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  1. [caption width="640"] PokerStars is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sunday Million in a big way.[/caption] Known for offering massive prize pools for a relatively low buy-in, the PokerStars Sunday Million tournament is a player favorite. In March, the online poker giant will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the event, and plans to make it memorable by offering a massive $10 million in guaranteed prize money. The tournament will take place on March 20 and feature the usual $215 buy-in. But unlike ever before, players will be allowed to reenter up to three times, something PokerStars says is necessary to bolster the huge prize pool. If you can’t swing the full buy-in, you will still have plenty of chances to win a seat through an array of freerolls and satellites which will be spread up until the day of the tournament. Your first shot at a free Sunday Million seat will be through a series of Hyper-Turbo freerolls, offered every Saturday between February 13 and March 19. In each of those qualifiers, players will battle for 200 seats, with PokerStars giving away 1,200 free entries in total. To enter, you will need to make a real-money deposit of $20 or more using the week’s corresponding bonus code (ex. MILLIONFREE1, MILLIONFREE2, etc.). Players can also qualify through a number of regular cash satellites with entry fees starting at just $1, or in one of six special events. PokerStars will hold four ‘VIP Bash’ satellites every Sunday between February 22 and March 19, giving away 50 entries each in of the first three, and 100 in the last. Additionally, the site will run two ‘Deadline Satellites’ on the day of the tournament, in which players can win one of 1,333 seats for a buy-in of $11. Several Team PokerStars pros have already confirmed their participation in the 10th annual tournament, including Chris Moneymaker, Jake '810ofclubs' Cody, Johnny Lodden and Liv Boeree, among others. This year, players and railbirds will be able to enjoy the action from the perspective of poker streamers like Jamie Staples, who will be playing the tournament live on his Twitch channel. “The Sunday Million Anniversary tournament is one of the biggest events on the poker calendar,” Staples said in a release. “And when you throw in a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and more than a thousand free seats as well, it’s a tournament that every poker player should aspire to play.” The very first Sunday Million was held on March 5, 2006, and drew a respectable 5,893 players while generating a prize pool of $1,178,600. Canada’s ‘aaaaaaaa’ bested the field in that inaugural event and signed off $173,843 richer. From that date, the tournament has continued to grow tremendously. The richest Sunday Million took place during PokerStars’ 10th Anniversary in December 2011, when Canadian ‘First-Eagle’ topped an enormous field of 62,116 players to bank the $1,146,574 first-place prize. Mexico’s ‘BRAYDEN93’ conquered a field of 50,432 opponents last year to pocket $597,719 in the 9th Anniversary tournament. The record-breaking $10 million guarantee could be viewed as part of PokerStars’ effort to attract casual players rather than distribute increasing VIP rewards to high-volume pros. While the site has slashed VIP benefits, it has promised that it would somewhat make up the difference by offering promos and game options which would appeal to casual users.
  2. The following is a compilation of quotes from blogs and interviews with Liv Boeree by the team at 2CardsCollege pro poker training. "If I were Prime Minister, I would make classes in rational decision-making a compulsory part of the national curriculum." (The Independent) "As a poker player I've learned the hard way that poor decision making, be it from ego, stubbornness or superstition, can be costly both financially and emotionally." (The Independent) "Women in poker in general get a very disproportionate amount of criticism." (PokerPlayer365 - 2014) "I do have a reputation as a bit of a party animal, and it's true, I like to let my hair down and hang out with my friends and enjoy myself." (PokerStrategy - 2012) (About life on the road) "Half the time I love it, half the time I hate it, so it's a double-edged sword, but ultimately I love it." (PokerStrategy - 2012) "I'm fortunate that I just have a really good metabolism; I'm actually pretty lazy." (PokerStrategy 2012) "All my jokes are filthy and horrible and inappropriate and weird." (BLUFF Europe) (On getting respect from poker forums) "Even if I won every other tournament, they would still be like 'yeah, but she has boobs and is just a girl..." (PokerStrategy - 2012) "When I was growing up as a little girl, I played with tractors and cars, I didn't have any dolls. I would rip the heads off dolls and refuse to wear dresses." (PokerStrategy - 2012) "My school teachers at parents evening independently said I was the naughtiest boy of the class. Other girls were naughty in the way girls were naughty... but I was the one that burnt stuff on the Bunsen burner, set light to a gas tap, and climbed out the windows. (PokerStrategy - 2012) (On being a sponsored pro) "PokerStars work their pros hard (...) for example, at an EPT, we usually have a whole day that's just interviews." (Poker Strategy - 2012) (On the German high roller community) "They are close friends and such a great group of people so being able to discuss hands and listen to the way they talk about poker is fantastic." (PokerPlayer365 - 2014) (On climate change doubters) "...those who oppose preventative action are often doing so because they believe it is not 100 per cent happening and therefore isn't worth the cost and effort... (The Independent) "I love Phil (Hellmuth). (...) Nobody has more self-belief than Phil." (BLUFF Europe) "Unless you’re fully aware of all things that exist, how can you say that God does not exist?" (BLUFF Europe) (...) " I wanted everyone to like and respect me, but at some point you just think "F*ck it, I'm proud of what I've done; screw the naysayers.""
  3. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz will receive his 2015 GPI Player of the Year trophy at the European Poker Awards[/caption] On May 3, a veritable who's who of the top names in European poker will gather at the Monte Carlo Bay and Resort in luxurious Monaco. Over the course of the evening, nine awards will be given out as part of the 15th Annual GPI European Poker Awards, honoring players for their achievements in 2015. The nominees were announced on Monday. The list of potential winners was pared down to four nominees per category by a panel of 62 members of the poker world including players, media, and operators. The nominees include some of the top names in the game like Fedor Holz, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and English legend John Gale. It also includes mainstays of the poker tournament scene in Europe including European Poker Tour President Edgar Stuchly and World Poker Tour Europe General Manager Hermance Blum. Attendees will also have a chance to relive memorable moments like Dzmitry Urbanovich winning four tournaments during EPT Malta, Barny Boatman winning his second career WSOP bracelet, and Mustapha 'lasagnaaammm' Kanit winning the EPT Barcelona €10K High Roller. Events to be recognized include the EPT Grand Final, WSOP Europe Main Event, and PokerListings Battle of Malta. The awards will take place on May 3 in a ceremony emceed by American Joe Stapleton. 2015 GPI European Player of the Year Fedor Holz and European Female Player of the Year Liv Boeree will also receive their trophies during the gala, which will take place at the exclusive Blue Gin Bar. "I'm lucky enough to travel a lot in Europe and have met most of the nominees of the newest edition of the GPI European Poker Awards," GPI owner Alex Dreyfus said. "I believe the panel did a great job of nominating and, as always, it's going to be very difficult and painful to make a choice." The newest edition of the European Poker Awards comes just a few months after the American Poker Awards were doled out in Los Angeles for the second straight year. Winners at that ceremony included the likes of Josh Beckley, PokerNews Editor-in-Chief Donnie Peters, and PocketFives Community Manager Kevin 'Kevmath' Mathers, who received the Jury Award. "We acquired the European Poker Awards and then, last year, we launched the American Poker Awards," Dreyfus said. "I believe that players, media, and communities in the US and Europe are different. While the game is the same and the competition is worldwide, each market has different needs. It wouldn't make sense to have one award for the whole industry since there are so many differences. How would you compare events held in the US and in Europe? So, we hold two different award ceremonies." Here's the complete list of nominees: Breakout Player of the Year Charles Carrel Dzmitry Urbanovich Fedor Holz Rainer Kempe Low Buy-In Event of the Year (below €2,000) Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Norwegian Championships Norway Cup PokerListings Battle of Malta WPT500 at Dusk Till Dawn High Buy-In Event of the Year (€2,000 and up) EPT Barcelona Main Event EPT Grand Final Main Event EPT Prague Main Event WSOP Europe Main Event Industry Person of the Year Edgar Stuchly Hermance Blum Luca Vivaldi Rob Yong Thomas Lamatsch Innovation/Initiative of the Year Norwegian Championship broadcast (sports style) PokerStars Play Along App - Interactive Poker on TV PokerStars using superstars (athletes) for global campaign WSOP Europe remote Twitch broadcasts Media Content of the Year "The Future of Poker in the Post-Boom Era", Sam Grafton blog "The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat", Neil Stoddart's picture captures Montury consoling Messina at EPT Malta "Devilfish: A Friend with a Heart of Gold", PokerNews article (Jesse May, Mickey May) Remko Report, PokerNews Podcast, August 2015 - Eli Elezra talks time in Israeli Army and high stakes with legends Media Person of the Year Frank Op de Woerd Lee Davy Neil Stoddart Remko Rinkema Moment of the Year Dzmitry Urbanovich wins Crazy Pineapple tourney at EPT Malta - 4th win of series Epic hand between Mateos and Lodden at EPT Grand Final (Negreanu on stream `We're seeing some high-level poker`) John Gale returns from three years off (because of brain tumor) to win WSOP bracelet #2 Pierre Neuville qualifies for the WSOP November Nine - after declaring he wasn't done (at 2014 Euro Awards) Tournament Performance of the Year Adrian Mateos Wins the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event Barny Boatman wins second career WSOP bracelet at WSOP Europe Fedor Holz Wins WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas Mustapha Kanit wins EPT Barcelona 10K High Roller
  4. [caption width="640"] The European Poker Tour has launched the careers of some of the biggest and brightest stars in the game today (PokerStars photos)[/caption] Many of the world's best poker players are packed into a hotel in Prague right now, and the excitement in the air is irrefutable. You might say this is always the case when a big live tournament is about to take place, but this buzz is unique: EPT13 Prague is the last ever European Poker Tour festival, and will crown the final EPT champion before the series is re-branded. From January, the events will now be known as PokerStars Championships, and they won’t be limited to European soil, starting with thePokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly PCA) on January 6, 2017. The EPT will always hold a special place in the hearts of many players, and winning one has catapulted dozens of careers. To mark the official end of the EPT, we’ve hand-picked ten of the biggest breakout stars of the EPT over the past 13 seasons. We start with five players who made a name for themselves in the early years of the Tour. Patrik AntoniusIt feels strange to kick off a list of breakout tournament stars with a man known primarily as a live and online cash game player, but there’s no denying that Patrik Antonius’ win back at the EPT2 Baden Classic in 2005 for €288,180 was the first introduction to the Fin for many. Antonius’ career post-EPT win is well documented; he’s played in the largest cash games around the world, including on sorely-missed TV shows High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, not to mention playing in many of the biggest online pots in history. Mike McDonaldThe Mike McDonald of EPT4 Dortmund is barely recognizable compared to the McDonald of today. When the man known as Timex won the event back in 2008 for €933,600, he was a rake-thin 18-year-old with a clear talent for the game, both live and online. Fast forward eight and a half years and McDonald is now considered one of tournament poker’s best, with more than $13 million in live earnings and an additional $3.1 million won online. As well as his many high roller results, Timex almost became a two-time EPT champ in January 2014 when he finished runner-up at the PCA, and he recently took down the first ever GPL Finals as part of the Montreal Nationals. Bertrand ‘ElkY' GrospellierAlready a celebrity in the gaming world (particularly in South Korea where he lived, worked, and played prior to his breakout poker success), ElkY burst onto the poker scene with his bright hair and big personality back in 2008. Having previously finished second at EPT3 Copenhagen, the Frenchman took down a massive $2 million when he won the 2008 PCA, and that led to a string of impressive results. In October 2008 he won a WPT for $1.41 million, followed by a $25K High Roller victory at the PCA a year after his win for $433,500. By this point ElkY was a dominant force in tournament poker, securing him a spot on Team PokerStars Pro which he holds to this day. He’d cement his legacy with two wins at EPT7 Madrid; one in the $25K High Roller for $779,221, and another in a $10K Turbo High Roller for $227,087. Liv BoereeIt would be impossible to create a list of EPT “stars” and not include Liv Boeree. She’s become one of the most popular and heavily marketed faces in all of poker, primarily due to her sponsorship deal with PokerStars. But Boeree can certainly play; she’d already racked up 23 live cashes before her breakout win at EPT6 San Remo in 2010 for $1.698 million. Since then Boeree has notched up a string of EPT main event cashes, as well as almost clinching a UKIPT title (2nd for $97,057) and finishing third in a $25K High Roller at EPT12 Barcelona for $449,383. She’s no slouch on the online felt either, with almost $600,000 in earnings. Jason MercierIt’s pretty impressive when you scroll down to the bottom a player’s Hendon Mob page and see that their first ever live cash was an EPT win. That’s the case for Jason Mercier, who took down EPT4 San Remo in 2008 for $1.37 million. Of course, Mercier was already known as an online grinder prior to that, and he’s since gone on to become one of the most esteemed and established players in all areas of poker. Five WSOP bracelets and a WSOP Player of the Year title; seven COOP titles (including three SCOOP wins in one year); win after win; final table after final table; deep run after deep run; to list all of Mercier’s accomplishments would take too long. Look for Part 2 of this piece on Thursday, which will focus on players who found fame and fortune from 2011-2016.
  5. [caption width="640"] Igor Kurganov joins long-time girlfriend Liv Boeree as a member of Team PokerStars Pro. (PokerStars photo)[/caption] He's Russia's all-time leading in live tournament earnings. He's had 21 six-figure or bigger scores. He's fluent in three different languages. He's the co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving. And now Igor Kurganov is a member of Team PokerStars Pro. The addition of Kurganov was announced on Friday. “I'm as active in the game as I've ever been, so I'm excited to work with PokerStars on their future plans. They have undoubtedly been, and will continue to be, the driving force in the poker market and the company that I believe provides the best poker experience for a wide range of players," said Kurganov. "Additionally, PokerStars are going to be supporting some of our plans with REG this year, which makes me really happy.” Kurganov co-founded REG alongside girlfriend fellow Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree. The 28-year-old first broke into the live scene in 2009 with four cashes, including a fifth place finish at the Irish Masters. He began to really make a name for himself in 2011 when he final tabled three high roller events. He finished second to Bertrand Grospellier at the 2011 European Poker Tour Madrid High Roller for $182,560, third in the EPT Tallinn High Roller for $58,210 and second to Philipp Gruissem at the EPT London Hiigh Roller for $497,499. Kurganov's first live win came at the 2012 EPT Grand Final High Roller where he beat Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu heads-up to win $1,425,874. He's cashed 59 times and now has live earnings of $12,042,540, mostly in big buy-in high roller events. Since Kurganov speaks Russian, German and English fluently, PokerStars will be able to use him in multiple markets to promote the brand. "With all the talk of artificial intelligence and poker, we're proud to bring someone with such profound human intelligence as the newest member of PokerStars Team Pro. Igor's mathematical poker mind and passion for giving back to society represent some of the best traits in poker," said Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for PokerStars. "As an outspoken advocate for online and live poker players, he'll contribute to our products, our policies and our promotion of live and online poker in Russia, Germany and serve as a global ambassador for poker as a member of Team Pro.” Kurganov can now be found on PokerStars, playing under the screenname 'IgorKurganov'.
  6. [caption width="640"] Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree took down the ,000 Tag Team Championship on Friday for the first career bracelets (WSOP photo)[/caption] Since they first started dating a few years ago, Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov have been one of poker's "power couples". On Friday night at the 2017 World Series of Poker, they proved that, winning the $10,000 Tag Team Championship for the first WSOP bracelets of their careers. Their win was the highlight of the first busy day of the WSOP. Boeree and Kurganov Deny Negreanu #7 When the final six teams returned to action in the $10,000 Tag Team Championship on Friday, most people were focused on the team with the chip lead since it featured Daniel Negreanu going for bracelet #7. Negreanu's team, which consisted of Eric Wasserson, Mark Gregorich and David Benyamine, managed to get three-handed with the chip lead but Boeree and Kurganov had other ideas. Team Negreanu was eliminated in third place, leaving Boeree and Kurganov to battle heads-up with Ankush Mandavia and Joe Kuether. Mandavia and Kurganov battled for a little over 90 minutes before Kurganov finally eliminated his team's last opponent. "This is genuinely an event where I'm happier about the two bracelets that we win from it," said Kurganov. "People always say that I want to win the bracelet, but here the ratio of bracelet-to-money is even better than usual." The couple also announced they would be donating half of their total winnings to Raising for Effective Giving, the charity they founded together. "The charity was basically our third and fourth player," said Kurganov. Final Table Payouts Liv Boeree - Igor Kurganov - $273,964 Ankush Mandavia - Joe Kuether - $169,323 Daniel Negreanu - Eric Wasserson - David Benyamine - Mark Gregorich - $119,753 Anthony Ajlouny - David Fong - Mike McClain - $86,237 Javier Gomez - Lander Lijo - $63,253 Martin Jacobson - Mark Radoja - $47,271 J.C. Tran - Nam Le - Antonio Gutierrez - $36,008 Connor Drinan - Mike Aron - $27,967 Dietrich Fast - Moritz Dietrich - Jan Schwippert - $22,156 Busquet, De Silva, Paur Highlight $3K Shootout Final Table Just ten players remain in the $3,00 No Limit Hold'em Shootout after Day 2 and a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives is among them. Taylor Paur, who was #1 in 2011, is joined by Olivier Busquet, Jean Gaspard and Upeshka De Silva. Jan Schwippert is also at the final table, making him the first player to make two final tables this summer. Schwippert was part of a team that finished ninth in the $10K Tag Team Championship. The final 10 begins play at Noon. Final Table Chip Counts Olivier Busquet - 571,000 Jan Schwippert - 564,000 Casey Carroll - 562,000 Upeshka De Silva - 550,000 Jean Gaspard - 550,000 Mark McMillin - 550,000 Louis Helm - 548,000 Linglin Zeng - 548,000 Taylor Paur - 536,000 John Richards - 521,000 Christopher Logue Leads Final 29 of $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Only 29 players remain in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or better event, with Christopher Logue sitting on top with 498,000. The day started with 254 players still in contention but 10 levels of play saw 225 of them, including Day 1 chip leader Rex Clinkscales, sent to the rail. World Poker Tour Player of the Year Ben Zamani bagged a top-10 stack. Other familiar faces that will return to Day 3 on Saturday include Marco Johnson, James van Alstyne and Jordan Rich. Action resumes at 2 pm PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Christopher Logue - 498,000 Jim Collopy - 433,000 Kevin Gerhart - 393,000 Jon Seaman - 370,000 Benjamin Zamani - 340,000 James Chen - 336,000 Jared Hemingway - 323,000 Kate Hoang - 320,000 Jordan Rich - 299,000 Gary Vick - 294,000 Little Buy-in, Big Field - Colossus Kicks Off The first two flights of the $565 Colossus - guaranteed to be the biggest WSOP field this year - saw a combined 4,783 players dwindled down to just 157 players with Mark Peters holding the overnight chip lead with 426,000. Peters made his way through the Day 1A field of 2,756 players. Hunter Frey bagged up 400,000 after topping the 1,982 players in Day 1B. Just 157 players survived the two flights and will return on Monday for Day 2. In 2016, Day 1A and 1B, which was on a Thursday, put a combined 5,402 players through the turnstiles - meaning the 2017 Day 1A and 1B numbers are down almost 11.5%. Given that there are four starting flights on a weekend this year, the Colossus field size could see a significant bump over the next two days. Day 1A Top 5 Chip Counts Mark Peters - 426,000 Jack Blair - 396,000 Kevon Bakhtiari - 382,000 Mohammad Farah - 370,000 William Scarsdale - 315,000 Day 1B Top 5 Chip Counts Hunter Frey - 400,000 Ryan Buckholtz - 386,000 Vlad Darie - 360,000 Scott Bohlman - 346,000 Jesse Vilchez - 331,000 Jacobson, Carrel, Polk Shine on Day 1 of One Drop High Roller While the Colossus represents one end of the WSOP buy-in schedule, the $111,111 One Drop High Roller represents the other. Day 1 action saw 119 players show up and after eight levels of play, former WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson stood tall as chip leader. Jacobson bagged up 1,677,000 to edge out Charlie Carrel. The Brit, who took down the 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship Main Event two weeks ago, ended up with 1,624,000. The top five also includes Doug Polk, Brian Rast and Dan Smith. Leon Tsoukernik, fresh off of his Super High Roller Bowl cash, bagged up the sixth biggest stack. Some of the players who did not make it through Day 1 included reigning champion Fedor Holz, Darren Elias, Justin Bonomo, Stephen Chidwick, Anthony Gregg and Super High Roller Bowl winner, Christoph Vogelsang. After hearing numerous complaints from some of the players in the field, WSOP staff decided to cut the day short by two levels. Players can continue to enter until the end of the second level of play on Saturday. To match the field from 2016, an additional 64 players will have to enter before registration closes. Top 10 Chip Counts Martin Jacobson - 1,677,000 Charlie Carrel - 1,624,000 Doug Polk - 1,522,000 Brian Rast - 1,456,000 Dan Smith - 1,360,000 Leon Tsoukernik - 1,325,000 Rainer Kempe - 1,271,000 Adrian Mateos - 1,210,000 Scott Seiver - 1,199,000 Dominik Nitsche - 1,179,000
  7. [caption width="640"] Daniel Negreanu is taking a new approach to tournaments after spending a few months working with coaches (WPT photo)[/caption] Daniel Negreanu's first tournament score was over 20 years ago. Since then he's become poker's all-time leading money earner with $35,269,814 in winnings and become one of the most widely recognized poker players in the world, if not the most. And yet the 42-year-old recently realized he needed to go back to school if he wanted to continue to consider himself elite. After posting just one cash - an eighth-place finish for $102,000 - in five PokerMasters events, Negreanu looked around the table and recognized that the high roller tournaments were being dominated by one group of players, and if he was going to continue to play in them, he needed to change some things about his approach. "I've been playing poker 20 years, so I know the difference between running bad and playing bad or being outclassed. I know I had been running bad in those things, there's no question, but there's no real value in focusing on that stuff because it's out of your control," said Negreanu. "What I can focus on, what about the little spots? I'm getting outplayed in those. And that was happening more than I'd like." The Poker Masters events allowed Negreanu to get a better-than-front-row view as to what the German players were doing and how they were dominating the high rollers. "It became pretty obvious to me that as a team, not in any collusive way, the Germans have worked together to become really, really good at this specific format and they're sharing information with each other," said Negreanu. "So I knew that in order for me to be able to compete that I needed to find some people that I could do that with today, that's more up to date on what's available in terms of learning tools." While trying to figure out what his approach should be or who he should start working with, Negreanu's agent, Brian Balsbaugh, mentioned that he knew of two players who were interested in taking on more coaching projects and might be right up his alley. Negreanu was skeptical at first, but agreed to meet with them and hear their pitch. "I really liked what they had to share. They showed me some data, and they showed me some flaws in other peoples systems and I said, 'Let's make this thing work'," said Negreanu. "I went into partnership with them to work hard for two to three months, three to four times a week at the house for five or six hours a day. It's been a combination of a lot of different things we're studying and I'd say we're probably 25-30% of the way down. There's a lot more to go." As Negreanu sat down with "Matt and MJ" for their first coaching session, Negreanu found himself intimidated by what they were coaching and wondered if he'd ever be able to pick it up and change his game. "Then a couple of hours in, I was like 'Wait - I get it!' I was starting to get it. For 20 years in poker, I've been thinking 100% exploitatively, just do things based on what your opponents perceive of you. So learning how to come from a more game theory baseline was totally alien to me. I didn't grow up with that. It was a little hard in the beginning, but it's really helped a lot of balance and aggression to my game," said Negreanu. German players such as Fedor Holz, Steffen Sontheimer and Stefan Schillhabel have turned the high roller poker world on its head over the past few years by emphasizing the game theory optimal approach to the game. While that's a big part of what Negreanu is learning now, it's not everything he's working on. "I love the way they teach things because they're essentially a hybrid. They're not teaching me how to play GTO, because GTO is not the best way to play, it's just not. Theoretically, exploitative play is better. The problem with exploitative play is you become exploitable," said Negreanu. "What I think about now is what would be the GTO line if I was playing a robot? Then I deviate by saying, well this guy's not a robot, he folds way too often, so I'm going to up my bluffing frequency an extra 20-30% or this guy never folds so I'm going to go down. So I'm deviating from what would be considered the correct play against a robot." After taking time off and focusing on re-tooling his game, Negreanu jumped back into action last week at the Bellagio for a $100,000 Super High Roller event, eventually finishing runner-up behind Dan Smith and earning $936,000 in the process. While he ultimately didn't win the event, Negreanu's quite happy with the outcome not only because it came with a huge cash score, but proved to him he's on the right path. "I like the results. The results are good. I essentially feel like I won that tournament. I got it in with 82% for all the chips and I did everything I could to win that tournament. I felt really, really good about a wide variety of things," said Negreanu.
  8. [caption width="640"] PokerStars returns Prague with a 43-event schedule over 12 days beginning on December 7[/caption] All the presents in the Twelve Days of Christmas are nice and all, but for poker players from around the world twelve days of non-stop poker action is what they really want for the holidays and the PokerStars Championship Series is more than happy to oblige. From December 7-18 the PokerStars Championship series returns to Prague, the largest city in the Czech Republic, for their final stop of the calendar year, PokerStars Championship Prague. The festival includes a little something for everyone in the 43-event schedule, including the €5,300 Main Event. The Hilton Prague Hotel will once again play host to the competition, as it has ever since PokerStars began bringing players to Prague back during the European Poker Tour Season 4 in 2007. One of the more popular winter destinations for players, both for the action and the city that surrounds it, many memorable moments have been made over the years in Prague for the PokerStars crew. In 2009, local grinder Jan Skampa won the main event for over $1 million and two years later the live poker world was introduced to German superstar Martin Finger when he won his EPT Main Event in Prague. Of course, just last year, Dutch player Jasper Meijer was crowned the final EPT champion and as he hoisted the trophy in Prague, the final stop of Season 13, it marked the final stop of the entire tour. It was the end of the EPT era. Now PokerStars is back in Prague for the first time since that emotional finale, ready to start new traditions and anoint new champions in the Golden City. To help with that, PokerStars is bringing out a number of their pros to both mingle with the players as well as test their mettle on the felt. Andre Akkari, Marcin Horecki, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who makes his home in Prague, have all confirmed to be on hand. While there is plenty to do in the city of Prague like check out the city’s Christmas markets, stroll across the Charles Bridge or visit the St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the tournament schedule PokerStars has put together is likely to keep dedicated grinders indoors and on the felt. The massive 43-event line-up hopes to have a number of events for players managing any type of bankroll. From the €330 multi-flight Prague Poker Cup for those looking for a big score on a modest buy-in to the €50,000 PokerStars Championship Super High Roller, which is likely to have big names vying for even bigger payouts and every buy-in level in between. Of course, all eyes will be on the €5,300 Main Event. Registering 1,192 runners in 2016, last years participants were the most the Prague stop had ever seen, making it a benchmark for comparison here at the start of the Championship years. The Main Event gets started on December 12 and has two starting days. Then, if one can't be in Prague, beginning on Day 2, would-be viewers can tune-in to all-star commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton as they host featured-table action from the event on PokerStars.tv. PokerStars also is continuing their PokerStars Championship Player of the Year leaderboard promotion awarding the winner of the Prague tournament leaderboard a chance to win a $17,000 VIP package to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and a seat at a $100,000 free roll in the winner-take-all 2017 PokerStars Championship Player of the Year Sit & Go. If that sounds like an amazing opportunity, one had better be prepared to bring their “A” game as the list of players that have already qualified include some of the best in the game, including Koray Aledmir, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Daniel Dvoress, Nick Petrangelo, Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen and high roller regular Bryn Kenney. Online satellites to the Main Event are currently running on PokerStars and, just in case the tournaments scene doesn’t agrehoursth you, PokerStars will be running 24-hour a day cash games with all the action beginning on December 7.
  9. When PokerStars announced the Platinum Pass program in late 2017, they promised to find unique and interesting ways to give the $30,000 packages away. Over the last six months, players have won them by winning PokerStars-branded live events, random draws at those same events and through online play as well. Now they've weaponized their Ambassadors in quite possibly the most unique Platinum Pass offering yet. Jason Somverille, Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov, and Jaime Staples have created specific programs tailored towards their own fan base and following that will award a Platinum Pass. Somerville, who has developed his Run It Up Twitch stream into a highly-successful brand of its own, is looking to find The Next Great Twitch Streamer. Streamers can submit their name between now and July 27 with Somerville choosing three finalists who will be judged by a panel including fellow Ambassadors Lex Veldhuis, Kevin Martin, Staples, Ben 'Spraggy' Spragg, Jeff Gross and Fintan Hand to select a winner. To be eligible, the streamer must log at least 150 broadcast hours during the contest period and play a majority of their games on PokerStars. “I am incredibly excited about the Platinum Pass that PokerStars will be giving away to the next top Twitch poker streamer. What an amazing opportunity for someone to get involved in Twitch poker, try your hand at Twitch poker streaming and be awarded with a Platinum Pass," said Somerville. "If you need any help getting started with your streaming journey, we have a comprehensive guide on RunItUp.com and I am excited to see who gets involved and what these streams look like. I think it is going to be awesome for both poker and Twitch.” Just a few short months after winning a six-figure weight loss prop bet with Bill Perkins, Staples is looking to continue inspire people to take on a challenge and he's offering up a Platinum Pass as inspiration. The challenge, dubbed Your Ultimate Sweat, doesn't have to be a weight loss bet, though. “I wish people could have their own Ultimate Sweat experience. Now thanks to PokerStars you can! I am giving away one Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship and you get to set your own challenge. Lose weight, learn to play Omaha poker, read a book a day, run a marathon,” said Staples. Staples is taking submissions beginning July 1. The last of the three programs announced Wednesday could put players front and center with two of poker's strongest thinkings. Boeree and Kurganov are teaming up to run the Next Great Poker Minds challenge. Players will be tested in a series of multiple-choice quizzes with the top 10 finishers after the four preliminary rounds advancing to the final scheduled for October 3. “What we’ve always loved most about poker is the strategy of the game and how it constantly challenges you to think deeply. Much of this translates to better decision making in everyday life. So when PokerStars gave us two Platinum Passes to give away to our followers, we immediately knew we wanted to do something around rationality and logic,” said Boeree. These three passes are just the first ones being offered by PokerStars through direct interaction with their Ambassadors. Players are encouraged to follow the Ambassadors via social media for more information on qualifying.
  10. Twelve more World Championship of Online Poker events came to their conclusion on Monday topped with the crowning of a new Sunday Million champion. Lithuania's 'euras79' achieved every poker player's dream after he turned $109 into $186,467 in Event #31 Medium ($109 NLHE [Half Price Sunday Million]} after battling through the large 16,950 player field. 'euras79' previous best cash was for $13,114 after a second-place finish in the PokerStars Big $55 last year which makes his title run even more spectacular. 'ccccpusa' took the bronze medal for $94,744, before the $50,000 heads-up battle got underway. No deal was agreed to so the two players had a lot at stake, and it was 'MrMo19' who ultimately exited in second place for a $132,912 before 'euras79' claimed their biggest career title to date. 'OMGitshunt' won over $121,000 after they came through a 778 player field in Event #29 (High): $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO]. The final three consisted of two U.K. based players, but neither of them was able to go the distance. 'Malaka$tyle' took third place for a total score worth over $55,000 before Jonathan 'Gil3000' Gill fell at the final hurdle but still banked over $57,000 for his silver medal. Former PocketFives.com #1-ranked Chris 'ImDaNuts' Oliver took down Event #30 (High): $5,200 NLHE [High Roller] for a huge $250,934 score after a heads-up battle with 'bencb789'. The final table included PokerStars TeamPro Liv Boeree as well as current PocketFives.com world ranked no.#1 'Lena900,' but they fell in 7th and 6th place respectively. 'RommyTheCute' took away $144,315 in third place before the final battle got underway. There was $60,000 at stake, and it was Oliver who got the better of well-known online grinder 'Bencb789' who added $190,299 to his bankroll in second-place. Former PokerStars Sunday Million champion João 'XxJoaoFeraxX' Otávio struck a heads-up deal with Yoshiaki 'Play4livin' Paco before going on to claim the Event #30 (Medium): $530 NLHE [Sunday Warm-Up SE] title. Paco secured by far his biggest online score to date after he agreed to take $112,593 for his share of the deal after Mark 'Willy3009' Wilson had departed in third place for $70,885. Brazil's Octavio then claimed victory in the final battle and banked $126,350 as well as their first WCOOP title. The biggest winner of the day was Brazil's Fabiano 'kovalski1' Kovalski after he banked a massive $282,545 after a heads-up deal with his compatriot Eder Campana in Event #31 (High): $1,050 NLHE. The 2,077 entrant field created a $2,077,000 prize pool with over $530,000 up for grabs in the top two spots. The U.K.'s Jamie 'Ship It 2010' O'Connor secured his best online score worth $109,862 in fourth place before 'messigoat10' secured $155,368 and the bronze medal. This left the two Brazilians to arrange a money deal. Kovalski then went on to secure his second WCOOP title, eight years after his first, as he sent Campana to the rail in second place for $247,918. Event #29 (High): $1,050 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO] Entries: 778 Prize pool: $77,000 OMGitshunt - $66,223.96 + $54,909.18 (in bounties) Gil3000 - $48,496.20 + $9,281.25 (in bounties) Malaka$tyle - $35,514.37 + $19,345.70 (in bounties) blanconegro - $26,007.60 + $8,906.25 (in bounties) PKaiser - $19,045.67 + $1,781.25 (in bounties) tigran66613 - $13,947.40 + $8,656.26 (in bounties) CalmRevolver - $10,213.85 + $3,250.00 (in bounties) PaDiLhA SP - $7,479.73 + $3,250.00 Event #29 (Medium): $109 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO, Sunday Kickoff SE] Entries: 4,709 Prize pool: $470,900 joshuah333 - $33,552.26 + $16,031.25 (in bounties) Jo+Jo = 3792 - $23,722.22 + $5,532.75 (in bounties) beldarion - $16,774.16 + $1,117.97 (in bounties) CrazyLissy - $11,861.12 + $4,892.54 (in bounties) blikinn - $8,387.08 + $3,402.67 (in bounties) Richter77 - $5,930.56 + $1,349.22 (in bounties) _math_&ç!( - $4,193.52 + $2,929.17 (in bounties) mars140191 - $2,965.28 + $1,801.51 (in bounties) Event #29 (Low): $11 NLHE [8-Max, Progressive KO] Entries: 14,155 Prize pool: $138,719 need2more - $8,436.47 + $1,909.81 spareti - $6,004.96 + $1,111.10 alpx1 - $4,280.53 + $837.11 Ring126 - $3,051.31 + $343.16 NerATION - $2,175.07 + $990.11 Pichadzhi - $1,550.47 + $201.69 highru - $1,105.22 + $460.75 TooAggressiv - $787.84 + $717.01 Event #30 (High): $5,200 NLHE [High Roller] Entries: 261 Prize pool: $1,305,000 ImDaNuts - $250,934.9 bencb789 - $190,299.40 RommyTheCute - $144,315.77 mexican222 - $109,443.56 Naza114 - $82,997.86 Lena900 - $62,942.36 Liv Boeree - $47,733.11 Lafleur71 - $36,198.87 BillLewinsky - $27,451.84 Event #30 (Medium): $530 NLHE [Sunday Warm-Up SE] Entries: 1,856 Prize pool: $928,000 XxJoaoFeraxX - $126,350.19* Play4livin - $112,593.61* willy3009 - $70,885.09 Sintoras - $50,529.32 aramesko - $36,019.02 great dant - $25,675.53 AS Leshiy - $18,302.38 snipeembenji - $13,046.56 AadrovanRj21 - $9,299.95 Event #30 (Low): $55 NLHE Entries: 7,102 Prize pool: $355,100 Jumbo1223 - $50,432.14 FlaShhXx47 - $34,675.69 ultimateturn - $23,844.92 GlitchSystem - $16,397.13 strohalmphil - $11,275.59 LBGSorrow - $7,753.75 jakoooobsen - $5,331.93 J8nqduong - $3,666.54 j.t.sabotage - $2,521.31 Event #31 (High): $1,050 NLHE Entries: 2,077 Prize pool: $2,077,000 Kovalski1 - $282,545.21* edercampana - $247,918.62* messigoat10 - $155,368.94 Ship It 2010 - $109,862.49 Gukiz - $77,684.78 Pass_72 - $54,931.45 julianpineda - $38,842.60 Belabacsi - $27,465.83 player0207 - $19,421.19 Event #31 (Medium): $109 NLHE [Half Price Sunday Million] Entries: 16,950 Prize pool: $1,720,425 euras79 - $186,467.37 MrMo19 - $132,912.29 ccccpusa - $94,744.32 suarez_BG - $67,536.83 Zwöi - $48,142.30 Xungazz - $34,317.31 Mr.Bluff70 - $24,462.37 ccc12 - $17,437.36 True Pokah - $12,429.89 Event #31 (Low): $11 NLHE Entries: 32,782 Prize pool: $321,263 mars140191 - $31,814.71 jnfpoker - $22,665.46 SirJeroenNL - $16,156.73 yayo8422 - $11,517.10 Vlad510510 - $8,209.82 Rapa velhos - $5,852.26 DeathCo1ectr - $4,171.73 vexman - $2,973.77 No_to_peszek - $2,119.82 Event #37 (High): $1,050 NLHE [Turbo] Entries: 559 Prize pool: $559,000 simon1471 - $98,677.60 lb6121 - $73,578.71 ChanceCU - $54,864.11 Skämmes - $40,909.52 plspaythxbye - $30,504.23 retango777 - $22,745.54 floes - $16,960.22 cassiopak - $12,646.42 kjunia - $9,429.82 Event #37 (Medium): $1,050 NLHE [Turbo] Entries: 2,822 Prize pool: $282,200 Amadi_017 - $40,888.24 azn_baller3 - $29,144.76 VistaDT23 - $20,775.36 D.Aranha_j8 - $14,809.40 Joel3624 - $10,556.62 gahoibvthakn - $7,525.11 gkamei09 - $5,364.17 Slaventii003 - $3,823.75 Dimdaddy - $2,725.68 Event #37 (Low): $11 NLHE [Turbo] Entries: 9,297 Prize pool: $91,110 bjj_el_nino - $12,591.81 tonkiista - $8,708.81 QQ1268 - $6,027.18 Arogorn - $4,171.28 easthunter2 - $2,886.84 Laaimis21 - $1,997.92 mojacko_king - $1,382.71 we love this - $956.94 tzzex - $662.27
  11. In the eight years since the World Series of Poker Main Event went to a three-starting flight schedule, only once has the Day 1A field reach 1,000 or more players and that was 2012 when they snuck into four-digit territory with 1,066 players. There was no sneaking in on Wednesday. 1,336 players showed up to play Day 1A, giving WSOP officials hope that this year's event might be a record-breaker. Williams wasn't the only notable to suffer an early end to his Main Event. Shane Warne, Frank Kassela, Bryn Kenney, Mohsin Charania, Brandon Shack-Harris, and Kristen Bicknell all ended with a zero as their Day 1A chip count. Former Main Event Champs Advance Just two former Main Event winners managed to work their way through the five levels of play on Day 1A. Chris Moneymaker, fresh off of his ninth-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Las Vegas, ended the day 95,000 while 2016 Main Event winner Qui Nguyen had a much better day, finishing with 180,500. Foxen, Strelitz, Bonomo Highlight Notables Moving on to Day 2A There were 960 players who made it through Day 1A. While a number of top players like to wait until Day 1C to play, there were a plethora of poker superstars who played on Wednesday and finished with chips in a bag. Daniel Strelitz, still basking in the flow of winning his first bracelet, finished with 185,300. Poker vlogger Johnnie Moreno (aka Johnnie Vibes) tripled his starting stack and finished with 184,000. Alex Foxen nearly did the same, ending with 173,200. Justin Bonomo accumulated 96,000 through the day to move on to Day 2. Other notables advancing from Day 1A include Patrick Serda (216,700), Jeff Lisandro (180,100), Jack Sinclair (153,800), Isaac Baron (146,600), Kelly Minkin (137,100), Billy Baxter (131,500), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Arlie Shaban (113,600), Brian Rast (109,100), Kevin MacPhee (82,500), Garrett Greer (69,300), Ben Yu (63,600), Mike Gorodinsky (57,800), Erik Seidel (57,400), Stephen Chidwick (45,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (30,800), and Poker Hall of Fame finalist Chris Bjorin (18,000). Rapper Hoodie Allen Goes to Work, Bags Big Rapper Hoodie Allen, real name Steven Markowitz, was a Happy Camper at the end of Day 1A. The 31-year-old University of Pennsylvania grad lived up to The Hype and finished with 151,500, good enough for a top 100 stack. Markowitz will hope People Keep Talking when he returns for Day 2AB on Sunday. He has one previous WSOP cash, a 35th place finish in a 2016 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event. Michael Miller Leads Pennsylvania Contingent into Day 2A With the launch of Pennsylvania Online Poker looming, 17 players from the Keystone State managed to turn Day 1A into a trip to Day 2A. Leading the way is Michael Miller. The Haverford, PA native just missed out on having a top 10 stack after finishing with 235,800. The next biggest Pennsylvania stack belongs to Gregory Fishberg with 168,800. They're joined by Jesse Smith (136,600), Alan Schein (135,000), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Alexander Krisak (117,000), John Andress (104,900), Joseph Palma (100,100), Sean Magee (88,500), Dennis Cronin (85,700), David Knudsen (76,600), James Hundt (72,900), Jennifer Shahade (72,400), Ronald Lankin (49,500), Gary Bowker (25,800), and Seth Berger (DNR). The Day 1A Numbers Could Be Hinting at Something Big Historicially, Day 1A is always the least popular Main Event starting flight. It requires being in Las Vegas the longest amount of time, there's a two-day gap between Day 1A and Day 2A, and it means being in Sin City on July 4th. Over the last five years, Day 1A has accounted for an average of 11.44% of the overall field size, staying steady with a high of 11.75% last summer and a low of 11.01% in 2017. If that trend were to hold true this year, WSOP officials are looking at a record-setting year that will eclipse the 8,773 runners that turned out in 2006. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Campanello - 417,500 Timothy Su - 297,300 Quentin Roussey - 266,400 Takehiro Kato - 259,200 Charidimos Demetriou - 252,000 Craig Chait - 249,600 Stephen Graner - 247,100 Mark Zullo - 245,600 David Lolis - 245,100 Thomas Roupe - 238,800

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