WSOP: Chidwick, Engel, Schwartz All Break Bracelet Goose Eggs

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Stephen Chidwick was one of three high-profile players who won their first WSOP bracelet on Satruday. (WSOP Photo)

By the time the 2019 World Series of Poker is over, the “Best Player Without a Bracelet” is going to be all new names. Three more players who have seen their names on the list in the past, pulled out a red marker on Saturday and crossed it off permanently. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel, Stephen Chidwick, and Luke Schwartz all won bracelets just a few hours apart on another busy Saturday at the WSOP

Stephen Chidwick Ships $25K PLO High Roller for $1.6M

Stephen Chidwick, one of the most well-respected players in poker, recently became a father and that life change meant he wouldn’t be able to play a full WSOP schedule this summer. He showed up this week and entered his first tournament of the summer and then promptly won it for $1.6 million and the first bracelet of his career.

“It’s super ironic. Usually, I play every single tournament. Usually, I play a final table, bust and then register a $1,500 Stud immediately. Just play everything,” Chidwick said. “I come in here halfway through, haven’t played any of the others and then just win the first one I play. Pretty funny.”

Prior to Saturday’s win, Chidwick had 52 career WSOP cashes and just north of $2.2 million in WSOP earnings. He had no bracelet though. That all changed dramatically after Chidwick eliminated James Chen heads-up

“It means a lot. It feels great. It’s obviously a good one to win it in,” Chidwick said. “I’m in shock a little bit.”

Chen walked away without the win, but still ended up earning a seven-figure payday. Matthew Gonzales finished third for $699,364 representing a career-best score for each of the top three finishers.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Stephen Chidwick – $1,618,417
  2. James Chen – $1,000,253
  3. Matthew Gonzales – $699,364
  4. Robert Mizrachi – $497,112
  5. Alex Epstein – $359,320
  6. Erik Seidel – $264,186
  7. Wasim Korkis – $197,637
  8. Ka Kwan Lau – $150,483

Tu Dao Maintains Lead in Ladies Event with Six Left

Tu Dao started Day 3 of the $1,000 Ladies Event with the chip lead and 42 players standing in her way. On Saturday, she maintained that chip lead while 36 players were sent to the cashier cage after busting out. Dao now has to outlast just five more players to claim victory.

Dao bagged up 5,420,000 which puts here ahead of Jiyoung Kim by just 320,000. Nancy Matson sits third with 4,530,000. The final three players find themselves trailing by quite a bit. Lyly Vo, Lexy Gavin, and Sandrine Phan all have between 1.185 million and 1.7 million.

Kathy Liebert, Ana Marquez, Jackie Glazer, Lisa Costello, and Vanessa Kade were among the 36 bustouts on Saturday.

The final table begins at Noon PT.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Tu Dao – 5,420,000
  2. Jiyoung Kim – 5,100,000
  3. Nancy Matson – 4,530,000
  4. Lyly Vo – 1,700,000
  5. Lexy Gavin – 1,430,000
  6. Sandrine Phan – 1,185,000

Ari Engel Takes Down $2,500 NLHE for First Bracelet

Ari Engel, one of the most revered players in the history of PocketFives, can now call himself a WSOP bracelet winner. Engel topped a 996-player field to win the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event for $427,399.

“It’s more crazy that Stephen Chidwick hadn’t won one before. Us huge field no-limit players, there’s no real “due”. You play these, you expect to win one in a lifetime, maybe. I expect to f*** it up somewhere along the line and just blow it up,” Engel said after his win. “I did that, I’m sure, a few times and I got lucky instead of losing the tournament. It’s a relief to not mess it up whenever I win a tournament because most of the time I do end up messing it up.”

Engel defeated Pablo Melogno heads-up to win the bracelet. The 35-year-old thinks the win might help him in the next event he plays. Maybe.

“I’m very competitive and poker’s a game of losing a lot. I lose my confidence very easily so I should be good to go for tomorrow at least,” he said.

David ‘Bakes’ Baker picked up his fifth cash of the summer with a fifth place finish.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Ari Engel – $427,399
  2. Pablo Melogno – $264,104
  3. Wilbern Hoffman – $186,392
  4. Ben Keeline – $133,306
  5. David ‘Bakes’ Baker – $96,632
  6. James Hughes – $71,010
  7. Raylene Celaya – $52,909
  8. Stephanie Hubbard – $39,980
  9. Josh Arieh – $30,643

Luke Schwartz Wins $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw

Luke Schwartz is one of the best poker players on the planet. Just ask him. On Saturday, Schwartz proved his mettle by taking down the $10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event for $273,336 and just his fifth WSOP cash. Schwartz was complimentary of the players he bested to win.

“Everyone played great. Johannes – he was frustrating me so much, because I would stand pat with decent hands and he kept drawing and making it on the river. That happened so many times,” Schwartz said. “Maybe the old me would have just got frustrated and tilted, but I took deep breaths and managed to see it through.”

George Wolff, who held the chip lead at the start of the day, finished runner-up for $168,936. Johannes Becker, who Schwartz credited as being one of the best Triple Draw players in the world, ended up third for $116,236.

Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Calvin Anderson wound up sixth.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Luke Schwartz – $273,336
  2. George Wolff – $168,936
  3. Johannes Becker – $116,236
  4. Mark Gregorich – $81,635
  5. Yueqi Zhu – $58,547
  6. Calvin Anderson – $42,898

Monster Stack Sees Lowest Turnout in Six Year History

Originally intended to give players perceived value through a larger starting stack, it appears the polish on the $1,500 Monster Stack is officially worn off. For the fifth consecutive year, the Monster Stack saw a year-over-year drop in attendance after 3,607 Day 1B players pushed the total field to just 6,035 players.

The original Monster Stack, in 2014, had a 7,862-player field.

YEAR ENTRIES Y/Y +/-
2019 6035 -3.59%
2018 6260 -6.79%
2017 6716 -3.05%
2016 6927 -3.68%
2015 7192 -8.52%
2014 7862

Pennsylvania poker player James Hundt finished Day 1B with 466,600 and the chip lead. A total of 1,778 survived 1B and will be part of the Day 2 restart beginning at 11 AM PT.

Some of the notables moving on to Day 2 from 1B include John Racener, Tristan Wade, Ryan Hughes, Arash Ghaneian, Taylor Paur, and Greg Raymer.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. James Hundt – 466,600
  2. Kapila Garner – 464,100
  3. Rick Alvarado – 443,600
  4. Nishant Sharma – 429,000
  5. John Gravagna – 415,000
  6. Julian Manolio – 405,700
  7. Michael Jagroo – 391,000
  8. Venkata Chinta – 364,300
  9. Terence Clee – 362,000
  10. Matthew Kirby – 359,000

Michael Thompson Leads $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Final 12

Michael Thompson sits atop the final 12 players heading into the last day of play in the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo but there’s a WSOP Player of the Year contender still lurking around.

Thompson bagged up 923,000 after Day 2, which puts him ahead of his closest competition, Daniel Ratigan, by just 24,000. Scroll down the second shortest stack and you see Dan Zack still chasing a second bracelet and those all-important WSOP POY points. Zack currently sits 15.82 points behind current leader Upeshka De Silva but will earn no fewer than 197.44 points on Sunday. A win would give him 987.22 points and a massive lead over the rest of the field.

Included among the 49 players who busted after the bubble burst on Saturday were Jeffrey Lisandro, Yuval Bronshtein, Brett Richey, Eli Elezra, Simon Mattsson, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and Shaun Deeb.

Action resumes Sunday at 2 PM PT.

Final 12 Chip Counts

  1. Michael Thompson – 923,000
  2. Daniel Ratigan – 899,000
  3. Philip Long – 813,000
  4. Denis Strebkob – 709,000
  5. Yuri Dzivielevski – 594,000
  6. Gerard Rechnitzer – 496,000
  7. Andrey Zaichenko – 424,000
  8. Michael Coombs – 387,000
  9. Alex Livingston – 254,000
  10. Nickolai Orlov – 230,000
  11. Dan Zack – 214,000
  12. Carlos Rodriguez – 103,000

Yi Li On Top of $10K Pot Limit Omaha Championship Day 1

Don’t look now, but there’s a chance that the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship could crack 500 entries for the first time in history. Day 1 saw 494 players enter and registration is open until the start of Day 2.

Yi Li finished the 10 levels of play Saturday with 572,000 and was the only player to end with more than 500,000. Mohsin Virani ended with the second biggest stack at 401,000. Ben Lamb, who won this event in 2011 by beating 360 players, finished with 343,700.

Longtime PocketFiver Laszlo ‘omaha4rollz’ Bujtas finished with a top 10 stack.

Other notables among the 253 players moving on to Day 2 include Kahle Burns, Ryan Laplante, Bryce Yockey, Phil Galfond, Chance Kornuth, Chris Hunichen, Brian Hastings, and Daniel Negreanu.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Yi Li – 572,000
  2. Mohsin Virani – 401,000
  3. Timothy Batow – 358,700
  4. Ben Lamb – 343,700
  5. Andrew Loomis – 329,300
  6. Antonios Rouggeris – 310,300
  7. Alexey Makarov – 300,300
  8. Laszlo Bujtas – 297,900
  9. Frank Koopmann – 294,900
  10. Grzegorz Derkowski – 288,100