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[caption width="640"] Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman Jr. wins first-ever PocketFives Triple Crown on New Jersey regulated sites[/caption] Over the past 11 years, there have been over 1,000 PocketFives Triple Crowns awarded, but never one on New Jersey regulated online poker rooms. History is meant to be changed. Earlier this month, Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman Jr. etched his name into PocketFives history by becoming the first person to nail down a Triple Crown solely on New Jersey regulated online poker sites. It's been two-and-a-half years since regulated online poker launched in New Jersey. In the early days of the regulated online poker scene in New Jersey, it was possible, although extremely difficult, to win a Triple Crown with players having access to just three networks: partypoker/BorgataPoker, 888poker/WSOP and UltimatePoker, which eventually closed. PokerStars launched in New Jersey earlier this year giving players a new place to play and making the Triple Crown possible again. To make things even more challenging, not every site offered a tournament every day that met the requirements necessary to win one leg of the Triple Crown. To win a Triple Crown, players must win three tournaments tracked by PocketFives with at least 100 players and at least a $10,000 prize pool on three different networks within seven days. Haberman, who held the number one spot in the New Jersey PocketFives Online Rankings for a couple of months earlier in the year, might be modest when claiming luck was the key element to winning the first-ever Triple Crown in New Jersey. "It was pretty cool, it's a difficult task in New Jersey when you only have one tournament a day excluding Sundays meeting the requirements on each site," said Haberman. "I definitely ran well in order to get it." Haberman's path to the Triple Crown began on June 3 when he outlasted a field of 119 players to win the $10,000 Guaranteed Nightly on WSOP.com to bank $2,800. A few days later, he followed this up by finishing on top of the PokerStars Nightly Stars $100, $10,000 Guaranteed for $2,500. While Haberman admitted that before this point he wasn't aiming for a Triple Crown, his mindset changed after his first two wins. "I wasn't particularly aiming for a Triple Crown, but once I had the first two wins on WSOP and PokerStars with a few days to spare, it was on my radar," Haberman said. On June 7, Haberman accomplished what many New Jersey players have been dreaming of by nailing down his third win and the first ever PocketFives Triple Crown on New Jersey regulated online poker rooms when he took down the partypoker Daily $10,000 for $2,936. This tournament just met the Triple Crown requirements with 101 players, or one more than the 100 players needed for it to qualify. Haberman is one of the more accomplished online poker players in New Jersey with almost $520,000 in cashes tracked by PocketFives on regulated sites. This figure is even more impressive when considering he has only one five-digit cash when he won the Sunday $50K for $10,500 on May 24, 2014. While enjoying success in New Jersey, Haberman believes regulated online poker in his state can even be better if one day soon it will be regulated in a neighboring state and be allowed to share liquidity with the sites in the Garden State. "I enjoy New Jersey poker, and its nice to see New York beginning the process, I can only hope they would want to link up with New Jersey and really give a huge boost to US regulated online poker, which is awesome already," said Haberman. The success of New Jersey players in the WSOP, lead by Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano shipping a World Series of Poker bracelet in the $2,500 WSOP No Limit Hold'em event for $448,463, might mean Haberman hits Sin City this summer. "I'm not really sure what I'll be doing for the rest of the summer," Haberman said. "I may end up in Vegas for a week or two, and I may go down to Florida to visit some family and play some SHRPO events."
[caption width="640"] Michael Haberman is showing no sign of slowing down after years on top of the New Jersey online rankings.[/caption] The competition at the top of the PocketFives New Jersey online poker rankings becomes tougher with each passing month. The top of the ranks has remained relatively consistent for the larger part of 2016 with Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman among those prominently featured in the top-10 at the end of each month. Haberman has been playing online in New Jersey since the state regulated online play in 2013 and has put together over $670,000 in tournament cashes in that span. Haberman’s online monicker comes from a character in the HBO show Entourage, who was known to be excitable with the potential for unpredictability. Despite the associations that might come with choosing that specific avatar, Haberman’s results have been remarkably consistent. Haberman was ranked number one in the Pocket Fives NJ rankings toward the start of the year and achieved the elusive Triple Crown in June when he won three unique tournaments tracked by PocketFives with at least 100 players and at least a $10,000 prize pool on three different networks within seven days. In accomplishing the feat, Haberman became the first player in New Jersey history to do so. One of Haberman’s strengths that he attributes to his constant track record is an ability to do well in a variety of different tournament structures. “I'm not so sure there is a specific format or structure that caters well to my game, and I certainly don't mind playing most tournaments that are on the NJ sites.I do like some of the longer structures as it gives you more room to maneuver, but people sometimes play a little too cautious in turbos and I enjoy the fast paced play.” The preference to play nearly anything on New Jersey’s sites paid off immensely for Haberman as he won the WSOP Ultimate Warrior $50,000 guaranteed in November for a career-high score of $13,500. Due primarily to buy in size, live tournament cashes generally top those of the online realm. That is not the case for Haberman, though, who does not play many live tournaments but thinks that could change in the new year. “I had other commitments in 2016 that kept me from playing as much as I would have liked live, so I definitely see myself getting out to some more high-value tournaments, how many more, we'll see, It's a good change of pace, and you never know what kind of characters will be at your table.” The clash for NJ online supremacy remains fierce and although he has been among the top players for a few years now, Haberman is looking for new ways to improve his game in order to keep his edge sharp. “I'll be working on keeping distractions to a minimum, it can be pretty easy to lose focus while playing, and it can make a world of difference to be in the zone when you play. An extension of that is to close the gap between my 'A game' and 'B game' as some people would say.” With a multi-year sample size already in play, it is clear that Haberman’s “A game” is among the best in the entire state. Given his already immense accomplishments, an even more improved Haberman is plenty for the rest of New Jersey to look out for.
Another month of an incomplete roster of New Jersey grinders ended the same way June did. Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo tops the charts for another month (4.275.97 PLB points) and is the only player in the state over the 4,000 point benchmark. Lupo achieved five wins in July topped off by a $12,950 result on PokerStarsNJ. The NJ Summer Series $1,000 High Roller on July 24 attracted 36 of the state's best and Lupo emerged victoriously by beating competitors Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman and Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano on the tournament podium. Overall, Lupo earned 12 top-3 finishes and his career online earnings are up to $1.765 million. David 'dehhhhh' Coleman jumped over Gagliano to take second place for this month. Coleman was in Las Vegas for a week at the start of July and overcame the lack of volume to achieve 12 medals and three golds. The last Sunday of the month proved to be a profitable one. Coleman took third place in the PokerStarsNJ $10,000 GTD High Roller and the NJ Summer Series Main Event to top $12,700 in gross earnings. He wasn't done there. The partypokerNJ $40,000 GTD ended with Coleman in the winner's circle to collect the $7,455 first-place prize. Gagliano fell a spot in the rankings but still had himself a productive month. In only a week of play, Gagliano won the NJ Summer Series $25,000 GTD Six-Max for $6,056 and then place third in events on partypokerNJ and PokerStarsNJ. Gagliano's summer in Las Vegas featured six cashes with the best result coming in the $5,000 NLH Big Blind Ante event where he took 10th place for $27,208. Jason 'JLaw' Lawhun and Yong 'ykwon17' Kwon traded spots on the leaderboard at the fourth and fifth positions. Lawhun jumped a spot thanks in part to a full month of volume which equaled 37 cashes. Two of those scores were wins including a July-ending triumph in the $7,500 GTD KO on WSOP.com. The win came with $3,225 to put Lawhun within $80,000 of cracking the $1 million mark in career online earnings. Kwon didn't jump online until the second to last weekend in July. In that span, he gained a single win on partypokerNJ. Overall, his career earnings are up $1.6 million effective, leaving him only $70,000 behind Jeremy 'Jermz' Danger for New Jersey's all-time tournament winner. Ryan 'shipthesherb' Hohner held onto sixth place for another month. Hohner cashed a few times upon his return to New Jersey but is awaiting his first major post-WSOP score. While in Las Vegas for the full summer, Hohner cashed in the WSOP Main Event for $33,305 in 413th place to close out his campaign. Seventh place in the NJ rankings belongs to Haberman. Two wins in the $30 $7,000 GTD R&A on WSOP.com for $6,472 total are the primary highlights of Haberman's online month. He also took third in the WSOP.com $100,000 GTD Sunday Special on July 23 for $10,322. On the live side, Haberman also cashed in the Main Event in the same pay slot as Hohner for his 359th place result. Ted 'ol muggins' Ely jumped back into the rankings with his eighth-place standing. Ely's July included 12 podium results and two wins. The best of the bunch was the July 12 PokerStarsNJ $7,000 GTD Nightly where Ely claimed the $2,364 first-place prize. 'Thatgood45' also joined the top-10 after a strong five wins in July. 'senor stinks' completes the top-10 for the second month in a row. New Jersey Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 centrfieldr 4,275.97 2 dehhhhh 3,882.43 3 Gags30 3,535.77 4 JLaw 3,516.90 5 ykwon17 3,220.49 6 shipthesherb 3,090.56 7 JohnnnyDrama 3,034.43 8 ol muggins 3,028.15 9 Thatgood45 2,896.14 10 senor stinks 2,818.28