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  1. 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. Don't miss this week's all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie reunite once again to bring you all of the latest news from this week in the world of poker. This week, the guys are discussing the World Series of Poker's recently announced hybrid live/online 2020 WSOP Main Event. The 10K freezeout will start by being played out on both WSOP.com (in the U.S.) and GGPoker and eventually end up with a televised heads-up match for broadcast on ESPN to determine poker's new World Champion. Plus, speaking of heads-up action, the Doug Polk-Daniel Negreanu high-stakes challenge is full speed ahead and the guys break down all of the action taking place and what they've learned in the early going. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  2. FIVE 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. For the last 10 days, the poker world has been tuned in to Daniel Negreanu vs. Doug Polk grudge match. The pair have played a total 4,651 hands and Polk holds a $143,996.16 lead over Negreanu. With nearly 20% of the 25,000-hand challenge (or 40% if the combatant who is trailing at the midway point throws in the towel) now complete, poker fans now have a good idea of what exactly this thing is all about. Here are Five Things the poker world has learned through the opening salvo of the so-called High Stakes Feud. It's Closer Than Expected In the days leading up to the start of this battle, Polk made it quite clear that he was lookng to put a financial hurting on his opponent and only cared about "backing up the fucking truck". While Polk opened up a six-figure lead after Monday night's lengthy session, that's only 3.5 buy-ins - not quite yet the thrashing many of Polk's most ardent supporters were predicting. On the other side of that coin, Negreanu is keeping this heads-up for rolls match close and those who bet on him at 4-1 (or better) are probably feeling pretty good about their wager. If you want to put on a tinfoil hat and dive deep into a potential conspiracy theory that Sidney Powell would approve of, you might wonder if Polk really believes his edge is massive, why would he want to be up even $1 at the midway mark when Negreanu could simply walk away without losing another cent? Polk might be better served by learning as much as he can about Negreanu's tendencies over the first 12,500 hands before stepping on the gas pedal of his massive truck and taking home a mid-seven-figure score. It's a Viewer's Utopia Whether they're cheering for Negreanu, Polk, or just want to see blood, poker fans have had a plethora of options for how to follow the action as it happens. Rather than tying up the viewing experience with just a single option, Polk and Negreanu allowed the Twitch/YouTube content creators full reign to do as they please with the action. The winner has been the fans. Polk has been running a livestream on his YouTube channel with the likes of Jamie Kerstetter, Andrew Lichtenberger, Marty Mathis, and others all taking turns calling the action. Negreanu hasn't done anything on his own, but GGPoker has been running live coverage on GGPoker.tv with Jeff Platt, Niall Farrell, along with GGPoker GGSquad members Kevin Martin and Patrick Tardif, all jumping in at various points to provide analysis and insight. A few days into the challenge, YouTube legend Joey Ingram threw his hat into the ring and fired up a stream of his own. He's had Nick Schulman and rising star Landon Tice working alongside him. The SolveForWhy crew recently brought their own flavor to the stream game, with Matt Berkey and Christian Soto at the helm. Can We Pull Back the Curtain Just a Little? While the live stream options are aplenty, anybody hoping that Polk and Negreanu would give their fans a glimpse at what's going on beyond the scenes between sessions has been left wanting. Outside of a few post-session interviews with both Polk and Negreanu, the lack of content being produced by these two is somewhat surprising. Both Polk and Negreanu have a talent group of content creators around them and they have each had a hand in producing some of the best player-created content ever. The stakes being as high as they are - especially when you consider the side action - probably means neither guy wants to give anything away until the session is over. Still, a vlog or two from each camp during the challenge would add a great deal to what we've already pointed out is one of the most viewer-friendly experiences in poker history. Here's hoping once they've played the 25,000 hands that each camp can put out some videos that will take poker fans behind the scenes. A Cage Match with a Side of Civility Remember when Negreanu and Polk hated each other? The challenge kicked off with a live session on PokerGO and while Negreanu winning big to kick things off grabbed the headlines, the level of civility these two "mortal enemies" displayed towards each other was also a real talking point. That hasn't gone away with the shift to the online felt. Outside of a small needle here or there on social media, there's been no real hatred - or even dislike - shown towards each other, even as both enjoyed or endured a six-figure swing in the opening few weeks. Fans firmly entrenched on one player's side were prepped and ready with More Rake is Better memes and oh-so-tired Vanessa Selbst jokes, but for better worse, they've been left to follow the lead of Polk and Negreanu who seem to be much too focused on the actual gameplay to spend any time engaging in trash talk at this point. Bill Perkins Can't Help Himself Before the challenge began, we speculated which Karate Kid character Polk was representing in this challenge. While the civility mentioned above makes it difficult to cast Polk as either Daniel LaRusso or Johnny Lawrence just yet, at least one other casting decision has a front-runner. Bill Perkins, who has gone on record with his six-figure bet on Negreanu, is definitely in the lead to take on the role of Tommy. For those who don't remember Tommy, he's the guy that LaRusso easily dispatched in the early rounds before he makes a somewhat memorable appearance during the finals despite not actually being in the match.  On November 17, Perkins, who like Tommy is not actually in this match, took to Twitter to share details of a potential delay in the schedule after a dispute arose over what was and wasn't allowed in terms of stat-tracking. The supposed controversy was quickly resolved (apparently thanks to some mediation from Phil Galfond) and the match continued without any delay while Perkins continues to shout from the rail. The Polk-Negreanu Challenge continues with Session #11 on Wednesday, November 25 and Session #12 on Saturday, November 28.
  3. For years, Daniel Negreanu has been obsessed with the Rocky movie franchise and as the Doug Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu Challenge became official, the six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner immediately painted himself in the same light as Rocky Balboa: the plucky underdog with nothing to lose taking on the champ. That iconography might work for Negreanu, but this challenge isn’t Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed. Polk can’t be Creed. Creed was the reigning and defending heavyweight champ when his originally scheduled challenger, Mac Lee Green, had to pull out of a championship fight after breaking his hand. That fight was born out of necessity and convenience for Creed, not some long standing feud between two pugilists coming to a head in dramatic fashion. Rocky director John G. Arvidsen won an Academy Award in 1976 for his work on that film. Eight years later he directed another box office hit that, while it didn’t win him any more Oscars, might be a better cinematic fit and provide a stronger analogy for personifying the role of Polk in what we’re going to see play out over the next few months. The Karate Kid. For the seven of you who haven’t seen it: the film centers around two characters who develop a dislike for each which, through a series of smaller confrontations, turns into a deep-seated hatred. They decide to settle their differences one-on-one (kind of) at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Championship. Narrative-wise, one of them is a bully, angry at the world and looking for somebody to take out his aggression on, while the other is an innocent combatant, forced to stand up for himself and his ideals after growing tired of the other’s act. But which one is Polk? The answer isn’t as clear as it might seem. Thesis: Doug Polk is Johnny Lawrence Anybody who grew up in the 80s and saw The Karate Kid in theaters or rented the VHS tape from their local video store will tell you that Johnny Lawrence, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, two-time defending All Valley Under 18 Karate champion, is nothing but a bully with a chip on his shoulder. Polk, once considered the best Heads Up No Limit Hold’em cash game player in the world, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, and one of the best content creators in poker (some of which is centered around Negreanu), carries a similar chip. He’s told anybody and everybody that this is his arena, he’s not looking to make friends or build a legacy, he’s only looking to "back up the fucking truck" and show absolutely no mercy. Lawrence first encounters the story's hero, Daniel LaRusso, at the beach. Recently dumped by Ali Mills, Lawrence confronts his ex-girlfriend in an ill-fated attempt to win her back. Things get heated and after her ghetto blaster is destroyed by Lawrence in a fit of rage, LaRusso appears ready to intervene only to have Lawrence beat him up and leave him laying face down in the sand as Lawrence and his friends from the Cobra Kai karate dojo ride off on their awesome dirt bikes. Polk’s vendetta against Negreanu dates back to October 2016 when Negreanu gave an interview to Rikard Aberg where he claimed that higher rake leads to softer games. From that interview, the "More Rake is Better" meme was born and Polk continued to push it via his YouTube channel and social media. The taunting from Polk - and his team - reached a peak in June 2018 when Polk entered the Super High Roller Bowl and ended up seated next to Negreanu on the feature table. Polk removed his button-up shirt to reveal a black t-shirt with an image of "More Rake is Better" on a billboard. Polk busted the tournament in short order, but got the opportunity to humiliate Negreanu in front of a large audience. Two days later, the actual billboard appeared outside the Rio Hotel & Casino where the 2018 WSOP was underway. Following the initial confrontation, Lawrence and his Cobra Kai friends spend the next few weeks tormenting and attacking LaRusso which ultimately lead to LaRusso’s handyman/friend/sensei Mr. Miyagi walking into the Cobra Kai dojo to lay down a challenge on behalf of LaRusso. Lawrence’s sensei, John Kreese, is ready to have the throwdown then and there. Kreese: You get your boy on the mat or you and I will have a major problem. Miyagi: Too much advantage ... your dojo. Kreese: Name a place. Miyagi: Tournament. Kreese: You’ve got real nerve old man, real nerve, but I think we can accommodate you. After a quick negotiation, the pair agree to fight at the upcoming All Valley Under 18 Karate Championship. Like Lawrence, Polk seemingly never turned down an opportunity to troll Negreanu. This summer, Polk picked up his anti-Negreanu cause in earnest. Negreanu, playing WSOP bracelet events on WSOP.com, exhibited some less-than-perfect behavior and threatened a livestream viewer while offering him free dental work along with a rectal exam. That got his Twitch account suspended and gave Polk all the ammunition he needed to go back on the attack. After some back and forth, Polk challenged Negreanu to battle. The Cobra Kai Dojo philosophy is built around the motto, "Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy." And over the last four years, Polk has continued to strike at Negreanu and shown absolutely no mercy in his attacks. Thesis: Doug Polk is Daniel LaRusso The movie opens with Daniel LaRusso and his mom moving cross-country from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, California to chase down an opportunity at a better life. Polk is originally from Pasadena, California and while the drive to Las Vegas, where Polk now resides, isn’t a long one, he did have a short stint in Wilmington, North Carolina while in college. That’s where he discovered a real love for poker and eventually dropped out to pursue the game full time. LaRusso arrives in Reseda knowing nobody and gets invited to a beach party by another kid in the apartment complex he just moved into. At that party he sees another kid - Lawrence - angrily confronting another partygoer and destroying her property. In an effort to keep the peace and hold the bully accountable, LaRusso steps up and intervenes to stop Lawrence from ruining the party for everybody. In 2016, in the wake of PokerStars’ decision to suddenly take away benefits from SuperNova Elite players, Negreanu, a Team PokerStars Pro at the time, appeared on a podcast hosted by Rikard Aberg to make the case that business decisions made by PokerStars which appear to be unfriendly towards players are actually good for them. This is where Polk first stepped up on behalf of the poker community and called Negreanu out in a video on his YouTube channel. LaRusso found another opportunity to antagonize Lawrence after he showed up at the school Halloween dance. That’s where he spots Lawrence and his Cobra Kai cronies dressed as skeletons and when he realizes Lawrence is in a toilet stall he decides to take a shot at embarrassing him in front of the entire student body. LaRusso hooks up a hose above the stall and turns the water on, drenching Lawrence in the process. LaRusso, dressed as a shower, flees knowing they’ll be looking for him. The Cobra Kai eventually catch up to LaRusso and the five of them kick the everloving crap out of LaRusso before Mr. Miyagi appears and saves the day. The kid from New Jersey was going for laughs, but ultimately ended up battered and bruised after learning an expensive lesson. The Super High Roller Bowl is one of the marquee events on the poker calendar. In 2018, Polk showed to the $300,000 buy-in event hoping for a chance to make another point in his ongoing battle against Negreanu. That moment came when the pair wound up seated next to each other on the feature table. Polk took off his button-up shirt to show the world the "More Rake is Better" shirt hoping to get under Negreanu’s skin and get a few laughs along the way. Negreanu ended up winning a huge pot off Polk that day and Polk was eliminated not long after. Negreanu finished second in the tournament for $3,000,000. Polk got some laughs in the moment, but after losing the $300,000 buy-in and paying whatever the billboard outside of the Rio cost him, it was really just a costly piece of his entire campaign. As the karate tournament progresses, LaRusso makes his way through a number of competitors, including members of Cobra Kai who had been part of the 5-on-1 assault on him. Serendipitously he ends up in the final against Lawrence with far more than a title on the line. Polk’s path to the battle with Negreanu included no other required battles, but to make sure he was ready, Polk spent the past six weeks taking on all comers on WSOP.com and America’s Cardroom to make sure he was free of any ring rust before sitting down with Negreanu. The Cobra Kai Narrative Both of those thesis are based on the original interpretation of the movie where LaRusso is the good guy and Lawrence is the bad guy. Starting in 2013, when How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson first floated the idea, there has been plenty of discussion that maybe, just maybe Lawrence was in fact the hero of The Karate Kid. That narrative shift is a big reason why YouTube created the Cobra Kai show, which is now on Netflix, exploring where Lawrence and LaRusso wound up after the tournament. There is definitely a segment of poker fans who consider Polk to be the hero of the story thanks largely to his anti-hero, anti-establishment ideals that Lawrence carries with him in Cobra Kai. There’s also a group of fans who see Polk the same way that Cobra Kai paints a modern-day LaRusso: the successful and arrogant man who refuses to grow up.
  4. Skill, determination, and a little bit of luck are what it’s going to take for either Doug Polk or Daniel Negreanu to come out ahead in the most hyped, bad-blood poker grudge match in recent memory. The two social media heavyweights are planning on playing up to 25,000 hands of high-stakes, heads-up online poker starting this week and both are looking to put a hurt on the opposition's bank account and poker industry clout. But unlike some of poker’s more recent heads-up contests, a victory for these each of these guys will be measured by more than a strict tally of dollars and cents. After years of trash talk and trolling plus pre-match positioning, how each of these players measures their success, and really books a “W”, is drastically different. Time To Back It Up For Polk, it won’t be good enough to simply beat Negreanu by a couple of bucks in order for his return to poker to feel like a win. After all of his online put-downs, including how he will be “backing up the truck” to collect Negreanu's paychecks, those on his side are looking for him to absolutely bury Negreanu on the felt by an astonishing amount. Polk built his entire poker career on the back of being a legendary Heads Up No Limit crusher. Playing under his screen name ‘WGCRider’, Polk was known to take on all challengers, including high-profile players like Viktor Blom and Daniel Cates, and in the end, he emerged the richer for it. His HUNL success was the bedrock helped him launch his popular YouTube channel and brought people to his successful poker training site, Upswing Poker. That’s the history that has made Polk the overwhelming favorite in this challenge and it’s a role he’s embraced. He’s produced Photoshops of him backing up an armored truck while making comments about wanting to clean out “a complete dolt” in Negreanu who wants to “ship me a million dollars.” While it seems like it’s all a show in an effort to push the action, for Polk to truly win this challenge he’s going to have to make Negreanu look like he’s a member of the Washington Generals. A guy playing a game he has zero chance of winning. He’s going to need to do enough damage to Negreanu’s seemingly infinite bankroll that the six-time WSOP bracelet winner considers quitting before they hit any milestone hands simply because he can’t handle the pain. In short, for Doug to really get the win, he has to make the kind of money that will allow him to leave poker, again, and this time leave for good. The Rocky Scenario Negreanu doesn’t bear nearly the same burden as Polk. And it’s not by mistake. From the get-go, Negreanu spent the better part of the pre-match back-and-forth telling anyone who would listen that despite all his accolades which includes six WSOP bracelets, climbing to the top of All-Time Money list, finishing runner-up in a Super High Roller Bowl, and becoming the biggest name in the game over more than two decades on the felt…he’s a massive underdog. But he's the type of guy who just won’t back down from a challenge. And it worked. The public narrative is that Polk received nearly everything he wanted. Polk dictated what they would play (HUNL) and where they would play it (online) and when PokerShares originally put a line on who would win, Polk was roughly a 6:1 favorite. This made it so Negreanu doesn’t even really need to win a dime in order to celebrate in the end. Read: Five Of The Wildest Prop Bets for the Polk vs. Negreanu Challenge In his own mind, Negreanu is Rocky. Not the squirrel but the boxer. He’s the scrappy underdog stepping into the HUNL ring and he’s taking on the celebrated champ Apollo Creed, represented by Polk. But the end of the original Rocky is sometimes misremembered (spoilers ahead) in that Rocky doesn’t actually win the fight. Sure, he goes the distance with the champ, taking his lumps and dishing out some damage, but when all is said and done he ends up losing by decision. But even though Rocky isn’t the champ, no one in the theater considered Rocky a loser in the end, right? That’s a similar scenario that could be what constitutes a “win” for Negreanu. If “Kid Poker” goes the distance with Polk and somehow manages to escape having lost a nominal amount, say a few buy-ins that can be easily accounted for by normal variance, then Negreanu can (and likely will) raise his own hand in victory. Of course, if Negreanu happens to win outright, even by a dollar, or pulls off an unexpected haymaker and puts Polk to sleep in the early going then his celebration will be bigger than a billboard right outside of the Rio. “Let’s Put On A Show” It’s not just Polk and Negreanu who can win in this challenge. The fans also have a path to victory. For the railbirds, it will be a win if the players find consistent times to play on a stream that provides quality production value. Accurate hand counts and an up-to-the-minute accounting of who is up and down on the session is crucial to keep fans engaged. Guesstimation of the scoreboard keeps fans distanced from the action. Having high-stakes pro Kane Kalas anchor the commentary is already a good start. Bringing in (and properly publicizing) other high-profile players who can keep things fresh and offer the rail different views of the match would be a big plus as well. Any additional behind-the-scenes cooperation including post-session interviews from Polk and Negreanu would take the challenge to the next level and really turn it into something fans can invest their time into. How can the fans lose? Easy. Durr Challenge. Enough said. However, getting to that finish line is likely to take some time. Both Negreanu and Polk are busy guys and if they start out by playing two-hour sessions, as has been reported, weeks may turn into months before this comes to a conclusion. So, for all who plan on setting aside time to follow the challenge, perhaps the biggest win will be remembering that sometimes the journey is the destination, and getting the opportunity to watch these two battle it out, in any form, may itself be a win unto itself.
  5. It’s official. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker has been certified as the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament by the Guinness World Records. The $5,000 Main Event took place from August 16 - September 6 and drew a total of 5,802 entries which boosted the prize pool to $27,559,500, crushing the originally posted $25 million guarantee. When all was said and done, Stoyan Madanzhiev from Bulgaria etched his name in the online poker history books by taking home the largest-ever first-place prize of $3,904,685. “This Guinness World Records title was on our radar from the very beginning,” said Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker. “Players and fans of poker expect nothing less than record-breaking prizes when it comes to the World Series of Poker, and GGPoker delivered.” After “reviewing the evidence and going through all the details”, Michael Empric, an Official Adjudicator for Guinness World Records, placed a video call to GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu to deliver the news.  “Breaking a Guinness World Records title show what happens when you combine GGPoker’s amazing platform with the World Series of Poker brand,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Director. “This will be a tough record to beat,” Stewart is likely right. The Main Event had 23 starting flights and allowed players to enter three different times which helped them set the new record. The previous record for an online poker prize pool was established by partypoker in 2018 with their $5,300 buy-in $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online tournament in which the company spent the better part of the entire year qualifying players to ultimately reach a prize pool of $21,780,000. In 2019, partypoker took a shot at their own record by offering the same tournament with a $10,300 buy-in. However, they missed the mark falling just short with a prize pool of $21,090,000. Online Poker All-Time Largest Prize Pools [table id=115 /] Even though the new prize pool record was widely recognized by the poker industry, GGPoker and the WSOP took the extra step of getting their achievement stamped by Guinness. And they are far from the first in poker to officially set a recognized world record. While many have claimed to have played longer, Phil Laak is the official record holder of the longest live cash game session when he played for 115 hours straight at the Bellagio back in 2010. Perhaps that is what inspired the Netherlands’ Tom Maaswinkel to get into the record book with his 24-hour session of online poker in May of 2019. There are other niche poker records in Guinness as well. Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew put his multi-tabling talent on display for his world record for most online poker hands played in eight hours (14,548) back in 2012. Former PokerStars ambassador, and current GGPoker pro, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier still holds the record for the most online poker tables played in one hour when he played 62 tables back in 2009 (a record unlikely to be challenged with modern-day table limits.) The Guinness World Records also acknowledges Joe Cada as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion and Antonio Esfandiari as having won the single-largest first-place prize for his $18.3 million score at the 2012 Big One For One Drop. While many of poker’s Guinness World Records are centered around some of the game’s biggest events, for individuals looking to set their own records, Guinness World Records is ready to review the achievement. According to their website, all it takes is an attempt at creating a new record or breaking an existing record (with evidence) plus an application fee of $800-$1000.
  6. 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 and Donnie remember the late Sam Grizzle to kick off this week's episode of The Fives. The 67-year-old poker legend passed away following a stroke in mid-October. The upcoming Doug Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu challenge is sure to take the poker world by storm and Lance and Donnie preview what the potential outcomes are and what - if anything - it settles between the two. While that challenge promises to hold the poker world's attention over the coming weeks and months, both guys discuss how the latest Galfond Challenge match featuring Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth has yet to really garner the same type of following as the now legendary battle against 'Venvidi1993' did earlier this year. They also discuss the return of live poker to Atlantic City, the strong turnout at the Venetian in Las Vegas for the Venetian DeepStack Showdown, and the possibility of online poker foe Sheldon Adelson selling his US-facing operations and what that might mean for the future of regulated online gaming in the United States. Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  7. Forget the schoolyard trash talk and cheat sheet squabbles for a hot minute, and let’s focus on the poker. Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu will be going head to head in a knock-down drag-out war commencing on November 1, with millions on the line and at least one ego cruising for a bruising. As a former Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em specialist, Polk enters the $200/$400 ring as the clear favorite. But this battle isn’t Daniel vs Goliath. It’s Goliath vs Goliath 2.0. The fan favorite of the past 20 years against the fan favorite for a new generation. They truly hate each other and are out for blood. And like us, we’re sure you’ve got questions. Polk made his preparation public, but what has Negreanu been doing to ready himself for battle? Like Negreanu sunbathing in skimpy swim shorts, Polk has left nothing to the imagination when it comes to his preparation for the challenge. For the past month or so he’s been battling a bunch of players--including Bill Perkins and Landon Tice--at stakes ranging from $5/$10 to $50/$100, while also issuing one-off high-stakes challenges to Matt Berkey, Christian Soto, and Luke Schwartz. On Joey Ingram’s Poker Life Podcast back in August, Polk said: 'I’ve honestly been working around the clock trying to improve my game." He admitted to getting "rekt", but who wouldn’t after so long out of the game? (OK, so Fedor Holz probably wouldn’t. That guy can’t help but win. The entire high-stakes community put on their best Teddy KGB impersonation when Holz emerged from "retirement": “Kid’s got al-eee-gay-torr blood. Can’t get rid of him.") Polk has since reported some winning sessions, and it seems like his heads-up game is getting to where he wants it to be before the battle with Negreanu begins. But aside from posting a few casual, often comical strategy polls to his 486,000 Twitter followers, Negreanu has kept the world in the dark as to what he is doing to get himself in fighting shape. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1309244477232406530 For a while there, the answer was probably nothing, and understandably so. As a GGPoker ambassador, Negreanu was in Mexico for a month to play the World Series of Poker Online events in a bid to win his sixth bracelet (he bet plenty of money on himself to do so too, but we’ll get to that in a minute). When he returned to his Las Vegas home, he probably needed some rest. I mean, who among us doesn’t like to relax and play round after round on our top-of-the-range golf simulators after a few busy weeks at the office? But the time to relax is over. As we edge closer to the November 1 kick off, Negreanu has started hinting at what he’s been up to behind the scenes. On October 6 he tweeted that he "most definitely needs to start practicing". The whole cheat sheet pre-flop chart debacle (which we won’t go into now, but you can read about here) will have no doubt inspired Kid Poker to revise ranges. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1313600198086549504 And nobody should be surprised if they find out Negreanu has hired coaches. That might seem inconceivable to your casual Joe Bloggs poker fan (“Why would Negreanu need coaching? HE CAN CALL OUT YOUR EXACT HAND!”) but Negreanu has always been humble about his own abilities and openly sought coaching when he felt he was falling behind in the Super High Rollers. It paid off big time, too. Keeping up with the Jason Koons, Stephen Chidwicks, and Michael Addamos of the world might not be a priority for Negreanu in 2020, but he enjoyed a long stretch where he was right in the thick of it, finishing second in the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl for $3 million (May 2018), and second again in the WSOP $100K High Roller for $1.7 million (July 2019). He even released a MasterClass based on everything he’d learned (with some sandwich-based tells thrown in for extra bite). One thing we know for sure? Negreanu is rolled for the road to rail heaven. He recently tweeted that he will be loading up his WSOP.com account with $1 million (25 buy-ins) “to start”. There’s obviously a whole lot more in Negreanu’s bankroll should he need it. A million bucks could seem a paltry amount when all is said and done. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1313961969171324929 Does Negreanu have anything to lose (aside from money)? Indulge us for 20 seconds while we tell you what you already know about Negreanu. He’s a legend and first-ballot hall of famer. He’s played and won at the highest stakes across multiple decades (shhh, we won’t mention his record on High Stakes Poker). He’s third on the all-time money list with $42 million in career earnings. He’s one of the best ambassadors the game has ever had. And he’s always, ALWAYS your friend’s favorite poker player. You shouldn’t put anything past him when it comes to playing poker. But in this contest, he’s a clear underdog. He’s admitted that. After all, he has agreed to play arguably one of the best heads-up No Limit Hold’em specialists of all time at heads-up No Limit Hold’em. For all his humor and on-camera charisma, it’s worth remembering just how good at poker Polk truly is, or at least was in his prime. He came up in the pre-solver era, when players had to forge ahead and build their own strategies based on hand histories and experience rather than memorizing what play a computer says is perfect and unexploitable. That’s exactly what Negreanu did in tournaments and cash games back in the day alongside his crew of Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Allan Cunningham. Whatever happens in the challenge, Negreanu’s reputation in poker will not be damaged. The man’s not perfect. He’s made mistakes. But his hall pass will forever be laminated. And if all he stands to lose is a few million bucks, can he really lose? Negreanu is used to wagering large amounts on himself. He locks in hefty WSOP bracelet bets at $100,000 or more a pop every single year against countless opponents and never seems to lose face (he might lose close to seven figures at times, but his face remains intact). Perhaps all of this puts even more pressure on Polk. He’s the favorite; the expert; the man who’s only here to "back up the truck", take Negreanu’s cash and drive off into the sunset. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316092457478615040 So, what if Polk loses? He’ll be just fine financially. Polk is a super-smart guy - you simply have to be to rise to the top of poker and have as much success as he’s had - and from cryptocurrency to YouTube to UpSwing Poker, he’s done very well for himself. You may wonder how he’ll be remembered in the poker world if he loses this heads-up challenge though. He’ll always be one of poker’s best content creators, but his legacy on the tables isn’t as cemented as Negreanu’s. Polk has won millions in tournaments and cash games, but it’s undeniable his poker identity is built on the foundation of his elite skills in heads-up play (an identity Polk probably couldn’t care less about). Look, both of these guys will be fine, whatever happens. It’s just that, if Negreanu loses, nothing changes. That’s what most people think will happen. There will be no surprises. But if Polk loses, it’s going to be a long, cold drive home in that big empty truck. What happens if we see a bloodbath on Opening Day? The poker world is very interested to see if either of these guys has a breaking point. After Day 1 of the Galfond Challenge, Phil Galfond was down €72,527 against 'VeniVidi1993', and they were playing €100/€200 PLO, a much more volatile game. So, let’s say, hypothetically, that Negreanu gets stuck $160,000 (four buy-ins) after the Day 1 sessions. We know his account is loaded with another $840,000, so he’ll be back to battle the next day. But how he sleeps that night will depend on how well he thinks he played. If variance punched him in the face he’ll be out like a light. He’s used to bad luck. But if he feels he was simply outmatched, it could be the beginning of a nightmare. Then what happens if he’s down a cool milly after, say, Day 4? That’s an enormous mountain to climb, both mentally and financially, even for a player of Negreanu’s calibre and bankroll. We saw Galfond complete a monumental comeback from a €900,000 deficit against 'VeniVidi1993', but that was only after some time off during which he considered quitting. After his break Galfond decided he wanted to continue, not only because he felt he could close the gap and even win (which he did, incredibly), but because it was him who initiated the challenge in the first place. In this case, Negreanu accepted the challenge. You can’t help but wonder what Negreanu’s threshold for pain is. It’s probably safe to say he’s one of the richest pure poker players around, and it wouldn’t be absurd to assume he’ll have 100 percent of himself. So, will he continue to play Polk if he’s, say, $1.4 million in the hole? $1.7 million? $2 million?!! That would be enough to make even the coolest individual feel the heat. And the scary thing? The challenge might still be far from over. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316096706711183360 On the flip side, what if Negreanu rips Polk a new one on opening day? Poker media will flock to their keyboards, bettors will rush to Mike McDonald’s PokerShares to examine the changes in odds, and Twitter trolls who haven’t emerged from their caves since PostleGate will run rampant. It would get more people paying attention, that’s for sure. Polk obviously has a lot of his own money, but may have sold action for this challenge. That safety net might help keep the wolf from his door if he finds himself buried early on. Still, it will be interesting to see if there’s a number at which he simply wouldn’t be able to continue. And if he does quit, whether we’ll ever see him play poker again. https://twitter.com/DougPolkVids/status/1316089776781488128
  8. In the post-summer online poker doldrums, the upcoming high-stakes, heads-up challenge between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk is giving poker fans something to look forward to at the end of the year. Slated to kick off on November 1, one of poker’s most high-profile feuds will finally battle it out on the felt, giving fans of both personalities something to get invested in as the action unfolds. Online poker betting site PokerShares knows that the interest in the match is extremely high and so they are giving fans a chance to get in on the action themselves. Of course, the Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald led book allows players to bet on who will win the challenge outright (Polk is the current favorite at roughly 4.5-1) but they have also decided to have some extra fun by offering more than 15 prop bets for fans who want to have a little extra rooting interest. So, here are some of the more interesting wagers onlookers can make while watching Polk and Negreanu play HU4Rollz. How Big Will The Biggest Pot In Session 1 Be? For many fans, this is the biggest reason to tune in. Just like “Rail Heaven” days on Full Tilt Poker when the best nosebleed players in the world routinely won and lost six-figure sums, the chat will be packed with those hoping to see poker players put it all on the line in sick spots. This challenge has the potential to have some of those swings. At $200/$400, 100 big blinds deep with stacks being topped off, it only takes a cooler or two before there could be a whole lotta of money on the table. PokerShares is setting the over/under on the biggest pot at $100,000 and with the first session assumed to be at least two hours long with two tables running the potential for fireworks is there from hand number one. Will One Player Rage-Quit Early Session 1? Rage-Quitting is real. It’s defined as "angrily abandoning an activity that has become frustrating", and in recent months and weeks, tempers from both Polk and Negreanu have flared up. It wasn’t that long ago that Negreanu was temporarily banned from Twitch after having a few choice words for a viewer who insulted his family. This took place only a few sessions after disconnect problems on WSOP.com, the same platform this challenge is being held on, saw him nearly toss his laptop across the room on stream. Polk on the other hand keeps it more controlled in his streams and videos. That’s not to say he can’t be riled up. When the entire challenge was threatened, he lashed out a few times on Twitter not only at Negreanu but also taking the time to reply to random Dan-fans about how he’s planning on “backing up the truck”. Although unlikely, those who think emotions will get the better of one of these two can get 4.8-1 on their money. Will Doug Polk Return To Being A Pro Poker Player? The odds are not in favor of Polk, win or lose, returning to the grind but there are some interesting things to consider here. Polk has stated that he only retired from poker once and the only reason he’s back is to take on Negreanu. He posted a “goodbye poker” video on his channel and for those who followed his YouTube journey, it was clear his love of the game had dried up some time ago. But...he is back. Remember, he challenged Negreanu, not the other way around. He was out of poker and on to bigger things like trying to recall the Mayor of Las Vegas. But Polk chose to return to the spotlight, no one called him out. Now he’s back in the lab, not only working on his game in theory but getting cash game sessions in against some tough opponents in preparation. Finally, while he claims that he’ll be off once he's done taking out "the ******* trash", he’s also indicated on Twitter that he might be open to playing other opponents. It might be a tough judgment call on whether Polk is ever a pro again (for instance what if he’s playing challenges but also returns to creating content where he makes a good deal of money), but if you want to take a shot on him the line is 7.6-1. The flip side of this is Will Daniel Cease To Be A Pro Player Because of This Challenge? Good luck with that one. Will There Be A Slowroll in Session 1? Both players have a firm understanding of the etiquette behind slow rolls and the deep disrespect that sometimes comes with them. That said, these guys clearly do not like each other, and in the layers-deep mind games that play out in heads up, would either of these guys pull a slow one? This bet comes with an important caveat that needs to be seen before putting down a few dollars. The person behind the website, Mike McDonald, is “the decider” in this case. While being a longtime trusted member of the community, and apparently a 90% free throw shooter, it might be a little problematic if the guy who knows where the bulk of the money sits is also responsible for determining the outcome. This is not a questioning of McDonald’s honor or intent, just a nod to how someone might feel if they place and bet and it’s ruled against what they think is an obvious slowroll. Same odds on both sides here. Where Will Doug Polk's Teeth Be At The End Of This Match? You read that right. PokerShares is confident that Polk will be keeping all his teeth right where they are. But if you think Negreanu might make Polk the same offer that got him banned on Twitch, you can take a flyer on this wild prop that jokes about what might be done to Polk's teeth and where they might be given back to him. These prop bets are made for fun with a majority of them having a per-player max limit less than the buy-in of a Sunday Major. This ensures that neither the player nor the book, can be hurt too bad. At least not nearly as bad as the pain Negreanu or Polk may feel when the challenge gets underway next month.
  9. The ongoing, years-long feud between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk entered yet another chapter over the weekend. As the pair hashed out the subject of whether or not pre-flop charts (or any form of Real-Time Assistance) would be allowed in their upcoming high-stakes, heads-up challenge on WSOP.com, the tension between the two entered a new phase with Negreanu playing up his role as the underdog and Polk setting his intention to do real damage to Negreanu’s bankroll. After negotiating out the details of the November match, including the stakes, game format, platform, and starting date, the subject of what reference materials would be allowed during the course of play came up. It was clear from the onset of the discussion that the mind games between the two had started well before the first card has even been dealt. After first declaring that he was “open to either allowing or disallowing the use of any RTA including charts”, Negreanu shifted gears. He took to Twitter and dug into the notion that “real poker” is played without any in-the-moment assistance.
  10. Daniel Negreanu (pictured) recently made his opinions about Borgata's lawsuit against Phil Ivey abundantly clear, going on several 140-character-fueled tirades defending his friend on Twitter. The Atlantic City casino is suing the poker legend for $9.6 million, claiming he won the cash using a technique it considers to be illegal. Negreanu, never afraid to speak his mind, started out by questioning the judgment of the casino staff, who allowed Ivey to allegedly run his "edge-sorting" scheme in the first place: "Been reading up on poker news lately and the people running the Borgata high-limit pit have to be incredibly stupid overall." In the Tweet, Negreanu is likely referring to the fact that casino management agreed to allow Ivey to raise his betting limit from $50,000 to $100,000 per hand after he had already won millions of dollars playing baccarat and then continued to allow him to play even though he had been accused of using "edge-sorting" at a London casino. He had praise for Ivey and reiterated the sentiment of many gamblers, saying, "My hat's off to any man who can get an edge on a big-time casino. It's just straight baller and I have zero empathy for the big fish." Going back to the mistakes made by management, Negreanu Tweeted, "Big fish sets all the rules, okays all the rules, they need to eat it when they get beat and not be whiny biatches about it." The "rules" to which he refers are the conditions for the high-limit session of baccarat set by Ivey (pictured) and approved by the casino. The seemingly strange requests included a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese and shuffled using an automatic shuffler, a private pit, the ability to have a guest at the table, and, most importantly, a deck of purple Gemaco playing cards. "It's appalling to free-roll customers," Negreanu continued. "Take their money if they lose but don't pay when they win? Are you for real Borgata? That's dirty." Negreanu continued the mini-tirade and called into question how Borgata's image could suffer with gamblers after the incident. "Suing customers who crushed your souls is a bad look. You got bent over. Might as well smile and enjoy it," he ranted. "No one in the world has empathy for Borgata in this. Stop playing victim because your hustle wasn't as good as Ivey's." The consummate gambler even admitted to having been played in the past, but always settled his debts. "I've been hustled before, but the idea of not paying was never even a consideration! Borgata - you got hustled bad. Get over it already," Negreanu said. In one of his final Tweets on the matter, Negreanu summed up how many gamblers view the whole situation. "Borgata, you thought Ivey was stupid and you tried to bury him. He hustled you, smoked you, and left you feeling silly. Stand responsible!" Borgata is suing Ivey, along with his alleged partner in the scheme Cheng Yin Sun and card manufacturer Gemacofor lack of quality control. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. The 10 finalists for this year's Poker Hall of Fame class have been announced. One name stands out on the list as a potential early favorite for this year's class, Daniel Negreanu (pictured). This author is once again on the voting panel for the Poker Hall of Fame and will likely be casting the majority of his votes to "Kid Poker." --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- This year's 10 finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Chris Bjorin Humberto Brenes Bruno Fitoussi Ted Forrest Jen Harman Bob Hooks Mike Matusow Jack McClelland Daniel Negreanu Huck Seed Ballots will be sent to the 21 living members of the Poker Hall of Fame along with 20 members of the media. Bjorin, Brenes, Harman, Matusow, and Seed all appeared on the ballot in 2013, but were not inducted. Fitoussi, Forrest, Hooks, McClelland, and Negreanu are new this year. This is what the media panel and living Poker Hall of Fame members will be voting based on: - A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition - Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination - Played for high stakes - Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers - Stood the test of time - Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. Induction ceremonies will take place during the WSOP November Nine weekend in Las Vegas. In the past, each voter has gotten 10 votes to cast for up to three people they think deserve entry. This author is tempted to flush all 10 votes to Negreanu, who has been one of the primary faces of the poker industry in the modern era. Negreanu is #1 on the all-time money listaccording to the Hendon Mob, has played for the highest stakes around, and is #3 on GPI. He is the main face of the world's largest online poker site, PokerStars. More importantly, Negreanu's character and willingness to promote the game can't go overlooked. He has appeared on a variety of non-poker programming, including shows like "Millionaire Matchmaker," and has always been very media-friendly. Any time this author has asked Negreanu for a comment or information in general, he has typically gotten a prompt response. He regularly takes pictures with fans and interacts with the general public on a level not seen by more than a handful of members of the poker community. Who do you think should be inducted, and I'll consider your comments when casting my ballot? Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. Coverage of the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop continued on Tuesday night on ESPN. Two one-hour episodes began with 16 players left and Tom Hall was perched atop the chip counts. The One Drop dished out a $15 million top prize. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Daniel Negreanu (pictured) got off to a hot start on Tuesday, doubling to 70 big blinds after his aces held against Dan Colman. This prompted ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad to joke, "Betting against Daniel Negreanu in the 2014 WSOP is like betting against Christopher Columbus in 1492." Oh Norman. Colman did rip off a little revenge courtesy of Phil Galfond (pictured), who dropped a pot worth 8.3 million in chips to Colman after the latter hit a runner-runner flush. Upon seeing what Colman had, Galfond remarked, "I was going to feel dumb if he had queens, but I don't feel dumb about that." The next hand, Galfond called an all-in of a player who had A-K while Galfond had A-Q on a flop of A-7-7. Galfond didn't improve and he was quickly down to nine big blinds. The first one-hour episode ended with Phil Ivey check-raising all-in versus Cary Katz with two hearts on a flop of Q-5h-Qh. Katz had A-Q, which was unbeatable when the turn paired the board, and Ivey was eliminated in 14th. Katz delivered the beat of a lifetime last week. Following Ivey out the door was Galfond, who started the second episode off by getting it all-in with Qc-10 on a flop of 7-2-4, all clubs. Reigning One Drop champAntonio Esfandiari curiously called with A-Q (no clubs), while Negreanu shoved all-in over-the-top with K-J of clubs for the second best flush. Esfandiari got out of the way and Galfond was drawing dead and out. The hand pushed Negreanu to 12 million in chips and he told his tablemates, "I told you what I play for: straights, flushes, all-in." Former "Welcome Back Kotter" star and "High Stakes Poker" host Gabe Kaplan went out at the hands of former "sex tape purveyor" Rick Salomon (pictured), as Chad dubbed him. Google it. Following Kaplan's elimination, Salomon, who was wearing a white "Painman" t-shirt, stacked 16% of the chips in play with 11 people remaining. ESPN then touched on the subject of Colman "refusing to speak to the media during the Big One." Chad perhaps sarcastically explained, "He says he's conflicted about the game and doesn't care to promote poker. So, I guess one of the best ways not to promote poker is to play in a million-dollar buy-in event on national TV?" Tuesday's coverage ended with a blow-up from Esfandiari, who first called an all-in with A-9 of diamonds and lost and then 3bet all-in pre-flop with A-5 only to run into Tobias Reinkemeier's A-J. Esfandiari did not improve and was sent to the rail in 10th place, making no money. Esfandiari was seen on the rail saying, "It's amazing. When the cards turn against you, they just turn against you." The conclusion of the Big One for One Drop will air nextTuesday at 8pm ET on ESPN. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  13. With the 2014 World Series of Poker nearly upon us, pros like Daniel Negreanu (pictured) and Phil Ivey have been busy drumming up their annual high-stakes side action. This year, Negreanu made a simple proposal open to anyone: an even-money bet that either he or Ivey will win a bracelet in one of the WSOP Las Vegas events. Negreanu posted the offer on his Twitter account: "Min bet is $5k against me and Ivey winning a bracelet this summer and the odds are even money. One of us wins, you lose. Simple," he said. The max bet? A million dollars. Negreanu has a stellar record in WSOP tournaments, winning six bracelets and banking over $6 million in earnings. His first WSOP win came in 1998 when he took down a $2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event for $169,460. Since then, he has topped the field in three more Las Vegas events, while taking first in two No Limit Hold'em events at WSOP APAC and WSOP Europe in 2013. Ivey (pictured) has an equally impressive record at the WSOP, taking home nine bracelets along with $5.9 million in total event winnings. The 38-year-old won his first bracelet in a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2000 for $195,000 and went on to win seven more in the Vegas series while scoring his latest at WSOP APAC in 2013. That means that at least one of them has claimed a Vegas WSOP bracelet in eight of the last 15 years, leaving seven dry years between them. Willyoman on TwoPlusTwo pointed out the fact that the skill level of the competition has undoubtedly increased in the last few years. "From 2010 to 2013, over four World Series, when the games have been toughest, only one of them won one," he said. "Don't recall if Ivey sat out one of those years, but either way, I don't think it's even money." For gamblers like Ivey and Negreanu, prop bets and the WSOP go hand-in-hand. When Ivey was close to winning his first Main Event title in 2009, it was rumored that the high-stakes pro would have made up to $6 million in side action alone had he taken first place. With his confidence sky-high after securing two bracelets that year, Ivey was reportedly taking as much action as he could right up until the final table kicked off. In the end, he took seventh for $1.4 million. So far, a Las Vegas Main Event win has eluded the pair. While Ivey is once again busy taking action, some believe that, due to his recent legal problems with Borgatain Atlantic City (pictured) and an ongoing issue with Crockfords in London, the pro might not even be allowed to participate in this year's Series. "What I'm hearing [is that] Caesars/WSOP staff as of right now are saying Ivey can play, but there are ongoing discussions between higher-ups… that are seriously considering not allowing Ivey to play or step foot on Caesars Entertainment properties until this Borgata mess is cleared up," said poster trotter. However, Caesars' Seth Palansky told PocketFives in an exclusive statement that any talk of Ivey being barred from this year's WSOP was purely fictional: "IveyPoker has a booth this year at WSOP and we look forward to Mr. Ivey’s quest to join the double-digit bracelet holders list." Some wondered if Ivey was simply a "fantasy partner" in the bet, but Negreanu later said on a Bluff podcast that Ivey would be taking the lion's share of the action, while he would take a very small portion. If you think the pair can't make it happen this year, you can e-mail pattylandis@hotmail.com and make your own bet. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  14. On Tuesday, Dan Colman won the Big One for One Dropat the World Series of Poker for $15.3 million. While Colman might have won the battle, Daniel Negreanu (pictured) won the war, becoming tournament poker's all-time money leader according to the Hendon Mob. Negreanu passed Antonio Esfandiari, who won the 2012 One Drop. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- "Kid Poker" has a staggering $29.7 million in career tournament winnings after picking up $8.2 million for finishing second in the One Drop on Tuesday. Last September, he took second in the EPT Barcelona High Roller for $352,000 and followed that up with a win in the WSOP Europe High Roller for $979,000, a final table in the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for $492,000, and a fourth place finish in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for $1.1 million. He has amassed $10.2 million in tournament winnings this year alone. Negreanu told WSOP staff after finishing second in the One Drop on Tuesday, "The $8 million is [a good consolation prize], but… it's really important to reinforce [that] $4.6 million was raised for charity. Otherwise, it's a bunch of rich people with too much money gambling for stakes that are obscene." He posted on Twitter when the $1 million buy-in One Drop had finished, "Thanks for all your support everyone and congrats to those who bought a piece of my action! I'm happy with how I played and proud too… Had a blast battling Daniel Coleman! Actually joyful and amazing experience. What a great player and great kid. Congrats to him." Negreanu is second to Carlos Mortensen (pictured) on the World Poker Tour's all-time money list at $5.7 million and has failed to pass $1 million in tournament winnings in a year just three times since 2004, according to the Hendon Mob. Negreanu has six bracelets, tied for ninth all-time, and has 78 WSOP in the money finishes, good for fifth all-time. Here are the top 10 players on the tournament poker all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob. You'll notice that Colman, this year's One Drop winner, is already in sixth place: 1. Daniel Negreanu - $29,796,381 2. Antonio Esfandiari - $26,244,377 3. Phil Ivey - $21,431,318 4. Erik Seidel - $20,445,359 5. Sam Trickett - $20,065,545 6. Daniel Colman - $18,200,842 7. Phil Hellmuth - $18,146,522 8. John Juanda - $16,052,904 9. Michael Mizrachi - $14,579,583 10. Scott Seiver - $12,607,348 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  15. On Tuesday night, the world watched as Dan Colman (pictured) won the World Series of Poker's Big One for One Drop on ESPN. Colman was largely stoic after the final cards were dealt and for the most part looked stunned. He quickly declined interviews and exited the Rio while second place finisher Daniel Negreanu cordially stuck around, spoke to the press, and took pictures. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- On TwoPlusTwo after the fact, Colman called poker a "very dark game" and added, "I don't owe poker a single thing. I've been fortunate enough to benefit financially from this game, but I have played it long enough to see the ugly side of this world. It is not a game where the pros are always happy and living a fulfilling life." On Tuesday, Colman spoke up again, this time on Twitter, saying, "While I appreciate @lonmceachern's and @RealKidPoker's attempts to hypothesize at me being a 24-year-old who doesn't know who he is yet, I am actually 100% certain who I am." Colman then spouted off, "I find it to be a much greater accomplishment (and necessary) if thru solidarity, we can get everyone at the bottom to all move up a couple rungs on the ladder. This can be done once we stop idolizing those who were able to make it to the top." The One Drop champ, who added $15 million to his coffers for the win, cleared up earlier comments by saying the following in two successive Tweets: After calling poker a "distraction," several people asked a logical follow-up question: "If it's such a distraction, why do you play then?" Another person commented, "By not speaking, you have made more noise, which was probably the opposite of your goal." Another person on Twitter gave Colman a straightforward exit plan: "Lost all respect for you man... Give all the money to charity and bounce the F out of poker if you don't like it." Shortly after Colman's original comments about poker came out in July, Negreanu offered the following words of wisdom to Colman about perhaps pursuing another career choice in a blog on Full Contact Poker: "If you are genuinely having an issue with the morality of playing poker for a living, make a choice. Don't compromise your own moral code for money. If you truly believe in your heart that what you are doing hurts people, and you don't want to hurt people, you need to make a choice." What do you think? Leave a comment here and let us know. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  16. There are 16 players left in Event #40 of the 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, a $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up tournament. The winner of the Heads-Up event, who will be determined on Saturday, will make $335,000. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- On Friday, the tournament will continue until the Final Four or championship match and the tournament restarts at 1:00pm Pacific Time. Here are the match-ups: Erik Seidel vs. Scott Baumstein Max Silver vs. Sam KingKobeMVP Stein Jason JAKoon1985 Koon vs. Dee Tiller Alberto Gomez vs. Scott Davies Tommy Chen vs. Daniel Negreanu Daniel Colman vs. Taylor taypaur Paur (pictured above) Davide Suriano vs. Serkan Kurnaz John Smith vs. Ankush pistons87 Mandavia It took three, or in some cases four, wins to get to the Sweet 16 after 136 players entered. Taylor taypaurPaur's road included wins over Idris Ambraisse, Sergey Rybachenko, and Michael Pickett. Paur, who won his first WSOP bracelet last year in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, will break $1 million in career WSOP cashes with this score and will record his fifth in the money finish this year. He wrote on Twitter following his match with Pickett, "Marathon match. Lasted almost 3 hrs, but I won. Itm and round of 16 tomorrow." Daniel Negreanu (pictured), who is still trying to capitalize on a well-publicized bracelet bet, beat Max Steinberg, Brice Lin, and 2013 November Niner Sylvain Loosli en route to the round of 16. Negreanu is the holder of six WSOP bracelets and finished second in a $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament earlier this month to give his bettors a sweat. Negreanu Tweeted, "Winner! My 5th cash, tough opponent, but I played really well. Back tomorrow for final 16! Exciting stuff woot." Jason JAKoon1985Koon navigated rough seas on Thursday, beating Brian Roberts, John Juanda, and Sam Trickett heads-up to set up a date with Dee Tiller in the Sweet 16. This is the former sprinter's deepest run in the 2014 WSOP and will mark his third in the money finish this year. Meanwhile, Ankush pistons87Mandavia also had a tough draw and squared off against Vanessa Selbst, Faraz The-Toilet Jaka, and Chris Whitcomb. Elsewhere at the Rio, George Danzer became the second player to win two WSOP bracelets this year, joining fellow German pro Dominik bounatirouIMONitsche. Danzer took down the $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Championship and, as for whether you'll see him be crowned the Player of the Year, Danzer said, "I'm already busy enough playing in the events I schedule for myself. So, I'm not going to overload myself too much. I'm going to grind that way I intended, just as I did before." Danzer started the final day of play as the chip leader and busted Calvin cal42688Anderson (pictured) in third place. Anderson, a former #1 player here on PocketFives, won a gold bracelet five days ago and has three final tables at this year's WSOP. He Tweeted to his 5,700 followers, "I got 3rd… Thanks for the support!" Here's how the final table paid out: 1st Place: George Danzer - $352,696 2nd Place: John $JMONEY$ Racener - $217,935 3rd Place: Calvin cal42688Anderson - $98,828 4th Place: Brian Stinger885 Hastings - $77,238 5th Place: Jeffrey Lisandro - $61,594 6th Place: Chris George - $50,018 7th Place: David Singer - $41,277 8th Place: Richard Sklar - $34,550 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  17. Longtime PocketFiver and former #1 ranked player Paul paulgees81Volpe (pictured) claimed the fifth World Series of Poker bracelet for PocketFivers in Las Vegas this year. The event was a $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament that brought out a star-laced field, including Daniel Negreanu, whom Volpe beat heads-up. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- You'll recall that Negreanu posted a prop bet prior to the WSOP in which Phil Ivey and he would offer up 1:1 odds on the pair winning a bracelet in Nevada. While many thought the odds heavily favored those punters betting against Ivey and Negreanu, the latter almost won a bracelet just 13 events into the 65-tournament series. Volpe told WSOP staff following the tournament, "I knew what this meant to Daniel because he has so many bets. So, I tried keeping the pressure on him and it worked… It feels amazing to get my first bracelet, especially in the $10K Deuce-to-Seven [event], which is one of the toughest events of the summer. I was confident I was going to win. I felt like I was going to win. It was a super tough table. It was unbelievable getting heads-up against Daniel. If I have to pick one person to beat for my bracelet, it would be him." Volpe entered the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament's final table with the chip lead and Negreanu(pictured), the reigning WSOP Player of the Year, was third. The tournament marked Volpe's first WSOP final table, while Negreanu recorded his 70th WSOP in the money finish. Online, Volpe has been a stud, amassing almost $5 million in tracked scores, including almost $3 million on PokerStarsalone. He was tops in the PocketFives Rankings until two days before Black Friday and currently stands at #181 worldwide. Volpe won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2011 for a quarter of a million dollars officially and finished fourth in an FTOPS Two-Day Event the same year for another $108,000. The seven members of the 2-7 final table had a combined 14 bracelets. Here's how the group cashed out: 1st Place: Paul paulgees81Volpe - $253,524 2nd Place: Daniel Negreanu - $156,674 3rd Place: Jason treysfull21 Mercier- $99,313 4th Place: Brian tsarrast Rast - $67,264 5th Place: Larry Wright - $47,792 6th Place: John Monnette - $35,549 7th Place: Abe Mosseri - $27,633 We'll stick with 2-7 for the rest of this article too, as another longtime PocketFiver, Mike goleafsgoehLeah (pictured), leads the way with 54 players left in Event #16, $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. Leah has a stack of 91,800 in chips entering the tournament's play-down day, about 2,000 ahead of the next closest player. Interestingly enough, Mercier, who finished third in the $10,000 2-7 event, is seventh in chips after Day 1 of the $1,500 2-7 event. He Tweeted after he busted from the $10,000 event, "Hopped in the $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw. Already ran up my stack 3x. Hoping to make another deep run in a Draw event. Still hunting." Mercier has three WSOP cashes already this year; two are in Draw events. First place pays $124,000. Here's how the top 10 in chips look right now: 1. Mike goleafsgoehLeah - 91,800 2. Brian Tate - 90,000 3. Tom Franklin - 70,000 4. Dan Smith - 55,400 5. Todd Bui - 54,500 6. Jaet Shetty - 51,900 7. Jason treysfull21Mercier - 46,400 8. Ben Yu - 40,300 9. MattDVD Schultz - 36,900 10. Stephen stevie444 Chidwick - 35,700 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, powered by Real Gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. Despite calling poker a "distraction" and a "very dark game" as well as refusing media interviews, Dan Colman (pictured) has certainly demonstrated that he's a force to be reckoned with. On Wednesday, Colman won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, which had a $2.5 million overlay and a $10 million guarantee, to take home $1.4 million. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- Yes, this is the same Colman who won the Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas for $15.3 million this year. The same Colman who said most recreational players were losing money they couldn't afford to lose. The same Colman who said advertising gambling on television was playing off "people's impulses" and "targeting their weaknesses in order for them to make irrational decisions." Despite all of the negative press surrounding Colman, he has certainly excelled this year. In fact, he is now up to #3 on tournament poker's all-time money list, trailing only Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari. Mike timex McDonald perhaps put it best in a Tweet that had been re-Tweeted over 50 times when we checked it out: Colman battled PocketFiver Mike goleafsgoeh Leah heads-up in the Florida poker tournament and entered with a slight chip lead. In the final hand, Colman, a heads-up specialist, 3bet pre-flop with A-K, according to CardPlayer, and Leah 4bet all-in with Q-J of clubs. Colman called and was ahead the entire way to book the win in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event. Here's how the final table cashed out: 1. Daniel Colman - $1,446,710 2. Mike goleafsgoehLeah - $1,047,638 3. Shawn flexicom Cunix - $748,313 4. John JRD312 Dolan - $548,763 5. Joe daPHUNNIEman Kuether - $424,044 6. Martin Hanowski - $324,269 7. Blake Bohn - $249,438 8. Brian SN8WMAN Hawkins - $199,550 9. Roman Valerstein - $149,663 The win is the latest in a string of impressive performances from Colman. Here's a look at a few of the highlights over the last year, with data provided by the Hendon Mob: April 2014 €100,000 NLHE Super High Roller, EPT Grand Final 1st place for $2,127,398 June 2014 $1 Million WSOP Big One for One Drop 1st place for $15,306,668 August 2014 €50,000 NLHE Super High Roller, EPT Barcelona 2nd place for $1,118,479 September 2014 $5,300 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event 1st place for $1,446,710 Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. Last week, the Big One for One Drop played out at the World Series of Poker. Its winner, Dan Colman, exited stage right shortly after his $15 million win and refused media interviews despite the fact that ESPN is devoting three weeks of coverage to the event. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- On TwoPlusTwo after the fact, Colman called poker a "very dark game" and added, "I don't owe poker a single thing. I've been fortunate enough to benefit financially from this game, but I have played it long enough to see the ugly side of this world. It is not a game where the pros are always happy and living a fulfilling life." Contrastingly, his heads-up opponent, Daniel Negreanu (pictured), who became poker's all-time money leader after an $8 million haul, was affable following the tournament and then took to his own blog on FullContactPoker to talk about his sentiments. Again, this is after Negreanu lost a heads-up match for $7 million in real money. Negreanu agreed with Colman in part, writing, "Truth is, most of you reading this will be lifetime losers at poker. You are unlikely to become successful professional poker players. It is available to all of you, and some of you will find success at the tables, but the truth is clear: most of you will fail. Sucks huh? It's the truth and he is right about that." Negreanu reminded readers that the One Drop event, which donated $111,111 of each player's buy-in to charity, raised over $4 million. He added, "Colman is a successful player and makes millions because he is an exceptional talent, an accomplishment I would hope he is proud of when he looks back on his life and the opportunities poker has now given him to be financially free and make a difference in the world however he chooses to." To contrast Colman's less-than-rosy picture of poker, Negreanu emphasized the game's strong suits, including "playing games and using your mind on a regular basis is excellent exercise for the elderly" and "people with gambling addictions are drawn to more instant gratification games like slot machines rather than a game of wits like poker." "[Be]thankful that you found a game you both love to play and are also good enough so that you can make a life for yourself," Negreanu, 39 years of age, advised Colman (pictured), 15 years his younger. "You don't owe poker anything, sure, but poker has given you a lot." Negreanu closed by suggesting that Colman, if he truly believes poker is a "dark game," should perhaps consider a career change: "If you are genuinely having an issue with the morality of playing poker for a living, make a choice. Don't compromise your own moral code for money. If you truly believe in your heart that what you are doing hurts people, and you don't want to hurt people, you need to make a choice." We've heard that most of the ESPN coverage of the One Drop will be focused on Negreanu, who became poker's all-time money leader in the event and is one of the most visible and gracious ambassadors poker has to offer. The event will begin airing on July 29 on ESPN. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  20. A $15.3 million payday was forked over to 23-year-old Dan Colman (pictured), who won the Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in tournament, at the World Series of Poker on Tuesday. Colman defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up. According to WSOP.com, Colman is a heads-up sit and go specialist who plays online under the handle mrgr33n13. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- Colman is now sixth on tournament poker's all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob, while Negreanu is now in first placeafter scoring an $8.2 million hit. Colman has been on a rampage over the last eight months, finishing third in the PartyPoker Premier League VII for $194,000, winning the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller for $2.1 million, and now taking down the Big One for One Drop for a spectacular $15.3 million. The tournament raised $4.6 million for the One Drop charity, which focuses on water conservation, and its total prize pool swelled to $37.3 million. The Big One for One Drop drew 42 entrants this time around and on its final hand, Negreanu moved all-in before the flop after Colman had limped and Colman made the call. Negreanu showed A-4 and was in front of Colman's K-Q, even finding aces-up on an A-4-J flop. However, the turn was a 10, leaving Colman one card away from a win with Broadway, and a blank hit on the river. Colman held a slight chip lead over Negreanu(pictured with fans) when heads-up play began. "Kid Poker" quickly wrangled that edge away, but a 60-million chip pot proved to be the difference-maker. On a board of 4-8-J-A-4, Negreanu, who had check-called on the flop and turn, checked once more and Colman bet 18 million. WSOP.com relayed, "'Kid Poker' went into the tank. He made his contingent giggle a few times, stretching and swirling in his chair, and then reached for chips. He was shaking his head, talking to a non-responsive Colman, then called." Colman flipped over A-4 for a boat and his rail went wild when Negreanu mucked. The One Drop featured a blockbuster field no matter how you slice it. There were 30 professional players and 12 amateurs; 18 were returning players from 2012 when it last ran. Fifteen of the 42 entrants were bracelet winners, while one (Erik Seidel) was a Poker Hall of Fame member. Greg Merson was the One Drop's lone former Main Event champion. Here were the eight in the money finishers in the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop: 1st Place: Daniel Colman - $15,306,668 2nd Place: Daniel Negreanu - $8,288,001 3rd Place: Christoph Vogelsang - $4,480,000 4th Place: Rick Salomon - $2,800,000 5th Place: Tobias Reinkemeier - $2,053,334 6th Place: Scott Seiver - $1,680,000 7th Place: Paul Newey - $1,418,667 8th Place: Cary Katz - $1,306,667 Also at the Rio, Mike babyshark33Kachan (pictured) won the final $1,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament on the WSOP schedule. It was Kachan's second career WSOP final table and first WSOP cash since 2011. He told WSOP staff, "It feels great. It was a tough ride, but it was well worth it. I am really thankful for all of the people I have behind me." Former #1 ranked PocketFiver Steve gboro780 Gross, the only member of the final table with a bracelet, took seventh place: 1st Place: Mike babyshark33Kachan - $403,483 2nd Place: Jeff Blenkarn - $250,815 3rd Place: Eric Shanks - $177,527 4th Place: Andrew Egan - $128,032 5th Place: Viktor Skoldstedt - $93,490 6th Place: Neo Hoang - $69,084 7th Place: Steve gboro780Gross - $51,676 8th Place: Richard Milne - $39,109 9th Place: Raymond Henson - $29,951 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. On Friday, Phil Ivey (pictured) became the fourth player to reach ten World Series of Poker bracelets after taking down a $1,500 Eight-Game event. As a result, those who bet against Ivey and Daniel Negreanu capturing a WSOP bracelet this year were sorely disappointed, not to mention a little poorer. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- The reserved Ivey told WSOP officials following his win, "It's number ten. That's a good number. Me and Daniel [Negreanu] made these bets. That's what I'm talking about. I said either me or him were going to win [a gold bracelet] and we took even money. Me and him were both very deep in this tournament. This was a great opportunity. The tournaments are dying down. There's not too many left. I knew I had to get this one or else it was going to be pretty tough from here." Ivey entered the final day of the Eight-Game event, when 14 players remained, in third place. Making life even more uncomfortable for bettors was the presence of Negreanu, who started Friday in ninth place in the same tournament and ended up finishing in ninth as well. Ivey, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson, all of whom have ten bracelets, are three away from tying Phil Hellmuth for the all-time record of 13. On reaching that mark, Ivey said, "Do I think I can catch Phil Hellmuth? Sure, I think I can catch him. It's possible. We just have to see how it goes. I just have to keep playing at this pace. I got to keep playing a lot of them because [Hellmuth] plays a lot of them, so it's a lot of work." Ivey and Bruce Yamron were in a dead heat in chips entering heads-up play, but Ivey quickly took a 3:1 lead and extended it to better than 6:1 before Yamron doubled in a hand of Stud. The tournament ended shortly after heads-up play began during Omaha Eight or Better with Ivey making aces and kings against Yamron's aces and sevens. Ivey's last bracelet came in 2013 in a $2,200 Mixed Event at WSOP Asia-Pacific. He has $6.5 million in career WSOP earnings and was the youngest person to reach nine gold bracelets. We should also mention that PocketFivers Aaron ndgrinder59Steury and Stephen stevie444 Chidwick (pictured) made the final table of this event, finishing in fourth and fifth, respectively. Steury, who won a HORSE bracelet in 2011, cashed for the seventh time at this year's WSOP. Chidwick, who is from the UK, is up to $1.2 million in WSOP cashes for his career. Here's how the final table cashed out: 1. Phil Ivey - $167,332 2. Bruce Yamron - $103,375 3. Dan Heimiller - $66,246 4. Aaron ndgrinder59Steury - $44,286 5. Stephen stevie444Chidwick - $30,488 6. Yuebin Guo - $21,692 7. Christoph Haller - $15,720 Check out all of our WSOP coverage, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  22. Before the World Series of Poker started, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey (pictured) offered a 1:1 bet up to $1 million. The concept was simple: if Ivey or Negreanu won a bracelet in Las Vegas this year, they win. If neither won a bracelet, you win. The odds: a seemingly generous 1:1. Many laughed at the concept of Ivey or Negreanu navigating three- and four-digit player fields en route to victory, while others pointed to the fact that they're two of the top poker minds in the world. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- What has ensued, however, is sweat after sweat for those who took the pair up. Negreanu has cashed seven times already at this year's WSOP, including four top-ten finishes and a runner-up performance in a $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament for $156,000. Meanwhile, Ivey has been relatively quiet, cashing twice for $11,000 total, but he's still considered the best player in the world by many. The pair owns a combined 15 WSOP bracelets. If you bet against Ivey and Negreanu, prepare for your ultimate worst-case scenario, which will play out on Friday from the Rio in Las Vegas. What happened? Ivey and Negreanu both made the final 14 of a $1,500 Eight-Game Mix, meaning there's a one in seven chance the bet pays off today if you consider every player has an equal chance to win. Ivey has the third largest stack at 220,000, while Negreanu (pictured posing with fans this week) is in ninth with 132,500. Negreanu Tweeted on Thursday night, "End Day 2 of $1,500 8 Game, 14 players left, I'm one of them and so is Phil Ivey. I have 132,500, avg is 155K. Ivey has more." Second place belongs to PocketFiver Aaron ndgrinder59 Steury, who has $809,000 in live tournament cashes, according to the Hendon Mob, including a bracelet in a HORSE event in 2011. Steury has been a member of PocketFives since 2006 and has $572,000 in online winnings. He is nearly tied for the Eight-Game tournament's chip lead. The field trails two-time bracelet winner Dan Heimiller, who won this year's Seniors Event for $627,000 and captured WSOP Circuit rings the last two years: 1. Dan Heimiller - 227,000 2. Aaron ndgrinder59Steury - 226,000 3. Phil Ivey - 220,500 4. Yuebin Guo - 211,500 5. Christoph Haller - 210,500 6. Bruce Yamron - 206,500 7. Devin looneyde Looney - 205,000 8. Stephen stevie444 Chidwick - 174,000 9. Daniel Negreanu - 132,500 10. Amnon Filippi - 117,500 11. Yehuda Buchalter - 94,500 12. Alex Rocha - 70,000 13. Abdel Hamid - 69,000 14. Christian crisper Pereira - 19,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. We're down to two players in Event #15 of the World Series of Poker, a $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max tournament. What started as a field of 810 is now down to two PocketFivers, Gordon stlouis6Vayo and Davidi legrouzin Kitai (pictured). The two are about equal in chips. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- First place in the tournament will pocket $508,000, while the runner-up will get $314,000. The two had the option to play even more on Saturday night at the Rio in Las Vegas, but according to WSOP coverage, "When Level 30 ended at almost 2:10am on Sunday morning, the players were given the option to play one more level or pause the tournament and return to their seats once they had managed to get some sleep. They agreed to do the latter." Kitai, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, delivered the death blow to Tony Ruberto, who started Saturday's play as the short stack, to trim the field to two. Ruberto 4bet all-in with A-6, but Kitai had him beat with A-K. Kitai ducked a flush draw to hold on and Ruberto exited in third place. As a scouting report, Vayo has $1 million in tracked online MTT scores in his PocketFives profile. He plays on PokerStarsas Holla@yoboy and his largest cash came in 2009 in a SCOOP $2,100 PLO tournament for $83,000 after a third place finish. Belgium's Kitai, a Winamax pro, won bracelets in 2013 and 2008; both of them came in Pot Limit Hold'em events. All eyes in the tournament were fixated on Phil Hellmuth (pictured), who was in pursuit of his 14th WSOP bracelet, but came up short and ended the day in eighth place after starting in sixth. After raising under the gun, Hellmuth called all-in with A-2, but could not survive against Vayo's A-7. He recorded his 102nd career WSOP cash, 20 more than the next closest player in that department (Erik Seidel, 82). Here are the chip stacks entering the finale of Event #15: 1. Gordon stlouis6Vayo - 3,750,000 2. Davidi legrouzinKitai - 3,545,000 Also on Sunday, Event #18, the first ever $10,000 Seven Card Razz tournament, will fire back up with a dozen players out of a starting field of 112. Daniel Negreanu (pictured), who along with Phil Ivey extended a 1:1 bracelet bet, is in third place entering Sunday's scheduled conclusion. After accepting action on his bet, Negreanu has already finished second in a $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament for $156,000. We smell another sweat on Sunday for those who picked against Negreanu and Ivey. Here's how the field looks in Event #18: 1. David Bach - 565,000 2. Brandon Shack-Harris - 369,000 3. Daniel Negreanu - 340,000 4. Dan Irisheyes64 O'Brien - 337,000 5. Todd Dakake - 317,000 6. George Danzer - 286,000 7. Todd Barlow - 261,000 8. Yuval yuvee04 Bronshtein - 221,000 9. Brian Stinger885 Hastings - 194,000 10. Naoya Kihara - 179,000 11. Thomas Butzhammer - 171,000 12. Roland Israelashvili - 121,000 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, sponsored by Real Gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  24. In an interview that appeared on iGaming.orgas part of a series, Daniel Negreanu (pictured), now the front man for PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world, revealed that he had an offer to sell his old for-money room, FullContactPoker, for $170 million. However, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), passed in 2006, thwarted the deal. Negreanu told iGaming, "In the beginning, there were a lot of sites popping up out of nowhere. I saw this as a great opportunity to invest some money and create something, my own poker site." Negreanu said he was a one-man marketing machine for FullContactPoker, noting, "Over time, I had built a lot of good relationships with people that I could reach out to for some extra exposure. It reached a point where I would do up to 50 radio interviews in one day all across the United States and Canada." It took all of six months for Negreanu to receive an offer of around $170 million to unload his site and, as he recalled, "The offer was so big we called it 'game over money.' We were all very excited about it and about a week later this little thing called the UIGEA came into play." The UIGEA prohibited payments from US financial institutions to "unlawful internet gambling" sites, but failed to define what the critical three-word term meant. Nearly immediately after it was signed into law, sites like PartyPoker, then the largest room in the world, withdrew from the US market. Negreanu's FullContactPoker ceased being a real money poker site in 2007 and is now used as the Canadian's personal blog and sounding board. As iGaming narrated, "Most of [FullContactPoker's] members were based in the United States. The passing of the UIGEA made things a lot more complicated and in June of 2007, Negreanu signed with PokerStars." FullContactPoker was an Ongame Network site until around the time of the UIGEA. In November 2006, it migrated to the Digital Gaming Network. Whether the $170 million offer would have gone through and what its exact composition was remains to be seen, but the story illustrates the impact the UIGEA had on many when it was passed into law in late 2006. You might recall that in October 2005, one year before the passage of the UIGEA, Gus Hansen (pictured) sold his poker site, PokerChamps, to Betfair for a reported $15 million. Negreanu has $21.4 million in career live tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob, and is the reigning World Series of Poker Player of the Year. He is #8 on the 2014 money list, was #13 last year, and is #2 on the World Poker Tour's all-time earnings leaderboard at $5.7 million. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  25. Daniel Negreanu's recent blog post on Full Contact Poker lauding Choice Centerhas once again brought his association with the self-help organization into light, prompting a debate over whether the institution's primary focus is exploiting its members for financial gain. Read the post. Choice Center describes itself as a "leadership university" for successful people, offering a 100-day course "designed to take you to your next level of performance and in the fastest time possible." Negreanu (pictured) had positive comments about the program, which he outlined in his post. In one session on "emotional intelligence," he explained the result of having defined three specific goals for himself in a three-month period. "One of those goals was poker-related, getting back in the top 15 of the GPI, and quickly after completing the course, I jumped to #1 and held that spot for about 19 weeks," he said. According to the 39-year-old, the program also teaches students "the value of making a difference in the world via a legacy project." In his own project, Negreanu and his team were able to raise $280,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital in just one week. Other poker pros have taken Choice Center courses as well, including Nick Binger and Antonio Esfandiari (pictured). Binger described his experience in a TwoPlusTwo post: "Going into it, I knew that there was a broad spectrum of LGAT-type trainings that range from the craziest cults imaginable to really boring mainstream business development courses… From the beginning, I was on the lookout for violations of integrity that would signal time for me to go, but I never saw anything that would qualify." In the end, he summed up the course as "very interesting, fun, and generally a catalyst for positive life changes." Esfandiari seems to have found working with Choice Center to be even more impactful. After going on to take first and $18 million in the inaugural WSOP Big One for One Drop, the Iranian-born pro credited two people for his success: his father and his life coach Robyn Williams, the Founder and CEO of Choice Center. But not everyone is a fan of the organization's methods or what they say is an aggressive recruiting campaign to sign up new students. Brian tsarrast Rast is another poker pro who was convinced to take classes at the urging of a friend, but after a few sessions decided not to go back. In an interview with Bluff, Rast called the $2,700 program "interesting," but believed that Negreanu and Esfandiari were assigning too much credit to Choice Center for their success and too little to themselves. "It's basically a crash course in psychology and group therapy," he said, recalling his experience. "I think anyone can benefit, whether it's at Choice or not, or going and doing meditation with Buddhist monks for three days. Choice was valuable… but I don't think it's special in that it's the only way you could help yourself." He was also concerned that the program's methods of "tearing students down" before "building them back up" could lead to people being dependent on the Center for their happiness. "The whole point of Choice is great… but I'm not going to replace my family with Choice Center," he said. Furthermore, since Choice Center is for-profit, students are "basically turned into recruits," he said. "You could make an analogy that it's like a self-replicating virus or bacteria if you want to put it in a negative spin." Negreanu was quick to respond to Rast (pictured) in his own video and reiterated that out of 100 of his friends who had taken classes, only four had decided to quit early, while the others had a great experience. He said that since Rast had only finished a small portion of the class, it would be hard for him to be critical of it. Whatever you think of Choice Center or its methods, Negreanu's recent results in the poker world speak for themselves. Since 2013, the Canadian pro has earned nearly $5 million in tournaments worldwide. This year, he is banking on the fact that Phil Ivey or he will win a bracelet in this year's WSOP, offering a $5,000 minimum wager on the proposition. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

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