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  1. The PokerStars EPT Online series wrapped up on Thursday after Sweden’s ‘WhatIfGod’ was crowned the champion of the $5,200 NLHE Main Event and walked away with the $1,019,082 million first-place prize. The first-ever EPT Online looked to bring players similar offerings to that of one of their popular live stops which have been understandably postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And over the past two weeks, some of the world’s top online poker talent packed the PokerStars lobbies to battle for a piece of the $21.1 million in total prize money that was spread out over the series’ 20 events. The Main Event After four days of play, the final nine players reconvened to fight for the biggest prize of the series and the right to be called EPT Main Event Champion. The first three eliminations happened in short order as ‘vip25459’ fell was the first to fall, busting out ninth place for $78,797. Soon after busting ‘vip25459’, online poker legend Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet hit the rail in eighth place ($97,344) when he lost a huge flip holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] against ‘VbV1990’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. Then Andreas ‘daskalos20’ Christoforou busted in spectacular fashion when he got his [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] all in preflop against David ‘MissOracle’ Yan’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] and when the [poker card="3c"] hit the river, Christoforou was drawing dead. He settled for seventh place and $136,147. Play slowed down at six-handed until Enio ‘Bozzano JNR’ Bozzano suffered a bad beat in sixth place ($190,419) as Yan again came from behind and cracked Bozzano’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. Russia’s Viacheslav ‘Vbv1990’ Buldygin was the next to exit when he moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][aj] and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. The pocket eights held and Buldygin was eliminated in fifth place for $266,323. Not long after, ‘tikidiii’ busted in fourth place when he open-shoved his [poker card="js"][poker card="th"] into Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams who showed down [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"]. Adams’ pocket eights flopped a set and held through the river as ‘tikidiii’ fell in fourth place for $372,485. The experienced final three players battled for roughly thirty minutes before Yan became short-stacked after he was called on a bluffed missed flush draw. Unlike earlier in the tournament when he was able to chip up from the short stack, Yan was unable to recover. He shoved his remaining 16 big blinds in the middle holding [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] against Adams’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="4s"]. Although the tens held to the turn, the [poker card="as"] spiked on the river, shipping the pot to Adams and sending Yan home with a third-place $520,966 payday. Despite both being deep-stacked, Adams and ‘WhatIfGod’ had a brief heads-up battle of just seven hands. It came to a head when Adams raised the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ three-bet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"] which brought a bet from ‘WhatIfGod’ which Adams called. The turn came the [poker card="8s"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked it over to Adams who put in a bet of his own. ‘WhatIfGod’ called. The case ace, the [poker card="ac"], fell on the river and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked again. Adams then shoved his remaining stack and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’ who used his [poker card="tc"] to outkick Adams and clinch the championship. Adams earned $728,633 as the runner up and ‘WhatIfGod’ locked down the seven-figure $1,019,082 first-place prize. EPT Online Main Event Final Table Payouts [table id=123 /] Series Highlights The series got off to a fast start as EPT Online Event #1 ($1,050 NLHE, Arena Championship) racked up a total of 2,426 entries to shatter the $1.5 million event guarantee to the tune of a $2,426,000 prize pool. After four days of play, ‘DON JOHAN’ walked away with a $356,769 payday setting the stage for a series that promised players big-time payouts throughout. While not the first tournament numerically, EPT Online Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was the first to reach the finish line and, in the end, it was David ‘MonkeyBausss’ Laka that became the answer to the trivia question “Who was the first EPT Online Champion?” Laka outlasted a talent-packed final table that included former #1-ranked pros Chris ‘ImDaNuts’ Oliver and Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov as well as current #2-ranked player from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to lock up the $143,567 score. After a three-handed deal was made in EPT Online Event #4 ($530 NLHE), former PokerStars Team Online member Tatiana ‘Mysters_Y’ Barausova took home a trophy, surviving the field of 1139 runners and earning herself $74,951 in the process. The final table of EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a who’s who of online poker. Belarusian crusher Mikita Badziakouski and Mathias Eibinger made a deal heads-up that saw both players take home just over $221,000 but it was Badziakouski who will receive the trophy. 2020 WSOP NLHE PPC Champ Christian Rudolph finished in third place on a final table that included October PLB winner Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic, Canada’s #1-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and current #1-ranked player in the world Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Also at the final table of Event #6 was high-stakes pro Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens who finished in seventh place for $51,445. A good result to be sure, but it was the beginning of a few days that found him locking up not one, but two EPT Online titles. First, in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) he struck a deal with Greece’s Alexandros ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis heads up which locked up a $87,984 payday and the trophy. Three days later he bested Michael ‘Imluckbox’ Addamo heads up in EPT Online Event #15 ($10,300 Turbo, 6-Max, High Roller) to take home another $186,238 score. EPT Online Event #10 ($25,000 Super High Roller) had 81 entries fighting over a piece of the $2,000,000 prize pool. Finnish pro Eelis ‘EEE27’ Parssinen denied the victory to likes of Christian Rudolph, Benjamin ‘bencb789’ Rolle, Joao Vieira, and Artur Martirosian and took home $539,819 for first, the largest prize outside of the Main Event. PokerStars popular 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck) was on display in EPT Online Event #13 ($10,300 6+ Hold’em, High Roller) when Canadian crusher Sam Greenwood topped the small field of 41 entries to add $177,599 to his more than $11.6 million in lifetime career online earnings. One of Brazil’s best and brightest online stars, Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha blasted through the 818 entries of EPT Online Event #18 ($1,050 NLHE, Turbo) to capture the $138,358 first-place prize, a top-5 career score for the longtime grinder. In the final event of the series, former World Series of Poker final tablist Damian Salas used his last chance to pick up a six-figure score by winning EPT Online Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE Last Chance) for $117,475, the second-largest online win of his career. EPT Online Event Winners [table id=121 /] With the big buy-in tournaments of the EPT Online behind them, PokerStars next series caters to the other side of the poker pyramid. The MicroMillions series kicks off on November 19 and runs through November 29.
  2. Earlier this month, Nayeem Syed (pictured), known in the online poker world as dancingbudha, chopped the PokerStars Sunday 500 two ways for $50,000, far and away his largest online poker score to date. "I'm feeling very good," he told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "I set a target where I would play in the WSOP this year if I could win $50,000 this month. I was very glad to hit my target and also achieve my personal best record." He chopped heads-up with fellow PocketFiver vip25459, who earned $63,000 and officially finished in first place. "I think the deal was very good, especially considering my opponent had a 4:1 chip advantage over me," Syed said. "He actually offered to take $59,000, so I missed a chance to take back $53,000, but I wasn't thinking right after 12 hours of poker." He'll use $20,000 of his $50,000 score to buy into the WSOP Main Event and preliminary tournaments. Another $5,000 will go toward WSOP expenses, while the rest will be put to good use on a personal level. Syed has never been to Las Vegas before, so this year's outing should be especially memorable. He told us, "I have been trying to go to Vegas since 2011 when I first got into poker and saw Ben BenbaLamb (pictured) make it so deep in the Main Event. I still can't believe I am doing it for real now. The Main Event will be an amazing experience. I am just hoping to play my A-game, take it one step at a time, and come back with some good results hopefully!" The London resident works full-time in IT and is hoping to make the formal jump to poker in the near future. Much of his strategy and approach to the game comes from his background in chess. He explained, "I used to play chess at competitive levels. When I saw some very strong players suddenly disappearing, I learned they moved to poker. That's what got me interested too, as they were saying the money is a lot better in poker. I took me a while to work out a strategy that gives somewhat consistent results." He added, "Poker is a lot less complex then chess, but still needs a lot of accurate calculations for a person to do well. My whole strategy involves trying to make poker as technical a game as possiblein order to reduce the luck element." Let's get back to Syed's regular job. He's a DevOps engineer and manages all of the infrastructure and the cloud behind various websites and software. The Brit explained, "It's not something I enjoy the most, but they pay me well. It's really difficult to balance work and poker, as tournament poker can take a lot of hours. My plan is to leave my job in the next three to six months and focus on poker and my property business, which I want to do more of." He closed by saying that PocketFives was doing "an amazing job" and added, "Thank you for picking me up for an interview so quickly after the tournament. I totally wasn't expecting that! Hopefully I can inspire others that other amateurs can also make good results if they work on their game and stay persistent." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. Sunday's action in the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker, eight players claimed championship titles, including Brazilian Geraldo Cesar 'GeraldoCesar' Neto, who pulled off his win after coming up just short of a win on Saturday. In the early hours of Sunday morning, two players, Colombia's Mayu 'marroca5' Roca and Finland’s ‘€urop€an’, came tantalizingly close to a TCOOP victory on Sunday. Both players made deep runs in the $215 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Heads Up tournament, but ultimately fell short, with Roca taking 11th and '€urop€an' settling for fifth. Instead, it was ‘Dhr. Awesome’ of the Netherlands who bested his experienced opponents to take the title and a $21,648 prize. Event 21, a $27 No Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament, drew a robust 6,278-player field and more than doubled its $75,000 guarantee. Without a doubt, Canada dominated the final table, taking the eighth, sixth, fourth and first place prizes. ‘Purkenya’ took the lion share of the cash with his $21,906 score. Up next was the $215 buy-in No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event, which featured a regular prize pool of $62,900 and just as much in bounties. Sunday Million and WCOOP titleholder Kevin 'kick32' Iacofano was looking to take a step towards a Grand Slam with his first TCOOP win, but eventually departed in fifth place. Poland’s ‘sup-sport777’ topped the field, taking home a TCOOP title and over $15,000 in prizes and bounties. Brazil’s Neto narrowly missed his shot at his second TCOOP title on Saturday, when he finished runner-up in the $82 No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event. But on Sunday, he didn’t let the opportunity slip through his fingers again. The Brazilian grinder outlasted a field of 1,715 players in the $215 Six Max No Limit Hold‘em event to grab his second title along with a $51,880 prize. The win was enough to tie him for the lead with compatriot Rodrigo ‘caprioli’ Caprioli on the TCOOP 2017 Player of the Series leaderboard. The format of Event 24 was chosen by players, and it was a doozy. The Six Max No Limit Hold‘em, Win the Button Progressive KO (50%) drew 2,623 players and generated a $524,600 prize pool, including bounties. Sweden’s ‘ludd£90’ beat out final table opponents from all over Europe and Canada to claim his first TCOOP title along with $37,329 in prizes, after making a three-way deal. The TCOOP champ that followed comes from a spot in the world not exactly known for being an online poker hub – Kazakhstan. ‘vip25459’ took on final table opponents in the $700 No Limit Hold‘em Turbo, Progressive KO 50% event which included Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree. Ultimately, Boeree busted in fifth place, banking over $36,000, while the Kazakh took the title and a $131,000 payday. 2,107 players bought-into the $82 PLO Four Max, Zoom, Progressive KO (50%) event, creating a $158,025 prize pool. Peru’s ‘konway’ eventually overcame his opponent, Hungary’s ‘maddog7788’ to grab the TCOOP title and a $15,367 score. Play wrapped up yesterday with the $215 Six Max No Limit Hold‘em Hyper-Turbo event, which drew 2,696 players. PocketFiver Grayson 'gray31' Ramage made an appearance at the final table, but had to settle for the $9,633 sixth place prize. When all was said and done, it was ‘jeanfranco07’ of Uruguay who came out on top, taking home $64,269 for his efforts. Event #18 - $215 No Limit Hold‘em Entries: 5,167 Prize pool: $158,200 Dhr. Awesome $21,648.24* DeviesPro $17,500.16* igor1261 $7,611.00 HU4FU $7,611.00 €urop€an $4,239.76 Texasspici $4,239.76 NVoskob1986 $4,239.76 kalashn1kovv $4,239.76 *Denotes a two-way deal Event #21 - $27 No Limit Hold‘em Entries: 6,278 Prize pool: $154,124 Purkenya $21,906.84 ongggg $15,061.43 mariojgua $10,357.08 Ramzey23 $7,122.12 SexyFlush $4,897.58 chonseSTEE $3,367.86 tavarez04 $2,315.94 cchen16 $1,592.57 smeltchoklad $1,095.14 Event #22 - $215 No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Entries: 629 Prize pool: $62,900 regular, $62,900 bounty sup-sport777 $10,818.47 + $4,846.26 Lena900 $7,283.32 + $3,469.12 IneedMassari $4,903.50 + $1,362.50 Goforitrejam $3,301.29 + $1,018.75 Kevin ‘iacog4’ Iacofano $2,222.60 + $1,273.43 NemesisMsop $1,496.37 + $2,000.77 Event #23 - $215 No Limit Hold‘em Entries: 1,715 Prize pool: $343,000 Geraldo Cesar ‘GeraldoCesar’ Neto $51,880.33 noirduck $33,911.96 Liam ‘MON3Y$HOT’ O'Rourke $22,167.30 WATnlos $14,490.17 pagiopavleas $9,471.80 Ole ‘wizowizo’ Schemion $6,191.45 Event #24 - $215 No Limit Hold‘em Entries: 2623 Prize pool: $524,600 ludd£90 $25,382.17* + $11,947.73 in bounties motreanu90 $31,288.93* + $11,415.27 in bounties Papio Papio $23,148.30* + $2,913.46 in bounties no_fun_roll $10,713.04 + $5,601.53 in bounties Graftekkel $7,002.80 + $2,407.02 in bounties 50km $4,577.52 + $3,068.34 in bounties Event #25 - $700 No Limit Hold’em Entries: 1,733 Prize pool: $1,152,445 vip25459 $87,078.33 + $43,957.11 in bounties kleath $63,192.07 + $18,061.32 in bounties great dant $45,858.49 + $16,633.93 in bounties WayneDaBang $33,279.49 + $15,270.18 in bounties Liv Boeree $24,150.86 + $12,949.21 in bounties nadalon $17,526.26 + $1,745.61 in bounties Juliane $12,718.78 + $2,743.10 in bounties shahter98 $9,230.04 + $6,348.62 in bounties dpeters17 $6,698.18 + $6,946.08 in bounties Event #26 - $82 Pot Limit Omaha Entries: 2107 Prize pool: $158,025 konway $11,783.87 + $3,583.43 in bounties maddog7788 $7,429.75 + $2,776.63 in bounties Tilt_Avenue $4,685.08 + $1,736.01 in bounties pm_marke $2,954.33 + $450.56 in bounties Event #27 - $215 No Limit Hold’em Entries: 2,696 Prize pool: $552,032 jeanfranco07 $64,269.31* Bryan ‘bparis’ Paris $49,829.50* HereFijiFiji $53,885.21* NDQuattro $22,546.51 Ilkinopoulos $14,738.01 Grayson ‘gray31’ Ramage $9,633.80 *Denotes a three-way deal

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