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  1. It’s official. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker has been certified as the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament by the Guinness World Records. The $5,000 Main Event took place from August 16 - September 6 and drew a total of 5,802 entries which boosted the prize pool to $27,559,500, crushing the originally posted $25 million guarantee. When all was said and done, Stoyan Madanzhiev from Bulgaria etched his name in the online poker history books by taking home the largest-ever first-place prize of $3,904,685. “This Guinness World Records title was on our radar from the very beginning,” said Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker. “Players and fans of poker expect nothing less than record-breaking prizes when it comes to the World Series of Poker, and GGPoker delivered.” After “reviewing the evidence and going through all the details”, Michael Empric, an Official Adjudicator for Guinness World Records, placed a video call to GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu to deliver the news.  “Breaking a Guinness World Records title show what happens when you combine GGPoker’s amazing platform with the World Series of Poker brand,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Director. “This will be a tough record to beat,” Stewart is likely right. The Main Event had 23 starting flights and allowed players to enter three different times which helped them set the new record. The previous record for an online poker prize pool was established by partypoker in 2018 with their $5,300 buy-in $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online tournament in which the company spent the better part of the entire year qualifying players to ultimately reach a prize pool of $21,780,000. In 2019, partypoker took a shot at their own record by offering the same tournament with a $10,300 buy-in. However, they missed the mark falling just short with a prize pool of $21,090,000. Online Poker All-Time Largest Prize Pools [table id=115 /] Even though the new prize pool record was widely recognized by the poker industry, GGPoker and the WSOP took the extra step of getting their achievement stamped by Guinness. And they are far from the first in poker to officially set a recognized world record. While many have claimed to have played longer, Phil Laak is the official record holder of the longest live cash game session when he played for 115 hours straight at the Bellagio back in 2010. Perhaps that is what inspired the Netherlands’ Tom Maaswinkel to get into the record book with his 24-hour session of online poker in May of 2019. There are other niche poker records in Guinness as well. Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew put his multi-tabling talent on display for his world record for most online poker hands played in eight hours (14,548) back in 2012. Former PokerStars ambassador, and current GGPoker pro, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier still holds the record for the most online poker tables played in one hour when he played 62 tables back in 2009 (a record unlikely to be challenged with modern-day table limits.) The Guinness World Records also acknowledges Joe Cada as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion and Antonio Esfandiari as having won the single-largest first-place prize for his $18.3 million score at the 2012 Big One For One Drop. While many of poker’s Guinness World Records are centered around some of the game’s biggest events, for individuals looking to set their own records, Guinness World Records is ready to review the achievement. According to their website, all it takes is an attempt at creating a new record or breaking an existing record (with evidence) plus an application fee of $800-$1000.
  2. In 2013, Team PokerStarsOnline member Randy Nanonoko Lew (pictured) logged five in the money finishes at the World Series of Poker, including a top-ten showing in a $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up tournament for $54,000, his largest WSOP cash to date. Now, Lew, whom we associate with mass-multi-tabling online, is one of the many players who are just three weeks away from descending on Sin City. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- It has been a while since we've caught up with Lew, so we wanted to take the next 1,000 words and let you know what the pro has had on his plate and also discuss a newfound photography hobby. PocketFives: What advice do you have for first-time WSOP attendees? Randy Lew: If it's your first time at the WSOP, something I learned was that it's important to have some days off in between tournaments. It gets really tiring day in and day out and you can easily get burned out, especially if the results aren't going your way. Having a relaxing day off from poker allows you to reset your mind and stay refreshed. PocketFives: You finished seventh in the Asia Championship of Poker Main Event last October for $102,000. What have you been up to since then on the live scene? Randy Lew: I was very pleased with my ACOP result last year. It's nice to make a final table again for the few times I've been to Macau. I told myself that I'm going to try to play more live tournaments this year. Not only have I been going to some of the bigger spots such as the PCA and Aussie Millions, but I've also been playing local WPT and HPT tournaments, trying to grind it out live a bit more. PocketFives: Have you had a chance to play online with all of your live events? Randy Lew: I've been grinding it out really hard when I get the chance to play online. Usually, it's cash games, as those are still my bread and butter and I still am trying to go for Supernova Elite this year, which seems to get tougher for me each time! I usually only play tournaments online on Sundays as well as the bigger tournament series like SCOOP and WCOOP. PocketFives: One of the hot topics in the poker industry lately has been whether we should implement a shot clock. Where do you stand? Randy Lew: I'm not a big fan of the poker shot clock idea even though I think I would be able to do pretty well with it. I think that live poker has its own vibe and culture. Thinking through decisions is definitely one of them and I think it has earned its place in live poker. We have to remember that not all players are the same. Whether you're a pro or someone who plays recreationally, some players enjoy playing fast, while others don't. Just because someone plays super fast, why does that mean he should force a rule set on other players to play to his standards? I think something that needs to come about is that for players who do habitually tank, the other players should be willing to call the clock without feeling guilty about it. I think, as players, we should advocate calling the clock more and bring the culture of calling the clock from taboo to the norm. PocketFives: What poker software do you use nowadays? Randy Lew: I've mainly been using the same two pieces of software since I started: PokerTracker 4 and Table Ninja. I think having some sort of poker tracking software is necessary as a professional and Table Ninja definitely makes multi-tabling a lot easier, although the new PokerStars hotkeys have been pretty good too. I think there are a lot of great tools out there that I could take advantage of, but I'm still a bit old-fashioned in that sense and really have no idea where to begin with some of the programs I've seen, as they look very time-consuming. PocketFives: You have been a member of Team PokerStars Online since 2009. Tell us what the crew has been up to and how it feels to reach five years on the team. Randy Lew: I've been with the team since the beginning and it has definitely evolved a lot. I think there's a lot of great talent all around, especially guys like Isaac Haxton and Alexander Millar. We all have our unique personalities and media-related content and PokerStars always has something new and cool to work with. PocketFives: What poker goals do you have for 2014? Randy Lew: While poker is still a very important and major part of my life, I want to introduce more balance and positive, healthier decisions into my life. I'm hoping to get into more of a routine by eating healthier and throwing in some exercise alongside poker so that it's not just me grinding 24 hours a day without food and feeling really tired. PocketFives: Speaking of balance, what do you do away from poker? What else interests you? Randy Lew: Recently, I've taken up photography and videography. I think it's a nice option for me because as a poker player, I have a lot of opportunities and free time to travel to places that most people never get a chance to go to. Capturing these new places and sharing my life with my fans is something I want to do more of and this works well. I plan on getting more into the groove of showcasing my stuff on my personal website, Nanonoko.com. Be sure to check that out when you get a chance! Catch Lew on Twitter under the handle @nanonokoand on Facebook at facebook.com/nanonoko. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. One of the largest tournaments in the history of the World Series of Poker began on Thursday, as a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Monster Stack drew 7,862 entrants. Two flights occurred during the day, the first attracting 4,020 players, the most the Rio could handle at one time. The second flight drew nearly the same number of bodies, meaning first place will take home $1.3 million, nearly 900 times the buy-in. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- A total of 1,941 players from Flight A of the Monster Stack moved onto Day 2 on Friday, which begins at 3:00pm local time. It's unclear how many players from Flight B advanced, but players were looking at the tournament as a potential tune-up for the Main Event, which starts next week. Take Jeff Gross, for example, who Tweeted, "Up over 30K in #wsop51 monster stack tourney... Started at 11pm tonight, this feels like a good warm-up for the Main!" A field of 7,862 is the third largest tournament in WSOP history, trailing the 2006 Main Event, which had 8,773 players, and this year's Millionaire Maker, which had a field of 7,977. Prior to this year's WSOP, the largest non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history was last year's Millionaire Maker, which had 6,352 players. To give you a little taste of the mayhem that was the second flight of the day, coverage on WSOP.com noted, "The 5pm second flight quickly filled up and some of the 'Day 1b first wave' registrants had to wait nearly three hours before they were seated for play. Four more 'waves' for seating players were planned, but ultimately the large majority seemed to have to wait until the start of level six to be able to play some poker." Registration closed just before 11:00pm local time. PocketFivers were Tweeting about the tournament, several of whom started quite late, but still managed to move on to Day 2. Falling under that banner was Randy nanonokoLew, who Tweeted, "Only played for 4 hours today, but made Day 2 of the Monster stack! Got 28,300." Revealing his experience of reaching Day 2 was former skateboarder Darryll DFish Fish, who Tweeted, "Bagging 21k after a day of mostly folding in the #monsterstack." Two-time bracelet winner John Monnette is the chip leader in the Monster Stack event after Day 1 with 152,000. Incredibly, two former #1 ranked playerson PocketFives cracked the top 10 of the large-field tournament: Jordan Jymaster0011Young and Griffin Flush_Entity Benger (pictured), who bagged the sixth and tenth largest chip stacks on Thursday, respectively. Here are the top 10 stacks, according to WSOP.com: 1. John Monnette - 152,000 2. Alexander Ziski - 139,800 3. Matt Weber - 136,300 4. Jonathan Luckett - 110,800 5. Javier Ofbravetight Swett - 109,600 6. Jordan Jymaster0011Young - 105,000 7. Zachary HustlerGrune Gruneberg - 104,500 8. Gabe Paul - 96,600 9. Jamie mmmWawa Kerstetter - 88,800 10. Griffin Flush_Entity Benger - 87,700 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. [caption width="640"] Davidi Kitai of the Paris Aviators won the first Global Poker League tournament.[/caption] After months of build up and hype, the Global Poker League finally got cards in the air this week with three days of action and it was two players, Randy Lew of the Hong Kong Stars and Davidi Kitai of the Paris Aviators, who stole the show. Kitai gets the honor of going down in history books as the first winner of a GPL tournament. Kitai came out on top of a Six Max match that included Daniel Cates, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Igor Kurganov. Lew, one of the wildcard picks for the Stars, left his heads-up match with Sergey Lebedev of the Moscow Wolverines with a perfect record – the only player to do so in Week 1. The schedule has teams playing Six Max matches, one player from each squad, on Tuesdays and Heads Up matches on Wednesday and Thursday. Teams play against their own conference until the Summer Series when inter-conference play is introduced for the first time. Day 1 The Paris Aviators had the best opening day in the Eurasian Conference. David Kitai won the first Six Max match and finished third in the second to earn 10 points for the Aviators. The Hong Kong Stars picked up the win in the second match-up thanks to Raiden Kan. The most talked about hand from Week 1 was a hero fold by the Belgian that seemed to dominate post-match conversation. With a 5-1 chip lead over Kurganov, Kitai checked his option with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8h"] after Kurganov limped his button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"]. Kitai then checked the [poker card="8s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop to Kurganov who bet 1,600. Kitai check-raised to 4,444 only to have Kurganov reply with a re-raise to 7,288. Kitai folded, leaving announcers Griffin Benger and Sam Grafton in shock. The other end of the spectrum was the Berlin Bears. Daniel Cates managed to post sixth place finishes in both matches, leaving the Bears without any points after Day 1. Cates admitted on Twtter later to being distracted while playing his GPL match. In Americas Conference play, Jason Wheeler, of the New York Rounders, also had a win and third place finish to give his team 10 points. The Las Vegas Moneymakers also had a strong showing thanks to Anthony Zinno finishing runner-up in both matches. And Anthony Gregg repeated Cates’ performance, posting identical sixth place finishes for the San Francisco Rush in both matches. Day 2 With the Six Max matches out of the way, the schedule turned to Heads Up matches in the Eurasian Conference. The Hong Kong Stars vaulted themselves into first place in their division thanks to Randy Lew’s 3-0 sweep of Sergey Lebedev of the Moscow Wolverines. Lew was the only player over the course of two days of heads-up matches to win all three. Grospellier earned six points by beating Cates 2-1 in their match while Justin Bonomo did the same for the London Royals beating Timothy Adams of the Rome Emperors 2-1. Day 3 The third day was all about the Americas Conference. Possibly the most highly anticipated match saw the L.A. Sunset’s Olivier Busquet, considered by some to be the best heads-up sit & go player in the world, going up against Darren Elias of the Sao Paulo Metropolitans. Busquet earned six points for the Sunset, beating Elias 2-1. All three Americans Conference heads-up matches ended with identical 2-1 scores. Tom Marchese of the New York Rounders beat Anthony Zinno of the Las Vegas Moneymakers and the San Francisco Rush got six points from Anton Wigg beating the Montreal Nationals’ Martin Jacobson 2-1. Zinno and Cates were the only two players to play every match for their team in Week 1. Week 1 MVP Sure, Lew went 3-0 in his match against Lebedev and deserves some consideration, but Kitai gets the Week 1 honors. The Belgian pro earned 10 points for his team with a win and a third place finish in the Six Max matches and gave those who tuned in on Twitch something to talk about with his amazing fold against Kurganov. Standings Week 2 Schedule Tuesday, April 12 12:00 pm ET Six Max: Eurasia Conference 1:40 pm ET Six Max: Eurasia Conference 3:30 pm ET Six Max: Americas Conference 5:10 pm ET Six Max: Americas Conference Wednesday, April 13 12:00 pm ET Heads Up: London Royals vs. Hong Kong Stars 2:30 pm ET Heads Up: Paris Aviators vs. Rome Emperors 5:00 pm ET Heads Up: Moscow Wolverines vs. Berlin Bears Thursday, April 14 1:00 pm ET Heads Up: Sao Paulo Metropolitans vs. Montreal Nationals 3:30 pm ET Heads Up: San Francisco Rush vs. New York Rounders 6:00 pm ET Heads Up: Las Vegas Moneymakers vs. L.A. Sunset All matches are streamed live on Twitch.tv/GPL.
  5. [caption width="640"] Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew's Twitch stream is quickly approaching a million views.[/caption] Some Twitch streams are drier than the Mojave Desert. Some are full of high-level cash game content. Some are full of high-level tournament content. Some are merely gibberish. Twitch is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get. Enter Team PokerStars Pro Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew, whose Twitch stream is quickly approaching a million views. He's also at over 31,000 followers. And he's not stopping there. "I always thought the fans were what made me someone in the poker community," Lew said. "We don't really ever get to be able to speak to our favorite players. When Twitch came about, I didn't jump on the platform for at least a year, but I knew it was something I was interested in doing. It's just that getting high volume in as well means you can't say, 'Oh, I'm going to start tomorrow.'" This is the same 'Nanonoko' who made Guinness World Record history in 2012 by playing 23,493 hands in eight hours while turning a profit. The same 'Nanonoko' who once multi-tabled live in the Bahamas during the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He's an action junkie. However, he can't mass-multi-table and manage a stream that's also informative and engaging. It's simply not possible. "Generally when I play online, I like to play 20 games at once, but I can't do that while I'm streaming," Lew said. "It's either that the stream gets worse quality because I can't answer people or my play gets really bad." "I saw the success that Jason Somerville had, andJaime Staples, and thought the platform looked pretty cool and could work," said Lew. "After trying it the first time, I realized that not only was it fun to interact with fans, but it was also a little surprising at times. You might stream five hours and think it's a long time to play a few tables at a time answering questions. But, it's surprisingly fun when the community actually gets built and I actually know people's user names." Lew travels to live poker events around the world in places like Las Vegas, Monaco, and the UK. After all, he's a PokerStars pro and needs to give the brand as much face time as possible. As such, developing a recurring stream has been a difficult task. "I know a schedule is important for streaming and I've been traveling a decent amount," Lew said. "I'm trying to get a good base to do it, and I want to stream five times a week. Traveling can be a little tough. I'm hoping I can stream more than poker. Sometimes you stream, then you go away for a month and people forget you exist and you have to start over. That's why I want to have other sources to keep myself present. Maybe I'll find another game that's fun to stream while I'm in the United States like Hearthstone." [caption width="640"] Lew has branched into streaming games like Hearthstone in addition to poker.[/caption] Somerville pioneered poker on Twitch and worked closely with the team at the streaming service to ensure any kinks related to playing poker on Twitch could be ironed out. Players like Staples, Daniel Negreanu, and even Phil Hellmuth followed suit, each putting a different spin. Poker tournaments, awards shows, and conferences have all made their way to Twitch as a result. "Everyone's stream is a bit different," Lew said. "I think Jason Somerville is one of the most entertaining guys out there for sure. I find that my stream is pretty good in that I educate pretty well strategy-wise. My stream is always the most relaxed and troll-y. People always like to make fun of me and I make fun of them. It's one of the most relaxed streams to be in because of all of the high-level content. I am not hiding behind a camera pretending to be someone. I just do what I do, try to make some money, and talk to fans." Anyone with an internet connect can tune into Lew and company on Twitch. You could be in the middle of the desert, miles from the nearest breath of civilization, with a satellite connection and watch him out-muscle the competition. "A lot of Europeans watch my stream," he said. "My audience is really all over the world. I always say, 'Hey, tell me where you're from' and I get all these fake answers like 'Antarctica.' I'll shout out every city or country that comes up, and there's a lot of them. UK comes up a lot." In March, Somerville became the first poker streamer to hit 10 million views, and he has since passed 11 million. Can Lew, Somerville, Staples, and the rest of the Twitch crew expect the platform to be around in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Will it go the way of MySpace and AOL? Or will it weather the ever-turbulent technology storm? "Twitch does really well for all of the other games out there like Hearthstone and League of Legends," he said. "I think poker is here to stay on Twitch. It's going to make the YouTube videos and training websites obsolete. It's free content. More and more streamers are coming in. When poker first started on there, it was Jason Somerville by himself. Now, there are a lot of different choices. Streams cater to MTT players and cash game players. Personally, I prefer not putting my credit card on a training site and forget to use it or forget I did it. Twitch is free. Who beats free content that's actually good?" You can check out Lew's stream at twitch.tv/nanonoko.
  6. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. If you're looking for a Global Poker Award-winning podcast - this ain't it. Lance and Donnie recap all of the winners from the 2019 Global Poker Awards and get into some of the behind-the-scenes stuff from the show. You'll also hear from Chris Moorman, the PocketFives all-time everything, who had some nice things to say in his PocketFives Legacy Award acceptance speech. The guys also get into Phil Hellmuth's latest heads-up challenge, Randy Lew's decision to leave PokerStars, trading cards for two big-time World Series of Poker champs and start getting you hyped for the 50th annual WSOP, which is just seven weeks away. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher

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