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Found 89 results

  1. From the middle of the pack of one of the toughest $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ final tables in recent weeks, it was satellite winner ‘Ferrariman’ who, in just their second appearance in the tournament, bested some of online poker’s top talent and took home this week's $452,885 first-place prize. It goes without saying that every final table of the weekly Super MILLION$ is tough. However this week, the tournament talent on hand was undeniable. Earning a seat to Tuesday’s final table were two former worldwide #1-ranked online pros in Niklas Astedt and Yuri Dzivielevski, two of the greatest high rollers of all time in Sam Greenwood and Mikita Badziakouski, the red-hot high-stakes pro David Yan, and nosebleed cash game crusher Wiktor ‘limitless’ Malinowski. But despite all the accolades at the table, in the end, it was ’Ferrariman’ who outlasted them all. But when it came to who the public thought was going to win it all, there wasn’t a lot of confidence in ‘Ferrariman.’ Getting 11.4-1 odds to win in the GGPoker client, only 13 people placed a bet on ’Ferrariman’ to take it down. Those 13 people wagered a total of just $41 dollars out of a grand total of $54,226 wagered. Plenty of the money wagered was on Niklas Asdedt who entered the final table third in chips. He needed a fourth-place finish or better to become the first player to surpass $2 million in total Super MILLION$ earnings. But after losing a pair of big hands the Swede found himself short-stacked and all-in preflop holding [poker card="as"][poker card="6c"] against Badziakouski’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"]. The board ran out [poker card="8h"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"][poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"] allowing Badziakouski’s kicker to play and sending the All-Time Online Money List leader out in ninth place for $56,610. Chicago’s Timothy Nuter, playing out of Canada, put in a raise from the cutoff with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"] and was quickly three-bet on the button by Dzivielevski holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"]. It folded back to Nuter, he moved all-in, and was quickly called by the Brazilian. There was little drama as the board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"] awarding the hand to Dzivielevski and eliminating Nuter in eighth place for $73,415. Dzivielevski was in the mix again when he raised in late position with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"]. It folded to ’Syntropy’ in the small blind who pushed their final eight big blinds in the middle with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"]. It folded back to Dzivielevski who made the call. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="ts"][poker card="7d"] giving both players ’Syntropy’ gutshot straight draws. The turn was the [poker card="kd"], giving Dzivielevski the nut straight and leaving ‘Syntropy’ drawing dead to the [poker card="6c"] river. ’Syntropy’ entered the final table ninth in chips, laddered two spots and ended up with a $95,207 score for seventh place, their largest career win on GGPoker. During an hour of six-handed play, Sam Greenwood was grinding a short stack. On the button, he stuck his final five big blinds in the middle with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"]. In the big blind, Dzivielevski made the call with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="2c"]. The flop came [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="2h"], giving the Brazilian two pair and reducing Greenwood’s outs to a gutshot straight draw. The turn was the [poker card="9d"] and the river was the [poker card="3c"] giving Dzivielevski another elimination and sending Greenwood out of the tournament in sixth place for $123,468. Four hands later, when folded to in the small blind, Malinowski shoved his [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"] on Badziakouski in the big blind who held [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"]. With just over ten big blinds left, Badziakouski made the call with his tournament on the line. The board ran out [poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"][poker card="8h"][poker card="qh"] allowing Malinowski’s jack kicker to play and ending Badziakouski’s first Super MILLION$ final table run in fifth place for $160,119. During four-handed play, Malinowski built up a considerable chip lead, mostly at the expense of Dzivielevski. When folded to in the small blind, Malinowski moved all-in with the [poker card="as"][poker card="9c"]. In the big blind, with just four blinds left, Dzivielevski called off with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="3s"] was of little help to Dzivielevski. The turn was the [poker card="qc"] leaving the former #1 looking for a non-spade ten or a king. The river was the [poker card="4d"] giving Malinowski the straight and ending Dzivielevski’s nice run in fourth place which was good for $207,649. The chips really shifted during three-handed play with Malinowski, David Yan, and ‘Ferrariman’ taking turns picking up pots and building a stack. From the button, Yan raised big with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] only to be shoved on my Malinowski in the big blind holding the [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"]. With the majority of his stack in the middle, Yan made the call. The flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3h"]. The [poker card="5c"] turn gave Yan some additional straight outs but the [poker card="8s"] was not one of them. Yan, who played his fifth final table, added another $269,287 to his Super MILLION$ earnings bringing his total to over $1.295 million. Malinowski started heads-up play with a two-to-one chip advantage. But ‘Ferrariman’, who had played tempered the whole final table, went on a run. He doubled through Malinowski to take the chip lead and from there, kept up the aggression. Even after they lost a big hand that would have ended the tournament, ‘Ferrariman’ applied pressure and picked up the key pots to put them in a position to win. The final hand was a bit of a cooler as Malinowski limped the button with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"]. In the big blind ‘Ferrariman’ raised holding the [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Malinowski then shoved, ‘Ferrariman’ was quick to call and the board ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="jh"][poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"], leaving ‘limitless’ drawing dead on the turn and sending him out as the runner-up for $349,222. ‘Ferrariman’ satellited into this week’s Super MILLION$ for $1,000 and turned it into a $452,885 payday. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/23) 1. ’Ferrariman’ - $452,885 2. Wiktor Malinowski - $349,222 3. David Yan - $269,287 4. Yuri Dzivielevski - $207,649 5. Mikita Badziakouski - $160,119 6. Sam Greenwood - $123,468 7. ‘Syntropy’ - $95,207 8.Timothy Nuter - $73,415 9. Niklas Astedt - $56,610
  2. This week Russian high-stakes tournament pro Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov catapulted back into the Online Poker Rankings top 10 after a string of high profile cashes helped him rise 26 spots to land at #9 in the world. This is by no means Malinov’s first trip into the top 10. In 2018, he was on the verge of becoming the #1 ranked player in the world, however that entire year was dominated by Sweden's 'C Darwin2’ and ‘Lena900’. Although he spent multiple weeks at #2, the Russian was just unable to find a path to the top spot. Now Malinov returns as the #1-ranked player in Russia, surpassing Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov, who, this week, is currently ranked #10 in the world. He accomplished this, in part, by making deep runs in marquee tournament and consistently putting together PLB-qualifying scores in small timeframes. He built a bed of PLB points in early January, on January 10 specifically, that included a fifth place finish in the PokerStars Blowout Series Event #53-H ($2,100 NLHE) for $28,089 and 244.38 points. The same day he finished in seventh place in Blowout Series Event #54-H ($10,300 NLHE) for another $56,424 and 339.40 points. He wrapped the day with another deep run in a Blowout Series event and it looked like it was just a matter of time that he closed one out. One week later, Malinov (playing under his ‘hello_totti’ screenname) did just that. While not an official Blowout Series title, he took down the $5,200 NLHE Blowout Series Side Event for a $219,546 payday and a massive 1,060.66 PLB point score. The victory was the third-largest of his over 10-year online poker career and was critical to helping him soar back up the rankings. Malinov has also found recent success in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ tournament. He cashed in the January 26 and February 2 events for a total of nearly $44,000 and just this week he made the final table where he finished in fifth place for another $144,393. It’s likely that he will see another bump next week when his back-to-back victories on February 16 in the PokerStars High Roller Club are included in the rankings. Malinov is rapidly approaching $13 million in career earnings and currently sits at #17 on the Online Poker All-Time Money List. He’ll need to keep producing though if he wants to remain #1 in Russia as he only has a 4 PLB point lead over Filatov. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • What a difference a week makes for former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski. He jumped up four spots from #7 to #3 after his runner-up finish in ACR’s Venom Main Event earned him $849,150 and a massive 2,026.53 PLB point jump. The four-figure PLB point score put him less than 500 points behind Ivan 'zufo16' Zufic, who has been in the #2 spot for the better part of two months. • Speaking of the ACR Venom Main Event, another Brazilian, ‘Ramonkrop’, won the whole thing for a career-high score of $1,113,330. The incredible 3,071.64 PLB points they received for defeating the 3,774-entry field launched him 111 places in the rankings from #137 to #26, by far the largest leap of the week. • UK-based grinder ‘JaegsPL’ broke into the Top 100 this week, hitting a career-high ranking of #72 in the world thanks to his sixth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ for $26,728. ‘JaegsPL’ currently sits as the #6-ranked player in the United Kingdom. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=172 /]
  3. High-stakes cash game pro and former #1-ranked player in the world Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro bested 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian Salas heads-up in this week’s $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to take home his first Super MILLION$ title and the $408,406 first-place prize. Finland’s Kelopuro has proved to be a regular runner in the Super MILLION$, appearing in 32 out of the 36 times the tournament has taken place. This week marked the third time Kelopuro earned a trip to the final table however in his previous two attempts he had never finished higher than seventh place. The odds were stacked against him again this week as he entered the final table eighth in chips and facing off against a table full of poker’s toughest tournament players. In addition to Damian Salas, Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Adrian Mateos, and two-time Super MILLION$ champ Darren Elias all had eyes on this week's top prize. With just nine of the 202-entries left, Guillaume Nolet found himself slipping in the chip counts. The former Super MILLION$ winner started the day in the middle of the pack but nearly an hour into the final table, he had fewer than 20 big blinds. Nolet opened holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] only to be three-bet by Stevens on the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. Nolet four-bet jammed and Stevens called putting Nolet at risk. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"] keeping Nolet in the lead. The [poker card="8c"] was safe as well. But the [poker card="9c"] hit the river giving Stevens a pair and sending Nolet out the door in ninth place for $51,051 sending his Super MILLION$ total earnings above $900,000. Russia’s Aleksei Barkov had been grinding a short stack as well and six hands later, when it folded to him on the button, he put his final five big blinds in the middle with [poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"]. Salas, in the small blind, made the call with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] and the pair watched as the board ran out [poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="9d"] awarding the pot to Salas' ace-high and eliminating Barkov in eighth place for $66,205. Stevens had entered the day as the chip leader, but after losing some key hands his stack had dwindled down to roughly ten big blinds. From under the gun he shipped his remaining chips with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. In the small blind, with slightly fewer chips, ‘dimiasg’ made the quick call with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The flop was [poker card="qc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="3s"] giving ‘dimiasg’ top set and leaving Stevens looking for help. The [poker card="4c"] turn left Stevens drawing dead to the [poker card="7h"] river which allowed ‘dimiasg’ to double up. Stevens was left with less than a small blind, which he lost on the very next hand to Kelopuro. Stevens exited in seventh place for $85,857. Four hands later it was Adrian Mateos’ turn to tangle with Kelopuro. In the cutoff, Kelopuro raised with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. With fewer than ten big blinds, Mateos three-bet with his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"], leaving himself just a little over one big blind behind. The action folded back to Kelopuro who bet enough to put Mateos all-in and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner made the call. Kelopuro’s ace-king held through the [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"] board eliminating Mateos, who has played in every single edition of the Super MILLION$, in sixth place adding $111,342 to his $645,087 in previous Super MILLION$ earnings. With five left, Kelopuro had a dominating chip lead as well as [poker card="6s"][poker card="6h"] in the small blind. He opted to complete and Arsenii Malinov checked his option holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="5c"] in the big blind. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="4c"] gave Kelopuro a flopped full house and he led out with a min-bet. Malinov put in a raise and Kelopuro called. The action went check-check on the [poker card="7s"] turn. Kelopuro put out a bet on the [poker card="5s"] river and Malinov, after hitting bottom pair, shoved all-in representing a number of made hands, one of which could have been the straight flush. After taking a few extra seconds, Kelopuro made the call which ended Malinov’s tournament in fifth place for $144,393. Roughly fifteen minutes later, Super MILLION$ satellite winner ‘dimiasg’ made their final move. From the button, they shipped their last nine big blinds in the middle with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] and was called by Salas in the big blind holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="3h"] which gave Salas some additional flush outs to win the hand. The turn was the [poker card="kc"] which kept ‘dimiasg’ in the lead but increased Salas’ outs to include straight outs. The river was the [poker card="6h"], bringing in the flush for Salas and sending ‘dimiasg’ home in fourth place for $187,255 in their first appearance in the Super MILLION$. Just ten minutes later, Darren Elias, who started the day third in chips, needed to win a flip to stay alive. From the button, Elias moved all-in for roughly 12 big blinds holding [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"]. In the small blind, Salas made the call with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"]. After Kelopuro folded the big blind, the flop came out [poker card="ts"][poker card="td"][poker card="5h"] keeping Elias in the lead. The [poker card="ad"] turn changed all of that and in order to join Michael Addamo as the only three-time Super MILLION$ champions, he needed to hit one of the two remaining fours in the deck. However, the river was the [poker card="qs"] eliminating Elias in third for $242,840 which, when added to his $1,086,055 in previous earnings, propels him into the top 5 of the Super MILLION$ all-time money list leaders. After winning the hand, Salas took over the chip lead as the final two headed into heads-up play. Salas and Kelopuro passed the chip lead back and forth, eventually evening out the stacks. Then, in a critical hand, Kelopuro raised with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="9d"] which prompted Salas to three-bet his [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"]. Kelopuro made the call and the flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6c"]. Salas put out a small bet which Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] giving Salas a set and Kelopuro the nut straight. Salas then checked, and it was Kelopuro's turn to put out a bet. Salas called and the river came the [poker card="2c"]. Salas checked again to Kelopuro who, with less than a pot-sized bet behind, shoved. Salas tanked but eventually made the call. Kelopuro won the hand with his turned straight and took a commanding chip lead. Five hands later, Kelopuro raised from the button with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jd"] and Salas made the call with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="8c"]. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4d"] giving Salas top pair, but giving Kelopuro a dominating top-two. When checked to, Kelopuro min-bet the flop. Salas then min-raised and Kelopuro called. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and Salas put out another small bet. Kelopuro decided to ship all-in and Salas, after a few extra seconds, called with top pair drawing dead to the [poker card="3s"] river. Salas’ runner-up finish earned him $314,924, the second-largest online score of his career while Kelopuro’s $408,406 first-place prize becomes the third-largest score of his prestigious online career. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/16) 1. Sami Kelopuro - $408,406 2. Damian Salas - $314,924 3. Darren Elias - $242,840 4. ‘dimiasg’ - $187,255 5. Arsenii Malinov - $144,393 6. Adrian Mateos - $111,342 7. Bert Stevens - $85,857 8. Aleksei Barkov - $66,205 9. Guillaume Nolet - $51,051
  4. For weeks now, the worldwide Online Poker Rankings have been a tight-knit crew. Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon has held down the top spot for the past eight weeks and well-known names like Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, and Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens have occupied their own positions inside the Top 5. But this week, a new player broke through into the upper echelons of the rankings for the first time in his career. Portugal’s #1-ranked pro Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira soared past Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann and Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski to capture the #5 spot, building on what has been, for him, an incredible start to 2021. Ferreira has long been considered a top-tier tournament player but his recent rise in the rankings can be traced back to the beginning of this year when he collected large amounts of PLB points on a daily basis. Many of Ferreira's spotlight scores have come on GGPoker, where he dedicates most of his volume. His first notable score of the year came back on January 4 when he made a deep run in the WSOP Circuit Event #15 ($800 FIFTY STACK), finishing in fifth place for $56,646 and 451.33 PLB points. That was just the start of an onslaught of impressive results that week. In a three-day span, he collected five PLB-qualifying scores including a fifth-place finish in the prestigious $10K Super MILLION$ tournament where he collected $158,690 and 567.28 PLB points. In total, he brought in 1,396.28 points during that span which set him up for a run to the worldwide Top 10. Less than a week later, Ferreira finished as the runner-up in the Winamax W Series High Roller KO for $131,199, his second six-figure score of the week. The 921.92 PLB points that came with it remains his largest PLB score of the year so far. He wasn’t finished with the W Series as a victory in Event 185 added another $11,194 to his bankroll and helped pad the bed of PLB points he’d need to push into the upper echelons of the rankings. On January 26, he made another deep run in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, finishing in 11th place for $33,604. Ferriera has proved to be one of the most consistent players in the weekly Super MILLION$ having cashed in 15 of his 31 appearances and earning $1,000,053 along the way. After that result, Ferriera had climbed into the #8 spot in the rankings and needed an extra jolt to hit a new career-high rank this week. He got that lift this week after outlasting the 111 runners, and besting Chris Koldnicki heads-up, in the $525 buy-in GGPoker Sunday High Rollers for $12,886 and 235.58 PLB points. On the same day, at a final table that included Ryan Riess, Bryan Paris, and Jack Salter, Ferreira took fifth place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $66,038 and the 473.78 PLB points he needed to break into the Top 5. While he still has a way to go to make a run at #1, as he’s over 3,400 points behind Botteon as of this week, another solid performance over the next week could put him in striking distance of Stevens who sits at #4, just 194 points away. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Russia’s Andrey 'kot_spartac' Kotelnikov reached a career-high ranking of #13 in the world, up 12 spots from #25 last week, thanks in part to finishing in fourth place out of a massive 28,404-entry field in the PokerStars 50/50 Series $50 Main Event. He earned $47,045 and 494.56 PLB points to push him past former #1-ranked Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford who fell back to #14. • Popular Twitch poker streamer Patrick ‘Egption’ Tardif hit #34 in the world, a new career-high for him, after finishing as the runner-up in the Natural8 $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for $75,480 and 466.52 PLB points. The score helped propel Tardif to up over $3 million in career online earnings. • Brazil’s Gabriel ‘gtavares10’ Tavares made one of the biggest moves of the week, jumping up 27 spots to #58 after his victory in the February 7 PokerStars $530 High Roller Club Bounty Builder for $40,301 and 541.76 PLB points. Brazil has taken over the worldwide top 100, currently holding down 29 of the top 100 spots. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=171 /]
  5. High-stakes tournament heavyweight and former All-Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo emerged from the middle of the final table chip counts in the 35th edition of the $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to capture the $430,646 first-place prize and add yet another title to his incredibly long list of poker accomplishments. Prior to this week, Bonomo has cashed in four of his 15 Super MILLION$ appearances for $316,653 including a final table in November 2020 where he earned $221,477 in a third-place finish. Bonomo is, of course, no stranger to playing against elite competition and this week was just another chance for him to test himself against some of the toughest players in the game. Russian crusher Artur Martirosian, former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt, New Zealand’s David Yan, and, making back-to-back final table appearances, Nick Petrangelo all had a seat in this week’s final nine. Astedt, at his ninth Super MILLION$ final table, started the day on the short stack. After roughly 40 minutes of play, his stack had dwindled to fewer than five big blinds. When Petrangelo opened with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"], Astedt moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"]. Action folded back to Petrangelo who made the call. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="kd"] giving Petrangelo top-two and eliminating Astedt in ninth for $53,831, an amount good enough to propel him back above Michael Addamo as the current All-Time Super MILLION$ money leader. Shortly after, on the button, ‘Face-O’ moved all-in for his final 12 big blinds with [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"]. From the small blind, ‘OscarBrown’ made the call holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"] and the flop fell [poker card="ks"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2s"] keeping the pocket tens in the lead. The turn came the [poker card="5s"] giving ‘OscarBrown’ additional flush outs to go with his two overs. The river was the [poker card="8s"] bringing in the runner-runner backdoor flush for ‘OscarBrown’ and sending ‘Face-O] home in eighth place for $69,810. With seven left, satellite winner ‘DaanOss’ raised four of his final five big blinds with [poker card="qh"][poker card="th"]. ‘OscarBrown’ moved in over the top with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] for just a little more. Then, from the big blind, Bonomo called the all-in holding [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"]. ‘DaanOss’ then committed the last of his chips and the trio saw the flop run out [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2h"]. The [poker card="ac"] on the turn gave ‘OscarBrown’ top pair and the [poker card="6d"] sealed the deal. ‘OscarBrown’ nearly tripled up while ‘DaanOss’ exited in seventh for $90,532. After the second break, David Yan opened with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] and from the small blind the chip leading ‘RRomashka’ made the call with [poker card="qd"][poker card="th"]. From the big blind Petrangelo three-bet shoved his 22 big blind stack with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. Yan, with not much left, made the call and ‘RRomashka’ folded. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] gave Yan some additional straight and backdoor flush outs. But the [poker card="6c"][ turn and [poker card="2c"] river were of no help and Yan left in sixth place for $117,406. Three hands later it was Martirosian at risk. Folded to Bonomo in the small blind, he shipped with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"] into Martirosian’s ten big blind stack. With [poker card="as"][poker card="4h"], Martirosian made the call with his tournament on the line. Bonomo hit his kicker on the [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6s"] flop and the pair held through the [poker card="qd"] turn and [poker card="6c"] river. Martirosian added another $153,256 to his $1.245 million Super MILLION$ earnings for his fifth-place finish. On the button with four players left, ‘OscarBrown’ raised holding the [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"]. Still holding the chip lead, ‘RRomashka’ made the call with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"] flop provided plenty of action with both holding top pair and a flush draw. ‘RRomashka’ checked, ‘OscarBrown’ bet, ‘RRomashka’ shipped all-in, and ‘OscarBrown’ quickly called with his dominating hand. But that changed when the [poker card="8c"] hit the turn, giving ‘RRomashka’ two pair and leaving ‘OscarBrown’ looking for help. The river was the [poker card="4s"] brick and in their first cash in a Super MILLION$, ‘OscarBrown’ finished in fourth place for $197,452. Three-handed, Bonomo and ‘RRomashka’s stacks evened out leaving Petrangelo as the short stack. Bonomo raised on the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"], ‘RRomashka’ called with the [qs[poker card="jd"], and Petrangelo moved all in for his final sixteen big blinds with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. Bonomo shoved, ‘RRomashka’ folded, and the board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="8d"] eliminating Petrangelo in third place for the second week in a row. Petrangelo took home $256,064 this week for a two-week total of $508,521. Bonomo entered heads-up play with a four-to-one chip lead and never let it go against the aggressive ‘RRomashka’. In the final hand of the tournament, Bonomo limped the button with [poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"] and ‘RRomashka’ checked their option with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"]. The flop flop came [poker card="qh"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"]. ‘RRomashka’ checked to Bonomo who put out a small bet. ‘RRomashka’ check-raised and with middle pair, Bonomo made the call. The [poker card="6s"] turn gave Bonomo trips but it was ‘RRomashka’ who led pot. Bonomo flatted and the [poker card="4d"] hit the river. ‘RRomashka’ fired the third bullet, shipping his stack with king-high only to be immediately called by Bonomo. ‘RRomashka’ started the day as the chip leader and ended it as the runner-up earning $332,073. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/9) 1. Justin Bonomo - $430,646 2. 'RRomashka’ - $332,073 3. Nick Petrangelo - $256,064 4. ‘OscarBrown’ - $197,452 5. Artur Martirosian - $152,256 6. David Yan - $117,406 7. ‘DaanOss’ - $90,532 8. ‘Face-O’ - $69,810 9. Niklas Astdet - $53,831
  6. UK high-stakes tournament pro Lucas Reeves joined the elite company of Darren Elias and Michael Addamo this week by becoming just the third player to win the weekly GGPoker Super MILLION$ two or more times. In the 33rd edition of the $10K buy-in event, Reeves emerged from the middle of the final table chip counts to take down the tournament and lock up the $408,406 first-place prize. Reeves is now two-for-two at Super MILLION$ final tables with his first victory coming back in December, when he earned $381,241 while playing under his original screen name ‘Xingyun888’. This week marked the fifteenth time Reeves participated in the Super MILLION$ and he has now amassed a total of just over $811,000 in his three cashes. When nine-handed play began Reeves was sitting fifth in chips, surrounded by another final table packed with top-tier talent. Ole Schemion and worldwide #3-ranked Michael ‘SirWatts’ Watson were above him on the chip counts while Daniel Dvoress and Connor Drinan were beneath, looking to chip up. For his part, Drinan was never able to get anything going. The PokerStars SCOOP record holder started the day as the short stack and subsequently was the first to hit the rail. After dwindling down in chips, Drinan open-shipped his short stack with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"] and fellow Canadian Watson made the call in the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"]. The board ran out nine-high and Drinan, who currently sits third in overall Super MILLION$ earnings, used the ninth-place prize of $51,051 to climb over $1.5 million in total Super MILLION$ prize money. After Reeves opened [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"] on the button, the UK’s ’WanYu’ three-bet his [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"] from the small blind with 15 big blinds. Dvoress then shipped his [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] over ’WanYu’ from the big blind and, after Reeves got out of the way, ’WanYu’ committed the rest of his stack. The [poker card="js"][poker card="6c"][poker card="4d"] flop paired ‘WanYu’, but the [poker card="2d"] brought Dvoress some additional flush outs. The [poker card="6d"] on the river completed the runner-runner flush for Dvoress, sending ‘WanYu’ out in eighth place for $66,205. Sweden’s Melker Larsson won his way into this week’s Super MILLION$ by first winning a $100 satellite into a $1,000 satellite and then winning that satellite for his seat into the $10K. After all of that winning, he cruised through the 202 player field and emerged as this week’s final table chip leader. However, with seven left, Larsson found himself in the bottom half of the chip counts. After Dvoress opened from late position with [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"], New Zealand’s David Yan put in a three-bet on the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. Schemion, in the small blind, folded and Larsson, with roughly 20 big blinds, moved all-in from the big blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. Dvoress folded and Yan made the quick call putting Larsson’s tournament at risk. The [poker card="ah"] hit the flop and held through the river, ending Larsson’s incredible run in seventh place for $85,857, the largest online cash of his career. Finland’s Eelis Parssinen, was the next to go when he moved all-in with his last five big blinds with [poker card="qc"][poker card="7c"] and got called by Yan in the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"], but it was the [poker card="ks"] turn that really ended the tournament for Parssinen who exited in sixth place for $111,342. One of the biggest hands of the tournament took place with just five left. From late position, Yan opened with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2h"] prompting a short-stacked Schemion to move all-in for his final ten big blinds with [poker card="ts"][poker card="th"]. In the small blind, Watson, who covered Schemion also moved all-in holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"]. In the big blind, Reeves woke up with [poker card="ks"][poker card="kc"] and followed suit by shipping his stack. Yan quickly folded and it was a three-way all-in. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"] giving Reeves top set, Schemion a gutshot straight draw, and leaving Watson drawing dead to running quads. The turn was the [poker card="9s"], essentially ending the hand. Despite making a full house on the [poker card="td"] river, Schemion was ousted in fifth for $144,393. Watson was crippled from the previous hand and left with a stack of less than four big blinds. He immediately moved all-in with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] and was called by Dvoress in the big blind with [poker card="2s"][poker card="2c"]. Dvoress held through the [poker card="th"][poker card="tc"][poker card="td"][poker card="8d"][poker card="jh"] board and ‘SirWatts’ finished his fifth Super MILLION$ final table in fourth place for $187,255. The final three proceeded to pass the chip lead around, evening out the stacks for a time. But after a big clash with Yan, Reeves built his chip stack up over 10 million which gave him a lead he wouldn't surrender. With his commanding chip lead, Reeves open-shipped holding the [poker card="qs"][poker card="7s"] on Dvoress. Dvoress had just over 10 big blinds and called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="3s"] with his tournament on the line. The [poker card="7d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"] flop put Reeves in the lead. The [poker card="5s"] turn gave Dvoress some additional straight outs, but the [poker card="jh"] brick on the river ended Dvoress’ tournament in third-place where he collected $242,840. Heads-up play lasted just six hands when Yan, at a 3:1 chip deficit, raised on the button with [poker card="5h"][poker card="5d"]. In the big blind, Reeves moved all-in with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and Yan called with his pocket pair. The [poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4h"] flop gave both players plenty of ways to win the hand, but it was the [poker card="jc"] on the turn that gave Reeves the nut flush and left Yan drawing dead to the [poker card="3d"] river. It was another solid showing for Yan who now has three Super MILLION$ final tables and with his $314,924 runner-up prize, now has earned over $908,000 in this tournament series alone. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (1/26) 1. Lucas Reeves - $408,406 2. David Yan - $314,924 3. Daniel Dvoress - $242,840 4. Michael Watson - $187,255 5. Ole Schemion - $144,393 6. Eelis Parssinen - $111,342 7. Melker Larsson - $85,857 8. ‘WanYu’ - $66,205 9. Connor Drinan - $51,051
  7. For many poker players, January is a time to get a fresh start. It's a time to reset the stats, dedicate oneself to study, and hope that in the new year the work pays off and the results go to the moon. But for Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, a “fresh start” is not on the agenda. For the world’s #1-ranked online pro, the continuation of his heater that started one year ago is what he wanted. That's what happened and what brought him the title of Online Poker Player of the Month for January. One might think that after earning a career-high seven-figure score in the international leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker at the end of 2020, Botteon might take some time off. But within a week he was back to picking up PLB-qualified cashes en masse. He found success in the first week of January on GGPoker with deep runs in the WSOPC Series $525 Bounty Hunters for $22,304 plus 321.09 PLB points and weekly $10K Super MILLION$ for another $41,934 and 374.26 PLB points. His first outright win arrived on January 10 when he topped the 279-entry field of the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for $57,263 and 547.72 PLB points. The middle of the month was highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the GGPoker High Rollers Marathon for $12,542. It was right around this time when Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic pushed to within just 5 PLB points of overtaking Botteon as the top-ranked player in the world. But when Croatia’s Zufic traveled to the United States to make a deep run in the World Poker Tour’s Lucky Hearts Poker Open, Botteon booked his first six-figure score of the new year with a win in the January 25 edition of the GGPoker High Rollers Sunday 500 for $126,544 and 738.24 PLB points. His spotlight score of the month brought more than enough PLB points to pull away from the pack and keep the #1-spot for the seventh week in a row. In total, Botteon racked up 3,893 PLB points on 59 total cashes for a total of $391,988. January also marked his third time as Player of the Month. Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson finished out January just 150 points behind Botteon to end up in second place with 3,734 points. Watson, who is Canada’s #1-ranked pro and sitting at an all-time high ranking of #3 in the world, put in significantly less volume than Botteon but made up the difference with nine PLB-qualifying cashes and seven five-figure cashes for a total of $526,078. Watson kicked off the month with a string of victories including a PokerStars Blowout Series title in Event #25-H ($1,050 NLHE Sunday Warm-up) for $75,462 and 648.85 PLB points. The very next day, on January 4, he was in the winner’s circle again in the Natural8 WSOPC $1,500 Deepstack, winning $36,040 and another 404.81 PLB points. Watson picked up big-time scores on just about every online operator he played on including a runner-up finish in the partypoker High Roller Big Game for $54,958 and a win in the World Poker Tour Montreal Online Event #18 for $39,007. But his biggest result of the month came on Natural8 when he finished in fourth place in the January 26 edition of the Super MILLION$ for $187,255 and 618.64. His Super MILLION$ score was big enough to land in Watson’s all-time top 5. Estonia’s Markku ‘markovitsus’ Koplimaa rounded out the top three in January with 3,590 PLB points. Koplimaa has been rocketing up the worldwide rankings, reaching a new career-high rank of #12 in the world. While both Botteon and Watson put up impressive results, Koplimaa outdid them both when it came to volume by racking up 229 in-the-money finishes. He embraced the grind, playing every tournament he could enter from mid-stakes and higher. He was rewarded with over $390,000 in earnings including a runner-up finish in the January 18 edition of the GGPoker High Roller MILLION$ for $187,272. It was the second-largest online cash of his career and included a massive 908.09 PLB bump. In total, Koplimaa notched five results of five-figures or better with 11 PLB-qualified scores. Should he continue to have results even half of what he posted in January, he’ll eclipse the career $10 million mark before the end of the year. January 2021 Player of the Month Results [table id=167 /]
  8. It’s not often that one gets a second shot at greatness. Very few have been afforded that opportunity when it comes to becoming the World Series of Poker Main Event champion. So when Damian Salas, who just three years ago finished in seventh place at the WSOP Main Event, found himself in a position to win the championship bracelet that eluded him in 2017, he leaned into his passion for the game and his desire to be known as one of the very best finally reach his championship goal. “Taking into account my experience in 2017, I didn’t see it as a rematch, I took it as a new opportunity granted by this beautiful mind sport so that I could win the World Championship,” said Salas. “I felt great and highly motivated. I’ve worked with tons of persistence during these last eight or nine years of my professional career, so I can give my very best in times of extreme pressure. I felt like I could make it and that was a determining factor to becoming the champion.” It may be that Salas, the Argentinian lawyer turned poker pro, made a name for himself in poker with his seventh-place finish 2017 Main Event when he won $1.425 million but as he mentioned, it was by no means the start of his poker journey. Salas has made the trip to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker for over a decade and prior to his first Main Event, final table appearance had posted a string of impressive results on the biggest poker tours in Latin America including the LAPT and BSOP. If Salas’ journey had essentially ended with his seven-figure score on ESPN it would be a poker success story by nearly every metric. However, for Salas, a few minutes in the spotlight was not what he was after. It still isn’t. “I don’t play for the money, that’s not my goal. It’s not what drives me,” Salas said. “It is great, taking those results into account, as it is paramount to meeting other ambitions in my life. But my basic motivation is to become better and better every day and remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” “As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t think winning [the Main Event] makes me the best player in the world, but I am worthy of the achievement since I believe I could compete for many years now with the world-class poker elite. That’s an honor I’ve earned, and it is my greatest challenge and motivation day in and day out - to remain a member of the world-class poker elite.” To get to where he is, Salas has embraced the grind. With live poker events essentially put on hold in 2020, Salas dove into online poker and quickly became the #1-ranked player in his native Argentina. He broke through into the worldwide top-20 with the help of a pair of impressive scores in some of the year’s biggest tournament series. First, he took third place in the first-ever WPT World Championship Main Event on partypoker which came with an $814,664 payday. Then he took home a PokerStars EPT Online title with a victory in Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE) for another $117,475. The success was paving the way to a run in the WSOP Main Event. “Honestly, I was having a great year,” he said. “So I wasn’t surprised by the [WSOP win] because I felt in great shape, I was really prepared. Obviously, it was incredible and even spectacular to close the year this way.” The path to the WSOP Main Event title was unlike any in years past. First Salas has to navigate the field of online entrants on GGPoker, then travel to the Czech Republic to play down the final table at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, and finally make his way to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to compete against Joseph Hebert, the winner of the domestic leg of the WSOP Main Event, in a for-broadcast heads-up match. “I can say that the online elements against international players at GGPoker were impressive. The poker world’s elite played in that tournament and I had to face them all,” he said, looking back on the tournament as a whole. “It was highly difficult. The clash was really hard from the beginning.” When he made the live final table he was third in chips but one of the toughest challenges awaited. Brazil’s Brunno Botteon, the current #1-ranked player in the world, held the chip lead and was also having a career year. “At the final table were at least five elite representatives of poker including Bruno Botteon, whose quality is extraordinary. And, well, the confrontation demanded my very best,” he said. “I was really inspired at the final table, where I took certain creative lines which I could capitalize in my favor. In the end, while I believe I also benefited from some good cards and good luck, I think those creative hands were responsible for my success.” Salas walked away with the win after defeating Botteon heads-up, which brought him a new career-high score of $1.55 million. It also put him in line to battle heads up for the championship bracelet. “Then came the heads up with Joseph [Hebert]. Either one of us could have won, really,” Salas said. But even after losing some key pots and being on the brink of finishing in second, Salas fought back. “I think I played with discipline, with concentration, with metered quantities of matured aggressiveness that was very efficient,” he said. “It is a great privilege because I understand I was very lucky. However, I also know I have done all I could so that I could meet my goal and that fills me with joy.” In the aftermath of reaching his goal, one might expect Salas to take some time off, perhaps enjoy a few of the finer things with his bonus $1 million payday he received for winning the bracelet. While some new doors are opening for the new World Champion, Salas insists that the main goal of being elite never stops. “Being totally honest, my daily routine has not changed much. As I always say, I’m not driven by money. There is another motivation, that’s to belong to the world elite. Added to the fact that I truly enjoy what I do and I do love playing poker, so my routine remains practically the same…I’m the World Champion, and that’s great, but understanding I’m the same person I was before the tournament.”
  9. After battling back from a short stack and climbing out of a nearly four-to-one heads-up chip deficit, renowned high-stakes tournament pro Benjamin ‘bencb’ Rolle bested the talent-packed final table of the 34th edition of the $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to walk away with this week’s $424,580 first-place prize. This week was Rolle’s 11th time playing the event and it marked his fourth cash and second final table. His previous final table appearance was back on August 9 when he finished in fifth place for $136,479. In total, the Raise Your Edge lead coach had previously earned $276,213, and his victory this week brought his Super MILLION$ total prize money to just over $700,000. At the start of the final table, Rolle was considered one of the long shots to win. He was starting the day eighth in chips (just 6% in play) and, along with Rolle himself, the final table featured some of poker’s brightest minds. Nick Petrangelo was highlighted as the chip leader and joining him at the top of the chip counts was online poker’s former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens and UK high-stakes savant Michael Zhang. Like Rolle, Aliaksei Boika was enjoying his second trip to the final table of the Super MILLION$. In his first appearance Boika finished in ninth place and this time he was hoping for more. Unfortunately for Boika, he got involved in a big hand while holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="td"] against Bert Stevens who held [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] on a board that ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="tc"]. When Stevens shoved the river, Boika made the call which left his stack crippled. It was déjà vu for Boika as he was eliminated on the very next hand, in ninth place, for $53,073. With roughly 10 big blinds, Ukraine’s Andrii Novak put in a late position raise with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"] to which Nick Petrangelo, in the cutoff, three-bet with his [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"]. When it folded back to Novak he shipped, Petrangelo quickly called and the pair watched as the board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6s"]. Novak, who started the day sixth in chips, was out in eighth place and collected $68,826. The very next hand, ‘U LOSSER’ opened under the gun with [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] only to be three-bet by Stevens holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"]. After Michael Zhang folded [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] in the big blind, ‘U LOSSER’ committed the rest of his chips, putting their tournament at risk. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2s"] giving ‘U LOSSER’ a back door flush draw to hope for. The [poker card="ah"] turn made it interesting, but the [poker card="as"] completed the board sending ‘U LOSSER’ out in seventh for $89,257. With six left, Steven put in a raise with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. Rolle then three-bet shipped his 15 big blind stack with [poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"]. It folded to the ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ in the big blind who shipped his 35 big blind stack with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"]. Stevens, covering both players, made the call with his kings and the three watched a flop of [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] providing some flush outs to ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ but keeping Stevens in the lead. With less than a 2% chance of pulling it out, Rolle was all but out the door. The turn was the [poker card="7d"] giving hope to both Rolle and ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ who now both had open-ended straight draw outs. The river was the [poker card="5s"] bringing Rolle back from the brink with a straight but sending ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ out the door in sixth place for $115,752. The final five grinded for over an hour until the next player was eliminated. Petrangelo opened in the cutoff with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="jh"] and, with just 15 big blinds left, Stevens three-bet shoved his [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] from the small blind. Petrangelo made the call and the board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="9h"] giving the pot to Petrangelo’s pocket jacks. Stevens hit the rail in fifth place and added another $150,112 to his over $13.3 million in career online earnings. In his 32nd appearance in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, Lithuanian pro Laurynas Levinskas was guaranteed his best Super MILLION$ finish once play reached four-handed. From the cutoff, Levinskas shipped his final seven big blinds with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"]. Zhang came over the top holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"]. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8s"] keeping Levinskas in front but providing some extra straight outs to Zhang. The turn was the [poker card="4h"] but it was the [poker card="ad"] river that ended Levinskas’ run this week. Levinskas finished in fourth place for $194,671 bringing his Super MILLION$ earnings up over $627,000. With just three left, Zhang held a two-to-one chip advantage on both Rolle and Petrangelo. Petrangelo made his move, looking to do something about that when he opened from the button holding [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"]. Zhang, from the big blind, made the call with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"]. Zhang hit top pair on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3c"] flop and checked it over to Petrangelo who put in a bet. Zhang called and the [poker card="9d"] peeled off on the turn. Zhang checked again, Petrangelo fired big again. Zhang made the call. Zhang checked for the third time, and with just 13 big blinds left Petrangelo emptied the chip and fired the third barrel, leaving himself less than one big blind behind. Zhang went into his timebank but ultimately found a call taking the hand down with top pair. Petrangelo was left with next-to-nothing but managed to double up over the next few hands. Ultimately, he went broke four hands later when his [poker card="qd"][poker card="5d"] fell to Zhang’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="2h"]. Petrangelo finished in third place for $252,457. With a nearly four-to-one and momentum on his side, it looked like Zhang was about to pull out his first victory in just his third-ever GGPoker Super MILLION$ appearance. But Rolle steadily chipped up, found a double, evened the stacks, and eventually took the lead. Rolle kept the pressure on and while Zhang made some moves of his own, the cards continued to fall Rolle’s way. All the chips made it into the middle when Rolle called on the button with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"] and Zhang moved all-in for roughly 15 big blinds with the [poker card="qd"][poker card="th"]. Rolle called and the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"] flop put him in the lead right away. Zhang picked up gutshot straight outs along with his backdoor flush possibilities. The [poker card="qc"] killed his flush outs but added two pair possibilities. It was not to be though as the [poker card="kc"] completed the board sending the accomplished Zhang out in second place for $327,396. Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/2) 1. Benjamin Rolle - $424,581 2. Michael Zhang - $327,396 3. Nick Petrangelo - $252,457 4. Laurynas Levinskas - $194,671 5. Bert Stevens - $150,112 6. ‘WatWudHaraldSDo’ - $115,752 7. ‘U LOSSER’ - $89,257 8. Andrii Novak - $68,827 9. Aliaksei Boika - $53,073
  10. The poker world might not like the idea, but Damian Salas will have no problem calling himself the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. The 45-year-old Argentinian beat Joseph Hebert in the heads up finale of the 2020 WSOP Main Event on Sunday night at the Rio Hotel & Casino to take home $1 million, the bracelet and the title of WSOP Main Event champ. The $1 million is in addition to the $1,550,969 Salas earned for winning the international leg at King's Casino in mid-December. Hebert, who earned $1,553,256 for winning the U.S. leg of the event, earned no additional prize money for finishing as the runner-up. “Joseph was a very hard opponent, and he played really well. In a few instances, he was about to win, it was a real fight and he never slowed down,” Salas said. “Going into the championship, I felt all the energy and support from my family and friends in Argentina tonight, and that helped me.” Both players started the heads up match with 500,000 chips and levels were 20 minutes long. Over the course of nearly six hours and 173 hands of play, both players took turns holding the chip lead with Salas being down 9-1 in chips before clawing his way back to win. After the third chip lead change, Hebert seemed to have Salas cornered. Down 9-1 in chips after hand #82, Salas doubled with [poker card="ad"][poker card="2c"] against Hebert's [poker card="kd"][poker card="5h"]. He doubled again on hand #101 and then took the lead on hand #136. Hebert was down 3-1 in chips before taking a slight lead after doubling through Salas on hand #153. Hebert increased that lead to as much as 3-1 before running [poker card="as"][poker card="8d"] into Salas' [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"] with only 20 big blinds in play on hand #170. Salas won that hand to hold his own 3-1 chip lead and just three hands later, finished Hebert off. With blinds of 25,000/50,000, Hebert jammed for 390,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] and Salas called with [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5c"] flop moved Salas in front and Hebert could only watch as the [poker card="5d"] turn and [poker card="kc"] river completed the board to give Salas the title. Salas is no stranger to WSOP Main Event success. In 2017, he finished in seventh place and won $1,425,000. The heads up match was the culmination of the WSOP decision to host a hybrid online-live Main Event on GGPoker and WSOP.com after hosting a "Main Event" on GGPoker as part of the 2020 WSOP Online. In December, each site hosted a $10,000 buy-in online event which played down to a final table of nine. The final tablists from each site met in a live setting to play down to just one player. Each of the two winners then met in Las Vegas to play for the right to be called Main Event champion. The heads-up finale was originally scheduled to take place December 30, but had to be delayed until Sunday after Salas was denied entry to the United States due to his recent travel activity and COVID-19 protocols.
  11. 2020 was a career year for UK online crusher Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford who not only spent more than half the year as the #1-ranked player in the world but also earned more than enough PocketFives PLB points to run away as the 2020 Online Poker Player of the Year. For years, Beresford had been considered one of the toughest online poker tournament players in the world, but in 2020 he cemented himself as one of the very best. He hit new heights by earning six six-figure scores, four of which are currently a part of his top-5 results. He also padded his poker resume with victories in high roller events as well as his first PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker title. Beresford’s year got off to a quick start when on January 30 he finished as the runner-up in the GGPoker $2,020 2020 Series Championship for what was easily a new career-high cash of $611,134. Although he settled for second in that spot, Beresford spent the rest of the year finding ways to take home the win in the face of huge paydays at major final tables. For Beresford, those final tables often came with a title attached. He started his 2020 collection in March when he took down the partypoker POWERFEST Event #8 for $70,588. It was then that the online poker industry ramped up its offerings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which meant more opportunities for players like Beresford. On March 22, he picked up a win in the PokerStars High Rollers Week Kickoff Event ($5,200 NLHE) for $180,438. That fed right into back-to-back six-figure scores, the first of which took place during High Rollers 32 ($5,200 8-Max Main Event) for $378,205. That was closely followed by another huge win in High Rollers 39 ($10,300 NLHE) where Beresford defeated fellow UK pro Michael 'mczhang' Ch Zhang heads up for $239,652. All three of those PokerStars High Rollers victories were good enough to enter Beresford’s top-5 career results. The highlights continued in April as Beresford walked away with the win in the GGPoker GSS #162-HR for $74,066. Then again in May when he picked up a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker title with a win in Event 32-H ($530 NLHE) for $85,959. It was only fitting that in the middle of his 29-week long run as the #1-ranked player in the world, Beresford took down his first PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker title for $162,674. By the end of the year, Beresford’s lifetime career cashes soared over $14.7 million in earnings and he accumulated 29,804 PLB points, more than 4,000 ahead of Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon who ended the year with 25,730 points. Botteon had a well-documented incredible year in his own right highlighted by a second-place finish in the international leg of the World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event for a career-high score of $1,062,723. He also finished as the runner-up in the WSOP $25,000 Heads Up NLHE event on GGPoker for $622,300 as well as making an appearance at the final table of the WSOP $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship where he finished in sixth place for another $388,837. In total, Botteon, who is currently the #1-ranked player in the world, earned 14 of his top 15 scores in 2020, seven of which were good for six-figures or more. The current #2-ranked player, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic also made a run at the Online Player of the Year title by accumulating 23,773 points. The largest score of his year came in August when he earned a WSOP gold bracelet in Event #63 ($500 Mini Main Event) and collected a career-high cash of $843,460. After winning the PocketFives Yearly PLB title in both 2018* and 2019, ‘Lena900’ finished fourth in the 2020 race with 22,918 points. ‘Lena900’ started the year off as the #1-ranked player and held on to it for the better part of five months until Beresford assumed the top spot. Despite everything he’s accomplished in his career, all of his titles, the online great managed to add even more last year. His yearly highlights included a win in the PokerStars Stadium Series for $230,435 which was the third-highest cash of his career plus two WCOOP titles. In total, ‘Lena900’ has extended his lead on the Online All-Time Money List to more than $21.5 million. Former #1-ranked Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski finished in fifth place with 20,411 points on the back of his second career WSOP bracelet and three World Championship of Online Poker titles which included one in Event #48-H ($5,200, 8-Max PKO) for a total of $245,000. 2020 Online Poker Player of the Year Standings [table id=150 /] * In previous years, players were awarded the title of PocketFives Yearly PLB winner. This title has been changed to PocketFives Online Player of the Year.
  12. In the same month that Brazil’s Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon captured the worldwide #1 ranking for the first time in his career, he leveraged his first seven-figure score to take home the title of PocketFives Player of the Month for December. Botteon’s outstanding performance in 2020 has been well documented. Continually reaching new career-high cashes throughout the year, Botteon made a name for himself with high-profile appearances in the WSOP Online $25K Poker Players Championship as well as earning a spot in the finals of the WSOP Online $25K Heads-Up Championship. However, in December he was able to, once again, find a way to reach new heights. Botteon’s runner-up finish in the international leg of the $10K WSOP Main Event earned him $1,062,723, his first million-dollar score. It was also the fifth time in 2020 that he earned himself a new career-high cash. But it wasn’t just his deep run in the WSOP Main Event that helped him lock up the Player of the Month. Early in the month, he took down the December 6 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club ($1,050 Sunday Cooldown) for $10,478 and 232.78 PLB points. The very next day he won the GGPoker Sunday Forty Stack for another $35,985 and 451.43 PLB points. He picked up yet another win in the GGPoker $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for $25,645 and another 342.05 PLB points. In total for December, Botteon picked up nine five-figure scores from his 37 total results (outside of his WSOP cash). He also had nine PLB scores for a total of 5,308 points, just enough to help him outpace the competition to win the monthly award for the second time in his career. It was a perfect finish to an incredible year in which Botteon was named one of poker’s brightest rising stars. It seems like for the past month, whatever Botteon has done Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic has been right behind him, chasing him down. The #2-ranked player in the world finished as the runner-up in December’s Player of the Month race with 5,237 PLB points, just 71 behind Botteon. Zufic may not have had an avalanche of PLB points like one gets for taking second in the WSOP Main Event, but he did have a massive score of his own. His runner-up finish in the December 13 GGPoker High Roller Million$ brought him $228,682 and 821.52 PLB points. He added to his PLB point total with a victory in the GGPoker WSOPC Series $400 Sunday Forty Stack for $41,934 and 547.42 PLB points. In December Zufic was on a non-stop grind. He logged 131 in-the-money results, 12-PLB qualifying scores, and ten cashes of five-figures or better. He’s off to a fast start in 2021 as well, already locking up multiple large scores and keeping himself in the race for the worldwide top spot. Anton ‘AnteSvante’ Wigg, Austria’s #1-ranked pro, finished in third place in December after accumulating 4,091 PLB points. He finished in fourth place in the GGPoker Super Million$ High Rollers on December 1 for a career-high online cash of $176,631 and 587.22 PLB points. Two weeks later, Wigg defeated the 321 runners in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,389 and another 566.57 PLB points. Over the final two weeks of the year, Wigg went on a run on GGPoker picking up five-figure cashes and PLB points in bunches. A runner-up finish in the WSOPC Series $1,500 Sunday High Rollers brought him $44,369 on the same day he won the Sunday Special for $31,929. The next day he earned another $22,477 in the WSOPC Event #2 ($10, 300 Super MILLION$ High Roller) and another $32,729 in WSOPC Event #3 ($3,000 Deepstack) the very next day. His late-year results have pushed Wigg into the worldwide top-10 ranked, where he currently sits at #7. December 2020 Player of the Month Results [table id=153 /]
  13. In poker, the only thing worse than being forced to listen to someone else’s bad beat story is suffering a brutal bad beat of your own. GGPoker is helping players better deal with the sting of getting coolered by rewarding them with cash prizes with their latest promotion called GGCare. GGCare is a new rewards promotion for their online players who suffer from bad beats, suckouts, or unavoidable coolers. Without having to opt-in, when a player runs into a particularly bad beat or cooler, GGCare kicks in. A pop-up window appears in the client and lets that player know that they’ve been granted a stack in the GGCare Daily $30,000 Flipout tournament. There’s no need for the player to be in their seat for the Flipout tournament in order to cash. The tournament runs and automatically forces every player all-in every hand until there is a winner. Those who make the money will find it automatically paid to them and waiting for them in their balance. Then, the whole promotion starts all over again. The very next day a new group of players who took a bad beat is entered into the next Flipout tournament with $30,000 in cash prizes distributed to a new batch of winners. “We’ve all experienced the pain of bad beats. It’s part of the game,” saidGGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu. “But GGPoker has your back. With GGCare, you can suffer the worst bad beat and still come out ahead.” According to the GGPoker website, their team of game experts “will continually look for unlucky situations” in order to optimize what details will trigger an instance of GGCare. Each game has its own conditions and players are granted a stack size in the Flipout in accordance with the size of the pot and the severity of the bad beat or cooler. As far as GGPoker is concerned the more unlucky a player is, the more deserving they are of GGCare. So when the run bad appears in multiple hands of a session, a player will accumulate additional chips in the Flipout tournament making it more likely that they’ll see rewards put back in their bankroll in the end. “Just play the game as normal and GGCare will take care of you,” said Negreanu. “The prize money will only grow more and more in the future.” GGCare is currently available for GGPoker's Hold’em, Omaha, and Short Deck standard cash games as well as their All-In of Fold, Rush & Cash, and Spin & Gold. GGPoker will add tournament coverage at a later time.
  14. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Don’t miss this week’s all-new episode of The FIVES Poker Podcast as Lance and Donnie break down all of the news from a busy week in the world of poker. First up, the guys dive into the latest numbers coming out of the Doug Polk/Daniel Negreanu high-stakes heads-up challenge. Polk still holds a commanding lead while Negreanu has strung together a number of winning sessions - will the challenge end at 12,500 hands or extend to the full 25,000? The guys get to the bottom of it. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event is taking place this month with the first flights of the international leg taking place on GGPoker. In the United States, as players prepare to take their shot in the $10K buy-in event, an issue cropped up in one of the satellites on WSOP.com which had the poker community buzzing. Also, GGPoker’s signing of social media influencer Dan Bilzerian drew both praise and sharp criticism from all corners of the poker world. Is the controversial Bilzerian good for the game of poker? Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  15. There’s not a single year-end list that won’t be heavily influenced by the pandemic, and this one is no different. Nearly every industry faced overwhelming challenges in the face of COVID-19, the same was true for poker. As live poker events took a backseat to an online poker surge, some of this year’s brightest rising stars had career-making moments take place while playing online in the strangest of times. While there were plenty of poker players (and personalities) who succeeded in continuing their poker pursuits in 2020, these are our five Rising Stars who took what this year gave them and used it to step into the spotlight. Brunno 'bbotteon' Botteon Some in South America knew what Brazilian poker powerhouse Brunno Botteon had to offer, but after a year where Botteon seemingly never cooled off, now the whole poker world knows how great he really is. In 2020, no matter the online series, no matter the stakes, Botteon found a way to thrive. At the end of 2019, Botteon could regularly be seen playing mid-stakes, with the occasional high roller mixed in. That all began to change at the very start of 2020. In early January, on the same day at the same time, he finished as the runner-up in the PokerStars Winter Series $530 Main Event for $196,908 and third place in the Winter Series $5,200 Main Event for another $265,463. The hot start to his year set him up to make deep runs in many of the marquee series that made the move online when forced to postpone their live events. During the World Series of Poker Online events on GGPoker, Botteon found himself in the mix for a bracelet in some of the most prestigious events of the series. After he finished as the runner-up in Event #67 ($500 NLHE) for $41,855, Botteon made another final table in the $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship. He ended up finishing in sixth for $388,837 for what was, at the time, a career-high cash. He bested that just days later when he made it to the finals of the WSOP $25,000 Heads Up Championship. He finished in second place, just behind German superstar Fedor Holz, for a new career-high score of $622,300. Botteon then turned his attention to the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker where he picked up his second career title in Event #36-H ($2,100 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for $80,642. He also finished as the runner-up in Event #48-H ($5,200 8-Max PKO) for another $95,458. By this time, Botteon had soared in the rankings and was sitting as the #3-ranked player in the world and was regularly competing and cashing in the biggest buy-in tournaments online. However, as much as Botteon had already achieved in 2020, he decided to save the best for last. Botteon weaved his way through the international leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker hybrid Main Event, taking the chip lead into the live final table. The Brazilian made his way to Rozvadov where, in the end, he finished in second place to Damian Salas, but locked up his first career seven-figure score of $1,062,723. It was the third time in 2020 that Botteon set himself a new career-high cash and, in total, in his first WSOP experience, Botteon earned more than $2.16 million. Sitting with more than $5.2 million in lifetime online earnings (excluding his WSOP Main Event haul) Botteon’s tenacity at the tables has helped him into online poker history as one of the elite few who has reached the top of the worldwide rankings. On December 12, Botteon finally became the #1-ranked player in the world, capping off an incredible year for one of 2020’s biggest breakout stars. Artur ‘marathur1’ Martirosyan Also known by his screen name ‘marathur1’, Russia’s Artur Martirosyan took his career to the next level in 2020 after capturing multiple titles and big-time cashes. During the Poker Masters Online series in April, Martirosyan narrowly missed out on winning the Purple Jacket after cashing in nine of the 30 high roller event events for a total profit of $551,674. Just weeks later Martirosyan’s heater extended into the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker where he took down Event #17 ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max High Roller) for over $271,000. Days later he grabbed his second title of the series in Event #19 ($5,200 NLHE Midweek Freeze) to add another $157,426 to his ever-expanding bankroll. In June, he was back dominating another Poker Central series when Martirosyan took a series victory in the Super High Roller Bowl Online Series. He made six final tables, eight cashes overall, over the series' 27 events and he earned just under $1.8 million for his efforts. He wasn't done. After a deep run in the World Poker Tour World Online Championships Main Event, he took down the WPT Mini Super High Roller for $239,500 which led to the Russian being named player of the series and winning an additional $50,000 for topping the leaderboard. Landon Tice When you make the leap from online micro-stakes to playing in some of the biggest live games Las Vegas has to offer in a matter of just a couple of years, people are going to take notice. That is exactly what 21-year old Landon Tice has done and his story, and talent, brought youthful energy and excitement to poker 2020. For those that follow poker closely it was hard not to encounter Tice in some form or another, from his on-stream appearances with Joey Ingram to guest co-hosting the Solve For Why podcast with Matt Berkey and Christian Soto, Tice took little time letting his personality shine in the poker media. At the same time, Tice's poker game has reportedly been taken under the wing of the likes of Nick Schulman, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Berkey among others. Tice's Las Vegas cash game exploits at the higher limits were recounted and analyzed on podcasts and social media. At the same time, he quickly proved that his talent translated to the tournament scene as well. Tice took down one of the few major live tournaments to take place this year, besting a field of 1,123 entries in the 2020 MSPT Venetian Main Event for a $201,529 first-place payday. And if the World Series of Poker is able to be run in its traditional form in 2021, one should expect to see a lot more of Landon Tice in the chip counts. Ryan Depaulo When it comes to seizing the spotlight in 2020, perhaps no one did it better than Ryan Depaulo. With his star already on the rise from his popular YouTube channel Ryan Depaulo: Degenerate Gambler, the New York pro successfully pulled off one of the most improbable WSOP gold bracelet victories of the year. In order to play WSOP Online Event #13 ($500 No Limit Hold’em, The Big 500), Depaulo drove his car to a Whole Foods parking lot in New Jersey in order to “borrow” a little internet. From the front seat of his car, Depaulo played all night and reached the final table. When he got there, he dominated. Depaulo eliminated six of his final eight opponents and grabbed the gold bracelet and a $159,563 score as the sun rose over the hood of his car. https://twitter.com/depaulo_ryan/status/1282600527839334400?s=20 After he locked up the win, Depaulo, stunned, jumped out of his car and as the Whole Foods employees were coming in to start their morning shift he screamed out loud “I’m a Legend!” He may not yet be a full-blown poker legend yet but if he continues to pull off insane feats like this one he might just be on his way to becoming one. Jeff Platt It would be fair to say that poker commentator Jeff Platt could have, and rightfully should have, been named a rising star a year ago. Maybe he was and if so, it would have been true. But in 2020, Platt found the opportunity to level up in poker once again by becoming one of the premier faces and voices of some of this year’s most-watched poker streams on Twitch. If Nick Schulman is the current GOAT when it comes to poker commentary, then Platt is the People’s Champion. Platt seemed to be everywhere he was needed in 2020. From grabbing a glass of wine and anchoring the WSOP pre-final table broadcast throughout the summer, to holding down the GGPoker Twitch stream during the Polk-Negreanu challenge, you could count on Platt to be a consummate pro juggling talking thru the action with indulging the chat. With so many events taking place online this year, plenty of content creators have taken a stab in the commentary booth, with varying degrees of success. But it’s Platt’s professionalism that will likely put him in line for more and more work in the poker industry for years and years to come.
  16. The 71 players who survived Day 1 of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on WSOP.com returned to the tables on Monday to battle for a seat at the December 28 televised live final table and a shot at the $1,553,256 first-place prize. The Final Nine After roughly seven hours of play, only nine players remained with Louisiana’s Joseph Hebert taking a commanding chip lead into the final table. Hebert was involved in a number of key eliminations down the stretch and ended the day with 13,052,534 in chips, more than 2.5 times anyone else in the field. New York native Shawn Stroke wrapped up the day sitting in second with 5,252,000 in chips, followed closely by New Jersey's Ryan Hagerty in third with 5,071,572. Ye Yuan (4,829,459), Michael Cannon (4,408,847), and Gershon Distenfeld (3,475,481) make up the middle of the pack. Southern California's Ron Jenkins (2,476,746, Day 1 chip leader Upeshka De Silva (2,151,969) and short stack Harrison Dobin (1,581,392) complete the final table. Final Table Chip Counts [table id=145 /] Early Eliminations It didn’t take long for the bustouts to begin as mere moments after the start of Day 2 one of the shortest stacks in the field, Julian Parmann, hit the rail at the hands of Dan Zack after Parmann’s [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"] couldn’t hold against Zack’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"] after the [poker card="th"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3s"] flop. The [poker card="3c"] turn looked good for Parmann but the [poker card="ks"] on the river helped break the dam on the flood of eliminations that occurred before the final table. Parmann wasn’t the only player to exit in the early going as he was joined by the likes of Ryan Laplante, Barry Hutter, and Farid Jattin, all of whom turned their $10K into an $18,274 payday. Of course, the hits kept coming in the first half of the day as the dream of taking down the Main Event ended for some of the most notable names in the field. Nick Schulman (55th, $20,304), Aram Zobian (52nd, $22,334), Darren Elias (50th, $22,334), 2013 WSOP Champ Ryan Riess (47th, $22,334), and Freddy Deeb (46th, $22,334) were among those whose Day 2 was cut short. Big Name Bustouts Bracelet winners fell in bunches at the half-way point. After three-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Seiver busted in 39th place for $25,718, Mohsin Charania (35th, $29,779), Joseph Cheong (33rd, $29,779), and Jason Somerville (32nd, $29,779) all exited in short order as well. Taylor Von Kriegenbergh (23rd), Maria Ho (22nd), and Jared Griener (20th) were among those who picked up a $35,194 payday after being eliminated with three tables left. March To The Final Table With just two tables remaining, half of the field still needed to go broke before the final nine could celebrate. Unfortunately for WSOP bracelet winner Sean Swingruber, he would not be among them. After Stroke and Yaun flat called, Swingruber shoved his short stack from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"]. Stroke reshoved his stack holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"] and Yuan, who had everyone covered, called with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. The board ran out [poker card="9h"][poker card="8d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="js"] to give the pot to Stroke and sent Swingruber home in 18th place. Moments later Michael Hahn made his move by open-shoving his ten big blind stack with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"]. Dan Zack made the call from the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"] and then Clayton Maguire, who had both covered, three-bet shoved holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"]. Maguire hit his king on the [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"][poker card="5s"] flop, but the [poker card="th"] let Zack hit his gutshot straight. Hahn was drawing dead to the [poker card="9d"] river and he fell in 17th place. After Distenfeld opened, Keith Dovovan three-bet his final ten big blinds holding [poker card="as"][poker card="4s"] only to get called by Yuan in the big blind who has [poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"]. The board came [poker card="ad"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8d"] allowing Yaun’s kicked to play and sending Donovan home in 16th place. It was a rough exit for Rody Collazo who got his stack in the middle with [poker card="jd"][poker card="jc"] against Hebert and his [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"] flop looked good for Collazo, but after Hebert spiked the [poker card="tc"] on the turn, Collazo was down to two outs. The [poker card="9h"] was not one of them and Collazo left in 15th place. A huge hand when down after Stephen Graner raised nearly his entire stack holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] only to be jammed on by Maguire in the small blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. Then Hebert, the largest stack of the three, re-jammed over the top with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kh"]. After Graner put the rest of his stack in, the three watched a board of [poker card="kd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4c"][poker card="8d"] run out. Hebert’s big slick won the pot and eliminated both Graner (14th) and Maguire (13th) in one stroke. Hebert wasn’t anywhere near finished. Next, he got involved in a hand with Martin Zamani where Herbert raised from early position with [poker card="ks"][poker card="jh"] and Zamani defended his big blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="8h"]. The flop came [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"] and Zamani checked it over to Hebert who put in a bet. Zamani then check-raised all-in, which Hebert called.The turn came [poker card="ah"] and the river was the [poker card="6h"]. Both players missed, but Hebert’s ace-king high hand was good enough to take Zamani out in 12th place. Hebert then mixed it up with WSOP bracelet winner Dan Zack. After Zack put in a raise with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"], Hebert flat called holding the [poker card="ks"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="3c"] flop meant there was going to be plenty of action. Zack checked his two pair and Hebert put in a bet with his top set, which Zack called. Zack checked the [poker card="jd"] turn and Hebert shoved, putting Zack to the test for all his chips. Zack made the call, which ended his tournament in 11th place before the [poker card="qh"] hit the river. With just 10 players left, Anthony Spinella was sitting on just two big blinds. He moved all in from the button with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"] and Stroke put in a three-bet with [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"], allowing for the pot to be heads up. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="ts"][poker card="5c"] flop put Stroke in the lead, but gave Spinella outs to the gutshot straight. The [poker card="js"] produced a few more outs for the WSOP Online bracelet winner, but the [poker card="5s"] was not one of them and Anthony Spinella finished in 10th place, bubbling the final table of the 2020 WSOP Main Event. Payouts 18-10 [table id=146 /] Now the final nine have two weeks to prepare, and quarantine, in preparation for the live final table that will take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on December 28 where one of them will not just earn the over $1.55 million first-place prize but a date to battle the international Main Event winner in a $1 million heads-up contest that will determine who the history books will recognize at the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion. Final Table Payouts [table id=143 /]
  17. A flurry of tournament wins in the middle of the month helped Jonathan ‘luckyfish89’ Clark pick up an early holiday present in the form of winning the PocketFives Monthly Leaderboard for the month of November. Clark, currently the #3-ranked player in the United Kingdom, hit a career-high ranking of #18 in the world last month after racking up 95 cashes for just over $330,000 in earnings. Much of those earnings was due to Clark’s fast start in the month, especially on November 2, when he crushed the GGMasters $1,050 High Rollers as the runner-up which earned him a career-high $118,941 score and 659.75 PLB points. At the same time, Clark was making a deep run in GGPoker’s Battle of Malta Event #3 ($215 Kings of Tallinn Main Event) where he picked up $37,360 and 382.78 PLB points. Clark was nowhere near done racking up results though. He picked up another nice score during GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #12 ($1,050 Deepstack) where he finished in seventh for another $19,754 and 269.09 points. In the middle of the month, the BBZ Poker coach went on a heater, collecting PLB points in bunches during the Battle of Malta Online series side events. He first won the Bounty Hunters Malta High Roller for $8,044 and 242.38 points on November 16. Five days later he won again, this time in the $315 Bounty Grand Master Side Event for another $22,132 and 378.29 points. He closed out the win with yet another victory in another $315 Bounty Grand Master Side Event, this time picking up $7,858 and 267.49 points. Clark’s 16 PLB-qualifying cashes was just enough to deny Dan ‘SmilleThHero’ Smilikovic back-to-back Monthly PLB titles. Smilikovic, who took down the October title, comes in a close second after another incredibly productive month that saw him rack up 136 results for roughly $387,144 in earnings. Currently sitting ranked at #7 in the world, Smilikovic held his elite status in the top 10 thanks in part to a resume-building victory in GGPoker’s marquee Sunday Major tournament, the $150 buy-in $500K GTD GGMasters. The Austrian battled his way through the 4,172-entry field to lock up the victory and $82,223 and 758.77 PLB points in the process. He continued to add to his accolades during PokerStars EPT Online after he finished in fifth place in Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) for $87,274 and 397.49 PLB points. He backed that up with another EPT Online score, this time he went the distance in Event #7 ($2,100 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller) and added the $54,451 first-place prize to his career totals which skyrocketed past $3 million in November. The November PLB top three is rounded out by perennial online crusher Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens. ‘Giraf’ didn’t put in quite the same amount of volume as Clark or Smilikovic, racking up just 60 results. However, when it came to earnings the online pro had a career month, taking in just over $1,191,000. ‘Giraf’s heater started on November 9 when he took down the GGPoker Battle of Malta High Roller Championship for $439,747 and 1,573.21 PLB points, the second-largest online score of his career. He followed that up with a three-tournament set that included a final table appearance in EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, High Roller) for $51,445 and 324.83 PLB points, a runner-up finish in GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #7 ($10,300 NLHE) for $262,470 and 752.24, and finally an outright win in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE) for another $96,144 and 707.11 PLB points. To add to all of those scores, ‘Giraf’ also took down EPT Online Event 15 ($10,300 NLHE, Turbo High Roller) for $186,238. The score contributed to his leap to over $12 million in total career earnings, placing him 15th on the All-Time Online Money List. It also helped him return back to being ranked #1 in the world, which he held on the week of December 5 for the first time since 2017. November PocketFives Top 10 [table id=142 /]
  18. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event continued on Sunday as United States-based players located in Nevada and New Jersey took their shot at the lone $10,000 buy-in Day 1 flight on WSOP.com in a bid to become the next WSOP World Champion. At the end of 12 hours of play, the field of 705 players had just 71 remaining and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva emerged as the overnight chip leader with 1,930,067 in chips. He is followed by ‘vforvictoria’ who sits in a close second place with 1,792,716 in chips and ‘Samthedog76’ who rounds out the top three with 1,529,044 in chips. The healthy field size propelled the prize pool to $6,768,000, far-and-away the largest prize pool in regulated U.S. online poker history. And just like the international portion of the Main Event which held its opening flights on GGPoker, both the first and second-place finishers will be guaranteed paydays of more than $1 million dollars. Final Table Payouts [table id=143 /] The U.S.-based field featured plenty of big-time poker stars and previous WSOP bracelet winners. But at the end of a full 12 hours of play, just 71 from the Day 1 field still had a shot at making the final table which is set to play out live at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on December 28. The tournament got underway at 12:00 noon local time (3:00 pm ET) with players set to play 22 full 30-minute levels. And while it would take nearly all of the 12-hour day before the final 107 players made the money, the first elimination came swiftly - just a few hands into the tournament. In a classic set-up hand, Chris ‘Pay_Son’ Staats found himself with pocket aces and ‘ATOWNLEWIS’ woke up with pocket kings. After a preflop raising war, all their chips made it into the middle with Staats’ aces holding up and 'ATOWNLEWIS's day ending early. But it wasn’t long before ‘ATOWNLEWIS’ had some company on the rail, as plenty of notable names busted well before the money. Chris Hunichen, Aaron Mermelstein, James Carroll, and 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth all made their exits in the first half of the day. Of course, Hellmuth was by no means the only previous bracelet winner unable to advance to Day 2. Phil Galfond, Eric Baldwin, Nathan Gamble, Michael Gagliano, Brandon Adams, Ben Yu, Chance Kornuth, Mike Matusow, Connor Drinan, Michael Mizrachi, as well as former #1-ranked pros Bryan Piccioli, Calvin Anderson, and Shaun Deeb were among those that will have to wait until next year to add to their gold bracelet totals. Daniel Negreanu’s bid for a seventh bracelet, as well as cashing in on a number of $100,000 bracelet bets, came to an end as well. Soon after Adrian ‘Partee’ Buckley had the unfortunate distinction of bubbling the Main Event, when his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] lost to ‘Samthedog76’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"] in heartbreaking fashion on a [poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="th"] runout, Negreanu himself busted out of the tournament, collecting a min-cash of $14,890. Joining Negreanu in surviving the bubble, but not the day included Ian Steinman (105th, $14,890), Jed Hoffman (102nd, $14,890), Matt Affleck (97th, $14,890), Lauren Roberts (88th, $15,566), David Coleman (76th, $15,566) and eight-time WSOP Circuit Ring and gold bracelet winner Michael Lech (74th, $15,566). While many notable names are no longer in the hunt for the 2020 title, there are plenty of players to keep an eye on when play resumes. Taylor Von Krigenbergh and Galen Hall both have top-ten stacks. Fan favorites Nick Shulman, Jason Somerville, and Maria Ho are all still in the running with plenty of chips, and four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias along with 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Ryan Riess are also still in the hunt. The remaining players return to WSOP.com at noon on Monday to play down to the final nine players who will determine a winner, live, on December 28 at the Rio in Las Vegas. At the same time the final eight players in the 2020 GGPoker World Series of Poker Main Event are preparing to play down to a winner on Tuesday, December 15 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The winner of both the international and the U.S. tournaments will then meet in a heads-up match, with $1 million added, on December 30 at the Rio in Las Vegas to determine the 2020 champion. Top Ten Chip Counts [table id=144 /]
  19. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event continued on Monday as the 179 players who survived the three $10,000 buy-in starting flights on GGPoker reconvened on Day 2 to determine which nine players would lock up a seat at King’s Casino in Rozvadov for a shot at the $1,550,969 first-place prize. When all was said and done on Day 2 it was worldwide #5-ranked Brunno Botteon out of Brazil who rose to the top of the final table chip counts, finishing the day with more than 10 million in chips. More than 4 million behind Botteon on the leaderboard sits Manuel Ruvio. Ruvio scored the final knockout of the day which helped elevate him to second in chips. The top-three is rounded out by 2017 World Series of Poker final table member Damian Salas. Salas, currently third in chips, would need to win the international portion of the Main Event to best his previous final table cash of $1.425 million which he earned for a seventh-place finish. Joining the chip leaders in Rozvadov will be ‘fullbabyfull’, Hannes Speiser, Dominykas Mikolaitis, Ramon Miquel Munoz, Peiyuan Sun, and short-stack Stoyan Obreshkov, who will start the final table with roughly 10 big blinds. Final Table Chip Counts [table id=136 /] Long before the final table was set, over half the field needed to go broke before the payouts began. Some of poker’s most notable names managed to make Day 2 but still ended up going home empty-handed. Former #1-ranked online pros Simon Mattsson and Yuri Dzivielevski were ousted before the money, as were the notable names of Ludovic Geilich, Anatoly Filatov, Anton Wigg, and Daniel Dvoress. WSOP gold bracelet winners Georgios Sotiropoulos, Simon Lofberg, Barak Wisbrod, Jonas Lauck, and Sung Joo Hyun all fell short of the money as well, leaving just Toby Joyce as the lone bracelet winner to sneak into the cash where he finished up in 32nd place for $26,507. Joining Joyce on the right side of the money bubble included Julien Menhardt (24th, $30,404) and Blaz Zerjav (25th, $30,404), the respective Day 1A and Day 1B overnight chip leaders. Alex Difelice (39th, $22,876), Sergio Aido (41st, $22,876), Antonine Saout (53rd, $18,421), Gary Hasson (54th, $18,421), and Gediminas Uselis (74th, $15,277), were also among those who managed to turn a profit. Roughly seven hours into Day 2, the final two tables battled to see who would survive to see the live portion of the tournament. Diego ‘Ushuaua1’ Zeiter got his [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] it all-in preflop against Stoyan ‘UncleToni’ Obreshkov’s [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] but failed to improve, falling in 18th for $34,115. He was quickly followed out the door by China’s ‘sunnyzyang1982’ who got in a raising war with Salas after the pair saw a [poker card="ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"] flop. The pair got it all in the middle, ‘sunnyzyang1982’ was holding the [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"] but was out-kicked by Salas’ [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="7h"] river didn’t help ‘sunnyzyang1982’ and they fell in 17th for $39,356. Roughly 30 minutes later it was Fazel ‘waterproo’ Dawood’s turn to go broke. The South African open-shoved holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] and was called by Salas and his [poker card="8s"][poker card="8d"]. The board ran out pah][poker card="qs"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"] giving Salas more chips and Dawood a 16th place finish for $39,356. Another 30 minutes passed before Evaldas ‘Man14c’ Aniulis made his move with his short stack holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"]. He was called by Dominykas ‘MickeyMouse’ Mikolaitis in the big blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="2d"][poker card="6d"] flop paired Mikolaitis, which held through the [poker card="4h"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river. Aniulis was ousted in fifteenth place a $39,356 payday. ‘BorisLeBlade’ found himself all-in and at risk holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="kd"] against Christopher Puetz’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The board ran out clean for ‘BorisLeBlade’ right up until the [poker card="as"] on the river flipped the script awarding the hand to Puetz and sending ‘BorisLeBlade’ home in fourteenth place with $39,356. Despite securing that knockout, Puetz wasn’t long for the tournament either. He shipped his roughly 10 big blind stack from late position holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] and was re-shipped on by Hannes ‘BlackFortuna’ Speiser and his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. Both players paired their ace on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop, but the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river put Speiser’s kicker into play and Puetz exited in thirteenth place for $44,914. The eliminations kept coming as Canada’s Carter Swidler clashed with Day 1C chipleader Senthuran Vijayaratnam in a pre-flop all-in contest. Swidler held [poker card="as"][poker card="7c"] while Vijayaratnam showed down [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. The board ran out clean for the pocket kings and Swidler hit the rail in twelfth place, earning $44,914. Vijayaratnam entered Day 2 with an overwhelming chip lead but with just 11 left he found himself engaged in an all-in clash with Botteon. After Botteon raised from late position with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"], Vijayaratnam three-bet shipped his nearly 20 big blind stack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"]. Botteon, who had Vijayaratnam covered, made the quick call with his premium pair. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6c"] bringing Vijayaratnam’s day to an end in eleventh place for $50,131 and sending Botteon to the top of the chip counts. The bubble for the final table finally burst when Manuel ‘robocup’ Ruvio raised from under the gun and the UK’s Thomas ‘ggmbn’ Macdonald moved his short stack all-in from the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"]. Ruvio completed the call holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"]. Ruvio took the lead on the [poker card="qc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop and held on through the [poker card="jd"] turn and [poker card="qs"] river to send Macdonald home in tenth place for $50,131, just one spot shy of a trip to Rozvadov. Now, with the final table of nine in place, the players will ditch their screen names and accept the challenge of making their way to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Rebublic by December 15 to play the international portion of the WSOP Main Event out in person. Final Table Payouts [table id=138 /]
  20. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event has arrived. The unique live-online hybrid solution to finding a successor to current reigning World Champion Hossein Ensan gives players, both in the United States and internationally, one final shot at winning a gold bracelet in 2020. Last updated: Sunday, December 7, 2020 The tournament, which comes with a traditional $10,000 buy-in and is a true freezeout, will hold all of its starting flights online. Players in the United States can travel to Nevada or New Jersey to play in a single opening flight on WSOP.com while international players have three starting flights to choose from on GGPoker. These two separate online tournaments will spawn two different final tables which will be played out live. The final nine from the WSOP.com player pool will determine a winner in Las Vegas as GGPoker's final table will battle it out at King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Ultimately, the winner of each final table will face off in a winner-take-all heads-up battle in front of the ESPN camera on December 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of that match will take home an additional $1 million and the title of WSOP World Champion. WSOP Main Event Schedule (GGPoker) [table id=130 /] WSOP Main Event Schedule (WSOP.com) [table id=128 /] Julian Menhardt Leads GGPoker Day 1A Survivors [caption id="attachment_633135" align="aligncenter" width="799"] The opening flights of the 2020 World Series of Poker are underway online. (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] The first flight of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event had 246 entries take their one-and-only shot in the $10,000 buy-in tournament. At the end of 16 30-minute levels, just 62 players advanced to day two with Germany’s Julian ‘VWgunther’ Menhardt bagging the chip lead with 534,490 chips (107 big blinds). Germany’s Paul ‘AsiaStylez’ Esau finished the day with 472,075 (94 bbs) for second in chips while the Netherlands Dirk Gerritse rounded out the top three with a 472,075 stack (91 bbs). Plenty of star power entered and survived through Day 1A. This includes former WSOP Main Event standout Preben Stokkan, a pair of Brazil’s best in Brunno Botteon and former #1-ranked player Yuri Dzivielevski, Anatoly Filatov, Daniel Dvoress, and Russia’s Artur Martirosian among others. For others though, the dream of becoming the WSOP Main Event champ will have to wait another year. Fedor Holz, Kristen Bicknell, Christian Rudolph, Julien Martini, and former #1-ranked players Steven van Zadelhoff and Andreas Nemeth were among those notable players who busted before the day was done. Joining them on the rail are the likes of Pablo Brito Silva, Jans Arends, Ole Schemion, Rainer Kempe, Christian Jeppsson, Sebastian Sikorski, and Patrik Antonius. The players that made it through to Day 2 of the WSOP 2020 Main Event will return to the online tables on December 7 and merge with the remaining fields of Day 1B and Day 1C to play down to a final table of nine. Day 1A Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=129 /] Blaž Žerjav Takes Overall Chip Lead On Day 1B [caption id="attachment_633168" align="aligncenter" width="696"] The 2020 WSOP Main Event has a new chip leader after Day 1B. (photo: PokerFactor)[/caption] The World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event continued on December 5 as 171 players opted to take their $10,000 shot on Day 1B. After roughly nine-and-a-half hours of play, 16 total levels, just 42 players survived the day with their dream of becoming the next WSOP World Champion in tact. Slovania’s Blaž Žerjav, third-place finisher in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online, finished the day atop the chip counts with a stack of 639,394 (128 bbs), good for an overall chip lead through two flights. Žerjav was followed closely by Brazil’s #9-ranked player, Rodrigo Valente (592,043, 118 bbs) in second place and Isreal’s Amir Divr (538,003, 108 bbs) in third. Online poker’s former #1-ranked crusher from Russia, Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov was the only other player to end the day with over 100bbs, finishing in fourth place with 551,114 in chips, good for 102 big blinds. Day 1B saw its share of notable names make it through to Day 2 including World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Simon Lofberg, Toby Joyce, and Barak Wisbrod. Joining them in advancing was the likes of PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo SHR winner Sergio Aido, Swedish pros Anton Wigg and Simon Mattsson, as well as PokerStars WCOOP winner Alex Difelice. With nearly 3/4th of the field busting throughout the day, it’s fair to say that there was plenty of big-time talent that found themselves on the outside looking in. Some of those who shot and missed included GGPoker ambassadors Felipe Ramos and Kevin Martin, 888poker ambassador Daria Feshchenko, Team partypoker pro Dzmitry Urbanovich, Sylvain Loosli, Bert ‘girafganger’ Stevens, Jens Kyllonen, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Adrian Mateos, and former #1-ranked Swedish pro Niklas Astedt. Day 1B Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=133 /] Senthuran Vijayaratnam Tops Day 1C, Takes Overall Chip Lead Into Day 2 The final starting day of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker saw another 257 players post their $10,000 buy-in to boost the field size to a three-day total of 674 runners. This landed the total prize pool at $6,470,400 assuring a seven-figure score of $1,550,969 for GGPoker’s eventual winner as well as awarding $1,062,723 for the runner-up. At the end of another 16 levels, 75 players virtually bagged chips in Day 1C making for a total remaining field size of just 179 players who will return for Day 2 on Monday. Of those still in the hunt to become the 2020 WSOP World Champion, 80 will make the money and just nine will lock up a seat at the live final table, which set to take place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on December 16. Canada’s Senthuran Vijayaratnam leveraged the largest of the three starting flights to launch himself to the top of the overall chip counts. Vijayaratnam has a healthy lead on the field after dragging 966,714 (193 bbs) in chips, a number far above the tournament’s second-place player, the UK’s Jesse Wigan. Wigan just out chipped Day 1b chip leader Blaž Žerjav after finishing the day with 642,276 (128 bbs) in chips. Russia’s Viacheslav Buldygin rounds out the Day 1C top three, locking up 480,671 in chips to advance to Day 2. Day 1C had its fair share of notable names who made their way to the end of the day including WSOP bracelet winners Jonas Lauck and Sung Joo Hyun. Joining them in advancing to Day 2 include the likes of Gediminas Uselis, Damian Salas, Alexandros Kolonias, Ludovic Geilich, Antonine Saout, and Gary Hasson among others. Just like all of the other starting flights before it, Day 1C also saw plenty of big-time talent bust out before the end of the day. Eleven former bracelet winners failed to advance including GGPoker ambassador Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Davidi Kitai, Mike Leah, and 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev. It was the same fate for the notable names of Dietrich Fast, Patrick Tardif, Dario Sammartino, Benjamin Rolle, Maksim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov, Mikita Badziakouski, David Peters, Kitty Kuo, and 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson. Day 1C Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker) [table id=134 /] Day 1 Combined Top 10 Chip Counts [table id=135 /]
  21. The “King Of Instagram” is coming to GGPoker as the online site announced that noted social media influencer Dan Bilzerian has signed on to become the latest addition to Team GGPoker in the role of brand ambassador. Bilzerian, perhaps best known for accumulating over 32 million followers on Instagram by providing a window into a lifestyle filled with excess, has also been a figure in the poker world for well over a decade. Back in 2009, Bilzerian, along with his brother Adam, first stepped into the poker spotlight after being featured during ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Soon thereafter, "Blitz" signed on as a pro for the short-lived online poker site Victory Poker. However, Bilzerian’s main ties to poker stem from the assertion that he has amassed a small fortune by playing nosebleed stakes in some of the world’s most exclusive private games. Now, he joins some of the biggest names in the game of poker, including Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, Felipe Ramos, and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier in representing the fast-rising online poker site for both online and live events. “In these crazy times, GGPoker is the best option to get my poker on - they cater to the recreational players and that’s the future of poker, not a bunch of math nerds,” said Bilzerian. “I’ve battled guys from the $2 buy-in to the $200,000 buy-in tables at GGPoker, and will be working with GG to make cash game tables even better for the average player out there.” To celebrate the signing of Bilzerian, as well as his upcoming 40th birthday, GGPoker is holding a $100,000 Birthday Freeroll tournament on Monday, December 7 for new depositors. In addition to the $100,000 guarantee with a $10,000 first-place prize, the event offers a select few exclusive “Blitz”-like prizes including a “once-in-a-lifetime” heads-up match against Bilzerian for the winner and an “all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas” to party with Bilzerian himself for the player who knocks him out of his own tournament. Additionally, for players who eliminate any other Team GGPoker ambassador, member of the GGSquad stream team, or one of Bilzerian’s “special guests” (the list of which has yet to be revealed) GGPoker is gifting special Spin & Gold bundles and a cash prize of $1,000 for one player. “Dan joining Team GGPoker is a huge win!," said Daniel Negreanu about the signing. "No one in poker has a bigger reach than Dan.” More information on the Bilzerian's $100,000 Birthday Freeroll is available at GGPoker.
  22. As the poker world has turned nearly its entire focus to online poker in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best tournament players in the world have found themselves battling more frequently on the virtual felt. Following its launch in June, the GGPoker Super MILLION$ has became one of the top destination for poker's elite. The Super MILLION$ is one of four events on the weekly MILLION$ schedule and features by far the largest buy-in. The other three are the High Roller MILLION$ ($500 buy-in), the Zodiac MILLION$ (¥500 buy-in) and the Global MILLION$ ($100 buy-in). Each of those events are doing well in their own right, but the murderer's row field that frequents the $10,000 buy-in Super MILLION$ each Sunday sets it apart. The fields often include the likes of Stephen Chidwick, Timothy Adams, Ali Imsirovic, Alex Foxen, Isaac Haxton, Artur Martirosyan, and former #1-ranked PocketFivers Niklas Astedt, Fedor Holz, and Yuri Dzivielevski all playing under the real name. The high buy-in and relative strength of the field are helping to turn the five-month old tournament into one of online poker's most prestigious Sunday events. The Dominance of Michael Addamo No player has had more success in this event than Australian Michael Addamo. The Super MILLION$ has run 23 times and Addamo has five cashes, four final tables appearances, and three victories for $1,537,452.90 in winnings. Addamo's wins came on June 28, July 19, and August 16. His two other results were a 33rd place finish on August 23 and a third place finish on October 18. He also finished on the stone bubble on September 20. No other player has won more than once. [table id=125 /] The Consistency of Stephen Chidwick While Addamo leads the way in wins and overall earnings, no player has cashed with a higher frequency than Stephen Chidwick. A former #1 on the Global Poker Index, Chidwick has found the cashier cage in 14 events. His best finish came on October 11 when he finished runner-up to 'blakjak19' and earned $263,791.65. Rui Ferreira is the only other player to have broken the double digit barrier in cashes with 10. [table id=124 /] The Excellence of Niklas Astedt Nobody who has been paying attention to the online poker rankings over the past three years is shocked to learn that Niklas Astedt has also found success in the Super MILLION$. Ranked #1 for 65 total weeks in the past three years, Astedt is widely considered amongst the best tournament players in the world and has proven to be a threat here as well. Astedt has made the final table five times, highlighted by a runner-up finish on October 25. Finishing one spot behind fellow Swede Joakim Andersson earned Astedt $251,336.47. Six other players have each cashed four times each. [table id=126 /] Livestreaming for the World to See With final tables packed with some of the most recognizable faces in the game, GGPoker knew they had a hit on their hands. The Super MILLION$ plays down to a final table on Sunday with the remaining nine players retuning on Tuesday to give GGPoker.tv the opportunity to stream the final table action. With Randy Lew and Kevin van der Kooi calling the action, the weekly stream has become one of the week's top options for those looking to rail some online poker heavyweight action. By the Numbers During the 2020 WSOP Online, the Super MILLION$ was one of the 54 bracelet events on the schedule. That day, Connor Drinan beat the largest Super MILLION$ field ever to win $1,435,048.71 and his first career WSOP bracelet. The tournament had 899 entries and a $8,720,300 prize pool. The Super MILLION$ was also a part of the recently completed High Roller Week on GGPoker with prize pools of $3,000,000 and $5,810,000. Despite the star-studded fields, there has been overlays in nearly 40% of the weekly events. The first five events, which ran June 14 through July 12, all had overlays, the largest coming on July 12 when 192 players created a $137,600 overlay.
  23. The recent announcement from the World Series of Poker of a hybrid online-live event that will crown the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion has drawn strong reactions from the poker community. Many players were quick to question the safety of holding a live event in Las Vegas given the current status of the global pandemic while others had questions about the confusion over the status of the title of the "Main Event champion". The new event, which has a $10,000 buy-in and will run on WSOP.com in New Jersey and Nevada and GGPoker.com in international markets, is a freezeout event similar in format to the traditional annual WSOP Main Event. With COVID-19 restrictions around the world making a traditional live Main Event impossible, the WSOP created a hybrid format The final nine players from the NJ/NV online event will travel to Las Vegas to play down to a winner while the final nine players from the international market will travel to Rozvadov, Czechia to play down to a winner. Those final two players will then meet for a heads-up match in Las Vegas with $1 million on the line. This follows a summer in which WSOP organizers held 85 bracelet events across the two online poker sites. The news was initially greeted with a mixed reaction from the poker community. Veteran pro David 'ODB' Baker tweeted his support for the idea and pushed back against some of the backlash directed at the WSOP for extending its brand even further. According to Stewart, each of the nine players who make the live final table in Las Vegas for American players will be subjected to testing prior to play. Any personnel involved in the production of the show will also be subjected to the same testing allowing the WSOP to create a "production bubble" where only those who have passed the testing will be allowed entry. Players will not be require to wear masks and plexiglass will not be in use. "There are only nine players in each bracket who are asked to voluntarily come to a live setting, where they will be protected by the most advanced Covid-19 testing prior to facing their competitors," Stewart said. "Our strategy here was intentional to keep the majority of play at home or in a controllable environment and keep the finale live environment small, manageable, and at the option of those with most to gain." Those same protocols will be used for the heads-up finale in Las Vegas on December 30. The decision to hold a made-for-TV WSOP Main Event before the end of the year lead some to wonder if a contractual obligation with ESPN forced WSOP's hand. Stewart dismissed this theory and indicated that the production costs are being absorbed by Caesars and GGPoker. "For the first time in over a decade, WSOP and its partner GG will be fully subsidizing all the costs of this production to guarantee the television coverage, given timelines and scope of programming could not be delivered in 2020," Stewart said. "Given that investment, and our $1M money added, the 51st Main Event will be a marketing expense. Which is fine with us. We are in poker for the long haul."
  24. When the COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of the 2020 World Series of Poker live events early this year and pushed WSOP organizers to offer 85 online bracelets in its place, many believed that was it for WSOP events for the year. Not so fast. On Friday, the WSOP announced a hybrid online-live Main Event to take place on WSOP.com inside the United States and on GGPoker.com in international markets. "There must be a World Champion in 2020," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. "Poker’s history is too important. It’s a unique format for the Main Event, but this is a unique year. We want to keep players’ health and safety top of mind and still deliver a great televised showcase for the game we love." The buy-in for this event (on both platforms) is the traditional $10,000 and just like every other WSOP Main Event in history, players can enter just once. Players on WSOP.com and GGPoker will each play down to a final table of nine players before pausing to play a final table live. Players on WSOP.com will reconvene at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas while players on GGPoker will meet at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech. Each of those final tables will play down to a winner and each winner will travel to Las Vegas in late-December to play for the title. The International Tournament, for players outside of the United States, gives players three starting flights to choose from; November 29, December 5, December 6. Players who make it through their starting flight will advance to Day 2 on GGPoker on December 7. The final nine players will then travel to King's Casino to play down to a winner on December 15. Players in New Jersey and Nevada, where WSOP.com is available, have just a single starting day, December 13 with the tournament pausing after approximately 12 hours of play before continuing on December 14. That final table takes place December 28 in Las Vegas. Both tournaments will pay out players according to a regular payout structure with the final two players playing for $1 million provided by the WSOP and GGPoker. This tournament is a continuation of the partnership between the WSOP and GGPoker which was first showcased with a WSOP Super Circuit Online series in May and then the 54 WSOP Online events this summer. That series culminated with Stoyan ‘Nirvana76’ Madanzhiev winning the $5,000 buy-in Main Event for $3.9 million. "We’re very happy to continue to deepen our relationship with WSOP," said Steve Preiss, GGPoker Head of Poker Operations. "It was a huge summer of record-setting action on GGPoker and we’re excited to offer players access to the biggest tournament of all." The ESPN broadcast of the heads-up portion on December 30 will feature Lon McEachern and Norman Chad in the commentary booth. With travel restrictions and casino availability constantly in flux due to COVID-19, the WSOP has contingencies in place which could include playing the final tables online or at another venue. Players traveling to play either final table will be subject to local COVID-19 testing policies.
  25. The poker resume of Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson is overflowing with incredible achievements. From seven-figure scores to capturing major online titles, Canada’s current #1-ranked online crusher has added a new accolade by entering the elite air of the top five of the online poker rankings for the first time in his over 14 year career. Thanks to a late-summer surge filled with a string of impressive scores, Watson jettisoned into his current spot at #4 in the world and, for the time being, has eclipsed some of online poker’s biggest names, including ‘Lena900’, Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski and Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver, to enjoy a career-high worldwide ranking. One just needs to look at Watson’s dominance in the month of August to see how he leveraged an online heater to hit new heights. He found early month success playing in big buy-in events including the August 9 edition of the PokerStars $5,200 High Roller where he finished as the runner-up for a $92,337 score. Two days later, Watson found another second-place finish in the Natural8 $5K High Roller Blade Prime for $80,176. Watson really hit a mid-month stride when he won back-to-back $10K Short Deck High Rollers on Natural8. On August 12, he topped the small-but-elite field of 20 entries and eventually defeated Mikita Badziakouski heads up to walk away with a $66,569 win. He took those winnings and played the same event the very next day. This time he bested Rozvadov's King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik to pick up another $110,400 victory. While all of those big money scores were an important part of Watson’s month, none of them helped him when it came to his PLB point total. He was smashing huge scores but the field sizes hadn’t done anything for him in terms of rankings. But Watson isn’t just a small-field specialist and he showed that late in the month. ‘SirWatts’ was in the midst of grinding the World Series of Poker on GGPoker and at the same time playing large field events on PokerStars when he racked up an impressive string of results that sent his PLB score soaring. It got started on August 25 when Watson picked up a cash in the High Roller Super MILLION$ on Natural8 for $21,665 and 190.63 PLB points. The next day he took 5th place in WSOP Event #72 ($1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship) on GGPoker for another $26,069 plus 260.52 PLB points. On August 30, Watson was battling for titles during PokerStars 2020 World Championship of Online Poker finishing in second place in Event #2-H ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max, PKO) for a total of over $198,000 and 597.43 PLB points, the eighth-highest score of his career. He again nearly grabbed the title in Event #3-H ($5,200 PLO 6-Max High Roller) where he fell in third place for $20,184 and 205.44 PLB points. The very next day Watson switched his focus and ran deep in a pair of WSOP side events, earning a total of more than $12,000 and, more importantly for his ranking, another 271 PLB points. And while, no longer technically August, he finished off his stretch of PLB pickups with a final table finish in the September 1 edition of the High Roller Super MILLION$ which earned him $45,324 and 420.83 PLB points. In total, over the course of three days and five events, Watson earned nearly 1,500 PLB points. In the month of August alone, Watson earned roughly $677,000 (and 2,031 PLB points) which helped push past the $7 million mark in lifetime online earnings. Of course even though August was over, the winnings didn’t stop there for Watson. Since then, he’s picked up 10 five-figure scores and a considerable amount of PLB points which has helped him hold on to his #4 ranking for the past three weeks. However, in order to keep the momentum going, and take a shot at the #1 spot, Watson will need to get back to the online grind. After a summer of heavy grinding, he only racked up four total results in the entire month of October. That said, with over $20 million in total career earnings, when Watson decides to set his sights on climbing even higher than his current #4 spot, he’s a good bet to get there.
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