WSOP: Phil Ivey Leading $50K Poker Players Championship into Day 4

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Team Geiger won the $1,000 Tag Team title on Wednesday. (WSOP photo)

Wednesday’s action at the 2019 World Series of Poker included two more events wrapping up, the Colossus drawing over 5,000 runners, and the start of another $10,000 Championship event, but all eyes were squarely on the $50,000 Poker Players Championship as Phil Ivey finished with the chip lead for the second day in a row.

Kainalu McCue-Unciano Takes Down Monster Stack

The 2019 Monster Stack event might be the smallest one in the six-year history of the event, but that really doesn’t bother Kainalu McCue-Unciano. The 25-year-old Hawaii native topped the 6,035-player field to win $1,008,850 and the first bracelet of his career.

McCue-Unciano ended Day 2 with the chip lead and it started to feel like something special was about to happen. Wednesday night, that special feeling became reality.

“Everyday I told myself that I would do it. It’s just an unreal feeling. It’s kicking in slowly, it’s crazy. It’s a crazy feeling,” he said.

The final day of play saw six players return with McCue-Uncianos sitting second in chips. McCue-Unciano handled the first two eliminations and got to heads-up with a substantial chip lead.

“Definitely a roller coaster of emotions. I thought the match was going to be over when I held with ace-king. He battled back to chip lead and it was tough, he was a very tough opponent. I just got there on him when I needed it,” he said.

Vincent Chauve earned $623,211 for his runner-up performance.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Kainalu McCue-Unciano – $1,008,850
  2. Vincent Chauve – $623,211
  3. Gregory Katayama – $461,369
  4. Bart Hanson – $344,079
  5. Benjamin Ector – $258,516
  6. Igor Yaroshevskyy – $195,687
  7. Bryan Kim – $149,247
  8. Andre Haneberg – $114,694
  9. Javier Zarco – $88,817

Israeli Trio Takes Down $1,000 Tag Team Title

The number of Israeli bracelet winners at the 2019 WSOP doubled on Wednesday. Well, kind of. The team of Chad Geiger, Daniel Dayan, and Barak Wisbrod – all Israelis – took down the $1,000 Tag Team event for the fourth event won by their countrymen.

The win came with $168,395 and a bracelet for each of them – and that hardware is what this team was all about once the final table started.

“It was a different kind of final table. It’s really not about the money, it’s about the bracelet and I’m only 23. This is my first time in Vegas. I felt pretty good playing, but I did feel like there was more on the line when playing,” Wisbrod said.

The team of Jerod Smith, Matthew Moreno, and Lawrence Chan earned $104,025 as the runner-up while Anthony Zinno and John Hinds finished third for $73,329.

Pennsylvania online poker grinder Zachary Gruneberg and teammate Timothy Jurkiewicz finished fourth, taking home $52,390.

Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Steven van Zadelhoff and his teammate Kenny Hallaert picked up $15,674 for finishing eighth.

Israeli’s Yuval Bronshtein, Eli Elezra, and Asi Moshe all won bracelets earlier this year.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Chad Geiger / Daniel Dayan / Barak Wisbrod – $168,395
  2. Jerod Smith / Matthew Moreno / Lawrence Chan – $104,025
  3. Anthony Zinno / John Hinds – $73,329
  4. Timothy Jurkiewicz / Zach Gruneberg – $52,390
  5. Fabio Coppola / Richard Washinsky – $37,944
  6. Danny Wong / Steve Sung / Chahn Jung / Aaron Motoyama – $27,864
  7. Daniel Marder / Michael Marder / Paul Steinberg – $20,750
  8. Steven van Zadelhoff / Kenny Hallaert – $15,674
  9. Jie Xu / Shaotong Chang – $12,011

Phil Ivey Leads $50K Poker Players Championship into Day 4

Just 11 players stand between Phil Ivey and a victory in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for what would be his 11th WSOP bracelet. Ivey finished Day 3 with 4,775,000 and the chip lead.

Josh Arieh was the only other player to bag more than 3,000,000. The two-time bracelet winner finished the day with 4,029,000. Shaun Deeb ended with 2,450,000 for the third best stack.

There are five more WSOP bracelet winners still in the field; Bryce Yockey, Phillip Hui, John Esposito, Christopher Vitch, and Andrew Brown. David Oppenheim, a 2019 Poker Hall of Fame finalist, has a third place and ninth place finish in this event to his credit. He made it through Day 3 with the fifth best stack.

The bubble burst on Wednesday when Chris Klodnicki was eliminated by Arieh in 13th place.

Daniel Cates, with only one previous WSOP cash to his credit, advanced to Day 4 with the second shortest stack.

The final 12 players will be back in action beginning at 2 PM PT and will play until six players remain.

Final 12 Chip Counts

  1. Phil Ivey – 4,775,000
  2. Josh Arieh – 4,029,000
  3. Shaun Deeb – 2,450,000
  4. Bryce Yockey – 2,386,000
  5. David Oppenheim – 2,108,000
  6. Dario Sammartino – 1,721,000
  7. Phillip Hui – 1,540,000
  8. John Esposito – 1,200,000
  9. Talal Shakerchi – 785,000
  10. Christopher Vitch – 523,000
  11. Daniel Cates – 369,000
  12. Andrew Brown – 210,000

Lang Lee Leads $600 Deepstack Championship

Just 83 players remain in the $600 Deepstack Championship and Lang Lee holds a narrow lead over Will Givens heading into the final day of play. Lee finished with 6,075,000 while Givens bagged up just 50,000 less.

Steffen Logen ended with a third-best stack of 5,485,000.

Day 2 started with 919 players. Included in the 836 players who were sent to the rail on Wednesday were Lexy Gavin, John Phan, Chris Moorman, Humberto Brenes, and Eric Baldwin.

Action resumes at 2 PM PT and is scheduled to play down to a winner.

Top Chip Counts

  1. Lang Lee – 6,075,000
  2. Will Givens – 6,025,000
  3. Steffen Logen – 5,485,000
  4. Riccardo Trevisani – 5,475,000
  5. Giovani Torre – 5,455,000
  6. Carl Brewington – 5,130,000
  7. Dan Matsuzuki – 4,630,000
  8. Luke Martinelli – 4,380,000
  9. Andres Jeckeln – 4,370,000
  10. Gabor Molnar – 3,990,000

Grinder Lurking in $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo

Matt O’Donnell ended Day 2 of the $1,5000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event with the chip lead, but all eyes are on the third biggest stack. That stack belongs to Michael Mizrachi. The five-time bracelet winner ended with 1,196,000 with just 57 other players remaining.

Sandwiched between them is James Chen, fresh off of his runner-up finish in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event. The rest of the top 10 includes a number of other notables.

David Prociak, Jon Turner, Ray Henson, Ari Engel, and Scott Abrams all finished with a stack near the top of the chip counts. Connor Drinan, Anthony Zinno, Erik Seidel, Joao Vieira, and Chris Bjorin also advanced to Day 3.

There were 459 players eliminated on Day 2 including 110 in the money. Jeff Lisandro, Daniel Negreanu, Shawn Buchanan, Barry Greenstein, Patrick Leonard, Joseph Cheong, Shannon Shorr, Frank Kassela, Robert Campbell, and David ‘Bakes’ Baker all picked up a cash but were unable to advance.

Day 3 begins at 2 PM PT.

Top Chip Counts

  1. Matt O’Donnell – 1,388,000
  2. James Chen – 1,227,000
  3. Michael Mizrachi – 1,196,000
  4. David Prociak – 1,030,000
  5. Jon Turner – 1,008,000
  6. Jordan Spurlin – 1,004,000
  7. Raymond Henson – 922,000
  8. Ari Engel – 798,000
  9. Thiago Macedo – 778,000
  10. Scott Abrams – 774,000

Amador Trinidad Turns Colossus Day 1A into a Milly

At just $400, the 2019 version of the Colossus has the lowest price point of any live event on the WSOP schedule. Amador Trinidad had a very successful Day 1A, using the 12 40-minute levels to turn his 40,000 starting stack into 1,012,000. No other player got to the seven-figure mark.

Joseph Torres got close though. He ended with 992,000. Marc Korner bagged the third best stack with 937,000.

Day 1A drew 5,238 entries with 770 of them advancing to Day 2. The bubble burst late on Day 1A giving Greg Raymer, Mark Seif, Amir Lehavot, and Ylon Schwartz a cash and a stack heading into Day 2.

Top Chip Counts

  1. Amador Trinidad – 1,012,000
  2. Joseph Torres – 992,000
  3. Marc Korner – 937,000
  4. William Blais – 934,000
  5. Haoxiang Wang – 901,000
  6. Arturs Daugis – 860,000
  7. Carolyn Grad – 852,000
  8. Greg Raymer – 850,000
  9. Kunal Patni – 849,000
  10. Matthew Beisner – 828,000

Andre Akkari Leads $10,000 Razz After Day 1

Andre Akkari spent a good amount of time on Wednesday making the worst hand. That worked out just fine for the Brazilian as he finished Day 1 of the $10,000 Razz Championship with 508,000 and the chip lead.

He’s nearly 200,000 ahead of the next closest player. David Bach finished with 308,500. Marco Johnson bagged up 254,000. Defending champion Calvin Anderson put himself in position to repeat after collecting 248,500 chips on Day 1.

Day 1 drew 97 entries. Registration remains open until the start of Day 2 and 22 players will need to register to meet the 2018 field of 119.

David ‘ODB’ Baker, Jason Mercier, Eli Elezra, Frank Kassela, Robert Mizrachi, Brandon Shack-Harris, were among the 55 players who busted on Day 1.

Day 2 begins at 2 PM PT.

Top Chip Counts

  1. Andre Akkari – 508,000
  2. David Bach – 308,500
  3. Marco Johnson – 254,000
  4. Calvin Anderson – 248,500
  5. Max Pescatori – 241,000
  6. Daniel Zack – 240,500
  7. Cary Katz – 228,000
  8. John Monnette – 220,500
  9. Julien Martini – 217,000
  10. Michael McKenna – 210,500