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  1. [caption width="640"] UK poker player 'philroyal888' is up to #11 in the PocketFives Rankings[/caption] The top 10 of the PocketFives Rankings is full of some of the most heralded and successful online poker players around. It's no wonder that it's extraordinarily difficult to enter the top 10, even for those who have been there before. Take this week, for example. There wasn't a single new entrant into the top 10. Instead, the players in that group jockeyed for position. And still at the top is Sweden's 'C Darwin2', who has been ranked #1 since July 6, has 7,759 PLB points and holds a 200-point lead over the next closest player. The top 10 consists of four Swedes, two Brazilians, two Russians, a Brit, and a Canadian. One of the Russians, Aleksandr 'NoPlanB' Mordvinov, moved up one spot from #4 to #3, his all-time high, thanks in part to winning the PokerStars Hot $215 on Tuesday for $10,000. On Sunday, he final tabled both the partypoker Heavyweight Main Event and PokerStars Sunday Grand. He has 7,466 PLB points, 300 off the lead. If any player in the top 10 does fold, then 'philroyal888', from the UK, will be right there to take their place. 'philroyal888' moved up four spots from #15 to #11 and now seems poised to re-enter the top 10 and try to best his all-time high ranking of #8. He won the PokerStars Hot $55 on Tuesday for $8,500, his first tracked win since he took down the PokerStars Sunday Grand in June. "I haven't been playing much recently, but from this week on I'm going to be putting in some long hours," 'philroyal888' said. Also moving up was Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot, who ticked up five places from #19 to #14, his best showing ever. Talbot won the PokerStars Hot $215 on Saturday for his 83rd career "W" and now sits with $2.7 million in lifetime winnings. He final tabled the partypoker High Roller at the end of last month. Sweden's 'DeathbyQuads' re-entered the top 20 after moving up five spots to #17. He's had two recent win: a $27 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Hyper-Turbo on PokerStars and a $109 No Limit Hold'em Six-Max Hyper-Turbo on PokerStars. He passed $2 million in career winnings on July 20 and is now nine spots off his all-time high in the rankings set earlier this year. Uruguay's Rafael 'rph' Porzecanski rose 21 spots in the rankings to #52. He just passipassed g $4 million in career winnings and won the Hot $162 on PokerStars on Monday. Over the weekend, he took down the site's Hot $33 and is up to 87 career wins. Porzecanski is the top-ranked online poker player in Uruguay. Sweden's 'fabregarp' was up 14 spots to #74, his best ranking ever. He took down the PokerStars.fr Sunday Warm-Up over the weekend for his first win in a month and followed that up with another win in the site's Hot €50. 'fabregarp' is the 15th-ranked player in the incredibly successful Swedish poker community. Sam 'TheSquid' Grafton re-entered the top 100 this week at #86. The accomplished live and online pro won the partypoker Heavyweight $30,000 Guaranteed Rebuy on Sunday for $9,000 and final tabled the 888 Baby Whale the same day. He had a half-dozen wins in the second half of July and is nearing 800 top-three finishes in online MTTs. Finally, longtime PocketFiver Jonas 'donut604' Mackoff is back in the top 100 at #98. The Vancouver resident won a $162 No Limit Hold'em Ultra Deep Stack tournament on PokerStars last week for almost $3,000 and now finds himself 55 spots off his all-time high in the rankings set two years ago. This week's top 10: C Darwin2 - 7,759 points 1_conor_b_1 - 7,565 points NoPlanB - 7,467 points lena900 - 7,269 points veeea - 7,178 points Pot4teUS - 6,929 points joaomathias - 6,848 points joaosimaobh - 6,832 points Greenstone25 - 6,813 points JMolloy - 6,765 points
  2. [caption width="640"] You could find yourself in the 2017 WSOP Main Event for just thanks to 888poker[/caption] We are at the approximate halfway point of our 888poker World Series of Poker Main event satellite series and now at Step 3. The buy ins are starting to get more serious as $1 now marks the entry fee to hop on the ladder. As with Step 2, there is a slower structure in this step. Blinds go up every six minutes, rather than the five in Step 2 and three in Step 1. All entrants start with 2,000 chips and have rebuy options open for the first 10 levels of the satellite. Most importantly, instead of one out of every 10 entrants earning a seat to the next step, one of five advance. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $0.01With this new dynamic comes a need to adjust in strategy. Luckily for players, the newest member of the 888poker team, Parker ‘Tonkaaaa’ Talbot has just the suggestions anyone might need. “Satellites are a game where if you study enough, any tournament becomes soft. People make mistakes in all of them and someone could stack off with a big stack. Overall, satellites are profitable.” All of the 888poker team pros featured thus far in this series have offered strategy advice for how best to avoid bubbling and in turn, failing to move on to the next step. Talbot offers similar advice and suggests being aware of the playing habits of your opponents. “Don’t stack off on the bubble. Play the first half as you would a regular tournament. Making a 10 big blind shove on the button should be more profitable than calling with ace-king in the big blind.” Most of all, Talbot recommends players live by the saying of “shove wide, call tight” in order to be most profitable when making decisions for large portions of chips. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $0.10Fellow 888team pro and 2015 WSOP November Niner Bruno Politano is in agreement with Talbot. Politano suggests players treat it like a standard MTT and then ramp up the aggression late when chips are of the utmost importance. “I think the strategy for the lower satellites is to make it seem like a regular tournament. Play tight in the first levels and aggressive in the middle and the final stages. The important mental part is to not lose your focus because it’s a lower step. Play the first step like you will play the last step and you will have more of a chance to win all your steps.” Now that we are midway through the steps to qualify for the Main Event, our next part in the series will focus on how players should attack Step 4, the $5 section, before making their way into the world of Steps 5 and 6.
  3. [caption width="640"] Just one year ago, Fernando Pons turned a satellite win into a trip to the WSOP Main Event final table.[/caption] You can taste it. You can smell it. You’ve made it to Step 5 of the 888poker World Series of Poker Main Event satellites series and are ready to earn your Main Event seat. If the dream didn’t seem real before now, it certainly is now. Last year, 2016 November Niner Fernando Pons started his Main Event satellite journey at this exact step and ended up turning $30 into $1,000,000. The dream achieved by Pons is what player envisions when they first enter an 888poker satellite and the Spaniard was able to turn his first trip into the United States into the dream of a lifetime. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $5ESPN commentator and 888poker team pro Kara Scott has interviewed dozens of players in the Main Event in previous years but Pons’s experience in playing on the world’s biggest stage stood out to her. “Hearing [Pons] talk about how he used poker tournaments to unwind after work at night at his house in Spain, and how he mistakenly entered an online satellite one evening to win a package to the WSOP without really even dreaming about being at the WSOP,” said Scott “To go from sitting on his sofa playing a €30 tournament to finding himself in Vegas for the very first time, to be running super deep in the most exciting event of the year. So good. I loved that story. He came across like a really sweet guy.” Many 888poker team pros are expected to start their Main Event qualification journey at this step with Bruno Kawauti, Nicolau Villa-Lobos and Natalie Hof among them. To get the fifth step requires a lot of time and energy to be invested in order to reach the cusp of the Main Event seat. At the same time, should a player not qualify for the next step, it is very easy to go through an emotional downswing at having to start at the first step. This is a fact not lost on Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot who encourages players to keep their mind in a positive place and wants them to know they have a lot of time to climb back up the mountain. “Don’t get down on yourself. You can work your way up to $30 numerous times, you can make it back. There’s lots of time to play. If you were to study and work hard, no field is too tough.” The next Fernando Pons is out there among you and 888poker is the only place to qualify for as little as $.01. The final piece of the satellite puzzle will cover the $160 step, where another November Niner was able to qualify and turn a minimal investment into over $1,000,000.
  4. [caption width="640"] Guarantees were smashed on Day 1 of 888poker's XL Eclipse[/caption] Two weeks worth of anticipated online action kicked off on Sunday as 888poker's mammoth, 197-event online poker series, XL Eclipse, finally arrived. The action got off to a fast start with 16 featured No Limit Hold'em events taking place throughout the day. The $1.2 million in Sunday's guarantees were shattered as over 15,000 entrants took their shots at the approximately $1,389,000 in prize money awarded on Sunday. Perhaps no one was more excited to have the series begin than Germany's 'CllsDntMttr', who after battling through the tough field of 218, came out on top and took home Sunday's largest prize. Not only was Event #10 ($1,050 $250,000 Whale No Limit Hold'em) marked as one of the marquee high-rolling tournaments of the series, but it carried with it a hefty $64,826.50 payday. A number notable online names joined 'CllsDntMttr' in the winner's circle on Sunday. None of those names more well-known than 888poker ambassador and popular online Twitch streamer, Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot. While perhaps not the largest payday of his extensive career, Talbot took down Event #12 ($109 $30,000 Sunday Tornado No Limit Hold'em), for $6,450 after besting online grinder 'neverfoldQ5' heads-up for the title. Xuan '888xuan' Liu joined Talbot at that final table, eventually finishing in fifth. The current #3-ranked online player in the world, 'tutten7' (aka 'Lena900') also found his way to finishing out a final table. The Swede took the top spot in the second largest tournament of XL Eclipse's opening day, Event #4 ($215 $150,000 Mega Deep No Limit Hold'em) defeating over 730 runners to take home the $28,050 first place prize. Plenty of PocketFives.com members had success on Day 1, including 'ivljanin', 'Tatko3' and 'LeshiyAS', all of whom started the series off right by ending up with victories. XL Eclipse Day 1 Winners #EventBuy In][poker card="TD"]WinnerPayout 1$30,000 Sunday Lightning NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]Lenochka83$11,109 3$30,000 Sunday Deepstack Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]ivljanin$6,086.85 4$150,000 Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]tutten7$28,050 5$40,000 Mini Mega Deep NLHE$22DreamLikeMe$8,262.58 6$20,000 Sunday Swordfish NLHE$30][poker card="TD"]gaingrapes$3,626.79* 7$300,000 Opening Event NLHE$160][poker card="TD"]ImTriggered$58,270.50 8$50,000 Mini Opening Event NLHE$12][poker card="TD"]Tatko3$9,091.90 9$45,000 Sunday Monsoon NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]LeshiyAS$8,145 10$250,000 Whale NLHE$1050][poker card="TD"]CllsDntMttr$64,826.50 11$100,000 Sunday Challenge NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]iCrushU556$20,252.10 12$30,000 Sunday Tornado NLHE$109][poker card="TD"]888tonkaaaa$6,450 13$50,000 Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$215][poker card="TD"]p000cket000$10,647.99* 14$20,000 Mini Turbo Mega Deep NLHE$22][poker card="TD"]rama4y20$3,892.15* 15$30,000 Turbo Opening Event NLHE$55][poker card="TD"]RakDoll$5,047.29* 16$10,000 Super Turbo Opening Event NLHE$75NEONTIGER$2,609.75 * denotes final table deal
  5. Wednesday's action in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker featured nine different players entering the winner's circle including Canadian Parker Talbot and Australian Stevan Chew. Talbot took down event #58 High ($530 NLHE PKO) after outlasting 841 other entries to win the first WCOOP title of his career. Talbot had recently been the subject of some good natured ribbing from PokerStars Team Pro Online Ben 'Spraggy' Spragg due to his lack of WCOOP success. Talbot got the last laugh on Wednesday. Chew picked up Wednesday's bdiggest score after shipping Event #56 High ($2,100 Super Tuesday). Chew took home $149,594.83 after working his way through the 386-entry field to grab the first WCOOP of his career. The third and final player to pick up a WCOOP High victory on Wednesday did so by working their way through the smallest field on the slate. 'flong78' beat 67 other entries in Event #57 High ($2,100 2-7 Triple Draw) to win $36,707.74. And it wouldn't be a day of 2020 WCOOP action without another player joining the double winner club. Rinat 'Zapahzamazki' Lyapin won Event #57 Medium ($215 2-7 Triple Draw) to pair with his win in Event #2 Medium ($1,050 NLHE Sunday Slam). The other WCOOP champions from Wednesday were 'TheVirus217' (Event #56 Medium), 'renan141084' (Event #56 Low), 'luda555' (Event #57 Low), 'valdemaar74' (Event #58 Medium), and 'NightGuiden' (Event #58 Low). WCOOP #56-H: $2,100 NLHE [8-Max, Super Tuesday] 386 entries $772,000 prize pool random_chu - $140,594.83 thebigdog09 - $101,738.32 ludovi333 - $73,620.77 WCOOP #56-M: $215 NLHE [8-Max, Freezeout, Mini Super Tuesday] 2,069 entries $413,800 prize pool TheVirus217 - $61,739.99 Gselweckle - $44,009.61 darkmaestro7 - $31,371.54 WCOOP #56-L: $22 NLHE [8-Max, Freezeout] 7,901 entries $158,020 prize pool renan141084 - $22,292.14 blackprecise - $15,887.59 deyvsontrump - $11,325.24 WCOOP #57-H: $2,100 FL 2-7 Triple Draw 68 entries $136,000 prize pool flong78 - $36,707.74 kkopghy - $27,439.60 Talal ‘raidalot’ Shakerchi WCOOP #57-M: $215 FL 2-7 Triple Draw 317 entries $63,400 prize pool Zapahzamazki - $11,897.29 Keep3r - $8,573.20 zilbeee - $6,177.99 WCOOP #57-L: $22 FL 2-7 Triple Draw 1,076 entries $21,520 prize pool luda555 - $3,021.05* Barni_BoY777 - $2,871.06* ManOjax - $1,685.62 WCOOP #58-H: $530 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout] 842 entries $421,000 prize pool Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot - $29,958.59 + $21,209.87 in bounties LoosControl - $29,957.79 + $17,366.19 in bounties dougalopes - $17,774.68 + $12,947.27 in bounties WCOOP #58-M: $55 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout] 5,609 entries $280,450 prize pool valdemaar74 - $16,967.67 + $10,157.68 in bounties suits.sunman - $16,962.93 + $1,266.22 in bounties oNinguem - $9,817.88 + $1,826.76 in bounties WCOOP #58-L: $5.50 NLHE [8-Max, PKO, Freezeout] 11,549 entries $56,590.10 prize pool NightGuiden - $3,101.85 + $1,406.96 in bounties MFlushmaster - $3,094.09 + $396.88 in bounties turist388 - $1,835.80 + $496.23 in bounties

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