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Found 9 results

  1. Bianca Rojas-Latraverse (pictured), the ex-girlfriend of 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel who orchestrated an assault on him in 2011, "said she wanted to 'do her time and her sentence,' telling the [parole]board that she hoped it would 'reduce the pain' of Duhamel," according to the Winnipeg Sun. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsson Poker, a leading global online gaming provider. Betsson Poker is available on Mobile and offers regular promotions to live events around the world along with great bonuses and competitions. Play now for a chance to win the a Dream Holiday with the Grand Poker Adventures throughout 2014! --- However, the parole board disagreed and mandated that Rojas-Latraverse go free as soon as two-thirds of her sentence has passed. In June of last year, Rojas-Latraverse was sentenced to 3.5 yearsbehind bars for being the ringleader behind the beating of Duhamel in his home, which left Duhamel afraid for his life and his WSOP bracelet, cash, and a Rolex watch given to him by PokerStars missing. Rojas-Latraverse had already served 18 months in jail and was credited for that time, meaning she would spend another two years locked away. According to the Sun, the board told her, "The main factors that contributed to your criminal behavior are poor management of your emotions… significant emotional immaturity, and the lure of easy money." She'll reportedly be released under supervision. The robbery occurred just before Christmas 2011, when two men knocked on Duhamel's door shortly after 9:00am and proceeded to barge their way in. Duhamel (pictured) commented at the time that the assailants "tied me up and beat me, hitting me in the face and all over my body before leaving my house." They also, according to Duhamel, threatened to kill him. Prior to the assault, Duhamel's ex-girlfriend sent a text that read, "Tomorrow at 10 think of me," later followed by, "Everything is planned. We even have a driver if I choke." A few days after the robbery, Andre Robert Perron, then 26 years of age, was seen with Duhamel's watch. At the same time, Rojas-Latraverse, Anthony Bourque, and John Lemay were all taken into custody. Rojas-Latraverse was ultimately denied bail. Duhamel's bracelet, which WSOP officials said could be replaced if needed, was found in February 2012 by a street sweeper. Our coverage at the time revealed that the bracelet was beat up: "All of the links are missing; only the center plate of the bracelet is present. It is dented, dinged, scratched, and chipped, mutilation that one might expect would happen to a metal bracelet when jettisoned in the street and collected by a sweeper." In late 2012, Rojas-Latraverse reportedly had an "accident" in prison, according to her attorney, which a prosecutor at the same time dubbed "an incident involving violence." Amazingly, Duhamel rebounded just a few weeks after the attack, finishing fourth in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller Event for $313,000, one-quarter of the $1.2 million he earned at the PCA that year. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. PokerArena recently reported on a series of articles by the Czech newspaper Pravo that detailed a number of kidnappings committed by an organized crime gang. Seven members of a gang were recently arrested and face numerous charges for their roles in the alleged crimes. The boss of said group is allegedly Michael Svab, who was also charged with kidnapping in 2005, but was eventually acquitted. Before we get to the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko's (pictured) role in this bizarre tale, let's illustrate how this gang works. In July 2011, the gang got in touch with a wealthy philanthropist and yachting enthusiast and convinced him to meet a man named Robert Kelner in Valencia. Kelner's family was supposedly experiencing a great tragedy, the emotion of which spurred him to want to donate a sizable amount of money to charity. Of course, the story was a ruse and Kelner was actually Michael Svab. Rather than meeting in Valencia, the victim was somehow convinced to meet at an apartment, where he was held hostage for six days before coughing up $2 million. That's the gang's modus operandi. It tugs at the heartstrings of rich people and persuades them to meet at some fancy, exciting location where another rich person is ready to cut them a large check. The meeting ends up getting diverted to somewhere else the gang can control and the mark gets kidnapped and held for ransom. Enter Martin Staszko, who became a hero in the Czech Republic after bursting into the poker spotlight with a $5.4 million score in the WSOP Main Event in November 2011. Svab certainly took notice of Staszko's success and contacted Milan Slama, then Chairman of the Czech Poker Association, apparently to get an introduction to Staszko. The yarn this time was that Svab, as Kelner,wanted to give his father the special birthday gift of a private poker game with the Czech star. A trip on a private jet and a healthy appearance fee were offered to sweeten the deal. Slama, though, smelled a rat. The offer was declined and Staszko unknowingly avoided potential disaster. Unfortunately, not all of the group's marks were so lucky. As mentioned, some were kidnapped and released after a ransom was paid. Two, though, are suspected to have been murdered. This is one of the more amazing tales of a poker player being the target of a crime as the result of his notoriety, but it was not the first and not likely to be the last. Here are some other notable incidents involving poker players: 2004 – That year's WSOP Main Event champ,Greg Raymer (pictured), was attacked by two men outside his hotel room at the Bellagio while he was carrying $150,000. They attempted to force him into his room, but he fought them off and forced them to run away. They were apprehended a few months later. 2006 - "Amarillo Slim" Preston was shot at while on his way home one night. A man cut him off with his car and demanded money at gunpoint. After refusing, Preston floored it in reverse, only to be shot at three times. He escaped unharmed, though his car did catch a couple of bullets. 2007 – Just a few months after the car incident, Preston was ambushed in his home by two armed men. He was stripped, tied up, and had a gun stuck into his belly. In classic cowboy style, Preston told him, "Pull the trigger on that damn thing or put it down." The trigger was not pulled, but the men got away with guns, cash, and a valuable belt buckle. 2010 – WSOP bracelet winner and 2008 WSOP Main Event fifth place finisher Scott Montgomerywas mugged in the bathroom of the Bellagio. A man wielding a knife absconded with $2,000. 2011 – Jonathan Duhamel was tied up and beatenin his home by two men who stole thousands of Dollars and Euros in cash, his 2010 WSOP Main Event bracelet, and a custom Rolex given to him by PokerStars. His ex-girlfriend was later found to have been the mastermind behind the plot. Duhamel is pictured shortly after the incident. 2012 – Sam Trickett was attacked after leaving a Las Vegas club hours after placing second in the Big One for One Drop at the WSOP, where he won $10 million. 2012 – In another home invasion, Theo Jorgensen was shot three times in the leg by men looking to relieve him of any gambling winnings he had in his house. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel (pictured) has hit it big once again, this time taking down the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for nearly $4 million. The 27-year-old scored his second gold bracelet in his sixth career WSOP final table. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Duhamel told WSOP officials when the tournament ended, "I feel so lucky and so blessed in so many ways where I am right now. This is the biggest buy-in event of the summer and it turned out to be my second-best day." The One Drop event sent a portion of each player's buy-in to the eponymous charity that's focused on water issues worldwide. This year's gathering created the largest prize pool of the 2015 WSOP thus far at $14.2 million and Duhamel's competition at the final table included the likes of 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (pictured) and 2014 Big One for One Drop winner Daniel Colman. Duhamel doubled up early on at the final table with aces. He said of the key hand, "After that, I could just use my chips and played my game." Complicating matters was a medical emergency at the Rio that stopped play in all events after a participant had a heart attack. Colman was all-in against Bill Klein when the stoppage occurred. In the end, Duhamel outlasted Klein for the win and the almost $4 million first place prize. He commented, "This tournament and this cause mean a lot to me. So, to win this tournament is such an honor. I know Guy [Laliberte]well and he's the one who started this. I've also been a spokesman for One Drop. This tournament and the money raised will help lots of people. So for me, this is like a double win." The final table was packed with bracelet winners and self-made millionaires. Colman is up to $17 million in WSOP winnings after bagging $1.5 million in this tournament. Ben Sulsky has recorded three straight fourth place finishes in WSOP events and is a nosebleed-stakes cash game player. Anthony Zinno is the reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year: 1. Jonathan Duhamel - $3,989,985 2. William Klein - $2,465,522 3. Daniel Colman - $1,544,121 4. Ben Sulsky - $1,118,049 5. Dan Perper - $873,805 6. Phil Hellmuth - $696,821 7. Anthony Zinno - $565,864 8. Sergey Lebedev - $466,970 All 137 entrants in this tournament were male and the field included two first-time WSOP entrants. There were 98 Americans and 39 players from other countries, with England constituting the second largest group with 21 players. The ages of participants ranged from 21 to 74; John Morgan was the eldest statesman. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. Friday evening in Berlin, Jonathan Duhamel put himself into elite territory when he beat David Kitai heads-up to win the €25,600 High Roller event at WSOP Europe to win €554,395 ($609,934 US) and his third WSOP bracelet. With the win Duhamel, who won the WSOP Main Event in 2010, became the first Main Event champion of the November Nine era to win a third bracelet. Duhamel's second bracelet came in July when he won the High Roller for One Drop. “It feels even better than the second one,” Duhamel said. “I felt like this tournament was really tough. It’s one of the toughest I’ve played in my life. To be able to win it, it means everything.” The last WSOP Main Event champion to win more than two bracelets was Chris Ferguson. The six-handed final table, which will be broadcast on ESPN later this year, took just over 6 1/2 hours to complete. When play began Italian poker pro Mustapha Kanit had an overwhelming chip lead but it was Duhamel who made the first move. Just after two hours into the day Duhamel eliminated Fedor Holz in sixth place. Holz, shortstacked for most of the day, raised to 170,000 and Duhamel moved all-in. Holz called and table Ts 9h while Duhamel was ahead with Ad 7s. The flop came Jh 7d 2d adding a gutshot straight draw to Holz's possibilities. The turne was the 7c leaving only the straight draw for Holz. The 5h missed and the young German out in sixth place. Kanit then put his big stack to work. He eliminated the only other German player at the final table, Christoph Vogelsong, in fifth and then Sam Chartier in fourth. With just three players remaining, Kanit had a slight chip lead over Kitai and Duhamel and it all went downhill from there for the Belgian pro. Kanit lost over half of his stack to Kitai on a board showing 9h 7h 3d Qd Jc when he couldn't best Kitai's 9d 8s. And then Duhamel finished the job when he called Kanit's preflop shove. Kanit, with Qh 5s, had live cards against Duhamel's Ac Jd. The flop, turn and river all missed Kanit, leaving Duhamel and Kitai to play heads-up. Duhamel had a slight chip lead over Kitai when heads-up play began and applied pressure throughout the early stages of heads-up play. Down to just over Kitai did double-up at one point but it was nothing more than a momentary blip for Duhamel. On the final hand of the night Kitai moved all-in from the button with Jh 7s and Duhamel called with 7c 7h. The As Ks 2s flop gave Kitai some outs but the 8h turn and 7d river weren't amongst them to give Duhamel the pot, the bracelet and the fourth biggest score of his career. Final Table Payouts Jonathan Duhamel - €554,395 Davidi Kitai - €342,620 Mustapha Kanit - €227,145 Sam Chartier - €160,775 Christoph Vogelsang - €121,020 Fedor Holz - €96,625 Timothy Adams - €81,420
  5. With just four live cashes to his name before WSOP Europe kicked off last week, it would be fair to say that a lot of people probably overlooked Alex ‘Komarolo22’ Komaromi before the final table of the €2,200 Eight Game Mix event began. There were other players with pedigree at the final table including Shaun Deeb, Jonathan Duhamel and Scott Clements. That didn’t matter to Komaromi though as he eliminated four of his five opponents at the final table to win €65,740 ($74,800 US) and his first WSOP bracelet. He also became the first Uruguayan to win a WSOP bracelet. “It really means a lot. It’s like a dream to me. I started watching poker on TV with the World Series,” said Komaromi. “(It seemed) so far away. And now that I've achieved it, it’s great. I’m very happy.” The final table began Wednesday with Komaromi and the former LAPT winner showed no mercy. He eliminated Jens Lakemeier in sixth place after just an hour of play. He then denied Shaun Deeb his second bracelet of 2015 by busting him in fifth. Duhamel, also seeking his second bracelet of the year, was the only player sent to the rail by somebody other than Komaromi. Just before Day 2 wrapped up Duhamel found himself on the losing end of a Pot Limit Omaha pot with Clements and the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion was eliminated in fourth. At that point the three remaining players bagged their chips for the night. Komaromi had nearly 50% of the chips in play and when play resumed Thursday afternoon he made quick work of his final two opponents. In just under one hour of play, Noah Bronstein was eliminated in third place and Clements was out in second. Despite his dominance at the final table, Komaromi knew he was up against some of the best players in the world as the field began to dwindle. “When there were eight or ten players left, they were all pretty much elite players,” said Komaromi “(It was) hard to take advantage of most of the spots. I tried my best. I think I did good, and I ran good.” This marks the second straight year that Clements has finished runner-up in an Eight Game Mix event at the WSOP. In 2014 Clements finished second to George Danzer in the $5,000 Eight Game Mix at WSOP APAC. The next final table at WSOP Europe is the €3,250 No Limit Hold’em event on Friday. Final Table Payouts Alex Komaromi - €65,740 Scott Clements - €40,645 Noah Bronstein - €29,200 Jonathan Duhamel - €21,065 Shaun Deeb - €15,235 Jens Lakemeier - €11,025
  6. The weekend brought out all of the superstars to the halls of the Rio for the 49th Annual World Series of Poker. As one more tournament came to a conclusion, one of the largest tournaments of the summer, the Millionaire Maker, saw thousands of players begin their latest journey. Here’s a wrap-up of everything that happened on Saturday (June 9) at the WSOP. Zhigalov Wins H.O.R.S.E. It only took 20 minutes on an unscheduled Day 4 for Andrey Zhigalov to defeat Timothy Frazin heads-up in Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Zhigalov wins the $202,787 first place prize and his first career WSOP gold bracelet. After a three hour battle on Day 3 late into the night, play was suspended for the night and the pair came back ready to go back to war. However, a long match was not in the cards and an excited Zhigalov closed out a career-defining win. “I was excited to make Day 2, then I got excited to make Day 3, and then here I was on Day 4,” Zhigalov said, speaking about his journey. “I usually only play limit mixed games. When I play Hold’em and look down at two cards, I think ‘Where are my other cards? Two cards is kind of boring.” Final Table Results For Event #15 1. Andrey Zhigalov - $202,787 2. Timothy Frazin - $125,336 3. Bradley Smith - $87,769 4. Matt Woodward - $62,379 5. Nicholas Derke - $45,006 6. Sandeep Vasudevan - $32,971 7. Scott Clements - $24,531 8. JW Smith - $18,541 Schulman, D’Angelo Final Table Event #17 Bracelet winner Joey Weissman will head into the final table of Event #17: $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed with a substantial chip lead. However, he’s not the only bracelet winner to reach the final six, in what turned out to be a stacked final table. Popular poker pro and two-time bracelet winner Nick Schulman, as well as bracelet winners Ryan ‘g0lfa’ D’Angelo and China’s Yue Du will also be in the hunt for the $378,743 first place prize. The day started with 27 players and so it only took a swift six hours of play to whittle the field down to the final table. The final six will reconvene at 12:00 noon on Sunday to play to a winner with the final table live-streamed on PokerGo beginning at 1:00 pm PT. Event #17 Final Table Chip Counts 1. Joey Weissman - 3,683,000 2. Ognyan Dimov - 2,560,000 3. Ryan D’Angelo - 2,350,000 4. Antonio Barbato - 2,205,000 5. Nick Schulman - 861,000 6. Yue Du - 796,000 Three Left In $10K Dealer’s Choice The evening came to an end in Event #18: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice with three players remaining to play for the bracelet and the $293,275 first place prize. Bracelet winner Adam Friedman holds the chip lead over Alexey Makarov and Stuart Rutter when the trio return to wrap this up Sunday afternoon at 2 pm PT. Chris Klodnicki ($90,713), David “ODB” Baker ($65,308), Anthony Zinno ($35,082) and Jesse Martin ($26,184) were among the 13 players who started the day but were ultimately busted during the day. Final Table Chipstacks In Event #18 1. Adam Friedman - 3,075,000 2. Alexey Makarov - 1,325,000 3. Stuart Rutter - 1,145,000 Unofficial Final Table Set for $565 PLO Day 2 of Event #19: $565 Pot Limit Omaha is in the books and only ten of the 100 players that started the day remain with chips. Canada's Maxine Heroux returns as the chip leader when the unofficial final reconvenes to determine a winner of the WSOP gold bracelet and the over $181,000 first place prize. Joining Heroux and in pursuit of his fourth WSOP victory is fellow Canadian and former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel. Duhamel will enter the day as the only bracelet winner at the final table and fifth in chips. The contest will be settled on Day 3 which begins Sunday at 2 pm PT. Event # 19 Final Table Chip Counts 1. Maxime Heroux - 2,530,000 2. Criag Varnell - 1,570,000 3. Ilian Lu - 1,410,000 4. Christopher Trang - 1,350,000 5. Jonathan Duhamel - 1,120,000 6. Seth Zimmerman - 1,020,000 7. Jason Lipiner - 850,000 8. Conway Frankenheimer - 760,000 9. Omar Mehmood - 700,000 10. Shaome Yang - 635,000 $5K Big Blind Ante Enters Final Day The elite field of Event #20: $5,000 Big Blind Ante NLHE slimmed down to just 24 after a long day of Day 2 play. At the end of the day, Chris Bolek claimed the overnight chip lead, However, there are plenty of big-name, high-stakes crushers hot on his heels. A number of notable names still remain to vie for the $537,710 first place prize including Jake Schindler, Shawun Buchanan, Seth Davies, Michael Gagliano, Kristen Bicknell and David Peters. There were also plenty of players who managed to make the money but were unable to survive the day. Dominil Nitsche ($14,572), Justin Bonomo ($12,331), Bryn Kenney ($10,639), Humberto Brenes ($8,506), Erik Seidel ($7,860), Kitty Kuo ($7,860) and Olivier Busquet ($7,435) all hit the payout cage on Day 2. Event #20 is scheduled to play to a winner on Day 3 starting at 2 pm PT on Sunday. Event #20 Top 10 Chip Stacks 1. Chris Bolek - 1,129,000 2. Kenneth Smaron - 990,000 3. Jake Schindler - $926,000 4. Ran Ilani - 924,000 5. Shawn Buchanan - 846,000 6. Seth Davies - 812,000 7. Asi Moshe - 698,000 8. Peter Neff - 683,000 9. David Laka - 673,000 10. Patrick Truong - 655,000 Over 3000 Register For Milly Maker Day 1A Event #21: $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker saw 3,046 runners flood the convention halls of the Rio to take their shot at turning a little bit of money into a lifetime score. At the end of the day, Canadian Kyle Hartree ran his stack up to bag the overnight chip lead for this opening flight. There were a number of notable names who also managed to end the evening with a top 10 stack including James Dempsey, JC Tran, Blair Hinkle, Jack Sinclair, Michael Gathy and Faraz Jaka. Plenty of poker superstars survived the day as well. Main Event Champions Ryan Reiss, Martin Jacobson, Joe Cada, Joe McKeehen, Chris Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth all made it through with healthy stacks. Also still left in the field is Shaun Deeb, Adrian Mateos, Lily Kiletto, Mike Dentale, Loni Harwood, Niall Farrell, Tony Dunst and ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, just to name a few. The total number of participants and prize pool money will be announced once registration for the second flight of this massive tournament closes on Sunday. Millionaire Maker Day 1A Top Ten 1. Kyle Hartree - 208,500 2. James Dempsey - 167,400 3. Nick Schwarmann - 165,800 4. JC Tran - 140,200 5. Blair Hinkle - 124,400 6. Jake Daniels - 116,400 7. Jack Sinclair - 109,400 8. Faraz Jaka - 105,000 9. Rees Scruggs - 102,400 10. Michael Gathy - 86,500 Turner Leads In 8-Game Mix 481 players showed up to register for Event #22: $1,500 8-Game Mix, generating a first place prize of over $147,000. The man in the best position to capture that headed into Day 2 is chip leader Jon Turner. However, a mixed game tournament, no matter the buy-in, is bound to draw some big name competition and that is exactly what Turner faces moving forward. David Bach, Amnon Filippi, Fabrice Soulier, Valentin Vornicu and Daniel Negreanu all managed to bag top 10 chip stacks. There are 134 players left, 70 of which will make the money when play resumes at 2 pm PT on Sunday. Upcoming Action (June 10) Sunday brings the second flight of Event #21B: $1,500 Millionaire Maker at 10 am PT. Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit Lowball Championship will also get underway at 3:00 pm PT. Last year saw 92 players enter with eventual winner John Monnette collect over $256,000 for first place. Finally, the second flight of Event #11B: PLO GIANT will take place at 7:00 pm PT. The first flight which took place on June 4 saw 423 runners register. Lubbock, Texas’ Pedro Arroyos finished the day with 1,757,000 chips to lead all players.
  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. Before jumping into who made #31-40, make sure you check out the names of the players who made #41-50. #40 - Jay Heimowitz BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 43 $1,526,281 22 New York’s Jay Heimowitz has captured six bracelets over the course of four decades, the first of which he won back in 1975 ($1,000 No Limit Hold'em). His sixth bracelet was won 26 years later in 2001, taking down the $1,000 Seniors’ Championship 26. At 81 years old, Heimowitz continues to make the trek to the World Series of Poker, having cashed in each of the last three Seniors events as he continues to add to his $1.5 million in WSOP career earnings. “Modern day players may not know the name Jay Heimowitz as he wasn’t one of the pre-Moneymaker grinders to make it big on TV during the boom. However, his resume speaks for itself and his consistency and dedication to the WSOP, having played and cashed in the series in every decade in its history, makes him one of the greats.” – PocketFives Senior Writer, Jeff Walsh. #39 - David ‘Chip’ Reese BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 25 $2,246,089 16 The man that Doyle Brunson once declared as “the best poker player that ever lived” was David ‘Chip’ Reese, winner of the WSOP's very first $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament for over $1.78M. After Reese’s death in 2007, the WSOP honored him by putting his name on the trophy for the prestigious event (later named the Poker Players Championship). Widely considered one of the best cash game players of his era, Reese made a lasting impact on the WSOP by winning three bracelets and over $2.2 million over the course of his 25 cashes. #38 - Chris Bjorin BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 92 $2,630,156 33 Sweden’s Chris Bjorin is a model of World Series of Poker consistency. His first WSOP cash came back in 1991 and he’s had a presence at the series ever since. Amassing 86 cashes in Las Vegas, and another six during the WSOPE, Bjorin has earned over $2.6 million from WSOP events, helping him to the #2 on Sweden’s All Time Money List, right behind WSOP Main Event Champion Martin Jacobson. Bjorin picked up bracelets in 1997 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha) and 2000 ($3,000 No-Limit Hold’em). "The consistent nature that Chris Bjorin brings to the WSOP is remarkable. He's one of Europe's most distinguished players and has been recording numerous cashes each summer at the WSOP for decades now. His success, done so through performances across all variants, served as a model for European players at the WSOP." - PocketFives Managing Editor Donnie Peters #37 - Sammy Farha BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 11 $2,586,105 6 Legendary gambler Sammy Farha’s contribution to the explosion of poker in the early 2000’s simply cannot be overlooked. With his unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth, Farha’s one-of-a-kind personality made almost as much impact on the WSOP as the man he sat across from at the final table of the 2003 Main Event. Farha, as we all know, finished runner-up to Chris Moneymaker, an event that served as ground zero for the poker boom. After that, Farha remained a fixture of the WSOP. He showed up and played in some of the biggest events of the series. He picked up two of his three gold bracelets after 2003, winning one in 2006 ($5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo) and another in 2010 ($10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Championship). "The character that is Sammy Farha is as important to WSOP history as is Sammy Farha the poker player. He epitomizes the gambler and his legend only grows in that regard when you realize his game of choice is and will always Omaha. Farha only has 11 WSOP cashes, but that's largely because he focuses on high-stakes cash game play and only really plays tournaments when they are Omaha. Even so, six of those 11 cashes have resulted in top 10 finished and three of them were bracelet wins. Omaha is the second most popular variant in WSOP history and Farha is one of the most iconic Omaha players the WSOP has ever seen." - Donnie Peters #36 - Jonathan Duhamel BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 41 $14,647,089 12 The first of the modern day Main Event winners to grace this list, Jonathan Duhamel seemed to come out of nowhere when he took down the 2010 Main Event for $8.9 million. That victory alone is not enough to land in the top 50 of all-time, however, Duhamel was more than a one-hit wonder. He continued to make the trip to Las Vegas and in the years since has tacked on two more bracelets. First, he won the $111,111 High Roller For One Drop in 2015 for another $3.989M and then added a WSOPE bracelet in the same year in the €25,600 NLHE High Roller for $628K. Duhamel has over $14.6M in WSOP earnings with 11 final tables over the course of 40 cashes. #35 - Dan Harrington BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 2 13 $3,534,237 5 Despite his limited WSOP resume, Poker Hall of Fame member “Action” Dan Harrington (and his iconic green Boston baseball cap) was an important presence during some of the biggest moments of the WSOP. In 1995, Harrington bested the 273 player field to take home the $1,000,000 first-place prize of the Main Event. He then made it back to the final table in 2003, finishing in third place to Farha and Moneymaker for $650,000. He navigated the field in 2004 to reach his third Main Event final table, finishing in fourth place for $1.5 million. “Harrington may only have 13 cashes at the World Series of Poker, but this results made a major impact on the WSOP brand and poker itself. His back-to-back final tables in the Main Event came just as cameras captured the birth of poker boom and Harrington’s Boston toughness at the table is something that still resonates with those in the pre-Moneymaker generation. Having had the opportunity to play with Harrington once, I can attest to his on-the-felt charisma that was broadcast to millions in 2003.” - Jeff Walsh #34 - Layne Flack BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 52 $2,803,470 20 The first time Layne Flack went to the World Series of Poker in the late ’90s, he was there to work as a dealer. After one week in the box, he switched sides and started his WSOP career as a player. Now, over 20 years later Flack has won six WSOP titles and over $2.8 million in earnings. Although he earned his nickname of ‘Back-to-Back’ Flack before 2003, Flack lived up to his moniker after winning a bracelet in the $2,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and then jumping right into a $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout and taking that one down as well. #33 - Brian Rast BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 35 $6,012,256 11 Las Vegas pro Brian Rast has proven himself to be a favorite in just about any tournament he enters, having picked up four bracelets in his career and earned over $6 million at the WSOP. One of only two people to have won the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship more than once, Rast picked up his first PPC victory in 2011, denying Phil Hellmuth the win, and taking home $1.7M for first. Then in 2016, he bested current All-Time Money List leader Justin Bonomo to pick up his second Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and another $1.29M prize. "Rast is a very special breed of poker player. He doesn't play a 30-40 event schedule each summer in pursuit of Player of the Year points. He picks and chooses the events where he has an edge and then crushes them. Having won the Poker Players Championship twice, Rast has proven his mettle against the best players of his era. If we do this list again in ten years, I suspect Rast will be higher up the list." - Lance Bradley, PocketFives Editor in Chief. #32 - Jeff Madsen BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 68 $2,958,415 13 In 2006, when 21-year-old Jeff Madsen won his first gold bracelet in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $660,948, he became the record holder for the youngest bracelet winner in history (a distinction that now belongs to Annette Obrestad). Madsen followed that performance in the same year with a victory in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max for another $643,381. His success in his first year earned him WSOP Player of the Year honors. Madsen has returned to the Rio every year since 2006, accumulating 73 cashes for nearly $3M in earnings and adding another two bracelets in 2013 and 2015. #31 - Antonio Esfandiari BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 3 48 $21,835,096 9 One of the most popular players on the planet is the bracelet winner of what was the largest tournament ever held at the World Series of Poker, the 2012 $1M buy-in Big One For One Drop. ‘The Magician’ was literally lifted in the air, on the shoulder of his rail, after claiming the first-place prize of $18.3M, the current record for largest payout ever at the WSOP. The iconic image of a barefoot Esfandiari basking in the victory of a lifetime is the current peak of a WSOP career that dates back to 2003. Esfandiari claimed his first bracelet in 2004 ($2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em) and added a third bracelet after his One Drop win, by taking home a €1,100 No Limit Hold’em title from World Series of Poker Europe. In addition to his 48 cashes and over $21M in lifetime earnings, Esfandiari’s personality has been affiliated with the WSOP brand in front of the camera, both on the felt and in the commentary booth on ESPN. For more discussion on PocketFives' Top 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History, check out the latest episode of The Fives podcast. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher Stay tuned to PocketFives as we continue to count down the 50 greatest players in WSOP history leading up to the start of the 2019 festival.
  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. Over the past 50 years, for many, the World Series of Poker has grown into more than just a poker series. It’s become a pilgrimage of sorts. Players from all over the world head to Las Vegas to take their shot at battling against the best, bringing home a bracelet and possibly be crowned a World Champion. With the WSOP regularly taking place in the U.S., it’s no surprise that American players, far and away, have amassed the most bracelets in WSOP history. It’s nearly 20 times that of the next nearest country. But this year is different and the tables have turned. After the month of July, the focus of the bracelet chase will be handed over to GGPoker where the rest of the world will have the edge on grabbing gold as American players continue to be shut out of the global online poker scene. On GGPoker, players from nations from around the world who wouldn’t otherwise make it to the Rio this summer will be looking to add to their own poker resume while contributing to the WSOP legacy of their country. Brazil It’s no secret Brazilians love their poker. They also love playing online. In the history of PocketFives, four Brazilian players have climbed to the #1 worldwide ranking. But when it comes to the World Series of Poker, Brazil isn’t even in the top 10 countries when it comes to taking down WSOP events. Through the end of 2019, six players have earned a bracelet including one of those former #1-ranked online players, Yuri Martins Dzivielevski. Dzivielevski grabbed his first WSOP win just last year after taking down the $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Li 8 or Better event for over $213K. Dzivielevski, partypoker ambassador Joao Simeo, WSOP bracelet winner Andre Akkari, and GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos are just some of Brazil's top-flight talent that make it so it wouldn’t be unthinkable for Brazil’s total bracelet count to double in 2020. Canada The truth is, it’s been hard for Canada to compete for bracelets in the U.S. Not because of a lack of talent, there’s more than enough. But because of tax ramifications. When Canadians win at the WSOP they can lose as much as 30% to the US-Canada Tax Treaty, making it hard to be profitable in tournaments. That hasn’t stopped Canada from claiming the #2 spot with 60 total bracelets. Led by Daniel Negreanu and his six wins, Canada boasts numerous multi-time bracelet winners including Greg Mueller, Mark Radoja, Kristen Bicknell and 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, the first and only Canadian to hold that title. There’s a good chance for Canada to add to their legacy and strengthen their bracelet count in 2020. It’s well known that Negreanu, also a GGPoker ambassador, is going to charging hard for a bracelet with over $500,000 in bracelet bets on the line. Also online crushers like Bicknell, bracelet winner Mike Leah, former #1-ranked PocketFiver Sebastian ‘p0cket00’ Sikorski, and recent PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker winner Mike Watson all have full reign to win without getting punished in the wallet simply for being great. United Kingdom Some of the most colorful characters to grace the World Series of Poker stage have come from the UK. Many of which have contributed to the country’s 51 bracelets. David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, Luke Schwartz, Roland de Wolfe, Jake Cody, and Barny Boatman are just some of the legendary names that have posed for a WSOP winner’s photo and elevated the profile of poker in the UK. This year it will be a new crop of players who will lead the charge for England starting with the current #1 ranked online poker player in the world, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. In fact, four of the top 20 online players in the world play from the UK including Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard and Tyler ‘Wonderboy222’ Goatcher. In the history of the UK, only seven players have earned multiple bracelets and if there’s one player who is a favorite to join that club it would be high roller savant Stephen Chidwick. Chidwick, who holds a bracelet of his own, is one of the most talented tournament players in both the live and online arena. Provided he has the time, he could even have a shot at catching Benny Glaser, who holds the UK’s record as a three-time bracelet winner. Russia Russia and France both have 22 bracelets, but when it comes to playing online Russia gets a definitive edge. It’s impossible to forget the impact that Russian players have had on the World Series of Poker from Ivan Demidov’s runner-up finish the original November Nine for over $5.8 million to Vitaly Lunkin taking down the 40th WSOP Anniversary event for his second gold bracelet. But while Russia is another talent-rich country, it takes a lot of effort to make it from Moscow to the middle of the Amazon Room. While Dennis ‘aDrENalin710’ Strebkov made the journey in 2019 and went home with a bracelet, many of the online crushers from Russia opt to grind online through the summer. It’s those players, like former #1-ranked ‘veeea’, who could break the tie with France this year and tack on to Russia’s total. That is unless Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has anything to say about it. The truth is that for many countries, the series on GGPoker can really impact their gold bracelet standing. In China, there are four players who have won a bracelet. With GGPoker’s wide exposure to the Asian market, there’s a very good chance that that club will be adding some new members in 2020. There’s only one bracelet winner from Uruguay, Alex Komaromi, who won his at the WSOPE in 2015. Top-ranked players from Hungary, like ‘Wildace_hun’ have the chance to break a long-standing five-country tie of five bracelets. While none of these countries are going to make up much ground on the 1,1132 bracelets earned by Americans, the gold they take home this summer will be an important part of WSOP, and their countries, legacy in poker.
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