WSOP: Ben Heath Leads $50K Final 12; Big 50 Continues to Grow

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Johnnie Moreno bagged up a stack on Day 2B of the Big 50 Saturday at the WSOP.

The 2019 World Series of Poker continued on Saturday with another massive field in the Big 50 as that event quickly hurtles toward a record for the largest WSOP event ever.

Ben Heath Leads Talented Final 12 in $50K High Roller

Players were able to register for the $50,000 No Limit Hold’em (Event #5) until the mid-way point of Day 2. This lead to a total of 110 entries and a final prize pool of $5,280,000. Just 12 players remain in contention for the bracelet and the first place prize of $1,484,085.

Leading the way is Britain’s Ben Heath. Finishing with 5,255,000, Heath managed to go from starting the day second in chips to sitting atop the chip counts.

Russian Dmirty Yurasov spent a good amount of time as the chip leader and was only eclipsed in the last level of the night. Yurasov bagged up 4,800,000. Elio Fox sits third with 4,695,000.

Chip Leader Coaching’s Chance Kornuth ended up in fourth place with 4,510,000.

Ali Imsirovic, who stormed out to the chip lead early on Day 1 and seemed almost invincible, busted well before the bubble. The regining GPI Breakout Player of the Year wasn’t the only big name to be eliminated before the money. Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Adrian Mateos, and Joe Cada all busted without a return on their $50,000 investment.

The final 12 return at 2 PM PT to play down to a final table of six.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Ben Heath – 5,255,000
  2. Dmitry Yurasov – 4,800,000
  3. Elio Fox – 4,695,000
  4. Chance Kornuth – 4,510,000
  5. Nick Petrangelo – 3,800,000
  6. Cary Katz – 2,590,000
  7. Andrew Lichtenberger – 2,260,000
  8. Sam Soverel – 1,820,000
  9. Sam Grafton – 1,480,000
  10. David Einhorn – 1,090,000

Another Day of Packed Hallways for Big 50 Day 1C

After roughly 12,000 combined players made the first two starting flights of the $500 buy-in Big 50 somewhat chaotic, WSOP organizers were prepared for another busy day on Saturday as weekend warriors got into Las Vegas. There may have been less chaos, but 7,100+ players packed tables all over the Rio in what should officially become the largest WSOP tournament in history on Sunday.

Ending the day on top of the chip counts for Day 1C was Leandro Padilla with 1,184,000. Phuoc Nguyen bagged up the second biggest stack on the day, ending with exactly 1,000,000.

Among the notable players who finished the day with chips in a bag were Rex Clinkscales, Jared Griener, Jared Jaffee, Ari Engel, and Rainer Kempe. There were 1,504 players who managed to make it through Day 1C and will return on Monday for Day 2C.

Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Dan Shak, Joe Stapleton, and Maria Ho were among the players who were unable to survive the day.

Day 1D is already at capacity and players wanting to register today will have tow ait until 11 AM with no guarantee of being seated until Noon at the earliest.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Leandro Padilla – 1,184,000
  2. Phuoc Nguyen – 1,000,000
  3. Daniel Hirleman – 920,000
  4. Kent Miller – 900,000
  5. Gregg Merkow – 884,000
  6. Aaron Frei – 861,000
  7. Perry Johnston – 859,000
  8. Jeff Ramsey – 840,000
  9. John Utley – 830,000
  10. Sean Small – 814,000

Jerald Williamson Bags 4.1M After Day 2B

Jerald Williamson finished Day 2B as the only player through 2A and 2B with more than 4,000,000 chips. Williamson, from Cloverdale, Indiana, sits on top of the chip counts with 4,105,000.

Just 321 players managed to make it through the day including Ludovic Geilich, Toto Leonidas, Bryan Piccioli, Chris Ferguson, and Phillip Hui.

Vlogger Johnnie Moreno moved onto Day 3 with 620,000.

Barry Greenstein, Jamie Gold, Jake Schwartz, Jordan Young, and Jamie Kerstetter were part of the 1,200+ players who were eliminated on Day 2B.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Jerald Williamson – 4,105,000
  2. Daniel Hughes – 3,200,000
  3. Azad Arazm – 3,030,000
  4. Michael Kamra – 2,800,000
  5. David Towson – 2,540,000
  6. Duane Gerleman – 2,450,000
  7. David Yach – 2,350,000
  8. Jason Baldridge – 2,320,000
  9. Justin Liberto – 2,235,000
  10. Jerimiah Booher – 2,235,000

John Esposito in Position for Bracelet #2 in $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo

It’s been 20 years since John Esposito won his only WSOP bracelet. He turned back the clock a little bit on Saturday and ended up with the biggest stack heading into the final table of the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event with just six players standing between him and a second title.

Esposito finished Day 3 play with 2,330,000 which puts him just ahead of Jason Berilgen who wound up with 2,145,000. Derek McMaster, David Halpern, Joseph Ronesty, Ben Yu, and Tom McCormick round out the final seven players.

The day started with 46 players with chips. Jeff Madsen (28th – $5,316), Andrey Zaichenko (20th – $6,405), Mike Matusow (17th -$7,849), #3-ranked online player in the world, Patrick Leonard (9th – $15,897) and Shannon Shorr (8th – $20,760) were just some of the players who were sent home earlier than they had hoped.

Play resumes at 1 PM PT and will be streamed on PokerGO and CBS All Access.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. John Esposito – 2,330,000
  2. Jason Berilgen – 2,145,000
  3. Derek McMaster – 1,775,000
  4. David Halpern – 1,270,000
  5. Joseph Aronesty – 855,000
  6. Ben Yu – 290,000
  7. Tom McCormick – 85,000

Jake Schwartz Tops Day 1 Field in $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw (Event #6)

296 players entered the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw event on Saturdy with Jake Schwartz working his way through 176 bustouts to wind up as the chip leader. Schwartz ended up with 117,600 which put him just ahead of 2018 bracelet winner Julien Martini.

Notables who still have a shot at winning this bracelet include John Racener, Layne Flack, Brandon Shack-Harris, David ‘ODB’ Baker, Benny Flaser, Mike Gorodinsky, Andre Akkari, Joao Viera and Shaun Deeb.

After registering late, Daniel Negreanu was unable to spin his stack up and busted before play ended for the night. He’ll be spending Sunday away from the Rio but will still be playing for a bracelet.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Jake Schwartz – 117,600
  2. Julien Martini – 117,400
  3. Jordan Siegel – 95,000
  4. Brayden Gazlay – 91,000
  5. John Racener – 83,100
  6. Jason Daly – 81,300
  7. Andrey Zhigalov – 77,500
  8. Wes Self – 74,500
  9. Layne Flack – 66,200