WSOP: Phil Ivey Returns, Femi Fashakin Wins Big 50 for $1.15M

Phil Ivey returned to the World Series of Poker on Friday, playing the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship.

What could possibly overshadow the conclusion of the largest poker tournament of all time where one player walked away with $1 million at the 2019 World Series of Poker? The unexpected and unannounced return of Phil Ivey. While the Big 50 was playing down to a winner on the ESPN main stage Friday afternoon, the 10-time bracelet winner casually entered the Rio through a back entrance and was one of the last players to register for the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship event.

Femi Fashakin Wins Largest Tournament Ever, Turns $500 in $1.15M

Femi Fashakin started the Big 50 final table with the chip lead on Friday afternoon and when all was said and done he was posing for pictures with the bracelet as poker’s newest millionaire.

Fashakin topped the record-setting 28,371-player field to win $1,159,620. He eliminated Nicholas Chow in fourth, Rafi Elharar in third, and then bested Canadian Paul Cullen heads-up to win the prize. The 37-year-old Florida resident and father of two came to the United States from Nigeria in 2001 to study computer science at Bethune-Cookman University. He started playing poker in 2010.

“When I found poker, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘This is a game I can analyze and use my mind on.’,” Fashakin said. “So I got a little more interested in the game and started watching WSOPs and WPTs.”

He started playing bar poker near his home in Orlando before graduating into smaller buy-in events in local casinos. Prior to this win, Fashakin’s live earnings totalled just a hair over $59,000 and his single biggest score was $11,250 in the WPT Seminole Rock n Roll Poker Open last November.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Femi Fashakin – $1,147,449
  2. Paul Cullen – $709,183
  3. Rafi Elharar – $534,574
  4. Nicholas Chow – $405,132
  5. Walter Atwood – $308,701
  6. Danny Ghobrial – $237,609
  7. Adrian Curry – $182,192
  8. Morten Christensen – $141,126
  9. David Rasmussen – $109,922

Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza Make Event #14 a Two-Horse Race

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza bagged up chips in the $1,500 HORSE event as the only two players remaining. There were 28 players still in contention at the start of the day but through over 13 hours of play, just two remain. Stockfish and Souza attempted to finish things on Friday night but agreed to come back Saturday to play down to a winner.

Earlier in the day, Andre Akkari busted in 26th, WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu finished 19th, and 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Rich Zhu went home in 15th place. The final table included Chris Klodnicki going out in fifth and Phillip Hui following him to the rail in fourth.

Chip Counts

  1. Jason Stockfish – 4,095,000
  2. Murilo Souza – 3,425,000

Isaac Baron Heads Up for First WSOP Bracelet

Isaac Baron reached as high as #2 in the PocketFives Rankings in his online poker career. He’s hoping for anything but second best on Saturday when he and Ong Dingxiang return to finish off the $1,500 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event. The pair bagged up early Saturday morning after outlasting 19 other players on Day 3.

With 53.8% of the chips in play, Baron has a slight lead over Dingxiang. Both players are looking for their first career WSOP bracelet. Baron’s previous best finish came in 2014 when he finished fourth in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event. Dingxiang meanwhile has never cashed in a WSOP event.

Romain Nussmann, who started the day in the chip lead, busted in ninth

Chip Counts

  1. Isaac Baron-24,475,000
  2. Ong Dingxiang – 21,025,000

$1,500 Shootout Down to Final Table

Cary Katz is one of the regulars on the High Roller and Super High Roller circuit. He’s one of 10 players who has managed to navigate their way through two tables to advance to the final table of the $1,500 Shootout event.

Despite having $19.5 million in lifetime earnings, mostly from those big buy-in events he frequents, Katz has never won a WSOP bracelet. He has two runner-up finishes, first 2013 in a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event and then in 2017 when he finished one spot behind Mohsin Charania in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event.

The final table also marks the return of Kenna James. He last made a WSOP final table in 2009 when he finished 6th in a $2,500 Razz event. He has 36 WSOP cashes but has yet to secure a bracelet. Brett Apter starts the final table with a slight chip lead.

Some of the players who made Day 2 but were unable to advance included Joe Cada, Erik Seidel, Daniel Ott, Dillon Ott, Jonathan Proudfoot, Qui Nguyen, Felipe Ramos, Kelly Minkin, Loni Harwood, and Maurice Hawkins.

Final table action begins at Noon PT and

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Brett Apter – 2,258,000
  2. Anatolii Zyrin – 2,306,000
  3. Marko Maher – 2,240,000
  4. Shintaro Baba – 2,237,000
  5. Adrian Scarpa – 2,286,000
  6. Michael O’Grady – 2,298,000
  7. Kenna James – 2,203,000
  8. Cary Katz – 2,266,000
  9. Manuel Ruivo – 2,245,000
  10. Tommy Nguyen – 2,213,000

Phil Ivey Return Highlights $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1

The $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship usually brings out a cross-section of the best poker players in the world and players who specialize in this variant. Day 2 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship certainly lived up to that reputation and even brought about the return of Phil Ivey.

Ivey was one of a handful of players who took advantage of the late registration extending into Day 2 and his return to the WSOP for the first time this year set the poker world abuzz. Unfortunately for poker fans, Ivey wasn’t one of the 23 players who were able to bag up chips at the end of the day.

Ken Aldridge leads the final 23 players with 1,178,000, but Owais Ahmed is hot on his heels with 1,078,000. Robert Mizrachi sits third with 703,000.

Shaun Deeb picked up his third cash of the 2019 WSOP and will begin Day 3 with 652,000 in chips. Other notables still chasing the bracelet and $443,641 first place prize money include David Benyamine, Jake Schwartz, Mike Wattel, Mike Matusow, and David ‘Bakes’ Baker.

Action resumes at 2 PM PT and will play down to six players.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Ken Aldridge – 1,178,000
  2. Owais Ahmed – 1,074,000
  3. Robert Mizrachi – 703,000
  4. Frankie O’Dell – 692,000
  5. Andrew Yeh – 677,000
  6. Nick Guagenti – 667,000
  7. Shaun Deeb – 652,000
  8. Yarron Bendor – 647,000
  9. David Benyamine – 605,000
  10. Richard Ashby – 587,500

Millionaire Maker Opening Flight Draws Nearly 4,000 Players

Amidst all of the hype for the Big 50, other smaller buy-in gimmick tournaments could have suffered. That doesn’t appear to be the case for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker though. Day 1A drew 3,930 players, a 29% increase over 2018 Day 1A. Topping the 968 who managed to bag up chips at the end of the day was Garrett Greer with 570,600.

Two former #1-ranked players also bagged top 10 stacks. Calvin Anderson finished with the second-best stack of the day, right behind Greer, with 563,600. Chris Hunichen rounded out the top 10 with 366,800.

Chance Kornuth, Jack Sinclair, Daniel Strelitz, Joe McKeehen, David Pham, Asher Conniff, Scott Clements, and Jared Jaffee were just some of the notable players who managed to put chips in a bag at the end of Day 1A.

Day 1B begins at 10 AM PT.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Garrett Greer – 570,600
  2. Calvin Anderson – 563,600
  3. Eder Murata – 506,000
  4. Orson Young – 417,300
  5. Soheb Porbandarwala – 406,000
  6. Keith Lehr – 383,000
  7. Susannah Altman – 381,200
  8. Luis Pinho – 373,800
  9. Jacob Naumann – 372,500
  10. Chris Hunichen – 366,800

Daniel Negreanu Among Leaders $1,500 Seven Card Stud

Day 1 of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event drew 285 players and Daniel Negreanu, Julien Martini, Andre Akkari, Scott Seiver, and Joao Simao were a handful of the notables who moved on to Day 2.

Negreanu built his 10,000 starting stack into 56,900 for the sixth best moving on to Day 2. Martini is right behind him with 56,100.

Action resumes at 2 PM PT.

Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Constantine Moustakis – 76,600
  2. David Singer – 69,000
  3. Joshua Mountain – 60,500
  4. Joachim Sanejstra – 57,500
  5. Pawel Andrzejewski – 57,500
  6. Daniel Negreanu – 56,900
  7. Julien Martini – 56,100
  8. Perry Friedman – 54,400
  9. Kyle Hinnerichs – 52,500
  10. Jose Paz-Gutierrez – 52,100