News from the 2019 World Series of Poker: June 16

Welcome to your update from June 16th, the 19th day of the 50th annual world series of poker at the Rio all suite hotel and casino. Two bracelets were awarded yesterday and one of them came in an event that started a week ago! Event #26: $2,620 No-Limit Hold’em Marathon Jared Koppel, came into the day as the overwhelming chip leader but the heads-up battle was nothing short of exciting. The pendulum swung back and forth multiple times and both players had their opponent on the brink of elimination.Ultimately Russian online poker pro Roman Korenev captured his first WSOP gold bracelet and a payday of more than $477K. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-26-marathon/ On the other side of the amazon Chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!” filled the space in the early morning hours as Event #33: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw came to a conclusion after almost ten hour-long levels. Robert Campbell bested a field of 467 to take home a prize of $144K. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-33-1500-limit-2-7-triple-draw/ Today the 1k Seniors event will come to a close. What started as five thousand nine hundred and sixteen players is now just 19. Last night play was meant to stop at 6 players but after 10 hours of play there were still 19 left in content for the top prize of more than six hundred sixty two k up top I for one can’t wait to get my AARP card. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-32-1000-seniors-championship/ Event 34 the $1k Double Stack attracted a whopping field of six thousand two hundred and fourteen entries creating a top prize of almost six hundred and eighty eight k. With more than two thousand three hundred and twenty seven players left there is still a a lot of play to be had and with players like Ari Engel, Scott Clements, Diogo Viega Antoine Saout with leading chip stacks we are definitely going to keep our eyes on this tournament. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-34-1000-double-stack/ The $10k Delaers Choice always attracts the cream of the poker crop so to speak and returns today with 11 such players battling it out for the bracelet and more than $300K. Adam Friendman is looking to make history as he attempts to win this event back to back and confirm himself and one of the most versatile players in the game. Other players still in the mix include Fan fav Nick Schulman, the controversial 2018 Player of the year Shaun Deeb as well as Matt Glantz. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-35-10000-dealers-choice-championship/ The $3k Shootout is definitely a unique and popular tournament with a format that plays out as a series of Sit and Gos until you are left with only one man standing. Three hundred and thirteen players were spread over 40 tables and in the end some of pokers biggest names were left standing including Byron Kaverman, Justin Bonomo, Kristen Bicknell and Andrew “Lucky Chewy” Lichtenberger. Round two will kick off today at 2pm. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-36-3000-shootout/ We had another 10am start this morning courtesy of the $800 Deepstack event that already has at least a thousand entries but the entries are coming so fast we can barely keep up. But as always as the information comes in from the WSOP the PokerNews audience will be the first to know. https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/2019-wsop/event-37-800-deepstack/ In addition to the low buy in, deep stack tournaments that are sprinkled throughout the 2019 schedule, another type of tournament that is relatively unique to be seen so frequently on the 2019 schedule, an online tournament will be starting its first day today. The tournament begins at 3:30pm local time and late reg will be open until 7:15pm. It is a No Limit Hold Em Knockout Bounty so if you are in Nevada, you can win a WSOP bracelet from the comfort of you own home. If you are going to be in town on June 30th, be sure to check out the All IN for CP charity poker tournament at the Aria sponsored by the One Step Closer Foundation.

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Is He Attractive? 8 Questions with Griffin Benger

Griffin Benger started his career as an E-Sports star and then became a professional poker player. He skyrocketed into the news with his 2016 WSOP Main Event Final Table deep run and his disdain for opponent William Kassouf which ended in him finally saying, "check your privilege" to the chatty Brit. Haven’t seen Griffin Benger in ages, so when Sarah Herring spotted him she decided to put him to the test, well it turned out she put herself to the test…and lost. Have you ever played 20 Questions? They key is to identify something in 20 yes or no questions. Griffin is thinking of a poker player and Sarah Herring tries to guess who it is in only 8 questions.

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4th WSOP Bracelet Won by Eli Elezra

Poker professional and player favorite Eli Elezra held off nearly 300 opponents to win another WSOP Bracelet. It was the 4th of his career, and it came in the 2019 World Series of Poker $1,500 seven-card stud event. Three of Elezra’s four WSOP titles have come in stud poker tournaments. His most recent win at the series saw him take down this same event, the $1,500 buy-in seven-card stud, back in 2015. His lone non-stud WSOP win came in the 2013 $2,500 triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball event. He now has more than $2 million in WSOP earnings, with 64 career…

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8 Poker Players on Instagram you may NEVER have heard of..

Thanks to our sponsors at 888poker Oliver has compiled a list of his 8 favourite Poker Players on Instagram. They aren’t necessarily the best poker players on Instagram but they all post consistent and fantastic Poker related content. Take a look at their profiles, watch their stories, comment on their posts and let us know of any others that we missed off in the comments below! For live updates from all the 2019 WSOP events click the link below: https://www.pokernews.com/tours/wsop/ The Top 8: 8. Leo – @leowlpoker – https://www.instagram.com/leowlpoker 7. Luke – @locboxpoker – https://www.instagram.com/locboxpoker 6. Gary – @gazzyb123 – https://www.instagram.com/gazzyb123 5. Cedrric – @poker_traveler – https://www.instagram.com/poker_traveler 4. Sasha – @pokersasha – https://www.instagram.com/pokersasha 3. David – @shewasonly22 – https://www.instagram.com/shewasonly22 2. Kym – @kymbo86 – https://www.instagram.com/Kymbo86 1. Patrick – @imaflippinpokerpro – https://www.instagram.com/imaflippinpokerpro

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Former Final Fantasy VII Remake Studio Comments On Re-Reveal


Final Fantasy VII Remake was one the most talked-about games of at E3 this year, and with good reason. It looks to be thorough remake with lots of things to uncover, even if it will take Square Enix quite some time to deliver the game in full to excited fans. One of those fans is a director at Cyberconnect2, the developer previously at the helm of Remake.

Currently, Ryosuke Hara is directing Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, an action-RPG set in the Dragon Ball universe. When speaking to him about that game, we couldn’t help to bring up Cyberconnect2’s history with Remake; it was the original developer on that project before publisher Square Enix decided to bring development in-house after director Tetsuya Nomura expressed dissatisfaction with how the game was shaping up.

While Ryosuke wasn’t able to confirm whether he was one of the people working on Remake at that time, he was able to express how excited he is for Square’s version of the game. “I think as a fan and as a creator, I have very, very high expectations for what this game is going to bring to all these long-awaiting fans as well as the industry,” Hara told us. “I think I’m genuinely just excited to see how it will be packaged, and how this game is going to end up looking in its final form.”

For more on Final Fantasy VII Remake, check out what Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda had to say about Remake being a cross-gen title, as well as the latest trailer.

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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’s New Stories Help Liven Up Familiar Gameplay

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: CyberConnect2
Release: 2019
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

It’s been a good time to be a Dragon Ball fan recently. Dragon Ball Super rekindled many fans’ enthusiasm for the series, culminating in the film Dragon Ball Super: Broly making over $100,000,000 at the box office in the past year. On the video game side, the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games let fans dig deeper into the wider world of the series, while Dragon Ball FighterZ finally gave fans a deep, rewarding fighting game using its iconic characters.

With all these spinoffs and continuations, it’s easy to forget how long it’s been since we got a proper retelling of the storyline of Dragon Ball Z. That’s what Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot aims to do. “There are a lot of fans that have kind of jumped onto the ship [recently],” says Kakarot director Ryosuke Hara. “So I think this game will be a very good entry point for that new community, if you will, and they’ll get to experience Goku’s life and through this game.”

After playing a short demo of Kakarot, its storytelling is what stood out, both in how Bandai Namco and developer Cyberconnect2 are planning to stick by the established plotline and how they’re planning to deviate. The fighting that ties it all together, however, didn’t shine through.

Kakarot is an open-world action RPG, something fans have been craving for a while. I’ve always wanted to see more of Akira Toriyama’s world than Dragon Ball has shown; it’s a world ripe for exploration, even outside the confines of a shonen fighting series where plot takes a backseat to flashy, over-the-top fights. Kakarot of course stays within those confines, but wants to give us a little more world-building than the series has given us in the past.

My demo begins with a clear objective: Take on Radditz, the first baddie of DBZ’s Saiyan Saga. Although my map shows me I can immediately fly on over to take him on, I’ve got 30 minutes to explore the surrounding area, and it’s not the barren grassland you might remember from the anime: it’s much more crowded with tiny settlements, collectibles, and enemies, with various points of interest dotted on my map.

Kakarot is an attempt to further delve into the world of Dragon Ball Z through Goku’s eyes, which is partially the reason “Kakarot,” Goku’s other name (in the same way Kal-El is Clark Kent’s other name) is the subtitle. “We wanted to shine the spotlight of course not only on the battles, but what happens in between the battles, and what Goku’s day to day life is, so we needed a name that really was representative of this idea and concept of Goku,” says producer Masayuki Hirano.

The other reason is that the name is what Kakarot represents in the series itself. Radditz calling Goku this name, and revelation that comes with it (Goku being a Saiyan) is part of a shift in direction that Z begins to take that separates it from the early Dragon Ball series. “It really kind of cracks the narrative and the possibilities of the Dragon Ball universe wide open,” Hirano says. “So it’s the genesis of Dragon Ball Z, the first time it really opened up that universe.”

I can see what they’re going for as I approach the first dot on my map. Here I find Nam, a character from the original Dragon Ball anime. After a short bit of catching up, he sends me on an escalating trade quest, in which I have to trade one item for another until I’m able to get him something of value for his village. Later in my demo I encounter another Dragon Ball character, Android 8, who again sends me on a similar quest after a short exchange.

Seeing these oft-forgotten characters is a fun surprise, but I leave my talks with them disappointed. The conversations themselves are pretty short and mostly perfunctory, and I wish there were more to them. I’m not asking for a Mass Effect-style dialogue tree or quest line, but I would have liked to see more interesting situations or sequences at play. For all its focus on fighting, FighterZ managed to wring some fun new scenes out of established characters, and I wish more of that showed up here.

For his part, Hirano is hopeful that they’ve been able to portray things other than the series’ bombastic fights, and that this aspect will set Kakarot apart from other Dragon Ball games. “I think Dragon Ball has a very unique sense of comedy,” he says, pointing to one of his favorite quiet moments early on in the series: The episode in which Goku, having died at Radditz’ hand, needs to make King Kai laugh in order to qualify for training in the afterlife. “A lot of those little moments in between the battles, I think, especially the comedic moments for me were really fun, and the fact that we were able to portray this in a game I believe hasn’t really been done before.”

As I fly around on the Nimbus cloud (you can do barrel-rolls to collect floating items along the way) with Piccolo at my side, to complete these quests for Nam and Eighter, I’m ambushed by enemies resembling the Pirate Robot from the Red Ribbon saga of Dragon Ball. These encounters are what you’ve come to expect from action-oriented Dragon Ball games: From a behind-the-back perspective, I can fly around, shoot ki blasts, or run up and punch these robots, who don’t take a lot of effort to destroy. I can block attacks or have Piccolo help me out, but I don’t really have to engage with a lot of the systems against these enemies; I stick to just mashing the attack button I breeze through it.

I take on several of these encounters in my demo, and even by the end of my short time with Kakarot they lose their luster. These fights are hard to flee from, too, which made them more of a drag than anything else. Sprinkinling in random fights throughout the Dragon Ball Z sagas is what I’d expect from an RPG take on the series, but I wish the fights themselves were more engaging. Right now, they feel like a way to pad out my time in the demo before I take on Radditz.

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My fight against Radditz himself, however is more engaging than the several I had against pirate robots; he doesn’t seem too bothered by my attacks, but I have to think a bit more critically about how I approach him. As I lay into him, he starts glowing red, which is my sign to back away before he unleashes his own attack against me. It’s a spin move I have to dodge out of the way of, and dodging it again leaves him open to more damage. He also has a beam attack I need to duck and move around, and it provides a decent challenge.

These attacks get a little more difficult to dodge during his second phase, which is punctuated by a cutscene depicting a scene many fans already know well. As Piccolo charges up his Special Beam Cannon attack, Goku grabs hold of Radditz’s tail, paralyzing him. After Radditz fools the incredibly gullible Goku into letting him go by promising to turn a new leaf, I have to fight Radditz again in order to pin him down. His spin move now has two follow-up attacks, and his beams move more quickly, and have more blasts surrounding them, making them harder to dodge. It’s a good challenge, but that’s partially because Radditz has 12 health bars, which drag out the fight long after I’ve got his patterns down. Still, it’s a better implementation of combat than the random battles before it, and I hope future fights are like this as well.

My demo ends right after this fight, which raises some questions: With all the emphasis on depicting events we don’t typically see and Dragon Ball video games and sprinkling in some new ones, what’s the scope of Kakarot like? Will it chronicle all of Dragon Ball Z? Unfortunately, Hirano is keeping tight-lipped, and says he can’t reveal exactly where the cutoff will be. “But with that in mind, I think the fans will not be disappointed,” he tells me. “I will leave it at that.”

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is scheduled to release sometime next year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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