WSOP: Renowned Musician/Producer Steve Albini Wins First Bracelet

Steve Albini WSOP
Steve Albini Wins First Bracelet

There were another three new bracelet winners created on Saturday at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Meanwhile, the $50K Poker Players Championship completed its Day 2, with a former two-time winner and arguably the world’s most famous poker player sitting with the top two stacks.

Here’s all you need to know from June 16.

Steve Albini Wins First Bracelet, Takes Down $1,500 Stud

It’s not too often we have a new bracelet winner who transcends the poker world.

Steve Albini is a world-renowned alternative rock musician (Big Black, Shellac), as well as a noted music producer, perhaps best known for his work with Nirvana (In Utero), as well as the likes of Pixies, Fugazi, and PJ Harvey.

He’s also now a WSOP bracelet winner, having denied Jeff Lisandro his seventh bracelet heads-up to win Event #31: $1,500 Stud for $105,629. Lisandro won $65,282 for his runner-up finish, while 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson placed fourth.

“I’ve been playing stud my whole life. I love it, so I’m very comfortable playing stud. And I ran pretty f***ing good as well,” Albini said after his maiden WSOP victory. Albini, who attends the WSOP every year, had been working with Matt Ashton on his game, and it certainly paid off.

Albini and Lisandro came into heads-up play with even stacks, and the battle went on for two hours before he was able to clinch the win. “I don’t have that much heads-up stud experience,” Albini admitted. “Ashton and I had some conversation about what raising ranges would look like. I was using the sort of thumbnail version of his heads-up stud game strategy.”

Final Table Results:

  1. Steven Albini – $105,629
  2. Jeff Lisandro – $65,282
  3. Katherine Fleck – $43,765
  4. Chris Ferguson – $29,999
  5. Frankie O’Dell – $21,035
  6. Paul Sexton – $15,096
  7. Michael Moore – $11,095
  8. Esther Rossi – $8,355

Gal Yifrach Gets Gold in $3K Six-Max

Only three players returned today for the conclusion of Event 28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, led by 31-year-old LA resident Gal Yifrach. It didn’t take too long for Yifrach to emerge victorious for his first bracelet and $461,798, outlasting the 868 total entries.

Gal Yifrach
Gal Yifrach Takes it Down

Gary Hasson was the first to exit in third, while the heads-up duel lasted only seven hands. Despite Yifrachs starting with a 2:1 chip lead, James Mackey was able to even the stacks before one big hand ended it all. Mackey moved all-in on the turn of an eight-high board with pocket tens, and Yifrach called with ace-eight only to spike another eight on the river.

“You don’t make a final table every tournament,” said Yifrach. “I was fortunate enough and am happy my family and girlfriend came to support me. I’m very happy. Everybody has hopes, and everybody is hoping to get very far. I was fortunate enough to get there.”

“When you run good you play good, as well. It comes hand in hand. It’s a great feeling.”

Final Table Results:

  1. Gal Yifrach – $461,798
  2. James Mackey – $285,377
  3. Gary Hasson – $193,716
  4. Aaron Mermelstein – $133,731
  5. Darren Rabinowitz – $93,917
  6. Ana Marquez – $67,116

Ryan Bambrick Bags the Bracelet in $1,500 PLO

With 13 players returning for the third and final day of Event #30: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Ryan Bambrick held the overnight chip lead. Despite an early slip up, Bambrick hardly relinquished that lead throughout the day, eventually taking down the title, $217,123 and the gold bracelet.

Ryan Bambrick
Bracelet no.1 for Ryan Bambrick

After the likes of Tim McDermott, Phil Riley, Jared Ingles, and Jody Fayant had all departed, Bambrick found himself heads-up against Sampo Ryynanen. In the final hand, Ryynanen committed all his chips with middle pair only to run into Bambrick’s overpair. The board bricked out, and we had a champ.

Bambrick has been playing online poker for the best part of 15 years, but for the past seven he’s focused his attention to day trading.

“I told my work I just wanted to play poker for now, and wanted to see how the World Series would go. I might pick it back up after the World Series,” Bambrick said about his day-trading day job. “I’m not sure what I’m gonna do.

“It was a lot of fun, that’s the best way I can describe it. I enjoyed every bit of it. It wasn’t too daunting. It was exciting more than anything. I had a lot of people watching the stream. My phone was blowing up the whole time.”

Final Table Results:

  1. Ryan Bambrick – $217,123
  2. Sampo Ryynanen – $134,138
  3. Tim McDermott – $93,639
  4. Phil Riley – $66,342
  5. Jared Ingles – $47,713
  6. Jody Fayant – $34,843
  7. Danny Woolard – $25,841
  8. Randy White – $19,469
  9. Pushpinder Singh – $14,904

Down to 42 in $50K Championship, Mizrachi and Ivey Lead

After Day 2 of Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship. it’s none other than two-time winner Michael Mizrachi who bagged up the chip lead.

Just 42 of the 87 runners remain, with Mizrachi holding a slight chip lead (1,274,000) over Phil Ivey (1,131,000). Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra, and Dan Smith round out the top five stacks. Aside fro. Mizrachi, other previous champions Mike Gorodinsky (519,000), defending champ Elior Sion (344,000), Brian Rast (304,500), and John Hennigan (289,000) will all return tomorrow.

Mike Matusow, Paul Volpe, Adam Owen, and John Racener are just a few of the players who exited late into the day.

Only 14 players will share the $4,176,000 prize pool, with a min-cash worth $72,500 and  $1,239,126 for the eventual champ. Play resumes at 2pm Sunday.

Top 10 Stacks:

  1. Michael Mizrachi – 1,274,000
  2. Phil Ivey – 1,131,000
  3. Shaun Deeb – 933,000
  4. Eli Elezra – 917,000
  5. Dan Smith – 901,500
  6. Chris Vitch – 843,500
  7. Aaron Katz – 787,500
  8. Jesse Martin – 763,500
  9. Sergii Baranov – 717,000
  10. Jean-Robert Bellande – 716,000

Day 2 of Record-Breaking Seniors Event in the Books

It’s taken just two days of play to reduce the 5,919 field in Event #32 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors Championship down to 101.

Only two players are over the one milly mark: Ronald Bishop (1,086,000) and Frank Berry (1,017,000). All remaining players are now in the money, with 1998 WSOP Main Event champion Scotty Nguyen falling in 171st place for $3,760.

There’s a massive $662,983 first-place prize up for grabs, with action resuming at 11am Sunday.

Top Stacks:

  1. Ronald Bishop – 1,086,000
  2. Frank Berry – 1,017,000
  3. Bill Stabler – 808,000
  4. Marc Lome – 756,000
  5. Richard Munro – 739,000
  6. Dennis Otto – 637,000
  7. William Wilkinson – 604,000
  8. Jean-Paul Pasqualini – 582,000
  9. William Sindelar – 576,000

Double Stack Kicks Off

One of two new events to get going on Saturday was Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em, which has now wrapped up its Day 1A.

There were 2,387 runners who took their shot throughout the ten levels, and when the chip bags were brought out just 533 remained. Leading all of those is Brian Yoon with 233,600. 

Some notable big stacks to advance include Anthony Spinella (145,000), Kathy Liebert (135,000), Terry Schumacher (125,300), and Sergio Castelluccio (106,100). Meanwhile, Ryan Riess, Andrey Zaichenko, Calvin Anderson, Asi Moshe, and Michael Gagliano will all be back on Day 2.

Where there are survivors there must be casualties. Some of those who tried and failed today include Joe McKeehen, Heidi MayJoseph Cheong, Maria Konnikova, Sorel Mizzi, Dan O’Brien, Bart Lybaert, Maria Lampropulos, Jamie Kerstetter, Nacho Barbero, Valentin Vornicu, Jackie Glazier, Matt Affleck, Georgios Sotiropoulos, and Maurice Hawkins.

This event has un-limited re-entries though, so they can all take another shot during tomorrow’s Day 1B, which starts at 11am Sunday.

Top 10 stacks:

  1. Brian Yoon – 233,600
  2. Anthony Spinella – 145,000
  3. Kathy Liebert – 135,000
  4. Terry Schumacher -125,300
  5. Sergio Castelluccio – 106,100
  6. Boris Kolev – 99,900
  7. Kevin Ayow – 94,300
  8. Patrick Kenney – 87,100
  9. Jeremy Ausmus – 85,100
  10. Michael Shanahan – 81,900

Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha Kicks Off

There was another Day 1 in progress Saturday, in the form of Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha. This one attracted 751 runners, with 225 advancing to Day 2 after ten levels.

Peter Nett claimed the chip lead with 91,450, followed by Matt Woodward with 82,425, and Ammon Warner (80,350). Brazil’s no.1 online player (and former PocketFives world no.1) Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao also ended with a top 10 stack.

Other players to advance include Mike Ross (77,875), Dylan Wilkerson (46,525), David Bach (34,800), Barry Greenstein (34,050), and Phil Hellmuth (27,000).

Only 116 players will make any money in this one – a min-cash being worth $2,258. The lion’s share of the $1,043,550 prize pool is reserved for the winner: $211,781. Play resumes at 2pm Sunday.

Top 10 stacks:

  1. Peter Nett – 91,450
  2. Matt Woodward – 82,425
  3. Ammon Warner – 80,350
  4. Mike Ross – 77,875
  5. Andrew Barber – 58,000
  6. James Alexander – 50,175
  7. Dylan Wilkerson – 46,525
  8. Joao Simao – 42,500
  9. Frank Visser – 42,250
  10. Marc Perlman – 41,825