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Found 9 results

  1. After its successful event in Sochi, Russia PokerStars’ European Poker Tour continues on to the more comfortable climate of Monte Carlo, Monaco. From April 24 - May 4, the EPT returns to the Sporting Monte Carlo Casino for EPT Monte Carlo, the sight of some their biggest events in the history of the tour. Main Event Makeover When PokerStars removed the European Poker Tour branding in 2017 they saw a steep decline in attendees to their Monte Carlo stop. In 2017, for the PokerStars Championship, 727 players entered as compared to the 1,098 runners that packed the field for the EPT stop in 2016. The result not only saw a first-place prize reduced by over 50% but also revealed some much-needed tweaking to both the branding and the Main Event itself. PokerStars fixed the branding issue with the much-celebrated return of the EPT moniker, but in addition, they are looking to return the field size to its former glory as well. The Main Event, which gets underway on April 28, is a €5,300 tournament but this year they are allowing players a single re-entry. Not only does this change give players who travel a long distance the security that they can have a second chance at a big-time tournament should things go sideways early, but it will likely ensure more total entries, resulting in a healthier prize pool and larger payouts. The EPT Monte Carlo Main Event is joining the wave of events that are implementing the big blind ante. With a single player paying the ante for the entire table, helping increase the speed of play. Also, adding to the idea of players getting more hands per hour is the addition of a shot clock in the Main Event. From Day 2 through the end of the tournament, players will be on the clock with 30 seconds to make their decisions. Fan Favorite Event Another relatively new development for the PokerStars team has been the expansion of the coverage of their major events. When we last saw the EPT in 2016, streaming coverage had not included “cards-up” coverage until the tournament reached the final table. More recently, fans have been able to tune into the PokerStars.tv stream to watch the Main Event, essentially from wire-to-wire, getting to see the players’ holdings at the feature table. The broadcast crew has also been expanded. EPT anchors Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan are still front and center to bring you the action, but, as was debuted at the 2018 PCA, the company continues to expand their team by bringing a regular rotation of professional analysis. More than “pop-in” commentary, at the 2018 PCA we saw the likes of Lex Veldhuis, Maria Ho, Jonathan Little and Griffen Benger have the privilege to provide color commentary for long stretches of time giving viewers exceptional insight into what’s happening at the table. More Than Just The Main While the Main Event will draw the most attention the EPT stop players will have plenty of reasons to forgo the beauty of the French Riviera in favor of the action on the casino floor. Thirty-nine total events span the 11 day festival with buy-in ranging from as little as €220 up to the €100,000 Super High Roller. In fact, there are no fewer than eight events that have a buy-in of €10,000 or more, which is sure to bring out the best players in the world to fight for what is likely to be massive prize pools. History has shown that the pros love to make it out to Monte Carlo. Past winners of the Main Event include poker superstars such as Adrian Mateos and Steve O’Dwyer while last year’s €100,000 Super High Roller was won by GPI North American Player of the Year Bryn Kenney where he defeated a final table of high rolling elite talent including David Peters, Ole Schemion, Poker Masters inaugural winner Steffen Sontheimer and partypoker LIVE Barcelona 5$0K Super High Roller Winner Sam ‘Pudge714’ Greenwood. For fans of the game, PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo is shaping up to be quite the spectacle. One doesn't even need to make it to Monte Carlo in order to win as one viewer of the PokerStars stream is going to win themselves a coveted $30,000 Platinum Pass package to the 2019 PCA to participate in the PokerStars No Limit Hold’em Player Championship. So set aside some time and enjoy the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo, festivities kick off on April 24.
  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 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.
  3. 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 debate the hottest topics in poker. Lance and Matt are back this week to talk all about the latest additions to the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl field, the success of the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final and the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and talk all about the much-celebrated news that WSOP.com will be launching inter-state liquidity in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada on May 1.The Fives Podcast: DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES
  4. 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.
  5. [caption width="640"] Steffen Sontheimer had the hottest run of any player in 2017 and it led to him winning the first ever Poker Masters title. (PokerCentral photo)[/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've already looked back at the top five news stories from off the felt and now we remember the five best heaters that players enjoyed in 2017. Poker players dream of making multiple deep runs in a row but only a few actually turn it into reality. In 2017, there were a few players whose heaters stood out above the rest and were paid handsomely for their rapid success. #5 - Nadar Kakhmazov Heaters come in all forms and Nadar Kakhmazov’s run to over $1 million in earnings from two tournament wins in a matter of three weeks was astonishing. Kakhmazov conquered two casinos and two distinct fields to win his respective tournaments with the Venetian and Rio giving him massive payouts. The $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour event at the Venetian drew 3,273 runners, easily eclipsing the $2.5 million guarantee. Kakhmazov beat a final table that included former November Niner Jacob Balsiger and East Coast grinder Je Wook Oh to claim the $440,029 first place winnings. He was far from done after that win as Kakhmazov made it to another high profile final table. The $5,000 Six Max event at the World Series of Poker is a top-tier event by any metric and held to form this year. Chris Hunichen, Sam Soverel, and Faraz Jaka were among the final tablists but none could solve the Kakhmazov riddle. Kakhmazov defeated Hunichen heads up to win the bracelet and $580,338 first place prize. Since his wins, Kakhmazov has yet to record any tournament cashes. Who knows when the Russian will show up next but when he does, he will have a lot to live up to in order to repeat his summer 2017 run. #4 - Nipun Java In the spirit of summer runs, Nipun Java deserves credit for winning two bracelets at the WSOP and then taking his talents to South Beach. Java and his native India won their first two bracelets in the $1,000 Tag Team event when Java and countryman Aditya Sushant shipped the title. Following the win, Java put together a string of three more cashes before striking gold again. Playing under the screen name ‘Javatinii,’ Java won the $1,000 WSOP Online Championship event for $237,688. In a matter of only 14 hours, Java defeated a field of 1,312 and added a second piece of hardware to his Las Vegas trip. It wasn’t over quite yet for Java, who traveled to Hollywood, FL for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. In the $570 $1 million guaranteed opener, Java outlasted 3,173 entrants to take first place in a four-way deal and add $230,848 to his growing bankroll. Java’s wins catapulted him into must-watch territory for all events as he looks to build on his breakout campaign in 2018. #3 - Art Papazyan If not for the dollar figure won by places #1 and #2, Art Papazyan would have a major case of being #1 on this list. Not only did Papazyan win two consecutive played World Poker Tour events, he did so in the first two WPT events he ever entered. Papazyan was mostly known by Los Angeles grinders and fans of ‘Live at the Bike’ for his high stakes cash game skills but that changed for Papazyan in a hurry. In his hometown, Papazyan beat Phil Hellmuth heads up to win Legends of Poker for $668,692 and put his name on the tip of every poker fan’s tongue. Not a tournament grinder in any respect, Papazyan opted not to play the Borgata Poker Open Main Event in September but made up for lost time at WPT Maryland. In a field of 561, Papazyan was among many notable faces who made Day 2 and the money, with Darren Elias, Matt Glantz, and Christian Harder included. As the field narrowed down on Day 3 near the final table, it became clear that Papazyan was the dominant storyline. Coming into the final table of six sitting third in chips, Papazyan quickly ascended into the chip lead and never looked back on his way to his second victory of Season XVI. Papazyan is still an unknown quantity to some but his natural poker skill is not to be taken lightly as he attempts to close out the WPT season as Player of the Year. #2 - Bryn Kenney In a year that turned Bryn Kenney into a living legend, he had to start somewhere and that was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. Kenney put on a display that no other player matched in a single series as he cashed six times, reached a final table in every time he made the money and won two tournaments. In total, Kenney racked up $1.76 million in winnings in the Bahamas. That number set Kenney up for a year where he finished as the highest earning player of 2017 with tournament earnings of $8.5 million. The events Kenney played were against the world’s toughest competition and he beat a $50,000 final table that included a top four finishers of Mustapha Kanit, Byron Kaverman and Dan Colman. If there was ever a question about Kenney’s consistency, he put all to rest over the course of fewer than two weeks in paradise. #1 - Steffen Sontheimer On one of poker’s richest stages, no player put on a better show over the course of the Poker Masters series than Steffen Sontheimer. The breakout year of “Goose” hit a peak for a week in September when he steamrolled over the best No Limit tournament players in the world to win the first Purple Jacket. Sontheimer cashed in four of the five events in the series and won two of them for a total of $2.73 million added to his account. He may have run hot but Sontheimer’s play stole the attention of viewers and his opponents, who were never able to get a firm edge on Sontheimer. Heading into the $100,000 Poker Masters Main Event, Sontheimer had the title all but locked up and decided to win that one just for kicks. Out of the six who cashed in the final, four were German and included Fedor Holz. Sontheimer’s beasting of the best players in the world put an exclamation point on a year dominated by Germans and forced, of all people, Daniel Negreanu to reevaluate his own game moving forward. Now that he’s a name brand of his own entity, Sontheimer will have a target on his back when 2018 gets started. When the Big One For One Drop returns to the WSOP schedule next year, Sontheimer will be in the field with nothing but another one of the most prestigious titles in poker in his sights.
  6. [caption width="640"] Bryn Kenney won the PokerStars Championship Monaco Super High Roller event on Saturday (PokerStars photo/Tomas Stacha)[/caption] In the era of High Roller of Super High Roller tournaments, maybe no player has enjoyed more success than American Bryn Kenney. He’s had six High Roller or Super High Roller wins, two seven-figure scores and 29 six-figure scores. On Saturday in Monaco the 31-year-old added another win and the single biggest cash of his career when he took down the PokerStars Championship Monaco €100,000 Super High Roller event. The win earned Kenney €1,784,500 ($1,944,326 US) and pushed him to 15th on the all-time earning list with just over $17.1 million. After having already won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2016, Kenney now has another prestigious title on his resume - the first for him in Monaco. "I'd never had a good trip in Monaco. It's nice to finally win the biggest tournament here," said Kenney. Nine players started the final day with only eight spots paying. Isaac Haxton busted on the bubble leaving the final eight to play and it didn’t take long for action to pick up. Just fives minutes after Haxton left empty-handed, Sam Greenwood was shown the door. Viacheslav Buldygin raised to 160,000 from UTG and Greenwood called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"], Greenwood then check-raised all in after Buldygin bet 150,000. Buldygin called and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Greenwood showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"] for top pair. Neither the turn or river were any help though and the Canadian was out in eighth. It took just another five minutes for Buldygin to find another victim. Buldygin raised to 160,000 from late position and Martin Kabhrel raised all in for a little over 1,000,000 from the big blind and Buldygin called. Kabhrel tabled [poker card="3d"][poker card="3h"] while Buldygin showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"] flop kept Buldygin ahead and neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="8c"] river were any help for Kabhrel, eliminating him in seventh. Buldygin took a back seat to Kenney for the next few bustouts. Kenney raised to 175,000 from middle position before German Steffen Sontheimer moved all in right after him for just under 1,000,000. Kenney called instantly and tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"] while Sontheimer found himself in trouble with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="7d"][poker card="2c"] runout did nothing to help Sontheimer and he was out in sixth for €380,700 - the largest score of his career. Kenney stayed hot and ten minutes later busted another high roller regular who was on a heater of his own. Ole Schemion, who won the €10,000 High Roller earlier this week, opened to 175,000 from the cutoff before Kenney moved all in from the big blind. Schemion called and showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] while Kenney had [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"] flop kept Schemion in front. The [poker card="8d"] turn gave Kenney a gutshot straight draw and the [poker card="7c"] river filled the straight, sending Schemion out in fifth. Kenney showed no signs of slowing down after picking up those two eliminations and found himself adding another player’s entire stack to his own just over 30 minutes later. With blinds now at 50,000/100,000 (10,000), Kenney raised to 200,000 from the cutoff before David Peters moved all in from the button for 2,200,000. Kenney called and showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"] after Peters tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="7d"]. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"] flop was no help for Peters and neither was the [poker card="kh"] turn or [poker card="9s"] river. That hand gave Kenney almost 80% of the chips in play with just two opponents, Buldygin and Daniel Dvoress, standing in the way of the title. Kenney finally got to take a back seat ten minutes later as the other two players clashed. Buldygin moved all in from the button and Dvoress called all in from the small blind before Kenney folded. Buldygin was racing with [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"] against Dvoress’ [poker card="6d"][poker card="6s"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"][poker card="9c"] flop didn’t directly connect for Buldygin, but he did pick up a number of extra outs. The [poker card="Ks"] turn was one of them and Buldygin eliminated Dvoress in third as the [poker card="3c"] river completed the board. When heads up play began, Kenney had 13,000,000 chips while Buldygin had just 2,250,000. Despite the huge advantage, in both chips and relative experience closing a big tournament, it wasn’t exactly an easy ride for Kenney. Finally, with Viacheslav Buldygin down to just 10 big blinds, Kenney moved all in after Buldygin attempted to limp his button. The Russian called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] against the [poker card="2d"][poker card="2s"] of Kenney. The [poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"] flop put Kenney in nearly complete control and the [poker card="9s"] turn and [poker card="8s"] river sealed Kenney’s win, eliminatiing Buldygin in second place. Payouts Bryn Kenney - €1,784,500 Viacheslav Buldygin - €1,290,800 Daniel Dvoress - €832,800 David Peters - €630,600 Ole Schemion - €487,715 Steffen Sontheimer - €380,700 Martin Kabrhel - €303,350 Sam Greenwood - €237,950
  7. [caption width="640"] Steffen Sontheimer won the 0K Poker Masters event to easily take home the Purple Jacket (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] Steffen Sontheimer came into the $100,000 Poker Masters final event as the leading money earner through the first four $50,000 events. Sontheimer finished fourth in Event #1, won Event #2 and then finished fifth in Event #4. His total earnings were $1,221,000 and he was the front-runner to win the Purple Jacket, awarded to the player with most earnings. Then he won Event #5, beating a final table that included three of his German countrymen, to win $1,512,000 and easily claim the Purple Jacket. When the final six players began play on Wednesday, Sontheimer was third in chips behind Christian Christner and chip leader Fedor Holz. Through the next eight hours, the Germans each took a turn with the chip lead before Sontheimer ended up on top. It took a little over four hours before the first player was eliminated. Justin Bonomo raised 60,000 from UTG and a short-stacked Stefan Schillhabel moved all in for 285,000 and Bonomo called. Schillhabel tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="3c"] while Bonomo was behind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Bonomo a flush draw and the [poker card="9d"] turn added a straight draw. Bonomo missed both of those draws, but the [poker card="kc"] river was enough to give him the pot and send Schillhabel out in sixth. Five-handed play went on for another 29 hands and another hour and fifteen minutes before the next elimination. From the hijack, Bonomo moved his last 365,000 into the middle and Sontheimer called from the cutoff and Christner called from the big blind. Christner and Sontheimer checked through the [poker card="8h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5d"] runout. Bonomo got bad news after he tabled [poker card="kd"][poker card="ts"], Sontheimer flipped up [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"] and Christner showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="ks"] to take the pot. That left Seth Davies as the last non-German in the field. He started the day with the shortest stack and while he was able to outlast two of his opponents, his shot at the seven-figure score ended short. Christner opened from the button to 85,000 before Davies moved all in for 535,000 from the big blind and Christner called. Davies got good news when he showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="7s"] and found he had Christner's [poker card="kh"][poker card="7h"] dominated. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"] changed that though and after the [poker card="4h"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river, Davies was out in fourth. It took just two hands to go from three-handed play to heads-up. Sontheimer raised to 90,000 from the button, Holz moved all in from the small blind for 645,000 and Christner re-jammed from the big blind. Sontheimer folded and Holz needed some helpe after showing [poker card="qh"][poker card="jd"] and finding he was up against [poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"]. The board ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"][poker card="2s"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"] to send Holz to the rail in third place. Heads-up play began with Christner holding a better than 2-1 lead over Sontheimer. That lead changed just once and after 41 hands, Sontheimer eventually put Christner away for good. Sontheimer raised to 115,000, Christner moved all in for 1,890,000. Sontheimer called instantly and flipped up [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] while Christner showed [poker card="2c"][poker card="2d"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3c"] flop was safe for Sontheimer and neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="9d"] river produced a save for Christner and he was out in second place. With the win, Sontheimer raised his Poker Masters earnings to $2,733,000. The next highest total belonged to Event #3 winner Bryn Kenney with $1,085,000. Payouts Steffen Sontheimer - $1,512,000 Christian Christner - $864,000 Fedor Holz - $504,000 Seth Davies - $324,000 Justin Bonomo - $216,000 Stefan Schillhabel - $180,000
  8. [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
  9. [caption width="640"] Brandon Adams won the final ,000 buy-in Poker Masters event on Sunday (PokerCentral photo)[/caption] Heading into the final table of the last $50,000 Poker Masters event on Sunday afternoon, it looked like German Steffen Sontheimer might be on his way to a second win. The German came into the final table behind only Doug Polk and Brandon Adams in chips. When the dust settled though, Sontheimer busted earlier than he would have hoped and Adams ending up beating Polk heads-up to win Event #4. After Zach Clark was eliminated on the bubble in seventh place, the final six players went to work chasing the $819,000 first place prize. From the hijack, David Peters raised to 36,000 before Jake Schindler re-raised to 90,000 from late position. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4s"], Peters checked and Schindler moved all in for 314,000. Peters snap-called and revealed [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] for top set while Schindler showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] for top two. The hand was wrapped up after the [poker card="8c"] turn and the river was the [poker card="th"]. Sontheimer, making his third final table appearance of the Poker Masters, had his run at a second title fall short. Action folded to Sontheimer on the button and he bet 350,000, leaving himself just 40,000 behind. Adams called to see a flop of [poker card="tc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="2d"]. Sontheimer threw in his last 40,000 and Adams called. Sontheimer turned up [poker card="ac"][poker card="5c"] while Adams had [poker card="5h"][poker card="5s"]. Neither the [poker card="th"] turn or [poker card="2c"] river were any help for Sontheimer and he was out in fifth place. Sontheimer cashed in three of the four $50,000 preliminary events. He finished fourth in Event #1, first in Event #2 and now fifth in Event #4 for $1,221,000 total earnings. The German sits atop the Purple Jacket standings heading into the final event, the $100,000 freezeout which gets underway Monday. Just 45 minutes later, Adams sent another player to the rail. Adams raised to 75,000 from UTG and action folded to Justin Bonomo who moved all in from the big blind for 770,000. Adams called and showed [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"] while Bonomo tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="3c"]. The board ran out [poker card="jh"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4s"] to eliminate Bonomo in fourth and propel Adams into the chip lead for the first time. Adams had a hand in the next elimination too. Adams raised to 90,000 from the button, Doug Polk made it 260,000 to go from the small blind before Peters moved all in from the big blind for 545,000. Adams responded by moving all in and Polk called. Peters tabled [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"], Adams showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] while Polk was well ahead of both with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"]. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="qs"] to eliminate Peters in third and send Polk into the chip lead as heads up play began. Over the next 20 minutes, Adams re-took the lead and eventually finished Polk off. With Adams up just over 2-1 in chips, Polk raised to 80,000 from the button and Adams called. After the [poker card="ks"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6d"] flop, Adams checked, Polk bet 100,000 and Adams re-raised to 320,000. Polk moved all in and Adams called immediately. Polk showed [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] for a flush draw but Adams tabled [poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] for a better flush draw. The [poker card="2d"] turn ended any chance for Polk and he was out in second place. The inconsequential river was the [poker card="5s"]. Payouts Brandon Adams - $819,000 Doug Polk - $468,000 David Peters - $273,000 Justin Bonomo - $175,500 Steffen Sontheimer - $117,000 Jake Schindler - $97,500
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