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Found 11 results

  1. This week in New Jersey, the PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III continued with eight events and $95,000 in guaranteed money at stake. Daniel wildman75Buzgon shipped Event #26 and finished second in Event #31 for a total of $4,246. Longtime PocketFiver Mike Gags30 Gagliano took down Event #29, a $10,000 Guarantee Six-Max tournament, for $2,197. Having a profitable week was Ted ol mugginsEly (pictured), who won Event #24, which was a $20,000 Guarantee, got third and sixth in the 888 Poker/WSOP $2,000 Guarantee, and finished second in the 888/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for a total of $7,176. Ely is now over the $348,000 mark in tracked online cashes. Keith donnysackDonovan, who plays under the handle T1mB3y_B33F, took down the 888/WSOP $2,500 Guarantee on back-to-back nights and also came in sixth the third night, banking $2,701. Lastly, Gokhan Tanju (gtanju on PocketFives) shipped the 888/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee on Monday and then took third place in the same tournament on Thursday, pocketing a total of $3,818. It was Tanju's first time winning this tournament and is his highest online cash to date since regulated online poker went live in New Jersey. Congrats to all PocketFivers who cashed this week. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #24 - $20,000 Guarantee re-entry $109 ($100 + $9) for Monday, October 19th had 249 runners for a prize pool of $24,900. 36 spots were paid with 1st place paying $4,703. The final 9 finishers were: 1 roystalin $4,703 (ol muggins) 2 iheartboobs $3,331 (thechiv3) 3 WillfordBrimley $2,440 (jaminonfaces) 4 Bagels $2,016 (Bagel) 5 T1mB3y_B33F $1,693 (donnysack) 6 Godzilla $1,444 (Godzilla) 7 BLESSED77 $1,195 8 emmett03 $946 9 cluedog $697 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #25 - $7,500 Guarantee Re-Entry 6-max $55 ($50 + $5) for Monday, October 19th had 228 runners for a prize pool of $11,400. 36 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,153. The final 9 finishers were: 1 WinningAtTheB $2,153 2 centrfieldr23 $1,525 (centrfieldr) 3 myumjobs $1,117 4 Time2sHove $923 5 SUMBUM $775 6 Nanony $661 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #26 - $15,000 Guarantee bounty $109 ($80 + 20 + $9) for Tuesday, October 20th had 178 runners for a prize pool of $14,240 ($760 overlay). 21 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,396. The final 9 finishers were: 1 leinad $2,396* (wildman75) 2 nutsooncow $2,321* (nutsooncow) 3 MuckYourLife $2,114* (Pker4Dummies) 4 Miklan300 $1,335 (Miklan300) 5 TheGlyph278 $1,125 6 T1mB3y_b33F $930 (donnysack) 7 belooga $750 8 Bagels $585 (Bagel) 9 DuskTilDawn $450 *Final Table Chop ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #27 - $7,500 Guarantee re-entry $55 ($50 + $5) for Tuesday, October 20th had 237 runners for a prize pool of $11,850. 36 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,238. The final 9 finishers were: 1 CircusChimp $2,238 2 SayMyName $1,585 (SayMyName) 3 dhimp20 $1,161 4 SuperShred $959 5 pokerypf $805 6 hud_seriously $687 7 IPLAYPOKHER $568 8 my2chis $450 (my2chis) 9 XCALEZ $331 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #28 - $10,000 Guarantee re-entry $109 ($52 + 52 + $9) for Wednesday, October 21st had 202 runners for a prize pool of $10,504. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,048. The final 9 finishers were: 1 ikelove227 $2,048 2 treetrap $1,439 3 JohnnyDrama $1,060 (JohnnnyDrama) 4 pay4medsch00l $882 (Lav519) 5 ChinIAM $745 (ChinIAM) 6 El-Chapo $640 (AvonBarkz) 7 szajbus_jeden $535 8 Hitmy1outer $430 (Hitmy1outer) 9 GiantGenius $325 (PompiAA2) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #29 - $10,000 Guarantee 6-max re-buy $20 ($18 + $2) for Wednesday, October 21st had 225 runners for a prize pool of $11,268. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,197. The final 6 finishers were: 1 Gags30 $2,197 (Gags30) 2 hud_seriously $1,543 3 MrLucky13 $1,138 4 TakeTheD $946 5 WarriorPrincess $800 6 FellateMe $687 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #30 - $15,000 Guarantee re-entry $109 ($100 + $9) for Thursday, October 22nd had 210 runners for a prize pool of $21,000. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $4,095. The final 9 finishers were: 1 KINGDONK99 $4,095 2 Tremorpb $2,877 (Tremorpb) 3 RobzBullets $2,121 4 mj23style $1,764 (RedsoxNets5) 5 Gags30 $1,491 (Gags30) 6 BINKED-It $1,281 7 JohnnyDrama $1,071 (JohnnnyDrama) 8 Big Jay $861 9 Jenger $651 (Jenger) ------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata GSSS III Event #31 - $10,000 Guarantee Speed down $109 ($100 + $9) for Thursday, October 22nd had 94 runners for a prize pool of $9,400 ($600 overlay). 12 spots were paid with 1st place paying $2,850. The final 6 finishers were: 1 FellateMe $2,850 2 leinad $1,850 (wildman75) 3 jmzit2u $1,350 4 WinningAtTheB $900 5 Jenger $725 (Jenger) 6 meatball20 $575 7 laumserg $450 (Mergulas) 8 AriZahav $350 9 smoothustler $275 (smoothustler) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Monday, October 19th had 35 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,290. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,151.50. The top 6 finishers were: 1 T1mB3y_B33F $1,151.50 (donnysack) 2 PlantLeaf $723.80 (BiggDaddy) 3 KewlStoryBro $493.50 (TheHighRoad) 4 UnoZombert $361.90 5 SetMining $296.10 (PocketProfits) 6 nowitsover r$263.20 (nowitsover) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Monday, October 19th had 31 runners for a prize pool totaling $2,945. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,030.75. The top 6 finishers were: 1 UnoZombert $1,030.75 2 Str8yAAnkAAs $647.90 3 ImSayin $441.75 4 JewJon $323.95 (OhUrAPro) 5 TCooke $265.05 6 JBAdonkfest $235.60 (bskeezy00) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Tuesday, October 20th had 38 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,572. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,250.20. The top 6 finishers were: 1 T1mB3y_B33F $1,250.20 (donnysack) 2 Adversity45 $785.84 (Thatgood45) 3 SetMining $535.80 (PocketProfits) 4 TCooke $392.92 5 zcpu009 $321.48 6 LuckySpewy1 $285.76 (ykwon17) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Tuesday, October 20th had 35 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,325. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,163.75. The top 6 finishers were: 1 sandip89 $1,163.75 (sandip815) 2 WhyStopNow $731.50 3 olmuggins $498.75 (ol muggins) 4 mnabrams $365.75 (Smarba) 5 mooseman1710 $299.25 (mooseman1710) 6 Adversity45 $266.00 (Thatgood45) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Wednesday, October 21st had 40 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,760. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,316. The top 6 finishers were: 1 JewJon $1,316 (OhUrAPro) 2 l0lflawless $827.20 (tonydatiger) 3 schaf4206 $564.00 (schaf4206) 4 DuhMiz66 $413.60 5 PlantLeaf $338.40 (BiggDaddy) 6 T1mB3y_B33F $300.80 (donnysack) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Wednesday, October 21st had 30 runners for a prize pool totaling $2,850. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,054.50. The top 6 finishers were: 1 Smacster $1,054.50 2 michalek $712.50 3 TCooke $427.50 4 Cubsters $342.00 5 sandip89 $313.50 (sandip815) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Thursday, October 22nd had 42 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,948. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $1,263.36. The top 8 finishers were: 1 AdamS $1,263.36 (skonn) 2 digit72 $710.64 3 LeftSid3 $493.50 (JohnnnyDrama) 4 OohKILLemm $414.54 (CJC3443) 5 Stormheart $327.68 6 Mccourt65 $288.20 7 Smacster $244.77 8 myGAME $205.29 (Lav519) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Thursday, October 22nd had 37 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,515. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,230.25. The top 8 finishers were: 1 Smacster $1,230.25 2 JingboSlice $773.30 3 l0lflawless $527.25 (tonydatiger) 4 THE_SHADOW $386.65 5 Adversity45 $316.35 (Thatgood45) 6 olmuggins $281.20 (ol muggins) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Monday, October 19th had 196 runners buying in for $10 each for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 acesfull32 $1,350 (GRaman32) 2 mnrlaf04 $800 3 onoreally $500 (onreally) 4 GGshithead $400 5 park2080 $350 6 holla2mlo $245 (holla2mlo) 7 Breza $195 (AlexBreza) 8 Qutieezee87 $145 9 DeadWrong $120 (Deadwr0ng) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Monday, October 19th had 137 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $10,000. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,750. The top 9 finishers were: 1 gtanju $2,750 (gtanju) 2 Squishy $1,600 3 jetsfan14 $910 (itsmejon) 4 FishStixTrix $710 5 hoi.com $610 6 jqbpk7777 $510 (jqbpk772) 7 KewlStoryBro $390 (TheHighRoad) 8 heisenberg89 $250 9 77guerrero77 $180 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Tuesday, October 20th had 191 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Blaster27r $1,350.00 2 Qutieezee87 $800.00 3 Flu5h_M3 $500.00 (Flu5h_M3) 4 FishStixTrix $400.00 5 CookE $350.00 (CookE) 6 Rymel143 $245.00 7 bomber3429 $195.00 8 BrownBearDD $145.00 9 Defender $120.00 (Defender) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Tuesday, October 20th had 148 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $10,592.40. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,912.91. The top 9 finishers were: 1 MarcusAllin $2,912.91 2 olmuggins $1,694.78 (ol muggins) 3 mglnow $963.90 4 mdubsdeezee $752.06 5 MuckUrLife $646.13 (Pker4Dummies) 6 heisenberg89 $540.21 7 Str8yAAnkAAs $413.10 8 c.m.e $264.81 (c.m.e) 9 jomaci $190.66 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Wednesday, October 21st had 187 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 park2080 $1,350 2 RhinoThunder $800 3 hathead $500 4 NITRO13 $400 5 RanPage $350 (RanPage) 6 Breza $245 (AlexBreza) 7 allskill $195 8 kguz05 $145 9 JewJon $120 (OhUrAPro) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Wednesday, October 21st had 140 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $10,428.60. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,867.86. The top 9 finishers were: 1 iamskynet $2,867.86 (eatahoagie) 2 LeftSid3 $1,668.57 (JohnnnyDrama) 3 FishStixTrix $949.00 4 hoi.com $740.43 5 groucho $636.14 (groucho1) 6 Alpha_King $531.85 7 jomaci $406.71 8 bomber3429 $260.71 9 bucknaked64 $187.71 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Thursday, October 22nd had 182 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Youluckbox $1,350 2 myGAME $800 (Lav519) 3 Eddiegood598 $500 (Eddiegood86) 4 mrbfmrbf21 $400 (mrbfmrbf) 5 sparks63 $350 6 Nicole748 $245 7 zaplir $195 8 cliff6999 $145 9 leoxhunter $120 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Thursday, October 22nd had 155 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $11,875.50. 30 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,206.38. The top 9 finishers were: 1 MmmM...Chips $3,206.38 2 LuckDuck $1,870.39 (JLaw) 3 gtanju $1,068.79 (gtanju) 4 Philip_KGB $831.28 (Philip_KGB) 5 Infitilt $712.53 6 AdamS $593.77 (skonn) 7 SizeLarge $451.26 (SizeLarge) 8 chas1320 $285.01 9 Selurznug $201.88 (Selurznug)
  2. [caption width="640"] Mike 'JohnnyDrama' Haberman lead in the New Jersey rankings shrunk during January.[/caption] A lot can change in a month and it has in the PocketFives New Jersey Online Poker Rankings. Players have dropped, some farther than others, and players have risen, with the majority of that change occurring towards the middle of the top ten. That’s because Michael 'JohnnyDrama' Haberman has held his spot atop those rankings as the calendar shifts into February, albeit by a much smaller margin than the last time these rankings were updated. One of the main reasons Haberman has kept pole position on the rest of New Jersey is thanks to his two wins on WSOP.com in the middle of January. Haberman won the $2,500 NJ High-Roller on January 14th and followed that win with a 3rd place finish in the same event later that week. He wasn’t done though, as he won the $5K Nightly on WSOP.com to finish that week off, earning just under $6,000 for his scores in that week alone. That week-long stretch of success wasn’t it though, as Haberman has been one of the most successful and consistent players throughout the New Jersey sites over the last few months. He’s recorded over 45 top ten finishes over the last two months, in a wide variety of tournaments. That success put him well ahead of the rest of the field early this year but that field looks like they're starting to make a push to the top. Last month, it was Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein who was hot on Haberman’s tail but after a month of nearly no online activity, compared to his high volume standards, he’s fallen completely out of the New Jersey top 20. Borenstein’s been on the live grind and won't be too upset with his ranking downslide, as he added $86,000 to his bankroll thanks to a 6th place finish in the 5,101 player $2,000,000 Winter Poker Open event held last month at Borgata. So while 'itsmejon' falls, Keith 'donnysack' Donovan climbs and becomes the player closest to Haberman. Donovan is now just over 40 PLB points away from the top spot in New Jersey and that rise is mostly helped by Donovan’s recent WSOP.com $30K Sunday Major win, a victory that netted him $9,391 and nearly 165 PLB points. The uptick continued for players below Borenstein, as Yong 'ykwon17' Kwon moved up to the #3 slot. Kwon has nine podium finishes in 2016, including five wins, the biggest of which came in the January 12th $10K on WSOP.com. That win was good for just under $3,200 and someone who knows a little something about winning those $10K events is Daniel 'RedsoxNets5' Sewnig. [caption width="640"] Daniel 'RedsoxNets5' Sewnig enters the New Jersey rankings in the top five after a torrid January (photo credit Will O'Connor).[/caption] Sewnig has been crushing in 2016, with an insane amount of volume resulting in one of the best month-long stretches we’ve seen push himself into the #4 spot on the New Jersey rankings. Sewnig has 22 podium finishes over the last month with six outright wins, including three in the WSOP.com nightly $10K. He’s now just shy of 150 PLB points behind New Jersey’s leader 'JohnnyDrama', meaning that the next few weeks could and should only continue to shake up the leaderboard. That shakeup seems to have already begun towards the bottom half of the top ten though, as Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano has quickly moved himself into the #5 spot heading into February. Mike 'MikeyCasino' Azzaro has also moved himself into the top ten, with a complete list of the Garden State top ten listed below: JohnnyDrama - 2,552.01 donnysack - 2,510.82 ykwon17 - 2,497.02 RedsoxNets5 - 2,399.31 Gags30 - 2,300.41 ol muggins - 2,264.33 Mergulas - 2,258.67 PocketProfits - 2,194.44 No_Xcape - 2,161.60 MikeyCasino - 2,160.60
  3. [caption width="640"] JohnnyDrama is the #1 player in New Jersey[/caption] In New Jersey, Mike JohnnnyDrama Haberman, is the top-ranked player as January begins. Haberman has a PLB score of 2,717 points, leading the second-ranked player, Jon itsmejon Borenstein, by 263. Haberman has won five tournaments we track in New Jersey since December 1, the largest of which was worth $3,200 and came by taking down the PartyPoker Daily Major on December 13. He has also recorded almost 30 top-10 finishes since December began. He is the #6 ranked player in the US and won the Borgata Sunday $50K in May 2014 for his largest tracked score to date. In an interview with PocketFives, Haberman shared one of his secrets to success: practice. He told us, "You definitely need to study the game. It's always evolving and, with our small player pools, it's very easy to quickly learn people's tendencies." Borenstein is hot on Haberman's heels. He was ranked #3 in New Jersey in the beginning of December as well as last week and moved up one spot. Half of Borenstein's 120 top-three finishes have been wins. Like Haberman, Borenstein won the Borgata Sunday $50K in 2014 for $9,500 and has multiple wins in the Daily and Weekly Majors on the regulated New Jersey sites. In an interview with PocketFives, Borenstein told us that his father turned him on to poker when he was ten years old. He explained the allure of the game: "It was always intriguing to me and I loved how much poker incorporated so much more than what you can see on the surface, not to mention I really like the feeling of winning." [caption width="640"] 'itsmejon' is the #2 ranked player in New Jersey[/caption] Third place in the Garden State rankings belongs to Keith donnysack Donovan, who moved up two spots this week. He has been on a tear over the last two weeks, winning five MTTs since the winter solstice, including two victories on December 29 for about $2,000 combined. Donovan trails Borenstein by just one PLB Point in the New Jersey rankings. 'ykwon17' is the #4 ranked player in New Jersey, down two spots on the week. He was ranked #5 when December began and since then has piled up five wins, including two this month in the WSOP New Jersey High Roller and PartyPoker $4,000 Guaranteed Turbo. He plays as 'LuckySpewy1' on WSOP.com, Borgata, and 888. [caption width="640"] 'ykwon17' is the #4 ranked player in the Garden State[/caption] Fifth place in New Jersey is 'Mergulas', who was formerly ranked #1 in the state. He was the top dog and he has a PLB score of 2,377 points right now. He won the opening event of the first WSOP.com Winter Poker Classic for $11,200, his largest tracked cash in New Jersey. He emerged victorious in the Borgata Sunday $100K two months later to boot. Finally, we wanted to highlight Steven '7douche' Madara, who moved into the top 20 in the New Jersey rankings this week to #18. He won the Borgata $2,000 Guaranteed Six-Max four days ago, one of three cashes he had on January 3. His largest New Jersey score came in April 2015 after a win in a Spring Poker Series event on WSOP.com for $10,000. Here are the top 10 players in the New Jersey rankings right now along with the PLB score for each: 1. JohnnnyDrama - 2,717.76 points 2. itsmejon - 2,454.75 points 3. donnysack - 2,453.02 points 4. ykwon17 - 2,451.73 points 5. Mergulas - 2,377.34 points 6. Thatgood45 - 2,316.43 points 7. No_Xcape - 2,309.06 points 8. ol muggins - 2,283.91 points 9. Sofcknsickk - 2,272.52 points 10. PocketProfits - 2,177.68 points
  4. [caption width="640"] Mike 'lav519' Lavenburg pushed his way into the top five this month in the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings. (Will O'Connor photo)[/caption] While the addition of PokerStars in the marketplace might have changed the landscape of online poker in New Jersey over the last month, the changes to the PocketFives New Jersey Online Poker Rankings have not been as drastic. The same three players have remained at the top, albeit with a new leader as the first real month of spring begins. Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan was one of the more consistent and successful winners through the second half of last month’s Garden State Super Series, and that run has Donovan sitting atop the rankings heading into April. Since the end of the GSSS, he’s seen some of his biggest scores come in PokerStarsNJ events, including a runner-up finish in last week’s $15,000 GTD High Roller for just over $6,000. High Roller events seem to have been Donovan’s bread and butter over the last few weeks, though, as he ended the GSSS with one of the single biggest scores from that $1,000,000 guaranteed series. That came in the $1,000 buy-in High Roller, good for his sixth win of the month and $17,000. Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon also recorded six wins in March, enough to keep him second in the current rankings. Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig holds his spot in the top three, and the newest name to the top half of the leaderboard is Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg. The partypoker $10,000 Nightly Major was where Lavenburg did most of his damage, winning the event twice to end the month, while also adding victories in the $500 buy-in Mega Tuesday on partypoker and the $30,000 BIG Deal on WSOP.com. The WSOP.com victory was Lavenburg’s biggest single score from March, weighing in at just under $12,500. He now finds himself just a dozen PLB points behind Sewnig for a spot on the New Jersey podium, while there is a bit of a separation between the top four compared to the rest of the top ten. That group is led by Michael ‘JohnnyDrama’ Haberman, but he’s just ahead of some of the bigger names and more experienced players that New Jersey online poker has to offer. Daniel ‘wildman75’ Buzgon and Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano and each opened last month with sizable four-figure wins. Buzgon’s biggest score came in the GSSS Mega Tuesday event, where he turned a $500 buy-in into a nearly $8,000 score, while Gagliano opened his GSSS account early with a $5,000 cash in a $15,000 GTD event. The rest of the top ten remains relatively unchanged, with Steven ‘7douche’ Madara, Mike ‘Mikey Casino’ Azzaro and Jake ‘jtsnakes’ Perry rounding out the top ten. As it stands, the Garden State’s top ten is listed below: donnysack - 3,224.71 ykwon17 - 2,889.32 RedsoxNets5 - 2,724.91 Lav519 - 2712.39 JohnnyDrama - 2,592.62 wildman75 - 2,556.60 Gags30 - 2,514.31 7douche - 2,425.42 MikeyCasino - 2,385.57 jtsnakes - 2,330.12
  5. PocketFives had the opportunity to interview longtime member Keith donnysack Donovan (pictured, ranked 9th in New Jersey), who after watching the World Series of Poker on TV with his dad back in 2002 was taught the game he now plays for a living. An online grinder since 2007, he was forced to play more live poker once Black Friday hit and was able to get some modest cashes to keep his career going. Once New Jersey poker arrived, he was able to pick up where he left off and take down tournaments from the comfort of his own home. With over $1.1 million in tracked online cashes, some of his notable cashes include two wins in the 888 Poker/WSOP $30,000 Guarantee, four wins in the network's $10,000 Guarantee, and a win in the PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee for a total of $30,291. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. PocketFives: Give us your thoughts and experiences of regulated online poker in New Jersey. Keith Donovan: I love that we are one of the lucky states to be able to play poker online in the US. I had been having decent success playing online since 2007, but when Black Friday hit, I decided to play live tournaments and stay in New Jersey instead of moving abroad like most of my poker friends did. I wasn't ready to flip my life upside down and move to another country. While I was able to stay afloat with some modest live cashes, I was very excited to get back to playing online when New Jersey introduced internet poker to us again. Lately, the sites have made improvements to their tournament schedules, which I'm happy about. I play some cash games, but I'm more in my comfort zone playing tournaments. PocketFives: Is there a meaning behind your screen name? Keith Donovan: My PocketFives handle, donnysack, comes from one of my favorite TV shows, "The Sopranos." I was a fan of the character Johnny Sack and some of my friends call me Donny, so it was fitting. I'm also from Bergen County, where most of the show was filmed. My New Jersey handle, T1mb3y_B33F, was suggested by a friend of mine. A friend of his named his cat Timbey Beef and my friend told me to make it my New Jersey name, so I said, "What the hell? Why not?" My girlfriend still asks me why I couldn't have chosen a more normal name. PocketFives: What's your favorite hand? Keith Donovan: I don't really have a favorite hand, but if I had to choose one, it would be K-5. A friend of mine was playing a tournament online, had been dealt K-5, and folded it. His uncle, who was watching from behind, yelled, "What are you doing?!? K-5 always hits!!" And of course, the flop came K-K-5. I've always remembered that story. PocketFives: Do you recall any memorable hands that helped you win or lose a big tournament? Keith Donovan: I rarely ever complain about losing since every single poker player has their fair share of bad luck, but this year I made Day 5 of the WSOP Main Event, losing K-Qcc to 10-10 to take 135th. I keep replaying that coin flip in my head, thinking how far I could have potentially gone if I got lucky and won that hand. I could've still lost an hour after that or made the November Nine. We'll never know! PocketFives: When did you start playing poker and why was it appealing? Keith Donovan: Like most poker players my age, I started playing in high school. I remember watching the 2002 WSOP episode when Robert Varkonyi won, which inspired my father to teach me the form of poker he was most comfortable playing, Seven Card Stud. My grandma held a weekly poker game at their apartment in the Bronx when my dad was growing up. We would play with quarters from the extra change container we kept in the kitchen. When the 2003 Main Event aired, it took my small town by storm. We would get $20 tournaments together after school on Fridays that would attract 40 to 50 kids. It was a lot of fun. None of us wanted to be Chris Moneymaker, though. Sammy Farha and Phil Ivey seemed way cooler. PocketFives: Since the launch of regulated online poker in New Jersey, what has been your most memorable cash or win? Keith Donovan: I've been fortunate to have a few good wins, but I think my most memorable win was the $250,000 Guarantee Freeroll WSOP ran on Super Bowl Sunday of 2014. It was a promotional freeroll repaying their players for participating in the series they had been running. My plan was to one-table it and go to my friend's Super Bowl Party as soon as I lost it, but I ran good and won it for about $50,000. That was very unexpected and was a lot of fun. PocketFives: Do you play any other variant of pokerbesides Hold'em? Keith Donovan: I fool around with Omaha and Seven Card Stud, but I mainly stick to Hold'em. I still make mistakes every day, so I keep telling myself I'll focus on Omaha once I'm fully comfortable with my Hold'em game. But I'm getting the feeling that won't be happening anytime soon. PocketFives: Is there anyone who helped change how you approach poker? Keith Donovan: There are so many players I have to credit my success to (albeit modest). After having success early on as a pro, I eventually decided I would feel more comfortable playing while being staked. I asked a good friend of mine, David phatchoy888 Cheng (also a New Jersey native) to stake me. This was way before Black Friday happened. He no longer is my backer, but we remain friends to this day. It's nice having a friend who also grinds the New Jersey tournament schedule. FilthyDiaper, a frequent New Jersey cash regular, is also one of my best friends in poker. I've learned a lot from watching and talking hands with him daily. I've learned to stay away from the cash tables when he's there. My best friend in poker is Shankar Pillai. He won a bracelet at the WSOP in 2007 and I've been friends with him for years now. We constantly talk strategy and he's my travel buddy to live tournaments around the live circuit. I also have been fortunate to share a house in Vegas with a ton of very good players during summers at the WSOP. Fellow PocketFivers GINS FINEST, T Money, and Athanasios 9 are players whom I respect a lot and have learned a lot from watching over the years. There are countless others I've learned from and am friends with, but I don't want to make this interview 10 pages long. I've been lucky to learn from some of the best in the game. PocketFives: What do you do away from poker? What else interests you? Keith Donovan: This might be the standard answer from a poker player, but when away from poker I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, family, and friends. I recently moved in with my girlfriend of two-and-a-half years and we couldn't be happier. She supports my unconventional job of playing poker for a living and she makes me a better person every day. She's a school teacher who also tutors, coaches sports, and now heads the National Honors Society at her school. Watching her work so hard makes me want to improve at what I do daily. I'm a big Knicks and Jets fan, which can be torturing, but I love my teams regardless. I always enjoy traveling to a new city or trying local restaurants with my girlfriend. It's very important to have a life outside of poker. Sitting at your computer every day playing tournaments can get to you mentally. I also love my three dogs and enjoy going to Hoboken with friends for a night out. Being able to play online in New Jersey makes it easy to do a lot of the things I enjoy.
  6. This week in New Jersey, on the same night Joe dude904McKeehen became the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event champ, Mike Gags30Gagliano (pictured) took down the PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee, banking a total of $3,625. This is the fourth time Gags has won this nightly tournament on the virtual felts of New Jersey. Also shipping a tournament the same night was Eddie Pompiaa2 Roman, who outlasted a field of 108 players to win the network's $5,000 Guarantee, earning $1,620. Recent PocketFives interviewee Keith donnysackDonovan had first and second place finishes in the PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee this week, pocketing a total of $6,234. Matt All In At 420 Stout shipped this tournament on Wednesday night for $3,450. John TheHighRoadCiarkowski won the 888 Poker/WSOP $2,500 Guarantee for the third time in a two-week span, adding $1,151 to his bankroll. Louie Galantino (Vulture Cultureon PocketFives) won the 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for the first time in his online career, earning $3,066.33. In the winner's circle of the same tournament for the second time in three weeks was Anthony eatahoagie Cicali, who will bank $3,221. Congrats to all PocketFivers who cashed this week. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $5,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Monday, November 9th had 101 runners buying in for $55 ($50 + $5). 12 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,515. The top 9 finishers were: 1 exxplosive $1,515 (exxplosive) 2 sofcknsick $901 (Sofcknsickk) 3 thepaw98 $696 4 hud_seriously $530 5 ninjaGO $404 (ninjaGO) 6 MuckDaRags88 $295 (MuckDaRags) 7 DeadWrong $209 (DeadWr0ng) 8 xoreneexo $141 9 inthahole $106 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Monday, November 9th had 150 runners buying in for $109 ($100 + $9). 18 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,750. The top 9 finishers were: 1 T1mB3y_B33F $3,750 (donnysack) 2 yazi4 $2,700 (yazi4) 3 Nastronaut $1,762 (Nastronaut) 4 uniman $1,237 5 Poboy $922 6 DocRivers $750 (RiverRat1) 7 azart1 $600 8 Puperoni $472 9 seedload $375 (seedload) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $5,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Tuesday, November 10th had 108 runners buying in for $55 ($50 + $5). 12 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,620. The top 9 finishers were: 1 GiantGenius $1,620 (Pompiaa2) 2 NeverNude83 $963 3 ninjaGO $745 (ninjaGO) 4 justin555 $567 5 TheGlyp278 $432 6 jalbin3 $315 7 OWNEDLOLUMAD $224 (ykwon17) 8 rlcconstruction $151 9 MyBoysCanSwim $113 (Wawa711) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Tuesday, November 10th had 145 runners buying in for $109 ($100 + $9). 18 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,625. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Gags30 $3,625 (Gags30) 2 CheckRaise $2,610 3 byeo89 $1,196 (justinobserver) 4 TheGlyph278 $891 5 dgordon $725 6 GiantGenius $580 (Pompiaa2) 7 GranoMan187 $456 8 NeverNude83 $362 9 justin555 $304 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $5,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Wednesday, November 11th had 88 runners buying in for $55 ($50 + $5). 9 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,170. The top 9 finishers were: 1 RonMexico $1,170 2 sapkid $1,170 3 IPLAYPOHKER $660 4 NeverNude83 $555 5 azart1 $460 6 ThreeBetYou $370 7 emmett03 $285 8 easymoney82 $200 (easymoney82) 9 Riverman $130 (JLaw) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Wednesday, November 11th had 138 runners buying in for $109 ($100 + $9). 18 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,450. The top 9 finishers were: 1 MattStout $3,450 (All In At 420) 2 T1mB3y_B33F $2,484 (donnysack) 3 Squishy $1,621 4 La_Flama_Blanca $1,138 (rimmer27) 5 roystalin $848 (ol muggins) 6 MrColdstone $690 7 thehebrewhammer $552 (Acanthopis) 8 ToddNugman $434 9 upayformypennys $345 (Thatgood45) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata $5,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Thursday, November 12th had 109 runners buying in for $55 ($50 + $5). 15 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,148. The top 9 finishers were: 1 azart1 $1,148 2 El-Chapo $1,137 (AvonBarkz) 3 romet05 $908 (romeo8880) 4 Riverman $463 (JLaw) 5 fingers $340 6 PompYouUp77 $272 (PompYouUp) 7 GiantGenius $218 (Pompiaa2) 8 spiderman888 $171 9 WCS229 $136 ------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata $10,000 Guarantee Re-Entry for Thursday, November 12th had 127 runners buying in for $109 ($100 + $9). 15 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,495. The top 9 finishers were: 1 LadyToin17 $3,495 2 pmn770 $2,321 3 AdamGold33 $1,625 4 dominiking $1,079 5 ZEEETart $793 6 roystalin $635 (ol muggins) 7 RyansWorld $508 (RyansWorld) 8 Tremorpb $400 (Tremorpb) 9 belooga $317 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Monday, November 9th had 44 runners for a prize pool totaling $4,136. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $1,323.52. The top 8 finishers were: 1 Coldbrew $1,323.52 2 Beastro $744.48 3 SLHalper $517.00 (s.l.halper) 4 DeadWrong $434.28 (DeadWr0ng) 5 NYR9414 $343.28 6 LuckySpewy1 $301.92 (ykown17) 7 bballwiz $256.43 (bballwiz) 8 Adversity45 $215.07 (Thatgood45) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Monday, November 9th had 29 runners for a prize pool totaling $2,755. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,019.35. The top 6 finishers were: 1 Dweezy78 $1,019.35 2 MrPerfect $688.75 (Woooooo) 3 MikeyCasino $413.25 (MikeyCasino) 4 yoseph1239 $330.60 (batman8732) 5 donkleader $303.05 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Tuesday, November 10th had 34 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,196. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,118.60. The top 6 finishers were: 1 AllMadden23 $1,118.60 2 phatdaddy $703.12 (phatchoy888) 3 SLHalper $479.40 (s.l.halper) 4 Chief $351.56 5 yoseph1239 $287.64 (batman8732) 6 AvonBarkz $255.68 (AvonBarkz) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Tuesday, November 10th had 45 runners for a prize pool totaling $4,275. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,368. The top 6 finishers were: 1 skonn $1,368.00 (skonn) 2 yoseph1239 $769.50 (batman8732) 3 AvonBarkz $534.37 (AvonBarkz) 4 acesfull32 $448.87 (GRaman32) 5 phatdaddy $354.82 ((phatchoy888) 6 mavs19 $312.07 7 Cajun_Turk $265.05 8 THE_SHADOW $222.30 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Wednesday, November 11th had 42 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,948. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $1,263.36. The top 8 finishers were: 1 StrongIsland $1,263.36 2 EGY.Armature $710.64 3 Boney526 $493.50 4 youngkoi $414.54 (sang500) 5 Domin8r $327.68 6 THE_SHADOW $288.20 7 SaulGoodman $244.77 8 manama1 $205.29 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Wednesday, November 11th had 29 runners for a prize pool totaling $2,755. 5 spots were paid with 1st place $1,019.35. The top 5 finishers were: 1 Cajun_Turk $1,019.35 2 URBit $688.75 3 zcpu009 $413.25 4 dimaiv82 $330.60 5 danhyoo $303.05 (danhyoo) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller" $2,500 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Thursday, November 12th had 35 runners for a prize pool totaling $3,290. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $1,151.50. The top 8 finishers were: 1 KewlStoryBro $1,151.50 (TheHighRoad) 2 olmuggins $723.80 (ol muggins) 3 Domin8r $493.50 4 chrismezzz $361.90 5 CeeLos86 $296.10 6 BiggDaddy $263.20 (BiggDaddy) ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP "NJ High Roller II" $2,000 Guarantee - $100 buy in for Thursday, November 12th had 43 runners for a prize pool totaling $4,085. 6 spots were paid with 1st place $1,307.20. The top 6 finishers were: 1 yellowsnow $1,307.20 (Sofcknsickk) 2 mlkwarriors $735.30 3 Toomi $510.62 4 smokenprius $428.92 5 BiggDaddy $339.05 (BiggDaddy) 6 Cajun_Turk $298.20 7 chrismezzz $253.27 8 Smacster $212.42 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Monday, November 9th had 190 runners buying in for $10 each for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 UnoZombert $1,350 2 SLHalper $800 (s.l.halper) 3 Qutieezee87 $500 4 sparks63 $400 5 AvonBarkz $350 (AvonBarkz) 6 Newmpiece17 $245 (Newmpiece) 7 onoreally $195 (onreally) 8 Biljka $145 9 Darceass $120 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Monday, November 9th had 155 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $11,356.80. 30 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,066.33. The top 9 finishers were: 1 40Visionz $3,066.33 (Vulture Culture) 2 SMY23 $1,788.69 3 Rotciv86 $1,022.11 4 Selurznug $794.97 (Selurznug) 5 NYR9414 $681.40 (NYR9414) 6 bison39 $567.84 (bison39) 7 Joeyb2balls $431.55 8 Arlo1234 $272.56 9 Beastro $193.06 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Tuesday, November 10th had 215 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,341.70. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,415.55. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Tarzan_URU $1,415.55 2 ParMaker $827.96 (ParMaker) 3 DimondQn $523.48 4 mnrlaf04 $416.65 5 HeadieMB $363.23 6 Shipinpots $245.71 7 jerseyjosh $192.30 (jerseyjosh) 8 park2080 $149.56 9 blue30 $117.51 (blue30) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Tuesday, November 10th had 157 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $11,930.10. 30 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,221.12. The top 9 finishers were: 1 iamskynet $3,221.12 (eatahoagie) 2 donkleader $1,878.99 3 SLHalper $1,073.70 (s.l.halper) 4 Bobby_Mercer $835.10 5 Adversity45 $715.80 (Thatgood45) 6 DeadWrong $596.50 (DeadWr0ng) 7 im_that_guy $453.34 (sisco) 8 LuckySpewy $286.32 (ykwon17) 9 RiverRat $202.81 (RiverRat1) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Wednesday, November 4th had 216 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,305.30. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,405.90. The top 9 finishers were: 1 BIGSLICK443 $1,405.90 2 BBeanz609 $822.32 3 onoreally $519.91 (onreally) 4 gunzcolon100 $413.81 5 gtanju $360.76 (gtanju) 6 DeadWrong $244.04 (DeadWr0ng) 7 theman_mot $190.99 (theman_mot) 8 jenndablade $148.54 9 RopeADope $116.71 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Wednesday, November 4th had 145 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $10,783.50. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,965.46. The top 9 finishers were: 1 SaulGoodman $2,965.46 2 Num1prnce $1,725.36 3 MMenz08816 $981.29 4 Flushman $765.62 5 smokenprius $657.79 6 JudgeBen $549.95 (JudgeBen) 7 blodwynpig $420.55 8 pcorda $269.58 9 digit72 $194.10 ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Thursday, November 12th had 219 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each for a prize pool totaling $5,132.40. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,360.08. The top 9 finishers were: 1 bballer2020 $1,360.08 (bballer2020) 2 BrutalLegend $795.52 3 gamblegamble $502.97 (k1dpokr2010) 4 ocsandman $400.32 5 Hagzzz021 $349.00 (hags021) 6 capz29 $236.09 7 UnoZombert $184.76 8 Yodudesbro $143.70 9 LaCiLoBaiD $112.91 (lacilobaid) ------------------------------- 888 Poker/WSOP $10,000 Guarantee for Thursday, November 12th had 163 runners buying in for $30 ($27.50 + $2.50) R&A totaling $12,421.50. 30 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,353.80. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Num1prnce $3,353.80 2 NYR9414 $1,956.38 (nyr9414) 3 geNet1x_ $1,117.93 4 ssssticky1 $869.50 (stickyking) 5 AcesZhuited $745.29 (AcesZhuited) 6 danhyoo $621.07 (danhyoo) 7 black_ivy09 $472.01 (scaredmoney4) 8 mjt4life13 $298.11 9 jqbpk7777 $211.16 (jqbpk772)
  7. [caption width="640"] Michael 'gags30' Gagliano is the #2-ranked player in New Jersey[/caption] Spring is supposed to come in like a lion and leave like a lamb but thanks to May’s PokerStars New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker series in New Jersey, that was not the case. Over $1,000,000 was up for grabs through nearly 60 events, offering a wide range of buy-ins and guaranteed prize pools. Those events saw hundreds of players hit the virtual night after night and when the dust settled, the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings had a very different look to them. Except at the top, as Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan still holds a sizable lead at the peak of the leaderboard, thanks to a massive late month victory. Donovan won $30,000 guaranteed ’The BIG Deal’ on WSOP.com to close out the month, good for a nearly $13,000 score. He also recorded a runner-up finish in a $300 Six Max NLHE NJSCOOP event earlier in the month, which was good for just under $7,500. While ‘donnysack’ keeps the status quo at the top of the leaderboard for a third straight month, ‘Jermz’ makes the jump up to the podium spots after a white hot stretch of results. ‘Jermz’ won 14 times throughout the month of May, including two nightly WSOP.com majors and a mid-month $50,000 Sunday Major win on BorgataPoker.com. Add in another two dozen podium finishes and ‘Jermz’ had one of the best months in New Jersey through the first half of 2016. It's just "one of the best months" because Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano might have had a better May than ‘Jermz’. Gagliano opened the calendar with a $50,000 Sunday Major win on BorgataPoker.com and then followed that up with three NJSCOOP wins on PokerStarsNJ. Add in a win for #TeamGags as part of the PocketFives communities NJSCOOP Draft and Gagliano is streaking into this summer’s World Series of Poker. The WSOP will likely skew the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings slightly for a few months, as a handful of players will be in Las Vegas for the duration of the summer. Jake ‘jtsnakes’ Perry will likely not be attending the majority of that series meaning that he could push himself even further up the charts. He’s now sitting forth, thanks to one of the biggest recorded wins on PokerStarsNJ. That came in the $1,000 buy-in NJSCOOP High Roller, where Perry outlasted a field of the best New Jersey has to offer to take home a nearly $30,000 result. Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon, Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig and Steven ‘7douche’ Madara are all likely going to be staying on the East Coast for the summer as well, while Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg will be spending the next few months in Vegas for the WSOP. He’s fallen near the bottom of the top-ten, where Mike ‘JohnnyDrama’ Haberman and Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo, who is new to the rankings, hold down the 9th and 10th spots. After the shakeup that was NJSCOOP, it should be interesting to see how the next few months could alter how the New Jersey top ten looks come the end of summer but as it stands, the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings: The New Jersey Rankings Top 10 donnysack - 3,499 Jermz - 3,065 Gags30 - 2,887 jtsnakes - 2,809 ykwon17 - 2,779 RedsoxNets5 - 2,758 7douche - 2,728 Lav519 - 2,724 JohnnyDrama - 2,682 centrfieldr - 2,664
  8. [caption width="640"] Steven '7douche' Madara is the #3-ranked player in New Jersey.[/caption] The trend of the last few New Jersey Online Poker Rankings updates has been minimal changes at the top of the leaderboard, as a few players have seemingly cemented themselves on the podium spots over the last few months. That’s not the case heading into May, as a handful of players shot themselves not only into the top ten, but into the top half of those rankings. Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan has kept himself in pole position, helped by a handful of medal finishes through the month of April. If consistency was what moved Donovan atop these rankings through the second half of winter, it’s what’s keeping him at the top, as he notched over two dozen scores in the last month. Those results include a WSOP.com High Roller win and a runner-up finish in the partypoker Mega Tuesday. While Donovan has seemingly gone quantity over quality, Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg has combined those two themes. Lavenburg recorded three Sunday Major victories through April, including a win in the $50,000 Sunday Special on PokerStarsNJ for just over $12,000. There is still about a 250 PLB point differential from first to second and there is a similar gap between Lavenburg and #3-ranked Steven ‘7douche’ Madara. He’s pushed himself into the podium spots after a very high volume month that saw him notch over 35 scores in April. Four of those runs ended in the winner’s circle including a Sunday High Roller Six-Max victory on PokerStarsNJ for $9,000 and a WSOP.com Nightly $10,000 win. If players are going to move into the top three spots, players need to fall out and that’s what’s happened with both Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon and Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig. They’ve fallen to 4th and 8th respectively and while they were and still are in the top ten, ‘phatchoy888’ is making his NJ Online Poker Rankings debut this month after recording a dozen victories in April, he is now sitting 5th.. There isn’t much to separate the middle portion of the top ten though, meaning the next few months, when some players may jet off to Las Vegas to participate in the World Series of Poker, could separate the men from the boys. Maybe it won’t be that dramatic but with just 150 PLB points making the difference between 4th and 10th place, where ‘AvonBarkz’ rounds out the leaderboard, there could be a lot of movement through the summer. The rest of the top ten remains similar to what we saw last month, with Michael ‘JohnnyDrama’ Haberman sitting 7th and Daniel ‘wildman75’ Buzgon holding down 9th. Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano isn’t present though but he won’t be complaining that much, after coming off one of his best career live scores, $128,000, via a podium finish in Borgata’s Spring Poker Open Championship. As mentioned, the next few months could play a major role in how the New Jersey top ten looks come the end of summer but as it stands, the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings: donnysack - 3,240 Lav519 - 2,911 7douche - 2,712 ykown17 - 2,596 phatchoy888 - 2,503 ol muggins - 2,467 JohnnyDrama - 2,461 RedsoxNets5 - 2,456 wildman75 - 2,440 AvonBarkz - 2,438
  9. [caption width="640"] Jeremy ' Jermz' Danger passed Keith 'donnysack' Donovan for top spot in the New Jersey rankings in August.[/caption] Over the last four summer months, the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings top ten has undergone some serious reconstruction. At the start of the summer, some of New Jersey’s top players, Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg and Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano to name a few, headed to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker and thus, saw their Garden State stock drop and drop quickly. It was then the loyal local grinders that ascended, with those opting to stay in New Jersey moving themselves up the leaderboard. Since the midway point of July though, order has been restored, with everyone home from their summer vacations, some for business, others for pleasure. Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan was New Jersey’s #1 ranked player since Memorial Day, fighting off charges from players that fit both the traveling and local categorizations above. Unfortunately for Donovan, he couldn’t hold that spot until Labor Day, as his wire-to-wire summer run came up a week short. That’s because Jeremy ‘Jermz’ Danger claimed fifteen outright wins through the month of August, including four in daily $10,000 GTD events on both BorgataPoker.com and PokerStarsNJ Danger now sits atop the New Jersey top ten, after having to settle for the monthly runner-up over the last two Online Poker Rankings updates. While ‘Jermz’ moved up one spot to take control of the New Jersey lead, Fred ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell saw the biggest jump over the last month. He now sits second, after ending in the bottom half of the top ten. 56 total cashes in the span of a month will do that, with Ferrell logging one of the most consistent month’s that New Jersey has seen since the start of the year. Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon retook his spot in the top four, where he started 2016, thanks to some big wins on PokerStarsNJ. He won a $8,000 GTD Nightly Stars event during the first week of August and then notched two sizable wins through the final ten days of the month. The first of those was in the $500 Sunday ‘High Roller’, with the victory good for over $9,000, and the second was a repeat victory in the $8,000 GTD Nightly Stars. The point difference between Donovan and Kwon is minimal, with close to 30 points separating third and fourtth place. The differences towards the second half of the leaderboard are much greater, with over 200 points keeping ‘Gags30’ and ‘Mergulas’ ahead of Dan ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo. Lupo might be off the pace of the top five but since joining the leaderboard last month, he’s continued to climb. That’s thanks to two $10,000 GTD wins, on both WSOP.com and PokerStarsNJ, to push himself over $500,000 in career New Jersey online tournament earnings. If Lupo and the rest of the ‘second half’ keep up their charge, there could continue to be some serious movement through the last few months of 2016. The New Jersey Rankings Top 10 Jermz - 3,236 BiggDaddy - 3,176 donnysack - 2,994 ykwon17 - 2,962 JohnnyDrama - 2,837 Gags30 - 2,836 Mergulas - 2,758 centrfieldr - 2,537 phatchoy888 - 2,443 Lav519 - 2,426
  10. [caption width="450"] Keith 'donnysack' Donovan didn't have to leave home after Black Friday[/caption] There is something to be said for online tournament grinders who have withstood the relative test of time. The game has changed quite a bit from the immediate post-Moneymaker boom years to what it is now and the players who can still make a living grinding online MTTs have found a way to adjust accordingly with the times. As one of those long-time grinders, Keith 'donnysack' Donovan has been around online poker for nearly a decade and is one of the elite tournament players in the state of New Jersey. Currently, Donovan is ranked fifth in the PocketFives New Jersey online rankings. Donovan started his professional poker career at the ripe age of 19 and struck gold early, winning the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance in September 2008 for a score of over $73,000. That score jumpstarted Donovan’s career and he hasn’t looked back since. With years of experience under his belt, Donovan has collected nearly $1,500,000 in online tournament earnings in that time. The road to his current standing in the poker world wasn’t always a smooth one but Donovan looks back at his mistakes as a younger player as a solid building ground for where he is today. “At the time I first started playing, I was living with my parents and didn’t really understand the value of a dollar. I burned through a lot of money back then [but] I don’t beat myself up over it,” said Donovan. Donovan credits a sizable portion to his growth in the game to his friends Shankar Pillai and Shaun Ruane, brother of 2016 World Series of Poker November Niner, Michael Ruane. “The best way to get better is to go over hands and try to get their perspective,” said Donovan. Of course, for many players like Donovan who made their living playing online, Black Friday was as Donovan says, “a dagger.” Once Black Friday hit, Donovan received backing from Pillai to play more live events and played on unregulated online sites as well. Despite having the option to move out of the country to continue his online career, Donovan hung around his home state of New Jersey long enough to be there when the state opened its doors to regulated online poker. “It was like Christmas Day, when it actually did happen. It was music to my ears to [and] it allowed me to get back to living my life.” With New Jersey online poker continuing to grow, Donovan sees a bright future ahead for the game in his state and specifically sees PokerStars as an important catalyst to growing online poker both in New Jersey and the United States. “PokerStars has been a massive addition to New Jersey. I like how they are trying to promote their brand in the US. The live events are great and the PokerStars brand will be seen more. I hope that can be translated to other states.” Donovan plays a select schedule of live events that consists primarily of Borgata tournament series and a full summer out in Las Vegas. Should he notch a major score, Donovan says he will consider putting the money toward opening a sports bar and look at potentially buying a house with his girlfriend, Emily. Theory and strategy is always changing in the poker world and Donovan plans to stay with all of the latest trends in order to remain successful. “Everyone is so much better and the game is at another level right now. The game is always evolving and you can’t have an ego that you can be better than anyone. If you’re not trying to improve, [your success] is going to change.”
  11. [caption width="640"] Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano won a WSOP bracelet in June - and still managed to stay #2 in New Jersey[/caption] While the end of the last New Jersey Online Poker Rankings update predicted some serious change to the top ten by the end of the summer, through one mouth of New Jersey’s best season, that change has not yet occurred. There has been some movement but that’s near the bottom of the rankings, with the top remaining the same since last month. Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan still remains locked in poll position, with 3,316 PLB points. That’s good for over 200 points than the rest of the podium places and while Donovan has been cruising along in Jersey, Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano did some serious damage in Las Vegas. Last month, Gagliano claimed his first World Series of Poker bracelet, winning a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. The victory was good for a career best score for the BorgataPoker.com pro, worth nearly $450,000. RELATED: Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano Savoring First Bracelet Win Since the win, Gagliano has returned East to spend time with his family before returning to Vegas later this week. Two players who have been in Las Vegas for the duration of the summer are Jake ‘jtsnakes’ Perry and Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg. Both have taken tumbles from past lofty NJ Online Poker Rankings positions, with Perry landing in 8th and Lavenburg falling out of the top 10. With players falling out of the top ten, new players need to join and Fred ‘BiggDaddy’ Ferrell vaulted himself into fifth place, thanks to a tremendous June. Ferrell recorded over 50 cashes through the last month, including 11 wins. His biggest came in the middle of the month, as Ferrell won the Sunday Special on PokerStarsNJ for just over $10,000. He wasn’t the only player to start the summer with some incredible numbers, as David 'Phatchoy888' Cheng also jumped into the top ten. Cheng also recorded over 50 scores and that run of success has him sitting just outside the top half in sixth place. Right behind him is Mike ‘JohnnyDrama’ Haberman, who had a solid month on the virtual felt. Haberman recorded eight wins, including the first Triple Crown in New Jersey since that state launched regulated online poker. Haberman has stayed on the right coast, along with Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon and Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig. Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo holds down the tenth spot while those three players all enjoyed brief stays in the top three since the start of the year. All four though will hope that a home court advantage can help them propel themselves back there throughout the rest of the summer. The New Jersey Rankings Top 10 donnysack - 3,316 Jermz - 3,106 Gags30 - 3,020 ykwon17 - 2,772 BiggDaddy - 2,732 phatchoy888 - 2,708 JohnnyDrama - 2,680 jtsnakes - 2,644 RedsoxNets5 - 2,612 centrfieldr - 2,609
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