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Each of the last five years, Dan Smith has organized a charity drive that pledges to match a portion of what is donated. This year, Smith, along with a group of poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS) pros, pledged to match up to $1.29 million. The drive is officially called the Double Up Drive and benefits 10 different charities, with eight focused on near-term causes and two focused on the long-term. "Poker is an inherently selfish game," Smith said about using his platform in poker to raise awareness and give back. "For me to win, that means somebody else directly has to lose. After a lot of years of it, I thought there was more to life than just playing cards, and I think it's cool that I was able to use my favorite thing to make a difference in the world." Every year, the drive receives a large amount of support from the gambling world, with both the poker and DFS communities heavily participating. Smith works with Tom and Martin Crowley on the drive, and this year Tom pledged half of his winnings from the DraftKings World Championship Final to the Double Up Drive. Known as 'ChipotleAddict' in the DFS world, Tom incredibly went on to win the event for a haul of $2 million and between that event and the FanDuel $2M WFFC Finals, Tom pulled in $2.254 million. That means $1.127 million is being donated to the Double Up Fund. "It's pretty surreal," Smith said of Crowley winning after pledging 50 percent. "When you're playing super high roller (poker tournaments), sometimes you just go completely numb to the value of a dollar. Like, we're playing a $300K tournament, that’s thousands of lives that are going to be literally saved. It's really hard to comprehend. It's a very cool thing, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s been so successful." One of the biggest elements leading to the success of Smith's drive has been the involvement of the poker and DFS communities, and Smith spoke to how much that’s meant to the drive. "Motivating people to do good I think is an unbelievable achievement," Smith said. "Fedor (Holz) last year, Stephen Chidwick this year made very large donations to the drive. It’s just really wonderful to get support. The charity drive is one of the big parts of my life now, and having people whom I respect - I'm great friends with Stevie - getting supported like that means a lot." The seven-figure charity drive is, as he admits, a big part of Smith's life, and with lots of moving parts, people involved, and tons of donations to be handled, both big and small, Smith said he and the group started putting everything together in October, but overall it might not take as much time as one might believe. "It takes a lot less time than you might think," Smith said. "We started brainstorming some charities in October, discussing numbers. We did a handful of one-hour calls. The most challenging thing, I suppose, was getting people to agree on which charities to include, but it makes sense if you’re divvying up what started as $1.3 million. It should take some time. There were a fair bit of logistics, but fortunately, the people at REG Charity were very helpful. They created the website, they’re entering the emails this year. As far as a multi-million dollar fundraiser would go, it takes a lot less time than you might think." Whereas Tom Crowley won more than $2 million from DFS and will be donating more than $1 million of it to the Double Up Drive, Smith hopes he can also make a large contribution from winning an event. Smith is currently in Las Vegas competing in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. With nearly 40 entries in the field, the prize pool is well north of $10 million. First place is more than $3.6 million. Smith is playing in the event with five percent of his winnings pledged, and he’s not the only one. "Myself and Nick Petrangelo are playing five percent for charity," Smith said. "So that's $15,000, plus hopefully some skill edge, and I am hopeful that it spreads awareness and if people see it on the stream or television then they are encouraged to do good. Even though we talk a lot about the big numbers, I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference. People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all." If you're interested in donating to the Double Up Drive, or simply would like to learn more, you can do so at DoubleUpDrive.com. The Super High Roller Bowl Smith is competing in is being aired on PokerGO, and you can get $10 off an annual subscription through using the code "Pocket5s" when signing up.
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. Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters are back for another episode of The Fives. This week they discuss the early end of the Rich Alati bathroom prop bet, the record turnout at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio and talk about Dylan Linde's huge win. They also recap all of the action from the European Poker Tour stop in Prague and talk about Dan Smith's Double Up Drive. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
One might think that with the holidays on the horizon December would be a quiet month of people spending time with their family. Not for the world of poker. December 2018 was full of record-breaking tournaments and huge headlines. Here are some of the names that made the news in December. Dan Smith Makes A Difference For the past five years, regular high-roller Dan Smith has been collecting donations for various charities at Christmas time. This year, Smith and his collaborators amassed $1.29M for the Double Up Drive and that they would use to match donations to spread to 10 carefully cultivated charities. They nearly got that amount in a single day when DFS champion Tom Crowley promised to give 50% of any winnings he might make from the DraftKings World Championship Final. Crowley, known as ‘ChipotleAddict’, went on to win the event for $2 million and over the weekend hauled in a total of $2.254 - half of which was donated to the Double Up Drive. The donation was ‘surreal’ but Smith wants to make sure people knew that donations of any size are welcome. “I want to clarify that any amount makes a difference,” Smith told PocketFives. “People in Uganda are living off 65 cents a day, an amount we don’t even consider at all.” READ: Dan Smith Charity Drive Gets “Surreal” $1.1M Donation via DFS Champ Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl V The fifth edition of the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl saw Isaac Haxton best the field of 36 elite players to earn a career-high cash of $3.672 million dollars. “This is easily the best tournament result I’ve ever had and it’s an event I love. It feels great to win here at ARIA. This is the highlight of my tournament career, no doubt,” said Haxton after the win. The final table was replete with talent including Poker Masters champion Ali Imsirovic, Igor Kurganov, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, Stephen Chidwick, and eventual runner-up Alex Foxen. Foxen took home a career-best $2.1 million for his second-place finish. This capped off an amazing year that saw him earn 12 cashes of six-figures or better as well as rise to become the #1-ranked player on the GPI. READ: Isaac Haxton Wins Super High Roller Bowl for $3.672 Million READ: Alex Foxen’s Drive Takes Him to the Super High Roller Bowl The World Series of Poker Releases 2019 Dates Just before Christmas the World Series of Poker delivered players an early present by announcing a partial schedule of the 2019 WSOP. This summer will be the 50th anniversary for the longest-running tournament series and to help commemorate the occasion the WSOP is planning a number of special events for the players. The schedule included the announcement of the ‘Big 50’, a $500 buy-in tournament with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool and a $1 million guarantee for first place. Additionally, in an extra effort to “make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around” many of the marquee events of the summer have an increased starting stack. This includes the WSOP Main Event which is increasing their starting stack to 60,000. READ: WSOP Releases 2019 Dates, New ‘Big 50’ Event - $500 Buy-in, $5M GTD Dylan Linde Wins WPT Five Diamond for $1.6 Million The crypto crash of 2018 has some in the industry fearing that the numbers for the World Poker Tour’s highlight event, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, might see a dip in registration. However, just the opposite happened as players flocked to the Bellagio in record-setting numbers. The event attracted 1001 runners and generated a prize pool of $9.7 million. In the end, longtime poker pro Dylan ‘ImaLucSac’ Linde (who re-entered five times in the event) dominated a stacked final table that included Andrew Lichtenberger, Ping Liu, Lisa Hamilton, Barry Hutter and runner-up Milos Skrbic. Linde won a career-high $1.6 million and earned the title of WPT Champion. READ: Dylan Line Wins Record-Shattering WPT Five Diamond Title for $1.6 Million Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio, Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online. partypoker’s 2018 $20M GTD MILLIONS Online did not disappoint. The incredible online tournament surpassed its posted guarantee and set the record for the largest single online tournament in history with players vying for a first place prize of over $2.6M. In the end, after one hand of heads-up play, Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and PocketFiver Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede settled on a lightning-fast chop that awarded both players over $2.3M. Rubio, technically, earned the victory, taking home $20K more than De Goede and now owns the record for the single largest online payday in history. READ: Manuel ‘Sheparentao’ Ruvio and Pim ‘ForMatherRussia’ De Goede Chop partypoker MILLIONS Online A December To Remember December was just one of those month’s where huge news seemed to break every day. Here are some of the other must-read major headlines in December. Michigan opens its doors to online poker. READ: Michigan Becomes Fifth State to Regulate Online Poker The poker world loses a legend in the passing of Thor Hansen. READ: Thor Hansen Passes Away at 71 The pitch black bathroom bet comes to an abrupt end. READ: The $100K Bathroom Prop Ends Early; Alati, Young Agree on $62K Buyout Bay 101’s Shooting Star returns without the WPT behind it. READ: After a Year Away, Bay 101 Shooting Star Returns With New Look
When the final table of the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open started on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Viny Lima was the shortest stack of the six players remaining. Over the course of the next 10 hours, Lima refused to go into the night quietly and eliminated his final four opponents to take home $728,430 and his first World Poker Tour title. Ian O'Hara waited 41 days for his shot at WPT title but only managed to get to play for a little over 30 minutes on Wednesday night before busting. Brandon Hall raised to 350,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"] and action folded to O'Hara in the big blind and he moved all in for 5,125,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"]. Hall called instantly and then watched the board run out [poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3c"][poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] to eliminate O'Hara in sixth place. While the first elimination of the night came quickly, fans inside the HyperX Esports Arena had to wait another six hours for the next one. Action folded to Lima in the small blind and he moved all in for 11,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"] and Daniel Buzgon called all in for 5,400,000 from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="7c"] flop put Lima comfortably ahead and after the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="8d"] river failed to save him, Buzgon was eliminated in fifth place. The BorgataPoker.com ambassador tweeted following his elimination. Brandon Hall spent some time at the top of the chip counts on Wednesday but ultimately couldn't stay there. From UTG, Lima raised to 1,500,000 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"] and Hall called from the big blind with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2h"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="kd"][poker card="7s"] to send Hall packing in fourth place. Down to just eight big blinds, Joseph Di Rosa Rojas moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="4c"] and Lima called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6c"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"] flop gave Lima two pair and neither the [poker card="3d"] turn or [poker card="th"] river improved Rojas and he was eliminated in third. Farah started heads up play with a 5-3 chip lead over Lima, but the early stages of heads up play saw Lima flip the script and eventually take a 4.5-1 lead of his own. After an hour of play, Lima and Farah clashed one final time. Farah moved all in from the button with [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"] and Lima called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="js"][poker card="5h"] flop gave both players a pair but kept Lima ahead. The [poker card="2c"] was no help and the [poker card="ks"] river gave Lima an unneeded second pair to eliminate Farah, who started the day with the chip lead, in second place. Final Table Payouts Viny Lima - $728,430 Dave Farah - $485,611 Joseph Di Rosa Rojas - $359,555 Brandon Hall - $268,810 Daniel Buzgon - $202,942 Ian O'Hara - $154,734