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Found 14 results

  1. [caption width="640"] Maurice Hawkins is one of 20 players returning for the final day of the Monster Stack (WPT photo)[/caption] Just a few weeks ago, Maurice Hawkins was telling the world his plan to win $7 million this summer at the World Series of Poker. Now he’s not only planning on that, but he’s going to take down Player of the Year and the Main Event in the next couple of weeks. But first he’s one of just 20 players left in the $1,500 Monster Stack on Wednesday. “I’m just chilling ready for Round 2. Back to the same position with the same amount of chips, ready to make it happen,” said Hawkins, referring to his previous deep run in the $2,620 Marathon. Hawkins is unbagging 3,500,000 on Wednesday. He’s more than happy to play with that stack and not yet worry about how much money he can make by laddering up a spot or two - yet. “I don’t look at pay jumps unless I get real short, which is kind of strange. I’m still comfortable with 10 - 15 - 20 bigs, I’m not looking at the pay jumps, but if I get down to like six, seven bigs or something like that, I start wondering like, ‘okay, if things don’t go right at least I can gain another $50,000’,” said Hawkins. “As long as I’m in the tournament, it’s not a problem, but with six bigs I try to start to finesse my way into more money. Because it’s the only time that you can make $20,000 just by being smart about it.” Being one of the first two to bust out on Wednesday means Hawkins walks away with $37,831, but maneuvering his way to the final five guarantees him at least $281,800. And winning it means he’s got his first seven-figure score, $1,094,349. That 3,500,000 stack gives him 29 big blinds, just a touch under the 5,000,000 chip average . “That’s comfortable. I mean, every tournament comes down to 20 bigs, if you have 20 bigs, you’re more like average, if you have 30 bigs, in most tournaments, you’re above average, when you get up to the 40 or 50 bigs, you know you’re the chip leader,” said Hawkins. “I’m right where I’m comfortable. It’s pretty much right there for the taking. Yesterday I came in and got the full double on the third hand and was chip leader for the next four or five hours, at this point anything is anything.” Hawkins is coming back to a stack that big after doubling up towards the end of play Tuesday. The double up wasn’t all he got though. “I doubled the last hand of the night off that Scott Baumstein guy. He went through all the hands I could have and then told me how bad I was and then he called. So I got his chips and a lesson from him, which was kind of impressive,” said Hawkins. After his now infamous confrontation with Tim Reilly during the Marathon, Hawkins has found a very different vibe over the last three days of the Monster Stack. “Actually, everybody loves me at the table, this whole tournament. Probably the most pleasant tournament I’ve ever played. Most people are either admirable of my achievements, they tell me how great the things I’ve done are, or a couple of people this is their first deep run, they were happy to be there with me, taking pictures and things. It’s really a totally different experience,” said Hawkins. No matter where he finishes, Hawkins is guaranteed his fourth cash of the 2017 WSOP. He had the one deep run that ended in ninth place, but likens the last few weeks to a baseball player just settling in for a long season. “Have you ever seen a great baseball hitter? They go 0-for-9 or 0-for-10 and then they get that first base hit. And that first base hit turns into a double, and then another double and then a home run and next thing you know they’re just swinging it out of the park like they know they can do it. They know what is in them. And with me, I know a champion is within me and I’m just waiting on that moment for me to shine, for it to come out,” said Hawkins. Almost 2/3 of the way through the WSOP schedule, Hawkins says he’s not tired or in need of a rest. He does have to leave Las Vegas for a couple of days in early July for his sister’s wedding, but other than that plans on playing as much as he can. He’s realized there’s another incentive waiting for him. “I was looking at this (Player of the Year) thing, and if I win this, I can actually win the POY. I guess I have to win this and just win the main, and I’ll be POY, and I’ll have a lot of money,” said Hawkins.
  2. [caption width="640"] Maurice Hawkins has just 55 players standing between him and the first WSOP bracelet of his career (WPT photo)[/caption] In the previous installment of 50 Days and 50 Nights with Maurice Hawkins, the 10-time WSOP Circuit ring winner was cruising his way through the Marathon and appeared to be on track to win his first WSOP bracelet and pick up his biggest career score. That’s not what happened though. Maurice Hawkins finished Day 4 of the $2,620 buy-in Marathon event at the 2017 World Series of Poker with the fourth biggest stack, 3,630,000, with Joseph Di Rosa Rojas, Tim Reilly and Andrew Jernigan ahead of him. There were just 13 players and one more scheduled day of play ahead of him. Any top three finish would be a career-best for him. “The train fell off the tracks. Was a big ol’ wall at the end of the track and I didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t meant for me to win. It just seemed every time I had a pretty big hand somebody had a bigger hand,” said Hawkins, who made the final table but had to settle for a ninth place finish. One of those hands were Hawkins was second-best came against Tim Reilly, late on Day 4 when Hawkins flopped top set on an [poker card="as"] Jx [poker card="ts"] board before turning a full house. Reilly held [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"] and rivered a royal flush with the [poker card="js"]. It marked the beginning of some verbal sparring between the two according to Hawkins. “He made a smart ass comment. He said ‘This is not the Circuit’ after he hit a two-percenter on me. Where he had a straight flush draw,” said Hawkins. The next day the two were seated next to each other and it didn’t take long for fireworks to go off. “He was just digging in to me over and over again. Finally I just got tired of it. Then he started getting disrespectful. Which, I don’t like. I don’t like when people lie about things they know nothing about, just blatantly shouting things out. It’s just ridiculous,” said Hawkins. Reilly accused Hawkins of not paying back some backers, a story that has made its way around some of poker’s gossip circles but Hawkins denies it. He even challenged Reilly to name people that are waiting to get paid. “When they don’t have anything to say about you, they just come up with a dumbass comment. That’s the reason when he was there I was like ‘Why don’t you tell me who I owe?’. I wanna know so I can pay that person back who I owe,” said Hawkins. The confrontation got loud enough that the floor came over and spoke to both players. The floor was concerned enough to ask a security guard to monitor the two players until they cooled down. “What bothered me was when he started being disrespectful,” said Hawkins. A few hours later, Hawkins was out in ninth place while Reilly went on to finish fourth. Hawkins earned $54,356 for his efforts and then took some time off to spend time with his wife and a few friends. They hit up Jewel at Aria, then spent an afternoon at Tao. It was hardly refreshing though. “I feel tired. I wish I could say I was refreshed. I feel tired,” said Hawkins, who still believes he’s going to do big things this summer. “I’m gonna final table within the next week. Seven days I’ll be back to a final table. And within 15 I’ll be top three again, about to win,” said Hawkins. “Because I’m doing the same thing that I always do. Every four or five tournaments I normally make a final table. Three or four tournaments later I make another final table. And then around two to three weeks in, I just win something big.” Hawkins plans is playing a few No Limit events this week, including the Monster Stack this upcoming weekend. “I’m going to make a final table, man. Proof is in the pudding. This is what I do,” said Hawkins.
  3. [caption width="640"] Over the next 50 days, Maurice Hawkins plans to win at least a couple of bracelets and a staggering amount of money.[/caption] In the first installment of 50 Days and 50 Nights, we introduced you to 10-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins and went over his blueprint for finding success at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Now it’s time to talk about the first week, how he’s feeling and what he’s looking forward to. It’s technically Day 9 of the 2017 WSOP and if you look at Maurice Hawkins’ profile on WSOP.com you notice that he has yet to record a single cash this summer. For a guy that has openly talked about winning $7 million at the WSOP this year, it’s not exactly a fantastic start but Hawkins isn’t exactly down on himself for the lack of early results. “I feel great. See the thing is, I trust the process. Most people get hell bent out of shape after they lose a couple of tournaments, but last time I checked we only cash around one out of ten, so I’ve lost like five, but three or four unique tournaments, winning is just right around the corner,” said Hawkins. “I don’t get too down about it, except for the first ten minutes out of a tournament, I don’t like to be touched or talked to, but after that I’m straight.” Like most of the Circuit grinders playing the WSOP this year, Hawkins took a shot at the $1 million first place prize money in Colossus III but found the structure to be not to his liking. “The (starting stacks) are so small, the blinds go up so fast, it’s a hyper turbo. You’re forced to play every pot and every hand basically to showdown and pray to god that you have the best one because if you don’t get any chips, a couple of doubles in the first three, four levels, you’re just toast,” said Hawkins. Despite this, Hawkins fired six times. “I like to call it the $3K punt off because that’s what it felt like. It felt like I had no clue how or when or where or what I was doing,” said Hawkins. He also played the tag team, joining forces with Brandon Fish and Charles Moore. The team quickly built up a decent stack and even found themselves near the chip lead at one point. A couple of “unfortunate spots” later and Hawkins and his team were out, well before they hit the money, but that gave Hawkins a chance to reset before the first $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event of the year. “The $1,500 I felt like myself in, because it was just a nice No Limit tournament, not tagging nobody in and not worrying about the blinds eating me up. Can’t wait for more of those, that’s going to be beautiful - like breakfast in the morning,” said Hawkins. Again, he built up a decent stack early on and saw his name at the top of the chip counts before getting bored and busting out, again well short of the money. “I wasn’t having fun, I wasn’t playing my style of poker. i think I was just sitting back too much, hanging out, playing that ABC grind game and I don’t know, I think there’s a lot of energy, sway, positivity when you’re having fun,” said Hawkins. “I feel like you hit more sets - you don’t, I know I live in a logical world - but I just believe when you’re having fun, things seem to be going better for you.” That reminded Hawkins that for him to be successful, he’s got to be himself and make sure that he’s doing things to keep the game fun for him, and his tablemates. “So I’m going to try to fun it up a bit more; have more conversations, have more talks, stack more people, upset a few more people when things don’t go their way and they don’t know what the hell I just did,” said Hawkins. Thursday afternoon he’ll be putting that to test in the $1,500 Six Max event. He also has the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event and the Millionaire Maker on his schedule, but he’s most looking forward to Sunday. That’s when his family arrives. “You start going delirious because you start losing human contact. You could talk to people everyday, they could be your man, your friend, all these different people, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like real human contact until you can talk to the person you love or your kids or your family,” said Hawkins. “It’s always good when your family gets here.” Stay tuned throughout the 2017 WSOP as we check in regularly with Hawkins and talk about how things are going – good or bad – and chronicle what could be an amazing summer.
  4. [caption width="640"] The third annual American Poker Awards go February 23 in Beverly Hills, California[/caption] Wednesday morning saw the announcement of all nominations for the third annual Global Poker Index American Poker Awards, which take place Thursday February 23 at the Sofitel Beverley Hills in Los Angeles. It’s World Poker Tour host and all-round legend of the game Mike Sexton who headlines the nominations with three. Sexton is up for Tournament Performance of the Year and Moment of the Year for his win at the WPT Montreal. Away from the tables, Sexton has also been recognized in the Best Media Content category for his book Life’s a Gamble. Joining Sexton in the Tournament Performance of the Year category are Ari Engel for his Aussie Millions Main Event win, Kristen Bicknell for her bracelet victory in the WSOP No Limit Hold'em Bounty event, and Maurice Hawkins for his WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event success. Engel and Hawkins are also both nominated for Breakout Performance of the Year, along with Ankush Mandavia and Sam Soverel. PocketFives’ very own President and Editor In Chief Lance Bradley is up for two awards: Best Media Content for his article Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey, and for Media Person of the Year. “It’s such an honor to be nominated for two American Poker Awards. In both categories I’m thrilled to find myself amongst people that are not only colleagues, but friends as well,” said Bradley. “The fact that my piece about Bob and Charlie has resonated with so many, both inside and outside of the poker world, means the world to me. Being able to write stories like that is one of the many, many reasons I love covering poker.” Up against Bradley for Media Person of the Year are Sarah Herring, Joe Stapleton and David Tuchman. Meanwhile, joining Sexton and Bradley in Media Content of the Year recognition are Matthew Showell for Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong and Jason Somerville for his Aussie Millions Twitch stream. The Moment of the Year category is sure to be an interesting one. You have Griffin Benger’s infamous AA vs KK clash with William Kassouf in the WSOP Main Event; Jason Mercier’s WSOP heater that saw him win two bracelets, come second in another event (and almost bank an extra $1.8 million from Vanessa Selbst); David Peters finishing third at EPT Prague to snatch the GPI Player of the Year title from Fedor Holz; and the aforementioned Sexton WPT victory. Two new awards have been introduced this year: Twitch Streamer of the Year and Podcast of the Year. The nominees for Twitch Streamer are a line-up of the usual suspects: Jason ‘jcarverpoker’ Somerville, Jaime ‘PokerStaples’ Staples, Kevin ‘KevinMartin987’ Martin and Parker ‘TonkaaaP’ Talbot. Daniel Negreanu (Full Contact Poker) is up against Joe Ingram (Poker Life Podcast), Matthew Parvis and Sarah Herring (PokerNews Podcast) and Adam Schwartz, Terrence Chan and Ross Henry (TwoPlusTwo PokerCast) in the Podcast of the Year category. The only awards that have already been decided go to David Peters and Cate Hall for GPI Player of the Year and GPI Female Player of the Year, respectively. For all nominations, see below. TOURNAMENT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Kristen Bicknell, WSOP No Limit Hold’em Bounty Ari Engel, Aussie Millions Main Event Maurice Hawkins, WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event Mike Sexton, WPT Montreal MOMENT OF THE YEAR Griffin Benger’s AA vs William Kassouf’s KK showdown in the WSOP Main Event Jason Mercier goes on historic one-week heater at the World Series of Poker David Peters, needing 3rd at EPT Prague to take GPI PoY from Fedor Holz, does exactly that Mike Sexton mounts incredible comeback to win first WPT title in Montreal BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Ari Engel Maurice Hawkins Ankush Mandavia Sam Soverel EVENT OF THE YEAR Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, FL Super High Roller Bowl, ARIA, Las Vegas WSOP Main Event, Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Bellagio, Las Vegas MID-MAJOR CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Heartland Poker Tour Mid-States Poker Tour WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Tony Burns, Seminole Hard Rock Tournament Director Jack Effel, WSOP VP International Poker Operations & WSOP Director Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations Matt Savage, WPT Executive Tour Director & TDA Founder MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley Sarah Herring Joseph Stapleton David Tuchman PODCAST OF THE YEAR Full Contact Poker (Daniel Negreanu) Poker Life Podcast (Joe Ingram) PokerNews Podcast (Sarah Herring, Matthew Parvis) TwoPlusTwo Podcast (Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR Bob, Charlie and a Life-Changing WSOP Main Event Journey (Lance Bradley, PocketFives) Life’s a Gamble (Mike Sexton) Stu Ungar’s Last Chance Gone Wrong (Matthew Showell, PokerListings) Twitch coverage of the Aussie Millions (Jason Somerville) TWITCH STREAMER OF THE YEAR Kevin Martin 'KevinMartin987' Jason Somerville 'jcarverpoker' Jaime Staples 'PokerStaples' Parker Talbot 'tonkaaaP' *Finalists for Twitch Streamer of the Year were selected by Twitch, however the members of the GPI American Poker Awards Jury will select the winner of this year’s Award.
  5. [caption width="640"] Over the next 50 days, Maurice Hawkins plans to win at least a couple of bracelets and a staggering amount of money.[/caption] Over the last 11 years, Maurice Hawkins turned the WSOP Circuit into a bit of a personal playground for himself. He’s cashed 53 times, made 28 final tables, won 10 rings and taken home a cool $1,259,947. But that level of success eludes him every summer when the field sizes get bigger and bracelets, not rings, are the end game reward. He’s got just 17 career World Series of Poker cashes, just $323,311 in earnings and the only WSOP final table he’s ever made, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker in 2014, resulted in a ninth place finish. That all changes this year, at least that’s what Hawkins believes. Throughout the 50 days and 50 nights of the 2017 WSOP, PocketFives will provide readers with an insider’s view of Hawkins’ pursuit of his first career bracelet and the piles of money he hopes to win. * * * Just a few hours in to the 2017 WSOP and the bravado or swagger or confidence – whatever you want to call it – that Maurice Hawkins has a reputation for made an appearance when he told PokerNews he plans on winning $7 million this summer – nearly three times his career earnings. “Well, I figured, I win two bracelets, that'll be worth about one million and another one is worth about $850,000,” said Hawkins. “And then, I'll figure that I'll at least make the final table of the Main, so that should at least be good enough, for a like top three or five. So, that's like three/four more million, so, that's why I came up with seven.” For some context, the only player to make $7,000,000 last summer was Main Event champ Qui Nguyen. In fact, the only players in the history of the WSOP to eclipse that number in a single summer without winning the Main were Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett, Dan Colman and Daniel Negreanu – the respective winners and runner-ups of the two $1 million buy-in One Drop events. It’s almost impossible to hear Hawkins make that declaration and not call it cocky, and maybe it is, but Hawkins doesn’t shy away from it and points to the things he’s already accomplished as the reason why he’s capable of more. “It comes from the fact that I've always done what I set out to do. I've always conquered and got the things I always wanted to do, off of poker,” said Hawkins. “You set a goal you conquer it, and you move on. I feel I'm one of the top 20 players in the world; my ranking is top 22 in POY. I just do what I say I'm going to do. And I don't have a problem telling the world that I'm going to do it.“ Hawkins has made some other changes to his approach this year. For the first time since he started coming to the WSOP, his wife and four kids will be joining him. In previous years they’d come out for short trips a couple of times. Hawkins is looking forward to having his support system around him throughout the summer. “If I can go out and my wife's here after I take a bad beat, it's really, really beneficial for me. Instead of being stuck in a casino or just walking around aimlessly and playing Sit Go's losing money for no reason, because I'm sad,” said Hawkins. “That's a really bad spot, it causes you to, you gamble and do silly things so, in that avenue it's better for my wife to be here. The stressful part is, you have to be a father.” That stress though is an entirely different one that he feels at the tables and it’s a welcome distraction from the grind. “You live for the smile on their face. So, I mean, the stress of keeping them happy, yeah, it's hard. Here in Vegas there's only so much they can do. But, overall, we do it for the love of them, that's why we do everything,” said Hawkins. “They're like a record keeper for your journey. Because you can almost put yourself at that age, at what they were doing, and what you were thinking at that moment, when you have successes or milestones in your life, because they drive you. They're like fuel to our tank. So, that's important to me.” Hawkins hasn't found much success in the first few days of the WSOP, though he did get the chance to rub elbows with greatness on Day 1 of the $10,000 Tag Team Championship. Stay tuned throughout the 2017 WSOP as we check in regularly with Hawkins and talk about how things are going – good or bad – and chronicle what could be an amazing summer.
  6. [caption width="639"] Christian Pham has over 31 million reasons to smile after Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event.[/caption] Christian Pham once registered for a World Series of Poker tournament by mistake and won it. On Sunday, Pham made all the right moves to end Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event and ended up as the chip leader with just 27 players remaining. Pham’s move up the chip counts came at the expense of the player who spent the previous few days playing wearing a Superman costume, Jonathan Dwek. Pham raised to 425,000 from late position before Dwek raised to 690,000 from the small blind. Pham called and then called Dwek’s bet of 800,000 after the [poker card="kh"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="2d"] and Dwek bet 1,400,000 and Pham called. The river was the [poker card="4d"] and Dwek bet 2,000,000. Pham announced all in and Dwek went into the tank before calling all in. Pham happily showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] for the straight flush while Dwek showed [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"] for a straight. The hand eliminated Dwek in 38th place and gave Pham 25,800,000. Pham, who won the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven bracelet in 2015, ended the night with 31,250,000. Frenchman Valentin Messina finished with the second biggest stack at 28,590,000 while English pro Jack Sinclair ended with 27,535,000. Ben Lamb is one of three former November Niners still in contention for a return trip to the final table. The high stakes cash game regular finished Day 6 with 25,685,000 while Antoine Saout ended with 9,945,000 and last year’s fourth place finisher Michael Ruane ended up 16th after bagging 9,340,000. Bryan Piccioli doubled up late in the night to end up with a top 10 stack. This marks the third straight year that Piccioli has cashed in the Main Event with each improvement outdoing the previous one. RELATED: Bryan Piccioli Thriving Through Tragedy with WSOP Main Event Run There were 85 players at the start of the day. Some of the eliminations on Sunday included WSOP bracelet winners Ian Johns, Arash Ghaneian, Max Silver, Chris Wallace, Kevin Song and Martin Finger. Other notables who saw their Main Event end early include Tom Middleton, Charlie Carrel, Vitaly Lunkin, Kenny Hallaert, Connor Drinan and Brandon Meyers. One player who was eliminated on Day 6 was 70th place finisher Paul Senat. The 37 year old is facing a manslaughter charge in Palm Beach County, Florida the Palm Beach Post reported. They were unsure about any possible conditions on the bond he agreed to. Action resumes at Noon PT on Monday and will play down to a final table of nine. Top 10 Chip Counts Christian Pham - 31,520,000 Valentin Messina - 28,995,000 Jack Sinclair - 27,690,000 Ben Lamb - 25,685,000 Pedro Oliveira - 22,540,000 John Hesp - 20,880,000 Randy Pisane - 18,370,000 Scott Blumstein - 14,900,000 Bryan Piccioli - 14,500,000
  7. [caption width="640"] John Monnette now has three WSOP bracelets after taking down the K No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Through the first 20 events or so at the 2017 World Series of Poker, one of emerging themes is the number of bracelets being won by players who already have won from a previous year. That trend continued on Wednesday with John Monnette winning his third career bracelet. That was the only bracelet awarded on Tuesday, but there were five other events on the schedule. Ralph Perry Leading Millionaire Maker into Final Day Just 136 of the 7,761 entries in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker unbagged chips on Monday afternoon and after another 10 levels of play, just 14 were putting chips back in the bag. Leading the way is Ralph Perry with 7,765,000, but his lead over the second biggest stack isn't huge. Daniel Chan finished with 7,585,000. Senovio Ramirez III, who started the day with the chip lead, managed to survive and will begin Day 4 with the third shortest stack at 3,520,000. 2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert finished 17th for $53,962. Other notable players to bust on Tuesday included Jessica Dawley (30th - $34,718), Matt Affleck (31st - $34,718), Joe Cada (42nd - $28,160), Brian Rast (75th - $13,147) and Jonathan Karamalikis (78th - $13,147). Action resumes at 11 AM PT on Wednesday and will play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Ralph Perry - 7,765,000 Daniel Chan - 7,585,000 Bryce Yockey - 6,315,000 Yuriy Boyko - 5,300,000 Alexander Farahi - 5,295,000 Jonathan Gray - 5,160,000 Chen Yu Hung - 4,550,000 Senovio Ramirez III - 3,520,000 Hector Martin Merced - 2,910,000 Dejuante Alexander - 2,440,000 John Monnette Adds Third Bracelet with $10K Deuce Victory The $10,000 Championship events always draw out the best players in the world and the No Limit Deuce to Seven event always seems to have the cream rise to the top. That was the case on Tuesday as John Monnette beat out a final table that included Paul Volpe, Mike Leah, Mike Gorodinsky and Darren Elias. Monnette beat Per Hildebrand heads-up to win the bracelet, his third, and $256,610. "I had some good hands," said Monnette. "Those were some really tough players -- Paul (Volpe), who won this event last year. And Darren (Elias), on my left, who is excellent at this game." Volpe finished eighth for $24,408 for his fourth cash in five years in this event. During that span he's finished eighth (2013), first (2014) abd 12th (2015). Monnette's previous bracelets came in Seven Card Stud (2012) and Eight Game Mix (2011). Final Table Payouts John Monnette - $256,610 Per Hildebrand - $158,596 Darren Elias - $110,944 Xavier Kyablue - $79,016 James Chen - $57,316 Mike Gorodinsky - $42,357 Mike Leah - $31,903 Paul Volpe - $24,498 Maurice Hawkins Running Away with Marathon Chip Lead We've chronicled Maurice Hawkins' start to his 2017 WSOP and while he hasn't managed to post a big score, and even expressed concern about being bored, he did admit he was looking forward to the Marathon the most. "That's like my Main Event," said Hawkins. And he showed it on Tuesday, finishing Day 2 of the five day tournament with 920,000 - more than 300,000 more than any other player. The rest of the field is no joke though. Alexander Lynskey sits second with 618,000, just ahead of three-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos with 599,500. Just 268 players remain with the plan to play seven 100-minute levels on Wednesday. Top 10 Chip Counts Maurice Hawkins - 920,000 Alexander Lynskey - 618,000 Adrian Mateos - 599,500 Matthew Parry - 586,000 Maxim Sorokin - 553,500 Rigoberto Rodriguez - 532,500 Michael Kane - 515,000 Eric Baldwin - 492,500 Sampath De Silva - 478,500 Thomas Lutz - 457,000 Nancy Nguyen Leads Final 15 in $1,500 Limit Hold'em Nancy Nguyen finished Day 2 of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em with the chip lead and just 14 players standing between her and her first WSOP bracelet. Mark Bassaly sits second with 461,000 and Ray Henson, also looking for his first bracelet, is third with 373,000. Michael Reed, who began the day as chip leader, sits fourth with 364,000. Of the 117 players eliminated on Day 2 were Andrey Zaichenko (91st - $2,246), Jesse Martin (82nd - $2,285), Justin Bonomo (79th - $2,381), John Racener (66th - $2,547) and Alex Luneau (48th - $3,080). Nancy Nguyen - 574,000 Mark Bassaly - 461,000 Ray Henson - 373,000 Michael Reed - 364,000 Shane Buchwald - 343,000 Shane Fumerton - 341,000 Hod Berman - 337,000 Barry Greenstein - 316,000 Ray Pulford - 297,000 Venkata Tayi - 287,000 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Down to 102 The $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event kicked off Tuesday afternoon with 1,058 players entering. Leading the way after Day 1 is Casey Carroll with 210,800. Michael Mizrachi also bagged up a top three stack, finishing with 153,800. Day 2 begins at Noon PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Casey Carroll - 210,800 Jia Mai - 168,000 Jesse Fulmer - 164,700 Michael Mizrachi - 153,800 Yashuo Chin - 146,200 Jesse Chinni - 140,200 Allan Le - 138,000 Alexandre Fradin - 128,900 Igor Sharaskin - 118,600 Andrew Lukovsky - 116,500 Frank Kassela Chasing Second '17 Bracelet in $10K Razz Championship Frank Kassela has already won a bracelet this year, and on Tuesday he put himself in position to win another one. Kassela finsihed Day 1 of the $10,000 Razz Championship with 364,500, good enough for the chip lead. Don Zewin finished with the second biggest stack, 303,000 while Anthony Zinno finished third with 254,000. James Obst, who has cashed four times already, also finished with a top five stack. The event drew 97 players - three fewer than last year - with 44 making it through the day. Other notables still in contention include Mike Watson, Scott Clements, Nick Schulman, Mike Leah, Brandon Shack-Harris and Mike Gorodinsky. Top 10 Chip Counts Frank Kassela - 364,500 Don Zewin - 303,000 Anthony Zinno - 254,000 Andrey Zhigalov - 241,000 Konstantin Maslak - 216,500 James Obst - 210,000 Russell Clayton - 200,000 Mike Watson - 190,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 187,500 Jared Talarico - 185,000
  8. [caption width="640"] On Saturday, John Racener won his first bracelet and dedicated the victory to his late mom (WSOP photo)[/caption] Saturday saw two gold bracelets won at the 2017 World Series of Poker. It also saw two events with massive fields record another day in the books. Without further ado, here’s a run through all of Saturday's action. John Racener wins first bracelet in $10K Dealer’s Choice Championship “I've been wanting this forever. I’ve got so many seconds and thirds. I have over $10 million in earnings, but no gold. I've just been wanting to win so bad. I didn't even look at the prize pool. I didn't even know what first place was. I just wanted to win the bracelet. It's all I really cared about. I don’t show much emotion, but when I finally got it, then it was time to celebrate.” Those are the passionate words of an emotional John Racener, the 2010 WSOP Main Event runner up, and your latest 2017 WSOP bracelet winner. Racener’s first taste of WSOP victory came in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship, a coveted event which attracted 102 of poker’s best. When it got down to a final table, there were still several big names remaining including two-time bracelet winner Viacheslav Zhukov, four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow, and 2013 One Drop High Roller runner-up Chris Klodnicki. Schuyler Thornton was the first to leave the final table, followed by the Mouth in fifth. Matusow met his demise in an A-5 Triple Draw hand with Klodnicki on the button. By the third draw Matusow was all-in against Zhukov, who then showed the wheel. Matusow mucked and was eliminated. Dennis Eichhorn then busted to Racener in fourth. Eichhorn had chosen to play Pot-Limit 2-7 Lowball, and a pre-draw raising war saw him get all his chips in. In the first draw, Eichhorn took two and Racener took one, before Racener stood pat after the second. Eichhorn tanked and eventually drew one card, which he’d do again on the third draw after Racener stood pat again. Racener showed an eight-six, and Eichhorn was unknowingly drawing dead on the third draw. Klodnicki busted in a pretty standard No Limit Hold’em hand, selected by Racener. He shoved his short stack with the [poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"] and was called by Racener holding the dominating [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"], which held up. Sticking with what Racener considers his “best game”, he’d then win it in a No Limit Hold’em hand - the very first pot of heads-up play. Racener shoved with ace-jack and was Zhukov called with pocket sevens, and a jack on the flop (plus another on the river) was all she wrote. “You have to plan for success,” Racener said after his win. “I always said to myself that I wanted to win my first bracelet for my Mom. She's always been my biggest fan, and she still is from up above.” Racener’s mom passed away four years ago, having been diagnosed with cancer during her son’s 2010 Main Event run. However, Racener says she kept her illness a secret from him, so that he could be in the “best spot” to do well in the Main Event. "That's how much she cared about me. She didn't want me to be all upset or lose focus. “No matter what time of the day it was back home, with the three-hour time span, she would always stay up and sweat me online all night. Even if she had to get up for work at 8 am She would stay up and sweat me until she had to go to work. I just really wanted to win the first one for her.” Final Table Payouts John Racener - $273,962 Viacheslav Zhukov - $169,323 Chris Klodnicki - $117,786 Dennis Eichhorn - $83,263 Mike Matusow - $59,827 Schuyler Thornton - $43,707 Eric Crain - $32,474 James Obst - $32,474 Ben Yu - $24,546 Shawn Buchanan - $24,546 Anthony Marquez takes the gold in Event #16: $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'Em [caption width="640"] Anthony Marquez won the first bracelet of his career Saturday in the ,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'em (WSOP photo)[/caption] The second first-time champion to be crowed yesterday was Anthony Marquez, who came out on top in Event #16, the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'Em tournament. This one got 1,748 runners, so naturally there was going to be some stiff competition in the latter stages. That was certainly the case, as Marquez found himself on a final table which included Matt Berkey and Daniel Weinman. However, Berkey would bust out in fifth, following the elimination of Ilkin Amirov in sixth. The short-stacked Berkey moved all-in with the [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"], which was tank-called by Marquez holding the [poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="js"][poker card="8h"] flop was an interesting one, giving Berkey a flush and gutshot draw, while Marquez hit top pair. However, the board ran out [poker card="ah"] then [poker card="jd"], securing Marquez the knockout. We then had a double elimination, after Steven Buckner, Weinman and Marquez had a three-way all-in encounter. It was pocket jacks for Buckner, pocket kings for Weinman, and ace-king for Marquez; and after a brutal [poker card="9d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="4h"] runout, Marquez had made the wheel to eliminate both players. Heads-up play would end thanks to a bit of a cooler. On a ten-high flop, Demosthenes Kiriopoulos got all his money in with jack-ten, but found himself dominated by Marquez holding king-ten. He couldn’t find any help, and Marquez - a $100/$200 and $200/$400 Limit Hold’em cash grinder - took it down. "I'm overwhelmed," said Marquez, afterwards. "I'm kind of speechless. I've been knocking on the door. [I've made] a lot of Day 2's and now I'm over the hump. It feels so good. It's a dream come true." Final Table Payouts Anthony Marquez - $393,273 Demosthenes Kiriopoulos - $242,978 Daniel Weinman - $170,477 Steven Buckner - $121,114 Matt Berkey - $87,141 Ilkin Amirov - $63,506 Final table set in $565 PLO There were plenty of well-known casualties during Day 2 of Event #18, the $565 PLO. That’s because this event, which attracted a field of 3,186, broke the record for the largest ever live PLO tournament. The likes of Chris Ferguson, Dermot Blain, Erick Lindgren, Will Failla, Jason Mercier, Ankush Mandavia, Mark Radoja, JC Tran, Adam Owen, and Joey Ingram all made the money, but none could reach the bag-and-tag stage. Only nine players return for Sunday’s Day 3. They’re all playing for a $224,344 first-place prize; here’s how they stack up: Final Table Chip Counts Jessie Bryant - 3,245,000 Igor Sharaskin - 2,010,000 Scott Davies - 1,765,000 Yves Kupfermunz - 1,745,000 Jason Stockfish - 1,650,000 Ryan Wince - 1,610,000 Marek Ohnisko - 1,340,000 Tyler Smith - 1,335,000 John Dallaire - 1,210,000 Millionaire Maker and $1,500 8-Game Mix get going Day 1A of the $1,500 Millionaire Maker kicked off with a bang on Saturday, with 3,439 players taking their seats - more than last year’s 3,088 1A turnout. Just 535 of those runners will return for Day 2, and the man out in front right now is Boris Kolev with 290,700, followed by Barry Hutter (259,900), Scott Skirba (207,500), Michael Falson (191,700), Darwin Giles (185,000), Kevin Saul(146,200), and Jonas Wexler (150,000). Joe Cada (66,700) and ElkY (60,200) also made it through, but some of the notable names who didn’t include Carlos Mortenson, Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, Greg Raymer, Andy Frankenberger, Eddy Sabat, Olivier Busquet, Jeff Madsen, Chris Ferguson, Ari Engel, and Sam Abernathy. However, all of them can have another shot at the $1M first-place prize as they can enter Day 1B today (Sunday). Day 1A top counts: Boris Kolev - 290,700 Barry Hutter - 259,900 Scott Skriba - 207,500 Michael Falcon Ravn - 191,700 Darwin Giles - 185,000 Frank Stepuchin - 180,700 Andre Garcia - 169,300 Rick Jones - 154,300 Jonas Wexler - 153,200 Kevin Saul - 146,200 Meanwhile, it was also Day 1 of Event #21 - the $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed, which brought in 472 players. When the bags were brought out, just 106 had survived. Christiopher Vitch leads the bunch, but has stiff competition from the likes of Alex Luneau, Daniel Negreanu, Sam Grafton, David ‘ODB’ Baker, Shaun Deeb and Fabrice Soulier, all of whom sit in the top 10 counts. There will be $145,577 for the winner, and here are those closest right now: Christopher Vitch - 98,700 Alex Luneau - 72,400 Daniel Negreanu - 57,300 Ron Elkins - 55,900 Sam Grafton - 49,800 David "ODB" Baker - 49,600 Carol Fuchs - 48,000 Shaun Deeb - 44,800 Christopher Kirk - 44,600 Fabrice Soulier - 44,000
  9. [caption width="640"] Maurice Hawkins has just 55 players standing between him and the first WSOP bracelet of his career (WPT photo)[/caption] In the first installments of 50 Days and 50 Nights, we introduced you to 10-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins and talked about his first 10 days at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Things weren't going well then, but the last few days has brought about a real change, or two. For the last three days Maurice Hawkins has been right where he expected to be when the 2017 World Series of Poker began. On top of the chip counts in a bracelet event. Hawkins, who boldly predicted he was going to win $7 million this summer, has been second in chips, first in chips, and second in chips at the end of each day of the $2,620 Marathon event. The day before the tournament, which comes with 100-minute levels and a 26,200 starting stack, Hawkins called the Marathon “my Main Event” and predicted success. So far he’s found it - and starts Day 4 Thursday behind only Faraz Jaka. “A slow structure, a lot of chips, big money, seems like it’s a good spot to be in. So I’ve pretty much felt that if I give it my all, that I will have a good chance. That’s basically what’s going on. A little good fortune along the way doesn’t hurt either,” said Hawkins. it’s not the first time this summer he’s worked his way up to the top of the chip counts. In an earlier $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event he made it into the top 10 after only three levels but ended up busting long before the day ended and blamed the punt on being bored. That’s not the case with the Marathon. “I have a weird brain. Just pretty much when I put my mind to something and I feel that I want to conquer it totally and with every being in my body, it seems to formulate, and I just feel like this is my time to shine,” said Hawkins. “There’s no boredom here, just relaxation - plus you get a break every 100 minutes. That helps.” He does admit that the structure, which had players play six levels on Day 1 and Day 2 before playing seven levels on Day 3 and Day 4, is a little bit rough - particularly later on in the evening. Rather than getting bored or showing signs of fatigue though, Hawkins recognized that level was an opportunity to take advantage of other players. “That extra level was serious. That extra level, you have to hone in and really give it your all and not crank out because that’s a big time for gathering chips and make sure you don’t make any big mistakes,” said Hawkins. With just 56 players remaining at the start of Day 4, Hawkins knows that the bracelet and $690,469 first place prize money is within striking distance for the 10-time WSOP Circuit ring winner. That much money would mean the world to Hawkins and his family, but it would also be a huge stepping stone for Hawkins’ poker career. “It just means that we get to go on more vacations and we’d have a nice little nest egg, basically. It’s more about it being my biggest cash, I think life is about stepping stones and monumental points where you can look back and say ‘I remember when?’,” said Hawkins. “I remember when my biggest cash was $50,000 and I just wanted to get over $100,000, or my biggest cash was $200,000 and I wanted to get over $290,000 or $300,000. And now I’ve been going for that million dollar score, but if I come up with $690,000, the next step will be the million.” Any third-place-or-better finish will give Hawkins a career-best score. In April 2016, he took home $279,722 for winning the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Cherokee, NC. That was for a first place finish and even with good money sitting there for any podium result in this event, Hawkins really only has his eyes set on one thing. “We’re going for that number one spot. We go ahead and get that and we can start talking about how we’re going to get to that $7 million,” said Hawkins. Maybe not coincidentally, but Hawkins’ deep run in this event has been paired with the arrival in Las Vegas. She’s now staying with Hawkins at the Rio and has been on the rail lending support throughout the Marathon. “It’s pretty amazing because it’s not every day I get to have her around me all the day, the whole time. And I see what everyone else has when they have that big support system, keeping them focused, when you lose focus they give you that nudge,” said Hawkins. “You need that support. It makes for a whole different playing environment and it’s like being at home on my couch, watching TV.” Having seen his name near the top of the chip counts for most of the tournament, Hawkins admits it’s been a little surreal to get this close to a big score and his first WSOP bracelet. That being said, Hawkins is a man known for having a sometimes overwhelming amount of self-confidence, something Hawkins believes is part of the reason he’s been sucessful. “When Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth went up to the plate he expected that, if you threw a fastball down the middle, he was going to knock it out of the park. And that’s how I feel about poker, I expect my draws and I expect to win my flips,” said Hawkins. “When I’m in the hand and I’ve got the flush draw or the gutshot and it hits on the turn, I expect that card to come. During the moment, it’s just a tournament that I expect to win.” Hawkins begins Day 4 of the Marathon with 2,423,000 - a little more than 151 big blinds.
  10. [caption width="640"] Maurice Hawkins has just one tournament left to get to his goal of winning million this summer (WPT photo)[/caption] Seven weeks ago, on the opening day of the 2017 World Series of Poker, Maurice Hawkins told the world that he was going to win $7 million this summer. He’s a had decent enough summer so far, with four cashes for $271,608, but if he’s going to hit that number, he’s got only one option left. “I’ve got to win the Main Event. I already knew I was going to win the Main. I did the best i could, I made about $280,” said Hawkins. He’s back in Las Vegas after going home for a couple of days to attend his sister’s wedding, but he got back to his winning ways almost as soon as he landed on Saturday night. “Trip was great. Went and saw my sister get married. That was a special moment because I love her,” said Hawkins. “When I got back I won a $2K mega, the first tournament I played, then I played a $1K mega and figured I was tired so I just started going all in and just started going all in, went back to my hotel room at seven and stayed in there and didn’t leave.” While many Main Event players are content to just sit back and make it through Day 1 by avoiding trouble, Hawkins isn’t going to change from the bull-in-a-china-shop approach that he’s developed while playing on the WSOP Circuit. “I’ll be playing a lot of pots, I don’t know about every one of them, but I’ll play a lot of them. I dunno. I do well in big fields,” said Hawkins. “I tried to just look at them like they’re everything I always play against all the time. They’re like, ‘This guy is having a good time, I can’t wait to catch his ass’ and I ‘m like, ‘I can’t for you to think you’re going to catch me and I’m going to take your chips’.” Nobody will ever accuse Hawkins of lacking self-confidence. Ask him who his favorite current poker player is and the answer is most likely going to be, Maurice Hawkins and that’s part of his approach to the Main Event. “I was telling my wife today, I become my own fan. Like I know I’m going to do really well in this tournament, so it’s strange because I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s going to play out,” said Hawkins. “I know I’m going to get up to the top of the chip counts, I know I’m going to take a bad beat, I know I’m going to get emotional and be sad about it, but I know i’m going to fight back because of my ambition, and I know I’m going to make it back and I know I’m going to shine.” While he’s maintaining that he’s focused on the Main Event, he also can’t help but look back at his final table appearance as opportunity lost. He’s not the only one who has taken a shot and missed though. “Of course that shit pisses me off, but Michael Jordan missed a lot of shots but he hit the ones that mattered and he’s a champion,” said Hawkins. “When you’re at the top of your level, of course I bricked a final table, but like someone told me, they won’t be back at a final table, but for me a week later I’m at another final. I get more opportunities. Eventually one of them has to come through. Hopefully it’s the one that pays $8 million.”
  11. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] 2017 saw it's fair share of poker players mixing it up both on and off the tables[/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. To date we've gone over the top five off-the-felt news stories of 2017, the top heaters of the year, covered the game's newest characters and breakout stars. Now it's time to get into the he said, she said world of grudges Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow vs. Shawn Sheikan. Tom Dwan vs. Dan 'Jungleman' Cates. 'Jesus' Ferguson vs. The Poker Community at Large. Throughout the history of the game of poker, there's been no shortage of ill will, well-timed “needles” and downright disrespect among poker players. 2017 was no different with a number of hard-fought grudges developing over an assortment of disagreements. #5 - Maurice Hawkins vs. Tim Reilly An on-the-felt conflict led to a war of words off-the-felt this summer when 10-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Maurice Hawkins clashed with Massachusetts grinder Tim Reilly. Deep in WSOP Event #23, The Marathon, Hawkins and Reilly played a hand against each other where Reilly spiked a one-outer on the river to give him a royal flush against Hawkins aces full, allowing Reilly to double through Hawkins with only 22 remaining. Then, depending on which of the two you speak with, the reported war of words not only spilled off the table but into the press with Hawkins claiming that Reilly said to him “This ain’t the circuit. Go back to the circuit.” and Reilly saying that Hawkins “literally lies more than anybody I’ve met in my entire life” and that his table talk was simply “trying to belittle him.” As the tournament intensified it seems so did their mutual dislike with the needles going back and forth. Finally, Reilly says he went up to Hawkins to try and squash the beef and apologize but, according to Reilly, Hawkins told “Hey man, you’re a piece of ***.”, right to his face. Both players ended up at the final table with Hawkins finishing in ninth for $54,000 and Reilly in fourth for $224,000. Both went home with a grudge that likely won’t soon be forgotten. #4 - Doug Polk vs…Lots of Players Doug Polk, the YouTuber who won the 2017 High Roller For One Drop for over $3.6 million, has never shied away from the spotlight of controversy and in 2017 he found himself fighting very public battles on many fronts. Not one to be without an opinion and an audience with an insatiable appetite for content, Polk tackled a number of issues troubling to him, firing shots at a variety of popular poker players in the process. Just some of the items Polk took issue with were players who may or may not have angled on Poker Night in America by not having his big chips visible (Alec Torelli), players who may or may not have agreed to appear at televised poker games and opted not to show up (Matt Berkey), players who may or may not have tried to argue the notion that “more rake is better” (Daniel Negreanu) and players who lost a ton of money at the high stakes games on PokerStars (Luke Schwartz). For, each of these issues Polk took to his Silver Play Button YouTube channel (or Facebook live) to call them out. But a good grudge isn’t one sided and Torelli, Berkey, Negreanu and Schwartz all shot back, either defending themselves or attacking Polk directly, on their social media platforms and in the media. Are the grudges real? There seems to be some very real disdain from each of these guys but for Polk, who every day is finding new ways to market himself, 2018 will likely find him embattled in brand new issues with a new cast of high profile players - and we’ll likely be watching. #3 - Phil Hellmuth vs. The Germans Is there anyone who would disagree that the current contingency of German high rollers are crushing the game right now? Yes. Phil Hellmuth. Whether it’s just his public persona or very real hubris, the 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner seems to think he’s a favorite against the field in just about any No Limit Hold’em game. After the 2017 Poker Masters, despite a lackluster performance, Hellmuth tweeted out he was “always the #1 seed” in NLHE tournaments and it started off a firestorm between him and Daniel Negreanu as to just how much of a favorite Hellmuth is in today’s modern high-rolling circuit. Negreanu accusing Hellmuth of constantly muttering how bad all the players are, especially the Germans, and how disrespectful he was to their games. For his part, Hellmuth claimed he was a “good guy” and even told Fedor Holz and, the eventual winner of the 2017 Poker Masters Purple Jacket, Steffen Sontheimer that "he liked them". When the war of words began to escalate into a big-time prop bet Hellmuth ended up easing off the gas but never conceding that he is always a huge favorite. Sontheimer, for his part, kept it classy. In the media he talked about how he liked Hellmuth, but is more than willing to play him, just about anytime, anywhere. #2 - Leon Tsoukernik vs. Matt Kirk A late night high-stakes heads-up match at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas between King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik and “Aussie” Matt Kirk not only ended up with Tsoukernik losing $3 million of money he borrowed from Kirk but after a confusing series of events, the pair have found themselves in a bitter lawsuit in the Nevada court system. Depending on who you listen to Tsoukernik, Kirk or even Dusk Till Dawn owner Rob Yong, who ended up as an intermediary between the two parties, Tsoukernik was either was too drunk to know what he was doing, simply lost a massive amount of money and refused to pay it back, or the pair struck a deal for a lesser amount which Kirk’s “backers” refused to take. However you look at it, the situation is cloudy and now the lawyers are involved. The lawsuit at first was simply Kirk wanting his $3 million back but now there is a countersuit from Tsoukernik claiming that the reports in the media that he refused to pay has damaged his reputation and he wants $10 million from Kirk for defamation of character and he also wants the Aria Resort & Casino in on the lawsuit for over-serving. Someone is not going to be happy at the conclusion of this saga and it’s not very likely that the pair will be shuffling chips on the felt together anytime soon. #1 - Cate Hall vs. Mike Dentale A three month war of words between the two outspoken professional poker players, Cate Hall and Mike Dentale, reached its conclusion back in March after the pair booked a mini-HU4Rollz match on Poker Night In America, finally putting their money where their mouths were. Dentale, very publicly, called out the play of Hall from a hand during the December 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond. Hall, eventually having enough, issued the challenge and before long the pair sat across the felt from each other with $15,000 playing $75/$150 NLHE in a best two-out-of-three match. While Dentale may have started it with his comments online, Hall finished it off by sweeping the Brooklyn player in two straight matches, earning his $30,000 and, maybe, his respect? Not so much. “Remember you will always suck,” Dentale said to Hall during the match. In the end, Hall took home the cash, Dentale apologized to his fans and both raised money for charity. All's well that ends well for the pair as both went on to earn six-figures over the course of 2017.
  12. One look at #WSOP gives even those with the slightest interest in poker a severe case of FOMO. The first week of the 49th Annual World Series of Poker had it all. Big names fighting for multimillion-dollar scores and players mixing it up both on and off-the-felt. It’s impossible to catch everything that’s happening at the Rio in Las Vegas but here are some of the highlights we enjoyed that will make you feel like you’re in the thick of the action yourself. So Many Rings When you want to stretch your bankroll, perhaps a single table satellite is the way to go. Just beat a soft field of 9 other players and next thing you know you’re vying for a gold bracelet. Well, maybe the field isn’t that soft. On to week two!
  13. Take a quick look at Isaac Haxton's live tournament results over the past few years and you might be surprised by the lack of first place finishes. Considered by many on the high roller scene to be one of the best poker players on the planet, Haxton hasn't won a tournament since January 2017. Haxton's streak of 32 High Roller event cashes without a win came to an end on Tuesday though as Haxton took down Event #4 ($10,000 Short Deck Hold'em) of the 2018 Poker Masters. The win, coupled with a sixth and a fourth place finish in two previous Poker Masters events, have put Haxton just 30 points behind Brandon Adams for the Purple Jacket. “It would be very satisfying to win this whole thing, I have a track record of doing pretty well, but with a lot of second through fifth-place finishes," said Haxton. "Actually winning something is very satisfying.” Dominik Nitsche started the final table with a narrow chip lead over Andrew Robl, but just 45 minutes after the final table began, Nitsche was on his way to the payouts window with the sixth place ticket. Nitsche open-shoved for 1,440,000 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="jh"] from first position, Isaac Haxton re-shoved for 3,180,000 with [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] from the cutoff and after some time, Andrew Robl folded [poker card="th"][poker card="9h"] from the button. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7c"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"] to give Haston a rivered ten-high straight and eliminate Nitsche in sixth with a $33,000 payout. Some 40 minutes later, Haxton found yet another victim. Cary Katz limped from early position with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] and Haxton moved all in for 3,880,000 behind him with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. When action folded back to him, Catz called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6s"] flop was a friendly one for Katz, but the [poker card="ah"] turn put Haxton back in the lead. The [poker card="ts"] river gave Haxton an unnecessary two pair and eliminated Katz in fifth for $44,000. Robl spent the next 30 minutes working a short stack and despite two straight double ups, found no further success. Robl open-shoved for 900,000 with [poker card="td"][poker card="9c"] and Ryan Tosoc moved all in over the for 3,970,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="js"], forcing the rest of the table to fold. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"][poker card="th"] flop put Tosoc in the driver's seat and the [poker card="jd"] gave him a full house to eliminate Robl. The fourth place finish came with a $55,000 score. Tosoc, Haxton and Maurice Hawkins battled for almost a full hour before finding the next elimination. Tosoc was down to just 490,000 and decided to open shove with [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"] but Haxton called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"] and stayed ahead through the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"] runout to bust Tosoc in third for $77,000. Despite never having played short deck before and having zero Poker Masters cashes to his credit, Hawkins got heads up with Haxton with the chip lead. Unfortunately for the 11-time WSOP Circuit ring winner, that's as far as he could go. Hawkins open-shoved 4,775,000 with [poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] and Haxton called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] flop kept Haxton in the lead but also gave Hawkins a straight draw. The [poker card="kc"] changed nothing and when the [poker card="qh"] completed the board, Haxton eliminated Hawkins to win his first Poker Masters title and $176,000. Final Table Payouts Isaac Haxton - $176,000 Maurice Hawkins - $115,500 Ryan Tosoc - $77,000 Andrew Robl - $55,000 Cary Katz - $44,000 Dominik Nitsche - $33,000
  14. The 2019 WSOP Global Casino Championship crowned its winner on Thursday as Ryan Eriquezzo bested the 128 player field of WSOP Circuit grinders to capture his historic second career national title, a World Series of Poker bracelet, and the $279,431 first-place prize. Taking place at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina for the fifth year in a row, the $1M guaranteed WSOP Global Casino Championship (formerly known as the World Series of Poker National Championship) saw a final table packed with poker talent which included 2012 WSOP National, seven-time WSOP Circuit Ring winner Joshua Turner and the current king of the Circuit Ring, 13-time WSOPC champion, Maurice Hawkins. France’s Adam Cedric started the final table with the shortest stack and after losing a big hand to Hawkins, he quickly found himself all in and at risk holding [as][8h] against Eric Salazar’s dominating [ad][jc]. The pair saw a flop of [ah][qs][qh] providing Cedric some chop opportunities, however, the [6s] turn and the [8s] river was of no help, ending Cedric’s run. Cedric finished in sixth place for $46,546, the second-best score of his career right behind his victory in the WSOP International Circuit, St. Maarten Main Event, the very tournament that qualified him for the GCC in the first place. Paulius Vaitiekunas had a rollercoaster tournament prior to the start of the final table and Day 3 proved to be no different for the Lithuanian. Vaitiekunas started the day with a healthy chip lead, but after a few hours of play, he saw his stack dwindling. After finding himself on the losing end of a big flip, he was left with roughly ten big blinds. Eventually, he stuck his short stack in the middle holding [ac][8h] and was called by Hawkins’ [kh][kd]. The flop fell [9h][6c][tc] providing Vaitiekunas some gutshot outs in addition to his one overcard. However, when the turn came [ks], he was down to just four outs to the straight. A cruel [ah] hit the river and Vaitiekunas hit the rail in fifth place taking home $62,023, for a new career-high cash. Minutes later another all in clash occurred when Joshua Turner put in a raise from the cutoff and was shoved on by Eriquezzo. Turner, covering Eriquezzo by a single big blind, made the call only to see his [ah][9d] out-pipped by Eriquezzo’s [as][ts]. The [8h][9c]9td] board gave both players a pair but the [js] turn and the [6c] river gave the hand to Eriquezzo. Left with his single big blind, Turner got it in on the very next hand and lost when the rest of the table limped and checked it down. Turner finished in fourth place for $84,961. After a short break in the action, three-handed play began leading to the next elimination. After Salazar folded his button, Hawkins limped in the small blind with [ah][8h]. Eriquezzo put in a raise holding [as][jc] and Hawkins made the call. The flop came [ad][4h][2s] and the action checked through. The [9s] hit the turn and Hawkins put out a bet which Eriquezzo called. Hawkins then checked the [4s] river and Eriquezzo moved all-in. With fewer than 10 big blinds behind, Hawkins made the call for his tournament life only to see that he was outkicked and, consequently, out of the tournament. Hawkins headed to the cashier in third place for $119,555. Holding a slight lead heading into heads-up play, Eriquezzo had his eye on making WSOP Circuit history as the first two-time champion. Salazar and Eriquezzo battled for the better part of two hours until Eriquezzo was able to close it out. From the button, Eriquezzo put in a raise with the [kd][td] and Salazar defended his big blind with [ac][6d]. The [jd][7d][3d] gave Eriquezzo the flopped flush. Salazar check-called a bet from Eriquezzo. The turn was the [2h] and Salazar checked again. Eriquezzo pushed out another bet which prompted Salazar to make a move and check-raise all in drawing dead. Eriquezzo snap-called for the victory. Salazar finished as the runner-up, adding $172,431 to his bankroll. Ryan Eriquezzo earned $279,431 for first place and added a second WSOP bracelet to his resume. It’s one of the largest scores of his prolific career, second only to the first WSOP Global Casino Championship he won back in 2012. Final Table Payouts 1. Ryan Eriquezzo - $279,431 2. Eric Salazar - $172,431 3. Maurice Hawkins - $119,555 4. Joshua Turner - 62,023 5. Paulus Vaitiekunas - $62,023 6. Adam Cedric - $46,546
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