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  1. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] The latest episode of The Fives is now available on iTunes and Stitcher.[/caption] Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. After what feels like a ridiculously long hiatus, Lance Bradley and Matt Clark are back with another episode of The Fives. In this episode, the guys talk about Darryll Fish's recent win at the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open and recap the other storylines out of that event, including the "controversial" return to action of the recently retired Vanessa Selbst. They also get into the recently announced WPT Finale schedule, the Super High Roller Bowl's decision to expand their event to China, and talk about partypoker's decision to sign Isaac Haxton. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THIS EPISODE ON STITCHER
  2. In 2013, Darryll Fish finished third in the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Open at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In 2017, he finished runner-up at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, also at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. On Wednesday, Fish put those close calls behind him by winning the LHPO for his first WPT title and $511,604. Fish entered the final table with a middle-of-the-pack stack but worked his way through the final table to book his first live win since the 2016 Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions. Alan Krockey came to the final table with the second shortest stack but found himself leaving first after running into a hand that basically played itself. Ness Reilly raised to 160,000 from UTG before Krockey, down to just 12 big blinds, moved all in for 915,000. Reilly called and turned oer [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] while Krockey needed some help with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3h"] flop took away one of Krockey's ace outs and neither the [poker card="7c"] turn or [poker card="6d"] river was enough to save him and the 68 year old was eliminated in sixth. Just 13 hands later another all-in preflop race claimed a victim. Aleksandr Shevelev raised to 170,000 from UTG, Reilly made it 500,000 from the button before Brett Bader re-raised to 1,350,000. Action folded to Shevelev and moved all in for 7,005,000. Reilly folded before Bader called all in and tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. Shevelev showed [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="Kd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="9h"] to give the young Russian a pair of kings and send Bader out with a fifth place finish. After doubling up Andy Frankenberger, and dropping almost 4,000,000 to Shevelev, Reilly was down to just nine big blinds. Action folded to her on the button and she moved all in. Darryll Fish called from the small blind and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] while Reilly was ahead with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2s"] changed everything though and Reilly was unable to find a jack on the [poker card="qh"] turn or [poker card="9d"] river and was eliminated in fourth. Despite starting the day as the shortest stack, Frankenberger navigated his way to the top three. Unfortunately for the former WPT champion, that's as far as he could get. Frankenberger moved all in for 2,305,000 from the button, Fish called from the small blind and Shevelev fold his big blind. Frankenberger turned over [poker card="7d"][poker card="7h"] while Fish had [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"] flop kept Frankenberger in front but the [poker card="Jd"] turn put Fish in front and the [poker card="3s"] river couldn't save Frankenberger. Heads-up play began with Shevelev holding almost 60% of the chips in play. It took just 87 hands to go from six players to two, but it took 121 to go from two to a champion. Fish and Shevelev traded the lead back multiple times before Fish finally put away Shevelev for good. After doubling Fish up, Shevelev was left with just eight big blinds when he moved all in and Fish called. Shevelev was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] to Fish's [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="kc"][poker card="td"] to give Fish a king-high straight and his first WPT title. The Lucky Hearts Poker Open attracted 911 entrants, paying $3,500 to generate a $2,915,200 prize pool. Final Table Payouts Darryll Fish - $511,604 Aleksandr Shevelev - $331,116 Andy Frankenberger - $244,342 Ness Reilly - $182,249 Brett Bader - $137,440 Alan Krockey - $104,784
  3. Season XVI of the World Poker Tour is in the homestretch and on its way to sunny Hollywood, FL for a $3 million guaranteed event. Seminole Hard Rock is the home to the largest field in World Poker Tour history and the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is expected to draw at least 1,000 entrants. From April 13-18, all eyes in North America are on one of the annual marquee WPT events. The Season XV version of Showdown brought in 1,207 entrants in only a single starting flight for a $2 million guaranteed prize pool. Tony Sinishtaj drove into the winner’s circle with $661,283 of the $3.862 million prize pool after defeating a final table of Dan Colman, Robert Mizrachi, and Darryll Fish. Millions In The Middle The current WPT season has been busy from the moment it started in August and the pace is still in fifth-gear coming into the final East Coast event of the campaign. Seminole hosted the World Poker Tour in January for the Lucky Hearts Poker Open and drew a field of 911 runners for a $2 million guarantee. The prize pool for that event brushed against the barriers of the $3 million and a four-figure amount of players at Showdown creates one of the highest pots of Season XVI. In Season XII, Seminole placed a whopping $5 million up for grabs and attracted 1,795 entrants for what still stands as the largest WPT field of all-time. Eric Afriat walked away with first-place and $1.08 million against a final table that included WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja, future Champions Club Member James Mackey, and bracelet winner Chance Kornuth. Expect to see Afriat back at the Hard Rock in a few weeks for more reasons than just another title. Player of the Year Hits Octane Mode Art Papazyan’s Season XVI Player of the Year lead decreases with every stop. Papazyan opened up a giant gap between him and the field after winning his second title of the season at WPT Maryland in October. The 2,400 points Papazyan holds are from his two titles, which are his only cashes of the season. Papazyan’s selective schedule means he may not show up to Florida and attempt to increase his overall total. Afriat is one of a few players who can overtake Papazyan with at least a final table finish. January’s Borgata Winter Poker Open featured a win from Afriat for his second career WPT victory along with 1,200 Player of the Year points. Coupled with his fifth-place result at WPT Montreal, Afriat stands with 1,700 points. In second place on the leaderboard is Derek Wolters, who has recorded two final table finishes along with three cashes in total. Wolters recently took third at the L.A. Poker Classic. That bronze medal sits next to the one he earned at WPT Montreal. Overall, Wolters is playing with 1,850 points heading down the stretch. The final member of the chase committee behind Papazyan is 2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen. Through a fourth-place result at Borgata and third-place at WPT Rolling Thunder in March along with two other cashes, McKeehen keeps pace with 1,600 points. A few others lurking who need at least 1,200 points to hit Papazyan’s mark are D.J. Alexander, Phil Hellmuth, and Lucky Hearts victory Darryll Fish. Structure Details Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown features two starting flights and unlimited re-entry across both Day 1s. The total prize pool makes itself known after Level 9 on Day 1B. Levels on Day 1 and 2 are 60 minutes before ticking up to 90 minutes for Day 3 and Day 4. Final table levels are 60 minutes on Day 5 for the six remaining players. The final table airs on the PokerGO live stream on April 18 and plays down to the 16th champion of Season XVI.
  4. The partypoker MILLIONS keeps making promises that their live tour is going to raise the bar for live poker events around the world. They proved it this week in Montreal with the partypoker MILLIONS North America event paying out three seven-figure scores in the Main Event alone and at the end of it all Taylor Black was standing tall with a career-best score and his first major title. Tommy Nguyen raised to 12,000,000 from UTG+1 before Black raised to 35,000,000 from the hijack. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] and both players checked. After the [poker card="8c"] turn, Nguyen bet 27,000,000 and Black called. The river was the [poker card="6s"], Nguyen checked, Black moved all in and Nguyen called all in. Black showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="8s"] for trip eights while Nguyen turned over [poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"] for a rivered two pair and was eliminated in eighth place. Black only had a supporting role in the next elimination just 38 minutes later. Black raised to 15,000,000 from UTG, Anthony Ruberto called from UTG+1 before George Lagos moved all in for 85,000,000 from the small blind. Black tossed his cards into the muck, but Ruberto called and showed [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"] which put him ahead of Lagos' [poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="jd"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Lagos a flush draw which the [poker card="8d"] turn completed. The river was the [poker card="3d"] though, giving Ruberto a better flush and sending Lagos home in seventh. Just 40 minutes later, Black went back to work in sending players home. Demosthenes Kiriopoulos moved all in for 59,000,000 from UTG and Black called from the cutoff. Kiriopoulos showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="2s"] while Black was ahead with [poker card="5d"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="6c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3c"] flop produced no relief for Kiriopoulos. Neither did the [poker card="8c"] turn or [poker card="9d"] river and he was eliminated in sixth place. Nearly two hours passed before another player was sent packing. Markus Prinz limped from UTG for 10,000,000, Charles La Boissonniere moved all in from the cutoff for 147,000,000 and Ruberto moved all in over the top of everybody for 555,000,000 and Prinz folded. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="3d"] to end La Boissonniere's run in fifth. Prinz's tournament ended just a few minutes later in a blind vs. battle scenario. Action folded to Prinz in the small blind and he moved all in for 158,000,000 and Darryll Fish called from the big blind. Prinz showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] but got bad news when Fish happily showed [poker card="jc"][poker card="jd"] and then could only watch helplessly as the [poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="2d"] runout did nothing to save him. The final three players were all guaranteed at least $1 million CAD and it took just over an hour to go from three to two remaining players. Ruberto raised to 25,000,000 from the button, Fish folded the small blind, but Black made it 85,000,000 to go and Ruberto called. Black then checked after the [poker card="jh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"] flop, allowing Ruberto to bet 25,000,000. Black re-raised to 135,000,000 and Ruberto called. The turn was the [poker card="8c"] and Black check-called after Ruberto moved all in for 439,000,000. Black showed [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] for top set while Ruberto had just ace-high with [poker card="ac"][poker card="7h"]. Black started heads-up play with a nearly 4-1 lead over Fish but that didn't stop the former WPT champion from attempting to mount a comeback. Over the three hours and 20 minutes of one-on-one play, Fish did briefly take the lead but Black erased that deficit quickly and eventually eliminated Fish. On the final hand of the night, Fish made it 45,000,000 from the button and Black re-raised to 140,000,000 and Fish called. After the [poker card="9d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"] flop, Black fired out a bet of 130,000,000 and Fish moved all in for 354,000,000. Black called and quickly turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] while Fish showed [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"] for top pair. The [poker card="6s"] turn took away Fish's draw to two pair. The [poker card="qh"] river cruelly gave Fish two pair but eliminated him in second place giving Black the first major win of his poker career. Final Table Payouts Taylor Black - $1,400,000 CAD Darryll Fish - $1,200,000 CAD Anthony Ruberto - $1,000,000 CAD Markus Prinz - $800,000 CAD Charles La Boissonniere - $600,000 CAD Demosthenes Kiriopoulos - $400,000 CAD George Lagos - $302,500 CAD Tommy Nguyen - $215,000 CAD
  5. As 2018 winds down, PocketFives is taking you a trip down memory lane with a month-by-month year in review. We get things started with January and a trip the Bahamas. Vanessa Selbst Calls It Quits Word actually broke in the closing hours of 2017, but the talk around Vanessa Selbst retiring from poker carried on into the early days of 2018. Selbst, the all-time leading female money winner, announced her decision to retire via a Facebook post. In that post, she explained that she had taken a job with a New York-based hedge fund and had already been working there for a few months. Selbst did indicate that she wasn't done entirely with the game though. "To me, the opportunity to work hard and learn something totally new and get to keep poker in my arsenal of fun go-to hobbies feels like the right approach,” Selbst wrote. Selbst lived up to her word, showing up to play the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open in late January. READ: Vanessa Selbst Retires From Poker Maria Lampropulos Wins PCA Main Event; Cary Katz Tops $100K High Roller The first major poker tournament of 2018 was the return of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The PCA was brought back after PokerStars' failed rebranding of all of their live events as PokerStars Live Championships. The PCA Main Event brought out 582 players for a total prize pool of $5,645,400. The final table included Adrian Mateos, Koray Aldamir, Shawn Buchanan and Maria Lampropulos. The tournament came down to an epic heads-up battle between Buchanan and Lampropulos with the Argentinian pro taking it down for her second major title in a 10-month span. READ: PCA: Maria Lampropulos Wins Main Event, $1.08M, Platinum Pass At a final table that included the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Isaac Haxton, Bryn Kenney and Sam Greenwood, PokerGO founder Cary Katz managed to outlast all of them to win the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller for the first major title of his career. READ: PCA: Cary Katz Wins $100K Super High Roller Platinum Passes Galore in the Bahamas The PCA was also the launching for what would become PokerStars' year-long campaign to award nearly 300 Platinum Passes worth $30,000 each that give the pass holder entry into the 2019 PokerStars Players Championship. Lampropulos picked one up for her victory in the PCA Main Event, author Maria Konnikova also grabbed one for taking down the PCA National Championship and David Peters won his via a random draw. Pennsylvania-based grinder Thai Ha was the fortunate winner of a Platinum Pass on Day 2 of the Main Event, but he almost missed it after oversleeping. READ: Thai Ha Almost Misses Out on Platinum Pass Winning Moment While Lampropulos, Konnikova, and Peters are all established players who may have played the PSPC anyways, Steven-John Jost is the polar opposite. The Swiss amateur qualified for the 2018 PCA Main Event on PokerStars for $27 and ended up cashing for $17,500. By finishing in the money, Jost was also given a raffle ticket for a Platinum Pass and he ended up having his name drawn. “I was really shaking. Now I’m calm. I had to go for a drink and now I’m relaxed, just enjoying it,” Jost said after learning he'd won the $30,000 package. READ: Steven-John Jost’s ‘Dream Come True’ Topped Off with Platinum Pass Ole Schemion and Darryll Fish Pick Up WPT Titles The World Poker Tour added two well-known names to the WPT Champions Cup in January. Germany's Ole Schemion beat out 338 other players to win the €3,300 WPT European Championship at Spielbank Berlin. The win earned Schemion $260,858 and he finished 2018 within spitting distance of $15,000,000 in career earnings. READ: Ole Schemion Wins WPT European Championship Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, one of poker's most well-respected grinders finally picked up a major title. Darryll Fish topped the 911-player field to win the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $511,604. It was a career-best cash for Fish at the time, only to be eclipsed a few months later when he finished second in the partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event for $ 937,221. READ: Darryll Fish Wins Lucky Hearts Open for First WPT Title, $511K partypoker Adds Isaac Haxton as Ambassador To say that Isaac Haxton's departure from Team PokerStars was messy, might be an understatement. Haxton left PokerStars in the wake of the changes the online poker giant made to its player rewards system and took special joy in being a thorn in their side via social media ever since. That thorn got a little bit bigger when Haxton signed on as an ambassador with partypoker. Haxton noted that partypoker's growth, both online and live, was a big part of his decision to sign with them. “I’ve been very impressed with their growth over the last year or so. From expanding their online cash game and tournament offerings, to improving their software, and most of all rolling out their ambitions and innovative live events program, their commitment to growing the game and providing a great product for their players has been clear,” Haxton said. READ: Isaac Haxton Joins partypoker as Brand Ambassador Sweden's 'lena900' Tops January PLB Race Anybody who follows the PocketFives Rankings will know that the Swedish players have dominated them for years. So it's no surprise to learn that one of the most successful Swedish players started 2018 off with a bang. 'lena900' topped the January PLB thanks ‘lena900’ to eight five-figure scores and a win in the partypoker Powerfest Event #5 for $26,899 and 328.63 PLB points. READ: Swedish Crusher ‘lena900’ Wins January PLB Title

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