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  1. [caption width="640"] Mike 'Lav519' Lavenburg recently had his biggest live score to date in a Parx event.[/caption] The world of online poker can be a blurry and mysterious one, as a player can garner a following and reputation without anyone actually knowing who that player is. 'Isildur1' is and was the most well known case of that happening but when New Jersey online poker went live a few years ago, ‘mygame’, a player on WSOP.com and BorgataPoker.com, had the same anonymity. In a relatively small player pool, Mike Lavenburg was eventually identified as the player behind the super aggressive, super successful handle. Lavenburg has since kept up that success into 2016, nearing the midway point of the year second in the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings leaderboard, thanks to a strong two month stretch to open the spring calendar. Lavenburg seems to thrive in the bigger buy-in, higher guaranteed tournaments in New Jersey and since March has taken down six ‘Sunday Major’ or $10,000 daily events. Heading into the summer though, Lavenburg is planning on taking on a bigger live tournament schedule, something that got off to a great start in early May. Lavenburg recorded a career-best live score in the Parx Big Stax XVI 300, finishing 2nd for a nearly $50,000 result. For a lot of the New Jersey online community, that run finally put a face to a name that has been tormenting them for the last few years and could be a sign of things to come. "I’m really excited for this summer. I’ve never been to Vegas and it will be my first full World Series, minus a few days for a friend’s wedding." Lavenburg said when talking about what is next after that Parx score, something that he’s been thinking about since the start of his poker career. That was pre-Black Friday, where Lavenburg used the basic knowledge of the game he learned from his grandmother playing Rummy, Stud and a few other games to transition to online poker. He found online poker when he was enrolled in college and from that point on, he had one goal in mind. "My plan and goal was to study and grind to try to get to the top of the poker world. It was the freedom, the competition and the money that came with it that drove me to study my ass off and become as good as I could,” he said. But then, like so many other poker journeys, it was cut short. Without a steady bankroll and interest in playing live, Lavenburg put the poker dream on the back burner, instead taking a job with his father’s electrical company. While working for the aptly named Lavenburg Electric, he knew that there was something more out there to stimulate his mind and competitive nature much more. Eventually, he got back into poker, thanks to Jake ‘jitsnakes’ Perry, who “got my ass in gear”, as Lavenburg puts it. ‘mygame’ returned to the virtual felt in New Jersey and began his ascent up the leaderboards, as he started as more of a cash game player. He then made the jump to tournaments and over the last year has seen many improvements in his game. “I think online poker is an invaluable tool to become good and fast. You just can’t substitute the experience and feel for the game you obtain live by playing online because of how many hands per hour you get.” he said, adding, “That being said, it’s the same game live and online. There are some differences though and I’m finally getting comfortable with them.” Those differences include game flow and dealing with opponents that are actually at the table, something Lavenburg struggled with when he first took the live felt. “People staring at you is weird and really sucks for people with anxiety. There’s legit been times where I felt I was having a seizure at the table. That was embarrasing.” he joked. Lavenburg has thankfully gotten past those live tournament problems and heading into the summer, the focus will be on that live game. “Staying on top of the POY race doesn’t really interest me that much, it’s cool but I think it’s more plus life EV to get out, travel and take advantage of every opportunity this profession has to offer.” That profession has taken an interesting path for Lavenburg to be where he is right now, a few weeks from his first full summer in Las Vegas. Starting out as anonymous online crusher to someone that the East Coast player pool knows and better watch out for over the next few years, Lavenburg is slowly but surely proving that poker is his game.
  2. American poker players who are fortunate enough to live in a state with regulated online had a huge selection of tournaments to play in on Sunday. Guaranteed prize pools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada were obliterated with ease in one of the busiest days in the history of U.S. online poker. The biggest prize pool outside of the WSOP.com Online Super Circuit Main Event belonged to the partypoker USA Network $250,000 Guaranteed which had 1,007 runners to make a $302,100 prize pool. 'UnclePaddy24' won the event and earned $48,034.49. Runner-up 'SharingisCaring' had to settle for a $34,409.19 payday while 'Allyoucaneat' is $24,66.46 richer for coming in third place. The event was the largest ever held on partypoker NJ. Only two events on the site have ever had a $200,000 or greater prize pool. The 2014 New Jersey Championship of Online Poker Main Event had a $200,000 prize pool and the 2014 Garden State Super Series Main Event was the largest ever on the site with $208,490.92 up for grabs. Along with the Main Event of the WSOP Online Super Circuit, WSOP.com hosted two other events that had prize pools in the six-figure category. The $215 buy-in Sunday Special had 657 runners who fired a total of 391 rebuys to create a $209,600 prize pool. Topping that field earned 'mygame' a $30,769.28 score while 'lovemy11cats' pocketed $34,409.19 for finishing one spot below. Third-place went to 'vapor098' for $16,768. The biggest buy-in event on the slate, the WSOP.com $1,000 buy-in $50,000 Monthly Sunday had 88 runners and thanks to 55 rebuys, the final prize pool ended up at $132,050. 'biuberry' earned the title and the accompanying $37,634.25 bankroll boost. runner-up 'Panoramic' grabbed $21,788.25 and third place came with a $13,205 score for 'WATCHGUY42'. 'married' finished seventh in the $100,000 Sunday Special and sixth in the $50,000 Monthly Sunday event for a $13,303.43 windfall. Last week, players in Pennsylvania players gave the $100 buy-in PokerStars PA Sunday Special the first six-figure prize pool in that event's relatively short history. In response, PokerStars increased the guarantee to $100,000 for this week and players made sure there was no overlay. The event drew 1,356 entries for a record-setting $124,480.80 prize pool. The winner's share of $19,175.03 went to 'IoftheStorms'. Runner-up 'nothingbutVvSs' took home $13,786.48 while third place finisher 'wackywhacker' added $9,912.59 to their bankroll. [ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] The corresponding tournaments in New Jersey have a higher price point and a smaller market but neither had any trouble meeting the guarantee. The Sunday Special, with a $200 buy-in, drew 294 players to beat the $40,000 guarantee by $14,684. The final two players made a deal with 'iFoldNOT' taking home $8,678.14 and the win while 'toddchipman' pocketed $9,832.51 for coming in second. Third place was worth $6,015.24 for 'supremetny'. The $500 buy-in Sunday High Roller had 24 total entries and an $11,280 prize pool. 'coles93' outlasted all of them to score $5,640 while 'toddchipman' posted another runner-up performance, this time for $3,384 while Sunday Special champ 'iFoldN0T' took home $2,256 for finishing third. USA Sunday Majors Results partypoker NJ $250,000 Guaranteed Buy-in: $320 Entries: 1,007 Prize pool: $302,100 UnclePaddy24 - $48,034.49 SharingisCaring - $34,409.19 Allyoucaneat - $24,666.46 jetsfan411 - $18,911.46 dylan7799 - $15,407.10 NoRecourse - $12,386.10 schaf4206 - $9,365.10 KNIEM7 - $6,495.15 Spo0fy - $4,954.44 WSOP.com $100,000 Sunday Special Buy-in: $215 Entries: 657 (+391 rebuys) Prize pool: $209,600 mygame - $30,769.28 lovemy11cats - $33,785.52 vapor098 - $16,768 grandpa10 - $12,261.60 1_BLUE_i - $9,515.84 Mattflushed - $7,294.08 married - $5,512.48 NJ_RiverRat - $4,171.04 mrjanovich - $3,185.92 WSOP.com $50,000 Monthly Sunday Buy-in: $1,000 Entries: 88 (+ 55 rebuys) Prize pool: $132,050 biuberry - $37,634.25 Panoramic - $21,788.25 WATCHGUY42 - $13,205 8bracelets - $10,564 lovepuddle - $9,111.45 married - $7,790.95 WHOSYOURDODD - $6,470.45 4632647 - $4,489.70 t1mb3y_b33f - $3,565.35 PokerStars PA Sunday Special Buy-in: $100 Entries: 1,356 Prize pool: $124,480.80 IoftheStorms - $19,175.03 nothingbutVvSs - $13,786.48 wackywhacker - $9,912.59 Jrmintz1490 - $7,127.23 kskd88 - $5,124.53 Mr Loat - $3,684.58 Paratroop652 - $2,649.23 AshyL4rry22 - $1,904.81 Craps2fn60 - $1,369.57 PokerStars PA Sunday High Roller Buy-in: $250 Entries: 171 Prize pool: $39,843 plo_head - $7,984.54 floatar - $5,792.16 AshyL4rry22 - $4,201.84 DanGeezy2303 - $3,048.17 Blivot - $2,211.25 mcmullend17 - $1,604.12 PokerStars NJ Sunday Special Buy-in: $200 Entries: 294 Prize pool: $54,684 iFoldNOT - $8,678.14* toddchipman - $9,832.51* supremetny - $6,015.24 s3lfreliance - $4,511.43 Road2daMoney - $3,116.98 Donky_King_AA - $2,406.09 BabyRaizer - $1,859.25 PompYouUp - $1,312.41 floatpre - $956.97 PokerStars NJ Sunday High Roller Buy-in: $500 Entries: 24 Prize pool: $11,280 coles93 - $5,640 toddchipman - $3,384 iFoldN0T - $2,256

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