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  1. On the first weekend of April, Fedor Holz (pictured), who is known on PocketFives as CrownUpGuy, took down the PokerStars Sunday 500 for an even $75,000 after a heads-up chop. The tournament paid out nearly a half-million dollars and Holz, who calls Austria home, continued a tradition of an early morning breakfast after big poker wins. Let's check out what he had to say. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "It felt great," Holz said of his win in the weekly $530 poker tournament on the largest site in the world. "I was playing really focused the whole time andI think it's my first big win where I am really proud of the way I played." There were 990 entrants and Holz recorded his second largest tracked score to date, trailing only a $142,000 haul for winning an FTOPS event last year. Holz entered the final table as the chip leader and "played really aggressively because no one played back." He added, "Four-handed and five-handed, they had big ICM issues, so I played even more aggressively. I lost the lead three-handed where I folded against a tighter regular. I ended up heads-up against him, felt I played my A-game, and finally took it down." Following his win, he continued a breakfast tradition. He relayed, "I went to have breakfast with my roommates. It's kind of a tradition for us. We've had a couple of really good Sundays in the last few months and every time afterwards, we went to a little cafe here in Vienna and had breakfast on the Monday morning after the nice scores. I have a stable too, so if a stakee won something big, that counted too." He has $622,000 in tracked scores in his profile, a number we'd expect to blossom in the near future, and started playing small-stakes cash games and tournaments three years ago. He transitioned into Stud, where he said he was quite successful, before going back to tournaments after Black Friday. On his overall philosophy in life and poker, Holz posted in a blog on Two Plus Two, "You never know what's best for you and you never will, but you have to change your life if you don't feel right. Never let yourself down and give yourself a shot to reach things you would never have dreamed of." Among his projects at the time was donating five-figures to charity, matching donations from fellow players. Nowadays, Holz has built up a stable of players and told PocketFives, "I still have a big passion for the game, so I try to play as much as possible. I can't play in Las Vegas yet, but I am going to stay at a nice house in Canada for the next six weeks with 10 other high-stakes players. While there, I plan to improve my Mixed Game skills in order to win a SCOOP bracelet somehow. Later this year, I will spend two months in South America for the World Cup. I'll also travel around and will be back home for the next EPT season." He wanted to send shout outs to Team GatsbyKempinho and his stable: "These guys are the reason why I am still chasing my dream the way I am. I have big plans for the future and hope we can share even more great experiences. Special thanks to Rainerfor being so supportive." The Sunday 500 runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives' link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives' PokerStars link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. We haven't seen a run like Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz's (pictured) in some time. He hit it big last month in the WCOOP Main Event, winning it after a six-way chop for a staggering $1.3 million, one of the highest payouts ever logged by a PocketFiver. Last weekend, he took down the Full TiltSunday Major for another $38,000. On the same day he won the WCOOP Main Event, he finished third in the PokerStars Bigger $109 for $34,000. Other than that, Holz hasn't done much on the felts recently. "It's a very good feeling," Holz told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "I have worked hard away from the tables, especially on my mindset, and am constantly talking with other players." As far as his approach goes, Holz said one of the keys to success is "not tilting in sessions." He added, "Preparing well is key. You have to be focused all the way and always try to play your best game. I think I improved those aspects a lot recently." Holz has rocketed all the way to #4 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings and has $2.6 million in tracked online tournament scores to his name. He is the top-ranked player in Austria and said he'd like to allocate a portion of his newfound winnings toward buying property. However, he also wants to attend EPT London, so the real estate plan may get tossed out the window for the time being. If he ends up buying property, it'll likely be in Germany. Holz said, "My family lives there and I could increase their quality of life a lot and take some of the weight off their shoulders." Speaking of the live scene, we'd expect Holz to turn in some sort of breakthrough performance soon. He is #132 on the all-time money list for Germany, according to the Hendon Mob, and has $306,000 in live scores. His largest live cash was $58,000, which came by virtue of a win in an EPT Barcelona Eight-Max event in August. So what advice does a WCOOP Main Event champion have for the rest of us? What can we learn from Holz's recent run? He advised, "As long as you love what you are doing, keep doing it. Give it all you have and you'll get there at some point. Always work on the weakest parts of your game and be open-minded. Try to get as much input from others as possible and always question yourself in a healthy way." Congrats to Holz on his recent success. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your door. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. The end of 2014 has been mighty kind to Austria's Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (pictured). On the last weekend of September, he took down the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event for $1.3 millionfollowing a six-way deal. The following Sunday, he was back at it, winning the Full Tilt Sunday Majorfor another $38,000. And, in case you were caught up in the WSOP November Nine hoopla, you might have missed Holz winning the PokerStars Sunday 500 outright over the weekend for $65,000 and a hat trick. It was the second time Holz has won the Sunday 500 this year. "It feels good," Holz told PocketFives on Thursday. "It's not surreal at all." He attributes his recent hot streak to exploiting the tendencies of his opponents, a proper mindset, working on his game away from the tables, and, as he put it, "a lot of luck." Holz told PocketFives that he uses a Heads-Up Display, or HUD, and said, "I also value game flow and my intuition a lot." In terms of his studies away from the tables, Holz commented, "I work with CREV and HRC and talk a lot with other high-stakes-players about their way of thinking. We go through hand histories and talk about possible improvements. In addition to that, I coach, so there I have to explain my thought process as well, which helps. That's at least one-third of the time I invest in poker." It's hard to believe that we're already near the end of 2014 and, as such, it's time to start looking ahead to 2015. "I want to establish myself in the highest buy-in tournaments," Holz said of his goals for next year, "so I will play a lot of Super High Rollers. I really want to win a big live major." Speaking of his live game, Holz turned in five in the money finishes during EPT Barcelona in August and has $306,000 in career live tournament scores, according to the Hendon Mob. "I have played a lot of live poker in the last 12 months," Holz admitted, "but things didn't go my way in the big tournaments. I'm still confident, though, and enjoy playing live a lot more. I will definitely be at the PCA and Aussie Millions." Finally, the poker community has had a considerable amount of praise for Holz's accomplishments. After all, it's not very often that you see someone win three major tournaments in a span of seven weeks. Holz told us, "It's pure variance. I'm happier that I've consistently been doing well on the highest stakes against the toughest opponents and that I feel comfortable playing those stakes. The wins were awesome and I'm really happy about the way it worked out, but my game didn't change much in that time span." Congrats to Holz on his recent run. The Sunday 500 runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and a free PocketFives t-shirt. Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. PocketFiver CrownUpGuy(pictured), whose real name is Fedor Holz, won the 2014 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event early Tuesday morning for $1.3 million. The 21-year-old outlasted a field of 2,142 entrants in the $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournament. A six-way chop ended matters and, according to PokerStars, the names of each finisher, along with their hometown and the amount they cashed for, were as follows: 1. Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (Vienna, Austria) - $1,300,000 2. Yuri theNERDguy Martins (Curitiba, Brazil) - $708,251.21 3. Claas neckbr4ke Stoob (Potsdam, Germany) - $651,430.61 4. Elior Crazy Elior Sion (London, England) - $780,227.66 5. Faraz The-Toilet Jaka (Gdansk, Poland) - $945,000 6. Daniel 19Dan86 Rudd (London, England) - $769,813.52 7. Dylan Pokerl)eviL Hortin (Vancouver, Canada) - $214,200 8. Todd MaltLiquor40 Sisley (Toronto, Canada) - $160,650 9. Viktor Isildur1Blom (London, England) - $107,100 As you can see, there was a considerable amount of firepower at the final table, including high-stakes cash game guru Viktor Blom as well as Dylan Hortin, who incredibly also finished seventh in last year's WCOOP Main Event for $213,000. Faraz Jaka, who has been a member of PocketFives since 2006, has over $7 million live and online cashes to his name, according to PocketFives and the Hendon Mob. It was definitely not a walk in the park for Holz. The WCOOP Main Event deal left $200,000 to play for. In the final hand, Holz bested a full house with quads to rake in $1.3 million, the only player in the tournament to walk away with seven-figures. Holz told PokerStars after the WCOOP Main Event had ended, "I always wanted to run deep in such a tournament and it feels amazing to win the biggest tournament of the year. It's my biggest achievement so far and I can't put in words how happy I am." He won an FTOPS jersey a year ago. The $10.7 million prize pool of the WCOOP Main Event was the largest for the tournament since Black Friday and, according to PokerStars, "the 66-event Championship's total of $61,934,886 in prizes makes it the third richest WCOOP, a little over $1 million less than the 2010 World Championship, which still holds the record." The 2014 WCOOP Player of the Year was PocketFiver Alan ajgold23 Gold from the UK, who had a rousing 17 WCOOP cashes this year and two final tables. For being bestowed the title of WCOOP Player of the Year, Gold gets a Champions Trophy, a 2015 PCA package, a 2015 EPT Grand Final package, and a 2015 TCOOP Main Event ticket. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and a free PocketFives t-shirt delivered to your doorstep. Get started here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. The survivors of Days 1A and 1B of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event took to the Rio on Wednesday for Day 2AB. The players from Day 1A made their way to the Amazon Room, while the players from Day 1B were seated in the Brasilia and Pavilion rooms inside the cavernous convention center. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- As coverage on WSOP.com explained, there was a runaway leader after Day 2AB: "Amar Anand seized control of Day 2 almost immediately after the dinner break. Anand edged his way into the chip lead by winning a flip with ace-queen, then extended his advantage with an aggressive final two levels. He was the first player to cross the 500,000-chip mark and he's still the only player to crest 600,000. Anand finished the day with 603,500 chips, the biggest stack in the room." Fedor CrownUpGuy Holz made the most of the final level of play, doubling up after shoving on a board of J-6-5-5-8. He received a taker who had K-K and rolled over A-A for the win. Holz ended the day in 18th place with a stack of 303,900. Also still alive is Chris moorman1Moorman (pictured), the most successful PocketFiver ever. Moorman's stack shot up to 145,000 after winning a pot with 6-6 on a board of 8-5-2-8-2. The Brit ended the day just inside the top 100 at #99 with 190,700. Moorman has a record 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns, seven more than the next closest person. Then there was Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured at top). Despite being enveloped in a multi-accounting scandal, Hastings successfully navigated through the second day of the Main Event, winning a sizable pot with K-8 on a board of 2-K-7-5-9 to nearly pass 340,000. He finished strong, ending Day 2AB with a top 10 stack of 367,300. There were numerous high-profile eliminations on Day 2AB. As coverage on WSOP.com explained, "Chris Moneymaker took an early exit when he lost a flip with ace-king against Daniel Colman's pocket queens. Jorryt van Hoofand his king-queen couldn't beat Talal Shakerchi's ace-jack during his final hand… Amit amak316Makhija got his money in even better than those two, holding pocket queens against Vivek Psyduck Rajkumar's ace-ten. Two more aces flopped, though, and Makhija joined the list of eliminations." Former November Niner Jason PBJaxx Senti was among those who made it through to Day 3 on Friday, Tweeting, "Day 2 started with a bang & ended with a whimper. Got up to as much as 150k pretty quickly, but ended up bagging 78k. Very happy with my play." Former champion Jonathan Duhamel added, "Day 2 of @WSOP Main Event is over, 177,400 in the bag, again up and down at the end, but good day overall! Back for Day 3 on Friday!" Jordan Jymaster0011Young (pictured) escaped Day 2AB, telling his followers, "Made one bad read that cost me 50k and lost a few others to end the night with 84,100. Coming back Friday to 800/1,600/200." Ryan ryanghall Hall reported, "Bagged 55,500 to end the day and I'll take it! Day 3 Friday at 800/1,600!" On Thursday, the survivors from Day 1C will migrate to the Rio for Day 2C. They'll play the same five levels that the Day 2AB players did. Then, the field will merge for Day 3 on Friday. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  6. It's that time of the week again. The PocketFives Online Poker Rankingshave been updated and Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (pictured) has reclaimed the #1 spot in the world after a seven-day hiatus. Helping push him over the top were a fifth place finish in the Sunday Supersonic for $15,000 on March 8, a second place finish in the PokerStars $109 Cubed for $7,200 on March 5, and a win the same day in the PokerStars.fr Night on Stars for almost $7,000. Holz' rap sheet is pretty amazing. In the last 12 months, he has won the WCOOP Main Event, an FTOPS event, the Sunday 500 twice, the Sunday $109 Rebuy, the Bigger $162, and the Full Tilt Sunday Major. He also final tabled the Super Tuesday, the Sunday Supersonic, and a SCOOP $1,050 Rebuy during that time period. We think we'll be seeing plenty more of him down the road. Last week's #1, Nicolas PokerKaiserFierro, dropped one spot to #2. He won the 888Mega Deep over the weekend for $32,000 and continues to excel in the industry's biggest tournaments. It was his largest score ever on 888, where he plays as PKaiser. Mexico's norfair18 (pictured) moved up four spots worldwide to settle at #3, his highest ranking ever. He took second in the Super Tuesday last week for $76,000 and has three tracked online MTT wins this month. He has been a member of PocketFives since 2006 and has lifetime winnings of almost $1.5 million. Finally this week, we wanted to feature Canada's OU_dlanger610, who moved up 19 spots to #15, his highest position ever. He finished second in an FTOPS event over the weekend for $36,000 and won the PokerStars $55 Rebuy on Tuesday night. He's the fourth-ranked player in Canada and #3 in Ontario. Here are the top 10 players worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. CrownUpGuy- 7,380 points 2. PokerKaiser- 7,236 points 3. norfair18- 7,146 points 4. Big Huni - 7,130 points 5. joaomathias - 6,967 points 6. p0cket00 - 6,932 points 7. MendaLerenda - 6,690 points 8. Yuri Martins - 6,671 points 9. pleno1 - 6,538 points 10. Davidp18 - 6,495 points Congrats to all of our ranked players! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  7. Wow. If you're looking for a World Series of Poker tournament packed with talent, check out the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max event, which is down to its final two tables. Nosebleed-stakes cash game player Doug WCGRiderPolk is atop the field with a stack of 1.4 million, one of two players who bagged seven-figures. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- There are several brand name PocketFivers left. In fact, two former #1 playerscan be found in third and fourth: Paul paulgees81Volpe (pictured) and Fedor CrownUpGuy Holz, who have 896,000 and 841,000, respectively. Volpe has $5.1 million in career online tournament winnings and was last ranked #1 on PocketFives in 2011. Volpe won a bracelet last yearin a $10,000 NL 2-7 Draw Lowball event and was the runner-up to Shaun Deebin a $10K PLHE event this year. Holz, who has deactivated his PocketFives profile, was ranked #1 on PocketFives in March. Sam Pudge714Greenwood, who won a braceletlast week in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, is in seventh place with 455,000. Greenwood has had success in daily fantasy sports as well, winning $100,000in a tournament on the daily fantasy sports site DraftKings. Chris SLOPPYKLOD Klodnicki (pictured) is in eighth. He has cashed for $2.5 million in online MTTs and will record his first in the money finish of the 2015 WSOP. Two behind Klodnicki on the leaderboard is Olivier livb112Busquet, who made waves over the weekend after calling out Phil Hellmuth for thanking his sponsorsduring his bracelet acceptance speech. Then, an image of a smiling Busquet rocking Full Tilt gear surfaced, which put an end to much of the debate. Finally, Mark AceSpadesRadoja is the short stack with 143,000 in chips. He's a two-time bracelet winner with heads-upand shootout titles. Here's how the leaderboard looks with 12 remaining. When play stopped, the price of poker was 5,000-10,000-1,000: 1. Doug Polk - 1,443,000 2. Kenneth Fishman - 1,200,000 3. Paul paulgees81Volpe - 896,000 4. Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz - 841,000 5. Kevin Song - 661,000 6. Byron Kaverman - 580,000 7. Sam Pudge714Greenwood - 455,000 8. Chris SLOPPYKLODKlodnicki - 434,000 9. Fernando Brito - 419,000 10. Olivier livb112Busquet - 403,000 11. Thomas Muehloecker - 254,000 12. Mark AceSpadesRadoja - 143,000 The tournament restarts at 2:00pm PT on Friday. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. Over the weekend, Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz (pictured) won the Full Tilt Sunday Major for $41,000. The feat itself is impressive, as Holz defeated a field of 664 entrants and a top ten that featured four members of the PocketFives community. What's more impressive is the fact that Sunday marked the second time Holz had won the tournament in the last six months. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The last year has been rather remarkable for the Austrian. Here's what he has managed to accomplish since April 2014: Won the WCOOP Main Event in September for $1.3 million Won the PokerStars Sunday 500 twice for $152,000 total Won the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy for $54,000 Won the Full Tilt Sunday Major twice for $80,000 total Final tabled a SCOOP Big Antes event for $47,000 As a reminder, all of the above occurred in the last 12 months. In tournaments tracked by PocketFives, Holz has pulled in $2.8 million and is currently #9 worldwide in the PocketFives Online Poker Rankings. However, with the weekend's win in the Sunday Major, we'd expect him to climb even higher towards #1. He has already been the top dog on our site three times, the last coming earlier this month. What's also remarkable is the fact that Holz has just 19 tracked online MTT wins and 39 top-three finishes total. He is averaging almost $5,000 per in the money finish. Holz found time last month to final table the EPT Malta Main Event for $63,000 and is up to almost a half-million dollars in live tournament cashes, according to the Hendon Mob. He is #306 on the 2015 money list. Congrats to Holz on his recent success! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. Germany's Fedor Holz went into Day 7 of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event in 19th place with 4.645 million chips. If he had won the whole thing, he wouldn't be the youngest to ever do so – that honor belongs to Joe Cada, who was a month shy of 22 years old when he took the title in 2009 – but he would be one of the youngest. He ended up in 25th place for $262,000. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Despite his age, Holz has already accumulated nearly $1.5 million on the live tournament circuit. He has never won a major event, but he did win a preliminary tourney at EPT Barcelona in 2014. He has also had a number of six-figure scores, including two in Super High Roller events at the EPT Grand Final in 2015 ($369,152 and $372,208) and a third place finish in the 2015 WSOP $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Championship ($268,463). Holz is also an accomplished online poker player. The highlight of his online tournament career came in September 2014 when he won the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event as CrownUpGuy, beating the likes of Faraz Jaka and Viktor Blom at the final table. One interesting tidbit about Holz is that back in October 2013, he started a charity drive on the Two Plus Two poker forums. He set out to play NL500 Zoom Poker on PokerStars for 20 consecutive days and donate half of his winnings to charity. At the same time, he pledged to match all donations dollar for dollar up to $20,000. In the end, he helped raise $45,834.18 for Casa Esperanza in Chile, "a house for children who have lost their families or grown up in absolute poverty."
  10. Friday evening in Berlin, Jonathan Duhamel put himself into elite territory when he beat David Kitai heads-up to win the €25,600 High Roller event at WSOP Europe to win €554,395 ($609,934 US) and his third WSOP bracelet. With the win Duhamel, who won the WSOP Main Event in 2010, became the first Main Event champion of the November Nine era to win a third bracelet. Duhamel's second bracelet came in July when he won the High Roller for One Drop. “It feels even better than the second one,” Duhamel said. “I felt like this tournament was really tough. It’s one of the toughest I’ve played in my life. To be able to win it, it means everything.” The last WSOP Main Event champion to win more than two bracelets was Chris Ferguson. The six-handed final table, which will be broadcast on ESPN later this year, took just over 6 1/2 hours to complete. When play began Italian poker pro Mustapha Kanit had an overwhelming chip lead but it was Duhamel who made the first move. Just after two hours into the day Duhamel eliminated Fedor Holz in sixth place. Holz, shortstacked for most of the day, raised to 170,000 and Duhamel moved all-in. Holz called and table Ts 9h while Duhamel was ahead with Ad 7s. The flop came Jh 7d 2d adding a gutshot straight draw to Holz's possibilities. The turne was the 7c leaving only the straight draw for Holz. The 5h missed and the young German out in sixth place. Kanit then put his big stack to work. He eliminated the only other German player at the final table, Christoph Vogelsong, in fifth and then Sam Chartier in fourth. With just three players remaining, Kanit had a slight chip lead over Kitai and Duhamel and it all went downhill from there for the Belgian pro. Kanit lost over half of his stack to Kitai on a board showing 9h 7h 3d Qd Jc when he couldn't best Kitai's 9d 8s. And then Duhamel finished the job when he called Kanit's preflop shove. Kanit, with Qh 5s, had live cards against Duhamel's Ac Jd. The flop, turn and river all missed Kanit, leaving Duhamel and Kitai to play heads-up. Duhamel had a slight chip lead over Kitai when heads-up play began and applied pressure throughout the early stages of heads-up play. Down to just over Kitai did double-up at one point but it was nothing more than a momentary blip for Duhamel. On the final hand of the night Kitai moved all-in from the button with Jh 7s and Duhamel called with 7c 7h. The As Ks 2s flop gave Kitai some outs but the 8h turn and 7d river weren't amongst them to give Duhamel the pot, the bracelet and the fourth biggest score of his career. Final Table Payouts Jonathan Duhamel - €554,395 Davidi Kitai - €342,620 Mustapha Kanit - €227,145 Sam Chartier - €160,775 Christoph Vogelsang - €121,020 Fedor Holz - €96,625 Timothy Adams - €81,420
  11. Several big names have thrown their hats into the ring for the Triton SHR Series Cali Cup,a $200,000 buy-in Super High Roller event that begins on January 3 at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, Philippines, which is also hosting the WPT National Philippinesevent at the same time. There are 20 confirmed players for the event including Phil Ivey (pictured), Tom Dwan, Andrew Robl, Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz, Sam Trickett, Andrew Pantling, Vivek Rajkumar, Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, Richard Yong, Paul Phua, and Cali Group CEO Lei Tim Meng. Also participating, according to PokerNews, are Mui Man Bok, Qin "The Chairman" Si Xin, Wang "Shanghai Wong" Qiang, Zhang "Big Head" Xi Hong, Wang Zuo, Stanley Choi, Zhang Shu Nu Aaron, Liang Yu, and Chan Wai Leong. The Triton SHR Series Cali Cup has unlimited re-entries through the end of Level 9 and will crown a champion on January 4. Ivey, Dwan, and the newly announced names are regulars at some of the largest cash games and tournaments, both inside and outside of Asia. As a matter of fact, Ivey's last live tournament cash, according to the Hendon Mob, came in February, a win in an AUD $250,000 (USD $180,000) event during the Aussie Millions for USD $1.7 million. It was his third time winning the tournament in four years. Holz (pictured) is fresh off winning the WPT Alpha8 eventat the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $1.6 million, while Dwan took sixth in the same event at the 2014 Aussie Millions that Ivey won and earned almost a half-million dollars. Cates and Dwan have famously sparred online during the yet-to-be-completed Durrrr Challenge. President and CEO of the Poker King Club Winfred Yu commented in a press release last month, "We at Poker King Club always aim to push the boundaries of poker, which led to us being named the 'Home of the World’s Biggest Game.' That aim is now coming to WPT National Philippines with a Super High Roller and we are happy to add the gravitas of well-known poker players into that mix, such as Aussie Millions champion and businessman Mr. Richard Yong." The Cali Group and Poker King Club are organizing the Super High Roller. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  12. [caption width="540"] Fabian Quoss won the Aussie Millions 0K Challenge[/caption] After a four day break in action, the stacked final table of the 2016 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge final table resumed play on Friday night with Ben 'Ben86' Tollerene leading over Jason Mercier, Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, Fabian Quoss, Connor Drinan and Sam Greenwood. It took just five hours to play down to a winner with Quoss outlasting Tollerene heads-up to win A$1,446,480 ($1,024,000 US). Holz, who won Super High Roller events in December and January, wasn’t able to overcome the short stack he started the day with. On just the sixth hand of the day, action folded to Drinan on the button and he moved all-in with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] before Holz tank-called from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] to keep Drinan in the lead and eliminate Holz in sixth place for A$281,260 for his tenth six-figure score in the last year. Just six hands later Greenwood became Drinan’s second victim of the day. From the cutoff Drinan raised to 40,000 before Greenwood moved all in from the small blind for 235,000. Drinan called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] while Greenwood was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop was safe for Greenwood, as was the [poker card="4d"] turn, but the [poker card="9d"] river gave Drinan a pair of nines and sent Greenwood home in fifth place. Despite adding the stacks of Holz and Greenwood to his own, Drinan’s run was cut short. After dropping pots to Mercier and Quoss to get short, Drinan doubled through Mercier before finding himself in a tough spot. Action folded to Quoss on the button and he raised to 55,000 with [poker card="ac"] [poker card="2c"] and Drinan called from the big blind with [poker card="qc"] [poker card="9s"]. After the [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"][poker card="7c"] Drinan check-called Quoss’ bet of 75,000. The [poker card="9c"] turn completed Quoss’ flush and after Drinan checked, Quoss bet 135,000. Drinan called. The river was the [poker card="6c"] which gave Drinan a flush of his own. Drinan bet 165,000 and Quoss responded by moving all in. Drinan went into the tank, eventually using the time bank chips players are given to extend the shot clock on any given hand. Drinan called, was given the bad news and was eliminated in fourth place. While the first three eliminations came in the first 26 hands, the next one took some time. It took 31 more hands of play to get to heads-up action. Holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"] Mercier button-raised to 60,000 and Quoss re-raised to 160,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. Mercier moved all in and Quoss called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Quoss top pair. He improved to two pair after the [poker card="kh"] turn but Mercier was now drawing to the nut flush. The [poker card="2d"] missed Mercier and he was eliminated in third place. When heads-up play began Quoss had 2,500,000 in chips to Ben Tollerene’s 1,100,000. The pair played over 60 hands before Quoss conquered the highs stakes cash game specialist. Short-stacked after over two hours of heads up play, Tollerene called off his last 250,000 holidng [poker card="js"][poker card="td"] after Quoss moved all in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5d"], completley missing Tollerene and leaving Quoss with the third super high roller title of his career. Final Table Payouts Fabian Quoss - A$1,446,480 Ben Tollerene - A$924,140 Jason Mercier - A$602,700 Connor Drinan - A$441,980 Sam Greenwood - A$321,440 Fedor Holz - A$281,260
  13. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz has won over https://cdn.pocketfives.com/p5wp/2017/11/593308-fedor-holz-triton-super-high-roller.jpg million in the last two weeks thanks to back-to-back wins[/caption] It seems like there’s really nothing stopping Fedor Holz these days. Just two weeks after Holz won the WPT Alpha8 event at Bellagio, the German poker pro conquered another tough high roller field, winning the $200,000 buy-in Triton Super High Roller at Solaire Resort in the Philippines. The event, part of the WPT National Philippines schedule, attracted 40 unique players totalling 52 entries after re-entries, including Tom Dwan, John Juanda, Philipp Gruissem and Phil Ivey. Holz beat a final table that included Dan Colman, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters and Ivey to win the $3.4 million first place prize. Holz eliminated thee of his six opponents at the final table on his way to the victory. Steve O’Dwyer, who started the day with the second largest stack behind only Ivey, picked up the first elimination of the day just 17 hands in. O’Dwyer opened the action with a raise to 65,000 from early position, Peters made it 160,000 before Paul Phua announced was all in for 485,000. O’Dwyer responded by moving all in and Peters folded. O’Dwyer tabled [poker card="as"] [poker card="qs"] while Phua showed [poker card="ad"] [poker card="jd"]. The board missed Phua entirely with O’Dwyer pairing his queen on the turn to send Phua home in seventh. Another player with well-documented success in high roller events was the next player to bust. Dan Colman raised to 85,000 and Tang and Ivey both called from the blinds. After the [poker card="jd"] [poker card="8d"] [poker card="7h"] flop, Tang bet 150,000, Ivey folded and Colman called. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] and Colman called Tang’s 200,000 bet. After the [poker card="ts"] river, Tang checked, Colman bet 300,000 and Tang announced he was all in. Colman called and mucked his hand when Tang showed T-9 for a straight to eliminate Colman in sixth. Starting the seven-handed final table with the biggest stack didn't mean much for Ivey. Left with just nine big blinds, Ivey moved all in from the cutoff with [poker card="qs"] [poker card="jc"] and Holz called from the small blind with [poker card="ah"] [poker card="qd"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"] [poker card="7h"] [poker card="2d"] [poker card="ad"] [poker card="9h"] to eliminate Ivey in fifth place, marking the fifth time that he has cashed in a tournament with a buy-in of at least $200,000. Holz continued the aggression to claim another elimination. The German raised to 140,000 from the button before O’Dwyer moved all in from the small blind for just over 1,300,000. Holz called and showed [poker card="td"] [poker card="ts"] against the [poker card="ah"] [poker card="9c"]. The [poker card="qh"] [poker card="9h"] [poker card="5h"] flop improved O’Dwyer’s hand but not enough to get ahead of Holz. The [poker card="kd"] turn and [poker card="7d"] turn were no help for O’Dwyer and he was eliminated in fourth. Devan Tang had been the frontrunner for most of the final table, but his run at the title came crashing to a halt three-handed against Peters and Holz. On his final hand of the tournament, Tang moved all in from the button for 1,620,000 only to have Peters move all in for 1,790,000 right behind him. Holz folded and left Tang, with [poker card="ah"] [poker card="qc"], and Peters, with [poker card="9d"] [poker card="9s"], battle it out. The board ran out [poker card="kd"] [poker card="ks"] [poker card="tc"] [poker card="3h"] [poker card="3c"] to eliminate Tang and send Peters to heads-up action with Holz. Holz had a nearly 2-1 chip lead when heads up play began but lost two of the first three hands of heads up play before the two made a deal based on stacks. The tournament ended on the fourth hand of heads-up play when the pair got it all in preflop with Peters holding [poker card="ac"] [poker card="qc"] and Holz barely leading with [poker card="7d"] [poker card="7s"]. The board ran out [poker card="jh"] [poker card="5d"] [poker card="5c"] [poker card="kd"] [poker card="kh"] to give Holz the trophy and the lions share of the money. Official Final Table Payouts Fedor Holz - $3,463,500 David Peters - $2,309,000 Devan Tang - $1,405,500 Steve O’Dwyer - $953,700 Phil Ivey - $652,500 Dan Colman- $502,000 Paul Phua - $401,600
  14. Three seperate times Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz has been the number ranked online poker player in the world. Sunday night in Las Vegas he add the biggest live win to his resume when he beat Nick Petrangelo heads-up to win the $100,000 buy-in WPT Alpha8 event at the Bellagio. Holz started the eight-handed final table with the chip lead and needed just 106 hands to claim the title and the nearly $1.6 million first place prize. He only eliminated two players on Sunday; David Peters on the bubble and runner-up Petrangelo. It was Petrangelo that did most of the heavy lifting on Sunday. Daniel Negreanu eliminated Keith Tilston in seventh and Sean Winter busted Kathy Lehne, who was runner-up at the WPT Alpha8 event in St. Kitts last December, in sixth place. That’s when Petrangelo went to work. Just one hand after Lehne exited, Holz raised to 125,000 from under the gun, Petrangelo called from the cutoff before Ankush Mandavia moved all-in from the small blind. Holz got out of the way but Petrangelo called. Mandavia tabled Td Th and was ahead of Petrangelo’s 8c 8d. The flop cam 8h 7h 2d putting Petrangelo ahead. Neither the 5c turn or Qc river were of any relief to Mandavia and he was sent packing in fifth place. Petrangelo wasn’t done flopping sets. From UTG Petrangelo raised to 135,000 before Winter moved all-in for 990,000. Petrangelo called and flipped over 7d 7c while Winter needed help with Ac Ts. The flop came Kd Qh 7s giving Petrangelo bottom set but giving Winter a gutshot Broadway draw. The turn was the 4c and the river was the As and Winter was out in fourth place. His next victim was a little bit more high profile. After Holz folded his button, Negreanu moved all-in for 655,000 from the small blind and Petrangelo called. Negreanu was ahead with Kd 3s against Petrangelo’s Qd Jh. The flop changed everything though as the dealer spread out Js 9c 4s putting Petrangelo ahead. The Qc turn gave him top two and left Negreanu drawing to one of four tens for a straight. The 6s river sealed Negreanu’s third place finish. Petrangelo’s carnage took just 45 minutes. Despite being responsible for three consecutive eliminations to get heads-up with Holz, Petrangelo still trailed the young German by a 2.25-1 margin. Petrangelo closed the gap during heads-up play but ultimately couldn’t overcome Holz. it took just 23 hands before the tournament came to a close. Afte Holz limped from the button, Petrangelo shoved for 3,600,000 and Holz called. Petrangelo turned over Ad Qs while Holz showed 5c 5s. The board ran out Jc 3s 2d 4c 9s and Holz’s pocket fives stayed ahead to eliminate Petrangelo in second place. The win is just the fifth of Holz’s career with the most recent coming in the €770 High Roller event at the Israeli Poker Championships in September. The event, the first of WPT Alpha8 Season III, attracted 45 entrants - down 10 from the Season II turnout. There are currently no other Alpha8 events scheduled. Final Table Payouts Fedor Holz - $1,589,219 Nick Petrangelo - $1,015,335 Daniel Negreanu - $640,103 Sean Winter - $441,450 Ankush Mandavia - $309,015 Kathy Lehne - $242,798 Keith Tilston - $176,580 Photo courtesy Joe Giron/World Poker Tour
  15. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz will receive his 2015 GPI Player of the Year trophy at the European Poker Awards[/caption] On May 3, a veritable who's who of the top names in European poker will gather at the Monte Carlo Bay and Resort in luxurious Monaco. Over the course of the evening, nine awards will be given out as part of the 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards, honoring players for their achievements in 2015. The nominees were announced on Monday. The list of potential winners was pared down to four nominees per category by a panel of 62 members of the poker world including players, media, and operators. The nominees include some of the top names in the game like Fedor Holz, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and English legend John Gale. It also includes mainstays of the poker tournament scene in Europe including European Poker Tour President Edgar Stuchly and World Poker Tour Europe General Manager Hermance Blum. Attendees will also have a chance to relive memorable moments like Dzmitry Urbanovich winning four tournaments during EPT Malta, Barny Boatman winning his second career WSOP bracelet, and Mustapha 'lasagnaaammm' Kanit winning the EPT Barcelona €10K High Roller. Events to be recognized include the EPT Grand Final, WSOP Europe Main Event, and PokerListings Battle of Malta. The awards will take place on May 3 in a ceremony emceed by American Joe Stapleton. 2015 GPI European Player of the Year Fedor Holz and European Female Player of the Year Liv Boeree will also receive their trophies during the gala, which will take place at the exclusive Blue Gin Bar. "I'm lucky enough to travel a lot in Europe and have met most of the nominees of the newest edition of the GPI European Poker Awards," GPI owner Alex Dreyfus said. "I believe the panel did a great job of nominating and, as always, it's going to be very difficult and painful to make a choice." The newest edition of the European Poker Awards comes just a few months after the American Poker Awards were doled out in Los Angeles for the second straight year. Winners at that ceremony included the likes of Josh Beckley, PokerNews Editor-in-Chief Donnie Peters, and PocketFives Community Manager Kevin 'Kevmath' Mathers, who received the Jury Award. "We acquired the European Poker Awards and then, last year, we launched the American Poker Awards," Dreyfus said. "I believe that players, media, and communities in the US and Europe are different. While the game is the same and the competition is worldwide, each market has different needs. It wouldn't make sense to have one award for the whole industry since there are so many differences. How would you compare events held in the US and in Europe? So, we hold two different award ceremonies." Here's the complete list of nominees: Breakout Player of the Year Charles Carrel Dzmitry Urbanovich Fedor Holz Rainer Kempe Low Buy-In Event of the Year (below €2,000) Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Norwegian Championships Norway Cup PokerListings Battle of Malta WPT500 at Dusk Till Dawn High Buy-In Event of the Year (€2,000 and up) EPT Barcelona Main Event EPT Grand Final Main Event EPT Prague Main Event WSOP Europe Main Event Industry Person of the Year Edgar Stuchly Hermance Blum Luca Vivaldi Rob Yong Thomas Lamatsch Innovation/Initiative of the Year Norwegian Championship broadcast (sports style) PokerStars Play Along App - Interactive Poker on TV PokerStars using superstars (athletes) for global campaign WSOP Europe remote Twitch broadcasts Media Content of the Year "The Future of Poker in the Post-Boom Era", Sam Grafton blog "The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat", Neil Stoddart's picture captures Montury consoling Messina at EPT Malta "Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold", PokerNews article (Jesse May, Mickey May) Remko Report, PokerNews Podcast, August 2015 - Eli Elezra talks time in Israeli Army and high stakes with legends Media Person of the Year Frank Op de Woerd Lee Davy Neil Stoddart Remko Rinkema Moment of the Year Dzmitry Urbanovich wins Crazy Pineapple tourney at EPT Malta - 4th win of series Epic hand between Mateos and Lodden at EPT Grand Final (Negreanu on stream `We're seeing some high-level poker`) John Gale returns from three years off (because of brain tumor) to win WSOP bracelet #2 Pierre Neuville qualifies for the WSOP November Nine - after declaring he wasn't done (at 2014 Euro Awards) Tournament Performance of the Year Adrian Mateos Wins the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event Barny Boatman wins second career WSOP bracelet at WSOP Europe Fedor Holz Wins WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona 10K High Roller
  16. [caption width="640"] Can poker help Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz achieve Ikigai?[/caption] "Every single one of us should strive to discover his reason for being, his Ikigai." That's the sticky you'll find when you look at Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz's Twitter feed. And for Holz, poker might not be the path to his Ikigai. "It's a Japanese idea of what should be the goal of your life," Holz said, pointing to the Venn diagram that explains what the concept of Ikigai is all about. "You should be doing what you get paid for, what you love to do, what you're skilled at, and what has meaning in the world. If you find something that combines all of these four things, you should do it." Passion, mission, profession, and vocation are all part of Ikigai. However, for Holz, poker might not be the key to achieving Ikigai, at least right now. "Poker is not that for me because it's missing the part of doing something good," he said. "I think that's a reason why poker players do a lot of charity work. I also think that's a reason a lot of players quit at some point – they feel like there's something missing." It's not like Holz hasn't been successful in poker. In 2014, he won the PokerStars Sunday 500 outright for $75,000. That was just a tune-up, though, for the World Championship of Online Poker Main Event, one of the biggest online tournaments of the year. He took that down for $1.3 million. That remains one of the largest online paydays ever. After his WCOOP Main Event win, he found the winner's circle of the Full Tilt Sunday Major and PokerStars Sunday 500 once again. More recently, the German took down the WPT Alpha8 event at Bellagio and the $200,000 buy-in Triton Super High Roller at Solaire Resort in the Philippines. Despite everything, Holz doesn't feel like he can realize Ikigai in poker. "Everyone is different, but I feel like I can't have it in poker," he said. "This environment changes so much, though. Right now, if it stays like this, I would definitely not play as much as I do right now. I think I'd take some time off. Online, the stakes are not high enough to consistently play something. There's nothing more to reach pretty much. Poker is not really growing online. If Americans come back, it could be huge. There are a lot of things we don't know about right now." [caption width="600"] A Venn diagram of Ikigai[/caption] Holz was just getting into poker when Black Friday hit in 2011. He recorded his first live score the following year in Rozvadov. He's seen the changes in the poker industry first-hand since PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker, and UB left the American market five years ago. "The setup was better around Black Friday because the industry was carried by what happened in the years before that," Holz said. "Now, it's all changing to the new set of sites. Everyone thought there was so much money in poker, but there's not anymore. Now, it's going on a slightly upward trend again. People understand that we can't just spew around money. It's on a good trajectory, but I'm not hooked right now to continue for the next 20 years." In order to find a profession that satisfies Ikigai's demands for something "that the world needs," Holz has turned to coaching. "I really like coaching," he said. "That's what I've been doing. I really like the psychological side of it too. I feel like a lot of my coaching drifts into life coaching. It's about going to the root of the problem and not just getting poker coaching. I really enjoy that and can see myself doing something like that." Holz has received life coaching and now notices a major difference when he sits down at a table. You can tell it when he plays. He's confident, composed, and feels comfortable no matter who he's up against. "There's a big difference when you get life coaching," said Holz. "Most of the time, people understand their problem in some kind of way. But, problems are such that you can see them in so many different ways. Someone saying something in a certain way can change your view completely. You somehow understand what your issue is, but you can't explain it or express it, but if someone talks to you about it, they'll help clarify it." For Holz, life coaching and poker coaching yielded one important leak in his game, which has probably already netted plenty to his bottom line. "I sometimes tried to win hands that I shouldn't be winning or win pots that I shouldn't be winning," Holz said. "Like my coach said, it's not about winning every pot. If that means folding, you won the hand that way. That helped me so much to think that I can fold 50 times in a row. If you win the pot, you might actually lose the hand."
  17. [caption width="640"] Shaun Deeb joined Paul Volpe as the only former #1-ranked players to win a bracelet this summer[/caption] Shaun Deeb beat out a stacked final table towin the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event and earn the second bracelet of his career and second for former PocketFives #1-ranked players. Deeb's victory was one of just 21 cashes by this group in the last week. They've now recorded 75 WSOP cashes this summer earning a total of $870,602. Here are the highlights from the last week. Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb2016 WSOP cashes: 5 2016 WSOP earnings: $162,112 Shaun Deeb became just the second former PocketFives #1-ranked players to win a bracelet in 2016 when he took down the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event last week. He beat out a final table that included former bracelet winners Cory Zeidman, John Monnette, Eugene Katchalov, Max Pescatori and Adam Friedman to win 111,101. With $162,112 in winnings, Deeb now has the second most of any former #1-ranked player behind Paul Volpe. That appears to be as close as he's going to get though as an urgent family matter made for an early end to his WSOP. Dan Kelly2016 WSOP cashes: 10 2016 WSOP earnings: $62,625 Dan Kelly is one of just three players to have cashed 10 times so far at the 2016 WSOP along with Jason Mercier and Ryan LaPlante. Four of Kelly's cashes came in the last week. He finished 714th in the Monster Stack, 236th in the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em, 78th in the $5,000 Turbo and 114th in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event. He's averaging a cash every three days so far this summer. Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe2016 WSOP cashes: 6 2016 WSOP earnings: $253,682 With one bracelet already in the bag, Paul Volpe continues to lead the group of former PocketFives #1-ranked players in terms of money earned. He's now made $253,682 this summer - 29% of all the money earned by this group. In the last week he recorded two more cashes including a close call in the $10,000 Six Max Championship where Volpe finished 10th. That put another $49,677 into his total earnings. He followed that up with a 52nd place finish in the $5,000 Turbo for $9,566. Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard2016 WSOP cashes: 4 2016 WSOP earnings: $57,755 With just one cash in the first four weeks, Patrick Leonard wasn't having the best WSOP. That may have turned around in the last week as Leonard scored two five-figure scores. He finished 26th in the $10,000 Six Max Championship for $20,767 and then 14th in the $5,000 Turbo event for another $22,119. Steve 'gboro780' Gross2016 WSOP cashes: 6 2016 WSOP earnings: $57,830 After four cashes over the first four weeks, Steve Gross found two in the last week including his biggest of the summer. Gross finished 11th - one spot behind Volpe - in the $10,000 Six Max Championship for $38,268. He then made it through his first table in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout before busting for a 96th place finish and a $4,955 cash. Other NotablesWhile Fedor 'crownupguy' Holz has only cashed twice in WSOP events for a little over $26,000, he's done just fine away from the WSOP tables. Since May 27th he's cashed four times in high roller events, including the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl, for a total of $4,928,000. Kevin 'bel0wab0ve' Saul finally hit the scoreboard this past week, finishing 63rd in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event.
  18. [caption width="640"] Paul 'paulgees' Volpe is one of seven former #1-ranked players hoping to score their second career bracelet this summer.[/caption] In the long and storied history of the PocketFives Rankings, there have been a grand total of 51 players who have earned the #1 spot. Chris Moorman, Annette Obrestad, Shaun Deeb, Sorel Mizzi and Yevgeniy Timoshenko are just a handful of the players who have seen their online poker play take them to the top of the rankings. But only nine of those players have ever turned their dominance online into a World Series of Poker Bracelet. Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy and Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly are the only two players with more than one WSOP title to their credit. FORMER #1 RANKED PLAYERS WITH WSOP BRACELETS Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb Steve 'gboro780' Gross Taylor 'taypaur' Paur Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe Bryan 'theczar19' Piccioli Dan 'djk123' Kelly Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters its second week PocketFives introduces The Rank & File: a weekly feature tracking the former #1-ranked players on their quest for a WSOP bracelet. Paul Volpe2016 WSOP cashes: 1 2016 WSOP earnings: $33,393 Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe, who was #1 just once in his online career, has already cashed once so far, making the final table of the $1,500 Dealers Choice event. Volpe was eliminated in fourth place by eventual winner Lawrence Berg. Dating back to last summer, five of Volpe’s last six cashes have been top 10 finishes. Dan Kelly2016 WSOP cashes: 1 2016 WSOP earnings: $26,632 Dan 'djk123' Kelly, who spent a total of eight weeks in the PocketFives Rankings top spot in his career, also has just a single score so far at the 2016 WSOP. Kelly finished fourth in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event after being eliminated by eventual runner-up John Monnette. Calvin Anderson2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $25,329 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson has climbed to the top of the PocketFives Rankings eight times in his career including a 22-week stint from September 2012 – February 2013. Anderson, who is two years removed from his bracelet win, has two cashes to date this summer. Like 21,612 other players, Anderson took a shot at the $1,000,000 first place prize in Colossus II but had to settle for a 1,691st place finish and a $1,187 cash. He had more success in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud championship, finishing eighth for $24,142. Steve Gross2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $6,977 Steve 'gboro780' Gross also has two cashes this summer, both in lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events. He finished 682nd in Colossus II for $2,837 and then followed that up with an 84th place finish in the first $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Gross had four stints as the #1 ranked player between February 2009 and August 2010. Small Blinds Bryan 'theczar19' Piccioli leads the seven former #1-ranked players who cashed in Colossus II. Piccioli finished 316th for a $5,406 score. Through Event #7, former #1-ranked players have cashed a total of 14 times for $115,583.
  19. [caption width="640"] Rainer Kempe won the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl Wednesday (photo courtesy Poker Central/Joe Giron)[/caption] The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl featured 49 of the world’s best poker players and to the surprise of nobody who has been watching the world of high roller poker tournaments the past few years, it ended up being another celebration of German poker excellence. Rainer Kempe beat countryman Fedor Holz to win second annual Super High Roller Bowl and the $5,000,000 first place prize. Holz’s runner-up finish earned him $3,500,000. The two Germans were responsible for every elimination at the final table on Wednesday night. After Holz opened to 140,000, Dan Shak, down to just over 500,000 in chips, moved all in and Holz called. The German pro tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"] and was ahead of Shak who tabled [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="th"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="jd"] to give Holz a jack-high straight and send Shak out in seventh place for $600,000. Nearly one hour later two more players went out. The first to go was Bryn Kenney. With action folded to him on the button, Kenney moved all in for 1,300,000 only to have Holz call from the small blind. Kenney got bad news when he found out his [poker card="7d"][poker card="7h"] was up against Holz’ [poker card="jc"][poker card="jd"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"] to send Kenney out in sixth place. Despite being on the good side of the first two eliminations, Holz remained in second place behind Kempe. And on the very next hand, Kempe put even more distance between himself and the other players. Matt Berkey called from the button before Kempe raised to 205,000 from the small blind and Holz folded his big blind. Berkey responded by moving all in for 1,300,000 and Kempe called. Berkey showed [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] and needed to improve against Kempe’s [poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"]. Kempe ended up making a set on the [poker card="7h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"] flop, but the [poker card="8s"] turn gave Berkey outs to a flush. The [poker card="4d"] river was no help for Berkey and he was out in fifth place for $1,100,000. The final four players played for over two hours before seeing another elimination. While Kempe and Holz did their best to maintain the top two spots, Poker Hall of Famers Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth traded turns as the short stack before the 14-time WSOP bracelet winner saw his tournament end. Holz and Seidel folded to Hellmuth who just called from the small blind. Kempe announced he was all in and Hellmuth quickly called. Kempe turned over [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"] before Hellmuth stood and showed a dominated [poker card="qd"][poker card="js"]. Hellmuth could do nothing but watch as the [poker card="9s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"] flop, [poker card="5d"] turn and [poker card="7s"] river brought him no save and he was eliminated in third place. The $1,600,000 fourth place prize is the second largest of Hellmuth’s career, behind only the $ 2,645,333 he earned for his fourth place finish in the Big One for One Drop in 2012. That left the two young Germans and Seidel in contention and although he spent a good part of the final table fighting off elimination, Seidel eventually did bust. After Holz folded his button, Seidel shoved for 1,200,000 and Kempe called. Seidel held [poker card="ac"][poker card="7d"] but was behind Kempe’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"]. Seidel could do nothing but watch the [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] run out before exiting the tournament area. The $2.6 million score moved Seidel past Antonio Esfandiari on poker’s all-time earnings list. Seidel has now won $29,283,817 over the course of his career and trails only Daniel Negreanu. While Kempe began the final table with the chip lead and never appeared to have that lead in danger, the heads-up finale proved to be a different story. Kempe and Holz traded the chip lead back and forth over the course of three-and-a-half hours before Kempe finally emerged victorious. The final hand was pocket pair versus pocket pair. Holz raised to 400,000 before Kempe made it 1,200,000 to go. Holz, with just 4,380,000, moved all in and Kempe called. Holz had [poker card="2d"][poker card="2h"] and needed to improve against Kempe’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"]. Holz got no help on the [poker card="th"][poker card="9s"][poker card="5h"] flop, [poker card="4c"] turn or the [poker card="3d"] river and was eliminated in second place as Kempe celebrated the first seven-figure cash of his career. Final Table Payouts Rainer Kempe - $5,000,000 Fedor Holz - $3,500,000 Erik Seidel - $2,400,000 Phil Hellmuth - $1,600,000 Matt Berkey - $1,100,000 Bryn Kenney - $800,000 Dan Shak - $600,000
  20. [caption width="640"] Don't bet against Phil Hellmuth winning WSOP Bracelet #15 this summer[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker gets cards in the air on Wednesday, July 1. Over the next five days PocketFives presents the 2016 WSOP Preview highlighting everything you need as the poker world heads to their own version of Summer Camp. With a record 69 bracelets on the line this year, the 2016 World Series of Poker could be one of the most grueling ever for players who play a busy schedule. That being said, there’s still going to be one or two or three players who rise to the occasion, find themselves on the heater of a lifetime and ride that to a bracelet (or two) and maybe even WSOP Player of the Year. We’ve picked out eight players that are worth watching this summer – some for their WSOP history, some for the promise they bring and some because we all hate them. We’ll let you decide who is who. Phil Hellmuth – 14 bracelets, $13,539,727 million in WSOP earnings The legend doesn’t let anyone forget that he has the most WSOP bracelets in history (14) and he’s always a safe bet to win another. Hellmuth plays tournaments sparingly outside of the WSOP so he will play almost every event he can, including of some of the lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events that most of his peers skip. Phil Ivey – 10 bracelets, $6,447,630 million in WSOP earnings With the proper motivation and mindset, Phil Ivey may be the most feared player on the WSOP felt. He’s the most likely candidate to pass Hellmuth’s career bracelet record, but seemingly without six-figure side action driving Ivey he might not even show up. Such was the case in 2015 when he only played the One Drop High Roller and the Main Event because the richest cash games in the world were not in Vegas. 2014 was the last year Ivey put in a full schedule and scored his tenth bracelet and four cashes. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 0 bracelets, $0 in WSOP earnings Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Lisandro, Ted Forrest and Puggy Pearson – the only players in WSOP history to win three bracelets in a single year. But none of them did it their first WSOP and none won $4.1 million at 20 years-old. Dzmitry Urbanovich has $10,000 bet with 200-1 odds with Vanessa Selbst that he can do exactly that. Urbanovich is the first real 21 year-old rookie people have had their eyes on in many years, but the main difference is that he already is used to big stage in a live event with a couple of European Poker Tour wins and two runner-up finishes in Super High Roller events. Ari Engel – 0 bracelets, $695,157 in WSOP earnings Ari Engel hasn’t had a home in over two years, opting instead to live week-to-week travelling to different poker events. He’s won eight WSOP Circuit rings but he’s never won a bracelet despite 23 cashes in bracelet events. If Engel doesn’t win a bracelet soon, he may be remembered as this generation’s Tony Cousineau. Mike Leah – 1 bracelet, $1,410,735 in WSOP earnings Mike Leah’s WSOP resume is that of a grinders’ grinder. He has lived at the Rio the past couple summers in order to play the most events possible – sometimes three in a day. Though he only has one bracelet, he has 37 career cashes and cashed nine times in 2015 alone. He’s been a contender in multiple Player of the Year/Series titles, both live and online, can play all the games well and has the bankroll to play as many events as he can handle. Howard Lederer – 2 bracelets, $1,617,227 in WSOP earnings Perhaps the most hated person in poker, Howard Lederer is seemingly returning to WSOP action this summer. He has been seen here and there over the last couple years at poker events and rooms and recently released a public apology. If Lederer returns to play a number of events at the WSOP an incident-free summer seems highly unlikely. Daniel Negreanu – 6 WSOP bracelets, $16,172,789 in WSOP earnings The most recognizable poker player in the world and only two-time WSOP POY has said many times that he feels he should have more bracelets that he does. His most recent bracelet came during the 2013 WSOP Europe and he hasn’t won a bracelet in Las Vegas since 2008. Negreanu’s deep run in the 2015 Main Event has been eating at him for months and no one should be surprised if he takes home two bracelets this summer. Fedor Holz – 0 WSOP bracelets, $651,849 The German Wunderkind debuted at the WSOP in 2015, cashed four times, finished 3rd in the $10,000 Six Max Championship and finished in 25th place in the Main Event. His big game experience from Europe places him in rare air with a couple other young German players. Outside of the WSOP Holz won two big buy-in events – a High Roller in the Philippines and Alpha8 Bellagio – and final tabled two Super High Roller events at EPT Monte Carlo.
  21. [caption width="640"] Dzmitry Urbanovich won Breakout Player of the Year at the 2015 European Poker Awards[/caption] The 15th edition of the European Poker Awards was held on Tuesday night at the Blue Gin Bar at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel in Monaco. After a 60-minute happy hour for all attendees, 11 awards were doled out. Emcee Joe Stapleton opened by telling the crowd of about 100 people, "Thank you to Kara Scott for not being able to host." Scott hosted the first two editions of the American Poker Awards as well as the 2015 European Poker Awards. Global Poker Index and European Poker Awards head Alex Dreyfus then took the mic. "There can only be one winner for every award," said Dreyfus. "These awards mean more year after year." Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz was given his award for 2015 GPI Player of the Year, telling the assembled crowd, "I'm overwhelmed by this. I want to thank my friends. I started playing because of them. I wouldn't be here without them." Holz won the WPT Alpha8 in December and had eight six-figure live scores last year. The Female GPI Player of the Year went to PokerStars pro Liv Boeree. "It's a huge honor. Thank you so much to everyone who was supportive of me," said Boeree, who finished third in the EPT Barcelona High Roller in 2015. "Thank you to Igor Kurganov for being my everything and my best supporter ever." Breakout Player of the Year went to Dzmitry Urbanovich. The then-21-year-old cashed 23 times in 2015 including winning four events during EPT Malta in March. "It was an awesome year for me," Urbanovich said. "Thank you to all of you who voted for me. I'm very happy to get this." The award for Event of the Year with a Buy-In of Up to €2,000 went to the Norwegian Championships Norway Cup, which was held in November. Awarded after that was the gold for the Tournament Performance of the Year, which went to Adrian Mateos for winning the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event. [caption width="637"] The 2015 European Poker Awards winners[/caption] The award for Media Content of the Year went to Jesse May and Mickey May for a PokerNews article called "Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold." "Mickey [May] and I want to dedicate this to the Devilfish. This award shows that European poker players know how important he was for poker," said Jesse May. "If he were here, he'd say: 'Fucking joke, mate. I die and you get a prize for the obituary.'" May compared Ulliott to Chris Moneymaker. The award for Industry Person of the Year went to Hermance Blum, General Manager of WPT Europe, who said, "I'm really overwhelmed. This is teamwork. I have a tremendous respect for EPT." The award for Event of the Year with a Buy-In of More than €2,000 was awarded to EPT Barcelona, and Media Person of the Year went to Remko Rinkema of PokerNews. Rinkema beat out longtime friend and fellow PokerNews writer Frank Op de Woerd for the award.. Poker Innovation of the Year went to the Norwegian Championship broadcast. A representative told the crowd, "We started broadcasting poker in 2015. We want to get up close and we want to get personal. We feel that is the way forward with poker on TV." Photographer Neil Stoddart, who was also nominated in the Media Person of the Year category, took home the Special Achievement in Industry Award, a category decided upon by only the jury. "I wasn't expecting that," Stoddart said. "Thank you to the PokerStars Blog. They do a fantastic job. Thank you to Mad Harper for disseminating my work. Thank you to the players. Thank you for letting me capture your moments of triumph and your agonies of defeat." To close out the evening, John Gale won Moment of the Year for returning from three years off because of a brain tumor to win his second career WSOP bracelet. "Thank you very much to the jury," Gale said in a short speech. "Thank you again."
  22. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz collects his World Series of Poker bracelet[/caption] On Tuesday afternoon Fedor Holz stood on stage at the 2016 World Series of Poker and was awarded the bracelet he won in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller just two days earlier. In a quick speech he thanked his friends, his family, and the woman who cooked his food all summer long. Barring a deep run in the Main Event, that just might be the last time the poker world ever hears from the German superstar. “I’m not going to continue as a professional player,” said Holz. After winning over $10,000,000 in the last six weeks Holz says he’s done with poker and is making plans to move on to the next stage of his life. He still has chips in the Main Event and returns to a stack of 93,300 for Day 1C on Wednesday. After the Main Event ends - whenever that is for him- the 22 year old plans on finding something else to do with his life that brings him a greater sense of personal satisfaction, he’s just not sure what that is yet. “I don’t know. Find out: that’s the mission I think,” said Holz of what he wants to do next. “I think travelling will help me find my way. I want to try out a lot of different things.” In the last 14 months Holz has won $18,051,950 and has a bankroll big enough to let him try those different things. “I think the biggest problem a lot of people have is that they don’t know their options. In poker you experience a lot of different things,” said Holz. “People have very unique jobs or have companies that are very special and I feel like there is something out there for me that I might enjoy a lot more than poker.” Holz still enjoys playing poker, but admits it’s less than it was even 18 months ago when he took the #1 spot in the PocketFives rankings for the first time. “I don’t - but I think that’s natural because the ceiling is just a lot closer. It’s way easier to set goals and you improve faster and this feeling gives you this rush of progress and I’m a person that is very dependent on progress, I need it. That makes me happy and if I don’t progress I just don’t feel happy,” said Holz. The $18,000,000 in winnings moved Holz all the way up to ninth in all time earnings. He’s now ahead of John Juanda, Jason Mercier and Mike McDonald. Fedor Holz's Summer of Domination [poker card="TD"]Date [poker card="TD"]Tournament [poker card="TD"]Buy-In [poker card="TD"]Place [poker card="TD"]Winnings [poker card="TD"]May 27 [poker card="TD"]Aria Super High Roller [poker card="TD"]$50,000 [poker card="TD"]7th [poker card="TD"]$122,400 [poker card="TD"]May 31 [poker card="TD"]Super High Roller Bowl [poker card="TD"]$300,000 [poker card="TD"]2nd [poker card="TD"]$3,500,000 [poker card="TD"]June 3 [poker card="TD"]Aria Super High Roller [poker card="TD"]$50,000 [poker card="TD"]1st [poker card="TD"]$637,392 [poker card="TD"]June 10 [poker card="TD"]WSOP Six Max No Limit [poker card="TD"]$1,500 [poker card="TD"]18th [poker card="TD"]$17,380 [poker card="TD"]June 10 [poker card="TD"]Aria Super High Roller [poker card="TD"]$25,000 [poker card="TD"]1st [poker card="TD"]$393,120 [poker card="TD"]June 16 [poker card="TD"]WSOP Six Max No Limit [poker card="TD"]$3,000 [poker card="TD"]47th [poker card="TD"]$8,716 [poker card="TD"]June 17 [poker card="TD"]Aria Super High Roller [poker card="TD"]$25,000 [poker card="TD"]1st [poker card="TD"]$276,012.00 [poker card="TD"]July 6 [poker card="TD"]WSOP No Limit Hold'em [poker card="TD"]$5,000 [poker card="TD"]39th [poker card="TD"]$15,823 [poker card="TD"]July 07 [poker card="TD"]Aria Super High Roller [poker card="TD"]$50,000 [poker card="TD"]3rd [poker card="TD"]$407,310 [poker card="TD"]July 10 [poker card="TD"]WSOP One Drop High Roller [poker card="TD"]$111,111 [poker card="TD"]1st [poker card="TD"]$4,981,775 Despite all of his recent success there are those that point out a good chunk of it came in big buy-in, small field tournaments. His three Aria Super High Roller wins, totalling roughly $1,300,000 in earnings, came against a combined 106 other players. The Super High Roller Bowl event that he finished runner-up in had just 49 entries. Holz doesn’t disagree with the sentiment. “The amount of money I’ve won makes it sound very impossible, but there are things in poker that happen that are way more unlikely than winning four 40-player tournaments in a row,” said Holz. Despite the success he had in those events, his early work at the WSOP wasn’t bearing fruit early on and that didn’t sit well with Holz. He got close early on, finishing 18th in a $1,500 Six Max No Limit event and Holz was worried that might be his only shot at a bracelet this summer. “For sure it’s frustrating. It’s a very intense grind and you get like three opportunities a summer on average and you obviously want to close the tournament,” said Holz. All of that frustration, which included two more WSOP cashes for just over $20,000, disappeared after a 90-minute heads up battle with Dan Smith in which Holz came out on top to win that first bracelet and almost $5,000,000. He described winning a WSOP bracelet as the most special moment of his poker career and even a few days later was struggling to find the right way to quantify it. “Because it was literally the perfect moment. Somebody asked me (earlier this summer) ‘What’s left?’ and I was like. ‘just a bracelet, that would be the only thing’ and I feel like this really gave me everything. Poker gave me everything I have right now, well pretty much most of it and I feel very grateful for it,” said Holz. “I don’t know a fitting word. People ask me ‘how do you feel?’ or ‘how has it been?’, I can’t describe it. I don’t really know a word that describes the way I feel right now. It’s just overwhelming, I guess.” While the bracelet is most likely going to end up being the exclamation point on a short, but impressive poker career, Holz admits he’d have made the decision to walk away from poker even if Smith had conquered him in the One Drop High Roller. “I think so. I said it before, I don’t think that changed too much but this makes it a lot easier, a bracelet was a very nice moment with my friends, it’s a very nice accomplishment for myself,” said Holz. While Holz plans on taking some time to travel and figure out what he’s going to do next, that’s actually the thing that he’s going to miss least about the life of poker pro. “I’m very dependent on getting my personal time, recharging batteries, I can feel it that I’m drained and super exhausted after live trips and but that’s also what I like because it’s so intense,” said Holz. “I feel like there are other things where you can have the same thing in a healthy environment, for example at home.” A player at the top of the game claiming that he’s retiring is nothing new to the poker world. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonaldand Shaun Deeb both tried to walk away from the game at one point only to return. “Let’s say it like this, I play about 2000-3000 hours of poker per year, talking about it or coaching or playing, and I feel like I enjoy the top 400 hours of it and the rest is just like work,” “I feel like right now I have the freedom to say ‘okay, I’m just going to play the 400 hours that I really enjoy’, and then it’s a hobby. And I’m not the person that sits around and relaxes at the beach, so I will find something else.”
  23. [caption width="640"] Dominik Nitsche plans to keep on grinding - both online and live - as his poker career continues to blossom[/caption] While some young Germans are keen to “retire” and step back from poker, three-time bracelet winner and 888 Poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche is intent on grinding until there is nothing good left to grind. The German pro, who has over $3.5 million in online tournament earnings and another $6.5 million in live earnings, is just 25 years old, but like many of his peers and countrymen, he is already a renowned, established pro and one of the top ten German tournament earners in history. When you realize how much Nitsche grinds, the results don’t seem as surprising. He works at the game year-round, grinding online when he isn’t traveling. Recently he chopped the 888Poker Super XL Series Main Event and soon is off to London for the upcoming 888 poker festival. He doesn’t intend to stop there though. He’ll likely head to Asia and play in Macau. Unlike Fedor Holz, retirement isn’t a word Nitsche is entertaining right now. In fact, “break” probably is not an option either. "Not in the near future," Nitsche explains. "The high roller events have been better than ever and are really kicking off everywhere. The only tournament I will miss in the near future is PCA. I'm going to Australia a bit early to spend some time in Sydney." Nitsche is all about making the most of opportunities, and knowing how much the poker landscape can change overnight, he is not going to let any chances pass him by. "A lot in tournament Poker is simply about putting in the volume. And now is a good time to do that. We don't know how the poker market will be in 2-3 years and I really don't want to miss out on the crazy good tournaments right now." He is definitely capitalizing on the crazy good tournaments. Nitsche finished second to Holz in June’s $50,000 Super High Roller at Aria for almost $630,000, then took fourth in a $5,000 WSOP event for another $250,000. While these scores are great, Nitsche is remarkably low key about his results. "I put in a lot of work away from the tables and I play a lot of online tournaments and cash games on 888 to stay sharp when I'm at home. Results will come if you keep playing well, but you can't control when you will have your big win. I'm just happy to keep playing more and more tournaments and maybe sometimes I get very lucky and win. That's fun, of course, but it is a bit silly to be proud of something you can't control." It may sound like Nitsche is singularly-focused on the felt, but his poker worldview extends far beyond himself. In his role as an 888 sponsored pro, he takes growing the game very seriously. He may play the highest stakes, but he loves using social media and Twitch to communicate with everyone, including the $.01/$.02 grinders. "A lot of the work I do for 888 is just very fun for me and it's a lot of things I have been doing even before I became sponsored. Things like communicating with casual poker players on social media and giving advice to new up-and-coming players is just something I really enjoy doing. As an 888 ambassador now, I get to do even more of that and help promote the game in my home country. I recently went to do German commentary for the WSOP in Munich and it was a great experience. I have been watching the WSOP on TV since I was 16 so, of course, it felt amazing." Learn more about Dominik Nitsche and the rest of the 888 poker Ambassadors. The commentary is something Nitsche has dabbled with in the past, but his take on TV poker talk is to try and give a different spin on it than the poker boom days. "Not at all, actually. I have had a lot of experience doing live commentary for various events before and the feedback has always been very positive. People watch these to learn a bit about how poker works and don't want to watch coin flip after coin flip. I always try to give the viewer something they can take away from what I say and use it the next time they play live." The respect Nitsche has for his audience is what helps his commentary stand out. His knack for speaking about higher-level strategy in a way anyone can understand is what earned him opportunities like the one in Germany. "In my opinion, poker is unique in that way because, unlike any other sport, people don't just watch it on TV. They play it themselves. Of course, I will have to keep things a bit more simple on TV, but really this just comes down to practice and having a deep understanding of what I am trying to say. Even complex concepts can be made fairly simple if you really do know what you are talking about." He certainly knows what he is talking about. In addition to his own impressive resume, Nitsche spends plenty of time talking poker with some of the best minds in the game. Lately he has been working with Jon Spinks and Moritz Dietrich, but he also cites Holz, Rainier Kempe, Stephen Chidwick, Oliver Price, and Marty Mathis as good friends and great players. As for who the next European wunderkind will be, Nitsche has a couple of suggestions. He says Steffen Sontheimer is "probably the best player you don’t know," and also says Marty Kozlov is “a complete beast and completely underrated.” With his role at 888, who knows what undiscovered genius might cross Nitsche’s path next? Given his open mind, his refusal to miss opportunities, and his insistence on listening to every kind of poker player there is, it certainly seems possible he helps develop some new poker talent. Until then, he continues to hone his with his can’t stop, won’t stop attitude continuing to pay dividends six figures at a time.
  24. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz won his sixth title of 2016 taking down the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller (Photo courtesy PokerStars/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] Just a month ago Fedor Holz, fresh off of winning the first World Series of Poker bracelet of his career, told the world he was retiring from poker. He had already made plans to play the first European Poker Tour event of Season 13 in Barcelona, but after that he was going to take an extended break from poker and then only play recreationally. Seems like waiting until after EPT Barcelona was the right call. On Monday Holz beat out Sam Greenwood heads up to win the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller and €1,300,300 ($1,471,000 US). It’s his fifth win since June and sixth of 2016 overall. He now has $19,968,302 in lifetime earnings. The final table included some of the best players in the world and it was one of the best High Roller players of all time who was the first final table casualty on just the fifth hand of play. Ahadpur Khangah limped from early position, Erik Seidel moved all in from the button for 860,000 before Greenwood re-shoved from the small blind for 1,250,000 and Julian Stuer moved all in over the top of everybody for 2,140,000. Khangah called and the four players table their hands. Khangah had [poker card="as"][poker card="5s"], Seidel had [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"], Greenwood [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] and Stuer was stuck in the middle with [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"]. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"][poker card="4h"][poker card="js"][poker card="2h"] and Seidel was eliminated in ninth place while Stuer was left short stacked and Greenwood more than tripled up. Stuer managed to last another 45 minutes before he saw his tournament end with a eighth place finish with Greenwood being the beneficiary yet again. Action folded to Greenwood in the small blind and he moved all in. Stuer called from the big blind for 535,000 and tabled [poker card="qs"][poker card="2c"] while Greenwood showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"][poker card="js"] flop put Stuer ahead but only temporarily as even though the [poker card="6s"] turn was a blank, the [poker card="kd"] river gave Greenwood a bigger pair. Greenwood picked up his third elimination of the day just 20 minutes later. The Canadian poker pro raised to 250,000 from UTG, Daniel Dvoress, seated directly on Greenwood’s left, moved all in for 1,640,000. Action folded back to Greenwood and he called. Dvoress showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"] but found out he was trailing Greenwood’s [poker card="td"][poker card="th"]. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="9h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] and Dvoress was eliminated in seventh while Greenwood took over the chip lead. Just three hands later Holz stopped the Greenwood Express, picking up his first elimination of the final table. Holz raised to 225,000 from UTG. Everybody folded to Sylvain Loosli in the big blind and he moved all in for 2,000,000 and Holz called. Loosli, who won this event last year, had [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"] and was racing against Holz’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"][poker card="2h"] flop put Holz ahead and he stayed there through the [poker card="7s"] turn and [poker card="th"] river, sending Loosli out in sixth. Greenwood got busy again 30 minutes later when action folded to him in the small blind and he moved all in. Khangah called all in from the big blind for 1,120,000. Greenwood was ahead with [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"] to Khangah’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"] flop gave Khangah the lead but only temporarily as the [poker card="ah"] turn gave Greenwood top pair and the [poker card="8c"] was a blank, sending Khangah home in fifth place and giving Greenwood his fourth elimination of the day. Alexandros Koloniaswas the next to fall. Timothy Adams raised to 300,000 from UTG, Kolonias moved all in for 2,175,000 from the button before Fedor Holz came over the top all in, forcing Adams to fold. Kolonias happily tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"] and was ahead after Holz turned over [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8d"] flop changed everything though as Holz improved to a set. The [poker card="4d"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river gave Holz a full house and meant the end of the line for Kolonias in fourth place. Holz, Greenwood and Adams played three-handed for a little over an hour a Canadian-on-Canadian encounter ended the run for one of them. Greenwood raised from the button to 400,000, Holz folded his small blind and Adams moved all in from the big blind for 5,315,000. Greenwood called and turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] while his fellow Canadian showed [poker card="2c"][poker card="2d"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"][poker card="5c"] flop put Greenwood in front and after the [poker card="qs"] turn and [poker card="ts"] river, Adams was out in third place with Greenwood and Holz nearly tied in chips. Despite starting with nearly identical stacks, Holz quickly pulled away from Greenwood and on the 16th hand of heads up play secured the win. Greenwood moved all in from the button and Holz called. Greenwood got bad news after turning over his [poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"] when Holz showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7c"] to give Holz top pair and Greenwood a gutshot. The [poker card="4c"] turn turned Greenwood’s gutshot into an open-ender but the [poker card="qd"] river was no help and Greenwood was eliminated, leaving Holz to celebrate his recent retirement with a seven-figure score. My first tournament win as a recreational!
  25. [caption width="640"] Ludovic ‘Ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen broke into the top 10 of the PocketFives rankings earlier this month (PokerStars photo)[/caption] There are quite a few fun-loving characters on the European poker scene, but few are as universally liked as Scotland’s Ludovic ‘Ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen. His live poker resume boasts UK & Ireland Poker Tour and Wynn Classic wins, European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker final tables, not to mention more than $1.3 million in earnings. But it’s online where Geilich-Jonsen really cuts his teeth, and he’s had quite a year on the virtual felt, most notably taking down the 2016 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha for a cool $462,000. He’s now cracked the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time (sitting at #9 at the time of writing). Setting goals “I’ve been keeping an eye on the rankings, to be honest,” he says. “The WCOOP win gave me a lot of points and shot me up to 76th or something. So I started looking and I decided to make a goal for myself. “I said ‘I’m going to try and get in the top three of the UK, and the top 20 of the world’. Now I’m in the top 10 in the world and top two in the UK. I’m close enough to becoming #1 in the UK, but I’ve got to put the volume in, which I’ve not been doing.” (Editor's Note: Geilich-Jonsen moved up to #1 in the United Kingdom this week) So if it’s not consistent grinding, to what does Geilich-Jonsen credit his success? His answer was characteristically modest. “I’ve been pretty lucky because I’ve only been playing every Sunday, with maybe the odd Tuesday or Thursday. I’ve ran super good, collected all these points, and shot up the rankings quicker than I should have, if I’m honest. “I‘ve not been grinding every night for sure,” he tells me. “If I’m out with the boys or whatever, then I’m out with the boys. And if I’m travelling, I’ll play a Sunday but that’s about it. “I was in Punta Cana for two weeks recently where I only played the two Sundays, and had no success. Then I came back home and played the next Sunday and I ran super hot. I chopped the $1k Sunday Grand, I won the Bounty $215, and I came third in the Hot $55. That just stacked me up lots of points and put me in the top ten. “That’s probably the best I’ve ever ran on a normal Sunday (i.e. no WCOOP or SCOOP) in like three years.” Eyeing the #1 spot Geilich-Jonsen has been a member of PocketFives since 2012, and is pretty familiar with both the rankings and the big online names. He shared some of his thoughts on the current world #1, who coincidentally finished second to him in his WCOOP win. “The leader right now is Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez, and I don’t think anyone is catching him until he decides to take a break. There’s a massive gap between first and second, and he’s been putting in a load of volume. “A lot of regs probably think he’s a bad reg, but I don’t think he is. He does some things unorthodoxly and other regs might not like the lines he takes. But that’s what makes you money sometimes. Like fu_15, he used to do the same thing. People used to think he was punty and spewy, but I think you’ve got to show up with a punt to get paid sometimes. “Then, when you go back to playing the same way that everyone else is playing, I think you get a lot more respect. Where previously you’ve been splashing about and not getting any respect, against certain opponents it might tilt them and annoy them. So the reg is at home saying “Look at this donk, who plays like this!”, showing their friends that they’re grinding with. But it’s affected them. So doing it might be a losing play, but long term it could be a winning play.” Live poker Despite so much success in both live and online poker this year, Gelich-Jonsen was notably absent from some of the bigger buy-in events at EPT13 Prague. I wanted to know his thoughts on his future at the live felt. “The recent success has dictated what I want to play,” he says. “I don’t really want to focus on live poker right now. It’s too frustrating when it turns out bad. “I don’t want to play the $10ks all the time. Some of these guys play their A-game at all times.” He mentions Fedor Holz, Charlie Carrel, David Peters, and Adrian Mateos as just some of the tougher opponents, plus his good friend Niall Farrell. “Firaldo’s always there, and he’s out having a good time with the boys a lot of the time! Yet when he plays, he gets deep runs. “These guys are on another level with their A-game consistency. I can’t sustain that level. If something has affected me the night before, like I’m hungover or whatever and I’m having to focus on a three/four/five day tournament, I’m not going to play my A-game.” For Geilich-Jonsen, it seems poker is all about playing well (when he wants to play), but more importantly just enjoying the ride. “This is the fourth year in a row I’ve been to Prague, and I don’t think I’ve ever made money. In fact, the best places to go are the places where you don’t really make money, because you’re just out every night. This year was the only year in Vegas I’ve made money; there are just too many distractions!”

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