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Found 16 results

  1. [caption width="640"] Chris Moorman won over 0,000 in November playing live events in the United States[/caption] Chris 'moorman1' Moorman is easily the most decorated player in PocketFives history. He's the only player to earn more than $10,000,000 in lifetime online earnings and has more than $4,000,000 earnings than any other player. He's won the PocketFives Triple Crown a record 25 times and he's been the #1-ranked player in the world 13 times. With all of that success on the virtual felt, do not sleep on Moorman's track record on the live tournament scene. Over the last three weeks he has managed to add three more cashes to his resume, including the fifth runner-up finish of his career. The 31-year old 888 poker Ambassador started the month off by being part of a group of 17 players that qualified from The Commerce for December's SoCal Poker Championship. Moorman outlasted 3,498 other players in the $350 SCPC qualifier at The Commerce Casino to make his way to the SCPC Main Event which takes place at The Bike December 14-15. He followed that up two weeks later with a second place finish in the2016 LA Poker Open, also at The Commerce. The $1,650 buy-in event had a field of 345 and Moorman was able to outlast all of them except for Scott Stewart, the eventual champion. During heads up play, the final two players agreed to a deal that added $10,000 to second place, allowing Moorman to walk away with $85,510 for his efforts. As if putting in a dominating performance on the West Coast wasn't enough, Moorman then hopped a plane and headed to Florida to play the Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open where he found himself at yet another final table. Moorman made his way through 72 other players in the $1,100 NLHE Turbo event to reach the final table before eventually finishing fifth for $5,670. The final table included November Niner Jerry Wong as well as Jean Gaspard and eventual champ, Peter Eichhardt. 888Live London Festival Main Event Is a Big Success Counting the $10,800 SCPC seat that he won, Moorman earned $101,980 in the month of November to bring his 2016 live earnings to $423,247. The bulk of that coming from his third place finish in the Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event in Barcelona, Spain in August. His recent scores pushed his lifetime live earnings to $4,524,426. He's cashed 53 times with 16 of those being final table appearances. His biggest score came in 2014 when he won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic for $1,015,460.
  2. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen walked away with a little bit more than ,000,000 but that wasn't the only interesting number coming out of the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table (WSOP photo/Jayne Furman)[/caption] You know the headlines, you know the bustouts, you saw what happened on TV. But there were many untold and unexplored stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, so we decided to break some down and crunch some numbers. -45: Average temperature in the regions of Antarctica inhabited by polar bears. The bears are built for the cold, which is perhaps why Kenny Halleart’s rail chose to have someone dress as one to cheer their friend on at the notoriously cold Rio. 4: Number of players lost on the first day of November Nine play. While the plan was originally to play from nine down to six, the producers and tournament staff elected to play a little longer, perhaps because it did not take long to lose three players and, as a result, the table did not get far along in the structure. Because of the extended play, Halleart exited in sixth place on the first day of action. Then, on the second day of play, the table played three-handed for a little while because it took so little time to get from five players to three. 9: Number of years since an Asian player has won the WSOP Main Event. Laos-born Jerry Yang won in 2007, but since then the list of winners has been exclusively Caucasian and exclusively under the age of 30. Nguyen, who is 39, bucked both trends. 16: Number of hands it took before losing a player. Fernando Pons didn’t quite make it twice around the table before exiting in ninth place. 58: Number of hands it took at the final table before Griffin Benger managed to win a pot. The Canadian struggled at the final table and blinded off much of his stack. He also failed to flop much of anything, resulting in the very long stretch without dragging chips in his direction. The celebration was short-lived though. He busted in seventh place nine hands later. 60: Going rate in dollars for four pints of ice cream from the boutique Tin Pot Creamery, a Palo Alto ice cream provider Gordon Vayo promoted with a patch at the final table. Boasting flavors like Earl Grey and Sweet Barbeque, the creamery produces small batches of ice cream at quite the price, which also doesn’t include tax or shipping and handling. 69: Starting bid on eBay for the New Era brand Rocket Raccoon ball cap similar to the one wore by Qui Nguyen throughout the final table. The Guardians of the Galaxy hat was one of the more memorable pieces of headgear in Main Event memory. Now the hat is difficult to come by, but that is largely because of the popularity of the now two-year-old movie as opposed to Nguyen’s ability to influence style. 182: Number of hands heads-up play lasted. It is also the number of hands it took for the final table to get from nine down to two players. By comparison, last year the entire final table took 184 hands, with Joe McKeehen besting Josh Beckley after 13 hands. 1,046,965: Difference between $4.5 million and what Cliff Josephy collected for finishing in third place. Much has been made of the fact Josephy staked Joe Cada when he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Though the number was never confirmed, most assume Josephy took home half the $9 million payday. If that is the case, turns out this wasn’t his most profitable WSOP Main Event after all.
  3. [caption width="640"] William Kassouf is interviewed by ESPN's Kara Scott just moments after being eliminated from the 2016 WSOP Main Event by Griffin Benger.[/caption] “It’s going to be fucking famous,” said Griffin Benger, 2016 November Niner, former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, of the hand that saw him eliminate possibly the most talked about and maybe even most-disliked player of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, William Kassouf. To many of the poker fans who have been tuning in to the 2016 WSOP on ESPN broadcasts over the last several weeks, Benger is the hero. To others, he’s the heel. Kassouf was the focal point of coverage over the final four weeks of 2016 WSOP coverage on ESPN. Beginning with his one round penalty for taunting Stacy Matuson and continuing through to his endless table talk and needling before having an entire table turn on the one-time lawyer, Kassouf had drawn the ire of a good number of viewers at home while some found him an entertaining part of the broadcasts. All of that came to a head on Sunday night during ESPN’s final WSOP broadcast before the final table. THE HAND Down to just two tables remaining in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, Benger and Kassouf found themselves seated together at the feature table on the ESPN main stage inside the Amazon Room. From UTG Benger raised to 875,000. Action folded to Kassouf in the hijack and, as he was prone to doing on seemingly every hand he was in, he took his time with his decision before he re-raised to 2,300,000. Once action was back on Benger, Kassouf began the table chatter that helped make him one of the most unforgettable characters in WSOP Main Event history. Benger remained quiet, ignoring Kassouf and instead responded with another raise, this time making it 5,600,000. At this point Kassouf went into the tank and again, began talking. “It’s one of these coolers again, really? Back to back? If you got it, you got it, right? A big hand here. I don’t think I can pass. If you got me beat, you got me beat. It’s poker isn’t it?,” Kassouf said. “I can’t call; it’s either all in or I pass. What do you want me to do? You want me to go all in or fold? Talk to me. You don’t say anything, I might have to ship it here.” Kassouf continued, “Do you want to gamble? I’m not into that. I’m here to win it. I’m not laddering. Play for the win, right? You doing the same? Or you’re going to wait for the next pay jump at 15? $90K is $90K, right? That’s the Main Event for the next nine years.” At this point Jerry Wong called clock on the talkative British pro. This finally caused Benger to stir and speak for the first time in the hand. “You’re just an abusive person, man. It’s not funny. It’s not a game. You’re being abusive to me,” said Benger. “You’re being abusive. It’s called verbal abuse. What you’re doing to me is verbal abuse.” Kassouf, with action on him, attempted to defend himself, but Benger had heard and seen enough. “You’re a bully. It’s rude, it’s mean,” Benger said. “It’s not called speech play. It’s being called a bad person. You should really check yourself. Check your privilege.” Kassouf looked to the floor person for some assistance and again Benger stepped in. “He’s not your dad. He’s not going to help you. Stop, no one is going to help you,” Benger said. “The bet is 5.6 million chips. That is what the bet is.” This seemed to give Kassouf the information he needed and the talkative British pro moved all in for 13,450,000. Griffin snap-called and happily turned over his hand. Griffin: [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] Kassouf: [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] The board ran out [poker card="th"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="td"]. Kassouf was eliminated in 17th place. Benger went on to make the November Nine. THE AFTERMATH The confrontation wasn't a long time coming as Griffin hadn’t played much with Kassouf prior to Day 7, but he had heard stories about his behavior at the table and his treatment of other players, most notably Matuson on Day 5. “I’d never played with him before. I’d heard peripherally and overheard some of the controversies towards the feature table about what he was doing it was just, it really sickened me,” said Benger. “The thing that made him so dangerous as far as what kind of person he was at least pretending to be, was that he’s someone that is really, really good at bullying. When he suddenly feels any bullying back, he creates this victim mentality kind of barrier where he’s just like, ‘Why are they freaking out? I’m just doing my table talk thing.” Benger may not have known that the hand was coming, but he was preparing for a bigger confrontation with Kassouf from the moment they were seated together. “I needled him at one point, when he first got to the table because I wanted to be combative. I felt really sort of like, there’s this expression that I always hear that I always like to say, ‘Demons run, when good men to go war’. That’s what I felt,” said Benger. “When I got to the table, I wasn’t going to let him run amok with his thing.“ “He was counting out chips, and then looking like he wanted to four-bet and he was taking his time over it, ‘I really have got a big hand here’ and everything. I was looking at the TD and said, ‘you know how many miles from here to Hollywood?’,” said Kassouf. “I knew he was Hollywooding, he’s not really going to four-bet me or come over the top. He’s only pretending that he has got a big hand, but he hasn’t. I know he’s going to four bet, I know he’s got a big hand. I’ve got a monster hand. I’m hoping he’s got ace-king or queens, one of the two.” Kassouf’s read was incorrect and Benger was more than thrilled to show his hand on poker’s biggest stage. “It felt really good (to turn the aces over). I don’t like this expression, I feel like it triggers a very vitriolic thing, but he got what was coming to him. I really feel that way, I genuinely do,” said Benger. “I really hope that’s not the way he lives his life normally, because he’s really fucking good at, pretending to be at least, a bad person and I sincerely hope that’s not the way that he lives his life. I’m sure he said ‘That’s not the way I normally am’ or whatever and that it’s his schtick, but it’s not okay.” Benger’s read on Kassouf apparently extends beyond the table as Kassouf, moments after busting, defended his actions not only in that hand, but also throughout the 2016 WSOP Main Event. “He kept on saying I was being abusive. I was just doing my standard speech play to get a read off him, to give off tells for myself that I was weak, that I only had jacks or queens which I want him to think I have,” said Kassouf. “ Benger realized his actions in the hand may have also shown a side of him that many aren’t used to seeing, one that might not make him any fans. “Yeah, my dark side came out a little bit. My friends call my dark side ‘Gator’. So they said Gator got out of the cage there, out of the swamp a little bit,” said Benger. “It’s not really something I like to do very often.” Benger also knew that this hand would be the highlight of the broadcasts and be something that poker fans and fellow players are talking about for a long time, even if, absent the table talk, the hands really just played themselves. “I think it might become the most famous World Series hand ever. Think of one that’s more famous? Connor (Drinan) running aces into aces? Shit happens. This one, with the context and the build up…,” said Benger. “I don’t think I outplayed him. I think he got coolered.” Kassouf left the Rio, knowing full well that the coverage of his play and this hand was going to be something that left the poker world talking and while he obviulsy would have loved a run into November, he was comfortable with the way it ended. “I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s the way I play. I play within the rules. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I’ve been here pretty much ever year,” said Kassouf. “It’s my first cash in the WSOP, so I’ll take that. I’m the one who’s going home laughing, rather than all these other Americans. I say, ‘Well played. Thanks for coming to all the 6,720 out that have parted their way with $10,000. Thanks for that, to boost the prize pool’.”
  4. [caption width="640"] Jerry Wong won a big hand late to take the Day 5 chip lead in the 2016 WSOP Main Event[/caption] Jerry Wong took the chip lead late on Day 5 of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event in a hand that eliminated Bryan Piccioli in 84th place. Wong ended up with 11,555,000 and heads into Day 6 with the lead and just 71 players between himself and a berth in the 2016 November Nine. Only two other players finished in the eight figures category. Jan Suchanek finished with 10,305,000 and Day 3 chip leader Kenny Hallaert squeaked in with 10,050,000. Right behind that group of three is a player who has spent a good deal of time as the #1-ranked player in the PocketFives Rankings. Griffin Benger, who wasn’t going to play the Main Event until he won a seat on 888 poker, has turned his $1,060 satellite investment into 9,860,000, the fourth biggest stack. Joshua Weiss rounds out the top five with 8,330,000. Maybe the most talked about player on Saturday was British poker pro William Kassouf who bagged up 8,300,000. Kassouf was given a one orbit penalty after engaging in “taunting” during the course of several hands with Stacey Matuson. “It’s been a sick day. I do a lot of table talking. It’s a big part of my game, I’ve been doing it for the last ten years and have been very successful doing it,” said Kassouf. “I don’t think I was taunting her. I don’t think I should have been penalized. I spoke to Jack Effel after that and we cleared the air and it’s all good.” Kassouf eventually eliminated Matuson from the tournament. Along with Benger, Paul Volpe (7,290,000), Cliff Josephy (6,175,000) are the only other former #1-ranked PocketFivers still alive. Chris Hunichen (114th), Sorel Mizzi (157th) and Shaun Deeb (221st) joined Piccioli as members of this exclusive club who were eliminated on Saturday. There were a number of notables who were sent packing on Day 5. 251 Andrew Barber, Max Altergott, Jordan Cristos, former world champion Johnny Chan, Adam Friedman, Todd Brunson, david Pham, former November Niner Scott Montgomery, Mukul Pahuja, Greg Raymer, Brandon Adams and reigning WSOP Player of the Year champ Mike Gorodinsky were all ousted on Saturday. When the day began there were six women still in contention.For those hoping to see a woman make the November Nine for the first time in history, the wait is going to be at least one more year. In just a matter of hours Maria Ho (242nd), Jennifer Shahade (204th), Matuson (169th), Louis Francoeur (142nd), Dee Friedman (132nd) and eventually Gaelle Bauman (102nd) were eliminated, leaving no more females in the field. The remaining 80 players return to action at Noon PT Sunday and will play a full five levels. Top 10 Chip Counts Jerry Wong - 11,555,000 Jan Suchanek - 10,305,000 Kenny Hallaert - 10,050,000 Griffin Benger - 9,860,000 Joshua Weiss - 8,330,000 William Kassouf - 8,300,000 David Lhonore - 8,265,000 Chang Luo - 8,090,000 Jared Bleznick - 7,955,000 Fernando Pons - 7,930,000
  5. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen has 8 million reasons to smile after winning the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo / Jayne Furman0[/caption] When the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table began on Sunday night, nobody thought Qui Nguyen had a chance at overcoming a field that included two former #1-ranked players on PocketFives, a talented European poker pro, a former PokerStars SuperNova Elite and two young American poker pros who cut their poker teeth online. On Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Nguyen beat Gordon Vayo after a lengthy heads up battle to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the accompanying $8 million. Just like they did on the first night, when Nguyen and Cliff Josephy went at each other, things got crazy on the first hand Tuesday night. Nguyen started things off by raising to 2,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] from the button. Josephy re-raised to 8,500,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and Gordon Vayo got out of the way before Nguyen four-bet to 20,900,000. Josephy immediately moved all and after getting a count, Nguyen called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Josephy top two pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn clinched the pot for Josephy with the [poker card="qs"] falling on the river. Nguyen’s stack dropped to 147,600,000 while Josephy more than doubled to 101,400,000. He also had momentum that proved to be short lived. Just four hands later the three players clashed in the biggest pot of the tournament to date and it nearly meant the end of the road for Josephy, the longest reigning #1-ranked player in PocketFives history. Josephy raised to 2,500,000 with [poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"] from the button, Vayo called from the small blind with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] before Nguyen made 7,700,000 from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Josephy and Vayo both called to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"]. Nguyen bet 9,900,000 and both Josephy and Vayo called. After the [poker card="4d"] turn, Vayo and Nguyen both checked and Josephy bet 21,000,000. Vayo eventually moved all in for 75,100,000. Nguyen folded and Josephy called. The river was the [poker card="6d"] and Vayo doubled up while Josephy was left with just eight big blinds. Josephy doubled up through Nguyen on the very next hand and then again four hands later through Nguyen to get his stack back to 46,200,000 - just 3,800,000 less than he started the final day with. Josephy’s roller coaster ride continued five hands later when Nguyen took half of his stack and officially ended on the very next hand. Nguyen folded the button, Josephy moved all in for 18,700,000 with [poker card="qd"][poker card="3d"] and Vayo called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Josephy in third place. After his elimination, Josephy discussed the set-vs-set confrontation with Vayo. “If he had played a small pair out of the small blind yesterday, I would’ve easily folded, due to his image, his reputation and my perception of him” said Josephy. “But he had folded a small pair against cutoff open against me, so it was easy to pull small pairs out of his range,” said Josephy. “The way he played the hand, he had to have a set of threes, but I don’t have him on threes, so it’s so hard because I couldn’t figure out what he could have.” When heads up play began Vayo had 200,300,000 chips to Nguyen’s 136,300,000. The two players exchanged the chip lead back and forth six times over the next 25 hands before Nguyen took the lead for the final time. Over the next seven hours of play, Vayo did everything he could to stave off elimination from the hard-charging Nguyen, but in the end, Nguyen’s aggression and unique approach that left his opponents dazed and confused over the final three days of play, ended up leading him to victory. After leaving Vayo shaking his head after numerous folds, the tournament ended in anti-climatic fashion. Nguyen opened to 8,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and Vayo shipped in his 53,000,000 stack with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"] and Nguyen called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Nguyen top pair and Vayo a boatful of extra outs but the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river were complete bricks for Vayo and after 181 hands of heads up play, Nguyen eliminated Vayo in second place to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Nguyen eliminated four of the final five players on his way to the win. Final Table Payouts Qui Nguyen - $8,005,310 Gordon Vayo - $4,661,228 Cliff Josephy - $3,453,035 Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  6. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Vojtech Ruzicka could become the first Czech winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] You get the impression from 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka that he really loves poker. He's already promised that he won't be retiring if he wins the Main Event and that he would continue to play high buy-in tournaments all around the world. But since the end of this year’s World Series of Poker, and the final table eventually getting underway, Ruzicka has been spotted playing in a variety of different destinations. The Czech pro has certainly been honing his game ahead of the most important final table of his life, not only in tournaments! Ruzicka admitted over the summer that he wasn’t much of a cash game player, but that certainly didn’t stop him from heading to Rozvadov for the King’s Casino Cash Game. After a rough couple of days playing against the likes of Tony G and Igor Kurganov, he managed to turn it back around in the final session and finish the trip as a winner. Since then King’s Casino have announced that they intend to build a new hotel, spa and a new huge poker room. Ruzicka was quick to praise Leon Tsoukernik and the recent expansion plans at King’s. “I couldn’t be more excited about it! It looks like King’s could become the biggest European poker room really soon and the plans look awesome,” said Ruzicka of the host casino for WSOP Europe in 2017 and 2019. “King’s has some special memories for me. I actually played my first big live tournaments there, and I have won the German Championship of Poker there twice.” “I am really excited to represent Rozvadov in November." READ: Five Questions with Vojtech Ruzicka As well as playing at King’s, Ruzicka also headed to the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona where not only did he finish 18th in the €25,000 High Roller, but managed a deep run in the Main Event only to finish 24th. Ruzicka said that it was great to have the experience of running deep in another tournament so soon. “When I was deep in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, I was really excited, but not nervous at all. It felt great,” said Ruzicka. “I’ve never thought self-confidence makes much of a difference, but the fact that you will play a final table in a much bigger tournament in three months’ time made me much more relaxed.” “I definitely felt much better at the table and I was just like ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to win the EPT while waiting for the November Nine?’” In Barcelona it was announced that the EPT is soon to rebrand into PokerStars Championships. Ruzicka’s poker resume is littered with cashes, as well as a High Roller win at EPT Deauville in 2013 for €313,000. Ruzicka says that he hoped that the new format will work as well as the EPTs have done. “I honestly think that the EPT had a great name around the poker world, and I personally would never have renamed those tournaments. But we will see. I will definitely give them a shot,” said Ruzicka. This year there are three Europeans at the Main event final table, with Ruzicka joined by Spain's Fernando Pons and the Netherlands' Kenny Hallaert. This is an increase from 2015 where just Federico Butteroni and Pierre Neuville were from the other side of the pond. In 2014, however, there were four Europeans at a final table which was eventually won by Swede Martin Jacobson. And with four of the last eight Main Event Champions being European, does Ruzicka think that it would mean anything special to become yet another European Main Event winner? “I think everyone wants to win the Main Event really bad, but I think that people care more about how the winner plays and behaves. I don’t think that nationality is that important," said Ruzicka. “However, I do feel that following these results American players are starting to respect us Europeans much more at the tables and when we come to the World Series of Poker.” And with the November Nine right around the corner, Ruzicka will have a gang of rowdy Czechs railing him at the final table. “Now that I’m a November Niner, everybody has been really nice to me. It’s been actually quite pleasant so far,” admitted Ruzicka. “I would like to thank the entire Czech poker community. Everyone has been so supportive to me and I hope that I will make them proud!”
  7. [caption width="640"] There are more numbers in play at the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table that just the November Nine (WSOP Photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] You’ve seen plenty of numbers related to the November Nine. You’ve seen ages and chip counts, number of bracelets and final tables. Let’s not forget lifetime tournament earnings and number of big blinds. Rather than examine the obvious stats, let’s get to know this final table by the not-so-apparent numbers in this edition of The Number Crunch. 0 – This number applies to quite a bit of Fernando Pons’ resume. Prior to this Main Event, he had never played a World Series of Poker tournament, he had never even been to Vegas. He also has zero players behind him on the leaderboard, as the Spaniard is coming in with just a handful of big blinds amounting to 6.15 million. 2 – Spot on the Czech Republic all-time money list for Vojtech Ruzicka, who has already been credited with at least ninth place money. If he wins, he can take the top spot away from Martin Staszko, who finished second to Pius Heinz in 2011. 3 – This is the third career WSOP final table for Gordon Vayo. While he may not be a household name to casual poker fans, he actually came up just shy of a bracelet in 2014, finishing second to Davidi Kitai in a $3,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event. 25 – Position of Qui Nguyen in the counts with 27 players remaining. He began near the bottom of the counts, but after doubling through Michael Ruane early, he went on to eliminate Tom Marchese, James Obst, and Mike Shin to take the chip lead and go on to bag the second-biggest stack going into November. 407 – Total number of runners in the 2016 Unibet Belgium Poker Championship in September of 2016. Kenny Hallaert was on hand as the Unibet tournament director for the event, and does not appear interested in quitting his full-time day job after making the final table. 519 – Number of days chip leader Cliff Josephy was ranked #1 on the PocketFives Rankings. One of the OGs of online poker, the man known as 'JohnnyBax online joined P5s in 2005 and quickly ascended the ranks of online poker to take the number one spot. He is not the only top PocketFiver in the pack though. Griffin Benger was also ranked #1 in P5s World Rankings. Bax isn’t just a token member either. He has posted over 1,300 times in the forums as well as backed numerous other P5ers, including a former Main Event winner, Joe Cada. 26,158 – Total dollars confiscated by US Customs when Michael Ruane tried to fly back into the States after the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Then 23, Ruane and his brother and cousin did not properly declare the amount of money they were returning with, so officials confiscated it at the Nassau Airport. 98,683 – Dollars in earnings for Griffin Benger in his career as a professional Counter-Strike player. His career-high score came in 2007 when he and four teammates won a Competitive Gaming Series (CGS) event for $250,000 total, amounting to $50,000 apiece. 1,380,000 – Number of chips Jerry Wong lost over the course of two days of play as the field winnowed down from 80 to the November Nine. He was chip leader at the end of Day 5 with over 11 million, but lost steam late in play, bagging just over 10 million and coming into November eighth out of nine in the chip counts.
  8. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Michael Ruane sits fifth in chips as the 2016 WSOP Main Event gets underway, but there's more to the New Jersey native than just poker (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table begins, PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Michael Ruane. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet on and why? I don't really gamble or bet outside of poker so I'd probably make the fish bet and just bet on whoever has the most ridiculous odds, who happens to be Fernando - so I'd probably throw a 20 ball on Fernando to win. * PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what would you bring and why? This is a good one that I've put a lot of thought into and tried to come at from a very practical angle.*So growing up the first show I was absolutely obsessed with was LOST.*It was the first show that I (and I think a lot of people) totally immersed myself in 100%.*This is a bit of a spoiler alert, but if you haven't watched LOST at this point, you've probably missed the boat - but in later seasons Locke's mortality is sort of up in the air, so technically I think he'd qualify as non-living.*So my first "thing" I'd bring to this island is the character of John Locke.*I honestly don't think I'd need anything else after that to survive, but to round out my three I'd probably bring a knife (for practical purposes) and an iPod (for when Locke gets too annoying rambling on about said deserted island's meaning). PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? I don't think it would be one extravagant single purchase.*I'm a pretty big music nut and try to go to as many concerts and music festivals as possible.*I also really love to travel.*I think I would try to combine these two passions and plot a really awesome (and expensive) trip that included different places I've been wanting to visit that had a cool music festival or band playing at the same time. * PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? I've been told that I resemble anywhere from Michael Shannon to Robert Pattinson to Leo, himself.*To answer the question, if a Hollywood studio was serious about this idea, I'd embark on a global journey to find this mystical creature who looks like a combination of all three of these actors.*I'd then offer this person an exorbitant amount of money (so this actually might be my most extravagant purchase) to portray me in a major motion picture. * PocketFives: If you and your brother Sean (also a professional poker player) had to play heads-up against each other in a winner-take-all scenario, who wins and why? Depends when this match takes place. If it takes place before the Final Table, Sean would for sure let me win to give me a nice confidence boost. If it's after the Final Table, it's a real toss up.*Sean is huge lightweight though, so my strategy would be to act as if this heads-up match was a fun, light-hearted brotherly match where we'd have a few beers and have a good time.* I'd then get Sean absolutely bombed, rendering him incapable of defeating me.*In theory, I think it'd be virtually impossible for the poor guy to win.
  9. [caption width="640"] Jerry Wong might be the biggest unknown heading into the November Nine. Get to know him a bit here. (WPT photo)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Jerry Wong. Jerry Wong comes into the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table as the short stack, but the New York native isn’t short on experience. Wong has been playing poker full-time since 2008 and earned over $1.3 million in live tournaments before locking up his first seven figure score in this year’s Main Event. Outside of his live success, Wong has earned over $3.3 million online including a WCOOP bracelet in 2014. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet and why? Jerry Wong: I’d definitely put all my money on Joey Couden. I think he is one of the best players in South Florida and I think he has a really good shot. Of the other nine, I would put my money on Qui Nguyen. I think there would be a nice little poker boom if he wins. PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what you bring and why? Wong: Stranded on a desert island for one year? Obviously, my iPhone would be the first thing. The second thing would be probably my laptop and then the third thing would be my passport. Not that I would need that if I was stranded. Let’s see, a generator. PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? Wong: Well, I’m already going to Japan after the World Series. I’d definitely upgrade. I’d go from Gyro Sun to Gyro himself and go to his restaurant. PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? Wong: I think Chad Eveslage [poker player] is a really good actor. He would just be a really good emotive and I think he would capture my spirit pretty well. PocketFives: Everybody at the final table gets to choose a walk-out song. What song did you choose? What was your thought process and what were the final choices? Wong: I haven’t given it any thought. Nothing yet. I don’t know, I have time I think.
  10. Thursday's action in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker was all about star power. Among the winners were a recent November Niner, a young high roller powerhouse, a Russian online poker legend and, of course, a couple of Brazilians. Leading the way was Russia's 'Black88' who topped the 125-player field in the $25,000 High Roller event for $702,658.76. Runner-up 'fish2013' ended up with $569,575.65 after the final two players agreed to a chop. Canada's 'Apotheosis92' posted his second third-place finish of the week and walked away with $398,531. The best story of the day probably belongs to Charlie 'Epiphany77' Carrel though. The 23-year-old British pro, who has had a lot of success in live No Limit Hold'em High Roller events over the past two years, took down Event #16 High ($1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Eight or Better) after registering for it by mistake. The misclick earned him $67,410 while runner-up Andrew 'UlDuffer' Sweeney pocketed $49,113. The win was the first SCOOP victory for Carrel. Jerry 'hummylun' Wong, who finished eighth in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, took down Event #14 High ($2,100 Razz) to win $60,270. The final table included Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan, Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom and current SCOOP Leaderboard leader Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson. Anderson also made the final table of Event #15 Medium ($2,100 NLHE High Roller). The Brazilians continued to add to their total 2017 SCOOP wins and now have seven total after 'RickLogrado' and 'felipectb440' won Event #15 (Medium) and #17 (Low) respectively. Last year Brazilian players took home 21 SCOOP titles and they are on pace to eclipse that total this year. SCOOP Event #14 (High): $2,100 Razz Entries: 123 Prize pool: $246,000 Jerry 'hummylun' Wong - $60,270 crossthervr - $41,820 merla888 - $31,980 gunning4you - $22,140 Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom - $15,990 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson - $12,300 grapenuts - $9,840 Shawn 'buck21' Buchanan - $7,380 SCOOP Event #14 (Medium): $215 Razz Entries: 538 Prize pool: $107,600 Gigaloff - $20,228 Senkel92 - $14,795 grapenuts - $10,867 maucchi - $8,070 bigbird888 - $5,380 namazu66 - $3,766 Sz4t4n - $2,421 1stBeatz - $1,614 SCOOP Event #14 (Low): $27 Razz Entries: 2,341 Prize pool: $57,471.55 spike50698 - $9,771.98 keyhell - $6,896.58 cuipei88 - $5,439.10 Al1FLush - $4,023.00 Palmero92 - $2,873.57 mastervp888 - $1,724.14 outragous76 - $1,149.43 Chillolini - $574.71 SCOOP Event #15 (High): $25,000 NLHE High Roller Entries: 125 Prize pool: $3,065,625 Black88 - $702,658.76* fish2013 - $569,575.65* Apotheosis92 - $398,531.25 zcedrick - $275,906.25 jdtjpoker - $199,265.62 bencb789 - $152,281.25 €urop€an - $122,625.00 stevie444 - $91,958.75 SCOOP Event #15 (Medium): $2,100 NLHE High Roller Entries: 772 Prize pool: $1,544,000 RickLogrado - $289,500 OverTheTop43 - $208,440 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson - $154,400 Bounatirou - $115,800 Kippling25 - $77,200 valerii888 - $54,040 mickl58 - $34,740 KevBoyStar - $23,160 SCOOP Event #15 (Low): $215 NLHE High Roller Entries: 4,507 Prize pool: $901,400 fityfmi - $141,927.57 SsicK_OnE - $98,919.63 EL GRAN TORO - $80,224.60 TheUrsaraie - $62,196.60 Howié - $44,168.60 Matze 90451 - $26,140.60 sousinha23 - $11,267.50 Omon_Ra-AA - $6,760.50 SCOOP Event #16 (High): $1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Eight or Better Entries: 321 Prize pool: $321,000 Charlie 'Epiphany77' Carrell - $67,410 UlDuffer - $49,113 blanconegro - $36,915 Kroko-dill - $25,680 MyRabbiFoo - $19,620 römpsä - $12,840 SCOOP Event #16 (Medium): $109 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Eight or Better Entries: 1,372 Prize pool: $137,200 Mastermandel - $22,638 thomber26 - $16,944.20 phatlat - $12,348 fishyfischer - $8,232 antesvante - $5,488 goorkaPL - $3,430 SCOOP Event #16 (Low): $11 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Eight or Better Entries: 4,735 Prize pool: $47,350 Shom1k - $6,897.89* weisserhai1 - $2,775.89 DAHETHABEPHO - $3,500.29 TheKaiser666 - $2,785.89 jaxx23 - $3,615.26 pantri - $710.25 SCOOP Event #17 (High): $1,050 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 565 Prize pool: $565,000 drew.derzh - $106,785 Pass_72 - $78,252.50 purplflowerz - $57,630 GR*MIND - $43,505 Biocid - $30,510 Freeway1988 - $24,012.50 elmelogno4 - $18,362.50 rafitia - $12,712.50 TboneMunson - $8,644.50 SCOOP Event #17 (Medium): $109 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 2,783 Prize pool: $278,300 luckyno75 - $43,833.30 BORRAURELIO - $32,700.25 ATR90 - $23,377.20 Jacob151623 - $16,002.25 GriffGolf13 - $12,002.25 v587nt - $9,323.05 lilachaa - $6,540.05 Ac156519 - $3,762.61 Cooler Sack - $2,365.55 SCOOP Event #17 (Low): $11 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 8,100 Prize pool: $81,000 felipectb440 - $12,150 pacozabane - $8,910 leppo1 - $6,075 beef2020 - $4,082.40 dev209 - $3,240.00 EVitoy - $2,430 xbambi - $1,620 medeiroskkk - $931.50 AlexD666 - $627.75
  11. Wednesday's action in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker included four more players walking away with High titles and a pair of highly-respected online grinders both coming close to a pair of wins. The big winner was Austria's 'flauschi16', who beat out a field of 2,679 players to win the half price Super Tuesday for $197,977.83. 'GadMO' finished runner-up for $139,990.26. Dutch pro 'FluAnta' won Event #8 High ($215 No Limit Hold'em w/rebuys) for $94,644.43 while Lebanon's 'abeainy' took home $69,168.53. Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah finished seventh for $14,420.96, one of two final tables for the Canadian on Wednesday. Leah's other final table appearance came in Event #10 High ($1,050 Stud Hi-Lo) where he finished sixth. Four months after winning a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker title in Razz, Jerry 'hummylun' Wong beat out the 137-player field to win $32,625 and his second WCOOP title. The final table also included Leah, Bryn Kenney and Adam Owen, while 'gunnersfun' finished second for $23,250. That final table was one of two that Owen showed up at on Wednesday. He also managed a fourth place finish in event #11 ($1,050 No Limit Five Card Draw). Owen took fourth after the final four players agreed to a deal. 'thehushpuppy' took home the title and $17,969.90 after beating Mike 'SirWatts' Watson heads-up. Event #8 (High): $215 No Limit Hold'em w/rebuys Entries: 1,002 (1,233 re-buys, 620 add-ons) Prize pool: $579,565 FluAnta - $94,644.43 abeainy - $69,168.53 Unkn0wn123 - $50,550.52 Daniel 'ShippityShip' Nielson - $36,943.90 hawiwi - $26,999.78 robdag - $19,732.27 Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah - $14,420.96 Thiago 'tnapoleao' Napoleão - $10,539.27 CROSA COLL - $7,702.41 Event #9 (High): $530 NLHE (Half-Price Super Tuesday) Entries: 2,679 (2,108 entries, 571 re-entries) Prize pool: $1,352,895 flauschi16 - $197,977.83 GadMO - $139,990.26 slarki1 - $98,988.08 AJFC6819 - $69,995.13 Danya Kop - $49,494.04 Pendos90 - $34,997.63 cringeguy - $24,747.15 (p/r)okSerj - $17,498.88 polleblues - $12,373.57 Event #10 (High): $1,050 Stud Hi-Lo Entries: 137 (118 entries, 19 re-entries) Prize pool: $150,000 Jerry 'hummylun' Wong - $32,625 gunnersfun - $23,250 Adam 'Adamyid' Owen - $18,000 aDrENalin710 - $12,750 paaskebaesen - $8,250 Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah - $6,750 Bryn 'BrynKenney' Kenney - $5,250 Gregory_2804 - $4,125 Event #11 (High): $1,050 No Limit Five Card Draw Entries: 81 Prize pool: $81,000 thehushpuppy - $17,969.90* Mike 'SirWatts' Watson - $15,116.65* DSmunichlife - $11,394.44* Adam 'Adamyid' Owen - $11,409.01* Gagarin007 - $5,670.00 gygenot09 - $4,252.50 *four-way deal
  12. Season XVII of the World Poker Tour has reached another final table on Tuesday, this time down in South Florida for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. From a booming field of 1,360 entries, just six competitors remain, and they’re on break until playing out the final table on May 30 in Las Vegas. Leading the way is WPT Champions Club member James Carroll. The final six players have each locked up $148,380. When they return to action in a month and a half, they’ll be chasing the $715,175 first-place prize and seat into the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. Joining Carroll at the final table was Maria Ho, Ami Alibay, Eric Afriat, Chad Eveslage, and Jerry Wong. Carroll boasts a stack of 18.525 million, which is just about 2 million ahead of Ho’s second-place stack of 16.65 million. WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table Seat 1: Maria Ho - 16,650,000 Seat 2: Chad Eveslage - 3,350,000 Seat 3: Jerry Wong - 3,225,000 Seat 4: Eric Afriat - 4,425,000 Seat 5: Ami Alibay - 8,175,000 Seat 6: James Carroll - 18,525,000 Numbers Never Lie With 1,360 entries, the Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown generated a prize pool of $4.352 million and produced the fourth largest WPT Main Tour field size in history. The event with the largest turnout was the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown that attracted 1,795 entries. In second is the Season XIII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and then it’s this season’s WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open with 1,415 entries. Interestingly, the winner of the largest-ever WPT Main Tour event was Afriat and he’s now reached this final table. Reaching the Final Table The money line was set at 170 players, and entering Day 2 of the tournament there were 524 remaining. After a few hours of play, 171 players remained and the money bubble had come. Brandon Hall, who recently took fourth in the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, found himself all in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ks"] against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ah"] of Alibay, according to the WPT coverage. The board ran out clean for Alibay’s aces which meant Hall was out the door as the "bubble boy." From there, players began filling up the payout line. Busting before the end of Day 2 were Anthony Zinno (96th), Faraz Jaka (103rd), Victor Ramdin (112th), Tyler Patterson (118th), David Baker (122nd), Scotty Nguyen (125th), Dylan Wilkerson (132nd), Sam Panzica (133rd), and Dylan Linde (134th). When the day was all said and done, 90 players remained with Keith Ferrera leading the pack. Day 3 saw the returning field of 90 players whittled down to 18. Darren Elias and Frank Stepuchin when out early, Aaron Mermelstein, Erik Seidel, and Will Failla fell later, and then Ferrera’s run came to an end in 19th place. On Ferrera’s final hand, he, like Hall before him, ran ace-king into the pocket aces of an opponent. Ferrera’s opponent was Eveslage who went on to bag the chip lead entering Day 4. [caption id="attachment_623684" align="alignnone" width="800"] Former NFL star Richard Seymour had a deep run that resulted in a 15th-place finish (photo: WPT)[/caption] On Day 4, the goal was to play down to the official WPT final table of six. Former NFL star Richard Seymour was still in the field, but his time ran out with a 15th-place finish for $29,690. On his final hand, Seymour was all in with the [poker card="As"][poker card="6s"] against the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Td"] for Alibay. The board ran out [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"] and Seymour was eliminated. With 11 players left, Carroll won a big pot off Afriat that gave him a stack that was right up there with Alibay’s for the chip lead. After raising and calling a three-bet in position, Carroll was faced with a bet of 400,000 on the [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3h"] flop. He called and the turn was the [poker card="2s"]. Afriat fired 750,000 this time, but Carroll stuck around with a call. The river completed the board with the [poker card="5h"] and Afriat checked. Carroll fired 1.45 million and Afriat eventually folded. Carroll showed the [poker card="Js"][poker card="Tc"] for jack high. From there, Carroll continued to build his stack as players busted out. On the final hand of Day 4, Jason Marshman went out in seventh place when Ho made trip jacks against him with the [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Jd"] versus the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="8h"]. WPT Champion Carroll in Dominating Position James Carroll is no stranger to the WPT winner’s circle and he’s now in a dominating position to score his second World Poker Tour title. Back in Season XII, Carroll won the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event for a huge score of $1.256 million. In that event, he topped a field of 718 entries. The final table included fellow WPT Champions Club members Dylan Wilkerson and Nam Lee, who finished in second and fifth places, respectively, and Season XII WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja. Carroll boasts career live tournament earnings of more than $3.2 million, of which he’s won $1.556 million on the World Poker Tour. He has six WPT cashes, including this one, and three other top 10 finishes outside of his Bay 101 victory and this event. This season, Carroll finished seventh in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $155,900. With a 18.525 million, Carroll has 34% of the chips in play entering the final table. [caption id="attachment_623681" align="alignnone" width="800"] Eric Afriat seeks a third WPT title (photo: WPT)[/caption] Afriat Seeks Third WPT Title Eric Afriat could be the story of the whole event. The two-time WPT Champions Club member won the largest-ever WPT Main Tour event in Season XII, which was this very event that attracted a massive 1,795 entries. Afriat entered that final table fourth in chips, and that’s the position he’ll come in this time around, too. He scored $1.081 million for that victory, but his WPT success didn’t end there. In fact, it was only just beginning really. Afriat has racked up 12 WPT Main Tour cashes, including this one, and in Season XVI he won his second World Poker Tour title when he topped another huge field at Borgata in Atlantic City. In the Season XVI WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, Afriat finished in first place above a field of 1,244 entries to win $651,928. Needless to say, Afriat knows a thing or two about winning large-field WPT events. In addition to that success, Afriat has three additional trips to WPT final tables in previous events. He came sixth in the Season IX WPT Bellagio Cup for $118,950, third in the Season XV WPT Playground for $82,716, and fifth in the Season XVI WPT Montreal for $75,043. A third WPT title would tie Afriat with the likes of Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Chino Rheem, and Anthony Zinno, who each have three titles and are one behind the leader, Darren Elias, who has four. [caption id="attachment_623683" align="alignnone" width="800"] Maria Ho has her eyes on his first major tournament title (photo: WPT)[/caption] Ho Seeking First Major Title For all of the success Maria Ho has enjoyed in the poker world, both on the felt as a player and off it as a broadcaster and personality, she’s yet to snag herself a major tournament title. Ho is second in chips entering this final table and it could very well be the one that allows her to grab that first major victory. Ho has had deep runs on the World Poker Tour before. She reached the Season XIV WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars final table and finished in sixth place for $179,930. She also finished 10th in the Season IX WPT Bellagio Cup that Afriat took sixth in, earning $40,783 for that finish. She also has two World Series of Poker final tables under her belt, including a runner-up finish to Allen Bari in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 WSOP. “It would mean so much,” Ho told WPT.com when asked what it would mean to win a WPT title. “I’ve been playing poker professionally for 14 years now, and unfortunately I’m still lacking that one major win. I know that it doesn’t define my career, but the World Poker Tour is very prestigious so it would mean a lot.” In October of 2018, she did win the WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Main Event for $69,166. Ho had more than $3.2 million in live tournament earnings ahead of this event. Don’t Sleep On Wong Jerry Wong may be the shortest stack at the final table to start, but he’s been on the biggest of stages before. In 2016, Wong reached the WSOP Main Event final table and finished eighth for $1.1 million. For Wong, he’s yet to win a WPT title and it’s his first World Poker Tour final table. His position on the leaderboard isn’t an advantageous one, but if Wong’s able to generate some momentum early then he could really put some pressure on his opponents given the experience he has. We’ve seen a short stack come back to win many times, so don’t be surprised if Wong maneuvers his way to a victory. The Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown will resume action on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
  13. Back on April 16, the Season XVII World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown reached its final table of six. WPT Champions Club member James Carroll led the group, with Maria Ho firmly in second place. Eric Afriat, another WPT Champions Club member, also reached the final table. On May 30, the final six hit Las Vegas at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino to compete for the $715,175 top prize. What’s Up for Grabs? The winner of the Season XVII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown gets $715,175, a seat into the season-ending Baccarat WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang watch. As things stand, each of the final six have already locked up $148,380 for reaching the final table from the field of 1,360 entries. 1st Place: $715,175 2nd Place: $465,120 3rd Place: $344,960 4th Place: $257,815 5th Place: $194,610 6th Place: $148,380 READ: How the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table was set. How To Watch the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table If you’re in Las Vegas on May 30, you’re able to head over to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to view the conclusion of the event in person, but of course, not everyone is within reach of Sin City. For those looking to tune in as it’s happening, the final table can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. You can also follow along with written coverage on WPT.com. The event is also being filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events that you’ll be able to catch later on FOX Sports Regional Networks. [caption id="attachment_624382" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Maria Ho (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Maria Ho - 16,650,000 For all of the success that Maria Ho has enjoyed over the course of her poker career, she’s still yet to win her first major title. She has second-, fourth-, and sixth-place finishes in World Series of Poker events, and she’s twice finished in sixth place in a WPT Main Tour event. She did win the WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg title in October 2018. With the second-largest stack entering the final table, it’s all eyes on Ho. She’s not too far behind the chip leader, Carroll, and looks to be in fairly top form. Ho scored first place in the L.A. Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller for $276,690 in March, and she just placed fourth in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America High Roller for another chunk of change around $70,000. Sprinkle in another handful of cashes and Ho is having one of the best years she’s ever had on the live felt. Her previous best year was in 2011 when she won nearly $660,000 in prizes. She’s already up to more than $550,000 in 2019 with a chance to go much higher with some pay jumps in this event. A victory would not only give Ho her first-ever WPT title, but she’d have earned more than $1 million from live tournament poker in a calendar year for the first time in her career. [caption id="attachment_624383" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Chad Eveslage (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Chad Eveslage - 3,350,000 Chad Eveslage enters the final table second-to-last in chips, just ahead of Jerry Wong. Eveslage is already enjoying the best year of his live tournament career and this result is already the most money he’s ever cashed for in a single live tournament. Eveslage’s results track back to January 2011 when he cashed in the PCA Main Event for $23,500. This run marks his fourth WPT Main Tour cash and deepest run, besting his eighth-place result from the Season XII WPT Rolling Thunder event that was won by JC Tran. [caption id="attachment_624384" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jerry Wong (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: Jerry Wong - 3,225,000 Jerry Wong has been on the big stage before. In 2016, he made the final table of the WSOP Main Event and finished in eighth place for more than $1.1 million. In 2017, he won the opening event of the WPTDeepStacks Hollywood stop down at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In that $360 buy-in event, he topped a mammoth field of 4,756 entries to win $250,000. Wong hadn’t reached a WPT Main Tour final table before reaching this one, but he has had a handful of deep runs to the last few tables. He wasn’t able to break through in those events and he’ll again have his work cut out for him in this one as he’s the shortest stack left in the field. Still, Wong has more than 20 big blinds to work with and one double up can get the seasoned pro right back into the mix. [caption id="attachment_624385" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Eric Afriat (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Eric Afriat - 4,425,000 If you follow the World Poker Tour, then the name Eric Afriat is one you know. He’s a two-time WPT champion looking for his third trip to the winner’s circle, and he has plenty of experience winning these large-field WPT events. Afriat’s first WPT title came when he won the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1.081 million. In that event, he topped an enormous field of 1,795 entries. Afriat won his second WPT title in Season XVI at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,244 entries to win more than $650,000. A victory in this one would give Afriat a third WPT title and move him into the ranks of Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Chino Rheem, and Anthony Zinno, all of whom have three WPT titles and are one behind the leader, Darren Elias. [caption id="attachment_624386" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Ami Alibay (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: Ami Alibay - 8,175,000 Ami Alibay has been around the WPT scene quite a bit and he’s making his fifth WPT Main Tour cash to show for it. It’s his first time at a WPT Main Tour final table, though, and it’s also the largest live tournament score of his career. Alibay’s previous best WPT finish came in March when he took 11th in the Season XVII WPT at Venetian. That finish earned Alibay more than $33,000. All told, when you include the $148,380 he’s earned for no worse than sixth place, Alibay has more than $630,000 in live tournament earnings. Like Afriat, he’s a Canadian player, but he’ll have about twice as many chips to work with to start the final table as Afriat does. [caption id="attachment_624387" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] James Carroll (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: James Carroll - 18,525,000 James Carroll has already experienced winning a World Poker Tour event once. Back in Season XII, Carroll topped a field of 718 entries in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event to win $1.256 million. He came close to winning a second WPT title not too long ago, when in March he took seventh in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $155,900. One more place up and Carroll would have found himself at the HyperX Esports Arena playing for the title. He’ll get his shot this time around, though, and he’ll come into play with the biggest stack left. Carroll boasts a career of nearly $3.4 million in earnings when you include the almost $150,000 he’s already scored here. A couple jumps up the payout list will give Carroll his second-best year on the live tournament felt when it comes to earnings, but a second WPT title is really what he’s chasing. Carroll should have one of the biggest rails of supporters at the HyperX Esports Arena on May 30. He has plenty of friends in the community who will be around to sweat him with the WSOP kicking off, and he’s from Las Vegas. If we were to guess, Ho will have the biggest group of supporters and then Carroll will be a close second. Seeing as those two are one-two in chips, it should make for a very fun day of action.
  14. James Carroll came into the final table of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with the chip lead and something to prove. Having already won one WPT title, Carroll still had the bitter memory of a seventh place finish at the LA Poker Classic in February to overcome. Over the course of eight hours of play, Carroll outlasted five other opponents to pick up his second WPT titles and $715,175. "This one is actually somewhat sweeter. The first one felt good, but I've been through some super tough times in the last five years, this feels good," Carroll said, after eliminating Eric Afriat on the last hand. Carroll and Afriat were the two players at the final table to already have a WPT title to their credit. Carroll won the Bay 101 Shooting Stars event in 2014 while Afriat took down the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in 2014 and the Borgata Winter Poker Open in 2018. The final table also included Mario Ho, Jerry Wong, and Chad Eveslage. Maria Ho raised to 500,000 from early position before Chad Eveslage moved all in for 3,400,000 from the cutoff and Ho called. Eveslage turned over [ad][jd] and found out he was racing against Ho's [tc][td]. The board ran out [8h][7h][5h][7s][2c] to give Ho the pot and eliminate Eveslage in sixth place. Just 15 hands later, Ami Alibay and Jerry Wong got into an all-in preflop confrontation that ended Alibay's run. From the button, Wong raised to 700,000, Eric Afriat called from the small blind before Alibay moved all in for 3,275,000 from the big blind. Wong called before Afriat folded. Alibay got great news when he turned over [9c][9d] and Wong showed [8c][8h]. The [ah][tc][7h] flop kept Alibay ahead, but the [kh] turn gave Wong extra outs with a flush draw and the [5h] river completed it to eliminate Alibay in fifth. Four-handed play continued for 51 hands before another player was sent to the rail after a preflop all-in battle. Afriat raised to 1,000,000 from UTG and Wong shoved all in from the big blind for 3,900,000. Afriat called and tabled [4c][4d] and Wong showed [ad][9h]. The board ran out [jc][hj][6h][3c][5d] and Afriat's pocket fours held up to bust Wong in fourth place. Down to just 16 big blinds, Ho moved all in from the button for 8,100,000 and Carroll called from the big blind. Ho was slightly ahead with [ac][5d] to Carroll's [ks][qc]. The flop came [as][qh][jd] to leave Ho in front, but the [kc] turn flipped the script and left Ho drawing to any ace, jack, or five for the win. The river was the [4s] leaving Ho as the third place finisher. Afriat started heads up play with a 2-1 advantage over Carroll but the two players traded the lead multiple times before Carroll took a formidable lead before finishing the job. Afriat raised from the button to 2,000,000 and Carroll three-bet jammed. Afriat moved all in and Carroll called and flipped over [ks][8h] while Afriat showed [6d][6h]. The [kc][kd][qc] flop gave Carroll a commanding lead. Neither the [3h] turn or [qs] river saved Afriat and he was eliminated in second place, giving Carroll the title. "He's very tricky. He's won two of these before and now he's got a second. I'd say he's doing a whole lot of things right," Carroll said of Afriat. "This is the first tournament I played with him. I probably played with him for three or four hours total before the final table. From what I've seen, he's very good." Final Table Payouts James Carroll - $715,175 Eric Afriat - $465,120 Maria Ho - $344,960 Jerry Wong - $257,815 Ami Alibay - $194,610 Chad Eveslage - $148,380
  15. Winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is widely considered by many to be poker’s ultimate achievement. For some players, it defines his or her career. For others, it’s the one prize eluding some of the game’s best. For years, Stephen Chidwick was considered the best poker player without a WSOP gold bracelet. At the 2019 WSOP, Chidwick bucked that monkey off his back like the most turbulent bull does to a rider at a rodeo when he won the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $1.618 million. Shawn Buchanan was another player in the "best without a bracelet conversation," but, like Chidwick, he broke through at the 2019 WSOP, winning the $800 buy-in WSOP.com Online NL Six-Handed. Now that Chidwick and Buchanan have each won an elusive gold bracelet, let's take a look at who are the best players remaining without a bracelet entering the 2020 WSOP. Patrick Antonius CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 15 2 0 $929,518 Widely considered one of the best all-around players in poker for quite some time, Patrik Antonius is still missing a WSOP gold bracelet from his résumé. He's come close a couple of times, finishing in the top 10 on four occasions and placing at the final table twice, but he's never scored better than third place. Antonius has been known to pass on tournaments for cash games these days, but he's still a threat to win a bracelet in the bigger buy-in WSOP events when he does compete. Niklas Astedt CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 0 0 $110,645 Sweden's Niklas Astedt is one of the top-ranked online poker players in the world, but his live success hasn’t been too plentiful, especially at the WSOP. Astedt’s skills should not be overlooked, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2014 and his highest WSOP finish was a 26th-place result in the 2019 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. He's also cashed in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, with a 182nd-place finish in 2016 and a 899th-place finish in 2019. Mikita Badziakouski CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 4 4 1 $3,161,362 Mikita Badziakouski plays some of the biggest buy-in events around the world, and his career to date includes more than $26.1 million in live tournament earnings. At the WSOP, Badziakouski has four cashes. Each cash has been a final table appearance and each has come at WSOP Europe. If there's a high roller event on the WSOP schedule, Badziakouski will likely be in the field and a threat to win the gold bracelet. Darren Elias CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 28 3 0 $645,659 With four World Poker Tour titles and more than $7.5 million in live tournament earnings, it’s a matter of when, not if, Darren Elias will finally win WSOP gold. His first WSOP cash came in 2009. He has three WSOP final table appearances and two finishes in third place, although he’s never made it to heads-up play. The two times Elias finished in third came from the same event, the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship in 2017 and 2019. Alex Foxen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 39 4 0 $808,918 Alex Foxen has been around the WSOP for a much shorter time than some of the players on this list, with his first WSOP cash coming in 2015. He has, however, built up quite the reputation as one of the best tournament poker players in the game today and it seems very much just a matter of time before he finds himself in the WSOP winner’s circle with his first gold bracelet. Already, Foxen has racked up 39 WSOP cashes and four final tables ahead of 2020. His highest finish to date was a third-place finish at the 2017 WSOP in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Matt Glantz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 61 13 1 $3,232.669 Pennsylvania's Matt Glantz has been around the WSOP block a few times, but he’s still looking for that first gold bracelet. Glantz first cashed in a WSOP in 2000 and he’s been producing everything but wins since, including 13 final table appearances. Glantz has reached heads-up play once and finished third on three occasions. At the 2019 WSOP, Glantz picked up his third WSOP Main Event cash. Mark Gregorich CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 69 11 1 $1,168,497 Mark Gregorich is another player on this list who has been around for quite some time, earning his first WSOP cash back in 1999. He has 69 cashes and 11 final table appearances at the WSOP, with one runner-up finish that came in the 2003 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. Gregorich also has a trio of third-place finishes at the WSOP to date. Nick Guagenti CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 37 3 0 $583,181 Ohio's Nick Guagenti has 37 WSOP cashes with the first coming in 2006. He has three final table appearances. Guagenti's highest WSOP result came in 2019 when he took third in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $85,265. His best finish in terms of money won came from his 46th-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event, for which Guagenti won $145,733. Guagenti is a regular in mid- and high-stakes cash games in his region, and he also has 15 cashes on the WSOP Circuit. Christian Harder CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 53 2 0 $1,050,784 Christian Harder’s first WSOP cash came in 2009. He’s won titles elsewhere in the poker world, just not at the WSOP just yet. He’s been close before with a pair of fourth-place finishes and is known to put in a high amount of volume in the big bet games of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Maurice Hawkins CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 29 3 0 $623,240 Maurice Hawkins has been a longtime grinder of the WSOP and WSOP Circuit, racking up 29 WSOP cashes and 110 WSOP Circuit cashes. He has a whopping 14 WSOP Circuit gold rings, but Hawkins has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Hawkins has three WSOP final tables and they've come in big-field NL tournaments. With as many big-field NL events that are on the WSOP schedule these days, one has to figure that Hawkins is going to break through and win one at some point. Isaac Haxton CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 7 1 $2,923,424 Isaac Haxton is widely considered as one of the best minds in poker, and he’s certainly lived up to that with more than $27.6 million in live tournament earnings, millions more won in cash games, and who knows how much won online. The one thing he doesn’t have is a WSOP gold bracelet. Haxton has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. The second-place finish came to Vitaly Lunkin in the 2009 WSOP $40,000 No Limit Hold’em. Maria Ho CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 55 5 1 $1,644,554 Maria Ho is another long-time regular at the WSOP, with cashes dating back to 2005. She has five final table appearances and one runner-up finish in WSOP events, and she’s known to mix it up in most of the games. Ho’s runner-up finish came to Allen Bari in the 2011 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em. Ho has been the last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event on two occasions, 2007 and 2014, and she finished sixth in the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event. Ali Imsirovic CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 10 3 1 $583,986 Ali Imsirovic is one of the newest kids on the block in all of poker, not just the WSOP, and he’s quickly acquired a reputation of one of the game’s best when it comes to No Limit Hold’em tournaments. Imsirovic’s first WSOP cash came in 2017, so there isn’t a ton of sample to draw from, but he’s already made three WSOP final tables in top-level events and has one runner-up finish. Given his success in his young poker career, Imsirovic is considered one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit Hold’em event. Rainer Kempe CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 3 0 $1,142,997 Rainer Kempe has won more than $21.3 million in his poker career and he’s been in the winner’s circle many times, but he’s yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. His WSOP career is still pretty young, though. His first WSOP cash came in 2015, but over a short period of time he’s already earned 31 in-the-money finishes and more than $1.1 million in earnings. Kempe has been to a WSOP final table three times to date. Jason Koon CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 42 7 1 $1,789,462 For all of the poker success that Jason Koon has enjoyed over the course of his career, he’s still searching for his first WSOP gold bracelet. Koon has more than $31.1 million in live tournament earnings to date and his first WSOP cash came back in 2009. He has seven WSOP final table appearances and one runner-up result. Koon is similar to Haxton and Imsirovic in the sense that he’ll almost always be one of the favorites any time he enters a high buy-in, No Limit hold’em tournament. Timofey Kuznetsov CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 0 0 0 $0 Timofey Kuznetsov, also known as ‘Trueteller,’ is highly regarded in the poker community as one of the best, especially within the high-stakes community. He has zero WSOP cashes to date, but he simply doesn’t play a lot of tournaments. That said, Kuznetsov is still one of the best players in poker without a WSOP gold bracelet. Maria Lampropulos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 27 0 0 $136,731 Maria Lampropulos first cashed a WSOP event in 2016 and that first year she walked away with five WSOP cashes in total. She followed that up with six cashes in 2017 and seven cashes in 2018. At the 2019 WSOP and WSOP Europe festivals, she cashed nine time. With partypoker MILLIONS and PCA Main Event wins on her résumé, both for seven-figure paydays, Lampropulos has shown she has the chops to compete in some of the biggest events in the world. Toby Lewis CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 24 0 0 $409,171 Toby Lewis’ first WSOP cash came in 2011 when he took 11th in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship. He’s racked up 24 WSOP cashes to date, but he’s never reached a WSOP final table. Tom Marchese CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 26 4 1 $1,295,638 A player with more than $19.1 million in live tournament earnings, Tom Marchese is often considered one of the better tournament players poker has to offer. He's yet to score a WSOP gold bracelet, though, but he has come close a few times, with four WSOP final tables and one runner-up finish. The time Marchese finished second was at the 2015 WSOP in the $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em tournament. Steve O‘Dwyer CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 18 2 0 $675,717 Like Haxton and like Koon, Steve O’Dwyer has a ton of live tournament winnings. O’Dwyer has scored more than $30.4 million from the live felt, plus plenty more online, and his first WSOP cash came in 2007. O’Dwyer is a player who put in more WSOP volume at the beginning of his career compared to what he does now, which could be holding him back in terms of winning his first gold bracelet. At this point in his career, it seems that if O'Dwyer does win a gold bracelet, it will come at WSOP Europe or a similar international WSOP stop. Adam Owen CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 34 5 0 $570,961 Adam Owen is another one of the younger guns on this list, but he’s widely regarded as one of the best all-around players in the game these days. Having earned his first WSOP cash in 2014, Owen has racked up 34 WSOP cashes to date, including five final tables and three third-place finishes. Owen has shown a propensity to perform well in the $10,000 buy-in championship events at the WSOP and many think that’s where he’ll earn his first gold bracelet from. Felipe Ramos CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 31 4 0 $526,047 One of best poker players to come out of Brazil is Felipe Ramos, with 31 WSOP cashes dating back to his first in 2009. Ramos is known as a solid player who can compete across all variants, and the more tools you have in your shed, the better when it comes to chasing gold bracelets. Ramos has four WSOP final tables and they've all come in Omaha. Three of those four final tables were in Pot Limit Omaha. Dario Sammartino CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 41 10 0 $9,927,947 Italy’s Dario Sammartino first cashed in a WSOP event in 2011 and he’s been performing very well ever since, except winning a WSOP gold bracelet is something he’s yet to achieve. Sammartino has found the money in WSOP events 41 times to date. Of those, he’s reached the final table on 10 occasions. Sammartino's biggest claim to World Series of Poker fame was a runner-up finish in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $6 million. He's also one of the few players to have made the final table of both the WSOP Main Event and WSOP Europe Main Event in his career. Sammartino has learned how to play all the games and play them well, so don’t be surprised to see him finally win WSOP gold much sooner than later. Ole Schemion CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 6 1 0 $469,735 Although his WSOP results don’t pop off the page, Ole Schemion is one of the best players out there and an absolute force when it comes to poker tournaments. He’s amassed more than $16.3 million in live tournament earnings, numerous high roller victories, and one World Poker Tour title. He’s still in search of his first WSOP gold bracelet, though. In terms of winning WSOP gold, it’s very likely just a volume game for Schemion. If he puts in the volume, he’ll get it eventually and probably in the near future. It also works to his benefit that WSOP Europe looks as though it will remain at King’s Casino in Rozvadov where Schemion has shown success before, including a sixth-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Europe €100,000 Diamond High Roller for €341,510. Jake Schindler CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 33 4 0 $1,050,644 The first of two players named Jake on this list, Jake Schindler has 33 entries and four final tables at the WSOP entering 2020. His best finish was a third-place result in the 2014 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for $212,373. Over his entire poker career, Schindler has more than $25 million in live tournament earnings. Jake Schwartz CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 60 3 1 $658,477 Jake Schwartz earned his first WSOP cash in 2012 and has built up 60 in-the-money finishes since. He was first widely known as a No Limit hold'em player but he's since branched out and has been playing more of the games. In 2013, Schwartz earned the top WSOP finish of his career when he took second in the $1,500 NL Shootout, earning $202,035. To date, he has two other WSOP final table appearances in addition to that one. Shannon Shorr CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 79 9 2 $2,217,846 When is Shannon Shorr going to finally win a WSOP gold bracelet? Shorr first cashed in a WSOP event back in 2006, which seems like ages ago when you consider he’s still very much on the younger side of poker players. Ever since that first WSOP cash, not a year has gone by that Shorr hasn’t racked up multiple WSOP cashes. Plus, he’s been very close on several occasions with nine final table appearances and two runner-up finishes. He also has a pair of third-place finishes. Shorr can play all of the games very well. Before Chidwick winning his bracelet, Shorr was right there at the top of this list with Chidwick. Dan Smith CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 36 10 1 $9,884,615 Another high roller with a knack for all the games, Dan Smith has been close to winning WSOP gold before but it just hasn’t happened for him yet. His first WSOP cash came in 2010. Since then, he’s earned 36 total WSOP cashes and won more than $9.8 million at the WSOP. He has 10 final table appearances, six third-place finishes, and one second-place finish in WSOP events. Like some of the other high rollers on this list, with Smith it feels like more of a volume game than anything. Christoph Vogelsang CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 13 6 0 $8,668,735 Christoph Vogelsang has come close at the WSOP on a handful of occasions, including two third-place finishes in a pair of the biggest events the WSOP has ever offered. In 2014, Vogelsang placed third in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop for $4.48 million. In 2019, he took third in the WSOP Europe €250,000 Super High Roller for more than $1.3 million. If there's a big buy-in event at the WSOP, Vogelsang is considered a threat to win it. Mike Watson CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 63 11 4 $2,917,143 Mike Watson has been knocking at the WSOP gold bracelet door for several years now. His first WSOP cash came in 2007 and he’s put up more than 60 cashes to date since. Of the 11 WSOP final table appearances Watson has on record, four of the times he’s finished runner-up. Interestingly, Watson did win the €50,000 Majestic High Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe, but it was an added non-bracelet event for the high rollers. Had that event been in a later year, it very likely would have been for a gold bracelet. Watson usually plays a high volume of events and can play all the games, much like Shorr, and it’s only a matter of time before he finally scores a WSOP gold bracelet. Jerry Wong CASHES FINAL TABLES RUNNER-UPS WINNINGS 38 7 0 $1,899,225 Jerry Wong may be most well known for reaching the now-defunct WSOP November Nine in 2016, when he finished eighth for more than $1.1 million, but he has plenty of other success at the WSOP. With 38 total WSOP cashes and seven final table appearances, the only thing left for Wong to do is win a gold bracelet. One would think that has to be on the horizon soon for Wong, who has the ability to compete highly in all of the games. His WSOP final table appearances have come in No Limit Deuce to Seven, Pot Limit Omaha, Big Bet Mix, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, H.O.R.S.E., and No Limit Hold'em.
  16. It was a career day for Russia’s Andrey Kotelnikov on Tuesday as he navigated his way through the final table of the $3,200 World Poker Tour Online Mix-Max Championship to capture the $488,508 first-place prize and his first WPT title. At the start of the day only seven players from the 146 that made Day 2 of the event remained with the experienced Kotelnikov finding himself bunched up in the middle of the chip counts with some work to do. The final table started with plenty of play left and as a result it took over an hour before the first player hit the rail. After an open by Maciej Gasior in late position, Jerry Wong three-bet from his ten big blind stack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="th"]. The UK’s Stuart Guite, who earlier doubled through Wong and now had him covered, then shipped his stack with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. It folded back to Wong who made the call with his tournament on the line. The [poker card="2h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="2c"] board ran out clean for the pocket queens and Wong was eliminated in seventh place. Half an hour later, the bustouts picked up. From the small blind, Dimitar Danchev shipped his twenty big blind stack holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="6s"] right into Sweden’s Sven Joakim Andersson’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"]. Danchev, at risk, was looking for serious help. He picked up a few extra out on the [poker card="4d"][poker card="qd"][poker card="6c"] flop. But the [poker card="7d"] turn and [poker card="td"] turn gave the hand to Andersson’s pocket aces and sent Danchev to the rail in sixth place. Just a few hands later, Kotelnikov put in a raise from the button with his [poker card="8d"][poker card="8s"]. It folded through to Gasior in the big blind who shoved his final seventeen big blinds in with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"]. Kotelnikov quickly called. The table watched as the board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"][poker card="2h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="ks"] never really giving Kotelnikov a sweat and ending Gasior’s tournament in fifth place. With four players left, Ukraine’s Oleg Vasylchenko open-shoved his nearly 20 big blind stack from the small blind holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"]. Kotelnikov, who had him out-chipped also had him out-pipped with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. Kotelnikov made the call and put the Ukrainian at risk. Again, the [poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"] run out never really gave Kotelnikov much to worry about. Vasylchenko, a satellite winner into the event, finished in fourth place. On the very next hand, Kotelnikov involved yet again. Guite folded his button and Kotelnikov shipped his big stack from the small blind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="jc"]. Andersson, in the big blind with 16 big blinds behind, made the call holding the [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"]. Kotelnikov took the lead in the hand on the [poker card="qd"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"] flop but Andersson still had some backdoor outs and his over card. All of those outs evaporated when the [poker card="qc"] hit the turn, leaving Andersson drawing dead to the [poker card="2s"] river. Andersson, also a satellite winner, exited in third place. The heads-up match between Kotelnikov and Guite lasted over an hour and saw both players hold the chip lead at one point. In a battle that looked like it could last a lot longer than it did, a bit of a cooler decided the tournament. On the final hand, Guite put in a raise from the button with [poker card="jd"][poker card="4s"] and was called by Kotelnikov in the big blind with [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"]. The flop came [poker card="jh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"] giving Guite two pair and Kotelnikov an open-ended straight draw. Kotelnikov checked it over to Guite who put in a bet. Kotelnikov called. The turn came the [poker card="2c"] and with his made straight, Kotelnikov checked. Guite bet again, this time Kotelnikov check-raised big and Guite made the call. The [poker card="kd"] hit the river and Kotelnikov moved all-in on Guite. With his two pair, Guite made the call and as a result, ended up as the runner-up. Andrey Kotelnikov is the winner of the WPT Online Mix-Max Championship for $488,508, a $15,000 entry into the WPT Tournament of Champions, and a spot on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup. Final Table Payout Andrey Kotelnikov - $488,508 Stuart Guite - $366,604.80 Sven Joakim Andersson - $271,903.20 Oleg Vasyichenko - $190,500 Maciej Gasior - $124,500 Dimitar Danchev - $89,016 Jerry Wong - $69,300
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