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  1. [caption width="640"] Johnny Chan has been quietly grinding away at the 2016 WSOP Main Event[/caption] It’s the last mid-level break of the night on Day 4 of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event and hidden among the 300 names in the chip counts is Johnny Chan. ThatJohnny Chan? Yes, that Johnny Chan. While the only other two former Main Event champions still in the field, Greg Raymer and Ryan Riess, are playing on the ESPN main stage for what will be part of a future broadcast, Chan is at a table almost as far way from the spotlight as possible. As the seconds tick down on the level, Chan grabs his bag, steps out a side door and hurriedly makes his way to the back lot, again taking a route different from most of the other players sneaking outside for some fresh air or maybe a cigarette. Or Chan’s case, a few quick puffs on a cigar. Chan first came to prominence with his win in the 1987 WSOP Main Event. He won his second title the next year in a hand made famous in Rounders against Erik Seidel. The first person he runs into in the back lot is a dealer, who ask Chan a question he’s clearly been asked hundreds, maybe even thousands, of times. “They gonna make Rounders 2, Johnny?,” the dealer asks. Chan's appearance in Rounders that helped create the Chan legend is now part of poker lore. The hero Mike McDermott finds himself in a hand with Chan and after bluffing Chan, decides its time take his shot in the biggest underground game in New York City. “It’s never going to happen,” said Chan. “It’s already been ten years.” The idea of producing a sequel to the cult classic poker movie has been bounced around for ten years, even going so far as having studios greenlight the project. With Rounders writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien busy with Season 2 of their hit Showtime drama Billions, finding time write the script and deliver Rounders 2 seems highly unlikely. Surrounded by poker players that have probably seen the movie dozens of times and would love the chance to use McDermott’s famous “Sorry John, I don’t remember” line after beating him in a pot, Chan is left to his own devices. While the movie might have helped the Chan legend, he’s fine being hidden in the corner of the room. The Main Event is the only WSOP event he’s played this year and he makes no bones about why he chooses to take time away from the lucrative Bellagio and Aria cash games to play the event. “There’s a lot of extra dead money in it,” said Chan. “And of course, you get to play with players from around the world.” Having won the event twice, finished runner-up to Hellmuth in 1999, and cashed a total of seven times, you’d think the Main Event was something special for Chan. Not quite. “I try. I enter, I’m going to try and win, right?” said Chan. “I try to play my best, but it’s just another day at the office.” A win for Chan would make him the third player to capture the Main Event three times, joining Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar.
  2. The second starting flight of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event played out on Tuesday, producing some big numbers. We also saw two new bracelet winners crowned, and a final table end the day three-handed. Here’s all the news from July 3. Big Turnout on Day 1B There were 2,378 entries on Day 1B of the $10,000 Main Event, and after five two-hour levels that number was whittled down to 1,794. Topping them all is Smain Mamouni with 311,000, followed by Samuel Bernabeu (309,500), Barbara Rogers (307,000), Daniel Colpoys (246,800), and Alex Foxen (242,300). Plenty of notables made it through the day, and they don’t come much more notable than Johnny Chan. The 10-time bracelet winner bagged up 151,100 when all was said and done, and will join the likes of Rifat Palevic (185,800), Scott Davies (171,200), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (166,200), Pablo Fernandez (160,100), Pierre Neuville (147,500), Shaun Deeb (143,300), and Chris Ferguson (134,900) on Day 2. Former PocketFives #1 player Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson had a good session at the felt, just a few days after winning his second WSOP bracelet. He almost doubled his starting stack to 99,100, while John Hesp - whose life will be turned into a Hollywood movie - also survived with 63,900. The same can’t said for former WSOP Main Event champions Jamie Gold and Greg Raymer, Justin Liberto, Doug Polk, Jason Somerville, Mickey Craft, Anton Morgenstern, Brandon Wong, and Kenny Hallaert, all of whom hit the rail. Day 1C begins at 11am tomorrow, but as it’s July 4th it’ll be interesting to see what the turnout looks like. So far, entry numbers are very promising compared with previous years. Top 10 Day 1B Stacks: Smain Mamouni - 311,000 Samuel Bernabeu - 309,500 Barbara Rogers - 307,000 Daniel Colpoys - 246,800 Alex Foxen - 242,300 Alpheus Chan - 208,600 Paul Varano - 204,400 Brian Brubaker - 203,600 Luis Vazquez - 201,800 Liam O'Donoghue - 196,200 Matsuzuki Wins First Bracelet in $10K Stud8 Championship One of the two bracelet winners on Tuesday was Dan Matsuzuki, who overcame a tough final table to take down Event #64: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. After denying Scott Bohlman his second bracelet of the summer, Matsuzuki won his first piece of WSOP jewellery as well as $364,387. Fourteen players returned today led by Chris Vitch, who would ultimately bust out in fourth. "It still hasn't hit me really," Matsuzuki said after his win. "I wasn't even going to play this event, but my buddy convinced me. 'Come on; Let's gamble' - those were his exact words. He took a piece of me and we registered on Day 2 and I just got a good run of cards." Final Table Results: Dan Matsuzuki - $364,387 Scott Bohlman - $225,210 Ken Aldridge - $154,648 Chris Vitch - $108,739 Daham Wang - $78,337 Jerry Wong - $57,855 Bryce Yockey - $43,833 Joseph Michael - $34,089 Galen Hall Leads Final Three in Crazy Eights Play ended on Day 3 of the $888 Crazy Eights event with just three players remaining, led by Galen Hall with 30,100,000. His opponents are Niels Herregodts with 24,750,000, and Eduards Kudrjavcevs with 16,400,000. They’ll have to wait a day before playing it out, in order to give them all a chance to play in the Main Event tomorrow. That means we’ll find a winner in this one on Thursday, and whoever it is will take home their first WSOP bracelet. Throughout the day we lost Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman was Paul ‘pvas2’ Vas Nunes, who fell in 23rd and 17th places, respectively. Arthur Conan (15th - $34,577), Dara Taherpour (14th - $43,539), Fabrice Casano (13th - $43,539), Smith Collins (12th - $55,222), Shai Zurr (11th - $55,222), and Hunter Frey (10th - $70,546) all exited too before a final table was set. From there we saw the eliminations of Philip Tom (8th - $90,888), Martin Stausholm (7th - $117,888), Jeremiah Miesen (6th - $153,888), Alexander Kuzmin (5th - $201,888), and Andrey Zaichenko in 4th place for $266,888. Find out who will the $888,888 first-place prize on Thursday. Final Three Stacks: Galen Hall - 30,100,000 Niels Herregodts - 24,750,000 Eduards Kudrjavcevs - 16,400,000 Tim Andrew Takes Down PLO Giant The second bracelet of the day went to Tim Andrew for his win in Event #11: $365 PLO GIANT for $116,015. Andrew turned up late today after sleeping in, but it turned out the extra rest served him well. All eyes were on Michael Mizrachi at the start of the day, as The Grinder was going for his fifth bracelet. Alas, he’d fall in fifth for $30,461, leaving the stage for Andrew to take down his first. Final Table Results: Tim Andrew - $116,015 Pete Arroyos - $71,703 Robert Cicchelli - $53,709 Sandeep Pulusani - $40,379 Michael Mizrachi - $30,461 James Sievers - $23,076 Kevin Nomberto - $17,541 Raymond Walton - $13,384 Srinivas Balasubramanian - $10,250
  3. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Erik Seidel BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 8 107 $5,388,532 42 Before the 1998 WSOP Main Event, nobody in poker had heard of Erik Seidel. He was a regular at the Mayfair Club in New York City and was grinding out a living playing in those games. He was part of a larger group of New Yorkers who came to Las Vegas for the 1998 Series and he made a lasting impression. Seidel's first WSOP cash was his runner-up finish to Johnny Chan in the 1988 Main Event - a moment forever immortalized in Rounders. Rather than fade into WSOP history, that moment actually served as a launch pad for an all-time great. “I really didn’t know what to expect when I went out, and there wasn’t a great distance between my game and the people I was playing with, which was nice to see,” Seidel told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2015 about his first time out to Las Vegas for the WSOP. “For me, it was a big moment because it gave me a certain amount of confidence that I could do it, and that I could play. I hadn’t really felt that way about my game before that.” That confidence paid off in a big, big way. In 1992, Seidel won a $2,500 Limit Hold'em event, beating Phil Hellmuth heads up, for his first career bracelet. He returned to Binion's a year later and added his second bracelet, this time from a $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. He continued his streak the very next year when he won the $5,000 Limit Hold'em event, making him just the fifth player in WSOP history to win a bracelet over three consecutive years joining Bill Boyd, Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and Gary Bergland. Heading into the 2019 WSOP, Seidel sits sixth on the all-time bracelets list with 8 and fourth on the all-time cashes list with 108. He's one of just five players to have entered triple-digit territory for cashes. Of those in-the-money finishes, 42 of them (39%) were top 10 finishes. He's also one of the most game diverse players in WSOP history, having cashed in 15 different poker variants during his career. Seidel has two bracelets in No Limit Deuce to Seven, Limit Hold'em, No Limit Hold'em, and one in each Omaha Hi-Lo and Pot Limit Omaha. The fourth bracelet of Seidel's career came in 1998 when he beat a final table that included Doyle Brunson, David Grey, and eventual runner-up Wil Wilkinson in the $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. It took three years for Seidel to find the winner's circle again. In 2001, he got a modicum of revenge on Chan, beating him heads up to win a $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event for the fifth bracelet of his career. That win marked the beginning of a run that saw Seidel pick up a new bracelet every two years until 2007. In 2003, he won a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. Two years later, it was a $2,000 No Limit Hold'em event that resulted in him hitting the biggest WSOP score of his career ($611,795) before winning the eighth bracelet of his career in 2007, another $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. That win made him just the fifth person to reach eight bracelets. While many casual poker fans might remember him most for that runner-up finish in 1988, Seidel has an impressive 8-3 record when he gets heads-up for a bracelet. His other two second-place finishes came in 1991 ($5,000 Limit Hold'em) and 2013 (€2,200 No Limit Hold'em). In 2010, Seidel was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. He's recorded 45 WSOP cashes since then.
  5. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Phil Hellmuth BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 15 133 $14,496,570 62 In the long and storied history of the World Series of Poker, no player has done more - and won more - than Phil Hellmuth. That made him an easy selection as the #1 player in the history of the WSOP. Many would believe that the story of Phil Hellmuth started when he won the 1989 WSOP Main Event, but the truth is it started one year earlier. Hellmuth, then just 23 years old, showed up at Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas and made a final table in a $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event then min-cashed the Main Event. That's where the story started, but it was indeed the following year when the legend was born. Hellmuth put up a pair of small results in some preliminary events before the Main Event. Over six days in May, Hellmuth worked his way past 176 other players and found himself one-on-one with the two-time defending Main Event champion Johnny Chan. The pair struck a deal to flatten out the prize money, with the eventual champ getting $655,000 instead of $755,000. They made no deal on the bracelet though and Hellmuth eventually busted Chan to end Chan's Main Event streak and give Hellmuth his first taste of WSOP glory and the accompanying fame. Hellmuth cashed just one time over the next two years before winning a $5,000 Limit Hold'em event in 1992. That was just an appetite whetter though. In 1993, Hellmuth won three bracelets and finished runner-up for another one. That moved him into the elite territory as one of just a handful of players with five bracelets to their name. The rest of the '90s weren't quite as kind to Hellmuth. He cashed just eight more times between 1994 and 1999, including winning bracelet #6. He won a bracelet in 2001, two more in 2003 and another in 2006 to move into a tie with Chan and Doyle Brunson for the all-time lead with 10. In 2007, Hellmuth became the first player to have won 11 bracelets, beating out 2,627 other players to win a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. “This is the one I really wanted,” Hellmuth said. “I have so much respect for Doyle and Johnny. To now be at the top of the all-time (WSOP wins) list is really about as good a feeling as I have ever had.” Since winning his 11th bracelet, only Phil Ivey has managed to add his name to the list of players with double-digit wins. All the while, Hellmuth has added four more bracelets, including a win in the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2012. Phil Hellmuth's 15 Bracelet Wins YEAR EVENT WINNINGS 1989 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em $755,000 1992 $5,000 Limit Hold'em $188,000 1993 $5,000 Limit Hold'em $138,000 1993 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em $161,400 1993 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em $173,000 1997 $3,000 Pot Limit Hold'em $204,000 2001 $2,000 No Limit Hold'em $316,550 2003 $3,000 No Limit Hold'em $410,860 2003 $2,500 No Limit Hold'em $171,400 2006 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em (w/rebuys) $631,863 2007 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em $637,254 2012 €10,000 Europe Main Event €1,022,376 2012 $2,500 Razz $182,793 2015 $10,000 Razz Championship $271,105 2018 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em (30-minute levels) $485,082 Hellmuth not only sits atop the all-time bracelet list, but he's #1 on the cashes list as well. Heading into the 2019 WSOP, Hellmuth has cashed in 133 events. When Hellmuth cashed, he has made the top 10 47% of the time, he finishes in the top two 18.7% of the time and wins 11% of the time. Amazingly, Hellmuth also has the most runner-up finishes of any player in history with 10. He had second place finishes in 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, and 2006 before spending an entire summer as a bridesmaid in 2011. He finished second to John Juanda in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship, second to Eric Rodawig in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, and then capped off his year by finishing second the Brian Rast in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. “I felt like 99 percent of the planet was rooting for me [to win the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship],” Hellmuth said. “Even if you hated me, seeing me finish second twice and knowing the pain and the turmoil that it was causing me had to be enough to say, ‘I hope you get this one.’ Of course, maybe it was out of pity. Like Greg Norman blowing the Masters to Nick Faldo (in 1996). Everybody loved Norman after that, right?” His 10th runner-up finish came in 2014. Five of the 10 players he has lost a heads-up battle with are in the Hall of Fame (John Juanda, Johnny Chan, Scotty Nguyen, Billy Baxter, Erik Seidel) and two more (Ted Forrest, Brian Rast) are likely to be enshrined at some point. Despite not having won a bracelet, Hellmuth entered the 2011 Main Event leading the WSOP Player of the Year race. He couldn't hold on to the lead though and ultimately finished second to Ben Lamb. Hellmuth can easily recall all of the second place finishes and in 2011, admitted to being haunted by them. “I still remember the second-place finish [in 2006] and how if I had just made one call …” Hellmuth said. “Those are the things that haunt you. I don’t worry about a lot of stuff. But I’ll still take a shower once in a while and I’ll think about a hand from 1993. That’s just the way it is. That’s what drives you.”
  6. The 2019 World Series of Poker is almost here. It's the 50th annual WSOP and there's a lot of anticipation of what's to come this summer. One player who always looks forward to the summer is Phil Hellmuth. He's the poker player with the most WSOP gold bracelets (15) and most WSOP cashes (134), plus it's 30 years since he won the 1989 WSOP Main Event. "I love it!" Hellmuth told PocketFives when asked how it feels to have the WSOP right around the corner once again. "It's 30 years since my win in the WSOP Main Event." In 1989, a 24-year-old Hellmuth shocked the gambling world when he defeated two-time defending champion Johnny Chan to win the WSOP Main Event for $755,000. Hellmuth topped a field of 178 entries and launched himself into poker stardom. It was the first of his 15 gold bracelets, one of which was the WSOP Europe Main Event title in 2012, and 30 years later he's still hungry for more. "It would be nice to win a no-limit 2-7 tournament - I have two second-place finishes - as I've always seen myself winning one," Hellmuth said when asked what he's most looking forward to this summer, other than the Main Event. "It would be nice to win another razz tourney. That would solidify me as the best razz tourney player in the world, based on WSOP results. I would love to win a seven-card stud eight-or-better tourney or an eight-game mix or 10-game mix. Finally, winning a huge buy-in or field size no-limit hold’em tournament or heads-up tourney would be spectacular." In addition to those events, Hellmuth recently took to social media to proclaim, "I want to win a WSOP PLO bracelet in the next few years!" Of all the bracelets he's won, he has yet to earn one in the great game of pot-limit Omaha. His best WSOP performance in this exciting, four-card variant was a fourth-place finish at the 2000 WSOP. "I'm behind the curve in two tourney games: pot-limit Omaha and 2-7 triple draw," Hellmuth said. "I keep improving, which is wonderful, and who knows where that will lead. No one thought I would become the best razz tourney player in the world, and yet, I have shredded the WSOP razz tourneys since 2012 like no other. It's been a historic run, with two firsts, a second, a fifth, and a 13th. So, I need to improve at PLO tourneys. I need to learn something from Jason Mercier and Shaun Deeb." Speaking of Mercier and Deeb, Hellmuth included these two players, who hold five and four bracelets, respectively, when mentioning who might be able to catch him in the great bracelet race. "Daniel Negreanu says he will catch me in cashes," Hellmuth said. "A little known fact is that Negreanu has actually played more WSOP tourneys than I have. Others have said they will catch me in bracelets. Phil Ivey says his goal is to win 30. I was shooting for 24, until Ivey went public going for 30, then I changed my goal to 30. But 24 would still be amazing. Let me get there first. So, Ivey. Maybe Negreanu, Deeb, Mercier, John Monnette, or John Hennigan. In hold'em, of which I have 13 so far, maybe Joe Cada, Dominik Nitsche, or Adrian Mateos." Hellmuth is currently top of the charts in most WSOP gold bracelets and most WSOP cashes, two records that he holds by quite wide margins. In the bracelets category, the next closest are Ivey, Chan, and Doyle Brunson, who each have 10. For cashes, Hellmuth is first with 137 and then Chris Ferguson is second with 120. Negreanu currently sits third entering the 2019 WSOP with 108. "Let's not forget that I hold the record for most WSOP final tables," Hellmuth added. "It would be nice to own the money list title, but to me, it's all about the bracelets." Hellmuth's last gold bracelet win came last year when he won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 30-Minute Levels tournament for $485,082. For final tables, the last time he didn't make one at the WSOP was in 2013. Having played the WSOP for so long and racked up so many accolades, it wouldn't be out of the question for Hellmuth to slow down and take it easy a bit, just as most athletes can get their titles and then take it a little easier. But every WSOP, whether in Las Vegas during the summer or elsewhere in the world some other time of the year, Hellmuth is grinding away and looking to add another few lines to the record books that are already littered with his name. "It's in my nature, it's in my DNA," Hellmuth said when asked what continues to drive him. "I'm super competitive, and I'm competing against the best players in the world, in this era, and last and future eras, for greatest poker player of all time. Right now, I have all of the records, but 15 WSOP bracelets is not enough to keep the record. So I stay focused, I stay determined, I pay attention, and keep abreast of new strategies. I stay away from drugs, away from drinking too much, and I take care of myself; watching my weight and sleeping in almost every single day. Long-term health is a factor in this race." With decades of experience at the WSOP, Hellmuth has undoubtedly seen a lot over the years. For that reason, there are few better to ask what the biggest differences are between then and now. "The numbers," Hellmuth said. "The WSOP was special back then, and a lot more like a convention for all of the best poker players in the world. But now, it's out of control with huge numbers, and I love it. Also, back in 1988 and 1989, we had a lot of one-day tournaments." While excited for what's to come poker-wise, Hellmuth has been quite busy as of late, but not necessarily in the poker realm. If you follow him on social media, then you're likely aware of some of the off-the-felt moves he's been making. "I'm doing a lot of business deals right now, both as an investor and as someone that's honored to be joining advisory boards (just joined LassoGear.com advisory board). In the last six months, I have invested in b spot (online slot machines), TravelSmarter.com (direct-to-consumer hotel room rates, airfare, and a lot more), End Game Talent Agency (esports talent agency), and STEAM Role (mentoring site). "I love business, but all of the founders understand that I will disappear into poker on May 25," Hellmuth said. "I really need to cut off all communication for a few months and focus on playing great poker. For the 2019 WSOP, I'm adding back mediation." Lastly, with the WSOP Main Event seeing a rise in attendance over the previous year in each of the last three years, Hellmuth needed to be asked to give a prediction for the 2019 WSOP Main Event. "I think we will crack 10,000 players!" Hellmuth said. "The ESPN coverage, thanks to PokerGO and Cary Katz, has been spectacular, with 14 days of coverage, and the economy is crushing!"
  7. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Johnny Chan BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 10 50 $4,656,764 27 Johnny Chan is hands down one of the most storied players in World Series of Poker history. He’s a true icon, with a career spanning several decades and including 10 gold bracelets. Chan’s first bracelet came in 1985 when he won a $1,000 Limit Hold’em tournament for $171,000. Chan then went on an incredible run in 1987, 1988, and 1989 that is one of the best the WSOP has ever seen. In 1987 and 1988, he won the WSOP Main Event for $625,000 and $700,000, respectively. The back-to-back titles in poker’s greatest poker tournament almost turned into a three-peat when Chan got heads up in 1989. His opponent, Phil Hellmuth, walked away with the title, but it was still an absolutely incredible three-year run for Chan. In 1992, Chan was back at the WSOP Main Event final table, taking seventh place, and in 1994 he won his fourth gold bracelet. His fifth piece of WSOP jewelry came in 1997 and his sixth came in 2000. Chan won four more gold bracelets from 2002 to 2005. In 2003, Chan won two. He won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $224,400 and the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event for $158,100. Originally from China, Chan found his way to the United States with his family in the 1960s. He dropped out of college and moved to Las Vegas in his early 20s and began to take the poker world by storm. At the WSOP, Chan has 50 cashes and more than $4.6 million won in his career. When he won his 10th gold bracelet, the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event in 2005 for $303,025, Chan became the first player to win 10 gold bracelets. Although he has not won WSOP gold since then, Chan’s place in World Series of Poker history is that of a legend. When he hit the scene, Chan’s aggressive style and tremendous ability to play the player, not the cards, kept him two steps ahead of the competition. He dominated the WSOP Main Event in the late 1980s with a colossal force that few, if any, had seen before. There were certainly aggressive players around at the time, but by most accounts Chan took things to a whole new level. He became so big that the fact that he lost to Hellmuth heads up in 1989 only made what Hellmuth did that much greater. This wasn’t just another player that Hellmuth beat. Hellmuth had defeated Johnny freaking Chan. It’s unlikely that Chan will find his way back to the WSOP winner’s circle. He simply doesn’t play that much anymore, although he has had a couple of flashes in recent years. In 2016 and 2018, Chan put together a pair of deep runs in the WOP Main Event. In 2016, he finished 180th out of 6,737 players. In 2018, he cashed in 612th place out of 7,874 players. Those are not the final table appearances he used to churn out, but the 10-time gold bracelet winner still has plenty of that aggressive, fighting spirit left in him. Whether or not he goes on to make another WSOP final table or win another gold bracelet in his career, Chan’s career is legendary and he’s one of the greatest players the World Series of Poker has ever seen.
  8. The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event went from 1,286 players down to 354 on Tuesday Those left are deep in the money and guaranteed $34,845, and it’s Dean Morrone holding the chip lead entering Day 5. Former NFL star Richard Seymour was one of the big stacks to advance. Morrone Leads the Way Morrone is a Canadian player and a qualifier from 888poker. He’s making his first career WSOP cash with his run in this year’s WSOP Main Event and it’s also his largest live tournament score to date as he entered the tournament with just $10,138 in live earnings. Morrone entered Day 4 with 365,000 before he went on to finish with 4.98 million and the lead. Other big stacks in the group behind Morrone on the leaderboard were Lars Bonding (4.04 million), Michael Messick (3.925 million), Warwick Mirzikinian (3.9 million), and Henrik Hecklen (3.862 million) to round out the top five. Morrone’s fellow 888poker qualifier Mihai Manole finished the day with a very healthy 3.781 million. Top 10 Chip Counts Dean Morrone - 4,980,000 Lars Bonding - 4,040,000 Michael Messick - 3,925,000 Warwick Mirzikinian - 3,900,000 Henrik Hecklen - 3,862,000 Mihai Manole - 3,781,000 Robert Heidorn - 3,700,000 Sean Mills - 3,692,000 Christopher Wynkoop - 3,563,000 Andrew Brokos - 3,518,000 Former NFL Star Richard Seymour On the Rush Former NFL star and three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour was among those to advance to Day 5. He spoke with The Fives Poker Podcast at the end of Day 3 about his sixth time playing the WSOP Main Event being a charm and things only got sweeter on Tuesday. Seymour came into the day with 275,000 and quickly got his stack up to 400,000. It wasn’t long before he reached 1 million in chips and then the progression only continued after he was moved to one of the secondary features tables. Seymour bagged up 2.75 million in chips, but he wasn’t the only former NFL player to move on. Eric Stocz, who spent time in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, reached the money in the WSOP Main Event for the second time in his poker career. He’s already outperformed the 402nd-place finish he netted in 2011 that earned him $30,974 and will only be looking for more. Stocz bagged 350,000 for Day 5. Former PocketFives #1 Players Performing Well A handful of former PocketFives #1 players are performing well and have advanced to Day 4 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event. Fabrizio Gonzalez bagged 2.916 million, Chris Hunichen finished with 2.617 million, and Yuri Dzivielevski ended with 1.79 million. Hunichen bagged those chips despite losing one of the biggest pots of the tournament so far. He got involved in a big one with David Guay and Guay flopped a set of tens against Hunichen’s pocket kings. The hand resulted in a full double for Guay and took a dent of about 1.2 million out of Hunichen’s stack. Eight from Pennsylvania Still Alive Pennsylvania online poker has been legalized and the launch date is coming up soon. When sites do go live there will be a handful of players with some extra money to deposit thanks to deep runs in this WSOP Main Event. Eight players from Pennsylvania remain, with Thomas Parkes of Alburtis finishing Day 4 with the most chips at 3.172 million. Pittsburgh’s Chad Power is next with 2.78 million, and then it’s Matthew Sabia (1.81 million), Kenneth Smaron (1.806 million), Edward Pham (1.43 million), Jake Schindler (1.168 million), Donald Dombach (799,000), and Matt Glantz (690,000). Yoon, Esfandiari, Cheong Among Bracelet Winners Remaining In addition to all the names that have been mentioned, Brian Yoon (2.622 million), Antonio Esfandiari (2.583 million), Craig McCorkell (2.5 million), Chris Wallace (1.98 million), and Joseph Cheong (1.958 million) represent some of the WSOP gold bracelet winners still in the field. Yoon and Esfandiari are both three-time gold bracelet winners who have had some deep runs in the WSOP Main Event before. Yoon has finished in the top 60 on three separate occasions (2018, 2016, and 2011), and Esfandiari finished 24th in 2009. McCorkell took 13th in 2014, and Wallace finished 32nd in 2017. We also know very much about Cheong’s third-place finish behind Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener in 2010 that earned him $4.13 million. All Former Main Event Champs Gone Of course, not every player could advance. Three former WSOP Main Event champions began the day, with Johnny Chan, Chris Moneymaker, and Qui Nguyen still in the field, but all three of them busted out on Day 4. Moneymaker finished 687th for $20,200, Chan took 560th for $24,560, and Nguyen went out 455th for $30,780. Nguyen’s bust came when he got the last of his chips in with pocket fives only to lose out to an opponent’s two sixes. With no former WSOP Main Event champions in the field, we will see a brand new winner in 2019. Others to bust on Day 4 were Ricky Guan (362nd - $34,845), Scott Lazar (388th - $34,845), Jean-Robert Bellande (415th - $30,780), Bryan Campanello (435th - $30,780), Josh Arieh (485th - $27,390), Adam Owen (570th - $24,560), and Cliff Josephy (759th - $20,200). Day 5 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event starts at 12 pm PT on Wednesday, July 10 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.
  9. Triton Poker set out to make poker history this week and they most certainly will and in more ways than one. Not only does the Triton Million’s £1,050,000 buy-in ($1,273215) make it the largest buy-in tournament in history, but with 54 players helping generate a prize pool of £54,000,000 ($65,611,361) the first place prize of £19,000,000 ($23,085,479) makes it the largest single tournament payout of all time. Million Dollar Payouts It’s not just first place that is going to find themselves flush after the Triton Million comes to an end. With an astronomical buy-in, Triton officials decided to flatten out the payouts opting to award 11 of the 54 registered players (20%) some piece of the prize pool. Granted, the players that just squeak into the money will be earning little more than their money back ($1,335,923) but a final table finish, resulting in a payday of $1,457,371 would make for a career-high cash for 20 of the participants including pros Andrew Robl, Vivek Rajkumar, Michael Soyza, and Matthias Eibinger. Triton Million Official Payouts Place Approx USD 1 $23,074,354 2 $14,176,836 3 $8,743,966 4 $5,355,679 5 $3,643,319 6 $2,671,767 7 $2,088,898 8 $1,700,266 9 $1,457,371 10 $1,335,923 11 $1,335,923 Eight-Figure Paydays The massive payouts of the Triton Million will add two more players into the extremely elite club of poker players who have earned themselves an eight-figure payday at the poker table. The addition of the first and second place scores makes for a total of ten $10M+ paydays in history and offers the current All Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo and the UK’s Sam Trickett the honor of being the first player to accomplish that remarkable score twice in their career. Until the Triton Million only the World Series of Poker’s $1 Million buy-in Big One For One Drop and the WSOP Main Event offered players the opportunity to hit such heights. The only exception was the 2016 Big One For One Drop Monte-Carlo Extravaganze one-off where Elton Tsang took home over $12.2 million in the invite-only tournament that excluded all of the world’s top players. History of Eight-Figure Paydays Year Event Place Player Payout 2019 Triton Million 1st TBD $23,085,479 2012 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 2014 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Daniel Colman $15,306,668 2019 Triton Million 2nd TDB $14,176,836 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza 1st Elton Tsang $12,248,912 2006 WSOP Main Event 1st Jaime Gold $12,000,000 2012 WSOP Big One For One Drop 2nd Sam Trickett $10,112,001 2014 WSOP Main Event 1st Martin Jacobson $10,000,000 2018 WSOP Big One For One Drop 1st Justin Bonomo $10,000,000 2019 WSOP Main Event 1st Hossein Ensan $10,000,000 All Time Money List Possibilities With so much money in the prize pool, there are bound to be some major ramifications to the ever-shifting All Time Money List. At the start of the Triton Million, there were seven players that could possibly surge to the top of the list and overtake current list leader Justin Bonomo. Bonomo himself could put an amazing amount of distance between himself and the rest of the field as he currently holds a roughly $3.1 million lead over the #2-ranked Daniel Negreanu and over $9 million from the #3-ranked Erik Seidel, neither of which are in the Triton Million field. Here’s a look at the players that could make major moves on the ATML should Bonomo not be able to hold them off. Bryn Kenney - With over $34.9 million in total earnings, Kenney could become the new king of the ATML with a win or even a second-place finish. A third-place finish and he will leapfrog Negreanu for second place on the list and any cash will vault him over Seidel in third place, where he only sits $716,117 behind the legend. Jason Koon - The Triton ambassador has been steadily climbing the ATML, currently sitting in 8th place with $28,925,059 in earnings. A victory would send him north of $51 million and into first. A second-place finish in the event is not good enough to take over the top spot but it would put him in second place and within striking distance of #1 at $43 million. Dan Smith - A last-second invite from Bill Perkins puts Smith into the ATML leader mix, where he currently sits at #9 with $27,921,940. His situation is identical to Koon's - a win and he soars to over $50 million. Mikita Badziakouski - The nosebleed crusher from Belarus recently climbed into the #15 spot on the ATML and a win could put him in the top spot with over $48 million. A second-place finish would put him at just over $39 million, currently good for third place. Stephen Chidwick - Generally considered one of the very best tournament players on the planet, the UK savant has the exact same situation as Badziakouski as he only sits less than $3,000 behind him on the ATML. David Peters and Fedor Holz - Peters currently sits at #5 on the ATML and the German phenom, Holz sits right behind him at #6. Both players were among the first five players eliminated from the tournament ending their bid to climb the ATML ladder. Becoming An Instant Legend To say that first place in the Triton Million is massive is an understatement. But just how big is it? To put this first-place prize in perspective, had a player never cashed before, the first place prize alone would put you ranked at #19 on the All-Time Money List. That’s ahead of one of the most famous poker players on the planet, Phil Hellmuth, who has spent over 30 years accumulating his career total of $22,999,083. Second place also puts you in the midst of legends. The over $14 million payday would slot you in at #41 all-time, just ahead of recent bracelet winner Joseph Cheong and right behind 2009 WSOP World Champ Joe Cada. Finally, if the Triton Million third-place prize of over $8.7 million was your first Hendon Mob entry, you would just make it inside the top 100. You start your career at #100 all-time and you’d be the player to knock poker legend Johnny Chan out of the top 100.
  10. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. In May, the poker world was surprised when it was announced that Daniel Negreanu, the face of PokerStars, was no longer going to be an ambassador for the online site. Daniel Negreanu And PokerStars Part Ways One of the most stable relationships in the poker world ended in May as Daniel Negreanu and PokerStars announced that they would be going their separate ways. Right before the World Series of Poker and only days after his high-profile wedding to Amanda Leatherman, Negreanu took to Twitter and posted a short video that announced that he would no longer be patched up for the online poker giant. Negreanu began representing the PokerStars brand in 2007 and quickly became the face of the company, including taking on plenty of criticism during PokerStars' controversial termination of the SuperNova Elite program in late 2015. “Daniel has been one of the most influential faces of poker and indeed PokerStars for 12 years,” said Stars Group Public Relations associate director Rebecca McAdam. “It has been wonderful to have his passion, support, and insights throughout our relationship. We wish Daniel the very best for the future, as well as wedded bliss and tons of run good this summer.” Six months after the end of his deal with PokerStars, Negreanu announced he would now be representing upcoming online poker site GGPoker in a deal that is believed to be worth even more than his contract with PokerStars. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] PocketFives Counts Down Top 50 Ahead of the 50th Annual World Series of Poker, the PocketFives editorial staff released their list of the 50 Greatest Players in World Series of Poker History. From old-school legends to internet grinders, the list is a snapshot of not just the history of the WSOP, but also of poker itself. Take a look back at our top 10 list of the players who made their name on the World Series of Poker stage. 10. Jason Mercier 9. Michael Mizrachi 8. Chris Ferguson 7. Erik Seidel 6. Daniel Negreanu 5. Johnny Chan 4. Phil Ivey 3. Stu Ungar 2. Doyle Brunson 1. Phil Hellmuth Phil Hellmuth Is Not Satisfied, Never Will Be With the 2019 World Series of Poker right around the corner, 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth spoke with PocketFives about what it means for him to hold all the records and what the 1989 Main Event winner was hoping would happen at the series, 30 years after his career-defining victory. “It’s in my nature, it’s in my DNA,” Hellmuth said of his drive to be the best. “I'm super competitive, and I’m competing against the best players in the world, in this era, and past and future eras, for greatest poker player of all time.” partypoker Invades Sin City Summer in Las Vegas belongs to the World Series of Poker. But in 2019, partypoker decided to get in on the action and announced that their partypoker MILLIONS series would be headed to the ARIA Hotel & Casino, marking the first time they’ve held a tournament in America. “We’re looking forward to MILLIONS making its debut this summer at the record,” said ARIA Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack. “Our team is excited to add an event of this magnitude to our extensive summer schedule.” The partypoker MILLIONS had a $10,300 buy-in and a $5 million guarantee. The tournament ended up crushing the guarantee with Thomas Marchese taking home the $1,000,000 first-place prize of the over $5.36 million prize pool. Alex ‘SploogeLuge’ Foxen Wins May PLB Live or online, when it comes to poker Alex ‘SploogeLuge’ Foxen has proved he can do it all. In May, he took down the PocketFives Leaderboard for the first time. The former GPI #1-ranked player spent plenty of time in Canada this year, grinding some of the biggest online poker tournaments which helped him reach a career-high ranking of #4 in the world and soar past $5 million in lifetime online earnings.
  11. For many who take the game of poker seriously, they can point to another player who has had a profound effect on their game. Whether it’s emerging from obscurity to win the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, pulling off heart-stopping bluffs on High Stakes Poker, or crushing the nosebleed stakes of online poker, some of the best poker players in the world have helped to inspire generations of new players find their way in poker. We've spoken with some of the biggest stars in the game today about who it their poker idols are. Kara Scott is so much more than a poker player. In addition to boasting over $650,000 in career tournament earnings, Scott has gone on to be considered one of the most successful poker commentators of her era through her yearly sideline reporting of the World Series of Poker Main Event on ESPN as well as an acclaimed podcast host with her show The Heart of Poker. Traveling the world as an 888poker ambassador affords Scott all kinds of opportunities to play. Last June she won the Ladies Event at the 888poker LIVE stop in Barcelona. When you first started playing poker, who was the player you admired the most? When I first started playing poker, one of the first things I watched was the movie Rounders. That scene with Johnny Chan and the way that Mike talks about him and his skill, the way the casino reacted to him walking in and sitting down to play, that stayed with me. Watching the clips of his WSOP championships made him seem like a superstar to me. What was it about that player that you liked or admired? The fact that Chan had back to back Main Event bracelets gave him such a mystique. He’d done this incredible thing in our game. Something that’ll likely never, ever be done again. It made him seem larger than life in a way I’m guessing a lot of new players see Hellmuth for his bracelet record. When did you first get to see them play (either on TV or live)? I first saw him in the movie Rounders and then I went and watched what I could find of his WSOP wins. Did you ever get to meet that player and what was that like? I did actually get to meet Johnny Chan, less than a year after seeing him on screen for the first time. I was hosting a tiny cable poker show back then with my friend, poker pro Nick Wealthall. Chan was coming to London on a press tour and by some miracle, they’d convinced him to do our show. He must have been expecting a lot more than our tiny setup! He was so gracious though, I remember that. I’d worked all week doing just a ton of research and writing up all my questions and me, overeager newbie, arrived with 15 pages of notes, just to hear the producers say they thought it would be better for Nick to interview him alone. Nick has always been both a great friend and a generous colleague and he insisted I get to be there for the interview and he made sure there was space for me to take part. I’ve never forgotten that and I’ve never forgotten how cool Johnny was. Although I’ve seen him at the poker table and I’ve interviewed him loads of times since then, I still have the Queen he signed for me after that interview, 15 years ago. Can you tell me about something either on the felt or off of the felt that you learned from them? Although we were a much smaller show that Johnny was expecting, he still gave us a great interview and spent loads of time with us on-air. He was big-time and we were small-time but you never would have guessed that from his demeanor. How does it feel to know somebody out there looks at you the way you looked up to your favorite player? It’s such a wild thought. When people ask me for an autograph or a photo, it’s always hugely gratifying that they like my work. I’m no Johnny Chan but I’m glad I have my spot in the poker world!

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