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Found 54 results

  1. Yes, PocketFives makes dreams come true. The title of this article was actually the response from Belarus' Kiryl CrazymoronRadzivonau (pictured) when asked why he picked the screen name "Crazymoron" in the first place. He doesn't look so crazy anymore. We caught up with Radzivonau after he chopped the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl heads-up earlier this month and walked away with $41,000, the largest prize given out. "I haven't had such a big result on a Sunday in a long time," Radzivonau told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "Now, I have more motivation to play a lot. It was my tournament. I had a good stack throughout it and was a big chip leader at the beginning of the final table. The most difficult situation for me was in the top 18, but I dished out one cooler and everything was fine after that." A deal was first discussed when three players remained, but our interview subject reported that fellow PocketFiver molliemalonedid not want to consent because he wanted more than ICM. After that, Radzivonau coolered molliemalone to send him to the rail in a hand that featured a straight versus top set on the turn. Full Tilt member HR Dub and Radzivonau then chopped. When asked if the money would change his poker career in any way, Radzivonau responded, "I can't say this money will change anything. Ever since I won the Sunday Million in 2012, I've had enough of a bankroll for any tournament. Maybe I'll start to play $1K buy-ins online, but I'm not sure." His Sunday Million win two years ago was worth an outstanding $179,000 officially and saw him outwit, outplay, and outlast a field of nearly 5,800 entrants. Radzivonau is the 13th ranked PocketFiver in Belarus out of 185 that have PLB scores and tops in the half-million-person city of Gomel. "Belarus is a small and poor country, but we have a lot of good players, especially cash game players," he said of poker in his homeland. "I think because a lot of young guys started to play in order to earn good money, which they wouldn't have had the opportunity to do in other jobs here, there are some really good players from Belarus on PocketFives." Speaking of the Belarus pokercommunity on PocketFives, its members have combined for nearly $20 million in tracked scores, including $2.1 million in the last three months across 7,700 cashes. Belarus is #27 in the PocketFives Country Poker Rankings. He got started in poker via a free $50 offer and said, "I never lost it." He originally heard about the game after Ivan Demidov (pictured) finished second in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. Demidov was a professional World of Warcraft player and known in the internet realm as SK Soul. Radzivonau said, "I tried to find some information about poker and never looked back." Radzivonau has also excelled on the live scene, amassing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings, according to the Hendon Mob. His largest live cash was worth $99,000 and came courtesy of a win in the Russia Poker Tour's Main Event in Kiev in early 2013. He is #4 on the all-time live money list for Belarus, a leaderboard that features Alex Bolotin at the top, and Radzivonau has a GPI ranking of #160. The Sunday Brawl runs weekly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training. 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.
  2. Last month, Finland's gifuhornawon the Full Tilt Sunday Major, defeating a field of 850 players en route to a $34,000 payday. The top 90 finished in the money and the final table consisted of three PocketFivers, including Jeff YoungSupremacy Hakim. We virtually traveled to balmy Finland to get the scoop on his latest claim to fame. "It's obviously nice to reach a final table in a Sunday tournament, but winning it makes me happy," the #28 player in the PocketFives Rankingstold us. "I had a pretty big stack when there were three tables left and tried to keep the pressure on against the other players. There weren't many aggressive players before the final table that I ran into, so it was kind of the perfect situation for me. When the final table started, I had a good stack and there were ups and downs, but finally I was the only one left." As we said at the top, Hakim, who was ranked as high as #17 on PocketFives in 2009, final tabled the Full Tilt Sunday Major as well and finished in seventh place. According to gifuhorna, "He could have been a bigger threat if he had a bigger stack, but he was short and forced to play push-fold. He was out pretty quickly at the final table." The other PocketFiver to make the final nine was England's Jables20, who took fourth. With $2.1 million in career online tournament earnings, the Fin now has the bankroll to play seemingly whatever he needs. He added that he has been hunting for a new apartment in downtown Ouluand will perhaps be speeding up that process after his latest Sunday Major win. In January, gifuhorna won the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuyfor $59,000 and 427 PLB Points, his largest cash to date. He final tabled the same tournament last October for $35,000 and when asked who the top MTT player is right now, gifuhorna responded, "I prefer Finns and PocketFivers, so LarsLuzak is a pretty good answer. I think there aren't many players who have an edge on him." LarsLuzak is one of 540 registered PocketFives members from Finland (pictured), about half of whom have PLB scores. The group has accounted for $45.7 million in total online tournament earnings, including $2.6 million in the last three months. Speaking of Finland, we wanted to ask gifuhorna where his screen name came from. What the heck is gifuhorna, anyway? If you search Google for "Sisu," which is a Finnish salt liquorish candy, you'll see that the logo actually looks like it says "Gifu." It's printed in Fraktur font and looks like something out of medieval times. What's next for gifuhorna? How about a six-figure payday? "It's special to get a five-figure score," he said, "but it's a dream to get a six-figure score, so that's next for me." If you don't already have a Full Tilt Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get $25 free and one free month of PocketFives Training when you make a deposit. Get started by clicking here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. According to HighStakesDB, Gus Hansen (pictured) had a solid Sunday on the virtual felts of Full Tilt Poker, winning $546,000 at the cash game tables. However, he is still down almost $18 million since the site began tracking his account in 2006. His damage on Sunday was done at the Eight-Game and Triple Draw tables, according to HighStakesDB: "Hansen played for a couple of hours post-midnight, winning at both the Triple Draw and Eight-Game tables, building a six-figure profit before taking 11 hours away from the tables, returning in the early afternoon, where he added another $87,000, putting his daily profit over $200,000." Hansen didn't sit on $200,000 in profit, however. Instead, he came back for a nighttime session that saw him take $193,000 off an Eight-Game table with the likes of Phil "Polarizing" Ivey, Macau's punting-peddler, Alexander "PostflopAction" Kostritsyn, Alex "Alexonmoon" Luneau, Hac "trex313" Dang, samrostan, and Patrik "FinddaGrind" Antonius. When all was said and done, Hansen walked off with $546,000. As HighStakesDB noted, Hansen is down $17.8 million on Full Tilt since 2006. He is currently one of the lead faces of the site, dubbed the Professionals, and has dropped $7.2 million in Draw Games, $5.7 million in Pot Limit Omaha High-Low, $2.6 million in Mixed HA, $1.5 million in No Limit Texas Hold'em, and $1.3 million in Limit Omaha High-Low. He is up nearly $500,000 combined in Limit HORSE and Eight-Game. The tracking site has logged about 1.5 million hands for Hansen. Despite the bleeding online, Hansen has been a beast on the live tournament felts. The Hendon Mob has logged $11.2 million in career live MTT earnings for the Danish player, who has largely been among the top 100 worldwide on the tournament poker money list since 2002: 2002 Money List: 12th 2003 Money List: 13th 2004 Money List: 70th 2005 Money List: 24th 2006 Money List: n/a 2007 Money List: 20th 2008 Money List: 23rd 2009 Money List: 486th 2010 Money List: 24th 2011 Money List: 394th 2012 Money List: 30th 2013 Money List: 5,149th Hansen is tops on Denmark's all-time money list despite a recent World Series of Poker Main Event winner, Peter Eastgate, also being from that country. He tops the Nordic all-time money list and has one WSOP bracelet. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. According to the most recent update on the official FullTiltPokerClaims.comwebsite, another $2 million will be distributed to 600 US claimants by the end of September. In case you're wondering who will be paid this time around, text found on the site explains that the $2 million is earmarked for those who "confirmed their FTP Account Balances. GCG is currently working with the bank selected by the DOJ to set up the payment process. GCG expects to issue payments via ACH before the end of September 2014." --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Before payments are issued, Garden City Group, the official Full Tilt Claims Administrator, will be sending out zero-dollar test transactions, so if you see one of these on your bank account statement, don't be alarmed. As GCG pointed out, "Not all banks post these notices during the testing process, so do not be concerned if you do not receive such a notice and believe you are eligible to receive payment in the upcoming distribution." The deadline to file a Full Tilt Poker petition for remission was September 3, meaning that all applications must have been submitted by this point. GCG has removed the online submission form from the Full Tilt Poker claims website and replaced it with a message that reads, "The deadline to file petition for remission has passed. If you have any questions, please contact us." September's distribution will be the first since June, when 3,200 payments totaling $14 million were sent out. Former Full Tilt affiliates who confirmed their account balances were part of that round. Prior to the June distribution, the previous round of payments was sent out in April. The very first US Full Tilt payments went out at the end of February. The status of players with disputed claims remains up in the air, as GCG did not provide any update for players with disputed claims in its most recent announcement. Players who have any questions about the status of their refund are advised to contact GCG at 866-250-2640. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest Full Tilt Poker claims news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. He might be down almost $20 million lifetime in high-stakes online poker games according to HighStakesDB, but Danish poker pro Gus Hansen (pictured) mounted a comeback of sorts on Thursday, recording $731,000 in profit according to the tracking site. He is now down a little over $19 million lifetime. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play nowfor a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- As HighStakesDB noted, "The vast majority of Hansen's big score came at the $2K/$4K 2-7 Triple Draw tables, with action running for seven hours from 3:00am and featuring the likes of Hansen, taktloss47, Kagome Kagome, OMGClayAiken, samrostan, Follow The Hawk, SanIker, and Trueteller. Hansen made big scores at five tables, ranging between $107K and $183K." Hansen pocketed over $600,000 in the morning sessions to start the day off on the right foot and then increased his bankroll by over $100,000 at Eight-Game. All told, he was up about $731,000 in a single day, cutting his career losses by almost 4%. Hansen has been tracked by HighStakesDB since 2007 and is down $19 million lifetime. The last time he was breakeven, according to the same site, was in 2009. Hansen has bled $7.0 million in Draw Games, $5.6 million in Pot Limit Omaha, $2.6 million in Mixed HA, $1.8 million in Eight Game, and $1.3 million in Limit Omaha High-Low. The Dane is up $430,000 in HORSE, the lone variant HighStakesDB has recorded as being profitable for him. Now for the good news. Hansen is fifth on the all-time money list for the World Poker Tour at $4.0 million and tops Denmark's all-time money list, according to the Hendon Mob. He appeared in the top 30 worldwide on the tournament money list every year between 2002 and 2012 sans four. Hansen has three WPT titles and one World Series of Poker bracelet. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest poker news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. Earlier this month, PocketFiver David d.quangQuang (pictured) lit up the field of the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl, coming in second place for $17,000. There were 612 entrants and the cash helped push him to just shy of $2.5 million in lifetime scores. "It's always a great feeling to final table any major, but it's never an awesome feeling if you don't win it," he told us. "I also final tabled the Big $109 that Sunday and lost a flip on the river for the chip lead to bust in sixth. If I had finished in the top three in that, I would've felt pretty awesome." The Brawl is a $255 No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Knockout tournament and, as such, you accumulate cash for every opponent you bust. We've heard varying degrees of how much the bounties affect a player's strategy, leading Quang to say, "Aside from Progressive Knockout tournaments where the bounty's value increases, I just play my normal game. To be honest, I didn't even look at how many bounties I accumulated in this." While finishing second in the Brawl is a solid accomplishment, it's even more impressive when you consider it came a few weeks after Quang final tabled the WCOOP Super Tuesday for $63,000. "That one felt awesome," Quang gleaned. "It was a WCOOP event and it was my largest online cash ever." He finished third in the Super Tuesday twice in a four-week span in 2013 for almost $100,000 combined. In the WCOOP Super Tuesday, he made it through Day 1 with a scant 17 big blinds and seemed to be hanging on by a thread. However, on Day 2, he ran his stack up to 100 big blinds in the first few levels. As he joked, "I was definitely the dealer's favorite player, as I was getting dealt premium hand after premium hand and getting paid every time. That heater lasted until the final two tables; that's when I ran out of ammo and busted in sixth place. I thought the level of competition was the same as a normal Super Tuesday: always very challenging with very few soft spots." As you might have guessed by the title of this article, his plans for the money consist of "doubling down on MTTs." He has certainly come a long way since getting into poker while attending school in Waterloo, Ontario. He saw a clip about poker prodigies from Waterloo on a WPT episode "where they were saying there's something in the city's water. They nailed it. I thought poker was interesting because there are so many aspects of the game you can apply to real-life decisions." Mike timexMcDonald (pictured), Steven stevejpaPaul-Ambrose, Will TheDreamerMa, Nenad Medic, and Mike SirWattsWatson all come from the Waterloo carousel. Across the country, Quang grinds online in an office in Gastown, Vancouver with taikogod, CaptnKrnch, and Bryan PrimordialAA Pellegrino. He said, "We all have goals written on a white board. My goals are to get below 180 pounds by the end of the month and play over 750 tournaments per month." He closed by sending a shout out to shhhookem, Mike Pipedream17Dietrich, Ankush pistons87Mandavia, and GINS FINEST "for teaching me how to strategically win coin flips like a boss." The Sunday Brawl runs weekly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt 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. 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.
  7. Success in poker is partly about who you surround yourself with. For PocketFiver Jonas donut604Mackoff (pictured), a solid core of poker minds helped push him to the top of the pack in a Full Tilt Poker $340 No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry FTOPS eventearlier this month for a solid $117,000. That score came on the heels of a chop in the PokerStars Super Tuesday. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "I'm feeling great about it obviously," Mackoff said about his FTOPS jersey. "It was a really great-structured tournament and the field was tough when we got deep, which made it more satisfying than some other wins." There were over 2,200 entrants; the top 270 made the money. Heads-up in the FTOPS Re-Entry tournament, Mackoff forged a deal with fellow PocketFiver bullyon, who took $100,000 back home to Costa Rica. "bullyon was definitely giving me the most trouble of anyone at the final table," Mackoff said. "While trying to leverage my chip lead to put some pressure on people waiting for pay jumps, he was relentlessly making big 4bets against me and putting the pressure on. I thought he played really well throughout and I was happy to do an ICM chop with him when I had the chip lead heads-up, which I may not have done with some of the other players." As far as his plans for the money from his FTOPS and Super Tuesday titles, Mackoff said part of it would be used to offset expenses for a few upcoming trips, including Montrealfor SCOOP, Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, and Rio de Janeiroto visit his brother-in-law and soak up the World Cup. Mackoff is one of several players we've interviewed who have said they're headed to Brazil for the World Cup, which starts in June. "I'm very pumped," he said of the football extravaganza. "I've been meaning to head to Rio at some point anyway to visit family I have there and the city is going to be absolutely insane while the event is going on. I'll be staying with my brother-in-law's family there and will be rooting for Brazil along with them." He now has back-to-back months with six-figure scores and will look to make it three in a row in May. His success comes on the heels of what he termed an "extended downswing" in 2013. "I had become complacent with the way I was playing and it took me a while to take a step back and decide that I needed to start putting in work away from the tables again," Mackoff said. His solution: "I spent a week watching training videos and getting my mind back on the right track. I'm lucky enough to have Chris moorman1 Moorman (pictured) as a friend and, seeing that I had been struggling, he offered to go over some hand histories with me. After just a few hours of tweaking spots with him, I started seeing immediate results." Moorman is pictured following his recent WPT LAPC win. In addition to Moorman, Mackoff is close with players like Craig mcc3991McCorkell, Chris kid_brammBrammer, Rhys floppinhelJones, Martin molliemalone Malone, and Noah Vaillancourt. As you might expect, Mackoff is focused on improving his game and has enlisted the help of Fedor CrownUpGuyHolz, whom we recently interviewed about his PokerStars Sunday 500 win. "I just finished my first coaching session with him and it went really well," Mackoff said. "I couldn't be more excited about the rest of 2014." FTOPS runs quarterly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get $25 free in most locations. Click here for PocketFives' Full Tilt Poker link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  8. According to an update posted on the official claims website for US Full Tilt Poker players, another round of refunds is scheduled for mid-June. This time, Garden City Group, the appointed Claims Administrator in the case, will refund $15 million over 3,500 payments, or an average of $4,300 per claim. Over $80 million has been sent to players thus far, meaning that once the latest round of refunds is accounted for, nearly $100 million will have been paid back to former US Full Tilt customers. As for who will receive money in a few weeks, Garden City Group explained that it's earmarked for "petitioners who submitted complete, timely, or late petitions confirming their FTP account balance. Also included in this round of payments are affiliates who submitted petitions confirming their FTP account balances." Several players included in the former group had "obviously incorrect or incomplete" banking errors that have since been corrected. The first round of paymentswas sent on the final day of February to 27,500 claimants and totaled $76 million, while the second batch of paymentswas issued on April 1 to 2,200 claimants and totaled $5 million. The third set of repayments was originally scheduled for the end of May, although it appears this has been pushed back to mid-June. June's round includes the first set of payments to Full Tilt affiliates, who were potentially going to be left out of the repayment process altogether. Affiliates and others receiving money in mid-June could see a zero-dollar transaction on their bank statement that is related to the Full Tilt Poker claims process. As Garden City Group put it, "Not all banks post these notices during the testing process, so do not be concerned if you do not receive such a notice and believe you are eligible to receive payment in the upcoming distribution." The fates of players with disputed balances and former Full Tilt Poker Red Pros are up in the air. In mid-April, Garden City Group posted, "GCG continues to work with the Department of Justice to evaluate disputed and new petitions, the eligibility of Pros, and timelines for the remainder of the distributions." We'll have more Full Tilt Poker remission news as it develops. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. You have to love the advice that GoGooseGo(pictured), whose goes by Paul, gave to his fellow regs on PocketFives: "Never work on your game. You just have bad luck!" All kidding aside, Paul final tabled the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy last month, cashing for $23,000 following a fourth place finish. He is on the cusp of breaking $900,000 in tracked scores. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "$23,000 is not a bad result for a Sunday tournament," Paul told us, "but every poker player wants to win a tournament, not finish fourth." The fourth place finish marked his first ever Sunday $100 Rebuy final table and his third largest tracked score to date. He had a big stack throughout the tournament and became chip leader in a hand in which he raised with aces and got two callers, one of whom had 7-6. His bullets held and he called the hand "a defining moment." As far as the money goes, Paul's wife plans to make repairs to the kitchen and hallway in the couple's house. "She plans to put down tile and laminate flooring," he said. By the way, you can find him on PokerStars and Full Tiltunder the screen name He3HaiKa. He got started in poker through a free $50 offer and his early games included $5 and $10 sit and gos on iPoker until he "accidentally" entered an MTT. He wound up winning the third MTT he registered for and has never looked back. In mid-2012, he cashed for $62,000 after taking second in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. He described 2012 as "the best time for me as a professional poker player. That Sunday Warm-Up second place was the best result I've had, but the entire year was really awesome. My girlfriend and I traveled a lot. I went to ten countries that until then I had never been and played poker on several continents. Generally, during that year, everything went perfectly." The largest cash PocketFives tracked for Paul in 2013 was a $17,000 hit for placing second in thePokerStars $109 No Limit Hold'em Turbo 2X Chance. On his 2013, Paul told us, "Last year was hard for me because my worst downswing occurred while we were spending a lot of money as a family: we bought a new car, had a wedding, and had other related costs to start a family. Apparently, all of the events in real life did not allow me to play my best game." Paul is part of the Russia poker community here on PocketFives, which has 1,329 members. The group has combined for $121 million in career earnings, including $13.6 million in the last three months. Our interview subject is Russia's 48th ranked player. The Sunday $100 Rebuy 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.
  10. Brand new to Full Tilt Pokerare Flipout Tournaments, which consist of two rounds. In the first, players go all-in automatically on every hand, with one player per table progressing to the second round. Anyone who reaches the second round of a Flipout Tournament will already be in the money and get a piece of the prize pool. A standard betting structure exists in the second round, which means you can play like normal and know you're already past the bubble. Sarne Lightman, Full Tilt Poker’s Head of Marketing, commented in a press release, "Full Tilt Poker is dedicated to the continual evolution of online poker to keep it fun, fresh, and exciting, not just for our existing players, but also to help attract the generations coming up. Flipouts are a game changer – literally unlike any other online poker tournament. Perfect for the time-poor player who wants to jump straight to the post-bubble action with a stack and blind levels that give them plenty of play." Tournaments marked with a purple "F" in the Full Tilt lobby are Flipout Tournaments. In celebration of the new poker format, Full Tilt is holding a Flipout Festival from March 21 to 24. There are 12 events and 108 tournaments in total, with a range of buy-ins for every event. All tournaments during the Flipout Festival are Multi-Entry and there's $25,000 in added cash and prizes on the line. Full Tilt Poker is holding a special Final Flipout Freeroll on March 29 that includes prizes like an iPad Air and plenty of Full Tilt gear. According to Full Tilt's website, "You'll get a ticket for the Final Flipout Freeroll for every five tournaments you buy into but don't win a prize in." If you don't have a Full Tilt Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus plus one free month of PocketFives Trainingwith no sign-up fee. E-mail support@pocketfives.com to claim your Training. 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.
  11. According to a message posted on the official Full Tilt Poker claims website, the second round of payments issued to former US Full Tilt players totaled $5 million. The distributions were made on April 1 and Garden City Group, the appointed claims administrator in the case, sent 2,200 of them for an average of $2,272 each. The first round of payments was sent on the final day of February to 27,500 claimants and totaled $76 million, which brings the cumulative amount paid back to $81 million. According to Garden City, "On April 1, GCG issued approximately 2,200 payments totaling approximately $5 million to petitioners who timely confirmed their FTP account balances online and who were approved for payment in the first round of distributions, but who needed to correct their banking information. Please note that if any such petitioners did not properly update their bank account information, they will be sent a check to the mailing address on record." When checks will be mailed out is not yet known, although several members of the community have reported receiving them already. The 2014 tax deadline is quickly approaching in the United States and those Full Tilt Poker petitioners who owe money to Uncle Sam will need to pay the piper before receiving any funds. According to Garden City, "If you received a notice because you have a debt qualifying for collection through the Treasury Offset Program, please send your completed Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form to GCG as soon as possible." On Two Plus Two, poker players reported that their payments arrived throughout the week, including one who detailed, "I had incorrect banking information which delayed my payment in the first wave. Today, I received a check for my remissions payment." Another poster detailed, "Received money today. Undisputed claim with wrong banking information. I guess it's going to take a few days for all transfers to come in." Late last Month, PocketFives reported that the order of payments to former US Full Tilt customers would be similar to the following: 1. Players with minor banking errors 2. Players with major banking errors 3. Players with disputed balances 4. Full Tilt Poker affiliates and Red Pros Whether that order sticks remains to be seen. We'll keep you posted on the latest Full Tilt remission news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. [caption width="552"] 1,180 U.S. players and Professionals of the old Full Tilt Poker will be getting refunded soon[/caption] More money from the old Full Tilt Poker, the one that fled the United States on Black Friday and was subsequently found to be insolvent, is headed to former United States-based players and pros. According to FullTiltPokerClaims.com, the website run by Full Tilt claims administrator Garden City Group, 1,180 petitions will be filled as part of a new wave of payments. This group of petitions totals $2.6 million, an average of $2,200 per claim. At least three groups of players will receive their money: payments to petitioners who have confirmed their Full Tilt account balances, petitioners who have disputed their Full Tilt account balances, and petitioners designated by Full Tilt as "Professionals." The last group represents any player who was designated as a "pro" by Full Tilt including Red Pros, Friends of Full Tilt, and other players. The first round of refunds that included Full Tilt Professionals came in the middle of 2015. Initially, sponsored pros of Full Tilt were not scheduled to receive refunds from the U.S. Department of Justice via Garden City Group at all. However, the DOJ changed its tune and allowed Professionals to receive payments related to their online play at Full Tilt only. The same held true for Full Tilt affiliates. "GCG has completed its initial review of all filed petitions and, with this round of payments, we will have paid approximately 94% of those filed," Garden City Group said about the latest round of payments. A date for money to be sent to bank accounts was not given. The first round of payments to former U.S. customers of Full Tilt came in February 2014, over two years ago and almost three years after Black Friday. The last wave of petitions was filled in October and consisted of 1,900 petitions totaling approximately $5.5 million. With that set of payments, 92% of petitions had been filled. Those scheduled to receive funds may notice a $0 transaction on their bank account statement. "[This] relates to the Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration," a statement on Garden City Group's website read. "Please be aware that this is a normal part of the bank testing process in preparation for payment of ACHs. However, not all banks post these notices during the testing process, so do not be concerned if you do not receive such a notice and believe you are eligible to receive payment in the upcoming distribution." Additionally, Garden City Group posted that it is continually contacting players whose petitions are incomplete. Any recipient must respond within 20 days of the date of the email in order for the petition process to move forward. Players who believe they should have been contacted are encouraged to check their spam folders or call Garden City Group at 866-250-2640 or email them at Info@FullTiltPokerClaims.com. U.S. players were separated from their Full Tilt funds on Black Friday in April 2011. The U.S. DOJ indicted the founders of, and payment personnel associated with, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, UB, and Full Tilt. All four sites left the American market almost immediately. Full Tilt closed down later that year after its gaming license was suspended and the U.S. Government subsequently labeled it a "global Ponzi scheme." The parent company of PokerStars at the time, the Rational Group, acquired Full Tilt in 2012. At the same time, PokerStars transferred money to the DOJ to repay former Full Tilt customers. PokerStars admitted no wrongdoing in a deal with the DOJ and forfeited $547 million to authorities over a period of three years. Non-U.S. players were able to receive their funds immediately, while U.S. players have patiently waited multiple years. PokerStars and a re-launched Full Tilt are both now owned and operated by Amaya Gaming.
  13. [caption width="640"] The once-loved Full Tilt Poke software will be retired as of May 17.[/caption] When PokerStars acquired Full Tilt Poker in 2012, many assumed that the player pools of both sites would be combined to form one massive online poker room. That didn’t happen. Instead, the two sites remained separate, with players able to continue playing on the very popular Full Tilt software. {PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] To the delight of the poker community, PokerStars swooped in and made FTP players whole after Black Friday, cashing out millions of dollars of previously frozen funds. Even so, traffic at the site never really picked up, and when company officials recently implemented drastic measures meant to prolong the life of casual players, traffic dropped even further. In February, Amaya, parent company of the two sites, announced that Full Tilt would finally integrate its player pool with the PokerStars ecosystem. While the company initially did not provide a date for the merger, the company announced Friday that the move will be made later this month. "Full Tilt players will join the PokerStars platform and liquidity on May 17, as the two player pools will be combined to form one market leading poker experience," said Full Tilt communications official Michael Josem. "In the coming days, Full Tilt players will be emailed direct and personal information on how this will affect them specifically, which depends on a variety of factors including their jurisdiction and the status of their PokerStars account (if any)," he continued. While the FTP platform will also be scrapped, its brand identity will remain unchanged. Players can choose whether they would like to connect through the Full Tilt or PokerStars software directly. Those who have accounts on both sites will have those accounts consolidated into one. Players who choose to play on Full Tilt will have the added benefit of choosing their own custom avatar. "In many cases, Full Tilt players who already hold a PokerStars account will not need to update any information or transfer their account assets (loyalty points, cash balances etc) which will be transferred automatically to their PokerStars account and they can simply log in to their PokerStars account and enjoy all the great benefits on offer, including even more game choices and bigger tournaments," said Josem. While the move will increase liquidity and tournament prize pools, company execs cited other advantages of merging the two rooms. In February, Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive of Rational Group, explained that the elimination of the Full Tilt software would allow his developers to fully focus on the PokerStars platform. "We will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating existing markets swiftly," Ashkenazi said. In August, Full Tilt dealt a blow to professional players by taking measures meant to reduce the advantages those grinders hold over amateur players. To disrupt the practice of bumhunting, for example, players were no longer allowed to choose their own seats and were automatically placed at the table with the next seat available. Furthermore, the site removed all heads up tables, along with many of the high stakes tables. As a result, the site lost about 20% of its traffic in the days after the changes were implemented. PokerStars currently sits atop the list of online poker site traffic rankings, while Full Tilt occupies the 14th place, according to PokerScout.
  14. After a slew of changes were made to the game mix at Full Tiltlast week, site rep Shyam Markuswas left to admit, "I can confirm it's not a bug. Lots of changes were implemented today, and for sure many won't be popular." If you liked Adrenaline Rush Poker, Irish Poker, and high-stakes games, prepared to get your world rocked. According to PokerNews, the following games have gone the way of the dodo at Full Tilt: Adrenaline Rush (Starting May 1) Cap and Deep-Stack HU NLHE Cap, Deep-Stack, Deep-Stack with Antes 6-Max NLHE Shallow-Stack Full Ring NLHE PLHE HU and 6-Max Full Ring LHE Deep-Stack PLO HU Cap, Deep-Stack, Deep-Stack with Antes PLO 6-max Deep-Stack with Antes 6-Card PLO HU New-to-the-Game Tables for Certain Games Irish Poker HORSE, HA, 7-Game $0.25/$0.50 and $1/$2 PLO Rush Poker Among those commenting on the changes was high-stakes pro Doug "WCGRider" Polk, who lamented the loss of nosebleed-stakes games on what was once the second largest online poker room in the world: According to HighStakesDB, "There are still $1,000/$2,000 and $1,500/$3,000 Limit tablesavailable, which means the action will not dry out completely." Full Tilt was once the epicenter of high-stakes games, but a series of SNAFUs including the site being shut down due to insolvency seemingly forced it to find a new identity. Its one-time rival, PokerStars, is now its sister site under Amaya Gaming's guidance and the room has rebranded to Full Tilt instead of Full Tilt Poker. Its marketing is changing to focus on recreational players and not high-stakes pros. Adrenaline Rush Poker was introduced 15 months ago and was played four-handed. You could only buy in for five to ten big blinds and there was no post-flop betting. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  15. From August 3 to August 17, the 26th Full Tilt Online Poker Serieswill take place. The Main Eventis a $635 Re-Entry Tournament that will guarantee at least $1 million. The finale occurs on Sunday, August 17 at 13:30 ET. Also of note is a Two-Day Event that gets underway at 12:30 ET on Saturday, August 16 with Day 1. That tournament has a $2,100 buy-in and guarantees $500,000. There are two multi-day eventsas well, each of which has eight starting days. If you're a fan of satellites, know they began on July 3, so you can qualify on the cheap if your bankroll doesn't allow high-dollar buy-ins. If you don't have a Full Tilt Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get $25 free in most locations and one free month of PocketFives Training with no signup fee. Get started by clicking here. We won't make you wait any longer. Here's the schedule for FTOPS XXVI, which will kick off in one month and features 31 tournaments, about two-thirds of which will spread No Limit Hold'em: Event #1: Sunday, August 3 at 13:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Hold'em Re-Entry Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1A): Sunday, August 3 at 16:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1B): Monday, August 4 at 12:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #3: Monday, August 4 at 14:30 ET $200 + $15 HORSE $25,000 GTD Event #4: Monday, August 4 at 16:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Hold'em Rush $75,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1C): Tuesday, August 5 at 12:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #5: Tuesday, August 5 at 14:30 ET $200 + $15 Limit Hold'em $25,000 GTD Event #6: Tuesday, August 5 at 16:30 ET $310 + $10 NL Hold'em Super Turbo Knockout $100,000 GTD Event #7: Wednesday, August 6 at 12:30 ET $300 + $20 Razz $25,000 GTD Event #8: Wednesday, August 6 at 14:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Heads-Up $25,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1D): Wednesday, August 6 at 16:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #9: Thursday, August 7 at 12:30 ET $200 + $15 PL Omaha Hi-Lo Six-Max $40,000 GTD Event #10: Thursday, August 7 at 14:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Hold'em Six-Max $100,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1E): Thursday, August 7 at 16:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #11: Friday, August 8 at 12:30 ET $200 + $15 Mixed-Mixed Six-Max Re-Entry Tournament $25,000 GTD Event #12: Friday, August 8 at 14:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Cubed $75,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1F): Friday, August 8 at 16:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1G): Saturday, August 9 at 11:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #13: Saturday, August 9 at 12:30 ET $1,000 + $50 NL Hold'em $250,000 GTD Event #14: Saturday, August 9 at 14:30 ET $300 + $20 PL Omaha Hi Six-Max Triple Chance $75,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1G): Saturday, August 9 at 16:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1H): Sunday, August 10 at 07:30 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #15: Sunday, August 10 at 11:00 ET $120 + $9 NL Hold'em Knockout $300,000 GTD Event #2 (Day 1H): Sunday, August 10 at 12:00 ET $50 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $200,000 GTD Event #16: Sunday, August 10 at 13:30 ET $300 + $20 NL Hold'em Re-Entry Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1A): Sunday, August 10 at 16:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1B): Monday, August 11 at 12:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #18: Monday, August 11 at 14:30 ET $500 + $30 Mixed-Mixed Six-Max Multi-Entry Tournament $75,000 GTD Event #19: Monday, August 11 at 16:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Hold'em $60,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1c): Tuesday, August 12 at 12:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #20: Tuesday, August 12 at 14:30 ET $200 + $15 PL Omaha Hi Six-Max $40,000 GTD Event #21: Tuesday, August 12 at 16:30 ET $104 + $5 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry Flipout Tournament $40,000 GTD Event #22: Wednesday, August 13 at 12:30 ET $200 + $15 Seven-Card Stud $25,000 GTD Event #23: Wednesday, August 13 at 14:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Six-Max Rebuy $75,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1D): Wednesday, August 13 at 16:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #24: Thursday, August 14 at 12:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Hold'em Four-Handed $40,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1E): Thursday, August 14 at 16:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #26: Friday, August 15 at 12:30 ET $200 + $15 NL Omaha Hi-Lo Six-Max $30,000 GTD Event #27: Friday, August 15 at 14:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Rush Rebuy $100,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1F): Friday, August 15 at 16:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1G): Saturday, August 16 at 11:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #28 (Day 1): Saturday, August 16 at 12:30 ET $2,000 + $100 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $500,000 GTD Event #29: Saturday, August 16 at 14:30 ET $200 + $15 PL Omaha Hi Rush $40,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1G): Saturday, August 16 at 16:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1H): Sunday, August 17 at 07:30 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #30: Sunday, August 17 at 11:00 ET $240 + $15 NL Hold'em Six-Max Knockout $250,000 GTD Event #17 (Day 1H): Sunday, August 17 at 12:00 ET $100 + $9 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $300,000 GTD Event #28 (Day 2): Sunday, August 17 at 12:30 ET $2,000 + $100 NL Hold'em Multi-Day Tournament $500,000 GTD FTOPS XXVI Main Event: Sunday, August 17 at 13:30 ET $600 + $35 NL Hold'em Re-Entry Tournament $1,000,000 GTD Visit Full Tilt Poker for more details.
  16. According to an update posted on the official Full Tilt Poker Claims websiteon Wednesday, the next round of US Full Tilt Poker refunds will be sent out by the end of May. About 1,000 people will get their money back this time around, over three years after Full Tilt vacated the US market on Black Friday. According to a message posted by Garden City Group, the appointed Claims Administrator in the case, the latest round of refunds will go to "petitioners who confirmed their balance prior to the deadline and did not file duplicate petitions. These petitions were previously reviewed by the Government, but [were]not yet approved for remission due to obviously incorrect or incomplete information. Petitioners in this category who subsequently updated their information will be forwarded to the Government for approval in the coming weeks." Garden City Group will e-mail to anyone who qualifies to be part of the newest round of refunds before payments are issued. The second batch of payments was issued on April 1to 2,200 claimants and totaled $5 million. The first round of payments was sent on the final day of Februaryto 27,500 claimants and totaled $76 million, which means $81 million has been paid back to former US Full Tilt players thus far. Following the end-of-May remissions, the subsequent round will likely occur at the end of July. These payments, according to Garden City, will be made to "late confirming petitions, petitioners who originally submitted multiple petitions but later withdrew their duplicate petition, petitioners who withdrew a dispute regarding their account balance, affiliates who confirmed their balance, and petitioners who confirmed their account balance and recently updated their bank account information." July's refunds will be the first addressing affiliates, who were originally thought to be shut out of the remission process, but were later included after affiliate-related revenue was removed from their account balances. Still up in the air is the fate of players with disputed balances as well as Red Pros. No update from Garden City was given on either of these groups other than, "GCG continues to work with the Department of Justice to evaluate disputed and new petitions, the eligibility of Pros, and timelines for the remainder of the distributions." Players with disputed balances vented en masse on Two Plus Two. One poster from Pennsylvania wrote, "They likely won't even start looking at disputed balances until late summer, so we'd be lucky to get anything before 2015? So disappointing." A player from Arizona added, "Really sickening update. God knows when the hell disputed claims might even be looked at. Wishing I'd just accepted the balance as presented without disputing the check I never received." We'll keep you posted on the latest Full Tilt Poker remission news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  17. In a notice posted on FullTiltPokerClaims.com, the Garden City Group, the appointed Claims Administrator for US Full Tilt refunds, issued a warning on Monday to petitioners who failed to provide correct social security information. In fact, giving incomplete or incorrect social security information could result in a player's claim being denied. "Petitioners with an incomplete or incorrect Social Security Number will have their petition recommended for denial," the statement read. "As explained in FAQ Number 17 on this website, prior to the payment of funds to a petitioner, GCG is required to provide the petitioner's Social Security or other Taxpayer Identification Number to the government in order to offset and collect any qualifying debts currently listed in the Treasury Offset Program." The Treasury Offset Program was created to collect outstanding debts that US residents owe to federal and state agencies, including back taxes and child support. Players with an incomplete Social Security Number, as well as players with incomplete banking information, were issued e-mails on October 25. A total of 2,200 e-mails were sent out, meaning there were plenty of former US Full Tilt customers with problems that needed to be addressed. Players with banking issues who do not submit corrected information by November 24, or 30 days after the date the e-mails from GCG were sent, will receive a check in the mail. As the FullTiltPokerClaims.com site explained, "Petitioners with incomplete or incorrect banking information will be sent a check to the mailing address provided with their petition, should their petition be approved." Anyone with questions about the status of their application should contact GCG at 866-250-2640 or Info@FullTiltPokerClaims.com. The most recent round of Full Tilt refunds went out at the end of September to 600 claimants. The amount given back was $1.8 million, which went to petitioners "who submitted complete, timely, or late petitions confirming their FTP account balance." According to Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, players with disputed Full Tilt claims will likely not see any of their money until 2015. According to our original article on the topic from September, Pappas "said that GCG and DOJ still have their hands full with all the claims evaluations, resulting in a slow process. He plans to continue discussions with the DOJ over the coming weeks so he can keep the poker community informed." Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest on the Full Tilt remission process. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. According to a statement posted on FullTiltPokerClaims.com, the next round of US Full Tilt Poker remission payments will be issued this Thursday, June 12. Included are 3,500 petitioners who will receive a total of $15 million. Garden City Group, the appointed Claims Administrator for Full Tilt Poker refunds, has been busy testing bank accounts of petitioners to ensure their correctness. To that end, the statement read in part, "CGG has identified certain petitioners who are approved for payment but who submitted account information that was either incomplete or incorrect. On June 6, 2014, GCG sent emails to all such petitioners with instructions as to how to update their bank account information through the online filing site." These petitioners have until June 25 to update their information or else a check will be snail-mailed to the address on file with their petition. If you didn't see any activity in your bank account, don't fear. Garden City explained, "All other petitioners who have been approved for payment in the upcoming distribution and whose bank account information has passed the preliminary testing process will be sent an e-mail notice in the next couple of days with the amount of their payment." Over $80 million has been sent to players thus far, meaning that once the latest round of refunds is accounted for, nearly $100 million will have been paid back to former US Full Tilt customers. Thursday's recipients will include those who confirmed their Full Tilt Poker balances tardily and, for the first time, affiliates of what was once the second largest online poker room in the world. Players with disputed Full Tilt claims still have not been paid back, joining Full Tilt Red Pros in that distinction. According to Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas (pictured), "The latest wave of approved remissions will clear the way for more attention to be given to disputed claims. [The Department of Justice] said they have a huge task of sorting and then analyzing all of the documents provided by players, and that it is still going to take some time." Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest Full Tilt Poker remission news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  19. On Thursday, Amaya Gaming purchased the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the Rational Group, for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to close in September and will make Amaya the largest publicly held internet gambling company on the face of the Earth. The question many players have been wondering is how fast we can expect to see PokerStarsand/or Full Tilt Poker reenter a regulated market in the US. According to longtime industry insider Joe Brennan, don't expect to see PokerStars back in the US immediately. Brennan told PocketFives on Friday, "This transaction, if it goes through, doesn't automatically bring PokerStars back to the US. The deal is likely to draw huge regulatory scrutiny and there's no doubt that Stars' foes - like Caesars - will double down on their efforts to have 'bad actor' clauses included and broadened in any US iGaming legislation." Amaya could face quite a hurdle in California, for example, where "intellectual property such as brands and software connected to online bets taken from the US market after December 31, 2006" are subject to "bad actor" ramifications, according to Online Poker Report. In New Jersey, Amaya is licensed and several internet gambling sites are up and running, so how PokerStars would ultimately break into the market, if at all, isn't clear. On the subject of New Jersey, eGaming Review published an article on Friday that explained, "Even if [Amaya and PokerStars] were to double the number of internet poker players in the Garden State, based on May's revenues, total poker rake would be around $5 million. While the increase would be welcome, it's far from being a game-changer. And what if PokerStars doesn't grow the market, but takes share away from those operators already live and struggling to turn a profit from their online operations?" Brennan also told PocketFives he believes "Amaya is getting PokerStars on the cheap." He rationalized, "PokerStars has over $1 billion in revenue and $420 million in EBIDTA. The multiple they're getting on that is extremely low. Consider that Uber, with revenue of $213 million, was just valued at $18 billion." Amaya purchased the Rational Group for 11x EBIDTA, which, according to eGaming Review, is "above the industry average, but still in line with the multiple paid by William Hill for Playtech's share of the William Hill Online joint venture last year." Therefore, in the online gambling world, 11x EBIDTA could be considered "fair" value. The deal is still subject to Amaya shareholder approval. According to Bloomberg, PokerStars CEO Mark Scheinberg, who will exit the company after the transaction is completed, owns 75% of the Rational Group. Moreover, the same article revealed that Rational "has no debt" to speak of. Scheinberg settled with the US DOJ one year ago. On Thursday, the Poker Players Alliance called the sale "encouraging news for millions of American players." We'll continue to keep you posted on the latest. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  20. Dan "jungleman12" Cates (pictured) has been crushing the 2-7 Triple Draw tables online lately, having racked up more than $1.5 million in profits during the last two weeks, according to HighStakesDB. His latest domination came on Monday night on Full Tilt Pokeragainst some of the best players in the business. During a one-hour stretch in the wee hours of the morning, Cates booked a $161,000 win in a heads-up match against Alexander "PostFlopAction" Kostritsyn. A bit later, after 4:00am, the two were back at it, with Cates winning another $42,000 from his opponent. Jungleman didn't take a break in between those two sessions, though, instead getting into a 2-7 Triple Draw game against several beasts of online poker: Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Gus Hansen, Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, "samrostan", and Kostritsyn. Heads-up or short-handed, it didn't matter; Cates won $125,000 in that game. All told, Cates won $387,800 on Monday, doubling the total of the day's next biggest winner, Germany's Sven Niklas "ragen70" Heinecker. Cates has had one heck of a 2014 so far. He started out making almost $200,000 in the first week of the new year and, by the end of January had climbed to about $230,000. His profit totals crept up slightly throughout February before dipping back down to around the $220,000-mark at the end of the month. March has been phenomenal, as noted earlier. Looking at data provided by HighStakesDB, we can see that Cates has had just two losing days this month, relatively insignificant ones at that. In the meantime, he has had a couple of phenomenal winning days, including Monday. The other was Saturday, March 8, when he won over $613,000. In March, Cates has won a shade under $1.5 million at the online cash game tables. For the year, he is up about $1.75 million. That slots him as the second most profitable online poker player this year on HighStakesDB, as Ben Bttech86 Tollerene (pictured) is in the top spot right now with 2014 profits of nearly $2 million. Those are the only two players who have exceeded $1 million in earnings. The next player on the list is "WCGRider", who has won $680,000 this year. Then again, "WCGRider" has done that in 6,891 hands, compared to 26,100 for Tollerene and 23,635 for Cates. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest online poker news. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. It was a rough day for longtime PocketFiver Randal RandALLinFlowers (pictured), whose shoulder was injured when we talked to him. Oh, and he was also eight-tabling and typing responses to our questions. The veritable Houdini was fresh off winning the Full Tilt Poker $1K Saturday nine days ago for $24,000. It had been a while since we caught up with Flowers, so we reached out for reaction despite the injury. "Other than the shoulder, I'm feeling pretty good," Flowers told PocketFives. "I'm living in Mexico grinding. I wasn't on a huge downswing or anything, but the win helped get the momentum going in the right direction." We found out about Flowers' big $1K Saturday win via Twitter, where his friends and peers congratulated him via an onslaught of messages. "It is definitely a good feeling to be respected among your peers," Flowers reacted. The World Poker Tour event winner is up to $4.3 million in tracked online MTTs, including $1 million on Full Tilt, where he is better known as ScoopAndStack. Flowers has continued to grind online in Mexico with a fury, but said he has been living a much more balanced life. He commented, "I used to wake up early and grind a lot of the afternoon. Now, I don't set an alarm and play when I feel good. I've been going to the beach more and been happier in general. I have the luxury of being able to work whenever I want to, so I decided to take advantage of that more and not be a slave to the grind as much." Flowers can't say he injured his shoulder and then not tell us how it went down. He explained that a basketball game was to blame: "I was playing some pickup basketball with a lot of poker players down here. I went for a rebound and strained it. It was pretty painful, but a friend is coming for a bachelor party in a week, so I have to get better." Meanwhile, he is ranked #66 worldwide on PocketFives and #4 in Mexico. How do you click buttons online with one bum shoulder while interviewing with PocketFives? "A lot of min-raising and percent of pot bet-sizing," he joked. The Mexico pokercommunity is huge any way you slice it. It consists of nearly 500 registered members, including many American transplants, and has total winnings of $106 million, $8.3 million of which has come in the last three months. Players like Flowers, Cal cal42688Anderson (pictured), and Wade ricestud Townsend are among those who have relocated to the North American nation and continued to dominate online. Speaking on the group who is camped out in Mexico, Flowers commented, "There are so many guys in and out here now, it's crazy. I have been here two years, so I feel pretty old. A lot come and never leave, though. It has everything. You can do yoga, eat good food, do touristy stuff, and it's a pretty big party city too. I think at one point someone final tabled the Warm-Up from Playa del Carmen every Sunday for three months." Finally, the 2014 World Series of Poker is quickly approaching, with the annual series in Las Vegas set to begin in late May. Flowers final tabled a $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event last year and said, "I'll be there. The schedule has something for me to play 32 of the 41 days or something silly like that. Last year, I took a two-week break in the middle and came back and crushed online." Don't worry; Flowers won't be alone in the scorching Nevada desert. His girlfriend is a masseuse and works the WSOP, "so we get an apartment together," he said. "We rent cars for the summer, keep our heads down, and power through the beast that is the WSOP. If you don't manage your time, your lack of energy really kills you on long days when equity matters." The $1K Saturday runs weekly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training. 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.
  22. [caption width="640"] Ferguson elicits a polarizing range of emotions as he steps back into the spotlight[/caption] Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson won his sixth World Series of Poker bracelet on Wednesday when he took down WSOPE Event #7 (€1,650 Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Better) for €39,289. With the victory, Ferguson, the current WSOP Player of Year points leader, extended his first place margin over both Ryan Hughes and John Racener, the players nearest to him in the race. Shedding his traditional urban cowboy garb, Ferguson took to the table with a navy T-shirt with a single word silkscreened in the center chest reading “love.” While Ferguson clearly loved the result, not everyone who received word of his victory was feeling what his shirt was preaching. Ferguson, a central figure in the Full Tilt Poker financial collapse, has yet to publicly comment on the fiscal disaster that left thousands of poker players funds trapped in limbo for years. His silence has led to resentment by some members of the poker community, while others have opted not to hold a grudge against Ferguson since he’s returned from his self-imposed exile. Both sides took to social media to comment on the bracelet win for the controversial champion. Comments directed at Ferguson himself were at a minimum early on. It was actually 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth’s congratulatory tweet that seemed to generate the most buzz. Ferguson continues to march to the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year as the final points will be tallied at the conclusion of the WSOPE Main Event which begins on November 4.
  23. Seven years after Black Friday shut down Full Tilt Poker, Chris Ferguson wants you to now he's sorry. In a 42-second video posted by Ferguson to Vimeo on late Wednesday night, the reigning World Series of Poker Player of the Year and former Full Tilt Poker executive thanked his fans and the poker community for their "patience and support". The 55-year-old claims that he "worked relentlessly to ensure that all players got paid back" and apologizes that it took as long as it did." Most players with a balance on Full Tilt Poker on April 15, 2011 were made whole by the U.S. Government with funds from their settlement with PokerStars starting in 2014. Many "red pros" were unable to collect their full balance. As has been the case with a number of high-ranking Full Tilt Poker executives, Ferguson claims there is more to the story than they are able to tell and one day players and fans will get the truth. "One day the Full Tilt Poker story will be told, and like many of you, I look forward to that day," Ferguson said. The video comes just seven days before the 2018 WSOP begins. While this may have been an attempt to turn the tide of public opinion that currently casts Ferguson as a villain, the poker community's response to the video was far from sympathetic. Not surprisingly, Daniel Negreanu was one of the first to comment. After Black Friday, Ferguson stayed out of the poker spotlight, completely avoiding the WSOP from 2011 until deciding to return in 2016. When Ferguson returned to the WSOP in 2016, he refused to comment on or apologize for his role in Black Friday despite requests from many players. At the 2017 WSOP in Las Vegas, Ferguson cashed 17 times and was in contention for WSOP POY. He then cashed another seven times, including his sixth career bracelet win, at WSOP Europe to take home WSOP POY. As part of his win, a banner with his picture will be raised at the 2018 WSOP next week.  
  24. When PokerStars acquired the Full Tilt Poker assets as part of their Black Friday settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, many wondered about the future of the Full Tilt Poker brand. To the surprise of many, PokerStars kept the Full Tilt Poker brand running separately alongside their own brand. Now, some 3.5 years later, things are changing. On Wednesday Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt, confirmed that the company will consolidate all players into one player pool. "Players will benefit from a larger pool of players offering greater game choice, bigger prize pools," said Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of Rational Group. "It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly." The Full Tilt brand isn't going anywhere though. While the player pool will be combined into one, players will still have the choice of playing on Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars. Accounts will be consolidated so players have only one account, but they will be able to choose which brand they play under. Those who choose to play under the Full Tilt brand will still be able to choose from their custom avatars. The decision to merge the player pools will result in greater liquidity at all levels and a subsequent increase in tournament prize pools. Players will be contacted once the software migration is complete and given an explanation as to how the changes will impact them. Players with accounts on both sites will now play under their existing PokerStars screenname. All players will now be under the PokerStars reward program. Once one of the most popular online poker rooms in the world, Full Tilt Poker has dropped out of the top 10 according to PokerScout rankings while PokerStars remains a clear number one.
  25. In recent days, Paul Vas Nunes (pictured), better known on PocketFives as pvas2, was part of a five-way chop of the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl and earned $29,000. The online poker player from the UK took down his fourth Sunday Major in the process, a pretty impressive accomplishment, and was gracious enough to spend a few minutes talking about his latest score. Oh yeah, we got to talk a little squash, so get excited for that. PocketFives: Congrats on the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl chop. How are you feeling about it? Paul Vas Nunes: I'm feeling pretty good. It was my first big win on Full Tilt, where I haven't played as much or had nearly as much success as I have on PokerStars. The Brawl is one of my favorite tournaments of the week, so it's nice to win it, although I feel I should have tried to get a better deal or played it out without one. It's probably natural to feel that way after winning when you chop five-handed though. PocketFives: How did the five-handed chop come about? That's a lot of people to agree on something. Paul Vas Nunes: I was the chip leader and had just doubled someone up. I thought it was worth reducing the variance to get a good-sized win guaranteed and everyone clicked to discuss a deal. We were all fairly similar in chips at the time. I tried to get a bit more than ICM, but they wouldn't agree on it. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? We believe this is your fourth Sunday Major win. Paul Vas Nunes: Nothing specific. I won the Warm-Up in February for $100,000, so this is a nice bonus. I typically don't make any big purchases because MTT poker has a lot of ups and downs. I had been on a big online downswing last year (over $100,000), so I have made some adjustments to my game and am trying to avoid those sorts of swings. I want to have enough money saved up to keep most of my own action in the good tournaments. PocketFives: Do you mind sharing what adjustments you've been focusing on? Paul Vas Nunes: I used to be very lazy with studying for poker or doing anything other than playing. I've always had quite a lot of success playing on Sundays, which are obviously the best days of the week, so I didn't put much effort into getting better because I had been crushing so effortlessly. I got Holdem Manager 2 about six months ago. I started playing more often, watching more training videos, and going back to basics. I don't have a very big group of people I talk poker with on a regular basis because I won the Sunday Million when I was still very much an amateur player, so all of my poker friends at the time weren't capable of talking much about hand histories of high-stakes MTTs. Consequently, I tried to get out there a bit more, talk to other players at EPTs, and join in some discussions. I neglected a lot of these things before that, which as a professional player you can't really afford to. PocketFives: How did that Sunday Million win change your career? Paul Vas Nunes: When I won it, I didn't even mean to play it. I was studying at university and needed some extra money, so I focused on grinding T$ through the Sunday Million satellites and won something like 14 of them in a week. Then, I won a last-minute satellite that I couldn't un-register for, so I played the Sunday Million and somehow won. I instantly splurged and bought a car, a TV, and a few nice things I couldn't afford as a student at the time, but didn't go crazy and instead wanted to focus on playing more poker. I didn't just jump into the highest games because I knew I wasn't the best in the world or anything like that, so I took my time and played mainly on Sundays with a few days added in here and there. After a few months of learning, I moved up in stakes and it sort of spiraled from there. I didn't start playing EPTs for at least a year after the Sunday Million win, but did play a couple of WSOP Europe side evens in London since it wasn't too far from me. I really loved playing and didn't want to go in over my head too much. PocketFives: Are you headed to the WSOP in Las Vegas this year? Paul Vas Nunes: Yes, I plan to. I went for the entire time last year and didn't have much success, with just three cashes. It was too much being there the entire time. This year, I plan to go for the last four weeks, which is still a long time. Last year, I decided to travel to a lot of stops and see the world, but this year I am more focused on playing in the softer tournaments and making the best financial decisions I can. PocketFives: What do you do away from poker? Paul Vas Nunes: I love to travel with my fiancée and we just moved into a new house, so that hasn't left much time for poker with all of the things that moving involves, but I am trying to stay up-to-date now. I also used to play a lot of squash, which I love, but haven't had a lot of time to recently because of all of the traveling for poker. I was competitive as a junior player and played for my county, so I hope to get back into that. PocketFives: Squash– now that's a niche sport. Paul Vas Nunes: Ha, I suppose it has gotten that way since it keeps missing out on getting into the Olympics when it 100% should be in. It is one of the toughest physical sports in the world at the highest levels. If you don't have a Full Tilt Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus and one free month of PocketFives Training, a $30 value. Get started here.
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