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Brazil's Vivian Saliba Joins Elite 888poker Pro Team
As the youngest female player in the WSOP Main Event this summer, Brazil's Vivian Saliba naturally grabbed some air time.When the audience saw she was both vivacious and lively but also a very good player, she became the most searched-for name on the web’s poker databases. The meteoric rise into the poker public's consciousness has paid off as the 24-year old PLO specialist has now been signed to the burgeoning pro team at 888poker. From Brazil to the WSOP Despite her young age, Saliba clearly wasn’t as big of a rookie as some players thought. In fact by the time they hit the money spots of the Main Event Saliba had claimed her fifth cash of the 2017 World Series highlighted by an 11th-place finish in the $10k Omaha Championship. Prior to this summer's WSOP Saliba already had several cashes in events in her native Brazil, but it was this summer her career took off. She finished the WSOP Main Event in 421st place for another cash and has proceeded to conquer poker events in Europe since. She final tabled another PLO event at PSC Barcelona and finished 3rd. She returned to the European poker scene in October where she won the Ladies Event of the 888poker festival in London and then travelled to the King’s Casino in Rozvadov for the WSOPE. There she managed to score another four cashes including a 59th-place in the main event. “I couldn't be happier about joining the 888 Team,” said Saliba. “As a professional poker player, I always looked forward to a partnership. 888poker is one of the biggest poker companies and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. "I am ready to give 100% and see us both growing together.” "Everything We Believe In" Saliba has been playing on a professional level for about five years and at 888poker they think that she’ll be a great asset to the pro team. “Saliba represents everything we believe in here at 888poker, which includes having fun at the tables, talking to her fellow players and always wearing a smile while enjoying the game we all love.” “We at 888poker believe the poker world will be seeing a lot more of Saliba and we are extremely excited to have her on our team.” It’s a strong team she’s joining with Dominik Nitsche, Chris Moorman and Sofia Lövgren by her side but also a strong Brazilian presence with Bruno Politano, Nicolau Villa-Lobos, Bruno Kawauti and – sometimes - Denilson. Saliba brings a new, interesting element to the team as she’s a PLO player more than a NLHE player, representing a trend towards PLO that PokerListings recently reported on.  “I prefer PLO because there is way more action compared to Hold’em which makes it more enjoyable to play,” Saliba revealed. “A lot of players are new to the game and make many mistakes which is obviously good for me as a professional poker player.” Jump In with an $888 Bonus Would you like to take Vivian on in a game of PLO? She’ll be playing at 888poker on a regular basis from now on. Get your own 888poker account through the secure download links on PokerListings and play in great online tournaments or qualify for one of the many live events 888poker puts on around the world.Visit

Qualifier Marti Roca de Torres Wins 888poker WSOPE Main Event
A former teacher from Catalunya has won the main event of the re-invigorated World Series of Poker Europe and over €1,000,000 at the Kings’ Casino in Rozvadov.888poker was the main sponsor of this year’s World Series of Poker Europe and somehow they managed to provide the winner, too.  While established pros Maria Ho, Niall Farrell and Jack Salter were all at the final table it was the unheralded 888 qualifier Torres who claimed the glory. Qualifier Goes All the Way Spain's Marti Roca de Torres only had about $30,000 in tournament winnings before the WSOPE 2017 and none of his cashes came from a tournament win. Now he’s a member of the millionaires’ club. The WSOPE took place at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov this year (and will return there in 2019) and it had 12 tournaments on the schedule. The Main Event drew 529 entries which was just enough to break the €5,000,000 guarantee. With the King’s Casino now being the most successful casino in Europe it came as no surprise that numerous international stars flocked to the tables. That was reflected at the final table as well. EPT Monte Carlo runner-up Jack Salter, former BOM host Maria Ho and EPT Malta winner Niall Farrell all made it to that famous last table but they weren’t able to get a hold on the trophy. Instead, it was formerly unknown player Marti Roca de Torres from Barcelona who prevailed. de Torres was delighted, but also exhausted after the last hand was dealt. “I am more nervous now than before when I was playing. But for sure I am very happy and it is a dream come true. I don’t know what to say.” de Torres Finds Aces Salter finished the tournament in 7th place after losing two big hands to runner-up finisher Gianluca Speranza. It was the last elimination of the penultimate day. By this time many other big names had already busted out long ago – like Stefan Schillhabel (78th), Dominik Panka (76th), Will Kassouf (64th), Anatoly Filatov (55th), Pierre Neuville (53rd), Phil Gruissem (47th), David Peters (44th), Mike Leah (39th), Parker Talbot (25th), Rainer Kempe (22nd), Kristen Bicknell (18th) and eventually Kevin MacPhee (10th). Maria Ho came into the final as chipleader – with de Torres in 2nd place – and had high hopes of becoming the second female winner of a WSOP main event but then things went horribly wrong. First she lost two sizeable pots against De Torres and then she pushed all-in with pocket deuces against NFarrell’s open raise with jacks. Farrell called and won the hand. It propelled him into the second place of the leaderboard while Ho fell to last place. Her demise was the biggest hand thus far and, sensationally, it also cost the Scotsman Farrell his tournament life. Ho was all-in with A-J, Farrell found pocket kings and came along but then de Torres found aces in the big blind and took them both out. de Torres’ emotional rollercoaster de Torres moved into a huge chiplead then and for a while it looked like the other three players were only competing for second place. However, 4-handed play lasted over six hours and Gianluca Speranza, Mathijs Jonkers and Robert Bickley fought back and bit piece by piece off of Torres’s stack. In fact, de Torres was taken from first all the way to last place in the chip counts and, at that point, few people still thought he’d be able to come back. "For a moment I thought it's done. Then, for a moment it looked impossible. But finally I was growing my stack hand by hand. I tried to play hand by hand and don't think in the future," commented de Torres. de Torres hung in and after Bickley and Jonkers – who is the organizer of the Dutch Championship of Poker – bowed out, he came into the final as a rather short stack. Speranza had pretty much the opposite experience at this table, having been the short stack for most of the time, and he had a psychological advantage. But de Torres came back once again, took over the chiplead and eventually found a way to grind down his Italian counterpart. The deciding hand was – as ever so often – a coin flip: de Torres’ pocket fives against Speranza’s A-J. An ace on the flop and a five on the turn showcased the drama of this finale very well and de Torres, now with all the chips but two big blinds, won the tournament on the very next hand. Astonishingly, de Torres had won his ticket for the WSOPE Main Event in an online satellite. He played a €220 sub-satellite, worked his way up the levels and eventually won the tournament package. WSOP Europe 2017 Final Table Payouts Place Name Country Prize 1 Mati Roca de Torres Spain €1,115,207 2 Gianluca Speranza Italy €689,246 3 Mathijs Jonkers Netherlands €476,585 4 Robert Bickley UK €335,089 5 Niall Farell UK €239,639 6 Maria Ho USA €174,365 7 Jack Salter UK €129,121 8 Luis Rodriguez Spain €97,344 9 Stepan Osinovskii RUS €74,737 To play on 888poker and qualify for big live events, register through PokerListings on our 888poker review page.Visit

888 Reg Romeopro33 Extends Charity Challenge to Full $1m
In the mid-2000s, online poker "challenges" were all the rage.From bankroll building to hands played per hour/day/month, players were starting online poker challenges almost daily to show how big their edge was and how easy it was to make money online. Mind you, a lot of these players never made their goals and most challenges slipped by the wayside. Now, in the late 2010s, the nature of the online challenge has changed. And Ukraine’s top online player Roman Romanovsky is setting an example for how it should be done. Challenges in Challenging Times The general consensus these days is it’s not that easy to make a ton of money online anymore. Surely you're heard the phrase “everyone’s solid” by now. So why is at this time that Romanovsky -- aka “Romeopro” -- has started an official campaign playing the toughest online tournaments there are to raise $1 million for charity.  What drives a player to start such an altruistic poker challenge? Says Romanovsky: “My inspiration comes from the total mess in which the world is right now and the desire to fix it at least a little bit. "I feel bad for all the people who live in poverty, the refugees, all these kids who die under the age of five. It’s just very frustrating that in the 21st century we’re facing this. It’s ludicrous.” "You Can Save a Life In Africa for $5k" Few players seem to be able to see the bigger picture the way Romanovsky does. But there is a growing group, like the guys at REG, who strive to do something beneficial for society -- and for the weakest members of that society in particular. “I think [REG] is overall great. It’s basically the same as GiveWell. It’s the GiveWell version for poker players. "In general, these kind of aggregation charities that show you the possibilities on how to be the most effective are very important. For example, in Ukraine there are a lot of people who donate to helping cancer patients. On average the cost there is $100K.” “You can save a life in Africa for $5K, so you spend 20 times more on basically the same result. You can save either 20 people or children, or one person or child. It’s unfortunate that so many people are spending so much money ineffectively.” A Full Million Now the Goal When Roman started out last year he set $600k in profit as his goal with $400k of that going to charity. He started with a bankroll of $66.6k and didn't set himself a time limit. As you can see in the graph, he’s already there. So now he’s upped the target money to a full million dollars. It helped quite a bit that Romanovsky won the XL Eclipse High Roller this summer. Ending on a High Note The million might still not be the end of the challenge -- after which Romanovsky says he'll end the poker era of his life. “I updated the goal to make it $1 million. Maybe I will change it once again, but we will see next year. The maximum I’d change it to if things go well is $1.5 million profit, meaning $1 million would go to charity. After finishing the marathon, I’d essentially end my poker career and focus on how to make the world better.” Romanovsky truly is a remarkable player. And while the poker community hopes for him to achieve his goal, it's with mixed emotions because it would hurt to see a player like him leave the community. Join In with an $888 Bonus Do you want to take on “Romeopro33” and maybe contribute to his charity? He plays all the tournaments with $109 buy-in and higher on 888poker – plus some $55 tournaments. You can satellite into all these high buy-in events for as little as one cent so all you really need is an account at 888poker. Get all the information and your 888poker download here on PokerListings.Visit

Poker Wonderland: Win a Trip to PSC Prague from just 5.50
In the days before Christmas the Czech Republic’s capital will once more turn into the European capital of poker.PokerStars returns to Prague in December for its annual PokerStars Championship and you can qualify online.  It’s the last big poker event of the year and, among a slew of accessible low buy-in events, a €50k Super High Roller and the Championship POY finale are on schedule. 43 Events, Satellites from €5.50 The 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague runs from December 7-18 with a total of 43 events on the schedule. These are the most important ones in ascending buy-in order: €170 buy-in; PokerStars Megastack; Dec 15-17 €220 buy-in; Prague Poker Cup; Dec 9-11 €1100 buy-in; National Championship; Dec 8-12 €2200 buy-in; National Championship High Roller; Dec 11/12 €5300 buy-in; PSC Main Event; Dec 12-18 €10,300 buy-in; 8-handed NLHE; Dec 7-9 €10,300 buy-in; PL Omaha Championship; Dec 14/15 €10,300 buy-in; PokerStars Championship High Roller; Dec 16-18 €25,500 buy-in; NLHE 8-handed; Dec 13 €25,500 buy-in; NLHE; Dec 15 €50,000 buy-in; PokerStars Championship Super High Roller; Dec 10-12 There are online satellites in the PokerStars lobby for both the Main Event and the National Championship and they’re running 24/7. The direct satellites are tournaments for €215, €320, and €530 but you can satellite into them for as less as €5.50. There is one direct satellite every day. PSC Player of the Year PokerStars is hosting an internal ranking list to determine the best player in the Championships across the whole calendar year. Every PSC has its own leaderboard and the winner of each of them has received a full PCA prize package including buy-in, accommodation and travel costs worth $17,000. All seven winners of 2017 will play a one-table Sit-and-Go where the winner will take all -- and all here means $100,000! These are the players who’ve already won their seat: Name Won LB in Bryn Kenney Bahamas Chris Hunichen Panama Nick Petrangelo Macau Daniel Dvoress Monte Carlo Vladimir Troyanovskiy Sochi Koray Aldemir Barcelona Prague will determine the last of the seven contestants and the winner will enjoy the Caribbean Adventure in January. Among them will be a large array of international stars but they’ll have to pass by Team PokerStars pros like Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree, André Akkari, Marcin Horecki and now Prague local Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who’ve all announced their participation. Says ElkY: “There is no better way to end the poker year than playing poker on your own home turf. I’m really looking forward to the variety of high class tournaments that are on offer and, not to forget, getting to spend some time at the Christmas markets during the PokerStars Championship in Prague.” Cash Games Brimming As always the location of the PSC Prague will be the Hilton Hotel and cash-game tables will be brimming. Christmas markets are aces. In addition there’ll be a Players Party at the Cloud 9 club on December 11. As it's the last one of the year, expect some fireworks. If you want to take some time away from the tables you’ll soon find out that Prague is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. There are several Christmas markets in the city, all selling amazing local produce and all the Christmas accessories and souvenirs you can think of. Other than that there is much more to see in Prague than you can get through in a couple of days, from the Astronomic Clock to Charles Bridge to the Powder Tower to the Dancing House. Prague has been on the PokerStars premier events schedule every year since December 2007 and the main event will again be live streamed in seven different languages starting from Day 2. Register with PokerStars through PokerListings and win your own ticket to the PSC Prague or to any of the other numerous live events organized by the largest online poker operator in the world.Visit

Israel's Nadav Lipszyc Wins 2017 BoM Main Event for €200,000!
At a fast-paced final table that only lasted five hours, Israel's Lipszyc pushed through to take down the €200,000 top prize in his first big live poker tournament.In the last hand his pocket fours held up against the A-4 of runner-up Yaron Borenstein. The story of Lipszyc's journey to the Battle of Malta title is the stuff poker dreams are made of. Lipszyc, who said "99% of the players in this field had more experience than me," won a satellite in his hometown in Israel that gave him a full package for the Battle of Malta. He then cruised all the way through a field of 2,074 entries. It was the biggest field ever at the Battle of Malt and Lipszyc was stunned and overwhelmed when it was over. Channeling DNegs “I think that Daniel Negreanu entered my body and played for me," said Lipszyc in the aftermath of his win. “I can’t believe this was my own performance.” "I Don't Read Books on Poker" “All I did was play my instincts. I don’t read books on poker. I don’t study. When I play online, I play for one or two Euro. I came here with basically no money in my pocket. I barely had money for breakfast.” “You might not believe it but this is the first live event I’ve ever played except for the satellite. I’ve never known what I was really good at. I think I know it now.” It’s going to be difficult to top that, though, as the farm manager Lipszyc just won the largest prize the Battle of Malta has ever paid out - €200,000! Early Eliminations Nadav Lipszyc came into the final table as chipleader but, as the dynamic of a finale goes, other players did gain some ground. In this case it was Asbjorn Elvevold from Norway who turned into Lipszyc’s biggest threat. Elvevold eventually finished in third place. The final table was a duel between Israel and Scandinavia. Four of the players were from Israel, while the rest of the field consisted of three Norwegian and two Swedish players. While the Scandinavians are traditionally a strong force in the Battle of Malta, it was the first time that one country brought forth four of the last players. Fredrik Akerholt from Norway was the first player to go. He was looking for a double up with pocket queens that didn’t hold up against A-K of Borenstein. Back-to-back FTs for Hahnert Jonas Hähnert was next about an hour later. He was involved in the exact same situation, playing A-K vs the queens of Elvevold, but this time the queens won. Hähnert is the first player to make consecutive final tables at the Battle of Malta, which is probably the best performance there’s been at the BOM. Last year he finished in ninth place and this time he improved by one spot. Dor Adda, who’d been chipleader for a long time on Day 3, eventually bowed out in seventh place in the very next hand. He also lost a flip to Elvevold. The Final Six Norway's Per-Eirik Koi lost a big hand against Borenstein when he ran J-T into pocket aces and busted soon after. Borenstein continued his run as just another hour later, he found queens again and took out his fellow countryman Avihai Benshosham in fifth place. Wickstron out 4th. By then, it was Joakim Wickström who had shown the most resilience at the final table. He had started the day as the second-shortest stack but picked his spots wisely and won a couple of flips when he really needed to. His time had come, though, when he didn’t want to get pushed around by the big stack of Nadav Lipszyc and pushed all-in from the blinds with Q-Js against a button raise from the Israeli. Unfortunately, Lipszyc had A-K and called. The last Swede found flush and straight outs on the flop but nothing hit so Wickström finished in a very strong fourth place. The Top 3 With stacks of 7 million for Borenstein, 13 million for Elvevold and 30 million for Lipszyc we went to the top three spots. Borenstein was getting short and it looked like there would be a Norway-Israel final, but the poker gods had other plans. Nadav Lipszyc opened with Q-4 and Elvevold called with K-J. The board ran out A-T-8 --- K --- J, and while Elvevold found two pairs on turn and river, this became a runner-runner straight for Lipszyc. Third place for bjorn Elvevold. Elvevold couldn’t find a fold to Lipszyc’s push on the river and we had an all-Israeli heads-up. Lipszyc began with 42 million to Borenstein’s 8 million and although Borenstein managed to double up once, the end came fast. Borenstein took a stand with A-4 and Lipszyc called with pocket fours. No ace on the board and the sixth Battle of Malta main event had found a winner. Read all the details and bust-out hands of the BOM final table 2017 in the PokerListings live blog. You can find all the results and payouts of all Battle of Malta 2017 events on our results page. The High Roller final table is still running but all the results will be available within 24 hours. Battle of Malta Main Event Final Table Payouts 1 Nadav Patrick Lipszyc €200,000 2 Yaron Borenstein €132,000 3 Asbjorn Elvevold €98,000 4 Joakim Wickström €€74,000 5 Avihai Benshoham €52,000 6 Per-Eirik Koi €34,000 7 Adda Dor €24,000 8 Jonas Hähnert €16,300 9 Fredrik Ronneberg Akerholt €12,240 And this concludes the 2017 edition of the friendliest and – according to the European Poker Awards – best low buy-in tournament in Europe. We would like to thank everyone for coming, we congratulate the winners, and we’d like to invite every player who hasn’t been to the “BOM” to make the experience next year. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It took three days and almost 24 hours of sheer playing time to turn the largest ever BOM main event field into a table of just nine lucky finalists. Here's how it happened. Main Event Day 3 – Rapid Bust-outs 63 players started the penultimate day of the Battle of Malta 2017 and we expected it to be a slow race to the finish line. Instead, what happened was a bust-out bonanza and within just three hours we were down to the last three tables. But it wouldn’t stop there. An hour later we were redrawing for the last two tables and before 9 PM the final table was all set. As it turns out, it’s going to be a battle between Israel and Scandinavia. Men of the hour! Nadav Patrick Lipszyc is now the player to beat, as he leads the pack with 11.6 million of the overall 50 million in chips. His fellow countryman Avihai Benshoham is hot on his heels, and behind him two Norwegian players are looking for their chance to take over – Per-Eirik Koi and Asbjorn Elvevold. Incredibly, Jonas Hähnert from Sweden, who made the final table of the Battle of Malta main event last year and finished in ninth place, now has reached that table again! He’s sitting in sixth place with 2.1 million chips and now has to fade becoming the Mark Newhouse of the BOM. Newhouse famously finished ninth in two consecutive WSOP main events. Battle of Malta Final Table Players Place Name Stack Country 1 Nadav Patrick Lipszyc 11,590,000 ISR 2 Avihai Benshoham 10,720,000 ISR 3 Per-Eirik Koi 7,665,000 NOR 4 Asbjorn Elvevold 6,450,000 NOR 5 Yaron Borenstein 5,555,000 ISR 6 Jonas Hähnert 4,865,000 SWE 7 Fredrik Ronneberg Akerholt 2,520,000 NOR 8 Joakim Wickström 1,840,000 SWE 9 Dor Adda 1,745,000 ISR The finalists will receive the following prizes. Battle of Malta Final Table Payouts Place Prize 1 €200,000 2 €132,000 3 €98,000 4 €74,000 5 €52,000 6 €34,000 7 €24,000 8 €16,300 9 €12,240 The final table is set for 3 PM tomorrow. We will also live stream with a delay of 30 minutes. Check out the PokerListings live blog for details. Side Event News The second big event of the day was the €1320 Grandmaster High Roller event. 135 entries generated a prize pool of almost €160k. The tournament will play deep into the night and then finish off tomorrow parallel to the main event. The €245 “Siege of Malta” finished surprisingly early, as it was originally intended to be a 3-day event. It drew 560 runners this year, making it one of the largest side events we’ve had at the BOM. Eirini Kokoni from Greece took down the title and a healthy €30,000! She’s also the first female winner of an open event at the Battle of Malta. Congratulations! Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz made the money in the Deepstack Turbo tournament. It started with 259 players and then went down and into the money in just over 6 hours. Check out the daily BOM video below.   In the Money! Battle of Malta ME Down to 63, €200k to Winner! A blistering fast day today at the Portomaso Casino saw the field chopped from 414 to just 63. Over 130 players have been paid already. Get all the updates and latest stories from Day 1C here in our live coverage on PokerListings. Meanwhile, side events are selling out one by one ... Battle of Malta = Massive Poker Festival Since its inception the Battle of Malta has grown in numbers every single year. 2017 marks the year in which, for the first time, we broke the sound barrier of 2,000 players. Jonas Hahnert is deep again. That means that also for the first time there's over 1 million Euro in the prize pool - €1.006 million, to be exact. And there are over 50 million chips in play! Out of that million Euro prize pool the winner of this tournament will bag €200,000 on Tuesday when the Battle comes to an end. There are a few dozen players left who all have a shot at the biggest prize, but some have bigger shots than others. Top 10 Chip Counts Battle of Malta Main Event 2017 Soile Lerviks - the Battle of Malta's first Ladies event winner 1 Dor Adda 2,840,000 2 Valerio Città 2,495,000 3 Dominik Martan 1,740,000 4 Timmy Agius 1,680,000 5 Madav Lipszyc 1,650,000 6 Nuriaykutalp Yilmaz 1,530,000 7 Kjell Ingvar Johansson 1,515,000 8 Jon Satoen 1,355,000 9 Johan Goslings 1,460,000 10 Antonio Muscolino 1,355,000 Check back with us tomorrow when we play down to a final table of nine. These will be the payouts at the final table. 1 €200,000 2 €132,000 3 €98,000 4 €74,000 5 €52,000 6 €34,000 7 €24,000 8 €16,300 9 €12,240 The first side events played out as well yesterday and we have the first woman to prevail in an all-female battle. Soile Lerviks from Finland went all the way through a field of 74 players to take down the inaugural Ladies Event for €2,100. Meanwhile, heads-up finalists André Haneberg from Germany and Jakob Nielsen from Denmark decided not to battle it out to see who would win the “Win the Cross." André Haneberg - Winner of the Cross Instead, they ended the tournament on a truce that consisted of chipleader Nielsen getting the higher prize money of €3,965 while Haneberg received €3,675 and a proper Crusader’s trophy. Sunday saw the next side events kicking off and expectedly the “Siege of Malta” caught most of the attention. 560 players in the original BOM side event had the Spinola Suite bursting at the seams, and the winner will take home €30k from a prize pool of almost €120k -- not much less than the winner of the first BOM main event back in 2012. The Siege is a 3-day event but the PLO Knight’s Crusade also went down and well into the night. We’ll bring you the results later. 140 players jumped into the satellite for the High Roller event so we expect that to become the largest one yet as well. The Cap for the €1,320 single re-entry event is at 150 players. It could be the first time we reach it. Check back to our live coverage page where we’ll post news and updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out or video of Day 2 to get some impression of what it’s like to be part of the Battle of Malta. It's a Record! 2017 BoM Hits €1,000,000 Prize Pool on Day 1c Every single starting day of the BOM 2017 turned out to be the biggest yet and the magic moment came late in the afternoon. Cartarius is on to Day 2. The number of players ticked up to 901 for Day 1C and that meant we had the 2,001st entry registered for the main event. All the dealers available and almost all the tables in all three different tournament rooms were needed to accommodate them all, but everyone eventually found a seat. This also means that for the first time ever there’s a cool million Euro in the prize pool, and first prize might well be more than the full prize pool of the first Battle of Malta in 2012, which was €170k. Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz hit the table again, as did Norwegian model Linni Meiser and former champion Nicolas Proust. None of them made it to the end of Day 1 but German ex-champion Louis Cartarius, also on his second bullet, did. Him and Antoan Katsarov are the last two former winners who made it into Day 2.  The biggest stacks of the day, however, belong to the Italian players Lucio Bernardo and Gianluca Deledda. Chipcount Top 10 BOM ME Day 1C Changes might still apply. 1 Lucio Bernardo 364,500 2 Gianluca Deledda 338,500 3 Ola Peter Bremer 334,000 4 Yaron Ben Avi 308,500 5 Antonios Onoufriou 307,000 6 Uri Greeberger 305,500 7 Florian Schulze 305,000 8 Fabio Rubino 299,500 9 Yaron Borenstein 278,500 10 Timothy Agius 275,000 The overall chipleader is Valerio Citta from Day 1B with 438,000. Two side events kicked off on Saturday as well – the inaugural €100 Ladies Event and the €110 “Win the Cross” – we’ll bring you the results later today. The first of these are going tonight. 177 players tried to win the cross and the €4.3k that came with it but the bigger surprise was that 75 female players turned up to play the first Ladies Event in the history of the Battle of Malta. Saturday is party night, of course, and lots of players followed the call of the BOM’s official Players Party. Come Back for Day 2 With 414 players left to fight for the win, Day 2 starts on Sunday at 1 PM local time. There are over 50 million chips in play and they are all in one room now -- as is the next BOM champion. Sunday is also the starting day of the 3-day Siege of Malta, which is the biggest side event of the festival. There will also be the PLO tournament and the satellite for the High Roller event. Check back to our live coverage page where we’ll post news and updates. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out or video of Day 1C to get some impression of what it’s like to be part of the Battle of Malta.   Guarantee Reached on Day 1b Right from the start of Day 1b it felt like this could be another record year. With 600 players in Level 1 we only needed 80 to fill up the guaranteed half million Euro. Turned out there would be 180 more. This means for the first time we were able to get there before the last starting day. It was also a day where we found many players who had deep runs in the past. Last year’s Rising Star Silje Nilsen made a return to the BOM stage and delivered a good battle until she had her two-pair counterfeited in a big pot. Her successor fared a lot better. Espen Uhlen Jörstad is just back from a road trip along the American West Coast, where he learned that he was the SOPA “Rising Star” 2017, travelled to Malta, received a trophy and then started building a stack. It doesn’t look like he’s finished building yet. BOM Champion Louis Cartarius. Former BOM champion Louis Cartarius from Germany also returned and relished in being back where he once won the main event title. He couldn’t make it through the day, though, and we’re hoping to have him back tomorrow. Our host Gaelle Garcia Diaz also sat down to play today, but succumbed to the pressure that is the Battle of Malta. She’ll be back tomorrow for another introduction and another bullet. Former final tablists Uri Gilboa (2015) from Israel and Robert Sverre Eik (2016) from Norway were there just as Swedish player Jonas Hähnert (2016) and Anne Meri from Finland (2015). And then there was Valentin Messina, who’s achieved the rare feat of making the top 30 of the BOM twice, finishing second in the last EPT Malta and then made the final two tables of the WSOP main event this summer. Chip Count Top Ten Day 1B Valerio Citta 438,000 Joel Nystedt 395,500 Peter Cameron 347,500 Madon Lipszye 332,500 Angelo Patane 326,000 Mark Attard 317,500 Alessandro Picchieri 316,000 Martin Gudvangen 293,000 Yotam Bar Yosef 269,000 Vincenzo Dainotti 265,000 Also at the BOM The last Super Satellite went down tonight and added another 30 players to tomorrow’s Day 1c of the Battle of Malta main event. Meanwhile, 100 meters above us, the players who are off today celebrated the All-in Friday, a party located in the highest club and lounge on Malta on the 22nd of 22 floors of the Hilton Tower. Silje Nilsen. In addition to the main event, tomorrow will also see the first side events running in the Spinola Suite. Among the is our first Ladies event and the Maltese “Win the Button” variant called “Win the Cross” – it’s essentially the same, though, so get yourself a seat. Come back to PokerListings tomorrow when we answer the magic question of whether we can break the 2,000 player sound barrier, and check out the live coverage. You can also find us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Have a look at what happened on Day 1c in our short video of the day.   Rise & Fire! 2017 Battle of Malta Soars Again on Day 1a After 14 levels were put in the books for Day 1a just 68 of the starting 320 players were left with chips in their bags and hope for Day 2 on Sunday. All told it was another blistering start to BoM as the number of players rose again, a past champion returned and the first party kicked off, too.  Biggest Day 1a Yet If you missed our Day 1a Live Coverage, here’s a quick rundown of the most notable happenings on the first starting day of BOM #6. The official tally is 320 players for Day 1A which makes it the largest Day 1A since we added a third starting day to the main event in 2015. In 2016 the BOM grew to a new record total of 1,813 entries but just 271 of those came on Day 1A. The Katsman Cometh What does that portend for the total field this year? We’ll find out late on Saturday when registration closes on Day 1c. The Kats Comes Back By the end of the day the field had whittled down to just 68 players with Anthony Healy packing up the biggest stack. He'll have 254,00 to work with when he returns on Day 2. Veronese Stefano with 250,000 and Anita Kmiciewicz with 197,00 are also among the big stacks. Here's a look at the unofficial Top 10: Anthony Healy 254,000Stefano Veronese 250,000Marko Grujic 228,000Andrea Grandi 217,500Antonino Gassinaro 209,000Gabi Gabraiel 208,500Jonathan Tigell 203,000Mirko Willsch 202,000Anita Kmiciewicz 197,000Quentin Larique 193,000 One of our former champions was in the field today, too. Bulgarian Antoan Katsarov won the whole shebang in 2014 and he clearly hasn’t lost his edge since. He moved into the last level of play with about 100k and held steady to finish the day with 95,500. Norwegian Andreas Hoivold is now a veteran of the BOM, having played pretty much every year since its inception. Lately he's been more concerned with his health than poker, but he felt good enough to make his return today - even though it didn't quite work out for him. While he busted in the early levels today he'll still have his re-entry to use tomorrow or Saturday. We’ll Have a Mojito, If You're Pouring While late registration closed without any disappointed players left out and while the tournament moved past the dinner break, the Opening Cocktail Party took place in the Quarterdeck bar at the Hilton. Rising Star gets rewarded The Cocktail party was also the setting for this year’s Spirit of Poker Awards ceremony. Norway's Espen Uhlen Jörstad was on hand and collected his award as the Rising Star of year, courtesy of PokerListings readers. Per Hildebrand – the Living Legend of the Year – and Liv Boeree, the Most Inspiring Player, were also recognized. Day 1B starts at 2 PM tomorrow from the Grandmaster Suite and we'll be slinging up-to-the-minute updates at you over in the Battle of Malta 2017 Live Coverage section! Follow us on: Facebook Twitter and Instagram for more! The 3 Pillars of BoM 2017 This year the Battle of Malta has grown into a full-fledged poker festival with 9 different tournaments (including the Main Event, Siege of Malta 2nd Chance and Grandmaster High Roller), 4 player parties and more value than ever before. The main focus of BOM 2017 will, of course, be the main event. We’re staying true to the legacy of our signature poker event so the buy-in will stay at €550 with one re-entry allowed. We are also keeping the €500,000 guarantee for the prize pool - but if history serves that will be close to doubled. There are 3 starting days again this year – Day 1A on Thursday at 2 PM, Day 1B Friday at 2 PM and Day 1C Saturday at 2 PM. We’ll play down to the final table on Tuesday and it'll be accompanied by a cards-up live stream on an appropriate delay. Our signature side event - the Siege of Malta - is also back and is now a three-day event starting on Sunday, Nov 5, at 4 PM. Buy-in is the usual €220+€25. The Grandmaster High Roller runs on Monday/Tuesday Nov 6/7 and will have a buy-in of €1,320. Watch out for the High Roller satellite on Sunday, the day before the event, where 1 in 10 players will get a ticket to play. Side Events Galore Our growing list of side events now also includes the following: €330 NLHE Deepstack Turbo €220 PLO Knight Crusader €110 NLHE Win the Cross €220 IPC After Battle Turbo Battle of Malta trophies. Two brand new events are also in the line-up: PLAY2CARE Charity €165 Crazy Pineapple €110 Ladies Event By popular demand we’ve also brought back the Blackjack tournament and we’re raising the number of players to a cap of 25. If you want in, be early! Find the complete Battle of Malta event schedule here. All Tomorrow's Parties A major part of BOM has always been to ensure the players have a good time and with that good time usually comes a few adult beverages. In fact, at the Battle of Malta, there’s a party every day! Join us for the Opening Cocktail Party, All-in Friday, the Official BoM VIP Players Party, the Prosecco Breakfast, the Hilton Pool Party, and/or the Thirsty Barber Speakeasy Drinks. The party never stops if you don't want it to, basically. Check the full list of when and where the parties happen on the schedule page. By the way ... here's the weather forecast for BOM 2017. Feel free to compare with your place. Kudos to Liv Boeree, Per Hildebrand & Espen Uhlen Jørstad The winners of the 2017 PokerListings Spirit of Poker Award were announced last month and we'll have a SOPA award ceremony to honor them at BoM 2017. (Y)our winners: Liv Boeree – Most Inspiring Player Per Hildebrand – Living Legend Espen Uhlen Jørstad – Rising Star The 2017 SOPA Awards will be handed out during the Opening Cocktail Party on Thursday at the Quarterdeck of the Hilton. Gaelle Garcia Diaz - the new BOM host. Host of the ceremony (and the Battle of Malta) will be, for the first time, Gaelle Garcia Diaz. She’s been a player at BOM and now she’s taking over from Maria Ho as the host. Welcome Gaelle! it’s a pleasure to have you with us. And players ... please come and say hello to her. Battle of Malta Live Satellites As mentioned above there’ll be a Super Satellite to the Grandmaster High Roller event for €132+€18 on Sunday, Nov 5 at 9.30 PM. It’s capped at 100 players and it’ll be full, so ask at the reception soon to secure your ticket. We’ll also host last chance satellites to the Battle of Malta Main Event. The satellites run on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7 PM downstairs in the Portomaso Casino. The buy-in will be €55+€5, and 1 in 10 players get a ticket to the main event. Again, the number of players is capped for each of the satellites, as there is limited space available, but we’ll give you a chance to re-enter and register late. Prepare for battle. It is nigh.Visit

888poker Pro Dominik Nitsche Wins WSOPE One Drop, 3.4m!
The €111,111 One Drop at the 2017 WSOP Europe was the highest buy-in WSOP event of the year - even bigger than the one in Vegas because of the currency difference.The title is coming home to 888poker Team Pro. Dominik Nitsche, one of the longest-standing poker ambassadors for the brand, took down the elite-field event over the weekend to claim almost €3.5 million, beating Andreas Eiler in an all-German heads-up. Star-Studded Field 88 players registered to play and with 44 re-entries, that meant 132 total entries and a prize pool of just shy of €13 million. Just under €1 million was raised for the One Drop charity. Even Fedor didn't make the money. It was by far the highest class field of this year’s WSOPE with names including Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess, Benjamin Pollak, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree, Bertrand Grospellier, Phil Gruissem, Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe, Sam Trickett and Ole Schemion. And those are the players that didn’t even make the money. There were 20 spots ITM and Vladimir Troyanovskiy was the unlucky bubble boy after Charlie Carrel hit a straight on him on the river. Carrel would later finish in 9th place but outlasted Daniel Pidun, Jack Salter, Bryn Kenney, Christopher Frank, Nick Petrangelo, Eugene Katchalov, Koray Aldemir and eventually Kenny Hallaert in 10th place. At that point Christoph Vogelsang held a massive chiplead with more than 60 million chips equalling 25% of the chips in play. Martin Kabrhel and Ahadpur Khangah followed Carrel to the rail and then luck ran out for Vogelsang, who finished in sixth. Mikita Badziakouski was the only one of the five remaining players whose native tongue isn’t German. It took just 90 minutes to eliminate Steffen Sontheimer, Thomas Mühlöcker and Badziakouski and then there were just Nitsche and Eiler left to battle for the title. Runner-Runner Surge Eiler started the heads-up as the chipleader but Nitsche quickly surged ahead when he hit a runner-runner flush against Eiler’s pair of aces in just the third hand of the finale. Nitsche crushed the heads-up and moved into a 5-1 chiplead within 90 minutes before Eiler managed to double up. But it was Nitsche’s night, the cards fell his way, and he played them well. Less than two hours after heads-up play began Nitsche had all the 264 million chips in front of him. WSOPE One Drop Final Table Payouts 1 Dominik Nitsche €3,487,463 2 Andreas Eiler €2,155,418 3 Mikita Badziakouski €1,521,418 4 Thomas Mühlöcker €1,096,206 5 Steffen Sontheimer €806,758 6 Christoph Vogelsang €606,694 7 Ahadpur Khangah €466,121 8 Martin Kabrhel €366,762 9 Charlie Carrel €295,131 "I Think I Played Perfect" The champion appeared to be extremely pleased with how he handled this tournament. Picture perfect. “A lot of time recently that I put into playing was heads-up cash games, specifically," Nitsche said. "So I felt extremely comfortable all the way through. Maybe a little bit three-handed was not the strongest part of my game, and Mikita is one of the best in the world at that, so I wasn’t the strongest player there.” “But I felt as good a player as Andreas Eiler, who played fantastic. I felt like I was the strongest player at this point. And I felt like I made no mistakes at all. "I think I played perfect. There was no bet size, no fold, anything that I would change in hindsight. That’s why I’m happy.” It’s the fourth WSOP bracelet for the young German which puts him in on par with Mike Matusow, Huck Seed, Max Pescatori, George Danzer, Tom McEvoy and Amarillo Slim, to name just a few. Still, the bracelet isn’t the most important thing for Nitsche. And it’s not the money either. “It’s not about the bracelets for me, mostly. It’s about playing really well. I’m more proud of how I played rather than that I won. […] "The bracelets are nice, but the bracelets show me that my hard work pays off. I’m not the kind of guy to go trophy chasing. I’m more the kind of guy to play in a high roller because I love competing against the best.” Nitsche is a member of the 888poker pro team and plays regularly on 888poker. If you want to play there, too, get your own account through the PokerListings links on our 888poker review page.Visit

Springtime in Sochi: PokerStars Brings Championship Back
In March 2018 the PokerStars Championship will return to Sochi, Russia, for the second time.While PokerStars just had an event in Sochi in October, that one was part of its smaller buy-in festival series.  The main event attracted 699 players to the dazzling resort on the Black Sea and spearhead of Russian poker, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, finished second. This time around it'll get the full championship treatment and the main event will have a guarantee of €2.2 million (RUB150 million). Springtime in Russia Not everything about the upcoming PSC schedule has been publicized yet, but here's what’s already official. The full Championship schedule will take place March 20-29 with the main event scheduled for March 23-29. The main event will have a buy-in of €2,830 (RUB192,000) and a guaranteed prize pool of €2.2 million. This is the lowest buy-in for a PokerStars main event in their premier tournament series since Season 1 of the EPT. Re-Entry, High Roller Included PokerStars has added the clause “single entry per starting day," which leaves some room for interpretation, but likely means that players who bust on Day 1A will be allowed to re-enter on Day 1B. There will be a High Roller event for €9,000 (RUB617,000) with a single re-entry. A PokerStars National Championship with a €975 buy-in (RUB66,000) and a Sochi Cup for €280 (RUB19,000) will also run. The location of the event is the Sochi Casino and Resort in Estosadok Village, which is Russia’s most popular holiday resort. Second PSC in Sochi PokerStars hosted a PSC in Sochi last May with the buy-in then twice what it will be now. The main event guarantee was also the same RUB150 million. The main event didn’t reach the guarantee which meant the players got to enjoy quite an overlay. There were 387 players in that main event, which means that this time PokerStars will have to attract more than twice as many to reach the 150 million. Things went well for Vovtroy last time. There were several reasons why the first PSC didn’t have the turn-out it was supposed to. The event was scheduled relatively late, and it was moved to the end of May after the PSC Monte Carlo and to a time when many players were already on the way to the WSOP. Also, it was the third new destination on the new PSC calendar after Panama and Macau in March/April, which probably was a bit too much travelling even for professional tournament players. For 2018 the schedule has been scaled down and the PSC Sochi has hence become more accessible. It is now scheduled for the end of March, meaning that it’ll take over the spring slot from the events in Panama and Macau. Prague next! PSC Schedule First Half of 2018 Although there hasn’t been an official finalization for the first half of the 2018 PSC schedule, it’s very likely going to look like this: January 6-14, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Paradise Island, Bahamas. (NOTE: The last direct satellite runs on November 5!)  March 20-29, PSC Sochi, Russia May 2018, PSC Monte Carlo On the immediate horizon is the PSC Prague, running December 7-18. You’ll shortly find more information here on PokerListings. PokerStars is the largest online poker operator in the world running thousands of tournaments on all buy-in levels every day. Find out more on our PokerStars review page. You’ll also find secure download links there to start you own poker career in a matter of minutes.Visit

Last Week to Scratch for $100k with 888poker Action Squad!
More than 60,000 players have already won cash and prizes in the daily Action Squad tournaments on 888poker.But there's still plenty of cash left to be had. All this week the 888poker Action Squad is giving away $10k every day and a shot at a daily $100k prize. The final $10,000 Ultimate Hero Freeroll runs this Sunday, Nov. 5 but in the meantime get your hands on extra cash through a trio of high-value freerolls. Fast Fold, 4-Max & Super Turbo Mania There are three different types of Action Squad freerolls but they all have one thing in common – they’re lightning fast. It's a Blast. The freerolls are called Blast Man, Turbo Warrior and Captain Snap and you can read in detail how they work right here.  Every Action Squad freeroll has a prize pool of $3,000 and the top 888 players receive a scratch card to give them even more chances of winning great prizes. On top of that there’s a Daily Power Up Freeroll that has a prize pool of $1,000. You need tickets to play in any of these, but it’s never been easier to get them. All you need to do is spin the Wheel of Fortune that will automatically pop-up once you start your 888poker lobby. You can spin once a day and you will win tickets if you keep on trying. We’ve tried it; it works. Action Squad Schedule Name Date Time Captain SNAP Daily 16.10 CET Turbo Warrior Daily 20.10 CET Blast Man Daily 1.10 CET Power Up Daily 23.10 CET Ultimate Hero Nov 5 21.30 CET Scratch for $100,000! The Wheel of Fortune can also provide you with Power Scratch Cards and Super Power Scratch Cards. They're the same you can win in the Action Squad tournaments. Power Scratch Cards are nice, while Super Power Scratch Cards are amazing. Power Scratch Cards can win you tickets to the $10,000 Ultimate Hero tournaments and cash bonuses up to $1,000. Super Power Scratch Cards are the ones that give you the chance to win the ultimate prize of this promotion - $100,000 in cash straight into your 888poker account. To sum things up: Action Squad freerolls let you win money and scratch cards Scratch cards let you win money and tickets Wheel of Fortune gives you all of the above In short: you can’t lose. Time is of the Essence! The Action Squad promotion only runs for a few more days and all the freerolls will end after November 5. If you haven’t taken your shot at the $100,000 main prize, do it now. Get in the game! If you still have a couple of freeroll tickets in your lobby (which you do if you play regularly on 888poker) go ahead and use them in the freerolls.  888poker is the second-largest online poker site in the world and runs big, high-value poker promotions for low-limit players in particular. To be eligible to take part in these promotions get your own 888poker account. Learn more and get started through our 888poker review page, where you’ll find all the information you need and safe download links to install the 888poker software and access our $888 sign-up bonus.Visit

888poker Raises $90,000+ for REG to Help Battle Malaria
The poker world has a long history of charitable giving but in recent years, more and more young poker pros have made an extra effort to contribute something meaningful to society.Of those who have made the decision to "give back to the world," many have done so through donating a percentage of their wins to the Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charity. REG is an organization co-founded by poker pros Phil Gruissem, Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree that's dedicated to Effective Altruism - meaning maximizing the benefits to at-risk populations via the most effective donations. 888poker has jumped in to the cause as well and, this year alone, generated $100k in contributions to REG via tournament fees collected during the XL series. 888poker Directs XL Funds to Combat Malaria For the inaugural XL Inferno tournament series back in March, 888poker decided to raise money for REG so declared it would donate all the fees from three major tournaments of said series. Gruissem: Seen first-hand how much of a difference it makes. That generated $50,400. During the following XL Eclipse series 888poker repeated that initiative with another three events for charity and gathered another $40,825. So, with just a few online poker tournaments, 888poker managed to collect almost $100k and contributed it directly to the Against Malaria Foundation, which is one of the institutions REG supports. And if you’re wondering what they money went to, in the case of the AMF it was something as simple as mosquito nets. That might not sound like much, but every year more than 700,000 people die from malaria and a mosquito net costs but $2.50. With the money raised by 888poker during the XL series, almost 40,000 people can be provided with mosquito nets -- meaning that they can protect themselves and their children, the most vulnerable victims of this disease, for the next 2-3 years. 888poker collaborates with REG REG was founded in 2014 and has since raised more than $3 million for its various causes. Its founders mentioned above, along with Stefan Huber, have all committed to an ongoing donation of a percentage of their winnings. Since, many others have joined. If you check the REG website their main ambassadors are listed as WSOP champion Martin Jacobson, Erik Seidel, Cate Hall, Justin Bonomo, Christopher George, George Danzer and John Juanda. World champ Jacobson also on board. All of these personalities are involved in all sorts of charitable activities, some of which are directly connected to poker and thus easily accessible for the poker community. This summer, for example, Liv and Igor won the Tag Team event at the WSOP. The teams were allowed to have four members so there were four bracelets for the winning team. Liv and Igor put the two spare bracelets on eBay and collected a sales price of $10,200. That’s $10k for charity that didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t cost anybody anything and didn’t even involve any work. Phil Gruissem once told PokerListings that being a poker player and putting his talent to work making money through the game was the way he was 'most useful' in the world. He also compared it to one of the teachings of Buddhism. “Buddhism says giving will make you happy. I agree with that a lot.” All you have to do is play! You Can Contribute, Too If you play on 888poker you can also support these kinds of important and effective charitable institutions just by playing. The next XL series - the XL Blizzard series starting in January - will have more REG Chip In events which you can play and contribute your fees to a great cause. Create your own 888poker account by downloading the software securely from PokerListings’ 888poker review page. You'll have an account up and running within a few minutes and get access to our exclusive $888 bonus.Visit

X-Ray, Intel Rank High with Pros for Power Up Success
PokerStars’ new Power Up game went live last week and is now running smoothly with $1, $3 and – since October 20 – $7 buy-ins.Power Up features several “super powers” added to regular No-Limit Hold’em that let you control parts of the gameplay, your hole cards and even those of your opponents. The game was first introduced at PSC Barcelona last August and we spoke with the Director of Innovation, Severin Rasset, about it. Meanwhile, the members of Team PokerStars have been eager to try Power Up out and have a few suggestions about its best weapons. X-Ray & Intel, Obv. It appears that there’s one power – out of 9 total – that resonates particularly well with the pros. Given how successful they are in the regular game of No-Limit Hold'em, you might want to pay attention to it when you play Power Up yourself. Igor Kurganov, Jeff Gross, Jason Mercier, Felipe Ramos, Jamie Staples, Adrienne Rowsome and Mikhail Shalamov were the pros asked for their first impressions of the game and their answers were revealing. Three out of 7 opted for X-Ray -- the power to see one of your opponent's hole cards at random) as the one power card they like the most.  Mercier picked X-Ray because it “seems like a huge advantage and should make it very easy to make decisions throughout the hand.” Shalamov agreed, saying it’s “always easier to play against your opponent when you know 50% of their holdings." Rowsome raved about X-Ray’s ability to “reveal so much about your opponents’ hand and there is nothing they can do about it." There's something about seeing more cards than other players that PokerStars pros consider to be more valuable as Intel -  which let’s you peek at the top card of the deck - proved to be the second most popular power in this group. As Jaime Staples explained, it "gives you a sick advantage while the your opponent is still blind." Kurganov agreed and adds “having certain information, or as certain as it gets in Power Up, is a very nice advantage – more so than getting to shuffle the cards." Upgrade & Clone Have Their Fans 2017 Most Inspiring Play nominee Jeff Gross says he prefers Upgrade, " as being able to obtain an extra card and then combine two of the three is a very nice advantage to have.” 2016 Most Inspiring Player winner Felipe Ramos, on the other hand, is known to be excitable and for having his own views on things. He picked Clone as his preferred power: “Imagine if you could clone anything in your life … you can in this game!” Avatars, as Expected, are Personal Another feature of Power Up is that get to pick an avatar to represent you at the table. All the characters depicted have different background stories and playing styles, although they don’t actually have any effect on the game. So you can either pick your personal avatar to describe your own style or you can pick your avatar to hide it and mislead your opponents. Or, of course, you can go the Jason Mercier way, who decided on Sora Hamada not just because Hamada has strong memory and a short attention span, but also because “he has facial hair." Hamada is the only avatar that two of the PS team pros considered their favorite as Jeff Gross also said Hamada’s memory skills and focus weaknesses reminded him of himself. The other favorites of the PS players: Jaime Staples – Hitch Reider Mikhail Shalamov – Arlo Shank Adrienne Rowsome – Shayu Jyn Igor Kurganov – Charlotte Nagy Felipe Ramos – Miles Legend If you want to know more about the natures of the different avatars, check in on Power Up in the PokerStars lobby. You’ll go through a short tutorial before you get started to learn all you need to know to play the game. If you don’t have a PokerStars account yet visit our PokerStars review page where you’ll find links to download the PokerStars software securely and get yourself a $600 bonus.Visit

24 Books Not About Poker That Will Make You Great at Poker
At his peak, David Beckham was the richest sportsperson of his era. The Manchester United/Real Madrid/England star was the icon for millions of people of all ages - a truly global star. Can you imagine Beckham turning up for training, drinking a can of Red Bull, a razor in one hand, and a rusty can of shaving foam in the other? Do you think he had football genes enabling him to turn up and play - no training, no advanced learning, no need to reach peak fitness, no dietary considerations, no brand awareness, no business acumen -  and he was that good? So why do so many poker players think they can sit down in the local library, read a few poker books by Dan Harrington and hey, presto!? No Room for Troubled Joints There has been a shift in power within the higher echelon of poker; gradual, but it's there. To win millions today you need to be a well-oiled machine. There is no room for frozen joints and troubled minds. It's time the casinos began erecting signs of poker boom players in wheelchairs leading to the exit. The education of the new breed is different. Sure, they work on the technical aspects of their game, harder than anyone else. But they find their edge in the work they do away from the tables. The hard work is in the smoothie ingredients, the posture of the downward-facing dog and the 40-minutes of daily transcendental meditation. They have Silicon Valley savvy, they draw business plans on the blackboard using the finest chalk and they exist in the most fulfilling, loving and spiritual relationships. If you want to join them, here are 24 books that will help get you there. 1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield Steven Pressfield hammers home his points with a minimum of fuss. You will finish the book during your morning poo. The War of Art is a tale about resistance and how it constantly tries to cripple us. Poker is art and resistance is everywhere in poker.  Also try Turning Pro and Do The Work.  2. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene At times this book can feel morally incomprehensible. But it’s perfect for the cutthroat world of poker. Law #3 Conceal Your Intentions. Law #4 Always Say Less Than Necessary. Law #5 So Much Depends on Reputation - Guard it With Your Life. Get the picture? 3. Deep Work by Cal Newport Knowledge is power in poker but how you accrue knowledge is critical. Don't lie in bed watching RunItOnce training videos until you fall asleep. Focus on one thing and devote 100% of your attention. Distractions are a hum that will reverberate around your life until something cracks.   4. Meaningful by Bernadette Jiwa If you want to be a professional poker player you need to learn about marketing and branding. If you don't want to be a pro but you want to sell some action, or get backing, you still need to learn about marketing and branding. Bernadette Jiwa is a genius in both areas. Also try: Marketing: a Love Story, Difference and Hunch.  5. It’s Not What You Sell It’s What You Stand For by Roy M. Spence Here is another fantastic book on marketing and branding. Roy M. Spence shares his personal experience working with some of the world’s most profitable businesses during his time at the ad agency GSD&M. Learn how the very best cultivate the right brand story and create your own. 6. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy This book is designed to get you to see that eating meat is an invisible, violent and dominant belief system called Carnism. It makes this list - not for that purpose - but for the way it teaches you to look at the world more philosophically. Thinking about the way the world works is a skill that is often overlooked by poker players and yet all the top poker players have this skill. Also, try watching Okja on Netflix.  7. Doing Good Better by William MacAskill Poker has become one of the most charitable sports in the world. In recent years, Raising For Effective Giving (REG) has made it cool for young poker players to donate to effective charities. If you want to know why people like Martin Jacobson donated over a quarter of a million dollars to charity, let the founder of Effective Altruism tell you all about it.  8. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg The poker world is full of vices. Addiction lies not only within the core structure of the game but on the periphery in the form of drugs, alcohol, and expensive food bills. Learn to understand why we do the things we do so that you can make a more informed decision next time. 9. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance Elon Musk comes across as a right dick. But deep down, his empathy is so far beyond what we can comprehend; it's invisible to us. He is a man making billions of dollars so he can change the world in ways people haven't even considered. Poker players looking for greater meaning in life can learn a great deal by using Elon Musk as their poster boy. 10. An Astronauts Guide to Life by Chris Hadfield There are two reasons why this book is perfect for poker players. The first was Chris Hadfield's desire to be an astronaut at a time when no Canadian had ever been in space and then making that dream come true. The second reason is Hadfield's continual preparation and management of risk. When you are living millimetres from death, you always have to figure out what can go wrong and how to adapt. This should be one of poker's 10 Commandments. 11. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns Even those amongst us who have won 14 WSOP gold bracelets can feel a little depressed or unworthy from time to time. The pressure gets to us and, the next thing you know, you're calling cage fighters moronic motherfuckers. David D. Burns is the Gandalf of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and this book is a brilliant way to diagnose and fix a variety of different mental disorders that will prevent you from reaching your true potential. 12. The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz What are your Primary and Secondary choices in life and how do you make them? Have you made a Fundamental choice in life; and if so, in what direction will it take you? Robert Fritz teaches you that The Path of Least Resistance is the one containing the most footprints but it's not the one that you want to be taking. 13. E3 by Pam Grout Pam Grout's thought experiments are both fun and insightful. Think of the number ‘222' and it shall appear. Do you want to see rabbits? You'll see them everywhere? Based on the theory of the Law of Attraction this book is less hocus pocus and more about the power of positive mind and visualizing what it is you want in your life; WSOP bracelet, anyone? Also try E2. 14. Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal You should give this book to every person who doubts that you can make a difference in the world by playing poker. Jane McGonigal is a gaming expert who believes that games have the power to change the world. As a poker player, you will learn a great deal about how you can add deeper meaning to the time you spend on the felt. Also try SuperBetter. 15. Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse Who doesn't need a little help organizing life? Poker players need to play, study and spend time with those they love. Kevin Kruse asks the billionaires, Olympic athletes, top-grade students and some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world for their productivity tips. The only problem is where to start implementing all the strategy. 16. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren If you aren't religious, then this book may be a little difficult to stomach, but stomach it. If you can push aside the religious tone of the book and focus on Rick Warren’s message, there is some great advice on how to find meaning & purpose in life. As a poker player, whose sole purpose is taking money from people, it will help. 17. The Here And Now Habit by Hugh G. Byrne Fedor Holz didn’t create Primed Mind because he was bored. Holz believes that the edges in the game now come from places other than the game and mindset is on top of that list. The Here and Now Habit is the perfect portrayal of mindfulness and how you can implement it into your life to help reduce stress, anxiety and tilt. 18. The Liver Cleansing Diet by Dr Sandra Cabot Playing poker is a dangerous pursuit if you don’t look after yourself. Casinos aren’t renowned for the best haute cuisine in the world and even Jake Cody lives on Pot Noodles when in the midst of a Sunday online grind. The Liver Cleansing Diet teaches you the importance of maintaining a tip-top liver and you will also lose a lot of weight in the process. 19. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez Money is fuel and you can't play poker without it. You need solid bankroll management skills to become a great poker player and why this book stands out is because of the way it uses your time as a financial metric. How many hours of your life are you willing to sacrifice playing poker, learning about poker and talking about poker? This book hits home the importance of prioritizing how you spend money. 20. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden Paul Arden's classic is another one of those books that you can finish during a trip to the loo. It's short, sharp and concise. It's witty and thought provoking.  If you want to persuade people to buy something from you - whether that's a bluff, pieces of action, or your brand - then this book is a delight. 21. Results by Jamie Smart Every poker player has blamed external forces for their failures in the game. The deck, the idiotic fish who can't play, or the stupid dealer. Jamie Smart is a student of Sydney Banks and the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. It's a perfect book for a poker player looking to find clarity through all the noise. Results help you realize that all of your feelings come from thought in the moment, a powerful lesson for a poker player. Also try Clarity.  22. People Skills by Robert Bolton How often do you see someone selling communications training for poker players? And yet, isn’t that what the game is all about? Robert Bolton helps you to communicate with people both verbally and non-verbally better than anyone, in particular, his advice on how to manage conflict.  23. If The Buddha Married by Charlotte Kasl Poker can be a very time-intensive pursuit that doesn't leave you much time for the special loved one in your life. If you find that time at the tables, or financial difficulties, is having an adverse impact on your relationships, Charlotte Kasl's book is a great way for you to resolve your issues. 24. Tribes by Seth Godin All great poker players will confirm that the most exceptional education in poker is talking shop with other great poker players. But how do you do this? Where are they? Why would they listen? Fedor Holz became one of the greatest players of his generation because of the support of his tribe. Martin Jacobson won the 2014 WSOP Main Event because of the support of his tribe. You are already a part of a tribe. You are a poker player. Learn how to cultivate and create more intimate tribes through this fantastic book. ------------ Now it’s your turn. What non-poker book would you recommend?Visit

BillyBon8 Sees Double, Germaxii Maxes ROI on 888poker Sunday
There was a new Sunday Major in the 888poker lobby this past weekend.Dubbed The Great 8 it’s a $88 buy-in tournament played 8-handed with 8,888 starting chips. Low buy-in players might recognize the format as it echoes the popular 8-8-8 event – a daily event with an $8.88 buy-in that regularly draws 500-700 players and gives them plenty of room for deep-stack play. The new Major certainly agreed with Russian player BillyBon8, who swept to victory in the first Great 8 to top a weekend where he also won the Baby Whale. Double for BillyBon8  Last year BillyBon8 had an amazing couple of days on 888poker in November. He first won the Lightning 6-Max and then 48 hours later won the Crocodile. Moorman in contention as always. This time around, he won tournaments simultaneously. For a player to take down two tournaments on one day is a rare feat but BillyBon8 did it again in the new Great 8 and the biggest Sunday Major, the Baby Whale. There were 582 entries in the Great 8 including 888poker pro Chris Moorman, who finished 51st, but BillyBon8 was the last man standing. That was worth almost $9k, but he didn’t stop there. BillyBon8 also prevailed against the strong player field the Baby Whale always has. 888poker pro Parker Talbot, for example, finished in 24th. At the final table BillyBon8 survived highly profitable players like DonkMaster99 and eventually both Jans Graftekkel Arends and Simon Isildur1337x Mattson, who finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Overall the $320 event had 378 entries to generate a prize pool of $113,400. 888poker Baby Whale Final Table Payouts Place Name Prize Money 1 BillyBon8 $23,190.30 2 Isildur1337x $17,010 3 Graftekkel $12,814.20 4 WorldIsOurs $9639 5 Ineedmassari $6577.20 6 samuelbt $5103 7 saiyajin1337 $3969 8 lrdvoldemort $2835 9 DonkMaster99 $2154.60 Germaxii Maxes Out Despite BillyBon8 being a double winner, the player of the weekend was arguably Argentinian player germaxii. The former XL Eclipse winner had six tournament cashes this weekend -- four of which were final tables. Germaxii is now at 24% ITM rate and 135% ROI for this year. Impressive stats and proof that playing online profitably is still possible. The Action Squad wants you! Daily Super Hero Freerolls! It's difficult to make deep runs in tournaments but 888poker will give you plenty of chances to make one yourself - for free. Three different Super Hero freerolls run daily with $3,000 prize pool each and you can win tickets to play in them just by spinning the wheel when you open your 888poker lobby. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time; It will work and you’ll get plenty of tickets. There are also Power Up freerolls with $1,000 prize pools and once a week there's an Ultimate Hero tournament with a $10,000 prize pool. To play in that one you just have to make the top 888 in any of the Super Hero freerolls. More about the Super Hero freerolls here.  To kick-start your poker career, create your 888poker account by downloading the 888poker software from our 888poker review page. If you do, you'll also get up to an $888 bonus.Visit

Poker Hand of the Week: Smart Jungleman Outsmarted
Dan Cates turned his online nickname, "jungleman12," into a full-on poker brand when he clearly dominated poker whiz kid Tom Dwan in the second durrrr challenge.Since then Cates has become renowned as one of the best cash game players around. When he came to play on the new Poker after Dark he had to face players like Ike Haxton, Doug Polk, Jason Koon and Brian Rast and it proved to be a tough test. One of the most exciting hands of the episode was, however, a hand between Cates and Matt Berkey. It didn’t go exactly to Cates’ plan. A Little $300/$600 Among Friends The game is $300/$600 No-Limit Hold’em and Berkey just put in a straddle of $1,200. Cates is in first position. He sits with $321,000 – way over 500 bb – and finds     Cates raises to $3,000. Haxton gets out of the way and Rast ($71,000) calls from the button. Polk and Koon fold and Berkey ($355,000) calls from the straddle. There'd $10,500 in the pot and they go to a       flop. Berkey checks and Cates bets $5,000. Rast calls and Berkey raises to $25,000. Cates calls and Rast folds. There's $60,500 in the pot and effective stacks are $296,000. The turn is the   Berkey takes the lead and bets $30,000. Cates calls. There's now $120,500 in the pot and effective stacks are $266,000. The river is the   Berkey slows down and checks. Cates bets $97,000 and Berkey thinks about it for several minutes. Evntually, he calls reluctantly and shows     Berkey wins a pot of $314,500. Analysis What a hand! The run-out is quite different depending on the perspective you take. We’ll take both. Pre-flop, Cates opens with the second best hand in NLHE. His raise is standard and exactly 2.5 straddles. He gets two callers: Brian Rast has pocket tens but Matt Berkey’s call with Q-5o is on the loose side of calling here. Yes, Berkey gets great pot odds. And because of the deep stacks he has the chance to take down a huge pot with a hidden monster – if he flops trips fives, for example. It takes a lot of chutzpah to call out of position with such a poor hand like Q-5 when you’re up against Brian Rast and Dan Cates. But there are even more astounding things to come in this hand as we’ll soon see. Betting is the Obvious Play The flop Q-9-7 might be rainbow but it opens up several straight draws. Berkey checks his top pair to the initial aggressor, who doesn’t need long to c-bet his overpair. Betting is the obvious play for Cates here. He wants to get money from every queen and straight draw as well as from a hand like Rast’s tens. Rast calls indeed and now Berkey goes for a surprising move. He check-raises top pair, which is a move usually a weaker player would make. Why does he do that? It’s a dubious move as Berkey is basically turning his hand into a bluff. There really aren’t many hands that call his raise and don’t beat top pair, weak kicker. On the other side, the board is draw-heavy and goes very well with his perceived drawing range. So he’s putting himself in a position where he might be able to represent a straight and make better hands fold by the time they get to the river. But maybe his predominant motivation here is to balance his check-raising range for this spot, so that he doesn’t only raise with monsters like sets or with semi-bluffs like J-T, but also with top pairs. Holding an overpair to the board, Cates is unwilling to go away. So he doesn’t only call the flop-raise but also the turn bet. The Donkey End of the Straight The 6♥ doesn’t change much except one reasonable draw has come in – T-8 – while 8-5 can be excluded here with almost certainty. Berkey bets half the pot, but he has so many bluffs in his range that Cates can’t lay down his pocket kings. Already here on fourth street you can see how fierce high stakes games are but the river turns everything on its head again. Berkey finds himself at the donkey end of a straight -- meaning he has the low end to a four-card straight on the board. Would you check or bet? Many weaker players would lead out here but Berkey is smart enough to do the right thing, which is check. It’s highly unlikely that a weaker hand like a queen or an overpair would call him here but Cates might well have a hand like J-T, so Berkey would be crushed. Brilliance denied. The Brilliant River Bluff Cates bets 80% of the pot and that move is nothing short of brilliant. With the action that's happened he’s aware that his kings might not be good anymore, but he sees the chance to represent something much bigger – big enough to make two pair and even sets fold. Let’s compare Berkey’s range and how it plays against Cates’ bluff bet on the river. Remember he still holds a pair of kings. top pair hands worse than his are going to fold two pair hands like 9-7 or Q-9 as well as sets with 7-7 or 9-9 better than his will fold more often than they call hands with a 5 better than Cates’ kings will fold some of the times Overall, the bet clearly gives Cates positive expectations about the outcome. Also, by checking the river, Berkey has capped his range as he would certainly bet a ten or better. Cates’ bet makes a lot of hands better than his fold. Look at how difficult it is for Berkey to even call with a 5. He takes ages to make the decision. How did he finally make that call, you ask? Cates’ body language might be one factor, as it’s not very confident. But the main point is certainly that Berkey believes Cates is good enough for a bluff like that. He’d probably have folded to a weaker player. Conclusion Now we know why Matt Berkey can call a pre-flop raise out of position with Q-5. His post-flop game is good enough to make it profitable. Dan Cates played the hand beautifully. He just tried to bluff the wrong guy.Visit

Newcastle's Bowers Breaks Big at 888Live London Festival
With its accessible buy-in and relaxed atmosphere, many poker players came to the recent 888Live London festival just for the experience.For Newcastle's Jonathan Bowers, it was a chance to break through into bigger and greater things. Bowers was a student when he started playing poker back in 2013. He acquired his first live poker experience at the Circus Casino where he played plenty of low-stakes tournaments. He went on to take a job as a data analyst but his idea of a career, at least since he turned 18, was based around poker all the time. “I just got the bug right away," he says, "and it just went from there.” Time to Make the Leap Bowers played dozens of under £50 tourneys at the Circus in 2013 to hone his skills before he moved on to bigger buy-ins. He also met his now-girlfriend through poker and they now travel and play together -- although they try to avoid each other at the table. About eight months ago Bowers eventually (and after a lot of hesitation) quit his job while his girlfriend Beth put her medical studies on hold. They went to Malta first where Jonathan finished 11th in the MPNPT main event. They then went on to Sin City itself where Bowers managed to clinch a first big cash when he finished 2nd for $15k in a $400 tournament at the famous Aria. “It Was a Risk, but it Paid Off” Bowers got lucky. Dropping out of a day job to pursue poker full-time has been the demise of many a poker player. But it worked for him. After travelling to Malta and then spending three month in the US, Jonathan and Beth came back to England and ventured out to play the 888Live festival at the Aspers Casino in East London. Bowers registered for the £2,200 High Roller event against players like 888poker pro Chris Moorman, the most successful online tournament player of all time. Bowers made it to the final table and finally found himself playing heads-up against Jamie Lunt. Lunt prevailed and took the title but Bowers earned the highest pay check as he ahead in chips when they agreed on a deal. Travel just one of the perks of pro poker. Bowers came out of that tournament with around €40k in his wallet and it looks like he’s not going to go back to his old job. “I don’t miss early mornings," he says, "and getting up to work 9-5s at all.” Still Down to Fate Jonathan and Beth's living costs are comparatively low as, when they’re not on the road, they live with Beth’s mom -- a rather unusual lifestyle for a poker pro. Beth will at some point go back to University and finish her studies but she hasn’t made a decision yet. But she finds some surprising parallels between poker and medicine. “You use all the knowledge you have," she says, "but still it is down to fate if you win or if the patient gets better.” $888 Bonus Awaits 888poker offers a wide range of online poker tournaments and cash games. It also hosts plenty of live events and you can qualify for them online 24/7. To get in the game, you simply need to get yourself a personal poker account. Download the 888poker software via one of the secure links on our 888poker review page and you'll instantly get access to a world-best $888 sign-up bonus.Visit

PCA Qualifiers Off to Big Start, Power Up Re-Powered
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will be the big kick-off event to the 2018 poker year and last weekend 100 players were added to the main event field.The first of two Ultra Satellites for the 2018 PCA ran on Sunday and not only did the top 100 win full PCA prize packages, they reaped the rewards of a $500,000 overlay. While 1,906 entries equaled just over a million dollars in buy-ins, the 100 guaranteed packages were actually worth $1.5 million to make for an extra level of value. Ultra Satellite #2 Runs Nov. 5 All 100 winners received a full $14.8k prize package that covers the $10k Main Event buy-in, hotel, $1,000 in cash into their PokerStars accounts and 1,000 in hotel credits to spend at the Resort. Door to Atlantis still wide open. With that kind of value out there, you're likely wondering how you can get in on it. Thankfully you haven't missed your window. A second Ultra Satellite will run on November 5 with the same $530 buy-in and multiple ways to qualify. There's no guarantee of an overlay again, of course, but it's still a good idea to put the date in your calendar. There are lots of sub-satellites to the Ultra Satellites all this month but also plenty of alternate ways to win a 2018 PCA package outright. PCA Spin & Gos and Cash Game challenges are also running. Overall there will be over 400 online qualifiers in the PCA main event field this year which is the highest number in years. Nov. 5 is the date when all qualifier promotions for the PCA come to an end. More details here.  Power Up Powered Up Again Last week PokerStars went live with its new game Power Up but it had a few teething issues. Due to a bug the Power Up games were the only ones shown in the mobile lobby when certain filters were used -- although the games weren't affected. Powered up again. PokerStars Head of Communications Lee Jones published an official statement to explain the issue. PokerStars has since resolved the issue and Power Up is back in the lobby and running fine. At the moment games are offered with $1 and $3 buy-ins but a bigger buy-in range is coming soon.  If you want to try Power Up but feel a little intimidated, note that there's a guide to how to use the powers of Power Up. Every Power Up player has to go through the tutorial before playing a Power Up hand. The tutorial is just two minutes and quickly gives you a grasp on how to use the powers correctly. Want to give it a go? Create a new PokerStars account via or download link to access it all along with a $600 bonus. Our review page will also give you all the information you need about the biggest online poker room on the internet.Visit

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