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  1. [caption width="640"] Kenneth Smaron took down the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event Monday (PokerStars photo)[/caption] The second PokerStars Championship Main Eventwrapped up Monday night in Panama with Kenneth Smaron navigating his way through a tough final table on his way to winning $293,860. When the final six players bagged up their chips on Sunday night, Russia’s Denis Timofeev had the chip lead and Anthony Diotte, one of two Canadians still in contention, was the shortest. Starting the final day with just 16 big blinds, Diotte was in search of a hand to push with and he found one on just the third hand. Robin Luca Wozniczek raised to 70,000 before Diotte move all in for 450,000 from the big blind. Wozniczek called and turned over [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] while Diotte had [poker card="ah"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Wozniczek bottom set and all but sealed Diotte’s fate. The [poker card="ac"] turn was no help and the [poker card="8c"] river was a formality as Diotte was sent packing in sixth. Despite the momentum that came with picking up that elimination, Wozniczek was the next to go, a little over 90 minutes later. Jonathan Abdellatif raised to 100,000 from UTG and Wozniczek and Timofeev called from the small and big blinds respectively. The flop was [poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3h"] and both Wozniczek and Timofeev checked, allowing Abdellatif to bet 160,000. Wozniczek raised to 380,000 and Timofeev folded. Abdellatif moved all in for 1,760,000 and Wozniczek called all in. Abdellatif turned up [poker card="9h"][poker card="7h"] for a flush draw and double-gutter while Wozniczek turned over [poker card="kh"][poker card="6h"] for top pair and a better flush draw. The [poker card="jc"] turn changed nothing but the [poker card="4s"] river gave Abdellatif a straight to eliminate Wozniczek. However, almost two hours later Abdellatif suffered the same fate. Smaron opened to 125,00 from the button and Abdellatif called from the big blind. The flop was [poker card="ad"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4d"], Abdellatif check-raised to 650,000 after Smaron bet 100,000. Smaron called and showed down [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"] for top pair while Abdellatif had a flush draw with [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="8c"] turn and [poker card="8h"] river failed to complete that draw and he was out in fourth. It took over four hours and 101 hands to go from three-handed to heads-up. Smaron raised to 160,000 from the button before Timofeev re-raised to 475,000 from the small blind. Smaron eventually four-bet to 1,100,000, Timofeev moved all in for 2,910,000 and Smaron called. Timofeev showed [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] and Smaron was racing with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4s"] flop kept Timofeev ahead. The [poker card="2c"] turn did too but gave Smaron wheel outs. The [poker card="3c"] river gave Smaron a runner-runner straight and eliminated Timofeev in third. Smaron started heads up play with the chip lead and needed only nine hands to finish off Harpreet Gill. On the final hand Gill limped his button, Smaron raised to 350,000 and Gill moved all in for 2,615,000. After some delibieration, Smaron called and tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] and Gill showed [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"][poker card="9h"] flop kept Smaron firmly ahead. The [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="5s"] rier changed nothing, eliminating Gill, who started the day with the second smallest stack, in second place and giving Smaron the Championship. The next PokerStars Championship event is scheduled for March 30 - April 9, 2017 at the City of Dreams in Macau. Final Table Payouts Kenneth Smaron - $293,860 Harpreet Gill - $217,860 Denis Timofeev - $161,340 Jonathan Abdellatif - $119,480 Robin Luca Wozniczek - $88,480 Anthony Diotte - $65,520 James Salmon - $48,520 Byron Kaverman - $35,920
  2. 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.
  3. That’s a wrap on the 2020 World Series of Poker as the final event of the series, Event #83 ($10,000 WSOP Super MILLION$) concluded with Connor Drinan eliminating his final six opponents to collect the $1,423,409 first-place prize and his first career gold bracelet. As one of the elite tournament players in the game today, Drinan’s victory came at the end of a WSOP grind that lasted over two months. After his record-setting PokerStars SCOOP performance, Drinan returned to Las Vegas and battled in the entire first half of tournaments on WSOP.com. He then flew to Mexico to compete in the second half of the series on GGPoker. In total, Drinan racked up 20 results, including three final tables, and more than $147,000 prior to his gold bracelet run. As a bonus, Drinan was one of the high-profile names that took Daniel Negreanu up on his $100,000 must-win bracelet bet. By winning, Drinan added another six-figure score to his total should Negreanu not find a way (or have the opportunity) to win a bracelet by the end of the year. The first elimination of the final table took place on the very first hand. From the button, Christopher Kruk put in a raise with [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] and was called by Kenneth Smaron in the big blind who was holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"] and sitting on a short stack. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="3c"] and Smaron checked his top pair over to Kruk who put in a small bet with his flush and gutshot straight draw. Smaron check-shoved for the rest of his stack and Kruk insta-called. The [poker card="ad"] peeled off on the river, giving Kruk a flush and leaving Smaron drawing dead to the [poker card="2h"] river. Smaron exited in ninth place for $110,389. Roughly twenty minutes later, Sylvain Loosli put Russia’s Arsenii Malinov to the test for all his chips. When folded to in the small blind, Loosli raised enough to put Malinov all in with [poker card="9h"][poker card="7h"]. Malinov made the call with [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"] and just needed to hold to secure a double up. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Loosli two pair and a stranglehold on the hand. When the [poker card="2s"] hit the turn it was all over for Malinov who watched a meaningless [poker card="js"] hit the river. Malinov finished in eighth place for $152,113. In a span of 20 minutes, Kruk went from the chip lead to the rail. As the stacks evened out, Drinan put in an early raise with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"]. When it folded around to Kruk in the small blind, he moved all in for his final 20 big blinds with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"] only to be snap-called by Drinan. Although dominated, Kruk found some life on the [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"][poker card="3d"] flop. The [poker card="6h"] turn took away Kruk’s backdoor spades out and the [poker card="8h"] ended his run in seventh place for $209,609. With six left, Suraj Mishra found himself in great shape to retake the chip lead he started the day with. After Drinan opened with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9c"], Mishra shipped nearly 25 blind with [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"]. After taking some time, Drinan made the call. Mishra went from dominating to dominated after Drinan hit a set on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7h"] flop. The [poker card="5d"] opened up some flush draw outs or Mishra but the [poker card="kc"] river sent him home in sixth place, good for $288,836. The hand gave Drinan a considerable chip lead, which he never gave up. When just over 10 big blinds left in his stack, Loosli moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="4h"] and was called by Drinan in the big blind with the [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"]. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"] flop gave Loosli some additional outs but the [poker card="qd"] turn and [poker card="9d"] river was of no help. The former WSOP November Niner was forced to settle for sixth place and $398,010. Drinan spent the better part of the next thirty minutes padding his chip lead before he got into an all-in confrontation with former #1 ranked Chris Oliver. Oliver put in a raise for the majority of his stack with [poker card="as"][poker card="8s"] only to be three-bet by Drinan holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. Oliver made the call, putting his tournament at risk. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"] flop gave both players a pair but Oliver failed to improve through the [poker card="4s"] turn and the [poker card="td"] river. Oliver finished in fourth place for $548,450. Viktor Ustimov was next in Drinan’s sights. After Ustimov put in a raise with [poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"], Drinan moved all in with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"]. Ustimov made the call and saw he was flipping for a shot to get back into the tournament. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"][poker card="js"] left Ustimov looking for a lot of help, which didn’t appear on the [poker card="5c"] turn, nor the [poker card="ts"] river. Ustimov took third place and logged off with a $755,754 payday. Drinan held an overwhelming chip lead headed into his heads-up battle with Daniyar Aubakirov, however Aubakirov kept it interesting. However, even though Aubakirov secured two double-ups at different points in the match, Drinan was not going to be denied. Drinan found his way back to a better than 4:1 chip lead when Aubakirov moved his final fifteen big blinds all in with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. When Drinan made the call with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"], Aubakirov was on the verge of his third double up. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"][poker card="4s"] flop gave both top pair, but Aubakirov’s kicker was in play. The turn was the [poker card="8s"] but it was the [poker card="9c"] river that gave Drinan the hand, the tournament and his first career gold bracelet. Aubakirov finished as the runner-up and walked away with a $1,041,414 score. On the final tournament of the 2020 World Series of Poker, Connor Drinan locked up a $1,423,049 first-place prize, his first WSOP gold bracelet, and a $100,000 must-win bracelet side bet against Daniel Negreanu. Final Table Payouts Connor Drinan - $1,423,049 Daniyar Aubakirov - $1,041,414 Viktor Ustimov - $755,754 Chris Oliver - $548,450 Sylvain Loosli - $398,010 Suraj Mishra - $288,836 Christopher Kruk - $209,609 Arsenii Malinov - $152,113 Kenneth Smaron - $110,389
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