet. The only player who already had a bracelet, Carol Fuchs, went out in third, followed by a brief heads-up match versus Gabriel Ramos. Zhu had a 10:1 advantage, but Ramos almost doubled up when his top set was all-in versus Zhu’s wrap in a PLO-8 hand. Zhu’s draw then completed to give him the win. After more than 12 years of grinding at the WSOP and some 70 cashes, including a second-place finish back in 2006, Zhu is now a bracelet winner and $211,781 richer. Final Table Results: Yueqi Zhu - $211,781 Gabriel Ramos - $130,850 Carol Fuchs - $89,488 Matthew Gregoire - $62,226 Jon Turner - $44,007 Peter Neff - $31,662 Ryan Hughes - $23,182 20 Remain in Double Stack Day 3 of Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No Limit Hold’em played out today, taking the field from 162 (of 5,700 total) down to just 20. Keith Ferrera holds the overnight lead with a stack of 7,550,000, more than 2 million in chips more than the closest competitor, Tomas Teran Paredes (5,050,000). Robert Peacock completes the top three stacks with 4,500,000. Other notables returning tomorrow include Matt Stout (3,920,000), Joshua Turner (3,905,000), Pfizer Jordan (2,450,000), Pablo Fernandez (1,760,000), Ramin Hajiyev (1,420,000) and WSOP bracelet winner Andrey Zaichenko (1,205,000). Throughout the course of action we lost the likes of Jake Bazeley (141st place), WSOP bracelet winners Phil Hui (107th place), Anthony Spinella (101st place), Nipun Java (87th place) and Tony Dunst (69th place), as well as Maria Lampropulos (79th place), Isaac Baron (66th place), Mike Del Vecchio (51st place) and Matt Berkey (24th place). All 20 are guaranteed a $22,122 payday, but it’s the $644,224 first-place prize they’re really after. Action resumes at 12pm Wednesday. Top 10 Stacks: Keith Ferrera - 7,550,000 Tomas Teran Paredes - 5,050,000 Robert Peacock - 4,500,000 James Ostrowski - 3,985,000 Matt Stout - 3,920,000 Joshua Turner - 3,905,000 Steven Tymms - 3,575,000 Daniel Eichhorn - 3,300,000 Don Johnson - 2,690,000 Pfizer Jordan - 2,450,000 Two Set to Return to Battle for Super Seniors Action ended heads-up after Day 3 of the Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em, with Robert Beach holding a massive chip lead over Farhintaj Bonyadi. Beach will return tomorrow with 9,010,000 to Bonyadj’s 1,975,000. The runner-up will receive $192,397, while the winner will bank $311,451. Action kicks back off at 11am tomorrow, with blinds at 50K/100K. Check back tomorrow to find out if Beach can get the job done. Stud Championship Reaches Final Table A final table has been set in Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. With eight players of the 83-strong field left, it’s Yaniv Birman who enters the finale as chip leader. Birman bagged up 958,000 - 40 big bets, and he’s followed by multiple bracelet winner Jesse Martin (916,000). Mixed game beasts Ben Yu (559,000), James Obst (216,000), and Matt Grapenthien (507,000) will also return tomorrow. Throughout the day we lost the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Jordan Siegel, Michael McKenna, Perry Friedman and Todd Brunson. All eight have locked up $23,443, while there’s $236,238 up top. Play kicks back off at 2pm Wednesday. Final Table Stacks: Yaniv Birman - 958,000 Jesse Martin - 916,000 Ben Yu - 559,000 Matt Grapenthien - 507,000 Lee Salem - 473,000 Joseph Cappello - 360,000 James Obst - 216,000 Lars Gronning - 168,000 First Round in $1,500 SHOOTOUT Done Event #39: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em SHOOTOUT kicked off today, with 908 runners hoping to win their first table in order to proceed. 100 players did just that, and there are some big names amongst them. Phil Hellmuth took down his table to become one of the first Day 2 players, defeating the likes of Heidi May and Maurice Hawkins. Other notables to advance include reigning WSOP Main Event Champion Scott Blumstein, last year's runner-up in this event Thomas Boivin, as well as Steven Wolansky, Rep Porter, 2014 Main Event Champion Martin Jacobson, Matthew Waxman, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Arkadiy Tsinis, Justin Liberto, and William Kakon. Where there are survivors there must be casualties. Some of those who couldn’t make it through today include Ryan Riess, Qui Nguyen, Joe Cada, Erik Seidel, Joe McKeehen, Brian Yoon, Mark Radoja, Michael Gagliano, Barny Boatman, Humberto Brenes, Annette Obrestad, Niall Farrell, Taylor Paur, Chris Moorman, John Racener, Brian Hastings, David Peters, Calvin Anderson, Frank Kassela, Jennifer Tilly and Jeff Madsen. Round 2 begins at 12pm Wednesday. There’s $236,498 for the eventual champ, while all 100 players have now won $5,227. Big Bets All Round The second new event to begin on Tuesday was Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet. 205 players took their shot, but after ten levels just 51 remain. Naoya Kihara holds the overnight chip lead with 119,700, followed by Dario Sammartino with 117,000. Plenty of other big names have advanced, including the red-hot John Hennigan (111,850), fresh from his $50K runner-up finish. Six-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro also had a good day, chip leading for much of it before ending with 90,000. Andrew Kelsall (66,200), Mike Matusow (72,300), Eli Elezra (70,000), David "ODB" Baker (41,075), Barry Greenstein (27,375), and Brian Rast (23,150) also advanced. Play resumes at 2pm Wednesday with 31 players making the money. A min-cash is worth $3,777, while there’s $122,138 for the champ. Top 10 Stacks: Naoya Kihara - 119,700 Dario Sammartino - 117,650 Scott Bohlman - 114,000 John Hennigan - 111,850 Daniel Harmetz - 100,000 Jeff Lisandro - 90,000 John Racener - 88,400 Brandon Shack-Harris - 84,100 Stuart Rutter - 77,250 Aaron Rogers - 73,325 Tomorrow’s Action (June 20) There are two new events ready to get going on Wednesday. First up is Event #41: $1,500 Limit Hold’em, kicking off at 11am. However, arguably the more exciting of the two is Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller, which begins at 3pm. James Calderaro took that one down last year, defeating a final table that included the likes of Dario Sammartino, Dan Smith, and Ben Tollerene to claim the $1,289,074 winner’s prize.
  9. 5 Things is a column, written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley, that covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It appears periodically at PocketFives.com. The final table of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the 2018 World Series of Poker had almost everything you'd want from that event. Michael Mizrachi going for an almost unbelievable third PPC title in nine years. John Hennigan looking to become the third player to win multi PPC titles. Dan Smith going for his first WSOP bracelet. The 2018 PPC saw just 87 players - the second lowest turnout in the history of the event and a far cry from the all-time high of 148. To the mixed game players who circle the dates of this event on the calendar every year, the Poker Players Championship is a big deal. Yet to those same players, it simply felt more like Event #33 and seemingly no more important or worth celebrating more than Event #8 ($2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball) or Event #45 ($1,000 Big Blind Antes No Limite Hold'em 30 Minute Levels). It didn't unnoticed by one of the event's biggest advocates, David Baker. Baker, who plays the event every year, isn't wrong. Say what you will about former WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack and his dubious place in poker history, but he understood what the PPC was - a significant event on the calendar and an opportunity for the WSOP to celebrate the best players in the game. Following the passing of Chip Reese, the first player to ever win the event, the WSOP created the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and awarded it, along with the bracelet, to the winner of the event. In 2006, the first year after Reese's death, players were invited to be part of the unveiling of the trophy along with a special "Shuffle Up and Deal". Tables were set up to give players more space and give fans watching on the rail the understanding that this wasn't just another tournament. This year there was nothing like that and it's time that this event receives more celebration in the lead-up and more pomp and circumstance during the five days that it takes place each summer. Here are the Five Things the WSOP could do to give the Poker Players Championship its proper due. Opening Ceremony This seems like a low-cost no-brainer. The opening flights of the Main Event all have a special "Shuffle Up and Deal" announcement from a former champion or prominent player. There are nine former PPC Champions still with us. Having all of them on hand for the start of the tournament to welcome players and fans alike would add a special moment that only increases in importance each year. It also provides another opportunity to celebrate the first champ - Reese - and the trophy named for him. Fan Friendly Set Up Poker as a spectator sport struggles at the best of times. The ESPN mothership at the WSOP provides stadium seating and a big-time event feel, but the first four days of the event play out like any other event. Creating an area inside the Amazon Room specifically for this event and allowing fans on the rail to be able to walk on the outside the cordoned off area is a vast improvement over what the event has now and gives them better access to some of the game's best players. Special Felt The event is played at six-handed tables. Using the largest PPC field in history (148 in 2007 and 2008), that means 25 tables would be in play. Putting an event-specific felt on each of those tables would give the players the feeling that they're part of something special, not just another event. Choose a color other than green and it helps the fans on the rail understand that this event is different. Improved Live Stream Offering This time last year, the PPC wasn't livestreamed at all. PokerGO stepped up in a big, big way this year and gave fans not just the final table on PokerGO, but Day 4 coverage on Twitch. Let's take it even further for 2019 and livestream this tournament from the beginning. PokerGO producers would be able to choose which of poker's biggest stars - the ratings draws - were featured early and the fans benefit. It also allows viewers at home the chance to see the opening ceremony, the fan-friendly setup and the unique look and feel offered by the special felt. Find a Sponsor This is the hardest of the five by far, but if WSOP executives can make the first four items happen, the fifth one becomes easier. The Poker Players Championship presented by ... works so long as that sponsor not only puts money into the WSOP's coffers but adds value for the players as well. Even if it's $50,000 so that the winner gets a freeroll the next year, it's a start down a path many players have hoped poker would take for a long time.
  10. It seems that nothing can stop Justin Bonomo. Nearly six weeks after winning the $10,000 Heads Up Championship at the 2018 World Series of Poker, Bonomo won the biggest buy-in event on the calendar, the $1 million Big One for One Drop for a $10 million score and sole possession of the top spot on poker's all-time earnings list. On top of the pair of WSOP bracelet wins, Bonomo also won the Super High Roller Bowl in Macau in March, the Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas, two $25,000 Aria High Roller events and two €25,000 High Rollers at EPT Monte Carlo. On Tuesday night he beat out a final table that included Fedor Holz, Dan Smith, and Byron Kaverman to pass Daniel Negreanu for #1 on the all-time earnings list. In 2018 alone, Bonomo has won $24,945,435. The third and final day of the Big One for One Drop began on the stone bubble with six players still hoping to show some form of positive return on the $1 million of investment. Unfortunately for David Einhorn, who finished third in the inaugural Big One for One Drop, he ended up going home with nothing. Action folded to Einhorn on the button and he raised to 1,100,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"]. Holz folded his small blind but Bonomo defended with [poker card="7d"][poker card="4h"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"] flop gave Bonomo the chance to check-raise all and Einhorn called. Neither the [poker card="2h"] turn or [poker card="kc"] river were any help for Einhorn and he was eliminated on the bubble. Two hands later, two more players were sent packing in a three-way preflop all in that included a bit of controversy. Kaverman moved all in from UTG holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"], Holz called from UTG+1 with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] before Rick Salomon moved all in for 26,900,000 holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. Action was back on Holz at which point a discussion at the table began about whether or not one of Salomon's cards had flashed. Tournament director Jack Effel determined it had and ruled that Salomon had to expose the [poker card="ah"] to the entire table. Holz took some time to consider his options and eventually decided to call. The flop came [poker card="ad"][poker card="ks"][poker card="2c"] to give Salomon two pair. The [poker card="qc"] turn gave Kaverman outs to the nut flush and Holz outs to Broadway. The river was the [poker card="td"], giving Holz a set and eliminating Kaverman in fifth and Salomon in fourth place. Three-handed play began with Holz holding nearly 48% of the chips in play. Holz continued to hold that lead, even after Bonomo sent Dan Smith packing in a blind vs. blind battle. Holz folded his button, Bonomo moved all in from the small blind holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="th"] and Smith called off his last 12,500,000 holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"]. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="js"][poker card="qh"] to give Bonomo the ace-high straight and send Smith out in third. Even after that pot, Bonomo still had an uphill climb ahead of home with just 37.5% of the chips. The pair battled back and forth with Bonomo gaining ground before he took the chip lead after catching Holz bluffing. Holz raised to 2,800,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] before Bonomo three-bet to 9,500,000 with [poker card="8d"][poker card="4d"] and Holz called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3s"] flop got Bonomo to bet 5,000,000 and Holz called. The turn was the [poker card="8h"] and Bonomo check-called after Holz bet 11,500,000. The river was the [poker card="6d"], Bonomo checked again and then snap-called Holz's shove. That hand put Bonomo in front with 81.4% of the chips in play. Holz managed to double-up twice but ultimately wasn't able to reverse his fortunes. On the final hand of the night, Bonomo completed with [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"], Holz moved all in with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4s"] and Bonomo called. The board ran out [poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="qd"] to give Bonomo the win. Big One for One Drop Payouts Justin Bonomo - $10,000,000 Fedor Holz - $6,000,000 Dan Smith - $4,000,000 Rick Salomon - $2,840,000 Byron Kaverman - $2,000,000
  11. With the elimination of Brandon Adams on Day 2 in the 2018 Poker Masters $100,000 Main Event, the distinction of who would win the player of the series and the Poker Masters Purple Jacket was no longer a mystery. That honor belongs to 24-year old Ali Imsirovic. But while the Purple Jacket was already being tailored for Imsirovic, there was still the matter of who would take home the $1,150,000 first place prize in final event. As it turned out, the 2018 Poker Masters finished much in the way it started: Event #1 champion David Peters adding another victory, and million dollar payday, to his resume. At the start of the final day of play only four players remained, all well-known for their prowess at the high roller level. Peters, who held the chip lead and 220 big blinds. Dan Smith who was right on Peters heels. Germany’s Koray Aldemir sitting third in place and Bryn Kenney, with 23 big blinds looking to find some double ups in order to get back into contention. A little over an hour into play, Kenney found a hand to make a move. With roughly 10 big blinds Kenney shoves on the button with [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"] only to be called from the small blind by Aldemir and his [poker card="qc"][poker card="jh"]. The flop came [poker card="5d"][poker card="as"][poker card="7s"] and Kenney needed some help on the turn. It came [poker card="8d"] which didn’t open the door to any more outs. Kenney would need one of the remaining three tens. The [poker card="5c"] completed the board, ending Kenney's tournament. Kenney, who had recently remarked on the Poker Central podcast that he was down seven-figures in 2018, picked up $250,000 for fourth place. After the elimination of Kenney, play wore on for hours. The three players took turns making big hands and bigger calls. Aldemir, who was the short stack for most of three-handed play, evened out the stack and even took the chip lead at one point. But a crucial hand in which Peter shoved with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] and was called by Aldemir holding [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] proved to be a tipping point. Peters hit running cards to back into a straight. Aldemir who had worked so hard to climb back into the tournament was once again crippled. In the end, Aldemir couldn’t rebuild. He eventually busted on a hand where he shoved from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9s"] and ran into Smith’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="8d"] and despite his best efforts, Aldemir finishes the Main Event in third place for $400,000 leaving him under $35,000 to hit $10 million in lifetime live tournament earnings. Smith and Peters opted to decrease the time of the levels to 15 minutes and got to the work of determining who would win the $1.15 million. Smith started heads-up play with the slightest of chip advantages. But once Peters took the lead in the first few hands, he wouldn’t give it up. Finally, on the 198th hand of final table play, Peters sealed the deal. Applying pressure, Peters shoved the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="7c"] and was called by Smith’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="7d"]. Peters was dominated but it was Smith’s tournament that was at risk. The flop looked clean for Smith as it came [poker card="3s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="th"]. But when the turn came [poker card="ks"], Peters was looking to hold. The river card was the [poker card="6s"] ending Dan Smith's Main Event run in second place for $700,000. And also wrapping up the 2018 Poker Masters. David Peters, secured his second victory of the series for $1,150,000. Final Table Payouts David Peters - $1,150,000 Dan Smith - $700,000 Koray Aldemir - $400,000 Bryn Kenney - $250,000 What a difference a cash makes. With his victory in the $100,000 Main Event, Peters was only 10 points shy of Imsirovic on the 2018 Poker Master leaderboard. Though both Peters and Imsirovic each had two victories during the series, Imsirovic also scored an eighth-place finish in Event #1 for $27,600. That ended up being the cash that made the difference for the Purple Jacket. Purple Jacket Final Standings Ali Imsirovic - 660 points David Peters - 650 Brandon Adams - 510 Issac Haxton - 480 Jake Schindler - 390 Koray Aldemir - 385 Ben Yu - 360 Dan Smith - 305 Keith Lehr - 300 Jonathan Depa - 270 Koray Aldemir - 210
  12. Each of the last five years, Dan Smith has organized a charity drive that pledges to match a portion of what is donated. This year, Smith, along with a group of poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS) pros, pledged to match up to $1.29 million. The drive is officially called the Double Up Drive and benefits 10 different charities, with eight focused on near-term causes and two focused on the long-term. "Poker is an inherently selfish game," Smith said about using his platform in poker to raise awareness and give back. "For me to win, that means somebody else directly has to lose. After a lot of years of it, I thought there was more to life than just playing cards, and I think it's cool that I was able to use my favorite thing to make a difference in the world." Every year, the drive receives a large amount of support from the gambling world, with both the poker and DFS communities heavily participating. Smith works with Tom and Martin Crowley on the drive, and this year Tom pledged half of his winnings from the DraftKings World Championship Final to the Double Up Drive. Known as 'ChipotleAddict' in the DFS world, Tom incredibly went on to win the event for a haul of $2 million and between that event and the FanDuel $2M WFFC Finals, Tom pulled in $2.254 million. That means $1.127 million is being donated to the Double Up Fund. "It's pretty surreal," Smith said of Crowley winning after pledging 50 percent. "When you're playing super high roller (poker tournaments), sometimes you just go completely numb to the value of a dollar. Like, we're playing a $300K tournament, that’s thousands of lives that are going to be literally saved. It's really hard to comprehend. It's a very cool thing, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s been so successful." One of the biggest elements leading to the success of Smith's drive has been the involvement of the poker and DFS communities, and Smith spoke to how much that’s meant to the drive. "Motivating people to do good I think is an unbelievable achievement," Smith said. "Fedor (Holz) last year, Stephen Chidwick this year made very large donations to the drive. It’s just really wonderful to get support. The charity drive is one of the big parts of my life now, and having people whom I respect - I'm great friends with Stevie - getting supported like that means a lot." The seven-figure charity drive is, as he admits, a big part of Smith's life, and with lots of moving parts, people involved, and tons of donations to be handled, both big and small, Smith said he and the group started putting everything together in October, but overall it might not take as much time as one might believe. "It takes a lot less time than you might think," Smith said. "We started brainstorming some charities in October, discussing numbers. We did a handful of one-hour calls. The most challenging thing, I suppose, was getting people to agree on which charities to include, but it makes sense if you’re divvying up what started as $1.3 million. It should take some time. There were a fair bit of logistics, but fortunately, the people at REG Charity were very helpful. They created the website, they’re entering the emails this year. As far as a multi-million dollar fundraiser would go, it takes a lot less time than you might think." Whereas Tom Crowley won more than $2 million from DFS and will be donating more than $1 million of it to the Double Up Drive, Smith hopes he can also make a large contribution from winning an event. Smith is currently in Las Vegas competing in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. With nearly 40 entries in the field, the prize pool is well north of $10 million. First place is more than $3.6 million. Smith is playing in the event with five percent of his winnings pledged, and he’s not the only one. "Myself and Nick Petrangelo are playing five percent for charity," Smith said. "So that's $15,000, plus hopefully some skill edge, and I am hopeful that it spreads awareness and if people see it on the stream or television then they are encouraged to do good. Even though we talk a lot about the big numbers, I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference. People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all." If you're interested in donating to the Double Up Drive, or simply would like to learn more, you can do so at DoubleUpDrive.com. The Super High Roller Bowl Smith is competing in is being aired on PokerGO, and you can get $10 off an annual subscription through using the code "Pocket5s" when signing up.
  13. The record-setting WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic wrapped up at Bellagio in Las Vegas, with the $10,400 Main Event attracting a huge field of 1,001 entries and featuring some of poker's biggest names. In addition to the Main Event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic schedule featured several events with five-figure buy-ins and one with a six-figure price of entry. Here are the winners from a tremendous week of poker in Sin City. The biggest winners overall from these high buy-in events, excluding the $10,400 Main Event, were Jake Schindler, Jason Koon, Seth Davies, Chris Hunichen, and Dominik Nitsche. Although he didn't earn the most money, it's certainly worth noting that Sam Soverel cashed in four of these events for a total of $314,500. No one else cashed in more than two. Ladines Wins First $10,000 PLO Event The first two high roller events on the schedule were both $10,000 buy-in pot-limit Omaha tournaments. The first one attracted 35 entries for a $350,000 prize pool and saw the top five places make the money. Joshua Ladines took the event’s title and $128,090 top prize, with both Brian Rast and Sam Soverel finishing in the money. Joshua Ladines - $128,090 John Riordan - $102,910 Jonathan Abdellatif - $56,000 Brian Rast - $35,000 Sam Soverel - $28,000 Soverel Takes Second $10,000 PLO Event In the second $10,000 PLO event, a group of familiar faces was back in the money. Soverel topped the field of 29 entries to win the title and $116,000, Ladines finished third for $46,400, and WPT Five Diamond wonder boy Ryan Tosoc scored fifth for $23,200. Tosoc notably finished second in the Season XV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.134 million before going on to win the event in Season XVI for $1.958 million. Sam Soverel - $116,000 Jonathan Depa - $75,400 Joshua Ladines- $46,400 Michael Song - $29,000 Ryan Tosoc - $23,200 Hennigan Captures $10,000 8-Game Mixed Title If you know Bellagio, you know it’s home to the most iconic high-stakes poker room in the world, Bobby’s Room. It’s where the game’s elite compete for astronomical cash-game stakes, but during WPT Five Diamond some of those players shifted their focus to tournament play, specifically in the $10,000 buy-in 8-Game Mixed High Roller. The tournament generated 24 entries, and it was none other than five-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner and WPT Champions Club member John Hennigan taking home the top prize of $110,400. John Hennigan - $110,400 Ben Yu - $67,200 Randy Ohel - $38,400 John Racener - $24,000 Loeser and Fox Chop First $25,000 High Roller In the first of three $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments on this year’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic slate, 42 entries were generated to create a prize pool of $1.05 million. The top six places paid, and the top two spots went to Manig Loeser and Elio Fox in a chop that earned each player more than $300,000. Loeser scored first place for $321,300, and Fox took second for $308,700. Manig Loeser- $321,300 Elio Fox - $308,700 Jake Schindler - $168,000 Dan Smith - $105,000 Cary Katz - $84,000 Nick Petrangelo - $63,000 Petrangelo Wins Second $25,000 High Roller The second $25,000 buy-in tournament attracted 47 entries and generated a $1.175 million prize pool. The top seven places reached the money, with several notables cashing. None earned more than Nick Petrangelo, though, who chopped the event heads up with Sergio Aido to take home the winning prize of $289,944. Aido scored $287,634 for second. Petrangelo was coming off a sixth-place result for $63,000 in the first $25,000 event of this series. Soverel, who finished in the money of the first two high rollers on the schedule, including winning one for $116,000, finished sixth in this event for $70,500. Nick Petrangelo - $289,944 Sergio Aido - $287,634 Seth Davies - $256,672 Ben Yu - $117,500 Kazuhiko Yotsushika - $94,000 Sam Soverel - $70,500 Rainer Kempe - $58,750 Davies Victorious in Third $25,000 High Roller The third and final $25,000 high roller tournament on the WPT Five Diamond schedule drew 50 entries for a $1.25 million prize pool. The top eight places reached the money, and it was Seth Davies taking the title and $341,920 in first-place prize money. The win came just days after Davies took third in the previous $25,000 high roller event during the series of $256,672, as you can see above. Davies did a deal with Isaac Haxton in second place, who earned $320,580. The money was filled with notable high rollers, including Alex Foxen taking third for $175,000. Foxen has had himself quite a 2018 and is closing it strong both on the live felt and the virtual felt. In the online world, Foxen recently achieved a new all-time high in the top 100 of the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings. You'll also notice Soverel's name appearing in the in-the-money places once again, this time for fifth place, worth $100,000. Seth Davies - $341,920 Isaac Haxton - $320,580 Alex Foxen - $175,000 David Peters - $125,000 Sam Soverel - $100,000 Christoph Vogelsang - $75,000 Rainer Kempe - $62,500 Elio Fox: $50,000 Schindler Defeats Koon for $100,000 Super High Roller Victory The final big buy-in event from the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic schedule this year was the $100,000 Super High Roller. The event drew 37 entries to Bellagio for a $3.7 million prize pool and the top six spots reached the money. Earning the $1.332 million first-place prize was Jake Schindler. Adding that score to the $168,000 he won earlier in the series for taking third place in one of the $25,000 high rollers, Schindler scored $1.5 million in prize money at Bellagio this December. Schindler beat out Jason Koon for the win, and Koon took home $888,000 for his second-place finish. Jake Schindler - $1,332,000 Jason Koon - $888,000 Chris Hunichen - $592,000 Dominik Nitsche - $370,000 Ben Tollerene - $296,000 Talal Shakerchi - $222,000
  14. It's going a very high roller holiday season as Poker Central has announced that the return of the Super High Roller Bowl will be sooner than expected. The fifth edition of one of the most prestigious high roller tournaments of the year now takes place from December 17-19 at the PokerGO Studio at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The change to hold the newly dubbed Super High Roller Bowl V during the holiday season is a break of recent tradition for Poker Central. Over the past three years, the SHRB was played in late May, acting as an appetite-whetter for the World Series of Poker. Many expected the next tournament to be held at the same time in 2019. The move to December now takes advantage of the popular World Poker Tour Five Diamond schedule while simultaneously closing out the high roller circuit year with its biggest event. The upcoming December event will have many of the same specifics as the previous event held just six months ago. The $300,000 rake-free buy-in will generate a $14,400,000 prize pool with a $5 million first-place prize and championship ring for the winner. With a 48 seat cap, players who wish to have a shot at a seat need to place their $30,000 deposit by Monday, November 26. For those that do put down a deposit, there will be a live-streamed lottery on PokerGO to award players a seat into the tournament. The ARIA reserves eighteen of the 48 seats for ARIA VIP guests. Tournament officials will hand out these seats at their discretion. The five remaining seats are awarded to the top five players in Aria’s 2018 High Roller of the Year rankings. The current points system will be in place right up until the lottery for Super High Roller Bowl V. Currently the five players with the most points include Poker Central founder Cary Katz, Sam Soverel, Jake Schindler, David Peters, and Isaac Haxton. Poker Masters Champion Ali Imsirovic sits just outside the top five in sixth place with regular high rollers Adrian Mateos and Dan Smith not far behind. According to the Poker Central website, there are currently seven more opportunities for the high roller community to accumulate points. High roller events are taking place every day from October 31-November 6. “In its first five years of existence, Super High Roller Bowl has grown into one of the most exclusive and highly coveted poker championships in the world as the pinnacle of the High Roller Triple Crown,” said Vice President of Content for Poker Central, Sam Simmons. “We’re proud to celebrate that milestone in December, as we implement changes that will continue the success of the event for many years to come.” It just six months ago that Justin Bonomo won the previous Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million. The win was a significant contribution to Bonomo ascending to become the new leader of the All-Time Money List. He currently sits with over $43 million in career earnings. Daniel Negreanu finished as the 2018 runner-up, taking home $3 million for his efforts. The PokerGO platform will stream all of the Super High Roller Bowl. Additionally, the NBC Sports Network will air episodes on their website and the NBC Sports App. Super High Roller Bowl History Year Entries Winner Amount Won Prize Pool 2015 43 Brian Rast $7,525,000 $21,500,000 2016 49 Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 $15,000,000 2017 56 Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 $16,800,000 2018 48 Justin Bonomo $5,000,000 $14,400,000
  15. February may seem like forever ago, but it wasn't too long ago that the second month of 2018 saw the names of Chris 'moorman1' Moorman, Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah, and Viktor 'isildur1' Blom capture the headlines. Below are PocketFives' top five stories from February 2018, plus a look back at the February's Monthly PLB winner. MILESTONES: Chris 'moorman1' Moorman Earns 27th Triple Crown Chris 'moorman1' Moorman is online poker’s leading all-time money earner with, at time of writing, $15.595 million in online tournament winnings. In February 2018, Moorman captured headlines when he won his record 27th PocketFives Triple Crown. Moorman achieved the feat when he scored first place in tournaments from three different sites in back-to-back-to-back days. Moorman then went on to win two more in 2018 and bring his industry-leading total to 29. READ: MILESTONES: Chris 'moorman1' Moorman Earns 27th Triple Crown Stephen Chidwick Wins Inaugural U.S. Poker Open Title The poker world was treated to the first-ever U.S. Poker Open in February 2018. The eight-tournament high-roller series took place at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas with buy-ins ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. An elite group of poker's best were in competition across the eight events, including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Justin Bonomo, Dan Smith, and Jason Koon. In addition to individual tournament scores for large sums of money, each player was looking to become the first overall U.S. Poker Open champion. At its completion, Stephen 'stevie444' Chidwick had cashed in four of the eight events to win more than $1.25 million combined and be crowned U.S. Poker Open champion. READ: Stephen Chidwick Wins Inaugural U.S. Poker Open Title WPT: Mike Leah Wins Fallsview Classic for First WPT Title The World Poker Tour once again made its seasonal stop at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, back in February. With it came a record-breaking field of 517 entries for the event and a final table that included one staunch Canadian grinder, Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah, looking for his first WPT title. Leah entered the final day of play ranked third in chips among the remaining 20 players. From there, he went on to claim victory and his first World Poker Tour title worth C$451,821 ($359,001). READ: Mike Leah Wins Fallsview Classic for First WPT Title Viktor Blom Stages Huge Comeback to Win partypoker MILLIONS Germany If 2018 was the year of anything, it's likely the year of partypoker. The online poker giant’s live tournament offering, partypokerLIVE, delivered enormous prize pool upon enormous prize pool all across the globe, including February's partypoker MILLIONS Germany in Rozvadov. That's where Viktor 'isildur1' Blom grabbed the title worth €1 million, but not without having to overcome a greater than 6-to-1 chip deficit during heads-up play against Pavel Plesuv. READ: Viktor Blom Stages Huge Comeback to Win partypoker MILLIONS Germany Leon Tsoukernik's Counterclaim Against Matt Kirk Dismissed Speaking of Rozvadov, King's Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik was back in the headlines in February with another episode involving his dispute with high-stakes poker pro "Aussie" Matt Kirk. Three months prior, in November, Tsoukernik filed a counterclaim for $10 million in damages. That was followed by Kirk's lawyers filing a motion to dismiss. At the end of February 2018, a Las Vegas judge dismissed Tsoukernik’s counterclaim it what appears to have ended a highly publicized legal tug o' war. READ: Leon Tsoukernik's Counterclaim Against Matt Kirk Dismissed 'European' Wins February Monthly PLB Title With 4,133.54 points, 'European' won the Monthly PLB title for February. 'European' booked 48 cashes in February, including scores of $86,000 for 707.11 points, $58,160 for 584.38 points, $56,975 for 463.68 points, $49,574 for 383.28 points, and $46,418 for 415.33 points. The $86,000 win for 'European' came in the $530 buy-in partypoker Powerfest #46-M: $500K Gtd NLH under the username 'JHelppi' when he outlasted a field of 979 entries.
  16. The World Poker Tour will close out 2018 action with the prestigious WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The tournament, held at the iconic Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be the eighth WPT Main Tour stop of Season XVII. It’s an event that comes with a $10,400 buy-in and has been a part of the World Poker Tour schedule since the very first season. The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 Main Event kicks off Tuesday, December 11, 2018, and runs through Saturday, December 15. The format calls for 40,000 in starting chips, big blind ante, registration until the start of the 12th level, and unlimited reentry until the close of registration. Levels will be 60 minutes long on Day 1 and 90 minutes long on Day 2, 3, and 4. The final table will be played with 60-minute levels until heads-up play. The full tournament festival begins Thursday, November 29. Rich Prizes, Storied History, and Legendary Champions The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic was the very first event on the World Poker Tour, held all the way back in 2002 when the WPT got its start. In that inaugural event, 146 players ponied up the $10,000. The one and only Gus Hansen emerged victorious to claim the $556,460 top prize and his first of three WPT titles. In Season III, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic had a $15,300 buy-in and an incredible first-place prize of more than $1.77 million. Winner the event was none other than Daniel Negreanu after he defeated the popular Humberto Brenes in heads-up play. Season V of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic attracted 583 entries and awarded a first prize of more than $2.2 million. Walking away with the title was Joe Hachem, who had just won the World Series of Poker Main Event one year prior. With the WPT Five Diamond victory, Hachem became the fourth player in poker history to own both WSOP Main Event and WPT titles, alongside Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen, and Carlos Mortensen. More stars of the game captured WPT Five Diamond titles in Season VI, Season VII, and Season VIII of the World Poker Tour. First, it was Eugene Katchalov winning in Season VI for $2.482 million. In Season VII, Chino Rheem took the title and $1.538 million. For Rheem, it was his first of three WPT titles. In Season VIII, Daniel Alaei scored first place for $1.428 million. As if the likes of Hansen, Negreanu, Hachem, Katchalov, Rheem, and Alaei weren’t enough, Antonio Esfandiari earned his second WPT title when he won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Season IX for $870,124. Esfandiari returned to the final table the following season and earned a sixth-place finish worth $119,418. Then in Season XI, Esfandiari was back at the final table, taking fourth for $329,339. To date, Esfandiari has cashed six times in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio, earning more than $1.4 million in total from the event through its first 16 editions. Dan Smith earned the WPT Five Diamond title for $1.161 million in Season XII. Then in Season XIII and Season XIV, both Mohsin Charania and Kevin Eyster won WPT Five Diamond for their second World Poker Tour titles. Charania won for $1.177 million, and Eyster won for $1.587 million. Record-Breaking Turnouts and Tosoc’s Back-To-Back Success In Season XV, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic drew a mammoth field of 791 entries, setting a new record for the WPT Five Diamond tournament and tying the all-time record for a $10,000 buy-in event in WPT history. That tournament created an enormous prize pool of more than $7.67 million and saw the top two places walk away with seven-figures scores - first place earned $1.938 million and second place won $1.124 million. James Romero defeated Ryan Tosoc in heads-up play to win the event. The following season, an even larger field turned out for the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, with 812 entries setting new records for the largest turnout in the WPT Five Diamond event and a $10,000 buy-in WPT event. Nearly $7.9 million was up for grabs, and once again the top two places earned seven figures - first place took home $1.958 million and second place earned $1.134 million. In a jaw-dropping back-to-back run, Tosoc, who placed second the year before for $1.124 million, won the event for $1.1958 million. From the two-season WPT Five Diamond run, Tosoc earned $3.082 million in total prize money. Big Buy-In Events Galore In addition to the $10,400 Main Event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic schedule features several big buy-in tournaments. Included in the Season XVII schedule are seven other events with buy-ins of $10,000 or more. They are, as follows. - Wednesday, December 5, at 2 p.m.: $10,000 buy-in Bellagio 10K PLO 02 - Thursday, December 6, at 2 p.m.: $10,000 buy-in Bellagio 10K PLO 03 - Friday, December 7, at 2 p.m.: $15,000 buy-in Bellagio 15K 8-Game 01 - Saturday, December 8, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 01 - Monday, December 10, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 02 - Friday, December 14, at 2 p.m.: $25,000 buy-in Bellagio 25K 03 - Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m.: $100,000 buy-in Bellagio 100K 01 There are also two $5,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments on the schedule. The first starts on Sunday, December 9, at 1 p.m., and the second starts on Thursday, December 13, at 1 p.m. *Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.
  17. 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. Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters are back for another episode of The Fives. This week they discuss the early end of the Rich Alati bathroom prop bet, the record turnout at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio and talk about Dylan Linde's huge win. They also recap all of the action from the European Poker Tour stop in Prague and talk about Dan Smith's Double Up Drive. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  18. One might think that with the holidays on the horizon December would be a quiet month of people spending time with their family. Not for the world of poker. December 2018 was full of record-breaking tournaments and huge headlines. Here are some of the names that made the news in December. Dan Smith Makes A Difference For the past five years, regular high-roller Dan Smith has been collecting donations for various charities at Christmas time. This year, Smith and his collaborators amassed $1.29M for the Double Up Drive and that they would use to match donations to spread to 10 carefully cultivated charities. They nearly got that amount in a single day when DFS champion Tom Crowley promised to give 50% of any winnings he might make from the DraftKings World Championship Final. Crowley, known as ‘ChipotleAddict’, went on to win the event for $2 million and over the weekend hauled in a total of $2.254 - half of which was donated to the Double Up Drive. The donation was ‘surreal’ but Smith wants to make sure people knew that donations of any size are welcome. “I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference,” Smith told PocketFives. “People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all.” READ: Dan Smith Charity Drive Gets “Surreal” $1.1M Donation via DFS Champ Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl V The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl saw Isaac Haxton best the field of 36 elite players to earn a career-high cash of $3.672 million dollars. “This is easily the best tournament result I’ve ever had and it’s an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt,” said Haxton after the win. The final table was replete with talent including Poker Masters champion Ali Imsirovic, Igor Kurganov, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, Stephen Chidwick, and eventual runner-up Alex Foxen. Foxen took home a career-best $2.1 million for his second-place finish. This capped off an amazing year that saw him earn 12 cashes of six-figures or better as well as rise to become the #1-ranked player on the GPI. READ: Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl for $3.672 Million READ: Alex Foxen’s Drive Takes Him to the Super High Roller Bowl The World Series of Poker Releases 2019 Dates Just before Christmas the World Series of Poker delivered players an early present by announcing a partial schedule of the 2019 WSOP. This summer will be the 50th anniversary for the longest-running tournament series and to help commemorate the occasion the WSOP is planning a number of special events for the players. The schedule included the announcement of the ‘Big 50’, a $500 buy-in tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool and a $1 million guarantee for first place. Additionally, in an extra effort to “make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around” many of the marquee events of the summer have an increased starting stack. This includes the WSOP Main Event which is increasing their starting stack to 60,000. READ: WSOP Releases 2019 Dates, New ‘Big 50’ Event - $500 Buy-in, $5M GTD Dylan Linde Wins WPT Five Diamond for $1.6 Million The crypto crash of 2018 has some in the industry fearing that the numbers for the World Poker Tour’s highlight event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, might see a dip in registration. However, just the opposite happened as players flocked to the Bellagio in record-setting numbers. The event attracted 1001 runners and generated a prize pool of $9.7 million. In the end, longtime poker pro Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde (who re-entered five times in the event) dominated a stacked final table that included Andrew Lichtenberger, Ping Liu, Lisa Hamilton, Barry Hutter and runner-up Milos Skrbic. Linde won a career-high $1.6 million and earned the title of WPT Champion. READ: Dylan Line Wins Record-Shattering WPT Five Diamond Title for $1.6 Million Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio, Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online. partypoker’s 2018 $20M GTD MILLIONS Online did not disappoint. The incredible online tournament surpassed its posted guarantee and set the record for the largest single online tournament in history with players vying for a first place prize of over $2.6M. In the end, after one hand of heads-up play, Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and PocketFiver Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede settled on a lightning-fast chop that awarded both players over $2.3M. Rubio, technically, earned the victory, taking home $20K more than De Goede and now owns the record for the single largest online payday in history. READ: Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop partypoker MILLIONS Online A December To Remember December was just one of those month’s where huge news seemed to break every day. Here are some of the other must-read major headlines in December. Michigan opens its doors to online poker. READ: Michigan Becomes Fifth State to Regulate Online Poker The poker world loses a legend in the passing of Thor Hansen. READ: Thor Hansen Passes Away at 71 The pitch black bathroom bet comes to an abrupt end. READ: The $100K Bathroom Prop Ends Early; Alati, Young Agree on $62K Buyout Bay 101’s Shooting Star returns without the WPT behind it. READ: After a Year Away, Bay 101 Shooting Star Returns With New Look
  19. For the first time at the 2019 World Series of Poker, there were two bracelets awarded in a single day as Ben Heath and Dan Zack each picked up the first WSOP title of their careers on Monday. Those were just two of the seven events on the schedule that included another Day 2 in the Big 50, an influx of players in the $10,000 Short Deck, and another massive No Limit Hold'em tournament. And it just wouldn't be the WSOP if there wasn't a drama bomb in the first week. Ben Heath Avoids Controversial Ending, Wins $50K High Roller Ben Heath started the final table of the $50,000 High Roller event on Monday with the chip lead and while he didn't hold onto it the entire night, he had it when it mattered most; at the end. Heath beat a final table that included Chance Kornuth, Nick Petrangelo, Sam Soverel and finally Andrew Lichtenberger heads-up to claim the $1,484,085 first place prize and the first bracelet of his career. “It feels a lot better than I thought it would,” Heath said. “When I was younger, I was shy and didn't really want to win the bracelet. I would have rather just taken second place. But now that it has happened, it feels great!” The final table provided the first controversial moment of the WSOP though. Down to four players, Soverel folded out of turn while waiting for Heath to respond to an all-in shove for Yurasov. The moment soon caught the eye of high roller regular Isaac Haxton who took to Twitter. Haxton's tweet set off a firestorm of responses on both sides of the issues from players who have played against Soverel in tournaments around the world. Final Table Payouts Ben Heath $1,484,085 Andrew Lichtenberger - $917,232 Sam Soverel - $640,924 Dmitry Yurasov - $458,138 Nick Petrangelo - $335,181 Chance Kornuth - $251,128 Dan Zack Takes Down $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Experience pays off at the WSOP and as the final table of the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw event played down to a winner, Dan Zack relied heavily on his experience playing a lot of short-handed Triple Draw games over the past few years. It paid off handsomely for the 26-year-old New Jersey poker player as he beat Sumir Mathur heads-up to win $160,447 and the first bracelet of his career. “Draw games are my favorite games and probably my best games. I’ve probably played more hands of three-handed and heads-up draw than I’ve played of anything else in the last couple of years. I’ve played a ton of short-handed triple draw and Badugi online, so this is a cool event to take down,” Zack said after his win. There were 13 players at the start of the day that felt like they had a shot at the bracelet. Bryce Yockey, Andrew Brown, Mark Gregorich and Mike Gorodinsky were just some of the talented players that busted before the final table. Jake Schwartz, who started Day 2 with the chip lead, busted in sixth. Final Table Payouts Dan Zack - $160,447 Sumir Mathur - $99,153 Brayden Gazlay - $65,217 Jon Turner - $43,984 Jesse Hampton - $30,437 Jake Schwartz - $21,625 Saya Ono Gets Through Big 50 Day 1C on Top Saya Ono, a Southern California cash game regular, went from all in on the bubble to end-of-day chip leader on Tuesday. Ono bagged up 3,810,000 and is one of just two players who finished with more than 3,000,000 in chips. The other is Britain's Benjamin Dobson (3,560,000). The day started with 1,504 players and ended with 404 players putting chips in a bag. Notables who are still alive include Isaac Baron, Asher Conniff, Men Nguyen, Rex Clinkscales, Ari Engel, Eric Baldwin, Matt Stout, and Jared Griener. Those players moving on to Day 3, will now wait until Wednesday to resume play as the Day 1D survivors get their shot to move on to Tuesday. Prize pool information for the Big 50 should be announced early Tuesday morning. Top 10 Chip Counts Saya Ono - 3,810,000 Benjamin Dobson - 3,560,000 Nelson Rose - 2,915,000 Ubaid Habib - 2,600,000 Danny Ehrenberger - 2,440,000 Catherine Valdes - 2,430,000 Renato Manalo - 2,360,000 Samuel Welbourne - 2,275,000 Janae Pham - 2,250,000 Jiehao Zhu - 2,230,000 $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold'em Gets Boost A lot of the talk on Day 1 of the $10,000 Short Deck event was centered around the lack of turnout. Just 61 players showed up on Sunday for the opening day but with two hours of late registration on Monday, another 53 entries boosted the field to 114 total players. Some of the players who took advantage of the late registration included Shaun Deeb, Ryan Riess, Ben Yu, Daniel Negreanu, Alex Foxen, Rainer Kempe, Andrew Robl, and Phil Hellmuth. Busting out of the $50,000 High Roller didn't seem to impact Chance Kornuth too much. He walked right over to this event and ran up his stack to 2,163,000 and heads into Wednesday's final table as the chip leader. Alex Epstein and Yong Wang sit second and third respectively and were the only other players to finish with a seven-figure stack. Pennsylvania poker pro Thai Ha has the shortest remaining stack and will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to spin it up on Tuesday. Players who cashed on Monday but failed to advance to Tuesday include Bill Perkins, Kane Kalas, Alex Foxen, Justin Bonomo, and Galen Hall. The event was originally scheduled to run four days but given the light Day 1 turnout and the rapid pace of eliminations on Day 2, tournament organizers decided to shorten the event by one day. The final table gets underway at 2 PM PT. Final Table Chip Counts Chance Kornuth - 2,163,000 Alex Epstein - 1,275,000 Yong Wang - 1,176,000 Anson Tsang - 975,000 Rene van Krevelen - 563,000 Andrew Robl - 406,000 Thai Ha - 283,000 Big Field Shows for $600 No Limit Hold'em Deepstack If you thought the days of long line-ups were going to be restricted to the Big 50, you'd be wrong. The first Deepstack event of the 2019 WSOP attracted 6,151 players, many of them coming from the Big 50 after busting out. The event, which features 20-minute levels, is scheduled to be a two-day event but with 581 players advancing to Day 2, it seems more likely that a third day will be added. Paul Dhaliwal finished as the chip leader with 1,612,000 chips going in the bag at the end of the night. Some of the notables who advanced to Day 2 include Jake Schwartz, Bart Lybaert, Daniel Negreanu, Maurice Hawkins, Matt Stout, Ylon Schwartz, and Erik Seidel. Action gets underway at Noon PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Paul Dhaliwal - 1,612,000 Michael Morhaime - 1,275,000 David Elet - 1,255,000 Mohammad Saadeghvazri - 1,215,000 Christopher Battenfield - 1,190,000 Zachary Vankeuren - 1,032,000 Kyle Dover - 951,000 Richard Smith - 922,000 Edvinas Gruzdas - 896,000 Roman Kroupa - 893,000 Jim Collopy Leads $1,500 Dealers Choice After Day 1 A lot of the focus at the WSOP over the past few days has been on No Limit Hold'em, but mixed game aficionados were out in full force Monday afternoon for the $1,500 Dealers Choice event. Jim Collopy bagged up 84,300 and leads the 178 players who managed to survive Day 1. The event drew 470 players. Other familiar faces who are moving on to Day 2 include Robert Mizrachi, Dan Shak, WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu, Greg Mueller, Ryan Hughes, David 'ODB' Baker, Marco Johnson and Dzmitry Urbanovich. Top 10 Chip Counts Jim Collopy - 84,300 Danny Noam - 81,100 Jason Stockfish - 79,500 Al Barbieri - 65,800 Nikolai Yakovenko - 63,600 Ryan Leng - 62,800 Tamon Nakamura - 61,100 Cole Jackson - 56,800 Robert Campbell - 56,400 Todd Barlow - 54,900 Dan Smith Leads $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Straight forward No Limit Hold'em was on the menu as the final event to get underway on Monday. 343 players entered the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event and the high end of the Day 1 chip counts include a who's who of NLHE bosses. Dan Smith sits on top of that impressive list with 321,000. Simon Deadman, Darryll Fish, and Faraz Jaka take up the second - fourth place spots behind Smith. Online poker crusher Arsenii 'josef_shvejk' Karmatckii bagged up the fifth biggest stack. There's a plethora of well-known players outside of the top 10 chip counts. Dietrich Fast, Niall Farrell, Antoine Saout, Ali Imsirovic, Adrian Mateos, Chris Hunichen, Daniel Strelitz, Ian O'Hara, and Joao Vieira all still have chips and a shot at winning the bracelet. Registration remains open until the end of Level 12 on Tuesday. Top 10 Chip Counts Dan Smith - 321,100 Simon Deadman - 267,000 Darryll Fish - 254,400 Faraz Jaka - 224,600 Arsenii Karmatckii - 221,900 Andreas Eiler - 171,200 Emile Schiff - 170,200 Brett Bader - 158,400 Georgios Kitsios - 154,000 Pedro Oliveira - 137,900
  20. Winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is widely considered by many to be poker’s ultimate achievement. For some players, it defines his or her career. For others, it’s the one prize eluding some of the game’s best. For years, Stephen Chidwick was considered the best poker player without a WSOP gold bracelet. At the 2019 WSOP, Chidwick bucked that monkey off his back like the most turbulent bull does to a rider at a rodeo when he won the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $1.618 million. Shawn Buchanan was another player in the "best without a bracelet conversation," but, like Chidwick, he broke through at the 2019 WSOP, winning the $800 buy-in WSOP.com Online NL Six-Handed. Now that Chidwick and Buchanan have each won an elusive gold bracelet, let's take a look at who are the best players remaining without a bracelet entering the 2020 WSOP. Patrick Antonius CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 15 2 0 $929,518 Widely considered one of the best all-around players in poker for quite some time, Patrik Antonius is still missing a WSOP gold bracelet from his résumé. He's come close a couple of times, finishing in the top 10 on four occasions and placing at the final table twice, but he's never scored better than third place. Antonius has been known to pass on tournaments for cash games these days, but he's still a threat to win a bracelet in the bigger buy-in WSOP events when he does compete. Niklas Astedt CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 0 0 $110,645 Sweden's Niklas Astedt is one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world, but his live success hasn’t been too plentiful, especially at the WSOP. Astedt’s skills should not be overlooked, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2014 and his highest WSOP finish was a 26th-place result in the 2019 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. He's also cashed in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, with a 182nd-place finish in 2016 and a 899th-place finish in 2019. Mikita Badziakouski CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 4 4 1 $3,161,362 Mikita Badziakouski plays some of the biggest buy-in events around the world, and his career to date includes more than $26.1 million in live tournament earnings. At the WSOP, Badziakouski has four cashes. Each cash has been a final table appearance and each has come at WSOP Europe. If there's a high roller event on the WSOP schedule, Badziakouski will likely be in the field and a threat to win the gold bracelet. Darren Elias CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 28 3 0 $645,659 With four World Poker Tour titles and more than $7.5 million in live tournament earnings, it’s a matter of when, not if, Darren Elias will finally win WSOP gold. His first WSOP cash came in 2009. He has three WSOP final table appearances and two finishes in third place, although he’s never made it to heads-up play. The two times Elias finished in third came from the same event, the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship in 2017 and 2019. Alex Foxen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 39 4 0 $808,918 Alex Foxen has been around the WSOP for a much shorter time than some of the players on this list, with his first WSOP cash coming in 2015. He has, however, built up quite the reputation as one of the best tournament poker players in the game today and it seems very much just a matter of time before he finds himself in the WSOP winner’s circle with his first gold bracelet. Already, Foxen has racked up 39 WSOP cashes and four final tables ahead of 2020. His highest finish to date was a third-place finish at the 2017 WSOP in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Matt Glantz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 61 13 1 $3,232.669 Pennsylvania's Matt Glantz has been around the WSOP block a few times, but he’s still looking for that first gold bracelet. Glantz first cashed in a WSOP in 2000 and he’s been producing everything but wins since, including 13 final table appearances. Glantz has reached heads-up play once and finished third on three occasions. At the 2019 WSOP, Glantz picked up his third WSOP Main Event cash. Mark Gregorich CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 69 11 1 $1,168,497 Mark Gregorich is another player on this list who has been around for quite some time, earning his first WSOP cash back in 1999. He has 69 cashes and 11 final table appearances at the WSOP, with one runner-up finish that came in the 2003 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. Gregorich also has a trio of third-place finishes at the WSOP to date. Nick Guagenti CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 37 3 0 $583,181 Ohio's Nick Guagenti has 37 WSOP cashes with the first coming in 2006. He has three final table appearances. Guagenti's highest WSOP result came in 2019 when he took third in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $85,265. His best finish in terms of money won came from his 46th-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event, for which Guagenti won $145,733. Guagenti is a regular in mid- and high-stakes cash games in his region, and he also has 15 cashes on the WSOP Circuit. Christian Harder CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 53 2 0 $1,050,784 Christian Harder’s first WSOP cash came in 2009. He’s won titles elsewhere in the poker world, just not at the WSOP just yet. He’s been close before with a pair of fourth-place finishes and is known to put in a high amount of volume in the big bet games of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Maurice Hawkins CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 29 3 0 $623,240 Maurice Hawkins has been a longtime grinder of the WSOP and WSOP Circuit, racking up 29 WSOP cashes and 110 WSOP Circuit cashes. He has a whopping 14 WSOP Circuit gold rings, but Hawkins has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Hawkins has three WSOP final tables and they've come in big-field NL tournaments. With as many big-field NL events that are on the WSOP schedule these days, one has to figure that Hawkins is going to break through and win one at some point. Isaac Haxton CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 7 1 $2,923,424 Isaac Haxton is widely considered as one of the best minds in poker, and he’s certainly lived up to that with more than $27.6 million in live tournament earnings, millions more won in cash games, and who knows how much won online. The one thing he doesn’t have is a WSOP gold bracelet. Haxton has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. The second-place finish came to Vitaly Lunkin in the 2009 WSOP $40,000 No Limit Hold’em. Maria Ho CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 55 5 1 $1,644,554 Maria Ho is another long-time regular at the WSOP, with cashes dating back to 2005. She has five final table appearances and one runner-up finish in WSOP events, and she’s known to mix it up in most of the games. Ho’s runner-up finish came to Allen Bari in the 2011 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em. Ho has been the last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, 2007 and 2014, and she finished sixth in the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. Ali Imsirovic CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 10 3 1 $583,986 Ali Imsirovic is one of the newest kids on the block in all of poker, not just the WSOP, and he’s quickly acquired a reputation of one of the game’s best when it comes to No Limit Hold’em tournaments. Imsirovic’s first WSOP cash came in 2017, so there isn’t a ton of sample to draw from, but he’s already made three WSOP final tables in top-level events and has one runner-up finish. Given his success in his young poker career, Imsirovic is considered one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit Hold’em event. Rainer Kempe CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 3 0 $1,142,997 Rainer Kempe has won more than $21.3 million in his poker career and he’s been in the winner’s circle many times, but he’s yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. His WSOP career is still pretty young, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2015, but over a short period of time he’s already earned 31 in-the-money finishes and more than $1.1 million in earnings. Kempe has been to a WSOP final table three times to date. Jason Koon CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 42 7 1 $1,789,462 For all of the poker success that Jason Koon has enjoyed over the course of his career, he’s still searching for his first WSOP gold bracelet. Koon has more than $31.1 million in live tournament earnings to date and his first WSOP cash came back in 2009. He has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. Koon is similar to Haxton and Imsirovic in the sense that he’ll almost always be one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit hold’em tournament. Timofey Kuznetsov CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 0 0 0 $0 Timofey Kuznetsov, also known as ‘Trueteller,’ is highly regarded in the poker community as one of the best, especially within the high-stakes community. He has zero WSOP cashes to date, but he simply doesn’t play a lot of tournaments. That said, Kuznetsov is still one of the best players in poker without a WSOP gold bracelet. Maria Lampropulos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 0 0 $136,731 Maria Lampropulos first cashed a WSOP event in 2016 and that first year she walked away with five WSOP cashes in total. She followed that up with six cashes in 2017 and seven cashes in 2018. At the 2019 WSOP and WSOP Europe festivals, she cashed nine time. With partypoker MILLIONS and PCA Main Event wins on her résumé, both for seven-figure paydays, Lampropulos has shown she has the chops to compete in some of the biggest events in the world. Toby Lewis CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 24 0 0 $409,171 Toby Lewis’ first WSOP cash came in 2011 when he took 11th in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship. He’s racked up 24 WSOP cashes to date, but he’s never reached a WSOP final table. Tom Marchese CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 26 4 1 $1,295,638 A player with more than $19.1 million in live tournament earnings, Tom Marchese is often considered one of the better tournament players poker has to offer. He's yet to score a WSOP gold bracelet, though, but he has come close a few times, with four WSOP final tables and one runner-up finish. The time Marchese finished second was at the 2015 WSOP in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em tournament. Steve O‘Dwyer CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 18 2 0 $675,717 Like Haxton and like Koon, Steve O’Dwyer has a ton of live tournament winnings. O’Dwyer has scored more than $30.4 million from the live felt, plus plenty more online, and his first WSOP cash came in 2007. O’Dwyer is a player who put in more WSOP volume at the beginning of his career compared to what he does now, which could be holding him back in terms of winning his first gold bracelet. At this point in his career, it seems that if O'Dwyer does win a gold bracelet, it will come at WSOP Europe or a similar international WSOP stop. Adam Owen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 34 5 0 $570,961 Adam Owen is another one of the younger guns on this list, but he’s widely regarded as one of the best all-around players in the game these days. Having earned his first WSOP cash in 2014, Owen has racked up 34 WSOP cashes to date, including five final tables and three third-place finishes. Owen has shown a propensity to perform well in the $10,000 buy-in championship events at the WSOP and many think that’s where he’ll earn his first gold bracelet from. Felipe Ramos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 4 0 $526,047 One of best poker players to come out of Brazil is Felipe Ramos, with 31 WSOP cashes dating back to his first in 2009. Ramos is known as a solid player who can compete across all variants, and the more tools you have in your shed, the better when it comes to chasing gold bracelets. Ramos has four WSOP final tables and they've all come in Omaha. Three of those four final tables were in Pot Limit Omaha. Dario Sammartino CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 41 10 0 $9,927,947 Italy’s Dario Sammartino first cashed in a WSOP event in 2011 and he’s been performing very well ever since, except winning a WSOP gold bracelet is something he’s yet to achieve. Sammartino has found the money in WSOP events 41 times to date. Of those, he’s reached the final table on 10 occasions. Sammartino's biggest claim to World Series of Poker fame was a runner-up finish in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $6 million. He's also one of the few players to have made the final table of both the WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event in his career. Sammartino has learned how to play all the games and play them well, so don’t be surprised to see him finally win WSOP gold much sooner than later. Ole Schemion CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 1 0 $469,735 Although his WSOP results don’t pop off the page, Ole Schemion is one of the best players out there and an absolute force when it comes to poker tournaments. He’s amassed more than $16.3 million in live tournament earnings, numerous high roller victories, and one World Poker Tour title. He’s still in search of his first WSOP gold bracelet, though. In terms of winning WSOP gold, it’s very likely just a volume game for Schemion. If he puts in the volume, he’ll get it eventually and probably in the near future. It also works to his benefit that WSOP Europe looks as though it will remain at King’s Casino in Rozvadov where Schemion has shown success before, including a sixth-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Europe €100,000 Diamond High Roller for €341,510. Jake Schindler CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 33 4 0 $1,050,644 The first of two players named Jake on this list, Jake Schindler has 33 entries and four final tables at the WSOP entering 2020. His best finish was a third-place result in the 2014 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for $212,373. Over his entire poker career, Schindler has more than $25 million in live tournament earnings. Jake Schwartz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 60 3 1 $658,477 Jake Schwartz earned his first WSOP cash in 2012 and has built up 60 in-the-money finishes since. He was first widely known as a No Limit hold'em player but he's since branched out and has been playing more of the games. In 2013, Schwartz earned the top WSOP finish of his career when he took second in the $1,500 NL Shootout, earning $202,035. To date, he has two other WSOP final table appearances in addition to that one. Shannon Shorr CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 79 9 2 $2,217,846 When is Shannon Shorr going to finally win a WSOP gold bracelet? Shorr first cashed in a WSOP event back in 2006, which seems like ages ago when you consider he’s still very much on the younger side of poker players. Ever since that first WSOP cash, not a year has gone by that Shorr hasn’t racked up multiple WSOP cashes. Plus, he’s been very close on several occasions with nine final table appearances and two runner-up finishes. He also has a pair of third-place finishes. Shorr can play all of the games very well. Before Chidwick winning his bracelet, Shorr was right there at the top of this list with Chidwick. Dan Smith CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 36 10 1 $9,884,615 Another high roller with a knack for all the games, Dan Smith has been close to winning WSOP gold before but it just hasn’t happened for him yet. His first WSOP cash came in 2010. Since then, he’s earned 36 total WSOP cashes and won more than $9.8 million at the WSOP. He has 10 final table appearances, six third-place finishes, and one second-place finish in WSOP events. Like some of the other high rollers on this list, with Smith it feels like more of a volume game than anything. Christoph Vogelsang CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 13 6 0 $8,668,735 Christoph Vogelsang has come close at the WSOP on a handful of occasions, including two third-place finishes in a pair of the biggest events the WSOP has ever offered. In 2014, Vogelsang placed third in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $4.48 million. In 2019, he took third in the WSOP Europe €250,000 Super High Roller for more than $1.3 million. If there's a big buy-in event at the WSOP, Vogelsang is considered a threat to win it. Mike Watson CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 63 11 4 $2,917,143 Mike Watson has been knocking at the WSOP gold bracelet door for several years now. His first WSOP cash came in 2007 and he’s put up more than 60 cashes to date since. Of the 11 WSOP final table appearances Watson has on record, four of the times he’s finished runner-up. Interestingly, Watson did win the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe, but it was an added non-bracelet event for the high rollers. Had that event been in a later year, it very likely would have been for a gold bracelet. Watson usually plays a high volume of events and can play all the games, much like Shorr, and it’s only a matter of time before he finally scores a WSOP gold bracelet. Jerry Wong CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 38 7 0 $1,899,225 Jerry Wong may be most well known for reaching the now-defunct WSOP November Nine in 2016, when he finished eighth for more than $1.1 million, but he has plenty of other success at the WSOP. With 38 total WSOP cashes and seven final table appearances, the only thing left for Wong to do is win a gold bracelet. One would think that has to be on the horizon soon for Wong, who has the ability to compete highly in all of the games. His WSOP final table appearances have come in No Limit Deuce to Seven, Pot Limit Omaha, Big Bet Mix, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, H.O.R.S.E., and No Limit Hold'em.
  21. Most of the attention of the poker world is on the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event right now, but on Monday a number of the best high stakes tournament players ventured into the Rio for one of the biggest buy-in tournaments on the calendar. The Final Fifty, the $50,000 buy-in high roller event that WSOP officials added to the schedule just a few weeks ago, drew 109 entries on Day 1 and was one of three non-Main Event tournaments on the schedule. Final Fifty Draws 109 Players on Day 1 Seth Davies bagged up 2,250,000 on Day 1 of the Final Fifty to lead the final 45 players into Day 2. As expected, the field reads like an all-star roster of some of the world's best No Limit Hold'em tournament players. Dan Smith sits second with 1,680,000 while Elior Sion rounds out the top three with 1,520,000. A pair of former GPI #1-ranked players take up the next two spots. Adrian Mateos finished with 1,450,000 while Fedor Holz has 1,320,000. Other notables among the 45 moving on to Day 2 include Brian Rast, David Peters, Jason Koon, Ben Yu, and Daniel Negreanu. Among those who busted on Day 1 were Joao Vieira, Kristen Bicknell, Bryn Kenney, Nick Petrangelo, Justin Bonomo, Stephen Chidwick, and Erik Seidel. Action resumes at Noon PT and registration remains open until the start of Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Seth Davies - 2,250,000 Dan Smith - 1,680,000 Elior Sion - 1,520,000 Adrian Mateos - 1,450,000 Fedor Holz - 1,320,000 Ali Imsirovic - 1,290,000 Ivan Luca - 1,260,000 Juan Pardo Dominguez - 1,220,000 Keith Tilston - 1,205,000 Daniel Tang - 1,035,000 Ron Carmona on Road to Redemption in $3K Six Max Limit Hold'em Just two weeks ago, Ron Carmona made the final two tables of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event before busting in 17th. On Monday he got off to a strong start in another Limit event, finished Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event with the chip lead. Carmona ended up with 142,500 to edge out Joshua Turner who finished with 139,000. Pennsylvania's own Zachary Gruneberg sits third with 137,000. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Patrick Leonard finished with 114,000 for the eighth-best stack. The event drew 193 entries, down from the 221 that Ronald Keijzer beat to win the event last summer. Just 57 players managed to make it through the first day. Some of the notables still in the field include Daniel Zack, Greg Mueller, Calvin Anderson, Joao Vieira, and Joe McKeehen. Cards are back in the air for Day 2 starting at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Ron Carmona - 142,500 Joshua Turner - 139,000 Zachary Gruneberg - 137,000 Stuart Rutter - 130,500 Jason Bawadi - 129,000 Oleg Chebotarev - 118,500 Mark Radoja - 117,000 Patrick Leonard - 114,000 Alex Torry - 109,000 Xiaofei Wen - 107,000 Little One for One Drop Final Starting Flight Brings Out 3,225 The final starting flight of the Little One for One Drop had 3,225 entries to push the total field to 5,461. The 2018 version of this event had just 4,732. Just 1,258 players got through Day 1C. Russia's Nikolay Fal finished with 437,000 to top all of Monday's survivors. Stefan Ivano, Hophuong Lay, Joris Ruijs and David Lolis round out the top five. Fal has to be happy with topping 1C, but that doesn't even get him into the top five of all starting flights. Six players from Day 1A and 1B finished with a bigger stack. Some of the familiar faces who played and bagged on Day 1C include Ryan D'Angelo, Men Nguyen, Shaun Deeb, Nipun Java, JC Tran, Steven van Zadelhoff, and Ray Henson. A total of 2,016 survived the three opening flights. Day 2 begins at 1 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nikolay Fal - 437,000 Darren Attebery - 368,000 Kenneth Golden - 359,600 Bruno Desimoni - 358,000 Richard Murnick - 346,200 Brett Mueller - 343,700 Dragos Trofimov - 340,300 Timothy Sheehan - 340,100 Wayne Keller - 338,500 Alice Sicconi - 338,400
  22. Aaron Zang has done it! On Saturday, he captured the title in poker's richest-ever tournament, winning the £1,050,000 buy-in Triton Million: A Helping Hand for Charity for £13,779,791 in prize money. Zang topped a mixed field of 54 businessmen, recreational players, and the game’s top professionals to capture the title. Entering the Triton Million, Zang, who is known as a high-stakes cash game player, had less than $900,000 in live tournament earnings. Originally set to pay the winner £19,000,000, a heads-up deal was struck between Zang and his final opponent, Bryn Kenney, that saw Zang take £13,779,791 and Kenney take £16,890,509. With a conversion rate that puts Kenney's prize north of $20,400,000, Kenney is now the holder of poker's largest single score from a live tournament. That is rather fitting as Kenney now sits atop poker's all-time money list, as recorded by Hendon Mob, as a result of the finish. Triton Million Results 1st: Aaron Zang - £13,779,791* 2nd: Bryn Kenney - £16,890,509* 3rd: Dan Smith - £7,200,000 4th: Stephen Chidwick - £4,410,000 5th: Vivek Rajkumar - £3,000,000 6th: Bill Perkins - £2,200,000 7th: Alfred DeCarolis - £1,720,000 8th: Timothy Adams - £1,400,000 9th: Wai Leong Chan - £1,200,000 10th: Chin Wei Lim - £1,100,000 11th: Winfred Yu - £1,100,000 *First and second prizes as a result of a heads-up deal. Zang began the third and final day of the tournament in sixth place on the leaderboard with eight players remaining, but the early story of the final table was the demise of Vivek Rajkumar, who entered with a big chip lead over the rest of the field. First, Bill Perkins scored a double through Rajkumar when his pocket nines held up against Rajkumar’s pocket fours on Hand #9. Perkins then doubled again through Rajkumar on Hand #30 when his pocket sevens held up against Rajkumar’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kh"]. Despite the two hits to his stack, Rajkumar maintained his lead. Not too long after Perkins scored his second double up of the day, Zang took his turn doubling through Rajkumar. Both players had the same hand, ace-jack, but it was Zang’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Jh"] that made a flush against Rajkumar’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jd"] after the board ran out [poker card="Ts"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="Th"]. That brought Rajkumar back to the pack and his closest competitor was Kenney, who had rather quietly worked his way up to an eight-figure chip stack. Rajkumar was able to get things moving in the right direction when, on Hand #49, he knocked out Timothy Adams in eighth place. Right after that, on Hand #50, Stephen Chidwick scored a double up through Rajkumar, forcing Rajkumar to give a good chunk of the chips he had just won to someone else. Chidwick used those newly acquired chips to then knock out Alfred DeCarolis on Hand #51, closing out quite the exciting three-hand run of action. Things only got worse for Rajkumar on Hand #56. On the [poker card="Tc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="4h"] flop, Dan Smith held the [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Jc"] to Rajkumar’s [poker card="Th"][poker card="9h"]. All the money went in and it was Smith’s overpair up against Rajkumar’s top two pair. It was a good spot for Rajkumar, but the turn was the [poker card="3d"] and the river the [poker card="Js"] to give Smith the huge double into the chip lead. Rajkumar was knocked down to the second shortest stack with six players remaining. Perkins grabbed another double up through Rajkumar on Hand #66, which knocked Rajkumar down to the bottom of the pack. Rajkumar fought on, though, and it was eventually Perkins who busted in sixth place. Kenney was the one to bust Perkins, holding the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ad"] to Perkins’ [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Td"]. With six players left and the blinds at 150,000-300,000 with a 300,000 big blind ante on Hand #88, Zang shoved all in for 11,375,000 from the small blind with the [poker card="8d"][poker card="7d"]. Kenney was in the big blind with a stack of 7,775,000 and called holding the [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"]. The flop, turn, and river ran out [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="6d"][poker card="Qs"] and Kenney survived a big sweat to score the double. Rajkumar was next out, busting in fifth place on Hand #91. Like Perkins, Rajkumar also ran into the aces of Kenney. That allowed Kenney to take the chip lead, but it didn’t last long because Zang flopped top two pair versus Kenney’s top pair on Hand #100 and doubled through Kenney. Despite Zang doubling through him, Kenney powered on and began to run away with the lead for some time. It looked like it really was going to be Kenney’s tournament, and even more so after he busted Chidwick in fourth place. Kenney didn’t stop there, busting Smith in third and taking quite a large chip lead into heads-up play. Heads-up play didn’t last too long, but it was the underdog Zang who stormed back in the match. First, Zang found a double up with pocket sixes against Kenney’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qd"] to close the gap. Then, Zang moved into the chip lead after he made a full house and allowed Kenney to bluff off some chips to him. Shortly after that, it was all over. On the final hand, the two found the money in the middle on the [poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"] flop. Kenney had the [poker card="As"][poker card="6s"] for a flush draw, and Zang had the [poker card="8d"][poker card="5d"] for top pair. The turn was the [poker card="9c"] and the river was the [poker card="Kd"] to secure Zang the win.
  23. Triton Poker set out to make poker history this week and they most certainly will and in more ways than one. Not only does the Triton Million’s £1,050,000 buy-in ($1,273215) make it the largest buy-in tournament in history, but with 54 players helping generate a prize pool of £54,000,000 ($65,611,361) the first place prize of £19,000,000 ($23,085,479) makes it the largest single tournament payout of all time. Million Dollar Payouts It’s not just first place that is going to find themselves flush after the Triton Million comes to an end. With an astronomical buy-in, Triton officials decided to flatten out the payouts opting to award 11 of the 54 registered players (20%) some piece of the prize pool. Granted, the players that just squeak into the money will be earning little more than their money back ($1,335,923) but a final table finish, resulting in a payday of $1,457,371 would make for a career-high cash for 20 of the participants including pros Andrew Robl, Vivek Rajkumar, Michael Soyza, and Matthias Eibinger. Triton Million Official Payouts Place Approx USD 1 $23,074,354 2 $14,176,836 3 $8,743,966 4 $5,355,679 5 $3,643,319 6 $2,671,767 7 $2,088,898 8 $1,700,266 9 $1,457,371 10 $1,335,923 11 $1,335,923 Eight-Figure Paydays The massive payouts of the Triton Million will add two more players into the extremely elite club of poker players who have earned themselves an eight-figure payday at the poker table. The addition of the first and second place scores makes for a total of ten $10M+ paydays in history and offers the current All Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo and the UK’s Sam Trickett the honor of being the first player to accomplish that remarkable score twice in their career. Until the Triton Million only the World Series of Poker’s $1 Million buy-in Big One For One Drop and the WSOP Main Event offered players the opportunity to hit such heights. The only exception was the 2016 Big One For One Drop Monte-Carlo Extravaganze one-off where Elton Tsang took home over $12.2 million in the invite-only tournament that excluded all of the world’s top players. History of Eight-Figure Paydays Year Event Place Player Payout 2019 Triton Million 1st TBD $23,085,479 2012 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 2014 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Daniel Colman $15,306,668 2019 Triton Million 2nd TDB $14,176,836 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza 1st Elton Tsang $12,248,912 2006 WSOP Main Event 1st Jaime Gold $12,000,000 2012 WSOP Big One For One Drop 2nd Sam Trickett $10,112,001 2014 WSOP Main Event 1st Martin Jacobson $10,000,000 2018 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Justin Bonomo $10,000,000 2019 WSOP Main Event 1st Hossein Ensan $10,000,000 All Time Money List Possibilities With so much money in the prize pool, there are bound to be some major ramifications to the ever-shifting All Time Money List. At the start of the Triton Million, there were seven players that could possibly surge to the top of the list and overtake current list leader Justin Bonomo. Bonomo himself could put an amazing amount of distance between himself and the rest of the field as he currently holds a roughly $3.1 million lead over the #2-ranked Daniel Negreanu and over $9 million from the #3-ranked Erik Seidel, neither of which are in the Triton Million field. Here’s a look at the players that could make major moves on the ATML should Bonomo not be able to hold them off. Bryn Kenney - With over $34.9 million in total earnings, Kenney could become the new king of the ATML with a win or even a second-place finish. A third-place finish and he will leapfrog Negreanu for second place on the list and any cash will vault him over Seidel in third place, where he only sits $716,117 behind the legend. Jason Koon - The Triton ambassador has been steadily climbing the ATML, currently sitting in 8th place with $28,925,059 in earnings. A victory would send him north of $51 million and into first. A second-place finish in the event is not good enough to take over the top spot but it would put him in second place and within striking distance of #1 at $43 million. Dan Smith - A last-second invite from Bill Perkins puts Smith into the ATML leader mix, where he currently sits at #9 with $27,921,940. His situation is identical to Koon's - a win and he soars to over $50 million. Mikita Badziakouski - The nosebleed crusher from Belarus recently climbed into the #15 spot on the ATML and a win could put him in the top spot with over $48 million. A second-place finish would put him at just over $39 million, currently good for third place. Stephen Chidwick - Generally considered one of the very best tournament players on the planet, the UK savant has the exact same situation as Badziakouski as he only sits less than $3,000 behind him on the ATML. David Peters and Fedor Holz - Peters currently sits at #5 on the ATML and the German phenom, Holz sits right behind him at #6. Both players were among the first five players eliminated from the tournament ending their bid to climb the ATML ladder. Becoming An Instant Legend To say that first place in the Triton Million is massive is an understatement. But just how big is it? To put this first-place prize in perspective, had a player never cashed before, the first place prize alone would put you ranked at #19 on the All-Time Money List. That’s ahead of one of the most famous poker players on the planet, Phil Hellmuth, who has spent over 30 years accumulating his career total of $22,999,083. Second place also puts you in the midst of legends. The over $14 million payday would slot you in at #41 all-time, just ahead of recent bracelet winner Joseph Cheong and right behind 2009 WSOP World Champ Joe Cada. Finally, if the Triton Million third-place prize of over $8.7 million was your first Hendon Mob entry, you would just make it inside the top 100. You start your career at #100 all-time and you’d be the player to knock poker legend Johnny Chan out of the top 100.
  24. The 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series wrapped up its festival of high-stakes events in London last week. There were seven events, headlined by the £1,050,000 buy-in Triton Million: A Helping Hand for Charity and several million-dollar scores were had. Chief among them was Bryn Kenney with his £16,890,509 result, that converted to $20,563,324. The monstrous score earned Kenney the largest payday in poker history and put him atop the all-time money list. Kenney wasn’t the only big winner, though. Here’s a look at the biggest winners from the 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London. Top 20 2019 Triton Poker Series London Money List 1. Bryn Kenney - £16,890,509 ($20,563,324) 2. Aaron Zang - £13,779,491 ($16,775,920) 3. Dan Smith - £7,245,300 ($8,820,778) 4. Stephen Chidwick - £5,383,800 ($6,553,948) 5. Wai Kin Yong - £4,426,695 ($5,386,804) 6. Paul Phua - £3,582,305 (4,359,418) 7. Vivek Rajkumar - £3,000,000 ($3,652,345) 8. Justin Bonomo - £2,871,600 ($3,494,073) 9. Bill Perkins - £2,200,000 ($2,678,386) 10. Timothy Adams - £1,899,000 ($2,311,845) 11. Alfred De Carolis - £1,720,000 ($2,094,011) 12. David Benefield - £1,578,600 ($1,919,582) 13. Chin Lim - £1,561,300 ($1,900,134) 14. Wai Chan- £1,550,300 ($1,887,269) 15. Xu Liang - £1,452,900 ($1,767,878) 16. Ben Heath - £1,393,100 ($1,695,407) 17. Charlie Carrel - £1,321,000 ($1,601,853) 18. Linus Loeliger - £1,284,000 ($1,560,327) 19. Christopher Soyza - £1,242,300 ($1,511,921) 20. Jason Koon - £1,177,500 ($1,428,868) Kenney sits atop the series’ leaderboard thanks to his historic score. An interesting note about the score is that, while it broke the record for poker’s largest single tournament score, it was for a second-place finish in the event. Aaron Zang, who is second on this list, actually won the Triton Million event, but a deal with Kenney allowed Kenney to take more money. As a brief aside, Kenney’s 2019 has been absolutely incredible. He’s won nearly $30,000,000 in 2019 and this year alone would have him ranked #10 on poker’s all-time money list. Of note, Kenney won the Aussie Millions Main Event and was the fifth biggest winner from that entire series. Dan Smith and Stephen Chidwick are third and fourth on the list, respectively, and both placed in this positions in the Triton Million. But unlike Kenney and Zang ahead of them, Smith and Chidwick cashed in more events than just the £1,050,000 headliner. Smith took 15th in the £25,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em Turbo event for £45,300 ($55,150). Chidwick cashed in three other events for an additional £973,800 ($1,185,001) on top of the £4,410,000 ($5,368,947) he cashed for in the Triton Million. Chidwick took sixth in the £50,000 Short Deck Ante-Only event, seventh in the £100,000 Triton Main Event, and ninth in the £100,000 Short Deck Main Event. The next two names on the list, Wai Kin Yong and Paul Phua, did not cash in the Triton Million, so their performances over the course of the rest of the series must have been pretty good if they landed this high on the leaderboard. Yong won the £100,000 Triton Main Event for £2,591,695 ($3,154,064), and the player he beat was Phua, who took £2,558,305 ($3,113,429) for second place after the two struck a deal. Yong then took second in the £100,00 Short Deck Main Event for £1,835,000 ($2,232,740). Interestingly enough, Phua also went deep in that one, finishing fourth for £974,500 ($1,185,725). Phua added a third cash to his performance. Timothy Adams found himself as the 10th biggest earner from the series, having cashed a total of three times including once in the Triton Million. Outside of the top 10, David Benefield, Chin Lim, Wai Chan, Jason Koon, and Isaac Haxton also cashed three times at the festival. All told, 24 players cashed for at least $1,000,000 at the series. The 20 listed above were joined by Winfred Yu, Sam Greenwood, Haxton, and Rui Cao as seven-figure winners.
  25. London won't be burning with boredom this week. The biggest buy-in poker tournament ever takes over London this week with many of the world's best high roller poker players playing at the invite of big-swinging recreational players. The Triton Million is a £1,050,000 buy-in tournament with unique rules designed to provide some level footing for the businessmen and women against some of poker's elite and all of the action will be streamed live. Leveling the Playing Field Not just anybody can play though. The Triton Million features a unique format designed to ensure the tournament isn't a shark fest. Triton organizers invited 23 recreational players, mainly businessmen and women, and each of them is allowed to invite one professional poker player as their guest. In an attempt to create a fair playing environment, recreational players will be separated from the pros for the first six levels of play with a full re-draw taking place following the sixth level. At that point, all players will be inter-mingled with the exception that recreational players can not be seated with the pro they invited until reaching the final table. Players are also not permitted to wear any form of clothing that covers their face or head. This includes scarves, funnel neck sweatshirts, turtle neck jumpers, hats/caps. All-Star Calibre Field As with any Triton Poker event, Paul Phua and Richard Yong will be in the field as two of the recreational players. They'll be joined on the recreational side by the likes of Bobby Baldwin, Cary Katz, Rob Yong, Talal Shakerchi, Tony G, and Leon Tsoukernik. Fedor Holz, Tom Dwan, Jason Koon, Sam Greenwood, Bryn Kenney, Mikita Badziakouski, Stephen Chidwick, Nick Petrangelo, and Timofey Kuznetsov are just a sprinkling of the players who have accepted an invite to play. There are currently 47 players registered including two additions made late Monday when hedge fund manager Bill Perkins invited Dan Smith to play. The only recreational player who has so far chosen not to extend an invite to a pro is Rick Salomon. The History of $1 Million Buy-In Poker Tournaments The £1,050,000 buy-in - roughly $1,285,000 US - make this just the fifth tournament in history to have a seven-figure buy-in. The previous four were all World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop events. The first Big One for One Drop in 2012 featured 48 players and was won by Antonio Esfandiari and represents the largest prize pool of the four. Year Event Entries Winner Prize pool 2012 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 48 Antonio Esfandiari $42,666,672 2014 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 42 Dan Colman $37,333,338 2016 €1,000,000 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza 28 Elton Tsang $27,437,564 2018 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop 27 Justin Bonomo $24,840,000 The 2016 event in Monte Carlo was only open to recreational players and was won by Elton Tsang. Multiple Charities Set to Benefit Like the Big One for One Drop, the Triton Million also has a charitable angle. £50,000 from each buy-in goes to Triton Million beneficiaries, a hand-selected collection of charities including Caring for Children Foundation, Healthy Hong Kong, Credit One World Charity Foundation, Sarawak Children's Cancer Society, Malaysian Red Crescent, One Drop, and Raise for Effective Giving (REG). Full Triton Super High Roller London Schedule The Triton Million is the star of a seven-event Super High Roller London schedule that includes a mix of traditional No Limit Hold'em and Short Deck Hold'em spread over the eight days of play. Event # Buy-In Game Dates 1 £25,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Turbo July 31 2 £1,050,000 Triton Million for Charity August 1-3 3 £50,000 No Limit Hold'em August 2-3 4 £100,000 Main Event August 4-5 5 £25,000 Short Deck Ante Only No Limit Hold'em August 5-6 6 £100,000 Short Deck Main Event August 6-8 7 £50,000 Short Deck Ante Only No Limit Hold'em August 7-8 How to Watch the Triton Million Triton Poker has an established history of hosting live streams of their events to huge audiences around the world with commentary in multiple languages. Previous tournaments have been streamed on YouTube and Twitch, but the all three days of Triton Million will be streamed for free on PokerGO beginning, August 1 at 8 AM ET. Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman will be in the booth calling all of the action. If you don't already have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
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