WSOP: Huge Day 1B Highlighted By Selbst Bustout; May Wins Ladies

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Heidi May won the Ladies Championship on Sunday (WSOP photo)

If the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event was going to have any chance of breaking 7,000 for the first time since 2010, it needed a great turnout on Sunday for Day 1B. That’s exactly what tournament organizers got as 2,164 players turned out to push the total number of entrants through the first few flights to just under 3,000.

Sunday’s great turnout wasn’t what had everybody buzzing though. It was an exciting hand that aired live on ESPN between Vanessa Selbst and Gaelle Baumann that might end up being the most talked about hand in poker this year.

Two preliminary events also played down to a winner on Sunday with all eyes squarely focused on Chris Ferguson.

The Hand Heard ‘Round the World

One of the benefits of having the 2017 Main Event broadcast live on ESPN and PokerGO is the ability to see the hands that everybody is talking about in real time. ESPN producers picked the table with Selbst and Baumann to serve as the feature table at the start of the day. It didn’t take long for the two to clash in a drama-filled hand.

Baumann ended the day with 87,100.

Sitting atop the chip counts at the end of Day 1B is Argentinian Richard Dubini with 254,500. Hot on his tail is Britain’s Lawrence Bayley with 247,400. Serge Chechin, out of France, rounds out the top three with 229,800.

Some of the notables moving on to Day 2B include Kenny Hallaert (168,700), Justin Young (168,100), Simon Mattsson (165,700), Matt Glantz (147,000), Ismael Bojang (142,800) and Nick Schulman (131,200).

Selbst wasn’t the only notable name to be among the 521 players eliminated on Day 1B. Justin Bonomo, Jesse Sylvia and Greg Merson all busted out on Sunday.

Four of the five players who were willed into the 2017 Main Event by Tim O’Meara made it through Day 1B.

  • Keren Jackson – 97,200
  • Jonathan Nicol – 61,100
  • Miltiades Tzimourtas – 15,600
  • Stephen Pavlickek – 10,500

Day 1C is expected to be the largest starting flight by far with the potential for play to at least start with 10-handed tables as opposed to nine.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Richard Dubini – 254,500
  2. Lawrence Bayley – 247,400
  3. Serge Chechin – 229,800
  4. Naoya Kihara – 220,700
  5. Sergio Fernandez – 218,800
  6. Alan Schein – 218,000
  7. Brandon Meyers – 216,000
  8. Tobias Ziegler – 215,300
  9. Yisheng Cheng – 214,400
  10. Brandon Adams – 203,500

Mike Wattel Beats Chris Ferguson for $10K Seven Card Stud Championship

Mike Wattel now has two WSOP bracelets after beating Chris Ferguson heads-up in the K Stud Championship (WSOP photo)

It took six hours of heads up play for Mike Wattel to eliminate Chris Ferguson to win $245,451 and the second WSOP bracelet of his career.

“I just feel relieved,” Wattel said. “I finally won one again.”

Wattel’s last bracelet came in 1999. The heads-up battle with Ferguson had the poker community following closely from home, with most anti-sweating Ferguson, one of the founders of the failed Full Tilt Poker. Each players took more than one turn as the shortest stack before Wattel ended the tournament.

“That was an epic battle. He plays great. I had him, and then he had me, and then I finally pulled it out at the end,” said Wattel.

Ferguson got $151,700 for his runner-up finish. It was his 16th cash of the summer and moved into third place in the WSOP Player of the Year race. The current leader there is John Monnette who moved past John Racener for the lead thanks to his fifth place finish in this event.

Perry Friedman finished third for $104,416.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Mike Wattel – $245,451
  2. Chris Ferguson – $151,700
  3. Perry Friedman – $104,416
  4. Amir Mirrasouli – $73,810
  5. John Monnette – $53,621
  6. Bryce Yockey – $40,066
  7. Shaun Deeb – $30,817
  8. David Benyamine – $24,419

Heidi May Wins Ladies Championship

Australia’s Heidi May beat Deborah Worley-Roberts Sunday to win the $10,000 Ladies Championship, her first career bracelet and $135,098. The win was the fifth cash of the 2017 for May.

May noticed a very different feel between the Ladies Championship and the other big field NLHE events she played this summer.

“It’s a welcoming environment,” she said. “Non-threatening. It’s a bit more recreational than when you come to a tournament and it’s all these guys that stare you down with hoodies and stuff – it’s a bit too serious for some people. This was a really fun tournament.”

Final Table Payouts

  1. Heidi May – $135,098
  2. Deborah Worley-Roberts – $83,459
  3. Jana De La Cerra – $57,930
  4. Julie Dang – $40,843
  5. Katie Ansorge – $29,256
  6. Alexis Sterner – $21,298
  7. Tiffany Lee – $15,760
  8. Meg Zampino – $11,858
  9. Karen Hodge – $9,075