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Found 11 results

  1. Every year, history is made at the World Series of Poker. In 2018, poker fans were inundated with amazing accomplishments from some of the most notable names in the game. At the 49th annual WSOP, there was no shortage of superior stories and top-flight headlines to be had to help to make this summer series one for the ages. As the day-to-day details of the WSOP slowly fade from memory, there are some stories from this summer that will be retold for years to come. Here’s a look back at the stories that kept everyone buzzing during the 2018 WSOP. Cynn For The Win There’s always at least one opportunity for poker history to be written each year and that’s when the Main Event champion is crowned. Whoever earns the Main Event bracelet will have their name etched into the WSOP history books and their image forever commemorated with a banner in the Rio. It's a title that can never be taken away. This year, that honor belonged to Los Angeles cash game pro John Cynn. No matter who won the Main Event, it would be memorable. However, Cynn made an extra impression based on how he went about winning. Always smiling, the affable Cynn, showed that he was not only good at the game, but he was good for it too. His personality and charisma were easily captured on camera as he took every flop, turn and river all in stride. His entire journey to the winner's circle showed an entire community what it means to play hard and win with grace. Hellmuth Proves It Again Hellmuth made headlines all summer for a number of shenanigans. Whether it was the "markup controversy" or his Asgardian entrance to the Main Event, Phil made sure that the public didn’t forget about Phil. However, the most amazing moment of Hellmuth’s summer came when he defeated the 452 person field in Event #71: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30 Minute Levels) for $485,082 and his record-extending 15th career WSOP bracelet. Hellmuth has a lot of critics, both for his on-the-felt antics and his constant self-promotion. Those critics were forced to accept that for the sixth time in the post-Moneymaker era, Hellmuth earned himself another gold bracelet. Only Jeffrey Lisandro and Phil Ivey have earned as many bracelets as Hellmuth after 2003. Ivey and Johnny Chan are the only active players within five bracelets of Hellmuth. Should Hellmuth continue to play at the pace he currently does, it may be a generation or more before anyone even comes close to catching him. Bonomo Takes The Lead One of the biggest stories of the summer came on the last day of the WSOP. Justin Bonomo, having one of the most remarkable years a poker pro has ever experienced, capped off the summer by winning the $1 Million Big One For One Drop. The $10 million payday catapulted Bonomo to just under $25 million in earnings in 2018. The score, combined with his victories in both of 2018's Super High Roller Bowls, has pushed his total career live earnings to $42,979,591. The total is good enough to surpass poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu on the much talked about All-Time Money List. Grinder Makes It Three Not to be overlooked, one of the biggest stories of the summer came during the $50,000 Poker Players Championship when Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi dropped jaws by winning the event for the third time since 2010. The event is billed as one of the most prestigious by elite players in the game. The contest tests the mettle of poker’s best by rotating through a wide variety of games, making Mizrachi's multiple victories all the more impressive. Mizrachi battled through a field of 87 top-tier pros including a final table that seated Dan Smith, Benny Glazer, Mike Leah, Aaron Katz and Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan. In total, Mizrachi’s earned more than $4.2 million over the course of his three victories (2010, 2012 & 2018). Not to be overlooked, he finished fourth in the PPC at the 2016 WSOP for another $380,000. Thanks in part to his summer performance, “The Grinder” is on the cusp of $17 million in lifetime earnings. With three victories of the PPC under his belt, when he turns 40 in three years, he will likely be in the conversation for a nomination into the Poker Hall of Fame. Cada Closes Out The WSOP 2009 Main Event Champion Joe Cada was already having a stellar summer when he registered for the 2018 Main Event. Earlier in the series, Cada was the last man standing in Event #3: $3,000 Shootout No Limit Hold'em. The victory scored Cada his third bracelet and added over $226,000 to his bankroll. But things really looked up for the Michigan grinder when he made an improbable deep run in the Main Event. Cada became the first post-Moneymaker Main Event Champion to make it back to another Main Event final table. For a moment there were notions of Cada becoming the first repeat champion since Stu Ungar in 1997 (Cada, like Ungar, had also been bestowed the nickname "The Kid"). However, it wasn't meant to be, as Cada bowed out in fifth place, taking home $2.15 million as a consolation. Remarkably, Cada wasn't finished with the 2018 WSOP. After eight grueling days of the Main Event, Cada immediately registered for one of the final events of the summer. Event #75: $1,500 THE CLOSER saw 3,120 players register in hopes of saving their summer with a big score. Unfortunately for them, Cada came to play and, in the end, he earned bracelet number four by outlasting them all. With the win, Cada picked up another $612,000. In total, Cada cashed in seven different events, made four final tables, won two bracelets and earned himself over $3 million in what will be known as one of the best summer performances in history.
  2. Most poker players would consider finishing 11th in the World Series of Poker Main Event to be an amazing accomplishment. Maybe not in the moments following their elimination, but eventually they’d accept what they did as something special. For the last two years, John Cynn has allowed his 2016 11th place finish to be his career-best score. Sunday morning, however, following an epic heads-up battle with Tony Miles, Cynn changed all of that by winning the 2018 WSOP Main Event and walking away with $8.8 million. “Different. Feels very different,” Cynn said when asked to compare his emotions from each event. “I mean, neither of these are supposed to happen, right? To make 11th was insane on its own and to win, that's literally something that you dream but you never expect to happen. I think last time, when I got knocked out in 11th, I was really happy. Right now I do feel pretty overwhelmed, all of the emotions times ten.” Winning the fifth largest Main Event prize in the 49-year history of the WSOP, Cynn is well aware of how that money is going to change his life. “I don't know what people's impression of me was, but I'm not doing bad but I'm not rich, so the money is very significant, but I do like to think that I don't need the money to be happy,” Cynn said. “At the same time, practically, it's going to make things a lot easier, things I want to do in life, things for my family and parents.” He did have some more immediate plans for spending some of his winnings though. “I might use some of it to party with my friends, but other than that I think I'm going to let my emotions die down before I decide to do anything crazy, probably just get away, disappear somewhere for a while sounds nice,” Cynn said. For his part, Miles recognized what the 10-day run in poker’s most prestigious event showed him about himself as a person and a poker player. “You can do anything you put your mind to,” Dyer said. “Well in poker, you just want to be prepared and be in the best state of mind and you want to be able to execute all the time because you don't know when you're going to get the run of cards. You don't know when you're going to have an opportunity to strike, so you just have to be prepared all the time.” When the final three players returned to action Saturday night, Miles held the chip lead, Cynn had the second biggest stack and former chip leader Michael Dyer was working with the shortest stack of the three. Michael Dyer Eliminated in Third Place Michael Dyer came into the final day with just 16 big blinds and built his strategy around finding a spot to double or steal the blinds and ante. He was all in without a call on five of the first 180 hands of play, but it was the sixth all in on the 19th hand that ended Dyer’s night. Miles raised to 4,400,000 from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"] and Dyer responded by moving all in for 22,200,000. Cynn folded and Miles called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop didn’t offer Dyer much help, but the [poker card="jc"] turn actually increased his available outs. The [poker card="qh"] river didn’t fill Dyer’s Broadway draw and he was eliminated in third place. “I wanted a little more, but it was pretty good. I can’t complain. Third place, that’s more than you can dream from when you start the tournament,” Dyer said. That had allowed Miles to reclaim the chip lead he had lost just two hands prior and was now sitting on a stack of 203,500,000 to Cynn’s 190,300,000. The Heads Up Marathon In the modern era of the WSOP Main Event, the longest final table belonged to 2012 when Greg Merson needed 399 hands to win. Dyer was eliminated on hand #243 and over the next 10 hours and 23 minutes, Cynn and Miles played 199 hands on their own, put the total for the final table at 442. The lead changed over a dozen times during the course of heads-up action. Tony Miles Eliminated in Second Place With blinds of 2,000,000/4,000,000 (500,000), Cynn raised to 9,000,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] and Miles responded 34,000,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="8h"]. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"][poker card="5h"] and Cynn called Miles’ bet of 32,000,000. The turn was the [poker card="8d"] and Miles moved all in for 114,000,000. Cynn thought the hand through and called, giving Miles the bad news that he was drawing dead. The [poker card="4s"] river completed the board, eliminated Miles in second place and crowned Cynn as the new Main Event champion. Final Table Payouts John Cynn - $8,800,000 Tony Miles - $5,000,000 Michael Dyer - $3,750,000 Nicolas Manion - $2,825,000 Joe Cada - $2,150,000 Aram Zobian - $1,800,000 Alex Lynskey - $1,500,000 Artem Metalidi - $1,250,000 Antoine Labat - $1,000,000
  3. John Hesp. Michael Ruane. Mark Newhouse. Even William Kasouf. Every year during the World Series of Poker thousands of new faces enter the halls of the Rio All Suite & Casino in hopes of earning a life-changing score. Sometimes though, along with the money, a player's accomplishments and personality introduce them to poker fans around the world, helping them become the next emerging poker star. In some cases, it may be a player who has been on the scene for a number of years and their expertise was able to shine in the summertime to elevate their profile to new heights. In 2018, it was no different. Here are just some of the players who went from being a face in the crowd to one of the breakout stars of the World Series of Poker. John Cynn It should be no surprise that the Los Angeles cash game grinder turned Main Event champion is now known by just about every fan of the game of poker. John Cynn bested the second largest Main Event field in history en route to an $8.8 million payday all in front of the cameras of the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN. The achievement alone puts Cynn’s name in the history books. But it was his play and personality that truly turned him into a star. As the other players hit the rail, Cynn’s visibility on camera increased. Those who tuned in to the broadcast were treated to a poker player who was enjoying every second of the journey while not sacrificing a high level of play. It remains to be seen if Cynn will expand his tournament schedule, being a cash game pro. However, if he does decide to hit the circuit he will command the attention of his fellow players and the media for many years to come. Tony Miles John Cynn's foil in the Main Event was runner-up Tony Miles. From early on during the ESPN coverage, it was clear that Miles was at ease both at the tables and in front of the camera. And it wasn’t just his play and the affable table talk of Miles that endeared him to fans. His backstory of overcoming adversity and his challenges with addiction was instantly relatable to many who watch and play the game. On the final hand of the tournament, Cynn took his time making a call for it all. Miles seemed to step out of character and snub Cynn when it all over with an accusation of a slow roll. The very next day he took to Twitter, owned the moment and made a heartfelt apology. His very human side was on display and his authenticity only drew the public more on his side. Whereas it’s less certain how often we’ll see Cynn on the circuit, there’s a high likelihood that Miles is ready to step into an ambassador-like role. In many interviews he proclaimed his love of poker and ambition to continue playing at the highest levels. Ben Yu It’s true that Ben Yu was already known by his peers as being a world class player. Prior to the 2018 WSOP, he’d already earned two gold bracelets and $2.4 million in earnings. However, even though Yu already had an amazing ten year career, he’d never had a summer like the one in 2018. Los Angeles, CA’s Yu cashed in 15 different events including picking up his third career bracelet by winning the final event of the series, Event #77: $50,000 No Limit High Roller for $1.650 million. He also had a runner-up finish in Event #42, for $866,000. Yu played everything. From the $365 Pot Limit Omaha to the online bracelet events to the Main Event, where he finished in 150th place. When the six weeks were done, Yu’s grind paid off big time. He’d more than doubled his career lifetime earnings to $5.25 million and cracking the top 200 on the All-Time Money List. Kelly Minkin One-time lawyer, Kelly Minkin was already known by those who follow poker as a fierce on-the-felt competitor. Though her poker roots began in 2013, she found greater notoriety in 2015 when she made the final table of a World Poker Tour event as well as making a super deep run in the 2015 WSOP Main Event, earning the media bestowed title of Last Woman Standing. In 2018 Minkin’s Main Event run energized a community when deep in the tournament she found herself holding the overall chip lead. This landed Minkin on the feature table, multiple times, including pulling off big-time bluffs - one of which prompted commentator Nick Schulman to label her play “gangsta”, a term for her play which quickly caught fire. Though Minkin didn’t make the final table, she finished in 50th place for over $156,000. Her score pushed her career total earnings over the $1 million mark. It was the second time in four years she was the Last Woman Standing. Scott Bohlman Three, two, one. Scott Bohlman finished in each of those places this summer. The Illinois native has been a longtime grinder who certainly stepped up his game in 2018. Bohlman, who plays all the games, picked up his first gold bracelet by taking down Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet for $122,138. He followed that up four days later finishing in sixth in Event #49: $10K PLO Championship for another $157,097. He notched two more six-figure scores late in the series. A runner-up finish in Event #64: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Eight for $225,210 (a career-high cash) and Event #69: $3,000 PLO 6-Handed for $199,572. In total Bohlman earned over $739,000 over 11 summer cashes, good enough to land him in the top 5 on the WSOP Player of the Year race. To put his summer in perspective, Bohlman’s results would have been good enough to land him as the sixth most productive player in the 25k Fantasy competition. That ranks above players like Justin Bonomo, Mike Leah, and John Racener. Unfortunately for those who drafted, no one picked Bohlman. Next year, that’s likely to change.
  4. Somehow, Wednesday night at the 2018 World Series of Poker will probably go down as one of the most surreal in the 49-year history of the event. Not only did the Main Event reach a final table in a dramatic fashion, but the most decorated player in WSOP history, Phil Hellmuth, added to his legend with yet another bracelet. This is the Main Event There were 26 players at the start of Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event but over a 12-hour span, 17 players were eliminated leaving just the nine players to make up the final table. Shortstacks Jeffrey Trudeau, Barry Hutter and Bart Lybaert all fell early with Eric Froehlich, who started Day 6 with the 10th biggest stack, getting coolered with pocket queens against Alex Lynskey's pocket kings to join them on the rail. Ivan Luca, former November Niner Sylvain Loosli, Frederik Brink and Ryan Phan all busted to leave the unofficial final table of 10 players waiting for one more elimination before stopping play for the night. The final hand was one for the ages. Nicolas Manion raised to 1,500,000 from UTG. Antoine Labat called from middle before Yueqi Zhu came over the top, moving all in for 24,700,000 from late position. Manion responded by moving all in for 43,100,000. Labat, the biggest stack of the three, took some time before eventually calling. Zhu revealed [kh][ks], Manion tabled [ah][as] and Labata turned over [kc][kd]. The board ran out [jd][7c][4c][3s][jc] to eliminate Zhu in tenth place, leaving Labata with just 8,050,000 and boosting Manion into the chip lead with a nearly full triple up. "Somehow this is real life," said Manion, who finished with 112,775,000. "When I got both calls, I flipped over my hand, I went straight to my rail and looked up at the TV and saw they both had pocket kings to my aces." Michael Dyer, who spent most of the day Wednesday in the chip lead, finished just behind Manion with 112,775,000. Remarkably, the final table includes repeat appearance from a Main Event champion from the November Nine era for the first time in history. Joe Cada, who won the 2009 WSOP Main Event, finished with 23,675,000, good enough for the sixth biggest stack. "It was a lot more of a grind this time. I respect the tournament more," said Cada, who was down to 9,000 on Day 1 before rebuilding his stack. " The final table resumes at 5:30 pm PT with the ESPN broadcast starting at 6:00 pm PT. The current schedule calls for play to continue Thursday until six players remain. Final Table Chip Counts Nicolas Manion - 112,775,000 Michael Dyer - 109,175,000 Tony Miles - 42,750,000 John Cynn - 37,075,000 Alex Lynskey - 25,925,000 Joe Cada - 23,675,000 Aram Zobian - 18,875,000 Artem Metalidi - 15,475,000 Antoine Labat - 8,050,000 Phil Hellmuth Wins Bracelet #15 [caption id="attachment_619988" align="alignleft" width="1024"] Phil Hellmuth continues to silence his critics, winning a 15 WSOP bracelet on Wednesday night.[/caption] It's been an interesting summer for Phil Hellmuth. Seemingly mired in some sort of controversy from the very first week, Hellmuth spent two days earlier this week defending, and eventually apologizing for, his actions late on Day 2 of the Main Event that may have cost another player their tournament life. On Thursday night, with the Main Event playing down to a final table in another room, Hellmuth overcame the 2.5-1 chip lead of Steven Wolansky to win the 15th bracelet of his career. Faced with the possibility of yet another runner-up finish, Hellmuth gave himself a little pep talk. "I said, ... 'When's the next time you're going to have an opportunity like this where you're heads up for a bracelet? You just need to hang in there and stay strong', and I stayed strong and then luckily hit some cards," said Hellmuth. Hellmuth, who holds the WSOP records for wins and cashes, gave Wolansky credit for making the final table a difficult one for him. "He wouldn't give an inch, so I had to start thinking about, okay how do I want to handle this? And I thought alright, I'm going to have to try to steal more pots against him, to give myself a chance because he's just not giving a chip away, he's making it really tough, and I can't blink first either," said Hellmuth. "I just have to like just keep playing my best poker until the end and maybe something great will happen." Hellmuth's last bracelet came in 2015, when he won the $10,000 Razz Championship event.
  5. The final table of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event started with Michael Dyer sitting with the second biggest stack and through just over four hours of play on Thursday night, the 32-year-old from Houston moved into control of the final table and finished with more than double the stack of any of his five remaining opponents. Dyer finished Day 8 with 156,500,000 without being responsible for any of the night’s three eliminations. Being able to wield a big stack against some shorter-stacked opponents has allowed Dyer to push the table around. “I’ve had dynamic separation from everybody so it makes it kind of simpler for me to play. I’m able to play differently than they are,” said Dyer. “It was a pretty solid final table. I didn’t see any horrible mistakes or anything egregious.” Dyer added 47,325,000 to his chips on Thursday and how has 39.74% of the chips in play. Nicolas Manion, who began play Thursday with the chip lead, went in the opposite direction, finishing with 72,250,000. Tony Miles finished with 57,500,000 with Joe Cada and Aram Zobian holding onto short stacks of 29,275,000 and 16,700,000 respectively. Cada, who won the 2009 Main Event, felt relieved to be moving onto Day 9 after a rough day Thursday. “I’m just happy to be here. It’s been a grueling tournament. I’ve been lucky to even be in the spot where I’m at. I’ve had low chips the entire tournament. I feel like I’ve just been hanging in there,” said Cada. Antoine Labat Eliminated in Ninth Place Thanks to the crazy hand that ended play on Wednesday night, France’s Antoine Labat knew he’d have to make a move early on Thursday if he had any hopes of winning the tournament. That opportunity seemed to present itself on the 16th hand of play. Action folded to Labat on the button and he raised to 1,200,000 holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. Artem Metalidi moved all in from the small blind holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"] and after John Cynn folded the big blind, Labat called with his tournament on the line. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="qd"][poker card="5s"] to give Metalidi middle set. Neither the [poker card="9s"] turn or [poker card="ad"] river were any help for the Frenchman and he was eliminated in ninth. While “With 60 left I got kings against aces and nines for my tournament life, I put in all my chips there and the king came door cards,” said Labat. “So I’m not complaining about kings. They won me $950,000 and it has to end like that. All my tournaments have been around kings, I had them many times and sometimes they were good and sometimes they were not good. It’s alright, I don’t blame them.” Despite losing twice with pocket kings in two big spots inside of a 17-hand span on Wednesday and Thursday, Sabat is leaving Las Vegas with a new appreciation for poker. “I had an amazing experience. I haven’t played tournaments for a long time. I played a lot before. It’s been three years and I didn’t do any,” said Labat. “I decided to come to Vegas and change my daily routine and do new stuff and I think the Main Event brought me a real new experience. I feel like I have a lot of energy to play tournaments” Artem Metalidi Eliminated in Eighth Place Metalidi came into the final table with the second smallest stack and found himself flipping for his Main Event life in a hand that turned out to be one of the more dramatic of the last few days. Metalidi open-shoved for 6,225,000 with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"], Zobian move all in over the top 24,000,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] and Dyer folded the big blind. The [poker card="6d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2d"] flop gave Metalidi middle set but opened a flush draw for Zobian.The [poker card="kc"] turn was good for Metalidi, but the [poker card="4d"] river gave Zobian the flush and sent the Ukrainian poker pro home in eighth place. “I couldn’t even dream of it. I started this tournament winning bottom set against top set and I was felt like I was freerolling the tournament. Then I made the money with a really short stack and it wasn’t even considering I could make it here, but here I am and I’m really, really happy,” Metalidi said about his deep run. “It’s been surreal. I don’t think I fully grasp it yet. It’s probably going to hit me later.” Alex Lynskey Eliminated in Seventh Place Dyer raised to 1,600,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] and John Cynn called from the small blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"]. Alex Lynskey moved all in for 11,525,000 from the big blind with [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"]. Dyer folded but Cynn called. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="3s"] kept Lynskey in front but gave Cynn four extra outs with a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="td"] turn gave Cynn more outs to make a two overpair. The river was the [poker card="jc"] completing the straight draw and sending Lynskey out in seventh place. The English-born, Australian poker pro managed to win exactly zero of the 47 hands that he was dealt into at the final table. “It was a fantastic run. I can’t really complain. I came in middle of the pack and laddered a couple of spots and lost a flip. I was pretty card dead on the final table, there’s not much I could have done,” said Lynskey. “I was dealt 10-2 off every hand for like two hours and then had to raise-fold ace-queen and he said had ace-king and then got dealt sixes the next hand.” The final six players will return to action on Friday at 5:30 pm PT with ESPN broadcasting from 6:00 pm PT. The current Friday schedule calls for play to run until just three players remain. Final Table Chip Counts Michael Dyer - 156,500,000 Nicolas Manion - 72,250,000 John Cynn - 61,550,000 Tony Miles - 57,500,000 Joe Cada - 29,275,000 Aram Zobian - 16,700,000
  6. Michael Dyer started Day 9 of the World Series of Poker Main Event with nearly 40% of the chips in play with just five opponents standing between him and $8.8 million and the title of World Champion. After six hours of play on Friday night, just three players remain but Dyer is suddenly staring up from the bottom of the chip counts after a day that saw Florida-based poker pro Tony Miles take control. Miles went 57,500,000 and the fourth biggest stack at the start of play to 238,900,000 and the chip lead after eliminating a former world champ and putting a major dent in Dyer’s stack. Aram Zobian Eliminated in Sixth Place The shortest stack at the start of Day 9, Aram Zobian was still guaranteed at least $1.8 million but cem in hoping for more. A blind versus blind battle, however, ended any hope he had of laddering up on Friday night. With blinds of 500,000/1,000,000 (150,000), action folded to Zobian in the small blind and he moved all in for 1,735,000 with [poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"] and Dyer called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="2h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="th"] to eliminate Zobian from the tournament in sixth place. Following his bustout, Zobian talked about what the overall experience of making the final table of the Main Event and how a score that big will change things for him. “I would say it was intense, fun and amazing. I met a lot of people, I played a shit ton of hands, considering it was Level 38, 76 hours in the last few days,” said Zobian. “It will change my life significantly. I don't think I'll go too crazy, but I'll definitely do a lot of traveling, buy a nice new car, help out family, donate some to charity and just improve my overall quality of life.” Joe Cada Eliminated in Fifth Place In the modern era of the WSOP Main Event, a repeat winner seems almost impossible. Navigating through 7,000+ player fields once is difficult enough and doing it a second time didn’t seem possible until 2009 Main Event champ Joe Cada made this year’s final table. All of that came to a halt though thanks to a coin flip situation. From UTG, Cada raised to 2,200,000 with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] before Miles three-bet to 6,900,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"]. Cada responded by moving all in for 47,650,000 and after spending several minutes contemplating his decision, Miles called. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8d"] flop put Miles ahead with a pair of kings, but the [poker card="qd"] turn gave Cada straight outs. The river [poker card="9s"] paired the board and left Cada pondering what could have been and a fifth-place finish. Tony Miles Takes the Chip Lead from Michael Dyer About 45 minutes after eliminating Cada, Miles put his newfound chips to work against Dyer. John Cynn raised to 2,100,000 from UTG with, Miles called from the button with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] and Dyer called from the big blind with [poker card="4c"][poker card="3c"]. After the [poker card="ks"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3s"] flop, Dyer and Cynn checked and Miles bet 4,300,000. Dyer check-raised to 14,300,000, Cynn folded and Miles called. The turn was the [poker card="5c"] and Dyer bet 21,400,000 and Miles called again. Dyer then checked after the [poker card="kc"] river and Miles be 27,400,000 and Dyer called instantly. That put pushed Miles into the chip lead with 182,625,000 to Dyer’s 129,950,000 and dramatically changed the dynamic of the table. Nicolas Manion Eliminated in Fourth Place At one point on Friday, Nicolas Manion started to make a valiant charge towards Michael Dyer’s chip lead but after losing 25% of his stack in a hand with Dyer and another 50% of his remaining stack to John Cynn, Manion was left scrambling. A final confrontation with Cynn would end up being the end of his tournament. Cynn opened from the button to 3,800,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"] before Manion moved all in from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="td"] and Cynn called. Manion found no double-up on the [poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="6h"] run out and he was eliminated in fourth place, ending play for the night. “What a long day. Had some good hands, had some bad hands here we are we ran out of luck,” Canion said. “I have no regret on how I played my hands. I picked my spots and chose the hands that I felt were the right place to get all in and this is what happens when you run ace-ten into kings. Sometimes you can't just run like god anymore.” Final Three Chip Counts Tony Miles - 238,900,000 John Cynn - 128,700,000 Michael Dyer - 26,200,000 Action resumes Saturday at 5:30 pm PT with the ESPN broadcast beginning at 6 pm PT.
  7. Every time the calendar turns to July, the poker world becomes laser-focused on just one thing: the World Series of Poker Main Event. 2018 was no different by Phil Hellmuth, Justin Bonomo and Chris Moorman did everything they could to act as a distraction from poker's biggest event. It Seems Everybody Came to Play the WSOP Main Event Expectations for the field size of the 2018 WSOP Main Event ranged from 7,000 players all the way up to around 8,500. The number ended up being 7,874 - a nine per cent jump over 2017 - thanks in part to a record-setting 4,571 entrants on Day 1C. The final prize pool ended up being $74,015,600 with $8,800,000 up top. As the Main Event progressed from Day 1A to the eventual champion, PocketFives caught up with a number of players in the field. Longtime PocketFiver and sports talk radio host Ben Mintz found himself back in the Main Event for the first time in five years. “It took five years to build it back, to get to this point. Now I’m back and I’ve got the radio show with me too,” said Mintz. “Even though I haven’t played this in five years I’ve fallen right back into poker like I never left, except I actually have an income now to sustain it.” READ: WSOP: Ben Mintz is Back Mixin’ It Up in First Main Event Since ‘13 Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Chris Hunichen and Chance Kornuth have been buying pieces of players in the Main Event for years now. The pair decided to get even more serious about the side business this year and hired a lawyer to draw up contracts for all of the players they bought pieces from. Despite taking it to another level, they still ran into trouble with one player deciding to try and pull a fast one. READ: WSOP: Piece-Buying Now Serious Business for Hunichen and Kornuth Clayton Fletcher's day job isn't actually a day job - he works night. Fletcher is a New York-based stand-up comedian who has been playing poker for almost his entire life. In July, he put together a deep run in the WSOP Main Event for the second time. In 2015, Fletcher finished 96th in the Main Event. This summer he outlasted all but 27 players on his way to a $230,475 score. As the Main Event field got smaller and smaller, Fletcher talked about his passion for poker and how he was enjoying another deep run. READ: WSOP: Clayton Fletcher is More Than Just a Comedian Who Plays Poker Making the final table of the Main Event can be a real grind for even the most experienced of players. After Day 2 of the 2018 Main Event, Tony Miles felt like he needed to have somebody on his rail to help him what was coming. He had a premonition that he was on the verge of something big, so he called in Jenn Gene. Miles ended up finishing in second and Gene was there the entire way. READ: WSOP: Tony Miles Had a Feeling, So He Called in Reinforcements The Main Event final table concluded with one of the longest heads-up battles in WSOP history. In the end, John Cynn defeated Miles to win poker's most prestigous title and a whopping $8.8 million. READ: WSOP: John Cynn Beats Tony Miles to Win 2018 Main Event, $8.8M Phil Hellmuth Captures WSOP Bracelet #15 It's almost impossible to upstage the pomp and circumstance of the WSOP Main Event, but if there is one player in the 49 year history of the WSOP who could do it, it's Phil Hellmuth. While the Main Event got to a final table in one of the most talked about hands of the year, Hellmuth was in another room battling against Steven Wolansky for the title in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em (30 minute levels) event. He eventually overcame a 2.5-1 chip defecit to add another bracelet to his collection. “I said, … ‘When’s the next time you’re going to have an opportunity like this where you’re heads up for a bracelet? You just need to hang in there and stay strong’, and I stayed strong and then luckily hit some cards,” said Hellmuth. READ: WSOP: Nicolas Manion Leads Main Event Final Table, Hellmuth Wins #15 Hellmuth wasn't the only big name to do big things after being eliminated from the Main Event. 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada made the Main Event final table, only to bust out in fifth place. He simply marched down the hall, entered the $1,500 Closer event and beat out 3,119 other players to win the fourth bracelet of his career READ: WSOP: Cada Closes Out Epic Series, $1 Million One Drop Get Underway Two days later, Justin Bonomo continued his incredible 2018 by winning the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop for his third super high roller win of the year. Bonomo beat a final table that included Dan Smith, Byron Kaverman, Rick Salomon and eventual runner-up, Fedor Holz to add $10,000,000 to his lifetime earnings. Shaun Deeb Leaves Las Vegas in Control of WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb had himself one helluva time at Poker Summer Camp. The former #1-ranked PocketFiver cashed in 16 WSOP events, winning two and winning over $2.5 million along the way. All of that success put him atop the WSOP Player of the Year standings with just WSOP Europe left to go. Deeb lead the player closest to him, Ben Yu, by 588.02 points. READ: WSOP: Shaun Deeb Locks Up Player of the Year…For a Few Months
  8. After tabulating the votes of over 130 Nomination Panel members, the Global Poker Index, along with their partner PokerCentral, has unveiled the nominations in thirteen of the 20 categories of the first ever Global Poker Awards. The awards are set to take place on April 5 at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas where poker players and industry members from 10 different nations will be represented in a wide variety of categories that aims to celebrate all aspects of the poker community. PocketFives is well represented within the nominees. The Fives Podcast is one of five nominees for Podcast of the Year and PocketFives' President & Editor in Chief Lance Bradley's book, The Pursuit of Poker Success, Here are the nominees, presented in alphabetical order: Tournament Performance of the Year Justin Bonomo (Super High Roller Bowl IV) John Cynn (2018 World Series of Poker Main Event) Maria Lampropulos (2018 PCA Main Event) Dylan Linde (WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic) Breakout Player of the Year Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic Maria Konnikova Ping Liu Christopher Michael Soyza Streamer of the Year Jeff Gross Jason Somerville Jaime Staples Lex Veldhuis Vlogger of the Year Marle Cordeiro Joe Ingram Andrew Neeme Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk Podcast LFG Podcast PokerCentral Podcast PokerNews Podcast The Chip Race The Fives Poker Podcast Broadcaster Maria Ho Lon McEachern Nick Schulman Lex Veldhuis Poker Journalist Drew Amato Sarah Herring Remko Rinkema Christian Zetzsche Media Content Drew Amato (photo: Brunson bids farewell to WSOP) Lance Bradley (book: The Pursuit of Poker Success) Haley Hintze (article: Vayo v. PokerStars) PokerCentral/PokerGO (Super High Roller Club: Schulman featuring Nejad) Industry Person Angelical Hael (World Poker Tour) Cary Katz (Poker Central) Matt Savage (WPT, TDA) Ty Stewart (World Series of Poker) Rob Yong (Dusk Till Dawn, partypoker) Tournament Director Tony Burns (Seminole Hard Rock) Paul Campbell (ARIA) Jack Effel (World Series of Poker) Kenny Hallaert (Unibet Open) Mid-Major Tour/Circuit 888poker LIVE RUNGOOD Poker Series Unibet Open WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit Event of the Year partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Super High Roller Bowl IV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic WSOP Main Event Moment of the Year Jeremy Hilsercop received PSPC Platinum Pass via Christmas Day viral video Joe Cada wins The Closer after finishing 5th in WSOP Main Event Doyle Brunson plays his final WSOP event Justin Bonomo wins Big One for One Drop, completing Super High Roller Streak In addition to the above categories, there are seven other awards that will be given out during the ceremony. Due to their results in 2018, Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell will each be receiving awards for the 2018 GPI Player of the Year and the 2018 Female Player of the Year respectively. Along with trophies for Foxen and Bicknell the following categories will be determined by the Global Poker Awards Jury: - Lifetime Achievement in Poker Award - Charitable Initiative - Jury Prize As has been the case in previous GPI award shows, the “people” will have a voice and will vote to award the People’s Choice Award for Poker Personality of the Year. Also, PocketFives will be handing out the PocketFives Legacy Award acknowledging a player who has come from the world of online poker to make major contributions to poker’s live tournament scene. The Global Poker Awards can be watched live on PokerGO on April 5.
  9. Some of the biggest names in the game of poker along with prominent members of the poker industry gathered at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas on Friday night to celebrate the first ever Global Poker Awards presented by PokerStars. The ceremony acknowledged and celebrated the feats and achievements of members of the poker community in 2018 with 20 awards handed out in a wide range of subjects. PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis, who was nominated in two categories, walked away with the Streamer of the Year Award for his popular Twitch Poker channel. He was joined by another popular digital content creator Andrew Neeme, who picked up his second award as Vlogger of the Year. Maria Ho made her way to the stage to pick up the award for Broadcaster of the Year as did PokerNews' Sarah Herring who took home the Journalist of the Year award. Almedin ‘Ali’ Imsirovic was in attendance and picked up the trophy for the Breakout Player of the Year after appearing on the high roller scene and taking down the title of Poker Central’s Poker Masters champion. Fellow high roller Justin Bonomo’s outstanding 2018 campaign brought him the award for Moment Of The Year by winning the Big One For One Drop at the World Series of Poker. Once again the World Series of Poker Main Event received the award for the Event of the Year. The tournament that is widely considered to be the best-structured tournament of the year also brought its 2018 winner, John Cynn the award for Tournament Performance of the Year. PocketFives Editor in Chief Lance Bradley, who was also nominated for two awards on the evening, received an award for Media Content of the Year for his book The Pursuit of Poker Success. Another PocketFiver, Chris Moorman, was chosen to be awarded the PocketFives Legacy Award, given to an online legend who has made significant contributions to the live poker arena. Speaking of contributions to the game of poker, the Godfather of Poker himself, Doyle Brunson was celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement in Poker award which was not awarded during the broadcast. Complete List of Global Poker Award Winners Vlogger of the Year - Andrew Neeme Podcast of the Year - The Chip Race Poker Podcast Broadcaster of the Year - Maria Ho Breakout Player of the Year - Ali Imsirovic Journalist of the Year - Sarah Herring Mid-Major Tour/Circuit of the Year - RUNGOOD Poker Series Streamer of the Year - Lex Veldhuis Charitable Initiative Award - Robbie Strazynski, Run Well Series Tournament Director of the Year - Paul Campbell, ARIA PocketFives Legacy Award Winner - Chris Moorman Tournament Performance of the Year - John Cynn, WSOP Main Event Poker Media Content of the Year - Lance Bradley, The Pursuit of Poker Success Tournament of the Year - World Series of Poker Main Event Tournament Industry Person of the Year - Angelica Hael Poker Moment of the Year - Justin Bonomo Wins Big One For One Drop Jury Prize - Drew Amato People’s Choice Award Winner - Brad Owen 2018 GPI Poker Player of the Year - Alex Foxen 2018 GPI Female Poker Player of the Year - Kristen Bicknell Lifetime Achievement in Poker - Doyle Brunson
  10. Sunday at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event saw 344 last-minute registrations put an exclamation point on the second-largest WSOP Main Event of all-time. The 8,569-player field means that sometime next week, one player will walk away with $10,000,000 and the title of World Champion. Day 2C saw the highly-anticipated arrival of Phil Hellmuth and the emergence of a fresh batch of names atop the end-of-day chip counts. Julien Milliard Inches Toward 1 Million Chips, Leads Day 2C Survivors Florida's Julien Milliard almost cracked the seven-figure stack code on Sunday. Milliard finished Day 2C with 947,900 to edge out Czech player Vlastimil Pustina, who ended up with 930,700. Andrew Brokos, co-host of the Thinking Poker podcast, rounded out the top three Day 2C stacks after ending the day with 895,400. The day started with 344 players taking advantage of the last chance to register to push the total Day 2C field to 4,008 players. Just 1,793 of those players made it through the five two-hour levels of play on Saturday. That group will combine on Monday with the 1,087 players who got through Day 2AB as the entire remaining field of 2,880 players will play on the same day for the first time. Eventual Champion Will Earn $10,000,000 Registration closed as the first card was dealt on Sunday and the final numbers show another year of growth for the Main Event and made this year's Main Event the second largest of all-time. A total of 8,569 players generated a total prize pool of $80,548,600. The eventual champion will win $10,000,000 and every player at the final table will earn at least $1,000,000. READ: 2019 WSOP Main Event Second Largest of All-Time, $10M to Champ Phil Hellmuth Arrives, Departs One of the 344 players who registered on Sunday morning was 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Just back from his vacation to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, Hellmuth didn't take his seat until well into the first level of play. He didn't sit long. Hellmuth was part of one of the secondary feature tables on the ESPN broadcast and gave fans at home and his tablemates a little taste of The Poker Brat before busting at the hands of Timothy Stanczak's pocket fives. Familiar Faces Stay Alive on Day 2C Three-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman bagged up 549,600 on Sunday to advance to Day 3 with a top 50 stack. Sam Greenwood snuck into that top 50 with 535,800. Mike McDonald continues to apply pressure to those who bet against him, finishing Day 2C with 516,700. Other notables still in include Dario Sammartino (522,700), Jeff Madsen (488,600), Bertrand Grospellier (428,200), David 'ODB' Baker (418,700), Joseph Cheong (354,500), Chino Rheem (286,500) and Nick Schulman (278,000). Defending champ John Cynn battled back from just 24,800 chips to finish with 248,900 at day's end. All-time online poker tournament earnings leader Peter Traply finished with 234,800. Holz, Antonius, Imsirovic Headline Big Names Busting Hellmuth wasn't the only big name who didn't make it through Day 2C. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Fedor Holz, Patrik Antonius, James Obst, Ali Imsirovic, and Adrian Mateos were all sent to the rail on Sunday. They were joined by John Racener, Ismael Bojang, Matt Berkey, John Monette, John Juanda, Denis Strebkov, Ben Heath, Jonathan Little, Shawn Buchanan, Sam Soverel, Joe McKeehen, Niall Farrell, Maurice Hawkins, and Sam Trickett. Nate Silver was also one of the Day 2C casualties. A Half Dozen Former #1s March On Kevin Saul leads a group of talented poker players who once held onto the #1 ranking on PocketFives.com. The Illinois native finished Day 2C with 623,900. Saul has cashed three times in the WSOP Main Event, most recently in 2016 when he wound up 466th. Saul is joined by fraternity brothers Calvin Anderson (459,400), Cliff Josephy (402,000), Fabrizio Gonzalez (328,800), Chris Hunichen (307,500) and Tim West (130,400). 34 Keystone State Players Survive Day 2C Chad Power leads 34 Pennsylvania poker players who managed to find a bag at the end of Day 2C. Power finished with 401,300 for the 97th-best stack on Sunday. Ralph Wong finished with 344,300 for the second-best PA stack. Kenneth Smaron, Jason Loehrs, and David Vasil round out the top five. Top 10 Chip Counts Julian Milliard - 947,900 Vlastimil Pustina - 930,700 Andrew Brokos - 895,400 Aleksa Pavicevic - 867,700 Nai Hu - 798,300 Kainalu McCue-Unciano - 765,600 Dapeng Mu - 762,700 Hugo Torres - 720,400 Cody Brinn - 708,800 Tom Cannuli - 667,000
  11. On Saturday, April 11, Run It Once Poker is hosting a 32-player heads-up tournament in an effort to raise money for coronavirus (COVID-19) relief. The initiative will raise money for GiveDirectly COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to support low-income families in Las Vegas, Nevada. For every player who plays a hand on Phil Galfond’s Run It Once Poker on Saturday, April 11, the site will donate €10 to the relief fund. So fire up some Run It Once Poker on Saturday, play some hands, and help the site raise as much money as possible. Further assisting in this effort is Dan Smith’s Double Up Drive, which has pledged $250,000 in matching funds. The tournament will feature 16 popular poker professionals. Galfond, Smith, Parker Talbot, John Cynn, Jamie Kerstetter, and Marle Cordeiro are some of the confirmed players. The other 16 spots are open to the public and will be selected based on charitable donations. Eight spots will go to the eight people who make the largest donations between now and Thursday, April 9, at 23:59 UTC. The other eight spots will be randomly awarded and selected from people who make a donation of any amount between now and Thursday, April 9, at 23:59 UTC. The event will be hosted in one of Run It Once Poker’s testing environments, so players from the US, Italy, Spain, and other countries regularly restricted to real-money play on Run It Once Poker will be able to play. For details on the tournament and information on how you can donate, head over to the event’s dedicated page. The winner of the tournament will take home all the bragging rights as well as access to Run It Once Training’s A-Game Poker Masterclass, three months of RIO’s Elite plan, and three months access to RIO’s Vision GTO Trainer. The tournament will be broadcast on the Run It Once Poker Twitch channel starting on Saturday, April 11, at 16:00 UTC. Joe Stapleton, David Tuchman, and Henry Kilbane will handle the event’s commentary.
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