WSOP: Hennigan, Wolansky, Mandavia Win Bracelets, Mercier Advances

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John Hennigan was one of three WSOP bracelet winners on Wednesday. (WSOP photo)

Three players found their way into the winner’s circle on Wednesday at the 2016 World Series of Poker. John Hennigan won his fourth career WSOP bracelet, taking down the $10,000 Triple Draw Championship. Hennigan admitted after his win that he only played the event to get himself away from the cash games where he’d been losing recently.

Jason Mercier didn’t win a bracelet on Wednesday, but he did advance to Day 2 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. He was one of a handful of former bracelet winners to advance.

Event #44: Steven Wolansky Wins Second Bracelet in $1K No Limit Hold’em

Steven Wolansky now has two WSOP bracelets after his victory on Wednesday (WSOP photo)

Two years ago Steven Wolansky won his first WSOP bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. On Wednesday he grabbed his second one, beating Wenlong Jin heads-up to win the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event and nearly $300,000.

“This win is just as meaningful, if not more,” Wolansky said. “The first one I won was more about me wanting to avenge my second place finish the previous year. I lost heads-up and that motivated me to prove to myself I could do it. But this time, it was a lot more money and plus the odds I had to overcome.”

Wolansky and Jin were the only two players to return on Wednesday afternoon after the tournament was stopped Tuesday night after playing the maximum number of levels. When heads-up play began, Jin had Wolansky down 3-1 in chips.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Steven Wolansky – $298,849
  2. Wenlong Jin – $184,631
  3. Bradley Myers – $133,955
  4. Young Sik Eum – $98,150
  5. Justin Zaki – $72,634
  6. Dejan Boskovic – $54,294
  7. Walter Rodriguez – $40,999
  8. Zaher Sayegh – $31,278
  9. Danny Illingworth – $24,111

Event #46: Kristen Bicknell Looking for Second Bracelet in $1500 Bounty Event

So far this summer no female player has managed to win a bracelet. There have been close calls, Kerryjane Craigie finished runner-up in the Casino Employees event, and kindergarten teacher Lisa Meredith finished third in the Millionaire Maker. Former Ladies Event champ Kristen Bicknell is hoping to do one better than both of those finishes.

Bicknell bagged up the chip lead with just three players remaining in the $1,500 Bounty event. Action was haulted on Wednesday night after playing down from 36 players over 10 levels of play.

Bicknell finished Day 3 with 7,080,000, ahead of Norbert Szecsi’s 5,600,000 and John Myung’s 3,550,000.

Among the 33 players who were eliminated on Wednesday were Calvin Anderson (31st – $7,550), Matt Stout (17th – $11,557), Jared Hamby (13th – $14,52) and Steve Gee (7th – $$40,203).

Action resumes Thursday at Noon PT.

Final Three Chip Counts

  1. Kristen Bicknell – 7,080,000
  2. Norbert Szecsi – 5,600,000
  3. John Myung – 3,550,000

Event #47: John Hennigan Wins $10,000 Triple Draw Championship

John Hennigan won the fourth WSOP bracelet of his career, overcoming a final table full of bracelet winners and one of the players considered to be amongst the best without one. Hennigan outlasted the eight combined bracelets of Abe Mosseri, Viacheslav Zhukov, JC Tran, Michael Gathy and Chris Klodnicki. By his own estimation, Hennigan feels he didn’t play all that well.

“What was really striking to me is, I didn’t play that well. I got very lucky in this tournament. I didn’t really have it. But I got lucky at the right times,” said Hennigan. “I bluffed and then caught, and I made so many hands. I normally think I played pretty well. But not this time. I played like shit.”

Hennigan admitted that he’s been playing in the normally lucrative high stakes cash games that happen in Las Vegas during the WSOP, but was candid about how they’ve been going for him.

“I’ve just been playing in the cash games this summer. But I’ve been losing. I was out of gas in the cash games, so I came over here to kill time,” said Hennigan. “Those games are so big that it’s hard to concentrate on tournaments. So, I registered late at midnight – which is foolish. I gave up so many so many levels, but that’s what I did – and I’m glad I did.”

Klodnicki came into the final way with the chip lead and a shot at removing his name from the best-players-without-a-bracelet list that he’s been a mainstay on for some time now. It didn’t quite pan out for Klodnicki and he had to settle for a fourth place finish.

Final Table Payouts

  1. John Hennigan – $320,103
  2. Michael Gathy – $197,838
  3. JC Tran – $142,547
  4. Chris Klodnicki – $102,910
  5. Viacheslav Zhukov – $74,439
  6. Abe Mosseri – $53,951
  7. Brant Hale – $39,179

Event #48: Ankush Mandavia Wins First Bracelet in $5,000 Turbo

Ankush Mandavia won his first WSOP bracelet on Wednesday (WSOP photo)

When the final table of the $5,000 Turbo began most people were watching Phil Hellmuth and his quest for a 15th WSOP bracelet, but in the end ifAnkush Mandavia‘s time to shine. Mandavia beat out Daniel Strelitz heads-up to win his first bracelet and $548,139.

“I’ve had a lot of deep runs in the past, but until now had never closed the deal,”
Mandavia said. “So, it’s really gratifying to win. It feels really good.”

Kyle Julius, who won his first bracelet earlier this summer, was eliminated in ninth and then Hellmuth busted in eighth. It was the first final table of 2016 for Hellmuth and despite falling short of another bracelet, Hellmuth found a silver lining.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Ankush Mandavia – $548,139
  2. Daniel Strelitz – $338,774
  3. Christian Nilles – $232,934
  4. Thiago Macedo – $162,924
  5. Pedro Oliveira $115,957
  6. Sean Getzwiller $84,004
  7. Sergey Lebedev – $61,964
  8. Phil Hellmuth – $46,553
  9. Kyle Julius – $35,636

Event #49: Eugene Katchalov Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table

Six of the final eight players in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud have already won a WSOP bracelet while the other two players have combined for one previous WSOP cash between them. Eugene Katchalov finished Day 2 with 521,000 and the chip lead over the likes of bracelet winners Shaun Deeb and Adam Friedman.

Yaniv Birman has just one previous WSOP result, a 78th place finish in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2011, and Katherine Fleck has never cashed in a WSOP event before.

Max Pescatori, John Monnette and Cory Zeidman round out the rest of the final table.

Action resumes at 2 PM PT Thursday and will play down to a winner.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Eugene Katchalov – 521,000
  2. Shaun Deeb – 485,000
  3. Adam Friedman – 396,000
  4. Yaniv Birman – 386,000
  5. Max Pescatori – 315,000
  6. Katherine Fleck – 256,000
  7. John Monnette – 85,000
  8. Cory Zeidman – 44,000

Event #50: Selbst, Hastings, Farrell Advance to Day 2of $1,500 Shootout

Day 1 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em shootout event saw 1,050 players enter hoping to win three straight sit n gos to win a WSOP bracelet.

Among the group of players to win their first round match were Niall Farrell, Vanessa Selbst, Brian Hastings, Jeff Kimber, Sofia Lovgren, Tobias Reinkemeier and Konstantin Puchkov.

The 120 players who advanced to Day 2 will play ten-handed tables on Thursday beginning at Noon Pt.

Event #51: Steven McCuller Bags Huge Day 1 Chip Lead in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship

Germany’s Steven McCuller finished Day 1 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship with nearly 500,000 chips – more than 50% more than any other player. McCuller finished with 498,600 while the second biggest stack, 330,200, belongs to Hokyiu Lee.

Rep Porter and Michael Mizrachi also finished with top 10 stacks on Thursday.

The event drew exactly 400 players including most of the biggest names in poker. Right now there is no bigger name than Jason Mercier. Seeking his third bracelet of the summer – and a massive prop bet for doing so – Mercier finished Day 1 with 218,800, a top 20 stack.

Phil Hellmuth, fresh off of busting the $5,000 Turbo final table, Scott Clements, Joe Hachem and Antonio Esfandiari are among the players who entered but didn’t make it to Day 2.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Steven Mcculler – 498,600
  2. Hokyiu Lee – 330,200
  3. Rep Porter – 293,700
  4. Arie Miller – 292,000
  5. Bobby Oboodi – 282,600
  6. Michael Mizrachi – 276,900
  7. Ivan Naumov – 271,000
  8. Taylor McFarland – 264,700
  9. Christopher Kruk – 263,800
  10. Peter Park – 259,100