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  1. The first day of July crowned one new bracelet winner, left six players to return in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship and two more events return a handful players for Day 3. The $888 Crazy Eights event brought out the crowds with two flights in the re-entry event. Safiya Umerova Upsets Niall Farrell for First Bracelet in $1,500 Shootout [caption width="600"] Safiya Umerova came back from down 3-1 in chips heads-up to win her first bracelet.[/caption]Day 3 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout kicked off with two six-handed tables, they made the final table at nine players and upstart Safiya Umerova defeated Niall Farrell for her first bracelet and $246,046. “I think women poker players are underestimated, it happens to me." Umerova said. “They underestimate my thinking and my game overall. I’ve only been playing poker for a very short time. It’s exciting, this is a great start for my career.” “I dream big. I want to be the best poker player in the world,” she added. “I know I am not there yet, but I want to have the most gold bracelets anyone has ever had. That’s the goal. That’s what you’re supposed to go for, right?” Heads-up play began with Farrell holding a 3-1 chip advantage but Umerova won a key pot when all in with queens. Farrell held [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] but two queens on the flop doubled up Umerova’s stack. A few hands later, down 3-1, he shoved holding queen high and Umerova called with an ace. An ace hit on the flop and Umerova became the second female bracelet winner in as many days. Final Table Payouts Safiya Umerova - $246,046 Niall Farrell - $163,158 Michael Mixer - $118,109 Yuliyan Kolev - $86,513 Damian Salas - $64,129 Raymond Ho - $48,115 Daniel McAulay - $36,543 Daniel Tang - $28,101 Alexander Lakhov - $21,881 Brandon Shack-Harris Leads Final Six in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Day 3 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship began with 28 returning players after a brutal Day 2 bubble and after ten levels of play Brandon Shack-Harris leads the six-handed Day 4 table. Matthew Parry, Loren Klein, Melad Marji, Harley Stoffmaker and Tommy Le round out the final six. It’s an odd lineup for the event with the unknowns totaling 11 WSOP cashes while Shack-Harris, Klein and Le have 51 cashes and more than $2.5 million combined. Jason Mercier, Mike Watson, Taylor Paur, Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel all made the money but ultimately found the rail. Play resumes Saturday at noon and will be live-streamed with hole cards. Final Six Chip Counts Brandon Shack-Harris – 5,425,000 Matthew Parry – 4,775,000 Loren Klein – 3,530,000 Melad Marji – 2,930,000 Harley Stoffmaker – 2,265,000 Tommy Le – 1,600,000 Jay Farber, James Akenhead and James Akenhead Headline Day 3 in $3,000 No Limit Hold’em The $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event began with 287 returning players for Day 2 and after ten levels of play the field was trimmed to 31 players – well short of the intended final table mark. Tony Ruberto bagged up the lead with three November Niners sliding into the top 10. James Akenhead, Simon Deadman and Daniel Rudd lead a contingent of British players after finishing in the top 20. Andrew Lichtenberger, Tristan Wade, John Hennigan and John Racener also advanced but in the bottom half of the counts. Players return at noon on Saturday with over $500,000 on the line for the winner and they’ll play to a winner is crowned. Depending on the finish of the PLO Championship and the lineup, it could be live-streamed later in the day on WSOP.com. Top Ten Chip Counts Tony Ruberto – 1,165,000 Jay Farber – 1,077,000 Nick Yunis – 1,056,000 Thomas Miller – 970,000 Linglin Zeng – 858,000 James Akenhead – 851,000 Erhan Iscan – 798,000 Pierre Neuville – 770,000 Salvatore Dicarlo – 763,000 Sevan Markarian – 690,000 Allen Le & John Monnette Lead Stacked Field of 27 to Day 3 in Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo The Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo event of three variants is new for the 2016 WSOP schedule and the field returned 207 players to Day 2. Ten levels of play reduced the field to 27 survivors littered with bracelet winners but Allen Le and John Monnette were the only two players to finish above the 500,000-mark. Gary Bolden, Bart Hanson and Keith Ferrera landed in the top 10 counts while Timothy Burt, Gavin Smith, David Bach and Jason Somerville all return with shorter stacks. Michael Mizrachi, John Holley, Mike Leah and Ted Forrest made deep runs into the money but didn’t survive the day. Play resumes for Day 3 at noon as one of three events playing to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Allan Le – 562,500 John Monnette – 531,000 Cody Crouch – 435,500 Yuval Bronshtein – 348,000 Gary Bolden – 323,500 Philipp Eirisch – 311,500 Alexey Makarov – 278,000 Bart Hanson – 217,500 Keith Ferrera – 206,000 Mark Johns – 193,500 Two Flights for Crazy Eights Event Combine for 2,816 Entrants The multiple re-entry $888 Crazy Eights Eight Max No Limit Hold’em event ran two of the four opened flights on Friday and combined for 2,816 entrants collectively. Despite those huge numbers, only 36 players advanced from Flight 1A and 50 survivors from Flight 1B – 86 total. Andy Spears bagged the most with 499,000 from the late wave and Daniel Fried led the first flight. Dimitar Danchev, Loni Harwood, Jason Les, Allen Kessler and Jennifer Shahade standout from the 36 Flight 1A survivors. John Gordon, Scott Davies and Hank Sitton advance from Flight 1B pool of 50 advancing players. Day 2 returns to action Sunday at 2 pm in the Amazon Room, bringing all four flights together for the first time. Flight 1C has cards in the air at 10 am and Flight 1D gathers for a start at 4 pm on Saturday. Top Ten Chip Counts A & B Combined Andy Spears – 499,000 Daniel Fried – 366,000 Gytis Bernatavicius – 360,000 Francis Rusnak – 341,000 DNR – 336,000 Joshua Field – 323,000 Lev Mimma – 315,000 Jennifer Shahade – 285,000 Henry Grunzweig – 279,000 Joep Raemaekers – 278,000 Saturday’s Crazier Eights & Poker Players Championship The WSOP will be stretched to its limits on Saturday with three events playing down to a winner in the Amazon Room, while shoehorning in two more flights of the $888 Crazy Eights event. Then the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship kicks off at 3 pm, scheduled for five days and arguably brings together the toughest field each year.
  2. [caption width="640"] George Danzer won the ,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event on Monday (WSOP photo)[/caption] George Danzer beat a stacked final table on Monday night at the 2016 World Series of Poker to win the fourth WSOP bracelet of his career and first since 2014. Danzer now has more bracelets than any other German players after breaking the tie with Dominik Nitsche. “Everybody always tries to race for bracelets. But (Germans) do not have a rivalry among our players. We all try to help each other out and are cheering for each other, but we also try to be the best we can," said Danzer. ".I hope Dominik wins his fourth soon, so I can then go out and win my fifth.” While Danzer was busy cementing his own legacy, the Monster Stack field featured a number of players who have already done great things in poker including David Pham and TJ Cloutier. Event #41: David Pham Leads Monster Stack, TJ Cloutier in Top 10 After three complete days of play, the Monster Stack has a dragon on top. David 'the Dragon' Pham leads the final 26 players with 8,895,000 - almost 600,000 more than his closest competitor. Pham, who last won a WSOP bracelet in 2006, isn't the only old-school player still chasing down the $1,120,196 first place prize money. Six-time WSOP bracelet winner TJ Cloutier bagged up 4,600,000 for the eighth biggest stack. Right behind Pham is Cody Pack with 8,330,000. Irish poker legend Donnacha O'Dea is also still in the mix. O'Dea finished Day 3 with 2,900,000. The final 26 players return at 11 AM PT and will play another 10 levels - or down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts David Pham - 8,895,000 Cody Pack - 8,330,000 Gina Stagnitto - 6,955,000 Dorian Rios - 6,600,000 Marshall White - 6,505,000 Mitchell Towner - 6,155,000 Rafael Da Silva Moraes - 5,770,000 TJ Cloutier - 4,600,000 Michael Lang - 4,555,000 Andrew Moreno - 3,860,000 Event #43: George Danzer Wins $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Two years ago German poker pro George Danzer had no WSOP bracelets to his credit and just a few close calls at final tables. On Monday night he won his fourth bracelet, beating out a final table that included David Grey, Scott Clements, Todd Brunson and Justin Bonomo to win the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event. “It’s not like you win three (bracelets) every year. That’s tough to do,” Danzer said. “Last year was a brick year for me, so this is becoming a much better year, so far.” Danzer won three bracelets, and WSOP Player of the Year, but cashed just four times last year, making only one final table. Three weeks ago Danzer finished third in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud championship. Randy Ohel finished second for his fifth cash of the 2016 WSOP. Brunson, who began Day 3 with the chip lead, was unable to continue his momentum from Day 2 and ended up finsihed fifth. Mike Leah, who sold pieces for this event on YouStake, finished 11th for $23,665. Final Table Payouts George Danzer - $338,646 Randy Ohel - $209,302 Justin Bonomo - $148,601 Esther Taylor-Brady - $107,551 Todd Brunson - $79,381 Eli Elezra - $59,773 Scott Clements - $45,935 David Grey - $36,044 Event #44: Just 19 Remain in $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em; Young Sik Eum Leads Young Sik Eum is one of just two players to finish Day 2 of the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event with over 1,000,000 chips in their bag. Eum finished with 1,400,000 and the overnight chip lead. Right behind him is Michael Shanahan with 1,079,000. Just 19 players remain in the hunt for the bracelet and $298,849 first place prize money. No matter who wins this tourney they will be a first-time bracelet winner as none of the remaining 19 have ever tasted a WSOP victory before. The most accomplished tournament player remaining is Justin Zaki. With over $1.6 million in lifetime earnings, including $218,771 from a fourth place finish at the 2013 WSOP, Zaki's accomplishments dwarf the rest of the final 19 combined. Action resumes at Noon PT and will play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Young Sik Eum - 1,400,000 Michael Shanahan - 1,079,000 Dejan Boskovic - 898,000 Julien Martini - 710,000 Steven Wolansky - 708,000 Brad Myers - 670,000 Niel Mittelman - 670,000 Danny Illingworth - 668,000 Todd Hayes - 620,000 Sven Reichardt - 600,000 Event #45: Loren Klein Leads $1,500 NLHE/PLO into Day 3 Finishing Day 1 with a chip lead rarely means much at the WSOP, but Loren Klein took his Day 1 chip lead and carried it over to Day 2 in the $1,500 Mixed No Limit Hold'em/Pot Limit Omaha event. Klein finished Day 2 with 1,079,00 and that puts him on top with just 15 players remaining. Right behind Klein is Steven Gagliano with 957,000. Former WPT500 winner Craig Varnell finished with the fourth biggest stack with 689,000. Varnell already has one final table appearance at the 2016 WSOP, finishing seventh in the $2,00 No Limit Hold'em event two weeks ago. Among the players who busted on Monday but still managed to find a cash out of it were Ashton Griffin (16th - $8,367), Jason DeWitt (17th - $8,367), John Racener (19th - $6,820), Niall Farrell (21st - $6,820) and Taylor Paur (56th - $3,550). Top 10 Chip Counts Loren Klein - 1,079,000 Steven Gagliano - 957,000 Dmitry Savelyev - 760,000 Craig Varnell - 689,000 Matthew Humphrey - 504,000 Rick Alvarado - 394,000 Sergio Fretes - 363,000 Chris Back - 355,000 Kyle Bowker - 324,000 Eric Penner - 320,000 Event #46: Jonathan Dimmig Leads $1,500 Event The $1,500 Bounty No Limit Hold'em event brought out 2,158 players on Monday with just 308 advancing to Day 2. Jonathan Dimmig finished Day 1 with the biggest stack after putting 270,800 in his bag at the end of the opening 10 levels. Joao Vieira sitsthird with 187,000 and Kitty Kuo finished fifth with 168,200. Other notables still in the field include Martin Jacobson (110,100), Matt Stout (98,500), Chris Moorman (86,600) and Ryan Riess (58,600). The $1,500 event is the only Bounty event on the WSOP schedule this year but some players are already campaigning for bigger events for 2017. Top 10 Chip Counts Abe Mosseri - 334,000 Paul Volpe - 333,500 Dan Shak - 311,500 Erik Sagstrom - 302,000 JC Tran - 286,500 Brandon Delnano - 270,000 Danny Wong - 232,000 Scott Abrams - 228,500 Brant Hale - 220,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 219,500
  3. [caption width="640"] Kyle Julius now has a WSOP bracelet thanks to his win in the ,000 Turbo Top-Up[/caption] Monday’s action at the 2016 World Series of Poker featured Robert Mizrachi winning the fourth bracelet of his career and Kyle Julius getting rid of the goose egg next to his name while Colossus II, the second biggest live event in history, reached a final table. Robert Mizrachi Wins $10,000 Seven Card Stud for Third Bracelet in Three Years [caption width="640"] Robert Mizrachi now as four career WSOP bracelets after winning the ,000 Seven Card Stud Championship.[/caption] Robert Mizrachi beat out a final table that included bracelet winners Calvin Anderson, Bill Chen, David Benyamine, Ted Forrest, George Danzer and eventually Matt Graphenthien heads-up to win the fourth bracelet of his career and $242,662. Mizrachi was a wrecking ball on Monday, eliminating the last four players including Grapenthien after the pair played heads-up for over three hours. This marks the third straight year that Mizrachi won a bracelet. In 2014 he won the $1,500 Dealer's Choice Six-Handed tournament and last year he took down the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. His first bracelet came in 2007 when he won the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. Final Table Payouts Robert Mizrachi - $242,662 Matt Grapenthien - $149,976 George Danzer - $103,230 Ted Forrest - $72,971 Steve Weiss - $53,012 David Benyamine - $39,611 Bill Chen - $30,466 Calvin Anderson - $24,142 Kyle Julius Wins First Bracelet in $1,000 Top Up Turbo No Limit Hold'em Prior to Monday, Kyle Julius had never been the last player standing in any live tournament he’d ever played in. He’d come close to victory though. In 2012 he finished second to Peter Vilandos in a WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event and last summer he was third in a $25,000 High Roller event at the Aria in Las Vegas. But on Monday he found himself as the last player standing in the $1,000 Top Up Turbo NLHE event. “Actually, this is the first live tournament I’ve ever won, so for it to be a bracelet event is pretty cool,” Julius said. “To start the Series off with a win in just the second tournament is obviously what I would want.” The 29-year-old, who won $142,972 for the win, had extra equity in the event – just nothing monetary. Julius and his fiancée are expecting their first child. “We’ve been arguing about (baby) names, and my fiancée said that if I won a gold bracelet I could pick the name of the baby,” Julius said. “It’s still going to be mutual. We’re going to name the kid together but now I have a little more say.” Julius eliminated three of the last four players and heads-up play between Julius and Bart Lybaert lasted just one hand, but didn’t come without drama. Julius moved all in from the button with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] and Lybaert called his last 860,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="tc"][poker card="2c"] flop gave Lybaert a pair of kings and while the [poker card="ad"] was a blank, the [poker card="4c"] river gave Julius a set of fours and his first WSOP bracelet. Other notables to cash in this event included Ben Yu (3rd - $61,137), Vinny Pahuja (9th - $9,506), Liv Boeree (29th - $3,277), Kevin Eyster (32nd - $3,277) and Eric Baldwin (52nd - $2,447). Final Table Payouts Kyle Julius - $142,972 Bart Lybaert - $88,328 Ben Yu - $61,137 Karl Held - $43,001 Hugo Perez - $30,742 Christian Blech - $22,345 Nitis Udornpim - $16,518 George Dolofan - $12,422 Vinny Pahuja - $9,506 Jiri Horak Leads Colossus II Final Table, Jonathan ‘Itsmejon’ Borenstein in Sixth The second largest live poker tournament ever has just nine players remaining and Jiri Horak sits atop the chip counts. The Czech player has 25,425,000 chips, nearly 6,000,000 more than that of his nearest competitor, Ben Keeline . PocketFiver Jonathan ‘Itsmejon’ Borenstein sits in sixth place with 7,400,000. The day started with 78 players still in contention for the $1,000,000 first place prize and bracelet but over the course of nearly 10 hours of play, 69 players were sent the cashier window. Included in that group were David 'ODB' Baker (66th - $12,452), Austin Buchanan (57th - $15,166), Marco Johnson (47th - $18,592), Ylon Schwartz (46th - $18,592), Amir Lehavot (36th - $28,479) and the player who began the day as chip leader, Ben Lindemulder (27th - $25,584). The final table gets underway at 2 PM PT with streaming on WSOP.com. Final Table Chip Counts Jiri Horak - 25,425,000 Benjamin Keeline - 19,900,000 Richard Carr - 14,400,000 Alex Benjamen - 14,275,000 Marek Ohnisko - 10,550,000 Jonathan Borenstein - 7,400,000 Xiu Deng - 6,000,000 Farhad Davoudzadeh - 5,925,000 Christopher Renaudette - 4,250,000 Former #1-ranked Paul Volpe Bags Big Stack in Dealers Choice Just nine players remain in the $1,500 Dealers Choice Six-Max event with Lawrence Berg finishing Day 2 with the biggest stack. Berg bagged up 836,500 but right behind him is none other than Paul ‘paulgees81‘ Volpe. The former top-ranked player on PocketFives finished with 674,500. Other notables still in contention include Andrew Brown and Randy Ohel. Day 2 began with 85 players left in the field and with just 59 spots paid, some players were going home without cashing. Included in that group were David Sklansky, Mike Matusow, Stephen Chidwick, Barry Greenstein and eventual bubble burster Jameson Painter. Some of the players who did manage to cash but not advance to Day 3 were Richard Ashby, Shawn Buchanan, Mike Wattel, Justin Gardenhire, Jeff Madsen, Vladimir Shchmelev, Sorel Mizzi and the first WSOP cash in five years for Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson. Action resumes at 2 PM PT and plays down to a winner. Chip Counts Lawrence Berg - 836,500 Paul Volpe - 674,500 Yueqi Zhu - 418,500 Andrew Brown - 250,000 John Templeton - 215,500 Joseph Couden - 192,000 Ryan Himes - 125,500 Daniel Habl - 106,000 Randy Ohel - 99,500 First $1,500 NLHE Event Draws 2,016, Roman Rogovskyi Leads The first $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event of the 2016 WSOP drew 2,016 players and after Day 1, Roman Rogovskyileads the 321 survivors. The Ukranian, who recently made five final tables at the GipsyTeam Live Poker Festival in Famagusta, got his big stack after eliminating Phil Hellmuth and another player in one hand towards the end of the day. Right behind Rogovskyi is Mark ‘Eppy12588’ Epstein with 188,300. Another former #1-ranked player also bagged a top 10 stack. Steve 'gboro780' Gross finished with 142,800, good enough for the seventh biggest Day 1 stack. Other notables still in contention for the $438,417 first place prize money include Bob Bounahra, Matt Berkey, Justin Young, Jonathan Tamayo, Randal Flowers, Alex Masek and former WPT Player of the Year Anthony Zinno. Top 10 Chip Counts Roman Rogovskyi - 188,700 Mark Epstein - 188,300 Karen Sarkisyan - 160,800 Michael Page - 157,700 Ferenc Riech - 155,700 James Ohlweiler - 145,500 Steve Gross - 142,800 Jeremiah Fitzpatrick - 141,400 Quang Ngo - 136,500 Kindah Sakkal - 134,300 Konstantin Maslak Leads $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven The first No Limit Deuce to Seven event of the summer, which allowed players to re-enter once after being eliminated prior to Level 6, had 279 entrants pay the $1,500 buy-in and the 52 players to survive Day 1 include a number of notable players. Konstantin Maslak leads the way with 119,800 but he’ll have to fight off the likes of Yuval Bronshtein, Benny Glaser, John Monnette, Niall Farrell, Barry Greenstein, Joao Vieira, Jen Harman, Eric Wasserson, James Obst, Erik Seiel, and, making his first Day 2 of the 2016 WSOP, 21-year-old Dzmitry Urbanovich. Day 2 gets underway at 2 PM PT and will play 10 more levels. Top 10 Chip Counts Konstantin Maslak - 119,800 Yuval Bronshtein - 108,125 Daniel Weinman - 93,950 Bob Morgan - 84,800 Benny Glaser - 79,725 Alex Dovzhenko - 73,750 John Marlowe - 65,075 John Monnette - 64,725 Michael Laake - 60,000 Michel Leibgorin - 58,650
  4. [caption width="640"] 2015 Colossus champ Cord Garcia was among the 5,000 entries on Thursday.[/caption] While the 2016 World Series of Poker officially got underway Wednesday with the start of the Casino Employees event, things really started on Thursday with the opening of the first open event, the $565 buy-in Colossus II. After drawing a record field last year, the 2016 version of the event was expected to be even bigger and while neither the Day 1A or Day 1B flight sold out, over 5,000 players, including defending champion Cord Garcia, made their way into the event, with just over 200 surviving. Employees Event Winner CJ Sand Dedicates Win to His Mom [caption width="640"] CJ Sand made his second-ever WSOP cash with a win in the Employees Event. (WSOP photo)[/caption] The first WSOP bracelet of 2016 went to CJ Sand, a sportsbook employee from Caesars Palace. Sand beat out Hippodrome Head of Poker, Kerryjane Craigie heads up for the title to win the bracelet and $75,157. Day 2 began with 23 players still in contention for the bracelet and it tookjust six hours to reach the final table. Once there Sand had the second biggest stack behind Kerryjane Craigie, setting up the eventual heads up battle between the two. Spencer Bennett, who began the day as chip leader, was active early, busting Robert Ostler in ninth and Tom Ratanakul in sixth after Craigie busted Tiankang Xing in eighth and Michael Coombs sent Nicholas Sliwinski out in seventh. But with five players remaining, Sand became the story, eliminating the remaining four players for the victory. The hand that propelled him to the top of the chip counts for good came with just five players remaining. From under the gun, Brian Mikesh opened to 80,000 and Sand defended his big blind. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"][poker card="8d"] and Sand check-called Mikesh’s bet of 60,000. The turn was the [poker card="9h"] and Sand checked again. Mikesh bet 135,000 and Sand raised to 310,000. Mikesh responds by moving all in and Sand called immediately. Mikesh tabled [poker card="kd"][poker card="qd"] for a flopped king-high flush but Sand tabled [poker card="9d"][poker card="7d"] for a flopped straight flush. The river was the [poker card="6c"] and Mikesh was eliminated in fifth while Sand’s stack grew to 2,150,000 - well over half of the chips in play. Sand then eliminated Bennett and Michael Coombs to reach heads-up with Craigie. Sand held a nearly 3.5-1 chip lead when heads-up play began and needed just 40 minutes to eliminate Craigie. After the win Sand reflected on the person that introduced him to the game of poker – his mom. "My mom first taught me how to play poker when I was 13 years old, so this is 30 years in the making,” said Sand, 45. "Poker is one of the best memories I have of her. Poker is in my veins and now I have this -- all because of her." Both Sand and Craigie each had only one previous WSOP cash to their credit and both came from the 2015 WSOP when they both finished in the money in Colossus. Final Table Payouts CJ Sand $75,157 Kerryjane Craigie $46,420 Michael Coombs $32,249 Spencer Bennett $22,753 Brian Mikesh $16,308 Tom Ratanakul $11,877 Nicholas Sliwinski $8,792 Tiankang Xing $6,616 Robert Ostler $5,063 Colossus II Opens Up With Two Flights, Over 5,000 Players The first open event of the summer began Thursday with two opening flights of Colossus II. Last summer the $565 buy-in event drew a record 22,374 players. Thanks to the popularity of the 2015 event, the WSOP added another starting day and two more starting flights to this year’s schedule. The first flight got under way at 10 AM PT and once registration closed there were 3,249 players in the field. Finishing the flight on top of the chip counts was David Polop with 513,000. Only 108 players survived the 18 levels. Justin Zakin, Max Silver and Alex ‘lynskey99’ Lynskey all finished with top ten stacks. Dan O’Brien, Maria Ho, Rep Porter and former WPT500 winner Craig Varnell also advanced to Day 2 from Day 1A. O’Brien was happy with the changes to the Colossus structure, which included shortening levels on Day 1 and having some players cash on Day 1. More Colossus Starting Flights on Friday Call it poker’s version of Groundhog Day as Friday will feel an awful lot like Thursday at the WSOP. Two more Colossus II starting flights are the only events on the schedule and as the weekend draws closer the field sizes are only expected to increase.
  5. [caption width="640"] The Casino Employees saw a rise in entries this year.[/caption] The waiting is finally over. The 2016 World Series of Poker officially got underway Wednesday with the $565 Casino Employees Event. The event marks the start of 52 straight days of WSOP events at the Rio Hotel & Casino. Before cards were in the air, WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel addressed the players and staff and invoked the Muppets with his opening statement. "It's time to play a little poker. It's time to win some bracelets. It's time to build some bankrolls. It's time to destroy some bankrolls. It's time to have some fun," said Effel. Event #1: $565 Casino Employees Event For the first time in event history, the Casino Employees Event featured re-entry. Players who busted out during the first six levels of play were allowed to re-enter one time. That helped push the final field to 731 players – a 6.25% increase over last year. The event brings out a number of familiar faces, including WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, former winner Chad Holloway and the live stream play-by-play man himself, David Tuchman. PocketFives New Jersey beat writer Will O’Connor also made his way into the field. None of those four players were able to survive into the money though. After 20 levels of play just 23 players remain with Spencer Bennett sitting on top with 627,000 – nearly double that of the next biggest stack. Kerryjane Craigie, who runs poker operations at the Hippodrome Casino in London, has 323,000. Sitting in third is a name that longtime fans of the WSOP on ESPN may recognize. Nicholas Sliwinski, who finished 13th in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, finished with 301,000. There were a few familiar faces among the 87 players to bust in the money on Wednesday. One of those is usually the one dealing final tables. Shaun Harris, who has dealt multiple WSOP Main Event final tables in his career, is taking a break from dealing this summer to take a shot at breaking through as a player. Harris busted his first bullet but made the second one work. Harris eventually busted out in 56th place for $1,131, meaning he profited $1 on the opening day of the WSOP. Tana Karnchanakphan, who runs the Run Good Poker Series and Run Good Gear, also managed to find the cashier’s cage. Karnchanakphan finished 52nd for $1,278. Top 10 Chip Counts Spencer Bennett - 627,000 Kerryjane Craigie - 323,000 Nicholas Sliwinski - 301,000 Tanja Vujanic - 195,000 Amanda Wheeler - 182,000 Eric Stack - 178,000 Allison Arvey - 164,000 Ashkun Lajevardi - 160,000 Tom Ratanakul - 141,000 Emmauel Ravelo - 135,000 Looking Ahead to Thursday The Casino Employees event restart is at Noon with the final 23 players playing down to the first WSOP bracelet winner of 2016. While that event is playing down to a winner, the WSOP could well be on its way to breaking their own record. Colossus II, the $565 buy-in event that allows players to enter each of the six starting flights one time, gets underway at 10 AM PT. The second starting flight gets underway at 4 PM PT. Both flights will play 18 30-minute levels on Thursday. Given the overwhelming success of Colossus last summer, the second version of the event is expected to break even more records.
  6. [caption width="640"] Craig Varnell turned 5 into 0,000 at the 2015 WPT500 at Aria.[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker gets cards in the air on Wednesday, July 1. Over the next five days PocketFives presents the 2016 WSOP Preview highlighting everything you need as the poker world heads to their own version of Summer Camp. The 2016 World Series of Poker’s footprint covers the entire Rio convention space and after several days of grinding tournaments, the experience morphs into a "Groundhog Day" of sorts. The monotony of it all can affect even the most disciplined players and the best way to break out of the funk is to hit up a tournament outside the Rio. These are the must-play events, all with satellites in place, to round out a complete summer of poker. WPT500 at Aria Dates: June 27 – July 6 Buy-in: $565 The World Poker Tour and the Aria reinvented poker tournaments two years when they rolled out the $565 buy-in WPT500 at Aria Resort & Casino. With an astonishing number of starting days, payouts starting on Day 1 and a small percentage advance to a Day 2. In 2014, Sean Yu beat out 3,599 players to win $260,000 while Craig Varnell came out on top of 5,113 in 2015 to win $330,000. With unlimited re-entry for the first eight levels, players can buy into any and all of the eight starting flights multiple times. Action begins with Day 1A on June 27 and runs through July 4 with two Turbo Day 1s. Day 2 is July 5 and plays down to a final table which returns to play down to a champion the following day. RELATED: WSOP Preview: The Six WSOP Events You Just Have to Play Hollywood Poker Open Championship at M Resort Dates: June 23 - 26 Buy-in: $2,500 The $2,500 buy-in Hollywood Poker Open Championship event gets underway with two starting flights on June 23 and 24, with re-entry allowed. One of the best run events of the summer, the HPO provides a much-needed alternative to the Rio during the late stages of the summer and six-figure payouts to the winners the past two years. For those looking to get in on the cheap, satellites run on property for as low as $235. The Goliath Million at Planet Hollywood Dates: June 4- 7 Buy-in: $600 Planet Hollywood has grown into the Rio’s little brother over the past two years, running a similar schedule at a fraction of the buy-ins. While the the $1,650 Main Event has a $2 million guaranteed prize pool, the Goliath Million just might be better value. With a $600 buy-in and five starting flights over two days, the tournament comes with a cool $1 million guarantee. The Grand Series at the Golden Nugget Dates: June 29 – July 3 Buy-in: $570 A trip to Downtown Las Vegas for the Grand Series at Golden Nugget Main Event just might take you back to poker’s pre-boom era. The $570 buy-in event has three starting days and comes with a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool. The final table plays out on July 3, giving you enough time to parlay that score into a WSOP Main Event seat. Wynn Summer Classic Main Event Dates: July 16 - 17 Buy-in: $1,600 One the WSOP Main Event wraps up for those not running deep, many look for one last event to save the summer. The Wynn Summer Classic Main Event, with a $1,600 buy-in and $750,000 guarantee, provides a pretty solid opportunity for one last big score. Last year’s event had 427 entrants and a $621,285 prize pool, meaning there could be an overlay this year. Bellagio Cup XII at the Bellagio Dates: July 14 - 19 Buy-in: $10,000 A $10,000 buy-in is a steep climb compared to the rest of the events prior, but the Bellagio Cup has elevated itself to one of the most prestigious events of the summer. For many pros, the big event at the Bellagio provides some relief with a more relaxed atmosphere after a summer of grinding inside the Rio. The event kicks off Day 1 on July 14 and entrants play five 90-minute levels. The Bellagio is known for their liberal late registration policies and players can enter all the way until the start of Level 13 – the early goings of Day 3.
  7. [caption width="640"] Shaun Deeb joined Paul Volpe as the only former #1-ranked players to win a bracelet this summer[/caption] Shaun Deeb beat out a stacked final table towin the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event and earn the second bracelet of his career and second for former PocketFives #1-ranked players. Deeb's victory was one of just 21 cashes by this group in the last week. They've now recorded 75 WSOP cashes this summer earning a total of $870,602. Here are the highlights from the last week. Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb2016 WSOP cashes: 5 2016 WSOP earnings: $162,112 Shaun Deeb became just the second former PocketFives #1-ranked players to win a bracelet in 2016 when he took down the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event last week. He beat out a final table that included former bracelet winners Cory Zeidman, John Monnette, Eugene Katchalov, Max Pescatori and Adam Friedman to win 111,101. With $162,112 in winnings, Deeb now has the second most of any former #1-ranked player behind Paul Volpe. That appears to be as close as he's going to get though as an urgent family matter made for an early end to his WSOP. Dan Kelly2016 WSOP cashes: 10 2016 WSOP earnings: $62,625 Dan Kelly is one of just three players to have cashed 10 times so far at the 2016 WSOP along with Jason Mercier and Ryan LaPlante. Four of Kelly's cashes came in the last week. He finished 714th in the Monster Stack, 236th in the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em, 78th in the $5,000 Turbo and 114th in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event. He's averaging a cash every three days so far this summer. Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe2016 WSOP cashes: 6 2016 WSOP earnings: $253,682 With one bracelet already in the bag, Paul Volpe continues to lead the group of former PocketFives #1-ranked players in terms of money earned. He's now made $253,682 this summer - 29% of all the money earned by this group. In the last week he recorded two more cashes including a close call in the $10,000 Six Max Championship where Volpe finished 10th. That put another $49,677 into his total earnings. He followed that up with a 52nd place finish in the $5,000 Turbo for $9,566. Patrick 'pleno1' Leonard2016 WSOP cashes: 4 2016 WSOP earnings: $57,755 With just one cash in the first four weeks, Patrick Leonard wasn't having the best WSOP. That may have turned around in the last week as Leonard scored two five-figure scores. He finished 26th in the $10,000 Six Max Championship for $20,767 and then 14th in the $5,000 Turbo event for another $22,119. Steve 'gboro780' Gross2016 WSOP cashes: 6 2016 WSOP earnings: $57,830 After four cashes over the first four weeks, Steve Gross found two in the last week including his biggest of the summer. Gross finished 11th - one spot behind Volpe - in the $10,000 Six Max Championship for $38,268. He then made it through his first table in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout before busting for a 96th place finish and a $4,955 cash. Other NotablesWhile Fedor 'crownupguy' Holz has only cashed twice in WSOP events for a little over $26,000, he's done just fine away from the WSOP tables. Since May 27th he's cashed four times in high roller events, including the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl, for a total of $4,928,000. Kevin 'bel0wab0ve' Saul finally hit the scoreboard this past week, finishing 63rd in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event.
  8. [caption width="640"] Paul Volpe was all business after winning second bracelet.[/caption]Paul Volpe won his second WSOP bracelet on Sunday at the Rio at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The Millionaire Maker field finally combined for the first time while two vastly different events kicked off. Paul ‘paulgees’ Volpe Wins Second Bracelet in Eight Game Mix Paul Volpe won his second WSOP gold bracelet and is the first former PocketFives Number 1 ranked player to win in 2016. Volpe won $149,943 after defeating Jason Stockfish heads-up. Volpe’s win is his second final table of Series after stretch of two runner-ups and two other final tables reaching back to 2015. Volpe’s approach to the game was clear in his post-win comments, “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.” The event drew 101 more players than 2015 with 491 and built a prize pool of $662,850. The result may be an effect of the schedule this year with two Dealers Choice events, HORSE, Pot Limit Omaha and Razz events all drawing early interest from players. Final Table Payouts 1. Paul Volpe - $149,943 2. Jason Stockfish - $92,638 3. Ron Ware - $60,882 4. Benjamin Ludlow - $40,911 5. Anthony Lazar - $28,123 6. Gavin Smith - $19,787 Mohsin Charania Tops Milly Maker Field Two starting flights with single re-entry drew a monster field of 7,190 entrants of the Millionaire Maker, but they all in the same room together for the first time on Sunday with 1,172 returning players. After a long day of action Mohsin Charania leads the 124 surviving players with 1.6 million. The money bubble burst at 1,079 players and all Day 3 players are guaranteed $7,589. Five-figure payouts begin at 90 players and ninth place is good for $96,091. Many players were surprised to see first place earn $1.065 million, runner-up making an even $1 million but third place falls short with $500,000 – which is sure to have a huge effect on play. Garrett Greer, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood, Ismael Bojang, Matt Affleck and Simon Deadman all survived the day’s action but outside the top counts. Charania hasn’t had breakout success at the WSOP but has four cashes on the Series and bubbled the final table of the Top Up Turbo event. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Mohsin Charania – 1,664,000 2. Frank Rusnak – 1,348,000 3. Jorge Eghi – 1,289,000 4. Kyle Arora – 996,000 5. Mikhail Semin – 973,000 6. Dylan Kehoe – 937,000 7. Danny Elmore – 936,000 8. Benny Chen – 926,000 9. Louis Salter – 915,000 10. Dale Beaudoin – 900,000 Jason Mercier Looks for 4th Bracelet in No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship attracts the best poker players in the world – drawing from the tournament world and cash game world. An even 100 players entered the event, 34 survived to Day 2 and Jason Mercier leads the final nine to Day 3. Mercier is the only player over a million with one elimination away from the official final table. A stacked field of Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, David Grey and Jesse Martin all return. Anthony Zinno just missed the cut bowing out in 10th place – also making the money, but not Day 3 were Brian Hastings, Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu. Day 2 Chip Counts 1. Jason Mercier – 1,023,000 2. Mike Watson – 853,000 3. Stephen Chidwick – 770,000 4. Benny Glaser – 706,000 5. David Grey – 534,000 6. Alex Leneau – 442,000 7. Jesse Martin – 248,000 8. Herezel Zalewski – 238,000 9. Lamar Wilkinson – 194,000 Event 17: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em The first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the Series kicked off on Sunday and made the money before any players put chips in the bag. The tournament drew 2,242 entrants and only 239 advance to Day 2 with Stacey Nutini leading the way with 174,300 Daniel Weinman continues his hot early run bagging up in the top ten, but moving on with more modest stacks are Martin Staszko, Keven Stammen, Carlos Mortensen and Steven Gee. The field generated a prize pool north of $2 million for 337 players to finish in the money. All returning players have $1,628 guaranteed but have a pay jump five spots away. The final four players all join the six-figure club and the winner earns $316,920. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Stacey Nutini – 174,300 2. Franklin Yao – 151,800 3. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 4. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 5. Matthew Schreiber – 129,300 6. Stefan Clemens – 125,000 7. Daniel Weinman – 122,000 8. Fabrice Halleux – 121,800 9. Pedro Oliveira – 120,300 10. William Firebaugh – 119,000 Event 18: $3,000 HORSE The late afternoon tournament saw 400 players enter and 144 bag up chips at the end of play. George Trigeorgis has a sizable lead heading into Day 2 with twice the average stack separating him from the field. The field juiced the prize pool to $1,092,000 for the top 60 finishers. The big money starts at 14 players with five-figure payouts. Brock Parker, Taylor Paur, Justin Bonomo and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Champ Robert Mizrachi all bagged up in the top half of the counts. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. George Trigeorgis – 160,200 2. Nicholas Kiley – 103,500 3. Brett Reichert – 102,200 4. Jared Talarico – 99,400 5. Andrey Zhigalov – 98,800 6. John Crisp – 96,000 7. Thao Thiem – 94,300 8. Par Hilderbrand – 89,400 9. Chino Rheem – 89,000 10. Mike Leah – 85,000 Just Another Manic Monday Monday’s action sees only one final table – the Deuce to Seven Championship – and the Millionaire Maker plays down to the final nine players. The early event is repeat of the weekend’s PLO madness with a $1,000 event kicking off and the $10,000 Razz Championship has cards in the air at 3 pm.
  9. [caption width="640"] Alan Percal waited ten years to win his second WSOP bracelet. (WSOP photo)[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker awarded two gold bracelets Thursday but was overshadowed by the record-setting $565 Pot Limit Omaha event. In other action the Dealers Choice championship and the Six Max closed out their respective Day 2s. Alan Percal Ships Heads Up Braclet in First WSOP Cash The Heads Up Championship is favorite event of poker’s elite and unknown Alan Percal walked away with the bracelet, $320,574 and his first ever WSOP cash. Percal defeated John Smith in the final matchup after advancing through Brian Rast, Jeff Gross and Olivier Busquet. Following his win Percal said, “I was excited to get the bye in the first round – everyone wants the bye. The I ended up drawing Brian Rast in the second round. When I saw that, I just started laughing. There were like 100 players I would have rather drawn than Rast. But after I defeated him, that gave me a lot of confidence, and he even complimented me afterward that I played well.” Smith is a 50-year veteran of the game but has only one other WSOP cash – he finished in the Round of 16 in 2014 in the same event. Final Four Payouts Alan Percal - $320,574 John Smith - $198,192 Alex Luneau - $123,929 Olivier Busquet - $123,929 Ian Johns Goes Worst to First for Number 2, Justin Bonomo Runner-Up, Again Ben Keeline’s rags to riches story in the Colossus II gave adage to the saying “a chip and a chair” and Ian Johns has his own outhouse to penthouse story. Johns went to Day 2 as the shortest stack in the field, played his way to the final table and defeated Justin Bonomo heads-up for the bracelet. Johns won his second bracelet and said after winning, “I came back on the second day and tripled up in Stud because the antes were high enough to amount to a full double up, and in the next hour I built my stack up to 50,000. It just goes to show you should never give up.” Bonomo felt the sting of runner-up at the Rio a fourth time in ten final tables, while Johns won his second bracelet in three final table appearances. The final table also featured bracelet winners Andre Akkari, Svetlana Gromenkova and Scotty Nguyen. Final Table Payouts Ian Johns – $212,604 Justin Bonomo – $131,412 Christopher Vitch - $92,374 Noah Bronstein – $65,866 Georgios Sotiropoulos - $47,651 Andre Akkari - $34,984 Svetlana Gromenkova - $26,070 Scotty Nguyen - $19,724 Budget Pot Limit Omaha Event Sets Records The WSOP offered Pot Limit Omaha at a record low buy-in and unlimited re-entries for six levels with hopes of drawing a monster field and they drew 2,483 entries. Just 80 players survived the action across 18 levels of action. Alexander Ahmed leads the field as the only player to cross the 500,000 mark, with David ODB Baker and Darryll Fish landing in the top ten counts. Nick Jivkov, Brent Roberts, Sam Chartier, Andy Hwang and Robert Mizrachi advanced as well. The field nearly doubled the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event ran in 2015 which was the largest non-Hold’em field (1,293 entrants) at the time. On average four players were eliminated every minute across a total of nine hours of play. The field generated a $1,241,500 prize pool to pay out the top 373 finishers. The top 12 players earn five-figures with the winner pocketing $190,328. Top Ten Chip Counts Alexander Ahmed – 517,000 David 'ODB' Baker – 482,000 Adil Khan – 471,000 Kyle Bowker – 372,000 Carlos Pina – 358,000 Kenneth Kemple – 348,000 Darryll Fish – 321,000 Casey Carroll – 320,000 Christopher Delgrande – 309,000 Christopher Renaudette – 295,000 Event 10: $1,500 Six Max No Limit Hold’em The Six Max event drew a massive field of 1,477 entrants and returned 183 players to Day 2. After a full day of action 21 players advanced to the final day of play. Javier Garcirreynaldos leads the field with 1.44 million. The field is loaded with talent for Day 3 – Jesse Yaginuma, Pierre Neuville and Fedor Holz are all looking for their first bracelet. Top Ten Chip Counts Javier Garcirreynaldos – 1,440,000 Daniel Streiltz – 1,258,000 Mike Cordell – 1,085,000 Oliver Weis – 864,000 Robert Hankins – 765,000 Shaheim Sheridan – 611,000 Alen Bilic – 600,000 Paul Hoefer – 539,000 Carlos Colon – 442,000 Lutz Klinkhammer – 438,000 Event 11: $10,000 Dealers Choice Six Max Championship The event spreads a daunting 19 games and 118 players registered with 41 players returning to Thursday’s Day 2. Most of the day’s action was spent grinding the way to the money bubble, which burst in Level 16, set at 18 players. Jean Gaspard leads the field after bagging up 814,000. Dan Smith sits second in chips, Monnette is fresh off his runner-up finish on Wednesday, Andrew Brown took third the $1,500 buy-in of the same game and Randy Ohel just missed out on Brown’s final table. Day 3 Chip Counts Jean Gaspard – 814,000 Dan Smith – 707,000 Mikhail Semin – 680,000 John Monnette – 640,000 William O’Neil – 633,000 James Obst – 592,000 Alexander Kostritsyn – 508,000 Andrew Brown – 418,000 Randy Ohel – 388,000 Viacheslav Zhukov – 330,000 Event 13: $1,500 Razz The late afternoon event kicked off at 3 pm and drew 461 entrants who juiced the prize pool to $622,350. At day’s end 117 players remained and Sebastian Pauli finished on top of the leaderboard as the only player over the six-figure mark and holds and average stack lead over second in chips Fabrice Soulier. Allen Kessler, Stephen Chidwick, David Benyamine, Shaund Deeb, Anthony Zinno and Daniel Negreanu all advanced on to Day 2. Top Ten Chip Counts Sebastian Pauli – 103,100 Fabrice Soulier – 70,700 Dutch Boyd- 67,100 Peter Brownstein – 65,000 Rodney Springs – 58,800 Neil Harvey – 58,700 Eugene Castro – 58,700 Brendan Taylor – 54,600 Dean Kerl – 54,500 Steve Gee – 52,200 Looking Ahead – Milly, Milly, Milly The original door buster event introduced a few summers ago has gotten lost a bit since the Colossus, Monster Stack and Little One for One Drop all found their way on the WSOP schedule. But Friday kicks of the single re-entry Flight A at 10 am with Flight B on Saturday – players may not play twice in each flight. A much different crowd is expected at 3 pm for the $1,500 Eight Game Mix event. Players should monitor social media for possible delays or rerouting of starting tables.
  10. The 2016 World Series of Poker featured a single Shootout final table, the Monster Stack field assembled as one for the first time and two big bet action games kicked off on Sunday. Phillip McAllister Claims Gold in $3,000 Shootout Final Table [caption width="640"] Phillip McAllister outlasted a final table of accomplished pros looking for first bracelet.[/caption]Sit & Go final tables are like NASCAR events where all contestants have an even playing field and it’s up to the driver to win. Ten players on their third round of Shootout tables started with even stacks and Phillip McAllister was the last player standing to win his first bracelet and $267,720. The 22 year-old British pro final tabled the 2016 PCA Main Event for a huge score and partly credited that experience factoring into his bracelet win. “That gave me a fair amount of money doing so well in January,” he said. “Coming in third allowed me to play a heavier schedule at the Series this summer.” “It’s really an unusual tournament since you just have to win three Sit & Gos,” he added. “It’s not at all easy, but there is some luck involved. I got lucky with my table and seat draws… the last two tables are more difficult, but I also ran very well with the table draws.” Maria Ho pushed her WSOP earnings past $1.2 million with her fourth place finish. Faraz Jaka, Stephen Chidwick and Jesse Yaginuma also missed out on a chance to claim their first WSOP bracelet. Final Table Payouts Phillip McAllister - $267,720 Kyle Montgomery - $165,450 Christopher Kruk - $119,686 Maria Ho - $87,487 Andreas Freund - $64,628 Marcos Antunes - $48,252 Jesse Yaginuma - $36,416 Rhys Jones - $27,783 Faraz Jaka - $27,783 Stephen Chidwick - $16,617 Nabil Mohamed Leads Monster Stack with 267 Survivors Day 2 of the Monster Stack event was the first time the field assembled as one with 2,001 players and after a long day of action the field was trimmed to 276 survivors. Nabil Mohamed finished way out in front with 1.9 million in the bag. Andrew Moreno finished 28th in the 2015 WSOP Main Event and is second in chips, poker media veteran Chad Holloway sits 6th and Biloxi pro Tim Burt rounds out the top ten. Matt Stout, Brandon Meyers, Justin Liberto, Barny Boatman and Matt Affleck all finished with above average stacks. Top Ten Chip Counts Nabil Mohamed – 1,928,000 Andrew Moreno – 1,341,000 Donghai Wu – 1,334,000 Fabrizio Gonzalez – 1,084,000 Daniel Dipasquale – 958,000 Chad Holloway – 937,000 Alexandru Iliescu – 936,000 Andrew Brown – 908,000 Vincent Bartello – 900,000 Timothy Burt – 896,000 Justin Bonomo Leads Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship to Day 3 Day 2 of the Seven Card Stud HiLo Championship saw 51 players return to play and after ten levels of action a dozen players remain. It was a long, slow march of a day to hit the money at 21 players and Justin Bonomo leads the charge to the final table. On Saturday Bonomo spent most of the day at the final table of the Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship. He finished third in a blockbuster double elimination, shook hands with his opponents and was one of the last players to buy-in. Adam Friedman, Per Hildebrand, Phillip Hui and Dan Shak cashed in the event but didn’t finish the day. Dzmitry Urbanovich, Mike Gorodinsky and Brian Rast began the day and busted before the money. Top Ten Chip Counts Justin Bonomo – 1,287,000 George Danzer – 1,049,000 Todd Brunson – 743,000 Scott Clements – 701,000 Esther Taylor-Brady – 680,000 Eli Elezra – 582,000 Randy Ohel – 550,000 David Benyamine – 406,000 Jack Duong – 336,000 Roland Israelashvili – 277,000 Event 44: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em The 11 AM $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event drew 2,076 entries and after nearly 12 hours on the felt only 225 players remain. The field made the money at 312 players and Iliodoros Kamatakis ended with the largest stack. Justin Zaki, Jennifer Shahade, Cord Garcia, David “ODB” Baker and Asher Conniff all finished in the top half of the counts. Kory Kilpatrick, Victor Ramdin and Tom Cannuli also advanced but have short stacks. Top Ten Chip Counts Iliodoros Kamatakis – 178,900 Dejan Boskovic – 169,100 Wenlong Jin – 142,400 Ugarte Rodriguez – 136,200 Stoyanov Plamen – 135,300 Nathan Sheeran – 125,600 Eric Rivkin – 124,600 Uri Reichenstein – 119,000 Young Sik Eum – 117,300 Michael Shanahan – 115,700 Event 45: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha Mix Most Mixed Game events lean towards the Limit side of things but big bet poker fans were in for a treat on Sunday with the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha Mix. The tournament drew 919 entries and 138 players advance to Day 2 with Loren Klein leading the field. The entrants combined for a $1,240,650 prize pool for the 138 players advancing. The top 15 players make five-figures, a trip to the final table guarantees $16,980 and the winner walks with $241,427. Top Ten Chip Counts Loren Klein – 215,600 David Callaghan – 180,000 Shawn Rice – 176,200 Craig Varnell – 166,600 Martin Finger – 160,800 Aaron Rogers – 156,000 Niall Farrell – 150,200 John Racener – 149,100 Marko Neumann – 138,400 Brandon Shack-Harris – 135,200 Monster Moving Day, Bounties and Triple Draw Championship. Granted, the players alive in the Monster Stack are in the money, but the payouts will climb and the jovial tone should be much more serious. The early event is the $1,500 Bounty No Limit Hold’em event and the WSOP wants players to make a single trip to the cage to cash out bounty chips. The late event is the $10,000 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Championship.
  11. The 2016 World Series of Poker crowned two new champions on Saturday, the Monster Stack Part Deux fielded a huge crowd and the $10,000 Seven Card Stud HiLo Championship was the late event. Martin Kozlov Wins $10,000 Six Max Championship in 6th Final Table [caption width="640"] Martin Kozlov won his first gold bracelet in second Six Max final table.[/caption] Martin Kozlov played his way to the final table of one of the most prestigious events on the WSOP schedule, just came off a fifth place finish in last week’s Six Max event and won his first bracelet for a whopping $665,709. Kozlov’s win came in of a Hollywoodesque hand where knocked out Davidi Kitai and Justin Bonomo holding the best hand and flopped a monster. “That was crazy, I picked up a hand, raised and two players move all in – then I hit quads,” Kozlov said moments after his win. He opened on the button, Bonomo moved all in from the small blind and Kitai re-shoved from the big blind with pocket sixes. Kozlov called with pocket queens, covered both players and Bonomo tabled pocket nines. The flop came hit with two queens and Kozlov’s opponents were drawing dead. “I was expecting it to play out longer with these two good players,” he added. “I feel blessed. I’m going to take some time off from come poker, but come back and play the Main (Event).” Chris Ferguson made his first final table since 2009 and was greeted by boos from rail. He finished in fourth and the crowd sung, “Nanana, nanana, nanana, hey hey, goodbye,” when he was eliminated. Reportedly former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar was on the rail to support Ferguson. Final Table Payouts Martin Kozlov - $665,709 Davidi Kitai - $411,441 Justin Bonomo - $271,856 Chris Ferguson - $183,989 Nick Petrangelo - $127,622 Jack Salter - $90,783 Christopher Vitch Wins 1st Bracelet in 2nd Final Table of 2016 [caption width="640"] Chris Vitch, co-ownder of DeucesCracked, won first WSOP bracelet.[/caption]The WSOP added a new event to the schedule in 2016; a mix of three popular Lowball variants – Deuce to Seven, Ace to Five and Badugi. The mix of games are generally favored by cash game players over tournament players and Christopher Vitch stepped away from the cash games to take down his first bracelet. “I don’t play many tournaments… I used to come out and play the cash games,” Vitch said. “I’d rarely play the tournaments, but when I came out last year I got bitten by the bug. To me, it’s not about the money, I looked at the World Series and I wanted to win a bracelet.” “I became one of the better players in Triple Draw before there was much information about the game,” he added. “I feel like I had lots of experience in the game compared to most people who were just picking it up.” Vitch was a coach and co-owner of the training site DeucesCracked. Final Table Payouts Christopher Vitch - $136,854 Siegfried Stockinger - $84,572 David Gee - $55,511 Damjam Radanov - $37,375 Michael Schiffman - $25,830 Gary Benson - $18,336 Steven Harper Tops Monster Day 1B Field, 2001 Players to Day 2 The second of two starting flights drew 4,507 entrants – more than twice of Day 1A – for a total field of 6,927 total runners. The total Day 2 field has 2,001 survivors, 697 from Friday and 1,304 from Saturday. Steven Harper leads the Day 1B field with 279,700, well above Gregory Alexander’s stack of 253,300 of Day 1A. Jake Schindler bagged up in the top ten but joining him with six-figure stacks at the top are Matt Gianetti, Christina Lindley, Gaelle Baumann and Brian Yoon. The field built a $9,351,450 prize pool to payout 1,040 players. Five-figure payouts begin with 90th place, a trip to the final table guarantees $100,185 and the winner earns $1,120,196. Day 1B Top Ten Chip Counts Steven Harper – 279,700 Peter Braglia – 232,500 Patrick Muleta – 213,000 Bart Lybaert – 190,500 Joseph Wurtz – 188,600 David McLaughlin – 183,000 Jake Schindler – 182,600 Christopher Stammet – 178,600 Evan Jarvis – 171,400 Harry Lodge – 171,300 Event 42: $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout The field drew 400 players, a rare sell out, and 40 players returned for Day 2. Instead of four ten-handed tables for a short-handed final table the WSOP opted for ten four-handed tables on Day 2. Sunday’s final table features ten players with effectively even stacks. Maria Ho, Faraz Jaka and Stephen Chidwick look to be the favorites on paper but all three players look to win their first bracelet. Final Table Chip Counts Faraz Jaka - 598,000 Jesse Yaginuma - 598,000 Christopher Kruk – 597,000 Maria Ho – 597,000 Marcos Antunes – 597,000 Andreas Freund – 597,000 Rhys Jones – 597,000 Kyle Montgomery – 596,000 Stephen Chidwick – 596,000 Phillip McAllister – 596,000 Event 43: $10,000 Seven Card Stud HiLo Championship One of the four remaining $10,000 Championship buy-in events on the schedule kicked off at 3 pm with Seven Card Stud HiLo. The tournament drew 136 entrants, 51 players advance to Day 2 with Randy Ohel leading the field. The field is loaded with notables and Dzmitry Urbanovich, Mike Gorodinsky, Brian Rast and Scott Clements bagged up just outside the top ten. The field combined for a $1,278,400 prize pool for the top 21 finishers. A trip to the final table locks up $36,044 and the winner walks with $338,646 for three days of work. Top Ten Chip Counts Randy Ohel - 372,000 George Danzer - 338,000 Ali Abduljabbar - 252,000 Eli Elezra - 244,000 Ryan Miller - 225,000 Edouard Mignotbonnefous - 215,000 Adam Friedman - 214,000 David Benyamine - 212,500 Tom Koral - 210,000 Per Hildebrand - 201,500 Sunday Funday with Low Buy-ins Two budget conscious events kick off on Sunday for the weekend crowd in for the Monster Stack event. The early event is a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event and action junkies will like the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha Mix at 3 pm.
  12. The dog days of June in the 2016 World Series of Poker saw Event 40 of 69 kickoff and the five-day march of the Summer Solstice came to a near end. There was also a Six Max event running for a Day 3, Day 2 and Day 1 on Thursday. Koray Aldemir Leads Adrian Mateos to Day 5 of Summer Solstice The massive field of 1,840 entrants returned 17 survivors to Day 4 of the $1,500 Summer Solstice and the event looked to finish a day early after reaching the final table. After 150 hands only Koray Aldemir and 2013 WSOPE Main Event champ Adrian Mateos remain at 7.515 million and 6.28 million chips respectively. Mateos headlined a Day 4 field that included Kathy Liebert, Jason Wheeler and Chris Moorman. Mateos was a newcomer in 2013 and his Main Event win was his first WSOP cash. He’s in line for his fifth cash, but did advance to the Round of 16 in the Heads Up championship and made a deep run in a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event earlier this Series. Aldemir has eight WSOP cashes dating back to 2014 and has been on a hot streak dating back to 2015. His largest cash came in the Main Event and this year he’s cashed in the Colossus, Millionaire Maker and a $1,000 NLH event. Cards will be in the air at noon where they’ll have the entire day to play for the bracelet. Final Table Payouts TBD – $409,171 TBD – $252,805 Alessandro Borsa - $182,835 Ralph Wong - $133,584 Jon Turner – $98,617 Jackson White - $73,563 Ronald McGinnity - $55,455 Stephen Ladowsky - $42,252 David Tovar - $32,540 Michael Gathy Wins 3rd Bracelet in 2nd Final Table of 2016 [caption width="640"] Mike Gathy picked up his third WSOP gold bracelet.[/caption]Michael Gathy lost to Rep Porter heads-up in the $1,500 Razz event three weeks ago for his 13th WSOP cash. He made another deep run a few days later in the $3,000 HORSE event finishing 12th but played his way to another final table this week, defeated Adrien Allain heads-up and won his third bracelet. Gathy had approximately 8.5 million to Allain’s 5 million on the final hand, they saw a three-bet flop of [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"] and Gathy bet 450,000. Allain called, the turn came [poker card="kd"] and after Gathy checked Allain bet 800,000. Gathy called again, the river came [poker card="jc"], Gathy checked and Allain shoved. Gathy called holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] for two pair and Allain tabled a busted flush draw to lose the match. Final Table Payouts Michael Gathy – $560,843 Adrien Allain - $346,632 Manuel Nunez - $229,990 Blake Eastman - $155,762 Scott Margereson - $107,723 Thi Nguyen - $76,112 Hani Awad Captures 1st Bracelet After Finishing Runner-Up in 2015 in Same Event [caption width="640"] Hani Awad wins first gold bracelet after 50 years in Vegas and wins event he finished runner-up in 2015.[/caption]Hani Awad won his first gold bracelet for $213,186 and denied Fabrice Soulier his second bracelet. Awad finished runner-up to Konstantin Maslak in 2015 and bested a loaded final table with Aditya Prasetyo, Michaeld Chow and Per Hilderbrand. Awad began heads-up play with a 3-1 chiplead over Soulier and despite doubling up a couple times, Soulier couldn’t mount a comeback. After 50 years of living in Las Vegas and playing poker Awad said moments after winning, “This means everything. I don’t even care about the money. I just wanted to win the gold bracelet.” “When I first moved here I lived in the same building as (Stu) Ungar – at the Regency,” he said. “I played with all the people you know – Ungar, Seymour (Leibowitz) – all of them. I have been gambling for over 50 years in Las Vegas, I still play all the action games.” Final Table Payouts Hani Awad – $213,186 Fabrice Soulier – $131,762 Aditya Prasetyo - $89,409 Denny Axel - $61,888 Michael Chow - $43,717 Gleb Kovtunov - $31,527 Per Hildebrand - $23,222 Timothy Burt - $17,479 Event 37: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Day 2 of the event returned 128 players and after a full day of action 16 players remain advancing to Day 3. Tommy Le holds a huge lead over the field as the only player over a million with Jon Ho Christensen in second place with 699,000. Jake Schwartz and Dylan Linde are the most accomplished players returning but sit in the second half of the counts – Linde as the shortest. Matt Brady, Joe Serock and Daniel Negreanu all made the final four tables but were eliminated before the end of play. Natasha Barbour, Dan Sindelar, Tyler Patterson, Jordan Smith and Leif Force also cashed in the event. All returning players are guaranteed $7,179 but after the first elimination they hit a pay jump. Then, a trip to the final table doubles what their guaranteed and the winner walks with $212,128 – which forecasts a deliberate pace of play. Top Ten Chip Counts Tommy Le – 1,040,000 Jon Ho Christensen – 699,000 Henri Koivisto – 597,000 Arundel Robinson – 590,000 Thibaut Klinghammer – 446,000 Dieyar Kakel – 339,000 Jiaqi Xu – 318,000 Bryce Eckhart – 280,000 Jake Schwartz – 218,000 Patrick Salo – 218,000 Event 38: $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em Day 2 of the$3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em event had 64 survivors playing for the 37 spots that paid and after ten levels of action Limit Hold’em specialist Matt Matros leads the field one green chip short of a million chip stack. 2015 Main Event champ Joe McKeehen sits second in chips and along with Georgios Zisimopoulos the top three players hold a huge lead over the bottom five stacks. Rep Porter,Chris Klodnicki, Jesse Martin and Jason Somerville finished in the final three tables as Terrence Chan, Jeffrey Lisandro and Jonathan Duhamel cashed further down the payouts. Top Eight Chip Counts Matt Matros – 978,000 Joe McKeehen – 825,000 Georgios Zisimopoulos – 788,000 Mikhail Semin – 302,000 Alex Queen – 243,000 Audrey Zhigalov – 195,000 Brad Libson – 178,000 Rafael Lebron – 167,000 Event 39: $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship The short-hand No Limit Hold’em Championship is one of the most action-packed events of the summer featuring the biggest names in the game. The event drew 294 players and 123 of them advance to Day 2 with Garbriel Andrade leading the field. Robert Mizrachi andJustin Bonomo already logged significant time on the ESPN Thunderdome in 2016 and both bagged up in the top ten. Steve Gross, Timothy Adams, Galen Hall and Ankush Mandavia bagged up just outside the top ten. Simon Deadman, Tony Gregg, Jake Schindler,Vanessa Selbst and Jeff Gross bagged more modest stacks. The field combined for a $2,763,600 prize pool to pay out the top 45 finishers. The min-cash comes in at $14,848 but the final table locks up at least $90,783 and the winner earns $665,709 for the championship win. A Who’s Who in poker made up the field and not all of them survived the day – Jason Mercier, Antonio Esfandiari, Dominik Nitsche, Doug Polk, Erik Seidel and Fedor Holz all hit the rail on Thursday. Top Ten Chip Counts Gabriel Andrade – 443,000 Brandon Steven – 397,700 Daniel Strelitz – 324,200 Eric Sfez – 296,600 Rahul Byrraju – 252,000 Robert Mizrachi – 250,100 Justin Bonomo – 241,500 Senh Ung – 228,000 Assani Fisher – 205,500 Nick Petrangelo – 200,000 Event 40: $2,500 Mix Triple Draw Lowball The mix of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Ace to Five and Badugi is a new event for the 2016 schedule and the Lowball mix drew 236 entrants. Former “Crew” member Anthony Lazar leads the field with Christopher Vitch close behind. 2011 Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko is second in chips and Jason Mercier finds himself advancing to another Day 2. Jon Turner put in a full day in the Summer Solstice event with a fifth place finish but jumped in the event and bagged up in the top 20. The field combined for a $536,900 prize pool for the final 36 players. Anyone making the final table has $18,336 locked up and the winner’s share is $136,854. Top Ten Chip Counts Anthony Lazar – 161,300 Christopher Vitch – 152,200 Martin Staszko – 97,900 Brandon Delnano – 93,600 Jason Mercier – 93,100 Tuan Le – 91,000 Daniel Hirleman – 87,200 Michael Noori – 86,700 Alan Myerson – 84,00 Timothy Burt – 81,400 The Monster Stack Arrives Day 1A of the player-favorite Monster Stack kicks off at 10 am Friday as the first of two flights. Players must choose either Day 1A or Day 1B as only on entry is allowed. Players begin the event with a 15,000 starting stack with the standard $1,500 No Limit Hold’em structure. The 3 PMevent is the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout.
  13. [caption width="638"] The 2016 WSOP gets underway Wednesday[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker gets cards in the air on Wednesday, July 1. Over the next five days PocketFives presents the 2016 WSOP Preview highlighting everything you need as the poker world heads to their own version of Summer Camp. The World Series of Poker is a marathon, with 69 bracelet events this year over 48 days. Every poker player dreams of winning a bracelet, but for some, maximizing profits is the goal and the WSOP offers unrivalled opportunity to do just that. For players looking to take a few shots this summer, these are the six MUST PLAY events that almost all bankrolls can handle, they're going to draw large fields and with the new payouts system paying the top 15% of each event comes more opportunities to walk away a winner. EVENT #2: The Colossus II Dates: June 2 - 7 Buy-in: $565 The opening weekend on the WSOP calendar is a prized position. The WSOP introduced the Colossus - a $565 buy-in event with re-entry - in 2015 to kick off the Series and get players in Las Vegas after a couple of slow starts in previous years. The insane numbers of the Colossus, 22,374 entrants and an $11 million prize pool, made the event a no-brainer to kick off the summer again. This year the prize pool has a $7 million guarantee and the winner is guaranteed $1 million. There are six starting flights and players are allowed one entry per flight, for a maximum of six bullets in what will likely be the largest live poker tournament in history – again. EVENT #14: The Millionaire Maker Dates: June 10 - 14 Buy-in: $1,500 The second weekend of the Series is primed for huge fields again with the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker. The event, which guarantees at least $1 million to the winner, debuted in 2013 and was an instant player favorite. It was the first real experiment at the WSOP with a low buy-in, huge field event and it inspired the Monster Stack and Colossus events in subsequent years. In each year of its existence the event has paid six-figures to every player at the final with the eventual champions winning between $1.1 and $1.3 million. EVENT #41: The Monster Stack Dates: June 24 - 28 Buy-in: $1,500 The first two years of The Monster Stack drew over 7,000 players each year with $9.7 million and $10.6 million prize pools respectively. If you’re going to take a shot in this one, be sure to clear the calendar as the event as the event will take every bit of the four days of play. Players have two flights to choose from, no re-entry, with a 15,000 starting stack - a healthy 300 big blinds. EVENT #46: Bounty No Limit Hold’em Dates: June 24 - 28 Buy-in: $1,500 The Bounty event returns to the WSOP after it debuted in 2015 and drew 2,178 entries with a $333,381 first place prize. Each player you knockout is worth $500. Profitability in bounty events is risky business – an aggressive player can miss the money but still walk away a winner with a pocketful of bounties. EVENT #58: No Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels) Dates: July 4 - 5 Buy-in: $1,000 This event should be circled on everyone’s calendar. The two-day event runs on the Fourth of July holiday – a time when huge numbers of pros and regulars catch a breather before the Main Event. The event will be packed to the gills with players, just not the ones that have been grinding for five straight weeks, as the holiday is one of Las Vegas’ biggest. EVENT #66: WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold'em Dates: July 8 - 11 Buy-in: $1,000 The online event kicks off July 8 at 1 PM and has unlimited re-entry through the first nine levels. The event plays down to a six-handed final table to conclude Day 1 and then they’ll play for the bracelet live in the Amazon Room. In the debut of this event in 2015, Anthony Spinella beat out 905 entrants to wins $197,743. EVENT #68: The Main Event Dates: July 9 - 18 Buy-in: $10,000 Yes, this is the seventh event in an article titled “The Six WSOP Events You Just Have to Play” but no WSOP experience is complete without the Main Event. It’s the ultimate event of the year with the most media coverage and a deep run can set up a player for life. If the $10,000 buy-in is out of your price range, the WSOP offers daily single table satellites and as the Main Event approaches, mega satellites that pay out multiple seats for as little as $565. And, if you're already in Nevada, WSOP.com has online satellites as well.
  14. [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
  15. The 2016 WorldSeries of Poker hosted three final tables Saturday, though only one finished, alongside Day 1 of perhaps the most prestigious tournament of the year and the final two flights of the $888 Crazy Eights wrapped up. Brandon Shack-Harris Wins Second Bracelet in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship [caption width="640"] Brandon Shack-Harris won his second bracelet in the Pot Limit Omaha Championship for 4,300.[/caption]The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship played its fourth and final day on Saturdya day with six players returning to the final table. Brandon Shack-Harris returned with the lead, defeated Loren Klein heads-up and won his second career gold bracelet at his second final table of the Series. “This is definitely the most gratifying moment for me in my poker career,” Shack-Harris said after winning. “I had really tough people on my left all the time and they would play back at me. I was having to play out of position all the time.” Klein won the PLO/NLH Mixed event a week ago and challenged Shack-Harris. “I didn’t want to play Loren heads-up,” he said. “He plays a very unorthodox style. We played some street PLO, he plays great.” Experience played a factor with the three least experienced players hitting the rail first. Harley Stoffmaker collected just his second WSOP cash ever with his final table run. Mattew Parry nearly tripled his career earnings with his finish and Melad Marji's cash was almost ten times the largest cash of his career. Final Table Payouts Brandon Shack-Harris - $894,300 Loren Klein - $552,713 Tommy Le - $376,667 Melad Marji - $261,652 Matthew Parry - $183,337 Harley Stoffmaker - $133,918 Junayed Khan - $98,748 Dominique Mosley - $74,339 Andrew Lichtenberger and Craig Blight Return Heads-Up in $3,000 No Limit Hold’em The 31 players returning for Day 3 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event knew they had a tall order in front of them to play to a winner. Ten levels of action left Andrew Lichtenberger a 3-1 chip lead over Craig Blight. Lichtenberger bagged up 12,765,00 and Blight with 4,100,000 after Chris Johnson busted on the final hand of the night in third place. The pair had the option to play an additional level after Johnson’s bust but they declined to play on. A trio of former November Niners began Day 3 in the top ten counts but Pierre Neuville (19th), James Akenhead (18th) and Jay Farber (15th) fell short of the final table. Tristan Wade was the first player eliminated on Day 3 and soon John Racener, John Hennigan and Simon Deadman followed him to the rail. Final Table Payouts TBD - $569,158 TBD - $351,721 Chris Johnson - $249,336 Mac Shorabhi - $179,015 Linglin Zeng - $130,191 Erhan Iscan - $95,925 Thomas Miller - $71,617 Roger Teska - $54,190 Daniel Wagner - $41,563 Five Players Remain with Gavin Smith Leading $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Mix The $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Mixproved to be popular enough that the structure wasn’t quite enough to finish as scheduled. Day 3 saw ten levels of action with 27 players returning and five remained at the end of play with Gavin Smith holding the lead. Smith holds a considerable lead over Philipp Eirisch and Allan Le – all over one million chips. Cody Crouch and Keith Ferrera return as the short stacks. The field reached official final table past midnight with Gary Bolden, David Bach and Yuval Bronshtein earning at least $15,059 each but fell short. John Monnette bubbled the final table for his seventh cash of the Series. Final Five Chip Counts Gavin Smith – 1,800,000 Philipp Eirisch – 1,175,000 Allan Le – 1,125,000 Cody Crouch – 565,000 Keith Ferrera – 320,000 Scott Seiver Leads $50,000 Poker Players Championship Many in poker believe the $50,000 Poker Players Championship to be the toughest and most prestigious tournament of the year and 87 of the world’s best entered the event. Registration remains open until the start of Day 2 but for now the prize pool sits at $4.176 million and Scott Seiver leads the field of 84 survivors. Robert and Michael Mizrachi both finished in the top ten counts, Robert won the Seven Card Stud Championship earlier in the Series and Michael is the only player to win this event twice. Just outside the top stacks are Jason Mercier, Todd Brunson and Dan Smith. Paul Volpe, Daniel Negreanu, Jesse Martin and Justin Bonomo return with above average stacks. Brian Hastings, George Danzer and Dzmitry Urbanovich return as the short stacks. Howard Lederer entered the event and bagged up to advance while Stephen Chidwick, Keith Gipson and Abe Mosseri were the three eliminated players on Day 1. Top Ten Chip Counts Scott Seiver – 593,000 Timofey Kuznetsov – 557,600 Robert Mizrachi – 500,200 Brian Rast – 463,900 Erik Sagstrom – 457,700 John Monnette – 454,300 Michael Mizrachi – 433,000 William O’Neil – 427,600 Anthony Zinno – 418,000 Talal Shakerchi – 395,100 Flights C & D Push $888 Crazy Eights Field to 6,761 Total Entrants The final two flights of the $888 Crazy Eights event drew 1,715 for Flight 1C and 2,230 for Flight 1D – bringing the total entrants to 6,761. The early flight advanced 62 survivors, the late flight brings 58 players forward and Day 2 has a total of 206 returning players. Vlad Darie bagged up 454,000 for the lead in Flight 1C but is second overall behind Andy Spears’ 499,000 form Day 1B. Six players from the final flight snuck into the top ten overall with Steven Tabb and Brandon Ienn both breaking the 400,000-chip mark. Notables from the 10 am flight include Steve Sung, Darren Rabinowitz, Greg Raymer and John Gale. From the late flight are Sam Stein, Brent Roberts, Matt Vengrin, Vinny Pahuja and Chris Ferguson. Top Ten Chip Counts, Flights ABCD Combined Andy Spears – 499,000 Vlad Darie – 454,000 Steven Tabb – 446,000 Brandon Ienn – 429,000 Muhammed Rahim – 395,000 Fabrizio Gonzalez – 383,000 Aaron Johnson – 375,000 Chase Johnson – 368,000 Daniel Fried – 366,000 Joseph Mussat – 362,000 Big Bet Sunday After a week stretch that included a few new events the WSOP shifts back into more familiar gears on Sunday. A $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event kicks off at 11 am and the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha HiLo event gets cards in the air at 3 pm.
  16. 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.”
  17. [caption width="640"] Jason receiving his second bracelet of the year from his father Rick.[/caption]The 2016 World Series of Poker has 40 events in the books, a bit over halfway, and Player of the Year race is heating up. A handful of high value tournaments are slated over the next couple weeks and even though Jason Mercier’s lead looks to be solid, a win or couple deep runs from a contender could end the Summer of Mercier. Simply put, a motivated Mercier is a player to be feared. The five-time bracelet winner won two this year and a third would not only etch his name in history as the seventh player in history to win three in a year, he stands to collect mind-numbing money from bracelet bets. Mercier has seven cashes so far, with five final tables, one runner-up and in four $10,000 championship events. In a one-week span Mercier earned 366.26 points in the Deuce to Seven win, 287.70 points in Razz and 434.24 in the HORSE victory. Additionally, all of his cashes have come in different disciplines and not a single No Limit Hold’em event. Martin Kozlov sits in second place after five cashes on the Series. He most recently won the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship and earlier this year he finished fifth in the $3,000 Six Max NLH event. He made a deep run in the Summer Solstice event, barely missing the final table in 11th place for $25,335. Paul Volpe is the first former PocketFives Number One ranked player to win a bracelet in 2016 and the last player over 1,000 points. Volpe has played the WSOP regularly since 2011 and has racked up 27 cashes since playing full time. Volpe began the summer with a fourth place finish in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event and followed that up with his second career bracelet in the Eight Game Mix for $149,943. His five cashes this year have come in five different games and most recently finished in 10th place in the Six Max Championship Kozlov took down. Benny Glaser has had a very unique Series – for starters he won two bracelets in four cashes for a total of $718,669. He first took down the $1,500 Omaha HiLo event and a few days later he took down the $10,000 Omaha HiLo championship. Glaser’s first cash of the summer came in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and a week later he final tabled the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship. His first career bracelet came in 2015 in the Triple Draw variant of the same game. Ryan Laplante has spent the most time in the cashout line with nine cashes on the Series. His largest came in his first career bracelet – the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event. He earned $190,328 to push his career WSOP earnings over the $500,000-mark. He has cashed in HORSE, Six Max No Limit Hold’em, PLO, Limit Hold’em and Omaha HiLo. WSOP Player of the Year Top Ten Standings Jason Mercier – 1,695.02 Martin Kozlov – 1,252.58 Benny Glaser – 1,156.57 Michael Semenov – 1,125.12 Ryan Laplante – 1,073.13 Ian Johns – 1,059.50 Paul Volpe – 1,044.15 David Vamplew – 998.25 Bart Lybaert – 984.90 Michael Gathy – 969.30
  18. [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.
  19. [caption width="640"] Cash game player Ian Johns now owns 3 WSOP bracelets.[/caption]Lebron James finally brought home a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals but the Golden Eagle trophy (Seniors Event) will have to wait one more day to add a new. While most of the attention is steered to big bet poker, Limit Hold’em got its day in the sun. Ian Johns Wins 2nd Bracelet of Summer, 3rd Overall Ian Johns returned middle of the pack in chips for Day 3 as one of 17 returning players. Johns won the $1,500 HORSE event earlier this Series and after a heads-up battle with Sean Berrios he won his second bracelet of the summer for nearly $300,000 to push his summer earnings past the half million mark. Moments after winning he said, “I’m ecstatic. It’s so far out there. I don’t even play in that many tournaments – I never dreamed of it, I never thought about it.” The cash game player added, “For me, Limit Hold’em is a super fun game because you are constantly making decisions…it’s very fast. The hands take 90 seconds instead of four minutes like in No Limit. You just have so many opportunities to make these little incremental decisions. I have spent the last 12 years of my life trying to perfect those incremental decisions and that’s why I like it.” Johns joins Jason Mercier as the only two players to win multiple bracelets in 2016. The final table was loaded with bracelet winners in David Chiu, Bill Chen, Brock Parker and Brian Rast. Final Table Payouts Ian Johns – $290,635 Sean Berrios – $179,625 Alexander Balynskiy - $125,571 David Chiu - $89,810 Jeff Thompson - $65,752 Bill Chen - $49,304 Brock Parker - $37,888 Brian Rast - $29,855 Anh Van Nguyen - $24,140 Seniors Championship Stretches to 4th Day, Wesley Chong Leads Final Six Day 3 of the Seniors Championship event returned 57 players and playing down to a winner in the allotted time proved to be a challenge. The field made the final table late in play, managed to lose a couple players but Wesley Chong leads the final six with a 3 million-chip lead. Roger Sippl has the most WSOP experience with $23,763 in earnings. Chong has $400 less than Sipple and after that the cashes drop way off. Joseph Somerville and Johnnie Craig each have one WSOP cash, both in the Seniors Championship, while Paul Runge and Jamshid Lotfi both secured their first WSOP cash. The final six have a silver lining for an additional day of play – they’re all guaranteed at least $103,366 and the winner earns $538,204. Final Table Chip Counts Wesley Chong – 8,585,000 Roger Sippl – 5,320,000 Joseph Somerville – 3,085,000 Johnnie Craig – 2,695,000 Paul Runge – 2,120,000 Jamshid Lotfi – 790,000 David Williams Leads Loaded Field of 31 Players to Day 3 Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event saw 274 returning players and after ten levels of action only 31 players remain. David Williams leads the field as one of two players with million-chip counts while competing in the FOX reality cooking show “Master Chef.” Standout pros Tony Ruberto, Justin Young and David Vamplew return with top ten stacks while Matt Stout and Vinny Pahuja return a little deeper in the counts. Konstantin Puchkov is last in chips but the Russian player is a WSOP cashing machine the past couple of years and is in line for his 41st career cash. Top Ten Chip Counts David Williams – 1,209,000 Marino Mura – 1,035,000 David Juenemann – 784,000 Tony Ruberto – 730,000 Alexander Ziskin – 726,000 Severin Schleser – 702,000 Francisco Racionero – 681,000 Justin Young – 662,000 David Vamplew – 593,000 Craig Mason – 497,000 Event 30: $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Many players circled this event on the calendar as a warm-up of the huge $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event at the end of the Series and it drew a sizable field of 580 entrants. Day 2 returned 87 players and ended with 14 players; leading the field is Viatcheslav Ortyinskiy with 1.14 million. The short-handed event is long on talent with Barry Leventhal, Jeff Rossiter, Sean Winter, Randy Ohel and Aleksandr Denisov able to climb the counts quickly in the big action game. All of the returning players have $18,827 locked up, but the big money comes at the final table with $46,727 for 6th place and the winner goes home with $344,327. Top Ten Chip Counts Viatcheslav Ortyinskiy – 1,140,000 Matthew Humphrey – 868,000 Barry Leventhal – 800,000 Rafael Lebron – 750,000 Jeff Rossiter – 740,000 Florent Aubert – 725,000 Sean Winter – 660,000 George Wolff – 594,000 Antti Nieminen – 545,000 Joseph Couden – 516,000 Event 31: $1,000 Super Seniors No Limit Hold’em The Super Seniors Event, open to those 65 years and up, kicked off at 10 am and drew 1,476 entrants – many of which were in town for the Seniors Championship. The field combined for a prize pool of $1,328,400 to pay out the top 222 finishers and they made money on the last hand of the night. Two players, Dennis Packard and Jay Tallman-Willcutt, were eliminated during hand-for-hand play on the bubble and will split the min-cash. The remaining 220 players return for Day 2 at noon with Jon Andlovec leading the field. Top Ten Chip Counts Jon Andlovec – 168,500 William Shields – 130,800 Ronald Giles – 113,000 Fred Berger – 107,600 Johnny Woolen – 107,500 Danny Duhamel – 107,000 Lawrence Tidswell – 101,200 James Moore – 95,600 William Hall – 93,500 Ablahad Salim – 90,000 Event 32: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship The leaderboard of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship contains some of best minds in poker with Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra and George Danzer all in the top ten. Grzegorz Trelski leads the field with just a slight advantage over Deeb – but the pair has a huge cushion on the rest of the field. The event drew 163 entrants and eight levels of play reduced the field to 70 survivors for Day 2. Lurking in the field are John Monnette, Daniel Weinman, Taylor Paur and Anthony Zinno. Jason Mercier is further down the counts and the South Florida pro is aiming for his fourth $10,000 event final table this summer. The field combined for a $1,532,200 prize pool to pay out the top 25 players. The min-cash comes in at a respectable $14,954, the number doubles to $30,965 for ninth place and the winner walks with $407,194. Top Ten Chip Counts Grzegorz Trelski – 444,000 Shaun Deeb – 433,000 Andrew Brown – 308,000 Mikhail Semin – 277,500 Eric Kurtzman – 254,500 Matt Glantz – 236,000 Eli Elezra – 235,000 Esther Taylor-Brady – 230,000 Matthew Kelly – 215,500 George Danzer – 204,000 Monday Madness Monday sees an oddity on the schedule with both new events sharing the $1,500 buy-in, but that’s where the similarities end. The Summer Solstice event, formerly known as Extended Play, kicks off at 11 am, is scheduled for five days and features 90-minute levels. The late event is first Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event of the Series.
  20. [caption width="640"] Just two players stand between Qui Nguyen and the 2016 WSOP Main Event championship (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] The first day of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table was all about Qui Nguyen. The Vietnamese-born Nguyen got into it with chip leader Cliff Josephy on hand #1 and finished with the chip lead. The storyline from the second day wasn't much different. Nguyen started play Monday, with five players remaining, with more than double that of his nearest competitor. When play wrapped up late Monday night, Nguyen again had more than double either of the other two players remaining and almost 59% of the chips. The fireworks started early on Monday night with Michael Ruane and Nguyen finding an all in preflop situation. Nguyen opened to 2,350,000 with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] from the button. Ruane found [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] in the big blind and moved all in for 23,100,000. Nguyen wasted no time in calling. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="qc"][poker card="kh"] to double Ruane up and drop Nguyen below 100,000,000. Another double up three hands later ultimately lead to the first elimiantion of the night. Gordon Vayo raised from the button with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8s"] to 2,300,000. Vojtech Ruzicka three-bet to 8,150,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] from the small blind and Vayo called. After the [poker card="qc"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3c"] flop, Ruzicka bet 6,150,000 and Vayo called. Ruzicka then bet 11,400,000 after the [poker card="7h"] turn and Vayo called again. The river was the [poker card="5s"] and Ruzicka announced he was all in for 28,700,000 having Vayo covered. Vayo called and took down the pot to take over the chip lead and leave Vayo with less than one big blind. The Czech pro was eliminated on the next hand by Nguyen. Over the next 50 hands Vayo and Nguyen each took turns as the chip leader. That changed for good on hand after Nguyen claimed another victim. From UTG Nguyen raised to 2,700,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"], Ruane moved all in for 15,700,000 from the small blind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] and Nguyen called. The board ran out [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8d"] to completely miss Ruane and send him out in fourth place. After that hand Nguyen has 178,400,000 chips and a stronghold on the lead. Nguyen has now eliminated the last three players from the final table. He ended play on Sunday by eliminating Kenny Hallaert in sixth place and then continued on Monday by busting Ruzicka and Ruane. The final three players return to action on Tuesday night just after 8 pm ET with just under an hour left in the 600,000/1,200,000 (200,000 ante) level. The ESPN broadcast begins at 9 pm ET. Chip Counts Qui Nguyen - 197,600,000 (164 bbs) Gordon Vayo - 89,000,000 (74 bbs) Cliff Josephy - 50,000,000 (41 bbs) Payouts Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  21. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] With just 12 big blinds to come back to, Fernando Pons was unsure how to prepare for the November Nine (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Two years ago, in 2014, for the first time since the November Nine format was created, a Spanish player reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event. His name was Andoni Larrabe, a 22-year-old guy that eventually finished in sixth position in a tournament won by Martin Jacobson. This year, in 2016, Spanish poker is again represented again at the Penn & Teller Theatre at the Rio. Andoni Larrabe's successor is Fernando Pons. Unlike Andoni, who already had extensive experience as an online player and with important results in international circuits like the European Poker Tour, Pons has virtually no experience as a live player. Pons defines himself as a recreational player, who combines his passion for poker with a full-time job, something that recently has changed slightly. "I asked for a leave of absence a year in my work. I want to live this experience and play all the tournaments I can. In a year from now, I will think if I come back or not," said Pons. Many might think that being one of the nine finalists of the world's most important final table, Pons come to it with a great experience behind him, but nothing is further from reality. All his live results are practically limited to a second place finish in the Spanish Poker Championship in Mallorca, his hometown, in 2012, where he earned €14,858. There begins and ends his live tournament success. Pons' greatest triumphs have come from the online tables where he has achieved important victories in most ".es" rooms. When gaming regulation came into force in Spain, Pons didn’t think - like many other Spaniards players did - to move to countries like the UK, Malta or Portugal. He stayed in Spain, trying to be the best in the Spanish rooms. He has a victory in an ESCOP event (Spanish Championship of Online Poker) and is a regular in the most important tournaments that can be played from his country, but if there was an online result that for sure Pons will not forget, it's the €30 satellite on 888poker which ended up giving him a seat into the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. You may remember 2003, when a man named Chris Moneymaker came to the Main Event through a $39 satellite and ended up winning? Who knows, maybe that story could be repeated, however, Pons tries not to compare him with Moneymaker, at least not yet. “I just want to be compared with Moneymaker in case I win the tournament; until then, I prefer not to be compared”, said the Spanish player. Pons traveled to Las Vegas with the dreams familiar to most recreational players: he wanted to visit Sin City, breathe in the atmosphere of the best poker tournament of the world and enjoy a unique experience, which perhaps he never could repeat. Without any pressure, Pons was gradually advancing one day after another, surpassing the goals he was setting and eventually found himself the final table. Pons had so little expectation to reach such an advanced stage in the tournament, he had to call his boss to warn that he wasn't going to be able to return to work as planned. Fortunately for him, his employer was well informed of what was happening in Las Vegas without that call. His wardrobe also wasn't ready for such a long performance in the Main Event. As he progressed through the days, he had to go buy new clothes, or at least asking some friends who were there to buy them. It was an unexpected expense, but sense it came with a $1,000,000 pay day, he wasn't too worried. Pons has been 100% focused on the preparation of the final table. Last August he participated in a lot of EPT Barcelona events, getting some good results there for him. In September he played in several tournaments in Spain and the World Poker Tour in Marrakech. Meanwhile, Pons continued to achieve good results in the Spanish online rooms. On August 11th he won the SuperJueves BigStack Turbo at PokerStars.es (336 players) earning a € 2,947 prize. A month later, on September 19th, in 888poker.es, Fernando won the Gran Domingo € 20,000 Guaranteed tournament in which 186 players participated, achieving a €4,300 prize, something that surely have helped Pons to prepare his performance in Las Vegas next October. Once he confirmed he was one of the November Nine, Pons was unsure about how to deal with the preparation. He was reluctant to seek help in a personal coach, as their starting stack will be 12 big blinds, but finally reached out for help in the Spanish community. Meanwhile, as sure others are doing, Pons also wanted to know what the other eight were doing, how they are preparing. Some of them are considered as the best in the world as Cliff Josephy or Vojtech Ruzicka, but if there is someone who would like to see eliminated as soon as possible, this is Griffin Benger. "The sooner he goes, the better. Everyone considers him as one of the favorites, and I also think that," said Pons. Nevertheless, Pons arrived in Las Vegas without any pressure. He has already gone much further than he could imagine. He will live an unforgettable experience, knowing he will have the support of all the Spanish poker community, and a small rail that will be close to him at the Penn & Teller Theatre in Las Vegas. "Some friends will come with me, not many. What is certain is that I will not have a rail like Bruno Politano," laughed Pons.
  22. [caption width="640"] Kenny Hallaert has a career in poker - just not as a player (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Tournament director Kenny Hallaert wants to make something clear. Poker is not a job to him. Instead, it is a passion. The fact that the November Niner honoured commitments to work as a tournament director at two tournaments following the conclusion of this year's World Series of Poker shows that it is his passion for poker which is the driving force behind a lot of what he does. But with the additional label of being a November Niner, did that add anything extra to his work? "No, not at all! I did two tournaments: one in Copenhagen and one in Belgium. They both went very smoothly. Being a November Niner had no influence on me as a tournament official. "I always try to have a high degree of professionalism when I'm organising a tournament. I was always going to work these tournaments and make sure that the players have a good experience playing in it." Hallaert has been managing the Belgium Poker Challenge for several years. His first job in poker involved marketing, but he has since moved into tournament directing and hasn't looked back since. The success of the BPC and Hallaert’s involvement in it has come in a golden era for Belgian poker, an era which Hallaert says he is honoured to be part of: "With Belgium being such a small country, it's quite amazing all of the performances that we've been making around the world over the last few years." "We have Pierre Neuville of course, but then also Davidi Kitai and Michael Gathy who have both won three bracelets. Potentially the greatest online cash game player in the world is Belgian - OtB_RedBaron." Hallaert was on the rail last year to see his friend Pierre Neuville make the November Nine and he said that he had talked with him and others about the experience as well as the do's and don't of preparing for the biggest final table of his life. "I have that experience of knowing how things work and what to expect, which I suppose is an advantage." "I obviously didn't sit at the final table but I've been there for the last two years with Pierre [Neuville] and Jorryt van Hoof. And I'm in contact with Michiel Brummelhuis too" "Regardless, all of these results were good for the popularity of poker. The results of all Belgian players are really very good for the popularity of the Belgian poker scene. Having played poker for around 12 years, Hallaert says that making the final table of the Main Event stands out from all the success he has enjoyed in the past. "It's a tournament that takes place only once a year and it's not exactly a final table you can make purely from skill. I had my run good at good moments. This is a little bit of a reward for all the work that I've put in throughout those 12 years." Despite this, Hallaert says he has never considered quitting being a tournament director in favour of pursuing a full-time professional career. "I never wanted to be a 100% professional player. It brings a lot of pressure because you have to make results. Having a job next to playing was a perfect combination for me. However, he admits that the outcome of the final table could have an influence on his future. "I haven't thought about what happens after the final table, because my future will obviously depend on the result a lot." "Things will change after the main event. Especially because right now my focus is still on the tournament. I mean I'm still playing in a tournament, but there just happens to be a very long break in between of course" In between working and preparing for the Main Event final table, Hallaert also found time to jump onto the online tables and take down the Partypoker $500k Online Grand Prix for $63,891. ‘FCBSpacey’ as he is known online said that it gave him a well-timed boost of confidence in his preparations. "It felt really good. There were over 4,000 runners and for me personally it helped because you know that it is possible for you to win big tournaments. Also, I was happy because personally it had been a while since I had a big score online." "$64K isn't a lot if you compare it to the $1,000,000 I had won from the Main Event, but for an online tournament it's still quite big, so I was very happy with it." "It motivated me to continue to work hard with my work towards the final table of the Main Event itself." And with just under two weeks to go until the final table gets underway, Hallaert says he is still feeling very comfortable. "I don't feel any pressure at all right now, and there's no stress going on. I'm sure there will be a little bit of nervousness when I arrive in Vegas and maybe a couple of days before that." "There's a lot of money on the line and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity" He laughs, perhaps remembering Mark Newhouse's legendary back-to-back final tables in 2013 and 2014. "Well, it normally is a once in a lifetime experience! I definitely don't want to finish ninth! I would rather finish once for $2M than finish ninth twice" "It's a unique opportunity and I'm trying to prepare myself so that I'm in a good condition at the start of the event." "It's poker and anything can happen and I'm starting to realise that myself. If you flop set under set first hand, there's nothing you can do about it. I might win it but I might as well be out after ten minutes!"
  23. Even with a city packed full of tourists for the July 4th weekend, the 2016 World Series of Poker continued on Monday with one bracelet winner and another day of action in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship event, which got past the bubble and saw the same name at the top of the chip counts throughout the day. Event #54: Hung Le Wins $888 Crazy Eights Event [CAPTION=100%]Hung Le turn $888 into "life-changing money" on Monday (WSOP photo)]/CAPTION] Many amateur poker players dream of going to the WSOP and hitting the jackpot. Whether it's a bracelet, a big score or both, the WSOP is where poker players come to make it happen. That's exactly what Hung Le did on Monday night, winning the $888 Crazy Eights event and walking away with $888,888. “I tried to come out to Las Vegas to get lucky,” Le said, “I have five kids. We are a lower middle class family. We work hard. This is life changing money for us.” The 53-year-old Vietnamese immigrant beat out a final table that included bracelet winner Loni Harwood and former PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion Dimitar Danchev. His previous biggest score came in 2014 when he won $8,208 for taking down a Hollywood Poker Open event in Columbus, OH. Final Table Payouts Hung Le - $888,888 Michael Lech - $401,888 Dimitar Danchev - $297,888 Rafael Yaraliyev - $222,888 Henry Grunzweig - $167,888 Loni Harwood - $126,888 Aurelien Guiglini - $96,888 Yang Zhang - $74,888 Event #55: Justin Bonomo Leads $50,000 Poker Players Championship Day 3 of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship began with Justin Bonomo leading the final 42 players. Jason Mercier and Howard Lederer were also in the hunt for the bracelet and Chip Reese Memorial Trophy. Ten levels of play didn't change the name at the top but those three players, and 26 others were eliminated on Monday. Bonomo finished on top with 3,127,000. Behind him is the player who denied Mercier a bracelet earlier this summer, Ray Dehkharghani, with 2,662,000. Lamar Wilkinson rounds out the top three with 2,659,000. Michael Mizrachi. who won this event in 2010 and 2012, is still in contention for his third PPC title after bagging up 2,016,000 on Monday. Georgios Sotiropoulos was eliminated by Eric Wasserson on the bubble. A few minutes later, Robert Mizrachi was eliminated in 14th place. Lederer and Mercier weren't the only notable eliminated without cashing on Monday. Todd Brunson, James Obst, Scott Seiver and Phil Hellmuth were also among the Monday casualties. Hellmuth took his elimination in stride. The final 13 players get cards in the air at 2 PM PT. Final 13 Chip Counts Justin Bonomo - 3,127,000 Ray Dehkharghani - 2,662,000 Lamar Wilkinson - 2,659,000 Rep Porter - 2,056,000 Michael Mizrachi- 2,016,000 Eric Wasserson - 1,920,000 Brian Rast - 1,569,000 Paul Volpe - 1,500,000 Tommy Hang - 1,400,000 Elior Sion - 1,247,000 Daniel Alaei - 1,045,000 Daniel Negreanu - 995,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 526,000 Event #56: Matt Affleck on Top After Day 2 of $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Matt Affleck was one of just two players to finish Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event with over one million chips. Affleck finished on top with 1,420,000 while Kilian Kramer ended the day with 1,250,000. Just 28 players remain in event after Day 2. Included in that group is David Peters (579,000), Dar O'Kearney (484,000) and Faraz Jaka (423,000). Action resumes at Noon Top 10 Chip Counts Matt Affleck - 1,420,000 Kilian Kramer - 1,250,000 Jason Seitz - 757,000 Muhammad Abdel Rahim - 739,000 Chahnhoon Jung - 657,000 David Peters - 579,000 Pablo Gordillo - 567,000 Michael Aron - 551,000 Chun Law - 548,000 Benjamin Zamani - 530,000 Event #57: David Nowakowski Leads $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo into Day 3 David Nowakowski ended Day 2 of the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event with the chip lead after eliminating two players on one hand. Nowakowski bagged up 1,203,000 - almost 500,000 ahead of any other player. Nowakowski has two previous WSOP cashes - both in Omaha Hi-Lo variants - but his last one came in 2011. Canadian Timothy Vukson is the player closest to Nowakowski. He ended Day 2 with 721,000. Only 16 players remain in the field including two-time bracelet winner Marco Johnson and former Main Event runner-up Martin Staskzo. The tournament resumes at 2 PM PT and is scheduled to play down to a winner on Tuesday. Top 10 Chip Counts David Nowakowski - 1,203,000 Timothy Vukson - 721,000 James Alexander - 595,000 Marco Johnson - 447,000 Jonathan Bascom - 424,000 Victor Chang - 420,000 Stephen Johnson - 306,000 Kenneth Po - 260,000 Scott Anderson - 255,000 Matt Lefkowitz - 239,000 Event #58: $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold'em With the July 4th holiday occupying a good number of the players in Las Vegas, the WSOP schedule had only one event on the docket on Monday - a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event with 30-minute levels. A total of 1,397 players played the event with only 28 making it through the first day. Leading the pack is Germany's Enrico Rudelitz. He finished with 904,000 - exactly 300,000 more than his closest competitor, Mikhail Petrov. Some of the notables who made it through Day 1 include Fatima Moreira de Melo, Jordan Young, Ryan Riess and Martin Kozlov. The final 28 players will be back in action beginning at Noon PT on Tuesday and will play to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Enrico Rudelitz - 904,000 Mikhail Petrov - 604,000 William Liang - 602,000 Nikolay Mantsurov - 601,000 Benjamin Reinhart - 501,000 Marc MacDonnell - 404,000 Ryan Pochedly - 387,000 Ryan Leng - 377,000 Fatima Moreira de Melo - 270,000 Gualter Salles - 238,000
  24. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen walked away with a little bit more than ,000,000 but that wasn't the only interesting number coming out of the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table (WSOP photo/Jayne Furman)[/caption] You know the headlines, you know the bustouts, you saw what happened on TV. But there were many untold and unexplored stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, so we decided to break some down and crunch some numbers. -45: Average temperature in the regions of Antarctica inhabited by polar bears. The bears are built for the cold, which is perhaps why Kenny Halleart’s rail chose to have someone dress as one to cheer their friend on at the notoriously cold Rio. 4: Number of players lost on the first day of November Nine play. While the plan was originally to play from nine down to six, the producers and tournament staff elected to play a little longer, perhaps because it did not take long to lose three players and, as a result, the table did not get far along in the structure. Because of the extended play, Halleart exited in sixth place on the first day of action. Then, on the second day of play, the table played three-handed for a little while because it took so little time to get from five players to three. 9: Number of years since an Asian player has won the WSOP Main Event. Laos-born Jerry Yang won in 2007, but since then the list of winners has been exclusively Caucasian and exclusively under the age of 30. Nguyen, who is 39, bucked both trends. 16: Number of hands it took before losing a player. Fernando Pons didn’t quite make it twice around the table before exiting in ninth place. 58: Number of hands it took at the final table before Griffin Benger managed to win a pot. The Canadian struggled at the final table and blinded off much of his stack. He also failed to flop much of anything, resulting in the very long stretch without dragging chips in his direction. The celebration was short-lived though. He busted in seventh place nine hands later. 60: Going rate in dollars for four pints of ice cream from the boutique Tin Pot Creamery, a Palo Alto ice cream provider Gordon Vayo promoted with a patch at the final table. Boasting flavors like Earl Grey and Sweet Barbeque, the creamery produces small batches of ice cream at quite the price, which also doesn’t include tax or shipping and handling. 69: Starting bid on eBay for the New Era brand Rocket Raccoon ball cap similar to the one wore by Qui Nguyen throughout the final table. The Guardians of the Galaxy hat was one of the more memorable pieces of headgear in Main Event memory. Now the hat is difficult to come by, but that is largely because of the popularity of the now two-year-old movie as opposed to Nguyen’s ability to influence style. 182: Number of hands heads-up play lasted. It is also the number of hands it took for the final table to get from nine down to two players. By comparison, last year the entire final table took 184 hands, with Joe McKeehen besting Josh Beckley after 13 hands. 1,046,965: Difference between $4.5 million and what Cliff Josephy collected for finishing in third place. Much has been made of the fact Josephy staked Joe Cada when he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Though the number was never confirmed, most assume Josephy took home half the $9 million payday. If that is the case, turns out this wasn’t his most profitable WSOP Main Event after all.
  25. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Fernando Pons returns to the 2016 WSOP Main Event as the shortest stack (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Fernando Pons. Fernando Pons, a native of Palma, Spain, has spent the past 3.5 months knowing he's returning the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event as the shortest stack. He's working with a stack of just over 12 big blinds but after qualifying for €30 on 888poker, Pons is living the dream and hoping to become a Spanish version of Chris Moneymaker as he defies the odds and ends up as World Champion. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet on and why? Pons: If I had to bet on someone, would be Cliff Josephy, due to the experience he has and the number of big blinds with which he will begin the final table. PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what would you bring and why? Pons: I would take a boat, a very big barrel of gasoline and a box full of food and drink. PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? Pons: I would give my wife a closet full of "Manolos" (expensive shoes). PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? Pons: I have no idea because I am not a big fan of movies, but my wife likes Justin Timberlake, so I would probably choose him. PocketFives: What feature of your game or your personality helped you most to be where you are today? Why? Pons: I am a person with cool head, very concentrated in my game, and don't usually get nervous. I am very observative and intuitive, and all that helps me to stay calm at key moments and adverse circumstances, trying to make the best decision.

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