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Found 54 results

  1. 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.
  2. According to the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the main lobbying voice for poker players on Capitol Hill in the United States, US players with disputed Full Tilt Poker account balances should have a clearer indication on what their next steps will be within the next two to three weeks. Players with undisputed claims were paid out last Friday, with many of them already being reunited with their bankrolls. PPA Executive Director John Pappas told PocketFives that further indication of when players with disputed balances will be paid back could be coming by the end of March: "We haven't heard that there is a specific time when people would get their money back, but one of our employees received a call from Garden City Group and they informed him that before the end of March, players with disputed payments will have some clarity. We believe that, at a minimum, before the end of the month, there should be some clear indication on what the next steps will be." Garden City Group, the appointed Claims Administrator for US Full Tilt funds, faces a variety of challenges when it comes to determining the status of disputed claims, including navigating a mountain of data from former players and information from the old Full Tilt. Pappas explained, "They're going through the process of looking at the information that players provided and seeing if it's valid. I think it'll be a more difficult process than people recognize because of the sheer volume of documents and information they'll have to go through." Players with any questions about their claims are advised to contact Garden City Group at 866-250-2640 or info@fulltiltpokerclaims.com. "I would advise that players call and follow up about their claims," Pappas recommended. "As we learned with the undisputed claims, people with incorrect bank account information had to call and change it with Garden City Group." Shortcomings including corrupted or illegible documents could have come up during the process, for example. Pappas told PocketFives in summary, "Based on the information we have received, we'll have a clearer indication as to a timetable no later than the end of the month." Players with incomplete or inaccurate bank account information have until March 13 to correct it; otherwise, Garden City Group will mail a paper check sometime after that date. When another round of payments will take place is unclear. Also unclear is whether the next round will consist of paper checks, ACH transfers, or both. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest Full Tilt 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. How much would you pay for 15,609 copies of "Secrets of No Limit Hold'em," an instructional DVD from former Full Tilt Pokerfront man Howard Lederer? Ten dollars? Twenty dollars? One dollar? Try ten cents. In a recent fire sale auction of Full Tilt Poker-related multimedia and gear, 15,609 copies of Lederer's DVD went for $1,560.90 total, or a dime each. --- 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! --- The auction, organized by J. Sugarman Auction Corp., took place on Saturday in the form of a hybrid live and online sale, including Lot #120, Lederer's 15,609 DVDs. In a separate lot, 22,372 copies of "Howard Lederer Tells All" went unsold. This was like the Costco of Full Tilt Poker sales – you want 20 pounds of butter, they had it. Seventy-two four-piece coaster sets went for $1 each, or $72 total. Over 5,000 Full Tilt Poker cat stress balls went for two cents apiece, or $101 total. Who doesn't need 5,000 stress balls, anyway? Several thousand Full Tilt Poker hats fetched around thirty cents each. Protecting yourself from the sun should be job #1. If you needed some old school license plate holders, you could have picked up 235 of them that read "Play With the Pros" for a quarter each. Fifteen Full Tilt laptop skins went for $4.50 each, while various money clips fetched slightly less than a dollar apiece. If you're thirsty, 220 Full Tilt six-ounce flasks went for $1.90 each, or $418 total. In total, there were ten pages of auction items to wade through, including chip sets, mouse pads, and giant neon signs. If your glassware was getting a bit boring and a big party was coming up, four-dozen 16-ounce Full Tilt pilsner glasses went for $2.50 each, or $120 total, in Lot #215. And it's about to be tailgating season in the US, so you could have outfitted your pre-game feast with Full Tilt folding chairs, which went for $12 each. Soccer balls went for $1.30 each, aluminum sports bottles went for thirty cents each, and Full Tilt Poker flip flops would have set you back about a dollar a pair. That's quite a conversation piece for your feet. Lederer(pictured) has been relatively absent from the poker community following the downfall of Full Tilt, which the US Government called a "global Ponzi scheme" and which was sold to its rival, PokerStars, in mid-2012. Amaya Gaming now owns Full Tilt, which it bought along with PokerStars for $4.9 billion in a deal that was recently finalized. Full Tilt has denied any involvement in the auction. A representative of the site told PocketFives, "The reported auction is not a Full Tilt Poker event. We will be requesting the organizer to represent the event appropriately." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  18. Today is this author's birthday. Yes, hold your applause and direct all gifts to the PocketFives business address. Two weeks ago, Mike Bartholomew (pictured), who is known as AAcademiKKon PocketFives, won the Full Tilt Poker Sunday Brawl for $25,000, defeating a field of nearly 600 entrants just two days before his birthday. We caught up with the Canadian to talk about his largest online tournament score to date. PocketFives: Great job winning the Sunday Brawl. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Mike Bartholomew: It feels great. It's my biggest online score to date, so it feels really good, especially the way it unfolded because I won it outright, whereas usually on Full Tilt, people will look at numbers because the pay jumps become significant. Four-handed, I won a massive hand with K-K, had a huge chip lead, and two of the guys didn't seem interested in even looking at the numbers, so we just played on. It went in my favor this time. I have been in a big downswing for the last year-and-a-half, so it feels awesome to finally feel as though I am gaining some momentum in the right direction. PocketFives: Do you have any plans for the money? Mike Bartholomew: Nah, no big plans really. I'm in the middle of some renovations on my house, so it's nice to have a little extra cash for that, but other than that, it was just a nice early birthday present for me, as my birthday was two days after the Sunday Brawl. PocketFives: It's interesting that $25,000 is your largest single tournament score, yet you have $1.2 million in cashes. Do you play more volume? Mike Bartholomew: That is kind of interesting. The first half of my MTT career, I was playing low- and mid-stakes MTTs with a few Sunday Majors tossed in, but for the last couple of years, I have been playing mid- and high-stakes. I've been playing pretty much all tournaments with the exception of a few that I just don't think are great spots, but like I said, the last year-and-a-half has been a big downswing for me. I have been making lots of deep runs in big tournaments, but just couldn't get it done when it mattered. I have had many shots at bigger scores, but just haven't seemed to run that well deep in tournaments. Lately, I've been winning a few more deep flips, so hopefully it's a sign of good things to come. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker originally? Mike Bartholomew: I had never played poker until the third year of university when some guys from my hockey team would get together, have some beers, and play a $10 or $20 game. It started there and then some of the guys were talking about online poker, so I decided to check it out. I took an immediate interest in the game, started playing more and more online, and then started playing live cash games at local casinos, which helped pay for a yearlong trip to Australia. I spent a fair bit of time in Melbourne while there, playing live cash to make some more money. When I got home, I got into online more, started playing tournaments, and qualified for my first big live event, the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. That exposed me to the live tournament scene, which really interested me. I also qualified online, and played in, the Russian Poker Tour in St. Petersburg and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. All of those were amazing experiences. I like the statistical numbers aspect of poker, the constant evolution of the game, needing to stay on top of the learning curve, the competition, and the flexible lifestyle it can provide. PocketFives: We can tell you love traveling. What is the most memorable poker place you've been to and why? Mike Bartholomew: Traveling is one of the best perks of poker and has allowed me to go to places that I may not have otherwise necessarily traveled to like Russia. The coolest place I have been with poker is Monte Carlo, Monaco (pictured). It's an amazing place that I probably wouldn't have been able to afford to travel to without winning a package and also because it was my first big live event. I can't forget to mention PCA too. I had such a blast down there for that week and it would be on the top of the list of tournaments and places to go back to for poker. 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.
  19. In a half-hour conference call held on Friday, one day after Amaya Gaming purchased PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, Amaya executives previewed what's to come for players on the largest and fifth largest online poker sites in the world. While no management changes are expected, it appears that a host of software modifications could be in store. A summary of the callappeared on PokerNews' website, which quoted Amaya CEO David Baazov as saying in part, "We intend to support the company growth in real money online casino, sports betting, and social gaming." Currently, PokerStars is poker-only, while Full Tilt recently launched casino gaming. The current product offering, according to PokerNews, means there are "great possibilities for future growth." A "fully-featured casino client" is supposedly in the works for later this year and, speaking on the strengths of PokerStars and Full Tilt, Baazov said, "[Rational's] companies do not only have the ability to attract new players, but they are also able to offer popular tables and slot games to their millions of players using their poker platforms." Sports betting and social gaming appear to be focal points for Amaya going forward with its newly acquired brands. Baazov, according to PokerNews, relayed, "We estimate we can become a strong operator in the [sports betting] market in a few years, keeping the existing online poker players from spending their dollars on other sports book operators… We anticipate social gaming will be an important growth opportunity for the company [since] Rational already has a huge database of play money poker players." In the press release announcing Amaya's acquisition of PokerStars' and Full Tilt's parent company, the Rational Group, no changes were anticipated from a player perspective: "Online poker services provided by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be unaffected by the transaction, with players continuing to enjoy uninterrupted access to their gaming experience." The deal is expected to close in September and is still subject to Amaya shareholder approval. The Rational Group's brands have over 85 million combined players, so there are plenty of people who will be affected. PocketFives Elite poster wackyJaxonis one of them, posting in a thread in the Poker Sites forum, "Since PokerStars is the biggest site we have right now, I wouldn't want to see any moves toward a different model with the new ownership… I don't see any positives with this for ROW players and see potential negatives. I am curious how they handle owning three networks (PokerStars, FTP, and Ongame) and where this goes." We'll keep you posted on the latest 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.
  20. For most players, leaving a "real world" job to pursue a poker career was anything but easy. Enter Gavin gavonater O'Rourke (pictured), who worked as a train driver before pursuing poker. This author's two-year-old son would probably think driving a train is the greatest job imaginable, but for O'Rourke, the promise of a poker career was the trump card. That was six months ago. Nowadays, O'Rourke has gone from being a train engineer to engineering six-figure scores online. Last September, he won a PokerStarsWCOOP $320 No Limit Hold'em 3X Chance event for $133,000 officially, his largest tracked score to date. He banked nearly $100,000 for winning a W Series High Roller event on Winamaxand we caught up with him after a victory in the 888 PokerWhale in May for $60,000 and a final table in the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl the same day. Yes, it's good to be O'Rourke. "It feels great to take down a Sunday major at last," O'Rourke told PocketFives following his win on 888 and final table on Full Tilt. "I didn't take much notice of the Whale until I busted the Brawl. I was putting all of my concentration into that, but once I busted, I could give it my full attention. I managed to reach the final table third in chips, which is where you want to be. I stayed around third in chips until we were four-handed and got the chip lead. From there, I played my normal game and happily it went my way this time." If you ask O'Rourke, his recent flurry hasn't been a random occurrence. He's not Houdini, pulling wins out of a hat on a whim. Instead, he said, "In the last six months, I have been working a lot on my game and my mental attitude, which I think has been a big factor in my recent success." A half-year ago, O'Rourke quit his job as a train driver to pursue poker, as we said at the top of this article. "It wasn't an easy decision for me," he recalled, "given that I have a family to look after, but after my WCOOP win, I thankfully was in a position to give it a go. I haven't looked back since I have more time now to put into the game and continue to improve." O'Rourke has $1.7 million in tracked scores in online MTTs, including $1.2 million on PokerStars. He is the #1 player in Ireland, where he lives in Port Laoise, which if you're a reality junkie you know was one of the locations visited by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on their honeymoon. Yes, we finally worked those two into an article. Okay, we digress. While O'Rourke was driving trains, he apparently was very into poker books, telling us, "It was a good job, but I always knew it wasn't for me. I knew poker was my way out of the normal 9-to-5 and I put everything into it. Guys I worked with would joke about how every time they saw me, I would be reading a poker book, obviously not while driving. Finally, I have the freedom that comes with being a poker player and feel blessed to be able to do it." Finally, we wanted to highlight O'Rourke's live scores, which total $108,000, according to the Hendon Mob, and primarily consist of a final table in March in the EPT Vienna Main Event for $83,000. He is #139 on the all-time money list for Ireland. The Whale takes place on 888 Poker. If you don't already have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus, $88 free in most locations, and one free month of PocketFives Trainingwhen you make a deposit. Click here to sign up for 888 Poker. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  21. There could be a virtual monopoly in the fast-fold market for PokerStars' parent company, Rational Group, according to a report on Monday from Pokerfuse. The article read in part, "Late last month, the [United States Patent and Trademark Office] decided to issue a patent to PokerStars' parent company, Rational Group, for fast-fold poker. On May 20, Patent Number 8,727,850 will issue as 'Computer gaming device and method for computer gaming.'" Pokerfuse concluded, "This would effectively result in a PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker stranglehold over fast-fold online poker games in the United States." An e-mail from PocketFives to PokerStars to confirm the Pokerfuse story was not returned at press time. In 2010, Full Tilt Poker launched Rush Poker, effectively changing the poker market forever. In the game, whenever a person's action in a hand ended, they were immediately whisked away to a new table with a new set of opponents where a new hand would begin. Overnight, players could log several hundred hands per hour, climb VIP ladders quicker, and generate more rake for an online poker room. After Rush Poker, a litany of Rush Poker variants were rolled out, including Zoom Poker on PokerStars (May 2012), Fast-Forward on PartyPoker(August 2012), and Speed Hold'em on the iPoker Network (June 2012). As Pokerfuse pointed out, Fast-Forward games on PartyPoker in New Jersey could go the way of the dodo and 888's Snap Poker, the site's fast-fold version, may never see the light of day if Rational's patent held. Lawyer Bill Gantz doesn't necessarily believe the patent will hold, however, writing in a piece that appeared on Dentons.com, "The amendments which allowed this patent to issue should seem obvious to the entire poker industry and there should be ample grounds for vigorously challenging this patent." The string of rejections of the patent application prior to it being granted stretched all the way back to 2008, according to the report. Enforcement of the Rush Poker concept surfaced at the end of 2012, when PokerStars, which acquired Full Tilt in July of that year, assumed control of Full Tilt's intellectual property. An attorney for PokerStars said at the time, "Together with our patent attorneys, we are undertaking a full analysis of the Rush Poker patent applications we have acquired. When the time is right, it is our intention to use these patents to protect the inventive elements of the Rush and Zoom products." According to Pokerfuse, Zynga, which offers a fast-fold game called Jump Poker, may be forced to jettison it if PokerStars chose to enforce its patent in the US. The site added, "According to intellectual property lawyer Bill Gantz… fast-fold games offered outside the US will not be affected." PokerStars and Full Tilt have no presence in the US in the three states that have legalized internet gambling: Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. We'll 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.
  22. According to RedFinand Zillow, the Las Vegas mansion once occupied by the embattled Howard Lederer (pictured) is for sale for $8.9 million. The property, located at 99 Hawk Ridge Drive, was originally listed in August 2013, according to Zillow, but the poker community has recently begun gabbing about it. Let's start with the basics. Lederer's former estate has nearly 9,000 square feetof space to sprawl out, eight bedrooms, and ten bathrooms. Zillow outlined some of its tricked-out amenities: "This is quite possibly the best finished home in Las Vegas, with over $15 million originally spent. This is a 1.75-acre estate compound that includes the secondary lot and 5,000 square foot guesthouse at 55 Skybird. Over $1.5 million spent in electronics alone, including an unrivaled, state-of-the-art movie theater." If you end up buying it, you'll likely be paying around$46,000 in property taxes per year, which was the amount forked over in 2013. According to one poster on Two Plus Two, the guitar legend Carlos Santana lives nearby. That's so "smooth." According to RedFin, the residence has a private pool and spa, downstairs wet bar, two-way fireplace, enough parking spaces for 10 cars, and an attached carport. It's part of a community that charges a $600 monthly HOA fee, for which you get access to tennis courts, a spa, a golf course, and an exercise room, along with gated security. One person on Two Plus Two added, "Someone who visited a couple parties there who worked for Full Tilt told me that when you're outside by the pool and in other various areas, speakers elevate out of the ground to play music wherever you are." The pictures on RedFin make the home look quite ornate overall, complete with glitzy chandeliers, several large pieces of art, and an oversized outdoor chess board (pictured below) that reminds us of "Wizard's Chess" in "Harry Potter." It comes fully furnished, according to the listing, so no IKEA trip will be needed. Lederer, a former Full Tilt Poker Board member, settled with the US Department of Justice in 2012for his role in running what the DOJ called a "global Ponzi scheme." It took three years for any US Full Tilt Poker players to be paid back, sending Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and others involved in the site away from the poker community. In the Government's Second Amended Complaint, the 99 Hawk Ridge Drive property was specifically mentioned. Lederer had property at 2735 Twin Palms Circle, 5426 Fawn Chase Way, and 309 Kingsclear Court in Las Vegas forfeited to the Feds. Zillow shows the last sale of the home as happening in 2008, when it fetched $674,000. Gavin Ernstone of Simply Vegas was the agent shown on the current Zillow listing. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  23. In recent weeks, Nick PureCash25Rampone (pictured) took down the Full Tilt Poker $250,000 Guaranteedafter a heads-up chop for $47,000. He has had two tracked scores of over $100,000, but, according to our little chat, his most memorable in the money finish came in a $1 buy-in tournament nearly 10 years ago for $300. Here's what the member of the British Columbia poker community 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. --- PocketFives: Awesome job in the Full Tilt Poker $250K. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Nick Rampone: Thank you for reaching out. As for how I feel after the score, I feel great. Things went my way in about every manner they could, which I think is important to acknowledge because it's difficult to have success in an individual tournament without being fortunate many times over. I had a great seat at the final table, I had big hands in timely moments, stack sizes became very favorable for me, and the list goes on. As for things I could control and the decisions I was presented with, I'm also very happy with how I navigated those choices, although I was far from perfect. The final table was indeed tough with several familiar faces, so you're going to need to play relatively mistake-free and have things go your way in order to come out on top, and that's exactly how it happened for me. PocketFives: Speaking of the final table, can you talk about the play of Toby 810ofclubsLewis and Griffin Flush_EntityBenger (pictured), who are two of the top-ranked players on PocketFives and finished second and third, respectively? Nick Rampone: They're both excellent players. Of the two, I'm a bit more familiar with Toby despite not having played a ton with him in crucial moments. I've read a couple of articles about him and came away very impressed with his demeanor and his approach to poker. I know he's good friends with some of the top players in the game, so having that brain-trust to develop poker ideas with, combined with a level-headed approach, is bound to produce a formidable skill set. Both of these guys played with a nice pace down the stretch in this tournament. They earned chips in spots without getting carried away and adapted to changing dynamics, primarily stack sizes, very well on the fly. Previously, I mentioned that I drew an excellent seat at the final table. This was because I had Toby on my immediate right and Griffin across the table from me. Things very well might have gone much differently had the three of us played musical chairs. Six-handed, I emerged as a clear chip leader and conveniently all five of my opponents had the same stack of around 20 big blinds. Those two did a nice job of staying out of trouble and I think their experience was a big component of them ending up second and third out of that five-way tie. PocketFives: You had a $262,000 cash on Full Tilt Poker in 2008 in a Two-Day FTOPS event. How much did that score change your poker career? Nick Rampone: I'm not entirely sure how that score changed my career, but I do know there were good and bad things that resulted from it. Bad news first! I thought I was invincible. I think it may have been years before the effect that score had on inflating my ego had fully worn off. I was ignorant to what my actual skill level was: far below what I thought it was, that's for sure. Over the next few years, as I predictably stopped having once-in-a-lifetime scores, I was blaming bad luck for my non-epic results. I also thought I was working hard to improve my game. However, the reality was I was simply ignorant of my skill level and what hard work actually was. The good news about the score was that I was a senior in college. That weekend, we rented a stretch Hummer to take 30 of us from campus to the bars downtown an hour away. And it became the down payment on my home in Vegas. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker? Nick Rampone: I started playing $5 home games with friends my senior year of high school. We all went off to separate colleges and could no longer play. One day, we started playing together at play money tables on Full Tilt. Eventually, I won a freeroll for $5. I lost the minimum buy-in for the smallest cash game on the site at the time twice and had a dollar left. The only way I could put the $1 in play on the site was in a $1 tournament that ran once a week. I remember being so excited because one of the 600 runners was a Red Pro: Kristy Gazes. I won it for about $300, sent half of that to several friends, and the rest became my bankroll for a long, long grind up the stakes over many years. I felt great after taking third in that FTOPS event for $262,000, but I've had no greater thrill in poker than winning that $1 tournament all those years ago. The $250,000 Guaranteed runs weekly 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.
  24. It's almost the three-year anniversary of Black Friday and, seemingly just in time, more US players are reportedly in line to receive their Full Tilt Poker refunds. This time around, according to the Vice President of Player Relations for the Poker Players Alliance Rich TheEngineerMuny, players with minor banking errors that are now corrected will be paid out. The time frame: around the end of March, which is next week. Muny told PocketFives that players with undisputed petitions that had significant banking omissions are in line to be paid back as well, although potentially not at the end of March. Currently, petitions for these players are being sent to the US Department of Justice for review. Petitions with disputed balances will be sent to the DOJ as well. Petitioners who are tagged as Full Tilt Poker affiliates or Red Pros will follow customers with significant banking omissions and those with disputed balances. The most recent update from Garden City Group, the designated Claims Administrator in the Full Tilt Poker case, came at the end of February. The update followed the first wave of Full Tilt refunds, which were sent to 27,500 players with undisputed balances totaling $76 million. Affiliates had until March 2 to file a petition, while those with banking issues had until March 13. Garden City has not issued a formal update in a month. On Two Plus Two, several posters reported test credits being made to their bank accounts related to Full Tilt at the end of last week, many of whom had undisputed claims with various banking issues. Others in the same situation did not report seeing a test credit, while players with banking errors who called seeking information were told they'd be paid back at the beginning of April. Several posters reported issues with duplicate petitions, but contacted Garden City Group to fix. Anyone with any questions is encouraged to call Garden City Group directly at 866-250-2640. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest Full Tilt 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.
  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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