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Win a $30k Platinum Pass for $25k PokerStars Championship!
The two hottest topics at the ongoing PokerStars Championship in Prague this week?The return of the “old” PokerStars tournament brands and the introduction of a new high-roller event that will change high-roller events as we know them. Yes, PokerStars is bringing back the iconic European Poker Tour and its other regional brands. On top of that the new $25k Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship will be a pinnacle event for the poker "everyperson." EPT, APPT, LAPT are Back! It’s been called a “controversial subject," but it really wasn’t. Long live the EPT! When PokerStars announced the end of the EPT brand at what was called “the last EPT ever," we couldn’t find a single player who thought is was a good idea – at least not one who wasn’t wearing a PokerStars patch. Although it was understandable that the market leader in the world of poker was trying to find a more universal approach to live poker, the decision to eradicate the most powerful brand in poker outside the WSOP was met with skepticism. Exactly one year later things are going back to where they were. The European Poker Tour brand is back and so is the Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour. All the stops haven’t been officially announced but Sochi, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Prague will definitely be on the EPT schedule for 2018. The New PokerStars Players Championship The new “Players No Limit Hold’em Championship” is by far the biggest innovation of the week and PokerStars isn't holding back in promoting it - $9 million added, anyone? What to know about the new Players Championship: It's a $25,000 buy-in tournament played live for the first time at the PCA in January 2019! There will be $1,000,000 added for first place. There won’t be any rake But that’s not all. PokerStars will add another $8 million of value in hopes of making the inaugural PSPC a smashing success. 300 Platinum Prizes to Win! “Platinum Pass” is the title that’s been given to the prize packages that include the buy-in, hotel accommodation and travel expenses. Every Platinum Pass has a value of $30,000. Over the course of the coming 12 months more than 300 Platinum Passes will be given away. And as one of the main goals for the Players Championship is for it to be an event for all players, the majority of these passes will be given away at random. You can win a Platinum Pass by simply playing in online or live events as well as in cash games. Now and again a table will be singled out and one of the players will be given a Pass. There will also be Platinum Passes in some of the Stars Rewards Chests. Not all the Passes will be just handed out randomly, though. Winning a large online tournament – let’s say in the Micro Millions, the WCOOP, or the upcoming Winter Series, can get you a Platinum Pass. If you’re going to play live at one of the following events – the Italian Poker Open in Italy, the PSL in Macau, the PCA, or the PokerStars Festival in London - you might also be the lucky winner of a Platinum Pass. Fun begins in Bahamas! Note: There will not be any special satellites for the PSPC! 5 Platinum Passes at 2018 PCA The first two Platinum Passes have been given to the two players who simultaneously bubbled the PSC Prague Main Event. “We’ll carry on with giving five Passes away at the PCA," said PokerStars ambassador Daniel Negreanu to PokerListings. “Then we’ll do something for the WCOOP, for the SCOOP, for Deepstack events like $11 tournaments. It’s going to be a wide spectrum of people and it won’t be based just on winning.” “The Platinum Passes are giveaways; they’re free, there’s no money that you need to risk to get one. It’s based on participation, it's great value for everyone and it’s a tournament that nobody wants to miss.” You shouldn’t miss it either so get your own PokerStars account through PokerListings and start playing now!Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Win a $15,855 Package This Sunday for Blockbuster 2018 PCA!
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has always been more than just a poker festival.As the kickoff to the poker year for the past decade it’s been a celebration of the game, a celebration of hard-earned camaraderie among grinders (both live and online) and, truly, a celebration of the poker life. As PokerStars has revealed over the past few months the 2018 PCA will return with a bang this January -- and you still have a chance to be a part of it. Return to PCA of Old PokerStars has revamped the 2018 PCA festival with, among other things, a return to the original $10k buy-in for the Main Event. It also added a number of promotions to enable as many players as possible to make the trip to the Bahamas. As of this past weekend hundreds of players have already qualified online for the main event and this coming weekend will see the last chance for a lucky few to book their seats on a plane and in the Main. The main way is to grind through the final Main Event direct satellite. This is a $530 NLHE tournament that will run on December 17 at 2:35 PM ET/8:35 PM CET. Depending on the number of buy-ins a number of top finishers will all get 2018 PCA packages. Packages are worth $15,855 apiece and will get you the ME buy-in, full accommodation, travel expenses and pocket money. 5 Levels of Satellites There are also five different levels of satellites you can enter to make it to that direct qualifier. They run with buy-ins of $109, $55, $16.50, $5.50, and $1.10. There are a lot of them in the lobby under the live events and/or satellites tab. But there is also a side way to the PCA. You can find it in the Spin and Go area of the lobby. Play the $27.50 buy-in level and they have surprise prizes from $55 tournament tickets all the way up to a full $16k PCA prize package. “I will tell you from my own experience," says PokerStars Team Pro Felipe Ramos, "because that’s how I started to play in live events. Play the $530 satellite. This gives you a real shot at the prize package.” “Try to satellite into the direct qualifier with a buy-in according to your bankroll, so you have several shots. Try the $55 or even lower, any of these gives you a realistic chance.” Get your own PokerStars account through PokerListings. Check out our PokerStars review and download the poker software from there. $50k Player Giveaway PokerStars has also added some additional prizes for anyone to win. Win a share in the $50k Player Giveaway, for example. This is a lottery giving away $5,000-$20,000 to six different players at the PCA. Every time you enter an event before the end of Level 1 you’ll get five tickets. There are more tickets to be won by making the money or finishing on the bubble. The buy-in level has no influence on the number of tickets you get. You can also get them by getting certain hands in cash games.  At the end of the adventure there’s a $50k Freeroll awaiting you! Everybody who enters any PCA event is eligible to play for the $50k prize pool. The freeroll runs on January 14. If you make the final table of any official PCA event you’ll add an iPad, a GoPro, a digital camera or something similar to your prize. There’ll be even more rewards and promotions live on-site and you’ll even get the chance to meet sports icon Usain Bolt and Hollywood comedian Kevin Hart.  A Poker Trip to Remember The 2018 Caribbean Adventure takes place January 6-14 with 30 events including, of course, the main event. But the Atlantis Resort is no ordinary poker location. You’ll stay on pretty much a private island that has white-sand beaches, pools and a wide range of water slides at your disposal - some of which are not for the faint-hearted. The Atlantis is a maritime museum, a beach club, an international food court, a whole collection of bars and a big casino that can get as busy as some on the Strip in Vegas. It WILL be something you’ll talk about for many years after. Don't miss your chance to experience one of the iconic events in poker by creating a new account here.Visit www.pokerlistings.com

#SnowDay: Brace Yourself for 11-Day XL Blizzard on 888poker
34 must-play events. A $1 million Winners promotion. Online satellites starting at 1c.888poker will dominate the online poker scene again this January with the 3rd instalment of its revamped poker festival schedule. This time around it's the XL Blizzard Series, which helps kicks off the online poker year in 2018 and follows in the trailblazing footprints of this past year's XL Eclipse and XL Inferno.  Key Dates This is the first-ever XL Blizzard series and a tight 34-event schedule has been planned from January 18-28. It's a pare down from the 200-event smorgasbord of the Eclipse and Inferno but still offers a variety of games and big guarantees.  Some key events to look forward to: January 18: $109 Opening Event, $80,000 guaranteed January 20: $88 Crazy Eights Event, $50,000 guaranteed January 21: $160 Tune Up, $200,000 guaranteed January 23: $2,100 High Roller Event, $250k guaranteed January 28: $1,050 Main Event, $1,000,000 guaranteed Expect to see 888 pro Vivian Saliba in deep in the PLO. 888poker wouldn’t be 888poker if there wasn't a ton of added value and this time there are some big incentives for both winners and the unlucky. 2018 Main Event Package for CoC Winner Once again there will be a leaderboard across the tournament series and the top 50 ranked players will meet again in a "Best of the Best" tournament. The winner of this special invitational will receive the dream prize for every poker player – a WSOP main event ticket plus travel and hotel expenses for the 2018 World Series in Las Vegas. The second- and third-place finishers in the Champion of Champions event will also travel to Vegas and play the $3,000 Crazy 8 Event. All finishers up to 40th place will receive online tournament tickets for $1,050, $600 and $55. $1,000,000 to the Winner of Winners! Players who manage to win two tournaments in the XL Blizzard will receive an extra $1,000 into their poker account. Anybody who wins three Blizzard events will receive an extra $10,000. If anybody can win four events they will get $100,000 and, in case there is someone so good they win five, it’ll grant them an additional $1,000,000! 2018 WSOP awaits! One player – Kaktus26rus – took down three events during the XL Eclipse so while it's clearly a tough task, it's not unreachable should a bit of run-good come your way. Bubble of Bubbles Tourney If the run-good isn't on your side in this one there's something for you, too. As a very nice consolation prize 888poker will invite all the “bubble boys” to play in a special tournament whose winner will still make it to Las Vegas next summer to play the $3,000 Crazy 8 event. The other final table players will get tournament tickets for $160 and $55. For new players, the "bubble" is the last spot in a tournament that doesn’t pay out money. 3 Seats to the Main Event Every Day! To get into the XL Blizzard Main Event you can use the 888poker steps system and climb your way up the hard way by starting at level 1 for just one cent. Satellites on now! However, to celebrate the first of these winter festivals, 888poker is giving away three seats to the ME every day! The freerolls are in the lobby under the XL Blizzard tab and they run daily at 7:30 PM GMT. Every freeroll has three $1,050 main event tickets up for grabs. All you need to do is make a deposit and use the promo code blizzard10. You’ll find three tickets to the freerolls in your account just hours later. Create your 888poker account with the help of PokerListings. Check out our 888poker review and download the software to access our huge $888 sign-up bonus and exclusive freerolls!Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Dom & a Spanish Cinderella: Get Briefed w/ Kara Scott & 888
November has been quite a month for poker.Poker circuit stalwart Dominik Nitsche won the WSOPE One Drop High Roller for his biggest career score. Spaniard Marti Roca de Torres, a former teacher, turned €250 into a €1.1m WSOPE main event win. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - he of the famed leather coat and cowboy hat and Full Tilt Poker scandal - won the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Award. Pennsylvania also became the 4th state to regulate online poker in the United States. It was a busy four weeks and 888poker ambassador Kara Scott breaks it all down for you in the latest edition of The Poker Brief. Online Poker Makes Progress in US Pennsylvania is the now the fourth state where online poker has been regulated and legalized again. The other three states are New Jersey, Delaware and, not surprisingly, Nevada. This is another – albeit small – step in the right direction. There are 12 brick-and-mortar casinos in Pennsylvania and it’ll be interesting to see which will be the first to step into the market by co-operating with online poker operators. Jesus an Unpopular POY The King’s Casino in Rozvadov played host to the WSOP Europe for the first time and will also be the host of the next edition in 2019. New banner incoming. What was supposed to be a great marketing coup for the now-largest casino in Europe was a little overshadowed, however, by the outcome of the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year race. The winner was Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Having taken the lead of the table in the summer Ferguson wouldn’t miss the European finale of the race. He cashed in five more events and even won one of them for the sixth WSOP bracelet of his career. Ferguson was one of the co-founders of Full Tilt Poker and previously was one of the most popular poker players in the world. However, his involvement – or to be exact, his alleged involvement in the major Full Tilt scandal turned that reputation on its head and many players frowned upon seeing Ferguson race to that prestigious title. That’s probably going to get worse next year when Ferguson’s face will be hanging from 5m high banners at the Rio for everyone to see. Nitsche Wins 4th Bracelet in One Drop High Roller Rarely has there been a better decision for an online poker operator than to sign Dominik Nitsche.  The German poker nomad proved his skills in both his poker game and his ambassadorship when he took down the $111,111 WSOPE One Drop for $4 million, which is the biggest cash of his career. Nitsche liked to point out that the money isn’t the most important thing for him and he’s one of the few players from whom that actually sounds like a credible statement. But let’s not forget that the most important thing of that tournament is the money raised for charity and this event collected another $1m for Guy Laliberté’s One Drop initiative. The Spanish Cinderella Marti Roca de Torres is the newest WSOP Europe champion. The former Economics teacher had been playing professionally for a while but hadn’t left any particular marks. That changed last month when he prevailed in the Main Event field at the WSOPE in Rozvadov. Roca earned his main event entry through a €250 satellite on 888poker so his story more than just echoes Chris Moneymaker’s. We’ll see if his achievement will trigger a similar development in Spain but one thing’s for sure – he didn’t have it easy.  Other players at the final table were former BOM host and “Last Woman Standing" in the WSOP main event, Maria Ho, EPT Monte Carlo runner-up Jack Salter and Scottish poker champ Niall Farrell who also took down the €25k High Roller event to complete his live Triple Crown. Jump In with an $888 Bonus If you want to be part of December's headlines check out our 888poker review page, download the 888poker software and get started. You'll get access to our exclusive $888 sign-up bonus and weekly/monthly freerolls just for PokerListings players.Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Espen Uhlen Jørstad: "I Think There is a Beer for Everyone"
Winner of our 2017 Spirit of Poker Rising Star Award, Espen Uhlen Jørstad is a man of many talents beyond poker.Among the many skills of his we learned about in a previous interview, though, there was one in particular that sparked our interest. Not only does Jørstad have a Bachelors degree in Food Science, he took it all the way to the next level and graduated with a Master's degree in Brewing Science. Master of Brewing Science So he knows how to make - and recommend - great beers. That's something we needed to learn more about. PokerListings: Can you tell us again how you became interested in beer, especially as a profession? Espen Uhlen Jørstad: I was studying food science and technology at university in Norway. We studied things like meat, dairy products and beer, and the different ways you can work with them. I did my internship in a Norwegian brewery where I met a lot of beer geeks, obviously. (smile) They're not interested in drinking beer to get drunk - they won’t drink a 6-pack of Heineken just for the sake of it. Instead they'll just drink one or two better beers, enjoy the experience and discuss the flavors, etc. It was a bit of a revelation for me because until then I had never considered beer that way. I found it very interesting. IPA brewing at Norwegian Craft brewery Waldemars Brygghus. PL: Then you were a process technician in a Norwegian brewery. What exactly is that job? EUJ: First, I finished my Master’s degree and wrote my thesis for that brewery. Basically, my thesis was about creating a new beer for the brewery, trying out all the different flavors, recipes and so on. First you have to pick what beer style you want to create, then you do research about what the characteristics of that style are. For example, we picked a blonde ale so we studied the appropriate characteristics -- the foam, the aroma, the bitterness, the color, the alcohol content it should have, etc. And then from there you work backwards to figure out how you can fulfil these criteria. For bitterness and aromas you work mostly with the hops; for alcohol you need sugars, which you get from the malts. In some beers it’s appropriate to use added sugar like for the Trappist monasteries ones. But most beers you find in the supermarket that have added sugar are cheaper, lower quality ones. In addition to deciding the ingredients and which malt you want in which amount, you also need to figure out how long you mash the malt with water, how long you should boil it, the temperatures … You then also decide how much residual sugars you want for more sweetness or more alcohol. And then yes, I became a process technician. I was pretty much the brewmaster’s assistant. I was working on a lot of projects in the brewery and in the lab with microbiological, chemical and sensory analysis. It’s actually very scientific in a lab with a white coat and all! (laughs) PL: You preferred to work on your own after that and started a craft beer business. So why in Budapest? EUJ: When I started my Master’s degree with a few friends of mine the plan was always to create our own craft beer business. But the microbrewery market in Norway was totally saturated; there was at least one new microbrewery opening every week, it was crazy. We actually see the effect today with a lot of them going bankrupt. So we decided to avoid the Norwegian market. "Hungary was a good starting point for us." We looked at other markets and it so happened that my partner knew someone in Budapest who already had a microbrewery. This was a good starting point for us to work on our recipes and brew them from there at first. I also had a Hungarian girlfriend at the time, who was living with me in Norway, and obviously she was very excited about moving back to Hungary. Craft beer was still really new in Hungary at the time so it was a really fresh market for us. PL: How did it go? You told us previously you put the project on hold because of poker. Where is it now? EUJ: Right now we have a dormant webpage, we have some recipes ready and we have a logo, but that’s about it. We did produce one beer, a stout with vanilla and coffee. It was a special Christmas beer with 9% alcohol content; very dark, called Baltazar. I think it’s still in production because it was co-produced with my partner’s uncle’s brewery. PL: What is the secret of a good brewer? EUJ: That’s a good question. I think it’s just about not being scared to try and fail a lot. I can’t say it’s all about creativity because that’s just not true. Obviously it helps if you drink beer, because you know the flavors and you know the market. You know what’s trendy at any given time. Most of the brewers I admire, the ones that are recognized for their knowledge, it’s all because they’ve been on the market for 20 years and they have tried and tried and tried again. They know exactly what will happen if they increase the temperature of the mash by two degrees, let the brew boil for 20 minutes more or if they add or subtract a certain hop or malt. PL: What is the most important thing you learned about beer (and which people maybe don’t know about)? EUJ: I would say that people should try a lot of different beers. Craft beer is still minor in a lot of European markets, maybe 1 or 2% of the market, so I would advise people to try craft beers. Mass-produced beers are lagers basically all tasting the same with only minor variations. So go out and try some different beers, find the craft bars in your town and sample various styles. Ask the bartender; he will guide you in the right direction and then you’re hooked. (laughs) PL: Can you tell us more what you call the “microbreweries and craft beer culture?” Where it all began. Bathroom floor homebrewing during college. EUJ: The culture is all about the experience and the flavors, finding new flavors, aromas, exploring different sensations, discussing and, of course, the people. Most beer geeks write notes, rate beers on apps, go to festivals to discover new beers … it’s a really interesting community. PL: What is your favorite type of beer? Your favorite beer? And the best beer you ever drank? EUJ: It depends a lot on where I am and what the time of the year is. If I’m in Malta and it’s 35° outside, I will not be drinking a barrel-aged imperial stout with 12% alcohol because it’s too heavy. I’d rather have a Heineken to be honest. (laughs) More seriously, in summer I like Belgian sour beers or lighter IPAs, refreshing beers. In winter in Norway, in front of a fire place watching a movie, I’d prefer a darker beer like a stout, a porter or maybe a barley wine. If I really have to pick one beer that got me interested in beer at first, which I found different, I’d pick the beer #500 by a Norwegian brewery called Nøgne Ø. It’s an imperial IPA with 10% alcohol and five different types of both hops and malts. It’s very complex and it has lots of interesting flavors, it’s really delicious. But other than that I can’t pick a “favorite.” I’ve had so many “perfect” beers it’s hard to find one that really stands out. Still, here are a few of my favorites that you can find in Europe: #1:  Oude Kriek – Sour beer with cherries from legendary Belgian Brewery Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. #2:  Spresso – Imperial Espresso Stout from London-based brewery Beavertown. #3:  Yang – Double IPA from New York-based Danish brewer Evil Twin. Sampling some great US beers. PL: Do Norwegians drink lot of beer? EUJ: Yes, but still much less than the big beer-drinking countries like Czech Republic, Denmark or Germany. If you look at statistics we are far behind our neighbors in Denmark for example. (laughs) Also alcohol in Norway is so heavily taxed that buying a Norwegian beer in Sweden would be half the price compared to buying it in Norway. In Norway craft beer became really popular only about 5 years ago while in Denmark it’s been happening for at least 9 years. And then even more in the US. I think in the US craft beers represent 20% of the market, then about 7% in Denmark and almost 5% in Norway. But in Europe everything is still pretty new and overall I’d say that most of Europe is way behind. In the US home brewing became very popular in the 80s when it got legalized and this lead to microbreweries, then competitions, etc. They have some of the best beers in the world. For example San Diego, California, and Portland, Oregon, are two of the best beer cities in the world. Even some of the best “Belgian-style beers” are from the US. PL: Any Norwegian (or Scandinavian) beer you would recommend? EUJ: I can give you my three favorite Norwegian beers: "#500 is the beer that got me interested in beer. Complex, delicious and perfect." #1:  #500 – Pretty much flawless Double IPA from Norway's biggest craft brewery, Nøgne Ø. #2:  La Shaman Aztec Stout – Delicious dry stout brewed with smoked chipotle chilli peppers, habanero chilli peppers and raw cacao beans, from new school superstar brewery Austmann. #3:  Tasty Juice – Super fruity and fresh New England-style IPA from Stavanger brewery Lervig. PL: Do you feel the view on beer has changed? And that it is seen more and more as a gourmet thing like wine? EUJ: Wine always had the image of the fancy drink and beer a more “rowdy” drink. But I think it’s changing a bit now because beer is just as complex and interesting as wine and the flavor spectrum is very wide. I think there is a beer for everyone. When people tell me they don’t like beer I always tell them they just haven’t found the beer they like. Beer is everything from fruity beers like lambic or Belgian krieks to 60% alcohol ice-distilled beers that you drink in cognac glasses. PL: Can these still be considered as beers? EUJ: It is still technically a beer if it is brewed with barley and yeast and water and hops. Same goes for the ice-distilled beers even if you can discuss if it’s maybe more a liquor. Basically they freeze it in a machine, scrape away the ice, freeze it again, over and over… The brewery that got famous from brewing this first was BrewDog from Scotland with their dark beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin which is 32% ABV. They also have a 41% ABV quadruple IPA, super hoppy. It tastes like a pure hop cocktail basically. Those are very interesting beers. PL: Which is the best beer to drink while playing poker? "There's a beer for everyone. Try!" EUJ: Alcohol-free! (laughs). But if you really want to drink alcohol I’d suggest one that is light in alcohol, like a berliner weisse or a pale ale. No more than 3-4%! At least if you want to win. If you just want to have fun then it doesn’t matter. (laughs) PL: Did you know there's a beer from Colombia called poker? It’s a lager produced by Bavaria, one of the leaders in Bogota. EUJ: I’ve never heard of that one but I’ve had a few beers with poker-related names like “Ace on the River” etc. It’s all marketing but I have to admit it works. I always try them when I see them. And usually they are not good. (laughs) PL: Any anecdote you have about beer or something you want to add? Any advice maybe? EUJ: I do have some advice and it’s really simple: if you want to buy beer, just download RateBeer or Untappd and you can see how high beers are rated. With beer there’s no way to know the quality of a beer unless you actually know the brewery, so this is really useful. Otherwise, I’ll just say that people should just try many different beers. For poker people who travel a lot, don’t rely on what you know -- be adventurous. Ask bartenders or beer geeks and try!Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Holz Wins 1st PokerStars High Roller, Pauls Tops in Hamburg
For a retired poker player, Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz still wins a lot of poker tournaments.Poker's most famous retiree proved yet again how unstoppable he is both live and online as he triumphed over an elite field in the first event of PokerStars' new online High Roller series. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, another German player in Ulrich Pauls took down his first official poker tournament cash by winning the PokerStars Hamburg Festival main event. Holz Wins First Event in High Roller Series The first-ever PokerStars High Roller series is underway with events having an average buy-in of over $3,000 and ranging from $1,050 to $10,300. The first event of the series was a $1M guaranteed, $2,100 NLHE tournament that attracted 442 entries. Grayson Ramage Surprisingly it wasn't enough to meet the prize guarantee so the high rollers got a little treat in the form of an overlay. Unsurprisingly, Holz scored another win to add another entry to his foot-long list of tournament cashes. The victory comes with $180k on Holz’ PokerStars account to give him just a few more reasons to continue playing poker. Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt made the final table as well and finished in third place for over $100k. Further notables included Grayson "gray31" Ramage in 4th for $75k, Patrick "pads1161" Leonard in 6th for $42k, Jordan “JWProdigy” Westmorland in 11th for $14k and Roman “Romeopro” Romanovsky in 22nd. Westmorland and Alt both ran deep at the same EPT San Remo main event in 2014 when Vicky Coren became the first two-time main event winner. Alt finished in 25th place in that tournament while Westmorland came close to winning it himself and then finished 3rd. PokerStars team members Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree seem to have a private high-stakes duel going as they’re both playing almost every event. In the first of this series Kurganov “won” the last longer between the two as he finished 25th while Liv didn’t make the money. PokerStars High Rollers Event 1; $2100 NLHE Place Name Prize 1 Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz $178,500 2 88maca88 $134,058 3 Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt $100,682 4 gray31 $75,615 5 calculer_ $56,789 6 pads1161 $42,651 7 ethlPaps $32,032 8 Zhh $24,057 9 enigma2018 $18,067 First Time's a Charm for Pauls Before PokerStars hosts the final big poker event of the year at the PokerStars Championship Prague, its smaller Festival series rolled into Casino Schenefeld near Hamburg, Germany. Ulrich Pauls (Photo: Manuel Kovsca, PokerStars) Overall 2,609 players joined in across 10 days of poker, 567 of which were participants in the main event. The winner of that event is Ulrich Pauls, a 36-year-old recreational player who’s never had an official tournament result before. Now he has one, and that comes with prize money of over €100k. The runner-up finish from Michal Lubas from Poland might be even more impressive as he also finished in second place in the PokerStars Festival Rozvadov main event. That event took place last March and with almost twice as many players in the event at the King’s Casino. Lubas also cashed at the WSOP Main Event this year and at the PSC Barcelona main event. Marcin Horecki, long-time member of the PokerStars team, also reached the final table and finished in 8th place. The main event in Schenefeld had a total prize pool of €550k which was half of the money the festival generated overall. PokerStars Festival Hamburg Final Table Payouts Place Name Country Prize 1 Ulrich Pauls Germany €105,850 2 Michal Lubas Poland €66,220 3 Jan Sigel Germany €47,410 4 Behzad Zarnegar Germany €36,960 5 Bo Rundström Sweden €28,980 6 Andrei Nodea Romania €22,770 7 Karolis Domarkas Lithuania €16,990 8 Marcin Horecki Poland €11,770 9 Rudol Köster Germany €9290 Want to play in the PokerStars High Roller or any of the other countless tournaments on PokerStars? Create your own account via our PokerStars review to access our $600 sign-up bonus.Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Too Hot in the Ice Tub! Bolt v. Hart Gets Cold Blooded
If you didn't know it by now, sports superstar Usain Bolt and comedian Kevin Hart are battling it out in the #GameOn challenge ahead of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.The two will square off in a heads-up poker match at the PCA and their starting chip stacks will be determined by their scores in the ongoing #GameOn Challenge. #GameOn is a series of battles designed to test their “core qualities and skills of poker, including reading opponents, emotional control, and bluffing." While Hart was off to an early advantage Bolt, as is his style, has gained ground quickly and is looking to score some more chips in a new ice-bath challenge. The referee? None other than PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu.  Usain Bolt in Ice-Bath Challenge Enter Usain Bolt – 8-time gold medallist and 23-time winner of international sports events.  Does Hart have the heart for ice? Hart is one of the most successful contemporary comedians in the US and among other films starred in Grudge Match, so he knows what a good duel looks like. The two of them are PokerStars’ latest additions to their team of sports and TV celebrities and they’re going head to head again in the PokerStars’ #GameOn promotion. To show how good they are at controlling their emotions and keeping a straight face, they’re told to step into a bathtub filled with ice water. Whoever stays in the longest with a straight face, wins the challenge. But a duel needs a referee and PokerStars team pro and most popular poker player in the world Daniel Negreanu steps up to take that role. Turns out, however, that one of them isn’t taking the challenge seriously enough. Then again, that person seems in way more control of their facial expression. Either way it’s an easy call for the referee and we’re off to the next challenge. Watch it play out below: Follow along with all of the #GameOn challenges by checking in on Twitter.  Win Your Way to the Bahamas for $1.10! Traditionally the PCA is the first big poker event of the year and since it has received a bit of a facelift this year it’s going to be a big, vibrant event with large player fields and buy-ins ranging from $160 to $100,000(!). The Bolt vs Hart poker match will be one of the many side/show events scheduled for the PCA but the speech play has already started. “Usain may be a quick thinker but let’s see what happens when he’s taken away from the track,” said Hart. “If I were a betting man, I’d say I’ll be the one celebrating in the sun in January. It will be so easy, like taking candy from a baby.” Usain remains confident, however, saying, “Kevin may be the funniest, but jokes are not going to get him anywhere against me at the poker table. I know how to keep my cool under pressure and that’s what it takes to win, my friend.” If you want to watch it play out alongside them PokerStars has added another direct satellite to the main event. It’s a $530 satellite and it runs on November 26. You can find it in the lobby under Events > Live > Direct Satellites and there are feeder tournaments starting at $1.10 buy-in. Create your own account through PokerListings’ PokerStars review page and take a shot. A trip to the Bahamas, a week in the luxury hotel resort Atlantis and a ticket to a $10,000 main event are up for grabs.Visit www.pokerlistings.com

Win a $2,400 WPTDeepstacks Berlin Trip for 1c on 888poker
“Taking back the game” is 888poker’s current slogan and they're doing everything they can to make poker fun for the recreational player.They’re not only taking the game back -- they’re also bringing it back to the German capital. You can now qualify on 888poker for the highly renowned World Poker Tour Deepstacks and the first joint venture will take place in early January in Berlin. WPTDeepstacks in Berlin January 5-8 There hasn’t been an event of one of the big poker series in Berlin since the WSOPE in 2015. Thanks to this new cooperation, that’s going to change in 2018. The WPTDeepstacks Tour is the WPT main tour’s little brother. It has lower buy-ins and is occasionally used to kick off larger festivals.  That will also be the case in Berlin where the WPTDeepstacks will directly be followed by the European Championship Main Event. Dates: January 5-8; two starting days Start times: Day 1A – 4 PM; Day 1B – 2 PM; Day 2 – 2 PM; Day 3 – 3 PM Buy-in: €1,350 + €150 Guarantee: €500,000 Qualify for WPT Berlin 1c on 888poker You can now win your seat for the WPTDeepstacks main event on 888poker and you can do so for just 1 cent. 888poker runs direct satellites every Monday and Thursday, both as Seat-only and full package satellites. Every full package has a value of $2,400. The satellites cost $109 and $160, respectively, but you can use 888poker’s well-established steps system to get into them. This is a six-step system starting at a 1 cent buy-in where you can work yourself up to getting tickets for higher buy-in online or live events. 888poker Satellites by the Numbers $109 buy-in Seat-only satellite; runs weekly on Mondays, 8.35 PM CET until Dec 24; 1 WPTDeepstacks Main Event for every $1,750 in the prize pool $160 buy-in full package satellite; runs weekly on Thursdays, 8.35 PM CET until Dec 24; 1 WTPDeepstacks Main Event Package for every $2,400 in the prize pool The WPTDeepstacks event is part of the WPT European Championship that takes place in Berlin from January 5-15. The feature event will run after the Deepstacks tournament. The European Championship Main Event starts on January 10 and will have a €3,300 buy-in. Other events at the WPT European Championship will be: 6-Handed €10,300 High Roller Event €15,300 High Roller Progressive Bounty Event €330 Deep Freeze €550 PLO event and the €330 Pokerfloor Cup WPT Returns to Spielbank The location is the Spielbank Berlin casino right next to the famed Potsdamer Platz. There will be live satellites at the Spielbank on Jan 4 and 5.  The WPT and 888poker have also partnered with the Grand Hyatt Hotel and The Mandala Hotel and you can book your room directly via email. Use the booking codes G-WPTE for the Grand Hyatt and the booking code Spielbank Berlin for the Mandala. 888poker is the second largest online poker room in the world. You can get your own account through the secure links on PokerListings and get an $888 starting bonus.Check out our 888poker review for further information. This article is an advertorial.Visit www.pokerlistings.com

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. Saliba: 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.” Saliba "Everything We Believe In at 888Poker" 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.” Get an $888 Bonus Now 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 www.pokerlistings.com

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. 888 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 www.pokerlistings.com

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. The World is a Total Mess Right Now 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. Get an $888 Bonus Now 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 www.pokerlistings.com

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 www.pokerlistings.com

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 www.pokerlistings.com

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 in One Drop 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 www.pokerlistings.com

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 Means Poker 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 www.pokerlistings.com


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