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  1. Out of the six members of the World Poker Tour's Bay 101 Shooting Star final table, five were part of the PocketFives community. In the end, Taylor taypaur Paur (pictured) came out on top and took home a rock solid $1.2 million. Paur came into the final table with the second largest stack and sent Ravee Mathi, the only person who wasn't a member of PocketFives, home in sixth place. On a board of J-6-5-6-5, Mathi shoved all-in and Paur called with 8-5 for the win. Mathi showed A-8 in the hand and earned $168,000. Thirteen hands later, Faraz The-ToiletJaka was all-in with 4-4 and up against Jacob bazemanBazeley's pocket tens. Neither player improved and Jaka busted out of his fourth WPT final table in fifth place for $216,000. Paur then sent Sorel Imper1um Mizzi home after coming out on top in a race with pocket fives against A-J. Paur was ahead the entire way and hit a five on the river to boot, sending Mizzi home in fourth place for $310,000. On the 171st hand of final table play, Bazeley pushed all-in with K-7 of clubs, but Paur was once again the executioner, this time with A-10 of spades. Paur flopped one ace and rivered another to make a boat and send Bazeley away, $461,000 richer for his wear. It was Bazeley's second career WPT final table. Paur had a 2:1 lead over Isaac mr. menlo Baron entering heads-up play and it took all of nine hands to determine a winner. Baron shoved on the river of a 9-7-2-3-5 board with A-9, but Paur snap-called with 10-9 of hearts for a flush. Bay 101 marked Paur's first WPT final table. Here's how the group cashed out: 1: Taylor Paur - $1,214,200 2: Isaac Baron - $704,200 3: Jake Bazeley - $461,470 4: Sorel Mizzi - $310,060 5: Faraz Jaka - $216,320 6: Ravee Mathi - $168,260 Paur won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2013 in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event. Online, he has won two FTOPS events, the PokerStarsSuper Tuesday and Sunday 500, and the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl and $1K Monday, just to name a few. Congrats to him on his first WPT title! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  2. A week ago, Faraz The-ToiletJaka (pictured), a longtime member of the PocketFives community, won the PokerStars Super Tuesday and bagged $101,000. He is up to $3.7 million in online tournaments PocketFives tracks and has been part of our site since 2006. It was the American's third largest online poker score to date and his largest since a SCOOP $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Cubed jersey run for $173,000 three years ago. He told the PokerStars Blog that his grinding station was seemingly less than ideal, as that night, Jaka was "grinding on the kitchen table of the Shared Airbnb unit I was in. My roommates asked me how I was doing at around midnight when the tournament was just a couple hours in. I told them it was too early to tell and that if I'm awake when they woke up to go to work/sightseeing, then I was doing good." He continued with the post-sunrise portion of the story: "At about 8:00am, one of them popped out and I was heads-up playing for $101k. One of my random roommates who's a software developer for Amazon stood behind me brushing his teeth getting ready to go to work. He was amazed trying to catch as much of the action as he could." Jaka held the chip lead when the nine-handed Super Tuesday final table began and was a slight favorite entering heads-up play against Granter7777. Thirty-seventh ranked Nick fu_15Maimone (pictured) and 1,264th ranked jace968also made the final table, while longtime PocketFiver Johan busto_soon Van Til was the final table bubble boy. On the final hand, Granter7777 was all-in with aces on a board of 9-K-8-7 and behind Jaka's 8-7. The river was a red ten and Jaka won the Super Tuesday for $101,000. He Tweeted shortly thereafter, "Case closed, suitcase filled w/ clothes #NoChop #FinishedHim. Now 2 figure out how to shut off n sleep. 8am in Berlin." Here's how the final table cashed out: 1. Faraz The-Toilet Jaka (Poland) - $101,080 2. Granter7777 (United Kingdom) - $74,480 3. jace968 (Canada) - $54,530 4. Joel "Odonkor1" Nordkvist (Sweden) - $41,496 5. 12dürma89 (Austria) - $29,260 6. Nick fu_15 Maimone (Honduras) - $22,610 7. Johannes "Greenstone25" Korsar (Sweden) - $17,290 8. pete_tuga (United Kingdom) - $11,970 9. almapenada10 (Brazil) - $8,831 Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. [caption width="640"] San Francisco Rush manager Faraz Jaka knows the Global Poker League will be a winner. (Danny Maxwell photo)[/caption] The inaugural season of the Global Poker League is underway. Twelve teams make up the league, and sitting in fifth place after the first two weeks of action in the Americas Conference is the San Francisco Rush, captained by none other than Faraz 'The-Toilet' Jaka. From writing city guides to a week-long stay at a no-talk retreat, Jaka has done it all. Now, he's part of history, joining the likes of Chris Moneymaker, Liv Boeree, and Max Pescatori as managers of GPL teams as the league navigates its first season. "Managing the San Francisco Rush takes time on top of remaining competitive in the poker world, so I'm trying to keep it at just that for now," Jaka said. "I've always said hi to [GPL founder Alex Dreyfus] in the halls of the WSOP while he was at his GPI desk. Over little chats here and there, I got to know more about what he was doing as an entrepreneur and he got to know about some of the things I was doing outside of poker." Dreyfus thought Jaka would make a good fit to help lead the first GPL season, which is now entering its third week and concludes in November in London. "It's an opportunity to be on the forefront of something that could revolutionize the game of poker," Jaka said. "I feel like it's all of our jobs, if you desire to do so, to help promote the league if you truly care about growing this industry. It's important for our industry leaders, both from the player and business sides, to involve themselves and help in whatever ways they can. Even if you aren't super well known, simply sharing what's going on in the GPL with your friends, family, and social media will make a difference. If the GPL wins, we all win." Jaka passed $4 million in career online tournament winnings on April 12. In the live arena, he hit $5 million in career winnings late last year, 15% of which came after a third place finish in the PCA Main Event in 2012. Despite being overly successful at the tables, it's his work away from the felts that has allowed him to grow professionally. "I like taking on roles where I get to pursue new things," the San Francisco Rush manager said. "Having to manage players and seeing the ins and outs of a business run by such a savvy entrepreneur like Alex Dreyfus is an opportunity for me to experience something new. The experience you get from taking on different tasks will be beneficial in your future." One of the "new" things Jaka recently took part in was the first ever GPL draft, which was held in Los Angeles in February. When the draft was over and the final pick was in, Jaka's team consisted of Phil Galfond, Tony Gregg, Kitty Kuo, Anton Wigg, and Jonathan Jaffe. "I wanted a team that was both talented and marketable," Jaka said of his draft strategy. "It was also very important that I had a team that would have good chemistry with each other. I didn't want to draft anyone who might be difficult to work with. Our team is full of players who are all very positive and are very happy to be working with each other." "The GPL is in Season 1 and there are a lot of unknowns, changes, and mistakes that will happen. Having overbearing personalities who aren't flexible or open-minded and forgiving could be detrimental to the success and chemistry. I wanted people who would be personable and represent the San Francisco Rush well," said Jaka. "I was discussing draft strategy with my wild card, Jonathan Jaffe, and I think he said it perfectly: 'Let's not draft anyone who isn't capable of having a conversation with their opponent while the turn card is being flipped over.'" Despite the fact that team poker initiatives have existed before, and largely been duds, the GPL appears revolutionary, drawing its inspiration from the eSports market. "It seems insane to me that the customers in the poker industry are becoming younger and younger and yet there aren't people working in the businesses who understand optimal ways to communicate with Generation Y," Jaka said. "That's an area where I think Alex Dreyfus really excels," he continued. "I've had some limited experience in the startup world and, more importantly, I'm surrounded by a lot of friends who are in the forefront of the Silicon Valley tech startup scene. Working with Alex, I can tell he knows what he's doing. He thinks and operates just like the guys and girls I know who are running some of the most cutting-edge technology companies and startups in Silicon Valley. I think this industry has lacked innovation for some time and it's about time we start to see it." Aside from being part of the GPL, Jaka continues to play online poker. Although he doesn't put in nearly the volume he used to due to his other obligations and his busy live schedule, he still remains an elite and notable player. "I'm happy I can still be part of the online poker scene even though I'm playing on the live felt the majority of the time," Jaka said. "The poker industry wouldn't be what it is without the online community and being able to play online poker, so I'm happy that I'm still able to be part of it and continue to have success." Jaka has logged three six-figure scores online, including a massive $417,000 haul for final tabling the WCOOP Main Event in 2014. Over his career, he has taken down the Super Tuesday (while grinding in a shared Airbnb), Sunday 500, $1K Monday, Sunday Second Chance, and a SCOOP title, just to name a few. As such, he knows about the importance of the online poker world and tries to preach it to others. "Online communities are what offer the spread of information and transparency," Jaka said. "Our generation knows it's absolutely necessary and going to make the world a better place because of the power of spreading information and the ability for people to connect and share their experiences. Once you understand online communities, you know how to filter information, you know who the reputable people are, and you know how to differentiate reliable information from information that is false and biased." "Online poker also gives easier access to more people to play," Jaka said. "It makes the game of poker more popular and, at the end of the day, will bring more people into the live realm as well, whether it's the GPL, tournament circuits, or cash games at casinos."
  4. [caption width="640"] Vladimir Shchemelev added a second bracelet to his collection on Sunday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Sunday was a relatively busy day at the 2017 World Series of Poker, but only one bracelet was awarded and that came from an event that was supposed to have finished on Saturday. The $10,000 Triple Draw Deuce to Seven event played down to a final table and some of the best No Limit players in the world made their into the $5,000 Six Max event. Gaurav Raina Works Overtime to Win $2,500 No Limit Hold’em [caption width="640"] Guarav Raina won his first WSOP bracelet on Sunday after having to play an unscheduled fourth day (WSOP photo)[/caption] It took an extra day for Guarav Raina and James Calvo to decide the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event, but just two hours of play on Sunday, Raina eliminated Calvo and found himself $456,822 richer. Normally a cash game grinder, Raina recently made the decision to give tournaments in try, partially due to the opportunity for a big score. "I've always been a cash player and I've done well at that," said Raina. "I was never really into tournaments and the more I saw my friends succeed at it and the more I talked strategy and what not to try and learn more myself, the more I realized that there is so much more potential to win like silly amounts of money in just a few days of playing." "I decided I would try and do everything that I could, while kind of taking a break from cash," he said. "Kind of just relaxing and studying tournament poker until coming here for the WSOP events. Hopefully, it's going to continue to pay off." Calvo ended up with $282,276 for his runner-up result. The extra day was needed after Raina and Calvo were unable to finish each other off, despite having played 70 hands of heads-up play. When the pair returned on Sunday afternoon, Calvo had a slightly better-than 2-1 lead over Raina. After almost exactly two hours though, Raina flipped the script and eventually began pressuring Calvo. "I was very fortunate to get all the hands and win all the flips," said Raina. "To make it heads-up when I was severely chip disadvantaged almost the whole final table, when the bracelet plopped in between us, I was like 'Oh man. I can't even look at this thing. If I look at it, the worse it's going to be for me when I don't get it.' So, I just decided to just not even give it any attention at all and just play the game as best I can." Final Table Payouts Gaurav Raina - $456,822 James Calvo - $282,276 Asi Moshe - $199,718 Eddy Sabat - $143,148 Eric Cloutier - $103,957 Griffin Abel - $76,506 Henric Stenholm - $57,068 Giuseppe Pantaleo - $43,154 Scott Margereson - $33,087 Dan Heimiller Looking for Second Seniors Championship Title Three years ago Dan Heimiller topped a 4,425-player field to win the Seniors Championship event and the second WSOP bracelet of his career. On Sunday night he took strides towards doing that for a second time. Heimiller is in the middle of the pack as the Seniors Championship heads toward Monday’s final table. He bagged up 2,970,000 to finish with the fourth biggest stack. The overnight chipleader is Mark Lilge, who finished with 5,300,000. Frank Maggio is right behind him with 4,910,000 and William Murray rounds out the top three with 4,000,000. Action resumes at Noon PT and will be streamed live on PokerGO. Final Table Chip Counts Mark Lillge - 5,300,000 Frank Maggio - 4,910,000 William Murray - 4,000,000 Dan Heimiller - 2,970,000 Anthony Licastro - 2,800,000 Lewis LeClair - 2,530,000 Dieter Dechant - 2,375,000 Paul Spitzberg - 1,320,000 Gina Bacon - 960,000 Vladimir Shchemelev wins $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix Another day passes at the WSOP with yet another previous bracelet winner adding to their career totals. Russia’s Vladimir Shchemelev beat out Howard Smith to win the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix for $193,484. Smith had to settle for $119,524. The tournament saw players playing a mix of three different games: Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better and Big O). A total of 688 players entered the event, pushing the total prizepool to $928,800. Three of the top finishers were from Russia. Shchemelev was joined by Nikolai Yakovenko and Igor Sharaskin at the final table. Shchemelev’s first bracelet came in a $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event in 2013. Final Table Payouts Vladimir Shchemelev - $193,484 Howard Smith - $119,524 Nikolai Yakovenko - $81,232 Igor Sharaskin - $56,187 Usman Siddique - $39,565 Yueqi Zhu - $28,375 Erle Mankin - $20,730 Jesse Simonelli $15,435 Ryan Leng Leads Final 22 in $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Just 22 of the 274 players that started Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em advanced a third, and potentially final, day of play. Leading the way is Ryan Leng with 1,370,000. Leng is one of just three players with seven-figure stacks. Ron Rosenberg finished with 1,162,000 while Christopher Frank ended the day with 1,103,000. Valetin Vornicu, who began the day as chip leader, was unable to advance to Day 3 and busted in 88th place for $3,734. Other notables to cash include Niall Farrell (224th - $2,320), Garret Greer (210th - $2,320), David Pham (178th - $2,572), Jared Hamby (169th - $2,572) and Griffin Benger (162nd - $2,572). Action resumes at Noon PT on Monday. Top 10 Chip Counts Ryan Leng - 1,370,000 Ron Rosenberg - 1,162,000 Christopher Frank - 1,103,000 Michael Gagliano - 820,000 Georgios Sotiropoulos - 802,000 Pratyush Buddiga - 757,000 Ronald Massetti - 755,000 Tom Hall - 658,000 Arkadiy Tsinis - 619,000 Noah Vaillancourt - 568,000 Shaun Deeb Leads $10,000 Triple Draw Championship Final Table Shaun Deeb has had more 2017 WSOP cashes (4) than any other former #1-ranked player so far and on Sunday he added another one to his total by making into the money and onto the final table of the $10,000 Triple Draw Deuce Championship. Deeb ended Day 2 with 1,125,000 but if he wants to add another bracelet to his collection, he’s going to need to make his way through a talented group of players at the final table. Nick Schulman put the second biggest stack into the bag but there’s also Mike Watson, Ben Yu, Shawn Buchanan and Mike Matusow all standing in Deebs way. Adam Owen started the day as chip leader but was unable to survive the day, finishing 12th for $15,584. The final six players are back in action at 2 pm PT on Monday to chase down not only the bracelet but $232,738 first place prize money. Final Table Chip Counts Shaun Deeb - 1,125,000 Nick Schulman - 865,000 Mike Watson - 750,000 Ben Yu - 566,000 Shawn Buchanan - 437,000 Mike Matusow - 363,000 $1,000 Super Seniors Draws Record Crowd While the Seniors Event, where players need to be 50 or older, was playing down to a final table on Sunday, the Super Seniors event broke a record for biggest field yet. With players needing to be at least 65 years old to play, the Super Seniors drew 1,720 - almost 250 more than 2016. Through 10 levels of play on Day 1, John Landreth has built up a monster lead on the rest of the 258 survivors. Landreth finished with 262,800 while no other player has more than144,900. Action resumes at Noon on Monday. Top 10 Chip Counts Johnny Landreth - 262,800 Earl Hirakawa - 144,900 Alan Wheeler - 144,200 Jean-Luc Adam - 135,100 Paul Foster - 117,400 Clayton Taul - 116,300 Joann Hall - 116,000 Steve Hohn - 115,200 Josef Monro - 98,500 Khin Maung - 97,300 Faraz Jaka on top of $5,000 Six Max No Limit After Day 1 As a lead up to the $10,000 Six Max Championship later this week, the $5,000 version of the event kicked off Sunday with 574 players. Through 10 levels of play, Faraz Jaka is on top with 255,400 heading into Day 2. The only other player to bag up more than 200,000 was Kitty Kuo with 202,000. Just 191 players were able to advance to Day 2 including Mike Leah, Michael Mizrachi, Olivier Busquet, John Racener, Antonio Esfandiari, Martin Jacobson, Doug Polk and Nick Petrangelo. Notables who failed to advance include Sorel Mizzi, Chino Rheem, Phil Hellmuth and David Peters. Top 10 Chip Counts Faraz Jaka - 255,400 Kitty Kuo - 202,000 Kyle Bowker - 192,000 Nadar Kakhmazov - 153,000 Anton Astapau - 151,000 Taylor Black - 148,000 Mike Leah - 148,000 Dietrich Fast - 141,000 Michael Mizrachi - 139,000 Sam Grafton - 135,000
  5. Scott 'Aggro Santos' Margereson has two World Championship of Online Poker titles and won the PokerStars Sunday Million in 2015. On Wednesday night he added World Poker Tour champion to his resume. The final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown featured a couple of high profile players, including a former WPT Player of the Year, but Margereson outlasted all of them to win $696,740, including a seat in the upcoming WPT Tournament of Champions. When the final table began, Jeff Fielder was sitting fourth in chips but over the first 45 hands of play, the two-time WPTDeepStacks champion saw his stack dwindle before a four-way pot ended his night. Faraz Jaka raised to 210,000 from UTG, Scott Margereson called from the cutoff, Fielder called from the button, and Brian Hastings defended the big blind. After Hastings checked the [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"][poker card="4s"] flop, Jaka bet 325,000 and Margereson and Fielder called while Hastings folded. The [poker card="7c"] turn got Jaka to check before Margereson bet 1,350,000. Fielder called and Jaka folded. The [poker card="6c"] got Margereson to move all in and Fielder called. Fielder tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] for a rivered flush, but Margereson showed [poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"] for a flopped full house and Fielder was eliminated in sixth. Three hands later, Matt Stout tangled with Jaka, the Season VIII WPT POY, in what was ultimately his final hand of the tournament. From UTG Stout raised to 225,000 before Jaka raised to 675,000 from the button. Stout came over the top, moving all in for 2,925,000 and Jaka called. Stout showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] but got bad news when Jaka showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5s"] flop was a brutal one for Stout and as the dealer placed the [poker card="qh"] on the turn, Stout was out in fifth place. The meaningless river was the [poker card="3h"]. Four-handed play last 66 hands before Jaka found himself on the good end of another cooler. Joey Couden raised to 475,000 from UTG and Jaka made it 1,500,000 to go from the big blind. Couden responded by moving all in for 9,600,000 and Jaka called, tabling [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"] in the process. Couden tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] and then stood to watch the board run out [poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ah"][poker card="3d"] to end his tournament with a fourth-place finish. Brian Hastings started the day with almost 33% of the chips in play but he was unable to turn that into his first WPT title. After 36 hands of three-handed play, Margereson button-raised to 500,000 and Hastings raised to 1,800,000 from the small blind. Jaka folded his big blind and Margereson called. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"] flop saw Hastings check-raise Margereson's 1,200,000 bet to 3,800,000. Margereson clicked back, moving all in and Hastings called all in for 9,825,000. Margereson showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"] for a flush draw and an overcard to Hastings' [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="3d"] turn changed nothing but the [poker card="7c"] river filled Margereson's flush and ended Hastings' run in third place. Heads-up play began with Margereson holding a nearly 3-1 chip lead. Jaka eventually evened out the stacks, but after 2.5 hours and 81 hands, Margereson was too much for Jaka to overcome. On the final hand of the night Margereson open-shoved and Jaka called all in for 12,375,000, tabling [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"]. Margereson showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="js"] and then watched the dealer fan out the [poker card="qd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"] flop to give him two pair. Neither the [poker card="7h"] turn or [poker card="ah"] river were enough to save Jaka, giving Margereson his first major title and almost $700,000. Final Table Payouts Scott Margereson - $696,740 (incl. $15,000 WPT TOC entry) Faraz Jaka - $454,496 Brian Hastings - $336,466 Joey Couden - $251,523 Matt Stout - $189,880 Jeff Fielder - $144,775

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