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Found 46 results

  1. After having to postpone the 2020 World Series of Poker due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, WSOP officials promised poker players they would soon have a solution so that would "allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes." On Monday, the WSOP took the first step towards fulfilling that promise. The WSOP has announced 31 events for players in the regulated American markets served by WSOP.com and 54 events on GGPoker for players located outside of the United States. Before being postponed, the 2020 WSOP was scheduled to award 101 bracelets including 14 that were going to be played on WSOP.com for players in New Jersey and Nevada. "It wouldn't be summer without WSOP," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. "While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn't be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer." This marks the first time that players located outside of the United States have been able to compete for a WSOP bracelet online. Players inside Nevada borders first played for a WSOP bracelet in 2015. In 2018, players in New Jersey played in bracelet events alongside their Nevada-based colleagues following the intra-state merger of player pools in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. "There's nothing in the world like winning a WSOP bracelet," said Daniel Negreanu, who joined GGPoker as an ambassador earlier this year. "Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game's biggest prize." WSOP.com is currently not available in Pennsylvania. Stewart also indicated that PokerCentral, owner of PokerGO and the official streaming partner of the WSOP, will also be involved in creating content including live streams, highlight packages as well as "virtual bracelet ceremonies" with interviews with each winner. The decision to partner with GGPoker for the WSOP bracelet events just weeks after the conclusion of the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series on the growing online poker site which awarded $6,728,197.80 over 18 ring events and nearly $128 million over 498 events scheduled around those ring events. WSOP.com Online Bracelet Events 2020 The WSOP.com online bracelet events kick-off on July 1 with one event each day through the month of July culminating with the $1,000 buy-in Championship event on Friday, July 31. There are six other events with a $1,000 buy-in as well as a $1,500 and a $3,200 High Roller event. According to a press release, WSOP.com players will also be able to win their share of $100,000 to be awarded to top performers in July's bracelet events. [table id=49 /] GGPoker Online WSOP Bracelet Events 2020 Players who are able to play on GGPoker will begin chasing bracelets on July 19. The event schedule for the WSOP bracelet events on GGPoker has not been announced but the company indicated they plan to "unveil its bracelet schedule on a rolling basis". The final event concludes on September 6. "With over $100M in guarantees during the WSOPC Super Series in May, it's clear that GGPoker and the WSOP make a good pair," said Steve Preiss, GGPoker's head of Poker Operations. "We're excited to create bracelet events that the community will embrace, as well as innovative programming with PokerGO." Buy-ins are expected to be similar to those offered by GGPoker in the WSOP Super Circuit Online where buy-ins ranged from $50 up to $25,000.
  2. FIVE THINGS is a column, written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley that covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It appears periodically at PocketFives.com. When Poker Central announced two weeks ago that they had acquired the rights to the High Stakes Poker brand and archive from GSN, the poker world reacted with one unanimous emotion. Pure joy. High Stakes Poker, which ran for seven seasons from 2006 until it was cancelled in the wake of Black Friday in 2011, is probably the most beloved TV poker show in history, rivalled only by Late Night Poker. HSP, was different than anything that had come before because it was focused on cash game action, rather than tournaments and as the name suggests, the stakes got big. Real big. Adding HSP to the growing collection of poker content on PokerGO seems like a slam dunk and Sam Simmons, President of PokerGO/PokerCentral, is already teasing poker fans about what's to come. Knowing that the brain trust that now holds the keys to HSP is already thinking of what to do with the HSP brand, this edition of FIVE THINGS is dedicated to some ideas to help make the second coming of High Stakes Poker live up to the lofty expectations. Don’t Livestream It It might seem counterintuitive in 2020 to not livestream an hours-long cash game session. Most poker content, whether it's the Super High Roller Bowl, the World Series of Poker Main Event, or LIVE At The Bike is streamed live. High Stakes Poker holds a special place in the hearts of poker fans and the attachment that many have for HSP meant that it became appointment viewing. There’s no reason that can’t be repeated. The original HSP filmed 24 hours of action to get 13-17 40-minute episodes for GSN. Have players sign the appropriate non-disclosure agreements, film an entire session, and put together hour-long episodes. Release one or two episodes each week and build up the FOMO via social media. The poker world will be waiting with bated breath. Make New School Players a Priority It’s been just over eight years since the last new episode High Stakes Poker aired featuring the likes of Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, and Daniel Negreanu. Bringing some of those players back will give viewers the nostalgic tie-in to the original run but an impressive number of talented players have emerged as stars since then and getting them involved will be an important part of the evolution of the show. Producers will have a bevy of players to choose from. Nick Schulman, Dan Cates, and Prahlad Friedman somehow never appeared on the original run and would make great additions. There are also stars from the high roller tournament scene such as Kahle Burns, Jason Koon, Sam Soverel, Kristen Bicknell, and Danny Tang that viewers at home will recognize. Others who should be in the discussion include 2017 GPI Breakout Player of the Year winner Art Papazyan, Nick Petrangelo, Kym Lim, Chance Kornuth, Garrett Adelstein, Danielle Andersen, and Christian Soto. The magic, of course, comes from producers finding the right mix of the original cast and some of the newer stars who will help carry poker into the next decade or so. Allow yourself to dream of an eight-handed lineup that consists of Schulman, Koon, Cates, Brunson, Papazyan, Jason Mercier, Bill Perkins, and Haralabos Voulgaris. They've Got a Story to Tell Getting the new players into the game is only half of the battle. Giving viewers at home a reason to love - or hate - them is the other half. Mori Eskandani is a Poker Hall of Famer because he’s been able to take the magic of the game and the players playing it and make it feel accessible to those watching. The table talk in the original HSP was an important part of getting to know the players, but dedicating a few minutes of each episode to telling the backstory of the players in the game will also be an important piece of the broadcast. Every player has a story to tell and as more and more of them are told, viewers can become fans who become invested in the success and failure of players. They’re more likely to tune in if they feel like they are emotionally invested in one or two of the players. PokerGO’s other outlet, Poker Central, can also play a central role in giving all of the players - new and old - significant build-up in the lead up to each episode. Give the Great Game Some Run Every episode of High Stakes Poker has been No Limit Hold'em. It made sense. Most people who were watching poker at the time knew the game and it was easy to follow. Viewers who found it while channel surfing could quickly pick-up the basics and enjoy what they were watching. The PokerGO viewer is a much more advanced viewer than that. Sure, they still watch a lot of No Limit Hold'em, but they've also seen the growth in other games over the years and may have even dabbled in playing some of them. Changing things up a bit will be well received and PokerGO has done something like this before with PLOMG week on Poker After Dark in 2017. Having 3-4 episodes of Pot Limit Omaha with a lineup of PLO killers and you're going to get a different group of players to build buzz around. Phil Galfond, Jens Kyllönen, Ben Tollerene, Tom Dwan, and Ben Lamb would be an incredible lineup Who knows, maybe 'VeniVidi1993' comes out of anonymity to play? Maybe more importantly, as anybody who remembers the Rail Heaven days on Full Tilt Poker will tell you, PLO is a game that naturally leads to some big pots that will generate buzz on their own. New Blood in the Booth Over the seven seasons of the original run, the show had the likes of AJ Benza, Gabe Kaplan, and Norm MacDonald in the commentary booth. MacDonald’s hiring wasn’t exactly met with cheers from the loyal fan base but both Benza and Kaplan connected with the audience and did their best work by letting the table talk carry the show. There would certainly be some nostalgic reasons to get Kaplan or Benza - or both - back in the fold and have them steering the ship, but there's a better approach here. Give Jeff Platt the keys. Platt is a broadcast professional with a passion for poker and his work with some of PokerGO’s live-streamed events has shown he’s ready for and deserving of a bigger stage. HSP is that stage and poker fans would be richer for having him in the booth on this.
  3. This week, Poker Central announced a new sponsorship deal with the social online poker room, Global Poker. Global Poker, the online poker room that serves players from the United States and Canada, will have their branding included in some of Poker Central’s premier poker broadcasts including the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters, U.S. Poker Open, Poker After Dark as well as a slate of additional, yet-to-be-named U.S. and international events. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] “Kicking off this partnership with Global Poker has been a dream come true for our team,” said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. “Our two companies share a common goal of making poker accessible to fans worldwide, and this partnership will allow both to advance that mission through live events and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.” One of those experiences may be spending some time in the newly created “Global Poker Lounge” located inside the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. The lounge aims to give poker fans a “heightened poker viewing experience” as well as access to all of the perks of hanging out in the modern studio. “Given the prestige of Poker Central’s events, bringing our brands together feels like the next step in taking both partners to the next level,” said David Lyons, GM of Global Poker, “This partnership will not only promote the events but offer countless opportunities to bring poker players and enthusiasts from all over the world into the action.” Global Poker has plans on bringing its dedicated online players some new offline experiences. Players can look forward to meet-and-greets with popular players at the PokerGO Studio, one-of-a-kind giveaways, and exclusive qualifiers to special events. Global Poker has a history of giving its players a shot at live poker glory. In the past, they have provided leaderboard winners from their major online poker series a chance to represent the brand in a live tournament of their choice. Now, with a partnership with Poker Central in place, the opportunity to see a Global Poker player having a shot in a Sit & Go versus a table full of pros becomes a very real possibility. Global Poker's Sweepstakes model is what allows them to operate in the U.S. and cater to all types of players. They operate in two different currencies. For those who want to play socially, they can buy-in using their Gold Coin currency. Gold Coins are virtual chips with no cash value. For players who want to increase the stakes, there is Sweeps Cash. Players can acquire Sweeps Cash and play in that currency. Then that currency can be turned into “prizes” which is a cash equivalent. The Global Poker sponsored programming will all be available on the PokerGO streaming platform. If you don’t already have a subscription and want to watch all of the upcoming marquee events, including the previously announced new episodes of High Stakes Poker, you can sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  4. Poker Central has acquired the brand and assets for High Stakes Poker, the company announced on Tuesday, and will begin streaming episodes of the show on the PokerGO platform in the coming months. Additionally, Poker Central is said to have future plans for the series, including new episodes. "High Stakes Poker was a remarkable poker program," said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. "With star players, massive pots, and memorable moments, the show beautifully conveys the drama of cash game poker. Bringing the existing episodes of High Stakes Poker to our platform and producing more in the future will enable us to recapture the nostalgia and magic of the show for our PokerGO subscribers in the present-day poker climate." [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] High Stakes Poker took place from 2006-2011 and included seven seasons of high-stakes, cash game action during the height of the poker boom. Over its many seasons, the show was hosted by Gabe Kaplan, AJ Benza, Kara Scott, and Norm Macdonald, with Kaplan and Benza hosting together through the show’s first five seasons. The show’s success was propelled by the astronomical stakes of poker that were being played by superstar poker players and celebrities, oftentimes sitting behind huge bricks of cash and mounds of large denomination chips that became staples of the show. Notable players to appear on High Stakes Poker were Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, Phil Galfond, and Barry Greenstein. Brunson, Negreanu, Esfandiari, and Greenstein appeared in all seven seasons of the show. If you don't already have a subscription to PokerGO and are interested in watching High Stakes Poker, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Minimum buy-ins for High Stakes Poker ranged from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the season, and plenty of episodes featured millions of dollars at stake. During Season 4 of High Stakes Poker, poker pro David Benyamine went at it with celebrity businessman Guy Laliberte to create the largest pot in the show’s history, only it came with a plot twist. Largest Pot in High Stakes Poker History In a game with $300-$600 blinds and a $1,200 straddle, Farha started the action with a raise to $4,200 from under the gun with the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="3s"]. Benyamine made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="8c"] and Laliberte called from the big blind with the [poker card="Kd"][poker card="5d"]. The flop was [poker card="Kc"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"]. Farha picked up bottom pair, but it was the top two pair for Laliberte and nut flush draw for Benyamine that really made this hand explode. On the flop, Laliberte checked, Farha bet $13,000, and Benyamine raised to $43,000. Laliberte reraised and made it $168,000 to go. Farha folded and Benyamine, behind bricks of cash, stood up, contemplated the decision, and then moved all in for $600,000. Laliberte turned his hand over and thought about the decision before making the call. Laliberte first said to run it once but then the two players went back and forth on what to do. Laliberte had said that the money doesn’t matter to him and would do what Benyamine wanted. Laliberte eventually offered to just take the pot before Benyamine’s all-in raise, which Benyamine agreed to. High Stakes Poker also helped young guns such as Tom Dwan get immense exposure. Of course, it also helps when you play $919,600 pots against one of the game’s greats on television. Although the hand between Laliberte and Benyamine created the largest pot in High Stakes Poker history, the hand ultimately finished with a much cheaper result. The hand Dwan played against Greenstein in Season 5 was played to the fullest for more than $900,000 and it had a single winner. Playing $500-$1,000 blinds, Peter Eastgate raised to $3,500 with the [poker card="As"][poker card="Kh"] and Greenstein reraised to $15,000 with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ac"] on the button. Dwan was next and made the call from the small blind with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qs"]. Eastgate also called and the flop came down [poker card="Qh"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2s"]. Dwan fired $28,700, Eastgate folded, and Greenstein raised to $100,000. Dwan made it $244,600 to go and Greenstein moved all in for what was effectively $436,100 total. Dwan called and the pot ballooned to $919,600. Like the Laliberte and Benyamine hand, the question of how many times to run the board out came up. Greenstein said he wanted to run it once but asked if they wanted to take a couple hundred thousand back. Dwan declined and they were off to the races. The turn was the [poker card="Qc"] to vault Dwan into the lead with trip queens. The river completed the board with the [poker card="7d"] and Dwan was the winner of the biggest hand in High Stakes Poker history.
  5. The second annual Global Poker Awards will take over Las Vegas and the PokerGO airwaves on March 6 as top players and industry leaders converge on the PokerGO studio at the ARIA Hotel & Casino to honor the biggest and brightest in the game. The event is produced by the Global Poker Index and Poker Central and will present more than 20 awards this year including GPI Player of the Year, Event of the Year, and Industry Person of the Year. There will be new categories this year including Best All-Around Poker Player which will be voted on by players in the GPI 300. "The Global Poker Index team is hard at work on this expanded Global Poker Awards event, filled with new awards and experiences for attendees and the viewing audience," said Eric Danis, GPI president. "We’re delighted that the Global Poker Awards have become a repeating annual event that is growing in scope and significance among the poker industry." The PocketFives Legacy Award, which honors a long-time PocketFives player who has shown success in the online and live poker arenas over their entire career, will also be part of the show. Previous winners of the award include Cliff Josephy, Ari Engel, and Chris Moorman. The Global Poker Awards debuted earlier this year as a combination of the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards. The event was not without controversy however as the nomination and voting process came under fire. As a result, this year each category will have its own set of experts to help determine nominees and finalists. Some categories will include fan voting as well. The event will air live on PokerGO for the second consecutive year. "The first annual Global Poker Awards were a tremendous success and an important moment for us as an industry to recognize our best and brightest," said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. "The second annual event is an important opportunity for Poker Central to once again partner with the Global Poker Index and to stream our community’s biggest night on PokerGO for the fans at home."
  6. More poker is coming to Australia, as Poker Central recently announced further international expansion of its events with the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia headed Down Under in early 2020. The Australian Poker Open will follow a similar format to the U.S. Poker Open held in Las Vegas and the British Poker Open that took place in London. It’s a series of high-stakes tournaments over a week’s time with the goal of crowning an overall series winner as the first-ever Australian Poker Open Champion. The Australian Poker Open is scheduled to run January 25 through February 1, featuring seven events ranging in buy-ins from $10,000 up to $100,000. Super High Roller Bowl Australia ups the antes with a $250,000 buy-in starting February 2. The event is scheduled to run for three days. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] APO and SHRB Australia Schedule Date Event January 25 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em January 26 $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha January 27 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em January 28 $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha January 29 $25,000 No Limit Hold'em January 30 $50,000 No Limit Hold'em January 31 $100,000 No Limit Hold'em February 2 $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl All buy-ins listed are in Australian dollars. Both the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia take place at The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach, Queensland, and will stream exclusively on PokerGO. The two events are said to be held in partnership with the World Poker Tour. What To Expect With a start date of January 25, the Australian Poker Open kicks off one day after the conclusion of the 2020 Aussie Millions at Crown Melbourne. It can be expected that several high-profile players will bundle the two festivals into one trip, hitting Melbourne first for Aussie Millions and then hopping over to Gold Coast for the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia events. The two schedules line up conveniently for players looking to compete in a heap of high buy-in events in a short time period. The Aussie Millions schedule calls for a $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event starting January 13, the $25,000 Challenge starting January 15, the $10,600 Main Event and the $50,000 Challenge starting January 17, and the $100,000 Challenge starting January 22. It can also be expected that we’ll see several of the region’s top talents on display, which can provide us with some newer faces in the crowd. Players such as Danny Tang, Kahle Burns should be in the mix, and then we might even see the likes of Joe Hachem, Alexander Lynskey, Jonathan Karamalikis, and Jason Gray taking part. We also know that big names such as Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Patrik Antonius absolutely love Australia. Although we don’t see these players on the scene as much as we once did, there’s a good chance we’ll see them compete in these tournaments. History of the Super High Roller Bowl Australia will be the fifth country to host Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl. The event began in Las Vegas in 2015. In 2018, the Super High Roller Bowl took its brand to China, and then in 2019 it hit London and the Bahamas. There have been eight Super High Roller Bowl events to date, with five being held in Las Vegas and then one in each of China, London, and the Bahamas. Super High Roller Bowl Australia will be the ninth Super High Roller Bowl to take place. The smallest Super High Roller Bowl field size was Super High Roller Bowl London in 2019. It had 12 entries. The largest field size came from Super High Roller Bowl China in 2018 with 75 entries. Super High Roller Bowl Winners Event Entries Winner Prize SHRB I 43 Brian Rast $7,525,000 SHRB II 49 Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 SHRB III 56 Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 SHRB China 75 Justin Bonomo $5,000,000 SHRB IV 48 Justin Bonomo $4,821,516 SHRB V 36 Isaac Haxton $3,672,000 SHRB London 12 Cary Katz $2,610,317 SHRB Bahamas 51 Daniel Dvoress $4,080,000 The eight Super High Roller Bowl events that have taken place have awarded more than $113 million in prize money, with Justin Bonomo, the winner of two Super High Roller Bowl titles, leading the list of earners from these events. SHRB All-Time Money List Player Cashes Wins Earnings Justin Bonomo 4 2 $10,931,516 Brian Rast 1 1 $7,525,000 Christoph Vogelsang 2 1 $7,200,000 Rainer Kempe 2 1 $7,039,806 Scott Seiver 1 0 $5,160,000 Isaac Haxton 2 1 $4,599,515 Erik Seidel 3 0 $4,535,000 Daniel Dvoress 1 1 $4,080,000 Jake Schindler 1 0 $3,600,000 Jason Koon 4 0 $3,539,512 Fedor Holz 1 0 $3,500,000 Stephen Chidwick 3 0 $3,410,058 Connor Drinan 1 0 $3,225,000 Patrik Antonius 1 0 $3,152,434 Daniel Negreanu 1 0 $3,000,000 Wai Leong Chan 1 0 $2,677,500 David Peters 2 0 $2,617,621 Cary Katz 1 1 $2,610,317 Stefan Schillhabel 1 0 $2,400,000 Bryn Kenney 2 0 $2,283,495 Alex Foxen 1 0 $2,160,000 Timofey Kuznetsov 1 0 $2,150,000 Leon Tsoukernik 1 0 $1,800,000 Kethy Lehne 1 0 $1,785,000 Dominik Nitsche 1 0 $1,668,932 Ali Imsirovic 2 0 $1,658,707 Mikita Badziakouski 1 0 $1,600,000 Phil Hellmuth 1 0 $1,600,000 Byron Kaverman 1 0 $1,400,000 Talal Shakerchi 1 0 $1,188,000 Seth Davies 2 0 $1,110,000 Matt Berkey 1 0 $1,100,000 Tom Marchese 1 0 $1,075,000 Pratyush Buddiga 1 0 $1,000,000 Adrian Mateos 1 0 $972,000 Nick Petrangelo 1 0 $900,000 Steve O'Dwyer 1 0 $765,000 Igor Kurganov 1 0 $756,000 Daniel Cates 1 0 $742,012 Dan Shak 1 0 $600,000 Dan Smith 1 0 $556509
  7. FIVE THINGS is a column, written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley that covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It will appear periodically at PocketFives.com. Chris Moorman Continues to Dominate Online Almost four years to the day that he was last ranked as the #1 online poker player in the world, Chris Moorman showed everybody that he's still got it. Moorman beat out 1,261 other players to win the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for nearly $40,000. His win came just days after he picked up his 28th PocketFives Triple Crown award. Moorman's dominance of online poker tournaments is well documented on PocketFives, but when you consider he doesn't put in the online volume he used to, it becomes even more clear that Moorman is one of the elite tournament players in the world. There is one glaring omission on Moorman's resume though. He's never won a PokerStars COOP title. He has come close though. In 2009 he finished eighth in the SCOOP Main Event. A year later he finished third in a SCOOP Medium $215 NLH event. The next year he finished third in the SCOOP High $2,100 NLHE event. This year's SCOOP schedule includes 183 events and with Moorman clearly in top form right now, this might be the year that Moorman gets one. WSOP Continues to Tinker with Player of the Year In 2017, the orld Series of Poker revamped their Player of the Year points system. After using GPI and BLUFF scoring systems, WSOP decided to create their own system that rewarded cashing over winning more than the previous systems had. Once players realized this and saw how it worked, there was more than a few vocal opponents who were happy to make their feelings known. The WSOP apparently heard them loud and clear and has, for the fourth time in as many years, changed the scoring system. The WSOP promises that the new system will better reward deep runs and wins over building a resume full of smaller cashes through more events. There are still some players disappointed that the new system is going to reward players who can afford to play the bigger buy-in events. The WSOP Player of the Year award should reflect the best performance of the year. The award shouldn't exclude players who don't play the $10,000 and up buy-in Championship events, but it's hard to consider anybody the best when they don't post strong results against fields largely considered to be the toughest of the year. Germans Unhappy with Super High Roller Bowl Invites In a little over five weeks some of the best poker players in the world will be at the Aria for the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. With the field limited to 49 players, and 61 players putting down a deposit to play, a lottery was held for the first 30 seats in March. On Wednesday another 15 names, chosen by Aria Poker management, were released and while it includes the likes of Doug Polk, Fedor Holz, Jake Schindler and Bryn Kenney, it seems that some players are upset with the names chosen. In a tweet that's since been deleted, Steffen Sontheimer pointed out that 12 of the 15 chosen were American and a number of German players who had paid the deposit were passed over. Sontheimer replaced that tweet with the following:   Whether or not the German players were excluded on purpose or not, it makes no sense for the reigning Poker Masters Purple Jacket winner to not be guaranteed a seat in the other PokerCentral events at Aria. The way to build prestige for something new, such as the Purple Jacket, is to have it mean something. Allowing Sontheimer to buy-in to the Super High Roller Bowl if he wants to, would have given the broadcast team multiple opportunities to emphasize to viewers that he is the reigning Poker Masters champion. The same goes for US Poker Open winner Stephen Chidwick. PokerGO and the Aria are building something that could be very, very special in the poker world, but this feels like a real misstep. partypoker Shows Well at MILLIONS Grand Final The Great Poker War of 2018 has partypoker doing their best to usurp PokerStars as the leader not just in the online world, but in the live tournament scene as well. The partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona last week was a showcase for exactly what they're hoping for. The €10,300 buy-in Main Event came with a €10,000,000 guarantee which they smashed with 1,175 entrants. Before the Main Event wrapped up, the schedule also included two €25,000 buy-in events, a €50,000 event and a €100,000 event. Those events drew 88, 90, 57 and 48 players respectively. All four of those events easily surpassed their €2,000,000 guarantees with the €100,000 event prize pool more more than doubling the guaranteed amount. It's a sure-fire sign that players at all levels are recognizing the financial commitment that partypoker has put behind their LIVE tour. Players weren't the only ones who benefited though. Mypartypokerlive.com provided a top-tier live stream product alongside live updates, video interviews and other content. Considering the number of years they have to make up on PokerStars in the live arena, they certainly seem to be taking huge strides. Phil Galfond Progressing with Online Poker Site In the wake of PokerStars cutting off SuperNova Elite players with no notice and the ensuing fall out from some of the impacted players, Phil Galfond began putting the wheels in motion to launch his own online poker site. He made those plans public in September 2016 and had been mostly radio silent since then. That all changed this week when Galfond announced that Phase 1 of RunItOnce would launch this summer. According to Galfond, the first phase of release will only include cash games. Multi-table tournaments and sit-n-gos are expected to be part of Phase 2, which does not have release date. In the latest update, Galfond explained his reasoning for putting out the product in various phases. We decided to stay on course and deliver part of our offering quickly while also working on changes that will allow much more flexibility in our development process going forward. This meant a sped up launch, but a slightly slower path to our final product. Whether or not Galfond can build an online poker site, and more importantly a business that can survive the online poker market of 2018 remains to be seen, but observers who are disappointed or frustrated by the pace at which they're moving forward are missing the point. Galfond could very easily have acquired the software necessary, quickly put in place the necessary marketing and customer service channels and picked up the necessary licensing to operate in some European and ROW markets, but the likelihood of failure would have been sky high. Instead, Galfond and his team are taking their time to build a quality product while also making sure the ancillary product offerings, such as the VIP rewards program, aren't just cookie cutter copies of what's out already there. In the current online poker business environment, slow and steady is bound to at least stay in the race, if not win it. DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PocketFives.com or its owners.
  8. The 2018 World Series of Poker gets cards in the air on Wednesday afternoon. Whether you're making the trip to Las Vegas to chase a bracelet of your own or if you're just a fan excited to tune in from home, our weekly guide will get you hyped and prepared for the week ahead. Let's Get This Party Started The pomp and circumstance that will come with Wednesday's opening two events is all fine and dandy, but the biggest event of the first week has a six-figure buy-in and in all likelihood, a field full of the best players in the world. Event #5, the $100,000 No Limit High Roller, starts Friday - just long enough for the wounded souls from the Super High Roller Bowl to regroup and get ready for more high stakes battles. You can count former #1-ranked PocketFiver and Germany's all-time leading money winner Fedor Holz as ready to go. 2018 WSOP Week 1 Schedule Day Event # Event Defending Champion Wednesday 1 $565 Casino Employees Bryan Hollis Wednesday 2 $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty NONE Thursday 3 $3,000 NL Shootout Upeshka de Silva Thursday 4 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Benjamin Zamani Friday 5 $100,000 NL High Roller NONE Friday 6A $365 NL Giant Dieter Dechant Saturday 7A $565 Colossus Thomas Pomponio Saturday 7B $565 Colossus -- Saturday 8 $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball Jesse Martin Sunday 7C $565 Colossus -- Sunday 9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship Abe Mosseri Get Your Popcorn Ready Between the 16 final tables streaming on PokerGO and the 30 that are being shown for free on Twitch this year, poker fans probably won't need to leave their couch. The first week is a bit rough though as just three events will make it to air, but that includes Day 3 of the $100,000 High Roller. 2018 WSOP Week 1 Live Streaming Schedule Day Time (ET) Event Outlet Saturday 4:00 PM $3,000 NL Shootout FT PokerGo Saturday 6:00 PM $1,500 Omaha 8 FT Twitch Sunday 6:00 PM $100,000 High Roller Day 3 Twitch News & Notes There were three players who managed to pick 20 or more cashes during the 2017 WSOP: Chris Ferguson (23), John Racener (21) and Mike Leah (20). Prior to last year, the record for most cashes in a single year was 13 by Roland Israelashvili in 2016. The Player of the Year system was overhauled yet again this year after players complained that the system in place for 2017 gave too much credit for min-cashes and lower buy-in events. Ferguson rode those 23 cashes, which included a bracelet win at WSOP Europe, to POY honors and will have his POY banner unveiled Wednesday. The annual $25,000 buy-in WSOP Fantasy Draft was held Tuesday night at the Aria, with 15 teams participating. The players who went for the most in the auction were Daniel Negreanu ($131 - an all-time record), James Obst ($129), Stephen Chidwick ($97), Jason Mercier ($91) and Racener ($88). Teams each had $200 to bid on players to fill their eight-spot roster.
  9. As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. To date we've gone over the top five off-the-felt news stories of 2017, the top heaters of the year, covered the game's newest characters, breakout stars, grudges, and WTF Moments. Keeping with the theme of wacky and weird, up next is the Year in Flops. and Fails. #5 - No Shot Clock during the World Series of Poker The WSOP added new clock rules to their 2017 campaign but missed the boat on the clock players were really looking for. Whether you call it a shot clock or an action clock, the timer used in events like Super High Roller Bowl and the World Poker Tour was a hit in 2017. The outcry for it to be used in World Series events fell on deaf ears as the biggest tournament series in poker declined to add it for 2017. The lack of such a product hurt the WSOP Europe One Drop event immensely. The tanking reached a fever pitch and reigning Poker Master Steffen Sontheimer spoke out on behalf of the High Roller community. Joining him were businessmen Bill Perkins and Dan Shak, who said they would boycott any future events that do not have a shot clock. With the Big One For One Drop coming back to next year’s WSOP schedule, those in charge have some major decisions to make over the next few months. https://twitter.com/RunGo0seRun/status/927224889660071937? #4 - WSOP Streaming Schedule The old world of all WSOP final tables streaming for free on the World Series website became a thing of the past. Just before the 2017 WSOP began, PokerGO took hold of the ownership rights to stream WSOP final tables. The paid subscription service provided high-quality content, but left fans wanting more and the feeling of they weren’t getting enough bang for their buck. “Only” 16 events were broadcast but that total does not include all days of Main Event coverage that streamed live. Notably lacking were mixed game events and perhaps they will be added back into the rotation next year. In an industry where free content has long been the norm, the adjustment period to PokerGO’s new age business model is still being digested. #3 - PokerStars Live Rebrand Fizzles The largest change to the PokerStars Live series in 2017 came in the form of a name change. Out with the tour brands players grew to love and in with PokerStars Championships and Festivals. The first step of this process was poorly executed in the beholden Bahamas and the former but now brought back PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event drew only 738 entrants and was met with lackluster reviews from the professional and recreational ranks. That lack of enthusiasm carried over for the full year as numbers fell for the larger portion of PokerStars Live events. The company brought back the name brands of European Poker Tour and PCA to start 2018 in an attempt to spark new interest in the worldwide live tour. #2 - Gardens Casino Punts a $1 Million Guarantee Lofty guarantees drive players to casinos where they might not play otherwise. In September, the Gardens Casino in Los Angeles put a $565 buy-in with a $1 million guarantee on the schedule. Players showed up for the 14 flights initially listed but the guarantee was not met. So what did the Gardens Casino do instead of pay out the difference? They added more flights. Three more, in fact. A move such as this was unprecedented among the community and players took notice. The social media airwaves were unkind to Gardens for their decision to alter the schedule of the tournament. Most notably, complaints were made about the property overstepping the bounds of player trust and changing the starting days listed. All of this lead to a public relations disaster for the property. The tournament wound up overlaying anyway and the Gardens Casino poker team will have a lot on their hands should they end up running a similar event in the future. #1 - WSOP Player of the Year Formula In the end, the World Series and its much-maligned points formula for Player of the Year got what it deserved. From the moment this summer’s WSOP kicked off, players were displeased with the new formula put in place to decide one of poker’s most highly coveted awards. Ostensibly, no player feedback was asked for by the WSOP brass before they inputted a system that rewarded Colossus min-cashers more than $10,000 mixed game event ITM finishers. Players who were accustomed to having a linear path to making a run in the POY race found themselves having to reevaluate. Take David Bach, for example. ‘The Gunslinger’ won two bracelets and finished 87th in the final POY standings. In most years, Bach’s two bracelets alone would have him in contention for most of the summer. The result of the broken formula is the soon to be hung banner of 2017 winner Chris Ferguson, who min-cashed his way to the title. A fitting finale to a system everyone would rather forget as soon as possible.
  10. Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and interview players and industry leaders. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES PocketFives.com Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark are all ready for poker's version of summer camp: The World Series of Poker. This episode is dedicated entirely to previewing the 2017 WSOP and talking about what's new, who they think is going to stand out this summer and what the recently announced PokerGo streaming plans mean for poker.
  11. [caption width="640"] Tom Dwan is the headliner in the first three episodes of Poker After Dark on PokerGO (WPT photo)[/caption] When PokerGO announced they were bringing Poker After Dark back as part of their schedule, there was plenty of speculation as to who would be on the show. Fans seemed to want some of the players who played on the show before mixed in with some of the top younger talent that has emerged since the show last ran. Nobody thought it would mean the return of Tom Dwan though. Thursday night, PokerGO announced the first three lineups for the show and Dwan is scheduled to be playing in all three. The first three days of PAD are a $100,000 minimum buy-in cash game with $200/$400 blinds and a $400 button ante. The first show airs live on PokerGO, Monday, August 14 at 8 pm ET. Subsequent episodes will also air live on Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16. The nosebleed wunderkind, once a regular PAD participant, has been playing in Macau and Manila and has spent very little time in the public eye since Black Friday. “The shows were fun, they ended up being more interesting and more fun than I expected. It also helped that I won basically every hand that I played. If I called they were bluffing, if I was bluffing they folded. I’m hoping that continues,” said Dwan. The first episode also features Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari while Doyle Brunson and Andrew Robl are both scheduled to play in the second and third episodes. Jean-Robert Bellande, Lauren Roberts and Bill Klein will also appear on all three episodes. Lineup #1 - Monday, August 14 Tom Dwan Daniel Negreanu Antonio Esfandiari Jean-Robert Bellande Lauren Roberts Bill Klein Lineup #2 - Tuesday, August 15 Tom Dwan Doyle Brunson Andrew Robl Jean-Robert Bellande Lauren Roberts Bill Klein Lineup #3 - Wednesday, August 16 Tom Dwan Doyle Brunson Andrew Robl Jean-Robert Bellande Lauren Roberts Bill Klein
  12. [caption width="640"] Fedor Holz is one of the players that make PokerGO's Poker Masters a must-watch event (WPT photo)[/caption] The first-ever Poker Masters kicks off Wednesday night at the Aria Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with a number of the best players in the game today set to take their shot at some seven-figure prize pools and a custom-designed Purple Jacket. The Poker Masters is a series of five events; four $50,000 buy-in events with a single re-entry followed by a $100,000 buy-in freezeout. All five events will be streamed on PokerGO, giving poker fans around the world the chance to watch high roller action for eight straight days. The Purple Jacket will be awarded to the player with the highest total earnings across all five events. With cards in the air on Wednesday night, PocketFives has put together a list of five players to keep an eye on as the action progresses now through September 20. Daniel Negreanu He's poker's all-time leading money earner and easily the most visible star in the game today, but that doesn't mean Daniel Negreanu has any interest in resting on his laurels. Negreanu is - as he often is - very confident in how he thinks he's going to do during the Poker Masters. So much so, that he took on as many $50,000 must-win bets on himself against any other player in the field as he could book. Along with the prize money he'd win,Negreanu stands to win an additional seven figures if he takes home the Purple Jacket. It's worth noting that despite all of Negreanu's success, he has only won one event with a buy-in of $25,000 or more; the €25,600 2013 WSOP Europe High Roller. Fedor Holz Remember when Fedor Holz won the 2016 World Series of Poker One Drop High Roller and then promptly retired? Well, he still considers himself retired as he focuses his energy on his new company, Primed Mind, but the German superstar does come out of the woodwork every now and then to play an event or two. He'll be playing all five events and will be vlogging from start to finish for PokerCentral. Adrian Mateos At just 23 years old, Adrian Mateos already has a ridiculously impressive list of accomplishments next to his name. He's won three WSOP bracelets, the European Poker Tour Grand Final and almost $10,000,000 in live tournaments alone. Earlier this year, in the span of just 31 days, Mateos finished runner-up to Dietrich Fast at the $50,000 Super High Roller event at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida and then won the €50,000 Eight Max Shot Clock event at the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo. Doug Polk Doug Polk should probably make this list just for being the most recent WSOP One Drop High Roller champ, but Polk has become one of the game's biggest stories thanks to the content he's produced and his willingness to put himself out there. He's also got a growing rivalry of sorts with Negreanu and getting the opportunity to see those two clash during any of the five events is worth the price of subscription alone. Phil Hellmuth We've already mentioned that all five events are streamed on PokerGO and everybody knows that Phil Hellmuth has never met a camera he didn't like. The chance to be a constant part of an eight-day long broadcast while sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best players in the game is something Hellmuth lives for. On top of that, he's also coming into the Poker Masters with a little bit of momentum. Three weeks ago he beat Polk and Dan Cates to win the Poker Night in America King of the Hill event. He followed that up with a runner-up finish in the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker event for his 12th biggest score ever.
  13. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney took home another six-figure score by winning Poker Masters Event #3 on Saturday (Poker Central photo)[/caption] While the storyline from the first two Poker Masters final tables has been the success of the Germans in the field, one of the questions heading into the final table of Event #3 was where are the Germans? There were no German players among the final seven players in Event #3 but the storyline ended up being Bryn Kenney's ability to bob and weave Erik Seidel's attacks to win the event and $960,000. Sergio Aido was one of three short stacks when the final table began and ended up being the first player sent packing. Jake Schindler made it 35,000 to go from the cutoff and Aido responded by moving all in for 341,000. Schindler called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"] while Aido was hoping his [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] would hold up. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="2s"] flop gave Schindler the nut flush draw and while the [poker card="ks"] turn was a blank, the [poker card="qc"] river completed his flush and eliminated Aido. It took over two more hours before another player was eliminated. Seidel raised to 100,000 from the button and Cary Katz defended his big blind. Katz moved all in afer the [poker card="8d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3h"] flop and Seidel called. Katz showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"] whil Seidel had [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"]. Katz got no help from the [poker card="6d"] turn or [poker card="5d"] river and was out in sixth place. Before Katz could even leave the final table area, Doug Polk joined him on the way out the door. After every other player folded, Bryn Kenney moved all in from the small blind and Polk called all in and tabled [poker card="4c"][poker card="4d"]. Kenney showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"]. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="7h"][poker card="7s"] to give Kenney top two pair. The [poker card="2c"] turn and [poker card="5c"] river were bricks for Polk and he was done in fifth. Kenney continued in his role as table captain when he sent yet another player out just 30 minutes later. From UTG, Dan Smith raised to 80,000 and Kenney made it 295,000 from the small blind. Smith moved all in for 1,420,000 and Kenney called. Smith showed [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] but got bad news when Kenney showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="5d"] to eliminate Smith. The final three players played for almost a full hour without an elimination before Seidel and Schindler clashed. Schindler called, Kenney folded and Seidel moved all in from the big blind. Schindler called quickly and tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"] while Seidel showed [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"]. Schindler could only watch as the [poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="4d"] flop, [poker card="6d"] turn, and [poker card="3c"] river all missed his hand and eliminated him in third place. Heads-up play began with Kenney holding 3,255,000 to Seidel's 2,745,000. It took just under two hours for Kenney to overcome eight double-ups by Seidel to finally put the Poker Hall of Famer away to win $960,000. Final Table Payouts Bryn Kenney - $960,000 Erik Seidel - $576,000 Jake Schindler - $312,000 Dan Smith - $192,000 Doug Polk - $144,000 Cary Katz - $120,000 Sergio Aido - $96,000
  14. Get inside the mind of Chris 'moorman1' Moorman. As an 888poker ambassador Moorman has played poker on camera a countless number of times. But in this latest video for 888poker and PokerGO, the man with over $16 million in online earnings jumps into the role of the commentator to break down a now-famous hand from Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl between two heavyweight poker pros in Daniel Negreanu and Mikita Badziakouski. “I remember watching it at the time, live on the stream, and I was amazed by the end results,” Moorman said. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] In the video, the former #1-ranked PocketFiver takes a moment to give props to the high caliber of players at the table including Ali Imsirovic, Jake Schindler and Brian Rast. Then he proceeds to break the hand down. Street-by-street the PocketFives Legacy Award winner offers his insight and analysis, even taking issue with some of the decisions that were made. He discusses the importance of re-evaluating your thought process and decisions when information you weren’t expecting is introduced, such as when Negreanu is faced by an overbet by Badziakouski on the river. Ultimately, Negreanu finds himself in a tight spot where he makes an amazing laydown where many people might have called off. “It looks amazing because it’s right,” Moorman says. “Definitely in-game though you have a weird sort-of spidey sense feeling. Your gut is telling you to fold and there are definitely times I’ve listened to my gut over the theory and made an exploitable fold and been right.” Check it out below.
  15. The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl crowned its champion on Wednesday night, with Isaac Haxton topping the exclusive field of 36 entries to earn the $3.672 million prize. "I just feel f***ing great," Haxton said in the moments following the big win. "I'm just super happy, even a little relieved it's over. Obviously, a day like today is pretty stressful, in the best way." With the victory, Haxton moved to more than $23.65 million in live tournament earnings, which bumps him up ahead of Jake Schindler and into 13th place on poker's all-time money list. "I'm gonna have more than a couple drinks and probably eat at least 1,500 calories of something disgusting," Haxton said about his plans to celebrate, with a smile of course. "That should do it, and then hopefully sleep for about 12 hours. That would be a perfect victory party for me." Super High Roller Bowl V Results 1st: Isaac Haxton - $3,672,000 2nd: Alex Foxen - $2,160,000 3rd: Stephen Chidwick - $1,512,000 4th: Talal Shakerchi - $1,188,000 5th: Adrian Mateos - $972,000 6th: Igor Kurganov - $756,000 7th: Ali Imsirovic - $540,000 For the past three days, the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas played host to the high-stakes affair that attracted the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz, and Justin Bonomo, just to name a few. After Monday’s Day 1, 27 players remained. After Day 2, just seven were left, all in the money and guaranteed a $540,000 payday. Bubbling the money in eighth place was Mikita Badziakouski. Haxton started the final table as the chip leader and Ali Imsirovic was bringing up the rear with the shortest stack left. After starting the final table with 875,000 and blinds of 10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 big blind ante, Imsirovic worked his way to nearly 1.9 million before taking a dive in the other direction that ultimately resulted with his seventh-place elimination. Imsirovic lost a pot to Stephen Chidwick that knocked him all the way back down to 520,000 and then got the last of his stack in with pocket jacks against the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"] of Haxton. Haxton flopped a flush draw and hit it on the turn to knock out the 23-year-old in seventh. Next to go was Igor Kurganov, who was never able to get any real momentum going on the final day. On his final hand, Kurganov, on the button, moved all in for 350,000 over the top of a raise to 65,000 from Chidwick with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante. Talal Shakerchi reraised all in from the small blind and Chidwick folded. Shakerchi had pocket tens to Kurganov’s pocket sevens, and the board ran out [poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="Ac"] to send Kurganov home in sixth place. Shakerchi continued to climb after he busted Kurganov and even worked his way into the chip lead, but then he started to slide the other way as Alex Foxen increased. Adrian Mateos was next out the door when he was eliminated in fifth place by Foxen, falling in the 25,000/50,000 level with a big blind ante of 50,000. Mateos raised and then four-bet all in with pocket nines against Foxen, who made the call with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"]. Foxen flopped a king and held from there to send the young Spaniard to collect his $972,000 payout. With Foxen out in front by a large margin and Haxton in second place, the final four players moved into Level 21 with the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante. Shortly after the level went up, Shakerchi went out, and he was busted by Haxton. Haxton opened to 140,000 and Shakerchi reraised all in for 1.285 million. Haxton called with two nines and won the flip against Shakerchi's [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Td"]. Shakerchi collected $1.118 million for his finish. Not too long after, Haxton added another chunk of chips when he busted Chidwick in third place. The two got the money in a blind-versus-blind situation, with Chidwick on the ropes holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"] to Haxton’s pocket jacks. To make matters worse for Chidwick, Haxton flopped top set to leave him needing runner-runner. It didn't come and Chidwick was out in third for $1.512 million. Although Foxen held the lead going into heads-up play - his 5.84 million to Haxton's 4.965 million - Haxton made short work of the match. Haxton won the first heads-up pot to take a 2-1 chip lead and Foxen could never recover from there. On the final hand, Haxton limped the button holding the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jh"]. Foxen raised to 225,000 out of the big blind with the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8d"] and Haxton jammed. Foxen called to put himself at risk for 1.33 million, but he wouldn’t be doubling up. The final board ran [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="Js"] to give Haxton two pair and the victory. For Foxen, his second-place finish was worth a whopping $2.16 million and put quite the cap on an incredible year that saw him win more than $6.6 million on the live felt. "For tournament results, there's no competition," Haxton said of where he ranked this Super High Roller Bowl triumph. "This is my biggest score ever and the other ones that come somewhat close are second- and third-place finishes. This is easily the best tournament result I've ever had and it's an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt." Widely known as a high-stakes cash game player, Haxton certainly does his fair share of competing in the largest tournaments in the world. As for how he wins this much money, Haxton will take it any way he can get it. "If I can win $3.6 million, I'm not going to be picky about how I win it," Haxton said. "It can be in the lottery, on Wheel of Fortune, I don’t care. Give me the $3.6 million. I’m not going to complain about how I won it."
  16. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Leon Tsoukernik found himself the center of the attention in the high stakes cash game world for all the wrong reasons.[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. We'll get things started by looking back at the five biggest off the felt news stories of 2017. #5 - Australian Government Bans Online Poker American poker players know all too well how it feels to have the government step in and take away online poker. In March, the Interactive Gambling Amendment 2016 passed through the Australia Senate and effectively banned online poker Down Under. Over the course of the next six months, PokerStars, 888poker, and partypoker all exited the Australian market, leaving grinders there to play on black market offshore sites, much like most of their American counterparts. There does appear to be some appetite from politicians to regulate online poker or at least carve the game out, but there's no real timeline for either of those options. #4 - The End of the November Nine & Launch of PokerGO A major shift in how poker fans watch the WSOP was announced just a couple of weeks before the 2017 WSOP started. In partnership with ESPN, Poker Central announced they had acquired the global television and digital media rights for the WSOP and would be launching their own subscription-based streaming service, PokerGO. The WSOP Main Event would be broadcast live on a combination of ESPN, ESPN2, and PokerGO, and the final table played out in July, ending the November Nine concept after a ten-year run. While the decision to take the Main Event back to its roots was met with praise from poker fans, one of the major complaints those same fans had was that not all final tables were live streamed, as had been the case in years past when WSOP.com aired them. PokerGO later added the Poker Masters series and brought back Poker After Dark as part of their original programming and signed on the World Poker Tour as part of their streaming coverage. #3 - UB & AbsolutePoker Money Returned to Players Most players who had money on UB.com or AbsolutePoker.com on Black Friday had long given up any hope of getting that money back. So to say the news that the Garden City Group had begun the remissions process for those players was met with delight back in April would be a massive understatement. With little to no fanfare, GCG announced that players could begin filling out the necessary paperwork to potentially get their money back. The process was nearly identical to the one used by GCG to pay Full Tilt Poker players back following the U.S. Department of Justice settlement with PokerStars. Most believe the UB/AP refunds process was only possible because of funds leftover from that settlement after all Full Tilt refunds were processed. #2 - High Stakes Drama: Leon Tsoukernik vs. Matt Kirk It’s rare that poker fans get any sort of reliable information out of the world of nosebleed cash games. So when Matt Kirk sued Kings Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik after he failed to pay back a $3,000,000 loan Kirk gave him, everybody seemed to salivate over the details contained in the court documents. According to Kirk’s suit, the pair were part of a high stakes game at the Aria Hotel & Casino on May 27 when the other players quit the game. Kirk and Tsoukernik both wanted to keep playing allegedly but Tsoukernik had lost his stake earlier and asked Kirk if he could borrow money to continue playing. Over the next hour or so, Kirk loaned Tsoukernik $3,000,000 and quickly beat him for all of it. According to the court documents, just 15 minutes after the two finished playing, Tsoukernik texted Kirk that he had no intention of paying the debt. In October, the Clark County judge overseeing the case agreed with Tsoukernik that under Nevada law a gaming debt between two individuals is unenforceable and threw out eight of Kirk’s 10 counts. However, Kirk is still suing Tsoukernik for “fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment.” #1 - Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Poker In late October online poker players in Pennsylvania were willingly watching the live stream coverage of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as HB 271 came up for vote. The bill, which regulated online poker, casino games and daily fantasy sports in the Keystone State passed by a 109-72 vote. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law just four days later. While there is still no timeline for when players will be able to play legal online poker in Pennsylvania, some observers believe mid-summer to be a best guess. Those same observers point to 888poker, partypoker and PokerStars as likely candidates to be operating within the state. PokerStars applauded the legislation. "We applaud the Pennsylvania Legislature for taking decisive action to legalize online gaming," said Eric Hollreiser, VP of Corporate Communications for PokerStars. "This is common sense legislation that will protect consumers, help close Pennsylvania’s budget gap, and make the state more competitive within the regional gaming industry. The Stars Group looks forward to working with Pennsylvania and its gaming regulators and competing in the future marketplace."
  17. There’s nothing quite like the first time. For serious poker enthusiasts, there may be nothing more exciting than making your first trip to Las Vegas to participate in, or simply geek out to, the World Series of Poker. For those lucky people making their first trip to the series in 2018, we have some suggestions on how to fully embrace the WSOP experience. You won’t find any Cirque Du Soleil show recommendations or directions to the best sushi restaurants here, this is simply a guide to diving head first into a complete WSOP summer poker experience in Sin City. Hit The Hall The first time you head to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, tell your taxi or Uber driver to take you to the front entrance. Sure, they can drop you off at the “poker entrance” but you should experience the walk down the long hallway that leads to Rio convention area at least once. The closer you get to the action the more you’ll be inundated with banners of former WSOP Players of the Year and Main Event Champions. Doyle, Stu, Chris…Moneymaker. And, yes, Ferguson. They’re (almost) all there. Of the three major tournament areas, the Pavillion is the one you’ll see first. Go inside and take a deep breath in. Yes, some of the smells may be from players who have been up for days, unable or unwilling to shower, but everything in the Pavillion is pure poker. The cricket-like sound of shuffling chips, the floor at the big board announcing a new table of $10-20 Big O and single table satellites filling up and getting underway. The Pavillion houses cash games, satellites, the Daily Deepstack tournaments and occasionally overflow from WSOP bracelet events. For daily grinders, the Pavillion is where a ton of the action happens. Walk the hallway with the vendors, but be wary first-timers: try not to let someone attach a magnetic aura bracelet to your wrist or entice you with a whiff of orange colored oxygen. However, if you see Bart Hanson, Jonathan Little or even PocketFives' own Lance Bradley spending time in a booth, walk on over and see what's up. Interested in some “poker sunglasses”? They’ve got those too. It’s a mini poker market and just maybe you’ll find something you like. Finally, on your first pass check out both the Brazilia and the famed Amazon Room. In 2017 they had moved the televised "mothership" to the Brazilia so make sure you do a slow pass and get a behind the scenes look at what you watch on ESPN or PokerGO. Then hit the Amazon to see the room where so much WSOP history was made. Star Gazing When it comes to seeing stars, a trip to the WSOP is unlike a trip to Hollywood because poker celebrities are just about everywhere you look on any given day. The personalities you watch on TV like Negreanu, Greenstein, and Raymer are often times at the tables grinding it out to try to win another bracelet. There walkways in each of the tournament rooms where one can quite often spot a noted pro from the rail. Often times if you see one of your favorites in the hallway, they’d be happy to hear what a fan you are and pose for a shot for your Insta. Of course, use discretion. Quite often these guys are playing for many thousands of dollars, so use that keen poker instinct to pick an appropriate time to introduce yourself. Get Your Feet Wet, Splash Around If you came to the World Series to play, then it’s time to play. At the WSOP just about every poker experience is at your fingertips. Small stakes to nosebleed cash games are running 24/7. Want to win your way into a bracelet event? There’s an entire section dedicated to single table satellites that start as low as around $125 that can help you win entries to buy-in to bigger events. Tournament aficionados may choose to jump into one of the popular Daily Deepstacks. There’s four that fire daily - 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. They are all one-day events and have a buy-in ranging from $200 - $365. They are noted for having massive fields and pretty big paydays for those that can make it to the end. Take That (Gold Bracelet) Shot It should go without saying that when shot taking, never play with any money you can’t afford to lose. There’s little in the poker world that feels quite like taking a seat in a WSOP bracelet event for the first time. The WSOP gold bracelet has been one of the most enduring accolades in the game and anyone with the gumption and the buy-in can take a shot, make a run and potentially become a hometown hero, returning with a new piece of jewelry. Want to outsmart the masses when it comes to registering? It’s way too easy. Hit the cage when there’s no one around. Registration for every event is open around the clock, so take an unscheduled trip to the convention area at the end of the day or late into the night and register for any event days in advance. The lines can get extremely long for events like the Millionaire Maker and Monster Stack on the day of. Also available, online registering with a credit card via the WSOP’s partnership with Bravo. See Other People So you’ve seen the sights, watched the stars and taken a seat in a WSOP event. It’s been great, but you are sick of the Hash House and All American Bar & Grille. Perhaps, the Rio is wearing on you. Well, for many the entirety of their WSOP experience is actually far more than the series itself. Many major Las Vegas properties throw their own expansive summer poker series and there’s a ton of fun to be had there as well. The Aria poker room is one of the most acclaimed in the city and their Aria Poker Classic features two events daily (one at 11:00 a.m. one at 7:00 p.m.). If you bust in the tournaments at the Aria, you can hop in a cash game, get a pretty great grass-fed burger or slice of Forester pizza at Five50 Pizza Bar. The Wynn has a summer series of their own. Their poker room is one of luxury and their tournament area gives one the feeling like they are playing in an island resort. It doesn’t stop there: the Venetian, Golden Nugget, Binion’s and Planet Hollywood all have an extensive schedule of tournaments and cash game offering to go along with them. So when planning a schedule mix it up and see what’s out there. Whether you plan on heading to Las Vegas for two days or two weeks (or longer) there’s plenty to do for the complete poker fan.
  18. Later this week, the 2018 World Series of Poker will reach the halfway point on the schedule. While a lot of the schedule each year is focused on No Limit Hold'em, the fans of four-card poker will rejoice this week as Pot Limit Omaha events highlight the 17 events on the schedule. Big Buy-in Pot Limit Omaha The two biggest buy-in PLO events on the WSOP schedule both take place this week, but not in their normal order. Traditionally, the $10,000 PLO Championship has always preceded the $25,000 PLO High Roller. This year, thanks to ESPN needing to set up the main stage for the Main Event broadcasts, the $25,000 buy-in event comes first. Running June 20-23, that event brings out the best PLO players in the world plus a mix of a few businessmen who love the four-card game. James Calderaro beat out 204 other players last year to win his first WSOP bracelet and $1,289,074. On the same day that final table begins, the $10,000 PLO Championship event kicks off. Attendance in this event has been on the rise each of the last two years, going from 387 in 2015 to 428 in 2017. The three-day event runs June 23-25. Don't Forget the Button Clickers The live felt isn't the only place where PLO bracelets will be up for grabs this week. For the first time in WSOP history, players will be able to play PLO on WSOP.com with a bracelet on the line. The $565 buy-in event is a one-day event on Friday, June 22. 2018 WSOP Week 3 Schedule Day Event # Event Name Defending Champion Monday 37 $1,500 NL Hold'em Christopher Frank Monday 38 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Mike Wattel Tuesday 39 $1,500 NL Shootout Ben Maya Tuesday 40 $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Jens Lakemeier Wednesday 41 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shane Buchwald Wednesday 42 $25,000 PLO 8-Handed High Roller James Calderaro Thursday 43 $2,500 NL Hold'em Gaurav Raina Thursday 44 $10,000 Limit Triple Draw Lowball Championship Ben Yu Friday 45 $1,000 Big Blind Antes NONE Friday 46 $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo Smith Sirisakorn Friday 47 $565 WSOP.com Online PLO None Friday 6D $365 Giant Saturday 48A $1,500 Monster Stack Brian Yoon Saturday 49 $10,000 PLO Championship Tommy Le Sunday 48B $1,500 Monster Stack Sunday 50 $1,500 Razz Jason Gola Sunday 11D $365 PLO Giant Get Your Popcorn Ready for Streaming Madness The $50,000 Poker Players Championship event always attracts an amazing field and this year is no different. The final 12 players will be battling on Twitch with Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi and Brian Rast highlighting a storyline-filled penultimate day of action. Tuesday's final table moves to PokerGO in what promises to be an amazing showcase of some of poker's best playing a tough rotation of eight games. There are two other $10,000 Championship events (Seven Card Stud & Triple Draw) and the $25,000 PLO High Roller set for live streaming action this week. Date Time (ET) Event Outlet June 18 6:00 PM $50,000 Player Championship Day 4 Twitch June 19 6:00 PM $50,000 Players Championship FT PokerGO June 19 6:00 PM $10,000 Stud Day 2 Twitch June 20 4:00 PM $1,500 NL FT Twitch June 20 6:00 PM $10,000 Stud FT PokerGO June 21 4:00 PM $1,500 NL Shootout FT Twitch June 22 6:00 PM $25,000 PLO 8-Max FT PokerGO June 23 4:00 PM $2,500 NL FT Twitch June 23 6:00 PM $10,000 NL 2-7 FT PokerGO June 24 6:00 PM $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo FT Twitch  
  19. Poker Central, the online streaming broadcast partner of the World Series of Poker, has announced their complete streaming schedule for the 2018 summer series. Of the 78 bracelet events, a total of 16 final tables as well as wire-to-wire comprehensive coverage of the $10,000 Main Event and extensive viewing of the $1,000,000 Big One For One Drop will be able to be seen on the PokerGO platform. Mixing It Up “We’re eager to continue our live coverage of the WSOP on PokerGO for the second year running,” said Vice President of Content at Poker Central, Sam Simmons. “Our expanded coverage schedule including a wide array of poker variants will give our viewers even more opportunities to follow all the action of the world’s most prestigious tournament series.” Answering the call from their vocal viewership, Poker Central has clearly put a focus on expanding the variety of games that will be broadcast. Popular events like the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads Up and just about every $10,000 Championship Event - no matter the variant - has made it onto the schedule. Calling The Action When it comes to commentary during the events, the heavy lifting will be done by longtime poker commentator and the voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad. Nejad will be handling the play-by-play with guest play-by-play from ESPN’s own Lon McEachern. Color commentary and strategic analysis will be handled by a rotating cast of players and personalities to be named on an event-by-event basis. One should also expect appearances by ESPN’s own color commentator, Norman Chad. In addition to having McEachern and Chad contribute to the PokerGO commentary team, the partnership between ESPN and Poker Central looks to bring viewers unparalleled coverage of two of the biggest events of the summer. “We’re looking forward to having Poker Central and ESPN tag team coverage for the WSOP again this year,” said the Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, Ty Stewart. “Fans can expect stellar storylines and wall-to-wall coverage throughout the event and during the ‘Big One for One Drop.” ESPN had already announced their broadcasting schedule for the 2018 WSOP Main Event and One Drop, now the PokerGO streaming dates can help fans complete the picture of how to watch every second of the action. As is customary, all of the events will be streamed on a 30-60 minutes delay with hole cards displayed. If the content on both PokerGo and ESPN simply is not enough streaming poker, there will be additional World Series of Poker streaming coverage on a free-to-view partner site, the details of which will be announced before the start of the WSOP. The World Series of Poker is set to begin on May 29. The first event poker fans can watch on PokerGO will be Event #3, the $3,000 NLHE Shootout on June 2 at 4:00 p.m. ET. 2018 WSOP On PokerGO Streaming Schedule DATE TIME EVENT June 2 4:00 PM ET $3,000 NLHE Shootout Final Table June 4 4:00 PM ET $100,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table June 5 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table June 7 4:00 PM ET $1,500 NLHE Final Table June 8 4:00 PM ET $10,000 NLHE Heads Up June 9 4:00 PM ET $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed Final Table June 11 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Eight Game Mix Final Table June 12 6:00 PM ET $10,000 No Limit Lowball Draw Final Table June 13 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table June 14 6:00 PM ET $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table June 16 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table June 19 6:00 PM ET $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table June 20 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Seven Card Stud Final Table June 22 6:00 PM ET $25,000 High Roller Pot Limit Omaha Final Table June 23 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Final Table June 25 6:00 PM ET $10,000 PLO 8-Handed Final Table July 3 1:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1A July 3 11:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1B July 5 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1C July 5 8:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 2A/B (Part A) July 6 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day2A/B (Part B) July 7 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 2C July 7 9:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 3 July 8 7:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 4 July 9 8:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 5 (Part A) July 10 2:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 5 (Part B) July 10 2:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 6 (Part A) July 10 11:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 6 (Part B) July 11 2:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 7 July 12 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 1 (ESPN) July 13 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 2 (ESPN) July 14 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 3 (ESPN) July 16 2:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (Part A) July 17 12:30 AM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (ESPN 2) July 17 2:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (Part B) July 17 6:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 3 July 17 9:00 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 3 (ESPN 2)
  20. The opening day butterflies are officially behind us as the 2018 World Series of Poker picks up steam headed into week #2. There is plenty to look forward to, including a long list of upcoming bracelet events as well as plenty of opportunities for fans to tune in to Twitch or PokerGo to rail the action. Welcome Weekend Warriors, Value Hunters This week is rife with tournaments for those looking to play some of the lower buy-in events with hopes to bink a bracelet. The week starts off with the final two flights of the mammoth Colossus event. Monday is the final day for players to find a bag and win a spot in the Day 2 field. The end of the week is just as plentiful for those looking to spend under $1K. Friday brings both flights of the $565 Pot Limit Omaha Event. The $565 PLO Giant will field its second flight on Sunday. Add to those, another flight of the $365 NL Giant and there will be no shortage of players spinning up the prize pools all weekend long. For the recreational player, perhaps one of the most anticipated events on the calendar is Event #21 - The $1,500 Millionaire Maker. The cornerstone event gets underway on Saturday, June 9 and offers two flights, with a single re-entry per flight. The winner is guaranteed a minimum payday of $1,000,000. Last year, Canada’s Pable Mariz, outlasted the 7,761 entries for a $1,221,407 payday. 2018 WSOP Week 2 Schedule Day Event # Event Defending Champion Monday 7E $565 Colossus Thomas Pomponio Monday 12 $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed David Bach Monday 7F $565 Colossus - Tuesday 13 $1,500 NL Big Blind Ante NONE Tuesday 14 $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Frank Kassela Wednesday 15 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. David Singer Wednesday 16 $10,000 Heads Up NL Championship Adrian Mateos Thursday 17 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Anthony Marquez Thursday 18 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed John Racener Friday 19 $565 PLO Tyler Smith Friday 20 $5,000 NL Big Blind Ante NONE Friday 19B $565 PLO -- Friday 6B $365 NL Giant Dieter Dechant Saturday 21 $1,500 NL Millionaire Maker Pablo Mariz Saturday 22 $1,500 8-Game Mix Ronald Ware Sunday 21B $1,500 NL Millionaire Maker -- Sunday 23 $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship John Monnette Sunday 11B $565 PLO Giant --   Big Money Broadcasts There are no days off this week when it comes to the streaming schedule. Big money is on the line right off the bat as PokerGo streams the final table of the $100,000 NL High Roller on June 4. Some of the game’s biggest names, including Bryn Kenney, Stephen Chidwick, and final table chip leader Nick Petrangelo will be vying for the first million-dollar payouts of the summer. There’s so much streaming action this week that on June 4, 7, and 8 there are multiple streams, giving players the non-stop action they crave. Date Time Event Outlet June 4 6:00 PM $100,000 High Roller FT PokerGO June 4 6:00 PM $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Day 2 Twitch June 5 6:00 PM $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo FT PokerGO June 6 3:00 PM $1,500 NL Day 2 Twitch June 7 4:00 PM $1,500 NL Final Table PokerGO June 7 6:00 PM $10,000 NL Heads-Up Day 2 Twitch June 8 4:00 PM $10,000 NL Heads-Up FT PokerGO June 8 6:00 PM $565 Colossus FT Twitch June 9 4:00 PM $1,500 NL 6-Max FT PokerGO June 10 6:00 PM $565 PLO FT Twitch News & Notes Elio Fox, another one of the big names sitting at the final table of the $100,000 NL High Roller, will have the opportunity to become the first double bracelet winner of the young summer. Headed into the final table, he's currently third in chips. The first of the four online bracelet events to be held on WSOP.com, which includes players from New Jersey for the first time, closed registration with 2,972 runners. The $365 tournament saw a 16% increase in players from the $333 online bracelet event held in 2017 which attracted 2,509 players. Will the Colossus live up to its name in 2018? Keep an eye on Monday's numbers for players registering for the final two flights of the $565 Colossus. In 2017, the field exceeded 18,000, generating a prize pool of over $9 million. Through four flights, the total number of runners ended up right around 7K, leaving only two flights (on a Monday) to make up a massive difference to even get close to those 2017 numbers.
  21. [caption width="640"] Nick Schulman won 8,000 for winning the first ,000 buy-in Poker Masters event (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] When PokerGO announced the Poker Masters series as part of the live streaming schedule, many people hoped that Nick Schulman would be one of the voices in the booth, calling the action. Schulman had other ideas. Schulman beat out a final table that included four of the German pros that have dominated high roller tournaments over the past few years, to win $918,000. The Germans made their presence felt just after the final table began on Monday afternoon. Stefan Schillhabel picked up an early double through Adrian Mateos before Dominik Nitsche eliminated the Spaniard. Down to just nine big blinds, Mateos moved all in for his last 360,000 from the hijack before Nitsche reshoved from the small blind. Mateos turned over [poker card="qd"][poker card="js"] while Nitsche showed [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"] flop put Mateos ahead, but the [poker card="6h"] turn gave Nitsche a set and Mateos was eliminated in seventh after the meaningless [poker card="td"] river. Just a few minutes later the first German-on-German bustout sent Koray Aldemir out. Nitsche raised to 80,000, Steffen Sontheimer called from the small blind but Aldemir raised all in for 630,000 from the big blind. Nitsche folded but Sontheimer took some time before calling. Aldemir showed [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] and found he was at least drawing live after Sontheimer showed [poker card="qs"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"] put Aldemir in front, the turn was the [poker card="4d"] but the [poker card="ah"] turn gave Sontheimer an ace-high straight and eliminated Aldemier in sixth. About an hour later Sontheimer eliminated another German. Nitsche moved all in for 560,000 from the button before Sontheimer also moved all in over the top for over 1,530,000. Schillhabel folded the big blind. Nitsche turned over [poker card="6d"][poker card="5d"] while Sontheimer showed [poker card="as"][poker card="3s"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"][poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="qh"] to end Nitsche's run in fifth place. Sontheimer took over the chip lead on that hand, only to surrender it to Schulman just a few minutes later. With the board showing [poker card="ad"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="8d"] and a pot of 1,140,000, Schulman checked to Sontheimer who moved all in. Schulman used one of his time extensions before eventually calling. Sontheimer turned over [poker card="as"][poker card="js"] and Schulman showed [poker card="td"][poker card="7h"] for a rivered flush for a full double. Schulman eliminated Sontheimer just 30 minutes later. A cooler on the next hand sent Schulman to heads up with the chip lead. Schulman raised to 120,000, Schillhabel re-raised to 395,000. Schulman moved all in and Schillhabel called. Schulman showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] which put him ahead of Schillhabel's [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out with no help for Schillabel and he was out in third place. Schulman had Matt Hyman outchipped nearly 2-1 when heads up play began. The two played heads up for over 2.5 hours with each player taking multiple turns as the chip leader before Schulman put the finishing touches on a dominating final table performance. Hyman raised to 310,000, Schulman moved all in and Hyman called with his tournament life on the line. Schulman had [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"] and had Hyman's [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"] dominated. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5d"] flop gave Hyman the nut flush draw but neither the [poker card="5s"] turn or [poker card="ac"] river were any help for Hyman and Schulman picked up a third straight elimination to take down the Poker Masters opening event. This win was Schulman's second high roller win in the last five weeks. Schulman won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $50,000 event on August 8. The Poker Masters continues on PokerGO until September 20. Final Table Payouts Nick Schulman - $918,000 Matt Hyman - $561,000 Stefan Schillhabel - $306,000 Steffen Sontheimer - $204,000 Dominik Nitsche - $178,500 Koray Aldemir - $153,000 Adrian Mateos - $127,500
  22. The eighth event of the 2019 US Poker Open is in the books, with Nick Schulman winning the $25,000 8-Game Mix tournament for a score of $270,000. Schulman defeated Brandon Adams in heads-up play to take the title and also earned 350 points in the USPO Championship race. Final Table Results 1. Nick Schulman - $270,000 2. Brandon Adams - $150,000 3. Chris Vitch - $80,000 The event attracted 20 entries to the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, with only the top three spots set to reach the money. After the first day of action on Wednesday, just four players remained for Thursday’s finale. That meant one more player had to go home empty-handed. That player turned out to be Randy Ohel, who came into Thursday with the shortest stack and was quickly sent packing in a hand of seven-card stud hi-lo. With three players left in the money, Adams had the chip lead, Schulman was in second, and then Chris Vitch was in a distant third place. Vitch was soon knocked out in third place in a hand of 2-7 triple draw. On his final hand, Vitch had bet and called all in after he was check-raised by Adams before the third draw. Adams stood pat, leaving Vitch to a decision. After taking his time, Vitch eventually decided to stand pat as well, holding [poker card="9x"][poker card="8x"][poker card="7x"][poker card="5x"][poker card="3x"]. His hand wasn’t good against the [poker card="9x"][poker card="7x"][poker card="6x"][poker card="3x"][poker card="2x"] of Adams and he was out in third for an $80,000 payday. Knocking out Vitch allowed Adams to enter heads-up play with the chip lead over Schulman. The two were playing for a difference of $120,000 in prize money, the title, and the winner’s share of points. Although Adams began with the chip lead, Schulman quickly battled back and moved into the lead. Schulman won a pretty good-sized pot in Omaha hi-lo, scooped a big batch of chips when Adams tried to bluff him in a hand of no-limit hold’em, and then knocked Adams down further in the razz round. After all of that, Adams was left with just a few bets and the rest of his chips found the middle shortly thereafter. The final hand took place during the limit hold’em round, with Adams starting with just 105,000 in chips. He raised from the button to 100,000, Schulman reraised to put Adams all in, and Adams called with the [poker card="9d"][poker card="2s"]. Schulman had the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Tc"]. The flop, turn, and river ran out [poker card="Jd"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="7h"] to eliminate Adams in second place. Adams earned $150,000 and 245 points for his runner-up finish. It was his third cash of the 2019 USPO and moved him to fourth on the overall leaderboard. Schulman scored a winning prize of $270,000 and 350 points. It was his second in-the-money finish of the 2019 USPO and he moved to third on the USPO’s overall leaderboard. USPO Top 10 After Event #8 PLAYER CASHES PRIZE MONEY POINTS 1. Stephen Chidwick 4 $705,950 540 2. Sean Winter 4 $419,400 440 3. Nick Schulman 2 $390,000 410 4. Brandon Adams 3 $314,750 365 5. Cary Katz 3 $580,200 340 6. Bryn Kenney 2 $477,000 240 7. Lauren Roberts 2 $263,400 240 8. Jordan Cristos 2 $206,200 240 9. Ali Imsirovic 1 $442,500 200 10. Ben Yu 3 $262,800 200   The final table for Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em will take place on Friday. USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO DATE EVENT TIME (ET) 02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 7:30 p.m. 02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  23. Chalk up another win for Bryn Kenney in 2019. This time, there was no deal to be made as Kenney knocked out four of his final five opponents en route to a lightning-fast victory in the US Poker Open Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold’em for $450,000. The 60-entry field was narrowed down to a high-rolling who’s who final table of six. Kenney and Ben Yu were among the chip leaders however, there were four other formidable players in Nick Petrangelo, Keith Tilston, Nick Schulman and, eventual runner-up, Jake Schindler, who were all capable of coming from behind. Final Table Payouts 1. Bryn Kenney - $450,000 2. Jake Schindler - $300,000 3. Ben Yu – $210,000 4. Keith Tilston - $150,000 5. Nick Schulman - $120,000 6. Nick Petrangelo - $90,000 It only took a few hands before the bustouts began. The action folded to Nick Petrangelo in the small blind and he jammed with his remaining 13 big blinds holding [poker card="jc"][poker card="6c"]. Kenney, sitting in the big blind, ended up making the call holding [poker card="kc"][poker card="8h"]. The flop came [poker card="3d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="4s"] giving Petrangelo additional outs with a gutshot straight draw. The [poker card="kh"] on the turn put Kenney even further ahead in the hand. The [poker card="3c"]river ended Petrangelo’s run in Event #7 for $90,000. Roughly ten minutes later, Nick Schulman was all in for his tournament life. From the button, Schulman open-shoved his 12 big blind stack with [poker card="qh"][poker card="td"]. Then, from the small blind, Keith Tilston reshoved over the top with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"]. Ben Yu got out of the way and, with the cards on their backs, the duo saw a flop of [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"][poker card="7h"] providing both players a pair. The [poker card="kd"] turn gave Schulman a few more outs to the straight but the [poker card="8s"] river was no help the PokerGO commentator. Schulman finished in fifth place for $120,000, his second recorded cash of 2019. Even though he had just busted Schulman, Tiltson wasn’t long for this final table. Kenney, having both blinds covered, open-shoved from the button with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3c"]. Tilston, in the big blind, ended up making the call with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"], putting his tournament at stake. The flop came [poker card="2c"][poker card="ts"][poker card="kc"] providing Tilston some additional gutshot outs but the [poker card="7d"] fell on the turn and the [poker card="td"] on the river, giving the hand to Kenney's pocket threes. Tilston bowed out in fourth place for $150,000. It marks his fifth lifetime cash at the USPO. Ben Yu, who entered the day as the final table chip leader, clashed with Kenney in a huge hand which, in the end, left Yu crippled. Only a few hands after that confrontation, Kenney finished the job. Yu, with less than three big blinds, stuck it in from the small blind with [poker card="td"][poker card="6d"] and Kenney snap called holding the [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="3c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="kh"][poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] giving Kenney the flush and ending Yu’s run in third place. Yu picked up $210,000 for his efforts, his third cash of the 2019 USPO series. Kenney held a massive chip lead headed into heads up play, but Schindler started chipping away at it by winning the first few hands. However, as he had for the entirety of this brief final table, Kenney ended up on top in the most important hand. Kenney limped the button with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"] and Schindler shipped his [poker card="ac"][poker card="7d"] which Kenney quickly called. The flop [poker card="2d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="kh"] flop put Kenney in the lead. The turn came the [poker card="2h"] and the river the [poker card="8s"] securing the win for Kenney and providing Schindler the runner-up result and $300,000 in prize money. Kenney, the Aussie Millions Main Event winner, takes home $450,000 for the victory, sending his lifetime career live earnings north of $27,000,000. The final table for Event #8: $25,000 8 Game Mix takes place on Thursday. USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO DATE EVENT TIME (ET) 02/21/19 Event #8: $25,000 8-Game 5 p.m. 02/21/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 8 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. 02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Early 7:30 p.m. 02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final 5 p.m. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  24. I would like nothing more than to see the game of poker and this industry thrive unimaginably. I also believe the Global Poker Awards, which were previously two distinctions, the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards, are good for the industry. That belief is becoming less and less so each year. I've always touted the importance of this ceremony to celebrate the industry and accomplishments within. Quite honestly, it's getting to the point where one could make the argument the awards aren't good for poker because some of the nominees and even some of the categories are so far off the mark. If you're like me and believe the awards can help push poker in the right direction, then we're going to need to change how we do things and try a bit harder. I'm well aware the Global Poker Awards aren't going to spark the next poker boom, but they're a piece of the puzzle that can increase the industry's legitimacy. For an industry that is constantly clawing and scratching for every inch of legitimacy it can get, this is important. When the nomination list goes out, do those that receive it take the adequate time to best make their selections? The answer to that question can't possibly be yes. I've talked to enough people to surmise that there's too many with representative votes who aren't holding up their end of the bargain. Of course, this is a shared responsibility between the Global Poker Index and those on the nomination panel. The GPI needs to put standard over inclusion, but ultimately, most of the nomination panel isn't putting in the time and effort the privilege should require. The nomination panel isn't helping if, every single year when it's time for the awards, too many are half-assing it through the process, voting for friends and co-workers simply because of relationship, and not putting in the time it takes to make the best decisions. It's kind of like poker in a lot of ways. Are the voters in it to simply splash around a little in the game and be considered a "known" person in the industry, or do they want to actually put in the effort it takes for this to mean something? Improve the Process This year's nomination panel was pegged at more than 130 members, according to the GPI. That's too many by about 120. I get it, the awards are now global so you're going to need a greater representation from across the globe, but the lobbying for friends and coworkers is blatantly obvious and the lack of knowledge is highly evident. This is where the GPI needs to step in and make a change. Again, we need to emphasize that the awards are a standard of achievement, not a popular participation trophy. Instead of having a huge nomination panel, form a committee and give them real responsibilities. I'd suggest a committee of 10-12 people, and I'd make it an interview process for a person to be accepted to the committee. We can start by having each media outlet nominate one person to possibly be on the committee. Poker media members should, in theory, be the ones with the best grasp on all things poker across the globe. We should want those with the most expansive knowledge on the committee, but we'll certainly need to vet them. Each person nominated to be a part of the committee would be interviewed by the GPI and either accepted or refused. Think of it like a job interview and the GPI is hiring, just for a gig with no pay. If you'd like to be on the committee but having to go through an interview process is something that you balk at, you're not someone who deserves to have representative votes. Of course, we would have to trust that the GPI would pick the best individuals for the committee. I would also suggest that if this is a route taken, the GPI consider a relevancy factor with each committee member and candidate. Meaning, the person must still have relevancy within the industry. Another requirement for being on the committee would be that you absolutely must be present for all meetings, and for the final committee gathering to determine the award winners. There would be several rounds of discussion and voting. Again, this speaks to one's level of commitment. Part of the problem with how it's done now is that you have more than 130 members on the nomination panel who determine the finalists and then a much smaller group of about 10 hand-picked jury members who determine the winners. The way it is, the jury is left to pick from the bunch they're given, rather than go through a few rounds of discussion, vetting, and voting to determine the best winner. Look at what happened a couple of years ago with Breakout Player of the Year. Nick Petrangelo arguably should've won Breakout Player of the Year for 2015, but he didn't even make the list of finalists. Having a committee of the same people who go through the process from start to finish would pay big dividends here. The committee wouldn't, and shouldn't, be all media, though. I would suggest including players or general industry members, but ones that aren't strongly tied to one organization. Again, each candidate would need to be vetted and accepted. With general industry members, it can be difficult for a person working for one organization on a daily basis to have the required knowledge outside of their organization. Not that this is their fault, it's just the nature of how things work. Each year, I would repeat this entire process, giving seniority, based on performance, to those on the committee the year before. I'd also suggest having alternates on standby should anything extreme cause need for a replacement on the committee. Alternates would go through a similar process as other committee members. Better Categories These are the poker awards, right? Why aren’t we giving out an award for Online Poker Operator of the Year, Live Poker Operator of the Year, or Poker Media Outlet of the Year? It seems silly to not award those. The Tournament Performance of the Year award has to go. If we keep it, can we all just agree to award it to the WSOP Main Event champion every year? There is no greater tournament performance each year than grinding through that monstrosity of a poker tournament, competing against really good players in the best-structured tournament in the world for a massive amount of time. Remove Moment of the Year. Half of the things that get listed here aren't "moments" and this award blends too much with Tournament Performance of the Year. In its place, I'd suggest we add in Hand of the Year. In the current digital age and the age of social media, so many great hands see the light of day in consumable content. The content is also easily shareable, which helps promote the awards and generate buzz. Hand of the Year is also a great way to add in a fan vote. Ditch Poker Journalist of the Year. I'd suggest we go back to Media Person of the Year, if anything, and then if we want to further celebrate the media, we do so with individual awards such as Photo of the Year, Story of the Year, and Feature Video of the Year. There are enough great pieces of content to fill these respective categories. Industry Person of the Year needs a new name. I understand what's meant to be done with this award, but doesn’t "industry" implies anyone in the industry can win? Rename this to represent what it is really meant to do, Poker Executive of the Year. With Breakout Player of the Year, the GPI could implement a "breakout factor" for each player to help everyone out. I doubt everyone with a vote is grinding through Hendon Mob. The GPI knows how much a player climbs in the GPI from year to year and the award can be more on-brand if that's what the nominations are based on. Start Earlier Whatever causes these awards to become a thing a month before they happen needs to stop. Give everyone more time to think about the awards, dive into researching what should win and what shouldn't, and pump up the various elements such as the content pieces, tournament performances, and players. We also need to move the awards so that they take place earlier in the year. The awards this year aren't taking place until early April. That's the fourth month of the year. People can't remember what happened last week, let alone 4-16 months ago. The awards being held closer to the start of the year would keep the previous year, which is what we're supposed to be celebrating, fresher in everyone's minds. If the awards are going to be partnered with Poker Central and PokerGO for future years, it seems like a no-brainer to hold the awards would be at the front or back end of the US Poker Open that takes place at the beginning of February. PokerGO could host the awards in the PokerGO Studio either the day before or the day after the US Poker Open festival. If it's before, there's additional content to showcase during the festival. If it's after, you can spend the week hyping up the awards to generate a larger audience for them. Or, maybe we could just hand out participation ribbons ever year? The views and opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of PocketFives or other staff.
  25. [caption width="640"] Steffen Sontheimer beat Fedor Holz to win Poker Masters Event #2 and take the lead for the Purple Jacket (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] On Thursday night, in the opening event of the Poker Masters, Steffen Sontheimer had to settle for a fourth place finish as Nick Schulman went on to victory. Friday night Sontheimer made up for it by posting a comeback for the ages against his good friend Fedor Holz to win Event #2 for $900,000. Sontheimer started the seven-handed final table with a middle-of-the-pack stack, but it didn't take him long to get to work changing that. Just 20 minutes into Friday night's action, Bryn Kenney moved all in for 320,000 from the button and Sontheimer called from the big blind. Kenney showed [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] while Sontheimer had [poker card="as"][poker card="7c"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"][poker card="qs"] flop put Sontheimer ahead for good as neither the [poker card="jh"] turn or [poker card="5s"] river were any help for Kenney. Sontheimer only had to wait 15 minutes before he found another victim. Sontheimer raised to 70,000 from UTG and action folded around to Adrian Mateos in the small blind. The Spaniard, who finished seventh in Event #1, moved all in for 740,000. Sontheimer called and tabled [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qd"] and found he was racing against Mateos' [poker card="7c"][poker card="7d"]. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="jh"][poker card="9h"] to give Sontheimer the win and eliminate Mateos in sixth. An hour later, Holz took over the role of executioner. Christian Christner raised to 85,000 from UTG before Holz made it 235,000 from the cutoff. Christner responded by moving all in and Holz called. Christner showed [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] and it was another race as Holz tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9s"] flop put Holz ahead and when the [poker card="2d"] turn and [poker card="5d"] river were no help for Christner, he was out in fifth. The table dynamic shifted dramatically with the next elimination. Phil Hellmuth had been verbally sparring with both Holz and Sontheimer during most of the early play. Tom Marchese put an end to that though. After having nursed a short stack for a good portion of the night, Hellmuth moved all in for his last 495,000 from UTG. Marchese re-raised all in from the small blind, forcing Sontheimer to fold. It was yet another race with Hellmuth showing [poker card="as"][poker card="th"] and Marchese ahead with [poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"]. Hellmuth could only watch in horror as the [poker card="jd"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2c"] flop gave Marchese a set. When the runner-runner he needed didn't come, Hellmuth was out in fourth. Marchese's tournament didn't last much longer, but it took a bad beat for it to end. Holz raised to 165,000 from the small blind before Marchese move all in for 1,500,000. Holz used one of his time extensions before eventually calling and showing [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"]. Marchese was ahead with [poker card="as"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7c"] flop changed all of that though and after the [poker card="6s"] turn and [poker card="3d"] river, Marchese was out in third. Heads-up play began with Holz holding a nearly 7-1 lead over Sontheimer. Over the next hour or so though, Sontheimer flipped the script and eventually had a 2-1 over his good friend Holz before finally eliminating him. Holz raised to 155,000, Sontheimer re-raised all in and Holz called. Sontheimer had his friend in a world of hurt with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"] to Holz's [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"]. The final board ran out [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3c"] to give Sontheimer the win. Sontheimer also leads the Purple Jacket standings with $1,104,000 in earnings thanks to his fourth place finish in Event #1 and win in Event #2. Final Table Payouts Steffen Sontheimer - $900,000 Fedor Holz - $550,000 Tom Marchese - $300,000 Phil Hellmuth - $200,000 Christian Christner - $175,000 Adrian Mateos - $150,000 Bryn Kenney - $125,000
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