WSOP: Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano Wins First Gold Bracelet


Cesar Garcia was one of three WSOP bracelet winners on Saturday )WSOP photo)

Many poker players used to grinding day in and day out at the 2016 World Series of Poker took the weekend off for the Electric Daisy Carnival along with 100,000 other party-goers at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a much-needed breather about halfway through the Series. But action pressed on and Saturday saw three bracelet winners and seven events in action.

Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano is mostly well-known for his success on the virtual felt as a top New Jersey player, but he broke through and won his first WSOP bracelet in an event he final tabled in 2012.

“I’ve never won a live tournament before, at least nothing on this scale before,” Gagliano said. “I came close a few times and definitely wanted to get a win, so it’s nice to that over and done with.”

“I’ve played plenty of tournaments before, it’s all just a matter of adjusting,” he added. “You have to play the tougher aggressive players differently than you play against your recreational players who are taking their one shot – It’s all about adjusting.”

Gagliano was 16th in chips of 24 returning players at the start of Day 3, navitigated his way to the final table and on the 223rd hand of the final table he opened, Daniel Cooke shoved all in holding Ks Qc and Gagliano called holding Ah 9s. He hit a nine on the flop, faded the Broadway cards and took down the tournament.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Michael Gagliano – $448,463
  2. Daniel Cooke – $277,128
  3. Shankar Pillai – $196,119
  4. Remi Castaignon – $140,596
  5. Zu Zhou – $102,120
  6. Niall Farrell – $75,164
  7. Michael Laake – $56,073
  8. Darryll Fish – $42,405
  9. Gavin O’Rourke – $32,514

Cesar Garcia Outduels Viliyan Petlshkov on Day 4

It was a tall order to crown a winner when 27 players returned for Day 3 and Cesar Garcia and Viliyan Petleshkov were the last two left standing when time ran out on the day. Petleshkov and Garcia played 76 hands of heads-up when they bagged up for the night.

Petleshkov bagged the lead with 8.7 million and Garcia had 5.4 million when the returned and after 19 hands Garcia took down his first bracelet and $447,739.

Garcia doubled up after flopping bottom two pair against Petleshkov’s flush draw. Garcia check-raised the flop and called all in to see the board blank and swing the counts his way of 10 million to 4.1 million respectively.

The final hand saw Petleshkov shove with KcJh, Garcia call with Ac6d and the board run all blanks for Garcia to collect just his fourth career WSOP cash.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Cesar Garcia – $447,739
  2. Viliyan Petleshkov – $276,660
  3. Yuriy Boyko – $198,185
  4. Adrian Buckley – $143,598
  5. Kamel Mokhammad – $105,253
  6. Craig McCorkell – $78,053
  7. Craig Varnell – $58,569
  8. Thiago Nishijima – $44,478
  9. Anthony Spinella – $34,188

Benny Glaser Survives Marathon to Win Second Bracelet

Almost a year to the day Benny Glaser won his first bracelet in a $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event and he returned to the final day of play with 24 other players. He built a dominating chip lead at the final table, kept pressure on the short stacks and defeated Benjamin Gold heads-up.

“Obviously, winning a gold bracelet is a massive goal. I hope to win more,” Glaser said after winning. “This is the game I put the most hands in online. So, perhaps I just am more used to this game since I play it all the time.”

The final table featured bracelet winners Max Pescatori, Brandon Shack-Harris and Phillip Hui while Ari Engel, Allen Kessler and Thomas Muhlocker all returned for Day 3 but fell short of the final table.

Final Table

  1. Benny Glaser – $244,103
  2. Benjamin Gold – $150,828
  3. Motohiro Kondo – $106,070
  4. Phillip Hui – $75,627
  5. Brandon Shack-Harris – $54,680
  6. Zachary Milchman – $40,098
  7. Ilya Krupin – $29,830
  8. Max Pescatori – $22,517
  9. Scott Packer – $17,250

Event 27: $1,000 Seniors Championship

The record-breaking Seniors Championship advanced a staggering 675 players, exactly the number of in-the-money finishers, to Day 2 and 57 remained at the end of play. While that’s a huge number of players to eliminate, the event will almost certainly stretch to a fourth day to crown a winner.

Paul Runge ended the day with the lead holding 1.24 million and only two other players bagged up million chip stacks – Robert Musser and Kenneth Ho. Toto Leonidas, Fred Berger and Pete Vilandos bring stacks to Day 3 also.

Billy Baxter, Neil Blumenfeld, John Gale, Ken Aldridge and 2005 Main Event Final Tablist Scott Lazar all cashed in the event, but did not survive the day.

The structure only calls for three days of play, but with 57 players, only ten levels of play until the hard stop and with huge pay jumps the experienced field has a long road ahead of them to even reach the final table.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Paul Runge – 1,240,000
  2. Robert Musser – 1,215,000
  3. Kenneth Hayo – 1,007,000
  4. Deborah Fineberg – 901,000
  5. Wesley Chong – 889,000
  6. Toto Leonidas – 727,000
  7. Victor Adams – 692,000
  8. David Litt – 665,000
  9. Scott Kelly – 639,000
  10. Fred Berger – 614,000

Event 28: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship

The second of three Limit Hold’em events on the schedule wrapped up the Championship event on Day 2 with ten players after returning with 41. Jeff Thompson leads the final table as the only player over a million chips but has a long road ahead with a loaded field.

Multiple bracelet winners Brian Rast, David Chiu, Bill Chen and Brock Parker also return for the final day with Ian Johns second in chips and the always dangerous Anh Van Nguyen lower down the leaderboard.

Ronnie Bardah, Georgios Sotiropoulos and Mark Radoja cashed in the event but did make the final table. Marco Johnson, Howard Lederer, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Matt Glantz and Jeffrey Lisandro each returned for Day 2 but were eliminated short of the money.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Jeff Thompson – 1,047,000
  2. Ian Johns – 800,000
  3. Brian Rast – 731,000
  4. Alexander Balynskiy – 700,000
  5. David Chiu – 554,000
  6. Sean Berrios – 507,000
  7. Bill Chen – 411,000
  8. Anh Van Nguyen – 378,000
  9. Brock Parker – 284,000
  10. Philip Tom – 90,000

Event 29: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em

The weekend No Limit Hold’em benefitted from the Seniors Championship crowd and drew 1,796 entrants and 274 survivors bagged up chips for Day 2. Leading them all is Alexander Ziskin with 170,400 with David Vamplew and Tony Ruberto also finishing with top ten stacks.

Hollywood’s James Woods, Matt Stout, Jeff Papola, Justin Young, Brandon Meyers and Daniel Weinman all bagged up above average stacks.

The field juiced the prize pool to $2,412,450 to pay out the top 270 finishers, a trip to the final table locks up $31,736 and the winner earns $401,287 for a few days of work.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Alexander Ziskin – 170,400
  2. Brock Wilson – 152,200
  3. David Vamplew – 147,300
  4. Julian Stuer – 144,000
  5. Eric Brix – 135,100
  6. Timothy Ulmer – 130,000
  7. Tony Ruberto – 128,000
  8. Javier Gomez – 125,500
  9. Gabriele Patti – 122,000
  10. Matthew Reed – 120,100

Event 30: $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha

The Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event, a precursor the huge $25,000 PLO event later in the Series, drew 580 entrants and by day’s end 119 players survived. Las Vegas pro Randy Ohel holds the lead after putting 273,200 in the bag.

Mike Watson, Christian Harder and Allan Le finished just outside the top stacks and Joey Ingram, Gordon Vayo, Jason Mercier, Max Silver and Daniel Negreanu also advanced to Day 2. Mercier is in the midst of a historic WSOP where he’s already won two bracelets and one runner-up in in a week in $10,000 events.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Randy Ohel – 273,200
  2. Nick Schwarmann – 228,200
  3. Sean Winter – 207,400
  4. Joshua Ladines – 179,600
  5. Christopher Frank – 174,400
  6. Thibaut Klinghammer – 171,400
  7. Aleksandr Denisov – 167,200
  8. Henri Koivisto – 157,500
  9. Joseph Couden – 152,400
  10. Alex Manzano – 148,000

Super Senior Sunday

While nine players convene for the Seniors Championship Final Table on the final day of the event, the $1,000 Super Seniors event, for those at least 65 years-old, kicks off at 10 am. The afternoon sees the $10,000 Omaha HiLo Championship kickoff at 3 pm.