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  1. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz had many millions of numbers to crunch in 2016[/caption] Many are reflecting back on the year and suggesting 2016 is a year we might want to forget. Do not let the celebrity deaths or endless talk of politics keep you from remembering some of the happier storylines the past year had to offer though. It was a memorable year in poker with countless tournaments, feuds, prop bets, cash games, and big stories. We can’t count all of big headlines of 2016, but we can relive a few of the biggest stories in this year-end edition of Number Crunch. 10 - Number of cashes for Chris Ferguson at the 2016 WSOP. The Full Tilt Poker co-founder had been absent from poker’s biggest stage since 2011, but both he and Howard Lederer decided it was time to return to the tables this summer. Not only did Ferguson return, he cashed every couple of days. Extra security appeared to be added when he final tabled one event, but other than some verbal barbs, there were no serious altercations for the man many consider to be partially responsible for the downfall of what was once one of the biggest online sites in poker. Ferguson won over $250,000 over the course of the summer, while Lederer failed to cash at all. 15 - Number of seasons Poker Hall of FamerMike Sextonhas co-hosted the World Poker Tour alongside Vince Van Patten. Sexton’s list of WPT accomplishments are not just behind the commentator’s desk. He is now a member of the WPT Champion’s Club too, taking down this season’s fall Montreal event for over $450,000. Sexton final tabled the Bay 101 Main Event in 2011, but exited in sixth place. This time around, he was around to the very end, but instead of toasting the champ, it was the Champ getting toasted. 17 - Finishing position in the WSOP Main Event for William Kassouf. The Brit may not have made the November Nine but, like a boss, his personality loomed large over the ESPN coverage of the tournament this year thanks to his endless table banter and altercation with Canadian pro Griffin Benger. His table talking sparked many online debates about table etiquette, with top pros both condemning and commending the behavior. Kassouf did not go quietly into the night after his finish though. He was back in the news in December after agreeing to chop the European Poker Tour Prague High Roller event, taking less money than second place, but taking home the trophy and posing for the winner photo. 28 - Number of High Roller tournaments hosted by the Aria Casino in 2016. With buy-ins ranging from $25,000 to $350,000, the Aria offered a steady supply of big buy-in small-field events for the poker elite. Not only did the events, which were frequently packaged back-to-back over a single weekend, bankroll boosters to some of the biggest names in the game, they also made Las Vegas a destination for live high stakes action again. If there were questions about whether or not the High Roller circuit was oversaturated, based on the success of the Aria’s scheduling, the answer appears to be no, at least for now 345 - Combined number of @ mentions on Twitter in the month of December for Cate Hall and Mike Dentale. In a year of many Twitter beefs, theirs took the cake, with Dentale sending 274 Tweets with her handle it and Hall sending 71 with his in a back and forth exchange that began with Dentale critiquing how Hall played a hand in the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Main Event. The trash talk escalated enough for Poker Night in America to turn it into a heads-up battle to be played out in March at Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia. 52,986 - Dollars in career tournament earnings for Qui Nguyen before winning the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. Once he won the biggest tournament of the year, that number rocketed to over $8 million. He is the first amateur since Jerry Yang in 2007 to win the Main Event. 1,800,000 - Dollars Jason Merciersupposedly stood to earn after a hotly debated bracelet bet with Vanessa Selbst. As the story goes, Selbst offered Mercier 180-1 odds he could not win three bracelets in a single summer. The eventual WSOP Player of the Year certainly gave Selbst a sweat, winning two bracelets and making four final tables. He got oh-so close, finishing second in the $10,000 Razz event, but failed to cash in on many lucrative bets he would not threepeat. 4,360,000 - Approximate number of viewers who tuned in to watch David Williams compete in the MasterCheffinale on Fox. A foodie in addition to a poker pro, Williams made quite a run on the Gordon Ramsay reality show, making it all the way to the very end. Much like the 2004 Main Event though, he was a bridesmaid, not the bride, and had to settle for finishing as one of the two runners-up. 4,981,775 - Dollars won by Fedor Holz in the $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller at the WSOP. Shortly after accepting his bracelet, Holz announced his retirement. After all, he had a busy six weeks crushing just about everything he played and raking in over $10 million, starting with a second-place showing in the Aria Super High Roller Bowl for $3.5 million and ending with a bracelet. So far, retirement looks an awful lot like the working world for the young German though. In August he won the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller for almost $1.5 million. 10,100,000 - Dollars Phil Ivey and his friend Cheung Yin Soo have to pay the Borgata Resort and Casino according to a December ruling from a federal judge. The sum is the total of his winnings across four sessions of baccarat in 2012 and the money he took to a craps table and ran up into $500,000. Ivey and Soo were “edge-sorting”, which means they used imperfections in the manufacturer’s design of a deck of cards to determine which cards were which. While not explicitly cheating, the judge did deem the actions to be a violation of the agreement between gambler and casino and ordered the eight-figure judgment.
  2. [caption width="640"] Cate Hall beat Mike Dentale 2-0 in their best of three grudge match Sunday at SugarHouse Casino(Photo Courtesy Jeff Shurilla/PNIA)[/caption] It was billed as the ‘Twitter feud heard round the world … of poker’ and on Sunday afternoon at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, Cate Hall and Mike Dentale added another chapter to their ongoing rivalry. Hall defeated Dentale 2-0 in the best-of-three $15,000 heads-up freezeouts in a little over 3.5 hours. The match was live streamed on Poker Night in America’s Twitch channel and drew almost 12,000 viewers at its peak and was the most watched poker stream of the day. Things got serious on the very first hand of play. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8s"] and Dentale called with [poker card="qs"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7s"] flop put Hall firmly ahead and Dentale check-called her 500 bet. The [poker card="2h"] hit the turn and Dentale lead out for 1,000 and Hall called. The river was the [poker card="qd"] and Dentale bet 2,000 and Hall called and tabled the winner to take down a 7,800 pot. The next decent-sized pot began with Hall on the button. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] and Dentale defended with [poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"]. Both players checked the [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"][poker card="2C"] flop to see the [poker card="8s"] turn. Dentale check-called Hall’s 500 bet. The river was the [poker card="2d"] and Dentale checked, allowing Hall to bet 900. Dentale took nearly 90 seconds before calling and losing the hand to drop to 7,375. Over the next half hour Dentale worked his stack back up to a high of 10,200 before finding a big pot of his own to win. Hall called from the button with [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"] before Dentale raised to 1,200 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. After the [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2c"] flop, Dentale bet 1,000 and Hall called. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and Dentale fired 1,500 into the pot and Hall folded.That 5,900 win gave Dentale a stack of 11,650. Just 15 minutes later Dentale got close to even by taking down a 4,800 pot. Hall raised to 400 from the button with [poker card="9s"][poker card="7c"] and Dentale called with [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"]. After the [poker card="th"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4c"] flop Dentale check-raised Hall’s bet of 400 to 1,000. Hall called. The turn was the [poker card="4s"] and Dentale lead out for 1,000. Hall called again. The river was the [poker card="3s"] and Dentale bet 1,500, forcing Hall to fold. Over the course of the next hour Hall regained momentum and the nearly 2-1 chip lead. it took her just 15 more minutes to end the first match. With Dentale down to just 3,000, Hall moved all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"] and Dentale called with [poker card="qc"][poker card="5d"]. The board ran out [poker card="9s"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="4c"][poker card="jd"] to give the first match to Hall. The second match started off with the same sort of fireworks that the first one did. Dentale raised his button to 400 with [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] and Hall called with [poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"]. Dentale bet 700 after the [poker card="7s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2c"] flop before Hall raised to 2,100. Dentale tanked for 3.5 minutes before folding. Hall quickly built up a 2-1 chip lead and never gave up the lead again. After 40 minutes of play, Hall had a 5-1 chip lead before Dentale found himself a double-up. Hall called from the button with [poker card="5h"][poker card="2c"] and Dentale checked his option with [poker card="4d"][poker card="3c"]. Dentale check-called Hall’s bet of 300 after the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2h"] flop. Dentale checked the [poker card="ac"] turn, Hall bet 900 and Dentale moved all in for 3,400. Hall tank-called and watched the [poker card="tc"] turn give Dentale a full double to 7,700. Dentale’s stack fell to just over 5,000 before the final hand of the night. Hall raised to 300 from the button with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"] and Dentale defended with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2s"]. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"][poker card="5s"], Hall bet 400 and Dentale called. The turn was the [poker card="8h"], Hall bet 1,300, Dentale moved all in for 4,325 and Hall called. The river was a [poker card="kh"] to give Hall quads and the second match to sweep and earn $30,000. After the match Hall had some fun, tweeting that she might be looking for her next opponent.
  3. [caption width="640"] After three months of waiting, Mike Dentale and Cate Hall are ready to battle at SugarHouse Casino. (PokerNight photo)[/caption] It was the hand heard ’round social media. On Day 3 of theWorld Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic in December, Cate Hallcalled Barry Hutter’s six-bet shove with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"] and the hand was soon the talk of Twitter. Hall attempted to get in front of the firestorm that she assumed would follow but could not firmly batten down the hatches against the mob questioning her play. New Yorker Mike Dentale was the loudest and most outspoken of that mob. Well-known on the East Coast as a cash game and tournament regular, along with his brash personality, Dentale is never one to shy away from speaking his mind. Through a series of tweets that grew in animosity with each 140 characters, Dentale and Hall’s feud reached a boiling point and they agreed to play heads up against each other to settle their dispute once and for all. The combatants were in place but they needed an arena. Luckily for Dentale and Hall, Poker Night in America and SugarHouse Casino agreed to host the match and broadcast it live on Twitch starting this Sunday, March 19 starting at 3:00 pm EST. It didn’t take much prodding on Poker Night in America’s part to take on duties as Rush Street Gaming’s Matt Glantz was more than willing to do what was necessary to finalize the details and provide a scene for one of the most anticipated matches in poker history. “Once I saw Cate and Mike going at it on Twitter and challenging each other to heads up, I jumped on the opportunity so that we could make this ‘Grudge Match’ a Poker Night in America production. SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is the perfect location for the match. It is directly in between where Mike and Cate reside,” said Glantz. The pair have agreed to play a best-of-three series of Sit N Gos freezeouts. Each player start withs $15,000 cash and blinds will be $75/$150 for the duration of each match. Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk are teaming up to provide commentary for the live stream. There have been many “made for TV” confrontations across the sporting world but what separates this match, according to Glantz, is the authentic hostility between the two players. “There is real animosity between these two. This is not manufactured dislike in any way. These are two polar opposites. Cate is a highly-educated, liberal-minded, math-based poker player, who is relatively new to the scene. Mike is an extremely street-smart, conservative-minded, feel-based player, who has been around poker for twenty-plus years.” Dentale and Hall haven’t been shy about hiding their hate for each other. In a recent interview, Dentale went as far as to refer to Hall as a “phony bitch” while Hall described Dentale as a “really bad person [who is] a pathological liar and a cheat,” and noted that there is “nothing redeeming about him.” Both players feel they are superior to the other and are confident about their respective edge. “I think I have an edge because I’m a better poker player than him. I think I will be able to adjust in-game better than him. On both a fundamental level and live level, I feel like I have a big advantage,” said Hall. “I have a hard time believing he is beating tournaments with relatively high buy-ins or $2/$5. Just because someone has been around for a few years doesn’t mean they’re good,” said Hall. When faced with a similar question about his opponent’s playing abilities, Dentale responded with, “Any skilled veteran player can see that she’s a bad player. She always tries to not take responsibility for her bad play. I’ve played with her in three WPTs and found her incredibly novice. She has no clue. I firmly believe in my heart she doesn’t have the experience to beat me. There are certain things you need time to learn.” As for the preparation that each player has gone through prior to the match, both Dentale and Hall have not received formal coaching, but Hall has done the diligence of researching heads up play. Dentale, on the other hand, believes his many years of poker experience will be more than enough to overcome Hall. “No matter what she does, I’m going to put a lot of veteran pressure on her. I have very good hand reading ability,” said Dentale. Hall says she considered coaching but when she weighed the cost of hiring one versus the increase in expected value, she decided studying on her own would suffice. “Given a sample size of a few hundred hands against someone with major holes in their game, I felt I could get myself to 90 percent to where a coach would get me.” Regardless of who wins the match, Dentale and Hall both think that their play will speak volumes in determining who is the better player. They admit the variance in heads up play is too large to where the purest of results will take form, but each player wants to prove to the audience watching of their superiority. “I think that what I’ve tried to focus on and get mentally prepared for is, assuming many people are watching, is I want it to be apparent to people that I am playing better than him, if that is the case, it won’t be hard to acknowledge,” said Hall. The build-up to the match has been like no other and the three months of verbal warfare will be replaced by chips this Sunday inside SugarHouse Casino. Glantz notes that this is “uncharted territory” in the realm of live-streamed poker but he is hoping that the match is able to “capture the interest of the majority of the poker community.” The audience and social media chatter will be abuzz on March 19 and if Dentale and Hall have proved nothing else, the poker world is in for a one of a kind experience.
  4. [caption width="639"] Mike 'Timex' McDonald is ready to let the world buy shares of poker players in tournament around the world. (PokerStars photo)[/caption] A few years ago Mike McDonald felt that some players were getting out of hand with how they priced themselves when selling pieces. As a bit of a lark he launched a Twitter account under the name @BankofTimex and started offering his own pricing on some players in high profile events. He never meant for it to be a real thing. “Originally it wasn’t so much looking at betting on it, it was more just looking to just troll people who had too high markups and things like that. It was not a very well thought out thing,” said McDonald. “After a couple of days when there were a bunch of people responding and some messages going back and forth, somebody was just like ‘Hey Mike, what you’re doing is basically just bookmaking in the public eye’.” And with that the Bank of Timex was shut down. Fast forward three-and-a-half years and McDonald has brought the concept back, but this time he’s jumped through all the necessary hoops to make it real and earlier this month launched PokerShares.com. “What’s changed is that we’ve found a way to get it fully licensed,” said McDonald. “We wanted to be as cautious as possible and what we’re doing, obviously there’s no gambling key slot to support what poker betting would be like, but we figured it would be treated similarly enough to sports betting that we should have proper licenses if we’re actually going to do it.” The company has a Curacao gaming license and is accepting action now - just not from America. The idea was reborn after Veron Lammers, a high stakes poker player that McDonald had hired to do some coaching a few years ago, asked about the Bank of Timex. “I was talking to a friend of mine and he was asking me why I never really pursued turning it into something more and I was like ‘well, it’s a lot of work and I’m kinda lazy and I’m always traveling around for poker tournaments and I don’t know if I really have the time to set up a proper company’,” said McDonald. Lammers offered McDonald a deal. If McDonald would be the face of the company and do most of the promotional and marketing work, as well as set the prices on players, Lammers was more than happy to do the other stuff. Lammers is in charge of day-to-day business operations and set up the LLC and pursued the gaming license. “In my mind this is the stuff I find fun, so it feels like I’m doing that much work. He enjoys that stuff, where he doesn’t feel like he’s that much work and it worked out well for both of us,” said McDonald. Unlike sites like StakeKings or YouStake that allow poker fans and players to buy shares that players have decided to sell, PokerShares is selling action in players and assuming all of the risk. The site began selling action in players at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas as well as the much-hyped heads-up match between Cate Hall and Mike Dentale. “What we do is we create a share, you purchase it through us and we don’t even own the share, we just give you what that share would have paid out,” said McDonald, who knows that lending his credibility in the poker world is a big part of his role. “A lot of people wouldn’t want to make a bet just hoping that someone is going to pay them out $100,000 or $1 million when they win, but I think I’m one of the few people where in the early stages of the company my reputation is strong enough that very few people are actually questioning that.” While the ‘Bank of Timex’ was originally intended to point out some of the bad pricing McDonald saw in the marketplace at the time, PokerShares could end up acting as a market correction tool and change the price players are able to charge. “People who charge too high of a mark up will probably have less opportunity to sell, but I still think plenty of people will sell out from prices higher than we’re charging,” said McDonald. “The product or experience that you’re getting from PokerShares is different from buying form your friend. If you’re buying from your friend, whether or not you buy might be the difference between him getting to play the tournament or not. And it just feels better to be winning with your best friend than it does to be winning off of some company.” McDonald is also savvy enough to know that pricing certain players a certain way could end up generating buzz, particularly on social media. “It is one of those things where it’s kind of interesting, separating emotions from the success of the business. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” said McDonald. “I don’t want to get it into any ego battles or anything like, but getting into those ego battles is good for the company. It’s not a bad idea to price some people down, specifically guys you know will get offended, if that gets the word out there.”
  5. [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.
  6. The World Series of Poker bracelet train keeps on rolling, even as the Main Event dominates the attention of the poker world. Six more bracelet events were in action on Wednesday, with just one of them playing down to a champion. Through all of that, the WSOP Player of the Year has a new leader who is actually the old leader. High Roller Newcomer Danny Tang Ships $50K Final Fifty The $50,000 buy-in Final Fifty event was designed for a particular subset of the poker world: the high roller regular. Danny Tang wanted no part of that narrative, however. Tang overcame a final table that included Brandon Adams, Sam Soverel, Adrian Mateos, and Ali Imsirovic to win $1,608,406 and the first bracelet of his career. It's not his first big score though. In May he finished runner-up to Bryn Kenney in the Triton Poker Main Event in Montenegro. Tang says playing events with a buy-in this high is only possible because of the people who believe in him. “After I graduated and decided to turn pro I moved back to Asia and met a load of good people. People who trusted me, people who were willing to invest in me, buy pieces – their support was just unreal," Tang said after his win. “Without them investing, I would never have had the opportunity to move up in stakes eventually and play this tournament.” Tang will look to continue his high roller hot streak in the $100,000 Super High Roller event that begins Thursday. Soverel finished runner-up for $994,072 to pair with his third-place finish in the $50,000 high roller event in the first week of the WSOP. Australian Michael Addamo finished third for $697,375. Final Table Payouts Danny Tang - $1,608,406 Sam Soverel - $994,072 Michael Addamo - $697,375 Brandon Adams - $500,282 Adrian Mateos - $367,186 Keith Tilston - $275,874 Ali Imsirovic - $212,292 Seth Davies - $167,420 Mike Dentale Leads Little One for One Drop Just 48 players remain from a field of 6,248 in the $1,111 Little One for One Drop and Mike Dentale sits atop the chip counts. Dentale started the day with 628,000 and turned that into 13,400,000 as 364 players were sent packing on Wednesday. Pierre-Paul Paulin finished with the second biggest stack after turning 865,000 into 11,285,000. Zachary Donovan is right behind him with 11,130,000. Former #1-ranked online poker player Michael Wasserman ended up in the top 10 with 8,715,000. Shaun Deeb, who started Day 3 with the chip lead was eliminated in 118th place. He added $4,521 to his summer earnings and picked up an additional 248.2 WSOP Player of the Year points. Other notables who busted on Day 3 include Victor Ramdin, Loni Harwood, Mike Sexton, Dara O'Kearney, Lexy Gavin, Ryan Laplante, Felipe Ramos, and Cliff Josephy. Action resumes at 1 PM PT and could play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Mike Dentale - 13,400,000 Pierre-Paul Paulin - 11,285,000 Zachary Donovan - 11,130,000 Jacques Mauron - 10,495,000 James Anderson - 9,565,000 Liran Betito - 9,280,000 Nick Shkolnik - 9,090,000 Michael Wasserman - 8,715,000 Jaime Lewin - 7,700,000 Shalom Elharar - 7,110,000 Former #1 Andras Nemeth Atop $3K No Limit Hold'em Just 14 players stand between Andras Nemeth and a gold bracelet. Nemeth, who has just two WSOP cashes to his credit, finished Day 2 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event with 2,895,000 and the chip lead. David Gonzalez sits second with 2,135,000 and Jonas Mackoff has 2,125,000. Nemeth isn't the only former #1-ranked PocketFiver still in contention. Patrick Leonard starts the final day the third shortest stack. Dan Zack picked up a small cash but added 53.9 POY points to his total. Zack was multi-tabling on Thursday after bagging stacks in this event and the $1,500 PLO Bounty event. Other notables who cashed include Asher Conniff, Rainer Kempe, Kristen Bicknell, and Justin Bonomo. Play resumes at 2 PM PT and will play down to six players. Final 14 Chip Counts Andras Nemeth - 2,895,000 David Gonzalez - 2,135,000 Jonas Mackoff - 2,125,000 David Dibernardi - 1,050,000 Dennis Brand - 960,000 Ivan Deyra Le Teich - 735,000 Michael Tureniec - 710,000 Guillaume Nolet - 675,000 Karen Sarkisyan - 545,000 Will Givens - 390,000 Allan Berger - 380,000 Patrick Leonard - 310,000 David Weinstein - 295,000 Diego Zeiter - 130,000 Kazuhiko Yotsushika Chasing $1,500 PLO Title Japan's Kazuhiko Yotsushika just might be on the way to winning the first bracelet for his home country after finishing Day 2 of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty event with the only stack greater than 2,000,000. Yotsushika ended with 2,148,000 which put him comfortably ahead of former #1 PocketFiver Joao Simao (1,855,000) and Joseph Liberta (1,371,000). Also among the 42 survivors were Jesse Sylvia, Bryce Yockey, Toby Lewis, Jeff Lisandro, Denis Strebkov, and the shortest stack of all, Daniel Negreanu. Dan Zack also cashed in this event, finishing 44th for $3,553 and 105.4 POY points to take over the WSOP POY lead from Robert Campbell. Action resumes at Noon and will play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Kazuhiko Yotsushika - 2,148,000 Joao Simao - 1,855,000 Joseph Liberta - 1,371,000 Michael Amato - 1,181,000 Jesse Sylvia - 1,114,000 Qinghai Pan - 1,110,000 Toby Lewis - 1,062,000 Bryce Yockey - 1,003,000 Timothy Chung - 929,000 Joseph Mobley - 836,000 Nikita Luther Leads Day 1 of $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only As part of the celebrations around the 50th annual WSOP, officials added the $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only event to the festivities. Day 1 saw 143 players enter with registration still open until the start of Day 2. Nikita Luther, who won her bracelet in the tag team event in 2018, finished with the best stack out of the 51 Day 1 survivors. Luther ended with 538,500. No other player even cracked the 400,000 mark. New Jersey online poker grinder Michael Gagliano sits second with 354,000. His roommates, Daniel Strelitz and Niall Farrell, were two of the earliest casualties on Thursday. Yuval Bronshtein ended with 277,000 for the third biggest stack. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nikita Luther - 538,500 Michael Gagliano - 354,000 Yuval Bronshtein - 277,000 Haixia Zhang - 264,500 Blair Hinkle - 259,000 Shankar Pillai - 242,000 Chris Ferguson - 224,500 Ben Ponzio - 224,000 James Mackey - 220,000 Fred Berger - 204,500 Corey Wright Leads $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO A little bit of this and a little bit of that. The $1,500 Mixed No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha event brought out 1,250 runners with just 340 of them making it through 10 levels of play on Day 1. Corey Wright finished with 332,500 to edge out Ramali Kusnadi (298,200) and Chance Kornuth (284,500) for the chip lead. Shaun Deeb continues to chase POY points and ended up with the seventh-best stack on the day. Mike Leah, David 'ODB' Baker, Calvin Anderson, Sylvain Loosli, Brian Hastings, and Kenny Hallaert also moved on to Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Corey Wright - 332,500 Ramali Kusnadi - 298,200 Chance Kornuth - 284,500 Pierce Mckellar - 274,100 Shalom Turgeman - 272,400 Robert Mizrachi - 265,400 Shaun Deeb - 257,400 Jerry Odeen - 253,900 Michael Policastro - 253,000 Anderson Ireland - 246,100

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