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  1. With the postponement of the World Series of Poker, and live poker taking a back seat in general, we decided to check in on some of the 888poker ambassadors to see how they are coping with quarantine, how they are passing the time away from the live felt, and what they are most looking forward to when the coast is finally clear. It was nearly three years ago that Brazilian poker pro Vivian Saliba first stepped into the poker spotlight. In just her second year participating in the World Series of Poker, Saliba turned heads with a deep run in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event where she finished in 11th place for over $47,000. She followed that up as the youngest woman to enter the WSOP Main Event that year, where she cashed for over $27,000. Not long after that summer, she signed with 888poker as a brand ambassador and began to travel the world, playing in some of the biggest poker festivals on the circuit. Just last year at the WSOP, Saliba nearly took down the 888poker sponsored Crazy Eights, finishing in fourth place for a career-high score of $308,888. Other than poker, what activity have you missed the most since the lockdown began? I missed out traveling and the freedom of coming and going that we all had before. I've been living in Europe since 2018 but all my family and most of my friends are still in Brazil. Recently my sister had a baby and I was supposed to go to Brazil to get to know the little one. It really hurts messing out moments like this. I really wish I could meet my family and friends. What's the best TV show or movie you've discovered during lockdown? I have watched many series on Netflix and also some documentaries and political shows. I think the favorite one that I have discovered recently was Vikings. I love stories that portray old ages, like medieval times or even older. What is the biggest frustration you’ve had during lockdown? I really missed out traveling and meeting the people that I love, but I also had a big delay regarding organizing my life in Austria, where I've been living since October. Moving to a new country is never easy, especially in this case, since the language, culture, and laws are so different from Brazil. I was transferring my driver’s license to here and also learning the language. Both activities got postponed, which resulted in not being to drive and communicate very well. What's the one thing about live poker that used to tilt you that all of a sudden you miss? I love live poker and I can't think about anything that really tilted me about it. But to mention something, I've never been a big fan of bubble time during a tournament, especially in the super big events because it can take a lot of time. I would love to participate in any live bubble now and I wouldn't mind at all if it took too long, all I would care would be the thrill of the moment and of live poker. What have you found to be a silver lining surrounding quarantine? I think we all learned to appreciate more the things we used to take for granted. For example, the freedom of traveling or being able to leave your home whenever it suits you. I became way more grateful for my life also. The fact of being a poker player and being able to work also from my home gained even more value to me than before. How are you using this time to work on your poker game? Live poker is very different from online poker, as we all know. The difficult part for me is to make key adjustments in order to beat online games and how to compensate for the edge of reading a person at a live session. I've been studying a lot and reviewing and fixing many of my leaks. I also have been working out on a more regular basis and I am back to meditation. Having a fir body and mind is also so important to achieve a high-level performance for a longer time. What is something new that you have learned or are trying to learn during lockdown? I'm trying to learn German! As a Portuguese speaker and for someone who has a very difficult time learning new languages, this is a very hard task. I also learned many new things about the technical aspects of Omaha. During my free time, I like to cook and try new stuff, I came out with some very delicious recipes. I also learned a lot about history and politics. What's the first place you're going to travel to once we're able to? I'll travel to Brazil as soon as I have the chance. I really want to meet my niece and visit all my family and friends. Maybe because of the current situation there regarding the virus, I will be able to visit other places first than Brazil. In this case, I would like to visit some family and friends in Europe, in Austria and Germany. I'm giving even bigger importance to those I love and seeing those people would be nicer than any vacation right now. Follow along with Saliba's online poker adventures via her Instagram account: vivi.saliba.
  2. With the postponement of the World Series of Poker, and live poker taking a back seat in general, we decided to check in on some of the 888poker ambassadors to see how they are coping with quarantine, how they are passing the time away from the live felt, and what they are most looking forward to when the coast is finally clear. Former #1-ranked online player in the world Chris Moorman is one of the most respected and successful online tournament players of all-time. He was the first player in history to break through the $10 million lifetime earnings mark and by continually grinding he currently sits at #3 on the All-Time Online Money List with over $16.4 million in cashes. Moorman continues to hold the record for the most career Triple Crowns and in 2019 PocketFives Editor-in-chief Lance Bradley presented Moorman with the PocketFives Legacy Award at the Global Poker Awards for his achievements in both online and live poker. An 888poker ambassador since 2016, Moorman has represented the online site in events all over the world including the last 888poker LIVE London Festival, where he took down the series' High Roller Event for over $34,000 putting him just $67,000 short of $6 million in total live earnings. Other than poker, what activity have you missed the most since the lockdown began? Playing pickleball with my friends. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s essentially mini tennis and anyone can pick up the game pretty quickly. 
What's the best TV show or movie you've discovered during lockdown? Upload on Amazon Prime has been a guilty pleasure of mine. Even though it’s pretty cheesy, I ended up binging it hard. Like everyone else, I’ve also been watching The Last Dance to get my sports fix. 
What is the biggest frustration you’ve had during lockdown? I’ve not really had any to be honest. I’m pretty lucky to be at home with my wife so I haven’t been too lonely. Also, I don’t have to worry about certain things that a lot of people do, such as losing a job, so it’s important to realize how lucky you are even if it can be a bit annoying being stuck at home all the time. What's the one thing about live poker that used to tilt you that all of a sudden you miss? The awful ‘funny’ poker stories people come up with at the tables that really aren’t funny at all. What have you found to be a silver lining surrounding quarantine? The amount of online poker action has been insane and has felt a bit like the glory years pre-Black Friday playing for big money with soft fields. How are you using this time to work on your poker game? Mainly by playing at the moment as the action is just too good. What is something new that you have learned or are trying to learn during lockdown? Not necessarily something I’ve learned but I’m trying to get better at running with my goal eventually by the end of the year is to run a 6-minute mile. What's the first place you're going to travel to once we're able to? Probably back home to London to see all of my family. Fortunately, I was just there in January so the gap shouldn’t be too long
  3. With the postponement of the World Series of Poker, and live poker taking a back seat in general, we decided to check in on some of the 888poker ambassadors to see how they are coping with quarantine, how they are passing the time away from the live felt, and what they are most looking forward to when the coast is finally clear. Normally right about now long-time 888poker ambassador Kara Scott would be preparing to spend the summer at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in preparation for her high-profile assignment as the lead sideline reporter for ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Instead, Scott is currently quarantined with her immediate family in Italy but she is still in the habit of creating poker content. Her new podcast, The Heart of Poker, launched in late January and in recent weeks has featured high-profile poker personalities that include fellow 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche, Danielle Andersen, David Williams, Brad Owen, and Maria Ho. Other than poker, what activity have you missed the most since the lockdown began? I've really missed wandering around our city every day, going to the market to buy fresh food, or having a drink outside with friends. We've been living on the family farm since February which means we've been really lucky to have access to fresh food now that it's spring, but not being able to just buy the things I want has been aggravating. I have some serious food allergies so I don't do well when I can't buy my own food! What's the best TV show or movie you've discovered during lockdown? I didn't discover it during lockdown but I'm re-watching Killjoys which is just fantastic. I'm a big sci-fi buff and this show has really great action but also a lot of heart and humor and I love that. What is the biggest frustration you’ve had during lockdown? No Wi-Fi! Can you imagine months with no Wi-Fi? The phone signal in most of the house is so poor that I have to turn airplane mode on and off again just to kickstart it into downloading every photo on Instagram. I think it's been the number one reason for my blood pressure raising over these months. Plus, it's just ridiculously hard to work and every file I send takes an hour. What's the one thing about live poker that used to tilt you that all of a sudden you miss? The late nights. I've always been really bad at playing poker after midnight so tournaments that start late just crush me. But now... I'd LOVE a chance to be up at 1 am playing live poker and then going for a drink afterward. What have you found to be a silver lining surrounding quarantine? I really hope that people generally remember and keep some of the good habits we've gained through this. Food preservation and reducing food waste are huge issues for the world and when you don't have easy access to the shops, we all have to be better and using everything in the fridge before it goes bad. How are you using this time to work on your poker game? Oh boy. My poker game has NOT improved in this time. See my above lack of Wi-Fi. What is something new that you have learned or are trying to learn during lockdown? I've been working on learning more about online marketing and using social media (specifically Instagram) better. I really love photography and I've recently been trying to schedule time to go outside and take more pictures. The farm is one of the most beautiful spots in the world so I have a lot of choice for photos! What's the first place you're going to travel to once we're able to? Canada! I'm not sure when I'll be able to but I really want to go home and see my family. My father had a heart attack last month during the quarantine and it was terrifying to be so far away and not able to help or be there to support my Mom. Thankfully, he's doing a lot better now and is recovering well. It definitely focuses the mind though and has given me a real drive to go home to spend time with them all. Scott’s The Heart of Poker podcast is available to download through Apple iTunes and to keep up with her live chats, she can be found on Instagram under her own name, karascott.
  4. There’s a lot of action to be had on the online felts in the month of May and 888poker is doing their part by giving their players more than $25,000,000 in total tournament prizes to play for. The online site is running an abundance of promotions and big-time tournaments that will provide both online grinders and recreational players a reason to log on. Sunday Sale One of 888poker’s most popular promotions returns in May with the return of the Sunday Sale. The Sunday Sale allows players to take a shot in some of 888poker’s biggest tournaments of the week for half the price. The real value comes with the fact that even though the buy-in is cut in half, the guarantee stays the same. This includes a $55 price tag for the popular $100,000 Mega Deep. The high rollers will see the $320 price tag on the $20,000 Whale reduced to just $160. Also, the $15,000 Monsoon drops into the mid-stakes with a $27.50 buy-in. To find all of the Sunday Sale opportunities, fire up the client and click on the Tournament Tab. Enter The Dragon One of the biggest tournaments currently taking place on 888poker is the new multi-flight event - The Dragon. In fact, there are actually two tournaments in series: the $55 buy-in $50,000 guaranteed Dragon and the more affordable $12 buy-in, $30,000 guaranteed Mini Dragon. Both of the Dragon tournaments have Day 1 flights running every day of the week from Sunday through Friday. Then, on Saturdays, those who build a stack in the opening flights reconvene for Day 2 to play down to that week's winner. Both The Dragon and the Mini Dragon have been pulling in big fields so far with the $55 Dragon routinely paying out five-figures for first place. The Mini Dragon is helping small stakes player turn their $12 into huge paydays the majority of the final table will typically walk away with more and 100x their initial investment. In order to help players participate in the weekly Dragon tournaments, 888poker has direct satellites into Day 1 flights. The satellites, which run every day, all guarantee seats. Players can register for a satellite for as little as $0.50 to get into the Mini Dragon and just $2.20 for the Dragon. In classic 888poker style, super satellites for the series start at just $0.10. The Freerolls Continue What started back in March continues through the month of May as the Galaxy of Freerolls rolls on. The promotion challenges players to complete ‘Space Missions’ in order to pick up tickets to weekly freerolls that have thousands of dollars in value. Whether you are a tournament player or a cash game grinder, the missions are designed to be easy to complete so that everyone has a chance and getting a free boost to their bankroll. For those who get ambitious, a player who collects two or more challenges in a week will get entry into the weekly $10K freeroll. Finally, complete 14 challenges over the course of the promotion and you’ll earn a ticket to the $100,000 freeroll which will take place on June 7. The Heat Is On Of course, a large part of what’s taking place in May on 888poker is their popular XL Inferno online series. The online series gives tournament players 11 days of action with over $1.5 million in guaranteed prize money. New for 2020, an additional bump to the guarantees of some of the series most popular tournaments. Additionally, the $500,000 Main Event comes with a $250 price tag and touts itself as one of the biggest opportunities of the year for recreational players and everyday grinders alike. The complete XL Inferno schedule offers an event for everybody. From high-rollers to the micro-stakes, 888poker has price points that are appealing across the board. Of course, 888poker is running non-stop satellites for all of the premier events on the schedule. Also, with daily freerolls for recent depositors, there’s a variety of ways to get into the biggest events of XL Inferno for the minimum.
  5. May is a massive month for online poker and starting on May 14 888poker will join the party with the return their XL Inferno online poker series. XL Inferno features 34 events spread over 11 days of action and promises more than $1.5 million in total prize money. The series is one of the best values on the 888poker calendar for poker players and this year there’s even more for grinders to fight for as the online poker site has boosted the guarantee in some of the most popular tournaments on the schedule. 888poker is known for its XL Championships. They run three times a year (XL Blizzard, XL Inferno, and XL Eclipse) and feature high-value tournaments at accessible buy-ins. One of the selling points is the guarantees that ensure a healthy boost to the bankroll for those who find themselves deep in an event. However, for the 2020 XL Inferno, 888poker is upping the ante on a handful of tournaments by adding another $90K spread out at every buy-in level. Here are the events on the schedule that now have a little extra to play for. It's Opening Day The Opening Event, which takes place on May 14 this year, is always a big attraction for 888poker. Players who are eager to win themselves an XL title pile into the lobby and make it one of the biggest tournaments of the entire schedule. This year, 888poker has bumped the guarantee from its standard $50,000 up to $75,000 while keeping the buy-in at just $109. Last year, 534 entries plus 192 rebuys pushed the prize pool to over $72,000. In the end, ‘sh4xuR7’ bested longtime 888poker grinder ‘pokerdave128’ in heads up play to take home the title and the $13,721.40 first-place prize. There looks to be plenty of added value in this year’s Opening Event. Either they hit the guarantee and the winner walks with should be a nice five-figure score or the overlay provides a little extra equity for everyone who plays. At the same time that the Opening Event is seeing a boost, those who fire in the Mini Opening Event will also get a nice bump. The guarantee is raised from $20,000 up to $25,000. The value in the Mini Opening Event can be seen just by taking a look at last year’s results. For a $16.50 buy-in, ‘wh4isha3’ topped a field of over 2000 to walk away with a $5,114.25 payday. That was after a three-way deal was struck where each of the top three players padded their bankrolls by more than $3,300. Big Boost For The Tune Up The largest boost to the guarantee arrives with the May 17 Tune Up. Typically, the Sunday event is a warm-up for the Main Event and comes with a $100,000 guarantee. This year they bumped the guarantee by 50% and it will be the $150,000 Tune Up with a $109 buy-in. With the Tune Up landing on a Sunday, the biggest day of the week for online poker, there is always a surge in the player pool. During the 2019 XL Inferno, over 800 entries played in the event as ‘prebzzz’ turned their $109 into a $23,376 score. For 888poker though, this might be a stretch as the prize pool from last year was just $123,750. They’ll need to ride the current wave of online poker popularity to make sure that there’s no overlay. On the same day, 888poker is also giving those who play in the Micro Tune Up a little extra to play for as the guarantee for that event is also seeing a $5,000 raise. It may not feel like a lot for some but when you are entering a $5.50 tournament, the bonus money in the prize pool could help take a player to have the ability to take shots in bigger tournaments. Don't Miss The Main Event The final tournament that is seeing a boost is the $20,000 Micro Main Event which received a $5K jump in 2020. On the final day of the series, those who want to play for the last XL title will only need to buy-in for $5.50 to have a shot at walking away with a four-figure score. Of course, when it comes to the value of playing in an 888poker XL series, the $500,000 Main Event is one of the best opportunities players may have on the site all year. For a $250 buy-in, the Main Event typically promises healthy five-figure scores for the majority of the final table. In last year's XL Inferno Main Event, a three-way deal was agreed to that gave Russia's ‘D3n1sk4PP’ the victory and a $70,252 payday. At the same time ‘LuisRRRRR’ took home $65,502 as the runner-up and ‘lucasfalves9’ picked up over $55,000 for third place. The complete 888poker XL Inferno schedule is available now with satellites running non-stop on the client.
  6. 888poker is in the midst of an ‘out of this world’ promotion. From right now until June 7, the online poker site is hosting a series of big-time freerolls dubbed the “Galaxy of Freerolls” that features over $500,000 in total prize money. There is freeroll action up for grabs every day of the week. Monday through Saturday players can win tickets into the twice-daily $2,000 Venus Freerolls. Then on Sunday, players can really build a bankroll by battling in the $10,000 Neptune Freeroll. It is all building up to the final day of the promotion, Sunday, June 7, when 888poker gives players a shot at a six-figure prize pool with the $100,000 Super-Saturn Freeroll. In addition to all of the freerolls, 888poker is letting players take a ride on the 'Daily Spin'. The 'Daily Spin' gives players the opportunity to win a ticket into the $1000 Space BLAST Freeroll, a tournament that gives players tickets to 888poker's four-handed, hyper turbo BLAST Sit & Go's. Complete The Challenges But it’s not just a matter of showing up. Players need to complete “Space Missions” in order to participate. These missions are some very simple challenges that, once completed, will award tickets to the freerolls. There are three ways for players to earn a ticket to the twice-daily $2,000 Venus Freeroll. The first way is called “The Tournament Voyager”. It's simply that players need to register in tournaments where the buy-ins total at least $3.00. It can be a number of micro-stakes tournaments, one larger tournament, or even a BLAST tournament. If the buy-ins total more than $3.00 then a pair of tickets are awarded. The next way is for cash game grinders. It’s called “Ace-King Apollo Landing” and whether you are playing on a traditional cash game table or 888poker's fast-fold SNAP tables, you just need to win a hand while holding Ace-King. If you drag the pot, you’ll also grab a pair of Venus freeroll tickets. The final way is available to 888poker’s casino and sports betting customers. While there may not be a whole host of things to bet on right now for the "Casino & Sports Atlantis Orbiter", casino customers can take advantage by placing a bet totaling $5.00 or more on any of their favorite games. One bet will net two freeroll tickets. Collect The Challenges The $10,000 Neptune Freeroll has a little bit of a different challenge required in order to get in. Players need to complete two or more challenges over the course of the week in order to earn a ticket. So, a player can play $3.00 worth of tournaments on Monday and take down a hand with Ace-King on Friday and they will instantly be qualified for Sunday’s $10,000 Neptune Freeroll. Those freerolls will repeat weekly, so players can win their way in every day. If they do, they’ll be rewarded with a seat into the final freeroll. The $100,000 Super-Saturn Freeroll requires players to grind this space-themed promo by completing 14 or more challenges before the June 7 tournament date. However, with the promotion running throughout the entire months of April and May, plus the first week of June, players have plenty of time to accumulate challenges and play for a piece of that six-figure freeroll.
  7. For the next three weeks, 888poker is giving online poker players the chance to win their share of a $1 million guaranteed prize pool for just $100. The Millions Superstorm Main Event began March 1 and offers Day 1 starting flights every day until Saturday, March 21. Each Day 1 flight runs through the end of Level 11 or until just 15% of the field remains. Surviving players advance to Day 2 on Sunday, March 22. [ptable zone=“888poker”][ptable zone=“Party Poker NJ”][ptable zone=“Global Poker Article Ad”] There are 25 Day 1 flights in total, including two on March 3, 8, and 15. The first Day 1 flight ran on Sunday, March 1 with 2,018 players all taking their first shot and 399 of them moved on to Day 2. Through the first three starting flights, there has been 2,895 entries to generate $266,340 of the guarantee. To avoid an overlay, the events will need a total of 10,870 players over the course of those 25 Day 1 flights. Satellites Galore While the $100 buy-in is meant to make this affordable for a wide-range of poker players, there is a robust schedule of satellites offered as well and it takes just a single penny to get started. The $0.01 "Pennybuy" event is the first step and awards top finishers with seats in the $2.20 Sub-Satellite. The $0.50 Superstorm Sub-Satellites award the top finishers with seats to the $12 Mega Satellite and the $2.20 Sub-Satellite puts top finishers entry into the $16.50 Mega Satelite. Both the $12 and $16.60 Mega Satellites all offer guaranteed Day 1 seats and run multiple times per day. Freerolls, Too Even players who don't want to risk anything can find a way to get in on the action. Players can earn entry into daily freerolls by completing one or more of the following challenges: Play tournaments on 888poker totaling $3 or more (rebuys not included). Win a hand with pocket aces in any cash game with stakes of at least $0.02/$0.05. Play 888casino games risking at least $5 Bet at least $5 in the 888sports sportsbook. Players completing any of those challenges earn two tickets to use on either the $1M Superstorm Main Event Freeroll which awards 50 seats to any Day 1 flight or in the $3,000 Superstorm Freeroll which is a tournament with a $3,000 prize pool. Both events run daily until Day 2 of the Millions Superstorm. Players can also take advantage of the Daily Spinner which awards tickets to the $1M Superstorm BLAST Freeroll, which gives out 600 $5 BLAST tickets, or direct entry to the $1M Superstorm Main Event.
  8. This week, Poker Central announced a new sponsorship deal with the social online poker room, Global Poker. Global Poker, the online poker room that serves players from the United States and Canada, will have their branding included in some of Poker Central’s premier poker broadcasts including the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters, U.S. Poker Open, Poker After Dark as well as a slate of additional, yet-to-be-named U.S. and international events. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] “Kicking off this partnership with Global Poker has been a dream come true for our team,” said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. “Our two companies share a common goal of making poker accessible to fans worldwide, and this partnership will allow both to advance that mission through live events and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.” One of those experiences may be spending some time in the newly created “Global Poker Lounge” located inside the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. The lounge aims to give poker fans a “heightened poker viewing experience” as well as access to all of the perks of hanging out in the modern studio. “Given the prestige of Poker Central’s events, bringing our brands together feels like the next step in taking both partners to the next level,” said David Lyons, GM of Global Poker, “This partnership will not only promote the events but offer countless opportunities to bring poker players and enthusiasts from all over the world into the action.” Global Poker has plans on bringing its dedicated online players some new offline experiences. Players can look forward to meet-and-greets with popular players at the PokerGO Studio, one-of-a-kind giveaways, and exclusive qualifiers to special events. Global Poker has a history of giving its players a shot at live poker glory. In the past, they have provided leaderboard winners from their major online poker series a chance to represent the brand in a live tournament of their choice. Now, with a partnership with Poker Central in place, the opportunity to see a Global Poker player having a shot in a Sit & Go versus a table full of pros becomes a very real possibility. Global Poker's Sweepstakes model is what allows them to operate in the U.S. and cater to all types of players. They operate in two different currencies. For those who want to play socially, they can buy-in using their Gold Coin currency. Gold Coins are virtual chips with no cash value. For players who want to increase the stakes, there is Sweeps Cash. Players can acquire Sweeps Cash and play in that currency. Then that currency can be turned into “prizes” which is a cash equivalent. The Global Poker sponsored programming will all be available on the PokerGO streaming platform. If you don’t already have a subscription and want to watch all of the upcoming marquee events, including the previously announced new episodes of High Stakes Poker, you can sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  9. The second annual Global Poker Awards will take over Las Vegas and the PokerGO airwaves on March 6 as top players and industry leaders converge on the PokerGO studio at the ARIA Hotel & Casino to honor the biggest and brightest in the game. The event is produced by the Global Poker Index and Poker Central and will present more than 20 awards this year including GPI Player of the Year, Event of the Year, and Industry Person of the Year. There will be new categories this year including Best All-Around Poker Player which will be voted on by players in the GPI 300. "The Global Poker Index team is hard at work on this expanded Global Poker Awards event, filled with new awards and experiences for attendees and the viewing audience," said Eric Danis, GPI president. "We’re delighted that the Global Poker Awards have become a repeating annual event that is growing in scope and significance among the poker industry." The PocketFives Legacy Award, which honors a long-time PocketFives player who has shown success in the online and live poker arenas over their entire career, will also be part of the show. Previous winners of the award include Cliff Josephy, Ari Engel, and Chris Moorman. The Global Poker Awards debuted earlier this year as a combination of the American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards. The event was not without controversy however as the nomination and voting process came under fire. As a result, this year each category will have its own set of experts to help determine nominees and finalists. Some categories will include fan voting as well. The event will air live on PokerGO for the second consecutive year. "The first annual Global Poker Awards were a tremendous success and an important moment for us as an industry to recognize our best and brightest," said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. "The second annual event is an important opportunity for Poker Central to once again partner with the Global Poker Index and to stream our community’s biggest night on PokerGO for the fans at home."
  10. Online poker players in Pennsylvania have to wait no longer. Monday, November 4 is Day 1 of the two-day soft launch period for PokerStars PA. This story will be updated throughout the day. Update 10:00 PM: Day 1 of the soft launch is in the books. We'll be back tomorrow for more coverage of Day 2! Update 9:25 PM: Time may be winding down for the night but that's not stopping 'breakfastball' and 'pittfan80' from battling heads up in the $4/$8 Eight Game Mix. Update 9:11 PM: Longtime PocketFiver Gilbert 'YourPokerPastor' Thurston was one of the first players to log on today and he's looking forward to everything that PokerStars PA will bring. Read: Gilbert ‘YourPokerPastor’ Thurston Finds Sheer Joy In PokerStars PA Update 9:04 PM: We enter the last hour of Day 1 of the soft launch with the player pool hovering right around 700. Update 8:40 PM: Registration closed in the $20 Moonlight Express with 173 entries making it the biggest tournament of the first day of the soft launch. With a total prize pool of $3,252.40, it surpassed the Hot $20 from earlier with 147 entries and a $2,675.40 prize pool. Update 8:00 PM: Just before 8:00 PM, PokerStars PA saw 700 concurrent players for the first time. After dipping back down for a minute or two, the number climbed back over the mark at the top of the hour. Update 7:30 PM: Taking another look at the player pool, at 7:30 PM there were more than 665 players battling in real money games. Update 7:16 PM: Registration just closed in one of the two $1,000 guaranteed tournaments on Monday's schedule and the event easily surpassed that number. A total of 147 entries in the Hot $20 Turbo created a total prize pool of $2,675.40. First place will pay $557.51. Update 7:02 PM: 604 players. Update 7:00 PM: There were 590 real money players online at 7 PM. If everything stays the course we should see 600 in a few minutes. Update 6:52 PM: Even in PA, PKO’s are popular. The $10 NLHE Progressive Knockout closed registration with 166 entries (119 players, 47 re-entries) and a $1,510.60 prize pool. Update 6:44 PM: PokerStars ambassador Jennifer Shahade held the chip lead with six players left in the Hot $10. In the end, the Women's Chess Champion settled for a third-place finish collecting $158.56...right from her home outside of Philly. Update 6:37 PM: Just cleared 500 players online. Update 6:30 PM: We are keeping tabs on how many real money players are on the PokerStars PA site during peak hours. At 6:30 PM there were 484 players on the site. Update 6:16 PM: The biggest NLHE game running is the $2.50/$5 game. There are currently two tables going with 'ToddLaxmen' and 'FarWomenTellAll' doing a little multi-tabling and 'TeamVillage' currently sitting with over $1,400 behind. Update 6:08 PM: While we were putting together that last update, the number of players playing real money games soared past 400. Update 6:07 PM: The $5 PLO MTT [Six Max, Turbo] had a total of 46 entries (30 players, 16 re-entries) with the top seven placed getting paid. Players were in the money just before the re-entry period expired. Update 6:00 PM: There are 392 players playing for real money as the clock hit 6pm ET. Update 5:48 PM: In the first PokerStars PA MTT ‘SugarDaddyPA’ and ‘Stonks_Are_Up’ agreed to a deal that saw each player turn their $5 buy-in into at least $110.88. Update 5:40 PM: One of the benefits to the PokerStars client is how many games they offer. While the majority of the action on Day 1 has been in NLHE, PLO or in the MTT's, a heads up battle between ‘veedubs23’ vs. ‘cardfan42’ is taking place at the $3/$6 Limit Stud tables. Update 5:33 PM: It's worth mentioning that PokerStars popular Zoom cash games are not a part of the Day 1 soft launch. Update 5:13 PM: The second tournament of the day was The Hot $10 [Turbo] and it easily smashed its $500 guarantee as 111 players (and 37 re-entries) generated a prize pool of $1,346.80. Update 4:57 PM: Online poker is back in Pennsylvania...and so are those bad beats! Update 2:12 PM: Don't worry, Pennsylvania online poker players. None of the sportsbooks in your state managed to launch right on time either. PokerStars PA will be live soon. Update: 2:00 PM: More than two years after online gaming regulations were passed in Pennsylvania, the first online poker site now has cards in the air. PokerStars PA went live at 2 PM for Day 1 of a two-day soft launch testing period required by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “We’re excited to launch PokerStars as the first and currently the only online poker option available to players in Pennsylvania,” said Matt Primeaux, President, FOX Bet. “Including today’s launch of our highly rated casino product, which is now available in the FOX Bet and PokerStars apps, we’re proud to say we’re currently the only online provider offering all three forms of regulated gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” PokerStars PA is available Monday, November 4 from 2 PM until 10 PM EST and Tuesday, November 5 from 2 PM until Midnight. Players can download the client from PokerStarsMtAiryCasino.com and it is also available for iOS and Android devices. PokerStars is partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort and they're excited to be working alongside the world's largest online poker operator on a groundbreaking day for the Keystone State. “We’re constantly investing in our player experience, and in 2019 that means going beyond brick and mortar improvements to bring customers one of the most exciting gaming options available,” said Todd Greenberg, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at Mount Airy Casino Resort, FOX Bet’s partner in Pennsylvania. “Through strategic partnerships like our affiliation with PokerStars, Mount Airy is committed to offering the most cutting-edge gaming experience possible.” Quite possibly one of the most excited with today's launch is PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shadade. The Pennsylvania native is finally able to play legal online poker from the comfort of her own home. “Finally, PokerStars is available in my hometown and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Pennsylvanian and PokerStars Ambassador, Jennifer Shahade. “Players in Pennsylvania have been looking forward to this day, and I can’t wait to be a part of all the action. Hope to see many of you on the tables!” Update 1:20 PM: PokerStars PA will be available to all online poker players in Pennsylvania from 2 PM until 10 PM EST.  
  11. With the two-day soft launch period now in the books, PokerStars PA is officially now the only Pennsylvania online poker room. PocketFives will be live blogging throughout the day with all the news and happenings from the first day of official play. Update 7:00 PM: The first edition of the PokerStars PA Nightly Stars with its $10K guarantee kicks off as the real-money player total soars to over 1K. This wraps up our three-day coverage of the return of online poker to the Keystone State. Thank you for following along with us! Update 6:03 PM: The after-work crowd is here as the total number of players online rocketed to over 800 at 6 pm ET. Update 5:57 PM: We've been keeping an eye on the Sit & Go tab to see if any high stakes SNGs were able to get off the ground. There was a $100 HU Hyper that took place with 'Fuzzy2525' taking it down and we also caught a six-handed $50 Turbo in action. Update 5:02 PM: The player pool has remained robust throughout the day with over 750 players online at the top of the hour. In other news, the $2/$4 8 Game Mix has been up and running for a little while now. Update 4:27 PM: Another guarantee smashed. The $800 GTD Big 15 had 148 entries (106 players, 42 re-entries) and a prize pool of $2,020.20. Update 3:38 PM: Add an event to your calendar: Scrolling down the MTT schedule PokerStars has included a 'We Are In Pennsylvania Freeroll' with $20,000 added on November 17. No hoops to jump through, no bonuses to clear- simply create an account, log on and register at 1:00 pm ET on November 17 to fight for a piece. Update 2:45 PM: One of the larger Pot Limit Omaha games in the early going is currently active as four players are battling on a $5/$10 PLO table. Update 2:40 PM: PokerStars has loaded up the Tourney tab with tournaments extending through the weekend. Check out what a Sunday grind in Pennsylvania looks like with our First Look at PokerStars PA Sunday MTT Schedule. Update 2:36 PM: Hot Lunch! The first guaranteed tournament of the day, The Lunchtime Hot $20, is close to a final table. It's just another early launch guarantee taken down as the players exceeded the $750 GTD mark with 101 total entries for a $1,838.20 prize pool. Update 1:31 PM: With over 550 players on the site, the six-handed $2/$5 NLHE cash game has been running steady for the past half hour. Update 12:37 PM: PokerStars has released a statement regarding their official launch in the Keystone State. "PokerStars PA is now officially live after receiving full approval from the regulator. We look forward to welcoming players in Pennsylvania around the clock and we’re very excited by the level of engagement and support so far," Rebecca McAdam, PokerStars spokesperson. Update 12:35 PM: Want a closer look at all of the games PokerStars PA has to offer? Read: PokerStars PA Fully Live with Wide Variety of Stakes and Formats Update 12:29 PM: We're keeping an eye on the SNG lobby to see if any of the higher buy-in Turbos take place. Right now, for those looking to play a little higher, the $20 Six Max Turbos are running regularly without players having to wait too long. Update 12:05 PM: Just a few minutes after noon on the East Coast and there are over 400 players on the PokerStars PA client. Three of which are splashing around on the first play money table. Update 11:36 PM: While a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the first Sunday MTT schedule, the first day of tournaments includes 28 MTTs running before Midnight. The biggest tournament is the $100 buy-in Nightly Stars event which has a $7,500 guarantee - the PokerStars NJ version of the same event has a $7,000 guarantee tonight. Time Game Buy-in Name Guarantee Speed 12:00 PM NLHE $3.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 12:30 PM NLHE $20.00 The Lunchtime Hot $20 $750.00 Turbo 1:00 PM NLHE $5.00 Time Tourney: 45 Minutes Turbo 1:30 PM NLHE $15.00 The Big $15 $800.00 2:00 PM NLHE $2.00 $100 Gtd $100.00 2:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $150 Gtd $150.00 3:00 PM NLHE $10.00 Bounty Builder $10 $300.00 3:30 PM NLHE $2.00 $100 Gtd $100.00 4:00 PM NLHE $5.00 The Big $5 $500.00 5:00 PM NLHE $15.00 $250 Gtd $250.00 6:00 PM NLHE $10.00 The Big $10 $1,000.00 6:30 PM NLHE $3.00 $3 NLHE 7:00 PM NLHE $20.00 The Big $20 $1,500.00 7:00 PM NLHE $100.00 Nightly Stars $7,500.00 7:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $500 Gtd $500.00 7:30 PM PLO $20.00 Nightly PLO $400.00 8:00 PM NLHE $50.00 Wednesday 6-Max $5,000.00 8:15 PM NLHE $10.00 The Hot $10 $1,000.00 Turbo 8:30 PM NLHE $5.00 $200 Gtd $200.00 9:00 PM NLHE $20.00 Bounty Builder $20 $1,000.00 9:15 PM NLHE $5.00 The Hot $5 $500.00 Turbo 9:30 PM NLHE $10.00 Deep Hyper-Turbo $500.00 Hyper 10:00 PM NLHE $3.00 $250 Gtd $250.00 10:15 PM NLHE $50.00 The Hot $50 $2,000.00 Turbo 10:30 PM NLHE $15.00 Bounty Builder $15 $850.00 11:15 PM NLHE $30.00 The Hot $30 $1,500.00 Turbo 11:30 PM NLHE $3.00 Deep Hyper-Turbo $100.00 Hyper 12:00 AM NLHE $20.00 Moonlight Express $1,000.00 Hyper Update 11:00 AM: PokerStars PA is now live!
  12. Online poker giant PokerStars has returned to New Jersey. Since it has been five years since PokerStars offered real money play to American players, PocketFives has constructed this Frequently Asked Questions page to help answer any questions that may come up. Do you have to be a New Jersey resident to play on PokerStars New Jersey? While you don't need to call the state of New Jersey home to play for real money, you do need to be in the state of New Jersey while playing. Players visiting New Jersey can play on the site as long as they pass the Geo Location test. What is Geo Location? To ensure that players are physically in the state of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement requires PokerStars to verify a player's location using IP address and Wi-Fi signal triangulation. Who is PokerStars licensed by? PokerStars is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement. Can I use my old PokerStars account login in New Jersey? For launch, PokerStars has created the Quick Account Creation process which allows players who previously had PokerStars accounts to use that information to sign up. To take advantage of the Quick Account Creation, follow the instructions below: Login using existing PokerStars User ID and password. Press ‘Create Account on PokerStars NJ’. You will see confirmation that your account was successfully created. After login, you will be asked to acknowledge that you are at least 21 years of age and that you agree with the End User License Agreement. In order to play for real money, you will be required to complete electronic account verification. Your personal details from your old account will be pre-populated to speed up the registration process. Players who wish to create a new account and screenname and keep their previous account for play outside of New Jersey can do so. What methods of deposit and withdrawal are available? Players will be able to deposit via Skrill, NETELLER, VISA, MasterCard, ACH bank transfer and in person at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. Are PokerStars New Jersey players playing against players around the world? Due to gaming laws, the PokerStars New Jersey product only includes players within the state. How do I download the PokerStars NJ software? Download the PokerStarsNJ client here. To register your account visit www.pokerstarsnj.com. Can we play on mobile devices? The PokerStars App will be available at launch and will allow players to play cash games, sit & gos and spin & gos. Will casino games be available or just poker? PokerStars is licensed to offer a full slate of casino games as well as poker. Blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker and slots will be available at launch. How can I add my new PokerStars NJ screen name to my PocketFives profile? Login to your PocketFives account On the top right, click on your PocketFives username and select 'Profile' Choose 'Edit Poker Names' From the drop-down menu, select 'PokerStars NJ' and enter your screen name and click 'Create New' Please note: It can take up to 24 hours for your screen name to pop up in your profile.
  13. Get inside the mind of Chris 'moorman1' Moorman. As an 888poker ambassador Moorman has played poker on camera a countless number of times. But in this latest video for 888poker and PokerGO, the man with over $16 million in online earnings jumps into the role of the commentator to break down a now-famous hand from Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl between two heavyweight poker pros in Daniel Negreanu and Mikita Badziakouski. “I remember watching it at the time, live on the stream, and I was amazed by the end results,” Moorman said. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] In the video, the former #1-ranked PocketFiver takes a moment to give props to the high caliber of players at the table including Ali Imsirovic, Jake Schindler and Brian Rast. Then he proceeds to break the hand down. Street-by-street the PocketFives Legacy Award winner offers his insight and analysis, even taking issue with some of the decisions that were made. He discusses the importance of re-evaluating your thought process and decisions when information you weren’t expecting is introduced, such as when Negreanu is faced by an overbet by Badziakouski on the river. Ultimately, Negreanu finds himself in a tight spot where he makes an amazing laydown where many people might have called off. “It looks amazing because it’s right,” Moorman says. “Definitely in-game though you have a weird sort-of spidey sense feeling. Your gut is telling you to fold and there are definitely times I’ve listened to my gut over the theory and made an exploitable fold and been right.” Check it out below.
  14. For the rest of October right up through the end of November, 888poker is offering one of their biggest promotions of all-time. Player loyalty to 888poker will be rewarded big-time with a major new promotion that will put up to 100% cash right back into the bankroll of online poker players the very next day after they play online. The promotion is called the Ultimate Cashback Spin and it’s taking place on every facet of 888 gaming. Poker players, as well as casino and sports betting customers, will earn an Ultimate Cashback Spin every day they log on and play on 888 from October 17 through November 30. [ptable zone="NJ Online Poker Promos"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] One of the best parts of the promotion is there are no extra hoops to jump through in order to participate and pick up the cashback. Simply log on to 888poker and play in any of the wide array of tournaments and cash games to be eligible to pick up the extra cash. Here's the basics of how it works: for every day a player sits at an 888poker online table, takes a chance on any of the casino games (like online slots), or makes a sports bet on their favorite team they will receive an email the very next day inviting them to spin the Ultimate Cashback wheel that could give them 100% of their money back. Of course, not everyone is going to hit 100% - but there will be cashback for everybody. The wheel promises at least 5% back with 25%, 50%, 75% and a full 100% being offered. Additionally, there are no restrictions on how many days a player can qualify. Every day for the rest of the month of October right through until the end of November players who log on will have the opportunity the next day to put money right back into their account. So, when you play on 888poker just be sure to check your email the very next day for the Ultimate Cashback Spin opportunity and take back up to 100%.
  15. There simply isn't a more decorated player in the history of PocketFives than Chris 'moorman1' Moorman. He's won more Triple Crowns than anybody else, been ranked #1 more times than anybody else and was the first player to hit the $10 million and $15 million earnings marks. [ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="888poker"] In February, Moorman was presented the PocketFives Legacy Award at the Global Poker Awards in Las Vegas. Now he's looking ahead at the rest of his career and what he hopes to accomplish, particularly on the live scene, in this video from 888poker titled 'Behind the Online Legend'.
  16. 888poker’s 2019 XL Eclipse is right around the corner. The upcoming 11-day championship online poker series starts on September 12 and offers players 34 events with over $1.4 million in total guarantees. The series gives 888poker grinders an excellent opportunity to not just boost their bankroll, but also add a coveted XL Championship tile to their poker resume. The XL Eclipse schedule offers something new every day by providing at least three tournaments with a specific theme. From their popular PKO tournaments to playing short-handed, XL Eclipse provides players a chance to show off their skills in a wide variety of formats at a price point comfortable for their bankroll. But even more than the actual schedule itself there’s additional value to be had during XL Eclipse when players win their way into any of the events via a satellite. Whether it’s the $250 XL Eclipse Main Event with a $500K guarantee or the $16.50 Mini Tune Up Event - and every tournament in between - 888poker has a path for those grinders who know how to turn a dime into the score of a lifetime. XL Eclipse Main Event Qualifier The $250 XL Eclipse Main Event is not just the biggest event of the 2019 XL Eclipse schedule, it’s one of 888poker’s biggest events of the year. The fact that it comes with a $500,000 guarantee promises that someone is going to turn this modest buy-in into a major five-figure score. In fact, the majority of the final table will likely walk with a massive score of $10K or more. However, it would be completely understandable for mid-stakes and even micro grinders to be unable to afford a ticket to the Main Event. So, 888poker has a couple of ways for players to win their seat into the tournament for far less. First, for depositors online, 888poker is holding daily freeroll tournaments. Every day at 20:00 GMT, right up until September 21, the online site has a tournament that gives away ten $250 tickets to the Main Event. That means the site is pumping thousands of dollars every day into the Main Event, increasing the prize pool without any costs to the players. But, if you have no plans on making a deposit to play XL Eclipse, there are still low-cost options for the Main Event. In the Tournaments tab in the 888poker client, there are regularly running Sub-Satellites to the Main Event starting for as little as $0.10. Players can work their way up the satellite tree, eventually getting a ticket to a $5.50 satellite which leads to a final $33 satellite. The $33 Sub-satellite is where three seats to the Main Event are guaranteed. So, depending on a player’s bankroll, they can start for as little as a dime or hop directly into the $33 tournament were seats are guaranteed. XL Eclipse Mini Tune Up Of course, the Main Event is attractive with its huge guarantee, but don’t sleep on the $16.50 XL Eclipse Mini Tune Up. The Mini Tune Up is routinely a popular tournament on the schedule because of it’s buy-in of under $20 and $50,000 guarantee. The Mini Tune Up has the potential to transform a few players bankrolls with four-figure paydays for the final table. For those that go really deep, they can potentially 100x their original buy-in. 888poker is also proving depositing players a freeroll into this tournament with daily tournaments that give away 25 tickets to the $16.50 tournament. Hundreds of seats are up for grabs in the Mini Tune Up. Penny Lane 888poker selected the Main Event and Mini Tune Up to offer up free entries, but if those aren’t the tournaments that a player is targeting, 888poker's standard satellite system is still applicable for XL Eclipse events. Starting for as little at $0.01, players can work their way up the satellite tree and pick up tickets for tournaments that cost upwards of $109. Satellites for XL Eclipse events, as well as all of 888poker’s daily tournaments, can be found in the Satellites tab under the Tournaments tab in the online client. If you are looking for which tournaments to satellite into, check out these five spotlighted bankroll-building tournaments on the XL Eclipse schedule or clear your September calendar and take a look at the entire schedule.
  17. The 888poker LIVE tour is going where they've never gone before when they travel to Russia for the inaugural 888poker LIVE Sochi Festival this August. From August 8-15, 888poker LIVE will be setting up shop at the Casino Poker Club Sochi for a 12-event series with $1,000,000 in total guarantees and a $500,000 guaranteed Main Event. The 888poker LIVE tour is known for scheduling a wide variety of tournaments with accessible buy-ins and plenty of satellites to help bolster prize pools and the upcoming Sochi Festival is no different. The action heats up in Russia right out of the gate with the first event on the schedule: the $444 buy-in 888poker Cup. The 888poker Cup is a classic low buy-in with a high guarantee as there is $100,000 up for grabs. Players will get plenty of shots to make day two with multiple starting flights and live satellite to the 888poker Cup starting at low as $50. Immediately following the 888poker Cup, players will be jumping into the Main Event. The $888 buy-in $500,000 GTD Main Event kicks off on August 10 and offers five different starting flights taking place over the next three days, including a last-minute Turbo Day (E) just hours before the start of Day 2 on August 13. This Main Event is special. Not only is there a healthy guarantee attached, one that should offer the winner a six-figure score, but the player that makes it to the end will also be the first player to earn themselves an 888poker package to the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event sponsored by 888poker. Players looking to get into the Main Event for the minimum will have plenty of chances as well, the live satellite schedule for the Main Event includes 10 different events with buy-ins starting as low as $100. In total, over 40 satellite seats to the Main Event are guaranteed during the festival. Like all of 888poker’s LIVE events, players also have the opportunity to win their seat to Sochi online. 888poker is running a number of satellites for the Sochi Festival, and online players can battle for their seats starting for as little as $0.01. Players can work their way through a satellites tree, winning steps and gaining access to the next step until they qualify for one of two types of direct entry satellites. The first is for the 888LIVE Sochi $500K Main Event package. The winner of this satellite takes home a $1,700 all-inclusive package that offers a seat to the Main Event as well as an additional $420 for travel expenses as well as three nights accommodations at the Sochi Marriott Hotel. The second is for players who simply want to win their seat to the Main Event online. The ‘Seat Only’ qualifiers are running all the time and do not have travel and stay attached, but will get players their buy-in to the tournament. The online satellites to the 888poker LIVE Sochi Festival appear under the Live Events section under the Tournaments tab in the 888poker client. Of course, the Sochi Festival schedule doesn’t end with the Main Event. Players can hop into a number of other events including the $1,888 High Roller 8-Max with $100,000 guaranteed, Hyper-Turbo Deepstacks Bounty tournaments and even a Pot Limit Omaha Bounty events. For those who may need a trip saver, there’s even a Turbo Main Event with a $888 buy-in and $100,000 guaranteed which takes place on the last day of the festival. Just one final note before players begin booking their travel to Sochi - some players may require a visa to enter the country so make sure you check your status and get everything in order before hopping a flight to Russia. 888poker LIVE Sochi Festival Schedule DATE TIME EVENT BUY-IN 08/08 12:00 888poker Cup Day 1A $444 17:00 888poker Cup Day 1B $444 21:30 Hyper Turbo Deepstack Bounty $220 08/09 10:30 888poker Cup Day 1C $444 13:00 888poker Cup Day 2 17:00 Hyper Turbo Deepstack $165 08/10 12:00 Main Event Day 1A $888 12:00 888poker Cup Final Day 16:00 Hyper Turbo Deepstack $165 08/11 12:00 Main Event Day 1B $888 20:00 High Roller Day 8-Max Day 1 $1,888 08/12 12:00 Main Event Day 1C $888 20:00 High Roller Day 8-Max Day 2 20:00 Main Event Day 1D $888 08/13 10:00 Main Event Turbo Day 1E $888 13:30 Main Event Day 2 21:30 High Roller 8-Max Day 3 22:00 Hyper Turbo Deepstack $440 08/14 12:00 Main Event Day 3 13:00 Super Bounty $660 18:00 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty $440 21:00 Hyper Turbo Deepstack Bounty $275 21:00 High Roller Final Day 08/15 12:00 Main Event Final Day 12:00 Turbo Main Event $888 17:00 Turbo Deepstack Super Bounty $550
  18. The World Series of Poker has a history of making stars and has played a key role in solidifying the reputation of some of the game's biggest stars. Finding the players who could enjoy new success on the WSOP stage isn't an easy task but the PocketFives editorial staff has accepted the challenge. Jeff Walsh, Senior Writer You never really know who that "Breakout Player" will be but I’ve got a couple of players I’m keeping my eye on this summer that I think could take the next step and elevate their game. You might remember Ian Steinman from his hero fold against Joe McKeehan at the 2018 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event when he spikes a set of kings on the river and after exhausting all of his time bank chips found an amazing fold. Well, Steinman is not only an accomplished online grinder, having won the WSOP.com online Player of the Year award in 2016 but a mid-stakes live beast. Like most amazing NLHE players, he’s fearless at the table and is able to accumulate chips in a hurry. Last year, Steinman barely missed out on his first gold bracelet falling to Eric Baldwin in heads up play in a $1,500 NLHE event, settling for a $197K score for second place. This could be the year he takes the experiences from all those big-time spots and puts it together to pick up his first WSOP win. It feels like it’s just a matter of time for this West Coast grinder and it may be this year. Speaking of big-time my second pick has already had plenty of time in the spotlight. You might remember Julien Martini from his runner-up finish at this year’s PokerStars Players Championship. Martini is a fantastic player who plays all the games and picked up his first bracelet event in 2018. So, with all these accolades how can he break out? I’m tracking Martini to pick up his second bracelet this year in one of the Championship events. He plays all the games and he’s bringing that PSPC bankroll boost to the summer series. I figure when all is said and done, his price in the 2020 $25K Fantasy Draft is going to go through the roof. Donnie Peters, Managing Editor Adam Owen is very much skilled in all poker variants and is known to put in a lot of volume. His name may be known around the poker community, but the Brit has yet to truly breakout. Not only has he not won a WSOP gold bracelet yet, but he’s never experienced a major tournament victory. Specific to the WSOP, Owen has a handful of final tables and a trio of top-three finishes. I’m going to say that 2019 is a huge summer at the World Series of Poker for Owen. He’ll win his first bracelet, rack up the cashes, and contend for WSOP Player of the Year. Ping Liu is another player who can be considered in a similar light as Owen is. Liu has gained some notoriety through his run on the World Poker Tour this season, and he’s challenging to win the WPT Player of the Year award. Like Owen, his best finish in a WSOP event is a third-place result and he’s still searching for his first major tournament title. Liu has been very much on form in recent months and earned some big scores. He closed out 2018 with a fourth-place finish in the WPT Five Diamond event for $600,000. With his padded bankroll and so many No Limit Hold’em events on the WSOP schedule, look for Liu to make a few big splashes this summer. I can easily see him winning his first WSOP gold bracelet if he puts in any sort of decent volume. Lance Bradley, Editor in Chief It's hard to pick players out of relative obscurity that might enjoy success at the WSOP. That's why the first player on my list is more of a known commodity that maybe anybody else listed here. Patrick Leonard is a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, the current #3-ranked player in the world, and has a little more than $2.4 million in live earnings. Despite all of that, he's never really had a big WSOP. He only has seven WSOP cashes for $114,229 in earnings but he's never committed to a full schedule. That changes this year. Leonard is putting the online grind to the side for seven weeks to play a full WSOP schedule. He's an extremely talented player and will be free of the potential distraction of returning to the online felt. I expect Leonard's going to find his way deep in a number of events this summer and might finally find himself with a realistic shot at winning his first bracelet. Each year there's a handful of players who skyrocket into the public eye with double-digit level cashes after having previously found some success at the Rio. Last year, Lexi Gavin cashed seven times at the WSOP including a 12th place finish in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha. That doubles her lifetime career cashes and I don't see any reason why the upward trend can't continue. She's predominantly a No Limit Hold'em player and the WSOP schedule includes an almost endless number of opportunities for her to run up a stack and potentially make her first career final table.
  19. 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. The 2019 World Series of Poker is finally here! It's a super-sized World Series of Poker preview episode this week as Lance and Donnie are joined by PocketFives Senior Writer Jeff Walsh to look into the future and make predictions on everything that will go down this summer at the Rio. From who is going to win the Player of the Year to just how big will the Main Event will be, the guys get excited about seven weeks of non-stop poker action in Las Vegas. All of that, plus the Spring Championship of Online Poker concludes and Daniel Negreanu crashes the internet just days after announcing that he's parting ways with PokerStars. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  20. You can call it cliche if you want, but the World Series of Poker is where the best players in the game go to shine brightest. Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, Phil Ivey, and Alex Foxen all enter the 2019 WSOP with the spotlight firmly placed on them. PocketFives editorial staff give their thoughts on how each of these talented players will do this summer. Shaun Deeb "Shaun Deeb is making no secret he wants to go back-to-back as the WSOP Player of the Year. He’s going to be in the mix, but I think it’s going to be incredibly difficult to replicate his 2018 summer in 2019. Deeb is a crusher of all games and while I fully expect him to be in the POY conversation as well as make a mixed game final table to two, I think he’ll simply have to settle for a good, not great, 2019 WSOP." - Jeff Walsh, Senior Writer "For Deeb, 2019 is going to be a test to see if he can walk the walk after he's talked the talk. Well, we already know Deeb has the ability to walk the walk, as he's a highly talented, experienced player who puts in a ton of volume, but being on the bad side of tournament variance can come around at any time in a player's career. I expect Deeb to be a WSOP player of the Year contender once again and a big threat to win any bracelet event he enters. Look for Deeb to tally at least a dozen cashes and reach two or three final tables. Will he win a bracelet in 2019? Deeb has as good of a shot as any and I'll say yes, he will." - Donnie Peters, Managing Editor "It's almost impossible to look at Deeb's body of work and not just automatically assume that he'll be able to do it again. At some point though, he's going to have a stretch where things don't go well. Last summer he cashed 16 times, made 2 final tables and won a bracelet to jump out to a massive POY lead before heading to WSOP Europe. He's going to play every event he can this year in hopes of another bracelet and another POY title, but maybe 16 cashes and a win is too much to expect. I think Deeb will manage no fewer than 10 cashes, but I'd be surprised to see him pull off another win." - Lance Bradley, Editor in Chief Daniel Negreanu "The 2019 WSOP will be unlike any other for Daniel - new wife, no PokerStars, daily vlogs and tens of thousands of his fans money going along for the ride. I think he’ll rise to the occasion with a pair of deep runs and possibly even pick up bracelet number seven in one of the mid-stakes mixed game events." - Walsh "Negreanu has been all over headlines in the final days leading up to the WSOP. He got married to Amanda Leatherman, news dropped that he and PokerStars had parted ways, he’s been feuding on social media, and he sold a bunch of action for his 2019 WSOP slate to poker fans all over the world. The latter of that bunch could very well be what motivates Negreanu to crush this summer. With thousands of people invested in Negreanu, he should want to perform well for them. That last time he sold action in a headlining way was for the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop, and he placed second in that event for $8.288 million. Negreanu has adjusted his schedule for the 2019 WSOP and will be playing more low buy-in events because he has said he really wants to make a push for WSOP Player of the Year. With a big schedule planned, thousands of supporters he doesn’t want to let down, and motivation to really show out in his first WSOP in forever as an unsponsored player, it could be a huge summer for Negreanu, and that’s what I think we’ll be getting from him. The last time Negreanu won a gold bracelet in Las Vegas was way back in 2008. He’s due. I predict Negreanu will charge to a handful of final tables this summer and win at least his seventh WSOP gold bracelet, if not his eighth as well." - Peters "As my colleagues have already pointed out, Negreanu has been all over the place lately. While all of that stuff has prevented him from focusing on poker, all of that stuff happened so that Negreanu could turn all of his attention to the WSOP. Once the tournaments begin, he's got every reason in the world to be zoned in and focused. A third time Player of the Year title could very easily be in the works already and I think he's going to get himself at least one bracelet before the Main Event begins." - Bradley Phil Hellmuth "Everything is all lined up for Phil Hellmuth. It's been 30 years since his Main Event victory and the 50th Annual WSOP, it would be destiny for the all-time leader in gold bracelets to find the winner’s circle this summer. Now, I’m not a 'PHater', but it all feels a little too perfect and so...I am fading Hellmuth in 2019. While I think his rant game will be on point, he’ll have a mediocre series and need to get back after it in 2020." - Walsh "Hellmuth is 'Mr. WSOP.' He leads in the categories of most gold bracelets, most cashes, and most final tables at the WSOP, and he continues to put himself in position to win more and more at the Series each and every summer. Just look at 2018, when he cashed seven times and won his 15th bracelet at the WSOP. The year before that, he cashed nine times, when you include WSOP Europe and finished in the top 10 three times. Hellmuth is one of the hungriest players to win every summer and it shows because he wears his heart on his sleeve and hides nothing. The 2019 WSOP marks 30 years since he won the 1989 WSOP Main Event, so we should expect him to be going all out once again. With more events than ever, I predict Hellmuth will reach the top 10 in at least two events and win one gold bracelet." - Peters "Imagine betting against Hellmuth at the WSOP? The spotlight on this year's WSOP will be heightened and that basically almost feeds into the "PH machine". He's also talked about wanting to win a Pot Limit Omaha bracelet and claims to have "shredded" the Razz events over the past few years. Sounds like he's going to be playing even more events this year. I don't think he's got any shot at POY, but he's leaving this summer with #16 stitched on the side of his hat and a new piece of jewellery on his wrist." - Bradley Phil Ivey "Now, for the other Phil, Phil Ivey. Ivey hasn’t been a massive success at the WSOP in recent years because he’s been very much out of competition. He just hasn’t played. His last bracelet came in 2014 and there was a gap in his résumé until the 2018 WSOP when he played a handful of events and cashed four times. With the release of Ivey’s MasterClass course, one would think he’ll be making the jump back into the WSOP waters in 2019. As for predictions, he’s become a very tough one to get a read one, much like he’s virtually unreadable at the poker table. I think he’ll play a bunch because he wouldn’t have released a MasterClass if he was still hiding in the shadows, so I’ll guess that we see him at a couple final tables and challenging for the winner’s circle once or twice. Whether or not he wins a bracelet is really up to Ivey. If he puts in the volume and gets down to business, he’ll win one. If he just shows up to put himself out there because of the MasterClass course, it’s going to be a real tease for poker fans everywhere." - Peters "As much as I’d like to see Ivey. I don’t think we will. Hope I’m proven wrong on Day 1." - Walsh "He ain't coming, kids. Let's just move on." - Bradley Alex Foxen "Alex Foxen is lining up those bracelet bets and I, for one, wouldn’t be betting against him. I’m not sure if he’s going to actually take down a gold bracelet this year but I have a feeling it’s going to a profitable summer for Foxen at the WSOP." - Walsh "As long as Foxen doesn't get sucked away by the big buy-in events at ARIA this summer, look out WSOP. With the added motivation of bracelets bets now on the table, I predict we'll see Foxen land himself in the WSOP winner's circle this summer. He's a no-limit hold'em tournament specialist and there are plenty of events right in his wheelhouse. For starters, Foxen will have two really good chances to win a bracelet in the first few days of the 2019 WSOP with the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty and the $50,000 High Roller. The $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em and $10,000 Heads-Up Championship, both of which take place in the first week of June, are also solid opportunities for Foxen." - Peters "When somebody puts it out there that they want to make bracelet bets against any and all comers, it tells you that they're ready for the grind that is the WSOP. History doesn't support his confidence though. Foxen has had just 25 cashes at the Rio over his career and three of them were final tables. Still, he's the GPI #1-ranked player for a reason and if he's got extra financial incentive to get his first bracelet, you know he's going to be less inclined to wander over to the Venetian or Aria to play their events. Deep runs almost feel like a given, but a bracelet? I'm not so sure." - Bradley
  21. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Michael Mizrachi BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 57 $8,724,651 17 In 2018, Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi made World Series of Poker history when he defeated Poker Hall of Fame member John Hennigan in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship to have his name etched on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy a record third time. “It’s quite an accomplishment,” Mizrachi said just moments after winning the $1.2M first place prize. “To win the first one was amazing. The second one was great. The third one is unheard of.” Indeed, it was unheard of. Mizrachi earned his fourth career bracelet in what many pros regard as the toughest mixed game tournament of the year. However, as improbable as his third PPC victory was, the fact that Mizrachi was able to do it was not something that occurred out of the blue. ‘The Grinder’ has made a career out of accomplishing amazing feats on the felt. Since 2004, Mizrachi has been producing results at the World Series of Poker. In his first year at the series, Mizrachi only posted a single cash - an 11th place finish in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em tournament for just over $12,000. The very next year, 'The Grinder' began to live up to his well-known nickname as he fired in tournaments all summer long, cashing in a total of seven events including a 230th place run in the 2005 Main Event for over $33,000. Mizrachi's first live cash of any kind was recorded in 2004 and by 2008 he'd already added two seven-figure scores to rapidly growing poker resume. But that overwhelming success had yet to translate to the summer series. All of that changed in 2008. Early in the series Mizrachi reached his first final table, finishing in eighth place in a $2500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo tournament for $24,000. While the money was nice, it was the breakthrough Mizrachi had been looking for. He reached another final table later in that series, narrowly missing out on his first bracelet by finishing in third place in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship for over $331,000. Two years later in 2010, Mizrachi finally closed out a tournament and it was a big one. He faced down the incredibly stacked final table of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship - including eliminating his own brother Robert Mizrachi in fifth place - to earn his first WSOP bracelet and the $1,559,046 first place prize, the third million dollar score of his career. Mizrachi seemingly was not content. That same year, he used his trademark aggressive style and navigated the 7,319 player field in the 2010 Main Event to secure a seat at the final table as a member of the November Nine. As one of only a handful of players who could catch Frank Kassela in the Player of the Year race, Mizrachi needed a second place finish to take that title. He ended up finishing in fifth place, barely missing out on being named Player of the Year but he added a career-high score of over $2,332,992. He took home over $4M that year, making the final table four out his five cashes. Mizrachi earned his lone non-PPC bracelet in 2011 when he traveled to France to play in the World Series of Poker Europe. He battled at the final table of the €10,400 Split-Format No Limit Hold’em which included Jason Mercier, Brian Hastings, and Shaun Buchanan to win bracelet #2. In 2012, Mizrachi continued to run white hot. After making his way to two mixed game final tables earlier in the series, ‘The Grinder’ once again found himself at the final table of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. He defeated Chris Klodnicki heads-up and for the second time in three years earned himself a PPC victory and another seven-figure score in the amount of $1,451,527.< “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be a two-time champion in the Poker Players Championship,” Mizrachi said in 2012. “It’s the toughest field you can ever play in.” During the two year stretch from 2011 through 2013 Mizrachi had 10 total cashes, which on its own may not seem overwhelming until you recognize that in nine of ten he made the final table of and two of those, he took home the bracelet. >Mizrachi's success in the Poker Players Championship continued in 2016. He made the final table for the third time, nearly taking it down. Eventually, he hit the rail in fourth place earning $380,000. Then in 2018, Mizrachi did the unthinkable. He left no doubt as to his mixed game prowess by taking down the PPC title for a record third time. In the tournament that professional poker players consider one of the toughest tests of skill and endurance, Mizrachi sits alone with three victories in the event’s 13-year history. Mizrachi’s $8.7M in total WSOP earnings put him 21st on the WSOP All-Time Money list and fewer than 50 players have earned themselves four bracelets.
  22. Outside of winning a bracelet, the World Series of Poker Player of the Year award is the most prestigious thing that poker players will spend this summer chasing. Past winners include Chris Ferguson, Mike Gorodinsky, Jason Mercier, the only two-time winner in history, Daniel Negreanu, and reigning and defending champion Shaun Deeb. With the 2019 World Series of Poker just hours away, PocketFives editorial staff have put together their picks for who will make the most out what should be an incredible summer. Here are their picks for 2019 WSOP Player of the Year. Jeff Walsh, Senior Writer My top pick in 2019 is going to be Brandon Shack-Harris. When it comes to tournaments, the Chicago-based pro loves nothing more than to head to the Rio in the summertime with an eye on taking down tournaments and picking up bracelets. He loves the series so much, it’s even in his Twitter handle (@Oscillator_WSOP). But as we all know, loving the series isn’t enough, you’ve got to have the goods. Harris has two bracelets, over $3.2M in earnings and one look at his Hendon page will show you that he is ready to fire in just about every tournament, no matter the buy-in. My big prediction for him is a double bracelet summer and maybe even a trip to WSOP Europe to make sure he seals the deal. Despite my enthusiasm for Harris, you simply can’t sleep on Paul Volpe. The former #1-ranked player on PocketFives was recently named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in WSOP History and is as dangerous a player as there is. And he plays everything. He’s been one of the most productive players in Daniel Negreanu’s $25K Fantasy Draft in its history and this may just be the year that Volpe turns those fantasy results into a very real Player of the Year title. He picked up his third gold bracelet in 2018 and I fully expect him to take down a tournament in 2019 as well as go very deep in one of the marquee ‘gimmick’ events, like The Big Fifty. So, I’m on the record with Brandon Shack-Harris and Paul Volpe. Donnie Peters, Managing Editor Negreanu, Deeb, and Ferguson are three of the names that immediately come to mind when you think about who are the favorites to win the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year award. But who likes to bet on the chalk? Ben Yu is someone who is a little bit further down the board that is a great pick to win WSOP Player of the Year. He puts in a high volume, isn't too busy firing in the ARIA High Roller tournaments down the street, and can play all the games well. Benny Glaser and Adam Owen, a pair of Brits, are also two contenders for the WSOP Player of the Year award, in my mind. Owen is still searching for his first gold bracelet, so we know he'll be hungry. Dylan Linde is also looking for his first bracelet and is coming off a career year in 2018. Plus, Linde has a new book to push and that can serve as some additional motivation to grind, grind, grind all summer long. David 'ODB' Baker has been on top of the world lately, having recently won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for a career-best score. He's another high-volume, all-around player who can certainly contend for this award. Lastly, three-time WSOP bracelet winner Brian Yoon should be considered a threat to win the WSOP Player of the Year award. So I've got Yu, Glaser, Owen, Linde, Baker, and Yoon as my bets to win 2019 WSOP POY. Lance Bradley, Editor in Chief Volume, volume, volume. Under the current points system, you can't win WSOP Player of the Year if you're not willing and able to play a heavy schedule. Gone are the days of focusing on the $10,000 Championship events and picking up big points. Two years ago, Ferguson won in part because he seemingly played every event. So that limits the number of contenders every year. And while Deeb and Negreanu are the obvious favorites, I think the attention they're drawing might be overshadowing a couple of other names that I think are going to be in contention from the minute cards are in the air. Shawn Buchanan has won zero WSOP bracelets over his career. He's had a couple of close calls though and plays every game on the schedule. He recently mentioned that the cash game scene in Las Vegas isn't catching his eye as much as it once was. That's good news for the players in those games, but bad news for anybody who finds him at their WSOP table. Again, it comes down to a lot of volume and Buchanan just loves to play. If he gets hot early, he'll be talked about a lot this summer. In the weeks after the 2018 WSOP wrapped up, James Obst told the world he intended to chase a tennis career and would be giving up poker. While the tennis thing is still in the works, Obst is playing a full schedule at the 2019 WSOP with the intention of making as much money as possible to help him with his tennis dream. He's always had the talent to hang with the best, now he's got extra motivation and apparently, an improved mindset. That scary combination makes him an easy pick for me.
  23. The 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event was a watershed moment for the game. A record number of players - 8,773 to be exact - entered the event that year. Thanks to legal efforts in the United States though, the Main Event has never gotten close to that number again. With the 2019 World Series of Poker just hours away, PocketFives editorial staff have put together their picks for who will make the most out what should be an incredible summer. Here they discuss what the field sizes might look like in some of the more talked-about events on the schedule, including the Main Event. The Big 50 Possibly the most talked about event in WSOP history, the Big 50 offers players incredible value and a chance to help celebrate the 50th year of WSOP action. “I think the Big 50 is going to be massive. Players in my local card room, who have never been to the World Series of Poker, are making the trek this year because it feels like the best value tournament of the summer. While my gut says that this would be a complete sellout Friday - Sunday with 5,800 players in each (if that information is accurate) with the opening flight on Thursday reaching 2,500 runners. I feel like the only thing keeping this from eclipsing Colossus I is the rate at which people will or will not be busting. With 50K in chips and 50-minute levels, it’s a recreational players dream scenario (just in terms of a slow rate of play) and I can see people camping in their seats for the day making it hard for late-registrations to get involved. I'm going with 19,200 runners.” - Jeff Walsh, Senior Writer "For the Big 50, I don’t see it breaking the record for largest live tournament ever set by the 2015 WSOP Colossus that generated 22,374 entries, but it will be big. I think we’ll see something more in the 18,000-entry range." - Donnie Peters, Managing Editor "Everybody and their (service) dog is going to be playing the Big 50 and I'm surprised to see my colleagues thinking there isn't going to be a 20,000+ player field. I get that a Thursday starting day isn't ideal for those coming in to cross something off of their bucket list, but a good number of those are going to want to get in early to avoid any potential sellouts for Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If the capacity truly is somewhere around 23,200, I feel like 21,500 is a reasonable estimate." - Lance Bradley, Editor in Chief The Mini Main Event Another new "gimmick" event, the Mini Main Event comes in at $1,000 buy-in and the same structure as the Main Event. Players coming into town looking to throw some chips around could use this one to get themselves ready for the Main Event. “I could be totally off, but despite a great gimmick name - one that I had attributed to the Monster Stack for the past few years - I’m not sure if players are going to be eager to fire $1K into a tournament with 30-minute levels. The structure is great, of course, mirroring that of the actual Main Event, and 60K is plenty of chips with which to blast off but for those value-hunters, there are better options. Plus some of those who might play this may also opt to register for a mega to the actual Main Event. That said, I could be totally wrong, 4,000 runners will pile into the registration line and next thing you know this 2-day event will have to stretch in Day 1A of the Main Event." - Walsh "The $1,000 Mini Main Event is an interesting one. Albeit 30-minute levels, it has a decent structure and provides a nice lead-in for the WSOP Main Event. If you’re playing the WSOP Main Event and coming into Las Vegas for that, what’s a couple of extra days and an added $1,000 buy-in event? It’s the perfect warm-up and the WSOP may very well have its hands full with the event being scheduled for just two days. I think it will draw around 3,000 entries and be a little too much for the two-day window to handle." - Peters "Before partypoker swooped in with their MILLIONS Las Vegas event, I had a much bigger number in mind for this. It's not that I think the rec players are going to go across town and play a $10,000, but I think a good chunk of the WSOP grinders who would have taken a shot here, will have to go play for a $5M guarantee at Aria. Still, this thing looks like a lot of fun and I don't see why it can't pull at least 3,300 players." - Bradley The Main Event “For me, the only real number to consider is 8,000. Will the WSOP eclipse the 8K plateau for the first time since Jaime Gold’s historic Main Event victory in 2006, where he defeated 8,773. 2018’s registrants were the 2nd largest in the event’s history and my feeling is we only go up from here. Although I’m not as confident as some of my colleagues, I do think that we’ll see an increase and that registration will land between 8,000-8,100.” - Walsh "Interestingly, the field size trend for the WSOP Main Event closely mirrors that of the Aussie Millions Main Event that takes place each year in January. It’s not exact, but it’s pretty darn close. When the Aussie Millions Main Event sees an increase in turnout, so does the WSOP Main Event. When the Aussie Millions Main Event sees a decrease, so does the WSOP Main Event. Back in January, the Aussie Millions Main Event drew 822 entries, which was up from the 800 the years before - a 2.8% increase. A 2.8% increase on the 2018 WSOP Main Event field size of 7,874 entries would make for a field of 8,090 in 2019. I’ll couple that with the fact that the WSOP Main Event field size has increased three consecutive years now and predict it will hit 8,400 entries. Truth be told, I’m pretty bullish on it and wouldn’t be totally shocked if the 2019 WSOP Main Event set a new record and surpassed the 8,773 entries from the 2006 WSOP Main Event." - Peters "Three straight years of increased attendance is a pretty good trend and I see no reason why it won't do it again. It's the 50th year, so there's increased hype and that has to be considered, but I think more importantly Bitcoin is trending up and is up 35% over the price on July 1, 2018. It's only a good sign for the Main Event if that number can hold or - gasp - even increase between now and the start of the Main. I'm really not seeing much in the way of obstacles to growth. A down year this year would be a massive shock to me. Given what I'm told will be a robust live satellite offering this year, I'm going to go with 8,600 players in the Main Event." - Bradley
  24. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. Jason Mercier BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 72 $5,045,968 23 Jason Mercier arrived at the 2008 World Series of Poker with next to no fanfare or recognition. He cashed just three times for just under $57,000 and left Las Vegas frustrated. He came back in 2009 still basking in the glow from his European Poker Tour San Remo title and almost immediately picked up the first bracelet of his career. Mercier topped the 809-player field in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event to break the seal on what is a five bracelet and counting career. "Winning always feels good," Mercier said after his win. "Especially after last year. I played in 22 [WSOP] events. I went deep in just one of them. I finished 13th and that made me sick. I cashed three times, and all three times I busted out with the worst [starting] hand, in marginal spots. I was really upset with how I played last year. Now, it feels great to win a gold bracelet, especially so early in the Series." Mercier is now one of just 25 players who have won five or more bracelets in his career. He picked up wins in 2011 and 2015 before he put on one of the most memorable performances in WSOP history in 2016. Having placed a massive wager on himself to win three bracelets in a year, Mercier went to work in 2016 and came oh-so-close to pulling it off. He picked up his first bracelet by beating 99 other players in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Championship. The final table there included Stephen Chidwick, Benny Glaser, David Grey and Mike Watson. In the minutes following his win, he predicted what was to come. “If I can win another (bracelet) really quick, it would be a sick sweat the rest of the Series,” Mercier said “Now I’m free rolling the next year.” Mercier then entered the $10,000 Razz Championship and navigated through all but one player before losing heads-up to Ray Dehkharghani. He followed that up by winning the $10,000 HORSE Championship for his second bracelet of the summer and fifth of his career. “That seven-day period was really something to behold. The prop bet had a bit of a drama behind it, and once Mercier won the first bracelet, the amount of attention and pressure on him only intensified,“ said PocketFives Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley. “That being said, it shouldn’t overshadow everything else he’s done in his WSOP career so far. He plays every game the WSOP spreads and consistently performs against the toughest fields.” Look past Mercier’s five bracelets and the rest of his numbers remain impressive. He’s cashed in 72 WSOP events in just 11 years and nearly one-third of the time he’s managed to make it into the top 10. In Championship-level events with a buy-in of $10,000 or higher, Mercier has cashed 27 times and 13 of those have resulted in a top 10 finish. Speaking to his ability to play every game, Mercier has cashed in 16 different poker variants at the WSOP. Outside of No Limit Hold’em, Mercier has cashed 14 times in Pot Limit Omaha events including four times in the $10,000 Championship. Twice in his career he’s made the final table of the WSOP Europe Main Event. In 2009, he outlasted 330 other players before falling in fourth. Three years later, he made his way to the final table having worked past 412 players before ending up with an eighth place finish. He has two small cashes in the Main Event in Las Vegas and has made the $50,000 Poker Players Championship final once (2015 - 7th). “I consider Mercier to be one of the two or three best players of his generation. To think he still has years and years of WSOP success ahead of him makes it hard to project how many more bracelets it could be,” Bradley said. “It’s not hard to think of him as one of the players who could one day surpass Phil Hellmuth’s record number though”
  25. 2019 marks the 50th annual World Series of Poker. The most prestigious poker festival in history has played a pivotal role in creating many of the legends and superstars of the game. To commemorate the occasion, PocketFives editorial staff each ranked the top 50 players in WSOP history in an effort to define and rank the most important, influential, and greatest WSOP players of all time. #20 - Men Nguyen BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 7 95 $3,308,113 43 For over 30 years Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen has made his presence felt at the World Series of Poker. A seven-time bracelet winner with over $3.3 million in earnings, Nguyen’s success at the series is often accompanied by rumblings and allegations of cheating at points in his career (all of which he denies.) A player of all the games, four of his seven titles have come in a variant of Seven-Card Sud, the most recent of which took place in 2010 when he earned the bracelet and first-place prize of $394,807 in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship Event. His 95 WSOP cashes currently puts him seventh on the All-Time WSOP Cashes list. READ: WSOP Top 50: Huck Seed, Shaun Deeb, David Chiu Make Top 30 #19 - TJ Cloutier BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 6 70 $4,468,559 42 Poker Hall of Fame member TJ Cloutier has earned just under $4.5 million over the course of his nearly 35 years attending the World Series of Poker. Cloutier has six bracelets to his name, two of which he picked up in the same year. In addition to his six titles, Cloutier finished as the runner-up in five other bracelet events. He’s finished in the top 10 an astonishing 42 times out of his 70 WSOP cashes. Additionally, Cloutier plays all the games, earning a bracelet in Razz, Pot Limit Hold’em and three in a variant of Omaha. His most recent bracelet was back in 2005 when he took down the $5K No Limit Hold’em, one of the most difficult events of the summer, for over $657,000. #18 - Joe Cada BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 35 $13,102,334 9 Winner of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event for over $8.5M, Joe Cada has been a force at the WSOP for nearly a decade. He has four bracelets, two of which came in 2018 when he had one of the best years in WSOP history. Cada kicked off the 2018 series with his third bracelet in Event #3 ($3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout). Then he went on to his second post-Moneymaker final table, finishing in fifth place for $2.15M. Immediately after busting the Main Event, Cada register for, and eventually won, Event #75 (The Closer, $1,500 No Limit Hold’em) for his fourth bracelet and another $612K. "Joe Cada already has four gold bracelets and is coming off an incredible summer that had him contending for the WSOP Player of the Year award. When Cada won the WSOP Main Event in 2009, he was the poster boy of an online poker player. He's graduated to become one of the top tournament players we see at the WSOP and is someone who can be considered as legitimate a threat as any to win a bracelet each summer. Placing first and fifth in the WSOP Main Event in the post-Moneymaker era in nothing short of tremendous, and at just 31 years old, the sky is the limit for Cada at the WSOP." - Donnie Peters, PocketFives Managing Editor #17 - John Hennigan BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 44 $5,400,259 17 Five-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Hennigan is a master of all the games. As one of the most respected mixed game players, his most notable bracelet win came in the 2014 $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship. The PPC is an event that he has made the final table of three times, nearly taking it down again in 2018. The Poker Hall of Famer has also won titles in $2,000 Limit Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo (2002), $5,000 Limit Hold’em (2004), $10,000 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship (2016) and $10,000 HORSE (2018). Hennigan has over $5.4M in earnings since his first WSOP cash back in 1999. "JOhn Hennigan might not have triple digit WSOP cashes, but for my money, he belongs higher up on this list ahead of some players who do. He plays a very limited schedule at the WSOP and focuses most of his energy on cash games. But when he does come to the Rio and buy-in to an event, he's always a threat to go deep. Three of his bracelets came in events that elite level players hold in high regard: $10K HORSE, $10K Triple Draw 2-7, $50K Poker Players Championship." - Lance Bradley, Editor in Chief #16 - Johnny Moss BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 9 27 $4,385,499 27 Nine-time bracelet winner Johnny Moss was a player in the World Series of Poker from the very beginning. Back in 1970 the very first WSOP Main Event was not the tournament format it is today. It was a cash game where the title was awarded through a vote by fellow players and Moss was selected to win, not a bracelet, but the inaugural silver cup. The series changed to a tournament the next year and Moss went on to win the Main Event. He won the Main Event again in 1974. A fixture of the WSOP, Moss, a Poker Hall of Fame member, was a Seven Card Stud specialist, winning four of his nine bracelets in a Seven Card Stud variant. He was a fixture of the series right through to 1995, when he passed away at the age of 88. READ: WSOP Top 50: Brian Rast, Chip Reese, Dan Harrington Make Top 40 #15 - Mike Matusow BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 4 62 $4,014,593 21 One of the biggest poker superstars to emerge in the wake of the poker boom is Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow. The television cameras were drawn to Matusow’s overwhelming self-confidence and his seemingly non-stop table talk. Matusow has nearly $4M in career WSOP earnings and four gold bracelets spanning his 20+ year career. A threat in any game, Matusow has bracelets in No Limit Hold’em, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, No Limit 2-7, and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo. He’s made two Main Event final tables and finished in the Top 10 21 out of his 62 cashes. Stats aside, Matusow’s personality is equally important to the WSOP brand as his exploits dominated ESPN’s televised coverage for years. “Bold, brash, and extremely polarizing, Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow is the archetype of the heart-on-your-sleeve old school poker player who seemed to live and die on every flop, turn and river. His antics at the table drew the television cameras to him and it left an impression on every up and coming poker player who tuned in to see what he would say next. But the things is, he’s the kind of guy who talks a big game and then shows up to back it up. A premiere mixed game player, Matusow is a player, still to this day, is a final table threat in just about any tournament he enters.” - Jeff Walsh, PocketFives Senior Writer #14 - John Juanda BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 65 $4,736,040 36 Longtime live grinder John Juanda remains one of the most respected poker players in the world and much of that is due to his success at the WSOP. This year will be Juanda’s twentieth at the series where he’s accumulated over $4.7M in earnings and five gold bracelets. In 2003, Juanda scored two bracelets in the same year taking down Event #21 ($2,500 Limit Seven Card Stud) and Event #33 ($2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha). In 2008, Juanda won himself the WSOP Europe Main Event title for over $1.5M. Dangerous in any game he plays, each of Juanda's five bracelets was won in different poker variants. Equally impressive is Juanda ability to go deep in tournaments as he has made the top 10 in over that over half of his 65 WSOP cashes. "It really is amazing that more than half of John Juanda's cashes at the WSOP have resulted in top 10 finishes, and his five bracelets speak to the diversity of his skills as they come in five different games. Juanda has been a model of consistency at the WSOP for a long period of time. He may be a quiet, unemotional player, but his presence is one of the game's most powerful and he remains one of the most feared opponents at the table." - Donnie Peters #13 - Billy Baxter BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 7 35 $1,100,207 16 Deuce to Seven specialist and one of the WSOP’s earliest attendees, noted professional sports bettor Billy Baxter has earned seven World Series of Poker bracelets, five of which have come in the aforementioned game. Baxter’s first recorded WSOP cash back in 1975 and four of his first five recorded WSOP scores were for wins. He has continued to appear at the series for over 40 years, having gone deep in the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball event in 2018. Baxter’s longevity has helped him pick up 35 cashes and over $1.1 million in earnings. READ: Ranking the 50 Greatest Players in World Series of Poker History #12 - Allen Cunningham BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 69 $7,222,077 23 Allen Cunningham has quietly crushed the World Series of Poker since he first cashed in the series back in 1998. Cunningham has won five bracelets and over $7.2 million in earnings over 69 total cashes. His first bracelet came back in 2001 in a $5,000 Seven-Card Stud tournament. After picking up his third bracelet in 2005 and reaching three additional final tables that year, Cunningham earned himself the WSOP Player of the Year. He came back in 2006 to make the final table of the Main Event, finishing in fourth place for over $3.6M. Then, in 2007, he returned to capture his fifth bracelet in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. His 69 cashes puts him in the top 25 on the All-Time WSOP Cashes list. #11 - Scotty Nguyen BRACELETS CASHES WINNINGS TOP 10s 5 62 $5,899,247 25 One of the most iconic players in World Series of Poker is Scotty Nguyen, baby. Dubbed 'The Prince of Poker', Nguyen is a five-time bracelet winner with over $5.8 million in earnings and nearly an equal amount of historic televised moments on the felt. He took home the Main Event title in 1998 for $1,000,000 and followed that up with his infamous bracelet-winning performance at the 2008 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship (later renamed the Poker Players Championship) for another $1.98M. Nguyen’s flare and style combined with his poker prowess turned him into a poker celebrity the likes of which has endured to this day…baby. “There’s only one Scotty, baby. The only player to have won both the Main Event (1998) and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (2008, then called World Championship H.O.R.S.E.) Scotty’s WSOP results speak for themselves. But Scotty is a standout personality like none other - he fled Vietnam and came to the U.S., discovered poker and turned his skill into the American Dream. He picked up five bracelets (so far) along the way and he's won over a legion of fans with his trademark gold chains, loose table talk and the ability to end every sentence with ‘baby!’. Some may say the game has passed him by, but over $600,000 of his nearly $6M in career earnings came in 2018.” - Jeff Walsh, Senior Writer
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