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  1. On Friday, the dates for the 2016 World Series of Poker were announced. The annual festival in Las Vegas will run from May 31 to July 18 at the Rio. It's the 47th running of the series and its first open event will be the second edition of the Colossus, which begins June 2. In 2015, the first time the Colossus was run, the $565 buy-in re-entry tournament drew 22,374 entrants, making it the largest-field WSOP event ever and shattering numerous other records in the process. Some players, however, were a tad irate at the "Golden Ratio" payout structure that gave a first place prize of $638,000, or 5.7% of the prize pool. This year, Caesars is trying to break the 22,374-player mark and is installing a $7 million guaranteed prize pool, up from $5 million in 2015, and a $1 million guaranteed first place prize. It'll also include two more entry flights. A press release sent by WSOP explained, "Colossus II will use the format successfully introduced at WSOPE's Oktoberfest event where each starting flight plays into the money. This will not only ease congestion observed last year, but also allow a player to potentially cash multiple times in the event." The Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack, and Little One for One Drop will all return as well. No mentions of a High Roller for One Drop or Big One for One Drop were given, but Caesars Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky told PocketFives that the full schedule was still being worked out and an additional One Drop event may still be held. Ending the 2016 WSOP will once again be the Main Event, which begins on July 9 with the first of three starting days. The Main Event will play down to nine players nine days later on July 18. Joe McKeehen won the Main Event this year: The annual Senior Event will be held on June 17 and take the form of a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament. The Casino Employee Event will occur on June 1 and be a $565 No Limit Hold'em tournament that will run for two days. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart commented, "We want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2016. We hope some of your New Year's Resolutions will include capturing a WSOP gold bracelet in the coming year. We expect another well-rounded schedule offering something for everyone and another record-breaking opening with Colossus II on tap to make a millionaire right out of the gate." The 2016 WSOP will, according to Caesars, spread almost 500 poker tables and sprawl over 100,000 square feet of space. Over 60 bracelet events will likely be held, the full schedule of which will be released in the next two months. Due to the 22,000-man Colossus, the 2015 WSOP attracted 103,512 entrants, the largest attendance in the WSOP's 46-year history.
  2. [caption width="640"] The 2016 WSOP schedule seems built to bring in big crowds again. (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] Poker players and fans who have been eagerly anticipating the release of the 2016 World Series of Poker schedule have to wait no longer. Event organizers released the final schedule on Tuesday and it includes a number of changes to key events. "It’s hard to fathom that this event can continue to grow the way it has," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "But with the schedule we’ve put together for this year, we are confident 2016 will be another record-breaker at the WSOP." A total of 69 events are on the schedule, including the Main Event, Colossus II, Little One for One Drop, Millionaire Maker and Monster Stack. After the impressive turnout last year for Colossus and subsequent issues with tournament payouts, WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel has made changes for Colossus II. The guaranteed prize pool is now $7 million, up from last year’s $5 million, and first place is now guaranteed to earn a minimum of $1 million. There are a total of six starting flights this year, up from four in 2015. Each starting flight will play into the money on Day 1. The Main Event is also undergoing some structure changes for 2016. Players will now start with 50,000 chips and blinds start at 75/150 and reach antes on Level 3. Payouts have also been altered to pay out the top 1,000 finishers or top 15%, whichever is greater. The $1,000 buy-in online event, which attracted 905 players last year, is also back this year, but will include re-entry for the first time. In fact, there are a total of nine events this year that will allow re-entry: $565 Casino Employees (single re-entry) $565 Colossus II (one entry per flight) $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball (single re-entry) $565 Pot Limit Omaha (unlimited re-entry) $1,500 Millionaire Maker (one entry per flight) $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball (single re-entry) $888 Crazy Eights (one entry per flight) $1,000 WSOP.com Online NLHE (unlimited) $1,111 Little One for One Drop (unlimited) There are also several new events on the schedule. Most notably, the $1,000 Top Up Turbo No-Limit Hold'em event, allows players to earn additional starting chips by qualifying for the event on WSOP.com or via single table satellites at the Rio in the days leading up to the event. At just $565, Event #12 is the lowest buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event in WSOP history. The WSOP experimented with a lower buy-in PLO event at WSOP Europe in Berlin last October. The $888 buy-in Crazy Eights events will play eight-handed and guarantee $888,888 to the eventual winner. Other new events are the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO and $1,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better & Big O. The other new event which is sure to generate some buzz is the $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Tag Team event. Teams will consist of between two and four players and the total entry fee is $1,000 per team, not per player. Players can tag in at any time between hands and all players must play at least one orbit before the close of the registration period. Players used to Noon or 4pm start times will have to make sure to set their alarm each night for one hour earlier. Start times for events have been moved to 11am and 3pm, with the exception of Colossus II, Millionaire Maker, Seniors Event, Super Seniors Event, Monster Stack and Crazy Eights which have a 10am start time. The $10,000 "Championship" events also have a strong representation on the schedule. There are 13 $10,000 buy-in events, including Six Max NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha and Dealer’s Choice plus a $25,000 Pot Limit High Roller and the $111,111 One Drop High Roller. Check out the complete 2016 WSOP schedule.
  3. 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.
  4. [caption width="640"] John Hennigan was one of three WSOP bracelet winners on Wednesday. (WSOP photo)[/caption] Three players found their way into the winner's circle on Wednesday at the 2016 World Series of Poker. John Hennigan won his fourth career WSOP bracelet, taking down the $10,000 Triple Draw Championship. Hennigan admitted after his win that he only played the event to get himself away from the cash games where he'd been losing recently. Jason Mercier didn't win a bracelet on Wednesday, but he did advance to Day 2 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. He was one of a handful of former bracelet winners to advance. Event #44: Steven Wolansky Wins Second Bracelet in $1K No Limit Hold'em [caption width="640"] Steven Wolansky now has two WSOP bracelets after his victory on Wednesday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Two years ago Steven Wolansky won his first WSOP bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. On Wednesday he grabbed his second one, beating Wenlong Jin heads-up to win the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event and nearly $300,000. “This win is just as meaningful, if not more,” Wolansky said. “The first one I won was more about me wanting to avenge my second place finish the previous year. I lost heads-up and that motivated me to prove to myself I could do it. But this time, it was a lot more money and plus the odds I had to overcome.” Wolansky and Jin were the only two players to return on Wednesday afternoon after the tournament was stopped Tuesday night after playing the maximum number of levels. When heads-up play began, Jin had Wolansky down 3-1 in chips. Final Table Payouts Steven Wolansky - $298,849 Wenlong Jin - $184,631 Bradley Myers - $133,955 Young Sik Eum - $98,150 Justin Zaki - $72,634 Dejan Boskovic - $54,294 Walter Rodriguez - $40,999 Zaher Sayegh - $31,278 Danny Illingworth - $24,111 Event #46: Kristen Bicknell Looking for Second Bracelet in $1500 Bounty Event So far this summer no female player has managed to win a bracelet. There have been close calls, Kerryjane Craigie finished runner-up in the Casino Employees event, and kindergarten teacher Lisa Meredith finished third in the Millionaire Maker. Former Ladies Event champ Kristen Bicknell is hoping to do one better than both of those finishes. Bicknell bagged up the chip lead with just three players remaining in the $1,500 Bounty event. Action was haulted on Wednesday night after playing down from 36 players over 10 levels of play. Bicknell finished Day 3 with 7,080,000, ahead of Norbert Szecsi's 5,600,000 and John Myung's 3,550,000. Among the 33 players who were eliminated on Wednesday were Calvin Anderson (31st - $7,550), Matt Stout (17th - $11,557), Jared Hamby (13th - $14,52) and Steve Gee (7th - $$40,203). Action resumes Thursday at Noon PT. Final Three Chip Counts Kristen Bicknell - 7,080,000 Norbert Szecsi - 5,600,000 John Myung - 3,550,000 Event #47: John Hennigan Wins $10,000 Triple Draw Championship John Hennigan won the fourth WSOP bracelet of his career, overcoming a final table full of bracelet winners and one of the players considered to be amongst the best without one. Hennigan outlasted the eight combined bracelets of Abe Mosseri, Viacheslav Zhukov, JC Tran, Michael Gathy and Chris Klodnicki. By his own estimation, Hennigan feels he didn't play all that well. "What was really striking to me is, I didn’t play that well. I got very lucky in this tournament. I didn’t really have it. But I got lucky at the right times," said Hennigan. "I bluffed and then caught, and I made so many hands. I normally think I played pretty well. But not this time. I played like shit." Hennigan admitted that he's been playing in the normally lucrative high stakes cash games that happen in Las Vegas during the WSOP, but was candid about how they've been going for him. "I’ve just been playing in the cash games this summer. But I’ve been losing. I was out of gas in the cash games, so I came over here to kill time," said Hennigan. "Those games are so big that it’s hard to concentrate on tournaments. So, I registered late at midnight - which is foolish. I gave up so many so many levels, but that’s what I did – and I’m glad I did." Klodnicki came into the final way with the chip lead and a shot at removing his name from the best-players-without-a-bracelet list that he's been a mainstay on for some time now. It didn't quite pan out for Klodnicki and he had to settle for a fourth place finish. Final Table Payouts Ankush Mandavia - $548,139 Daniel Strelitz - $338,774 Christian Nilles - $232,934 Thiago Macedo - $162,924 Pedro Oliveira $115,957 Sean Getzwiller $84,004 Sergey Lebedev - $61,964 Phil Hellmuth - $46,553 Kyle Julius - $35,636 Event #49: Eugene Katchalov Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table Six of the final eight players in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud have already won a WSOP bracelet while the other two players have combined for one previous WSOP cash between them. Eugene Katchalov finished Day 2 with 521,000 and the chip lead over the likes of bracelet winners Shaun Deeb and Adam Friedman. Yaniv Birman has just one previous WSOP result, a 78th place finish in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2011, and Katherine Fleck has never cashed in a WSOP event before. Max Pescatori, John Monnette and Cory Zeidman round out the rest of the final table. Action resumes at 2 PM PT Thursday and will play down to a winner. Final Table Chip Counts Eugene Katchalov - 521,000 Shaun Deeb - 485,000 Adam Friedman - 396,000 Yaniv Birman - 386,000 Max Pescatori - 315,000 Katherine Fleck - 256,000 John Monnette - 85,000 Cory Zeidman - 44,000 Event #50: Selbst, Hastings, Farrell Advance to Day 2of $1,500 Shootout Day 1 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em shootout event saw 1,050 players enter hoping to win three straight sit n gos to win a WSOP bracelet. Among the group of players to win their first round match were Niall Farrell, Vanessa Selbst, Brian Hastings, Jeff Kimber, Sofia Lovgren, Tobias Reinkemeier and Konstantin Puchkov. The 120 players who advanced to Day 2 will play ten-handed tables on Thursday beginning at Noon Pt. Event #51: Steven McCuller Bags Huge Day 1 Chip Lead in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Germany's Steven McCuller finished Day 1 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship with nearly 500,000 chips - more than 50% more than any other player. McCuller finished with 498,600 while the second biggest stack, 330,200, belongs to Hokyiu Lee. Rep Porter and Michael Mizrachi also finished with top 10 stacks on Thursday. The event drew exactly 400 players including most of the biggest names in poker. Right now there is no bigger name than Jason Mercier. Seeking his third bracelet of the summer - and a massive prop bet for doing so - Mercier finished Day 1 with 218,800, a top 20 stack. Phil Hellmuth, fresh off of busting the $5,000 Turbo final table, Scott Clements, Joe Hachem and Antonio Esfandiari are among the players who entered but didn't make it to Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Steven Mcculler - 498,600 Hokyiu Lee - 330,200 Rep Porter - 293,700 Arie Miller - 292,000 Bobby Oboodi - 282,600 Michael Mizrachi - 276,900 Ivan Naumov - 271,000 Taylor McFarland - 264,700 Christopher Kruk - 263,800 Peter Park - 259,100
  5. [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
  6. On Tuesday, Jason Mercier found himself at yet another final table of a $10,000 buy-in event, but this time he wasn't able to seal deal and had to settle for an eighth place finish in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Three players, including Benny Glaser, had to bag up at the end of another ten levels and will return on Wednesday to finish. While that event didn't quite reach a conclusion, two more did, including the Super Seniors event and another $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. Event #29: Alexander Ziskin Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em [CAPTION=100%]Alexander Ziskin managed to overcome Jens Grieme's comeback to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career[/CAPTION] Alexander Ziskin managed to avoid being the answer to a WSOP trivia question Tuesday night and in the process won the first gold bracelet of his career. Ziskin beat out Jens Grieme heads-up after action resumed for an unscheduled fourth day. Ziskin and Grieme were originally scheduled to finish up on Monday night, but over 200 hands of heads-up play resolved nothing and the two players bagged up and returned Tuesday. During Monday night's heads-up play, Ziskin had Grieme down to just one big blind and his victory seemed inevitable but Grieme actually battled back from that and entered Tuesday with a chip lead of 7,790,000 - 5,690,000. It took 91 hands On Tuesday for Ziskin to turn the tide and win the bracelet, earning $401,494 in the process. Had Grieme come back from just one big blind, it would have been the first time that a player had done that heads-up. Final Table Payouts Alexander Ziskin - $401,494 Jens Grieme - $248,067 Kam Low - $179,187 Patrick Powers - $130,780 Severin Schleser - $96,452 Craig Mason - $71,891 Marino Mura - $54,160 David Juenemann - $41,244 Aaron Kweskin - $31,754 Event #31: James Moore Wins Super Seniors [CAPTION=100%]James Moore was barely old enough to enter the Super Seniors event, but he did manage to outlast the field to capture his first WSOP bracelet.[/CAPTION] James Moore topped a field of 1,476 players to win the $1,000 buy-in Super Seniors event for $230,626. The 65-year-old radiologist from New Hope, PA barely meets the 65 years or older age requirement for the event but was thrilled to have accomplished something every poker player desires. "This is an unbelievable thrill for me," Moore said. "I had absolutely no expectations. It's every poker player’s dream, and mine just came true." Moore beat our Charles Barker heads-up for the win. Barker earned $142,461. Final Table Payouts James Moore - $230,626 Charles Barker - $142,461 Steven Krupnick - $102,052 Charles Rinn - $73,943 Eugene Spinner - $54,197 Fred Berger - $40,191 Arthur Loring - $30,159 James Parrott - $22,902 Vern Soeldner - $17,604 Event #32: Glaser Leads Final Three of $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship Once again all eyes were on Jason Mercier on Monday as he was at yet another final table of a $10,000 buy-in Championship event - his fourth straight. Mercier was eventually eliminated in eighth place and as the night wrapped up there were still three players remaining including another player going for his second bracelet of the summer. Benny Glaser, who won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event just three days ago, finished up Day 3 with the chip lead over the other two remaining players, Douglas Lorgeree and Matt Glantz. Glaser ended the day with 3,225,000. The day started with 16 players still in contention for the win. Former bracelet winners Andrew Brown, Eli Elezra, Shaun Deeb and Daniel Alaei - the defending champion in this event - were all eliminated before the final table. Mercier was eliminated by Greg Trelski. The event drew 384 players leading to a $896,250 prize pool and $213,186 first place prize. Top Ten Chip Counts Yen Wu = 114,200 Denny Axel - 105,600 Gleb Kovtunov - 97,700 Josh Arieh - 96,500 Hani Awad - 93,600 Bruce Walters - 93,100 Chip Jett - 85,700 Eric Rodawig - 76,600 Jack Duong - 76,500 Dzmitry Urbanovich - 76,000
  7. Don’t look but Jason Mercier is heading to his fourth consecutive Day 3 of a $10,000 Championship event at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The current WSOP Player of the Year front runner is among the final 16 players in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. He’s going to have to overcome a group of talented players, including chip leader Matt Glantz, if he plans to win his third bracelet of the summer on Tuesday. While Mercier was chasing WSOP history, Monday’s action also featured two players winning the first bracelets of their careers, including one player who overcame a record field to win over half a million dollars. Event #27: Johnnie Craig Wins Record-Breaking Seniors Event [caption width="640"] Johnnie Craig is 8,204 richer after winning the Seniors Event (WSOP photo).[/caption] It took an extra day of play, but Johnnie Craig won the largest WSOP Seniors event ever, beating out Jamshid Lofti heads up to win the bracelet, the Golden Eagle trophy and $538,204. “I can’t even describe this feeling. It’s amazing,” Craig said.*“I had the feeling I was going to win, and it worked out.” Craig, who served in both Irag and Afghanistan, finished 140th in this event in 2014. "I felt really good coming into the final table.*I was fourth in chips,” Craig said.*"I lost a pretty big hand off the bat, but I was still in the middle of the pack.*From that point on, I decided I wasn’t going to make any big moves unless I had a really big hand.*I started to chip away and got the chip lead, then once I did that I began to apply pressure.” The 4,499-player field was the largest ever Seniors Event, beating out the 2014 event by 74 players. Final Table Payouts Johnnie Craig - $538,204 Jamshid Lotfi - $332,413 Roger Sippl - $245,389 Joseph Somerville - $182,536 Wesley Chong - $136,829 Paul Runge - $103,366 Eugene Solomon - $78,699 Mike Lisanti $60,392 Alan Cutler - $46,713 Event #29: Two Players Remain in $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Monday was supposed to be the final day of play in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, but Jens Grieme and Alexander Ziskin played 215 hands of heads-up poker before having to bag up for the night. Grieme, who had Ziskin down to one big blind at one point, finished with 7,790,000 chips and a slight lead. Ziskin finished with 5,690,000. Among the 29 players who busted on Monday were Justin Young (18th - $15,490), Matt Stout (14th - $19,457) and WSOP bracelet winner and MasterChef contestant David Williams (12th - $24,718). Grieme and Ziskin resume their heads-up battle at Noon PT. Heads Up Chip Counts Jens Grieme - 7,790,000 Alexander Ziskin - 5,690,000 Event #30: Viatcheslav Ortynskiy Wins $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Bracelet [caption width="640"] Viatcheslav Ortynskiy won his first career WSOP bracelet on Monday (WSOP photo).[/caption] Prior to Monday Viatcheslav Ortynskiy had made three WSOP final tables in his career, never finishing better than third. On Monday however, he chased those demons away, beating out Rafael Lebron heads-up to win the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event and the first bracelet of his career. Lebron had to settle for $212,779. Finishing third was Randy Ohel for $141,187. The mixed game specialist now has four cashes at the 2016 WSOP and all are top ten finishes. Final Table Payouts Viatcheslav Ortynskiy - $344,327 Rafael Lebron - $212,779 Randy Ohel - $141,187 Matthew Humphrey - $95,623 George Wolff - $66,134 Joshua Gibson - $46,727 Event #31: Fred Berger Leads Final 14 of Super Seniors Just over 14 years ago Fred Berger beat Chris Ferguson to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career. He’s had a few close calls since, including four final tables, but on Monday he put himself in position to finally grab the second bracelet of his career after bagging up the Day 2 chip lead in the Super Seniors event with just 14 players remaining. Just two days ago Berger finished 45th in the Seniors Event. Right behind Berger is Eugene Spinner. He finished 114th in this event in 2015. The shortest remaining stack belongs to Maureen Feduniak, who has just 112,000 (7 BBs) to work with. Defending Champion Jon Andlovec started Day 2 with the chip lead but eventually busted out in 20th place, earning $6,955. The remaining players return at 11 AM PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Fred Berger1,751,000 Eugene Spinner - 1,175,000 Charles Barker - 806,000 Arthur Loring - 518,000 Charles Rinn - 496,000 James Moore - 477,000 James Parrott - 449,000 James Ciotti - 408,000 Steven Krupnick - 351,000 David Forsberg - 287,000 Event #32: Matt Glantz Leads $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo, Jason Mercier Still in the Hunt Matt Glantz was the only player to finish Day 2 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event with a seven-figure but, as has been the case for last 10 days, the story really is more about Jason Mercier. Mercier finished Day 2 with 444,000 - slightly below the 509,000 average - with just 16 players remaining. This marks the fourth consecutive $10,000 buy-in event that Mercier has cashed in. For his part, Glantz finished with 1,066,000 which puts him ahead of Grzegorz Trelski (945,000), Daniel Alaei (828,800), Todd Brunson (745,000) and Eli Elezra (715,000). Mercier might have finished with a less-than-average stack, but his confidence remains high. Alaei won this event last summer for his fifth career bracelet. The final 16 players return at 2 PM PT to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Matt Glantz - 1,066,000 Grzegorz Trelski - 945,000 Daniel Alaei - 828,800 Todd Brunson - 745,000 Eli Elezra - 715,000 Douglas Lorgeree - 650,000 Benny Glaser - 461,000 Jason Mercier - 444,000 Andrew Brown - 390,000 Robert Campbell - 372,000 Event #33: Bruno Vendramini On Top of Summer Solstice Being indoors playing poker on the longest day of the year was just fine for Bruno Vendramini. The Brazilian finished Day 1 of the $1,500 Summer Solstice event with 105,900 chips, edging out Ronald Lee for the end of day chip lead. Lee bagged up 104,825. The event, which has 90 minutes levels instead of the standard 60, drew 1,840 players, down slightly from the 1,914 that played the event in 2015. Just 445 players advanced to Day 2 including some familiar names and faces. Former November Niner Antoine Saout finished with 84,150 - the fourth biggest stack. Olivier Busquet ended up just behind him with 83,575. 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event winner Scott Davies, Ray Henson, Matt Haugen, Adrian Mateos and Jamie Kerstetter also advanced to Day 2. Top Ten Chip Counts Bruno Vendramini - 105,900 Ronald Lee - 104,825 Jason Helder - 96,025 Antoine Saout - 84,150 Olivier Busquet - 83,575 Idan Raviv - 82,150 Austin Hughes - 81,000 Dmitrii Shchepkin - 80,300 Andrew Moreno - 79,700 Shashank Jain - 79,650 Event #34: Bart Lybaert Leads $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Prior to this summer, Belgian poker pro Bart Lybaert had just four WSOP cashes. He’s already recorded seven cashes this year and may be on his way to another one after finishing with the Day 1 chip lead in the $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. Lybaert finished with 113,100, putting him just ahead of Lawrence Berg’s 110,200. Just 65 of the 358 entrants advanced to Day 2 including Matt Waxman, Terrence Chan, Vanessa Selbst, Greg Raymer, Chris Klodnicki and arguably the greatest lowball player of all time, Billy Baxter. The top 54 players will get paid with the eventual champion earning $117,947. Top Ten Chip Counts Bart Lybaert - 113,100 Lawrence Berg - 110,200 Christopher Kaltenbach - 105,300 Jameson Painter - 97,500 David Snobl - 96,500 Iakov Onuchin - 82,400 Clemens Manzano - 79,700 Matt Waxman - 78,800 Gleb Kovtunov - 76,200 Patrice Biton - 74,000
  8. [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
  9. [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.
  10. [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.
  11. [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.
  12. [caption width="640"] Shaun Deeb grabbed his second WSOP bracelet on Thursday in the ,500 Seven Card Stud event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Just two bracelets were awarded on Thursday at the 2016 World Series of Poker and for both winners it was there second time winning one. Shaun Deeb beat a stacked final table to win the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event just one year after winning his first bracelet. Kristen Bicknell, the 2013 Ladies Champion, won her second career bracelet by coming out on top of the $1,500 Bounty event. While Deeb and Bicknell were winning their second career bracelets, Jason Mercier was a man on mission trying to win his third bracelet of the summer. Mercier played three events simultaneously in an attempt to advance a stack in all three events. Deeb's first bracelet came last year when he won the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em Championhip. Final Table Payouts Shaun Deeb - $111,101 Adam Friedman - $68,666 Max Pescatori- $46,312 Katherine Fleck - $31,899 Eugene Katchalov - $22,448 Yaniv Birman - $16,147 John Monnette - $11,878 Cory Zeidman - $8,941 Event #50: Vanessa Selbst Highlights 12 Players Left in $1,500 Shootout Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event saw 120 players return to play 12 10-handed tables with the winner of each moving on to the final day. The group of 12 who won their tables to advance includes Sam Greenwood and Niall Farrell but the real headliner is Vanessa Selbst. The remaining 12 players will start play with two six-handed tables on Friday and play down to a winner beginning at Noon. Final 12 Chip Counts Safiya Umerova - 654,000 Damian Salas - 654,000 Sam Greenwood - 653,000 Niall Farrell - 651,000 Erkut Yilmaz - 651,000 Alexander Lakhov - 646,000 Daniel McAulay - 641,000 Daniel Tang - 640,000 Vanessa Selbst - 639,000 Michael Mixer - 635,000 Yuliyan Kolev - 631,000 Raymond Ho - 630,500 Event #51: Tommy Lee Leads $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Day 2 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship saw just 28 players of the 159 who started the day move on to Day 3. Leading the pack is Tommy Lee with 2,100,000. He's the ony player to finish with more than 2,000,000. The group behind Le includes Brandon Shack-Harris (1,630,000), James 'Andy McLEOD' Obst (1,552,000), recent bracelet winner Loren Klein (760,000) and Max Silver (726,000). With the top 60 players all making the money in this event, there were 32 players eliminated on Thursday that managed to make a profit in the event including Erik Seidel ($15,113), Mike Matusow ($17,113), Taylor Paur ($17,113), Mike Watson ($18,925) and Jason Mercier ($18,925). The final 28 players return to play at 2 PM on Friday to play down to a winner or another 10 levels. Top 10 Chip Counts Tommy Le - 2,100,000 Brandon Shack-Harris - 1,630,000 James Obst - 1,552,000 Melad Marji - 1,300,000 Junayed Khan - 1,122,000 Travis Pearson - 1,108,000 Harley Stoffmaker - 1,050,000 Dominique Mosley - 817,000 Loren Klein - 760,000 Benjamin Reinhart - 739,000 Event #52: Erhan Iscan Leads $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Erhan Iscan has just one previous tournament cash to his credit - a 32nd place finish in a $120 buy-in tournament in 2009. On Thursday he took a gigantic step towards his second cash, this time with a much bigger payout available. Iscan leads after Day 1 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event with 281,000. He is one of 286 survivors from Day 1 action. Former PocketFives #1-ranked player Jordan Young finished with 177,000, good enough for a top five stack. Just two days after finishing runner-up to Ankush Mandavia in the $5,000 Turbo, Daniel Strelitz finished with a top 10 stack, after amassing 163,600 on Day 1. The event drew 1,125 players to create a $3,071,250 prizepool with the eventual champion walking away with $569,158. Some of the other notables to move on to Day 2 include Kevin Saul, Jay Farber, Stephen Chidwick, Joe Cada, Bryn Kenney and 888poker pro Sofia Lovgren. This is the only event of the day that Mercier managed to advance in. He'll have his work cut out for him on Friday however as he bagged up just 21,800 chips - the 251st biggest stack. Top 10 Chip Counts Erhan Iscan - 281,800 Oliver Bosch - 201,600 Keith Lehr - 188,200 Jordan Young - 177,000 Michael Kane - 174,000 Dorian Rios - 167,700 Christopher Kruk - 164,500 Daniel Strelitz - 163,600 Ivan Freitez - 156,900 Roman Valerstein - 142,800 Event #53: John Monnette Leads $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo After Day 1 One of the new events on the 2016 WSOP schedule this year, the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo event rotates between Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and Big O (five card Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo). To the surprise of few, a player that has vast experience playing all three variations of the game in Las Vegas cash games made his way to the top of the chip counts after Day 1. John Monnette, who has already cashed six times this summer, finished with 87,650 and the Day 1 chip lead. Right behind him is Yuval Bronshtein with 81,725. Former $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner David Bach sits third with 75,050. Other former braclet winners to advance to Day 2 include Michael Mizrachi, Eli Elezra, Mike Leah, Jason Somerville, Barry Greenstein, Allen Cunningham and Andrey Zaichenko. The event brought out 668 players with 207 moving on to Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts John Monnette - 87,650 Yuval Bronshtein - 81,725 David Bach - 75,050 Cody Crouch - 74,400 Randy Schatz - 70,200 Michael Mizrachi - 67,325 Mark Johns - 65,050 Viliyan Petleshkov - 64,000 James Alexander - 63,100 Woody Deck - 61,325
  13. [CAPTION=100%]The fourth week of the 2016 WSOP schedule keeps recreational players in mind.[/CAPTION] Week 3 of the 2016 World Series of Poker turned into the World Series of Jason Mercier, and the Week 4 schedule offers a few opportunities for that to continue while there's also a bit of a focus on smaller buy-in, bigger field events with two of the WSOP's famous "gimmick" events running between now and Saturday. Summer Solstice In 2015 the WSOP debuted a new event with 90-minute levels called "Extended Play". The $1,500 buy-in event attracted 1,914 with Adrian Apmann. For 2016 the WSOP has re-branded the event to take advantage of the first day of summer and are calling the event the Summer Solstice. The $1,500 buy-in event runs Monday - Friday and is the first of four events this week targeted towards the always popular "recreational players". The Monster Returns In 2014, fresh off the success of the Millionaire Maker in 2013, introduced another special version of a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em tournament, dubbed the "Monster Stack". While most $1,500 buy-in events have 7,500 starting stacks, the Monster Stack doubles that to 15,000 to give players extra value and wiggle room to play. In the first two years of the event's history it has attracted 7,862 (2014) and 8,192 (2015) players with each champion walking away with over $1.2 million each. The Six Max World Championship While amateurs might be packing the Rio's hallways for the Summer Solstice or Monster Stack, the best No Limit Hold'em players in the world will be playing in the $10,000 Six Max NLHE Championship event. Running Thursday - Saturday, the event usually attracts over 250 players including a number of players who cut their teeth online. Last year Byron Kaverman beat a final table that included Doug Polk, Sam Greenwood and former #1-ranked PocketFives player Paul Volpe to win his first bracelet and $657,351. Mixed Triple Draw Debuts The $2,500 buy-in Mixed Triple Draw event might be one of the strongest fields of the year relative to buy-in. Making its WSOP debut this year, the event rotates between three variations of Triple Draw: Ace to Five, Deuce to Seven and Badugi. All three games, which are popular in the some of the biggest cash games in Las Vegas, will be played with a Limit format. The three-day event goes Thursday until Saturday. Other Notable Events This Week The $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event finishes up on Tuesday. As of Monday morning Jason Mercier was still in the field, chasing what would be a fourth consecutive $10,000 buy-in event cash. Both the Seniors and Super Seniors events will crown their championship this week while on the opposite end of that spectrum, the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship runs next Saturday through Monday.
  14. [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.
  15. [caption width="640"] Ryan LaPlante won his first WSOP bracelet Saturday night in the 5 Pot Limit Omaha event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Ryan LaPlante overcame the biggest Pot Limit Omaha field in live poker history to win his first World Series of Poker bracelet and Rep Porter won his third career bracelet Saturday night at the 2016 WSOP, but it was the return of one of poker’s most loathed individuals that caused the biggest roar. Howard Lederer ended his self-imposed exile from the live tournament scene when he showed up in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship event. Lederer had been away from live tournament poker since Black Friday shut down Full Tilt Poker and exposed the company’s financial distress. In many cases, players went years without getting their funds back and Lederer, the de facto CEO of Full Tilt, settled with the U.S. government in December 2012. Lederer’s return was expected by most after he released a statement prior to the WSOP apologizing for what happened at Full Tilt. Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, another Full Tilt Poker founder, has cashed twice already this year after making his own return from a five-year hiatus. Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu, who had made the final table of the $1,500 Razz event came up just short in the quest for his seventh career bracelet. Event #12: Ryan LaPlante Gets First Bracelet in $565 Pot Limit Omaha Ryan LaPlante eliminated seven of the final right players to stand alone atop the largest Pot Limit Omaha tournament of all time Saturday night to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career and $190,328. “The World Series of Poker is the biggest thing in poker. If you don’t have a gold bracelet, to some degree some people don’t consider you as good. They’ll say, ‘Oh he’s so good, but he doesn’t have the bracelet’,” said LaPlante. “To get something like this that I have been working so hard for, for such a long time, and going through sweats, is just incredible.” The only player(s) at the final table sent to the rail at the hands of somebody other than LaPlante was Adil Khan busted in seventh after losing a hand to the player who began the day as chip leader Sean Shah. After a 90-minute heads up battle, Shah, who began the final table with the chip lead, was LaPlante’s final victim. LaPlante praised Sean’s final table game play. “Sean’s a very skilled PLO player. I knew I had to be careful with him,” said LaPlante. “Honestly, a lot of what I was doing when it got down to 3 or 4 players I had picked up from him. I started to do what he was doing.” The closest LaPlant had come to a bracelet before Saturday was a fifth place finish in a $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 2014 and the $190,328 first place cash is by far the biggest of his live career. Final Table Payouts Ryan LaPlante - $190,328 Sean Shah - $117,531 Tesfaldet Tekle - $85,870 Richard St. Peter - $63,304 Charles Coultas - $47,092 Adil Khan - $35,353 Matt Livingston - $26,786 Darryll Fish - $20,484 Grant Ellis - $15,813 Event #13: Rep Porter Wins Third Bracelet in $1500 Razz [caption width="640"] Rep Porter now has three WSOP bracelets after his win in the ,500 Razz event (WSOP photo)[/caption] When the final table of the $1,500 Razz event began all eyes were on poker’s biggest star, Daniel Negreanu, who was gunning for his sixth career bracelet. While the spotlight was firmly on Negreanu though, Rep Porter went to work and eventually found himself posing for winner photos after taking down the event for his third career bracelet, and second in Razz. Porter beat another two-time bracelet winner, Michael Gathy, heads up to win the bracelet and the $142,624 first place prize money. Despite now having three bracelets, Porter sees poker as a way to live a life that a normal job wouldn’t and yet he has no interest in becoming a poker celebrity. “I feel perfectly content going home and disappearing when it’s all over. I don’t aspire to have fame. I play poker because it gives me lots of personal freedom. It gives me time to spend with my family. It gives me time to do the things I like to do outside of poker,” said Porter. “I can work hard now at the Series for the next seven weeks, and then I can take the next five weeks off after it’s done. Poker affords me a lot of opportunity to do the things I like to do in life and it’s a pretty decent living. The game’s been good to me.” Porter now has $2,419,781*in lifetime WSOP earnings with $353,239 coming from Razz tournaments. The only two Razz cashes he has are victories. Porter beat out 362 other players in 2011 to win a $2,500 Razz event. While some people dislike the game, Porter sees the game differently. “A lot of people think Razz is a stone luck game, but I think it takes lots of skill,” Porter said. “It feels good to win the same tournament again. It kind of validates that you’re good at that game.” Shaun Deeb, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, finished eighth for $12,006 Final Table Payouts Rep Porter - $142,624 Michael Gathy - $88,146 Alexey Makarov - $60,309 Daniel Negreanu - $42,030 Brendan Taylor - $29,846 Valentin Vornicu - $21,604 Daniel Weinman - $15,945 Shaun Deeb - $12,006 Event #14: Payout Controversy Talk of the Day in $1500 Millionaire Maker Day 1B A day after the second-smallest starting flight in Millionaire Maker history, 4,102 players filed into Day 1B of the $1,500 buy-in event for the second largest starting flight in the four-year history of the event. There were 667 players who made it through their opening flight, lead by Shalev Halfa, who bagged up 250,700 but the chip leader wasn’t what everybody was talking about Saturday night. When registration closed, the payouts were announced and left a few people stunned and disappointed. First place pays $1,065,403 while the runner-up walks away with $1,000,000 - just a $65,000 pay jump. Third place wins $500,000 - a $500,000 pay jump between second and third. David Tuthill was one of a number of players to question the payouts on Twitter. Day 2 begins at 2 PM PT and will play another ten levels. Top Ten Chip Counts Alex Luneau - 454,000 Mike Matusow - 367,600 George Danzer - 313,800 Brian Hastings - 290,600 Herezel Zalewski - 204,800 David Grey - 196,900 Usman Siddique - 193,100 Todd Barlow - 190,600 Mike Watson - 184,000 Frank Kassela - 173,900
  16. [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.
  17. [caption width="640"] Paul 'paulgees' Volpe is one of seven former #1-ranked players hoping to score their second career bracelet this summer.[/caption] In the long and storied history of the PocketFives Rankings, there have been a grand total of 51 players who have earned the #1 spot. Chris Moorman, Annette Obrestad, Shaun Deeb, Sorel Mizzi and Yevgeniy Timoshenko are just a handful of the players who have seen their online poker play take them to the top of the rankings. But only nine of those players have ever turned their dominance online into a World Series of Poker Bracelet. Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy and Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly are the only two players with more than one WSOP title to their credit. FORMER #1 RANKED PLAYERS WITH WSOP BRACELETS Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad Shaun 'shaundeeb' Deeb Steve 'gboro780' Gross Taylor 'taypaur' Paur Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe Bryan 'theczar19' Piccioli Dan 'djk123' Kelly Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson As the 2016 World Series of Poker enters its second week PocketFives introduces The Rank & File: a weekly feature tracking the former #1-ranked players on their quest for a WSOP bracelet. Paul Volpe2016 WSOP cashes: 1 2016 WSOP earnings: $33,393 Paul 'paulgees81' Volpe, who was #1 just once in his online career, has already cashed once so far, making the final table of the $1,500 Dealers Choice event. Volpe was eliminated in fourth place by eventual winner Lawrence Berg. Dating back to last summer, five of Volpe’s last six cashes have been top 10 finishes. Dan Kelly2016 WSOP cashes: 1 2016 WSOP earnings: $26,632 Dan 'djk123' Kelly, who spent a total of eight weeks in the PocketFives Rankings top spot in his career, also has just a single score so far at the 2016 WSOP. Kelly finished fourth in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event after being eliminated by eventual runner-up John Monnette. Calvin Anderson2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $25,329 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson has climbed to the top of the PocketFives Rankings eight times in his career including a 22-week stint from September 2012 – February 2013. Anderson, who is two years removed from his bracelet win, has two cashes to date this summer. Like 21,612 other players, Anderson took a shot at the $1,000,000 first place prize in Colossus II but had to settle for a 1,691st place finish and a $1,187 cash. He had more success in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud championship, finishing eighth for $24,142. Steve Gross2016 WSOP cashes: 2 2016 WSOP earnings: $6,977 Steve 'gboro780' Gross also has two cashes this summer, both in lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events. He finished 682nd in Colossus II for $2,837 and then followed that up with an 84th place finish in the first $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event. Gross had four stints as the #1 ranked player between February 2009 and August 2010. Small Blinds Bryan 'theczar19' Piccioli leads the seven former #1-ranked players who cashed in Colossus II. Piccioli finished 316th for a $5,406 score. Through Event #7, former #1-ranked players have cashed a total of 14 times for $115,583.
  18. [caption width="680"] Robert Mizrachi hunts for his fourth WSOP bracelet in the Stud Championship.[/caption]The 2016 World Series of Poker wrapped up its opening weekend with the Colossus II and the $1,000 Top Up Turbo for the No Limit Hold’em crowd and the Seven Card Stud Championship and the $1,500 Dealers Choice for mixed game junkies. Two events reached the final the table – Stud and Turbo, while the Colussus II heads into Day 3 loaded with talent and the Dealers Choice event returns with the money bubble in mind. Ben Lindenmulder Bags Huge Lead in Colossus II Day 2 of Colossus II had 846 returning players from six starting flights, all of which were in the money, and after eight levels of action just 77 players bagged up for Day 3. Ben Lindemulder finished with nearly 2 million more than second-in-chips Richard Carr. Jeff Fielder, Eugene Fouksman, Amir Lehavot, David Gutfreund, David “ODB” Baker, Ylon Schwartz and Marco Johnson are among the notables that survived the day. Dan O’Brien made a money jump along with 845 other players that advanced for Day 2 and made a deep run into the money after finishing 108th in 2015. Justin Zaki, Craig Varnell, Michael Mizrachi and Harrison Gimbel all finished in the top 300 players. Top Ten Chip Counts Ben Lindemulder – 5,325,000 Richard Carr – 3,550,000 Vincent Moscati – 3,300,000 Farhad Davoudzadeh – 2,845,000 Daniel Dizenzo – 2,560,000 Ben Keeline – 2,540,000 Jonathan Borenstein – 2,460,000 Marek Ohnisko – 2,430,000 Alex Benjamen – 2,390,000 Steven Nichols – 2,240,000 Karl Held Holds Lead in Turbo Final Table The $1,000 Top Up Turbo drew 667 players for the two-day event and the blistering pace of the tournament left just nine players returning for Day 2. Karl Held holds the overnight lead with Hugo Perez just behind him. Hugo Perez, Kyle Julius and Vinny Pahuja look for the first bracelet of their careers while Ben Yu looks for number two after taking down the Limit Hold’em Championship in 2015. The top 101 players cashed in the event out of the $681,300 prize pool but they’re all guaranteed at least $9,506 for their efforts. The second player out locks up five figures but the winner walks with $142,972. Mohsin Charania bubbled the final table in 10th place, while Tim Finne, Micah Raskin and Andy Bloch also made deep runs to final three tables but did not advance. A little further back were Liv Boeree, Kevin Eyster, Jordan Cristos and Benjamin Zamani. Final Table Chip Counts Karl Held – 1,175,000 Hugo Perez – 1,065,000 Bart Lybaert – 810,000 Ben Yu – 760,00 Kyle Julius – 530,000 Nitis Udornpim – 435,000 Christian Blech – 315,000 Vinny Pahuja – 310,000 George Dolofan – 160,000 Robert Mizrachi Leads Seven Card Stud Championship Day 2 of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship returned 33 players to fight for the 14 spots that pay. After ten levels of action they made the money, the official final table and finished with six players remaining. Robert Mizrachi sits comfortably in first, while 2015 WSOP Player of the Year winner George Danzer returns as the short stack. Accomplished vets Ted Forrest and David Benyamine return and the six players have 14 bracelets between them. Final Table Chip Counts Robert Mizrachi – 1,371,000 Matt Grapenthien – 1,157,000 Steve Weiss – 682,000 Ted Forrest – 447,000 David Benyamine – 363,000 George Danzer – 340,000 Dealers Choice Loaded with Bracelet Winners The Dealers Choice event proved to be a popular event with players since it was introduced in 2014 with 19 games available for players to choose from. The event drew 389 entrants who built a prize pool $525,150 to pay out the top 59 finishers. Former WSOP Ladies champ Svetlana Gromenkova bagged up the lead just shy of the 100,000-chip mark. British bracelet winner Richard Ashby sits in second, New York cash game player Jared Bleznick sits in seventh and the guy that quite literally wrote the book on poker, David Sklansky, also finished inside the top ten. Further down the counts are Sorel Mizzi, Jeff Madsen, Eli Elezra, Aditya Prasetyo and Paul Volpe. Former Team Full Tilt players Andy Bloch and Mike Matusow look for their second cash of the summer while Chris Ferguson looks for his first cash since 2010. Top Ten Chip Counts Svetlana Gromenkova – 99,600 Richard Ashby – 82,300 Yueqi Zhu – 81,000 Michael Banducci – 74,000 Joshua Mullins – 71,900 Bryce Yockey – 67,800 Jared Bleznick – 65,000 David Sklansky – 62,000 Justin Gardenhire – 60,300 Clayton Mozden – 58,900 Bargain Monday for the WSOP The first Monday of the 2016 WSOP is a rare day on the schedule where both events kicking off have the same buy-in. The early event is the first $1,500 NLHE event of the summer and the 3 pm event is the single re-entry No Limit Deuce to Seven Single Draw. In addition to the bracelet events, there is a $1,000 satellite to Tuesday’s $10,000 Heads Up Championship in the Pavilion.
  19. [caption width="640"] Norm Michalek is the Colossus II chip leader heading into Day 2[/caption] When WSOP organizers announced that the $565 buy-in Colossus event that was such a huge success in 2015 would be back on the 2016 schedule, the expected to break their own record for largest live tournament ever held. To accommodate they added two more starting flights on a third starting day. Saturday saw the the final two Day 1 flights attracted big numbers, but not quite enough to top the size of last year’s field. Flight 1E brought in 4,855 players and Flight 1F brought in 4,487 to put the total field size at 21,613 - 761 players short of last year’s 22,374 players. The packed hallways at the Rio weren’t the only big news on Saturday though. After a five year absence from the WSOP, Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson made his return to the felt, playing in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship event. Ferguson, of course, was one of the key figures in the downfall of Full Tilt Poker and had stayed away from the WSOP since Black Friday. Hai Nguyen Climbs to Top of Largest Colossus II Starting Flight Saturday morning’s 10 AM start time for Colossus II didn’t deter anybody it seems from making their way to the Rio. A grand total of 4,855 players packed the tables and Hai Nguyen bagged the biggest stack with 397,000. Even with the largest starting flight of the six, the top 10 chip counts still include some well known players including David Vamplew, Austin Buchanon and Darren Rabinowitz. Other notables among the 219 players to finish Flight 1E with chips include Tyler Patterson (207,000), Asher Conniff (168,000), Jeff Gross (147,000), Billy Pappas (130,000) and Jamie Kerstetter (90,000). Greg Raymer, who had taken a shot in every starting flight of Colossus, finally found his way to the cashier cage after cashing in this flight. Ronnie Bardah and former WSOP Main Event runner up Martin Staszko also cashed. Flight 1E Top 10 Chip Counts Hai Nguyen - 397,000 Mark Babekov - 354,000 David Vamplew - 325,000 Clausing Johannes - 323,000 Austin Buchanan - 303,000 Darren Rabinowitz - 298,000 Michael Clark - 295,000 Andrea Buonocore - 257,000 Quan Zhou - 247,000 Errol Massey - 244,000 PocketFiver Norman ‘slystyle012’ Michalek Bags Biggest Opening Flight Stack As registration closed on Flight 1F all eyes were on the final number of 4,487 players. That put the total Colossus II field size at 21,613 and pushed the total prize pool to $10,806,500. From the 4,487 players emerged Norman ‘slystyle012’ Michalek. The PocketFives member bagged up 531,000 and not only leads the player from his starting flight, but also sits on top of the remaining 846 players still in the hunt. And former PocketFives writer and PokerNews Podcast co-host Rich Ryan bagged up 289,000 to sneak into the top ten. Ryan now works for the World Poker Tour. Other notables to advance to Day 2 include Joseph Cheong, Ralph Massey, Jack Salter and Melanie Weisner. Zo Karim, David Tuthill, Cate Hal, Eric Baldwin and Shannon Shorr were among the 3,833 Flight 1F casualties. The remaining 846 players will combine into one field on Sunday at 2 PM PT. Day 1F Top 10 Chip Counts Norman Michalek - 531,000 Ryan Hoberg - 439,000 Scott Tiedeman - 387,000 David Lopez - 348,000 Robert Gill - 340,000 Penh Lo - 323,000 Sandeep Pulusani - 295,000 Richard Ryan - 289,000 Christopher Renaudette - 272,000 Christopher Spillane - 272,000 Steve Weiss Leads $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship After Day 1 For many of the game’s top players, the WSOP doesn’t start until the first $10,000 buy-in event. That means Saturday was starting day for many of the biggest names in the game as the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship kicked off with 87 players vying for the bracelet. One of those players was none other than Chris Ferguson. The former Full Tilt Poker pro and executive failed to advance to Day 2. His Full Tilt co-hort Howard Lederer was not in the field. At the end of Day 1 it was Steve Weiss who finished on top. Weiss bagged up 301,500 to edge out Jean-Robert Belannde (282,500) and George Danzer (274,000). Only 33 players survived the 10 levels of play including Calvin Anderson, Stephen Chidwick, Jason Mercier, Mike Leah and Jaso m Somerville. Phil Hellmuth managed to bag one of the smallest stacks, finishing with just 65,000. Others weren’t so lucky. Daniel Negreanu, who skipped Colossus II entirely, failed to advance to Day 2 as did Brian Hastings, who won this event in 2015, did not enter the event and isn’t even in Las Vegas yet. Top 10 Chip Counts Steve Weiss - 301,500 Jean-Robert Bellande - 282,500 George Danzer - 274,000 Chad J Brown - 238,000 Rod Pardey - 215,000 Calvin Anderson - 209,000 Frank Kassela - 199,000 Matt Grapenthien - 178,500 Stephen Chidwick - 175,000 Jason Mercier- 154,000
  20. [caption width="640"] Don't bet against Phil Hellmuth winning WSOP Bracelet #15 this summer[/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. With a record 69 bracelets on the line this year, the 2016 World Series of Poker could be one of the most grueling ever for players who play a busy schedule. That being said, there’s still going to be one or two or three players who rise to the occasion, find themselves on the heater of a lifetime and ride that to a bracelet (or two) and maybe even WSOP Player of the Year. We’ve picked out eight players that are worth watching this summer – some for their WSOP history, some for the promise they bring and some because we all hate them. We’ll let you decide who is who. Phil Hellmuth – 14 bracelets, $13,539,727 million in WSOP earnings The legend doesn’t let anyone forget that he has the most WSOP bracelets in history (14) and he’s always a safe bet to win another. Hellmuth plays tournaments sparingly outside of the WSOP so he will play almost every event he can, including of some of the lower buy-in No Limit Hold’em events that most of his peers skip. Phil Ivey – 10 bracelets, $6,447,630 million in WSOP earnings With the proper motivation and mindset, Phil Ivey may be the most feared player on the WSOP felt. He’s the most likely candidate to pass Hellmuth’s career bracelet record, but seemingly without six-figure side action driving Ivey he might not even show up. Such was the case in 2015 when he only played the One Drop High Roller and the Main Event because the richest cash games in the world were not in Vegas. 2014 was the last year Ivey put in a full schedule and scored his tenth bracelet and four cashes. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 0 bracelets, $0 in WSOP earnings Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Lisandro, Ted Forrest and Puggy Pearson – the only players in WSOP history to win three bracelets in a single year. But none of them did it their first WSOP and none won $4.1 million at 20 years-old. Dzmitry Urbanovich has $10,000 bet with 200-1 odds with Vanessa Selbst that he can do exactly that. Urbanovich is the first real 21 year-old rookie people have had their eyes on in many years, but the main difference is that he already is used to big stage in a live event with a couple of European Poker Tour wins and two runner-up finishes in Super High Roller events. Ari Engel – 0 bracelets, $695,157 in WSOP earnings Ari Engel hasn’t had a home in over two years, opting instead to live week-to-week travelling to different poker events. He’s won eight WSOP Circuit rings but he’s never won a bracelet despite 23 cashes in bracelet events. If Engel doesn’t win a bracelet soon, he may be remembered as this generation’s Tony Cousineau. Mike Leah – 1 bracelet, $1,410,735 in WSOP earnings Mike Leah’s WSOP resume is that of a grinders’ grinder. He has lived at the Rio the past couple summers in order to play the most events possible – sometimes three in a day. Though he only has one bracelet, he has 37 career cashes and cashed nine times in 2015 alone. He’s been a contender in multiple Player of the Year/Series titles, both live and online, can play all the games well and has the bankroll to play as many events as he can handle. Howard Lederer – 2 bracelets, $1,617,227 in WSOP earnings Perhaps the most hated person in poker, Howard Lederer is seemingly returning to WSOP action this summer. He has been seen here and there over the last couple years at poker events and rooms and recently released a public apology. If Lederer returns to play a number of events at the WSOP an incident-free summer seems highly unlikely. Daniel Negreanu – 6 WSOP bracelets, $16,172,789 in WSOP earnings The most recognizable poker player in the world and only two-time WSOP POY has said many times that he feels he should have more bracelets that he does. His most recent bracelet came during the 2013 WSOP Europe and he hasn’t won a bracelet in Las Vegas since 2008. Negreanu’s deep run in the 2015 Main Event has been eating at him for months and no one should be surprised if he takes home two bracelets this summer. Fedor Holz – 0 WSOP bracelets, $651,849 The German Wunderkind debuted at the WSOP in 2015, cashed four times, finished 3rd in the $10,000 Six Max Championship and finished in 25th place in the Main Event. His big game experience from Europe places him in rare air with a couple other young German players. Outside of the WSOP Holz won two big buy-in events – a High Roller in the Philippines and Alpha8 Bellagio – and final tabled two Super High Roller events at EPT Monte Carlo.
  21. [caption width="640"] Esther Taylor-Brady is hoping her deep runs in ,000 Championship events pays off in the ,000 Poker Players Championship[/caption] It’s safe to say that most of the big storylines of each summer come from the higher buy-in $10,000 Championship events. The most notable names in poker use those tournaments to make their claim that they belong as part of the game’s elite. Players like Robert Mizrachi, Jason Mercier, George Danzer and John Hennigan have all added to their lengthy resumes through the first half of the World Series of Poker and another player heads into the latter part of the series with confidence and momentum thanks to some early deep Championship runs. Esther Taylor-Brady’s summer got off to a late but fast start. She opened the series with a cash in the $1,500 HORSE event and then followed that up with her first big buy-in cash in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. Unfortunately for the Pennsylvania-based mixed game cash player, that run ended in 11th place, two spots shy of the final table. A few days later, she was bubbling another final table, this time bowing out in 10th place in the $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Loevent. Fast forward a week and ‘E-Tay’ had another opportunity at a deep run, this time in the $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo Championship and while it was a new event and those past beats were behind her, they were fresh in her mind late on Day 2. “I put a lot of pressure on myself once we got down to two tables. I just kept thinking, ‘Am I really going to bubble another final table?’, especially since I had yet to make a WSOP final table,” she said. In the end, she did. Navigating herself to a fourth place finish, good for a career best $107,000 score despite being against one of the more stacked lineups that at the WSOP. “I was a little overwhelmed,” she admitted. “If you look at the final table, the amount of bracelets and results of the players around me was slightly intimidating. I just had to go in with confidence and try to make as few mistakes as possible, while fighting as hard as possible.” While the lineup on the felt was a who’s who of the high stakes world, including former bracelet winners Scott Clements, Eli Elezra, Todd Brunson and the eventual champion of that event, the previously mentioned Danzer, Taylor-Brady will be competing against that group throughout the rest of the summer. Her early runs left her with a decision moving forward, whether she wanted to compete in, arguably, the most prestigious event at the WSOP, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. “Being fortunate enough to have some deep runs right away gives me a lot of momentum moving forward. After the final table, I took a few days to really think over if that [the $50,000 PPC] was the best thing for me to do," Taylor-Brady said. "Ultimately, I decided to sell some pieces at face to friends and got a lot of support behind me to just go in and play my game.” That support comes from E-Tay’s “corner”, which is led by the talisman of #TeamBrady and her husband, Matt Brady. While both Esther and Matt are professional poker players, they are parents first and foremost, to their six-year old daughter Kayla. “We have always tried to remain balanced but once you have a child, your whole perspective on life changes," said Taylor-Brady. "What seems like a “bad beat” in poker is nothing on the scale of what matters in the real world.” That type of thinking is likely one of the biggest reasons for Taylor-Brady’s early WSOP success, as she said came into the summer with a positive approach to block out everything that “doesn’t matter”. Before she even arrived in Las Vegas she made a bet on Twitter. “There are a few reasons I did that. First, I wanted to motivate myself to leave out the negativity and stay positive. In past years, my lack of success or not reaching final tables always resulted in me whining and complaining about bad beats or ‘bad luck’. I wanted to focus on the skill of the game and making little to no mistakes.” So far, she’s done just that, with four WSOP cashes and a career-best score already in the books. The Brady balancing act will continue win, lose or draw though and while 'E-Tay' has run hot through the first half of the summer, she know’s that’s not what is important. “I can’t say that I’ve ever claimed to run super hot at cards but I have run amazing at life, family and friends.” And in the end, that’s what matters to Esther Taylor-Brady.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Beginning Thursday, thousands and thousands of poker players will be arriving in Las Vegas to play the 2016 World Series of Poker. They'll all be making their way to the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino for 52 days of bracelet chasing. For veterans of the scene or rookies making their first trip, surviving your time at the Rio can be a challenge in itself. That's why we've put together this quick guide to the property. The Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino became the home of the World Series of Poker when Caesars bought the brand over a decade ago. While the footprint of the WSOP changed every couple of the years, the Rio has stubbornly stayed the same over the years. The Rooms For most players traveling to the 2016 WSOP for a weekend for a few events, a week-long trip or those planning on playing on the Main Event, the Rio is solid choice to stay. There’s a discounted rate for WSOP players, you’re only a 15-minute walk to the tables and the larger rooms are quite comfortable. Most players seem to prefer the Ipanema tower as it’s newer, a little closer and a Starbucks and general store is in the elevator lobby. The Food The limited food options at the Rio are a recurring complaint from many players. In the convention center there’s the Poker Kitchen or All American Dave’s delivery service. The Poker Kitchen is most comparable to an airport food court, ranging from burgers and fries to sushi. All American Dave is somewhat pricey but tableside delivery, optional meal plans and organic, healthy food makes it an easy choice for a lot of players. Rio staples Voodoo Steak and All American Bar & Grille are solid choices, but many were sad to see Guy Fieri’s new El Burro Borracho restaurant takeover the space where Buzio’s Seafood. KJ Dim Sum & Seafood is a new addition and the Royal India Bistro remains. Hash House A Go Go opened in 2014 offering their signature over-sized menu but are only open from 6 am to 1 pm (3 pm weeknds). The Sports Book deli offers sandwiches, burgers and pizza with a dining area adjacent to the Sports Book. The Drink Drinks flow freely in Las Vegas and the WSOP has cocktail servers 24/7 along with a cash bar in the hallway. The Wine Cellar & Tasting Room in the Masquerade Village provides a quiet spot but you’ll have to pass “The Hooker Bar” to get there – the bar where the convention center meets the hotel. The Entertainment Penn & Teller have a residence at the Rio, with a dedicated theater (which doubles as home of the November Nine), and is one of the best reviewed shows in Vegas. Eddie Griffin hosts the comedy show and there are two adult only shows – Chippendales and X Rocks. The Transportation The giant parking lot outside the Rio’s convention space is also what makes the Rio the best option logistically to handle the crowds. But the best stops fill up quick, the valet service is standard for Las Vegas, so the long walk in the parking lot trumps parking at any of the available parking decks. A free shuttle runs between all Caesars properties on the strip – the only drawback is the long walk past the Rio poker room. The taxi stand line can get long at peak times and the primary taxi stand by hotel check-in can be an alternative. Thankfully the WSOP signed a partnership with Uber this year that allows the ride share service to have a designated pick-up spot right outside the tournament area.

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