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The opening week of the busy Spring season for online poker players allowed a number of the best tournament players to reach some impressive milestones with former #1-ranked Chris 'Gettin Daize' Oliver headlining the list. Oliver, who was ranked #1 twice for a total of 16 weeks in 2010, posted a 35th place finish in PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #8 High ($530 NLHE w/rebuys) to become just the eighth player to get to the $9,000,000 career earnings mark. The former US-grinder, who know calls Costa Rica home, was one of 13 players to break through various million-dollar marks this week. 888poker pro Dominik 'bounatirouIMO" Nitsche is now part of the $4 million earnings group thanks to two big SCOOP scores. He finished runner-up in Event #10 High ($2,100 NLH Win the Button) for $75,000 and two days later fourth in the Event #15 Medium ($2,100 NLHE High Roller) for $115,800. Nitsche sits third on Germany's all-time earnings list behind only Giuseppe 'LeChiffre19' Pantaleo and 'niself'. Top-ranked Brazilian Diego 'MrBittar' Bittar was one of four players to hit the $3,000,000 mark. Joining Bittar were Sergio 'zcedrick' Aido, Maszat 'noirduck' Marci and 'cedrick1'. Two others hit the $2,000,000 mark: Sweden's 'machiavelli3' and Brazil's Regis 'capotinha' Kogler. Five players went from six-figures in lifetime earnings to seven this past week. 'fahrino' 'Apotheosis' 'Borraurelio' 'aziz.mancha' 'que_te_crio' While it wasn't quite seven figures, New Jersey's 'Acanthopis' hit a major milestone for players from the Garden State, passing $500,000 in lifetime earnings on regulated New Jersey sites. The top 100 of the PocketFives Rankings also saw a lot of career-bests. After posting seven cashes big enough to impact his PLB score, Swedish grinder 'inhoo' went from #3 to #2 - a career high for him. The Mexican SCOOP compound that Rory Young is in has clearly paid off. Young went from #18 to #14 Bittar also jumped into the top 20 for the first time, moving up 20 spots after his victory in SCOOP Event #4 High ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em) to #16. Other players in the top 100 who have moved to career-high rankings this past week. Adrijan_s from 48 to 42 Gedis92 from 44 to 43 kofi89 from 49 to 48 Jobytoyce from 58 to 50 KuraRyaba from 61 to 56 Nur1ck from 58 to 57 omaha4rollz from 60 to 59 Ti0 from 68 to 66 ksieciunio from 88 to 69 davaman from 92 to 81 Apotheosis from 120 to 92 CheVeaU from 102 to 99
One of the things that make the World Series of Poker great is the coming together of players from all over the world to both compete in and celebrate the game of poker. For many players, not only is it the opportunity to win heaps of cash but also to represent their country at a final table and possibly have their national anthem played at a WSOP gold bracelet ceremony. Players from Brazil have a special zest for the game of poker. They have, time and again, lovingly draped their national flag over the shoulders of a home country champion. In 2018, there will be plenty of opportunities for Brazilians to celebrate their fellow countrymen, Here are five PocketFivers to watch this summer at the Rio. Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao A former three-time PocketFives Worldwide #1-ranked player, Simao is one of Brazil’s brightest stars. He has accumulated over $7 million in lifetime online earnings and parlayed his success into an ambassadorship role for partypoker. Lately, Simao has been splitting his time between the online tables and participating partypoker’s live events where he’s been a mainstay in the High Roller and Super High Roller tournaments. In 2018, Simeo has made six live final tables and earned over $1.1 million on the live circuit. Traditionally, the World Series of Poker hasn’t treated Simao as well as the partypoker events have. He’s made an appearance at the WSOP just about every year since 2012 and, while he’s cashed, he’s never gone deep in the Main Event. That said, Simao has never been on a heater like is right now either. Simao is in the midst of a career year and this may be his time to breakthrough at the WSOP. Andre ‘aakkari’ Akkari When it comes to the Brazilian’s at the World Series of Poker, you simply can’t take your eye off of Akkari. Akkari, a Team PokerStars Pro, may not grind the online sites like he used to but he still can make an impact when playing online. With over $3.5 million in online earnings, ‘aakkari’ recently added to that total with a third-place finish in the May 6 edition of the Sunday 500 for over $20,000. It was 2001 recorded online cash. When it comes to his live resume, Akkari is a true WSOP grinder. He’s made the money 29 times in WSOP events and took home a bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event in 2011. Akkari is also a student of all the poker varients - in 2017 he made the money in both a HORSE. and a Seven Card Stud event as well as cashing for over $30,000 in the Main Event. Diego ‘MrBittar’ Bittar Bittar does not have a lot of live results on his resume but his online prowess cannot be denied. Bittar is currently Brazil’s #3-ranked pro having just recently eclipsed over $4 million in lifetime online earnings. So far in the month of May, Bittar has accumulated over 60 cashes with 18 of them being worth four-figures or more. If he brings that grinder's mentality to Las Vegas this summer, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him replicate his online success and go deep in a number of events. In 2017, he only managed a pair of results. One was a small cash in the $888 Crazy Eights event and the other was a deep run in Event #66, a $1,500 NLHE event where he finished in 31st for just over $10,000. Perhaps 2018 is could be a breakout year for Mr. Bittar. Renato ‘renaton’ Nomura Hailing from Florianopolis, Nomura may be a player who comes out of nowhere to make a big splash at the 2018 World Series of Poker. A member of partypoker’s Team Online, Nomura is a student of the aforementioned Joao Simao and has been making an impact on poker both live and online. The one-time top 100 ranked player, Nomura is coming off a deep run at the partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event where he bowed out in 24th for over $27,000. He’s shown he has what it takes to navigate large field tournaments as well, having won the 2013 Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event for over $108,000. Though he standardly plays mistakes online, should he make the trip to Las Vegas, as he did in 2017, he may be able to take his career to the next level. Renato ‘bauruzito’ Valentim Sao Paulo’s Valentim only has a single World Series of Poker recorded result to his name but it was a good one. Last year, he made the trek to play in the Main Event and left with a top 100 finish (83rd) for over $72,000, which was a career-high live result. As an online grinder, Valentim has earned over $3 million in career and currently stands as a top-5 ranked player in Brazil and the #46-ranked player in the world. If the success of his 2017 Main Event run entices Valentim to book the 14-hour flight from his hometown to Nevada, he may be a candidate to fly back with a bracelet.
When the 2020 World Series of Poker was forced to move online because of the global coronavirus pandemic, a number of the tournaments that WSOP officials had given a brand name over the years came with it. The Millionaire Maker, Colossus and Sunday night's event, The Marathon, were meant to give poker players a sense of familiarity with the events. Some 14 hours after it began, Nick Maimone beat out 1,437 other players to win Event #69 ($1,500 Marathon) for his first career bracelet and a little over $300,000. One of online poker's quietest superstars had a short-lived visit to the final table. Bert Stevens, better known to his fans and followers as 'GirafGanger' shoved his last 2,070,036 into the middle from the cutoff and Nikolay Motsenko called from the small blind. Stevens showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"] but got bad news when Mostenko tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2h"] flop was made purely of bricks for Stevens. The [poker card="jc"] turn gave him some straight outs but the [poker card="5s"] completed the board an ended Stevens' run in ninth place. Another 20 minutes past before another player was eliminated and once again it was Motsenko doing the work. Action folded to Motsenko in the small blind and he raised to 400,000. Canada's Erik Lemarquand called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3c"] and Motsenko bet 316,800 before Lemarquand clicked back to 1,008,000 an Motsenko moved all in for 8,309,831. Lemarquand called all in and showed [poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"] for top pair but Motsenko once again had a premium hand, tabling [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. Neither the [poker card="ah"] turn or [poker card="6c"] river were any help for Lemarquand and he was eliminated in eighth. Seven-handed play carried on for more than 30 minutes before one of two Brazilian players at the final table got an earlier than expected exit. Ermo Kosk raised to 420,000 from UTG and Murilo Nascimento moved all in for 1,724,680. Kosk called and showed [poker card="th"][poker card="8h"] and Nascimento tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jh"] flop gave Nascimento middle set but left Kosk with flush and straight out. The [poker card="ac"] turn completed Broadway for Kosk and Nascimento was unable to make a full house on the [poker card="7s"] turn and the Brazilian was out in seventh place. Despite picking up that pot to move into the chip lead, Kosk didn't get to see much more action. Just 15 minutes after sending Nascimento to the rail, Kosk joined him. Down to just four big blinds, Kosk jammed from the small blind and Nick Maimone defended the big. Kosk showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="7c"] but Maimone had him in a world of hurt after showing [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"][poker card="5d"] flop allowed Kosk some hope with top pair but the [poker card="3s"] and [poker card="6h"] completed the board to eliminate Kosk in sixth place. The deep stacks continued to make for longer stretches between eliminations. A battle of the blinds lead to the next elimination. Sebastian Sikorski moved all in from the small blind for 4,258,614 Diego Bittar called from the big. Sikorski showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"] but found his hand dominated by Bittar's [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] flop only made things forse for Sikorski. Neither the [poker card="9s"] turn or [poker card="7c"] river was able to save the former #1-ranked PocketFiver from busting in fifth. Maimoine was the player in charge of the next bustout. From UTG, Bittar raised to 480,000. Maimone re-raised to 1,080,000 from the small blind before Motsenko moved all in for 3,426,101. Bittar got out of the way but Maimone called and showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Motsenko showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="8d"] to eliminate Motsenko in fourth place. Maimone was the executioner on the next elimination as well, but he had to wait more than 30 minutes. During that time he had the shortest stack before doubling through Giovani Torre. Five minutes later, Bittar folded the button and Maimone moved all in for 14,978,646 and Torre called off from the big blind. Maimone was behind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="6h"] to Torre's [poker card="kd"][poker card="9s"] but the [poker card="qc"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4s"] flop changed that. Torre could only watch as the [poker card="8h"] and [poker card="as"] completed the board to seal his third place result. Maimone had a three big blind lead when heads up play began and it took 25 minutes of heads up play for him to eliminate Bittar. On the final hand, Bittar called from the small blind and Maimone moved all in from the big. Bittar called off his last 8,514,472 and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="5d"] while Maimone tabled [poker card="ks"][poker card="8h"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"][poker card="6d"] flop put Maimone in the pole position and he stayed there through the [poker card="6s"] turn and [poker card="jd"] river to prevent Bittar from becoming the fourth Brazilian to win a WSOP bracelet this year while capturing the first of his career. Final Table Payouts Nick Maimone - $302,471.86 + WSOP Europe Package Diego Bittar - $228,211.58 Giovani Torre -$165,613.12 Nikolay Motsenko - $120,185.51 Sebastian Sikorski - $87,218.79 Ermo Kosk - $63,294.75 Murilo Nascimento - $45,933.13 Erik Lemarquand - $33,332.52 Bert Stevens - $24,190.21