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Found 6 results

  1. When the final table of the inaugural World Poker Tour Bobby Baldwin Classic started Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas there was no shortage of star power or storylines. Darren Elias was going for his record fourth WPT title. Jonathan Little and Sam Panzica were attempting to become the sixth player with three titles. Dietrich Fast was hoping to etch his name onto the Champions Cup for the second time. Joe McKeehen was hoping to put an exclamation point on a WPT Player of the Year season. Kitty Kuo was hoping to become just the second woman to ever win an open WPT event. Elias rose above all of those to etch his name in the WPT history books yet again. Little's run at his first WPT title since 2008 ended just 13 hands after the final table began. Action folded to Little in the small blind and he completed the bet. Sam Panzica moved all in from the big blind and Little called. Panzica tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] which put him behind Little's [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"] flop put Panzica ahead and all Little could do was watch as the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="5h"] river failed to help him out, eliminating him in sixth place. Despite picking up Little's stack, Panzica didn't stick around much longer. One hour later Panzica clashed with Elias and was unable to survive. Panzica raised to 35,000 from UTG and Elias made it 110,000 to go from UTG+1. Panzica moved all in for 385,000 and Elias called. Panzica turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] and was racing against Elias' [poker card="6c"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="tc"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"] to send Panzica packing in fifth. It was another later when Kuo raised to 125,000 from the big blind after Fast limped his button and Elias defended his small blind. Fast called Kuo's bet and Elias got out of the way sending the two players to a [poker card="kc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop. Kuo moved all in for 980,0000 and Fast called all in. Kuo showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"] while Fast had [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"]. The drama ended on the [poker card="qd"] turn as Kuo completed her flush and Fast was eliminated in fourth place as the [poker card="3h"] river completed the board. Ten hands later McKeehen, who needed a win in this event to pass Art Papazyan for WPT Player of the Year, found himself on the ugly side of variance and headed out the door. Elias raised to 45,000 from the button before McKeehen re-raised to 180,000 from the big blind. Elias responded by moving all in for 2,078,000 and McKeehen quickly called all in and turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"]. Elias turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"] but got great news on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2s"] flop. The [poker card="5c"] turn left McKeehen with just two outs and the [poker card="8s"] river wasn't one of them, eliminating the 2015 WSOP Main Event champion in third. Elias started heads up play with a nearly 3-1 chip lead over Kuo but it took him 103 hands and just over three hours to put a cap on his fourth title. Down to just 7.5 big blinds, Kuo moved all in from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="5d"] and Elias called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. The board ran out [poker card="js"][poker card="8h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Kuo and give Elias $387,580 and his fourth WPT title. Elias' previous WPT titles came at the Borgata Poker Open (2014), WPT Caribbean (2014), and the Fallsview Poker Classic (2017). Final Table Payouts Darren Elias - $387,580 Kitty Kuo - $248,380 Joe McKeehen - $178,610 Dietrich Fast - $130,895 Sam Panzica - $97,795 Jonathan Little - $74,520
  2. Some of the biggest names in poker will put a target on their back as the World Poker Tour returns to Jacksonville, Florida for the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble. The WPT’s $5,000 Main Event will take place from October 19-23 at bestbet Jacksonville and feature 24 players with a $2,500 bounty on their head. The Main Event A staple of the WPT Main Tour, the bestbet Jacksonville has been a key stop for the past seven seasons. The Bounty Scramble Main Event carries a $5,000 buy-in ($4,630 + $290 entry fee + $80 staff) and a $1 million guarantee. Players have the option of two starting days beginning on October 19 with both starting days allowing players unlimited re-entry. The four-day structure has the final table playing out on a lifestream on Friday, October 23. Additionally, the WPT has incorporated the big blind ante as well as a 30-second Action clock which starts when the tournament is only one table away from the money. Capture A Bounty The standard structure of a WPT event is normally enough to get players excited to attend an event. However, the bestbet Bounty Scramble gives players an extra incentive to grab a seat and make a loose call. There will be (at least) 24 players in the field that, if they are eliminated of the tournament, will give the player that knocked them out $2,500 on the spot. This year, bestbet Jacksonville has taken a positive step in continuing to promote the game of poker to women. They have doubled the number of women invited to participate as bounties from 2017. In 2018, ten of the 24 players that have been selected as bounties are not only some of the best players on the planet but they also happen to be women. The list includes 2018 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion Jessica Dawley, 2-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood, Kitty Kuo, Jamie Kerstetter, WSOP Main Event standout Kelly Minkin and more. Joining them are some of poker’s most notable names. A sampling of those with a price tag on their backs includes 4-time WPT Champion Darren Elias, Bryan Kaverman, Martin Rettenmaier, Matt Affleck, 3-time NFL Super Bowl Champion Richard Seymour, actor Kevin Pollack and 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Tony Miles among others. A Look Back Bounty tournaments at the highest level come with an extra level of adrenaline. The idea that after taking out an opponent, the tournament director may be giving you four-figures on the spot gives players extra incentive to get in the mix. bestbet Jacksonville has appeared on the WPT schedule since Season 10 (2011-2012). It wasn't until Season 13 that they formally changed the name to the Bounty Scramble and increased the buy-in to $5,000. In that year, Ryan Van Sanford from Colorado Springs, CO took down the field of 461 players to win a career-high cash of $421,668. Tyler Patterson, who returns again as a bounty in 2018, took down the title in 2014 besting Benjamin Zamani heads-up for $375,270. Patterson returned to the final table of the very next year in what was a stacked final table that included Noah Schwartz, Ankush Mandavia and eventual winner Sam Panzica. Panzica won over $350,000 for his first WPT title. He would go on to win a second WPT title in another bounty tournament - the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Stars for over $1.3 million. Like Patterson before him, Panzica also made the final table the year after he won it. Just last year, Panzica finished runner-up to Paul Petraglia. Petraglia, a Florida local, defeated the 323 player field for a cash of over $315,000. Prior to his win, his largest recorded cash was for just over $3,000. What To Watch For It’s still early in WPT season 17 with WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble as only the fifth event, but the WPT Player of the Year race is in full swing. After his victory in the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event, two-time WPT Champion Tony Ruberto has taken the POY lead. If he makes the trip to Jacksonville, he will be looking separate him from the field of other Season 17 winners. Keep an eye on the core group of bounties as well. The WPT has chosen a refreshing group of young pros as well as players who have traditionally done well in this event. Minkin, Miles and Dawley will be mixing it up with players who have multiple WPT titles like Elias and Rettenmaier to vie for the title of last bounty standing. With so much talent, it’s not altogether unlikely that a bounty (maybe two) will make it to the final table of six. Finally, the industry will be watching for the number of runners bestbet Jacksonville will register in 2018. Over the past three years, entries and the prize pool have been on the decline in Jacksonville. The $1 million guarantee placed on the Main Event is the lowest guarantee on tour (WPT Choctaw also had a $1 million guarantee which was more than doubled). Even though there’s $60,000 taken out for the bounties, the hopes are that there is an uptick at the Bounty Scramble. A prize pool of over $1.5 million, exceeding 2017, should be considered a win. Follow Along Live updates for the event will be provided by the World Poker Tour on their website. Also, the final table will be broadcast on a live streamed on Tuesday, October 23. The final table will start at 4:00 pm ET on a 30-minute delay. Complete List of Bounties $2,500 Bounty Player Allison Hollander Byron Kaverman Darren Elias Ester 'Etay' Taylor James Calderaro Jamie Kerstetter Jessica Dawley Jo Kim Kelly Minkin Kevin Pollack Kitty Kuo Lacey Jones Lexy Gavin Loni Harwood Marvin Rettenmaier Matt Affleck Matt Glantz Matt Savage Nabil (Doc) Hirezi Paul Petraglia Richard Seymour Tony Miles Tristan Wade Tyler Patterson
  3. The World Poker Tour has a new champion and his name is Aaron Van Blarcum. Van Blarcum was victorious in the Season XVIII WPT Legends of Poker Main Event at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino, topping the field of 520 entries to score the tournament’s $474,390 first-place prize. The win proved the largest live tournament score for the Dallas, Texas, native, crushing his previous best of nearly $51,000. Included in the prize for Van Blarcum was a $15,000 entry to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. "It feels great," Van Blarcum told the WPT afterwards. "I planned on playing in six of these [WPTs] this year and this was the first one, so it's pretty awesome." Van Blarcum defeated Gueorgui Gantchev in heads-up play, with Gantchev taking home $306,265. WPT regular Jared Griener finished third for $226,040. WPT Legends of Poker Final Table Results 1st: Aaron Van Blarcum - $474,390* 2nd: Gueorgui Gantchev - $306,265 3rd: Jared Griener - $226,040 4th: Vahan Sudzhyan - $168,630 5th: Jisup Hwang - $127,165 6th: Antonios Roungeris - $96,955 *First place includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] Van Blarcum entered Wednesday’s finale in last place on the leaderboard with six players remaining. He started climbing up from the bottom almost immediately and then eliminated Antonios Roungeris in sixth place on Hand #23 with the [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jd"] against Roungeris' [poker card="7s"][poker card="7c"]. One hand later, Van Blarcum made a royal flush to pick up even more chips. Van Blarcum continued to stay active and chip up, but he was a bystander when Gantchev knocked out Jisup Hwang in fifth. For the second elimination, it was a pair-versus-pair confrontation, with Gantchev's [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qh"] holding up against Hwang’s [poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"]. Hwang went out on Hand #76, then Hand #81 saw Van Blarcum bust Vahan Sudzhyan in fourth place. Van Blarcum had checked the [poker card="Qs"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="Ts"] board to his opponent. Sudzhyan moved all in and Van Blarcum called with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ks"]. Sudzhyan was drawing dead with the [poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"]. In another pair-versus-pair clash, Van Blarcum knocked out Griener in third place, this time when his [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] held up against Griener's [poker card="7h"][poker card="7d"]. That gave Van Blarcum a stack of nearly 16.5 million in chips heading into heads-up play against Gantchev, who had a stack of just more than 4.3 million. On the 29th hand of the duel, it was all over. On the final hand, Van Blarcum's [poker card="Ts"][poker card="Tc"] were up against the [poker card="5s"][poker card="5d"] for Gantchev. The pocket fives didn’t come from behind on the [poker card="Qs"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2d"] board and Van Blarcum was crowned the winner. The final day of play lasted 128 hands. The top 65 finishers reached the money, with deep runs had by Kitty Kuo (8th - $58,265), WPT Champions Club members Brian Altman (10th - $45,940) and Aaron Mermelstein (16th - $24,130), and Cord Garcia (30th - $14,100). Van Blarcum Takes WPT Player of the Year Lead Through two events in Season XVIII of the World Poker Tour, Van Blarcum sits atop the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings for the new season. His 1,200 points for winning the WPT Legends of Poker title were enough to surpass the 1,000 points won by Roger Teska when he took the opening title of Season XVIII in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival. Gantchev, the WPT Legends of Poker runner-up, earned 1,000 points for his finish and sits third in the race. 1st: Aaron Van Blarcum - 1,200 points 2nd: Roger Teska - 1,000 points 3rd: Gueorgui Gantchev - 1,000 points 4th: Jared Griener - 900 points 5th: Laszlo Molnar - 800 points 6th: Vahan Sudzhyan - 800 points 7th: Lior Ohel - 700 points 8th: Jisup Hwang - 700 points 9th: Lars Kamphues - 600 points 10th: Antonios Roungeris - 600 points Just outside of the top 10 is Garcia with 450 points. Garcia finished sixth at WPT Gardens and 30th at WPT Legends. His finishes are noteworthy because Garcia made it known that he was willing to bet on himself in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Garcia stated that he did book one $5,000 wager with two-time WPT champ and one of winningest players out of Pennsylvania, Mermelstein, who is currently 28th in this season’s race with 100 points. Borgata Poker Open Next for WPT Main Tour The next stop on the WPT Main Tour for Season XVIII is the WPT Borgata Poker Open. The event takes place at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, running September 15-20, 2019. The tournament has a $3,500 buy-in and $3 million prize pool guarantee.
  4. The Season XVIII World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic crowned its winner on Saturday, with Alex Foxen topping the record-breaking field of 1,035 entries to win the $1.694 million first-place prize. "It feels, I don't know… surreal," Foxen said in the moments following the win. "It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot, I was a little bit disappointed in the way that I played heads up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win. I don’t have words." Back in Season XVI, Foxen found himself heads up with Ryan Tosoc in this very event. Tosoc had finished runner-up the year before and was back in heads-up play with a chance to better his previous result. Back then, Foxen couldn’t overcome Tosoc in what was a very lighthearted heads-up battle with plenty of fun had between the two and he had to settle for a second-place payout of $1.134 million. "I do feel like I was so excited about having that opportunity," Foxen said of the difference between his two WPT Five Diamond heads-up appearances. "I think that score I locked up was already five or six times my biggest score to date at that point, so there was an element of me feeling like I lost a little bit of focus and maybe didn’t take it as seriously as I should have because, regardless of the outcome of heads-up play, it was such an amazing result that in the moment I didn’t see the severity of that situation. I definitely didn’t make that same mistake twice." Much like Tosoc had redeemed his second-place finish with a victory the following season, Foxen came back two seasons after his runner-up finish to get the job done and capture the WPT Five Diamond throne. The victory gave Foxen his first WPT title. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Final Table Results 1st: Alex Foxen - $1,694,995 2nd: Toby Joyce - $1,120,040 3rd: Seth Davies - $827,285 4th: Peter Neff - $617,480 5th: Danny Park - $465,780 6th: Jonathan Jaffe - $355,125 Foxen came into Saturday’s final table in second position on the leaderboard with six players remaining. In fewer than 30 hands, Foxen had improved to the chip lead. Shortly after gaining the top spot, he knocked out WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Jaffe in sixth place. Although others did some damage of their own, such as Toby Joyce knocking out start-of-day chip leader Danny Park in fifth place and Seth Davies busting Peter Neff in fourth place, Foxen never gave up the lead once he had it. Three-handed play between Foxen, Joyce, and Davies lasted for quite some time. Even though both Joyce and Davies scored double ups during the battle, things never appeared to get away from Foxen as he stayed strong behind the wall of chips he built. Eventually, Davies’ stack shrunk and he got the last of his money in against Foxen in a dominated position. Foxen had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qh"] to Davies’ [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"]. Davies, a WPT Champions Club member, did flop some outs to a chop but he was ultimately done in thanks to the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="3s"][poker card="As"][poker card="8d"] board. Entering heads-up play with Joyce, Foxen had the chip lead with 29.5 million to Joyce’s 11.9 million, and the match was never really close. Joyce narrowed the gap ever so slightly at the beginning of the duel, but Foxen’s dominance was too much and he quickly started to distance himself. On the final hand, Foxen had limped on the button with the blinds at 200,000/400,000 with a 400,000 big blind ante. Joyce checked and the dealer fanned the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop. Joyce checked, Foxen bet 400,000, and then Joyce check-raised to 1.1 million. Foxen put in a raise of his own and made it 2 million to go. Joyce called to see the [poker card="Kc"] land on fourth street. Joyce checked and Foxen shoved all in, for what was effectively 4.5 million because he had Joyce covered. Joyce tanked and used four 30-second time extensions to think things through. Joyce eventually made the call with the [poker card="Jh"][poker card="9c"] for a pair of jacks, but Foxen had him out-kicked with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Js"]. The river was the [poker card="4c"] to seal the deal for Foxen. For his runner-up finish, Joyce scored $1.12 million in prize money. Fourth Consecutive Record Turnout for Five Diamond It was the fourth consecutive record-setting turnout for WPT Five Diamond, and this season’s 1,035 entries topped last season’s 1,001. The seasons prior to that were 812 entries for Season XVI and 791 entries for Season XV. In this event, the top 130 finished reached the money. Included in those to cash were Eric Afriat (9th - $168,005), Darren Elias (14th - $107,840), Chino Rheem (22nd - $60,435), Cary Katz (44th - $37,670), Kitty Kuo (67th - $26,220), Cliff Josephy (74th - $23,830), and Maria Ho (116th - $19,345). Also running deep was Timo Kamphues, who placed seventh in the Season XVIII WPT Five Diamond for $273,695. He has had quite the week of poker in Las Vegas, as just a few days prior to his run at Bellagio, Kamphues won the Wynn Poker Winter Classic $1,100 NL $500,000 Guarantee tournament for $202,787. Foxen Takes Player of the Year Lead With the victory, Foxen moved to first place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings. Both Foxen and Joyce have the same amount of points, 1,400, but Foxen holds the tiebreaker of most money won. Joyce earned his second cash of the season and is currently second in the race. 1st: Alex Foxen - 1,400 points 2nd: Toby Joyce - 1,400 points 3rd: Donald Maloney - 1,300 points 4th: Aaron Van Blarcum - 1,275 points 5th: Geoffrey Hum - 1,250 points 6th: Milen Stefanov - 1,200 points 7th: Kevin Albers - 1,200 points 8th: Simon Brandstrom - 1,200 points 9th: Peter Neff - 1,150 points 10th: Seth Davies - 1,100 points WPT Gardens Poker Championship Up Next Up next for the WPT Main Tour is the WPT Gardens Poker Championship at the Gardens Casino in Southern California. The $10,000 buy-in event kicks off January 9, 2020, and runs through January 13.
  5. Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC
  6. Kitty Kuo had her March calendar all planned out. Sacramento, for the World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder event, San Jose, for the Bay 101 Shooting Stars where she was scheduled to be one of the bounties, Las Vegas, for tournaments at the Venetian and Wynn, then off to Los Angeles to play Live at the Bike before jetting off to Barcelona. That's not how it played out though. Kuo played the Rolling Thunder event, but then canceled her trip to San Jose after the area became a hot spot for Covid-19. She stayed in Las Vegas and attended the Global Poker Awards where she was a nominee. Kuo knew she had a decision to make. She could either stay in Las Vegas with her friends or head back to her native Taiwan and stay with her family there. Kuo chose the former and bounced between her best friend Jason Mo's house and her condominium. Deciding to stay in Las Vegas wasn't an easy decision. "All my friends are here and I wanted to keep them company," Kuo said. "I didn’t know the USA would be as bad as it is now. Also, if I go back to Taiwan, I worry I will have issues coming back to the USA." Over the last six weeks, Kuo has kept in touch with her family back home. Restrictions for Taiwanese residents are much stricter than what Americans have been experiencing to date. "In Taiwan, you need to follow the rules and stay (in isolation) for 14 days, but we can still communicate with families and friends. Everyone I know is safe in Taiwan," Kuo said. Time in self-isolation has given Kuo a chance to put in extra time working on her poker game. She's spent more hours working with her poker coach and challenged herself to play 100,000 hands of online cash games. For somebody who has been focused mostly on tournaments over the past few years, it's "Since live events will not be back anytime soon, I've decided to focus on online cash games," Kuo said. "I've been mastering Rush and cash. Five years ago, I couldn't beat online $1/$2 Rush and cash games." Like most people who are self-quarantining, Kuo has had some time to plan what she wants to do once the pandemic has passed and life returns to some level of normalcy. "I finally realized that I can't stay home for long periods of time. After this pandemic is over, I'm planning to travel the world for a year," Kuo said. "(I miss) having nice dinners with friends, playing poker on live streams, and traveling to all the WPT and APT stops." On Wednesday, after nearly seven weeks of staying in Las Vegas, Kuo changed her mind and headed home to Taiwan. One thing she'll be able to do is take advantage of the recently-announced Asian Poker Tour online event on Natural8. That series runs April 29 - April 5 with over $1.5 million in guarantees.
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