It was an absolutely packed day in the halls of the Rio for the 49th Annual World Series of Poker. Two more bracelets were given away, a stacked field of poker’s best jumped in a $5K and the $10K Dealer’s Choice speeds to a conclusion.
Here’s everything you need to know from Friday (June 8) at the WSOP.
Justin Bonomo’s Heater Continues
When Erik Seidel went on his high stakes heater in 2011, no one thought there would ever be another like it. Along came Fedor Holz and his epic multi-million run through 2016-2017 and that seemed to be the pinnacle of a heater.
Now, Justin Bonomo’s 2018 campaign had stepped into the spotlight and his latest achievement is (perhaps) the icing on the cake. Bonomo defeated the UK’s Jason McConnon in the finals to claim the crown in Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up NLHE Championship for $185,965 and his second career bracelet.
“I think I am dreaming,” said Bonomo. “I think that this is not real life and I think that’s the secret. Just win in your dreams because there you can actually win every tournament.”
Bonomo has just come off a $5,000,000 victory in the Super High Roller Bowl. Two months earlier he was crowned Champion of the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl China for $4.8 million. In total, Bonomo has surpassed $14.75 million in 2018 alone and currently sits in third place on the All-Time Money List.
It’s not Bonomo’s first time in the WSOP winner’s circle and when speaking about the significance of his latest victory, he’s still happy to simply to keep on winning.
“The first bracelet definitely felt a lot more special. I had four second-place finishes at that time without a first-place finish.” Bonomo said. “Now, I don’t really have to feel like I have to get any monkey off my back anymore or kill any kind of curse. The significance of this one just means that my insane winning streak isn’t over. I just hope it continues.”
Event #16 Final Four Payouts
1. Justin Bonomo – $185,965
2. Jason McConnon – $114,933
3. Juan Pardo Dominguez – $73,179
4. Martijn Gerrits – $73,179
Benjamin Moon Claims Event #13
California’s Benjamin Moon is over the moon, having taken down Event #13: $1,500 Big Blind Antes NLHE tournament for $315,346 and his first gold bracelet.
“I’m trembling, I’m just so excited,” Moon said upon closing out the tournament. “I only just started playing at the beginning of the year after taking a hiatus. Decided to try and go pro in October, playing the cash game in San Diego and then the tournaments in Los Angeles. Got a good start at the beginning of the year, since then the cash has been going well and I decided to give it a shot here at the WSOP. And we’re here now.”
Moon was the chip leader entering the final extended day as six players returned for an unscheduled Day 4. 1,306 players decided to enter the first-ever Big Blind Antes tournament at the WSOP and Moon will forever be its inaugural champion.
“I love the big blind ante. They do it in Los Angeles, all the tournaments I played there have mostly been big blind ante. So, it makes it way faster. There is only one negative if there was any. It’s for short stack play, you seem to get punished more. Otherwise, it’s great,“ said Moon.
Moon’s victory is far and away a career-high cash for him.
Event #13 Final Table Payout
1. Benjamin Moon – $315, 346
2. Romain Lewis – $194,837
3. Colin Robinson – $138,938
4. Steven Snyder – $100,268
5. Nhathanh Nguyen – $73,242
6. Bohand Slyvinskyi – $54,160
7. Eric Polirer – $40,549
8. Raymond Ho – $30,742
9. Dutch Boyd – $23,605
Zhigalov And Frazin Heads-Up For H.O.R.S.E.
They need just a little more time to determine the winner of Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Play was suspended late into the night pausing the conclusion of the heads-up battle between Andrey Zhigalov and Timothy Frazin until the next day.
The pair battled for over three hours and with the air conditioner on the fritz in the Amazon room, it was determined that putting in 14 hours at the table was enough for one day.
24 players had returned for Day 3, all well into the money. A few notable names that fell during the day included Brian Hastings (15th for $7,120), Scott Clements (seventh for $24,541) and Matt Woodward (fourth for $62,379).
Play resumes at 12:00 noon PT when a winner will be crowned.
Event #15 Final Two Chip Stacks
1. Andrey Zhigalov – 3,080,000
2. Timothy Frazin – 2,510,000
Event #17 Enters Day 3
Of the 264 players who entered Day 2 of Event #17: $1,500 NLHE 6-Max only 27 players remain in the field.
The overnight chip lead was held by Gabriel Baumgartner. He’ll have plenty of competition for the over $378,000 first-place prize and the gold bracelet from players like Day 1 chip leader Bart Lybaert, bracelet winner Ryan D’Angelo and two-time bracelet winner and voice of the Super High Roller Bowl, Nick Schulman.
Plenty of notable names who made Day 2 were able to add a little to their bankroll before busting. Vinny Pahuja ($6,457), Jared Hamby ($5,413), Adrian Mateos ($4,608), Martin Jacobson ($4,608), Jeff Madsen ($3,984), Christian Harder ($3,124), and last year’s champion in this very event Anthony Marquez ($2,835) all made the money but could not survive the day.
Play for the final 24 resumes at 12:00 noon PT with the intent to play down to a winner.
Event #17 Top Five Chip Counts
1. Gabriel Baumgartner – 987,000
2. Alexandro Tricarico – 983,000
3. Luke Brereton – 767,000
4. Yue Du – 749,000
5. Bart Lybaert – 716,000
Anthony Zinno Surges To 10K Dealer’s Choice Lead
There are 13 players remaining in Event #18: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed and three-time World Poker Tour Champion Anthony Zinno holds the overnight chip lead. Zinno, in pursuit of his second career WSOP bracelet, leads a stacked field into Day 3.
Adam Friedman, Chris Klodnicki, David ‘ODB’ Baker, Marco Johnson, Jesse Martin and Dylan Linde all return to vie for the $293,275 first-place prize and, of course, the bracelet.
Event #18 Top Five Chip Counts
1. Anthony Zinno – 922,000
2. Adam Friedman – 735,500
3. Alexey Makarov – 709,500
4. Chris Klodnicki – 560,000
5. Joey Couden – 536,000
$565 Omaha Launches Two Flights
The $565 two-starting flight Omaha event was a big hit with roughly 2,419 players combining in both sessions to push the total combined prize pool to over $1.2 million.
In Day 1A, Christopher Trang claimed the chip lead as only 52 of the starting 1,193 players made it through the day. Other names to watch out for from this flight who advanced include John Racener, Ludovic Geilich, Ryan Laplante and former WSOP Main Event Champion, Jonathan Duhamel.
Day 1B saw even more players enter as the entries rose to 1,226. In the end, it was Jeff Gibson who bagged the chip lead for the flights. Loni Harwood, James Obst, and JC Tran all played this flight and made it through to day two.
The two flights will now be combined on Day 2 and the 101 survivors will return at 2:00 pm PT to resume play.
Dan Clopoys Leads Stacked Field In $5K Big Blind Antes
Of the nearly 500 players who ponied up the $5,000 buy-in, only 170 remain in Event #20: $5,000 Big Blind Antes NLHE. Dan Clopoys holds the overnight chip lead. However, plenty of serious threats in the field loom large.
Justin Bonomo, Seth Davies, Kristen Bicknell, Kitty Kuo, Isaac Baron and Brian Yoon all survived the day with a top 20 stack.
The list of players who bagged at the end of day 1 reads like a who’s who of poker: Cliff Josephy, Anthony Spinella, Antoine Saout, Stephen Chidwick, Valentin Vornicu, David ‘The Dragon’ Pham, Kenny Hallaert and Erik Seidel are just a few of the players that are still in the mix.
Play resumes at 2 pm PT when players will continue their quest for the WSOP gold bracelet.
Event #20 Top Ten Chip Stacks
1. Daniel Colpoys – 403,000
2. Richard Tuhrim – 229,600
3. Jeremy Cate – 180,800
4. Justin Bonomo – 175,800
5. Seth Davies – 175,300
6. Kristen Bicknell – 170,800
7. Long Nguyen – 155,800
8. Peter Neff – 155,500
9. Ryan Olisar – 149,600
10. Kitty Kuo – 144,100
Upcoming Action (June 9)
Saturday will see the start of Event #21: 1,500 Millionaire Maker at 10 am PT.
The popular event guarantees a $1 million payout for first. Last year 7,761 players registered over the two starting flights with Canadian Pablo Mariz winning it all over for $1.2 million.
Also, starting at 3:00 pm PT Event #22: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix will get underway.