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  1. [caption width="640"] Just two players stand between Qui Nguyen and the 2016 WSOP Main Event championship (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] The first day of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table was all about Qui Nguyen. The Vietnamese-born Nguyen got into it with chip leader Cliff Josephy on hand #1 and finished with the chip lead. The storyline from the second day wasn't much different. Nguyen started play Monday, with five players remaining, with more than double that of his nearest competitor. When play wrapped up late Monday night, Nguyen again had more than double either of the other two players remaining and almost 59% of the chips. The fireworks started early on Monday night with Michael Ruane and Nguyen finding an all in preflop situation. Nguyen opened to 2,350,000 with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] from the button. Ruane found [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] in the big blind and moved all in for 23,100,000. Nguyen wasted no time in calling. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="qc"][poker card="kh"] to double Ruane up and drop Nguyen below 100,000,000. Another double up three hands later ultimately lead to the first elimiantion of the night. Gordon Vayo raised from the button with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"] to 2,300,000. Vojtech Ruzicka three-bet to 8,150,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] from the small blind and Vayo called. After the [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3c"] flop, Ruzicka bet 6,150,000 and Vayo called. Ruzicka then bet 11,400,000 after the [poker card="7h"] turn and Vayo called again. The river was the [poker card="5s"] and Ruzicka announced he was all in for 28,700,000 having Vayo covered. Vayo called and took down the pot to take over the chip lead and leave Vayo with less than one big blind. The Czech pro was eliminated on the next hand by Nguyen. Over the next 50 hands Vayo and Nguyen each took turns as the chip leader. That changed for good on hand after Nguyen claimed another victim. From UTG Nguyen raised to 2,700,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"], Ruane moved all in for 15,700,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] and Nguyen called. The board ran out [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8d"] to completely miss Ruane and send him out in fourth place. After that hand Nguyen has 178,400,000 chips and a stronghold on the lead. Nguyen has now eliminated the last three players from the final table. He ended play on Sunday by eliminating Kenny Hallaert in sixth place and then continued on Monday by busting Ruzicka and Ruane. The final three players return to action on Tuesday night just after 8 pm ET with just under an hour left in the 600,000/1,200,000 (200,000 ante) level. The ESPN broadcast begins at 9 pm ET. Chip Counts Qui Nguyen - 197,600,000 (164 bbs) Gordon Vayo - 89,000,000 (74 bbs) Cliff Josephy - 50,000,000 (41 bbs) Payouts Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  2. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] With just 12 big blinds to come back to, Fernando Pons was unsure how to prepare for the November Nine (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Two years ago, in 2014, for the first time since the November Nine format was created, a Spanish player reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event. His name was Andoni Larrabe, a 22-year-old guy that eventually finished in sixth position in a tournament won by Martin Jacobson. This year, in 2016, Spanish poker is again represented again at the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio. Andoni Larrabe's successor is Fernando Pons. Unlike Andoni, who already had extensive experience as an online player and with important results in international circuits like the European Poker Tour, Pons has virtually no experience as a live player. Pons defines himself as a recreational player, who combines his passion for poker with a full-time job, something that recently has changed slightly. "I asked for a leave of absence a year in my work. I want to live this experience and play all the tournaments I can. In a year from now, I will think if I come back or not," said Pons. Many might think that being one of the nine finalists of the world's most important final table, Pons come to it with a great experience behind him, but nothing is further from reality. All his live results are practically limited to a second place finish in the Spanish Poker Championship in Mallorca, his hometown, in 2012, where he earned €14,858. There begins and ends his live tournament success. Pons' greatest triumphs have come from the online tables where he has achieved important victories in most ".es" rooms. When gaming regulation came into force in Spain, Pons didn’t think - like many other Spaniards players did - to move to countries like the UK, Malta or Portugal. He stayed in Spain, trying to be the best in the Spanish rooms. He has a victory in an ESCOP event (Spanish Championship of Online Poker) and is a regular in the most important tournaments that can be played from his country, but if there was an online result that for sure Pons will not forget, it's the €30 satellite on 888poker which ended up giving him a seat into the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. You may remember 2003, when a man named Chris Moneymaker came to the Main Event through a $39 satellite and ended up winning? Who knows, maybe that story could be repeated, however, Pons tries not to compare him with Moneymaker, at least not yet. “I just want to be compared with Moneymaker in case I win the tournament; until then, I prefer not to be compared”, said the Spanish player. Pons traveled to Las Vegas with the dreams familiar to most recreational players: he wanted to visit Sin City, breathe in the atmosphere of the best poker tournament of the world and enjoy a unique experience, which perhaps he never could repeat. Without any pressure, Pons was gradually advancing one day after another, surpassing the goals he was setting and eventually found himself the final table. Pons had so little expectation to reach such an advanced stage in the tournament, he had to call his boss to warn that he wasn't going to be able to return to work as planned. Fortunately for him, his employer was well informed of what was happening in Las Vegas without that call. His wardrobe also wasn't ready for such a long performance in the Main Event. As he progressed through the days, he had to go buy new clothes, or at least asking some friends who were there to buy them. It was an unexpected expense, but sense it came with a $1,000,000 pay day, he wasn't too worried. Pons has been 100% focused on the preparation of the final table. Last August he participated in a lot of EPT Barcelona events, getting some good results there for him. In September he played in several tournaments in Spain and the World Poker Tour in Marrakech. Meanwhile, Pons continued to achieve good results in the Spanish online rooms. On August 11th he won the SuperJueves BigStack Turbo at PokerStars.es (336 players) earning a € 2,947 prize. A month later, on September 19th, in 888poker.es, Fernando won the Gran Domingo € 20,000 Guaranteed tournament in which 186 players participated, achieving a €4,300 prize, something that surely have helped Pons to prepare his performance in Las Vegas next October. Once he confirmed he was one of the November Nine, Pons was unsure about how to deal with the preparation. He was reluctant to seek help in a personal coach, as their starting stack will be 12 big blinds, but finally reached out for help in the Spanish community. Meanwhile, as sure others are doing, Pons also wanted to know what the other eight were doing, how they are preparing. Some of them are considered as the best in the world as Cliff Josephy or Vojtech Ruzicka, but if there is someone who would like to see eliminated as soon as possible, this is Griffin Benger. "The sooner he goes, the better. Everyone considers him as one of the favorites, and I also think that," said Pons. Nevertheless, Pons arrived in Las Vegas without any pressure. He has already gone much further than he could imagine. He will live an unforgettable experience, knowing he will have the support of all the Spanish poker community, and a small rail that will be close to him at the Penn & Teller Theatre in Las Vegas. "Some friends will come with me, not many. What is certain is that I will not have a rail like Bruno Politano," laughed Pons.
  3. [caption width="640"] Kenny Hallaert has a career in poker - just not as a player (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Tournament director Kenny Hallaert wants to make something clear. Poker is not a job to him. Instead, it is a passion. The fact that the November Niner honoured commitments to work as a tournament director at two tournaments following the conclusion of this year's World Series of Poker shows that it is his passion for poker which is the driving force behind a lot of what he does. But with the additional label of being a November Niner, did that add anything extra to his work? "No, not at all! I did two tournaments: one in Copenhagen and one in Belgium. They both went very smoothly. Being a November Niner had no influence on me as a tournament official. "I always try to have a high degree of professionalism when I'm organising a tournament. I was always going to work these tournaments and make sure that the players have a good experience playing in it." Hallaert has been managing the Belgium Poker Challenge for several years. His first job in poker involved marketing, but he has since moved into tournament directing and hasn't looked back since. The success of the BPC and Hallaert’s involvement in it has come in a golden era for Belgian poker, an era which Hallaert says he is honoured to be part of: "With Belgium being such a small country, it's quite amazing all of the performances that we've been making around the world over the last few years." "We have Pierre Neuville of course, but then also Davidi Kitai and Michael Gathy who have both won three bracelets. Potentially the greatest online cash game player in the world is Belgian - OtB_RedBaron." Hallaert was on the rail last year to see his friend Pierre Neuville make the November Nine and he said that he had talked with him and others about the experience as well as the do's and don't of preparing for the biggest final table of his life. "I have that experience of knowing how things work and what to expect, which I suppose is an advantage." "I obviously didn't sit at the final table but I've been there for the last two years with Pierre [Neuville] and Jorryt van Hoof. And I'm in contact with Michiel Brummelhuis too" "Regardless, all of these results were good for the popularity of poker. The results of all Belgian players are really very good for the popularity of the Belgian poker scene. Having played poker for around 12 years, Hallaert says that making the final table of the Main Event stands out from all the success he has enjoyed in the past. "It's a tournament that takes place only once a year and it's not exactly a final table you can make purely from skill. I had my run good at good moments. This is a little bit of a reward for all the work that I've put in throughout those 12 years." Despite this, Hallaert says he has never considered quitting being a tournament director in favour of pursuing a full-time professional career. "I never wanted to be a 100% professional player. It brings a lot of pressure because you have to make results. Having a job next to playing was a perfect combination for me. However, he admits that the outcome of the final table could have an influence on his future. "I haven't thought about what happens after the final table, because my future will obviously depend on the result a lot." "Things will change after the main event. Especially because right now my focus is still on the tournament. I mean I'm still playing in a tournament, but there just happens to be a very long break in between of course" In between working and preparing for the Main Event final table, Hallaert also found time to jump onto the online tables and take down the Partypoker $500k Online Grand Prix for $63,891. ‘FCBSpacey’ as he is known online said that it gave him a well-timed boost of confidence in his preparations. "It felt really good. There were over 4,000 runners and for me personally it helped because you know that it is possible for you to win big tournaments. Also, I was happy because personally it had been a while since I had a big score online." "$64K isn't a lot if you compare it to the $1,000,000 I had won from the Main Event, but for an online tournament it's still quite big, so I was very happy with it." "It motivated me to continue to work hard with my work towards the final table of the Main Event itself." And with just under two weeks to go until the final table gets underway, Hallaert says he is still feeling very comfortable. "I don't feel any pressure at all right now, and there's no stress going on. I'm sure there will be a little bit of nervousness when I arrive in Vegas and maybe a couple of days before that." "There's a lot of money on the line and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity" He laughs, perhaps remembering Mark Newhouse's legendary back-to-back final tables in 2013 and 2014. "Well, it normally is a once in a lifetime experience! I definitely don't want to finish ninth! I would rather finish once for $2M than finish ninth twice" "It's a unique opportunity and I'm trying to prepare myself so that I'm in a good condition at the start of the event." "It's poker and anything can happen and I'm starting to realise that myself. If you flop set under set first hand, there's nothing you can do about it. I might win it but I might as well be out after ten minutes!"
  4. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen walked away with a little bit more than ,000,000 but that wasn't the only interesting number coming out of the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table (WSOP photo/Jayne Furman)[/caption] You know the headlines, you know the bustouts, you saw what happened on TV. But there were many untold and unexplored stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, so we decided to break some down and crunch some numbers. -45: Average temperature in the regions of Antarctica inhabited by polar bears. The bears are built for the cold, which is perhaps why Kenny Halleart’s rail chose to have someone dress as one to cheer their friend on at the notoriously cold Rio. 4: Number of players lost on the first day of November Nine play. While the plan was originally to play from nine down to six, the producers and tournament staff elected to play a little longer, perhaps because it did not take long to lose three players and, as a result, the table did not get far along in the structure. Because of the extended play, Halleart exited in sixth place on the first day of action. Then, on the second day of play, the table played three-handed for a little while because it took so little time to get from five players to three. 9: Number of years since an Asian player has won the WSOP Main Event. Laos-born Jerry Yang won in 2007, but since then the list of winners has been exclusively Caucasian and exclusively under the age of 30. Nguyen, who is 39, bucked both trends. 16: Number of hands it took before losing a player. Fernando Pons didn’t quite make it twice around the table before exiting in ninth place. 58: Number of hands it took at the final table before Griffin Benger managed to win a pot. The Canadian struggled at the final table and blinded off much of his stack. He also failed to flop much of anything, resulting in the very long stretch without dragging chips in his direction. The celebration was short-lived though. He busted in seventh place nine hands later. 60: Going rate in dollars for four pints of ice cream from the boutique Tin Pot Creamery, a Palo Alto ice cream provider Gordon Vayo promoted with a patch at the final table. Boasting flavors like Earl Grey and Sweet Barbeque, the creamery produces small batches of ice cream at quite the price, which also doesn’t include tax or shipping and handling. 69: Starting bid on eBay for the New Era brand Rocket Raccoon ball cap similar to the one wore by Qui Nguyen throughout the final table. The Guardians of the Galaxy hat was one of the more memorable pieces of headgear in Main Event memory. Now the hat is difficult to come by, but that is largely because of the popularity of the now two-year-old movie as opposed to Nguyen’s ability to influence style. 182: Number of hands heads-up play lasted. It is also the number of hands it took for the final table to get from nine down to two players. By comparison, last year the entire final table took 184 hands, with Joe McKeehen besting Josh Beckley after 13 hands. 1,046,965: Difference between $4.5 million and what Cliff Josephy collected for finishing in third place. Much has been made of the fact Josephy staked Joe Cada when he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Though the number was never confirmed, most assume Josephy took home half the $9 million payday. If that is the case, turns out this wasn’t his most profitable WSOP Main Event after all.
  5. [caption width="640"] Get to know Kenny Hallaert a little bit better (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table begins, PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Kenny Hallaert. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet on and why? It would probably be Cliff Joseph. I mean he's the chip leader at the moment so he has the biggest chance of winning. He has experience as well, and has chips so at the moment he's the favourite. But things can change very quickly in poker. If Gordon Vayo wins a big pot from Cliff early on then all of a sudden he might become the favourite to win. It's a very competitive final table and at any point the chip leader will probably have the best chance of winning. I'm not saying it's a 50% chance of winning, but because the competition is equal I would say it's the biggest chance of winning. PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what would you bring and why? I've never thought about that! Non-living things? Food and water to start with, just to survive. We assume we don't have internet, right? I have no idea! PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? I have not thought about it, and I don't really want to think about it right now. I haven't won the Main Event yet. I hope I will win it, but since making the final table I have just been focussing on the game itself and not think about the future. My future will obviously depend on my result in the Main Event. But if i had to buy something I might just go on a really nice vacation, or buy a nice house or apartment. PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? To tell you the truth I never watch movies, and I don't know who the famous actors are right now! They'd have to be a cool guy though for sure. PocketFives: If you could eat just one type of food for the rest of your life what would it be and why? I love french and modern cuisine, but I couldn't eat that for the rest of my life. I've put a lot of effort into losing weight so all that effort would be gone. I would probably stick to sushi.
  6. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen has 8 million reasons to smile after winning the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo / Jayne Furman0[/caption] When the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table began on Sunday night, nobody thought Qui Nguyen had a chance at overcoming a field that included two former #1-ranked players on PocketFives, a talented European poker pro, a former PokerStars SuperNova Elite and two young American poker pros who cut their poker teeth online. On Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Nguyen beat Gordon Vayo after a lengthy heads up battle to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the accompanying $8 million. Just like they did on the first night, when Nguyen and Cliff Josephy went at each other, things got crazy on the first hand Tuesday night. Nguyen started things off by raising to 2,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] from the button. Josephy re-raised to 8,500,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and Gordon Vayo got out of the way before Nguyen four-bet to 20,900,000. Josephy immediately moved all and after getting a count, Nguyen called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Josephy top two pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn clinched the pot for Josephy with the [poker card="qs"] falling on the river. Nguyen’s stack dropped to 147,600,000 while Josephy more than doubled to 101,400,000. He also had momentum that proved to be short lived. Just four hands later the three players clashed in the biggest pot of the tournament to date and it nearly meant the end of the road for Josephy, the longest reigning #1-ranked player in PocketFives history. Josephy raised to 2,500,000 with [poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"] from the button, Vayo called from the small blind with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] before Nguyen made 7,700,000 from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Josephy and Vayo both called to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"]. Nguyen bet 9,900,000 and both Josephy and Vayo called. After the [poker card="4d"] turn, Vayo and Nguyen both checked and Josephy bet 21,000,000. Vayo eventually moved all in for 75,100,000. Nguyen folded and Josephy called. The river was the [poker card="6d"] and Vayo doubled up while Josephy was left with just eight big blinds. Josephy doubled up through Nguyen on the very next hand and then again four hands later through Nguyen to get his stack back to 46,200,000 - just 3,800,000 less than he started the final day with. Josephy’s roller coaster ride continued five hands later when Nguyen took half of his stack and officially ended on the very next hand. Nguyen folded the button, Josephy moved all in for 18,700,000 with [poker card="qd"][poker card="3d"] and Vayo called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Josephy in third place. After his elimination, Josephy discussed the set-vs-set confrontation with Vayo. “If he had played a small pair out of the small blind yesterday, I would’ve easily folded, due to his image, his reputation and my perception of him” said Josephy. “But he had folded a small pair against cutoff open against me, so it was easy to pull small pairs out of his range,” said Josephy. “The way he played the hand, he had to have a set of threes, but I don’t have him on threes, so it’s so hard because I couldn’t figure out what he could have.” When heads up play began Vayo had 200,300,000 chips to Nguyen’s 136,300,000. The two players exchanged the chip lead back and forth six times over the next 25 hands before Nguyen took the lead for the final time. Over the next seven hours of play, Vayo did everything he could to stave off elimination from the hard-charging Nguyen, but in the end, Nguyen’s aggression and unique approach that left his opponents dazed and confused over the final three days of play, ended up leading him to victory. After leaving Vayo shaking his head after numerous folds, the tournament ended in anti-climatic fashion. Nguyen opened to 8,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and Vayo shipped in his 53,000,000 stack with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"] and Nguyen called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Nguyen top pair and Vayo a boatful of extra outs but the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river were complete bricks for Vayo and after 181 hands of heads up play, Nguyen eliminated Vayo in second place to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Nguyen eliminated four of the final five players on his way to the win. Final Table Payouts Qui Nguyen - $8,005,310 Gordon Vayo - $4,661,228 Cliff Josephy - $3,453,035 Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  7. [caption width="640"] The 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event has new chip leader with five left: Qui Nguyen (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] All eyes were on chip leaderCliff Josephy as the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table got underway in Las Vegas on Sunday night, but it took just one hand for another player to let it be known that this wasn't simply going to be a coronation for one of online poker's most dcorated heroes. On the first hand of play action folded to Qui Nguyen in the hijack and he raised to 1,250,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4d"]. Josephy, to Nguyen's left, re-raised to 3,200,000 with [poker card="qh"][poker card="9s"]. The rest of the table got out of the way and Nguyen put in another raise to 8,250,000. Josephy folded and Nguyen assumes the chip lead. The two players swapped the chip lead back and forth over the next three hands. It didn't take long for the first elimination. Fernando Pons, who started the final table as the shortest stack, managed to get all in once with no callers on the tenth hand of play. He wasn't so lucky the next time. Pons moved all in from the button for 4,652,000 and Josephy called from the big blind. Pons was ahead with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"] to Josephy's [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] but the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"][poker card="3s"] flop changed that. The [poker card="9d"] turn was no help and the [poker card="kc"] river gave Josephy trip kings and sent Pons, the €30 satellite winner, home in ninth place. As if following some sort of script, the player who started the day as the next shortest stack was the next to go. Jerry Wong had managed to build up stack to just under 30 big blinds at one point but wasn't able to build any further momentum and eventually found himself in a hand that basically played itself. Vojtech Ruzicka raised to 1,825,000 wiht [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"] before Gordon made it 5,100,000 to go with [poker card="as"][poker card="3s"] from the button. Wong woke up in the big blind with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] and raised to 8,500,000. Ruzicka raised to 13,500,000, Vayo folded and Wong called his last million or so. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"][poker card="qc"] to give Ruzicka a set of queens and eliminate Wong in eighth place. After that hand Ruzicka took over the chip lead with 82,300,000. Just eight hands later another player was eliminated. Gordon Vayo raised from the button with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] to 2,200,000 and Griffin Benger moved all in from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] for 7,235,000. Vayo called quickly and watched as the flop came [poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"] to give Benger extra outs. The [poker card="2h"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river weren't any of those outs and Vayo busted Benger in seventh place. The original plan called for play to stop once just six players remaining but ESPN producers and WSOP floor staff made the decision to play two more hours following Benger's elimination out of concern for how long Monday and Tuesday could run with players so deep. As the night was winding down another player was sent packing. From UTG Kenny Hallaert raised to 2,300,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] before Nguyen raised to 5,700,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. Hallaert wasted no time in moving all in for 35,625,000. Nguyen snap-called and tabled his hand. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"] flop gave Hallaert some hope but the [poker card="7d"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river ended his run in sixth place and halted play for the night. That final hand gave Nguyen an astonishing 128,625,000 of the 336,625,000 chips in play. Action resumes Monday night on ESPN at 830 PM ET with 1 hour and 42 minutes left at 500,000/1,000,000 (150,000 ante). Chip Counts Qui Nguyen - 128,625,000 (128 bbs) Cliff Josephy - 63,850,000 (63 bbs) Vojtech Ruzicka - 62,250,000 (62 bbs) Gordon Vayo - 58,200,000 (58 bbs) Michael Ruane - 23,700,000 (23 bbs) Payouts Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  8. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Vojtech Ruzicka could become the first Czech winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] You get the impression from 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka that he really loves poker. He's already promised that he won't be retiring if he wins the Main Event and that he would continue to play high buy-in tournaments all around the world. But since the end of this year’s World Series of Poker, and the final table eventually getting underway, Ruzicka has been spotted playing in a variety of different destinations. The Czech pro has certainly been honing his game ahead of the most important final table of his life, not only in tournaments! Ruzicka admitted over the summer that he wasn’t much of a cash game player, but that certainly didn’t stop him from heading to Rozvadov for the King’s Casino Cash Game. After a rough couple of days playing against the likes of Tony G and Igor Kurganov, he managed to turn it back around in the final session and finish the trip as a winner. Since then King’s Casino have announced that they intend to build a new hotel, spa and a new huge poker room. Ruzicka was quick to praise Leon Tsoukernik and the recent expansion plans at King’s. “I couldn’t be more excited about it! It looks like King’s could become the biggest European poker room really soon and the plans look awesome,” said Ruzicka of the host casino for WSOP Europe in 2017 and 2019. “King’s has some special memories for me. I actually played my first big live tournaments there, and I have won the German Championship of Poker there twice.” “I am really excited to represent Rozvadov in November." READ: Five Questions with Vojtech Ruzicka As well as playing at King’s, Ruzicka also headed to the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona where not only did he finish 18th in the €25,000 High Roller, but managed a deep run in the Main Event only to finish 24th. Ruzicka said that it was great to have the experience of running deep in another tournament so soon. “When I was deep in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, I was really excited, but not nervous at all. It felt great,” said Ruzicka. “I’ve never thought self-confidence makes much of a difference, but the fact that you will play a final table in a much bigger tournament in three months’ time made me much more relaxed.” “I definitely felt much better at the table and I was just like ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to win the EPT while waiting for the November Nine?’” In Barcelona it was announced that the EPT is soon to rebrand into PokerStars Championships. Ruzicka’s poker resume is littered with cashes, as well as a High Roller win at EPT Deauville in 2013 for €313,000. Ruzicka says that he hoped that the new format will work as well as the EPTs have done. “I honestly think that the EPT had a great name around the poker world, and I personally would never have renamed those tournaments. But we will see. I will definitely give them a shot,” said Ruzicka. This year there are three Europeans at the Main event final table, with Ruzicka joined by Spain's Fernando Pons and the Netherlands' Kenny Hallaert. This is an increase from 2015 where just Federico Butteroni and Pierre Neuville were from the other side of the pond. In 2014, however, there were four Europeans at a final table which was eventually won by Swede Martin Jacobson. And with four of the last eight Main Event Champions being European, does Ruzicka think that it would mean anything special to become yet another European Main Event winner? “I think everyone wants to win the Main Event really bad, but I think that people care more about how the winner plays and behaves. I don’t think that nationality is that important," said Ruzicka. “However, I do feel that following these results American players are starting to respect us Europeans much more at the tables and when we come to the World Series of Poker.” And with the November Nine right around the corner, Ruzicka will have a gang of rowdy Czechs railing him at the final table. “Now that I’m a November Niner, everybody has been really nice to me. It’s been actually quite pleasant so far,” admitted Ruzicka. “I would like to thank the entire Czech poker community. Everyone has been so supportive to me and I hope that I will make them proud!”
  9. [caption width="640"] There are more numbers in play at the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table that just the November Nine (WSOP Photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] You’ve seen plenty of numbers related to the November Nine. You’ve seen ages and chip counts, number of bracelets and final tables. Let’s not forget lifetime tournament earnings and number of big blinds. Rather than examine the obvious stats, let’s get to know this final table by the not-so-apparent numbers in this edition of The Number Crunch. 0 – This number applies to quite a bit of Fernando Pons’ resume. Prior to this Main Event, he had never played a World Series of Poker tournament, he had never even been to Vegas. He also has zero players behind him on the leaderboard, as the Spaniard is coming in with just a handful of big blinds amounting to 6.15 million. 2 – Spot on the Czech Republic all-time money list for Vojtech Ruzicka, who has already been credited with at least ninth place money. If he wins, he can take the top spot away from Martin Staszko, who finished second to Pius Heinz in 2011. 3 – This is the third career WSOP final table for Gordon Vayo. While he may not be a household name to casual poker fans, he actually came up just shy of a bracelet in 2014, finishing second to Davidi Kitai in a $3,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event. 25 – Position of Qui Nguyen in the counts with 27 players remaining. He began near the bottom of the counts, but after doubling through Michael Ruane early, he went on to eliminate Tom Marchese, James Obst, and Mike Shin to take the chip lead and go on to bag the second-biggest stack going into November. 407 – Total number of runners in the 2016 Unibet Belgium Poker Championship in September of 2016. Kenny Hallaert was on hand as the Unibet tournament director for the event, and does not appear interested in quitting his full-time day job after making the final table. 519 – Number of days chip leader Cliff Josephy was ranked #1 on the PocketFives Rankings. One of the OGs of online poker, the man known as 'JohnnyBax online joined P5s in 2005 and quickly ascended the ranks of online poker to take the number one spot. He is not the only top PocketFiver in the pack though. Griffin Benger was also ranked #1 in P5s World Rankings. Bax isn’t just a token member either. He has posted over 1,300 times in the forums as well as backed numerous other P5ers, including a former Main Event winner, Joe Cada. 26,158 – Total dollars confiscated by US Customs when Michael Ruane tried to fly back into the States after the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Then 23, Ruane and his brother and cousin did not properly declare the amount of money they were returning with, so officials confiscated it at the Nassau Airport. 98,683 – Dollars in earnings for Griffin Benger in his career as a professional Counter-Strike player. His career-high score came in 2007 when he and four teammates won a Competitive Gaming Series (CGS) event for $250,000 total, amounting to $50,000 apiece. 1,380,000 – Number of chips Jerry Wong lost over the course of two days of play as the field winnowed down from 80 to the November Nine. He was chip leader at the end of Day 5 with over 11 million, but lost steam late in play, bagging just over 10 million and coming into November eighth out of nine in the chip counts.
  10. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Michael Ruane sits fifth in chips as the 2016 WSOP Main Event gets underway, but there's more to the New Jersey native than just poker (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table begins, PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Michael Ruane. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet on and why? I don't really gamble or bet outside of poker so I'd probably make the fish bet and just bet on whoever has the most ridiculous odds, who happens to be Fernando - so I'd probably throw a 20 ball on Fernando to win. * PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what would you bring and why? This is a good one that I've put a lot of thought into and tried to come at from a very practical angle.*So growing up the first show I was absolutely obsessed with was LOST.*It was the first show that I (and I think a lot of people) totally immersed myself in 100%.*This is a bit of a spoiler alert, but if you haven't watched LOST at this point, you've probably missed the boat - but in later seasons Locke's mortality is sort of up in the air, so technically I think he'd qualify as non-living.*So my first "thing" I'd bring to this island is the character of John Locke.*I honestly don't think I'd need anything else after that to survive, but to round out my three I'd probably bring a knife (for practical purposes) and an iPod (for when Locke gets too annoying rambling on about said deserted island's meaning). PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? I don't think it would be one extravagant single purchase.*I'm a pretty big music nut and try to go to as many concerts and music festivals as possible.*I also really love to travel.*I think I would try to combine these two passions and plot a really awesome (and expensive) trip that included different places I've been wanting to visit that had a cool music festival or band playing at the same time. * PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? I've been told that I resemble anywhere from Michael Shannon to Robert Pattinson to Leo, himself.*To answer the question, if a Hollywood studio was serious about this idea, I'd embark on a global journey to find this mystical creature who looks like a combination of all three of these actors.*I'd then offer this person an exorbitant amount of money (so this actually might be my most extravagant purchase) to portray me in a major motion picture. * PocketFives: If you and your brother Sean (also a professional poker player) had to play heads-up against each other in a winner-take-all scenario, who wins and why? Depends when this match takes place. If it takes place before the Final Table, Sean would for sure let me win to give me a nice confidence boost. If it's after the Final Table, it's a real toss up.*Sean is huge lightweight though, so my strategy would be to act as if this heads-up match was a fun, light-hearted brotherly match where we'd have a few beers and have a good time.* I'd then get Sean absolutely bombed, rendering him incapable of defeating me.*In theory, I think it'd be virtually impossible for the poor guy to win.
  11. The PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker is one of the highlights of the online poker calendar year. A widespread outage on Monday however put a damper on the festivities as a number of events were cancelled as players were unable to connect to PokerStars. Before all of that though, Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert, Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos and Eric ''thechips55' Wasserson each managed to get into the winner's circle. Hallaert beat out 788 other players to win SCOOP Event #29 High ($1,050 Eight Max NLHE) and $147,937.50. It was the first SCOOP win of his career and the second from a 2016 November Niner this year. Jerry 'hummylun' Wong won Event #14 High ($2,100 Razz) earlier this week. Arne 'juarnes' Coulier finished second for $106,515. Former #1-ranked Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard, who also recently won a SCOOP title, finished fourth for $59,175. 'Hiran bass' won the Medium version of the event for $57,233.94 while 'Fralanganas' took home $13,517.36 after topping the 9,318-player field in the Low version. Mateos added a SCOOP title to his list of impressive accomplishments by taking down Event #30 High ($2,100 Six Max No Limit Hold'em) for $234,030.07 after coming to a heads-up deal with Luuk 'pokerkluka' Gieles. 'Naza114' walked away with $118,890.42 for winning the Medium version of the event while 'Jociasiee' beat out 10,572 players to win the Low. The final two players in Event #31 High ($2,100 No Limit Hold'em) got together after outlasting 874 others to chop up a little over $543,000. 'FaNjkEEE' ended up with $284,918.82 after eventually beating 'Nolet20'. The runner-up had to settle for $258,201.18. The final three players in the Medium version also chopped up the winnings. Korpieworm took home $173,243.90 after finishing first, 'D1ngD0ng11' got $163,024.88 as runner-up while 'Gaoyu123' earned $142,315.48 for a third place finish. 'Ekonom82' won the Low version outright for $39,100.55. Wasserson won Event #32 High ($1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO) for $36,393.40, plus another $14,190.41 in bounties, after chopping heads-up with 'Badger'. The Medium version went to 'Kinpez' for $15,814.73, plus $5,488.34 in bounties. The Low version was one of ten events cancelled due to a server outage. PokerStars has indicated that Events #32, #33 and #34 will be replayed next week. SCOOP Event #29 (High): $1,050 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 789 Prize pool: $789,000 Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert - $147,937.50 Juarnes – $106,515.00 Luisdono - $78,900.00 Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard - $59,175.00 Girafganger7 - $39,450.00 Schildy1984 - $27,615.00 Anton 'Antesvante' Wigg - $17,752.50 Fellatiado - $11,835.00 SCOOP Event #29 (Medium): $109 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 3,522 Prize pool: $352,200 Hiran bass - $57,233.94 Tolstiykry – $40,749.54 Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich - $31,698.00 dtjpoker - $24,654.00 Indiandurr - $17,610.00 Regadeitor - $10,566.00 King_one862 - $5,283.00 Pendall - $3,169.80 SCOOP Event #29 (Low): $11 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 9,318 Prize pool: $93,180 Fralaganas - $13,517.36 GhOtIII - $8,991.87 Noskillol - $6,988.50 Capitao1987 - $5,124.90 Ahusvizu - $3,261.30 MMF061 - $1,397.70 Kaitz20 - $708.16 Honey Dick - $512.49 SCOOP Event #30 (High): $2,100 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 693 Prize pool: $1,386,000 Adrian ‘Amadi_017’ Mateos - $234,030.07* Pokerkluka - $202,559.93* LEXER1986 - $138,600.00 WATnlos - $97,020.00 Anthony ‘wwwBTHEREcom’ Gregg - $69,300.00 ross_654 - $41,580.00 SCOOP Event #30 (Medium): $215 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 3898 Prize pool: $779,600 Naza114 - $118,890.42 Ned_bg – $85,756.00 Danish7 - $62,368.00 Marelomig - $40,648.34 FaceStealer - $23,388.00 Lyonwin - $13,253.20 SCOOP Event #30 (Low): $27 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 10572 Prize pool: $259,542.60 Jociasiee - $36,344.21 Blackcapas – $25,305.40 Poyo123 – 417,519.12 StokedUp1863 - $9976.81 Rodrigovini - $5,190.85 Algaben - $3,244.28 SCOOP Event #31 (High): $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 876 Prize pool: $1,752,000 FaNjkEEE - $284,918.82* Nolet20 - $258,201.18* 33juggernaut - $169,944.00 Marc-Andre 'FrenchDawg' Ladouceur - $127,020.00 Sleepnot - $88,300.80 Rory ‘DeosOner’ Young – $70,780.80 Biocid - $53,260.80 C. Darwin2 – $35,916.00 Jeff710 - $21,900.00 SCOOP Event #31 (Medium): $215 No Limit Hold'em (Sunday Million SE) Entries: 6944 Prize pool: $1,388,800 Korpieworm - $173,243.90* D1ngD0ng11 - $163,024.88* Gaoyu123 - $142,315.48* PSCPRODIGY - $76,384.00 OyvindW - $58,329.60 Xandefla1982 - $44,441.60 Acske - $30,553.60 Jellßhilio - $16,665.60 Grindwizard – $10,673.20 SCOOP Event #31 (Low): $27 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 12738 Prize pool: $312,717.90 Ekonom82 - $39,100.55 Admiralph - $27,300.27 Miiga1986 - $20,952.09 Zumi10 – $14,697.74 NSK_AKA - $11,570.56 Tom ‘Jabracada’ Hall - $8,443.38 Malefactor9 - $5,472.56 AAnacleTTo - $2,814.46 Feb46 – $1,876.30 SCOOP Event #32 (High): $1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO Entries: 475 Prize pool: $475,000 Eric 'Thechips55' Wasserson - $36,393.40* + $14,190.41 in bounties Badger - $33,829.02* + $17,396.46 in bounties Azn_baller3 - $35,346.33* + $10,957.02 in bounties Thegr8str8 – $17,575.00 + $7,585.93 in bounties Mickl58 - $12,587.50 + $18,164.04 in bounties Argentin_God - $8,075.00 + $9,749.99 in bounties SCOOP Event #32 (Medium): $109 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Progressive KO Entries: 2008 Prize pool: $200,800 Kinpez - $15,814.73 + $5,488.34 in bounties Fishycall - $11,797.00 + $2,945.64 in bounties DixyDix - $8,785.00 + $2,017.14 in bounties King2173 - $5,773.00 + $2,139.79 in bounties IIDepredator - $3,765.00 + $805.85 in bounties DonkCommitted – $2,106.39 + $1,967.53 in bounties
  12. [caption width="640"] Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert has had himself an amazing year, both live and online (WSOP Photo/JoeGiron)[/caption] It was Christmas Day 2013 when ‘Sheater’ made PocketFives history by becoming the first Swedish player to sit atop the PocketFives Rankings. Since then six other Swedes have taken the #1 spot at some point while ‘Sheater’ has continued to grind away. This week ‘Sheater’ became just the third Swede to pass the $8,000,000 earnings mark, joining Johannes ’Greenstone25’ Korsar and Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren. ‘Sheater’ hit the milestone thanks to three decent scores spanning April 25-26. He finished runner-up in the 888poker $25,000 Tuesday Challenge and then posted consecutive wins in the PokerStars $215 Turbo NLHE and PokerStars $109 NLHE. Those three scores combined to give him nearly $15,000 in earnings. Another Swede, ‘Pot4teUS’, also moved up into rare air this week and he was joined by Brazil’s Ariel ’ArielBahia’ Celestino. Both players moved past $4,000,000 in earnings. ‘Pot4teUS’ did it in dramatic fashion, winning the partypoker Heavyweight: The Uppercut on April 26 for $9,632.35. Celestino though had bigger things in mind. The #8-ranked player in Brazil won the PokerStars Hot $215 for $19,818 to become the 7th player from his home country with at least $4 million in earnings. From November Nine to Top 50 Worldwide Last summer Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert navigated his way through the WSOP Main Event minefield to find himself in the 2016 November Nine. The Dutchman eventually finished 6th, but rather than rest on his laurels and $1.46 million score, Hallaert has continued to put in time online and now finds himself reaching new heights. This past week he went from #56 in the world to #47, breaking in to the top 50 for the first time in his career. Other players to hit career highs inside of the top 100 this past week included Ramiro ‘rayastar’ Petrone going from #30 to #28, Diego ’MrBittar’ Bittar moving from #43 to #36, Adrijan ‘Adrijan_S’ Sinishtaj from #59 to #50 and recent PokerStars Sunday Million champ ‘TheFan83’ getting into the top 100 for the first time in his career, rising from #130 to #89. Dainis 'ex6tence' Budovskis Grabs PLB Haul Winning the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up is a boon for almost any player, and Latvian pro Dainis 'ex6tence' Budovskis is not different. Beating out 1,755 other players, Budovskis won $53,438.46 and walked away with a career-best 594.31 PLB points. He’s now ranked #63 in the world and #2 in Latvia. Hungary’s ‘kiscash’ also hit a massive score, earning 431.67 PLB points for winning the $22 buy-in Mini Sunday Million on PokerStars. His next biggest career score came two days earlier when he earned 98.51 points for winning an $11 NLHE Turbo event on PokerStars.
  13. [caption width="640"] Damian Salas bagged up the biggest stack at the end of Day 4.[/caption] One thousand and eighty four players returned to the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event on Friday all with the hope of making it through five more levels of play. Just 297 managed to do just that though and at the end of the day, Argentinian Damian Salas put 4,678,000*into a bag to end the day as chip leader. The group behind Salas is a talented, accomplished group, headlined by 2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert. The Dutchman finished with the third largest stack (4,145,000). Even after playing for 10 hours on Friday, Hallaert was ready to play more. “Full of energy at the moment. I wouldn’t mind if we played four more hours. Still was sharp, making good decisions, I think,” said Hallaert. “What I experienced in the last years, especially late in this tournament and late into the day, players are making mistakes which are based on fatigue.“ Hallaert looks back at how 2016 went for him and finds himself well ahead of where he was then. “An amazing day. I remember last year bagging less chips than I started the day with,” said Hallaert, who went from 1.7 million to 1.6 million. “So it gives hope for the next few days actually. Looking forward to my third Day 5 in a row in the Main Event. I kinda like this tournament.” Also in the top 10 are JP Kelly, Richard Gryko and Jonas Mackoff. Ben Lamb ended up just outside the top 10, finishing 12th. Hallaert and Lamb weren’t the only former November Niners to advance. Antoine Saout, Eoghan O’Dea, Chino Rheem, Tom Cannuli, Michael Ruane, Matt Giannett and Jake Balsiger also managed to move on. There are two former #1-ranked PocketFivers still alive. Bryan Piccioli finished with 1,994,000 while Brian England has just 393,000. There were 787 players who hit the payouts window on Friday including former #1-ranked PocketFiver Taylor Paur, 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Carlos Mortensen, Matt Glantz, Christoph Vogelsang, Mike Gorodinsky, Sofia Lovgren and Andre Akkari. Top 10 Chip Counts Damian Salas - 4,678,000 Sebastien Comel - 4,198,000 Kenny Hallaert - 4,145,000 John Kelly - 3,973,000 Richard Gryko - 3,559,000 Cosmin Joldis - 3,500,000 Colin Moffatt - 3,086,000 Jonas Mackoff - 3,076,000 Eyal Maaravi - 3,030,030 Valentin Messina - 2,979,000
  14. Every week The PocketFives Milestone Report looks at the online poker players who are achieving career-best achievement or reaching new heights in the rankings Kenny Hallaert Stays Hot It seems that Kenny Hallaert really can do no wrong these days. Less than a month after making yet another deep run in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, Hallaert returned to the online poker world and immediately went to work. This past week Hallaert took down three tournaments on three different sites to claim the second PocketFives Triple Crown of his career. The first two legs of this Triple Crown came on Tuesday, Aug. 1 when he took down the $1,050 Super Tuesday on PokerStars for $63,162 and the partypoker High Roller for $11,904. Hallaert wrapped up the Triple Crown by taking down the 888poker WHale on Sunday, Aug. 6 for $44,250. Hallaert's first Triple Crown came back in April. The Belgian poker player, who doesn't consider himself a professional, is now ranked #13 in the world. Another Swede Approaching Top 5 Worldwide Right now all five of the top five spots in the PocketFives Rankings belong to Swedish players. Those five may have some company soon though as 'DeathbyQuads' continues to move upward in the rankings. This past week he went from #8 to #7 based off of three big scores that earned him a total of 586.8 points. He wasn't the only player to achieve a career-high ranking this past week. Hallaert's move from #19 to #13 is also a career best. Russia's 'papan9_p$' moved to #30 while 'funwheel' jumped from #43 to #40. Two players, Carlos Felipe Difini and 'sinkedshrimp', both moved into the top 100 for the first time in their career.
  15. [caption width="640"] Kenny Hallaert is one of 22 PocketFives members still in the 2017 WSOP Main Event on Day 6.[/caption] With just 85 players still standing on Day 6 of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, 22 of them are PocketFives members. The group has a combined $33.6 million in lifetime tracked online earnings with former #1-ranked Bryan ‘theczar19’ Piccioli leading the way with $6.36 million. Two of the 22 are currently ranked in the Top 50 in the PocketFives Rankings. Kenny Hallaert, who starts the day 35th in chips, is ranked #43 in the world while Connor Drinan, who is 47th in chips, is ranked 47th in the world. Five of the 22 former PocketFivers have a top-50 career high rankings. Damian Salas has the biggest stack of any of the 22, starting Day 6 with 8,400,000 just ahead of Daniel Ott with 8,320,000. PLAYERCHIPSONLINE RANKALL-TIME HIGHONLINE EARNINGS Damian 'pampa27' Salas8,400,000203164$3,099,624 Daniel 'shippitty' Ott8,320,000N/A3,188$104,923[/TD Joldis 'moiadcosmin' Cosmin6,965,0001,943501$693,390 Scott 'sblum2711' Blumstein6,845,0004,0951,699$147,046 Reed 'badbeatme' Hensel6,355,000N/AN/A-- Richard 'validandnotinuse' Gryko5,835,0001,4291,403$410,032 Benjamin 'magicdeal' Pollak5,690,00017,2362,853$331,362 Bryan 'theczar19' Piccioli5,400,0005,1281$6,361,566 Valentin 'Valvegas' Messina4,995,000N/A6,848$45,233 Ben 'benba' Lamb4,725,000N/A285$1,251,973 Kenny 'spaceyfcb' Hallaert4,370,0004319$3,671,326 Matt 'bluffingolfa' Bond4,365,000N/A3,945$43,878 Brandon 'norajean' Meyers3,905,000N/A14$4,235,372 Joseph 'bigjoe03' Michael3,400,000N/A200$251,742 Connor'blanconegrea' Drinan3,360,000474$5,102,440 Ryan Leng2,970,000N/A2,026$189,465 Jake bazeman' Bazeley2,805,0008,92817$3,449,221 Chris 'fox' Wallace2,675,000N/A2,687$54,590 Neil 'npatel' Patel1,905,000N/AN/A-- Jonas 'donut604' Mackoff1,590,0001,16343$3,608,278 Ian 'Ian J' Johns1,085,000N/AN/A$156,730 Kevin 'specialk' Calenzo1,080,000N/A1,251$388,910
  16. 'Luigy666' came through a 10,306 field to win the PokerStars Sunday Million for $108,192. Brazil's 'Leo Borgheti' secured his biggest online cash to date with a third place finish for $55,929, before 'Luigy666' got the better of 'QTsN€v€rF0ld' heads-up, with the latter banking $77,787 as runner-up. Andras 'probirs' Nemeth won the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller for $50,695. On a final table that featured the likes of 'anteen', Conor Beresford, Samuel '€urop€an' Vousden, and world ranked #1 'Lena900', 'WATnlos' took the bronze medal for $29,903.45. Nemeth then defeated 'yurasov1990' heads-up for the title, as the latter took away $38,935. 'huang33' banked over $64,000 for victory in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller. The prize pool was set at $483,500 after 967 entrants took part and when the field was reduced to the final three, it was 'Driekus888' who took the bronze medal for $21,402 + $2,851. 'compris' then departed in second place for $29,199 + $9,906, as 'huang33' took the win. 'Tobotheman' won the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $29,223 after besting an 832 player-field. Belgium's Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert just missed out on a podium spot as he exited in fourth place for $10,862, with 'GM_VALTER' taking the third spot for $15,107. 'TTWIST' then fell at the final hurdle and settled for $21,011, which left 'Tobotheman' to take the glory. 'Chelsea72' took down the partypoker $1,050 Sunday High Roller Deepstack title for $40,780, after a heads-up battle against Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom. Kenny 'Spacey1861' Hallaert took his second fourth-place finish of the day for $15,600 before 'HeavensEdge222' took third for $21,100. Sweden's Blom then fell at the final hurdle for $29,600, leaving 'Chelsea72' as the victor. Chance 'ChanceSeeYou' Kornuth added over $66,000 to their bankroll after they topped a 119 player-field in the partypoker $2,100 Sunday High Roller Gladiator. 'skitzo' took third place for $16,807 + $3,412, before Kornuth got the better of 'madgenius87' heads-up, and the latter took away $23,518 + $4,528. PokerStars $109 Sunday Million $1M Guaranteed 10,360 entrants, $1,036,000 prize pool Luigy666 - $108,192.73 QTsN€v€rF0ld - $77,787.43 Leo Borgheti - $55,929.80 danilo18_BR - $40,213.99 ShipitFTW911 - $28,914.13 waterboy1921 - $20,789.51 poker@luffyD - $14,947.82 DirtyTowel - $10,747.56 MkMyWishFish - $7,727.52 PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller, $150k Gtd 119 entrants, $220,000 prize pool probirs - $50,695.67 yurasov1990 - $38,935.53 WATnlos - $29,903.45 Lena900 - $22,966.59 DRONCHEK - $17,638.91 Lrslzk - $13,547.12 €urop€an - $10,404.52 1_conor_b_1 - $7,990.95 anteen - $6,137.25 PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller, $300k Gtd 967 entrants, $483,500 prize pool huang33 - $39,835.61 + $24,204.51 compris - $29,199.09 + $9,906.22 Driekus888 - $21,402.85 + $2,851.56 cocojamb0 - $15,688.22 + $7,759.27 GM_VALTER - $11,499.41 + $1,453.12 aetos2drama - $8,429.04 + $375 mmetsla - $6,178.47 + $6,581.05 JohnnieQ - $4,528.79 + $3,367.19 serggorelyi7 - $3,319.59 + $4,609.37 PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up $175k Gtd 832 entrants, $175,000 prize pool Tobotheman - $29,223.61 TTWIST - $21,011.65 GM_VALTER - $15,107.55 SpaceyFCB - $10,862.46 Patosplayer - $7,810.19 progre69 - $5,615.59 langace66 - $4,037.65 YJ98poker - $2,903.11 Tr!pleeeee - 2,087.34 partypoker $1,050 Sunday High Roller Deepstack $200k Gtd 180 entrants, $200,000 prize pool Chelsea72 - $40,780 Isildur1 - $29,600 HeavensEdge222 - $21,100 Spacey1861 - $15,600 KPitts34 - $11,000 KERRMODE - $8,400 gb618 - $6,200 GewoonBoef - $4,600 partypoker $530 Sunday HR Clasico - $100k Gtd 195 entrants, $100,000 prize pool CanadianSanta - $20,390 iveybluffallin - $14,800 backdrunk - $10,550 KERRMODE - $7,800 MOTHERSMATTERS - $5,200 Heavensedge222 - $4,200 Sentapied99 - $3,100 Boy-George - $2,300 partypoker $2,100 Sunday High Roller Gladiator $250k Gtd 119 entrants, $243,950 prize pool Chance 'ChanceSeeYou' Kornuth - $23,543.53 + $43,279.70 madgenius87 - $23,518.40 + $4,528 skitzo - $16,807 + $3,412 algorhytm - $11,765 + $4,462 PokerBrothersTM - $8,740 + $5,250 ojanOmaha - $6,723 + $7,776.56 RovoDice - $5,378.49 + $5,446 onehundredeyes - $4,370 + $1,968 partypoker $1,050 Sunday High Roller Bounty - $200k Gtd 194 entrants, $200,000 prize pool ATM_Mage - $15,980.44 + $24,064.23 BackDoorMat - $15,960,46 + $2,112.50 CopperKupp - $11,384 + $4,062 Dany_VK - $8,416 + $7,001 GewoonBeof - $5,934 + $4,367 A3APTEH - $4,532 + 4,647 jammermaat - $3,345 + $2,486 AussieOsbourne - $2,481 + $2,145 GGPoker Sunday Blade 59 entrants, $280,250 prize pool ImLividBuddy - $97,088 chan593 - $59,335 LlinusLLove - $42,834 FuTimReilly - $30,921 AlfredDelia - $22,322 ExclusiveA - $16,114 PokerBluff1 - $11,633 GGPoker Sunday Blade 46 entrants, $218,500 prize pool Picasso16 - $67,797* carsonwentz - $67,045* Shark Bait - $34,485 SasukeUchiha - $23,163 oviens22 - $15,558 ImLividBuddy - $10,450
  17. After a busy Friday on the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker schedule, Saturday saw just nine players walk away with a SCOOP title, including one player picking up his second of 2019. Joao 'Naza114' Vieira topped the 89-player field in Event #24 High ($1,050 HORSE) to win $48,505. That goes along with his win in Event #12 Low ($109 No Limit Hold’em) from Wednesday. 'WTFOMFGOAO' finished runner-up for $32,930 while Noah 'Exclusive' Boeken took home the third place prize of $24,920. Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert also added to his COOP title collection on Saturday. The Belgian poker pro picked up $94,989.94 for winning Event #29 High ($2,100 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Turbo). Former #1-ranked Andras 'probirs' Nemeth finished one spot behind Hallaert for $72,438.87 and Rui 'sousinha23' Sousa took home $55,241.64 for third. The final table also included 'Black88' and Martin Jacobson. The biggest winner on the day was China's 'SH-rookie-AS'. Topping the 977-player field in Event #23 High ($1,050 Eight Max No Limit) earned him $164,397.70. Harrison 'gibler321' Gimbel was the runner-up and banked $118,812.40 'neeno1990' took home $85,867.20 for finishing third. Other SCOOP winners on Saturday included 'alexMFNb','Krooovy', 'Minek96', 'ISmellToast', 'kuzya1993', and '8_Spizzico_9'. Event #23 (Low): $11 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 20,069 Prize pool: $196,676 alexMFNb - $20,358.92 Assad91 - $14,386.49 DR.LOBE - $10,172.78 blairtoast - $7,193.23 moewollis - $5,086.38 Dueces4Days - $3,596.61 Meluzina19 - $2,543.18 Ratabalbu - $1,798.28 Event #23 (Medium): $109 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 5,301 Prize pool: $530,100 Krooovy - $75,392.87 IceStream - $52,905.94 TheTeacherAY - $37,127.72 12maxel13 - $26,055.05 konigkunde - $18,284.58 viejojuan5 - $12,831.54 TakiToRivers - $9,004/75 Adrluiz - $6,319.26 Event #23 (High): $1,050 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 977 Prize pool: $1,000,000 SH-rookie-AS - $164,397.70 gibler321 - $118,812.40 neeno1990 - $85,867.20 Dhr.Awesome - $62,057.40 Faaaarst - $44,849.70 Sam Fartoviy - $32,413.509 chicalltreta - $23,425.60 _paul€Faul_ Event #24 (Low): $11 HORSE Entries: 2,304 Prize pool: $46,080 Minek96 - $7,834.95 kurtWSOP - $5,529.60 marcoavb - $4,361.01 AR2A3Z4Z5 - $3,225.60 Ols82 - $2,304.00 GusRus - $1,382.40 ARPPoker - $921.60 KevinK82 - $460,80 Event #24 (Medium): $109 HORSE Entries: 436 Prize pool: $87,200 ISmellToast - $16,568 Patrick 'pads1161' Leonard - $12,208 DSmunichlife - $8,946.72 theNERDguy - $6,540 Kusu_a - $4,360 FMpire - $3,052 Desslock - $2,180 lorbyronnz - $1,744 Event #24 (High): $1,050 HORSE Entries: 89 Prize pool: $178,000 Joao 'Naza114' Vieira - $48,505 WTFOMFGOAO - $32,930 Noah 'Exclusive' Boeken - $24,920 nilsef - $16,910 sandman201 - $12,460 Senkel92 - $9,345 theNERDguy - $7,565 Benny 'RunGodlike' Glaser - $5,785 Event #29 (Low): $22 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 8,340 Prize pool: $166,800 kuzya1993 - $16,832.63* NarcoTourist - $14,944.38* LeCaribouFou - $15,666.34* ChaseTyler14 - $13,044.74* kirbyi17 - $6,045.16 sballard78 - $4,309.19 volfer - $3,071.73 pyszalek - $2,189.63 Event #29 (Medium): $215 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 1,527 Prize pool: $305,400 8_Spizzico_9 - $39,621.52* tikidiii - $31,557.03* Grande_Prego - $32,168.92* ahess - $16,854.62 majagua69 - $12,014.52 Shniman - $8,654.36 AAligator33 - $6,104.97 zyang1982 - $4,351.82 Event #29 (High): $2,100 Eight Max No Limit Hold'em Turbo Entries: 247 Prize pool: $494,000 Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert - $94,989.94 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth - 72,438.87 sousinha23 - $55,241.64 krkaukra - $42,127.08 Black88 - $32,125.95 M.nosbocaJ - $24,499.13 ArtHouse2011 - $18,682.93 42ayay - $14,247.60
  18. Plenty of big names in the high-stakes MTT scene took their shots in the eight High Roller tournaments on the partypoker POWERFEST schedule on Thursday night. The biggest score of the night belonged to ‘ElCabanero’ who outlasted the elite field of 42 runners in Event #187-SHR ($5,200 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max) for an $84,000 payday. In this Super High Roller, you only made the money if you made the final table and ‘ElCabanero’ went the distance after taking out ‘DR.Summer69’ in heads-up play. For his efforts, ‘DR.Summer69’ walked away with $53,748.45 in second place. High-stakes tournament grinder ‘PayAndPlay’ finished in third place, good for $27,300. [ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] While ‘DR.Summer69’ may have missed out on the Super High Roller title, he would not be denied the victory in Event #183-HR ($1,050 PLO 6-Max, PKO). He went on to defeat the 78 entries to lock down the $8,884.25 first-place prize plus an additional $16,373.45 in bounties for a total payday of $25,257.70. He racked up a total of over $79,000 between his two final tables on the day. ‘trustnobody_99’ was the runner-up in this one, taking home $8,876.42 and an additional $2,871.09 in bounties. The top three was rounded out by partypoker pro Joni ‘JJouhki’ Joukimainen. The PLO specialist earned $5,464.81 and an additional $2,625 in bounties for his third-place finish. Speaking of familiar names, well-known professional poker player/tournament director Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert took down Event #180-HR ($530 8-6 Mix Max, Deepstack) for a nice $31,255.01 payday and a POWERFEST title. The score will lift Hallaert to over $6.35 million in career online earnings. Currently, he sits as the #38-ranked online player in the world. ’PpPlayer1357’ fell just short but still managed a $20,615 score for their second-place run. ‘CharlesBarkley’ muscled his way into third place, scoring 414,656.33. ‘WatchMeDance’ was nearly the biggest winner of the day with their victory in Event #185-HR ($2,100 8-Max PKO). They took home the first-place prize of $22,775.25 and a massive $56,716.42 in bounties for a total haul of just over $79,481. It was a bitter-sweet finished for runner-up ‘ElCabanero’ who nearly took down two POWERFEST titles on the same day. While he was denied the double-title on the day, he did collect ‘$22,749.37 for second place and another $4,856.25. Combined with his win in the Super High Roller, ‘ElCabanero’ banked $111,605 on the day. ‘MoStack’ collected $16,554.37 as the bronze medal finisher and another $4,462.50 in bounties. Also of note, partypoker pro Kristin ‘Krissyb24’ Bicknell finished in fourth place, earning a total score of $17,566, bounties included. The exact same event with a smaller buy-in took place at the same time, Event #185-HR ($530 8-Max, PKO) drew 570 entries and had the largest High Roller prize pool of the day at $292,125. ‘Executioner_’ lived up to their namesake, taking out the entire competition for the first-place prize of $20,805.29 plus $33,737.72 in bounties for a total earnings of $54,543.01. ‘Rocabella’ secured second-place money of $20,776.73 and an additional $3,006.47 in bounties. Finally, ‘attitydsproblem’ wrapped up the tournament in third place for $14,169.25 plus $4,380.48 in bounties. Event #180-HR: $100K Gtd [8-6 Mix-Max, Deepstack] $530 buy-in 266 entries $133,000 prize pool SpaceyFCB - $31,255.01 PpPlayer1357 - $20,615 CharlesBarkley - $14,656.33 krestnyotez - $10,706.50 Forrest_guuump - $7,980 lennartpronk - $5,320 Event #183-HR: $50K Gtd [PLO 6-Max, PKO] $1,050 buy-in 78 entries $79,950 prize pool Dr.Summer69 - $8,884.25 + $16,373.45 in bounties trustnobody_99 - $8,876.42 + $2,871.09 in bounties JJouhki - $5,464.81 + $2,625 in bounties iMightPot - $3,984.76 + $1,952.35 in bounties Baccarat - $2,846.25 + $262.50 in bounties idefix - $1,935.45 + $2,329.69 in bounties Event #184-HR: $100K Gtd [6-Max] $1,050 buy-in 171 entries $171,000 prize pool WhaledShark - $42,590.34 Brilvis - $27,360 Kanchenjunga - $19,237.50 Whoo0ps - $13,936.50 N0GUTSNOGloryAA - $10,260 Namastayinbed - $6,840 Event #185-HR: $200K Gtd [8-Max, PKO] $2,100 buy-in 129 entries $264,450 prize pool WatchMeDance - $22,775.25 + $56,716.42 in bounties ElCabanero - $22,749.37 + $4,856.25 in bounties MoStack - $16,554.37 + $4,462.50 in bounties Krissyb24 - $11,726.01 + $5,840.62 in bounties aaaaaaaaaaaa - $8,277.18 + $4,085.16 in bounties mbnlfg - $6,552.77 + $4,265.62 in bounties I LOVE BREW - $5,214.62 + $0.00 in bounties Toppairlover - $4,138.59 + $2,756.25 in bounties Event #185-HR: $250K Gtd [8-Max, PKO] $530 buy-in 570 entries $292,125 prize pool Executioner_ $20,805.29 + $33,737.72 in bounties Rocabella - $20,776.73 + $3,006.47 in bounties attitydsproblem - $14,169.25 + $4,380.48 in bounties NoSoulToRead - $9,807.06 + $1,792.37 in bounties Bahbababa - $6,904.17 + $2,067.18 in bounties edmbs - $4,989.83 + $393.75 in bounties UkinSelka - $3,593.30 + $3,018.75 in bounties Piace1992 - $2,573.37 + $1,667.30 in bounties Event #187-SHR: $100K Gtd [PLO 6-Max] $5,200 buy-in 42 entries $210,000 prize pool ElCabanero - $84,000 DR.Summer69 - $53,748.45 PayAndPlay - $27,300 MUNJOSHuHa - $18,900 PpPlayer1357 - $14,700 JariKurri - $11,351.55 Event #187-HR: $40K Gtd [PLO 6-Max] $530 buy-in 125 entries $62,500 prize pool Razorblade Nick - $15,744.14 VujaDeGen - $10,625 Carnotaurus - $7,500 PUCKBOUCHARD - $5,312.50 Stu_Beggs - $3,906.25 Gamebred_1 - $2,593.75 Event #188-HR: $100K Gtd [6-Max, PKO, Fast] $1,050 buy-in 125 entries $127,500 prize pool Tornad0toni - $11,972.19 + $19,776.25 in bounties Meoka - $11,959.66 + $9,798.75 in bounties mararthur1 - $8,446.52 + $2,860 in bounties Incognitigno - $5,982.95 + $1,820 in bounties NewYorkJimmY - $4,399.23 + $1,332.50 in bounties PunchlineEnBeta - $2,921.09 + $1,950 in bounties
  19. Kenny Hallaert navigated his way through 742 other players in Friday's PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker action before chopping up a little more than $140,000 with two other players on his way to his third SCOOP title. Hallaert won Event #84 High ($530 No Limit Hold'em) and took home $47,866.84. Runner-up 'nefersondaca' picked up $43,486.32 for their efforts while third-place finisher 'Glash0' snagged the biggest share of the money, earning $50,748.53. Following his victory, Hallaert took to Twitter to shared his excitement in picking up the title and some relief in earning a mid-five-figure score. Hallaert's previous SCOOP wins came in 2017 and 2019. The biggest winner on the day was Austrian 'BigFudge95' who bested 1,046 other runners in Event #85 High ($1,050 NLHE PKO Thursday Thrill SE) to win $73,596.76 from the prize pool and another $63,900.31 in bounties. Runner-up 'xMOOMOx' had to settle for $73,595.82 and $14,482.42 worth of bounties while a third-place result gave 'G A W' a $44,536.13 score as well as another $8,656.24 in collected bounties. British grinder 'robc1978' picked up a SCOOP title and $74,995.11 for winning Event #86 High ($2,100 Six Max NLHE/PLO). Finland's 'Elkku35' took home $56,688.50 for finishing one spot short of victory and Brazil's Joao 'vovo_leo' Studart pocketed $42,850.72 as the third-place finisher. The final champion crowned on Friday was another Austrian. Over the course of 4.5 hours, 'Old brock' beat 472 other players to win Event #89-H: $1,050 NLHE Turbo PKO for $36,949.95 and another $39,792.94 in bounties. Germany's 'GotYouRead' had to console themself with $36,949.60 from the prize pool and another $7,429.69 in bounties. Third-place finisher 'PSMozak' banked $23,419.05 and $7,125.00 in bounties. Other SCOOP winners on Friday included 'KaZanCHuK' (Event #84-M), 'nice_steady' (Event #84-L), 'muriLLoo.mrL' (Event #85-M), 'victorbco' (Event #85-L), 'MezuuUuuT' (Event #86-M), 'W.Leung' (Event #86-L), 'Will Eye Amm' (Event #89-M), and 'Crizh' (Event #89-L). Event #84-H: $530 No Limit Hold'em Entries: 745 Prize pool: $372,500 Kenny 'SpaceyFCB' Hallaert - $47,866.84* nefersondaca - $43,486.32* Glash0 - $50,748.53* komarac_zg = $23,741.32 schocer - $17,108.85 RunLkMercier - $12,329.22 Riverbanged - $8,884.87 good genius - $6,402.75 peloin - $4,614.04 Event #85-H: $1,050 NLHE PKO Thursday Thrill SE Entries: 1,047 Prize pool: $1,047,000 BigFudge95 - $73,596.76 + $63,900.31 xMOOMOx - $73,595.82 + $14,482.42 G A W - $44,536.13 + $8,656.24 Ship It 2010 - $32,145.15 + $22,152.36 PURPLE"K"99 - $23,201.57 + $8,523.43 pitaoufmg - $16,746.34 + $17,261.73 VICTOR TXR1 - $12,087.14 + $3,593.75 sousinha23 - $8,724.23 + $10,734.39 Event #86-H: $2,100 Six Max NLHE/PLO Entries: 188 Prize pool: $376,000 robc1978 - $74,995.11 Elkku35 - $56,688.50 vovo_leo - $42,850.72 munkkis - $32,390.74 anonymstruts - $24,484.10 eddymaksoud - $18,507.47 Event #89-H: $1,050 NLHE Turbo PKO Entries: 473 Prize pool: $473,000 Old brock - $36,949.95 + $39,792.94 GotYouRead - $36,949.60 + $7,429.69 PSMozak - $23,419.05 + $7,125.00 issagior - $17,406.70 + $9,097.65 WhatifGod - $12,937.89 + $2,937.50 copag holdem - $9,616.35 + $7,906.26 BalticMoose - $7,147.55 + $7,820.32 Krawalbruder - $5,312.57 + $3,484.38

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