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Online poker is a global game with players logging on and grinding from every part of the world. Every country has a #1-ranked player and here we take a look at some of those that lead the way in their home countries. Pim ‘joppiesaus’ de Goede - Malta It should be no surprise that Pim ‘joppiesaus’ de Goede soared to the top of the rankings in Malta after his historic chop in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online. He took home a massive $2.3 million for what will officially go down as a runner-up finish. Obviously, that is far and away a career-high cash for de Goede, one that will be very difficult to surpass (online or live). The score helped him not just to the #1 ranking in Malta, but also sent him screaming up the rankings to a career-high ranking of #12 in the world. He bypassed both the $4 million and $5 million badges to now sit at a lifetime total of $6.276M in total earnings. For de Goede though, this was not simply a lucky run of cards. He’s been a PocketFiver since January 2010 (coming up on nine years) and is a true grinder with nearly 6,000 cashes in his career. One might think that after a life-changing score like in the MILLIONS Online, a break would be in order. Not for de Goede, who has been racking up cashes throughout the month of December including a 1386th place finish in the partypoker Sunday Bounty Hunter for $8. That’s not going to move the needle like his fourth-place finish in the December 14 edition PokerStars High Roller Club for over $11,000 but it does go to show that even after a $2.3M score, a grinder's work is never done. Roman ‘Romeopro’ Romanovsky - Ukraine Despite taking a major part of 2018 off, Ukraine’s Roman ‘Romeopro’ Romanovsky has remained as the #1 player in his county and a mainstay at the top of the worldwide rankings. With impressive performances on 888poker all year long, Romanovsky has emerged as the PocketFiver with the most earning on that site in 2018. Case in point, he took down December 2 edition of the Sunday $50,000 Whale for $26,250 as a part of his over $400,000 worth of earnings on that site. That victory came after taking nearly two months off late in the year, having not recorded an online cash in the months of October or November. Prior to that, Romanovsky earned $187,000 for his win in the 888poker XL Eclipse $1M Main Event. However, if Romanovsky cares to keep his #1 status in Ukraine, he won’t be able to take much more time off as Ukraine’s #2, ‘Palyaaa’ is right behind him in the standings, less than 300 PLB points away. Sam ‘pudge714’ Greenwood - Canada When not traveling the world competing in biggest buy-in tournaments he can find, Sam ‘pudge714’ Greenwood spends his time crushing online. He’s currently the #1-ranked online player in Canada as well as ranked #20 in the world, a career-high ranking for the accomplished player. Greenwood’s uptick in the rankings is directly correlated to his participation in the PokerStars High Roller Club events. Greenwood has been packing on the PLB points with deep finishes in these events all month long. His highlights include a runner-up finish in the December 2 edition of the $530 Sunday 500 for $26,891 and 296.52 PLB points and an outright victory in the December 3 edition of the $530 Daily 500 for another $14,273 and 260.77 PLB points. Both of those results were after the month of November when he picked up another seven PLB qualifying cashes. Greenwood also his a new major milestone, surpassing $6 million in lifetime online earnings to go along with his over $12 million in live earnings. He may be able to hold the top spot in Canada until the end of the year as he holds a 700 PLB point lead over former top-10 ranked Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan. ‘DamageAP’ - Latvia 2018 has been a good one for Latvia’s #1-ranked 'DamageAP'. Not only did he climb to the top of his country but he crashed the elite ranks of the worldwide top-10 and is currently sitting at a career-high ranking of #4 in the world. 'DamageAP' is name-checked as one of the best in the world right now. One look at his results paints a picture of why. He is constantly in the mix in the biggest buy-in tournaments online and consistently putting up big-time results. Take for instance his day on October 28. At the same time, he finished in fifth place in the PokerKing Million Dollar Sunday Encore for $57,000 and also binked a runner-up finish in the $530 Bounty Builder High Roller on PokerStars for another $26,000. Since that time 'DamageAP' has posted eight five-figure cashes, including a runner-up finish in the December 17 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Daily Supersonic for over $12,000. He’s closing in on his $5 million badge (roughly $250K to go). He trails the #3-ranked ‘hellohellohello’ by roughly 1200 PLB points, but holds a massive 3800 PLB points lead in the country of Latvia over Guntis ‘lovefee’ Aleskins, so it’s unlikely he will be losing that title anytime soon. Arturs ‘Artschgamble’ Scerbaks - Germany Another player enjoying new career highs in Germany’s #1-ranked Arturs ‘Artschgamble’ Scerbaks. Scerbaks not only takes over the #1 spot in his country from ‘nilsef’ but is currently sitting at #30 in the world. It goes to show that good things happen when you win a tournament like the PokerStars Sunday Million, as Scerbaks did on December 2. The $154,532 first place prize is another career-high for the German and the 1,069.67 PLB points helped him rocket up the rankings. Scerbaks recently has been playing as a mid-stakes grinder but has also taken some recent shots at the high buy-ins pay off recently. He scored a victory in the November 24 edition PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for $13,805 + bounties and also picked up another nice score in the December 5 edition of the PokerStars $1,050 Daily Cooldown for $8,941. The Sunday Million cash helped push Scerbaks up over $2 million for his career.
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. Back from Las Vegas, Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters discuss their takeaways from the World Poker Tour final tables at Luxor and how they're maybe not as fan-friendly as we were lead to believe when the company announced the decision to move all TV final tables to Sin City. They also review not only the nominees for the Global Poker Awards, but offer suggestions on ways to vastly improve the shortlist and nomination process. As a hot of a topic as the GPAs are, Lance and Donnie also go over some of the people who were snubbed and some of the people who got nominated despite not having a body of work worthy of that honor. And it wouldn't be an episode of The Fives in 2019 if they didn't discuss the dwindling attendance in the PokerStars Sunday Million. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
The European poker world has had its attention focused squarely on Barcelona for the past week as 1,227 players entered World Poker Tour Barcelona to create one of the biggest WPT events in history. Sunday's final table saw Vitalijs Zavorotnijs go wire-to-wire to claim his first major title and $678,000. Alain Zeidan started the final table with just 16 big blinds and it took him just eight hands to find a hand to go to battle with. From UTG, Boris Kolev raised to 250,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"] and Niko Coop called from the cutoff with [poker card="kd"][poker card="js"]. Zeidan shoved for 1,300,000 with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"] from the small blind and Zavorotnijs called from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"]. Kolev called and Koop folded. Kolev and Zavorotnijs checked through the [poker card="qd"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2s"] flop. After the [poker card="3d"] turn, Zavorotnijs check-folded to Kolev's bet of 850,000. Zeldan actually made a set of his own with the [poker card="9d"] river but it wasn't enough to be Kolev's top set and he was eliminated in sixth place. It took an hour of play to get another player to bust and once again Zavorotnijs and Kolev were involved. Zavorotnijs raised to 400,000 from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="5c"], Kolev called from the small blind with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"] before Jerry Odeen moved all in for 975,000 from the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"]. Zavorotnijs and Kolev called and then checked through the [poker card="kc"][poker card="9s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="8d"] runout to give Kolev the pot and eliminate Odeen in fifth. The $180,000 score is the biggest of Odeen's live or online career. Two hands after losing half of his stack to Zavorotnijs, Koop was the next to go. Kolev raised to 400,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qs"] from UTG. Next to act, Koop responded by moving all in for 3,000,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"]. Zavorotnijs called from the big blind with [poker card="td"][poker card="ts"] and Kolev folded. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5h"] flop changed nothing and neither did the [poker card="7h"] turn or [poker card="3s"] river and Koop was out in fourth place. Zavorotnijs continued to pick up hands and apply pressure and picked up another elimination because of it. Kolev opened to 400,000 from the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="3d"], Eric Sfez shoved from the small blind for 3,600,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="9c"] and Zavorotnijs called from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"], allowing Kolev to fold. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"][poker card="5s"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8d"] to give both players a pair, but Zavorotnijs' pair of kings was best to eliminate Sfez in third. Zavorotnijs began heads up play with a 3.5-1 lead over Kolev and it took him about 10 minutes to finish the job. Zavorotnijs opened to 425,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="9s"] before Kolev re-raised to 1,700,000 with a[poker card="ad"][poker card="qc"] and Zavorotnijs called. After the [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="4h"] flop, Kolev bet 1,200,000 and Zavorotnijs called. The turn was the [poker card="7s"] and Kolev moved all in for 5,700,000. Zavorotnijs used two time banks before calling. The river was the [poker card="2s"] to give Zavorotnijs a flush and the WPT Barcelona title, eliminating Kolev in second place. Final Table Payouts Vitalijs Zavorotnijs - $678,000 Boris Kolev - $423,750 Eric Sfez - $318,174 Niko Koop - $242,950 Jerry Odeen - $180,800 Alain Zeidan - $135,600
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the globe, a number of poker events have been postponed or cancelled. This article will be updated regularly as tournament organizers make announcements. UPDATE 3/17/20: PokerStars announced today that EPT Sochi, originally scheduled to take place March 20-29, has been postponed. UPDATE 3/17/20: World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska issued a statement to announce the postponing of the WPT's three televised final tables set to play out March 31-April 2 at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. The tentative plan is to finish these events in May with the WPT's second set of televised final tables. The three event final tables postponed are the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, and the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. UPDATE 3/17/20: Playground Poker Club announced that the upcoming WPTDeepStacks Montreal tournament has been postponed. The event was originally scheduled for April 16-27. New dates will be made public once decided. UPDATE 3/16/20: The Irish Poker Open was previously postponed. On Monday, March 16, partypoker announced that have partnered with the Irish Poker Open to play the series online April 6-12. UPDATE 3/16/20: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, said that it will temporarily suspend operations by 8 p.m. ET on Monday, March 16. The 2020 Borgata Spring Poker Open, originally scheduled for April 7-24, is cancelled. UPDATE 3/16/20: The Venetian poker room released a statement on Monday that the poker room will operate with a maximum of three players per table. UPDATE 3/16/20: The Orleans poker room stated that all cash and tournament tables will have a maximum of five players, starting Monday, March 15. Included in the announcement was messaging that stated cash games will have reduced rake during this time. UPDATE 3/16/20: Following the closing of the Wynn poker room, the entire Wynn Las Vegas resort will close temporarily started Tuesday, March 17. MGM Resorts also announced it would be temporarily closing its Las Vegas casinos. UPDATE 3/16/20: Commerce Casino, located in Los Angeles and home to one of the largest card rooms in the world, closed on Saturday, March 14, and will remain closed until at least Sunday, March 29. UPDATE 3/15/20: The WSOP announced that the WSOP Circuit St. Maarten stop, scheduled for March 25-April 6, is postponed indefinitely. UPDATE 3/15/20: Wynn poker room in Las Vegas closed on Sunday, March 15, at 6 a.m. PT and will remain closed until further notice. Access to deposit boxes will be available Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT. Players have been asked to visit the casino cage at Encore for chip redemption. UPDATE 3/14/20: Starting Saturday, March 14, Bay 101 Casino in Northern California is temporarily suspending all casino operations, the company said in a statement. The plan is to close for at least three weeks until April 4. UPDATE 3/13/20: The World Series of Poker issued a bevy of announcements regarding its events. Live WSOP Circuit stops at Harrah's Atlantic City in New Jersey, King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Los Angeles have been suspended, with expectations that the festivals and events will resume when appropriate. WSOP Circuit stops at Bally's Las Vegas, Harrah's Cherokee in North Carolina, and Casino Barriere Le Croisette in Cannes, France, have all been postponed, with new dates to be announced should they be established. In response to the changes, the WSOP announced a WSOP.com Online Super Circuit Series for March 14-31. The festival features 18 gold ring events and more than $1 million in prize pool guarantees. The 18 events are said to count for the Global Casino Championship leaderboard points standings. UPDATE 3/13/20: Jason Somerville's very popular Run It Up Reno scheduled to take place in April has been cancelled. In the company statement, Run It Up said that it looks forward to seeing players at the Run It Up Reno event scheduled for October 30-November 9 later this year. UPDATE 3/13/20: PokerStars announced updates for the Brazilian Series of Poker São Paulo and the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino European Poker Tour events. Both of these events have been postponed. An update for EPT Sochi is said to come in the coming days following the company's review. UPDATE 3/13/20: The World Poker Tour has updated its groups of events that have been affected by COVID-19. The list of postponed events now includes WPT Venetian, WPT Barcelona, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, WPTDeepStacks Maryland, WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville, the WPTDeepStacks Championship at Thunder Valley, and the WPTDeepStacks European Championship. WPTDeepStacks Vietnam and WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam have been cancelled. UPDATE 3/13/20: The MSPT tournament scheduled to take place at Meskwaki Casino in Iowa from March 20-22 has been postponed. UPDATE 3/13/20: The WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City has cancelled the rest of its events. "In the interest of protecting the health and well-being of players and staff, the decision was made to cancel the rest of the events for the series." The series was scheduled to run through March 16. UPDATE 3/13/20: King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, announced today that the venue will be closed until further notice "in compliance with the Czech government-issued restrictions." At the time of the announcing, King's Casino was hosting a WSOP International Circuit series, originally scheduled to run through March 23. UPDATE 3/12/20: The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Los Angeles has announced it is postponing the remainder of the WSOP Circuit series currently running at the venue and originally scheduled to take place through March 18. UPDATE 3/12/20: Thunder Valley announced that the WPTDeepStacks Championship, scheduled for March 19-April 7, has been postponed. UPDATE 3/12/20: WPT Venetian, a $5,000 buy-in event scheduled for March 13-17 with a $2 million guaranteed prize pool, has been postponed. UPDATE 3/12/20: Wynn Poker announced they will postpone the Wynn Spring Classic events scheduled for March 13-18. The suspension includes the series' $5,300 Championship. At the time of the announcement, the $1,100 No Limit Hold'em event was currently playing and is planned to complete its Day 2 on Friday, March 13. UPDATE 3/12/20: PokerCentral announced that the US Poker Open, which was set to run March 19-31 at the PokerGO studios at the ARIA Hotel in Las Vegas, has been indefinitely postponed. UPDATE 3/12/20: The RunGood Poker Series at Horseshoe Bossier City, originally scheduled for March 31 - April 5, was postponed with no date announced. UPDATE 3/12/20: The WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam event began as scheduled on March 12, only to have the host property, Holland Casino, cancel the event midway through the first day of play after Dutch officials barred large gatherings of people. On March 8, PokerStars announced that all European events on the calendar before April 10, 2020, have been postponed. This included three Road to PSPC events in Hamburg, Germany, La Grande Motte, France, and Madrid, Spain. The European Poker Tour event in Sochi, Russia, scheduled for March 20-29 will go ahead as planned, as will the Okada Manila Millions, and the Brazilian Series of Poker event in Sao Paulo. According to sources within the company, The Stars Group has also restricted all of its employees from traveling until further notice. [ptable zone=“888poker”][ptable zone=“Party Poker NJ”][ptable zone=“Global Poker Article Ad”] On March 2, King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech has responded to the widespread outbreak in Italy by banning all players from that country until further notice. A WSOP Circuit event, with 15 Circuit rings up for grabs, is currently underway. "We have chosen to completely limit access in all areas of the casino, not even accepting hotel reservations, to all residents and coming from Italy indefinitely, cancelling from now all the events of March and April 2020 that target mainly target the audience mentioned above," a King's staff member wrote on the King's official Facebook page. On March 10, the WPT and partypoker LIVE have postponed the WPT event scheduled for March 22 - April 5 in Barcelona, Spain . The decision to postpone came just days after the two organizers announced the event would go on as planned without the €5,000,000 guarantee. Players who qualified online will be offered opportunities to use that seat for another event. That wasn't the first WPT event to feel the effect of concerns over the coronavirus. On February 17, the WPT Deepstacks event in Vietnam, originally scheduled for March 13 -22, was cancelled and WPT Taiwan, March 27-April 6, was postponed. Triton Poker has also been impacted. Back in early February, Triton announced the Jeju Super High Roller Series, which was scheduled for March 2-9, was postponed. On March 4, organizers made the decision to cancel the event altogether. On March 9, partypoker announced that players who have won seats into partypoker LIVE events will be afforded some flexibility and will be able to use their seat at a later date should they decide to not play. "I think we've got a responsibility to players and staff to not expect them to travel," said Rob Yong, partypoker partner and Dusk Till Dawn owner. "I know a lot of people's wives and families have said I prefer you not to go and we need to respect that." The Irish Poker Open, the second-longest running poker tournament in the world, was postponed on March 10 with no future date announced. Players who won their seat into the event via online or live satellites will have the seat honored for the future date. The World Series of Poker has yet to make an official statement in regards to the 2020 WSOP, but their verified Twitter account has replied to some people who have asked, "We are monitoring COVID-19 developments very carefully and have no plans to cancel WSOP at this time." Meanwhile, betting site PokerShares.com has posted odds on if the 2020 WSOP Main Event will be played out as scheduled. Originally opening with the No side as a +495 underdog, the line current line is the opposite, with Yes being a +235 underdog. Poker Tournaments Postponed Due to Coronavirus Irish Poker Open (April 6-12 online at partypoker) Road to PSPC Hamburg (Date TBD) Road to PSPC La Grande Motte (Date TBD) Road to PSPC Madrid (Date TBD) Winamax Poker Tour Grand Final (Date TBD) WPT Barcelona (Date TBD) RunGood Poker Series Horseshoe Bossier City (Date TBD) US Poker Open (Date TBD) Wynn Spring Classic (Date TBD) WPT Venetian (Date TBD) WPTDeepStacks Championship at Thunder Valley (Date TBD) WPTDeepStacks Maryland (Date TBD) WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville (Date TBD) WPTDeepStacks European Championship (Date TBD) WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (Date TBD) BSOP São Paulo (Date TBD) PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT (Date TBD) WSOP Circuit Harrah's AC (Date TBD) WSOP Circuit Bally's Las Vegas (Date TBD) WSOP International Circuit King's Resort (Date TBD) WSOP Circuit Bicycle Hotel & Casino (Date TBD) WSOP Circuit Harrah's Cherokee (Date TBD) WSOP International Circuit Casino Barriere Le Croisette (Date TBD) WSOP International Circuit St. Maarten (Date TBD) WPTDeepStacks Montreal (Date TBD) WPT TV final tables (Date TBD) EPT Sochi (Date TBD) Poker Tournaments Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju WPTDeepStacks Vietnam Golden Poker Million Marrakech Bounty Poker Tour 888poker LIVE Bucharest Netbet Open Craiova Unibet DeepStack Open Aix en Provence Norwegian Championships LEX LIVE 3 Barriere Poker Tour Ribeauvillé WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam Run It Up Reno X Borgata Spring Poker Open