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Found 6 results

  1. This year we’re doing something a little different and breaking down our annual Poker Year In Review into three different parts - the Flop (January-April), Turn (May-August), and River (September-December). We’ll be wrapping up 2021 by taking a look back at some of our biggest stories, winners, and surprises that unfolded in one of the most unique years in the history of the game. May One of the craziest stories of the year broke in May when it was revealed that high-stakes poker pro Chad Power had been victim to a home invasion robbery of nearly $1,000,000 in cash and casino chips. However, the Henderson Police Department arrested a suspect who was charged with multiple felonies including Burglary with a Deadly Weapon, Conspiracy Home Invasion, and Theft after the suspect went out and purchased a Dodge Hellcat Charger with a $30,000 cash down payment and also purchased a 2018 Maserati Levante SUV under his mother’s name with another $60K in cash. On the felt, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu returned for Round 2 of High Stakes Duel II with Negreanu looking to get even, however, once again, Hellmuth pulled off the win. Negreanu promised that there would be a third match sooner than later leaving Hellmuth still feeling slighted despite his back-to-back wins. “I’ve given Daniel credit the whole way from start to finish and I haven’t said one negative word about him. He was pretty condescending in the first match. I felt it was super condescending, and this match he handled himself much better,” Hellmuth said. “But even still, he’s preaching down to me about ranges, and I’m thinking to myself, I’ve just won 24 out of 26 heads-up matches against pros and they have me rated as a fucking underdog every match. It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect, and that’s ok with me. I just want to keep winning.” There were plenty of other winnings taking place in May with a trio of World Poker Tour events coming to a conclusion. The pandemic had forced the WPT to delay a number of its high-profile final tables for more than a year and in the middle of the month, they gathered in Las Vegas to crown three consecutive champions. First up was Veerab Zakarian who took down the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $674,840. “Waiting this long, you didn’t know what to expect. You don’t know, you keep waiting for it,” Zakarian said after the tournament ended. “Most people, after the pandemic, they didn’t have anything to look forward to so I was glad to have something to look forward to.” [caption id="attachment_637581" align="alignright" width="250"] Brekstyn Schutten[/caption] The next day it was Balakrishna Patur’s turn in the spotlight as he won the delayed 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $1,015,000, defeating Matas Cimbolas in heads-up play. It was the second year in a row that Cimbolas finished as the LAPC runner-up. Finally, Brekstyn Schutten took down the largest event in the 19-year history of the WPT when he won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1,261,095. While all of that is nice, the most prestigious contest of the year came to a conclusion in May when Niklas Astedt was named, by the poker community and his peers, as the All-Time #1 Number One. For the better part of a month, PocketFives ran a social contest asking the poker community to vote, March Madness-style, to see which of the (then) 60 former worldwide #1-ranked online pros stood above the rest. The finals came down to Astedt and online great Chris Moorman with Astedt edging out Moorman with 54% of the vote. “The PocketFives rankings really motivated me over the years,” Astedt said after being crowned the winner. “I’m super happy and proud that so many people voted for me.” Speaking of Chris Moorman, he was one of three popular player profiles to be featured this month. Moorman reflected on his career and his recent winning of his first SCOOP title. READ: “Old Guy” Chris Moorman Happily Proves He’s Still Got It Sami Kelopuro had been on an amazing heater and talked with PocketFives in a rare interview on the secret to his recent success and how he planed on taking it easy after his intense grind. READ: After Winning $4.4M, Sami Kelopuro is Taking It Easy - For Now Finally, after winning the first-ever GGPoker Spring Festival Main Event, Mathias ‘KingKongJoel’ Joelsson talked about what it was like to win a seven-figure score. READ: Mathias Joelsson Has ‘King Kong’ Plans After $1.25M GGSF Score By the end of the month, another Brazilian earned themselves an Online Player of the Month title, as Dalton Hobold took the title in May. June It had already been announced that the World Series of Poker was going to be moved to the fall, but in the middle of June, the complete schedule (before the addition of online events) of the last WSOP at the Rio was announced. It was an 88 gold bracelet schedule that hoped to bring back a sense of normalcy after a year away. READ: 5 Things: The WSOP Schedule Gives Players a Comfortable Return Home While players had the WSOP to look forward to, the 2021 U.S. Poker Open was taking place in the PokerGO Studio with familiar faces winning large sums of money. Stephen Chidwick, Jake Schindler, Ali Imsirovic were all at the top of the earners list for the series but David Peters dominated them all, winning more than $2.6 million and taking home the Golden Eagle trophy. READ: David Peters, Old Guard, New Faces Shine Bright as U.S. Poker Open Hellmuth’s three-peat over Negreanu was completed earning him the $400,000 prize and bringing his series record to 6-0 and bringing High Stakes Duel II to an end with Hellmuth opting to cash out and start over in the coming months. Brian Altman also notched his third win, but for him, it was taking home his third World Poker Tour Main Tour title at WPT Tampa at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida. The reigning WPT Player of the Year put himself in the race for WPT all-time title, just one behind Darren Elias’ four, and picked up $613,225 in the process. READ: WPT POY Brian Altman Writes His Own Script For Success In other WPT news, the 2021 WPT Online Series Main Event reached a conclusion as well with Christian Rudolph earning his first WPT title and $487,442. Plus, the WPT held its WPT Heads Up Poker Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. An online tournament, it featured some of the biggest names in the game including Doug Polk, Tow Dwan, Sam Greenwood, Anthony Zinno, Brad Own, and eventual winner Phil Ivey who took down the invite-only event for $400,000. Another popular profile published in 2021 was on poker vlogger Jaman Burton and his recent move to Las Vegas. In it, he discusses how the social climate in St. Louis pushed him to make a move, the future of his vlog, and finding new inspiration in Sin City. READ: Jaman Burton and The Drawing Dead Find New Life In Las Vegas The string of Brazilian crushers taking down the Online Player of the Month continued in June as Geraldo Cesar Neto earned the honor for the first time in his career. July The poker world was shocked and saddened in July when six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Layne ‘Back-to-Back’ Flack unexpectedly passed away at age 52. An outpouring of condolences for Flack’s family poured out from the poker community as a mainstay personality from the early days of the poker boom will be certainly be missed. Before that, Daniel Negreanu was back making headlines. After his loss to Doug Polk earlier in the year and then falling three times to Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel, Kid Poker’s ability to close in a big spot was being questioned by some in the poker world. He quickly responded with a victory during the PokerGO Cup series, not only winning the $50,000 NLHE event for $700,000 but, with a little thanks to Cary Katz in the final event of the series, taking the PokerGO leaderboard title and trophy for an additional $50,000 score. READ: The Anatomy- and End - of Daniel Negreanu’s Tournament Futility All month long, the World Series of Poker was running online bracelet events with some notable names adding to their poker resume including David Peters, Manig Loeser, and Chris Moorman who grabbed the victory in one of the final events of the series for his second career bracelet. But the big WSOP news was the rumor (which turned out to be true) that the World Series of Poker would be on the move in 2022, leaving its long-standing home of the Rio to set up shop on the Strip at Bally's and Paris. [caption id="attachment_637583" align="alignright" width="250"] Andrew Moreno[/caption] July also saw a pair of celebrated live wins as Andrew Moreno battled through the 1,325-entry field of the first-ever $10K Wynn Millions to walk away with a life-changing $1.460 million score. The final three agreed to chop the majority of the prize pool, creating two more millionaires as Clayton Maguire finished as the runner-up for $1.443 million and Toby Lewis grabbed the bronze for $1.235 million. Dapo Ajayi also earned a career-defining win after taking down WPT Choctaw for $558,610, making it the second time that Viet Vo would come up just one spot short in the same tournament, finishing in second place for $372,415. Brazil’s Dalton Hobold earned Online Player of the Month honors in May, in July he opened up about how he was almost scammed out his entire career by someone he trusted. READ: Rising Star Dalton Hobold Almost Had Poker Career Derailed by Scam Another month, another Brazilian at the top of the Online Player of the Month leaderboard, as Renan Carlos Bruschi took home the honors in July. August August was another massive month when it came to online poker as PokerStars announced the start of their biggest World Championship of Online Poker with $100 million guaranteed and the World Series of Poker Online kicked off on GGPoker. Both series featured poker superstars taking home titles including Christian Rudolph and Ivan Zufic taking down early WCOOP titles and Joao Simao and Samuel Vousden earning gold bracelets. It was also the month where Erik Seidel made history, taking down 2021 WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) for $977,842 and his ninth career gold bracelet, tying Johnny Moss. Soon after, he talked with us about winning his ninth bracelet online made it special for him. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” READ: Erik Seidel’s Online WSOP Bracelet Victory Might Just Be His Favorite In addition to Seidel winning the WSOP edition of the Super MILLION$, a pair of perennial champions added to their MILLION$ resume. Niklas Astedt scored his third title and Michael Addamo kept the all-time wins record with his fourth. For Addamo, it was just a sign of things yet to come. READ: 50 Things To Look Forward To At The 2021 WSOP After Phil Hellmuth vanquished Fox Sports commentator Nick Smith in a bottle episode of High Stakes Duel, the re-match everyone was waiting for was booked. The Hellmuth vs. Tom Dwan hype train was rolling and the show did not disappoint. However, after seven wins in a row, Hellmuth was defeated as Dwan dethroned Hellmuth to become the new High Stakes Duel champion. READ: Three Takeaways From Tom Dwan's Victory Over Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel III [caption id="attachment_637584" align="alignleft" width="250"] Brock Wilson[/caption] A pair of profiles proved to be popular this month as 26-year-old high-stakes tournament pro Brock Wilson talked about his major move from New York to Las Vegas to pursue the poker dream. Plus, Ryan Hagerty scored an online bracelet in July and sat down to talk with us about his roller coaster of a year grinding the tournament scene. A victory for Alex Theologis in the WSOP $25,000 Super High Roller Championship locked up the August Online Player of Month. Finally, after six years as the President and Editor-in-Chief of PocketFives Lance Bradley stepped away to pursue new opportunities and left by spotlighting some of his favorite stories he published over the years.
  2. PokerGO’s revival of High Stakes Poker is set to return in 2022 for Season 9 and over the weekend fans were given a first look at some of poker’s high-powered players that have officially locked up a seat in the game. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1467256348643500035?s=20 After sitting on the sidelines for Season 8, Daniel Negreanu - who played in all of the first seven seasons of the show - confirmed his return to HSP via Twitter. Then, hours later, Jennifer Tilly posted one of the first cast photos, much to the delight of poker fans everywhere. RELATED: Chemistry Lessons: Building The Perfect High Stakes Poker Cast https://twitter.com/JenniferTilly/status/1467576251716018183?s=20 As you can see, some of the biggest names in the game will be in action including cash game legends Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan, both of whom were featured last season. Joining them in a return are Jean-Robert Bellande and Bryn Kenney, who made their High Stakes Poker debut in Season 8. Taking a seat for the first time and pictured to the right of Kenney is Hustler Casino Live regular Krish, who is often introduced as an entrepreneur and collector of rare casino chips. And finally, on the far left, is Garrett Adelstein, one of the most prolific live stream high-stakes cash game players of today. RELATED: Three Takeaways From Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan’s Appearance on Hustler Casino Live It’s Adelstein’s first invitation to High Stakes Poker but not his first encounter with the likes of Ivey and Dwan. Earlier this year, Hustler Casino Live broadcast two days of high-stakes play that featured all three players and captured on camera the first meeting of Adelstein and Ivey. However, that’s not the only members of the cast that were confirmed. Tilly commented on how much fun it was playing with Rail Heaven legend Patrik Antonius... https://twitter.com/JenniferTilly/status/1467173525244891136?s=20 ...and Xuan Liu was sure to snap a selfie with the legend Doyle Brunson. https://twitter.com/xxl23/status/1467208721168154627?s=20 On Monday night, World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Koray Aldemir added some more names to the High Stakes Poker confirmed list when he posted this photo of after his time on set. https://twitter.com/kooraay90/status/1468017193359069186?s=20 Traditionally, High Stakes Poker features minimum stakes of $200/$400 with an $800 straddle or simply $400/$800 blinds, making it one of the highest stakes cash games available for fans to sweat. Of course, all the players are sworn to secrecy on the results of the taping but it was curious that Negreanu, who has admitted in the past to running badly in his seven seasons (roughly a $2 million loser according to some calculations) posted the following: https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1467631154320662530?s=20 No firm date for the airing of High Stakes Poker Season 9 has been announced, but unconfirmed rumors has it dropping in February 2022. We’ll have to wait and see however, whenever it does return, High Stakes Poker Season 9 will be available on subscription site PokerGO. [original article updated 5:10 pm PT 12/6]
  3. Hustler Casino Live, with the help of the World Poker Tour, stole the spotlight from the 2021 World Series of Poker for 48 hours this past weekend by bringing in poker legends Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan to take a seat and battle in their high-stakes broadcast. The livestream was incredibly compelling. But what made it great was not necessarily the reasons one might think when sitting down to watch a pair of poker legends zero in on a high-stakes cash game. Certainly, the poker was exciting, with players needing a minimum of $100,000 just to lock up a seat, but it was some of the unexpected moments that made these broadcasts into hours of entertainment. Mikki Mase Is Must See TV In the early action of Day 1, the hype was around the arrival of Ivey but all the action surrounded “Professional Gambler” Mikki Mase. Mikki, may have needed no introduction for loyal viewers of the program, but with Hustler Casino Live drawing in plenty of new eyeballs (breaking viewership records across the two days), this was many fans' first interaction with the wildcard. “We plan on seeing a lot of action out of him, a lot of hands being played. He is not shy to mix it up,” said co-commentator Nick Vertucci. Vertucci was 100% correct. Mikki was immediately in the mix calling raises, overcalling, and applying pressure. There’s a chance that with players like Ivey, Garrett Adelstein, Matt Berkey, and Gal Yifrach in the lineup that Mikki was actually brought in as a V.I.P. of sorts. However, it didn’t take long for the hunted to become the hunter as Mikki was seemingly putting everyone in the blender. The hand of the night for Mikki came against Adelstein when both players were sitting with roughly $300,000 in their stack. Adelstein raised to $300 from under the gun with [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"] and from the small blind, Mikki put in a three-bet to $4,000 holding the [poker card="5c"][poker card="4s"]. When the action came back to Adelstein, he four-bet to $15,000 and Mikki literally snap-called. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"][poker card="9h"] and Mikki took a few seconds, rechecked his cards, and led out for $15,000. “I mean, I love Mikki, but in a four-bet pot against an aggressive player, this is a suicide mission,” Vertucci said. Adelstein made the call. The turn was the [poker card="qd"] and Mikki fired again, this time for $20,000. Adelstein, shot Mikki a glance and made the call, sending the pot to just over $100,000. The dealer put out the [poker card="6d"] on the river leaving Mikki with 5-high. Undeterred, Mikki slid out a final bet of $60,000 which sent Adelstein in the tank. “So many tough decisions against you, I’ve been wrong every time,” Adelstein said, working through the hand. As Adelstein winced, Mikki, looking relaxed, grabbed his vape and took a hit. “He’s going to try and vape his way to a fold…” Vertucci said. Eventually, Adelstein again made the wrong decision and tossed his cards in the muck. The torture for him continued when Mikki showed the big bluff as the massive pot was shipped his way. And it wasn’t just this one hand. Mikki proved to be great for the game, ready to enter almost any pot, and not satisfied to lock up a win. On Day 1, viewers tuned in for Ivey but instead, they got the Mikki Mase show. The Age of Adelstein No one would dispute that Garrett Adelstein is a cash game beast as he's widely recognized as one of the very best in the game today. He’s fearless at the table and one of the most fascinating modern-day players to watch on any livestream. It feels like the importance of Adelstein doesn't even need to be stated. But when he was featured in the same game as Ivey and Dwan, it showcased just how much Adelstein actually needs to be appreciated. Over the course of two days that Ivey sat in the game he looked wholeheartedly...bored. He didn't get very good card distribution, had his phone taken away for RFID security reasons, and just couldn't get much going. You never know with Ivey, as he's got one of the best poker faces in the game, but it just looked like the whole thing was a chore for him. An assignment even. And as the minutes turned to hours the notions of having “The Phil Ivey” we really wanted to see in this high-stakes cash game dwindled. It wasn’t his fault exactly, he couldn’t find spots, was unwilling to flippantly make them, and eventually, on both days, he made an early exit. But while waiting for Ivey to be Ivey, we were entertained by watching Adelstein do what he does. He played big pots fearlessly, made incredible plays, and when he took a big hit, he went into his bankroll and added on for more, unwilling to play with anything less than the biggest stack at the table. Of course, we want more Ivey. We want him at the WSOP. We want him on TV. We want to see the man behind the mystique. But it may be fair to say that we want what we remember about him and that's rarely as we see him. It's a crapshoot. But Adelstein is right here, right now giving us everything we want to see out of a high-stakes beast. Unlike Ivey where we only get glimpses, Adelstein is featured on a near-weekly basis either on Hustler Casino Live or Live at the Bike. He consistently plays like we’re hoping to see Ivey or Dwan play. This is the Adelstein Era and if you didn't know, he’s already achieved GOAT status. One day, we’re going to look back, when, perhaps, like Ivey, he’s taken a step away from being in the spotlight, and we’re going to wish for just a glimpse of Garrett as he is today. But until then, if you weren’t already, it’s time to enjoy what he brings to the table right now. Watch Day 1 right here: Table Talk Made For the Most Interesting Moments There was a small, innocent, moment at the beginning of Day 1 that took many by surprise. Soon after Ivey sat down, Adelstein leaned into the table and looked at Ivey and said “I’m Garrett, Phil.” and gave a small wave. Phil simply nodded in reply. “That is quite the moment right here," said Bart Hanson. "Garrett to Phil Ivey, meeting each other for the first time.” It was a bit of a shock. Was this really the first time these two heavyweights had met in person? One would only assume that two players with such huge reputations in poker would have crossed paths in the past. Especially, with Adelstein being very open about his affinity for Ivey. That was just the beginning of many captivating snippets of conversation that kept the game feeling fresh, proving, yet again, that one of the best parts of poker is the social aspect. Sure, there were some big pots being played but it was equally fascinating to hear Ivey talk about the Paris casino robbery and how the robbers stuck a machine gun in his gut. Mikki Mase getting candid about how he’s been having his tattoos removed and the judgment he goes through on a daily basis. Dwan helping himself to some of Ivey's chips while complaining about how many times he lost his passport and how he couldn’t go to play in Dubai (where Ivey had recently traveled). There were times that the cross-talk was just as engaging as the thousands of dollars at stake. It made it so if you just fast-forwarded to the big hands, or read a recap, you missed the full flavor of the game. The two-day Ivey and Dwan cash games are on-demand on YouTube, but the Hustler’s live-stream grind continues with daily shows Monday-Friday at 5 pm Pacific. Watch Day 2 right here:
  4. It was late in London. The early morning actually, and Erik Seidel, one of poker’s most iconic figures, was back on the grind. Already in the United Kingdom to celebrate his youngest daughter’s wedding, the poker legend decided to extend his stay in the UK’s capital to take care of some business. Specifically, the business of high-stakes poker. And at this moment, his deep run in GGPoker WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) was taking him back to the beginning of his career. “I haven’t stayed up that late for poker since I was in my 20’s,” Seidel said, referring to the overnight hours of Day 1 of the gold bracelet event. “London isn’t ideal for me because I’m a morning person and Day One lasted ’til the next morning.” Even casual fans are familiar with Seidel’s impact on poker and his history that took him from the early days of Mayfair Club in New York to the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. His career has spanned 40 years and in that time he’s earned nearly $38 million in recorded live earnings. He’s a World Poker Tour champion and, prior to the online high roller he was playing in, had previously won eight WSOP bracelets, making him one of the most prolific players in WSOP history. Seidel didn’t know it at the time but after that sleepless night, he was just days away from adding to his legacy with WSOP bracelet #9. For a player who has experienced just about everything there is to experience in the game of poker, Seidel admits he still feels “out of [his] element online”, making his victory one of the most unique moments of his career. [caption id="attachment_636078" align="alignleft" width="300"] Seidel's online winning moment.[/caption] “I’m just never that comfortable online,” he said. “I like it, it’s nice to be able to play a tourney in bed, but I make mistakes. I had two misclicks at the final table. It’s easier for me to get distracted and there’s always that concern that I’ll lose connection.” In fact, he did lose connection at one point while playing in his hotel on spotty Wi-Fi. But, obviously, the man they call Seiborg recovered nicely. He navigated his way through the field of 624 entries, made the final table, and bested a final nine that included Rui Ferreira, Isaac Baron, Thomas Muehloecker, and eventual runner-up, Francisco Benitez. When it was all over, Seidel won more than $977,000 and made WSOP history. He earned that ninth bracelet and moved into a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss for fifth (third-most) in all-time WSOP bracelets. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” [caption id="attachment_636079" align="alignright" width="219"] 2007 WSOP victory in NL 2-7 Lowball for bracelet #8.[/caption] That said, as special as winning another bracelet is for him, 14 years after winning #8, Seidel hasn’t been consumed with the bracelet chase as, perhaps, some other pre-poker boom prominent players. “I can’t say I really get caught up in bracelet fever,” he said. “My focus has been much more on higher buy-in No Limit events. If you really want to rack up bracelets, you’ve got to play the high buy-in limit events at the WSOP, the No Limit fields are way too big. I play a limited amount of events at the WSOP, and I love playing them, but I’m not trying to maximize my chances by playing every event.” It would be tough for anyone to not want to push if given the chance to break into double-digit bracelets. It’s well-known that there are currently only four players with 10 or more. Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leader with 15. And then, tied for second, all with 10, are Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey - a club that’s hasn’t admitted a new member since 2014. Now, Seidel is knocking on the door. At 61, he says he has no intentions of slowing down and has set his sights on playing a healthy schedule at this year’s WSOP. “I love playing, I hope I can continue competing for a while. I expect to play 20-something events at the WSOP although I’m really disappointed in the WSOP schedule this year, the big NL events that I’d love to play in are all very close to Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see if I can play them.”
  5. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Jeff Walsh, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. This week on The FIVES, Lance and Jeff bring you all of the need-to-know news from this week in the world of poker including Tom Dwan stopping Phil Hellmuth's win streak on High Stakes Duel III, news from the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the latest results from WSOP Online and WCOOP, and Phil Ivey finding his way back to the winner's circle. Plus, a big announcement about the future of The FIVES! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  6. It’s been nearly two years since the last live World Series of Poker took place and for poker players around the world, poker’s premier summer camp has been sorely missed. It's not just the massive amount of action, but also all of the little things that take place when one travels to Sin City to chase the glory of winning a bracelet, that makes for the total experience. With the World Series of Poker 50 days away, the PocketFives staff sat down and came up with 50 things, both big and small (and in no particular order), that we are looking forward to when the WSOP returns on September 30. 1. “Shuffle Up And Deal” Is there anything more exciting than taking your seat in a WSOP bracelet event and getting underway with the classic starting gun of “Shuffle Up and Deal!” 2. Daniel Negreanu’s poker vlogs. Over the past few years, one of the most fun pieces of content has been Daniel Negreanu allowing you to be his wingman as he chases WSOP bracelet number seven in his daily WSOP vlogs. Everything from cameos by some of poker’s biggest stars to behind-the-scenes access to his daily grind Negreanu lets those who can’t make the trip to the WSOP feel like they are part of the action. 3. The hustle back to the table. Speed walking the Rio hallway to make sure you don’t miss a hand after the break. Not only do you want to be in action, but we all know that if we miss a hand or two, somebody at the table will inevitably joke that “you got aces” upon your return. 4. The Poker Kitchen. Trying to decide between chicken strips or a pre-packaged sandwich from the poker kitchen. Complaining about the food at the poker kitchen has become as much of a WSOP tradition as the bracelets themselves. But we’d all rather eat the $18 cobb salad than getting stuck in traffic trying to get back to the Rio after the dinner break. 5. Standing in line at Starbucks behind Huck Seed. Hitting the long line at the Rio Starbucks to get some caffeine to shake off the night before and get ready for a long grind at the tables and see some of your favorite poker players doing the same thing. 6. Behold the bracelet! One can’t help but appreciate the moment when WSOP tournament director Jack Effel presents the gold bracelet to the series most recent champion. 7. Grinding for lammers. Getting your satellite grind on, grabbing pink lammers, and then wandering the hallways looking for someone who is buying into the next event to sell them to. 8. The Amazon Room. There was a time when all of the rooms had the dim lighting currently held by the Amazon Room, but whether you start there or are moved into the back ballroom as the money draws near - there’s nothing like playing in the Amazon Room. 9. Killing time in the “Mothership.” Not everything is going to go your way at the WSOP, but when you’ve busted the latest tournament and you’re ready to dive into the next one, the ample seating of the Final Table spaceship has a spot for you to watch the kind of action you are hoping to be playing in. 10. Squeaking into the money. Of course, everyone would prefer to be the big stack heading into the money bubble. But when the choice is not your own and you gotta grind out those last few big blinds to make the money, sometimes trying to survive on fumes is a game unto itself. 11. Acting like you’ve been there before. Tap, tap. Nice hand. Good luck everyone. 12. Mean mugging for poker photogs. You’re a poker player at a poker table in the middle of a poker game. Now, let’s see that poker face. 13. Friendly reunions… It’s been nearly two years since the last World Series of Poker and, for many, the same amount of time since they’ve seen some of their friends from poker player summer camp in person. Raise a glass to reunions! 14. …at the Hooker Bar. The last stop on the way out of the Rio is the iconic “Hooker Bar” where many of the WSOP’s greatest late-night stories have taken place. There’s always time for one more. 15. Getting harassed by phone charging vendors. The bad boys of the WSOP hallway will be back for one more shot at upselling you a phone accessory at four times what you can get it for online. A sight for sore eyes for sure. 16. Phil Hellmuth rants. Love him or hate him, the Poker Brat is woven into the fabric of the WSOP. The 15 bracelets are only half of what makes Hellmuth, well, Hellmuth. The other is the antics and temper tantrums that have helped make him famous. At some point during the seven weeks of action, somebody is going to do something to set Hellmuth off. And the ensuing rant about how bad his opponents play and/or how well he is playing will serve as a tell-tale sign that the WSOP is back. 17. Finding a GTO way to beating the crowds to the restroom. Maybe this isn’t something to look forward to but it’s key to make life a little more comfortable during the series. No one wants to miss a hand, what you don’t know won’t hurt you and standing in a long line to use the restroom is one of the worst ways to spend a break. 18. Mid-day table-side massages. Long days of grinding can wear a person down, luckily there’s a swarm of top-tier professionals ready to help work out the kinks while you are trying to build a stack at the table. 19. Picking up big hands in big spots. Who wouldn’t be excited to look down at pocket aces in a bracelet event? 20. Getting featured on an upcoming vlog (battling for Bradley Bucks). Whether it’s at the Rio or another one of Las Vegas’ many poker rooms, during the WSOP most of the well-known vloggers will be in action. Whether it’s Brad or Andrew, Jaman or Johnnie or another up-and-coming poker cinematographer like Mariano, there’s a chance that if you play cash games in Sin City you might just get to guest star in an upcoming YouTube vlog. 21. Kevmath’s Daily Deepstack Updates. There simply isn’t a more beloved figure in poker than Kevin Mathers and following along as the man known as the WSOP social media czar or guru navigates his way through a Michelob Ultra or two while playing in one of the Rio Daily Deepstacks gives everybody the feels. 22. Having a drink with Niall Farrell at Hal’s hallway bar. As long as it’s not the first or second level of the day, you can find Niall Farrell in one of two places. The first is the Daily Deepstack where he’s blasting away while a Corona or two deep. The other is in the hallway bar with his good friend Hal the Bartender. Either way, Niall’s a good enough sport that he just might buy you a beer and listen to your bad beat story. 23. Punting a Saturday tournament to make a Sunday LV Raiders game. Okay, so maybe this isn’t something we missed since the Raiders weren’t in Vegas in 2019 and this is the first (and only) Fall WSOP, but knowing you can get over the bad beat by watching the Raiders the next day is something to look forward to. 24. Grabbing the latest in poker literature from D&B. Seeing Dan and Byron from D&B Poker selling the latest poker books from the likes of Chris Moorman, Jonathan Little, and PocketFives’ own Lance Bradley at their booth in the hallway. 25. Sitting to the left of one of your favorite pros (or anywhere with Phil Laak). One of the best parts about the World Series of Poker is that anyone, who can pony up a buy-in, can play. That means that recreational players get to mingle with the pros and no matter the bracelet event, there’s going to be some famous poker players in the field. Don’t pass up the chance to put in a three-bet when you think Phil Laak is raising light. 26. Diving out of the way of Doyle’s scooter. It was just a couple of years ago that Doyle said he was finished playing tournaments at the WSOP. But this year, he indicated that in 2021 - he’d be back scooting around the Amazon room for an encore (and a shot at bracelet #11). 27. Suffering through a bad beat story (while still in the tournament). Bad beat stories are rarely tolerable but when you still have a shot at a gold bracelet, you can lend an ear to a friend. After all, if and when you bust, you’ll be the one telling the story. 28. Cheering on a friend making a deep run - when you have a piece of them. Poker’s an individual game, but having (and being a part of) a support system is crucial. So, enjoy the ride from the sidelines when you have a small percentage of a pal and help them keep their head on straight in the middle of a deep run. 29. Bagging chips at the end of the day. No better way to end a day of play than to find a bag in a big event. Pass the pens around and write your name clearly so friends and family can find you in the chip counts. 30. Players complaining about a live update having bad info. Poker fans around the world consume content at a gluttonous pace during the WSOP. This includes live updates from every bracelet event. Inevitably, some of the reported include mistakes. A card is reported incorrectly, either the suit or the value is wrong. Sometimes bet sizes are wrong. These mistakes happen in the rush to get information to those hungry fans. This causes players involved in those hands to take their complaints to Twitter. 31. Playing the games your local card room never bothers to offer. No Limit Hold’em may be the “Cadillac of Poker” but the game has so much more to offer when you play other variants. During the WSOP, there are plenty of other games offered (both inside and outside of the Rio) to allow you to test your overall poker skills. 32. A deep run in the $50K by Phil Ivey. With all of his court cases officially behind him, Phil Ivey has indicated that he’s planning on making a return to the Rio this year. When he does, it’s expected he’ll be firing in the biggest tournaments on the schedule, including the $50,000 Poker Players Championship where he’ll be a favorite to make a deep run. 33. Late-night cash game action everywhere in Sin City. When the World Series of Poker tournaments are taking place, the cash game action all over the city reaches a fever pitch. Not only can you find great games, at every buy-in level, in nearly every poker room on the strip but poker rooms games that don’t typically run also show up on the board. It’s non-stop cash game action during the WSOP. 34. Treating yourself to an All-American Dave meal. Sure, the poker kitchen is good for a quick bite but it’s not exactly a quick bite that’s good FOR you. All-American Dave has serviced the WSOP poker playing public with healthy meals from his food truck. You don’t have to be a baller and get the meals delivered to the table, you can simply pop out back and treat yourself to something a little healthier to help get you through the day. 35. Forgetting what day of the week it is. The grind plays tricks on the mind. Just don’t miss your flight home. 36. Calling for a card and seeing it appear. Everything seems bigger when battling for a bracelet and it just feels so good when you spike the perfect card at the perfect time to keep the dream alive for another orbit. 37. Hearing Gus Hansen announce that “It’s going to be a great fall.” While in Las Vegas throughout 2018 and 2019 Gus Hansen let it be known that “it’s going to be a great summer.” With the WSOP playing out in the fall this year, we hope to see The Great Dane keep the good times going with an appropriate seasonal motto. 38. Watching your ODB Fantasy team struggle. Despite fielding a near-perfect roster, complete with a pair of sleeper picks you stole for the cheap, your fantasy team is still going to underperform. But that’s ok because it’s all about the sweat anyway. 39. Live episodes of The FIVES from the Amazon Room. You may be stuck behind a desk for the time being but the guys from The FIVES will be bringing you all of the latest news and results from the floor of the WSOP. A great way to kill an hour and keep tabs on the series. 40. Double bracelet winners. It's almost a certainty that at least one player will go on a heater and sun run their way to at least two bracelets during the series. Can't wait to see who emerges this year. 41. Allen Kessler finishing second in something. Four times in his WSOP career, Allen ‘the Chainsaw’ Kessler has made his way through all but one player in a WSOP event only to have that one player block him from winning his first WSOP bracelet. Kessler has served as bridesmaid to Lukas Zaskodny, Brian Rast, Frank Kassela, and Todd Brunson. 42. Short stacks "struggling" to find their new table. For a lot of players, cashing in a WSOP event is a lifelong dream. Some might be willing to, let’s say, bend the rules a little bit to check that item off of their bucket list. This includes the short stack being sent to their new table only to find the open seat is about to be in the big blind. It’s at this moment that a poker player with an aptitude for numbers fails to understand the elementary school level system of numbering tables as they walk right by that empty seat before getting “lost” in the tables some 30 feet away. 43. Getting called “baby” by Scotty Nguyen. In 1998, Scotty Nguyen looked at Kevin McBride at told him, “you call, gonna be all over, baby” on his way to winning the WSOP Main Event. Since then, Nguyen has won three more WSOP bracelets (for a total of five) and has called approximately 71 million other poker players “baby” in what has become his trademark phrase. 44. Walking past a closed Hash House. Dinner breaks at the WSOP can be chaos. Some players grab Ubers or taxis and head to local restaurants, but the majority of players look for something inside the Rio. On the busiest of days, that leads to long lines at All-American Bar & Grille, El Burro Borracho, and the dim sum joint. But on your way from the tournament area to those restaurants, you’ll inevitably walk past a closed Hash House A Go Go. The breakfast spot is apparently only allowed to be open during breakfast hours. 45. Making the correct decision in a big, big spot. Sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit and one of the best feelings in tournament poker is making the right decision in the most crucial of spots with what feels like all the eyes in the room on you. 46. That god damned carpet. There isn’t a casino in the world that doesn’t have tilt-inducing carpet and the Rio is no exception. But over the years, players have come to know the carpet well - much like the carpet in their parent's house. You don’t like it. You wouldn’t put it in your house. But at least it’s familiar. 47. Hopping in an Uber to head to your next tournament. Busting out of a WSOP tournament is a horrible, horrible feeling for any player. Thankfully, the WSOP isn’t the only tournament series in town and the next event is just a short Uber ride away. 48.Finally making it out of the bowling alley and into the Brazilia during the Reunion. Smaller buy-in WSOP tournaments draw massive turnouts every year. While that’s great for the prize pools and the eventual winner, sometimes players are forced to start their tournament journey in less-than-ideal settings. Any available square footage gets used and in past years that has included an empty bowling alley and the area right outside of Guy Fierri’s Mexican joint. Getting moved from there to the main tournament is a welcome sight for all. 49. Check-raising the flop with air. You defended the big blind against a 3X open with [5c][8d] and the flop came [jh][7s][2s]. You checked to the aggressor and he fired out a pretty standard continuation bet. At this point you really had two choices: fold and post the small blind for the next hand, or announce “raise” and put your opponent to the test. Maybe even because you put him on Ace-King? 50. The Main Event! There’s only one, true World Series of Poker Main Event and there’s nothing like it in the game of poker.
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