WSOP 2021: Jason Koon, Dan Zack, David Peters Advance in $25K Heads-Up, Lally Wins Dealer’s Choice

Jaswinder Lally
Jaswinder Lally won Event #7 of the 2021 WSOP, the $1,500-entry Dealer's Choice

To win a high-profile WSOP bracelet, it takes beating the best over and over again. Just 16 remain in the $25,000-entry NLHE Heads Up Championship and they include some of the best poker players in the world. After the first day of action in the $25,000-entry No Limit Hold’em Heads Up Championship, players are just three heads-up victories away from playing the bracelet and top prize of $243,981.

Star-Studded $25K Heads-Up Championship

The early stages of this year’s Heads-Up Championship, one of the most prestigious WSOP bracelets any player can win, were complex given the number of entries. Players were drawn together, with seven of the initial player given a bye to the second round. That meant for some, winning two matches to achieve the $25,000 min-cash. For others, it meant only winning one match.

Every table was packed with quality, however, and some of the early skirmishes featured players who could easily have been competing in the final. Cary Katz beat Dimitar Danchev in a topsy-turvy affair, while Daniel Zack got the better of Nick Petrangelo. Kane Kalas was overcome by Mikita Badziakouski, while David Peters took out the in-form Jonathan Jaffe. Other players to lose their chance of glory included Adrian Mateos, Ali Imsirovic, Joao Vieira, and Seth Davies.

Day 2 will see both the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals take place, with some intriguing match-ups coming next. Newly appointed GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon will take on Sam Soverel’s conqueror, Johannes Becker in one of the most eagerly anticipated ties, will everything on the line as players shoot for the bracelet in one of the most demanding disciplines of all.

Round of 16 Line-Up (consecutive winners to play in quarterfinals):

  1. Gal Yifrach vs. Jake Daniels
  2. Johannes Becker vs. Jason Koon
  3. Ben Reason vs. Galen Hall
  4. Henri Puustinen vs. Cary Katz
  5. Dan Zack vs. James D’Ambrosio
  6. Bin Weng vs. Julien Martini
  7. Aleksandr Shevlyakov vs. Mikita Badziakouski
  8. David Peters vs. Gabor Szabo

Long Ma Crowned Reunion King

The Reunion has already been described as one of the events of the Autumn and on Tuesday, it produced the winner, Long Ma, who took the title and massive $523,604 for just a $500 entry. Yesterday’s 17-hour Day 2 was in complete contrast to today’s final which took just over an hour as Ma, an electronics manager and poker tournament enthusiast, eliminated each of his four opponents in double-quick time to win his first WSOP bracelet.

The final day action got going almost immediately with a bust-out as short-stacked Michael Eddy became Ma’s first victim. Eddy moved all-in for around five big blinds with KcJs and Ma made the call with Ad8c, turning an ace on the 9c5h3dAc5c board. Eddy, who had come into play knowing he needed a great deal of luck to survive, cashed for $142,847.

Next to go was Alex Vazquez, who busted with AsQs against Ma’s QhJc after a jack on the turn saw Vazquez shove and Ma call on the board of Kh5s2sJd8h. Vazquez cashed for $185,281, but it only strengthened Ma’s already dominant position.

That position for Ma got even better when he reduced the battle to a heads-up clash with a big lead. Max Tavepholjalern called off his stack pre-flop after three-betting with Kd8d and he would need to win a race against Ma who held 4h4d. That didn’t happen as the double-paired board of JsJc5s3c3d played out and Tavepholjalern collected $241,766 in winnings.

Heads-up saw Ma go into the action with a better than 4:1 chip lead and in no time at all, he had the bracelet. When Lentini open-shoved pre-flop with QsJc, Ma made a snap-call with Ah7s and watched as the board of Ks4h3d5s5h gave him over half a million dollars and the biggest-field bracelet won so far in the 2021 World Series of Poker.

WSOP 2021 Event #4 $500 The Reunion Final Table Results:

  1. Long Ma – $513,604
  2. Giuliano Lentini – $317,352
  3. Max Tavepholjalern – $241,766
  4. Alex Vazquez – $185,281
  5. Michael Eddy – $142,847
  6. Anthony Cass – $110,794
  7. Jugal Daterao – $86,462
  8. Derrick Stoebe – $67,886
  9. Adrian Buckley – $53,625
Long Ma
Long Ma, winner of the biggest-field event of the WSOP so far, the $500-entry The Reunion

Lally Takes $1,500 Dealer’s Choice

Another winner took home gold in Event #7, the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event as Jaswinder ‘Jesse’ Lally won the six-handed event for $97,915. Lally, a long-time player but business owner who counts poker as more of a hobby than a career, beat former bracelet winners to the gold at a final table packed with action.

Just 11 players returned to the felt at the start of the day, with Craig Chat (11th for $5,612), Adam Friedman (10th for $5,612), and Jeremy Heartberg (9th for $7,307) first to leave the action. When Naoya Kihara busted in eighth place for the same amount and Day 1 chip leader Nathan Gamble left in seventh for $9,768, the official final table was set and it didn’t take long for five more players to hit the rail.

Christopher Lindner busted in sixth place for $13,396 when he busted in a Seven Card Stud 8 or Better hand to the eventual winner and Lally, suddenly with all the momentum, added to his list of victims when he busted Adam Kipnis in fifth for $18,839.

Ian O’Hara came into play chasing the leader and will have been disappointed to exit in fourth place so near to the gold he has yet to win in his poker career. O’Hara lost out in a three-way Stud hand where Lally’s diamond flush conquered O’Hara’s hand, leaving the young player to quip, “Stud master.” as he left the stage.

It wasn’t long before Lally proved himself a master of the event itself, after former bracelet winner Andrew Kelsall brought about heads-up play. Kelsall’s elimination of the overnight chip leader, Ray Henson in No Limit 2-7 Single Draw for $40,062 gave the experience Kelsall 1.7 million chips and a chance of victory, but Lally extended his lead heads-up quite quickly in a Razz hand to race into a 5:1 lead.

The final hand saw Lally win a Pot Limit Omaha hand with the nut straight on the turn busting Kelsall’s two-pair after a flush draw fell short on the river and gave Lally his first-ever WSOP bracelet. Kelsall cashed for an impressive $60,514, but Lally’s victory was worth a massive $97,915 and the bracelet was perhaps worth just as much judging by the beaming smile on Lally’s face.

WSOP 2021 Event #7 $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Final Table Results:

  1. Jesse Lally – $97,915
  2. Andrew Kelsall – $60,514
  3. Ray Henson – $40,062
  4. Ian O’Hara – $27,147
  5. Adam Kipnis – $18,839
  6. Christopher Lindner – $13,396

Quick Win For Michael Perrone

The third and final winner of the day was Michael Perrone, who took down the super-fast Super Turbo Bounty event which cost $1,000 and lasted just one day at the felt.

With 16 hours of play producing plenty of fast-paced bounty action, a prize pool of $1.4m was chopped up, with Perrone crushing dreams on his way to banking over 10% of it. Plenty of big names ran deep, with Shaun Deeb (59th for $2,505), Cate Hall (82nd for $1,731), and Vanessa Kade (227th for $1,065) all making the money.

WSOP 2021 Event #10 $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty NLHE Final Table Results:

  1. Michael Perrone – $152,173
  2. Pierre Calamusa – $94,060
  3. Jeremiah Fitzpatrick – $69,454
  4. Scott Podolsky – $51,787
  5. Paul Dhaliwal – $38,996
  6. Paul Jain – $29,657
  7. John Moss – $22,783
  8. Badr Imejjane – $17,680
  9. Gabriel Ramos – $13,861
  10. Brock Wilson – $10,980

ElkY Ready To Roll

It’s been an incredible start to the 2021 WSOP in terms of attendance with the great and good arriving in style to put down their money and take their chips for a shot at glory, including GGPoker ambassador Bertran ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who, over a decade on from his first WSOP appearance was still as excited as a first-timer to arrive at the Rio.

It’s not only ElkY who is loving this year’s return to the Rio, with WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams delighted to be back amongst it in 2021.

Zhi Wu Leads $600 Deepstack Event

One of the busiest Day 1s of the World Series so far saw 4,527 players arrive yesterday to play the $600-entry No Limit Hold’em Event #8, but after a thrilling Day 2, just five players remain in with a chance of winning their first WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $281,604.

With the prize pool of $2.3 million, 216 players took to the tables and it was Zhi Wu who ended the day with the biggest stack of 46.1 million, ahead of Chrishan Sivasundaram (31.5m) and Ryan Chan (29.2m). With two more players having slightly shorter stacks to play with in Nicholas Zautra (15m) and Ari Mezrich (13.9m) even the short-stacked Mezrich will have eight big blinds to play with.

WSOP 2021 Event #8 $600 No Limit Hold’em Final Table Chipcounts:

  1. Zhi Wu – 46,100,000
  2. Chrishan Sivasundaram – 31,500,000
  3. Ryan Chan – 29,200,000
  4. Nicholas Zautra – 15,000,000
  5. Ari Mezrich – 13,900,000

Hellmuth, Volpe In Omaha 8 Top 10

Event #9, the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship saw some very big names take part in the action, with 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil ‘the Poker Brat’ Hellmuth reaching the final day with an 8th-placed stack of 550,000 chips.

The chip leader overnight is Andrew Yeh, whose massive pile of 995,000 represents a chip lead few have enjoyed so far after Day 1, with his nearest challengers Chris Vitch and Alan Sternberg, both of whom are some way back from the pacesetter with 650,000.

Other big names hover not far behind, with Paul Volpe (445,000), Day 1 chip leader Michael Noori (370,000), Robert Mizrachi (340,000), and Brian Rast (165,000) all surviving a tricky Day 2.

WSOP 2021 Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship:

  1. Andrew Yeh – 995,000
  2. Chris Vitch – 650,000
  3. Alan Sternberg – 650,000
  4. Ben Landowski – 630,000
  5. Ken Aldridge – 595,000
  6. Aditya Prasetyo – 560,000
  7. Eddie Blumenthal – 555,000
  8. Phil Hellmuth – 550,000
  9. Khamar Xaytavone – 485,000
  10. Paul Volpe – 445,000

Take It To The Limit

Finally, Event #12, the $1,500 Limit hold’em bracelet event saw Jeremy Maher bag the chip lead after Day featured 422 total entries. With a prize pool of $563,370 generated, just under a third of those who took to the felt survived, with the money bubble yet to burst.

Day 2 will see plenty of big names in the hunt to reach the final 64 players and enter the money places, before pushing towards the $124,374 top prize and WSOP gold bracelet. They will include the chip leader Jeremy Maher (226,500) and Zinno, who bagged up 217,500 chips ahead of some reputable rivals in the shape of Yuval Bronshtein (141,500), and Barry Greenstein (86,500), and former WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen (60,000) to name just three.

With stars such as Dan Shak (55,000), Ronnie Bardah (52,000), and Jason Somerville (48,000) all still in with a shout, it is bound to be a high-caliber fight to reach the final table. Other stars of the felt didn’t survive, with mixed game regulars Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb and David ‘ODB’ Baker all failing to make the Day 2 cut.

WSOP 2021 Event #12 $1,500 Limit Hold’em Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Jeremy Maher – 226,000
  2. Anthony Zinno – 217,500
  3. Truong Tran – 195,000
  4. Kristopher Burchfield – 194,500
  5. John Bunch – 192,500
  6. Aldon Patatanyan – 190,000
  7. John Esposito – 187,500
  8. Mori Eskandani – 173,500
  9. Arthur Cole – 165,000
  10. Tom McCormick – 160,500

Finally, while she may have stepped back from poker in the last few years to raise her family, Vanessa Selbst, always enjoys it when someone asks her if she used to play and knows their friend who also enjoys the game. A bit.