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  1. The extravaganza known as the World Series of Poker Millionaire Maker kicked off on Saturday with two flights, one at 11:00am local time and one at 5:00pm. When all was said and done, 7,977 entrants turned out, the second largest field in WSOP history, trailing only the 8,773 who turned out for the 2006 Main Event won by Jamie Gold. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for the real royal bonus and win $1,000. --- To put the madness into perspective, PokerNews published the attendance of the five largest events in WSOP history: 2006 WSOP Main Event - 8,773 players 2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker - 7,977 players 2010 WSOP Main Event - 7,319 players 2011 WSOP Main Event - 6,865 players 2008 WSOP Main Event - 6,844 players Randy NanonokoLew, who recently told PocketFives about his newfound passion for photography, was among those in the Millionaire Maker. Lew posted on Twitter, "What a grind today. Played like 15 hours straight, but I made it alive! 14,300 chips going into 400/800/100. I are happy!" 2012 WSOP Octo-Niner Russell Thomas (pictured) was also in the house for the Millionaire Maker and Tweeted that he, at one point, was contemplating three meals from the same food vendor: "Think I might have to go with three @AllAmericanDave meals in one day. No dinner break is tough when u play both flights." He eventually Tweeted, "Ended with 20.4k. What a long day lol." At the same time Andy Blochposted on Twitter that he had cracked Day 2 of the Millionaire Maker with 27,800 in chips, PocketFiver Amit amak316 Makhija added, "Ended the day with 19,100 in the Millionaire Maker. Coming back tomorrow at 2, feeling great to bag up a few chips." Also surviving the first day of the insanity that was the Millionaire Maker event was Phil USCphildoCollins, one of the most successful players in PocketFives' Nevada poker community. Collins reported, "Made Day 2 of Milly Maker in Flight B with 29,700. Got lucky couple times and played great. I'm tired. Restart at 2pm." We should probably take a few minutes to highlight the atmosphere inside the Rio during the final hours of the Millionaire Maker, which allowed players who busted during Flight A to rebuy into Flight B. Ryan ryanghall Hall observed, "When a tournament is still going at 2am, there get to be a lot of crabby folks at the table." The Canadian added, "Everyone here is just zombified at this point." Hall reported that he ended the day with a stack of 16,100. Andrew Seidman leads the way after Day 1 of the Millionaire Maker with 137,700 in chips. He busted from Flight A and bought into Flight B a few hours late. Then, his stack sunk from 4,500 to 2,000 before he battled back to a six-figure stack size. Elsewhere at the WSOP, Kyle da_kykyCartwright (pictured) scored the second bracelet for the PocketFives community after winning Event #4 on Saturday, a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament. Cartwright, who was the leader in the clubhouse when 12 players remained, defeated Jason Paster heads-up. The top nine finishers were all Americans: 1. Kyle da_kyky Cartwright - $360,278 2. Jason Paster - $223,418 3. Ylon Schwartz - $157,855 4. Daniel dazedace Dizenzo - $113,499 5. Matthew O'Donnell - $82,688 6. Jeremy Dresch - $61,041 7. Robert pokerguru740 Kuhn - $45,635 8. Ken Weinstein - $34,552 9. Michael Sortino - $26,489 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, sponsored by Real Gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. In 2013, a field of 6,343 entrants turned out for the first ever World Series of Poker Millionaire Maker. The $1,500 buy-in tournament returned last year and was the second largest WSOP event at the time with 7,977 entries. On Saturday night, the attendance for the 2015 Millionaire Maker was announced at 7,275, meaning the field size dipped a modest 8% year over year. It remains 18% above the attendance in 2013. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- WSOP officials Tweeted, "Milly Maker is official:7,275 entries. $9,821,250 prize pool. 747 places paid. $1,277,193 to 1st. Top 9 make $100k+." Flight A of the tournament attracted 3,348 entrants and Flight B had 3,927. Day 1A of the Millionaire Maker took place on Friday and ended with Tomas Altamirano as the chip leader with 265,000. A total of 500 players survived the first flight and will return for Day 2 on Sunday at 11:00am PT. Poker players were Tweeting in earnest about the Millionaire Maker, including Dan O'Brien, who joked, "After the 22k person #WSOP #Colossus field, this #MillionaireMaker seems strangely winnable." Then there was Jamie Gold (pictured) being Jamie Gold. Although WSOP rules have limited what players can say, Gold was a chatterbox on Saturday. Coverage on WSOP.com described, "One player calls in middle position and Jamie Gold raises to 3,500 on his direct left. The action folds back around to the caller, who bumps the action up to 16,000. Gold asks for a count on his entire stack before beginning his patented table talk." Gold ultimately folded and showed pocket kings. He was dead on his read too, as his opponent flashed aces. If you haven't seen, Gold is working with a site called YouStake, which has a support threadin our Staking Marketplace. Some in the poker community were expecting a train wreck of sorts for the Millionaire Maker after so much emphasis was put on last weekend's Colossus, a $565 buy-in tournament that shattered the record for the largest live tournament ever held. However, the Millionaire Maker shined, posting a large gain over 2013's numbers even though it was down from last year. WSOP Vice President Ty Stewartsaid on Twitter that the Millionaire Maker attendance was "way up versus 2013 despite fact that Colossus moved into the 'kickoff' weekend spot. That's an amazing turnout." Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. The 7,725-entrant Millionaire Maker wrapped up on Tuesday at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. A loaded final table ended with Adrian Buckley (pictured), a 27-year-old part-time poker player from Dacono, Colorado, pulling the upset and winning his first bracelet in his first ever WSOP cash. He took home $1.2 million. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- There were four bracelet winners at the final table, but they went busto in sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth places. Buckley, an electrical engineer, told WSOP officials, "This is one-hundred percent surreal. This has been a crazy few days. It was the run of the century." Besides being overmatched by the raw talent at the final table, Buckley also started Day 3 with a paltry six big blinds. Entering the finale, he had 10 big blinds. As coverage on WSOP.com outlined, "When playing heads-up, he overcame the chip disadvantage at least three times on the way to victory. Indeed, this win was unlikely as they come, especially given the pedigree of competition later in the tournament." Down 2:1 in chips heads-up, Buckley picked up A-K and was all-in against PocketFiver Javier zarco1128 Zarco (pictured), who had A-3. A three on the flop seemed to portend Buckley's demise, but he hit a king on the turn to pull ahead for good. About 20 hands later, the Millionaire Maker was over. Third place went to Oliver livb112Busquet, a poker commentator and pro. It was Busquet's 24th career WSOP cash. Bracelet winner David Miscikowski finished in sixth place for $253,000, while Erick Lindgren, who has two bracelets, exited in seventh. Justin looshlePechie, who won a bracelet in 2011, finished in eighth place, while ninth went to WPT host Mike Sexton. The Poker Hall of Famer recorded his 61st career WSOP cash and won a bracelet in 1989. Here's how the final table cashed out: 1. Adrian Buckley - $1,277,193 2. Javier zarco1128Zarco - $791,690 3. Olivier livb112Busquet - $589,569 4. Randy Pfeifer - $441,465 5. Mohammad Siddiqui - $333,038 6. David Miscikowski - $253,093 7. Erick Lindgren - $193,675 8. Justin looshlePechie - $149,238 9. Mike Sexton - $115,890 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. [caption width="640"] Lisa Meredith needs to outlast 13 more players to win a million dollars.[/caption] When the 2016 World Series of Poker schedule was announced, Dustin and Lisa Meredith circled a few events they wanted to play. Their first choice was the $1,500 Monster Stack, but Lisa's parents, who had volunteered to look after the kids one weekend, weren't available that weekend, so they chose the Millionaire Maker instead. On Tuesday, Lisa Meredith might become a millionaire. Meredith is one of only 15 players left in the Millionaire Maker and the former kindergarten teacher is enjoying the ride, even if it’s been a little stressful. “It’s incredible. I’ve tried to be as conservative as I can be, yet seize opportunities and that’s how I've made it. It’s fluctuated more in these last few tables, I feel like it’s been more of a roller coaster than my whole tournament so I don’t know if it represents my play very well,” said Meredith. “I’ve had to make more moves than usual. Just to get here I’ve tried to seize as many opportunities as I could, if I see people being hesitant, I try to be aggressive.” While the players she’s surrounded by - like Garrett Greer, Jason DeWitt and Sofia Lovgren - seemingly have lots of experience playing in bigger buy-in tournaments, Meredith fine-tuned her game playing in $20 tournaments at a local pub in Portland, Oregon. “We play all the time, about once a week, at a little place called Claudia’s in Portland and they have daily tournaments, and once a month they have bigger tournaments and I’ve won the last three of those two. It’s just a small little bar with seven tables,” said Meredith. As she’s progressed through the tournament, her husband has been trying to prep her for the next day by giving her intel on some of the other players at her table that she may not be familiar with. “My husband was trying to show me some of the pros the night before and I purposely wasn’t paying attention because I don’t want to feel like I’m going to play differently with one person versus another,” said Meredith. “There’s of course, some I would definitely recognize, but others, if they’re off my radar I’d rather keep it that way.” She’s only got one cash showing on her HendonMob profile; a $100 buy-in event in Pendleton, Oregon that she won for just over $10,000. While some might view her as one of the least experienced players still in the hunt for that million dollars, Meredith doesn’t see it that way at all. “I feel like I deserve to be here with the rest of them," said Meredith. "I know I don’t have quite as much experience but I have great intuition and it’s worked well for me and with more experience I’ll be better and better.” Meredith, who taught kindergarten for six years before enjoying maternity leave after her last baby was born, was set to return to her classroom in the fall, but if the next 24 hours pans out the way she wants, that might not be the case. “(Returning) was dependent on how well I did here. I would much rather be a professional poker player, being home with my babies. I’d love to do that,” said Meredith. “That would be the dream.” And as she bagged up chips at the end of Day 3 of the four-day tournament, Meredith allowed herself to dream about what could happen to her on Tuesday if she wins - or even finishes second - in the tournament and ends up with a seven-figure windfall. “It would be the most exciting thing that’s every happened besides the birth of my two children,” said Meredith, who already has a plan to make sure she doesn’t squander life-changing money. “Pay off the house number one,” said Meredith. “I want to be conservative, I’ll be very smart. I’m not going to be like one of these athletes who blows their money right away. I am smart I’m going to use it wisely.” No matter how it turns out though, Meredith knows her deep run in a WSOP event with all that money on the line is something every poker player dreams about. “It is the most fun thing I’ve ever done. It’s my passion,” said Meredith, who used to be a competitive gymnast. “I missed that competitive element and this provides that for me. It’s a blast.” Action resumes at 11 AM PT with the final table streaming on WSOP.com later in the day.
  5. [caption width="640"] More WSOP bracelets on the line as the 2016 WSOP heads into Week 3 (WSOP image)[/caption] As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters it’s third week of action, the schedule just keeps trucking along. Over the next seven days there will be another 12 bracelets awarded including four in $10,000 buy-in Championship events. This coming weekend brings the Electric Daisy Carnival event which regularly draws away a number of the whipper snappers allowing the WSOP schedule to focus on the Seniors. Championship Events The final table of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event is Monday. Jason Mercier has the chip lead with nine players left but he’ll have to contend with Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, Benn Glaser, David Grey and Jesse Martin. Four other $10,000 buy-in events get underway this week: Razz, HORSE, Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo. Championship Event Schedule Razz: June 13 - 15 HORSE: June June 15 - 17 Limit Hold’em: June 17 - 19 Omaha Hi-Lo: June 19 - 21 In 2015, Phil Hellmuth won his 14th bracelet in the $10,000 Razz by beating out 103 players. Andrew Barber won the first WSOP bracelet of his career in the $10,000 HORSE event, which drew 204 players. Ben Yu won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship by outlasting 117 players. Daniel Alaei won his fifth career bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event after topping the 157-player field. Two Seniors Events One of the more popular events has always been the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Event, which allows players players that are at least 50 years old to play for the bracelet and the Golden Eagle Trophy. Last year the WSOP added the Super Seniors event, another $1,000 buy-in, this one with a minimum age of 65. Both events are on the schedule this week and based on field sizes the past two years, the Seniors Event this year could reach around 4,500 players all playing in a single flight on Friday. The Super Seniors event begins Sunday. 2015 Winners Seniors Event - Travis Barker ($613,466) Super Seniors Event - Jon Andolvec ($262,220) The Millionaire Maker Final Table On Tuesday two players will win $1,000,000. Well, one will win $1,065,000 and the bracelet while the runner-up is going to have to settle for $1,000,000. The Millionaire Maker final table is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will be streamed by WSOP.com. As of Monday morning just 124 players remain with Mohsin Charania leading the way. Charania just needs a WSOP bracelet to complete poker’s ‘Triple Crown’. Other notables still chasing the seven figure dream include Sofia Lovgren, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood and Ismael Bojang. Other Notable Events This Week There are also two lower buy-in Six Max events on the schedule this week. The first, a $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em tournament, runs Tuesday through Thursday. Last year the event had 319 entrants with Matthew Elsby coming out on top. The second one might just prove to be the more popular of the two. The $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event runs Saturday through Monday. Last year Vasili Firsau topped 681 other players in the event to win his first career bracelet.
  6. [caption width="640"] Tyler Smith topped the biggest Pot Limit Omaha field ever to win his first WSOP bracelet (WSOP photo)[/caption] The second weekend of the 2017 World Series of Poker has come to an end, so while you sip your Monday morning coffee and prepare yourself for another week, why not catch up on all of Sunday’s action from the Rio? Tyler Smith wins first bracelet in largest ever live Pot Limit Omaha event Last year’s $565 PLO tournament attracted a staggering 2,479 entries. Pot Limit Omaha might be the ‘great game’ to some, but to many it’s still unexplored water. How refreshing, then, to see that this year’s $565 PLO (Event #18) shattered last year’s turnout, bringing 3,186 runners into the Rio, and creating the largest ever live PLO tournament. Late Sunday night, when all was said and done, just one man remained with the chips, the cash, and his first gold bracelet: Tyler Smith, now $244,344 richer. Smith battled his way through an international final table line-up, featuring Americans, Canadians, Russians, Czechs, and Belgians. And when Smith got heads-up with fellow American Jason Stockfish, it took him just one hand to get the job done. With a roughly 13:1 chip advantage, Smith opened to 600,000 before calling Stockfish’s all-in with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"]. Stockfish held the [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5h"], but after a [poker card="jh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="js"][poker card="2s"] runout, Smith’s ace-queen held up to take it down. ”It feels amazing," said Smith. "You know, when you enter these things and there are so many people, it's a minefield, but they seem unwinnable to an extent. So, kind of every level that you go and you make it a little bit further. It's like a surreal experience.” Primarily a cash game player, Smith added that his experience with the roller coaster ride of PLO helped him remain in the right frame of mind. "I guess I've just played so much PLO that I'm used to it,” he said. "I don't really play no-limit [hold'em] at all anymore. I'm pretty much exclusively a PLO guy. I guess you just expect it. You just understand that that is part of the landscape and that is the nature of the game. Whatever happens, just kind of happens." Final table payouts: Tyler Smith - $244,344 Jason Stockfish - $138,655 Igor Sharaskin - $102,045 Scott Davies - $75,699 Marek Ohnisko - $56,607 Jessie Bryant - $42,673 John Dallaire - $32,432 Ryan Wince - $24,852 Yves Kupfermunz - $19,201 Ten remain for $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed Finale (Event #21) Monday sees ten players return to the Rio to battle it out for the $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Handed bracelet. Among them are a couple of well-known Frenchman, and a guy whose closest WSOP run was ended by another well-known Frenchman. Gregory Jamison is the chipleader coming into the finale, having eliminated two players in a monster pot at the business end of Day 2 Sunday. Back in 2008 he finished runner-up to David Benyamine in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, so he’ll be hoping to go one better than that today. However, he’ll have to fight his way through two more formidable Frenchman, what with Fabrice Soulier and Alex ‘alexonmoon’ Luneau still in contention, sitting fifth and seventh in chips respectively. Soulier is aiming for his second WSOP bracelet, while anyone who saw Luneau in the excellent documentary ‘Nosebleed’ knows that winning one means a lot to him. He’s still seeking his first victory. The same can’t be said for Christopher Vitch, who’s also still alive in this one. Vitch took down his first bracelet at the 2016 WSOP in the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) (Event #40). Final Day chip counts: Gregory Jamison - 714,500 Ron Ware - 511,000 Sachin Bhargava - 470,000 Ryan Himes - 410,000 Fabrice Soulier - 346,000 Christopher Sensoli - 345,000 Alexandre Luneau - 310,500 Georgii Belianin - 168,000 Christopher Vitch - 148,000 Michael Ross - 118,500 Millionaire Maker Day 1B concludes One of the more exciting lower-buy-in events on the WSOP schedule is the $1,500 Millionaire Maker. While Day 1A took place on Saturday, Sunday saw 4,323 hopefuls take their seats on Day 1B, making a total field of 7,761. After a full day’s play, just 678 remained. The man who bagged the most yesterday was Brian Altman (227,800), followed by Billy Graybeal(209,200), Scott Skirba (207,500), Adam White (182,000), David Peters(173,200), Dustin Fox (168,600), and Kenny Hallaert (148,500). Just a few of the notable names who will return for Day 2 today include recent bracelet winners David Pham(68,500) and John Racener (32,100), plus Antonio Esfandiari (73,900), Joe Elpayaa (91,800), Dan O’Brien (65,300), Ravi Raghavan (108,000), Tristan Wade(19,400), Darryll Fish(63,600), Jeff Gross (9,000), Dutch Boyd(68,500), Johanssy Joseph (62,000), Matt Waxman (46,600), and Jake Bazeley (108,600). The 1,187 remaining players will be back to work at 11am Monday, with only 1,165 making the money. That means it’ll be bubble time almost from the get go. a min-cash is worth $2,249, but nobody wants just that; not when there’s $1,221,407 and a gold WSOP bracelet for the winner. A who’s who come out for the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship Sometimes referred to as the ‘Nick Schulman Invitational’, due to the fact that Schulman has won this event twice, the$10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship (Event #22) brought out all of the big guns, each allowed one re-entry. Ten one-hour levels saw 67 unique entries and 25 re-entries whittled down to 30 survivors, with Jon ‘Pearljammer’ Turner (367,300) and Mike Leah (361,500) leading the bunch. Other big stacks at the end of play include John Monnette (265,400), Robert Mizrachi(255,000), Shaun Deeb (230,700),Phil Galfond(223,100), Mike Watson (218,600) and Mike Gorodinsky (109,000). Schulman himself is also doing nicely, bagging up 186,000, good for ninth right now. Recent bracelet winner Jesse Martin also had a nice day (105,900), while all-round beast Paul Volpe also survived (97,700). It was not a good tournament for others though. Both Jason Mercier and Phil Hellmuth fired two bullets and won’t be returning, while Chris Klodnicki, Eric Wasserson Stephen Chidwick, Felipe Ramos, Richard Ashby, Jennifer Harman, Ben Tollerene, and Benny Glaser all tried their luck to no avail. Just fourteen players will make the money, and there’s $256,610 up top. The final 30 will play down to a final table today. Top 10 chip counts: Jon Turner - 367,300 Mike Leah - 361,500 John Monnette - 265,400 Robert Mizrachi - 255,000 Shaun Deeb - 230,700 Xavier Kyablue - 228,800 Phil Galfond - 223,100 Mike Watson - 218,600 Nick Schulman - 186,000 Darren Elias - 179,400
  7. [caption width="640"] The World Series of Poker has 74 events on the schedule but only five are considered "must play."[/caption] It’s almost here. The 2017 World Series of Poker edges closer on the poker horizon with each passing day. The excitement sticks to every player whether it is an amateur taking their chance or a tournament grinder trying to fight their way out of makeup. The WSOP schedule has a whopping 74 events on it but only five tournaments are worthy of “must play” status. #5 - The Millionaire Maker - $1,500 buy-in - June 10-14One omission that some might have a few gripes about is The Colossus. It is understandable that a $565 buy-in event with $1,000,000 guaranteed for first place is appealing, but why fight a through a field of 23,000 when you can play the Millionaire Maker? The crown jewel of WSOP novelty events, Millionaire Maker is entering its fifth year and has made dreams come true for players of all walks of life who just wanted to turn $1,500 into $1,000,000 in a span of four days. Why this event over Colossus? Well, for one, the structure is far superior. 7,500 chips and 60-minute levels are a far better value than the 5,000 and 30-minute Day 1 levels that the Colossus offers. Obviously, bankroll levels differ, but if you are already planning to invest three bullets into the Colossus, why not just play Millionaire Maker once? It’s a lottery ticket, either way you scratch it off. #4 - The Marathon - $2,620 buy-in - June 12-16In 2015, the World Series introduced the Extended Play event. The 90-minute levels proved to be a hit among the $1,500 price point crowd. Last year, the event was rebranded as the Summer Solstice and this summer, The Marathon will be upon us. $2,620 buy in. 26,200 starting stack. 100-minute levels for the full tournament. It’s about as close to a World Poker Tour structure as the WSOP gets and the mid-range buy in should attract a healthy mix of top pros looking to play a five-day tournament and recreational players trying to maximize their time away from the office. #3 - Dealers Choice - $1,500 buy-in - June 5-7Another event recently introduced to the WSOP this decade, the $1,500 Dealers Choice event is by far one of the most purely fun events the World Series puts on. With 20 games to choose from and a variety of players of unique backgrounds in the event, there is literally something for everyone. Among the champions of this event include Robert Mizrachi, Hollywood writer Carol Fuchs, and last year’s winner, former poker dealer Lawrence Berg. If you’re looking for an entertaining, but tremendously competitive event, this tournament, and this price point is the one for you. #2 - The Monster Stack - $1,500 buy-in - June 24-28There is no event at the World Series that is as revered for how much pure enjoyment it provides than the Monster Stack. While not officially branded as a “millionaire maker” tournament, the event has brought the winner at least that much in its three years of existence. You know the deal by now. $1,500 buy in. 15,000 starting stack. Over 6,500 runners. Let the games begin. Monster Stack also has done the job of introducing fans to new faces and reminding them of some of the game’s greats. Joe McKeehen burst onto the national stage when he finished second in 2014 (his first of three straight years with a score of at least $800,000). In the past two years, legends of the game like David Pham, Hoyt Corkins, and Poker Hall of Famer TJ Cloutier all made deep runs that made everyone realize their greatness once again. Monster Stack is the best $1,500 event for a reason. We’ll see what new adventures it provides this year. #1 - The Main Event - $10,000 buy-in - July 8-22There is literally zero question about what belongs here; the WSOP Main Event is the greatest event in poker for a reason. It’s the tournament that ignited the poker boom and remains a one-of-a-kind experience for all who pony up the $10,000 entry fee. In what was perhaps the most memorable Main Event since Michael Mizrachi chased down the Player of the Year title in 2010, an ocean of top-notch pros reached Day 6 but by the time the dust settled in November, it was an amateur who topped them all. Qui Nguyen is the best thing to happen to televised poker in years and there might be a new rush of raccoon hat wearing, back-raising newcomers ready to enter in their first Main Event in hopes of duplicating his feat. With a 50,000 starting stack in place, it is sure to be another reg-heavy field deep but as last year proved, all you need is a seat and a dream in order to be the next banner raised in the Amazon Room.
  8. [CAPTION=98%]The Pavilion Room will be filled to capacity every weekend of the World Series of Poker as thousands of "Weekend Warriors" take their shot at a bracelet.[/CAPTION] Each year the World Series of Poker carefully plans its schedule around the lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events that run every weekend of the series. This is done to cater to the “Weekend Warriors” who only have one or two weekends a year to play in a WSOP event. All of these events carry a catchy name and huge fields guaranteed to give all players the maximum bang for their buck. Here at PocketFives, as part of our 2017 WSOP Preview, we are happy to provide a list of all the novelty events running over the course of the summer to give every Weekend Warrior the information they need to go to Las Vegas and return with an experience of a lifetime - and maybe even a bracelet. The Colossus (June 2-June 7): The most attended event of the World Series is back for the third consecutive year with an $8,000,000 guarantee available for only a $565 buy-in. Both years of this event, the field has reached over 20,000 entrants and 2017 should be no different. The first of six starting flights kicks off on Friday, June 2 with two available each day through Sunday, June 4. The 5,000 chip starting stack is a deviation from the 5x starting stack per buy-in of most WSOP events and provides a relatively good bang for the buck. For the second straight year, $1,000,000 is guaranteed to first place and the largest lottery drawing in all of poker always provides an exciting start to the summer. Millionaire Maker (June 7-June 14): The novelty event that started them all, Millionaire Maker is a permanent staple of the WSOP schedule. Now its fifth year on the schedule, Millionaire Maker draws every hopeful in poker who is looking to turn $1,500 into a least $1,000,000. The first place guarantee is a relative rarity in poker and every year since the event was first introduced, that number has been exceeded. Two starting flights are available for Millionaire Maker with one on Friday, June 7 and the other on Saturday, June 8. At least 6,500 entrants are expected for this event and by the time it wraps on Day 4, another seven-figure winner will exit the Rio with all the glory along with a bracelet. Seniors Weekend (June 16-June 20): While most of the younger WSOP-going crowd is out attending Electric Daisy Carnival, the older generation takes center stage. For players age 50 and over, the $1,000 Seniors event starts on June 16 and wraps up on June 18. A few days later, those 65 and up are eligible to participate in the $1,000 Super Seniors tournament. Both events are among the most joyful and fun to participate in tournaments of the summer and this year should be no different come the middle of June. Monster Stack (June 24-28): Perhaps the most must play event of the entire Weekend Warrior schedule, Monster Stack IV starts on June 24 with another humongous field expected. All previous runnings of Monster Stack have featured a first place prize of over $1,000,000 and this year should be no different. As with every year of its existence, the $1,500 buy-in event provides all entrants with a starting stack of 15,000 and 60-minute levels for the full duration of the tournament. This tournament always has a special aura surrounding it and the World Series will crown another millionaire once the dust settles on June 28. Crazy $888 (July 1-4): The second annual Crazy $888 event provides something for everyone, from an affordable buy in to the eight-centric theme which features an $888,888 first place prize. There are four starting flights for this event, two on Saturday, July 1 and two on Sunday, July 2. The tournament starts with an 8,000 chip starting stack and plays eight-handed for its entirety. Last year’s Crazy $888 event drew a field of 6,761 and with the starting stack increasing this year from 5,000 to 8,000 and payouts starting on every Day 1 flight, there should be an increase in attendance for the final novelty event prior to the Main Event. The Giant: (June 9-July 8): The WSOP is known for their great structures but a month long event; that’s crazy, right? Well, not exactly. Similar to the format of the WPT 500 at Aria, The Giant offers five Day 1 starting flights beginning on June 9 and each subsequent Friday before all Day 2 qualifiers combine on Day 2. All Day 1 levels are 20 minutes and players start with 20,000 chips. Each starting flight will play until the end of 18 levels or until 10 players remain. Days 2 and 3 provide 40-minute levels and the unlimited re-entry event has payouts for each starting flight.
  9. The World Series of Poker plans the bulk of its events around the schedules of the thousands of recreational players who fly in every summer. Low buy-in events with millions in the prize pool along with some gimmicky names bring in the "Weekend Warriors." Names like Millionaire Maker and Monster Stack are on the schedule once again with a few other brands mixed in. No matter when John Smith (No, not THAT John Smith) gets a weekend away for some tournaments, there are major ones to be played. The Colossus III (June 2-June 7) The largest field of the summer can be expected again for this $565 behemoth. There is no set guarantee on the event in 2018, but the $1 million guaranteed first-place prize remains. Two flights play out on June 2, 3, and 4 each day at 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, respectively. The 15% payouts for each flight along with the three percent advancement rate equals a lot of re-entries and a large prize pool. PocketFiver Thomas 'pompyouup' Pomponio conquered 18,054 runners on his way to becoming the first seven-figure prize winner of the 2018 WSOP. Who follows in his footsteps this summer? The answer is just over a month from discovery. Millionaire Maker (June 9-14) The godfather of WSOP novelty events is back for a sixth summer. Another field of over 7,000 hopefuls expects to fill all of the Rio's playing space in pursuit of the elusive million dollar first-place prize. The 7,761 entries in 2017 set one of the highest marks yet for Millionaire Maker and was won by Canadian Pablo Mariz. Players have four chances to gain Day 1 traction with two re-entries permitted for each starting flight. The two Day 1 sessions take place on June 9 and June 10 before the field combines on June 11. Min-cash or bust early? The Marathon starts on Monday, June 11 with registration open until midway through Day 2. Seniors Weekend (June 15-19) A full five days of poker devoted to the older crowd fits right in the middle of the summer hub. The $1,000 Seniors event starts on June 15 for players 50 and older and is followed by the $1,000 Super Seniors on June 17. Players are required to be at least 60 years of age to play the Super Seniors. Other properties have caught on to the popularity of the Seniors events at the WSOP. The Venetian, ARIA, and Golden Nugget all have the weekend of June 15 crossed off. Players interested in low buy-ins and four cards can play the Pot Limit Omaha Giant if they are eliminated from their Seniors events. The PLO Giant opens on Friday, June 3 and there is a flight on the books for June 17. Monster Stack (June 23-27) Another small buy-in, large reward event comes with you the fourth year of Monster Stack. $1,500 to buy-in and at least $1 million to first-place is enough to draw thousands upon thousands. A starting day on June 23 and 24 carries the balance of the event. Unlike Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack does not permit re-entries. Nonetheless, top pros and amateurs alike collide in the sprint to collect $1 million. Crazy Eights (June 30-July 3) The $888,888 guaranteed first-place prize in Crazy Eights was enough to draw 8,120 players last year. That number is the second-largest of the year and offers plenty of bang for the $888 buy-in. Two starting flights on June 30 and July 1 combined with unlimited re-entries place last year's number under surveillance. The final 'Weekend Warrior' prelim to the WSOP is a lock to be in contention to top 8,120 for 2018.
  10. The World Series of Poker has been pushing "more value" for the 2019 WSOP. Those words have been met with some skepticism around the poker world, as players wanted to wait to see the actual structures for 2019 events before deciding if more value was added or not. After all, it is easy to simply add more starting chips to a tournament but not actually provide more value. Now that the WSOP has added a few of the structure sheets for the 2019 World Series of Poker, we have a chance to compare to 2019 structures versus the 2018 ones, and we'll get started by looking at the ever-popular $1,500 Millionaire Maker tournament. 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker Structure Buy-In: $1,500 Starting Chips: 25,000 Level Duration: 60 minutes Late Registration Period: 10 levels Re-Entry: One re-entry per starting flight Click here for structure sheet DATE EVENT DAY START TIME (PT) DAY LENGTH 6/7 Day 1A 10 a.m. 11 levels 6/8 Day 1B 10 a.m. 11 levels 6/9 Day 2 12 p.m. 10 levels 6/10 Day 3 12 p.m. 10 levels 6/11 Day 4 12 p.m. To six players 6/12 Day 5 12 p.m. To winner *Per WSOP structure sheet: In the event that the final table of this event gets selected for live streaming, management reserves rights to adjust the schedule as needed to accommodate. Below is a table of the blind structure for the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, where "BB depth" represents how many big blinds are in the starting stack if a player was to buy in or re-enter during that current level. "M" represents a player's M ratio in regards to the starting stack. M can be calculated by dividing the starting stack by the sum of the small blind, big blind, and antes for a given round. Although M is a term that can get laughed at when it's brought up, using it provides a simple and informative comparative metric when looking at structure sheets. The 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker is using a big blind ante format, so keep that in mind when thinking about the ante displayed here. For this table, only levels during the registration and re-entry period are shown. LEVEL ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M 1 - 100-100 250 125 2 - 100-200 125 83.33 3 200 100-200 125 50 4 300 100-300 83.33 37.71 5 400 200-400 62.5 25 6 500 300-500 50 19.23 7 600 300-600 41.67 16.67 8 800 400-800 31.25 12.5 9 1,000 500-1,000 25 10 10 1,200 600-1,200 20.83 8.33 11 1,600 800-1,600 15.63 6.25 As you can see, if you wait until the last minute to enter or re-enter the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, you'll start with a stack of 15.63 big blinds entering Level 11. On the surface, that feels pretty good considering the tournament has already played 10 levels and you're coming in very late. Sure, just over 15 big blinds are short, but it's not the dreaded danger zone that is 10 big blinds. You'd also enter with an M of 6.25. In order to best gauge the "more value" aspect and see if more value has been achieved, we must compare the 2019 structure to the 2018 structure in this very same event. The next table addresses this comparison. The starting stack for the 2018 WSOP Millionaire Maker was 7,500. In 2019, the Millionaire Maker has a starting stack of 25,000, which is 3.33 times greater. For "ante," we took the standard ante from the 2018 structure and multiplied it by nine to show the cost of a full round of antes at a standard nine-handed table. This was done to better align the comparisons. 2018 Structure Compared To 2019 Structure LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M 1 2018 0 25-50 150 100 2019 0 100-100 250 125 - - 2 2018 0 50-100 75 50 2019 0 100-200 125 83.33 - - 3 2018 0 75-150 50 33.33 2019 200 100-200 125 50 - - 4 2018 225 75-150 50 16.67 2019 300 100-300 83.33 35.71 - - 5 2018 225 100-200 37.5 14.29 2019 400 200-400 62.5 25 - - 6 2018 450 150-300 25 8.33 2019 500 300-500 50 19.23 - - 7 2018 450 200-400 18.75 7.14 2019 600 300-600 41.67 16.67 - - 8 2018 675 250-500 15 5.26 2019 800 400-800 31.25 12.5 - - 9 2018 900 300-600 12.5 4.17 2019 1,000 500-1,000 25 10 - - 10 2018 Reg. Closed 2019 1,200 600-1,200 20.83 8.33 - - 11 2018 Reg. Closed 2019 1,600 800-1,600 15.63 6.25 In 2018, registration and re-entry lasted through eight levels, whereas in 2019 it has been increased to 10 levels. For comparison purposes, we'll refer to the first nine levels as the "overlapping registration periods." Although you could not enter or re-enter the WSOP Millionaire Maker in Level 9 in 2018, you could still do so in the break right before it, giving you a fresh stack of 7,500 in chips to begin Level 9. The same then applies for 2019 and Level 11, when you'd enter with a fresh 25,000. Looking at the comparison between 2018 and 2019, we can see that at any point during the overlapping registration periods, the 2019 structure gives you more big blinds in the starting stack, and it's not really close. Players beginning the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker from the start are greeted with a starting stack that is 100 big blinds deeper than what was received in 2018. The added depth is carried throughout the overlapping registration periods. A player's M ratio is also much healthier throughout, giving players more flexibility within his or her stack size. In fact, even though players can register or re-enter two levels later in the structure in 2019 when compared to 2018, entering at the very last moment in the registration period still yields a deeper starting stack. That's very solid even though time-wise you're coming in two hours later. In 2018, if you entered right at the close of registration, you'd start Level 9 with 7,500 in chips and the blinds at 300-600 with a 100 ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 12.5 big blinds and an M of 4.17. In 2019, if you entered right at the close of registration, you'd start Level 11 with 25,000 in chips and the blinds at 800-1,600 with a 1,600 big blind ante. That's a starting stack depth of 15.63 big blinds, which is 3.13 big blinds more than when registration closed the year before, and an M of 6.25, which is 1.5 times greater than the M would have been at the close of registration in 2018. What Happens After Registration Closes? One worry might be that tournament organizers could have structured the beginning of the tournament in a fashion that masks deficiencies later on in the structure, but concerned players should rest easy as that doesn't appear to be the case. Although you do begin playing larger blind levels earlier in the 2019 structure, the greater starting stack size more than makes up for it, as evidenced by the fact that a player has more big blinds in a starting stack when registration closes. Looking over the 2019 structure, we can also see that no levels are skipped in the middle and late stages of the tournament, which is when these events really matter with big money on the line. Starting with the 300-600 blind level, all of the levels after are of the same increments in both 2018 and 2019. Final Table Likely Deeper In 2018, the WSOP Millionaire Maker reached its final table of nine players in Level 33 with the blinds at 80,000-160,000 with a 20,000 ante. That made for an average stack of 38.34 big blinds and an M of 19.17. If the final table of nine was reached in Level 33 of the 2019 structure, the blinds would be 120,000-240,000 with a 240,000 big blind ante. That's a higher big blind, but each player would have many more chips given the increased starting stack. Using the same field size of 2018 (7,361 entries), the final nine players would have an average stack of 20.447 million which means they'd have 85.2 big blinds and an M of 34.08. Of course, this science isn't perfect year over year, but it's a solid guess that the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker final table will have much more play at it than the 2018 final table did. Five Days Instead of Four In 2018, the WSOP Millionaire Maker was scheduled as a four-day tournament. Entering the fourth and final day of the event, 17 players remained, instead of being down to a final table. If the same length was kept, the increased play added by the 2019 structure would likely spill this event over into a fifth day. WSOP went ahead and scheduled the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker as a five-day event which should provide adequate additional time for the event. When it comes to the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, the verdict is that, yes, more value has been added to the tournament. Want to know more? Check out 'Everything You Need To Know About the 2019 WSOP.'
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