WSOP: Joe McKeehen Wins Second Bracelet in $10K Limit Hold’em


Joe McKeehen added a second bracelet to his list of poker accomplishments on Wednesday (WSOP photo)

Three more bracelet winners to tell you about from Wednesday at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Two of them have broken through and taken down their first WSOP gold, while the other broke through in the biggest way back in 2015 by winning the Main Event. That, and more, in today’s round-up.

2015 World Champ Adds Second WSOP Gold

Remember Joe McKeehen from the TV two years ago? You should, because since he took down the Main Event for $7.68 million, McKeehen hasn’t stopped crushing. He finished runner-up in a $100K PCA High Roller for $1.2 million, final tabled a WPT (3rd for $249K), final tabled the $111K Little One for One Drop (6th for $829K), and has won a bunch in Aria $25Ks.

The crushing continued last night as McKeehen took down the $10K Limit Hold’em Championship (Event #38) for $311,817. Unlike the Main Event where he had the chip lead and rode it to the title, McKeehen came into the final table as the shortstack.

It was a tough final table too, with the likes of Sorel Mizzi, recent bracelet winner Ben Yu, JC Tran, and Terrence Chan in the mix. Eventually though, McKeehen got three-handed with Jared Talarico and Mizzi. He won a huge pot off the latter when he rivered a better full house after Mizzi had flopped a set, and that gave him a huge chip lead heads up against Talarico.

“It’s limit hold’em. You can get really short but if you win some hands you’ll have all the chips,” said McKeehen. “I had a great run.”

Players who went deep in this event but busted before the final table include the defending champIan Johns (11th – $21,318), Shaun Deeb (12th – $21,318), Daniel Negreanu (13th -$17,894), and Phil Hellmuth (16th – $15,385).

Final table payouts

  1. Joe McKeehen – $311,817
  2. Jared Talarico – $192,717
  3. Sorel Mizzi – $135,985
  4. Ben Yu – $97,904
  5. JC Tran – $71,949
  6. Robert Campbell – $53,995
  7. Ray Henson – $41,399
  8. Terrence Chan – $32,443
  9. Aaron Sacks – $26,000

Nadar Kakhmazov defeats Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen heads-up for $5K Six Max title

It’s been a busy – and profitable – month for Nadar Kazhmazov (WSOP photo)

It’s always great when we see a perennial PocketFives all star get a big score out on the live felt. But while former PocketFives #1 player Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen ended up runner up in the $5K Six-Max (Event #35), he also collected $358,677 for his efforts.

The man he couldn’t get past was Nadar Kakhmazov, who wins his first gold bracelet and Russia’s second of the series. Oh, and let’s forget about the $580,338 first-place prize.

Kakhmazov was up against a tough final table, featuring start-of-day chip leader Faraz Jaka, high roller regular Sam Soverel, 2016 November Niner and2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker winner Kenny Hallert, and Hunichen himself.

When the two got heads up, Kakhmazov had a huge chip lead and would never be caught. This is Kakhmazov’s second big score of the summer, after he also won a Venetian event for $440,029.

“I am very happy,” Kakhmazov said after the win. “I have wanted to do this for three years but every time I lose two big pots deep in the tournament. I like it. I’m happy.”

“I try all the time to play better and better. It’s great for Russian poker. I’m going to play the 10K 6-Max now, and then the 25K PLO, the Main Event. I’m feeling too good!”

Final table payouts:

  1. Nadar Kakhmazov – $580,338
  2. Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen – $358,677
  3. Kenny Hallaert – $238,855
  4. Sam Soverel – $162,257
  5. Faraz Jaka – $112,585
  6. Christian Rudolph – $79,611

Thomas Reynolds overcomes huge $1K field to win first bracelet

Thomas Reynolds beat out 2,019 other players to win the first bracelet of his career (WSOP photo)

More than 2,000 players (2,020 to be exact) took their shot in the $1K No Limit Hold’em (Event #37), but after a grueling Day 3 and two long days before that, we now have a champ: Thomas Reynolds.

Prior to this event, Reynolds’ biggest poker win was $2,255. You can multiply that by more than 100, as yesterday Reynolds won $292,880, his first bracelet, and his first tournament victory.

He made his way through a final table line-up that included Romania’s Vlad Darie (6th – $52,932), Germany’s Michael Gathy(5th – $70,884), and his eventual heads-up opponent, James Hughes of the USA.

Their duel went on for some time, which might explain the somewhat loose call Reynolds made in the final hand. On a 8c7d4c3d board, Hughes jammed with the 9s9d and Reynolds called with the bigger stack and the Jd6d for straight and flush draws. The river came the 2d to give him the win.

“I love playing poker. My wife’s very understanding.” Reynolds said. “It feels kinda unreal to tell you the truth, but you know, it’s something I wanted to try to do. It’s an amazing feeling.”

“I’m glad I didn’t know there were that many pros. It probably would’ve put more pressure on me.”

A few notables who cashed in this one include Anthony Spinella (23rd place – $9,209), defending champion Chase Bianchi (28th place – $7,492), Mark Seif (48th place – $5,131), Ryan Laplante (52nd place – $5,131), and Barry Greenstein (61st place – $4,319).

Final table payouts:

  1. Thomas Reynolds – $292,880
  2. James Hughes – $180,919
  3. Reginald Hampton – $131,061
  4. Eric Blair – $95,899
  5. Michael Gathy – $70,884
  6. Vlad Darie – $52,932
  7. Chris Johnson – $39,937
  8. Chad Eveslage – $30,448
  9. Joep Raemaekers – $23,460

Multi-bracelet Winners Deep in $1,500 Seven Card Stud

With just 16 remaining in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #40), there’s no shortage of decent story lines.

Steve Jelinek has the overnight chip lead, but you’ve also got six-time bracelet winner Ted Forrest sitting third on the counts, plus four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatorisitting in seventh.

Pescatori’s fellow Italian Walter Trecarichiis also still alive, as is Justin Bonomo, and ‘Theory of Poker’ author and two-time bracelet winner David Sklansky. He’ll be looking to take down the $173,228 winner’s prize for some additional Sklansky dollars.

Play resumes on Thursday.

Final 16 Chip Counts

  1. Steve Jelinek – 481,000
  2. Hal Rotholz – 445,000
  3. Ted Forrest – 416,000
  4. Don Zewin – 408,000
  5. Barbara Lewis – 407,000
  6. William Kohler – 330,000
  7. Max Pescatori – 324,000
  8. Walter Treccarichi – 285,000
  9. Eric Pratt – 269,000
  10. Tim Finne – 234,000
  11. Justin Bonomo – 210,000
  12. Ernest Bohn – 169,000
  13. Shannon Petluck – 159,000
  14. Dimitrios Magdalinos – 136,000
  15. David Sklansky – 117,000
  16. Jack Rosenfeldt – 73,000

Day 1 of $1,500 PLO and $10K Six-Max in The Books

Two tournaments kicked off yesterday: the $1,500 PLO (Event #41), and one of the more prestigious tournaments on the schedule, the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed Championship (Event #42).

The 870-strong field in the PLO was whittled down to 138, and with the bubble bursting at 131 they’re just seven from the money. A min-cash is worth $2,249, while there’s $231,483 for the eventual winner.

The man on top of the counts overnight is Chun Lawwith 179,100, joined by Kyle Knecht(148,400) and Philip Hayes(139,000). Other notables returning tomorrow include Toby Lewis (125,200), David Williams (71,700), TJ Cloutier (52,500), Joe Cada (29,900), Jeff Lisandro(25,000) and defending champion Jiaqi Xu(10,200).

Not everyone could make it through of course. Phil Hellmuth, John Racener, Benny Glaser, Anthony Zinno, Michael Mizrachi, Barry Greenstein, Brandon Shack-Harris, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Serock and Jason Mercier all took a shot but busted before the day ended.

Play resumes at 12pm Thursday.

Top 10 chip counts:

  1. Chun Law – 179,100
  2. Kyle Knecht – 148,400
  3. Philip Hayes – 139,000
  4. Judah Bolser – 137,800
  5. Toby Lewis – 125,200
  6. Shankar Pillai – 120,400
  7. Willy Ding – 105,200
  8. Jason Stockfish – 105,100
  9. Christopher Delgrande – 101,000
  10. Cesar Garcia – 100,300

Meanwhile, over in Event #42, the $10K Six-Max Championship, it’s Grayson ‘Gray31’ Ramagewho bagged the chip lead with 527,700. Just 129 of the 332 starters remain, and joining Ramage in the big stack club include Sam Stein (364,500) and two-time bracelet winner Cliff ‘Johnny Bax’ Josephy (330,300).

There’s $775,923 up top for the winner of this event, with 50 players cashing. Some more big stacks for your list include Ryan Leng (298,400), Goran Mandic(258,800), Rainer Kempe(254,400), Matt Berkey (253,000), Kristen Bicknell(239,400), Andrew Lichtenberger (214,100), Olivier Busquet(201,400), and Charlie ‘Epiphany77’ Carrel (197,700).

All the big names return at 2pm Thursday.

  1. Grayson Ramage – 527,700
  2. Sam Stein – 364,500
  3. William Stevenson – 355,100
  4. Cliff Josephy – 330,300
  5. Ryan Leng – 298,400
  6. Goran Mandic – 258,500
  7. Rainer Kempe – 254,400
  8. Matt Berkey – 253,000
  9. Mohsin Charania – 246,900
  10. Matt O’Donnell – 245,600