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Found 8 results

  1. [caption width="640"] Adrian Mateos bested John Smith in the ,000 Heads Up Championship to win the third bracelet of his career. {WSOP photo)[/caption] A 70-year-old army veteran by the name of John Smith was the talk of the 2017 World Series of Poker Friday, as he had a heads-up shot at winning the very event he finished runner-up at last year. Meanwhile, one of poker's fastest rising stars became the youngest ever player to win three bracelets, David Singer captured his second bracelet, and the biggest Dealer’s Choice event on the schedule played down to ten players. Here’s a run through all of Friday’s action. Adrian Mateos wins $10K Heads-Up Championship for third bracelet History was made in the Rio Friday as Adrian ‘Amadi_017' Mateos became the youngest player ever to win three gold WSOP bracelets. The 22-year-old Spaniard was one of four players who returned to play the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship semi-finals, alongside the aforementioned John Smith, Charlie ‘Epiphany77’ Carrel, and 2013 Main Event champ Ryan Riess. All of them were guaranteed $112,379, and it was Smith against Riess in the first contest. Anyone who caught a few hands of the match on the live streams could see that Smith doesn’t play conventional poker. He seemed to be switching tactics every single hand, which might be the reason he’s had so much success in this event, having finished second last year for an almost $200K score. Smith eventually overcame Riess, first doubling with pocket jacks against ace-king, and finally winning a second flip with his king-queen against pocket nines. Meanwhile, in the Mateos vs Carrel semi-final, Mateos made a big call to take the chip lead. He opened the button to 50,000 and Carrel three-bet to 175,000. After that bet was called, the flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4d"] and Carrel made a 150,000 c-bet. Call. On the [poker card="2c"] turn, Carrel barrelled a second time for 300,000, and Mateos didn’t budge. Finally the [poker card="qs"] hit the river and Carrel jammed for 648,000. Mateos tanked for around four minutes before opting to call all-in. Carrel turned over the [poker card="7d"][poker card="3d"] for pure air, while Mateos tabled the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8h"] for third pair and the double up. Finally, Carrel was all-in with ace-ten against Mateos’ ace-king, and the big slick held up. We had ourselves a final. Mateos vs Smith, like a lot of heads-up affairs, went back and forth, with stacks virtually even 35 hands in to the battle. The two then chopped a monster two million chip pot when both had ace-queen after the river, before Mateos started to pull away with the lead. Eventually, Smith limped before calling a 300,000 raise from Mateos. They saw an [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3h"] flop which brought a 200,000 c-bet, before Smith jammed for roughly 1.3 million. Mateos made the call with the [poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"] for flush and straight draws, while Smith had the [poker card="qh"][poker card="8d"] for queen high, which was out in front. However, the [poker card="qs"] turn gave Mateos the flush and left Smith drawing dead. For his second consecutive runner-up finish in this event, Smith won $208,154, while Mateos picked up $336,656 and his third bracelet. "It’s insane that I have three bracelets," Mateos said. "It’s really difficult to win three bracelets and I’m 22. I run good and I think I play good so that’s all that matters." "There’s not many heads-up events in the year, but I really want to play," he added. "I was really focused for every round to win and I really like to play heads-up so it’s really fun.” 1. Adrian Mateos - $336,656 2. John Smith - $208,154 3. Charlie Carrel - $112,379 3. Ryan Riess - $112,379 4. Ryan Hughes - $54,986 4. Olivier Busquet - $54,986 5. Jack Duong - $54,986 5. Ryan Fee - $54,986 David Singer wins Event #14: $1,500 HORSE for $203,709 [caption width="640"] David Singer is now a two-time bracelet winner after winning the ,500 HORSE event on Friday (WSOP photo)[/caption] While Mateos was scooping his third bracelet, David Singer was winning his second. He took down the $1,500 HORSE (Event #14)for $203,709, after besting the 736-player field. When play got down to a final table Thursday evening, joining Singer were the likes of four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori and two-time bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker. However, it was Kevin LaMonica who would get down to heads-up play with Singer. It was an epic one-on-one match which went on for three hours before Singer finally took it down in an Omaha Hi-Lo hand. Singer raised on a [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="2c"] flop before calling the all-in raise from LaMonica. Singer had the [poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2s"] against LaMonica's [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5c"], and the [poker card="2s"] turn gave Singer an unbeatable full house, as there was no low draw available. "Obviously it went back and forth," Singer said after the lengthy duel was over. ”Most of the time I played well, but I was getting unlucky in the big hands. I was kind of frustrated but I always think I have a chance to come back." "It's fun to win. It's frustrating to get close when you don't win." Final Table Payouts David Singer - $203,709 Kevin LaMonica - $125,904 Andrew Kelsall - $88,221 Max Pescatori - $62,733 Mike Coombs -$45,281 David “Bakes” Baker - $33,184 Kyle Loman - $24,696 Esther Taylor - $18,669 21 remain in $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max (Event #16) Just 21 players are coming back for Saturday’s Day 3 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Six Max, with Demosthenes Kiriopoulos leading the way. Other notable players still alive include Matt Berkey, who sits fifth in the overnight counts, andIsmael Bojang, finishing ninth in chips. A total of 1,748 players entered this event, creating a healthy prize pool which leaves $393,273 for the winner. Play resumes at midday Saturday. Here’s the full top ten counts: Demosthenes Kiriopoulos - 1,450,000 Anthony Marquez - 998,000 Shivan Abdine - 970,000 Ilkin Amirov - 850,000 Matt Berkey - 796,000 Steven Buckner - 759,000 Bradley Lubetkin - 684,000 James Mackey - 662,000 Ismael Bojang - 627,000 Royce Matheson - 619,000 Stacked final ten to return in $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship (Event #17) We always knew this event would bring out the big guns, and when you check out the names still alive from the 102 starting field, it’s a who’s who. John Racener is the overnight chip leader; the former November Niner is still seeking his first WSOP bracelet, as are other notables James Obst, Chris Klodnicki, and Shaun Buchanan. Mike Matusow is still alive looking for this fifth WSOP win, while Viacheslav Zhukov is going for his third. They’ve all got their eyes set on the $273,962 first-place prize. Here’s how they stack up: John Racener - 1,124,000 Chris Klodnicki - 856,000 Dennis Eichhorn - 782,500 Viacheslav Zhukov - 700,500 Schuyler Thornton - 366,500 Eric Crain - 358,000 Mike Matusow - 295,000 James Obst - 260,000 Shawn Buchanan - 185,500 Ben Yu - 163,000 Huge field turns out for Event #18: $565 Pot Limit Omaha Friday saw two starting flights in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha (Event #18), attracting a massive total field of 3,332. Day 1A got 1,711 entrants, while the later 1B had 1,479 players. When all was said and done, just 107 total players will return for Saturday’s Day 2. Cody Slaubaugh bagged the Day 1A chip lead, which turned out to be the overall Day 2 big stack. His 726,000 is way out in front, followed by Hassan Tahsildar’s 425,000 (Day 1A), and Day 1B chip leader Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen, who ended with 410,000. Erick Lindgren, Ankush Mandavia, Martin Kozlov, Chris Ferguson, Rep Porter, Dermot Blain, Jason Mercier, and JC Tran are just a few of the names still in contention. Day 2 kicks off at 2pm Saturday. Day 1A of The Giant concludes With a buy-in of just $365, the inaugural The Giant tournament is set to be a big one. Friday saw Day 1A - one of five starting flights - and it attracted 1,497 players. After the bags were brought out, just 245 made it through to Day 2, which doesn’t take place until July 8th. Jeff Brin ended as the chipleader with 718,000, while Barry Greenstein (90,000), Dylan Wilkerson (258,000), William Vo (359,000), Asher Coniff(152,000), Jesse Yaginuma (163,000), and Bernard Lee (359,000) will all return.
  2. Starting Wednesday, some of the world’s best heads-up No Limit Hold’em players will be battling it out at the 2018 World Series of Poker in one of the most prestigious events on the schedule. The $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship attracts nothing but the best of the best. The eventual winner will have gone through seven heads-up matches and come out with a W. The Championship event is a minefield of tough spots. The toughest in the entire field isn’t ranked in the top 13,000 on the Global Poker Index. He’s never won a WSOP bracelet or a World Poker Tour title. The closest he’s ever gotten to Bobby’s Room would be playing in a smaller cash game at the Bellagio. And he’s probably never played online poker for super high stakes. He’s 71-year-old war vet John Smith. And nobody wants to draw him in the first round of play. Over the last two years, Smith has beaten 12 of the 14 players he’s played, losing in the final in 2016 and 2017. So just how should somebody prepare for a match with John Smith? Who could help his opponent’ this year understand what it takes to outlast the retiree? Ryan Riess? Nope. Smith beat him in the semi-final last year. Chance Kornuth? Nah. He was dispatched by Smith in the round of 32 last year. Dietrich Fast? Second round victim last year. Alex Luneau? Couldn’t beat Smith in the 2016 semi-final. Antonio Esfandiari? Also had to shake Smith’s hand at the end of a match in 2016 after losing to him. His success in this event goes back even further. In 2014, Smith finished 11th and put Leo Fernandez, Eric Froehlich and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey on his list of victims. Smith’s history in this event is so dominant, that PokerShares opened Smith at 4.0 markup for those looking to buy pieces. No other player was above 1.6. The only players who have managed to beat Smith over the last two years were 2017 winner Adrian Mateos and 2016 champion Alan Percal. In 2016, Percal finished his semi-final match against Olivier Busquet first and was asked afterward who he would rather play, Luneau or Smith. “At the time, I said ‘I’ll play either one of them, it doesn’t matter’, but at the end of the day, obviously, there’s probably a slight bias in who I prefer to play,” admitted Percal. “At the time, I was just so excited to be there. I wasn’t thinking too much about who I wanted to play.” Smith beat Riess and then on the very first hand of the finals, gave Percal a glimpse into what exactly had gotten him this deep. With blinds of 40,000/80,000, Smith raised to 220,000 from the button and Percal called. The flop came [8d][8s][4d] and Percal check-called Smith’s bet of 305,000. The turn was the [9c] and this time Percal check-raised Smith’s 305,000 bet to 900,000. Smith called and the river was the [9s]. Percal check-called Smith’s bet of 1,050,000. Smith mucked and Percal took the pot without showdown. The livestream showed that Smith had his bottom pair counterfeited by the turn and river. “So that was the first hand in my introduction to John Smith, in addition to a little bit of the livestream that I watched after Olivier,” said Percal, who won’t be able to play the Heads Up event this year due to a scheduling conflict with his work. “I think that his ability or his willingness to make big plays and not be afraid is also something that I’d say is a real positive of his.” “I would, I guess, classify him as loose-aggressive - not so much in a negative way. Typically when you classify someone as laggy, then it’s bad. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s loose-aggressive and bad. I think his style is very hard to figure out what he’s got and when he’s got it,” said Percal. Percal believes that Smith’s age played a factor in how some of his other opponents viewed him before they played him. “I think it’s a mix of the fact that he plays very unorthodox and the fact that you look at him, and he looks like an older gentleman. You wouldn’t be as surprised if you saw a 21-year-old online kid play that way he did if you take away a few of the other outlier plays that he made. I think it’s a mix of the fact that he’s older and plays very contradictory to the way you expect older people to play the game.” Percal played the 2017 event as well but was bounced in the opening round. He found his way over to Aria to play some cash games a few days later and looked up at one of the TVs to find the livestream of the finals airing. Even though he hadn’t followed the event, he suddenly had a rooting interest. “I was 100% rooting for him. Based on my short interaction with him, he seemed like an outstanding individual, just outside of the poker scene. He seemed like a very nice guy,” said Percal. “I don’t think it’s embarrassing to lose to John Smith. Twelve people out of 14 lost to him over the last two years. I’m sure most of those, if not all of those players are professional poker players,” said Percal. “I’d love to see him play some of those other people, where he didn’t happen to lose a big pot in the first hand and see what he did to put those people in tough spots.” “It can’t be all luck beating 12 out of 14 people. I don’t know how else to put it. That just seems like a few deviations too many above the means.”
  3. In June, the poker world is consumed with results and stories coming out of the World Series of Poker. This year was no different with players, like Michael Mizrachi, accomplishing previously inconceivable feats and legends, like Doyle Brunson, hinting that their time playing the game may have finally come to an end. Here are some of the biggest stories that made headlines in the month of June. World Series of Poker Takeover If you follow poker, then it is impossible to get away from the World Series of Poker in June and here at PocketFives, we brought you wire-to-wire coverage of the biggest tournaments taking place at the Rio in Las Vegas. Some of the biggest names in the game were crushing the highest stakes and taking home new hardware to add to their poker legacy. Additionally, amateurs were making dreams come true by winning life-changing money and fulfilling their poker dreams. Relive some of the summer glory by checking out some of the most popular headlines from the WSOP. Read: Siever Takes Down $10K Limit, Nguyen Wins MONSTER Stack Read: WSOP Social Media Fun Ramps Up In Week One Read: Just How The **** Are You Supposed To Bead John Smith? Read: Matt Mendez ‘Goes From Cards’ And Chips To WSOP History Maker Doyle Brunson Hints At Retirement In the midst of the 2018 World Series of Poker, news came down that Doyle Brunson - who had given up WSOP tournaments in recent years - registered for the $10K No Limit Deuce To Seven event. It was “probably the last one I’ll ever play.” he tweeted. However, after comments he had made to Poker Central, it looked as if this was not only his last tournament but that he was planning on walking away from the game of poker at the end of the summer. “I’m planning on retiring after the summer,” Brunson said citing that he wished to spend more time with his wife Louise, who was in declining health. Brunson then went on a deep run in Event #23, eventually finishing in seventh place. He tipped his hat and left the Rio to a standing ovation. Brunson has not yet stepped away from the game, regularly appearing both in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio as well as on camera playing the highest mixed games on PokerGO. He had recently commented that his wife has been feeling better. Read: Doyle Brunson Spent 30 Hours Taking the Poker World Back In Time Read: Doyle Brunson Announces Retirement, Goes Deep in $10K 2-7 Shaun Deeb Wins Third WSOP Bracelet “I think I have a great shot at Player of the Year right now so I think I’m gonna battle in every event I can and just enjoy myself.” - Shaun Deeb, Back in June, the writing was on the wall. Former #1-ranked PocketFives member Shaun Deeb was on a heater and on a collision course with the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year award. Deeb picked up his third WSOP bracelet this summer when he outlasted Ben Yu heads-up in the $25K PLO event during Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller for a massive score of $1.4 million. Deeb went on to pick up his fourth bracelet of the summer during Event #74: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Big Blind Ante for another $814K - essentially propelling him to his first WSOP Player of the Year title. Read: WSOP - Former #1 Shaun Deeb Wins $25K PLO For 3rd Bracelet ($1.4M) Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi Wins His Third $50K PPC Title The $50K Poker Players Championship is still one of the most coveted titles in poker. Which makes it all the more impressive that in June of 2018 Michael Mizrachi took down the event for an incredible third time, beating Poker Hall of Fame member John Hennigan heads-up for the title. “It’s quite an accomplishment,” Mizrachi said, reflecting on his win. “To win the first one was amazing. The second was great. The third one is unheard of.” His third PPC victory was the fourth bracelet win of his career and awarded him a $1.2 million payday. It was the sixth seven-figure cash of his storied career. Read: WSOP - Michael Mizrachi Wins Third $50K PPC Title ($1.23M) Read: 5 Things - The Poker Players Champions Deserves More Celebration Alex Foxen, Kristen Bicknell Chop Venetian $5K A tinge of controversy surrounded the $5,000 $1 Million Guaranteed Mid-Stakes Poker Tour Main Event at the Venetian when well-known poker power couple Kristen Bicknell and Alex Foxen ended up chopping the event heads-up. Foxen, the high-roller powerhouse, officially took home the win, the trophy and $239,000 for first. His better-half Bicknell, took home $200,000 as the runner-up. However, after the tournament, there were some accusations of soft-play on social media between the couple. When the play became three-handed, Kahle Burns declined a three-way deal. When he fell in third place for $120,000, there was some over-analysis of hands that were played on the live stream and discussion over how to handle a situation where an actual couple is competing at a final table. Read: Alex Foxen Tops Venetian $5K To Headline Non-WSOP Events ‘C Darwin2’ Takes Down June PLB It was yet another month at the top of the PocketFives Monthly PLB for the Swedish superstar ‘C Darwin2’ in June. He had held over the rankings for the better part of 2018 and his dominance continued into early summer. Despite pulling back on volume, ‘C Darwin2’ managed a few major scores in June. In the first week he took down the Winamax Mini Las Vegas High Roller for $46,404. He also managed a runner-up finish in the June 17 edition of the PokerStars $2,100 Bounty Builder High Roller for over $25,000. In total, he posted eight five-figure scores in the month. In the end, it wasn’t really a close race in June as ‘C Darwin2’ held a nearly 1000 PLB point lead over his closest competition, Denmark’s ‘x_zola25’.
  4. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters are LIVE from the HyperX Esports Arena covering the World Poker Tour final tables. This episode features a full recap of David Baker's win in the LA Poker Classic final table including a conversation with an emotional Baker after his win. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  5. The Season XVII World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic final table was set on Wednesday evening, with the tournament reaching its final six players from a field of 546 entries. The $10,000 buy-in event is now on a short break from action before the final table plays out on March 11, 2019, in Las Vegas. Four-time WPT champion Darren Elias topped the leaderboard entering the hiatus, with a first-place prize of $1.015 million awaiting the winner. The final six players were guaranteed $201,650. When action resumes on March 11, Elias will have a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. Not only with Elias’ opponents have to battle with his powerful chip stack, but they’ll have to go up against a chip leader with an incredible amount of WPT experience. Elias holds the record for most World Poker Tour titles with four. Of the $6.628 million in live tournaments he had to enter this event, Elias had won more than $3.2 million in WPT events. He’s making his 33rd cash and 12th final table on the WPT Main Tour and is in line to earn an unprecedented fifth title. The reason for the delay is so that the event can move to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. That’s where the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s Season XVII television schedule alongside the WPT Gardens Poker Championship and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The final six in the WPT Gardens Poker Championship will play to a winner on March 12, and the final six of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will grind to a champion on March 13. WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 The Grind To the Final Table The WPT L.A. Poker Classic remains one of the few $10,000 buy-in tournaments with a freezeout format. Blake Bohn emerged as the Day 1 chip leader, and Andrey Zaichenko was atop the pack after Day 2. Day 3 brought about the money bubble, as 69 players of the 546-entry field would reach the money. On Day 3, 108 players returned to action and began to work their way towards a payday. Eventually, Andy Park busted in 70th place when he found the last of his chips in the middle on the flop of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kh"][poker card=“5h"] holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card=“Jd"] for top pair. He was up against the [poker card="Ah"][poker card=“7h"] of Oscar Carrasco. Park had the lead on the flop due to his kicker, but Carrasco had plenty of outs thanks to holding a flush draw. The turn and river were the [poker card=“4h"] and [poker card=“Qh”], respectively, giving Carrasco his flush and busting Park on the bubble. From there, players began to pile up in the payouts, including Bohn going out in 68th, Billy Baxter bowing out in 51st, Adam Levy busting in 49th, Mike Del Vecchio falling in 41st, and Gordon Vayo hitting the rail in 36th place. Vayo, who famously dropped his lawsuit against PokerStars, was the final elimination to take place on Day 3 and he scored $26,830 for his finish. With 35 players remaining, David Baker headed the charge into Day 4. Baker entered the event with only one WPT Main Tour final table on his résumé and just more than $4.4 million in live tournament earnings. On Day 4, Baker busted Brock Wilson in 34th, Douglas Smith in 22nd, Carrasco in 19th, and Zaichenko in 18th en route to leading the final 12 players heading into Day 5. Elias came into Day 5 second in chips behind Baker. He stumbled out of the gate when Mike Meskin doubled through him, but Elias was back in form after taking a big pot from Tony Tran before busting the fellow WPT Champions Club member a short while later in 11th place. After Jeffrey Colpitts was eliminated by Matas Cimbolas in 10th place, Elias sought revenge on Meskin by busting him in ninth. Paul Fontan would later fall in eighth place to Baker, and after that, it was a series of double ups that tried to derail Elias. First, Jean-Claude Moussa doubled through Elias, not once but twice. Then, it was Steve Yea’s turn to double through Elias. The four-time WPT champion steadied the ship each time and would go on to bust James Carroll in seventh place and set the official final table. On the final hand of Day 5, Elias opened to 100,000 from the hijack seat with the blinds at 25,000-50,000 with a 50,000 ante. Carroll reraised all in for 800,000 from the cutoff position and Elias called with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card=“Qs”]. Carroll had the dominated [poker card="Kc"][poker card=“Jh”]. The flop, turn, and river came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="9d"][poker card=“3s”] to eliminate Carroll in seventh position. He took home $155,900 in prize money and Elias soared into the final table with the chip lead. Elias Continues To Shine as "Mr. WPT" If there was a player to be named “Mr. WPT,” it would be Darren Elias. His run on the World Poker Tour is tremendous and he now has a chance to claim a record fifth WPT title. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open, when Elias topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744 and his first World Poker Tour title. Less than a month later, Elias topped a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT title came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. Not only would a victory be Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, but he’d earned the largest payday of his live tournament career. Right now, the result is the eighth largest score of Elias’ live tournament career. [caption id="attachment_623019" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas looking for second WPT title (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Cimbolas Also Looking for Another WPT Title Matas Cimbolas, a Lithuanian player who won the Season XIII WPT Nottingham title for €313,327, is also looking to add another WPT Champions Cup to his trophy case. He’ll enter the final table third in chips with 4.675 million. Interestingly, this won’t be the first time Cimbolas and Elias share the stage at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. To close Season XVI of the World Poker Tour, both Cimbolas and Elias reached the WPT Tournament of Champions final table. Cimbolas finished second to Matt Waxman for $265,590, and Elias took third for $177,060. Waxman won that event for $463,375. [caption id="attachment_623020" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker is chasing his first WPT title and a career-best score (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Baker Chasing First WPT Title and Career-Best Result David Baker has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and comes into the final table second in chips with 4.76 million. Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Final Table Takes Place On March 11 The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events, plus the live stream 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.
  6. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. The World Poker Tour has taken over Las Vegas this week with three final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The LA Poker Classic, the Gardens Poker Classic, and the Borgata Winter Poker Open are all going to crown champions this week and Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters preview all three final tables in the first of four podcasts from the city of Las Vegas. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  7. David Baker has done it. He has won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event for $1.015 million. For Baker, it was a career achievement held in the highest regard, as he considers the WPT L.A. Poker Classic to be the most prestigious major tournament title to win other than the WSOP Main Event. Baker also earned a Hublot Big Bang watch with the victory and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Bacarrat Crystal Tournament of Champions, in addition to moving to more than $5.4 million in live tournament earnings. WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Results 1st: David Baker - $1,015,000 2nd: Matas Cimbolas - $646,930 3rd: Darren Elias - $473,280 4th: Jean-Claude Moussa - $346,550 5th: John Smith - $267,400 6th: Steve Yea - $201,650 Darren Elias entered the final table with the chip lead, holding more than 40% of the chips in play to start the final six. After John Smith doubled early to climb off the short stack, Steve Yea was eliminated in sixth place. Yea went out to Matas Cimbolas on the 33rd hand of the final table when his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="3h"] lost out to Cimbolas’ [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jd"]. Despite the early double, Smith didn’t last much longer and was out on the 36th hand of the final table. Again, it was Cimbolas doing the deed. This time, it was Cimbolas’ pocket kings beating the pocket fives of Smith to send the 72-year-old home in fifth place. Four-handed action only lasted a handful of hands, as Jean-Claude Moussa fell to David Baker in fourth place. Moussa was all in with the [poker card=“Ah”][poker card=“Tc”] and busted to Baker’s [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qd"]. Three-handed action lasted quite some time as Cimbolas, Baker, and Elias battled back and forth with several lead changes. No one wanted to give an inch, but eventually, it was the four-time WPT champion Elias who ran into Baker’s aces to bust in third place. On his final hand, Elias, who had just doubled up Baker a few hands prior, moved all in from the button with the [poker card="7c"][poker card="4c"] for 950,000 with the blinds at 75,000-150,000 and a 150,000 ante. Cimbolas called from the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="2d"]. The board ran out [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Td"][poker card="5c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qh"] to eliminate Elias in third place. Heads-up play began with Baker in the lead by a sizable margin. At the start of the final duel, Baker had 15.375 million to Cimbolas’ 6.475 million. Baker stretched his lead in the early portion of the heads-up match, but then Cimbolas found a double up when he picked up two tens and Baker three-bet shoved on him with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="3d"]. Cimbolas flopped a set of tens and held from there to move to 8.6 million in chips. Baker was knocked back to 13.25 million. Baker went right back to work and he began stretching his lead once again. The next thing everyone knew, Cimbolas was pretty short once again and needed something to pull him back into the match. It wouldn’t be in the cards, though. On the final hand, Cimbolas limped the button with the blinds at 150,000-300,000 with a 300,000 ante. Baker checked and the flop came down [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="3s"]. Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 300,000, and Baker called to see the [poker card="6h"] land on the turn. Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 600,000, and Baker called. The river was the [poker card="2h"] and Baker announced a bet of 10 million. Cimbolas tanked for a bit and then called for his tournament life. Baker tabled the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4c"] for a straight to beat Cimbolas’ [poker card="Ts"][poker card="5d"] and win the tournament.
  8. The World Poker Tour heads back to fabulous Las Vegas on Monday, March 11, for the first of three consecutive final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The three final tables to play out are, in order, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Gardens Poker Championship, and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic is headlined by four-time WPT champion Darren Elias and has a $1.015 million first-place prize up for grabs. What Are They Playing For? The winner of the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic will take home $1.015 million in first-place prize money. That includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. As this event is a televised WPT event, the winner will also score a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $1,015,000 2nd Place: $646,930 3rd Place: $473,280 4th Place: $346,550 5th Place: $267,400 6th Place: $201,650 Click here to read about how the final table was set. [caption id="attachment_623033" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] HyperX Esports Arena (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] How To Watch the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that 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. Now, let’s meet the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table. [caption id="attachment_623037" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jean-Claude Moussa (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Jean-Claude Moussa is a 36-year-old player from Massachusetts, who entered this event with $516,544 in live tournament earnings. He has two prior WPT Main Tour cashes on record, including his career-best live tournament score of $321,840 when he finished fifth in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic back in Season VIII. Other notable results for Moussa included a deep run in the 2011 PCA Main Event for $45,000 and two cashes in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $25,027 and $24,808. Moussa enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table in fourth chip position with 1.25 million. [caption id="attachment_623039" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas seems to be becoming more and more of a fixture on the World Poker Tour by the day. The 25-year-old already has one WPT title to his credit thanks to winning WPT Nottingham in Season XIII for $313,327. At the end of last season, he made his way to the WPT Tournament of Champions final table and ultimately finished second for $265,590. Those are the two biggest scores of his live tournament career. Interestingly enough, when Cimbolas made the WPT Tournament of Champions final table, it was played out at the HyperX Esports Arena in Vegas. Whereas the enormity of the arena might cause some players to feel a little less comfortable, Cimbolas has the experience of playing there already under his belt. Another interesting note is that Darren Elias, who leads the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, finished third in the WPT Tournament of Champions event that Cimbolas took second in, so these two have a bit of history on the very stage they’ll be competing on come Monday. Cimbolas entered the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic with just shy of $2 million in live tournament earnings. A third-place finish or higher would move Cimbolas ahead of Dominykas Karmazinas and into second on Lithuania’s all-time money list. Cimbolas enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.675 million. [caption id="attachment_623038" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] John Smith (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 John Smith is by far the oldest player at the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He’s also the shortest stack remaining. Don’t let those two things fool you, though. Smith packs plenty of game that’s received a popular following in recent years due to his success in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship at the WSOP. In that event, Smith has results of 11th place in 2014 for $26,584, second place in 2016 for $198,192, and second place again in 2017 for $208,154. As Sean Chaffin wrote for the WPT, Smith served in the U.S. Army when he was younger. He was in Vietnam in the 1960s when a tank he was in hit a landmine. Everyone in the tank died, but Smith survived. He would later receive a Purple Heart for his service. Ahead of this event, Smith had $1.256 million in live tournament earnings. He has five prior WPT Main Tour cashes, with his best being a 20th-place result in the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship in Season III for $75,485. Smith enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table as the shortest stack with 850,000. [caption id="attachment_623034" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Darren Elias (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 A four-time World Poker Tour champion, Darren Elias is "Mr. WPT." No one has won more WPT titles than Elias and on Monday he could better his record by scoring an unprecedented fifth. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744. Less than a month later, Elias beat a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT win came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. In addition to a victory on Monday being Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, he’d earn the largest live tournament score of his career. As mentioned above, the 32-year-old Elias has experience playing at the HyperX Esports Arena. On Monday, he’ll start the final table with a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. [caption id="attachment_623035" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 David Baker, better known as "ODB" to many in the poker world, has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and a huge score of $1.015 million. https://twitter.com/audavidb/status/1103776743091953665 Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Baker comes into the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.76 million. [caption id="attachment_623040" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Steve Yea (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 If you’re a diehard follower of poker, you’ve heard the name Steve Yea. For casual fans, his name might not be so common, but Yea has been around for quite some time. Yea has live tournament results dating back to 2007 and he’s amassed more than $630,000 in live tournament winnings entering this event. He hails from South Korea and is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. Yea’s largest live tournament score came from a second-place finish on the Asian Poker Tour in 2008 when he won $250,000 in an event in Macau. He also placed second in an APT event in 2009 in Manila for $100,000 as the second biggest live tournament score of his career. Yea enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table fifth in chips with 1.205 million. [caption id="attachment_623036" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Hublot WPT Player of the Year and Baccarat Crystal (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of more than $5.1 million, the maximum amount of points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race are up for grabs in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. The winner gets 1,400 points, with the rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,400 points 2nd Place: 1,200 points 3rd Place: 1,100 points 4th Place: 1,000 points 5th Place: 900 points 6th Place: 800 points As it stands, Ping Liu is the man to catch at the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. He has 1,900 points thanks to six cashes and two final tables in Season XVII. For the six players at this final table, the points would mean the most for Elias, as he’s the only competitor remaining with points entering this event. Elias has 150 points on the season and could shoot up to 1,550 with a win. That would put him in fourth place overall on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. For the other five, a victory would place them in sixth place on the leaderboard. Despite all of his success on the World Poker Tour over the years, Elias has never been crowned WPT Player of the Year. He has had some close calls, though. Last season, Elias finished third in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. In Season XV, he finished sixth. In Season XIV, he ended up in 12th. In Season XIII, he finished second to Anthony Zinno, who also won two WPT titles that season. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
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