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  1. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney won the PokerStars Championship Monaco Super High Roller event on Saturday (PokerStars photo/Tomas Stacha)[/caption] In the era of High Roller of Super High Roller tournaments, maybe no player has enjoyed more success than American Bryn Kenney. He’s had six High Roller or Super High Roller wins, two seven-figure scores and 29 six-figure scores. On Saturday in Monaco the 31-year-old added another win and the single biggest cash of his career when he took down the PokerStars Championship Monaco €100,000 Super High Roller event. The win earned Kenney €1,784,500 ($1,944,326 US) and pushed him to 15th on the all-time earning list with just over $17.1 million. After having already won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2016, Kenney now has another prestigious title on his resume - the first for him in Monaco. "I'd never had a good trip in Monaco. It's nice to finally win the biggest tournament here," said Kenney. Nine players started the final day with only eight spots paying. Isaac Haxton busted on the bubble leaving the final eight to play and it didn’t take long for action to pick up. Just fives minutes after Haxton left empty-handed, Sam Greenwood was shown the door. Viacheslav Buldygin raised to 160,000 from UTG and Greenwood called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"], Greenwood then check-raised all in after Buldygin bet 150,000. Buldygin called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Greenwood showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] for top pair. Neither the turn or river were any help though and the Canadian was out in eighth. It took just another five minutes for Buldygin to find another victim. Buldygin raised to 160,000 from late position and Martin Kabhrel raised all in for a little over 1,000,000 from the big blind and Buldygin called. Kabhrel tabled [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] while Buldygin showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"] flop kept Buldygin ahead and neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="8c"] river were any help for Kabhrel, eliminating him in seventh. Buldygin took a back seat to Kenney for the next few bustouts. Kenney raised to 175,000 from middle position before German Steffen Sontheimer moved all in right after him for just under 1,000,000. Kenney called instantly and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] while Sontheimer found himself in trouble with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2c"] runout did nothing to help Sontheimer and he was out in sixth for €380,700 - the largest score of his career. Kenney stayed hot and ten minutes later busted another high roller regular who was on a heater of his own. Ole Schemion, who won the €10,000 High Roller earlier this week, opened to 175,000 from the cutoff before Kenney moved all in from the big blind. Schemion called and showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] while Kenney had [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"] flop kept Schemion in front. The [poker card="8d"] turn gave Kenney a gutshot straight draw and the [poker card="7c"] river filled the straight, sending Schemion out in fifth. Kenney showed no signs of slowing down after picking up those two eliminations and found himself adding another player’s entire stack to his own just over 30 minutes later. With blinds now at 50,000/100,000 (10,000), Kenney raised to 200,000 from the cutoff before David Peters moved all in from the button for 2,200,000. Kenney called and showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] after Peters tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters and neither was the [poker card="kh"] turn or [poker card="9s"] river. That hand gave Kenney almost 80% of the chips in play with just two opponents, Buldygin and Daniel Dvoress, standing in the way of the title. Kenney finally got to take a back seat ten minutes later as the other two players clashed. Buldygin moved all in from the button and Dvoress called all in from the small blind before Kenney folded. Buldygin was racing with [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"] against Dvoress’ [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"] flop didn’t directly connect for Buldygin, but he did pick up a number of extra outs. The [poker card="Ks"] turn was one of them and Buldygin eliminated Dvoress in third as the [poker card="3c"] river completed the board. When heads up play began, Kenney had 13,000,000 chips while Buldygin had just 2,250,000. Despite the huge advantage, in both chips and relative experience closing a big tournament, it wasn’t exactly an easy ride for Kenney. Finally, with Viacheslav Buldygin down to just 10 big blinds, Kenney moved all in after Buldygin attempted to limp his button. The Russian called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] against the [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] of Kenney. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"] flop put Kenney in nearly complete control and the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river sealed Kenney’s win, eliminatiing Buldygin in second place. Payouts Bryn Kenney - €1,784,500 Viacheslav Buldygin - €1,290,800 Daniel Dvoress - €832,800 David Peters - €630,600 Ole Schemion - €487,715 Steffen Sontheimer - €380,700 Martin Kabrhel - €303,350 Sam Greenwood - €237,950
  2. [caption width="640"] Martin Kabrhel couldn't be happier to capture the bracelet in WSOPE Event #3[/caption] With over $3,000,000 in recorded lifetime earnings and a pair of World Series of Poker Circuit rings, Czech Republic poker pro Martin Kabrhel has had much to celebrate in his extensive poker career. On early Thursday morning though Kabrhel reached a new high as he emerged victorious in the WSOPE Event #3 (€1,100 Super Bounty Turbo) on his home turf of the King’s Casino in Rozvadov for €53,557 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. The one-day turbo tournament featured a healthy 325-entry turnout (92 re-entries) and a prize pool of over €214,000. With 20-minute levels and every player carrying a €300 bounty, bustouts were fast and furious throughout the day as the field looked to accumulate enough to take a seat at the final table. Plenty of notable names made the money but fell along the wayside including Kristen Bicknell (32nd), Brandon Cantu (24th), Felipe Ramos (23rd), 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (11th) and Mike Leah (10th) who was knocked out by Kabrhel to bubble the final table. Additionally, current World Series of Poker Player of the Year points leader Chris Ferguson (36th) notched another cash to extend his current lead for the award. Kabrhel had a rocky start to the final table, relinquishing the chip lead for a short amount of time on a failed bluff, but would find his back in control by hunting down his fellow tablemates and putting together a string of knockouts that would take him to the winner's photo. After the elimination of Viktor Kovachev (9th) and Georgios Koliofotis (8th), Kabrhel would call and cover the short stack shove of Bernd Gleissner. Gleissner, all in and behind holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="ts"] against Kabrhel's [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"] found no help on the runout and Gleissner fell in seventh. The newly married former November Niner, John Racener, who is looking to gain ground on Ferguson in the WSOP Player of the Year race, was the next to fall to Kabrhel. In fact, he and Yves Kupfermunz would bow out on the same hand. Kupfermunz shoved his suited [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"] and Racener, who was covered, called off with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. When it came around to Kabrhel in the big blind, with the chance for the double knockout, also called holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"]. Though Racener had the best of it preflop by a small margin, the flop ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"][poker card="4s"], putting Kabrhel way in front. The case [poker card="as"] turned, drawing Racener dead and with only three outs left, Kupfermunz's bracelet quest ended in fifth place with the river [poker card="kd"]. Racener's sixth place finish, helped him surge to thrid position on the Player Of The Year leaderboard, now only roughly 50 points behind Ferguson. Only three hands later Kabrhel was at it again. After raising with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] Kabrhel was shoved on by Liran Twito who held [poker card="qc"][poker card="jd"]. Kabrhel snap-calls and while the duo paired their queens, Twito's kicker problems put him on the rail in fourth. Salvatore Camarda later found himself entangled in a pot with Kabrhel. In the big blind three-handed Carmarda held [poker card="9d"][poker card="4s"] on a [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4d"] flop. Bottom pair though was not good enough as the red-hot Kabrhel had the [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"] in the hole. After they checked around, the [poker card="kd"] turned and Kabrhel had yet another opponent drawing dead. Camarda proceeded to get all of his chips in on the next two streets, finishing in third. The first seven eliminations at the final table took all of 31 hands. The heads-up battle between Kabrhel and Germany's Philipp Caranica would take another 58 more. The back and forth battle saw a number of lead changes as both battled for the bracelet. Early in the morning, the first hand after a break, the end finally came as the chip leader Kabrhel and Caranica put all the chips in the middle preflop . Caranica slightly ahead, holding the suited [poker card="ad"][poker card="6d"] was up against Kabrhel's [poker card="th"][poker card="7h"]. A fortuitous runout of [poker card="jd"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8h"] brought in the double-gutter backdoor straight draw for Kabrhel, awarding him his seventh knockout of the final table and his first WSOP bracelet. FINAL TABLE PAYOUTS Martin Kabrhel - €53,557 Philipp Caranica - €33,094 Salavatore Camarda - €22,159 Liran Twito - €15,168 Yves Kupfermunz - €10,620 John Racener - €7,609 Bernd Gleissner - €5,582 Georgios Koliofotis - €4,195
  3. [caption width="640"] John Hesp went from playing pub poker tournaments to being a fan favorite in the WSOP Main Event in 2017.[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. The first two stories looked back at the top five news stories from off the felt and the five best heaters. Now we fondly remember the players who brought more to the game than a GTO approach. Here we give you the top five characters of 2017. #5 - Jackie Wang When PokerGO announced the lineups for their 'Leave it to Seiver' episodes in mid-November, there was one player that was a bit of a head-scratcher. Jackie Wang was simply described as a "family and businessman from Macau" in the press release hyping the episodes. He turned out to be a lot more than that. Showcasing an eccentric playing style and a desire to play as many pots as he could, Wang drew praise from viewers at home and the players he was playing with for his first appearance. It was during a December episode where the praise turned to scorn after he was found to be angle shooting against Farah Galfond. After the episode aired, the pair apparently made up. #4 - Mickey Craft One of the players who benefitted from having the World Series of Poker Main Event live on ESPN and PokerGO this year was West Virginia businessman Mickey Craft. After finishing Day 3 with a top 10 stack, word of Craft's loose aggressive playing style made its way to ESPN producers. That's when fans tuning in at home got their first taste of Craft. Whether it was his endless table chatter or his desire to play any two cards at any time, Craft made the tables he was playing on fun not only for those watching at home but also for the eight other players sitting with him. The fitting end for Craft came when he was eliminated by Michael Ruane while holding [poker card="7c"][poker card="2s"]. He then returned to the table after collecting his $53,247 payout to buy the remaining players each a shot of Patron. #3 - Martin Kabrhel While Wang and Craft made their way onto this list be endearing themselves to poker fans, Martin Kabrhel basically did the opposite. While he was a bit of known commodity before 2017, Kabrhel showed up at the WSOP this year and found himself drawing the ire of his fellow players for being painfully slow and engaging in trash talk at almost any opportunity. Down to just two tables in the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, Kabrhel found himself getting glares from the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Terrence Chan before being eliminated in 18th place. Some even went as far as calling him the Czech version of William Kassouf. He finished off the year by winning his first career WSOP bracelet at WSOP Europe and then thanks to some table talk that might have gone too far, almost wasn't allowed in the casino for his bracelet ceremony. Cooler heads prevailed and Kabrhel was able to accept his bracelet. #2 - Salomon Ponte When 2017 began, Salomon Ponte was just some guy who won a WPTDeepStacks event in 2016 and had his winner interview video go viral. By the end of 2017 though, Ponte was a controversial figure who went through the highs of lows of being "internet famous". Ponte first came to light again after seeing theCate Hall vs. Mike Dentale grudge match play out on Poker Night in America. Ponte wanted his own grudge match and soon began calling out as many PNIA regulars as he could in hopes of being added to a future lineup. He got his wish in April when he joined Doug Polk, Shaun Deeb, Brandon Cantu and Dentale in Choctaw. His performance on that show, which saw him felted early, had him trying to sell his watch to other players to continue playing. His trash talk repeatedly crossed the line and by the end of the night, many were hoping to never hear from him again. Live at the Bike had to cancel his future bookings after much of Ponte's social media antics crossed the line. He was then featured on a viral video after stiffing a Las Vegas restaurant for the bill. The year wrapped up in sad fashion for Ponte as security footage of a Richmond Hill, Ontario poker game was released showing a player - believed to be Ponte - being assaulted by another player over an alleged debt. #1 - John Hesp The WSOP Main Event is often full of unique characters. While Craft was one of the first new stars born at the 2017 WSOP Main Event, Englishman John Hesp easily goes down as the most memorable. The 64-year-old normally plays in £10 buy-in tournaments at his local pub and decided to play the Main Event to cross it off of his bucket list. He ended up finished fourth for $2.6 million - and soon found himself a fan favorite of those watching at home. Thanks to his amateur status, friendly nature and a unique taste in sports coats, Hesp made the atmosphere of the final table a little looser than years past. His willingness to show his cards after winning a pot and emphasis on enjoying the experience rather than maximizing his earning opportunity by studying push-fold charts had Twitter abuzz. Hesp made such an impression on the other final tablists that four months after play finished, sixth place finisher Bryan Piccioli traveled to England to spend time with Hesp. Rather than let the fame and fortune that comes with a fourth place finish in poker's most prestigious event go to his head, Hesp returned to England to a hero's welcome and continued playing in the £10 buy-in tournaments.
  4. The 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series London kicks off this week with the biggest buy-in in tournament poker history as the highlight. Deemed the Triton Million: A Helping Hand for Charity, the event has a gargantuan £1,050,000 buy-in, of which £1,000,000 goes to the prize pool and £50,000 goes towards charitable causes. The Triton Million takes place at London Hilton on Park Lane and is sponsored by partypoker LIVE. It is scheduled as a three-day event from August 1-3. Charitable causes to benefit include Caring For Children Foundation, R.E.G., Healthy Hong Kong, Credit One World Charity, and One Drop. Triton Million Provides Unique Twist The Triton Million has a freezeout format with a rather unique twist to it. It’s invite-only. Invited players were issued invitations from a committee, and these players are of the recreational or businessman or woman variety. Those fortunate enough to receive invitations can then issue one invitation of their own to a guest player. The guest player can be a professional poker player. This allows for the field to be at least a 50% businessmen. For the first six hours of tournament play, the two player pools will be separated, such that the recreational/businessmen and women compete against one another and the guests/professionals play against one another. Furthermore, players will be asked to dress in formal attire for the final table. The Triton Million field has 25 businessmen signed up. Let’s take a look at them. Paul Phua [caption id="attachment_625843" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Paul Phua (photo: Triton Poker)[/caption] Paul Phua has been around the ultra high-stakes poker scene for nearly a decade now, amassing more than $11,400,000 in live tournament earnings and cashing in some of the richest poker events in the world. He has two victories on record, first in the Aspers £100,000 High Roller in 2012 for £1,000,000 ($1,621,297) and second in the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza €100,000 High Roller for €752,700 ($825,619). As for his business exploits that have earned him a fortune, Phua has been a well-known junket operator for some of the world’s richest and he’s been in the news as the "world's biggest bookie," having his Caesars Palace villa raided in July 2014 for running an illegal gambling operation. The raid came just about a month after Phua was arrested in Macau under similar charges. Phua's guest player for the Triton Million is Tom Dwan. Cary Katz [caption id="attachment_625842" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Cary Katz (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Cary Katz is the man atop the Poker Central organizational chart, having founded the company in 2015. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of one of the largest student loan companies in the United States. On the felt, Katz has nearly $20,000,000 in live tournament earnings, including a career-best score of €1,750,000 ($1,929,203) when he finished fifth in the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza €1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. In January 2018, Katz won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller to the tune of $1,492,340, and he placed eighth in the 2014 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop for $1,306,667. Katz's guest player for the Triton Million is Bryn Kenney. Rob Yong [caption id="attachment_625844" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Rob Yong (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Rob Yong is the owner of Dusk Till Dawn Poker & Casino in Nottingham, UK. Under Yong’s watchful eye, Dusk Till Dawn was built into what is considered to be one of the best card rooms in the world, with top-tier brands such as the World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour, partypoker, and UK & Ireland Poker Tour holding events there. Yong is now heavily involved with partypoker and partypoker LIVE, helping to grow these two brands in the online and live realms, respectively. Although his live tournament results amount to only a little more than $330,000, Yong has been a regular at some of the highest stakes in the world, specifically when it comes to cash games. At the table, he’s an entertaining competitor who doesn’t shy away from risk and will liven up any game. Yong's guest player for the Triton Million is Sam Trickett. Talal Shakerchi [caption id="attachment_625845" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Talal Shakerchi (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Talal Shakerchi is a player from the recreational/businessmen category that could likely fit into the professional poker player category. He doesn’t have the most live tournament earnings, with more than $7,300,000 won in his career, but make no mistake about it, Shakerchi is a grinder. For quite some time, Shakerchi kept his online poker name a secret so others in the high-stakes community wouldn’t realize his ability or the amount of volume he was putting in. On the business side, Shakerchi is an investment manager, running Meditor Capital Management Limited, which he founded. Shakerchi's guest player for the Triton Million is Igor Kurganov. Antanas 'Tony G' Guoga [caption id="attachment_625841" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Antanas 'Tony G' Guoga (photo: Triton Poker)[/caption] Antanas Guoga, who is best known as 'Tony G' in the poker world, is another player listed in the recreational/businessmen category that could very well be considered a professional poker player. At least that’s what he used to be. Now a politician and Lithuanian Member of the European Parliament, Guoga is rarely seen on the poker scene these days. He is the founder of PokerNews.com and TonyBet. Guoga boasts more than $6,000,000 in live tournament earnings and became famous for his brash table talk. His biggest cash came at the European Poker Tour Grand Final €25,500 High Roller in 2009, when he took third for €420,000 ($552,239). He won the 2005 European Poker Championships Main Event for £260,000 ($456,822) and placed second in the World Poker Tour €10,000 Grand Prix de Paris for €339,930 ($414,478) in 2004. Guoga's guest player for the Triton Million is Fedor Holz. Additional Triton Million players from the recreational/businessmen category are listed below, with their guest players in parentheses. Richard Yong (Dan Cates) Stanley Choi (David Peters) Wai Kin Yong (Rui Cao) Bobby Baldwin (Jason Koon) Liang Yu (Mikita Badziakouski) Ivan Leow (Timofey Kuznetsov) Alfred DeCarolis (Stephen Chidwick) Chin Wei Lim (Wai Leong Chan) Chow Hing Yaung (Christoph Vogelsang) Pat Madden (Nick Petrangelo) Sosia Jiang (Sam Greenwood) Qiang Wang (Elton Tsang) Zang Shu Nu (Tan Xuan) Leon Tsoukernik (Martin Kabrhel) Orpen Kisacikoglu (Matthias Eibinger) Ferdinand Putra (Justin Bonomo) Rick Salomon (Vivek Rajkumar) Bill Perkins (Dan Smith) Winfred Yu (Danny Tang) Andrew Pantling (Andrew Robl) Ben Wu (Michael Soyza) How To Watch the Triton Million Fans from around the world can watch the Triton Million for free on PokerGO. Ali Nejad will call the action, with professional poker player Nick Schulman alongside to provide expert commentary. Action starts Thursday, August 1, at 8 am ET and PokerGO will have coverage for the entirety of the event. If you don't already have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
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