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Found 11 results

  1. The recent PokerGO Heads-Up Showdown featured 32 of the best poker players on the planet. After three days at the felt, it was Chino Rheem who emerged victorious to claim $400,000 and the title as the end of an important chapter in his chequered poker career was brought to the happiest of conclusions. Daniel Negreanu is in Pre-WSOP Form Though he missed the money, Daniel Negreanu came into the PokerGO Tour Heads-Up Showdown with a tough path ahead of him. In the first round, Kid Poker took care of Jared Bleznick on the feature table, building a sizeable lead before finishing off his opponent and progressing to a meeting with Tamon Nakamura. Nakamura provided a stiff challenge, but an early pot for Negreanu when his pocket tens turned top set against the Japanese player’s inside straight draw and flush draw worked the Canadian to almost level in chips and he would eventually prevail at the feature table. He may have lost to Darren Elias, but Negreanu is warming up for the World Series of Poker nicely. [caption id="attachment_638152" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Daniel Negreanu performed well at the felt, looking happy with his form and the game in general.[/caption] Elsewhere on Day 1, in the ‘Spades’ section, there were unexpected defeats for Sam Soverel and Shaun Deeb, who slid out after a dramatic and high-quality defeat to long-time rival, Shannon Shorr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTi3JEAcEuw Darren Elias Knows How to Close The four-time World Poker Tour winner Darren Elias had an excellent run in the event, making it all the way to the final showdown, where he eventually lost out for the runner-up prize of $200,000. It could be argued, however, that Elias’ performance was the strongest in the entire Showdown, with his opponents among some of the best players ever to have looked down at hole cards. In the opening round, Elias took care of Landon Tice in the first match to conclude, with the final hand seeing Elias’s ace-king beat Tice’s dominated ace and ease the former’s progress. The second round didn’t get any easier for Elias, however, as he faced - and beat - Erik Seidel. The former WSOP Main Event runner-up proved a tricky opponent, but Elias again prevailed, only to face Daniel Negreanu in the next round, with his Round of 16 and quarterfinal opponents having won over $85 million in tournaments between them. Elias got the better of Negreanu and then took on the impressive Justin Young, who had beaten two of the favorites for the trophy on his way to the semifinals. Now in profit, Elias once again came out on top, making the final when he had worked himself 3:1 up in chips before winning a flip with ace-queen against Young’s pocket threes. The Big Guns Are Out for Hellmuth "My opponent gave me the double bird, and was out of line [with] his verbal attacks." ~ Phil Hellmuth There was no question about the most dramatic fall-out from the opening round inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA. Phil Hellmuth was the favorite to progress against Eric Persson in the $25,000 buy-in event. That result didn’t materialize, however, and when Persson won, a disgruntled Hellmuth trudged off complaining of the behaviour of his opponent. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1517361856779759616 While the verbal sparring had been even, Hellmuth perceived Persson’s flipping of the[ ‘double bird’ to be over the line, leading to a small explosion on Poker Twitter. Eventually, however, Hellmuth, ever the bigger man after the event, made a live apology during Persson’s next round victory over Dan Shak. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1517620869693988865 Persson might have triumphed against the Poker Brat and much-fancied Shak, but couldn’t make profit as he lost out to the whirlwind that is Isaac Kempton. Favorites Can Still Lose to Underdogs Many of the PokerGO Heads-Up Showdown games went against the favorite pre-match. Ali Imsirovic came into the Showdown on the back of perhaps his most difficult week in the game and exited immediately after being busted by Jake Daniels in the opening round. Others faced the same fate, with stars of the game such as Alex Foxen losing to Justin Young in the quarterfinals, Scott Seiver falling in the opening round to Isaac Kempton and Jeremy Ausmus losing inside the PokerGO Studio as he became one of Chino Rheem’s many victims on route to the title being decided. By the time the event reached the semifinal stage, it was one where every player was guaranteed a return of $100,000 on their stake of $25,000. Darren Elias was the only player of the four to have put his action on sale on Pocket Fives, once again making huge profit for investors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp2dhO_jn8Y Chino Rheem is on the Redemption Trail "We’re back on the right track. God willing." ~ Chino Rheem Chino Rheem’s victory came with more than a heavy dose of irony in a week overshadowed for many by the cheating allegations that have peppered Twitter all week. Rheem, who openly admitted many of his problems early in his career came down to his reliance on drink or drugs, credited his sponsor and his many supporters in helping him turn his life around. “We’re back on the right track. God willing, thank God, if I can just stay there,” he said after the final victory against Darren Elias. “Honestly, once I made the money, once I won the first three matches, I was like, ‘whatever happens from here it’s all good.’ Things went my way, and I’ll take it, obviously. I can’t complain at all.” In achieving some inner peace, Rheem has proved something of a redemption story in the game and during a period in poker where many are being asked to look for the same sort of redemption by acting in good faith in the here and now, Rheem’s win confirms it can be done. With one of the toughest sets of players to win against, his victory against Darren Elias saw a superb tournament close out in dramatic fashion as four men made the money and in Rheem’s case, win his 14th ranking tournament victory across a rollercoaster poker career. PokerGO Heads Up Showdown Final Results: Chino Rheem - $400,000 Darren Elias - $200,000 Isaac Kempton - $100,000 Justin Young - $100,000
  2. This year we’re doing something a little different and breaking down our annual Poker Year In Review into three different parts - the Flop (January-April), Turn (May-August), and River (September-December). We’ll be wrapping up 2021 by taking a look back at some of our biggest stories, winners, and surprises that unfolded in one of the most unique years in the history of the game. May One of the craziest stories of the year broke in May when it was revealed that high-stakes poker pro Chad Power had been victim to a home invasion robbery of nearly $1,000,000 in cash and casino chips. However, the Henderson Police Department arrested a suspect who was charged with multiple felonies including Burglary with a Deadly Weapon, Conspiracy Home Invasion, and Theft after the suspect went out and purchased a Dodge Hellcat Charger with a $30,000 cash down payment and also purchased a 2018 Maserati Levante SUV under his mother’s name with another $60K in cash. On the felt, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu returned for Round 2 of High Stakes Duel II with Negreanu looking to get even, however, once again, Hellmuth pulled off the win. Negreanu promised that there would be a third match sooner than later leaving Hellmuth still feeling slighted despite his back-to-back wins. “I’ve given Daniel credit the whole way from start to finish and I haven’t said one negative word about him. He was pretty condescending in the first match. I felt it was super condescending, and this match he handled himself much better,” Hellmuth said. “But even still, he’s preaching down to me about ranges, and I’m thinking to myself, I’ve just won 24 out of 26 heads-up matches against pros and they have me rated as a fucking underdog every match. It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect, and that’s ok with me. I just want to keep winning.” There were plenty of other winnings taking place in May with a trio of World Poker Tour events coming to a conclusion. The pandemic had forced the WPT to delay a number of its high-profile final tables for more than a year and in the middle of the month, they gathered in Las Vegas to crown three consecutive champions. First up was Veerab Zakarian who took down the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $674,840. “Waiting this long, you didn’t know what to expect. You don’t know, you keep waiting for it,” Zakarian said after the tournament ended. “Most people, after the pandemic, they didn’t have anything to look forward to so I was glad to have something to look forward to.” [caption id="attachment_637581" align="alignright" width="250"] Brekstyn Schutten[/caption] The next day it was Balakrishna Patur’s turn in the spotlight as he won the delayed 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $1,015,000, defeating Matas Cimbolas in heads-up play. It was the second year in a row that Cimbolas finished as the LAPC runner-up. Finally, Brekstyn Schutten took down the largest event in the 19-year history of the WPT when he won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1,261,095. While all of that is nice, the most prestigious contest of the year came to a conclusion in May when Niklas Astedt was named, by the poker community and his peers, as the All-Time #1 Number One. For the better part of a month, PocketFives ran a social contest asking the poker community to vote, March Madness-style, to see which of the (then) 60 former worldwide #1-ranked online pros stood above the rest. The finals came down to Astedt and online great Chris Moorman with Astedt edging out Moorman with 54% of the vote. “The PocketFives rankings really motivated me over the years,” Astedt said after being crowned the winner. “I’m super happy and proud that so many people voted for me.” Speaking of Chris Moorman, he was one of three popular player profiles to be featured this month. Moorman reflected on his career and his recent winning of his first SCOOP title. READ: “Old Guy” Chris Moorman Happily Proves He’s Still Got It Sami Kelopuro had been on an amazing heater and talked with PocketFives in a rare interview on the secret to his recent success and how he planed on taking it easy after his intense grind. READ: After Winning $4.4M, Sami Kelopuro is Taking It Easy - For Now Finally, after winning the first-ever GGPoker Spring Festival Main Event, Mathias ‘KingKongJoel’ Joelsson talked about what it was like to win a seven-figure score. READ: Mathias Joelsson Has ‘King Kong’ Plans After $1.25M GGSF Score By the end of the month, another Brazilian earned themselves an Online Player of the Month title, as Dalton Hobold took the title in May. June It had already been announced that the World Series of Poker was going to be moved to the fall, but in the middle of June, the complete schedule (before the addition of online events) of the last WSOP at the Rio was announced. It was an 88 gold bracelet schedule that hoped to bring back a sense of normalcy after a year away. READ: 5 Things: The WSOP Schedule Gives Players a Comfortable Return Home While players had the WSOP to look forward to, the 2021 U.S. Poker Open was taking place in the PokerGO Studio with familiar faces winning large sums of money. Stephen Chidwick, Jake Schindler, Ali Imsirovic were all at the top of the earners list for the series but David Peters dominated them all, winning more than $2.6 million and taking home the Golden Eagle trophy. READ: David Peters, Old Guard, New Faces Shine Bright as U.S. Poker Open Hellmuth’s three-peat over Negreanu was completed earning him the $400,000 prize and bringing his series record to 6-0 and bringing High Stakes Duel II to an end with Hellmuth opting to cash out and start over in the coming months. Brian Altman also notched his third win, but for him, it was taking home his third World Poker Tour Main Tour title at WPT Tampa at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. The reigning WPT Player of the Year put himself in the race for WPT all-time title, just one behind Darren Elias’ four, and picked up $613,225 in the process. READ: WPT POY Brian Altman Writes His Own Script For Success In other WPT news, the 2021 WPT Online Series Main Event reached a conclusion as well with Christian Rudolph earning his first WPT title and $487,442. Plus, the WPT held its WPT Heads Up Poker Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. An online tournament, it featured some of the biggest names in the game including Doug Polk, Tow Dwan, Sam Greenwood, Anthony Zinno, Brad Own, and eventual winner Phil Ivey who took down the invite-only event for $400,000. Another popular profile published in 2021 was on poker vlogger Jaman Burton and his recent move to Las Vegas. In it, he discusses how the social climate in St. Louis pushed him to make a move, the future of his vlog, and finding new inspiration in Sin City. READ: Jaman Burton and The Drawing Dead Find New Life In Las Vegas The string of Brazilian crushers taking down the Online Player of the Month continued in June as Geraldo Cesar Neto earned the honor for the first time in his career. July The poker world was shocked and saddened in July when six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Layne ‘Back-to-Back’ Flack unexpectedly passed away at age 52. An outpouring of condolences for Flack’s family poured out from the poker community as a mainstay personality from the early days of the poker boom will be certainly be missed. Before that, Daniel Negreanu was back making headlines. After his loss to Doug Polk earlier in the year and then falling three times to Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel, Kid Poker’s ability to close in a big spot was being questioned by some in the poker world. He quickly responded with a victory during the PokerGO Cup series, not only winning the $50,000 NLHE event for $700,000 but, with a little thanks to Cary Katz in the final event of the series, taking the PokerGO leaderboard title and trophy for an additional $50,000 score. READ: The Anatomy- and End - of Daniel Negreanu’s Tournament Futility All month long, the World Series of Poker was running online bracelet events with some notable names adding to their poker resume including David Peters, Manig Loeser, and Chris Moorman who grabbed the victory in one of the final events of the series for his second career bracelet. But the big WSOP news was the rumor (which turned out to be true) that the World Series of Poker would be on the move in 2022, leaving its long-standing home of the Rio to set up shop on the Strip at Bally's and Paris. [caption id="attachment_637583" align="alignright" width="250"] Andrew Moreno[/caption] July also saw a pair of celebrated live wins as Andrew Moreno battled through the 1,325-entry field of the first-ever $10K Wynn Millions to walk away with a life-changing $1.460 million score. The final three agreed to chop the majority of the prize pool, creating two more millionaires as Clayton Maguire finished as the runner-up for $1.443 million and Toby Lewis grabbed the bronze for $1.235 million. Dapo Ajayi also earned a career-defining win after taking down WPT Choctaw for $558,610, making it the second time that Viet Vo would come up just one spot short in the same tournament, finishing in second place for $372,415. Brazil’s Dalton Hobold earned Online Player of the Month honors in May, in July he opened up about how he was almost scammed out his entire career by someone he trusted. READ: Rising Star Dalton Hobold Almost Had Poker Career Derailed by Scam Another month, another Brazilian at the top of the Online Player of the Month leaderboard, as Renan Carlos Bruschi took home the honors in July. August August was another massive month when it came to online poker as PokerStars announced the start of their biggest World Championship of Online Poker with $100 million guaranteed and the World Series of Poker Online kicked off on GGPoker. Both series featured poker superstars taking home titles including Christian Rudolph and Ivan Zufic taking down early WCOOP titles and Joao Simao and Samuel Vousden earning gold bracelets. It was also the month where Erik Seidel made history, taking down 2021 WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) for $977,842 and his ninth career gold bracelet, tying Johnny Moss. Soon after, he talked with us about winning his ninth bracelet online made it special for him. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” READ: Erik Seidel’s Online WSOP Bracelet Victory Might Just Be His Favorite In addition to Seidel winning the WSOP edition of the Super MILLION$, a pair of perennial champions added to their MILLION$ resume. Niklas Astedt scored his third title and Michael Addamo kept the all-time wins record with his fourth. For Addamo, it was just a sign of things yet to come. READ: 50 Things To Look Forward To At The 2021 WSOP After Phil Hellmuth vanquished Fox Sports commentator Nick Smith in a bottle episode of High Stakes Duel, the re-match everyone was waiting for was booked. The Hellmuth vs. Tom Dwan hype train was rolling and the show did not disappoint. However, after seven wins in a row, Hellmuth was defeated as Dwan dethroned Hellmuth to become the new High Stakes Duel champion. READ: Three Takeaways From Tom Dwan's Victory Over Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel III [caption id="attachment_637584" align="alignleft" width="250"] Brock Wilson[/caption] A pair of profiles proved to be popular this month as 26-year-old high-stakes tournament pro Brock Wilson talked about his major move from New York to Las Vegas to pursue the poker dream. Plus, Ryan Hagerty scored an online bracelet in July and sat down to talk with us about his roller coaster of a year grinding the tournament scene. A victory for Alex Theologis in the WSOP $25,000 Super High Roller Championship locked up the August Online Player of Month. Finally, after six years as the President and Editor-in-Chief of PocketFives Lance Bradley stepped away to pursue new opportunities and left by spotlighting some of his favorite stories he published over the years.
  3. Justin Bonomo has retaken the top spot on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List after his victory in the Bellagio’s Five Diamond $100,000 No Limit High Roller earned him $928,200 and sent his career earnings north of $57 million. https://twitter.com/JustinBonomo/status/1467013552238043136?s=20 It’s been 28 months since the last time Bonomo was last recognized as the worldwide leader in tournament earnings. Back in August 2019, Bryn Kenney and Aaron Zang chopped up the £1,050,000 Triton Million for Charity which allowed to Kenney lock up a massive $20,563,324 prize as the runner-up. The unprecedented score was more than enough to send Kenney to the All-Time Money List lead by roughly seven million. Bonomo responded quickly, taking down the Triton London £100,000 No Limit Short Deck for $3.2 million just days after Kenney’s win. He may have even retaken the lead within the week, had his second-place $4.1 million score in the Triton London £250,000 Short Deck not been a private event. However, just months later, the live circuit came to a standstill in the face of COVID-19 and, like many, Bonomo essentially retreated from playing any live poker for the better part of 21 months. Bonomo made his return to the live felt at the end of September to make a run at a fourth title in PokerGO’s $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. He showed no sign of rust, finishing in second place, just behind Michael Addamo, for a $1,890,000 score. And that was just the beginning of his current hot streak. Less than a month later, Bonomo was again battling Addamo heads-up for a massive score. This time it was the 2021 WSOP’s $50,000 NLHE High Roller. While Bonomo couldn’t deny Addamo another victory, he did pick up $700,228 for his runner-up finish. Bonomo was back in the mix. He's recently been spending some time at the Aria playing in their regularly running $10Ks. According to the Hendon Mob, he scored a victory on November 6 for $171,000 and a second-place finish 10 days later for another $94,600. Bringing him within striking distance of retaking the ATML title. It should be noted, that during this time Kenney was also playing sparingly. His first result since the beginning of 2020 was last week when he picked up a $503,880 score for his runner-up finish in the Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Poker Open $25,500 High Roller. However, Kenney’s six-figure score just wasn’t enough to hold off Bonomo. On Friday night, Bonomo defeated the small field of 19 runners, which included Kenney, in the Five Diamond $100,000 and with the $928,200 he has eclipsed Kenney by a mere $139,869. https://twitter.com/TheHendonMob/status/1467021120905912323?s=20 At the stakes and in the fields that Bonomo and Kenney regularly play, the All-Time Money List lead may be a two-horse race for quite some time with the pair taking turns at the top depending on which one of the two is in the money more recently. It would take some doing for anyone else in the top 5 to join the party with Daniel Negreanu currently sitting in third place, roughly $12 million behind pace, and Erik Seidel almost $19 million behind Bonomo’s current total.
  4. The 2021 World Series of Poker was a wild ride and not just for those players who made the trip to Las Vegas. As the schedule in the series began to wind down, the pressure ramped up for players to close out the fall with a nice score and, for many of those who chose to take the ride by picking up a piece of the action on PocketFives, there were some great gains to be made. Arieh Shares Sun Run With Supporters You don’t have to look further than newly crowed 2021 WSOP Player of the Year (and PocketFives own) Josh Arieh. Arieh was relentless on the felt and generous in offering pieces of his amazing sun run to his followers. For example, Arieh put up 5% of his $10,000 Main Event at zero markup. Clearly a favorite against the field, the 50 backers who were able to quickly snap up their .1% (just a mere $10 to get a sweat on) all saw a return of $30 - an ROI of 200% - when he finished in 411th place for $30,000. He was nowhere near finished. Arieh’s run to the POY included two more notable cashes, but the one his backers certainly appreciated was his final table finish in the $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. Arieh had crushed every PLO tournament he played in this year, including famously helping some of his backers turn $15 into $2K. Another nice return was in order for the 141 backers who supported him. Arieh sold 10%, again at no markup, and ended up finishing in seventh place for $165,452. That’s an ROI of 230.90% with $16,545 headed back to his backers. If every backer had an equal share, that would look like a $35 stake yielding more than $117. He had another 200+% ROI in the $10K Stud 8 where 43 backers picked up 10% of his action and turned every $10 increment into just over $30 as well. https://twitter.com/robcpoker/status/1463094577083019266?s=20 RELATED: Negreanu, Arieh, and Glantz Help Backers Clean Up In WSOP $50K Poker Players Championship Seidel Just Hits Home Runs Erik Seidel was also a home run hitter down the stretch. The nine-time WSOP bracelet winner jumped on PocketFives to sell for just two events late in the schedule. Both times he sold out and both times he came through. He sold 50% of his action, strictly for the fans, in the same $10K Seven Card Stud 8 where Arieh finished in ninth. Seidel made it to the final table and ended up finishing in 7th place for $46,140. His ROI - 361.40%. Collectively, his 29 backers turned the $5,600 (Seidel sold at 1.12 markup) into $23,070 and every 1% of the stake ($56) turned into $230. https://twitter.com/PocketFives/status/1460030971340734464?s=20 It worked so well in the Stud 8, Seidel picked up more run good by running it back in the $10K Razz Championship. Again he sold 50% and. again, he made a final table. In back-to-back tournaments, Seidel finished in 7th place and this time cashed out for $39,987. If each of his 35 backers had the same share, they’d have turned $160 into more than $570. Negreanu’s Fantastic Finish Right up until the last tournament, Daniel Negreanu was challenging Josh Arieh for WSOP Player of the Year. He finished the series second in total cashes with 18 and was selling action all along the way. After his deep run in the $50K Poker Players Championship, Negreanu booked four more cashes, but for backers, his deep run in the $50K Pot Limit Omaha was the most important, and perhaps the most surprising. In it, Negreanu made the final table and, once again, came so close to winning bracelet #7. Eventually, he bowed out in 3rd place which was good for $519,764. Unfortunately, since it was on his second bullet it didn't count for those who supported him as a single event. However, for the more than 300 backers of his complete package it brought him close to being even for the series. That score set him up for his biggest score yet. While he didn’t sell action explicitly for the $50,000 NLHE High Roller, this was a critical event for the hundreds of people who were involved in his series-long package. In the event, he made another sick final table run, again nearly locking down a bracelet, but ended up in third place for more than $660,000 and turned his total series package from negative to a huge profit. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1463082905802969092?s=20 [Correction: an earlier version of this article indicated that Negreanu had cashed in the $50K PLO for his single event backers, however, it was on his 2nd bullet which meant it only counted for the series long investors. We apologize for the error.] With that, the 2021 WSOP and the ride for investors came to an end. But be on the lookout for more from PocketFives Staking as the end is really just the beginning.
  5. Koray Aldemir, the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event world champion, sits on top of the poker world this morning after the result of his career saw him win the $8 million top prize in the Las Vegas spectacular earlier today. Aldemir's The New Main Event Champ Since the moment Aldemir beat George Holmes in a stunning hand that you can read all about here, the poker world has reacted with overwhelming positivity to one of the most liked and well-respected poker peers in the game. The final three kicked off with Aldemir in a large amount of control, of course, but the focus wasn’t all on the players. Many observers felt that the final table chips being colored up so regularly denied everyone watching on TV the chance to see players push huge piles of the fun discs over the line. What’s the solution to the situation that has irked so many? https://twitter.com/AlexFungali/status/1461101741160734724 As yesterday’s final nine departed the Thunderdome, each one of them was naturally disappointed. A day on, each might have been reflecting on what winnings they have made rather than any imagine extra, and Chase Bianchi, who busted in ninth place for $1 million will have a fun callback to make to his landlord. https://twitter.com/Chase_Bianchi/status/1460600006801453062 As happens every year, when it gets down to the equity of a poker hand being worth millions, the final three players do slow down. Hey, every decision they make is priceless. Scott Seiver, an advocate on speeding up play in virtually every other event, came to the trio’s defense. https://twitter.com/scott_seiver/status/1461194881460629508 Sam Greenwood had to tip Aldemir for glory before the final table began, but wanted to make it clart ere was no comeback if it all went wrong. https://twitter.com/SamGreenwoodRIO/status/1460644748830646277 Erik Seidel also knows the winner of the Main, apparently for the first time in a long time. https://twitter.com/Erik_Seidel/status/1461043639954513920 Phil Hellmuth was on his way to making the final day of the $10,000 Razz Championship, but still had time for a Sit ‘N’ Go with Vince Vaugh and a few friends. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1461097693615435782 Finally, Patrick Leonard is on WhatsApp terms with the new world champion and somehow managed to avoid a side bet on the Main Event. That’s why they call ‘Pads’ the sharpest tool in any box. https://twitter.com/padspoker/status/1460605744424828932 When the event was concluded, Aldemir’s dramatic win lived long in the memory of viewers worldwide as the German won $8 million for taking down the title and busting George Holmes heads-up after Jack Oliver had departed in third. WSOP 2021 Event #67 Main Event Final Table Results: Koray Aldemir - $8,000,000 George Holmes - $4,300,000 Jack Oliver - $3,000,000 Joshua Remitio - $2,300,000 Ozgur Secilmis - $1,800,000 Hye Park - $1,400,000 Alejandro Lococo - $1,225,000 Jareth East - $1,100,000 Chase Bianchi - $1,000,000 Himmelspach Takes $1,500 Freezeout The next bracelet winner on a busy day at the Rio felt was Chad Himmelspach, who won the $1,500-entry Event #75 Freezeout tournament after a heads-up victory against German player Stefan Reiser. It was when six players were left that Himmelspach started to make moves up the leaderboard, with a massive five-bet pre-flop leading to his eventual heads-up opponent Reiser open-folding pocket tens. When he eliminated Tarun Gulati in sixth place for $50,021 with his own [poker card="Th"][poker card="Tc"] holding against Gulati’s [poker card="As"][poker card="9s"], Himmelspach approached the top of the counts with 9.6 million chips. With the bust-out of Ori Hasson in fifth place for $66,447, Kaue De Souza vaulted himself up the leaderboard, [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"] able to get there against the Israeli player’s [poker card="7d"][poker card="7d"] across the [poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jd"] board. The Brazilian, however, was the very next player to bust, dropping down the pecking order before a shove with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="9s"] against overnight leader Renmui Liu’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="2h"] fell to a deuce on the river. Liu himself was out in third place for $121, 580, the first six-figure score of the tournament, when his short-stack shove with [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Jd"] was called by Himmelspach with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] which held. That pot was a small one, but the eventual winner had built a healthy lead at the right time. With almost three times Reiser’s chips, Himmelspach saw the chip sway this way and that for over two hours until he was finally in a similar position of control. Himmelspach called his opponent’s shove, holding [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] and looking pleased to see Reiser had been shoving light with [poker card="9d"][poker card="3h"]. The board of [poker card="Th"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="4s"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="Ad"] saw the event end in the American’s favor, winning him a debut bracelet and the top prize of over a quarter of a million dollars in stunning fashion. WSOP 2021 Event #75 $1,500 Freezeout Final Table Results: Chad Himmelspach - $270,877 Stefan Reiser - $167,418 Renmei Liu - $121,580 Kaue De Souza - $89,344 Ori Hasson - $66,447 Tarun Gulati - $50,021 Nicholas Hubers - $38,121 Seth Evans - $29,416 Louison Vincent - $22,986 Joanello Scores First Bracelet In Fifty Stack The third and final bracelet of the day to be won came in the Fifty Stack finale in a more secluded corner of the Rio, where Paulo Joanello of Brazil won his first-ever bracelet and $321,917 in the process. The heads-up battle was, once again, an intriguing one as both Joanello and his opponent, Toby Price, were locked in battle for some time, before the former’s overpair survived the all-in on the flop by top pair holder Price. At a fast final table, perhaps the two biggest challengers in terms of know-how were Elio Fox and Scott Hall, but the pair bust in seventh and ninth place respectively. In the end, it was the Brazilian rail who celebrated, and wildly so, as the Rio erupted with a sound worthy of its namesake’s carnival attendees thousands of miles south of the world-famous poker venue in which their latest celebrated son won gold. WSOP 2021 Event #77 $1,500 Fifty Stack Final Table Results: Paulo Joanello - $321,917 Toby Price - $198,970 Martin Bicanik - $146,061 Ron Moisescu - $108,349 Roongsak Griffeth - $81,228 Axel Hallay - $61,550 Elio Fox - $47,145 David Morel - $36,508 Scott Hall - $28,585 Dzivielevski Leads $10K Razz Final Table The final day of the $10,000 Razz Championship is sure to be a thrilling one, with Yuri Dzivielevski (1,126,000) the chip leader and both Erik Seidel (227,000) and Phil Hellmuth (133,000) in the mix, albeit short-stacked. With the Brazilian chip leader’s closest challengers being Yehuda Buchalte (874,000) and John Monnette (861,000) there is class everywhere among the final 13 players. With Hellmuth firing for his 17th bracelet, an amount that would extend the Poker Brat’s current record amount of 16 wins, and Erik Seidel aiming to win his 10th bracelet, anything could happen on what is sure to be a tense and exciting final day. WSOP 2021 Event #78 $10,000 Razz Championship Final Day Chipcounts: Yuri Dzivielevski - 1,126,000 Yehuda Buchalte - 874,000 John Monnette - 861,000 Erik Sagstrom - 845,000 Roland Israelashvili - 647,000 Benny Glaser - 552,000 Shirley Rosario - 398,000 Brad Ruben - 316,000 Carlos Villamarin - 299,000 Everett Carlton - 231,000 Erik Seidel - 227,000 Phil Hellmuth - 133,000 Matt Vengrin - 54,000 Bounty Hunters Invade Poker Hall of Fame In the unique Event #79, the $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty event, just 71 players of the 469 who entered made the money places, with 63 staying through the end of the day. Top of the shop after Day 1 is Marc Rivera, with the Philippines player bagging up 721,000 chips by the end of the night. Elsewhere in the top 10 chip counts, Jerry Wong was second in chips (700,000), while Christian Pham sneaked into 10th place with 402,000. Other star names such as Maria Lampropulos (383,000), Ole Schemion (333,000), and Joao Vieira (75,000) all made the next day’s play, with plenty of bounties and big names missing out, as WSOP Master of Ceremonies Vince Vaughn - costing a $10,000 bounty - as well as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Scotty Nguyen, Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson, Tom McEvoy, Jack McClelland, Phil Hellmuth, and Eli Elezra, the latest Hall of Famer from 2021, made their exits. WSOP 2021 Event #79 $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty Top 10 Chipcounts: Marc Rivera - 721,000 Jerry Wong - 700,000 Payam Karami - 630,000 Eder Murata - 560,000 Laurent Polito - 486,000 Phil Scaletta - 462,000 Abhinav Iyer - 442,000 Sonia Shashikhina - 425,000 Michael Acevedo - 419,000 Christian Pham - 402,000 Chino Rheem In Top 5 of $3K Six Max Finally, Event #80 saw 10 hours of play conclude with just 122 players in seats and Ruslan Nazarenko in the lead with 616,500 chips. Closing in on the leader were Chino Rheem (500,000) and Maxx Coleman (496,000), with Uri Reichenstein (357,500) also making the top 10. With others such as Anatolii Zyrin (280,500) and Ali Imsirovic (268,500) both making the cut, others missed out, with Craig Varnell, David Williams, Chance Kornuth, Shaun Deeb, and 2019 champion from the event Alan Sternberg all hitting the rail. WSOP 2021 Event #80 $3,000 Six-Max PLO Top 10 Chipcounts: Ruslan Nazarenko - 616,500 Chino Rheem - 500,000 Maxx Coleman - 496,000 Steven Forman - 460,000 Michael Moncek - 445,500 James Mordue - 419,000 Joseph Haug - 358,500 Uri Reichenstein - 357,500 Michael Hudson - 334,500 Robert Emmerson - 316,500 And finally, as the World Series of Poker winds to a close over the next few days, players will be returning to countries all over the world to explain to friends, family, and complete strangers what it is they did all October and November. Good luck, all. https://twitter.com/Martin_Jacobson/status/1460701887599038464
  6. It was a familiar scene on the set of the 2021 World Series of Poker $50,000 High Roller. With four players left and over $1.1 million up top, Australian sensation Michael Addamo held a massive chip lead over his final three opponents and looked to be cruising to yet another seven-figure victory. But Erik Seidel had other plans. With 40 big blinds and pocket eights in the small blind, he completed, perhaps anticipating some aggression from Addamo in the big blind. “If you’re a balanced player like Seidel, then you will have some limps from the small blind with strong hands,” said Maria Ho, who was calling the action. Addamo indeed did put in a raise, a hefty one. And after a few moments, Seidel three-bet shipped his remaining 40 big blinds only to be snap-called by Addamo holding ace-king. Seidel was ahead. Winning this hand would put the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner in the chip lead and in a position to make a little history. But Addamo is not simply running hot. He’s on a high-stakes sun run few have enjoyed and overcoming that has proven to be a tall task. “Seidel has 55%, but if I were Seidel I would feel like I have 20% against the way Addamo’s been running,” Ho said with a laugh. Almost as soon as she finished talking the dealer put a king on the flop with little-to-no help for Seidel. Even behind his mask, Seidel looked visibly annoyed. With just two outs left and headed to the river, Seidel began sliding his stack into the middle, resigned that today wasn’t his day. Once again this year, it was Addamo’s day. As Seidel grabbed his jacket and walked away, perhaps somewhere in the back of his mind he remembered when those looks of annoyment were directed at him. When it was he who was the high-stakes sun runner, on a seemingly unstoppable rampage through some of the biggest tournaments on the circuit. It was January 2011 and Seidel made the trip to the Aussie Millions in Melbourne. It was just months before Black Friday, and the Aussie Millions was preparing to run some of the biggest nosebleed tournaments ever held. Seidel, coming off a fourth-place finish in the PokerStars PCA $25K High Roller, hit a string of results that took the poker world by storm. First, he finished in third place in the Aussie Million A$100,000 for a $618,139 payday. Less than a week later he defeated a 20-runner field and took down the A$250,000 Super High Roller for $2,472,555, a win that remains his career-high score. From there, Seidel took down the 2011 LAPC High Roller, the $25,000 NBC Heads-Up Championship for $750,000, and, in May, bested another $100,000 Super High Roller in Las Vegas for another seven-figure score. Already a Poker Hall of Fame member, Seidel’s high-stakes dominance during this time captivated the poker public, it was called “The Year of Seidel” by PokerNews and it earned him more than $6.5 million - second only to WSOP Main Event winner Pius Heinz that year. In fact, it was such a phenomenon that in April of that year, there was a music video made in ‘Seiborg’s honor. Many thought we’d never see a high-stakes heater like that again. But, of course, we did. And a decade-long passing of the sun run crown began. A young, 23-year old seemingly serious media-shy Daniel Colman came out from behind his online grind in 2014 to shock the poker world. First with a win in the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo €100,000 High Roller for $2.1 million and months later defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up at the final table of the WSOP’s $1,000,000 Big One For One Drop for another $15 million victory. That was just the start for Colman. In August of that year, he grabbed back-to-back seven-figure scores with a runner-up finish in the EPT Barcelona €50,000 High Roller and then a signature big-field win in the $5,300 SHRPO Main Event. At the time Colman appeared to be the king of the high rollers desperate to abdicate, conflicted about the complexities of playing a game that meant when you win, someone loses. But by the end of the year, Coleman cashed in for an astounding $22,389,481, which, at the time, pushed him into the top 10 on the All-Time Money List. While Colman continued to crush, proving himself to be one of the all-time best, another young grinder began to turn heads as well. At the end of 2015, 22-year old Fedor Holz announced the start of his sun-running reign with a victory in the World Poker Tour $100,000 Alpha8 at the Five Diamond Classic in Las Vegas. The $1.5 million score was the first seven-figure win of his career and from that launch point, Holz went on a seemingly unstoppable tear through the high stakes. Weeks later Holz won again, this time in the 2016 Triton Super High Roller Series for just over $3 million. He took second in that year’s Super High Roller Bowl, won three high rollers at the Aria, and then picked up a gold bracelet in the 2016 $111,111 High Roller For One Drop for another $4.9 million. The massive scores were seemingly neverending. Months later he won again at EPT Barcelona. Even when he didn’t win, Holz was making final tables at nearly every stop he attended, ending the year with astounding $16 million in earnings and an article about him in Forbes Magazine to go with it. The rise of the German contingency, led by Holz, felt like a new era in poker, one that perhaps couldn’t be stopped or topped. However, in 2018, Justin Bonomo, who has long been considered one of the game’s best, with his origins in the online streets, emerged from the lab on an entirely different level. Prior to that year, Bonomo had always been successful and even had one seven-figure win in his career, back in 2012 - a resume-topping win for him. But in 2018 everything changed as Bonomo earned four million-dollar scores, all in spectacular fashion. A runner-up finish in January at the PokerStars PCA $100,000 for $1 million was just the start. In March he took down the Super High Roller Bowl China for a massive $4.8 million, a new career-high at the time. Two months later he repeated the feat, winning the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas for $5 million - another new high. Even that was eclipsed by his win in the 2018 WSOP $1M buy-in Big One For One Drop for a massive $10 million score. Staggering results from an inconceivable run. But Bonomo’s heater wasn’t limited to million-dollar scores, he outright won 10 different events that year, all high rollers, all for six figures or more. Bonomo, virtually unrivaled, earned more than $25.4 million that year alone as he took over the All-Time Money List lead from Daniel Negreanu. Bonomo’s stoic table demeanor and spot-on decisions were in stark contrast to the flash brought about by Bryn Kenney. In 2019, Kenney picked up the high-stakes heater torch and ran wild. Always a tough contender, Kenney hit a string of results at the right time when the stakes were at their highest. Between March and May of that year, Kenney lit up the Triton Poker Series. He scored a fourth and second-place finish in a pair of tournaments in Jeju for more than $3.5 million total. Then in May, he went back-to-back in Montenegro for a total of more than $4.1 million. Of course, Kenney’s streak peaked in August of that year when he posted the €1,050,000 buy-in for the Triton Million for Charity in London and ended up winning it all for a record $20,563,324 payday, more than enough to lift him to the top of the All-Time Money List. Kenney ended that year with more than $30 million in tournament earnings, accepting his newfound GOAT status. — In 2019, Michael Addamo already racked up a number of impressive scores, including a WSOP bracelet win. It’s safe to say that he wasn’t yet on a recreational player’s radar, he was more like an up-and-coming elite player poised for a breakout. In early 2020, at the Australian Poker Open, Addamo took down a pair of high rollers for a total of $1.5 million. He also picked up a pair of Super High Roller Bowl Online wins and a runner-up finish in the $100K Main Event for $1.187 million. To go with it, Addamo was (and still is) regularly killing the GGPoker Super MILLION$ online where he became the first player to win it all twice, then three times, then four. Now it’s late 2021 and Addamo has ascended. The new recipient of the high roller hot streak. An amazing barrage of wins that started just days after arriving in Las Vegas to play in the Super High Roller Bowl. Addamo first won the Poker Masters $50K for $680,000 and the subsequent $100K for another $1.16 million. Two days, $1.8 million in earnings. While waiting for the Super High Roller Bowl, Addamo scored a runner-up finish in an Aria High Roller for $322K and then, remarkably, dominated this year’s Super High Roller Bowl IV and defeated three-time SHRB champ, Bonomo, for a career-best $3.4 million score. He’s earned more than $7.2 of his live career $15.5 million in cashes in roughly one month. Like Seidel before him, Bonomo knows what’s it like when talent, preparation, and a little good fortune shines on you. And like Seidel just an hour earlier, Bonomo found himself all-in against a player who seemingly can do no wrong. Bonomo moved all-in with ten-nine off suit, likely hoping for a fold. But Addamo called with his king-jack suited and a massive pot with all the chips in this bracelet event was in the middle. When the turn hit, Bonomo's hand improved to trips and he simply needed to fade six outs on the river. But this is Addamo and this is now. So when an ace ripped off on the river to give Addamo the straight, the win, his third gold bracelet, and another seven-figure score Bonomo could only sigh, nod his head and congratulate his opponent. Afterward, when asked by reporters how all this success is coming to him, Addamo replied “I guess mostly luck. Obviously, there is some skill involved but winning this much, you can only really attribute it to luck in the end. So I’m very fortunate.” And there’s no telling just when (or if) that incredible good fortune will subside. So for now, Addamo, like others before him, enjoys the ride and will see where his talents, hard work, and good luck will take him. But whether Addamo leaves it, or it leaves Addamo, history has proven that a sun run will shine upon another high stakes player out there - as yet known or unknown - and the poker world will again be amazed by the results.
  7. Less than one month ago, Michael Addamo and Justin Bonomo, two of the most respected nosebleed tournament players in the game today, faced off heads-up at the end of Super High Roller Bowl VI. On that day, Addamo walked away with the win and the $3.4 million prize. On Thursday at the 2021 World Series of Poker, the two heavyweights made it to the end of Event #38, the $50,000 High Roller, and faced off again for a high-stakes rematch - this time with a WSOP bracelet at stake. And once again, it was Addamo who came out on top, besting Bonomo and the 81 player field to walk away with another seven-figure score of $1,132,968. For the better part of two days, Addamo dominated the event. He held a healthy chip lead at the end of Day 1, aggressively extended it into Day 2, and started the final table with nearly 50% of the total chips in play at his disposal. Although Addamo did not go wire-to-wire at the final table, losing the chip lead to Bonomo for a brief period, he did ultimately eliminate all four of his final table opponents in order to take home the third gold bracelet of his career. Chris Hunichen started the final table as the short stack but managed to find a double against Justin Bonomo in the early goings and then again against Addamo. However, he was unable to keep the momentum when he squared off again against the chip-leading Addamo. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 (120,000 bb ante). Addamo put in a raise to 200,000 on the button with [poker card="jh"][poker card="tc"] and with roughly 12 big blinds Hunichen defended his big blind holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="9h"]. The flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6s"] giving Addamo top pair and Hunichen an over and backdoor draws. Hunichen checked and Addamo continued for a small bet which Hunichen called. When the [poker card="8h"] fell on the turn, Hunichen open-shipped for his final 10 bigs and Addamo made the call. Hunichen was looking for a heart, a ten, or a queen to survive, however, the river was the [poker card="jd"] giving Addamo trips and sending ‘Big Huni’ out in fifth place for $266,031. A big clash between Addamo and 9-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Erik Seidel took place just 40 minutes later. The action folded to Seidel in the small blind who just completed holding [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. Addamo, in the big blind, made it 480,000 with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"]. Seidel then shipped his last 40 big blinds and Addamo made the call. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="js"][poker card="3s"] giving Addamo a huge lead in the hand. Seidel needed an eight and an eight only to survive. The turn came the [poker card="2h"] and before the [poker card="qs"] even completed the board Seidel was shipping his chips into the middle for Addamo. Seidel’s quest for bracelet #10 ended in fourth place for which he collected $358,655. Addamo held a massive chip lead but then something a little unexpected took place. Bonomo doubled through Addamo, and moments later Gal Yifrach did as well and for the first time in days, Addamo lost his chip lead as Bonomo became the big stack. However, that didn’t last long. Shortly after the three players returned from a break, with the blinds up to 80,000/160,000 (160,000 bb ante) Yifrach and Addmo played yet another big pot only this time, Addamo came out on top. After Bonomo folded his button, Yifrach limped in from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7c"]. Addamo, holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8d"], put in a raise to 520,000 in the big blind. Just like Seidel did in his bustout hand, Yifrach three-bet shipped his final 23 bigs and Addamo made the call with his pocket pair. The flop came [poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3s"] keeping Addamo’s eights in the lead but giving Yifrach a gutshot straight draw to go along with his one overcard. The turn was the [poker card="ks"] and Yifrach was left looking for an ace. The river was an ace, but it was the [poker card="as"] bringing in a flush for Addamo and ending Yifrach’s run in third place for $495,305. This set up what many people were hoping for, a rematch of the Super High Roller Bowl heads-up finale between Addamo and Bonomo, this time with a bracelet on the line. Addamo’s elimination of Yifrach helped him take back the chip lead, however, the difference in chips between the two was just four big blinds. Heads-up play wasn’t nearly as extensive as it could have been with both players sitting with more than 70 big blinds each. Bonomo grabbed an early lead and Addamo closed the gap. Addamo took a small lead before the final hand took place. On the button, Bonomo raised to 450,000 holding the [poker card="td"][poker card="9s"] and Addamo three-bet to 1.8 million from the big blind with his [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. Bonomo then three-bet shipped for more than 11 million and Addamo, after a brief time in the tank, Addamo called for it all. "This is a big hand," Bonomo said as an understatement. "It's for all the chips basically," Addamo replied with a smile on his face. "How many bracelets do you have?" Bonomo asked. "Two. You?" "Three." "Get it even? Three each?" Addamo said. "I don't know if I agree to those terms," Bonomo joked right before the dealer fanned the flop. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="th"] bringing Bonomo bottom pair and a straight draw and giving Addamo middle pair and a straight draw as well. The turn was the [poker card="ts"] giving Bonomo trips and a chance to cripple Addamo. However, the river was the [poker card="ac"] bringing in Broadway for Addamo and eliminating Bonomo as the runner-up for a $700,228 score. Addamo picked up a career-high WSOP score of $1,132,968 (the 4th largest of his career) and his second WSOP gold bracelet. WSOP $50K High Roller Final Table Payouts Michael Addamo - $1,132,968 Justin Bonomo - $700,228 Gal Yifrach - $495,305 Erik Seidel - $358,665 Chris Hunichen - $266,031
  8. This summer, a 16-year association between the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and the World Series of Poker comes to a close. With poker’s biggest annual festival rumored to be heading to Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Event Center starting in the summer of 2022, the curtain comes down on the Rio’s time as host of poker’s signature series of life-changing tournaments. The Rio has been what the WSOP has needed, exactly at the time it needed it. For some, the lasting images of the World Series of Poker come from yesteryear, with legends of the game such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan winning big at Binion’s. While Binion’s has a great history, the Rio is where poker’s boom led to the growth of the game and its cavernous corridors have provided us with some of the most memorable moments ever witnessed at the felt. Many dramatic moments have followed in the Thunderdome, from Daniel Negreanu’s collapse after near-bubbling the final table to Phil Hellmuth’s record-breaking WSOP bracelet win in 2007 to Mark Newhouse’s celebrated reverse-curse on himself in WSOP the subsequent WSOP Main Event to his career-high score. https://twitter.com/mark_hizzle/status/486037130632638465 Binion’s had the gloriously claustrophobic nature of a state-wide game only much bigger. They hosted the WSOP while it was predominantly an American-attended festival. Fans were four or five deep at the rail, so close to Johnny Chan during his victory against Erik Seidel that they could have reached out and helped him push his chips over the line. The Rio, however, ushered in a new age of poker. During a time when poker enjoyed its years of growth and became more appealing to the mainstream, the rail increased and had to be moved back. Seating was erected in the Thunderdome, and in other rooms, with fans being kept at a modest distance. Antonio Esfandiari’s victory in the $1 million-entry Big One for One Drop in 2012 remains a watershed moment in poker and it all took place in the Thunderdome. From Sam Trickett’s quad threes against Brian Rast to ‘The Magician’ winning the bracelet and being held aloft by his friends and family after he got the better of the Brit heads-up, the event lived in the glow of flashbulbs. When thinking of the World Series of Poker at the Rio what comes to mind to this reporter is one hand in particular. In 2010, Jonathan Duhamel took down the WSOP Main Event to win $8.9 million when he dominated the final table. But in truth, Duhamel took the biggest step to victory when he won possibly the best hand the Rio has ever seen against Matt Affleck. Affleck had pocket aces, Duhamel had pocket jacks and somehow, all the money went in on a turn that saw Affleck a 4:1 favorite. Duhamel needed his straight draw or a jack to come in on the river and when it did, Affleck’s subsequent reaction was heartbreaking and incredible in equal measure. To the legendary commentary of Norman Chad and Lon McEachern, two men whose partnership has itself flourished at the Rio, a “thunderstruck” Affleck burst out of the Thunderdome and threw his water bottle against the wall. A few minutes later, Affleck returned to shake the hand of everyone at the table, ending in Duhamel himself. If the moment started awkwardly, it ended by transcending poker and showing the humanity that exists between poker players. Sure the Rio has its flaws. Poker can be about stepping into a teeming mass of sweat and closeness, shoulder-to-shoulder with your best friend and your biggest enemy - who, in a poker tournament, can be exactly the same person. It can feel like a cauldron. The Rio is often the opposite - it's a ‘cooler’. It's famous for its ice-cold temperatures forcing players to wrap up warm once they walk out of the Vegas sunshine and into the building where the last 15 World Champions have been crowned. Players who don’t insulate or consume enough vitamins have complained of the ‘Rio Flu’ years before COVID came along. In recent years, though, the WSOP Player of the Year has captivated fans for entire summers. With dozens of flags depicting former winners adorning every side of the two main cardrooms, each race has gathered its own momentum inside its echo chambers populated by thousands of poker players. From queues for the restroom and registration desk that snake through the labyrinthine pathways that criss-cross the Rio hallways to the stands of phone battery sellers and massage machines, there is no place like it. The Rio will go down in poker history as the venue where poker grew up, where it became the beast that can now never be tamed. The World Series of Poker will move on in 2022, but the memories of poker's time at the Rio will echo forever. How many more become eternal this Autumn remains as poker should, in the hands of the players who make the game what it is.
  9. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Jeff Walsh, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. This week on The FIVES, Lance and Jeff bring you all of the latest gold bracelet results from the World Series of Poker Online on GGPoker - including poker legend Erik Seidel's history-making ninth career bracelet win. Plus, the Pennsylvania WSOP Online series wrapped up with an interesting payout structure for its high roller, and it was a great week for poker content with the World Poker Tour's live streamed high-stakes home game. Also, following up with last week's podcast about WSOP Rule 115, there were multiple clarifications to the COVID-inspired rule leaving the guys with even more questions. Tune in! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  10. It was late in London. The early morning actually, and Erik Seidel, one of poker’s most iconic figures, was back on the grind. Already in the United Kingdom to celebrate his youngest daughter’s wedding, the poker legend decided to extend his stay in the UK’s capital to take care of some business. Specifically, the business of high-stakes poker. And at this moment, his deep run in GGPoker WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) was taking him back to the beginning of his career. “I haven’t stayed up that late for poker since I was in my 20’s,” Seidel said, referring to the overnight hours of Day 1 of the gold bracelet event. “London isn’t ideal for me because I’m a morning person and Day One lasted ’til the next morning.” Even casual fans are familiar with Seidel’s impact on poker and his history that took him from the early days of Mayfair Club in New York to the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. His career has spanned 40 years and in that time he’s earned nearly $38 million in recorded live earnings. He’s a World Poker Tour champion and, prior to the online high roller he was playing in, had previously won eight WSOP bracelets, making him one of the most prolific players in WSOP history. Seidel didn’t know it at the time but after that sleepless night, he was just days away from adding to his legacy with WSOP bracelet #9. For a player who has experienced just about everything there is to experience in the game of poker, Seidel admits he still feels “out of [his] element online”, making his victory one of the most unique moments of his career. [caption id="attachment_636078" align="alignleft" width="300"] Seidel's online winning moment.[/caption] “I’m just never that comfortable online,” he said. “I like it, it’s nice to be able to play a tourney in bed, but I make mistakes. I had two misclicks at the final table. It’s easier for me to get distracted and there’s always that concern that I’ll lose connection.” In fact, he did lose connection at one point while playing in his hotel on spotty Wi-Fi. But, obviously, the man they call Seiborg recovered nicely. He navigated his way through the field of 624 entries, made the final table, and bested a final nine that included Rui Ferreira, Isaac Baron, Thomas Muehloecker, and eventual runner-up, Francisco Benitez. When it was all over, Seidel won more than $977,000 and made WSOP history. He earned that ninth bracelet and moved into a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss for fifth (third-most) in all-time WSOP bracelets. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” [caption id="attachment_636079" align="alignright" width="219"] 2007 WSOP victory in NL 2-7 Lowball for bracelet #8.[/caption] That said, as special as winning another bracelet is for him, 14 years after winning #8, Seidel hasn’t been consumed with the bracelet chase as, perhaps, some other pre-poker boom prominent players. “I can’t say I really get caught up in bracelet fever,” he said. “My focus has been much more on higher buy-in No Limit events. If you really want to rack up bracelets, you’ve got to play the high buy-in limit events at the WSOP, the No Limit fields are way too big. I play a limited amount of events at the WSOP, and I love playing them, but I’m not trying to maximize my chances by playing every event.” It would be tough for anyone to not want to push if given the chance to break into double-digit bracelets. It’s well-known that there are currently only four players with 10 or more. Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leader with 15. And then, tied for second, all with 10, are Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey - a club that’s hasn’t admitted a new member since 2014. Now, Seidel is knocking on the door. At 61, he says he has no intentions of slowing down and has set his sights on playing a healthy schedule at this year’s WSOP. “I love playing, I hope I can continue competing for a while. I expect to play 20-something events at the WSOP although I’m really disappointed in the WSOP schedule this year, the big NL events that I’d love to play in are all very close to Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see if I can play them.”
  11. Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel captured his ninth career World Series of Poker bracelet after winning GGPoker 2021 WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) for $977,842. With the victory, Seidel moves into a tie for third all-time bracelets with the legendary Johnny Moss and sits just one bracelet win behind Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Johnny Chan. Seidel's last WSOP gold bracelet win took place in 2007 when he won the live $5,000 Duece To Seven Lowball Championship for $538,835 of his now more than $37 million in career live earnings. The final table was especially hard-fought as not only was the gold bracelet on the line, but the WSOP edition of the Super MILLION$ had nearly $1 million up top. Start of the day chip leader Francisco Benitez applied constant pressure while some of today's best online pros including Thomas Mueloecker, Isaac Baron, and Rui Ferreira fought over six-figure sums. It took just two hands before the first player fell. With the blinds at 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante) Thomas Muehloecker opened from under the gun to 336,000 holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. When it folded to Rui Ferreira in the hijack, he moved all in for roughly 15 big blinds with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. Muehloecker took only a second to call, and Ferreira was flipping for his tournament life. The board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qc"] allowing Muehloecker’s pocket jacks to hold and ending Ferreira’s day before it got started in ninth place for $129,410. Despite the quick elimination of Ferreira, the action at the final table slowed down considerably. It took nearly an hour for the next player to hit the rail. The blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 (30,000 ante) when a short-stacked Isaac Baron opened from under the gun to 1.25 million with [poker card="qd"][poker card="js"], leaving himself with just over one big blind behind. In the cutoff, Chin-wei Chien flat called holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"] and the rest of the table let go of their hands. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4s"] and Baron moved all-in for his final big blind and Chien snap-called. The turn was the [poker card="2s"], giving Baron some flush outs but the river came the [poker card="tc"] and shipped the pot to Chien, as Baron, who started the day sixth in chips, exited in eighth place for $166,631. Five hands later, former Super MILLION$ champion Claas Segebrecht found himself on the short stack and looking for help. After Erik Seidel opened from UTG+1 to 500,000 with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"], it folded to Segebrecht in the big blind with [poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"] and he moved all-in. Seidel made the quick call and the flop came [poker card="ts"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3c"] keeping Seidel’s pocket kings in great shape to hold. The [poker card="kd"] effectively ended the hand improving Seidel to a set and leaving Segebrecht drawing dead to the [poker card="9h"] river. It was a small river needle for Segebrecht who collected $214,557 for his seventh-place finish. Thirty minutes later, the blinds had climbed to 175,000/350,000 (45,000 ante) when Norway’s Joachim Haraldstad put in a raise to 1.575 million with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="8h"], leaving himself with three big blinds behind. By this time, Fransicso Benitez had amassed a healthy chip lead over the field and moved all-in from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"]. Both the blinds released their hands and Haraldstad committed the rest of his stack. The flop came [poker card="qs"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3d"], keeping kickers in play. The turn was the [poker card="qc"], bringing some additional chop outs for Haraldstad. But the river came the [poker card="4c"], awarding the pot to Benitez and sending Haraldstad out in sixth place for a $276,268 payday. Moments later, Chien moved all-in for nearly 3.9 million from the cutoff with [poker card="4d"][poker card="4s"] and when it folded to Muehloecker in the big blind with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"] he made the call. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"] flop put Muehloecker in the lead with top pair and left Chien looking for running spades or one of the last two fours in the deck. The turn was the [poker card="5h"] and the river was the [poker card="kh"], ending Chein’s run in fifth place for $355,728. A tense four-handed battle was waged for the better part of thirty minutes as Benitez held the chip lead, Muehloecker was not terribly far behind, and both Seidel and Shyngis Satubayev were within striking distance with around 20 big blinds. With the blinds at 250,000/500,000 (60,000 ante), Benitez put in a raise to 1 million on the button with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and Satubayev shoved all-in for more than 12 million holding [poker card="ts"][poker card="td"]. Seidel folded his [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] and Benitez quickly called putting Satubayev’s tournament life at risk. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"][poker card="7c"], keeping the pocket queens in the lead. The turn fell the [poker card="ks"], reversing Satubayev’s outs from the final two tens to two queens to make a straight. But the river was [poker card="kc"] and the cooler sent Satubayev to the rail in fourth place for $458,043. Benitez held a roughly 2:1 chip lead over both Muehloecker and Seidel when, with the blinds at 300,000/600,000 (75,000 ante), he opened from the button to 1.2 million with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"]. After Seidel folded his small blind, Muehloecker shipped his 26 big blind stack all-in holding [poker card="as"][poker card="th"]. Benitez made the call and Muehloecker saw that he was dominated. The flop came [poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2d"], keeping Benitez ahead. The turn was the [poker card="kh"], and Muehloecker needed a ten to survive. However, the river fell the [poker card="jd"] and Muehloecker bid for a Super MILLION$ title ended in third place for $589,785. Benitez had both the chip lead and momentum when heads-up play against Seidel started. But only a few hands into heads-up play, Seidel found a double when he coolered Benitez holding [poker card="qs"][poker card="qd"] against the [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] of Benitez. After than, Seidel built a chip lead of his own, taking a 2:1 advantage. On the last hand, with the blinds at 350,000/700,000 (85,000 ante) Seidel limped the button holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"] and Benitez put in a raise to 2.8 million with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. Seidel took a few seconds and then shipped all-in and Benitez snap-called creating a monster pot of more than 52 million. The flop came [poker card="jh"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"], giving Seidel heart flush out while keeping Benitez with a small edge. The turn was the [poker card="ad"], but it was the [poker card="3h"] river that helped Seidel come from behind in the hand to win it all. Benitez settled for runner-up and its $759,418 payday for second place, while Erik Seidel claims World Series of Poker bracelet number 9 and the $977,842 first-place prize. WSOP Online Event #11 (Super MILLION$) Final Table Erik Seidel - $977,842 Francisco Benitez - $759,418 Thomas Muehloecker - $589,785 Shyngis Satubayev - $458,043 Chin-wei Chien - $355,728 Joachim Haraldstad - $276,268 Claas Segebrecht - $214,557 Isaac Baron - $166,631 Rui Ferreira - $129,410
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