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Just 29 players woke up Wednesday morning with a chance to win the $2.72 million first place prize in the partypoker MILLIONS Online. Following 27 eliminations, the final two players quickly agreed to a deal that saw each of them walk away with just over $2.3 million. Manuel 'Sheparentao' Ruivo took home $2,329,943.88 and the title while runner-up Pim 'ForMatherRussia' de Goede earned $2,309,994.87. Those two scores are now the #1 and #2 biggest single scores in online poker tournament history. The previous record was held by Tyson ‘POTTERPOKER’ Marks, who pocketed $2,278,097.50 for winning the 2010 PokerStars WCOOP Main Event. Chop discussions were initiated after just one hand of heads up play. Slovenia's Blaz 'Scarmak3r' Zerjav rounded out the podium finishers, collecting $1,364,687.50 for third. Zerjav won his way into the tournament after winning a $5 satellite and working his way up. The Netherlands' 'Maddonaa' also won seven figures, picking up $1,091,750 for fourth. 'wheatforsheep', who began the final day with an impressive chip lead, was unable to turn that lead into a title but he did collect $491,287.50 for finishing seventh. Chance 'ChanceSeeYou' Kornuth finished 22nd and Christopher 'Ad_Finem' Kruk just missed the final table with a 10th place result. Final Table Payouts Sheparentao - $2,329,943.88 ForMatherRussia - $2,309,994.87 Scarmak3r - $1,364,687.50 Maddonaa - $1,091,750 j2805667 - $818,812.50 COL_Moutarde - $655,050 wheatforsheep - $491,287.50 orginALUS - $327,525
Poker's Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker's brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker. Viet Vo Conquers Rio Las Vegas WSOP Circuit Main Event The Las Vegas WSOP Circuit events are usually the biggest and arguably the toughest fields of the season. Viet Vo beat out 951 other players to win the first Circuit ring of his career. "It feels good. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I got second in the Main Event in Chicago three years and a half ago. I got 11th last year in the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino. I bubbled the final table. To finally be able to close it out today, it feels good," Vo said after his win. The victory earned him $274,030 and pushed his career earnings to just shy of $1.7 million. The final table included Jared Jaffee, Cylus Watson, Nick Pupillo and eventual runner-up Sohale Khalili. Ali Imsirovic picked up the first WSOP Circuit ring of his career in the $2,200 High Roller event by beating a final table that included Asher Conniff, Upeshka De Silva, Barry Hutter, and Aaron Massey. Zachary Donovan Wins Second Career WSOPC Ring at Coconut Creek Nearly six years after winning a $365 buy-in WSOP Circuit event at Foxwoods, Zachary Donovan won the $1,700 Main Event at Coconut Creek in Florida to win his second ring and $243,916. Donovan started the final table with the chip lead and started heads up play with the lead over runner up Sokchheka Pho. Jason Young finished third for $110,859. Mike Hudson Wins WSOPC Potawatomi Main Event WSOP Circuit stops are usually full of players who grind their way through all 12 events before moving on to the next stop. Mike Hudson is apparently the exception to the rule. Hudson beat out 666 other players to win the Main Event at Potawatomi after not playing any other events at that stop. The final table included Eric Wasylenko, Brett Apter, former #1 PocketFiver Kevin Saul, and second place finisher Joshua Turner. The win was the first time Hudson cashed in a WSOP Circuit Main Event and his first live cash since April 2015. Nick Pupillo Takes Heartland Poker Tour Title in Black Hawk Just a week before finishing fourth at the WSOP Circuit event at the Rio, Nick Pupillo beat out 587 other players to win the Heartland Poker Tour event in Black Hawk, Colorado for $194,478. The win moved Pupillo into a tie with Nick Davidson for HPT Season XV Player of the Year. Brian Wilson Tops Star-Studded MSPT Poker Bowl III Final Table Canadian Brian Wilson arrived in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and left with $143,929 and the title of Mid-States Poker Tour Poker Bowl III champion. Wilson, runner-up Pedro Mendes and third place finisher Eli Ross agreed to a three-way deal to wrap things up. Mendes and Ross each left with just a touch over $119,000. The final table also included Vegas locals Eddy Sabat, Shannon Shorr, and Eric Baldwin. Martin Gaudreault Wins WPT DeepStacks Montreal Martin Gaudreault worked his way through an all-Canadian final table at the WPT DeepStacks Montreal Main Event to pick up the first live win of his career and $ 139,311. Gaudreault's only other live cash came in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker. “It’s awesome obviously, I have no words, it’s just incredible. I don’t play too many tournaments, and just going out and binking one of the biggest ones I play is awesome,” said Gaudreault. The $1,650 CDN ($1,110 US) buy-in event drew out 686 players to push the total prize pool to $760,712. Mike Leah finished 36th for $3,670. Mohamed Abdou Takes Down WPT DeepStacks Brussels The Grand Casino in Brussels played host to the WPT DeepStacks €1,200 Main Event and 584 players. Mohamed Abdou outlasted all of them on his way to the first live win of his career and $ 136,217. All of Abdou's previous eight cashes came in his native France and his biggest score was $17,171. Michael Mizrachi finished 27th for $4,143 while Triple Crown holder Davidi Kitai picked up $2,724 for finishing 56th. Matt Kirby Wins MSPT Canterbury Park for Third MSPT Win Matt Kirby became the third three-time Mid-States Poker Tour champion after beating 478 other players to win the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event. Kirby, who picked up $99,573 for the win, had previously won MSPT Walker and MSPT Onamia in 2012. The only other players with three MSPT titles are Blake Bohn and Carl Carodenuto.
Poker’s Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker’s brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker. World Series of Poker Circuit Elik Vodovoz Takes Down World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond Main Event The World Series of Poker Circuit was seemingly everywhere in the month of March, holding no fewer than four different series in different parts of the U.S. The first saw the WSOPC travel to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Illinois where Elik Vodovoz took down the 1,050-entry field of the $1,700 Main Event for a career-high score of $294,290. The event crushed its $1M guarantee, generating a prize pool of over $1.59 million, awarding eight of the final nine players their own career-best cashes. Sean Yu Dominates Los Angeles WSOPC Event at The Bike South Korea’s Sean Yu bested cash game grinder Andrew Moreno heads-up to capture the $1,700 Main Event WSOPC title from the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. The $210,585 score helped Yu, who currently resides in Los Angeles, up over the $2M mark in career earnings. It was the second circuit ring of the series for Yu, who has seven rings total as well as a WSOP bracelet. Moreno ended up with $130,295 as the runner-up. With the event being held in Los Angeles, plenty of well-known names made the money including Scott Vener (6th, $40,910), Ralph Wong (8th, $24,815), Mohsin Charania (15th, $12,890), Joseph Serock (20th $8,855) and Joe Kuether (22nd, $7,470). Ryan Eriquezzo Wins Fourth WSOPC Event In Atlantic City On the East Coast, veteran tournament grinder Ryan Eriquezzo picked up his fourth WSOPC ring when he finished atop the 357 entry field of the $1,700 Main Event at Harrah’s in Atlantic City for $124,397. With the win, Eriquezzo now has more than $1.5M in career earnings. Phillip Pope Takes Down Tulsa WSOPC Event Phillip Pope captured a career-high cash when he picked up the win in the $1,700 WSOPC Main Event from the Hard Rock Hotel & Cainso in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pope outlasted the field of 533 entries to take home $215,000 after beating Kou Vang heads up. Vang walked with a six-figure cash of $132,930, also a career-high score for the well-traveled grinder. Superstar WSOP Circuit grinder Maurice Hawkins just missed out on what would be a record-tying 12th ring after finished in third place. Hawkins added $97,110 to his over $3.5M in career earnings. World Poker Tour DeepStacks Vitor Coleho Wins WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville Tampa resident a former restauranteur, Vitor Coleho secured the fifth six-figure cash of his career by besting the 446-entry field of WPTDS Jacksonville. The score propels him up over $1M in total recorded earnings. “In my mind, I was going to win this tournament,” Coelho said after his victory. It marks his ninth WPT cash where he’s accumulated over $423,000 in earnings. Simon Brandstrom Takes Down WPTDeepStacks Barcelona Sweden’s Simon Brandstrom posted only the fourth recorded cash of his poker career when he won WPTDS Barcelona for €270,000 plus a €2,000 seat to the WPTDS Europen Championship. The 1,232 player field was the largest ever outside of North America and ranks as the fifth largest ever in the history of the tour. WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg & Vietnam Crown Champions You Zeng took home the $69,451 first-place prize and the trophy after surviving the 452-entry field of WPTDS Johannesburg. The score marks the South African resident’s second career recorded cash. Thailand’s Vincent Chauve eliminated each of his final five opponents to take home a career-high cash of $99,000 as the top prize of WPTDS Vietnam. Justin Liberto Adds WPTDS Title To Resume In Maryland Accomplished tournament pro Justin Liberto finally captured a WPT title, after 14 cashes, by finishing in first in the WPTDS Maryland Main Event for $116,363. Liberto, who has over $3.3M in career earnings had a near-miss in this very event two years ago when he finished in fourth place. Noah Shefrin finished as the runner-up, taking home $81,472 as a consolation and popular poker vlogger Matt Vaughn wrapped up in eighth place for $15,026. Felix Schulze Is The WPTDS Amsterdam Champ Felix Schulze wrapped up an incredible run at the Holland Casino Amsterdam Center after winning the €1,200 WPTDS Amsterdam Main Event for €104,304. It was his third tournament victory of the week after, earlier in the series, Schulze bested a 50 player field in a €330 Hyper and 61 entries in the €330 Short Deck event. “I feel good, it’s been a decent week,” Schulze said after finishing off the 507- entry field of the Main Event. Heartland Poker Tour Bill Byrnes Bests Heartland Poker Tour in St. Louis Hailing from Wentzville, Missouri, 47-year old criminal defense attorney Bill Byrnes picked up a career-high cash by defeating the 444 entries in the Heartland Poker Tour $1,650 Main Event in St. Louis. With the win, Byrnes moves into fourth place in the HPT Season 15 standings, siting right behind Nick Davidson, Nick Pupillo and current leader, Greg Wood. Kou Vang, who finished as the runner-up in the WSOPC event in Tulsa, finished in fifth place for $31,978. Mid-States Poker Tour Steven Federspiel Wins Mid-States Poker Tour Iowa 409 players flocked to the Meskwaki Casino and Bingo Hall for the Mid-States Poker stop in Tama, Iowa. North Liberty’s Steven Federspiel made his way to his second career MSPT final table and took home the title and a career-high cash of $86,949. The score helped push him over $250K in lifetime earnings. It was Federspiel’s sixth MSPT cash of his career.