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Found 9 results

  1. Pennsylvania grinder Thai Ha woke up this morning at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure expecting to sit down to his 130,300 stack and do everything he could to make Day 3. He arrived at his table a little bit late and almost missed out on what will probably end up being the most exciting - and profitable - part of his day. Ha’s table, one of 45 in play at the start of play Wednesday, was randomly chosen to be part of the PokerStars Players Championship promotion. As the cameras moved in, Joe Stapleton explained the rules to everybody. Each of the seven players was going to be dealt a hand of Hold’em. The dealer would then run out the flop, turn, and river. Whichever player had the best hand after the river was going to be given a PSPC Platinum Pass worth $30,000. As the dealer began dealing, Ha wasn’t at the table yet. He was running about a minute behind. He did make it to the table just in time to see the river dealt, but with the crowd that had formed around the table, Ha wasn’t quite able to get to his seat. The player on his left turned his hand face up and Ha discovered he had rivered trip eights to beat out Mike Leah’s flopped top pair. “It was amazing. I would never expect that to happen to me, obviously. That was unreal - it’s a free $25,000, plus the trip,” said Ha. The promotion, which awards 300 Platinum Passes over the course of 2018, is geared towards making the PSPC the biggest - and potentially softest - $25,000 buy-in event in history. Players can win them through various means throughout the year. The 2018 PCA Main Event champion will also earn one. “I was going to play that event regardless. Now I’m saving my $25,000,” laughed Ha. The 26-year-old has only been playing poker since 2014, but he’s managed to move up in stakes relatively quickly. “I was born in Vietnam, so I didn’t even know about poker until I moved to the United States. That was 2007, but I went to school so I just focused on school. After I graduated, I started playing poker,” said Ha, who has $659,518 career earnings. This past summer he finished 226th in the World Series of Poker Main Event for an official cash of $40,181, but just like this trip to the Bahamas gave him a little bit more equity, Ha found a way to make a little more than that $40K. “For the Main Event, bought 20% of myself on PokerShares. I punished them a little bit,” said Ha, who paid 1.5 through the site. Now that he’s saved the $25,000 entry fee on the PSPC, he might spend some of that on himself on PokerShares for the event. “I’m probably going to do that,” said Ha, who regularly plays Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em cash games and tournaments at Parx, Sugar House and the Borgata and only travels for some of the bigger events.
  2. When PokerStars first announced the creation of the PokerStars Players Championship and began giving away the coveted Platinum Passes, it was unclear how the Americans would be included. With PokerStars only real U.S. presence in New Jersey, it looked like there may be limited opportunities for U.S. based players to win their way into what will very likely be the largest $25K buy-in tournament of all time. However, after plenty of creative ways to include the U.S. player base, including the popular Moneymaker PSPC tour, PokerStars has now accumulated quite a number of Americans with Platinum Passes in hand. The PCA’s Team USA consists of recreational players, grinders, top-tier pros and even a few celebrities. Some of poker’s more notable names found their way to receiving a platinum pass. Super high roller David Peters was one of the first to win his way in when he picked up his pass through a random draw at the 2018 PCA. Other well-known poker names from the U.S. include vlogger Andrew Neeme, the First Lady of Poker Linda Johnson, author turned poker pro Maria Konnikova and poker's minister of information Kevin Mathers. Longtime pro Kenny Tran won one through the Moneymaker PSPC Tour in Los Angeles. Luke Vrabel picked one up at Foxwoods and Joey Ingram’s pass was part of a feel-good PokerStars promotion. So, while those players will garner plenty of attention there are plenty of other players on Team USA that have the potential to make some noise at the PSPC. New Jersey’s Anthony ’tonydatiger’ Maio has spent some time in the spotlight, having made the final table of a World Poker Tour Borgata event on more than one occasion. In the midst of a red-hot 2018, Maio closed out the year by picking up his Platinum Pass during NJCOOP. Maio’s online prowess was never in doubt. With $3.4 million in online earnings, he’s one of NJ’s most prolific grinders. A strong showing in the PSPC could really take his career to the next level. A deep run could push him up over the $1 million in live career earnings mark. Thai 'thaiha91' Ha may have lucked out to win his Platinum Pass, but he certainly hasn’t luckboxed his way to over $900,000 in live earnings. At the PCA in 2018, one of the first passes was determined by an all-in flip at a random table. Everyone at the table was seated, except for Ha. Running just a bit late, Ha got to the table just in time to see his seat win the pass on the river. Since picking up his pass, Ha has spent the better part of 2018 playing a ton of poker. He finished in second place in the Big Stax 1500 for over $78,000. He also had a final table finish this summer at the Planet Hollywood 2018 Goliath $2,200 Main Event for over $75,000. Perhaps the player on Team USA who fought the hardest for their pass was Brookyln’s Nathan Manuel. Dedicated to winning his way into the PSPC, Manuel took shots whenever he could. He flew to London to compete, followed the Moneymaker PSPC tour in the U.S. and even tried to learn a new language in order to win a pass. In the end, he defeated a field of 825 players in October’s Run It Up Reno event to book his trip to the Bahamas. Manuel has a live earnings total of roughly $170,000 and he is no stranger to traveling to play poker. In addition to his globetrotting for the Platinum Pass, Manuel has recorded cashes in the UK, Bahamas, Canada, and Australia - where he picked up a career-high cash of over $33,000 at the Aussie Millions. One member of Team USA that everyone will be keeping close tabs on is Jeremy Hilsercop. Hlisercop’s heartwarming story of a gift to the WSOP which turned into a trip to the Bahamas was the talk of poker community during the holiday season. What was once just a dream is turning into a reality for the man who’s largest tournament buy-in to date is $170. He and his wife Randi will be hoping to turn this Christmas gift into a life-changing sum of money. In addition to the 28 players that picked up a pass through a victory or promotion. PokerStars has handed out a number of passes to U.S. based celebrities. UFC announcer Bruce Buffer, NBA great Paul Pierce, comedians Norm MacDonald and Clayton Fletcher, reality star Tyson Apostle and legendary skater Tony Hawk will all be in attendance. Keep tabs on the entire slate of U.S. based players when PSPC play gets underway on January 6. PokerStars PSPC Team USA PLAYERS Jacqueline Burkhart Andrew Canfield Tenzin Chakdor Tom Chiarella Clifford Ellefson Damon Ferrante Thai Ha Jeremy Hilsercop Joey Ingram (not on the website) Linda Johnson Matt Keifer Maria Konnikova Derik Li Anthony Maio Nathan Manuel Kevin Mathers Ronald Mici Jahngir (John) Mokhtari Andrew Neeme Michael Page David Peters Andres (Andy) Risquez Kenny Tran Nitis Udornpim Luke Vrabel Brandon Welter Arthur White Alice Zheng Tyson Apostol Bruce Buffer Clayton Fletcher Tony Hawk Norm Macdonald Paul Pierce
  3. In part, much of what makes up a poker player’s journey are the opportunities that are presented to them. For 28-year old Philadelphia-based poker player Thai Ha, being granted big opportunities are something he has been afforded as of late. Not only did he win a coveted Platinum Pass to attend January’s PokerStars No Limit Hold'em Players Championship in the Bahamas but the launch of legalized and regulated online poker in Pennsylvania is seemingly right around the corner. “The Platinum Pass was a very fun experience,” Ha said. “I got really lucky to win the Pass and PokerStars made sure I had the best experience throughout the year even before the tournaments. It would have been so much better if I had made a deep run in it, but it’s all good. I have the best time there!” It’s true that even though Ha got to experience the thrill of being in the field of the PSPC, he was unable to secure a cash in the event. But the opportunity alone is one that any player would covet. Just like the opportunity to return to online poker inside the U.S. is one that many professional and recreational players are hoping to have back one day. “I have been waiting for Pennsylvania to legalize online for a while. I will, for sure, play on PA sites when it goes live if I can.” While no longer a full-time online grinder, there was a time when Ha put in plenty of volume online, including spending a number of years as a pro. “I have been playing poker since about 2013 when I was still in college - six years ago,” Ha said. “Since 2014, after I graduated and couldn’t get the job I wanted until very recently, my only income was from poker.” Since he began working full time, Ha has not put in the same kind of volume as he did when he was a pro, however, he’s still trying to make an online grind fit into his life. “I play online whenever I’m free from my [day job]. So, I play online whenever I get a chance, usually night time. I mostly play at Bovada and ACR, and to be honest, I only play because that is the only option I have at the moment. Those sites are great and all, but it is still unregulated. Whenever I have some large sum of money in there, I always either try to sell it right away or cash out ASAP. I’m not comfortable having lots of money on those sites,” Ha said. “I would say because those sites are the only option that I have, I have to play there.” Since the beginning of his own poker journey, Ha has also turned his attention to playing live. In fact, nowadays he considers himself closer to being a live pro with the current state of online poker. He has over $900,000 in total live earnings, including a mammoth first-place victory in the opening event of the 2016 Lucky Hearts Poker Open. It was a $350 buy-in that brought him over $230,000. Today, Ha’s work in performing franchising duties with Mr. Wish, a bubble-tea store he is bringing from Houston to Philadelphia, keeps him incredibly busy. But even with a packed schedule, poker is never too far from his sights. As PA poker goes live, Ha is just one of the many local players that will be diving into the player pool as a vital part of the initial growth stage. “I know many poker players from the East Coast and I’m sure that a lot of people that play poker have hopes for when Pennsylvania goes live. I know a few people who have asked me about this recently and they’ve been waiting for one of the poker sites to open at any time.” As for what Ha hopes to see when he’s able to log on from his Philly home, it’s the same as many poker players across the country. “I think the future of U.S. online poker is very exciting. I’m hoping to see more and more young talented poker players living the dream that I once did. It is the opportunity that right now not many young poker players get to experience.”
  4. Yet again, Yong 'ykwon17' Kwon (aka 'LuckySpewy1'), is atop the PocketFives United States Online Poker Rankings, as he continues to crush tournaments out of New Jersey. Kwon has 5,205 points, which is ore than 300 points ahead of Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo in second place. Kwon has been charging hard in the online poker streets daily, and we don’t expect he’ll be slowing down anytime soon, especially with the WSOP.com Fall Online Championships running for much of October. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Kwon has been a fixture on the podium of online poker tournaments in recent weeks, with 22 top-three finishes dating back to September 1. Over that time period, he has seven victories. Kwon's most recent win came in the PokerStars NJ Sunday High Roller [6-Max] - $500, $8,000 Gtd on October 6, when he took first place for $5,640 and 106.21 points. On September 26, he won the PokerStars NJ $250 Thursday Thrill [Progressive KO], $5,000 Gtd for $1,767 and 69.11 points. Kwon’s biggest score dating back to the beginning of September was a third-place finish in the WSOP.com $30,000 Weekly Sunday [Re-entry, 6 Max] on September 23 for $6,837 and 122.45 points. Overall, Kwon now has more than $2.6 million in lifetime online tournament earnings. U.S. Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon 5,205 2 Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo 4,885 3 David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman 4,748 4 Vladimir ‘Donate_here’ Alexandrov 4,550 5 Ryan ‘shipthesherb’ Hohner 4,198 6 Jon ‘itsmejon’ Borenstein 4,043 7 Jason ‘JLaw’ Lawhun 3,879 8 Michael 'Gags30' Gagliano 3,612 9 Mike 'Lav519' Lavenburg 3,595 10 Michael 'JohnnnyDrama' Haberman 3,423 Plenty of notable names make up the top 10 of the PocketFives U.S. Online Poker Rankings, including the aforementioned Lupo in second with 4,885 points, David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman in third with 4,748 points, Vladimir ‘Donate_here’ Alexandrov in fourth with 4,550 points, and Ryan 'shipthesherb' Hohner with 4,198 points. As you can expect, Kwon also leads the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings, which has the exact same top 10 leaderboard as the U.S. Online Poker Rankings. It’s not until you get to #12 on the U.S. Online Poker Rankings leaderboard that you find someone from outside of New Jersey. That someone would be David ‘bewater’ Goodman who plays out of Nevada and is the new top-ranked player in the Nevada Online Poker Rankings after overtaking Jed ‘JCHAK’ Hoffman. Goodman has booked nine four-figure cashes going back to the start of September, including three wins for nearly $16,000 combined in a one-week span, all coming on WSOP.com. He won the $15,000 Weekly Friday [Re-entry, 6 Max] on September 14 for $5,294 and 128.62 points, the $15,000 Weekly Sunday Deepstack [R&A, Super Addon] on September 16 for $5,565 and 143.57 points, and the $15,000 GTD Circuit Warm-Up Turbo Deepstack [Re-entry] on September 21 for $4,855 and 132.87 points. Goodman also took fourth in the WSOP Circuit Event #12 - $100,000 NLH Double Stack 2x Re-entry (Official Ring Event) on September 29 for $7,262 and 142.25 points. Checking in on Pennsylvania, where regulated PA online poker is set to launch soon, Thai 'thaiha91' Ha is still atop the Pennsylvania Online Poker Rankings with 1,281 points. Ha has quite the lead over his fellow competitors, as he’s up nearly 500 points on Chris ‘Billypoker101’ Bilinsky. New Jersey Online Poker Rankings Top 5 New Jersey online poker players. RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon 5,205 2 Daniel ‘centrfieldr’ Lupo 4,885 3 David ‘dehhhhh’ Coleman 4,748 4 Vladimir ‘Donate_here’ Alexandrov 4,550 5 Ryan ‘shipthesherb’ Hohner 4,198 Nevada Online Poker Rankings Top 5 Nevada online poker players. RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 David ‘bewater’ Goodman 3,171 2 Jed 'JCHAK' Hoffman 2,978 3 PunnyYouSayThat 2,539 4 Tanner 'Bamatide88' Bibat 2,531 5 Bobby 'bcm4924' McLawhorn 2,266 Pennsylvania Online Poker Rankings Top 5 Pennsylvania online poker players. RANK PLAYER POINTS 1 Thai 'thaiha91' Ha 1,281 2 Chris ‘Billypoker101’ Bilinsky 807 3 RyJS 711 4 Andrew ‘Head218’ Carnevale 600 5 sr86 521
  5. Take a quick look at Siamak Tooran's Hendon Mob profile and you quickly come to understand that King's Casino in Rozvadov is basically his home field. The German poker pro has 19 career cashes and 13 of them have come at King's. None of them will likely ever compare to what he pulled off on Sunday. Tooran made his way through 110-other entries in the World Series of Poker Europe €25K Short Deck Event to win €740,996 and the first WSOP bracelet of his career. His previous best live score was for just €56,104. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] The final day of play started with seven players still alive and it wasn't until Jonathan Depa was eliminated in seventh place that the group had reached the official final table. Action folded to Rob Yong and he moved all in and was quickly called by Tooran. Yong showed [poker card="kh"][poker card="qc"] while Tooran had [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The board ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9s"][poker card="js"] to give Tooran a better two pair and eliminate Yong in sixth. Just 90 minutes later another all-in preflop battle resulted in another bustout. Orpen Kisacikoglu entered the pot for the 500,000 ante and Besim Hot moved all in for 9,800,000. Kisacikoglu considered his options and called and tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="js"] while Hot showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"][poker card="8h"] flop gave Kisacikoglu top two pair and left Hot drawing to a straight. The [poker card="7c"] turn was no help and Kisacikoglu filled up with the [poker card="kc"] river to send Hot out in fifth place. Four-handed play went on for another hour before Tooran found himself another victim. Netanel Amedi moved all in for 14,500,000 from the button and Tooran called from the hijack. Amedi showed [poker card="jc"][poker card="ts"] while Tooran had [poker card="qh"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="qd"][poker card="ad"] runout gave Amedi hope but quickly took it away to give Tooran the pot and eliminate Amedi in fourth. Kisacikoglu started the day with the chip lead, but was unable to turn that into a bracelet on Sunday. Ha raised to 5,400,000 before Kisacikoglu moved all in for 32,000,000 and Ha called. Kisacikoglu flipped over [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] while Ha had [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"] The [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"] flop kept Kisacikoglu in control as did the [poker card="9d"] turn. The [poker card="as"] river however gave Ha a better two pair and ended Kisacikoglu's run in third. Despite not being responsible for any of Sunday's bustouts, Thai Ha began heads-up play with a 2-1 chip lead but it didn't take too long for Tooran to change his fortune. After seeing himself down to 39% of the chips in play, Ha moved all in for 43,900,000 holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="7s"] and Tooran called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"] flop improved Ha's hand to include a straight draw. The [poker card="ks"] turn gave Tooran top pair but also added a flush draw for Ha. The [poker card="7c"] river improved Ha but wasn't enough to be at Tooran and the Pennsylvania poker pro was eliminated in second place. Ha also finished runner-up in the $10,000 Short Deck event in June at the 2019 WSOP. Final Table Payouts Siamak Tooran - €740,996 Thai Ha - €457,964 Orpen Kisacikoglu - €323,553 Netanel Amedi - €230,807 Besim Hot - €166,258 Rob Yong - €120,946
  6. Australian poker player Kahle Burns had already won the €25,500 Platinum High Roller at the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe festival, but he wasn’t going to stop there. On Friday, Burns took down the €2,500 Short Deck tournament for his second gold bracelet. For the win, Burns earned a €101,834 payday. He topped a field of 179 entries in the €2,500 Short Deck event, which included defeating Manig Loeser in second place. €2,500 Short Deck Final Table Results 1st: Kahle Burns - €101,834 2nd: Manig Loeser - €62,929 3rd: Felix Schulze- €42,233 4th: Federico Anselmi- €29,027 5th: Vladimir Peck- €20,444 6th: Oshri Lahmani- €14,764 7th: Pierre Neuville- €10,939 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Burns entered the final table with the chip lead, but he slipped to start with Vladimir Peck doubling through him. It was then Loeser who took the lead after he knocked out Pierre Neuville in seventh place. It wouldn’t take too long for Burns to retake the lead, though. After Oshri Lahmani was bounced in sixth place, Burns got his revenge on Peck by knocking him out in fifth place. Burns held pocket jacks with the [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jd"] and Peck had the [poker card="9d"][poker card="8d"]. The flop, turn, and river ran out [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qd"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="Ac"] to give Burns the win. Next to go was Federico Anselmi in fourth place, and he was done in by Felix Schulze. Although Schulze scored that bust out, his run ended in third place when he ran into Burns. Burns then took a sizable chip lead into heads-up play before sealing the deal. On the final hand, Loeser was all in with the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jc"] against Burns’ [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Jh"]. The board came [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="7h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] to end the tournament. Burns has now cashed four times at the 2019 WSOP Europe. Although his name is now appearing in the top bunch of names on the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard, Burns is still a long shot to win that title. Notable finishes were had by top-ranked PA online poker player Thai Ha, who finished in 14th place, and Phil Ivey, who placed 18th. Both cashed for €5,228.
  7. The 2019 Poker Masters kicked off this week and the first event is in the books. Winning Event #1: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em was Isaac Baron. Baron topped the field of 97 entries to take home $223,100. To win the title, Baron topped a final table that included Jeremy Ausmus, Sam Soverel, and Scott Blumstein, and he defeated Chance Kornuth in heads-up play. Kornuth earned $164,900 for his runner-up finish. Event 1 Final Table Results 1st: Isaac Baron - $223,100 2nd: Chance Kornuth - $164,900 3rd: Ralph Wong - $116,400 4th: Jeremy Ausmus - $97,000 5th: Sam Soverel - $77,600 6th: Scott Blumstein - $58,200 7th: Dan Shak - $48,500 8th: Thai Ha - $38,800 [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Baron entered the final table of eight with the chip lead and it was Pennsylvania poker pro Thai Ha to bust first in eighth place. Ha went out at the hands of Ausmus when his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9h"] lost to Ausmus’ [poker card="8s"][poker card="7s"] in all-in preflop action. Dan Shak was next to bust, and it was Baron who sent him packing. Ausmus had opened to 120,000 holding the [poker card="As"][poker card="Tc"] with the blinds at 30,000-60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante, and Baron reraised to 330,000 with pocket fives. Shak, who was on a severe short stack, then called all in for 75,000 with the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jd"]. Ausmus folded, and it was off to the races for Baron and Shak. No help came for Shak and he was out in seventh place. Although Soverel busted Blumstein in sixth place, he was the next one to bust, and it was once again Baron doing the deed. Baron’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Ac"] held up against Soverel’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"] and Soverel was out fifth. After Ausmus was knocked out in fourth and Ralph Wong in third, both at the hands of Baron, it was time for the heads-up match between Baron and Kornuth. Entering the duel, Baron had 8.415 million in chips to Kornuth’s 1.29 million. The two wasted no time getting the money in, as Baron shoved with the [poker card="5c"][poker card="3c"] against Kornuth and his stack of 10 big blinds. Kornuth looked at the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9h"] and made the call. Unfortunately for Kornuth, the board ran out [poker card="Th"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2d"][poker card="Qd"][poker card="Kc"] to give Baron the victory. With the win, Baron took the early lead in the race for the overall Poker Masters title with 300 points. The player to earn the most points over the course of the series will be crowned Poker Masters champion and receive a $100,000 bonus plus the trophy purple jacket.
  8. On Tuesday, Chance Kornuth final tabled the opening event of the Poker Masters before finishing second to Isaac Baron. On Wednesday, Kornuth once again took on the role of bridesmaid as Ryan Laplante eliminated the final four players to win the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $186,000. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] With blinds of 25,000/50,000, Tim McDermott was down to just 140,000 when he moved all in with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"] from early position. John Riordan made 545,000 from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"]. Thai Ha and Laplante folded their blinds. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] to give Riordan a flush and eliminate McDermott in sixth place. Five minutes later, defending Purple Jacket winner Ali Imsirovic went up against Laplante. From the cutoff, Laplante raised to 125,00 with -[poker card="as"][poker card="jh"][poker card="td"][poker card="2s"] before Imsirovic re-raised from the button to 450,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2h"] and Laplante called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] flop gave Laplante the nut flush. Laplante bet 190,000 - exactly what Imsirovic had left - and Imsirovic called. The [poker card="5c"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river combo were unable to save Imsirovic from a fifth place finish. Laplante found himself on the good end of a bustout an hour later. Riordan raised to 280,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"] and Laplante defended his big blind with [poker card="th"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"]. After the [poker card="qd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"] flop, Riordan called Laplante's pot-sized bet with his tournament life on the line. The [poker card="8c"] turn moved Laplante ahead and the [poker card="jd"] river was no help for Riordan and he was eliminated in fourth place. While all the excitement in his home state of Pennsylvania has been focused on the launch of PokerStars PA, Thai Ha has been putting in the work at the Poker Masters. Following his eighth place finish in Event #1, Ha was guaranteed a better finish but couldn't manage to grab a win. After Kornuth folded his button, Ha called from the small blind with [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"] before Laplante raised to 240,000 from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6d"] flop gave Ha a straight and he bet 560,000. Laplante instantly moved all in and Ha called. The [poker card="4d"] turn gave Laplante a flush and Ha could only shake hands and say goodbye as the [poker card="3h"] river completed the board. Heads-up play began with Laplante holding a better than 2-1 chip lead over Kornuth. It took just two hands of one-on-one play for Kornuth to put a wrap on his first live win since December 2016. Kornuth raised to 240,000 from the button with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3s"] and Laplante called with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Laplante a flopped full house and Kornuth lead out for 225,000. Laplante moved all in and Kornuth called. The [poker card="ad"] turn and [poker card="7s"] river failed to give Kornuth any relief and he was eliminated in second place for the second time in two days. "I've been working a lot on my training site, Learn Pro Poker, it's a lot of GTO-based content. When you're working on stuff like that it really helps a lot of aspects of your game and I've just been running very, very well this year," Laplante said after the win. Final Table Payouts Ryan Laplante - $186,000 Chance Kornuth - $124,000 Thai Ha - $86,000 John Riordan - $62,000 Ali Imsirovic - $49,600 Tim McDermott - $37,200
  9. Natural8 has patched up another pro as Pennsylvania-based grinder Thai Ha becomes the latest brand ambassador for the rapidly growing online poker site. The 29-year old Ha has already had quite an impressive career with over $2.3 million in career earnings and experience battling in live tournaments at some of the highest stakes. Now, he joins the likes of Danny Tang, Michael Soyza, Henri Bueller, and Kitty Kuo on the Natural8 roster. “I am looking forward to playing the rest of the APT schedule, as well as all the WSOPC events. The $1,000 WSOP Super Circuit Main Event with $5 million guaranteed will be very exciting, but I will same my run good for the $25,000 High Roller Championship with $10 million guaranteed,” Ha said. Natural8 has been making plenty of moves as of late, including helping the Asian Poker Tour take their 2020 schedule online for the very first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ha's live tournament resume is packed with results from high buy-in events. He was even one of the high-profile winners of a $25,000 Platinum Pass for the 2019 PokerStars PSPC. But there was a time that online poker was his main grind, spending several years as an online pro. “I have been playing poker since about 2013 when I was still in college,” Ha said to PocketFives last year. “Since 2014, after I graduated and couldn’t get the job I wanted until very recently, my only income was from poker.” Ha’s career has elevated with some exceptional scores over the past 12 months. They include a second-place finish in the $10,000 Short Deck event at the 2019 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, as well as a runner-up finish in the €25,500 Short Deck event at the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe for $511,788, a career-high cash. Despite not taking home the bracelet in either of those events, Ha's success in Short Deck has turned him into a bit of a Short Deck specialist. “It has the most fun, fast, and addicting action. That being said, I still like No Limit Hold’em tournaments and a mix of some Pot-Limit Omaha cash games,” Ha said. As a member of the Natural8 team, players can find him grinding online under his own name, “Thai Ha”, and splashing around in the mid-to-high stakes cash games and tournaments. For Ha, the features of the Natural8 software, which is part of the GGPoker Network, is just one of the things that made joining the team so enticing. “The Natural8 software makes me feel more relaxed. It’s more like playing a video game instead of poker. Being able to squeeze the river cards are fun as well, and the staking platform is also unique and easy to use. What gets me excited is the sound system, especially the all-in sound!” Ha is planning on playing the remaining schedule of the WSOP Super Circuit Series which runs through May 31.
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