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  1. [caption width="640"] Mitchell Towner had only planned to play one WSOP event this summer - and he won it (WSOP photo)[/caption] Many recreational players anxiously await the WSOP schedule every year so that they can pick the one event they're going to play. Mitchell Towner was one of those players and when he saw the 2016 World Series of Poker schedule he realized the $1,500 Monster Stack would be happening pretty close to a Las Vegas conference he already had plans to attend. So he played it. And on Tuesday night he did what ever recreational player dreams of and one his first WSOP bracelet. Towner was one of two players to win a bracelet on Tuesday as Loren Klein won one of his own. Those two were the big winners on Tuesday, but there were more than a few big names who made big moves towards bracelets of their own on Tuesday as well. Event #41: Mitchell Towner Wins Monster Stack Mitchell Towner picked one WSOP event to play this summer: the Monster Stack. On Tuesday night the 29-year-old University of Arizona professor proved that he had made the right decision by winning the Monster Stack and the $1,120,196 first place prize money. “When I was a college student, I never had any money. Now that I’m a professor, I had an extra $1,500 that I could play one event,” said Towner. Towner beat Venezualan poker pro Dorian Rios heads-up for the bracelet. Towner was in Las Vegas for a conference and the Monster Stack just happened to fit his schedule. “I came here for a conference and planned to play just one event. I might play the Main Event, too,” Towner said. “But after this, for me, it’s head back to work.” David Pham finished fifth for $289,497. Longtime PocketFiver Chris 'hattrick8810' Odle finished 19th for $39,027. The Monster Stack attracted 6,927 players and generated a total prize pool of $9,351,450 Final Table Payouts Mitchell Towner - $1,120,196 Dorian Rios - $692,029 Stephen Nussrallah - $513,902 Daniel DiPasquale - $384,338 David Pham - $289,497 Andrew Moreno - $219,632 David Valcourt - $167,838 Marshall White - $129,197 Cody Pack - $100,185 Event #44: Just Two Players in $1,000 No Limit Hold'em The $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event was supposed to end on Tuesday but Wenlong Jin and Steven Wolansky just couldn't cooperate. The two players are the last two remaining out of the 2,076 who played the event. Jin and Wolansky played over three hours of heads-up poker before bagging up for the night. Jin holds a slight chip lead with 5,262,000 to Wolansky's 5,120,000. The pair will resume play at Noon and play down to a winner. Heads-up Chip Counts Wenlong Jin - 5,262,000 Steven Wolansky - 5,120,000 Event #45: Loren Klein Goes Wire to Wire $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO [caption width="640"] Loren Klein lead the ,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO event from beginning to end. (WSOP photo)[/caption] At the end of Day 1 of the $1,500 Mixed No Limit Hold'em/Pot Limit omaha event, Loren Klein was at the top of the chip counts. When players bagged up at the end of Day 2, Klein was still leading. And when the tournament wrapped up on Tuesday night, Klein was posing for the bracelet winner's photo after beating out Dmitry Savelyev heads-up to win the first bracelet of his career. “It’s about money.It’s about glory.It’s about bracelets.I guess I like them all," Klein said after his win. This is Klein's fourth cash of the 2016 WSOP and 23rd of his career - all but one of those have come in either No Limit Hold'em or Pot Limit Omaha events. “These are definitely my two best games." Klein earned $241,427 for the win while Savelyev walked away with $149,177 for his runner-up performance. Craig Varnell, who won the WPT500 event last summer, finished 11th. Final Table Payouts Loren Klein - $241,427 Dmitry Savelyev - $149,177 Rick Alvarado - $104,784 Michael Noori - $74,634 Matthew Humphrey - $53,915 Eric Penner - $39,510 Alexandr Orlov - $29,378 David Callaghan - $22,168 Steven Gagliano - $16,980 Event #46: Former November Niner Leads $1,500 Bounty Event after Day 2 Steve Gee has some experience in making deep runs in big No Limit Hold'em fields and it's paying off in the $1,500 Bounty NLHE event. The former November Niner leads the final 36 players in the event with 1,675,000. Right behind Gee is 2013 WSOP Ladies Champion Kristen Bicknell with 1,446,000. Kitty Kuo has the third biggest stack after Day 2, finishing with 871,000. Calvin Anderson also advanced to Day 3, finishing with 546,000. Top 10 Chip Counts Steve Gee - 1,675,000 Kristen Bicknell - 1,446,000 Kitson Kho - 871,000 Sebastien Comel - 829,000 Fadi Hamad - 749,000 Jason Singleton - 711,000 Ben Marsh - 686,000 Josip Simunic - 666,000 Norbert Szecsi - 609,000 Milan Simko - 575,000 Event #47: Chris Klodnicki Leads $10,000 Triple Draw Championship Many people consider Chris Klodnicki to be one of the best players to have never won a WSOP bracelet. Just eight other players stand in Klodnicki's way of removing his name from that list. Klodnicki leads the final nine players in the $10,000 Triple Draw Championship after putting 1,910,000 in the bag at the end of Day 2 Tuesday. If Klodnicki is going to succeed he's going to need to make his way through a mine field of talented players. Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy, who just won the $5,000 Six Max NLHE event, sits second with 1,337,000. Another three-time bracelet winner, John Hennigan, is third. JC Tran and Viacheslav Zhukov, who have two bracelets each, round out the to five. The bubble burst on Tuesday and ten players managed to make it into the money before busting. Erik Sagstrom, Jon Turner, Stephen Chidwick, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Daniel Negreanu all managed to cash. Christopher Vitch, who won his first bracelet earlier this week in the $1,500 Mixed Triple Draw event, finished 10th. The final nine players are back in action at 2 PM PT. Final Nine Chip Counts Chris Klodnicki - 1,910,000 Michael Gathy - 1,337,000 John Hennigan - 787,000 JC Tran - 557,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 487,000 Scott Abrams - 360,000 Abe Mosseri - 335,000 Brant Hale - 322,000 Andrey Zhigalov - 156,000 - Event #48: Michael Mizrachi Bags Big Stack in $5,000 Turbo Eduards Kudrjavcevs finished Day 1 of the $5,000 Turbo event with the chip lead but the group of 48 players chasing him includes some of the most accomplished NLHE players in the world. Kudrjavcevs finished with 640,000, which puts him barely ahead of Michael Mizrachi, who finished with 608,000. The top 10 also includes Ankush Mandavia, Max Silver, Kyle Julius, Dietrich Fast and Chance Kornuth. Another player who made it through Day 1 was Jason Mercier. With two bracelets already this summer, Mercier just needs one more to win a massive prop bet that was originally with Vanessa Selbst, althought Mike McDonald ended up buying a large piece of the bet after Jason won his first bracelet earlier this summer. McDonald also advanced to Day 2, finishing just ahead of Mercier with 327,000. One of the shorter stackes returning for Day 2 is Phil Hellmuth. The all-time leader in WSOP bracelets and cashes finished with just 122,000. The final 49 players return at Noon PT to play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Eduards Kudrjavcevs - 640,000 Michael Mizrachi - 608,000 Ankush Mandavia - 590,000 Max Silver - 536,000 Kyle Julius - 488,000 Pedro Oliveira - 480,000 Dietrich Fast - 431,000 Assani Fisher - 406,000 Chance Kornuth - 405,000 Fabrizio Gonzalez - 396,000 Event #49: Naoya Kihara Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Japanese poker pro Naoya Kihara finished Day 1 of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud with the biggest stack after bagging up 89,000. Right behind Kihara is Yaniv Birman with 84,900 and Brandon Cantu with 83,000. Benny Glaser, fresh off of winning his second WSOP bracelet of the summer, finished with 64,000, the sixth biggest Day 1 stack. Other bracelet winners to advance to Day 2 include Robert Mizrachi, Matt Grapenthien, John Monnette, Shaun Deeb, Dan Idema and Andre Akkari. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Naoya Kihara - 89,000 Yaniv Birman - 84,900 Brandon Cantu - 83,000 Frank Athey - 65,200 Ivan Schertzer - 64,700 Benny Glaser - 64,000 Yuebin Guo - 62,200 Matt Grapenthien - 61,800 Cory Zeidman - 61,100 Robert Mizrachi - 60,000
  2. [caption width="640"] Former #1-ranked Chris Moorman hit a five-figure score this past week at the 2016 WSOP[/caption] The fate of former PocketFives #1-ranked players hasn’t changed much through the third week of the 2016 World Series of Poker. Paul Volpe continues to be the class of the group and is the only one to grab a bracelet this summer, but there were a few who managed to make a bit of noise in the past week including two of the most respected players in PocketFives history. Chris Moorman2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $21,434 Just two weeks after signing as the newest 888poker ambassador, Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman finally got his first cash flying under that banner. Moorman made a deep run in the $1,500 buy-in Summer Solstice event, finishing 13th for $19,943. It’s only his second cash of the summer but, as he showed at the 2015 WSOP, Moorman is capable of turning one good score into a bunch of good results and possibly the first WSOP bracelet of his career. Cliff Josephy2016 WSOP cashes: 1 2016 WSOP earnings: $3,613 Cliff ‘JohnnyBax’ Josephy is one of the most revered players in PocketFives history. He’s already got two WSOP bracelets but had come up empty at the 2016 WSOP until this week when he finished 114th in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $3,613. He also found himself playing in the Seniors Event, which turned out to have some unique aspects to it. Aaron Gustavson2016 WSOP cashes: 4 2016 WSOP earnings: $16,662 Aaron ‘Aguskb‘ Gustavson tied for the most cashes of all former #1-ranked players in the last week with three, but was unable to turn any of them into a deep run. Gustavson finished 163rd in a $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event, 93rd in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and then 73rd in the Summer Solstice for a total of $10,960. Yevgeniy Timoshenko2016 WSOP cashes: 6 2016 WSOP earnings: $26,793 Yevgeniy 'Jovial Gent' Timoshenko is one of just two former #1-ranked players to have secured six cashes so far at the 2016 WSOP along with Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly. Timoshenko posted three cashes in the last week for just over $12,000 in earnings. He finished 104th in the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em, 111th in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em and then cracked the top 100 in the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event for $4,573, his second biggest score of the Series.
  3. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier won his second 2016 WSOP bracelet with his father Rick cheering him on from the rail[/caption] Sunday afternoon Jason Mercier will stand in a room full of his peers for his second bracelet ceremony of the 2016 World Series of Poker. This one will be special for sure – winning two bracelets in a single year is a rare feat – but it’s likely going to be even more special for Jason given that the person handing that bracelet to him is his father, Rick. On Father’s Day, Rick Mercier will be the one giving his son something, but it’s a moment that has been over eight years in the making. Earlier in the week Jason won his first bracelet of the year, and fourth of his career, in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. The next day, in that bracelet ceremony, he dedicated the win to his father, citing the incredible support he’d given him throughout his career. Jason didn’t tell Rick about the gesture, who was back home in Florida, ahead of time or actually, at all. “Actually Natasha (Barbour), his girlfriend, texted me the clip and yeah, it was really cool. I got real emotional because as a father you're always looking to make an impact on your kids and I don't think any dad really knows what kind of an impact they have,” said Rick, while he watched Jason, the youngest of his four kids, at the final table of the $10,000 HORSE event Friday night in Las Vegas. “So when your kid, your son, especially your adult children, takes a moment and says, ‘My dad has had a big impact,’ yeah it was very, very emotional for me. I got all choked up watching it.” The emotions carried over the next day when Rick and Jason, who are as close as any father-son team can be, got a chance to talk by phone. “We just talked briefly about it and I said, ‘Hey I got a copy of the video and that was really cool’ and he said, ‘I didn't say anything that wasn't true’,” said Rick. “We had a good chat about it and he's a good kid, he's a good son and he's the baby of the family. He's among the best in the world at what he does. For me, that's the thing I'm probably most proud of.” A few days later Rick, and his wife Dottie, found themselves in Las Vegas. The fact that Jason, who followed up the first bracelet win with a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Razz event, was in the middle of one of the most historic runs in WSOP history had nothing to do with it though. Weeks ago, the producers of the Poker Central show Pokerography, who are featuring Jason in the second season, offered to bring Rick and Dottie out to Las Vegas so they could spend some time in front of the cameras, telling stories about Jason. When it’s Rick’s turn to talk, he’s likely to talk about how he recognized Jason’s love of games and the strategy that goes into them at an early age. While Jason was busy playing baseball or basketball or soccer, Rick was coaching or umpiring games and got a better-than-front-row seat to see his son’s competitiveness on full display. “I taught him to play chess when he was a young kid. By the time he was 12 or 14 I stopped playing him because he was killing me,” said Rick. “I played on the chess team in junior high so I wasn't somebody that didn't really know the game at all, he just took it to a whole other level.” That combination of a competitive streak and love of strategy is what first turned Jason on to poker while in college. Jason had been playing so much poker from his dorm room that he eventually dropped out of college to play full time. That decision wasn’t received all that well at home, and it was a turning point in the father-son dynamic that could have gone either way. “It was not good. It was difficult because we had no reference at all for it. He grew up in a home where we don't gamble, it’s very strict and I was brought up very blue collar, so you find something to do, you work on that, you earn a living,” said Rick. “There was not really a whole lot about dreams and things that you wanted to do.” Jason’s parents made a tough decision. He couldn’t live at home if he wasn’t going to go to school or get a regular job – and he certainly wouldn’t be playing poker for a living under their roof. For the next few months Jason couch-surfed at various friends’ houses before father and son had a heart-to-heart. “After about ten weeks I guess, he called me and said, ‘Dad I want to come home.’ Actually I think he talked to his mom first, and he agreed at that point that he would stop playing,” said Rick. “At this point he wasn't playing live yet, this was only online and he agreed to go back to school. He agreed to go back to working a job that he had and so we agreed to, ‘Okay you can come back home’.” While telling your child that they’re no longer welcome at home sounds harsh, neither Rick nor Dottie ostracized Jason. They were just looking to make sure Jason made smart choices and was thinking about the long term. Handling the situation wasn’t easy, and Rick actually reached out to a few close friends for advice on how to handle it. “The thing about that is while that was tough and we did have to have hard relationship things, we never stopped being connected,” said Rick. “I still called him and still talked to him. His mom talked to him all the time and we just felt like we needed to be true to the rules that we had for him, but we didn't want him to ever feel like we didn't love him, he's still our son at that point, even if we didn't agree.” As he looks back at that period of Jason’s life and their relationship, Rick recognizes it probably had a profound impact on just how close the pair are now, even while Jason travels the world playing poker. “It set up a good parameter for the way we are today, because even though I'm his dad and I don't know much about this world, other than what I've learned over the least eight years, he still listens, still asks questions,” said Rick. “You can still have some influence in his life and I think that, that definitely goes back to the fact that we kept that communication going. We stayed connected.” After coming back home and going back to school and working a part-time job, Jason had another heart-to-heart with his parents. He told them he was still passionate about poker and really wanted to give it a try. Leaving the emotions out of the decision, Rick and Dottie knew they had to give Jason an opportunity to chase this dream he had of being a professional poker player – but there would be some rules this time. “At that point I kind of got it a little bit, I could see, ‘Okay he could maybe do this,’ and I just felt like I needed to let him try, and he was doing the other things that we had asked him to do so at that point we agreed he could play a certain number of hours each week,” said Rick. “I don't remember what it was, but it was not 60 hours a week like he was playing when he was in the dorm.” [caption width="640"] Rick Mercier watches Jason battle James Obst for the ,000 HORSE title[/caption] The rest of the story is part of poker lore now. Jason finished school and eventually qualified on PokerStars for some European Poker Tour events, including one in San Remo, Italy. Mercier won that event, beating out 700 other players to win $1,372,893. Since then Jason has gone on to win a grand total of $17 million and is widely recognized as one of the best poker players on the planet. That’s something that Rick takes a great deal of pride in, even if it is a little bit strange to say. “It is weird, but I'm a statistical kind of person. All the statistical analysis, when you look at his earnings, when you look at the consistency, when you go back and you look at his record in tournaments where he's been heads-up for a title, he's like 18-7 or something,” said Rick. “I've looked at the top 50 players in all-time earnings to see how many of those players have numbers like that. There aren't any.” Rick knows he sees Jason through the same tainted lens that any father sees their child through, but he’s also looking at the numbers – the things he just can’t have any influence on – and they tell him that Jason is an elite talent. “I look for numbers and he's been ranked number one in the GPI more than anybody else, any number of weeks. Those things to me tell me it's not just me saying that as his dad, the game itself says that. It is weird,” said Rick. “I think it's weirder when we're here in this environment. At home it's not, because the poker world, to an uneducated person, is a small market, small influence. So he can be home and he's just Jason. When he's here and when people are stopping him for things and yelling at him, ‘hey, it's Jason Mercier’, then yeah, that's a little weird. That just feels weird.” Even with all the money he’s won and the level of fame he’s achieved in poker, to Rick, Jason is still a down-to-earth humble young man finding his way in the world. When the poker world stops for a minute and Jason gets home to Miami, Rick sees a side of his son that nobody else in the world ever gets to see. “Jason loves his family. Whenever he's home he wants to get the family together. He's Uncle Jason to all the little babies. He loves that part of life,” said Rick. “I guess the best part of being his dad is he's a big kid and I love to see him doing well and it does excite me. I'm excited to see where he's going to end up, where his life is going to continue to take him.” Early Saturday morning Jason finished off James Obst to win the $10,000 HORSE event for his second bracelet in a week and the first person he sought on the rail was his father. “It means the world. It’s just so random that he’s even here to see me win a bracelet,” Jason said afterwards. “This is the first bracelet that he was able to see and he’s always sweating me, but this time he got to sweat me in person, which is cool.” As WSOP officials asked Jason how he wanted to handle the second bracelet ceremony, he knew that doing it Saturday wasn’t possible since his parents would be filming Pokerography at the exact same time and he really wanted them to see the ceremony. After finding out their flight left early evening on Sunday, it all came in to place to have the ceremony on Sunday – Father’s Day – and have his dad be on stage with him. “I'm glad we had kids when we were young, so I can still get around and I’m not pushing a walker around yet. So to see him compete like this and I hope to see him settle down and give us more grand-babies at some point,” said Rick. “This was fun. This was really fun.”
  4. [caption width="640"] Paul Volpe is the first former #1-ranked player to win a bracelet in 2016 (WSOP photo)[/caption] The illustrious group of PocketFives former #1-ranked players are starting to rack up the cashes at the 2016 World Series of Poker but only one of them has managed to earn a bracelet to date. Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe broke through this past week to win the second gold bracelet of his career. All told, former #1-ranked players have cashed 34 times this summer for $375,916.00. Here are some of the highlights. Paul Volpe2016 WSOP cashes: 3 2016 WSOP earnings: $187,881 A year after posting two runner-up finishes, Paul Volpe found himself back in a winner’s photo after taking down the $1,500 Eight Game Mix for $149,943. Even though it’s his second career bracelet, for Volpe it’s more about getting a big score early in the Series. “With me, poker is mostly about the money. I know with the World Series of Poker there’s so much history and I respect that,” he said. “But I am here to earn a living, make money and support my family.” Volpe is just the third former #1-ranked player to win more than one bracelet, joining Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy and Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly in the exclusive club. None have won three bracelets. Yevgeniy Timoshenko2016 WSOP cashes: 3 2016 WSOP earnings: $14,620 Yevgeniy ‘Jovial Gent’ Timoshenko, who spent two weeks at #1 in May 2007, has cashed three times this summer, including twice in the last week alone. He finished 71st in the first $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, 95th in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event and then ended up 143rd in the Millionaire Maker. Dan Kelly2016 WSOP cashes: 5 2016 WSOP earnings: $42,332 Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly is one of 12 players who have cashed five times or more this summer. That puts him halfway to the 10 cashes he put up in 2013. He cashed four times in the last week: 142nd in the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold’em, 139th in the $565 PLO, 220th in the Millionaire Maker and 80th in the $3,000 Six Max NLHE. Shaun Deeb2016 WSOP cashes: 3 2016 WSOP earnings: $30,450 Three cashes in the last week have Shaun Deeb rolling. He started things off with a final table appearance in the $1,500 Razz event for $12,006. He then cashed in the $1,000 NLHE event before posting a 14th place finish in the $10,000 Razz Championship event for just under $17,000. Fedor Holz2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $26,096 After a relatively slow start to the 2016 WSOP, Fedor Holz finally broke through this past week with a pair of cashes. The 22 year old German came 18th in the $1,500 Six Max NLHE event for $17,380 and then 47th in the $3,000 Six Max NLHE event six days later. Holz is having success away from the WSOP though - he finished runner-up in the Super High Roller Bowl and then took down another high roller event at the Aria.
  5. The 2016 World Series of Poker is now one week in and while there’s been a half dozen or so bracelets awarded, and millions of dollars paid out to the players fortunate enough to cash, there’s a few other stories that can be told with numbers. We give you ten such stories in the premier edition of the PocketFives -- $0 -- Ten-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey went undrafted in Daniel Negrenau’s auction-style $25,000 buy-in Fantasy WSOP contest. Teams are given a budget of $200 to purchase eight players for their roster. Over the past five years Ivey averaged a price of $88 with $110 being the all-time high. The fact he went undrafted by his peers is probably a good indication that Ivey intends to play a minimal schedule in 2016. -- 63 -- Number of players who re-entered the $565 buy-in Casino Employees event. For the first time in the history of the tournament, players who busted out during the first six levels were allowed to re-enter. This put the total field at 731 entries from 668 unique players – down 20 from 2015. -- 761 -- Fewer players in Colossus II than were in the debut of the event last summer – that’s a 3.4% year over year drop. This despite having one extra starting day and two additional starting flights this year. -- 268 -- Players who managed to play all six starting flights of Colossus II for 1,608 entries or 7.44% of the total field. -- 99.47 -- Percentage of players in Colossus I and Colossus II that Dan O’Brien outlasted. In 2015 O’Brien finished 105th. He nearly topped that this year with a 126th place finish. His total earnings from both years: $14,193. -- 2 -- Number of players from the 30 that entered in the $250 Colossus II Last Longer that made the final table of the event. Eventual winner Ben Keeline, who has run the last longer pool the last two years, and Jonathan Borenstein were those two players. Keeline’s win marks the second year in a row that a player in the last longer ended up winning the tournament. -- 7 -- Players at the final table of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship that already had a bracelet. Robert Mizrachi, Matt Graphenthien, George Danzer, Ted Forrest, David Benyamine, Bill Chen and Calvin Anderson came into the final table with a combined 17 bracelets. The only player without one? Steve Weiss. He finished fifth. -- 11 -- Players who have won a WSOP bracelet in three consecutive years. Robert Mizrachi became the 11th player to pull off the feat with his win in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship event. The last player to do win three in three years before Robert Mizrachi was his brother Michael, who won one bracelet each year from 2010 through 2012. -- 1,410,665 -- Dollars won by Robert Mizrachi in the four WSOP events he has won. That number is less than Michael Mizrachi earned for winning two of his three bracelets. Michael won $1,559,046 for winning the 2010 $50,000 Poker Players Championship and $1,451,527 for winning the same event in 2012. -- 81 -- Players who paid the $1,000 top-up in the $1,000 Top-Up Turbo No Limit Hold’em event rather than try to finish top three in a live or online sit-n-go to receive the double starting stack. Those 81 players added an additional 7% to the prize pool for the event.
  6. [caption width="640"] Rainer Kempe leads the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl final table.[/caption] Rainer Kempe might have been one of the least celebrated players in the field when the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl began on Sunday, but the German poker pro now leads the seven-handed final and could be in line for a $5,000,000 score Wednesday night. Kempe finished Day 3 with 5,545,000 chips and the overnight chip lead thanks to a collision with Dan Smith late on Day 3. The final table bubble might go down as one of the most memorable of all time. After Jason Mercier was eliminated in ninth place, the remaining eight players combined to one table. About 30 minutes later Kempe and Smith found themselves playing the biggest hand of the tournament so far. Kempe raised to 110,000 from the cutoff, Smith called from the small blind and Fedor Holz folded the big blind. Smith then checked the [poker card="th"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] flop allowing Kempe to bet 165,000. Smith check-raised to 475,000 and after using one of his time extensions, Kempe moved all in and Smith called. Kempe tabled [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"] for middle set while Smith showed [poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] for bottom set. The [poker card="ac"] turn and [poker card="qh"] river changed nothing and Smith was left with just 175,000 while Kempe moved into the lead for the first time. Smith was eliminated just 40 minutes later. Right behind Kempe is fellow German Holz, who bagged up 2,190,000. The former #1 ranked online poker player in the world is just five months removed from winning the $100,000 Alpha8 event at Bellagio and four months from winning the WPT Triton Super High Roller. While the young German contingent sits on top of the chip counts, two members of Poker’s Hall of Fame anchor the bottom. Erik Seidel sits sixth with 1,120,000 while Phil Hellmuth made it through the bubble with the shortest stack, 905,000. Sandwiched in between the Germans and the Hall of Famers is Bryn Kenney (2,085,000), Dan Shak (1,650,000) and the player who started Day 3 with the chip lead, Matt Berkey (1,205,000). All remaining players are guaranteed at least $600,000 with the eventual champion walking away with $5,000,000. The Smith and Mercier eliminations were the two most high-profile of Day 3, but they weren’t the only players sent to the rail. Tom Marchese, Dan Perper, Phil Galfond, Bill Perkins, Phil Laak, Ben Lamb and Andrew Robl also saw their run end on Day 3. Final Table Schedule A special ‘Road to the Final Table’ show airs on Twitch.com/PokerCentral at 6 PM ET with the final table being broadcast live on CBS Sports Network beginning at 7 PM ET. Final Table Chip Counts Rainer Kempe - 5,545,000 Fedor Holz - 2,190,000 Bryn Kenney - 2,085,000 Dan Shak - 1,650,000 Matt Berkey - 1,205,000 Erik Seidel - 1,120,000 Phil Hellmuth - 905,000
  7. [caption width="640"] Talal Shakerchi added a major online poker title to his already impressive poker resume on Tuesday.[/caption] Talal Shakerchi is a regular on the high stakes live tournament scene with over $2.6 million in lifetime earnings. The hedge fund manager isn’t a pro but certainly isn’t afraid to play against the best players in the world. And that apparently includes online. Shakerchi wrapped up the 2016 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker by taking down the $10,000 buy-in High Main Event on Monday afternoon, beating out a final table full of some of the best players in the world including Scott ‘gunning4you’ Seiver, John ‘LuckBox’ Juanda and eventualy runner up Sean ‘Nolez7’ Winter. The win earned the London-based hedge fund manager $1,468,000.88. Winter also broke the seven-figure score barrier, winning $1,048,000.23 for his runner-up performance. That wasn’t the only title handed out on Tuesday though. After 56 events and 168 total tournaments, SCOOP wrapped up with the final table of each of the three buy-in level Main Events. Andres 'Educa-p0ker' Artinano won the mid-stakes version, beating Jordan 'Jymaster11' Young heads-up to win $578,621.27 - the winner’s share after the final four players agreed to a deal. Young, a former #1 ranked player, earned $458,393.88 for his second place finish. Mike ’SirWatts’ Watson finished ninth. The low-stakes event made for a fitting end to SCOOP. After having 20 different Brazilian players win SCOOP titles over the past two weeks, countryman Leandro ‘mmleandro’ Macedo took down the $100 buy-in event, beating out nearly 25,000 other players to win $196,058.77. He beat another Brazilian, ‘nillolok’, heads-up for the win - the first SCOOP title of his career. Event 54 (H) $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event Entrants: 824* Prize pool: $8,000,001.76* Talal 'raidalot' Shakerchi - $1,468,000.88 Sean 'Nolez7' Winter - $1,048,000.23 s0nny_bLacCk - $792,000.17 Scott 'gunning4you' Seiver - $596,000.13 Markku 'markovitsus' Koplimaa - $416,000.09 Pablo 'pablotenisis' Fernandez - $336,000.07 John ‘Luckbox’ Juanda - $256,000.05 Lasse 'IReadB00ks' Nielsen - $176,000.03 Aleksandr ‘EvnomiYa’ Mordvinov - $104,000.02 Event 54 (M) $1,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event Entrants: 5,026 Total prize pool: $4,786,661.88 Andres 'Educa-p0ker' Artinano - $578,621.27 * Jordan 'Jymaster11' Young - $458,393.88 * OMGitsH.O.H - $467,878.25 * Jerry 'hummylun' Wong - $469,033.34 * Xading - $203,433.12 iamivar - $155,566.51 rumbaii4 - $107,699.89 Ryokan - $59,833.27 Mike 'SirWatts' Watson - $38,293.29 *Four-way deal Event 54 (L): $100 No Limit Hold'em Main Event Entrants: 24,591 Total prize pool: $2,255,978.34 Leandro ‘mmleandro’ Macedo - $196,058.77* nillolok - $175,000* andreas1966 - $135,000* TimMoscow007 - $90,239.13 tnb1990 - $67,679.35 Pablos701 - $45,119.56 sebirizoR - $31,696.49 Rose Gambit - $20,303.80 Jason-Pan39 - $13,535.8
  8. [caption width="640"] Nick Schulman added a SCOOP title to his resume on Monday. (Photo WPT/Joe Giron)[/caption] Nick Schulman is considered to be amongst the elite Deuce to Seven players in the world. Monday he proved it when he outlasted 135 other players to win the $2,100 buy-in Spring Championship of Online Poker event for just north of $65,000. Schulman beat Marco 'NoraFlum' Johnson, who won a SCOOP event on Saturday, heads-up for the first SCOOP bracelet of his career. His win was one of ten SCOOP titles won on Monday. Matt 'plattsburgh' Vengrin won the Mid-sized event, beating out Casey 'bigdogpckt5s' Jarzabek to win $16,989.30. Monday also saw the conclusion of Event 26(H), Eight Max No Limit Hold’em, with ‘ekziter’ taking down the title and the $143,839.41 prize that went with the victory. The SCOOP win comes almost eight months to the day after he won the Limit Badugi WCOOP title. The biggest events to wrap on Monday though were the three tiers of Event 29, which included a special edition of the Sunday Million. That event drew 7,200 players with ‘Y2K2000’ winning $168,306.38 after chopping with just three players remaining; runner-up ‘surprisefirm’ walked away with $161,181.54 and ‘Vatal’ grabbed $166,736.08 for finishing third. The High version though had Joaquín ‘elmelogno4’ Melogno topping a field of 994 players to walk away over $320,000 after a heads-up chop with Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas. One of the other popular events on the schedule was the Six Max No Limit Hold’em events. Andries 'Pokerger1337' Swart won the High event, ‘Supa4real’ won the Mid event and ‘zZero92’ took down the low. Swart’s final table included Brian Rast and Damianos 'damourinio' Aslanidis. Event 26(H): $1,050 NL Hold'em Eight Max Entrants: 911 Total prize pool: $911,000 Places paid: 159 ekziter - $143,839.41 Andreas 'mrAndreeew' Berggren - $100,270.20 Daniel 'ShippityShip' Nielson - $69,899.20 tobi123456 - $48,727.11 Stephen 'stevie444' Chidwick - $33,968.00 ThoNapalm - $23,679.25 Gratitdude - $16,507.04 Zack 'ZackAttak13' Korik - $11,507.11 Event 27(H): $2,100 NL Hold'em Six Max Entrants: 778 Prize pool: $1,556,000 Places paid: 90 Andries 'Pokerger1337' Swart - $280,080.00 huiiiiiiiiii - $210,060.00 Brian 'tsarrast' Rast - $155,600.00 Damianos 'damourinio' Aslanidis - $108,920.00 deuces85 - $77,800.00 qbgoose - $46,680.00 Event 27(M): $215 NL Hold'em, Six Max Entrants: 4,193 Total prize pool: $838,600 Places paid: 540 Supa4real - $127,887.76 SONGJOY - $92,246.00 TabarinLucas - $67,926.60 mmg.mamed - $44,026.50 pinishe45 - $25,158.00 Yakiddinme - $14,423.92 Event 27(L): $27 NL Hold'em, Six Max
Entrants:*11,996 Total prize pool:*$294,501.80 Places paid:*1,500 zZero92 - $29,822.89* amitshur2984 - $26,591.38* clancywigam - $33,412.82* Golaith13 - $11,780.07 houdini_msu - $5,890.03 MrKloutt - $3,681.27 *Three-way deal Event 28(H): $2,100 Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Entrants: 126 (76 entries, 50 re-entries) Total prize pool: $252,000 Places paid: 18 Nick 'TheTakeover' Schulman - $65,520.00 Marco 'NoraFlum' Johnson - $44,100.00 Yuri 'theNERDguy' Martins - $32,760.00 Ronny '1-ronnyr3' Kaiser - $21,420.00 krakukra - $16,380.00 Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe - $11,340.00 Event 28(M): $215 Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Entrants: 439 (304 entries, 135 re-entries) Prize Pool: $87,800 Places Paid: 60 Matt 'plattsburgh' Vengrin - $16,989.30 Casey 'bigdogpckt5s' Jarzabek - $12,599.30 HlPPOCAMP - $9,438,50 Maya 'marroca5' Roca - $6,497.20 Vladimir 'vovtroy' Troyanovskiy - $4,653.40 slow_gherkin - $2,985.20 Event 28(L): $27 Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Entrants: 1,611 Total prize pool: $39,550.05 Places paid: 204 AintNoSun - $6,526.50 KlgAborigen - $4,884.43 GrabYaGun - $3,559.50 dmcneally7 - $2,373.00 Adrienne 'talonchick' Rowsome - $1,582.00 clancywigam - $988.75 Event 29(H): $2,100 NL Hold'em Entrants: 994 Total prize pool: $1,988,000 Places paid: 117 Joaquín ‘elmelogno4’ Melogno - $323,713.90* Matas 'bebaimis777' Cimbolas - $292,566.10* RayJing - $192,836.00 Georgios 'GeoManousos' Sotiropoulos - $144,130.00 Ivan 'BanicIvan' Banic - $100.195.20 MaltLiquor40 - $80,315.20 FishOnHeater - $60,435.20 bigbluffzinc - $40,754.00 Kyle 'KJulius10' Julius - $24,850.00 * Heads-up deal Event 29 (M): $215 NLHE Sunday Million Entrants: 7,200 Total prize pool: $1,440,000 Places paid: 900 Y2K2000 - $168,306.38* surprisefirm - $161,181.54* Vatal - $166,736.08* domastah - $79,200.00 Dowgh-Santos - $60,480.00 TheGreatPike - $46,080.00 ImWithSumo - $31,680.00 naruhhudesu - $17,280.00 ovidiu162000 - $11,160.00 *Heads-up deal Event 29(L): $27 NL Hold'em
 Entrants:*14,068 Total prize pool:*$345,369.40 Places paid:*1,800 Henkjinho91 - $41,154.42* Mikael 'fuddebuf' Hansen - $36,200* Ph4N - $23,830.48 Sahar888 - $16,923.10 ICyberU - $13,469.40 AMasta89 - $10,015.71 Peirak - $6,562.01 guix2x - $3,108.32 chaka tej - $2,072.21 *Heads-up deal
  9. [caption width="640"] Matt 'mattybuns1' Laverty (left), Jason Somerville and Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig after the Run It Up: Resorts Rumble[/caption] Over 125 members of the Run It Up Legion - along with their fearless leader Jason Somerville and a handful of other Team PokerStars pros - took over a ballroom at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday for the first live event held by PokerStars since the company launched their product in the Garden State a few months back. The Run It Up: Resorts event wasn’t just a poker tournament though. The event was designed to give attendees, all of whom made a $10 donation to Autism Speaks as admission, face-to-face time with Somerville, Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Selbst, Barry Greenstein, Liv Boeree and Jennifer Shahade. Players were treated to breakfast before the $30 buy-un Run It Up Resorts: Rumble kicked off. Instead of having a room full of dealers, the event was played on PokerStarsNJ.com with only attendees being allowed to play. When play reached the final table, the tournament was paused to allow those players to sit at the same table in the ballroom and play down to a winner. For Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig, the sixth-ranked player in New Jersey, the event ended about as perfectly as possible. He beat out the other 123 players to take the top prize of $778.67. Not bad considering he won his way into the event in a PokerStars freeroll. “It was a 50 StarsCoin rebuy - so I got into this for a buck and half - 150 StarsCoins,” said Sewnig. “The package that I won, the way they did it, the top 15 got the $10 to come here whereas the top three got $200 cash, the ticket to come here and two nights stay here and I got the top three so I came in last night.” Run It Up: Resorts Rumble Final Table Results monkeyman067 - $778.67 Matt 'mattybuns1' Laverty - $541.53 s.l. halper - $411.30 casperskulls - $304.66 DomBagz - $203.11 Mr.Shipawitz - $169.26 umasspoker11 - $135.40 gruemoon - $101.55 jpinyan - $84.63 Somerville, who also played the tournament and was in contention until busting on the bubble, streamed throughout the day on his Twitch channel. Just 24 hours earlier he had been in Canada, streaming his playing in the PokerStars.com Spring Championship of Online Poker. He made a final table Thursday before making his way to New Jersey where he got the chance to connect with a number of his fans. “t’s just great to see people not only here in person, being energetic, enthusiastic and passionate but wearing Run It Up gear, telling me that they watch the stream every day, that they love the stream,” said Somerville, who headed back to Canada Sunday to resume SCOOP play. “It’s always great for me to leave the dirty basement every once in a while just to interact with the fans face-to-face and it it really reinvigorates my passion for both streaming and for poker really.” Some of those in attendance had come from out of state, including surrounding states New York and Pennsylvania, but one player had driven in from Indiana - a 13-hour drive. The timing of the event also allowed players coming to New Jersey to play NJSCOOP, which kicked off Sunday, to come in a day early. “Somerville has been streaming the first half of global SCOOP and I finally got my bankroll up in a cash game where I could set aside some funds to commit,” said Colin Byerly, who came from Harrisburg, PA to play. “So I can take a little bit of focus off of my main job and really commit to excelling my game and maybe getting a couple of good deep runs, building my stack a little more and maybe make a good go of it. After the tournament was over fans were able to ask the Team Pros in attendance questions in an open Q&A session. Even with some of the brightest minds in poker up on stage, most of the questions focused on the future of online poker in the United States, and not strategy or game theory. Greenstein, who actually busted out of the Rumble on the very first hand, admitted to being excited about seeing where legislation was going in the near future. “(New Jersey) is first domino for PokerStars. Where I live is the big domino, which is California,” said Greenstein. “Hopefully after that everybody will want to compact with California and, eventually the world.”
  10. [caption width="640"] Brian Rast is one of 49 players confirmed for the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl which will air live on CBS Sports Network this summer[/caption]. Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Jason Mercier and 46 of poker’s biggest ballers are going to be live and in prime time later this summer as the $300,000 buy-in Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl is being broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. “We are excited to bring this world championship event to CBS Sports Network,” said Clint Stinchcomb, CEO of Poker Central, the company behind the tournament. “With $15 million on the line and the world’s best players, including the top four all-time money winners as well as six former #1 ranked players, the Super High Roller Bowl will have audiences glued to the game.” A total of 30 hours of coverage will air on CBS Sports Network over four consecutive days beginning Sunday, May 29. There will also be additional action streamed live on Twitch and Facebook Live each day prior to the live TV coverage including an hour-long Road to the Final Table show previewing the final table. The event, which is being held at the ARIA Resort and Casino, is capped at 49 players and sold out in February - three months before the event. Other players who have secured their spot including Phil Hellmuth, Dan Colman, Phil Galfond and Scott Seiver. “I’ve never seen a high stakes tournament sell out three months in advance. It’s unprecedented,” said Sean McCormack, ARIA Director of Poker Operations. The event is being labeled as “negative rake” event. Each players’ full $300,000 buy-in goes towards the prize pool and sponsors, including MVMT watches, have kicked in an additional $300,000 to bring the total prize pool to $15 million. Last year’s event had a $500,000 buy-in and 47 players. Brian Rast defeated Seiver heads up to win $7,525,000. Rast will be back to defend his title this year. For a complete list of players visit SuperHighRoller.com. Super High Roller Bowl Broadcast Schedule Sunday, May 29 7:00 pm - 3:00 am ET Monday, May 30 8:00 pm - 3:00 am ET Tuesday, May 31 8:00 pm - 3:00 am ET Wednesday, June 1 7:00 pm - 3:00 am ET
  11. [caption width="640"] Luke 'lb6121' Schwartz keeps piling up SCOOP titles - he now has five after winning another on Monday.[/caption] James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst did the unthinkable on Tuesday. The Australian poker pro and former #1 ranked online player in the world won defended his PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker title in the $1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event. Obst came to the final table with an overwhelming chip lead and never relented, eliminating the final five opponents to take home the $155,020.00 first place prize money. It was his fourth career SCOOP title. His third came in 2015 when he won the same event. Meanwhile, Luke ‘lb6121’ Schwartz grabbed the fifth SCOOP title of his career by beating Vladimir 'vovtroy' Troyanovskiy heads up in Event #6(H). The $2,100 buy-in No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event attracted 145 entries. For his win Schwartz earned $32,151.93 plus over $19,000 in bounties. With five SCOOP titles to his credit, Schwartz is now one behind all-time leader Calvin Anderson. Schwartz and Obst were just two of the 12 SCOOP event winners from Tuesday. The second biggest score belonged to Tommy 'tcblade' Chen, who took down Event #7(H) for $134,653.33. Chen outlasted 437 others to win the $700 No Limit Hold’em (with rebuys) event. This is his second SCOOP title. Event #6(M), $215 Six Max No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, had 766 entries with ‘RedPh0enix’ coming out on top to take home almost $19,000 in cash, including a tournament-high $5,370.58 in bounties. The low stakes version of the event, with a $27 buy-in, had 2,966 players and was won by ‘Madkriss’ for $7,524.90 in winnings. SCOOP Event #6 (H): $2,100 NL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max (Progressive KO) Luke "lb6121" Schwartz - $51,730.05* Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy - $39,485.57* biszibosz - $20,350.0 Nelson "FeCoNiCuZn" Maccini - $19,575.00 João "Naza114" Vieira - $19,518.75 Bernardo "bedias" Dias - $11,587.50 *Based on deal made between remaining players SCOOP Event #6 (M): $215 NL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max (Progressive KO) RedPh0enix - $18,967.08 lautokastar - $14,027.56 xaffer - $11,156.28 Narcis ‘Narcisus90’ Nedelcu - $8,077.23 -kadlatko- - $5,197.18 SiiliSuhonen - $3,285.50 SCOOP Event #6 (L): $27 NL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max (Progressive KO) Madkriss - $7,524.90 Pycckui AA - $5,648.08 hamlo_ep - $3,786.16 mixxxxx99 - $2,483.52 Matu_zaramay - $1,416.11 Mastermandel -$1,096.28 SCOOP Event #7 (H): $700 No Limit Hold’em (with rebuys) Tommy 'tcblade' Chen - $134,653.33 jays94 - $99,989.97 bigbluffzinc - $73,676.82 hurrrrican3 - $56,134.72 TanTanSWE - $39,294.30 Sebastian 'p0cket00' Sikorski - $29,821.57 Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz - $22,804.73 mnstrkll - $15,787.89 deuces85 - $11,647.95 SCOOP Event #7 (M): $82 No Limit Hold’em (with rebuys) nimuuuh - $59,829.89 Pascal "Päffchen" Hartmann - $44,871.60 PULGUITO - $33,653.70 TurnBrick - $24,585.89 7tHEcROw7 - $17,761.67 David "MissOracle" Yan - $13,835.41 luckyman147 - $10,096.11 Mejwon - $6,543.77 Calvin "cal42688" Anderson - $3,739.30 SCOOP Event #7 (L): $7.50 No Limit Hold’em (with rebuys) facunha - $25,370.06 holly17 - $18,663.77 pit25271 - $13,528.15 ilya-vd - $8,962.40 joshuah333 - $6,933.17 Mascarenhasa - $5,242.15 SCOOP Event #8 (H): $1,050 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em FL0R1DA - $66,840.00* Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk - $66,000.00* kalashn1kovv - $25,830.00 airlewis - $25,830.00 Koh1990 - $14,391.00 LLinusLLove - $14,391.00 Hoegh93 - $14,391.00 Ship It 2010 - $14,391.00 * denotes heads-up deal SCOOP Event #8 (M): $109 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em 5dioresta - $21,578.49* androo11 - $13,729.59 PhilRoyal888 - $6,867.36 forcadellmg - $6,867.36 mr.salgado30 - $3,823.56 Lepych - $3,823.56 giorgosfer - $3,823.56 VAH777 - $3,823.56 SCOOP Event #8 (L): $11 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Aethyr13 - $5,731.83 Cathulos - $3,641.97 P9kerpete - $1,840.22 DiegoCheblii - $1,840.22 Vinni-jok - $1,013.36 gotyoudude - $1,013.36 Grundahl - $1,013.36 Secoy - $1,013.36 SCOOP Event #11 (H): $1,050 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha (w/rebuys) James "Andy McLEOD" Obst - $155,020.00 Domce - $107,840.00 Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez - $80,880.00 Crisper - $53,920.00 huevo2000 - $40,440.00 Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde - $27,634.00 SCOOP Event #11 (M): $109 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha (w/rebuys) reilly11014 - $39,147.29* lucylooose - $39,115.89 Bjorin Kifs (Sweden) $33,156.58 Jamie "Jamie_KK" Kang (UK) $18,806.68 Sk2ll_m0dR (Germany) $13,234.33 th'Kick (Switzerland) $8,358.52 SCOOP Event #11 (L): $11 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha (w/rebuys) me so fish - $13,244.01 Abbe77 - $9,669.20 Dimoni - $7,146.80 Lystig - $4,624.40 Skjeroy - $2,942.80 gregor7878 - $1,593.31
  12. [caption width="640"] Michael Mizrachi has a shot to win a third ,000 Poker Players Championship this week at the WSOP[/caption] As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters its fifth week of action there are at least two events on the schedule this week that will garner the attention of players - and they’re at both ends of the bankroll spectrum. The Poker Players Championship The $50,000 Poker Players Championship brings out only the best mixed game players on the planet. This year the event features a total of eight games - six Limit games and two “big bet” games: Limit Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud, Razz, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Triple Draw Deuce to Seven, No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha. This marks the ten year anniversary of Chip Reese’s win in the inaugural event, beating out Andy Bloch heads-up in one of the longest final tables in WSOP history. Reese died 18 months later and to honor him and his career, the WSOP added the “Chip Reese Memorial Trophy” to the winner’s haul for the event. Michael Mizrachi has won the event twice, 2010 and 2012, and is easily the most successful player in its history. He has the most wins, most top five finishes and most winnings at $3,010,573. The $888 Crazy Eights Event The buy-in is $888. All tables will play eight-handed. So WSOP organizers just had to call it the Crazy Eight event. This is the debut of this No Limit Hold'em event, but in 2015 there was a $777 buy-in event, but tables were played with nine players. Given its spot in the schedule, running Friday - Monday on July 4 weekend, this could be one of the bigger fields of the summer. Two More Championship Events Sure, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship is going to be the one that everybody is waiting for this week, but before that gets underway there are two more $10,000 buy-in Championship event. First up is the Triple Draw Championship. The $10,000 buy-in event has only been run twice in WSOP history (2014 and 2015) and both times Tuan Le won it. The second Championship event of the week is one of the most anticipated of the year for top level players. The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship is one of the biggest $10,000 fields of the summer and should be there again with somewhere around 400 players. Given Jason Mercier’s dominance of WSOP Championship events over the last eight years, both events mark another opportunity for him to win add his third bracelet of the summer and collect on $1.8 million in prop bet winnings. Bounty Hunting Encouraged The week actually kicks off with a $1,500 Bounty No Limit Hold’em event. Running Monday - Wednesday, this event pays players $500 (from the prizepool) for each opponent they eliminate. Last year, running on July 4th weekend, the event drew 2,178 players with Jack Duong coming out of it with the bracelet and $333,351. It’s one of six $1,500 buy-in events on the schedule this week. That, combined with the $888 Crazy Eights event, mean the hallways of the Rio will be packed with recreational players chasing their own WSOP glory. $1500 Seven Card Stud $1500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout $1500 Mixed Omaha (PLO Hi-Lo, Omaha Hi-Lo, Big O) $1500 No Limit Hold'em $1500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
  13. [caption width="640"] More WSOP bracelets on the line as the 2016 WSOP heads into Week 3 (WSOP image)[/caption] As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters it’s third week of action, the schedule just keeps trucking along. Over the next seven days there will be another 12 bracelets awarded including four in $10,000 buy-in Championship events. This coming weekend brings the Electric Daisy Carnival event which regularly draws away a number of the whipper snappers allowing the WSOP schedule to focus on the Seniors. Championship Events The final table of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event is Monday. Jason Mercier has the chip lead with nine players left but he’ll have to contend with Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, Benn Glaser, David Grey and Jesse Martin. Four other $10,000 buy-in events get underway this week: Razz, HORSE, Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo. Championship Event Schedule Razz: June 13 - 15 HORSE: June June 15 - 17 Limit Hold’em: June 17 - 19 Omaha Hi-Lo: June 19 - 21 In 2015, Phil Hellmuth won his 14th bracelet in the $10,000 Razz by beating out 103 players. Andrew Barber won the first WSOP bracelet of his career in the $10,000 HORSE event, which drew 204 players. Ben Yu won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship by outlasting 117 players. Daniel Alaei won his fifth career bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event after topping the 157-player field. Two Seniors Events One of the more popular events has always been the $1,000 buy-in Seniors Event, which allows players players that are at least 50 years old to play for the bracelet and the Golden Eagle Trophy. Last year the WSOP added the Super Seniors event, another $1,000 buy-in, this one with a minimum age of 65. Both events are on the schedule this week and based on field sizes the past two years, the Seniors Event this year could reach around 4,500 players all playing in a single flight on Friday. The Super Seniors event begins Sunday. 2015 Winners Seniors Event - Travis Barker ($613,466) Super Seniors Event - Jon Andolvec ($262,220) The Millionaire Maker Final Table On Tuesday two players will win $1,000,000. Well, one will win $1,065,000 and the bracelet while the runner-up is going to have to settle for $1,000,000. The Millionaire Maker final table is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and will be streamed by WSOP.com. As of Monday morning just 124 players remain with Mohsin Charania leading the way. Charania just needs a WSOP bracelet to complete poker’s ‘Triple Crown’. Other notables still chasing the seven figure dream include Sofia Lovgren, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood and Ismael Bojang. Other Notable Events This Week There are also two lower buy-in Six Max events on the schedule this week. The first, a $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em tournament, runs Tuesday through Thursday. Last year the event had 319 entrants with Matthew Elsby coming out on top. The second one might just prove to be the more popular of the two. The $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event runs Saturday through Monday. Last year Vasili Firsau topped 681 other players in the event to win his first career bracelet.
  14. [caption width="640"] Long time tournament grinder Jean Gaspard won the ,000 Dealers Choice Championship Friday at the 2016 WSOP (WSPO photo)[/caption] For 13 years now, Jean Gaspard has been grinding away on the live tournament circuit, travelling from coast to coast across the United States. Friday night at the 2016 World Series of Poker, Gaspard might have found his signature win. Gaspard beat out a tough final table to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career and over $300,000. Gaspard’s victory was one of two bracelets awarded on Friday. While that’s the first for Gaspard, a few other players have put themselves in position to add more hardware to their collection. Daniel Negreanu is one of seven players left in the $1,500 Razz event that already have a bracelet to their credit while the opening day of the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker topped 3,000 entries. Event #10: Mike Cordell Denies Pierre Neuville a Bracelet [caption width="640"] Mike Cordell beat fan-favorite Pierre Neuville heads-up for the first bracelet of his career Friday (WSOP photo).[/caption] For many, Pierre Neuville was the story of the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table. The then 72-year-old was the lovable underdog, competing against a table full of players who could be his grandchildren. He eventually busted out in seventh but not before earning himself a fan base and the respect of many. Friday night he almost broke through for the first bracelet of his career. instead, it as Mike Cordell beat Neuville heads up to win. Cordell’s victory came just a week after his mother passed away. “She was always proud of anything I ever did,” Cordell said. The 46-year-old poker and pool player eliminated the last four players, but found Neuville to be the toughest opponent he faced at the final table. “I struggled all day to bust Pierre, but couldn’t,” Cordell said. “Even one hand when I had quads and he had a full house, I couldn’t get his whole stack. He made a full house on the river and just flat called. How did he not go broke on that hand? He was sure tough.” On the final hand of the tournament Neuville moved his last 1,200,000 all in and Cordell called. Neuville was racing with [poker card="4c"][poker card="4d"] against Cordell’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="qc"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"] flop was unkind to Neuville and the [poker card="7d"] turn card was no help. The river ws the [poker card="kh"] to give Cordell an unnecessary full house and the title. Final Table Payouts Mike Cordell - $346,088 Pierre Neuville - $213,837 Robert Hankins - $148,885 Lutz Klinkhammer - $105,063 Javier Garcirreynaldos - $75,154 Timothy Cha - $54,507 Event #11: Jean ‘Prince’ Gaspard Wins $10K Dealers Choice Championship Jean ‘Prince’ Gaspard has won over $2,000,000 over the last 13 years, playing in poker tournaments across the United States. On Friday night he added another $306,621 to his lifetime earnings and won his first bracelet, taking down the $10,000 buy-in Dealers Choice Championship event. Gaspard, who is originally from Haiti and once played professional basketball, took some inspiration and motivation from the passing of Muhammad Ali. “This was the first tournament I circled and said I was going to play. I told myself – I was going to play my best in this tournament,” said Gaspard “Then, earlier this week when Muhammad Ali died – he was one of the people I respect so much. I learned from him that to be great, you have to dig in deep and be yourself. So, coming into this, I was really ready to win it.” Gaspard eliminated William O’Neil heads-up and John Monnette in third place. O’Neil walked away with $189,505 while Monnette, who finished runner-up in another event just two days ago, earned $135,061. Final Table Payouts Jean Gaspard - $306,621 William O'Neil - $189,505 John Monnette - $135,061 Randy Ohel - $96,876 Mikhail Semin - $69,937 Viacheslav Zhukov - $50,818 Event #12: Syed Shah Leads $565 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table The largest Pot Limit Omaha event in WSOP history started with 2,483 entries but is down to just nine players after Day 2 action. Leading the field is Syed Shah with 2,875,000 chips. He clears his next closest competitor by over a million chips. While Shah leads the final nine players, most observers were watching the final hours of play on Friday to see what happened to Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson. The former Full Tilt exec has made his return to the WSOP this summer after a five year absence. Ferguson eventually busted in 13th place for $9,696. He’s now cashed in two events this summer. Day 2 began with 80 players remaining but included in the 70 other eliminations on Day 2 were Mohsin Charania, David ‘ODB’ Baker and Robert Mizrachi. The final table begins at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Syed Shah - 2,875,000 Tesfaldet Tekle - 1,810,000 Richard St. Peter - 1,555,000 Charles Coultas - 1,385,000 Adil Khan - 1,215,000 Ryan Laplante - 1,105,000 Darryll Fish - 1,000,050 Matthew Livingston - 855,000 Grant Ellis - 590,000 Event #13: Daniel Negreanu Bags Top Five Stack in $1500 Razz Just 12 players remain in the $1,500 Razz event but to call the remaining field star-studded would be an understatement. Former Team PokerStars Online Pro Alexey Makarov leads the final 12 with 545,000 but there are seven players in the hunt who have already tasted WSOP victory. The seven players ,lead by Daniel Negreanu’s six wins, have a combined 14 bracelets. Michael Gathy (2), Negreanu (6), Rep Porter (2), Matt Graphenthien (1), David Benyamine (1), Shaun Deeb (1) and Brendan Taylor (1). Some of the players who busted on Day include Fabrice Soulier (14th - $5,798), Matt Waxman (21st - $3,973), Stephen Chidwick (22nd - $3,973) and Anthony Zinno (55th - $2,457). Final Table Chip Counts Alexey Makarov - 545,000 Daniel Weinman - 512,000 Michael Gathy - 470,000 Daniel Negreanu - 375,000 Rep Porter - 309,000 Matt Grapenthien - 286,000 David Benyamine - 275,000 Valentin Vornicu - 251,000 Shaun Deeb - 196,000 Max Kruse - 108,000 Event #14: Frank Rusnak Leads Smallest Millionaire Maker Day 1 Ever The smallest ‘Millionaire Maker’ starting field since Day 1B in 2013 - the first year the event was offered - saw 3,088 players take to the felt in pursuit of the guaranteed $1,000,000 first place prize money and bracelet. Frank Rusnak survived Day 1A and was the only player to bag up a stack north of 200,000 - barely though. Rusnak finished with 200,500. Dave Stefanski sits second with 181,400, putting him just ahead of Upeshka De Silva and Max Silver . Other notables still in the field include Brian Roberts, Eric Wasserson, Matt Berkey and former PocketFives #1-ranked player Patrick Leonard. A total of 505 players survived the ten levels of play on Friday. Players who busted Day 1A are eligible to re-enter on Day 1B Millionaire Maker Starting Field Sizes 2013 Day 1A: 3,713 2013 Day 1B: 2,630 2014 Day 1A: 3,255 2014 Day 1B: 4,722 2015 Day 1A: 3,347 2015 Day 1B: 3,928 2016 Day 1A: 3,088 Top 10 Chip Counts Frank Rusnak - 200,500 Dave Stefanski - 181,400 Upeshka De Silva - 179,300 Max Silver - 173,800 Johan Guilbert - 172,400 Nicholas Goedert - 144,900 Daniel Needleman - 142,100 Joey Weissman - 136,900 Ben Volpe - 128,200 Mikiyo Aoki - 121,700 Event #15: Brandon Cantu Leads $1,500 Eight Game Mix Brandon Cantu already has two WSOP bracelets and on Friday he tried his best to win a third. Cantu bagged a massive chip lead in the $1,500 Eight Game mix event, finishing with 126,800 and leaving himself 40,000 ahead of anybody else. The Eight Game rotation includes No Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Pot Limit Omaha, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, Triple Draw Deuce to Seven and Limit Hold’em. Christopher Kruk is the player closest to Cantu. He finished Day 1 with 86,300. Chris Klodnicki finished with 73,600 - good enough for sixth. And don’t look now Run It Up Nation, but Jason Somerville is in contention. Somerville finished with the 11th biggest chip stack. Other notables still in the field include David Chiu (57,800), Martin Staszko (43,100), Paul Volpe (41,400), Anthony Zinno (37,800), Joao Vieira (34,000) and Jason Mercier (21,900). Allen Kessler, Ismael Bojang, Brian Hastings and Dzmitry Urbanovich were among the players unable to survive Day 1. The event attracted 491 players with 107 advancing to Day 2 which begins at 2 PM. Top Ten Chip Counts Brandon Cantu - 126,800 Christopher Kruk - 86,300 David Olson - 85,200 Brant Hale - 79,100 Todd Bui - 74,900 Chris Klodnicki - 73,600 Benjamin Benoit - 66,800 Hope Williams - 65,200 Marc Berman - 59,900 Brian Tate - 59,900
  15. [caption width="640"] Ryan D'Angelo now has a WSOP bracelet to his name after winning the ,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven.[/caption] There were supposed to be two bracelets awarded Wednesday at the 2016 World Series of Poker, but Ryan D'Angelo ended up getting the spotlight all to himself. D'Angelo battled and beat John Monnette heads-up to win his event while the first $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event of the summer stopped with four players remaining and Michael Addamo leading. Event #6: Michael Addamo Leads Final Four in $1,500 No Limit Hold'em You could say the last few months have been pretty good to Michael Addamo. The Australian poker pro won just over $140 when he won a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker event and now he finds himself leading the final four of a WSOP bracelet event with $438,417 and the bracelet on the line. The $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event was supposed to finish on Wednesday night but hit the 'hard stop' just after midnight PT. Addamo ended the day with 6,595,000 chips - more than the combined total of the two players right behind him, Davis Aalvik and Peter Eichhardt. Aalvik finished with 3,630,000 while Eighhardt bagged up 2,640,000. 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener has the shortest stack with 2,490,000. The day began with 36 players still in contention for the title. Justin Young, who started the day with the chip lead, was eliminated in 22nd place for $13,786. WSOP Circuit all-time wins leader Alexandru Masek took home the same payout for his 20th place finish. Matt Berkey finished 18th for $17,134, his first cash of the 2016 WSOP. Anthony Zinno made the final table but was eliminated in eighth place for $45,582. Play resumes at Noon PT and will play down to a champion. Final Four Chip Counts Mike Addamo - 6,595,000 Davis Aalvik - 3,630,000 Peter Eichhardt - 2,640,000 John Racener - 2,490,000 Event #7: Ryan D'Angelo Beats John Monnette Heads Up in $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven Ryan 'g0lfa' D'Angelo overcame a player considered one of the best Deuce to Seven players in the world to win his first bracelet Wednesday night. D'Angelo defeated John Monnette to win the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and $92,338. D'Angelo and Monnette were responsible for all of the eliminations at the final table. D'Angelo sent Alex Dovzhenko packing in sevneth place and a few minuteslater Todd Barlow, Konstantin Maslak and Dan 'djk123' Kelly fell at the hands of Monnette. Three-handed play lasted 90 minutes before D'Angelo eliminated Tom Franklin to set up heads up play. When heads up play began D'Angelo held 85% of the chips in play and he needed just 30 minutes to get the rest. “I feel like it all came together here in this tournament. I felt really centered throughout this tournament. The cards came my way," D'Angelo said. "It was like the perfect tournament, in a way. I was never at serious risk. I was able to pick up pots here and there. It’s such a fun game.” After his victory, D'Angelo praised Monnette. “(John) is obviously a terrific high-stakes player. He was definitely my toughest opponent," D’Angelo said. "There were surely some good players. Dan Kelly – he’s another tough one. It was tough to see him at the final table. He has a great track record and he’s good at all the games, so it was good to see him go out earlier. I’d say those two players were the toughest, probably.” Monnette, who has two WSOP bracelets to his credit, has now finished second in a WSOP event three times. The previous two runner-up performances came against David 'Bakes' Baker and Phil Ivey. Final Table Payouts Ryan D'Angelo - $92,338 John Monnette - $57,061 Tom Franklin - $38,582 Dan Kelly - $26,632 Konstantin Maslak - $18,775 Todd Barlow - $13,524 Alex Dovzhenko - $9,959 Event #8: Ben Ponzio Looking for Bracelet #2 in $1,500 HORSE Day 2 of the $1,500 HORSE event saw the field go from 202 player to just 20. Leading the pack with 837,000 chips is bracelet winner Ben Ponzio. But the group right behind, not surprisingly, includes a number of talented players. Justin Bonomo(559,000), Noah Bronstein (456,000) and Ismael Bojang (362,000) sit second through forth. Other notables still in the hunt include Scotty Nguyen (270,000), Andre Akkari (236,000) and Maureen Feduniak (100,500). Matt Glantz is the shortest stack with just 60,000 to work with on Thursday. It took over one hour for the bubble to burst and get all remaining 117 players into the money. Some of the notables who cashed on Wednesday but were unable to survive include Jared Bleznick, Adam Owen, Ray Henson, five-time WSOP bracelet winner Berry Johnston, Brandon Cantu, Chris Klodnicki, Matt Vengrin and Rep Porter. Naoya Kihara, who began the day with the chip lead, was eliminated in 48th place. The final 20 players return to the felt at Noon PT to play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Ben Ponzio - 837,000 Justin Bonomo - 559,000 Noah Bronstein - 456,000 Ismael Bojang - 362,000 Christopher Vitch - 357,000 Nick Kost - 340,000 Georgios Sotiropoulos - 335,000 Ian Johns - 317,000 Craig Carrillo - 306,000 Connor Berkowitz - 302,000 Event #9: Olivier Busquet Highlights Final Four in $10K Heads Up Championship Olivier Busquet is considering by many to be one of the best heads-up tournament players in poker. He's proving those people correct with his run in the $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship. Busquet, who has also had tremendous success recently in the heads-up Global Poker League matches, is one of four players left in contention of the bracelet and $320,574. Alex Luneau, John Smith and Alan Percal are the other three players remaining. Busquet beat Chance Kornuth, Jared Jaffee and Orlando Romero on Wednesday to advance. He'll face Alan Percal in the semi-finals. Percal beat Alan Wehbi, Konstantin Ramazanov and Benjamin Geisman to get to the semi-final. Alex Luneau beat Bobby Oboodi, former EPT Grand Final champ Adrian Mateos and Matthew Diehl to reach the semi-final where he will face off against John Smith. Smith, who finished 11th in this event in 2014, defeated Igor Yaroshevskyy, Antonio Esfandiari and Nicholas Yunis. The semi-final matches began at Noon PT with the finals scheduled for 3 PM PT. Event #10: Daniel Strelitz Bags Day 1 Chip Lead in $1,500 Six Max Day 1 of the $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event saw 1,477 players register but only 183 make it through the day. Daniel Strelitz managed to bag the biggest stack on Day 1, finishing with 250,800. Strelitz, alongwith Eric Afriat's 208,000, weret he only two players to finish above 200,000. Just days after watching his brother Robert win his fourth career bracelet and break the tie between the two, Michael Mizrachi finished with 163,100, good enough for sixth best. Former #1 ranked PocketFiver Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz finished right behind Mizrachi with 150,000 on the button. Jesse Sylvia, Mike Watson, Simon Deadman, Matt Jarvis and Christian Harder are among some of the notables remaining in the field. The eventual champion walks away with the bracelet and $346,088. Top 10 Chip Counts Daniel Strelitz - 250,800 Eric Afriat - 208,000 Niccolo Steffanini - 187,900 Tom Cannuli - 179,800 Javier Garcirreynaldos - 178,100 Michael Mizrachi - 163,100 Fedor Holz - 150,000 Nick Rampone - 137,500 Phong Nguyen - 135,000 Mike Sowers - 133,000 Event #11: Bruno Fitoussi Leads Star-Studded Field in $10,000 Dealers Choice Another day, another $10,000 Championship event gets underway, this one involving a grand total of 19 different games. France's Bruno Fitoussihad the best Day 1 of the 118 players who registered, bagging up 318,700 at the end of the night. Right behind Fitoussi are two players with track records of WSOP success. Brandon Shack-Harris and Brian Hastings finished with 270,200 and 252,100 respectively. Dan Smith sits fourth while Jussi Nevanlinna, who finished sixth in this event last summer, rounds out the top five. Only 41 players surived the opening day. Other notables still in contention include James Obst, John Monnette, Mike Gorodinsky, Phil Hellmuth and Anthony Zinno. Top 10 Chip Counts Bruno Fitoussi - 318,700 Brandon Shack-Harris - 270,200 Brian Hastings - 252,100 Dan Smith - 247,000 Jussi Nevanlinna - 241,400 Philip Sternheimer - 241,400 Dmitry Chop - 232,400 Frank Kassela - 201,400 Richard Ashby - 196,300 Randy Ohel - 186,000
  16. [caption width="640"] David Williams is hoping for a long run on FOX's MasterChef.[/caption] Last August, one of David Williams’ close friends told him that MasterChef, the FOX cooking show where Gordon Ramsay and a few other celebrity chefs try and find the best home cook in America, was holding auditions in Las Vegas and encouraged him to give it a shot. There was just one problem. Williams had never seen an episode of the six-year old show. He had no idea what it was about and was hesitant. “’I don't know if I have time for this. I don't even know what this show is. I've heard of it but I've never watched it. Let me take a night to think about it. I'm going to watch an episode’," Williams told his friend. That night he sat down with his daughter Liliana to check out the show and what he saw confirmed that it wasn’t for him. “When it went off I was terrified. I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm not going to do this. This is not for me’,” recalled Williams. “Seeing Gordon (Ramsay) freaking out on people and just how hard it looked, it just didn't look like something I was interested in.” [caption width="320" align="alignright"] David Williams and his daughter Liliana[/caption]But then his daughter spoke up and gave Dad a pep talk that he just couldn’t say no to. “Lili was so adamant. She was like, ‘Daddy, you can do this. You can do it. I want you to do it. I want to see you do it’,” said Williams. “She was pretty pumped on it and really wanted me to do it. I decided, "You know what, I'll give it a thought over the next day or so’.” The more Williams thought about it, the more he realized he couldn’t say no to at least giving it a shot. The audition was just a few days away and required Williams meet producers for an interview and prepare a dish for Ramsay and the judges. Having been in the media spotlight thanks to his poker career, the interview stuff was a breeze but Williams was stressing over what dish would win the judges over. “I did some research I kind of figured, "Okay, so when you show up for the audition, obviously there's going to be some waiting," because I imagined what I saw on TV watching American Idol back in the day, just tons of people sitting around waiting for a number to be called,” said Williams. “I figured the food I make would have to be something that would be tasty even if it's a little room temperature.” Williams finally decided on a shrimp puttanesca dish. He had some time to practice the dish and after a few variations found a taste he was happy with. Then another roadblock hit him – one that can only be described as one of the pitfalls of being a young bachelor in Las Vegas. Williams was hosting some out of town friends for a Friday night bachelor party. The audition was Saturday morning. “I kind of got them started and left early, went to bed, woke up, remade my dish,” said Williams, who went out all with presentation. “I got nice white china, had cutlery, white napkins, plating napkins, wiped the plate, and when I was in the room few people were like me but a lot just had paper plates or Tupperware.” White china and previous media experience aside, Williams had something else going for him. He’s spent the past 15 years living in a competitive environment, first in Magic the Gathering and then in poker. Sitting in a room full of other contestants didn’t bother him at all. “I think the reason I wasn't nervous was because of all the poker. The high stress situations, playing on TV, being critiqued by the viewers, by people in forums, the results of poker, being in those situations for so long I started in 2004 in tournaments for TV. I'd been playing longer than that, and when you do that, you sort of get used to the pressure,” said Williams. “I wasn't nervous at all, and I think it was because it wasn't something I really, truly, at the time, wanted to do. It was more something I was doing for Lili.“ The lack of nerves and the investment in white china paid off and a few weeks later he got the call to head to Los Angeles. Now he just had to prepare Lili for what could be a lot of time apart. “I said, ‘if Daddy does this, he's going to be gone for a little bit while I'm doing the show’. She said, ‘that's okay. You can call me and I want you to win’,” said Williams. “She was cool about it. It hurt me more than her, I think, because I love being around her and she is the most important thing to me and I hate not being with her every day. I think because we're adults and we can plan and think about the future it affects us differently, but when you're four years old, the long term doesn't really exist.” The first show airs Wednesday night and Williams knows the timing is going to present a strange situation for him – the 2016 World Series of Poker also gets underway on Thursday. “My first thought was, ‘I sure hope they're not going to have TVs on.’ Sometimes they'll show NBA playoff games,” said Williams. “If it comes on June first and I'm in tournament, I don't know if I want people to see it or not while I'm playing, so I don't know. It's going to be definitely weird.” Unlike some of his fellow competitors on the show, Williams has no formal culinary training. He taught himself from YouTube videos over the years. One of his “teachers” was none other than Ramsey. “Because I wasn't familiar with the show very much, I was actually very familiar with Gordon in two different ways. The first way I was familiar was because the way I taught myself to cook is YouTube. It wasn't like I liked him and chose to watch his videos, I just naturally ended up watching a lot of Gordon Ramsey videos,” said Williams. “I think I ended up taking a liking to him in those videos because he's just very down to earth and cool. I imagine myself as being kind of cool, so watching this cool guy cook and explain things, I was a fan immediately.” Not long after the cast for this season was announced Williams found himself getting praise online from the person whose critique he originally feared most. Compliments from celebrity chefs aside, Williams has never looked at cooking as anything other than something he could do for friends and most importantly, Liliana. “I'd never thought about taking it to another level. I never really considered doing it as a profession or really competing or anything of the sort. It's something I enjoy doing. I like to eat good food. I like to try to make it myself and I like to show off. No matter how the season turns out for Williams it appears that he’s taken the pep talk his daughter gave him and turned it into an inspiration for her. “They have a Masterchef Junior and that's like my little girl's favorite, even more than Masterchef. Even though daddy is going to be on it, she loves Masterchef Junior. That's her jam and she wants to do it one day,” said Williams. “I'm just excited that I can inspire my daughter, you know?”
  17. [caption width="640"] Matt Berkey is two days away from the biggest score of his career.[/caption] Only 16 players remain in the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl and 15 of them finished Day 2 looking up – way up – at the chip leader, Matt Berkey. The 34-year-old poker pro bagged up 2,816,000 to end Day 2, more than double that of his nearest competitor. The key pot for Berkey, who came into the day second in chips, came against Tom Marchese where he caught Marchese bluffing against his top pair. The pot was worth over 900,000 and pushed Berkey past 2,000,000 in chips. After the day wrapped up, Berkey knew he had put on a show. Timofey ‘TrueTeller’ Kuznetsov, who came into the second day of play with the only stack over 1 million, didn’t see the end of Day 2. The young Russian pro ran his [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"] into Dan Colman’s [poker card="as"][poker card="ad"] for a huge part and then eventually found himself on the losing side of a flush draw against Jason Mercier and was eliminated. While Berkey is the only player to break through the 2 million chip mark, six players finished with at least a million in the bag. Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel bagged 1,299,000, the second biggest stack. Dan Shak (1,243,000) and Jason Mercier (1,208,000) are right behind Seidel. Dan Smith, Bryn Kenney and Andrew Robl round out the group of players closest to Berkey. The defending champ, Brian Rast, won’t be repeating the feat as Dan Smith took him out in an all-in preflop situation. Rast’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="5h"] wasn’t able to catch up to Smith’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"] and his run was over. Daniel Negreanu headlines the other 17 players eliminated on Day 2. Negreanu took a number of successive beats and was finally eliminated by Kathy Lehne. She soon joined him on the rail. Other Dy 2 eliminations included Stephen Chidwick, Dominik Nitsche, Bobby Boldwin, Dan Colman and David Peters. The remaining 16 players return on Tuesday to play down to a final table of seven players. Day 3 Schedule Action gets underway Tuesday at 1 PM PT. The Twitch stream runs from 2 PM – 5 PM PT on https://www.twitch.tv/pokercentral with CBS Sports Network picking up the live, cards up coverage at 5 PM PT Top 10 Chip Counts Matt Berkey - 2,816,000 Erik Seidel - 1,299,000 Dan Shak - 1,243,000 Jason Mercier - 1,208,000 Dan Smith - 1,152,000 Bryn Kenney - 1,097,000 Andrew Robl - 1,075,000 Phil Hellmuth - 936,000 Fedor Holz - 751,000 Rainer Kempe - 740,000
  18. [caption width="640"] The 2016 World Series of Poker is less than two weeks away.[/caption] In a little under two weeks the halls of the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas will transform into a seven week long summer camp for poker players when the 2016 World Series of Poker kicks off. Thursday afternoon WSOP executives held another Twitch Town Hall to discuss some of the changes in store this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, Tournament Director Jack Effel and WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini took questions from players and media alike in the 65 minute session. Predicting Colossus II Field Size In 2015 Cord Garcia beat out a record-sized field to win the $565 buy-in Colossus event. Given the popularity of the event - over 22,000 players played - the WSOP added two more starting flights for the event this year and altered the payout structure to guarantee first place gets at least $1,000,000. With that in mind, Effel was asked to ballpark the number of entrants this year. “We can handle about 4500 in the early flights, 4200 or so in the later flights with alternate options for both morning and evening flights on each day based on the demand.” - Effel. That puts the total capacity before alternates at roughly 26,100 - only a 16% increase over last year’s final tally with 50% more starting flights. New Payouts System and Online Calculator This year most events will pay out 15% of the field instead of the 10% standard from previous years. Effel worked with a local Las Vegas poker player to create the new payout formula. “We worked with a gentlemen by the name of Tom Sanduski, a known poker player around Las Vegas for a really long time. He’s got a background in computer programming and he and I have had a lot of conversations over the years about how to make payouts better for the World Series. While we felt that they were always pretty decent with a 10% payout, we knew that as times continued to go on and players wanted to have more opportunities to make money, we needed a new system.” - Effel Rather than waiting for payouts to be announced after registration closes, players will now be able to go to WSOP.com and insert buy-in and number of players and be given a full payout list at any point. “There were calls for transparency, particularly in the opening tournament, so now there will be surprises from first place all the way down. I think we’re at the forefront now of showing customers exactly what they should expect and we’re excited about the payout calculator.” - Stewart The Importance of Recreational Players on the WSOP Ecosystem "Recreational Player" has become a popular buzz word over the last year in the poker industry. Stewart provided some insight - and data - as to how the non-pros behave at the WSOP. “We definitely do look at the analytics of how many events each customer is participating in. I believe the average is certainly less than one and a half total things, whether that be a Deepstack or a bracelet event. Of course that’s highly skewed by those professional players that might be participating in 10 to 20 or more. Far and away the largest segment of our unique customers are playing in one event. So recreational players are hugely important. All players are important, all players like the opportunity to make money.” - Stewart The 11:00 AM Start Time and the Impact Poker Media Had on the Change For the first time in WSOP history, tournaments will start at 11 AM instead of Noon. When the change was announced, reigning Main Event champion Joe McKeehen insisted that the change was made at the behest of the media. “With all due respect for our friends in the poker media, we’re considering our customers and we looked at what are the main deterrents to playing in the WSOP. It’s the grind, the long hours and again we talked about it before, a lot of our consumers are coming for one event, and making that experience that’s a positive one. Guys wanna have a deeper stack, they wanna have better structures, and then they also want a lot of play but then they don’t want to have to play until late in the night. So we believe that where we are now gives the player that choice. If you don’t want to come until seven o’clock, you don’t have to come until seven o’clock to play. If you want to be there at 11 o’clock when they’re kicking things off, then you can do that. You have that flexibility.” - Stewart A New Partnership with Uber While the 2015 Colossus event attracted the largest field in history, it exposed a number of issues including the difficulty that many players trying to get home at the end of the night. When asked about the possibility of making more taxi cabs available at the end of each day, Stewart broke news about a new, forward thinking sponsorship that should help the issue. “I don’t want to get myself in hot water with the taxi community, but I am pleased to announce that we’re going to have a partnership with Uber this year. Uber will actually be an element on the tables this year, they will have a dedicated pick-up area right adjacent to the convention center.” - Stewart The Future of WSOP Europe and APAC The yearly rotation of an international WSOP festival between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region has seen WSOP bracelet events held in England, France, Germany and Australia. After WSOP Europe was held in Berlin in 2015, WSOP APAC was due up, but Stewart indicated that won’t be the case and that an announcement about 2016 international events is imminent. “At this point we do not plan to contest WSOP APAC. We may have an event in the region by the end of the calendar year. International World Series of Poker execution this year will likely be in Europe, more than likely surround One Drop and charitable initiatives.” - Stewart WSOP Player of the Year Update The Global Poker Index will again be powering the WSOP Player of the Year race. After players and fans alike voiced displeasure with the GPI scoring system, it appears they’ve gone back to the drawing board and are int he process of reworking the formula. "Global Poker Index will in fact be powering the World Series of Poker Player of the Year. They have been hard at work, refining their formula and system one that will make for a better race at the WSOP. There will in fact be a trophy, but I do not believe there will be a monetary prize.” - Stewart
  19. [caption width="640"] World Poker Supervising Producer Mandy Glogow talks to Mike Sexton and Galen Hall during a WPT event.[/caption] The end of every World Poker Tour season is always a busy one for Mandy Glogow. As the Supervising Producer for the TV product, Glogow goes from filming the final TV event of the season to jumping in to a production studio to put the finishing touches on the episodes that will air on TV throughout the rest of the year. This year is a little bit more hectic though. Glogow is pregnant with her first child and due any day now. “I’m trying to do my best to wrap up as much as I can on Season 14,” said Glogow, who plans on taking some time off once the baby arrives but plans on rocking the producer’s headset as soon as August for the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. “My plan is to be back by Legends, which luckily, is a local event for me, being based in Los Angeles,” said Glogow. “It was funny, when I was talking to Adam Pliska to let him know that I was pregnant, we were laughing about how serendipitous it was that when the baby was due was in between seasons. It fell right in the right time, he's a production baby.” In early May, Glogow got some exciting news that only added another layer to the chaos. The Women in Poker Hall of Fame named her one of the seven finalists for the Class of 2016. She joins Jennifer Tilly, Victoria Cohen Mitchell, Esther Rossi, Shirley Rosario, Karina Jett and Debbie Burkhead as potential inductees. The nominees are voted on by a panel of media and players with the inductees honored at a ceremony on July 6. “I was completely surprised and floored and humbled that my name was thrown into the hat for Women in Poker Hall of Fame,” said Glogow. If you were to compare the live tournament results of the seven nominees, it’s clear that Glogow has the least impressive of the group, but Glogow’s nomination comes more for her contribution to the game and that’s something she takes extra pride in, no matter how the voting process turns out. “I see some of these more as a popularity thing and being somebody behind the scenes, you don't normally get too much recognition,” said Glogow. “I know Deb Giardina, who is currently at BestBet Jacksonville. She was in the last round, but she's a strong, female executive more so getting in. I'm just a TV producer that likes to tell stories and to be recognized for that is quite an honor.” [caption width="320" align="alignright"] Glogow has been with WPT since 2005.[/caption] Glogow’s humble nature shows as she undersells her accomplishments with WPT. She’s been with them for almost 12 years now. The USC film school grad found her way there because of a poker game. “I played in a home game with somebody who had worked here, Alex Outhred,” said Glogow. “He kept saying to me, "Oh you should come if we ever have anything open. You should come work here." I said, "Sure, keep my name in mind." It was when they were staffing up for the short-lived Professional Poker Tour TV show, and I got hired on to do the statistics and final table data basis for the PPT. That was back in 2005” From there Glogow worked her way up to being the one calling the shots on the production side of the business. A recreational player herself, Glogow was star struck during her early days with the company as some of her poker heroes were standing in front of her, answering questions she was asking. “I’ve always been very attracted to the game of poker, and I think initially it was getting to meet players that I admired their game so well. The first time I met Doyle Brunson, or Jennifer Harman, I was in awe,” said Glogow. Being able to tell the story of a tournament, while also winding in a narrative about the player at the final table, is one of the things Glogow likes most about her job. As the game of poker has grown and changed during her career, so has the group of players she’s often telling the story of. “I just think you have to be creative and go at it at different angles. Everybody has a story. I think that some of the players are cut from a similar mold these days, where they had the same upbringing in the game,” said Glogow. "Trying to dig deep to find what is that special thing about this player that differentiates them from the rest of the field. Sometimes it's easier to find than others." When the WIPHOF nominees were announced, the public was initially given the opportunity to vote. Glogow’s WPT co-workers went to work on social media, campaigning for her and it appeared to be working, but a technical glitch caused the WIPHOF to cancel the public voting. Glogow was just happy to have the support of people she considers part of her family - and knows that once the little one arrives, they’ll be even more excited for that chapter of her life. “I know I have their support, and I know that they're a phone call away. I live pretty close to the office, so I'm sure I'll drop by with the baby,” said Glogow. “It's good to know that I have the love and support of the whole WPT team.
  20. Tonight in Hunterdon County, New Jersey Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano will be sitting with his feet up, watching his nearly three-year-old daughter run around the house after her busy day at the preschool she just started. Two weeks ago though, things were quite a bit different for the 31-year-old poker pro. Gagliano was in Las Vegas, heads-up for a bracelet at the 2016 World Series of Poker against Daniel Cooke in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Gagliano knew he had to win. “I got heads up against a guy that was definitely an amateur and I don’t think he’s played much heads-up before in his life. So when it was even, it was my tournament to lose,” said Gagliano. “Beating someone like that, that I’m expected to beat is more of a relief winning than a celebration, which is a weird thing to say.” That’s not to say that Cooke didn’t do his best to cause Gagliano, one of the most highly respected New Jersey grinders going, a level of discomfort and confusion though. “Heads-up was the most interesting I think because, like I said he was definitely a recreational player, and he was playing really tight the whole tournament, and he started heads-up by playing really tight and then five or six hands he double-barrelled me, I folded and he showed me this jack-four off, no equity bluff,” said Gagliano “And he just showed it, which I thought was strange too and it’s like he was saying ‘Okay, I’m going to play. I’m not here to just fold. You can’t run me over’.” From that point on Cooke was a different player and it forced Gagliano to make some adjustments of his own. “He totally changed his strategy after that and went bananas. He started raising every hand and he started raising really big, shoving 40 big blinds. I would just raise for the minimum and he would just shove 40 big blinds,” said Gagliano. “And that’s really frustrating to deal with especially when I know I’m going to have a skill edge because he’s just going to make me just gamble for the bracelet, which is honestly a good strategy for him. I obviously didn’t want to do that, so I started playing smaller pots, I did a lot more limping and stuff like that and getting him post flop.” Gagliano eventually got the better of Cooke and found himself posing for pictures with the WSOP bracelet, the first of his career and surprisingly the first live win of his career. “That’s definitely the biggest thing for me. I’ve made a number of fairly big final tables. I have two seconds in pretty big tournaments, I have a third at Borgata. I have another second in a smaller daily tournament,” said Gagliano. “Just a bunch of really close calls in live tournaments and never got a win, so it feels good to get that out of the way. I don’t think it’s quite even sunk in that it’s a WSOP bracelet or how big the win was money-wise.” For the record, Gagliano won $448,463, the biggest score of his career by almost $280,000, but it was the outpouring of support and congratulations from other players, long time grinders like himself, that hit home for Gagliano. “I mean, it means a ton. Every time I tweeted anything at the final table, I had so many people wishing me luck and liking the tweet and saying I can do it and that kind of thing. I was super short on Day 3, I was super short basically the entire tournament, and people were still like you got this, just hang in there, you can do it. It’s just pretty cool having so many people rooting for you from literally all over the world,” said Gagliano. “It’s definitely special that it’s the WSOP. I can tell because of how many people have messaged me and told me congratulations and people that I hadn’t heard from in so long that were like ‘dude, I heard you won, Im so excited’. So it’s definitely a little bit more special than other stuff and it will get more special as time goes on.” Gagliano is back home in New Jersey for a quick break before heading back out for the duration next week. While home he gets to spend time with his daughter, play online and refresh a little bit for what he’s hoping will be another deep run or even a second bracelet. While he’s in Las Vegas his wife Megan and daughter stay out east and that’s something Gagliano struggles with, even if the poker keeps him distracted. “She just started her preschool,” said Gagliano. “It’s definitely hard being away, it’s just hard. It is what it is. I play poker all day long when I’m out here so the days go by fast.”
  21. [caption width="640"] Adrian Mateos won bracelet #2 on Friday - He's just 21 years old (WSOP photo)[/caption] At just 21 years, Adrian Mateos has established himself as one of the best No Limit Hold'em tournament players in the world. At 19 he won the WSOP Europe Main Event. He followed that up by winning the European Poker Tour Grand Final at 20. Now, just days before his 22nd birthday, Mateos has a second WSOP bracelet after winning the $1,500 Summer Solstive event on Friday at the 2016 World Series of Poker. And while Mateos was further establishing himself as one of the best young players, Rafael Lebron won te first bracelet of his career just four days after finishing second in another event. Event #33: Adrian Mateos Wins $1,500 Summer Solstice No Limit Hold'em Only two players returned for Day 5 of the $1,500 buy-in Summer Solstice and after just two hours of play, Adrian Mateos beat Koray Aldemir heads-up for the second bracelet of his career and first victory on U.S. soil. “It feels very good to win. It’s especially important for me to win one here in Las Vegas,” Mateos said. “It’s like a dream come true to play in this tournament because I have been wanting to do this in Las Vegas for a long time.” Mateos, who calls Madrid home, is one of three just Spaniards to win a WSOP bracelet joining Carlos Mortensen and Cesar Garcia. The event, which featured 90-minute levels instead of the standard 60-minute levels, drew 1,840 players. Final Table Payouts Adrian Mateos - $409,171 Koray Aldemir - $252,805 Alessandro Borsa - $182,835 Ralph Wong - $133,588 Jon Turner - $98,617 Jackson White - $73,563 Ronald McGinnity - $55,455 Stephen Ladowsky - $42,252 David Tovar - $32,540 Event #37: Jiaqi Xu Wins $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha [caption width="640"] Jiaqi Xu beat Jeffrey Duvall for the first WSOP bracelet of his career (WSOP photo)[/caption] Jiaqi Xu started Day 3 of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha in the middle of the pack, with the seventh biggest stack among the 16 remaining players. Over the course of the ten hours of play on Friday though, Xu found himself at the final table, and eventually posing with his own WSOP bracelet. “The cards fell my way at the right time,” Xu said. “I knew that if I could get deep I would have a chance and things went right for me.” England's Jeffrey Duvall finished second for $131,128. Pallas Aidinian matched Kindergarten teacher Lisa Meredith for the best finish by a female so far at the 2016 WSOP with her third place finish. She earned $91,369. Final Table Payouts Jiaqi Xu - $212,128 Jeffrey Duvall - $131,073 Pallas Aidinian - $91,369 Joshua Pham - $64,654 Tommy Le - $46,452 Richard Austin - $33,895 Jon Ho Christensen - $25,123 Thibaut Klinghammer - $18,922 Event #38: Rafael Lebron Comes Back to Win First Bracelet in $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em [caption width="640"] Rafael Lebron won the ,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Just four days ago Rafael Lebron finished runner-up to Viatcheslav Ortynskiy in the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event. On Friday he got past the runner=up finish to win the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em event, even if he wasn't - by his own admission - the biggest threat at the table when it began. “I wasn’t the best player at the final table at all,” Lebron said. “I might have been the worst. But, I got lucky. This was my day.” Lebron outlasted a final table that included reigning Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, three-time WSOP bracelet winner Matt Matros and eventual runner-up Georgios Zisimopoulos to win the title. Lebron, who plays mostly cash games in Washington State, this has been the trip of a lifetime. “I only play about once a year,” Lebron said. “Sure I’ll come back again next year, as long as I haven’t spent all the money." McKeehen finished fourth for $46,489 and his second cash of the 2016 WSOP. Final Table Payouts Rafael Lebron - $169,337 Georgios Zisimopoulos - $104,646 Brad Libson - $68,896 Joe McKeehen - $46,489 Matt Matros - $32,172 Alex Queen - $22,848 Event #39: Star-Studded Final 21 in $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Championship After a bubble that took nearly four hours on Friday, the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Championship ended up with just 21 players remaining, including some of the best tournament players in the world. Nick Petrangelo leads the way with 1,946,000 chips, just ahead of Vanessa Selbst who finished with 1,942,000. Those two have clearly outpaced the rest of the field as Justin Bonomo, who finished with 1,278,000, is the only other player to crack the seven-figure chip stack mark. Other top players still in contention for the bracelet and the $665,709 first place prize money include Jonathan Little, Jack Salter, Scott Seiver, Davidi Kitai and Chris Ferguson. Two players who were once ranked #1 on PocketFives, Steve Gross and Paul Volpe, also bagged up chips on Friday. While the remaining players are almost all all-stars, the topic of conversation on Friday was the incredibly long hand-for-hand play while on the bubble. Some of those who made it past the bubble but did not advance to Day 3 include Amit Makhija (44th - $14,848), Jason Wheeler (40th - $16,078), Jake Schindler (35th - $17,986), Jonathan Duhamel (28th - $20,767) and Patrick Leonard (26th - $20,767). The remaining 21 players return Saturday at Noon PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Nick Petrangelo - 1,946,000 Vanessa Selbst - 1,942,000 Justin Bonomo - 1,278,000 Jonathan Little - 963,000 Jack Salter - 883,000 Gilbert Diaz - 870,000 Scott Seiver - 860,000 Martin Kozlov - 766,000 Brandon Steven - 675,000 Eric Worre - 668,000 Event #40: David Gee Leads $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Final Table A new event on the WSOP schedule for 2016, the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw is down to just seven players with David Gee holding a commanding chip lead. The event, which includes rotations of Ace to Five, Deuce to Seven and Badugi, drew 236 players. Gee bagged up 803,000 while the player closest to him, Damjan Radanov, finished with jut 514,000 after Day 2. The only bracelet winner at the final table is Australian Gary Benson. Tony Lazar, once a member of "The Crew" along with Dutch Boyd, Brett Jungblut and Scott Fischman is the short stack. Final Table Chip Counts David Gee - 803,000 Damjan Radanov - 514,000 Christopher Vitch - 376,000 Sigi Stockinger - 357,000 Gary Benson - 344,000 Michael Schiffman - 342,000 Tony Lazar - 196,000 Event #41: Monster Stack Draws 4,054 Players on Day 1A Event #41: Day 1A of Monster Stack Draws Just 2,420 Players The lower buy-in "gimmick" events continue to see smaller fields than they did in 2015. Day 1A of the $1,500 Monster Stack drew just 2,420 players, down roughly 20% over the 3,027 that played Day 1A last summer. Leading that group with 253,300 is Gregory Alexander. While Alexander is leading the way, the most talked about player in the top 10 after Day 1A is T.J. Cloutier. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner, who will turn 77 later this year, finished with 180,800 - the fourth biggest stack. Other prominent names to make it through to Day 2 include Erik Seidel, Anton Wigg, Kevin Boudreau, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Cate Hall and Mohsin Charania. Saturday could be an even bigger field as Day 1B drew more than 4,000 last summer. Top 10 Chip Counts Gregory Alexander - 253,300 Andrew Moreno - 239,900 Ernest Smith - 212,400 TJ Cloutier - 180,800 Mohammad Moeini - 177,500 Mohammed Ladek - 161,800 Spencer Tep - 157,600 Fabian Ortiz - 153,000 Anna Antimony - 148,200 Antonio Bassani - 146,400 Event #42: 40 Players Advance in $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout Exactly 400 players showed up for the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em shootout with 40 of them moving on to Day 2. Included in that group of players who not only advanced to Day 2 but also recorded a WSOP cash were Maria Ho, Michael Mizrachi, Tom Marchese, Andrew Lichtenberger, Antonio Esfandiari, Faraz Jaka, Jordan Young, Stephen Chidwick, and 2015 November Niner Zvi Stern. The final 40 players will play four-handed on Saturday with the winner of each table advancing to a ten-handed final table to be played on Sunday.
  22. [caption width="640"] Benny Glaser became the third player to win a second 2016 WSOP bracelet on Wednesday (WSOP photo)[/caption] While Jason Mercier continues to be the top story of the 2016 World Series of Poker, Benny Glaser is doing his best to grab some of the headlines as well. On Wednesday the British poker pro won his second bracelet of the summer in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship, taking it down just days after winning the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Glaser joins Mercier and and Ian Johns as 2016 double-bracelet winners. Meanwhile Russian poker pro Andrey Zaichenko won the first bracelet of his career on Wednesday and Mercier made yet another Day 3. Event #32: Benny Glaser Goes Back-to-Back, Wins $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship Only three players returned for Day 4 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship and Benny Glaser, who had taken the chip lead late on Day 3, beat out Doug ‘Skippy’ Lorgeree and Matt Glantz to capture his second WSOP bracelet of the summer. “It’s surprising that I would win two gold bracelets, at all,” Glaser said. “But if I was going to win, it would have been in this game since this is my best game and the one I have played the most online.” Glaser’s win earned him $407,194 and pushed his 2016 WSOP earnings past the $700,000 mark. The 27 year old cherishes both of the bracelets he has won this summer but admitted the second one, the third of his career, might feel a little bit more special. “This win was more satisfying for multiple reasons. First, this final table was streamed and watched live whereas the other one wasn’t. The money was much bigger. And, going back to back just makes it feel more crazy and amazing. Jason Mercier finished eighth in this event for $39,269, his fifth cash of the summer. He now leads Glaser by almost 350 points in the race for WSOP Player of the Year. Final Table Payouts Benny Glaser $407,194 Doug Lorgeree $251,665 Matt Glantz $175,754 Grzegorz Trelski $125,125 Robert Campbell $90,846 Per Hildebrand $67,291 Todd Brunson $50,872 Jason Mercier $39,269 Felipe Ramos $30,965 Event #33: Adrian Mateos Leads $1,500 Summer Solstice into Day 4 Adrian Mateos sits atop the final 17 players in the $1,500 buy-in Summer Solstice event after Day 3. Mateos, who won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event and 2015 European Poker Tour Grand Final Main Event, bagged 1,763,000, which puts him over 450,000 ahead of any other player. Jon ‘PearlJammer’ Turner sits seventh with 904,000 while all-time online tournament earnings leader Chris Moorman is 15th after finishing Day 3 with 269,000. Among the 74 players who busted on Wednesday were Matt Giannetti (76th - $4,434), former #1-ranked player on PocketFives Aaron ‘ ‘ Gustavson (73rd - $4,434), James Akenhead (64th - $5,135) and Bruno Politano ($7,139). Action resumes Thursday at Noon PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Adrian Mateos - 1,763,000 Alexey Blyakher - 1,307,000 Ronald McGinnity - 1,200,000 Ralph Wong - 1,117,000 Alessandro Borsa - 1,024,000 David Tovar - 1,000,000 Jon Turner - 904,000 Martin Kozlov - 864,000 Koray Aldemir - 852,000 Jack Bridges - 804,000 Event #34: Andrey Zaichenko Wins First Bracelet in $1,500 Triple Draw [caption width="640"] Andrey Zaichenko won his first bracelet and the second for Russia in 2016 on Wednesday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Andrey Zaichenko beat out Jameson Painter heads-up to win the $1,500 Triple Draw event on Wednesday, giving the Russian poker community their second bracelet of 2016. “The bracelet is the goal which I wanted. This is so emotional for me. I cannot express what this means,” Zaichenko said. “In Russia, we have so many good players. I am just so glad to have my name now up there along with them.” Viatcheslav Ortynskiy won the first bracelet for Russia on Monday in the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event. Zaichenko credits a change in the games played in his native country for his success. “The last three years, I have been playing a lot more Limit poker. At first it was No- Limit, but now we play lots of Limit cash games in Russia. The result of these games in Russia is making us better here now (at the WSOP).” Jameson Painter finished runner-up and banked $72,878 in the process. Final Table Payouts Andrey Zaichenko - $117,947 Jameson Painter - $72,878 Guy Hareuveni - $46,992 Alexsandr Vinskii - $31,099 Adam Spiegelberg - $21,139 Andrii Nadieliaiev - $14,769 Andrew Kelsall - $10,614 Event #35: Thiago Nishijima Leads $5,000 Six Max No-Limit Hold'em Thiago Nishijima leads the final 21 players in what is arguably one of the most stacked No Limit Hold’em tournaments of the summer, the $5,000 Six Max NLHE event. Nishijima and Jason Koon are the only two players to finish with over 1,000,000 chips. Nishijima finished with 1,222,000 and Koon is right behind him with 1,142,000. WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy sits eighth with 724,000. Jake Schindler, Jonathan Little, Pratyush Buddiga, Felix Stephensen and Martin Finger all sit outside the top ten. While there were 197 players at the start of Day 3, only the top 82 earned any money. Included in the group of 61 players who busted but managed to cash were Jason Les (82nd - $7,466), Fabian Quoss ($7466), Dutch Boyd (68th - $7,595), Dietrich Fast (64th - $7,960), Cate Hall (62nd - $7,960), Ismael Bojang (53rd - $8,585) and Joe Hachem ($44th - $9,523). Ryan LaPlante, who won the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event in the opening week of the 2016 WSOP, finished 56th for his ninth cash this summer. There are nine different countries represented in the final 21 including Brazil, Spain, Austria, Poland, Norway, France, Australia, Belgium and the United States. Action resumes at Noon PT on Thursday. Top Ten Chip Counts Thiago Nishijima - 1,222,000 Jason Koon - 1,142,000 Saavedra Nunez - 994,000 Artur Koren - 808,000 Benjamin Reinhart - 796,000 Matthew Parry - 738,000 Alexander Lynskey - 728,000 Michael Gathy - 724,000 Samuel Bernabeu - 718,000 Thomas Boivin - 710,000 Event #36: Gleb Kovtunov Leads $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo into Day 3 Gleb Kovtunov might be the name at the top of the chip counts with just 13 players left in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event but it’s almost impossible to ignore the guy sitting 11th. Jason Mercier has made yet another Day 3 in his quest for a third 2016 WSOP bracelet. Kovtunov bagged up 673,000 to finish just ahead of Timothy Burt (647,000), Per Hildebrand (597,000) and Fabrice Soulier (593,000). Mercier has just 96,000 - just a touch over three big bets - but seems confident he can find more magic in his bottle. Among the 47 players who didn’t survive Day 2 but did cash on Wednesday were Eli Elezra (60th - $3,763), James Obst (47th - $4,171), Mike Matusow (45th - $4,171), Marco Johnson (41st - $4,171), Robert Mizrachi (34th - $4,573) and Matt Savage (23rd - $5,942). The final 13 players get back at it starting at 2 PM PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Gleb Kovtunov - 673,000 Timothy Burt - 647,000 Per Hildebrand - 597,000 Fabrice Soulier - 593,000 Hani Awad - 521,000 Aditya Prasetyo - 452,000 Benjamin Yogel - 384,000 Esther Taylor-Brady - 358,000 Michael Chow - 275,000 Denny Axel - 194,000 Event #37: Dieyar Kakel Leads $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha After Day 1 After ten levels of play Dieyar Kakel sits atop the chip counts for the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event with another 127 players staring up at him. Kakel finished Day 1 with 151,800 to barely edge out Joe Serock for the lead. In fact, just 1,600 chips separate the top three players. Richard Austin ended the day with 149,200. Daniel Negreanu, who was excited to learn that Las Vegas had officially been granted an NHL expansion team on Wednesday, finished with 98,000, the 12th biggest stack. Other notables still the field include Dylan Linde, Toby Lewis, Juha Helppi, Matt Stout, Leif Force and Leo Wolpert. The event drew 776 players for a $1,047,600 prize pool with the eventual champion winning not only the bracelet, but $212,128. The top 117 will finish in the money with a min-cash worth $2,247. Top Ten Chip Counts Dieyar Kakel - 151,800 Joe Serock - 150,800 Richard Austin - 149,200 Tommy Le - 141,000 Andrewphilip Peplinski - 137,500 Jan Collado - 134,000 Steve Merrifield - 126,000 Adam Johnson - 123,900 Patrick Salo - 119,700 Henri Koivisto - 107,300 Event #38: Warwick Mirzikinian On Top of $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold'em Just 64 players survived Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em event with Australia’s Warwick Mirzikinian sitting on top. He finished with 136,400, just ahead of the 131,900 that Rep Porter put in the bag. And while Benny Glaser won his second bracelet on Wednesday, Ian Johns put himself in contention for his third by building a stack of 109,000 - the third highest. Other notables still in the field include Alexey Makarov, Joe McKeehen, Jonathan Duhamel, Jesse Martin, Matt Matros, Terrence Chan, Jeffrey Lisandro, Jason Somerville, Chris Klodnicki and Brock Parker. The final 64 players will play another ten levels beginning at 2 PM PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Warwick Mirzikinian - 136,400 Rep Porter - 131,900 Ian Johns - 109,000 Brendan Taylor - 109,000 Brian Tate - 100,200 Alexey Makarov - 95,300 Michael Moore - 94,700 Joseph Skinner - 91,700 Joshua Griffith - 86,600 Joseph Melancon - 86,400
  23. [caption width="640"] Phil Ivey is going to wait one more year for Poker Hall of Fame eligibility. (WPT photo)[/caption] The World Series of Poker – the custodians of the Poker Hall of Fame – have opened the public nomination process for the Class of 2016 and fans hoping to nominate one of the most dominant players of all time are going to have to wait one more year. Phil Ivey, who many assumed was eligible for the first time this year, does not meet the minimum age requirement for nomination. Sources close to Ivey confirmed that he turned 39 this year – not 40 as his Wikipedia page had previously indicated. One player who is eligible for the first time is Chris Moneymaker. As the person largely responsible for sparking the “poker boom” following his 2003 WSOP Main Event win, Moneymaker’s impact on poker is well known, but public debate in the last year has centered around whether or not Moneymaker meets enough of the criteria for inclusion. The criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame contains six main points: Player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition Played for high stakes Be a minimum of 40 years old at time of nomination Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers Stood the test of time For non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results Moneymaker, who won $2.5 million for his WSOP victory, has $3.6 million in lifetime earnings, including six wins and 54 cashes. Many observers previously assumed that Ivey would be a first-ballot inductee in 2016, leaving only one other spot open in 2016, making it more difficult for Moneymaker to get in. Ivey not being eligible to 2017 could shift things in Moneymaker’s favor. Fans can to go to WSOP.com/phof and nominate anybody they feel meets the criteria and should be considered for inclusion in 2016. This part of the process is open until August 31. All submissions are then tallied and reviewed to make sure they meet eligibility requirements. The final ten names – based on popularity and eligibility - are then made public and submitted to the 39-member voting panel for consideration. The two names with the most votes will be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame during ceremonies as part of the November Nine festivities. In 2015 the ten finalists were Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Bruno Fitoussi, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Carlos Mortensen, Max Pescatori, Terry Rogers, Matt Savage and David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott. Harman and Juanda were ultimately the two players inducted as the class of 2015. All previous nominees not elected to the Hall of Fame are again eligible for nomination.
  24. [caption width="640"] Danny Le won his first career WSOP bracelet on Thursday in the ,500 Limit Hold'em event (WSOP photo)[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker is really just some the Summer of Jason Mercier. Just 72 hours after Mercier finished runner-up in a $10,000 buy-in event, he’s leading the final 14 players in the $10,000 buy-in HORSE. Mercier is looking to become the first player in WSOP history to make three consecutive $10,000 buy-in event final tables. There was supposed to be two WSOP bracelets awarded on Thursday, but one of the two final tables was unable to get down to a champion and will return Friday to finish. Event #21: Will Givens Leads Final Five in $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Day 3 of the $3,000 buy-in Six Max No Limit Hold’em event saw 26 players return to the felt including six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu but ten more levels of play on Thursday just weren’t enough to get down to a champion. Will Givens, who won a bracelet in 2014, leads the final five players with 6,030,000. Right behind Givens is Calvin Lee with 4,250,000. Mark ‘dipthrong’ Herm sits in third with 2,770,000. Negreanu was one of the earliest casualties of the day, busting out in 19th place. Justin Liberto, who won this event last summer, then followed Negreanu out the door with an 18th place finish. Doug Polk was eliminated in 15th place and former November Niner Matt Giannetti was out in 13th. Final table play resumes Friday at Noon PT and will be live-streamed on WSOP.com. Final Table Chip Counts Will Givens - 6,030,000 Calvin Lee - 4,250,000 Mark Herm - 2,770,000 Martin Kozlov - 1,555,000 Steven Thompson Vila - 835,000 Event #22: Danny Le Wins $1,500 Limit Hold'em Danny Le’s third career WSOP cash turned out to be a dream come true. Le outlasted 664 other players to win the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em event. “I finally got a gold bracelet. I can’t believe it. I finally won a gold bracelet,” said Le after his win. Le beat Scott Farnsworth heads-up to win the bracelet and the $188,815 first place prize money. Farnsworth registered for the event on Tuesday thinking he was playing in a No Limit Hold’em tournament, only to find out the fixed betting limits when he took his seat. Final Table Payouts Danny Le - $188,815 Scott Farnsworth - $116,663 Tyler Bonkowski - $80,706 Dave Tobin - $56,740 Dale Eberle - $40,550 Dustin Bush - $29,466 Andrew Beversdorf - $21,778 Daniel Huseman - $16,376 Esmeralda Villafuerte - $12,532 Event #23: Anthony Spinella Leads $2,000 No Limit Hold'em Day 2 of the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event began with 283 players still in contention, but through ten levels of play, just 27 remain. Leading the pack is 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Spinella, who bagged up 1,060,000. The only other player to finish with a seven-figure stack was Russian poker pro Andrey Pateychuk. Other notables still in the field include former WPT500 champion Craig Varnell (989,000), Sam Chartier (956,000) and Matt Stout (550,000). The bubble burst early on Thursday and some of the players who busted after that burst include Ari Engel, Tommy Vedes, Aaron Gustavson, Andre Akkari, Cliff Josephy, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Chris Hunichen. The final 27 players return a Noon PT and are schedule to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Anthony Spinella - 1,060,000 Andrey Pateychuk - 1,022,000 Craig Varnell - 989,000 Sam Chartier - 956,000 Tom Braband - 823,000 Kamel Mokhammad - 717,000 Viliyan Petleshkov - 656,000 Albert Hart - 638,000 Clemens Manzano - 555,000 Matt Stout - 550,000 Event #24: The Jason Mercier Show Continues in $10,000 HORSE. Championship Jason Mercier continues to be THE story of the 2016 WSOP after making it to Day 3 of yet another $10,000 buy-in event with the chip lead. Mercier finished with 1,597,000 and the top spot amongst the remaining 14 players in the $10,000 HORSE event with just one more day of play to go. Right behind Mercier is Jesse Martin with 1,244,000 and Nick Schulman with 1,170,000. Mike Sexton was eliminated on the bubble in 27th place. Right after his elimination Chris Ferguson was sent out in 26th place for the fifth cash of his summer. Other players to bust on Thursday but still find the cashier cage on the way out included Erik Seidel (24th), Matt Vengrin (22nd), David Benyamine (19th), Daniel Alaei (18th) and Jason Somerville (16th). This was the first ever Limit event that Somerville has cashed in. Mercier and the other 13 players all return at 2 PM to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Jason Mercier - 1,597,000 Jesse Martin - 1,244,000 Nick Schulman - 1,170,000 Bryn Kenney - 708,000 Mikhail Semin - 684,000 Yuval Bronshtein - 577,000 Douglas Lorgeree - 519,000 James Obst - 466,000 Randy Ohel - 465,000 Adam Friedman - 436,000
  25. [caption width="640"] Ray Dehkharghani beat Jason Mercier heads-up for his first WSOP bracelet. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Jason Mercier found himself heads-up for his second bracelet win in three days on Wednesday night at the 2016 World Series of Poker but it wasn’t meant to be as Mercier busted the $10,000 Razz Championship event in second place behind Ray Dehkharghani. Meanwhile Sam Soverel, who played in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl just two weeks ago, managed to win his first career bracelet in an event with a buy-in much, much, much smaller. Event #19: Sam Soverel Goes from High Rollers to $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Champ [caption width="640"] Sam Soverel made quite the comeback to win his first WSOP bracelet.[/caption] Sam Soverel normally plays high stakes cash games or the super high roller buy-in events at Aria. A bad run in both of those lead Soverel to take a shot in the $1,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event. It paid off - just not as handsomely as his usual game selection might. “Coming into this year’s Series, a $1,000 event isn’t something I would normally play,” Soverel said. “But I had a really bad week in cash games, so I decided to take a few days off. Then, I late registered right before the dinner break and came in with only ten big blinds when I started, and then ran good.” Soverel came back from being the second shortest stack at the start of Day 3 to beat Kirby Lowery heads-up to claim his first career bracelet and $185,317. Soverel, who was the shortest stack with just four players remaining, eliminated the final three players to allow him to win the bracelet. Final Table Payouts Sam Soverel - $185,317 Kirby Lowery - $114,486 Garrett Garvin - $81,080 Zachary Hench - $58,164 Bruno Borges - $42,270 Jeffrey Landherr - $31,126 Jared Koppel - $23,228 Henri Ojala - $17,570 Juuso Leppanen - $13,474 Event #20: Ray Dehkharghani Denies Jason Mercier $10,000 Razz Championship Jason Mercier had every reason to believe he was going to win another bracelet on Wednesday night. He came into the final table of the $10,000 Razz Championship with the chip lead and the momentum after winning his first bracelet of the summer just 72 hours earlier. It wasn’t meant to be though as Ray Dehkharghani beat Mercier heads-up to win the first bracelet of his career. “It means a tremendous amount to win this gold bracelet.*The best players, they are generally spending their time playing in high-stakes cash games.*That being said, we do follow what goes on in the tournaments, especially when one of them sits down with us to play,” said Dehkharghani.*“But the reality is, it’s meant a lot to me for a long time.* My goal this summer was to win a gold bracelet.*I only play two to three tournaments a year. My mission was to win a bracelet and now I’ve won a bracelet, so I feel very fortunate.” The runner-up finish cost Mercier a chance to cash in on some more of the WSOP bracelet bets he made before the Series started. “That’s what I’m most disappointed about. I have a bunch of bets on winning two bracelets and the huge one for winning three. It’s almost impossible to win three when you get a second (place) because that means you’re going to have to go heads up four times,” said Mercier. Final Table Payouts Ray Dehkharghani - $273,338 Jason Mercier - $168,936 Yueqi Zhu - $116,128 Brian Hastings - $82,078 Robert Campbell - $59,694 John Racener - $44,712 Bart Hanson - $34,521 Jyri Merivirta - $27,499 Event #21: Daniel Negreanu in Contention in $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Just 26 players remain in the hunt for the $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em event including Daniel Negreanu, who bagged up a top five stack at the end of Day 2. The biggest stack belongs to Martin Kozlov with 1,497,000. Right behind him is David Vamplew with 1,310,000. Negreanu finished with 932,000 and was more than happy to share some info on a key hand that helped get him a big chunk of his stack. The final 66 players return Thursday at 2 PM PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Daniel Alaei - 324,000 Matt Vengrin - 292,500 Alexey Makarov - 265,500 Bryn Kenney - 264,000 Adam Friedman - 256,500 Phillip Hui - 252,000 Yuval Bronshtein - 226,500 Ron Ware - 224,000 John Holley - 220,500 David Oppenheim - 220,000

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