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For most of 2018, Steve O'Dwyer has been unbeatable in high roller tournaments, both online and live. Roger Teska flipped the script on that narrative late Monday night at the $25,500 buy-in Caribbean Poker Party MILLIONS World, coming back from a 4-1 heads up chip deficit to win $2,000,000 and his first live title in over nine years. Teska started the final table with the third shortest stack and had to battle against the likes of Rainer Kempe, Niall Farrell, Joao Vieira, Ben Tollerene and Andras Nemeth on his way to the title. Teska's last live win came in 2009 when he won a $500 buy-in Bellagio Cup V event. It didn't take long for the first casualty at the nine-handed final table. Paul Tedeschi raised to 2,500,000 from middle position with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] before Vieira moved all in for 17,500,000 from the hijack with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. Tedeschi called and watched the [poker card="qh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"] runout keep him in full control and eliminated Vieira in ninth place. Ten minutes later, Farrell became the next victim of the final table. O'Dwyer raised from the button to 2,600,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"] and Farrell moved all in for 10,500,000 with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2d"] from the small blind. Roger Teska re-raised all in from the big blind with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"]. O'Dwyer folded and Farrell could only watch after the [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"][poker card="3s"] flop kept Teska well ahead. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and the [poker card="qd"] completed the board to send Farrell to the rail with an eighth place finish. O'Dwyer found his first final table victim almost 30 minutes later. O'Dwyer raised to 2,500,000 from UTG+1 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"]. From the button, Kempe moved all in for 15,600,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"] and O'Dwyer called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5d"] flop gave O'Dwyer complete control as the [poker card="6d"] and [poker card="ks"] hit the turn and river respectively to eliminate Kempe in seventh. It took nearly two hours of play before there was another elimination. Teska and Tollerene tangled in a pre-flop all in hand that saw Teska win with runner-runner flush against Tollerene's pocket pair. Left with just fumes, the next hand was the end of the line for Tollerene. Tollerene moved all in for 10,000,000 from UTG with [poker card="kd"][poker card="2h"] and Nemeth called from the big blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"]. The [qs[poker card="jh"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Nemeth second pair. The turn was the [poker card="6c"] and the river was the [poker card="ad"] to eliminate Tollerene in sixth. Nemeth had plans on putting his newfound big stack to work but ran into the buzzsaw that is O'Dwyer. From the button, O'Dwyer raised to 3,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"] and Teska called from the small blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"] before Nemeth moved all in for 71,500,000 with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"] from the big blind. O'Dwyer called and Teska folded. O'Dwyer got great news on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop. Neither the [poker card="qc"] turn or [poker card="5c"] river were any help for Nemeth and he was eliminated in fifth place. Tedeschi lost a monster pot to Teska before O'Dwyer finished him off for good. Teska and Charles La Boissonniere both folded and Tedeschi moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2d"]. O'Dwyer called from the big blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="7h"] and then moved ahead with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"] flop. The [poker card="ts"] turn and [poker card="3d"] river failed to save Tedeschi and he was out in fourth. As O'Dwyer continued to build his stack, he did so largely at the expense of La Boissonniere. The Canadian had less than 10 big blinds and found himself in the big blind with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"]. O'Dwyer folded the button, Teska moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="7d"] and La Boissonniere called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="td"][poker card="th"] flop gave Teska the lead. The [poker card="8s"] turn gave La Boissonniere outs to a straight, but the river was the [poker card="6h"] and he was out in third place. When heads-up play began, O'Dwyer had 79.1% of the chips in play. The tournament was all but over a few minutes later when Teska four-bet all in holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and O'Dwyer called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="qs"] on the flop moved Teska in front and neither the turn or river helped O'Dwyer and the stacks were nearly even. Teska's momentum continued and less than an hour later he was posing with the trophy. O'Dwyer button-raised to 9,000,000 holding [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] and Teska shoved with [poker card="tc"][poker card="8c"] and O'Dwyer called all in. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2h"] moved Teska ahead and the [poker card="qd"] turn and the [poker card="3c"] river sealed O'Dwyer's second place finish. Final Table Payouts Roger Teska - $2,000,000 Steve O'Dwyer - $1,300,000 Charles La Boissonniere - $1,000,000 Paul Tedeschi - $700,000 Andras Nemeth - $550,000 Ben Tollerene - $450,000 Rainer Kempe - $350,000 Niall Farrell - $300,000 Joao Viera - $250,000
November was a big month for attention-grabbing poker headlines. There was a hard-to-believe $100,000 prop bet that generated incredible buzz, the return of a high-profile lawsuit between a WSOP Main Event runner-up and the largest online poker site in the world, and the conclusion of a handful of prominent live poker tournaments that found winners. Here are PocketFives' top five stories from November 2018, plus a look at who won the PocketFives Monthly PLB title. Rory Young Reveals Details of $100K Pitch-Black Bathroom Prop Bet Poker players can be known to make wild prop bets, and that was certainly the case for Rory Young and Rich Alati. The two grabbed more than just poker headlines in November when their $100,000 bathroom prop bet was featured in headlines from several mainstream media outlets. It was one of the craziest prop bets we've ever heard of and will be one that is remembered for years and years to come. The bet was made to see if Alati could live in a pitch-black bathroom with no human contact and no electronics, among several other stipulations, for 30 days straight. Soon after the bet was made and began making its way around the poker world, PocketFives spoke with Young about the details of the bet and how it came to fruition. READ: Rory Young Reveals Details of $100K Pitch Black Bathroom Prop Bet Vayo Dismisses PokerStars Lawsuit; Stars Counters Alleging Forgery Back in May, it was made known that Gordon Vayo, runner-up in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, was suing PokerStars for the winnings the online poker site withheld from him from a 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker tournament that was worth nearly $700,000. That story made headlines everywhere within the poker world, but it made even bigger news in November when a November 12 California court filing revealed that Vayo had voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit. What really kicked things up a notch, though, were two things. First that the lawsuit was dropped amid accusations of forgery committed by Vayo. Second, PokerStars was seeking repayment of their attorney fees for nearly $300,000 - quite the tipping of the scales. READ: Vayo Dismisses PokerStars Lawsuit; Stars Counters Alleging Forgery Jack Sinclair Beats Laszlo Bujtas to Win WSOP Europe Main Event A former eighth-place finisher in the WSOP Main Event in 2017 for $1.2 million, Jack Sinclair was back in the World Series of Poker spotlight in November 2018, only this time in Europe. Sinclair made his way to the 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event final table and emerged victorious atop the 534-entry field to win the €1.222 million ($1.277 million) first-place prize. To claim victory, Sinclair had to defeat one of online poker's toughest players in heads-up play, Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas. The victory earned Sinclair the largest payday of his poker career and first WSOP gold bracelet. READ: Jack Sinclair Beats Laszlo Bujtas to Win WSOP Europe Main Event Patrick Serda Wins WPT Montreal for C$855,000 The World Poker Tour was in action in Canada in November for the Season XVII WPT Montreal. The event attracted 792 entries, and it was Patrick 'prepprepprep' Serda who came out on top after entering the final table with the chip lead. Serda defeated the first female winner of an open WPT Main Tour event, Ema Zajmovic, in heads-up play to take home the C$855,000 ($652,801) first-place prize, denying Zajmovic her second World Poker Tour title. READ: Patrick Serda Wins WPT Montreal for C$855,000 Big Titles Won at partypoker Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas While the WSOP and WPT were busy dishing out titles in colder climates, partypoker LIVE was down in the Bahamas for the much-anticipated partypoker Caribbean Poker Party tournament festival. The series was full of big buy-in events, notables faces capturing huge sums of cash, and nine seven-figure prizes awarded. The first big tournament of the series to find its winner was the $25,500 buy-in partypoker MILLIONS World. The event generated 394 entries and fell just short of its $10 million guarantee, but enormous prizes were still to be had, including the $2 million first-place prize that Roger Teska took home after he defeated Steve O'Dwyer in second place. O'Dwyer scored $1.3 million for the runner-up result, and third-place finisher Charles La Boissonniere also took home seven figures, winning $1 million. READ: Roger Teska Battles Back to Win partypoker MILLIONS World for $2M We then saw a $3.685 million winner come from the partypoker $250,000 Super High Roller Championships event, and it was Steffan Sontheimer earning a new career-best score. The event generated a field size of 34 entries for a prize pool of $8.235 million. Sontheimer beat out Sean Winter in heads-up play, and David Peters finished in third place. Winter and Peters took home $2.43 million and $1.42 million, respectively. READ: Steffan Sontheimer Wins partypoker $250K SHR Championships For $3.68M In the $5,300 buy-in Main Event, another $10 million prize pool guarantee was on the line. The event fell short of the guarantee with just 1,815 entries, but the top three spots still gave out a million dollars or more each. Winning the event was Portugal's Filipe Oliveira, taking home the $1.5 million top prize. Craig Mason finished second for $1.2 million, and Marc MacDonnell took third for $1 million. READ: Filipe Oliveira Wins 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event Sweden's 'lena900' Wins Another Monthly PLB Title in November Sweden's 'lena900' stayed hot and won another PocketFives Monthly PLB title in November after cashing 191 times for a total of $585,250. It was a dominating performance for 'lena900,' who racked up more than 4,900 points. The closest competitor was 'girafganger7' with a monthly point total of less than 3,900. A couple of the notable November scores for 'lena900' included a third-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million on November 25 for $80,555 and 569.39 points and a win in the partypoker Sunday Super High Roller: $100K Gtd on November 18 for $41,480 and 387.30 points. READ: Top-Ranked ‘lena900’ Wins November Monthly PLB Title
After turning a Platinum Pass he won for $86 into a $35,000 score in the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship, Anthony 'tonydatiger' Maio now finds himself atop the PocketFives United States Online Poker Rankings. Maio currently has 5,134.21 points and is ahead of David 'bewater' Goodman in second and Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano in third. United States Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Anthony 'tonydatiger' Maio 5,134.21 2 David 'bewater' Goodman 4,716.53 3 Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano 4,596.22 4 Jon 'itsmejon' Borenstein 4,497.39 5 Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo 4,196.83 6 Justin 'Lappy' Lapka 3,992.79 7 'Hurricane27' 3,978.63 8 David 'dehhhhh' Coleman 3,914.59 9 Chance 'Chances Cards' Kornuth 3,770.43 10 'jordanfrog' 3,665.53 Maio has a handful of recent four-figure scores, including a good number of those coming from WSOP.com and PokerStars NJ. Maio’s biggest score on WSOP.com recently was a first-place finish in the $20,000 Monthly Saturday [PLO, 6 Max] for $6,400 and 141.42 points on January 27, 2019. Just a few days before that, Maio took fourth in the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown - $30,000 GTD [Re-entry] for $5,137 and 98.65 points on January 23. On PokerStars NJ, Maio recently finished runner-up in the Sunday Special - $200, $25,000 Gtd for $4,000 and 104.32 points on February 3. Also on PokerStars NJ, but back in the middle of January, Maio won the Winter Series 6: $1,000 NL Hold'em [High-Roller,6-Max], $25,000 Gtd for $11,020 and 165.98 points. Goodman’s recent results have all been on WSOP.com, highlighted by scores of $8,336 (146.09 points), $4,387 (98.09 points), and $6,893 (129.11 points) in the month of January. For Gagliano, all but one of his cashes in 2019 have come from WSOP.com or PokerStars NJ, and he already has five victories in online poker tournaments this year. He won the BorgataPoker.com Mega $535 Tuesday - $12,000 GTD Six-Max NLH [3x RE] for $6,975 and 150 points on January 23, the PokerStars NJ Winter Series 13: $200 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO,6-Max], $18,000 Gtd for $3,458 and 115.32 points on January 20, the PokerStars NJ Winter Series 4: $150 NL Hold'em [4-Max], $20,000 Gtd for $7,222 and 153 points on January 14, the PokerStars NJ Sunday High Roller [6-Max] - $500, $10,000 Gtd for $5,405 and 103.97 points on January 13, and the WSOP.com Tuesday Showdown - $30,000 GTD [Re-entry] for $11,357 and 188.39 points on January 2.