WSOP: Daniel Strelitz, Yuval Brohnstein Join Bracelet Winners Club

Daniel Strelitz won his first WSOP bracelet on Thursday by taking down the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event. (WSOP photo)

In the lead up to the World Series of Poker every year, there always ends up being a discussion about who the best player without a WSOP bracelet is. Two players whose names have come up in those conversations each permanently removed themselves from contention on Thursday by winning one of poker’s most highly coveted trophies.

Daniel Strelitz topped a final table that included Shannon Shorr, Maria Ho, and Ali Imsirovic to win the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event while Yuval Brohnstein maneuvered his way to victory in the $1,500 NO Limit Deuce-to-Seven event.

Those were just two of the eight events on Thursday’s schedule that also included the Big 50 nearing its conclusion.

Daniel Strelitz Wins $5,000 No Limit Hold’em

Daniel Strelitz has a World Poker Tour title to his name along with a few high profile runner-up finishes. What he was missing was a WSOP bracelet. That was until Thursday.

Strelitz beat Shannon Shorr heads up to win the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $442,385. The 29-year-old poker pro admitted to feeling some relief after going 38 WSOP cashes without a win.

“I finally got it off my back,” Strelitz said. “I came close a few times, and it’s kind of disappointing. But it wasn’t like I was desperate. But it’s still just a massive relief. I’m super happy.”

The final table started six-handed, but one of those players was missing. Ali Imsirovic, who started third in chips, misunderstood the final table start time and was late arriving to the table. He overcame that slight mishap to finish fourth.

Maria Ho, fresh off of her third place finish in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, couldn’t overcome a short stack and finished fifth.

Arsenii Karmatckii finished sixth.

The win moved Strelitz past $4 million in lifetime earnings.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Daniel Strelitz – $442,385
  2. Shannon Shorr – $273,416
  3. Ognjen Sekularac – $186,050
  4. Ali Imsirovic – $129,018
  5. Maria Ho – $91,211
  6. Arsenii Karmatckii – $65,764
  7. Maria Mcalpin – $48,377
  8. Pauli Ayras – $36,323
  9. Michael O’Grady – $27,848

Yuval Bronshtein Grabs $1,500 No Limit Deuce Bracelet

Over the last 12 years, Yuval Bronshtein has earned 67 WSOP cashes and a little more than $1.1 million in earnings. Nine times he’s been at a final table. Yet prior to Thursday, the 34-year-old had never been heads-up for a bracelet. He finally got that opportunity on Thursday and made the absolute most of it.

Bronshtein beat Ajay Chabra, who started the day with the chip lead, once play reached heads up to win the $1,500 No Limit Deuce event for $96,278.

“Ajay is a great player. I got to play with him yesterday and I couldn’t beat him in a pot. I had a feeling he was going to go deep in this tournament, be one of the last three at least,” Bronshtein said. “However, I have a lot of experience playing heads up, not particularly in this game, I only play this game once a year, but I’m very good at heads up.”

Despite not being able to close out a WSOP event prior to Thursday, Bronshtein knew if he was patient and kept working, he’d eventually find an opportunity to do it.

“It feels amazing. It’s exactly what I thought it would be like. I’m not surprised I’ve always felt I could win one of these tournaments,” Bronshtein said. “Glad to finally wrap one up, I’m definitely really happy about it. This has been a really big goal of mine since I started playing poker. It’s been my number one goal.”

Chabra, who finished 22nd in this event last summer, earned $59,591 to nearly double his lifetime WSOP cashes to $148,107.

Jerry Wong finished third for $39,986.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Yuval Bronshtein – $96,278
  2. Ajay Chabra – $59,491
  3. Jerry Wong – $39,986
  4. Steven Tabb – $27,477
  5. Michael Sortino – $19,313
  6. Bjorn Geissert – $13,892
  7. Craig Chait – $10,232
  8. Frank Kassela – $7,722

Femi Fashakin Leads Big 50 Final Table

From 28,371 entries, just seven players remain in contention for the $1,147,449 first place prize in the largest live poker tournament ever. Florida native Femi Fashakin heads into the final day of play with the chip lead of the Big 50 and just six other players stand in his way.

Fashakin will be in unfamiliar territory on Friday. He’s never made a final table and has just $59,706 in lifetime earnings. The minimum he’s guaranteed now is $182,192.

By the time play wraps up on Friday, one player will have accumulated 1.427 billion chips.

Action resumes at Noon PT and will be streamed live on CBS All Access.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Femi Fashakin – 314,000,000
  2. Walter Atwood – 297,000,000
  3. Rafi Elharar – 227,500,000
  4. Paul Cullen – 191,500,000
  5. Nicholas Chow – 170,000,000
  6. Adrian Curry – 126,000,000
  7. Daniel Ghobrial – 101,000,000

Only Swingruber, Garcia, Yu, Lehr Remain in $10,000 Heads Up Championship

Friday is Final Four day in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship event with three previous bracelet winners still in contention. Colossus I winner Cord Garcia, three-time bracelet winner Ben Yu, and two-time bracelet winner Keith Lehr are joined by relatively unknown Sean Swingruber.

Garcia beat Ricky Guan and Matthias Eibinger to advance to the final day of play. He’ll face Swingruber in the semi-finals. Swingruber, a Los Angeles poker pro, defeated Jan Lakota and Jimmy D’Ambrosio on Thursday.

D’Ambrosio did what many in this event have failed to do over the years. He beat John Smith. The pair met up in Round of 16 at the start of Day 2 with D’Ambrosio coming out on top of the two-time runner-up.

Yu worked his way through Richard Tuhrim and Kristen Bicknell on his way to the semi-finals. Lehr beat Simon Bruns and Jake Schindler to advance.

Play resumes on Saturday at Noon and will be streamed live on PokerGO.

Jason Acosta Leads Final 28 in $1,500 HORSE

Day 2 of the $1,500 HORSE event saw the field shrink from 291 players to just 28. New Jersey poker player Jason Acosta ended Day 2 on a heater and bagged up the chip lead with 754,000.

WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu sits fifth in chips and Chris Klodnicki and Phillip Hui also finished with top 10 stacks.

Mark Gregorich, Andre Akkari, and Tony Ma, also managed to advance to Day 3.

Some of the notables that busted out in the money on Thursday included Anthony Zinno, David Bach, Daniel Zack, Jim Collopy, Chris Wallace, David ‘ODB’ Baker, and Chris Ferguson.

Action resumes at Noon and is scheduled to play down to a winner.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Jason Acosta – 754,000
  2. Jason Stockfish – 646,000
  3. Sergey Altbregin – 485,000
  4. Danny Woolard – 434,000
  5. Valentin Vornicu – 421,000
  6. Gary Kosakowski – 417,000
  7. Ashish Gupta – 367,000
  8. Raul Paez – 333,000
  9. Chris Klodnicki – 323,000
  10. Phillip Hui – 316,000

Romain Nussmann Leads $1,500 Six Max Final 26

Day 2 of the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold’em event continued with fast and furious action with 263 players being sent to the rail.

France’s Romain Nussmann finished on top of the final 26 players with 8,095,000. He’s more than 1 million chips ahead of Singapore’s Ong Dingxiang, who finished with 7,080,000. There’s then a significant gap before the third biggest stack, Pierce Mckellar with 4,990,000.

Isaac Baron and Day 1 chip leader Richard Hasnip both finished with top 10 chip stacks.

Play resumes at 2 PM on Friday and will play down to a winner.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Romain Nussmann – 8,095,000
  2. Ong Dingxiang – 7,080,000
  3. Pierce Mckellar – 4,990,000
  4. Kainalu Mccue-Unciano – 2,760,000
  5. Nicolas Careme – 2,400,000
  6. Henry Lu – 2,175,000
  7. Isaac Baron – 2,050,000
  8. Stephen Graner – 2,045,000
  9. Vadim Shlez – 1,730,000
  10. Richard Hasnip – 1,615,000

Ott Brothers Advance to Day 2 of $1,500 Shootout

The $1,500 NLHE Shootout, the first shootout of the 2019 WSOP, drew 917 players with 100 of them making it through their first table to advanced to Day 2.

Some of the notables to advance to Day 2 include Maurice Hawkins, Jennifer Tilly, Qui Nguyen, Kelly Minkin, Loni Harwood, Joe Cada and Pennsylvania poker playing twins Daniel and Dillon Ott.

There is no chance that the Ott brothers will both make the final table though. Both ended up on the same Day 2 table.

Day 2 will feature ten 10-handed tables each playing down to a winner. Those 10 will make up the official final table which will play on Saturday.

Deeb, McMaster, Foxen Bag Top 10 Day 1 Stacks in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8

Yarron Bendor leads the 90 players who survived Day 1 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship event but there’s a star-studded group chasing him.

David Benyamine, Shaun Deeb, Alex Foxen, and Derek McMaster, who won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event earlier this week, all finished with top 10 stacks. John Racener, Mike Wattel, Mike Matusow, Benny Glaser, and Nick Schulman are also still alive with better-than-average stacks.

The first day of play drew 173 players, up from the 169 who played this same event last year, and registration remains open until the start of Day 2.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Yarron Bendor – 375,500
  2. David Benyamine – 291,500
  3. Shaun Deeb – 263,000
  4. Delmiro Toledo – 258,000
  5. Derek McMaster – 240,000
  6. Robert Stevanovski – 227,000
  7. David “Bakes” Baker – 221,000
  8. Alex Foxen – 218,000
  9. Tom Koral – 216,500
  10. Ken Aldridge – 201,500