A 70-year-old army veteran by the name of John Smith was the talk of the 2017 World Series of Poker Friday, as he had a heads-up shot at winning the very event he finished runner-up at last year. Meanwhile, one of poker’s fastest rising stars became the youngest ever player to win three bracelets, David Singer captured his second bracelet, and the biggest Dealer’s Choice event on the schedule played down to ten players.
Here’s a run through all of Friday’s action.
Adrian Mateos wins $10K Heads-Up Championship for third bracelet
History was made in the Rio Friday as Adrian ‘Amadi_017′ Mateos became the youngest player ever to win three gold WSOP bracelets.
The 22-year-old Spaniard was one of four players who returned to play the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship semi-finals, alongside the aforementioned John Smith, Charlie ‘Epiphany77’ Carrel, and 2013 Main Event champ Ryan Riess. All of them were guaranteed $112,379, and it was Smith against Riess in the first contest.
Anyone who caught a few hands of the match on the live streams could see that Smith doesn’t play conventional poker. He seemed to be switching tactics every single hand, which might be the reason he’s had so much success in this event, having finished second last year for an almost $200K score.
Smith eventually overcame Riess, first doubling with pocket jacks against ace-king, and finally winning a second flip with his king-queen against pocket nines.
Meanwhile, in the Mateos vs Carrel semi-final, Mateos made a big call to take the chip lead. He opened the button to 50,000 and Carrel three-bet to 175,000. After that bet was called, the flop came and Carrel made a 150,000 c-bet. Call.
On the turn, Carrel barrelled a second time for 300,000, and Mateos didn’t budge. Finally the hit the river and Carrel jammed for 648,000. Mateos tanked for around four minutes before opting to call all-in.
Carrel turned over the for pure air, while Mateos tabled the for third pair and the double up. Finally, Carrel was all-in with ace-ten against Mateos’ ace-king, and the big slick held up. We had ourselves a final.
Mateos vs Smith, like a lot of heads-up affairs, went back and forth, with stacks virtually even 35 hands in to the battle. The two then chopped a monster two million chip pot when both had ace-queen after the river, before Mateos started to pull away with the lead.
Eventually, Smith limped before calling a 300,000 raise from Mateos. They saw an flop which brought a 200,000 c-bet, before Smith jammed for roughly 1.3 million. Mateos made the call with the for flush and straight draws, while Smith had the for queen high, which was out in front.
However, the turn gave Mateos the flush and left Smith drawing dead. For his second consecutive runner-up finish in this event, Smith won $208,154, while Mateos picked up $336,656 and his third bracelet.
“It’s insane that I have three bracelets,” Mateos said. “It’s really difficult to win three bracelets and I’m 22. I run good and I think I play good so that’s all that matters.”
“There’s not many heads-up events in the year, but I really want to play,” he added. “I was really focused for every round to win and I really like to play heads-up so it’s really fun.”
1. Adrian Mateos – $336,656
2. John Smith – $208,154
3. Charlie Carrel – $112,379
3. Ryan Riess – $112,379
4. Ryan Hughes – $54,986
4. Olivier Busquet – $54,986
5. Jack Duong – $54,986
5. Ryan Fee – $54,986
David Singer wins Event #14: $1,500 HORSE for $203,709
While Mateos was scooping his third bracelet, David Singer was winning his second. He took down the $1,500 HORSE (Event #14)for $203,709, after besting the 736-player field.
When play got down to a final table Thursday evening, joining Singer were the likes of four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori and two-time bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker. However, it was Kevin LaMonica who would get down to heads-up play with Singer.
It was an epic one-on-one match which went on for three hours before Singer finally took it down in an Omaha Hi-Lo hand. Singer raised on a flop before calling the all-in raise from LaMonica. Singer had the against LaMonica’s , and the turn gave Singer an unbeatable full house, as there was no low draw available.
“Obviously it went back and forth,” Singer said after the lengthy duel was over. ”Most of the time I played well, but I was getting unlucky in the big hands. I was kind of frustrated but I always think I have a chance to come back.”
“It’s fun to win. It’s frustrating to get close when you don’t win.”
Final Table Payouts
- David Singer – $203,709
- Kevin LaMonica – $125,904
- Andrew Kelsall – $88,221
- Max Pescatori – $62,733
- Mike Coombs -$45,281
- David “Bakes” Baker – $33,184
- Kyle Loman – $24,696
- Esther Taylor – $18,669
21 remain in $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max (Event #16)
Just 21 players are coming back for Saturday’s Day 3 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Max, with Demosthenes Kiriopoulos leading the way. Other notable players still alive include Matt Berkey, who sits fifth in the overnight counts, andIsmael Bojang, finishing ninth in chips.
A total of 1,748 players entered this event, creating a healthy prize pool which leaves $393,273 for the winner.
Play resumes at midday Saturday. Here’s the full top ten counts:
- Demosthenes Kiriopoulos – 1,450,000
- Anthony Marquez – 998,000
- Shivan Abdine – 970,000
- Ilkin Amirov – 850,000
- Matt Berkey – 796,000
- Steven Buckner – 759,000
- Bradley Lubetkin – 684,000
- James Mackey – 662,000
- Ismael Bojang – 627,000
- Royce Matheson – 619,000
Stacked final ten to return in $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship (Event #17)
We always knew this event would bring out the big guns, and when you check out the names still alive from the 102 starting field, it’s a who’s who.
John Racener is the overnight chip leader; the former November Niner is still seeking his first WSOP bracelet, as are other notables James Obst, Chris Klodnicki, and Shaun Buchanan. Mike Matusow is still alive looking for this fifth WSOP win, while Viacheslav Zhukov is going for his third.
They’ve all got their eyes set on the $273,962 first-place prize. Here’s how they stack up:
- John Racener – 1,124,000
- Chris Klodnicki – 856,000
- Dennis Eichhorn – 782,500
- Viacheslav Zhukov – 700,500
- Schuyler Thornton – 366,500
- Eric Crain – 358,000
- Mike Matusow – 295,000
- James Obst – 260,000
- Shawn Buchanan – 185,500
- Ben Yu – 163,000
Huge field turns out for Event #18: $565 Pot Limit Omaha
Friday saw two starting flights in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha (Event #18), attracting a massive total field of 3,332. Day 1A got 1,711 entrants, while the later 1B had 1,479 players. When all was said and done, just 107 total players will return for Saturday’s Day 2.
Cody Slaubaugh bagged the Day 1A chip lead, which turned out to be the overall Day 2 big stack. His 726,000 is way out in front, followed by Hassan Tahsildar’s 425,000 (Day 1A), and Day 1B chip leader Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen, who ended with 410,000.
Erick Lindgren, Ankush Mandavia, Martin Kozlov, Chris Ferguson, Rep Porter, Dermot Blain, Jason Mercier, and JC Tran are just a few of the names still in contention.
Day 2 kicks off at 2pm Saturday.
Day 1A of The Giant concludes
With a buy-in of just $365, the inaugural The Giant tournament is set to be a big one. Friday saw Day 1A – one of five starting flights – and it attracted 1,497 players. After the bags were brought out, just 245 made it through to Day 2, which doesn’t take place until July 8th.
Jeff Brin ended as the chipleader with 718,000, while Barry Greenstein (90,000), Dylan Wilkerson (258,000), William Vo (359,000), Asher Coniff(152,000), Jesse Yaginuma (163,000), and Bernard Lee (359,000) will all return.