One of the biggest days in recent World Series of Poker history played out at the Rio on Day 18 of the 2021 WSOP as Phil Hellmuth won his 16th bracelet with victory in the $1,500 2-7 Lowball Draw Event #31. Hellmuth saw off a stacked final table of talented mixed game specialists to oust Jake Schwartz heads-up after he had earlier taken out the overnight chip leader, Rep Porter.
Hellmuth Makes History
With 10 players reaching the final day, Hellmuth began the action second in chips behind Porter and by the time the final table of eight players was reached, Hellmuth remained second, albeit behind a new chip leader in Dario Sammartino. It didn’t take long for Porter to get back among the action, however, as he busted Kevin Gerhart in eighth place for $7,602.
With seven players left, Hellmuth dropped to fifth in chips as the swingy variant of poker that has tested the best in the game over half a century put players under pressure in every pot. Jason Lipiner was defeated in seventh place for $10,023 after his stack was taken by Joshua Faris, and when Porter put Sammartino in the cage in another hand, the Italian lost a huge chunk of his stack.
Sammartino was on the rail in sixth place for $13,463 when Porter took the remainder of his chips, before Hellmuth began the heater that would end in poker history. A key hand with nine-high would give the Poker Brat the lead as he played under the dutiful gaze of his wife, Katherine on the rail.
After Joshua Faris’ elimination in fifth place for $18,421, Porter lost his stack as the overnight chip leader left in fourth for $25,661. Porter’s chips went to Schwartz, and when Hellmuth took out Chris Vitch in third place for $36,387, the stage was set for a huge heads-up showdown with the chips not far from even. Hellmuth had 3.1 million, just 600,000 short of Schwartz’s stack going into the final duel as the cameras zoomed in on the Poker Brat and a hundred reporters notebooks saw pens poised ready to capture the moment of poker history.
Schwartz initially extended his lead and looked like spoiling the party for Hellmuth as the Poker Brat’s fellow American raced into a 2:1 chip lead in pursuit of his first bracelet. A massive all-in from Hellmuth after Schwartz had bet aggressively both pre-flop and post-flop caused Schwartz to fold and that gave Hellmuth the momentum he needed to seal the deal, as Hellmuth’s nine-high hand drew two cards and landed a seven and five to mean Schwartz had no chance of a comeback having drawn for one card with ten-high.
Hellmuth celebrated – along with a rail featuring a gleeful Mike Matusow as the moment of his 16th WSOP bracelet win arrived just like the Poker Brat predicted it would. With four final tables in the first fortnight of the 2021 World Series, surely Hellmuth might also be the favorite to win Player of the Year, where his most likely challenger is Anthony Zinno.
WSOP 2021 Event #31 2-7 $1,500 Lowball Draw Final Table Results:
- Phil Hellmuth – $84,851
- Jake Schwartz – $52,502
- Chris Vitch – $36,387
- Rep Porter – $25,661
- Joshua Faris – $18,421
- Dario Sammartino – $13,463
- Jason Lipiner – $10,023
- Kevin Gerhart – $7,602
Ryan Leng Surges To Monster Lead In Event #30
The Day 2 action in the $1,500-entry Monster Stack Event #30 saw three-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Leng (4,070,000) bag the chip lead overnight. Just 162 players survived from a Day 2 starting field of 1,220, with the popular professional Leng amounting a slight lead ahead of Jason Wheeler (3,805,000) and a bigger one from Linda Huard (3,290,000) who are Leng’s closest challengers.
Elsewhere, players such as Ian O’Hara (3,025,000), Steven Sarmiento (3,000,000), and Anthony Ortega (2,660,000) all totaled top ten stacks, with other big names such as Pavel Plesuv (915,000), Dylan Linde (820,000), and Chris Brewer (2,280,000) all well placed to make a run at the bracelet. With so many making it through, even more went home, as David ‘Bakes’ Baker, Anton Wigg, Ron McMillen, Daniel Strelitz, Natalie Hof-Ramos, and Ari Engel all failing to make a bag for Day 3.
WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Ryan Leng – 4,070,000
- Jason Wheeler – 3,805,000
- Linda Huard – 3,290,000
- Rafael Reis – 3,125,000
- Jeffrey Vertes – 3,035,000
- Ian O’Hara – 3,025,000
- Steven Sarmiento – 3,000,000
- Uri Reichenstein – 2,995,000
- Antonio Matic – 2,905,000
- Anthony Ortega – 2,660,000
Eli Elizera, Maria Ho in $3K H.O.R.S.E. Top 10
Event #32, the $3,000-entry H.O.R.S.E. tournament, saw some very big names bag chips at the close of play on Day 2. Only 20 players remained in seats by the close of the action, but among them sit several of poker’s elite.
The chip leader with 20 left is Eli Elezra, who bagged up a massive 1,036,000 to become only one player of two past a million by close of play. Elezra is followed in the chip counts as you might imagine by some of the best mixed game players in the world, with his nearest rivals being Qinghai Pan (1,036,000) and Michael Parizon (979,000) both breathing down his neck.
Elsewhere, there were Day 3 bags for Maria Ho (908,000), Barabara Enright (446,000) and Daniel Negreanu (414,000) as plenty of big names made it through to the latter stages of the event.
WSOP 2021 Event #32 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Eli Elezra – 1,243,000
- Qinghai Pan – 1,036,000
- Michael Parizon – 979,000
- Michael Trivett – 973,000
- Maria Ho – 908,000
- Jim Collopy – 890,000
- Paramjit Gill – 779,000
- Ahmed Mohamed – 772,000
- Richard Bai – 708,000
- Sachin Bhargava – 655,000
159 Remain in $800 Deepstack
The first day of Event #33, the $800-entry Eight-Handed tournament saw just 159 players take chips through to the penultimate day of the event, with Alex Miles (2,700,000) leading the way from Tony Nguyen (2,185,000) and Todd Ivens (2,030,000) as a host of recognized names gather in his slipstream.
Others who will feel hopeful of adding a final table to their World Series include Ankush Mandavia (1,600,000), Simon Lefevre (1,300,000), Matt Affleck (840,000), and Ryan Laplante (650,000), with players such as WSOP Main Event winners Martin Jacobson and Ryan Riess both losing their stacks, along with Jeremy Ausmus, Sylvain Loosli, and Adrian Mateos.
WSOP 2021 Event #33 $800 Eight-Handed NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Alex Miles – 2,700,000
- Tony Nguyen – 2,185,000
- Todd Ivens – 2,030,000
- Stefano Calezane – 1,925,000
- Ankush Mandavia – 1,600,000
- Florian Guimond – 1,560,000
- Damien Gayer – 1,370,000
- Ian Steinman – 1,320,000
- Eric Dillon – 1,300,000
- Simon Lefevre – 1,300,000
Big Names Bag in Limit 2-7
Last, but by no means least, the $1,500-entry Event #34, the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw tournament saw just 76 players survive, with over two-thirds of the 284-strong field gone on Day 1.
British pro Adam Owen bagged up the biggest stack of the night with 246,000 chips, closely followed on the leaderboard by Ahmed Amin (229,500) and Brian Yoon (226,500), with others such as Andre Akkari (71,000) and Ari Engel (39,000) scraping through with fewer chips.
WSOP 2021 Event #34 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Adam Owen – 246,000
- Ahmed Amin – 229,500
- Brian Yoon – 226,500
- Matt Grapenthien – 210,000
- Daniel Anton – 207,500
- David Funkhouser – 204,500
- Cory Zeidman – 198,000
- Ian Feller – 159,000
- Ian Johns – 140,500
- Matt Schultz – 130,000
Finally, Shaun Deeb has always had his finger on the pulse of the poker industry… but is this early call on Day 18 more than a little spooky?
Too many “nice guys” winning bracelets so far this Wsop it’s time for the assholes and bad boys to have their week start it off well for us today @phil_hellmuth
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) October 17, 2021