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  1. On more than one occasion, it has been said that winning the World Series of Poker Main Event is every poker player's dream. For most though, plunking down $10,000 just for a ticket to the big show is a tough pill to swallow. That’s where satellite tournaments come into play. Year after year, players of every skill level take their shot in satellite tournaments, hoping that they can earn a seat into the WSOP Main for a fraction of the cost. After all, there’s no better feeling than being able to play for the big money while still maintaining your bankroll. No doubt in 2018 there will be plenty of players looking to become the story of the series by grabbing a huge score. Players hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of the most notable players who ever made major career moves by winning their way into the ME and grabbing some WSOP glory. Tom McEvoy Even twenty years before the poker boom, the World Series of Poker was a big deal to fans of the game. Some of the biggest names to ever play poker had claimed WSOP Main Event titles - Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin and Stu Unger, just to name a few. In 1983, in only the second year that the Main Event drew over 100 players, Tom McEvoy made his mark on the series by becoming the first person to ever win the Main Event after winning his seat through a satellite. McEvoy won $540,000 for first that year and while he’d been a professional player for a number of years prior, it helped him continue his poker journey. McEvoy continues to enjoy a career of over $3 million in lifetime earnings. The Nevada resident can still be spotted in a variety of events in the Las Vegas tournament poker scene, always remembered as a champion. Fernando Pons If he could have cashed out he would have. But after Spain’s Fernando Pons played a €30 satellite tournament on 888poker he was forced into the next step, a 250 satellite. According to the 888poker blog, Pons claims that had he been able to take the cash - that would have been the end of it. But he did play, he did win and the Spaniard did turn that original €30 into a seat into the Main Event. What Pons ended up with was something beyond his wildest dreams. He battled through seven days of poker and claimed a seat in the 2016 November Nine. He found himself seated alongside players like Griffin Benger, Kenny Hallaert, Cliff Josephy and eventual winner Qui Nguyen. Pons' run ended in ninth-place for which he earned $1,000,000 - far and away a career-high score. Since that time, Pons has continued to play, mostly in Spain. He did, however, take down a summer side event at the Wynn in 2017 for over $40,000. Tommy Yates Another great story of maximizing one’s ROI is that of Tommy Yates. In 2015, the Grecian bar owner began grinding $0.01 satellites online in an effort to win his way into the Main. An eight-year poker vet, the game was a part-time passion for him. After a number of attempts, he found himself in the final stages of the steps satellites, on the cusp of winning a seat. With four players left, three who would win seats and the fourth a $6,000 return - Yates thought about just trying for the cash. After all, he was in for just $2.18. He was convinced otherwise and played it out. Yates won his seat, went to the show and played his heart out - finishing well within the money bubble. Yates turned his $2.18 investment into a $19,500 payday. Shaun Deeb In 2012 when high-stakes mixed game cash pro Shaun Deeb entered the $25,000 satellite for a seat to the inaugural $1 million Big One For One Drop, he scored a major victory - without actually winning the event. At the final table, after the departure of fan favorite Jason Sommerville in third-place, Deeb found himself up against three-time World Poker Tour winner Gus Hansen. There was one final seat in the tournament up for grabs. Second place would receive a million dollar payday, but be unable to participate in the tournament. Deeb decided that cash was king and it quickly became obvious that a deal was struck between the two. He raise-folded the majority of his stack to Gus who ended up closing it out and winning the seat. Deeb was then gifted his first million dollar cash score. Legend has it that the Rio, rather than cut out cool million in stacks, decided to pay Deeb in tournament lammers. The lammers, which have zero cash value and can only be used to enter tournaments at the Rio, would have been nearly impossible to use up if the idea had stuck. In the end, Deeb was allowed to cash out those lammers and take home the million in cash. Hansen ended up busting out of the One Drop without cashing. Chris Moneymaker No list of epic satellite winners would be complete without the accountant from Tennessee, Chris Moneymaker. Moneymaker sparked the powder keg that was the “poker boom” in 2003 with his WSOP Main Event win and fortuitous name. He was also the first player to win the Main Event after having won his way into the Main through an online site. Moneymaker is the dream. You know the story: He wasn’t the best player in the tournament and he wasn’t the most experienced at the final table but he got in for the minimum, made the maximum and from there his career took off. He has kept his sponsorship of 15 years with PokerStars, he’s still one of the game’s most recognizable faces and has gone on to amass over $3.7 million in lifetime live earnings. Satellites run around the clock at the World Series of Poker and online sites like 888poker offer players way to win their way into the Main Event. Will this be the year another satellite winner takes it all down?
  2. Wednesday’s action at the 2018 World Series of Poker saw a new millionaire made, as well as a PocketFiver chipleading the final three in an event on his quest for a first bracelet. That, and a whole lot more, in our recap of June 13th’s action. Arne Kern Takes Down Millionaire Maker, wins $1,173,223 Germany’s Arne Kern secured only his third WSOP cash on Wednesday. And boy, is it a big one. Kern took down Event #21: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER for a massive score of $1,173,223, instantly making the 26-year-old from Klivery a millionaire. Kern defeated seasoned UK pro Sam Razavi heads-up for the title and his first bracelet, in what was a long battle. Ultimately a bit of luck for Kern got the job done. He shoved with four-deuce suited and Razavi snap-called with ace-jack. Kern flopped a flush draw though, and it completed on the turn to secure him the win. "I'm not very proud of that" Kern joked after his win. "I may have read the stack sizes a bit wrong but it all worked out. It's a dream come true.” 2015 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen continued to showcase his amazing ability to navigate large field NLHE events with a third-place finish, getting unlucky when his pocket kings were outflopped by Razavi’s ace-eight. Michael Souza finished in fourth place, while fifth-place finisher Justin Liberto final tabled this event for the second time, having finished fourth in 2013. Just 17 players returned for this fourth and final day of play, with German high roller Manig Loeser the first to depart. UK legend Barny Boatman made a good run, but ultimately exited in seventh. Final Table Results: Arne Kern - $1,173,223 Sam Razavi - $724,756 Joe McKeehen - $538,276 Michael Souza - $402,614 Justin Liberto - $303,294 Manuel Ruivo - $230,120 Barny Boatman - $175,865 Ralph Massey - $135,383 Sean Marshall - $104,987 Former #1 Taylor Paur tops THE MARATHON runners Just 60 runners now remain in Event #24: $2,620 THE MARATHON No-Limit Hold’em, and it’s former PocketFives #1 player Taylor ‘taypaur’ Paur who leads the way into Thursday’s Day 4. Paur pulled away during the last levels of the day, nd is now in the driver’s seat looking for his second WSOP bracelet. His stack of 2,958,000 is almost 100 big blinds larger than the next biggest stack, 1,775,000, belonging to Anton Morgenstern. [caption id="attachment_619539" align="aligncenter" width="698"] Big chip lead for Taylor Paur[/caption] Other big names and stacks to advance include Mark Sleet (1,550,000), Hiep Doan (1,442,000), Jonas Mackoff (1,356,000), Michael Addamo (1,096,000), Matt Affleck (884,000), Julien Sitbon (868,000), WSOP Main Event Champions Martin Jacobson (811,000) and Scotty Nguyen (483,000), 888poker ambassador Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman (445,000), Stoyan Obreshkov (769,000), Cate Hall (574,000) and Martin Staszko (516,000). All players are now in the money, guaranteed $9,616. However, those who made the money but failed to advance through the day include Sam Cohen, JP Kelly, Marvin Rettenmaier, Govert Metaal, Kristen Bicknell, Pierre Merlin, David Peters, Andre Akkari, Jesse Sylvia, Ryan Riess and Chance Kornuth. Another seven 100-minute levels are on the cards tomorrow, with action picking back up at 12pm Thursday. With $653,581 up top for the winner, the sprint towards a final table truly begins. Top 10 Stacks: Taylor Paur - 2,958,000 Anton Morgenstern - 1,775,000 Mark Sleet - 1,550,000 Hiep Doan - 1,442,000 Jonas Mackoff - 1,356,000 Javier Fernandez - 1,320,000 Michael Hada - 1,236,000 Bryden Baxter - 1,137,000 Dylan Honeyman - 1,103,000 Michael Addamo - 1,096,000 Ben Dobson Leads Final Three in $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo 8 Ben ‘f3nix35’ Dobson is in prime position to win his first bracelet on Thursday, as he’s chip leader with just two opponents left in Event #25: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better. Dobson (2,615,000) will be battling against Tim Finne (1,185,000) and Jesse Martin (675,000) when that final table resumes at 2pm Thursday. Dobson came into the day as chip leader, and managed to keep hold of that lead after Day 3 throughout the 20 eliminations. Notable bust-outs today include Barry Greenstein (18th for $4,899) and Eli Elezra (12th for $9,165), as well as Hollywood star James Woods (17th for $4,899). There’s $173,528 and the bracelet for the winner of this one, while the runner-up will receive $107,243 and third-place gets $74,324, meaning they’re all guaranteed that amount overnight. Stay tuned tomorrow to see who takes this one down. Final Three Stacks: Benjamin Dobson - 2,615,000 Tim Finne - 1,185,000 Jesse Martin - 675,000 Stavrakis Leads, But Felipe Ramos Still In Hunt for $1K PLO Bracelet Day 2 of Event #26: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha saw Filippos Stavrakis end play with the chip lead. His 903,000 is well ahead of Pascal Damois’s 632,000, while popular Brazilian pro Felipe ‘mojave’ Ramos ended with 450,000. [caption id="attachment_619540" align="alignright" width="200"] Felipe Ramos[/caption] Throughout the day we lost the likes of Joe Cada (75th - $1,962), Ken Aldridge (78th - $1,962), Adrian Buckley (72nd - $2,190) and Calen McNeil (71st - $2,190), Marcel Vonk (98th - $1,658), Christian Harder (92nd - $1,658), Martin Finger (59th - $2,485), Ioannis Angelou Konstas (40th - $3,363) and Shannon Shorr (29th - $4,008). All 14 players to return tomorrow are guaranteed $7,446, but that’s not what they’re looking for. The $169,842 first-place prize is far more appealing! Action resumes at 12pm Thursday. Final 14 Stacks: Filippos Stavrakis - 903,000 Pascal Damois - 632,000 Felipe Ramos - 450,000 Jordan Siegel - 438,000 Arthur Morris - 329,000 Thayer Rasmussen - 300,000 Clinton Monfort - 292,000 Ruslan Dykshteyn - 262,000 David Caruthers - 242,000 Peter Klein - 206,000 Georgios Karavokyris - 115,000 Floyd Bangerter - 108,000 Robert Cowen - 95,000 Joshua Larson - 55,000 Just 16 Remain in $10K H.O.R.S.E. Championship One of the more prestigious events among the mixed-game players is down to just 16 players after the completion of Day 2. Event #27: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship drew 166 total entries, and after the second day of action and just a tenth of those runners remaining, it’s Laith Salem (1,456,000) who tops the field. He’s followed by Albert Daher (1,300,000), and John Hennigan (687,000). Randy Ohel, David “Bakes” Baker, Jake Schwartz, Anthony Zinno, and Robert Mizrachi will all be back tomorrow. There are 14 bracelets in total between the final 16. Throughout the day there were plenty of notable bust-outs including Brian Rast, Phil Ivey, Stephen Chidwick, Luke Schwartz, Phil Hellmuth, Mike Gorodinsky, Daniel Negreanu, David "ODB" Baker, Marco Johnson, Cliff Josephy, Jeff Lisandro, Chris Ferguson, Shaun Deeb, Benny Glaser, John Monnette, Jason Mercier, and Ian Johns. Some of those that went deep into Day 2 include Jean-Robert Bellande (26th place, $15,229), Andrew Barber (25th place, $15,229), Stuart Rutter (21st place, $15,229) and Joey Couden (18th place, $15,229). The tournament restarts at 2pm Thursday, and you can find the overnight stacks below. They’re all guaranteed $17,677, and there’s $414,692 awaiting the champ. Final 14 Stacks: Laith Salem - 1,456,000 Albert Daher - 1,300,000 John Hennigan - 687,000 Iraj Parvizi - 620,000 Randy Ohel - 571,000 Carol Fuchs - 562,000 David "Bakes" Baker - 559,000 Daniel Zack - 546,000 Jean Gaspard - 405,000 Jake Schwartz - 357,000 Michael Noori - 343,000 Anthony Zinno - 237,000 Robert Campbell - 210,000 Katherine Fleck - 186,000 Illya Trincher - 159,000 Robert Mizrachi - 111,000 Day 1 of $3K NLHE Wraps Up, 186 Advance Ten 60-minute levels have seen the 842 entries in Event #28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed whittled down to just 186. It’s Christian Rudolph who bagged the chip lead with 210,000, just pipping Federico Petruzzelli’s 209,000 to the post. Meanwhile, the stacked field saw Gal Yifrach (131,100), Sergio Aido (122,800), Mike Watson (110,500), Tony Dunst (95,800), Kyle Hartree (91,500), Olivier Busquet (88,000), Manig Loeser (68,200), Greg Merson (59,200), Jason Mercier (47,100), and Ryan Riess (38,300) advance to tomorrow’s Day 2. Some of those who tried and failed today include the player of 2018 so far Justin Bonomo, former WSOP Main Event champions Joe Cada, Scott Blumstein, Phil Hellmuth and Chris Ferguson, as well as Alex Foxen, Kristen Bicknell, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Matt Berkey, Kenny Hallaert, Chance Kornuth, and Joseph Cheong. One particular casualty today was Michael Phelps. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist and most successful Olympian of all time had a short run today, busting after the second break. This tournament will pay 131 spots, with a min-cash worth $4,489. There’s $461,798 and the coveted WSOP gold bracelet for the winner, though, and that’s what they’re all looking for. Things kick back off at 12pm on Thursday, with blinds at 600/1,200. Top 10 Stacks: Christian Rudolph - 210,000 Federico Petruzzelli - 209,000 Richard Kaplan - 178,500 Robert McLaughlin - 171,100 Philip Ward - 163,800 Joshua Gordon - 162,000 David Mock - 156,500 Jeremy Joseph - 143,700 Jonathan Currle - 142,500 Anthony Ajlouny - 140,000 Jared Bleznick Bags Most in $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw The other event to get going on Wednesday was Event #29: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw, and after ten levels the 356-strong field has been cut down to 88. It’s Jared Bleznick who leads the pack with 72,900, followed by Rick Fuller (66,200) and David Prociak (65,100). David Pham (64,600) and Adam Friedman (63,200) also ended with top five stacks. Jon Turner (26,100), David ‘ODB’ Baker (65,100) will both return tomorrow, as will Chris Vitch, Frank Kassela, Calvin Anderson, Shaun Deeb, David Bach, Scott Clements, Brian Hastings, Dzmitry Urbanovich, and Allen Kessler. Registration in this one is closed, with a $480,600 prize pool being split between the top 54 finishers. A min-cash will get you $2,243, while a win will secure $117,282. Play resumes at 2pm Thursday. Top 10 Stacks: Jared Bleznick - 72,900 Rick Fuller - 66,200 David Prociak - 65,100 David Pham - 64,600 Adam Friedman - 63,200 Walter Chambers - 57,400 Oscar Johansson - 57,300 Steven Tabb - 53,700 Philip Long - 52,000 James Scott - 50,700 Tomorrow’s Action (June 14) The 2018 FIFA World Cup isn’t the only thing to kick off on Thursday June 14. Event #30: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha is the first to get going, with an early 11am start. A little later in the day at 3pm, Event #31: $1,500 Seven Card Stud will get underway.
  3. Monday was a bitter-sweet day at the 2018 World Series of Poker. A true legend of the game announced his retirement, before making a very exciting deep run in one of the coveted Championship events, proving he’s still up there among the best. Meanwhile, two new bracelets were awarded, and the Millionaire Maker and THE MARATHON saw massive days completed. Here’s all you need to know from Monday (June 11). Doyle Brunson Announces His Retirement With Deep $10K 2-7 Run Some breaking news was making waves around the halls of the Rio on Monday morning: the Godfather of poker, ten-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, announced his retirement. Brunson told PokerCentral: “I’m planning on retiring after the summer. My wife is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine. I’m going to stop playing completely, but while I might change my mind, I don’t think that I will. This will be the last time that my wife and I have to spend together, and right now, every day that I leave the house I feel guilty.” [caption id="attachment_619500" align="alignright" width="233"] Doyle Brunson[/caption] After 62 years as a professional player, Brunson has managed to stay at the top of the high stakes poker world. Throughout that time, he always had his wife Louise by his side, having met in 1959 and tying the knot in 1962. But if the time has come for one of the all-time greats - the man who literally wrote the book on poker with Super System - to hang up his gloves, then he’s going down swinging. Only 11 players remain in Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, and Brunson is still in the hunt from the 95-strong field, coming into Day 3 fifth in chips. This event got 95 entries, and Brunson didn’t even enter until the beginning of Day 2. He was joined by his son Todd, and across the course of action the father and son duo found themselves at the same table, even sat side-by-side. Todd Brunson will also return tomorrow seeking his second bracelet. It’s two-time bracelet winner Mike Wattel who holds a massive chip lead though. As the only player with more than a million in chips, Wattel has twice as big a stack as his next opponent, Shawn Sheikhan. Three-time bracelet winners Brian Rast and Farzad Bonyadi are still in the hunt, as is four-time bracelet winner John Hennigan and single bracelet winner Ray Dehkharghani. Sheikan, Dario Sammartino, and short-stacked James Alexander are all hoping to catch their first WSOP gold. Action resumes at 2pm on Tuesday, with all players guaranteed $18,955. There’s $259,670 up top for the winner though. Can Doyle Brunson bookmark his extraordinary career with an eleventh bracelet? Final 11 Chip Counts: Mike Wattel 1,293,000 Shawn Sheikhan 645,500 Galen Hall 517,000 Brian Rast 477,000 Doyle Brunson 470,500 Farzad Bonyadi 440,500 Dario Sammartino 394,000 Ray Dehkharghani 195,500 Todd Brunson 185,000 John Hennigan 87,000 James Alexander 21,000 Philip Long Wins First Bracelet in Event #22: $1,500 Eight Game Mix The UK’s Philip Long took down his first WSOP bracelet on Monday, defeating a tough final table after three days of play across eight different games. Long would ultimately defeat Kevin Malis heads-up to bank $147,348 and the bracelet, but it was three-handed play that really grabbed the attention of the Las Vegas crowds. Six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu went out in third place after he got it in during a NLHE round with two pair only to run into Malis’ flopped set. John Racener, Per Hildebrand, and Nicholas Derke rounded out the final six, finishing in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively. There were 16 players who returned for the third and final day, with the likes of David Bach (16th), Robert Williamson III (14th), Anthony Zinno (13th), and Mike Matusow (12th) going deep but failing to reach the final table. “It's a strange thing, an unusual thing when you have the eight-game mix,” Long said after his win. “You always have to be aware of what people think about the different games and what they think about you in the different games. So sometimes, people are really competent in some games and weak in the others, and sometimes they think you're bad at some games. I think that was my biggest advantage – I kind of knew what was going on in all of them.” Final Table Results: Philip Long - $147,348 Kevin Malis - $91,042 Daniel Negreanu - $59,788 John Racener - $40,151 Per Hildebrand - $27,585 Nicholas Derke - $19,404 Jeremy Wien Takes Down Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em The second bracelet of the day came in Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, which saw first-time bracelet winner Jeremy Wien overcome a 4:1 chip disadvantage to defeat Spanish pro David Laka heads-up for the massive $537,710 first-place prize. [caption id="attachment_619501" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Jeremy Wien captures his first bracelet[/caption] The 138-hand duel took up almost half of the entire final day action, a day which saw some of poker’s elite talent gathered around one table. Jake Schindler, Shawn Buchanan, and David Peters all made this final table, outlasting the vast majority of the 518 player field. Laka dominated this finale, eliminating Peters, Buchanan, and Schindler, the latter of which went out in brutal fashion. Schindler was all-in with pocket kings against Laka’s ace-king, and an ace on the river sealed his fate. But when Laka met Wien heads-up, the American managed to grind a comeback. The final hand saw both reach a jack-high flop before an all-in and a call. Wien held pocket aces versus Laka’s pocket queens, and that was all she wrote. What’s even more impressive is that Wien isn’t a pro. The derivatives trader from New York didn’t even pack enough clothes to make it through the tournament, but when he started to go deep he made a change of plans. “It’s pretty surreal,” said Wien. “It’s not what I do for a living, but I come out here for a few tournaments every summer, sometimes as many as 15 or so. You know, I got close to a final table once a few years ago, I’ve had a few cashes, but other than that, nothing crazy. I never actually expected it to happen, even though I’ve dreamed about it. I’ve given my bracelet ceremony speech a few times in my head.” Final Table Results: Jeremy Wien - $537,710 David Laka - $332,328 Eric Blair - $228,307 Jake Schindler - $159,575 John Amato - $113,510 Shawn Buchanan - $82,199 David Peters - $60,618 Richard Tuhrim - $45,538 Aaron Messmer Bags Millionaire Maker Day 2 Chip Lead One of the most popular events of the entire WSOP is Event #21: $1,500 Millionaire Maker; you only have to look at the size of the field to know that. After two starting flights, only 1,104 of the 7,361 total field returned for Monday’s Day 2. Now, ten 60-minute levels later, just 155 remain, and they’re all chasing the chip lead of Aaron Messmer. He bagged up 1.089 million, and is most closely followed by Clyde Shimp (978,000) and Manig Loeser (914,000). There are plenty of other notable names still in contention. Former Main Event champs Joe McKeehen (487,000) and Greg Merson (295,000) will both return for Day 3, as will JC Tran (387,000), Joseph Cheong (459,000), and the red hot Elio Fox (348,000), seeking his second bracelet of the summer. Throughout the day we lost the likes of Jack Sinclair, Martin Jacobson, Chris Moorman, Taylor Paur, Jared Jaffee, Tuan Le and Daniel Strelitz, all of whom made the cash. Everyone is now guaranteed $7,697, but there’s a whopping $1,173,223 up top for the victor. Day 3 kicks off at 11am Tuesday for another ten levels of action. Here’s a look at the top 10 counts: Aaron Messmer - 1,089,000 Clyde Shimp - 978,000 Manig Loeser - 914,000 Sean Marshall - 878,000 Stanley Lee - 866,000 Jason Daly - 865,000 Ryan Goindoo - 791,000 Daniel Vampan - 763,000 Christopher Childers - 702,000 Thayer Rasmussen - 693,000 Joshua Smith Tops THE MARATHON After Day 1 A total of 1,479 runners took their shot today in the slow-paced Event #24: $2,620 THE MARATHON No-Limit Hold’em, and after six 100-minute levels 706 players remain. However, registration will remain open until the end of Level 8 on Tuesday (around 3:30pm). It’s Joshua Smith who had the best day of all, bagging up a day-topping stack worth 234,800. He’s followed by Pablo Fernandez (230,900), Sanjay Dulabh (230,200), and Walter Rodriguez (224,300). The likes of Olivier Busquets (148,000), Ben Heath (142,500),Scotty Nguyen (133,000), Gaelle Baumann (131,600), Faraz Jaka (119,000), Andre Akkari (68,500), Martin Jacobson (63,200), Jesse Sylvia (53,700), Kristen Bicknell (51,400), Cate Hall (47,900), Dzmitry Urbanovich (47,100), and Cliff Josephy (42,600) will all be back in action tomorrow. THE MARATHON continues at 12pm Tuesday. Check out the top 10 counts below: Joshua Smith - 234,800 Pablo Fernandez Campo - 230,900 Sanjay Dulabh - 230,200 Walter Rodriguez - 224,300 Justin Hoffman - 211,000 Chris Vickrey - 192,500 Slaven Popov - 190,000 John Corr - 180,300 Zackary Estes - 178,800 Benjamin Chalot - 177,500 Eli Elezra Bags Big After Event #25: $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo Day 1 The other event which kicked off with a Day 1 on Monday was Event #25: $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo. This one attracted 596 runners, and after ten levels that field was chopped down to 174 players who will advance to tomorrow’s Day 2. While it’s Trent Gundrum who earned the right to be overnight chip leader with his 72,000 stack, the headline belongs to Eli Elezra who finished the night in third (71,500). Elezra came close to grabbing his fourth bracelet earlier in the series when he finished runner-up to Paul Volpe in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. Some of the big names who fell today included Chris Vitch, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Benny Glaser, Chris Ferguson and Justin Bonomo, while others who found a bag include Max Hoffman(78,700), Nick Kost (49,600), Matt Savage (46,700), John Holley (38,900), Brian Hastings (37,400) and Frankie O'Dell (37,000). Just 90 players will make the money, and there’s $173,528 awaiting the winner. Day 2 begins at 2pm Tuesday, and you’ll find the top 10 stacks below: Trent Gundrum - 72,000 Ryan Himes - 71,600 Eli Elezra - 71,500 Max Hoffman - 70,700 Tom McCormick - 67,400 Nicholas Derke - 66,400 Walt Twardus - 63,200 Walter Twardus - 63,200 PJ Cha - 62,000 Alan Myerson - 59,000
  4. Day 3 at the 2018 World Series of Poker was the busiest yet, with four events playing in unison within the walls of the Rio in Las Vegas. While two tournaments played through their Day 2s, we saw two new events kick off, including one of the largest buy-ins of the summer. Here’s all you need to know about Friday’s action (June 1). Joe Cada, Joe McKeehen Make SHOOTOUT Final Table After the first round of Event #3: the $3,000 NLHE SHOOTOUT on Thursday, 50 of the 363 entrants returned for round two today. When play came to an end on all ten tables, we had ten winners who’ll return on Saturday and play down to a winner. Two-time bracelet winner and 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada, and 2015 Main Event champ Joe McKeehen headline the final table of ten, which also includes young British pro Harry Lodge, Ihar Soika, Anthony Reategui, Taylor Wilson, Sam Phillips, Jack Maskill, Jeffrey Trudeau, and Joshua Turner. Cada is seeking his third bracelet, and put in a good showing today to overcome a table draw which included Arne Ruge, Bryce Yockey, Alexander Lynskey, and Chad Wassmuth. It was Soika who arguably had the most watchable table though, as he had to battle through the likes of Phil Hellmuth and Eli Elezra to proceed. Other notables who were lost throughout the course of Day 2 action include Jan-Eric Schwippert, Matt Stout, Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman, Ismael Bojang, Tim Reilly, Taylor Paur, and Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen. All of them cashed for $6,302. Here’s a look at the seat draw for tomorrow’s finale, with chip counts: Jeffrey Trudeau - 534,000 Sam Phillips - 547,000 Ihar Soika - 534,000 Harry Lodge - 521,000 Anthony Reategui - 548,000 Joe McKeehen - 522,000 Joshua Turner - 534,000 Taylor Wilson - 547,000 Jack Maskill - 546,000 Joe Cada - 549,000 And a reminder of what they’re playing for: $226,218 $139,804 $101,766 $74,782 $55,480 $41,559 $31,435 $24,013 $18,526 $14,437 Day 3 kicks off at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, and the blind levels will be 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000 ante. Multiple Bracelet Winners Reach Day 3 of $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better As Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better moves into Day 3, its 296 Day 2 hopefuls (of 911 total entries) have been whittled down to just 36. There are some big names and bracelet winners still in contention, but its Brandon Ageloff who bagged the chip lead with 555,000. Ageloff’s made a WSOP final table last year in a $1,500 NLHE event, good for a $161,844 score - the best of his career to date. [caption id="attachment_619326" align="alignright" width="300"] Mike Leah[/caption] There are two players still in contention who are seeking their third bracelets: Chris Bjorin (488,000) and Mike Wattel (262,000). Moreover, there are two players in the hunt for their second WSOP wins: Mike Leah (99,000) and Jason Lester (95,000). Former November Niner Jeff Schulman is also still in the mix with 291,000, joined by the likes of Chad Eveslage (364,000), Daniel Buzgon (173,000), Kate Hoang (167,000), Julien Martini (140,000), James Chen (110,000), Danny Wong (76,000) and 2016 WSOP Main Event 8th place finisher Jerry "HumLun" Wong (48,000). The top 10 counts at the end of Day 2 look like this: Brandon Ageloff 555,000 Matt Woodward 505,000 Chris Bjorin 488,000 Rafael Concepcion 435,000 Chad Eveslage 364,000 Brian Haack 308,000 John Jenkins 299,000 James Pursley 295,000 Jeff Shulman 291,000 Mike Wattel 262,000 There were many notable eliminations throughout the day, and some of those who failed to cash include Layne Flack, Matt Waxman, Jeff Madsen, Sebastian Langrock, Frank Kassela, Ashton Griffin, Jeremy Ausmus, Justin Liberto, Mike Matusow, Christopher Vitch, Chris Klodnicki and Scott Clements. Meanwhile, big names who reached the money include three-time bracelet winners Benny Glaser and John Monette, four-time bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi, two-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb, and other bracelet winners Ryan Laplante, John Racener, Perry Friedman, Peter Eichhardt, Chris Tryba, as well as Day 1 chip leader Dao Bac. All of the returning 36 are guaranteed a $5,605 payday, but its the $239,771 first-place prize they’ll have their eyes on. Action resumes at 2pm Saturday with blinds at 5K/10K. Elio Fox Heater Continues with $100K High Roller Day 1 Lead They say that momentum in poker is a thing, and that you should ride the rush when it arrives. Elio Fox certainly did that today, bagging up the Day 1 chip lead in Event #5: $100,000 NLHE High Roller two days after winning the first bracelet of the 2018 WSOP (his second overall). Fox took down Event #2: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty in the early hours of Thursday morning for $393,693. He’s followed that win up with a great Day 1 performance in this shot-clock event, one that saw him end with 2,881,000 after nine 60-minute levels of play. Fox’s ascent to the lead came with a bit of help from lady luck though; he was all-in with top pair top kicker against an overpair belonging to Dario Sammartino, but the river gave Fox a winning two pair. There were 97 total entries today, but only 49 will return tomorrow. The field was stacked as you’d expect from such a big buy-in, but some notables who ended the day near the top of the counts include Jan-Eric Schwippert (2,582,000), recent four-time WPT champ Darren Elias (2,038,000), Bryn Kenney (1,971,000), Sergio Aido (1,493,000), Byron Kaverman (1,282,000) and Stephen Chidwick (1,276,000) . [caption id="attachment_619325" align="alignright" width="300"] The red-hot Justin Bonomo[/caption] Arguably the best NLHE tournament player in the world right now is Justin Bonomo, fresh off a $5 million win in the Super High Roller Bowl. Bonomo has cashed for around $15 million in 2018 alone, and he’ll be returning tomorrow with 1,046,000 hoping to add to that incredible amount. But where there are survivors, there must be casualties. Some of those who were eliminated today include Daniel Negreanu, Alex Foxen, Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Duhamel, Dan Shak, Anthony Zinno, Erik Seidel, Chris Hunichen, and Nick Schulman. When the players return on Saturday at 2pm, they’ll play ten 60-minute levels beginning at 8K/16K. Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks: Elio Fox - 2,881,000 Jan-Eric Schwippert - 2,582,000 Darren Elias - 2,038,000 Michael Kamran - 2,018,000 Bryn Kenney - 1,971,000 Andreas Eiler - 1,857,000 Michael Rosenfeld - 1,716,000 Matthias Eibinger - 1,560,000 Sergio Aido - 1,493,000 Johannes Becker - 1,471,000 The GIANT Kicks Off Day 1A of Event #6: The GIANT saw an enormous 1,289 field take a $365 shot, and after 21 levels just 90 survived. They’ll have to wait a while before they return though, as this is just the first of five starting flights in the lowest buy-in WSOP event available. The end-of-day chip leader was Danny Nguyen - the only player who ended with 1.1 million and was the only player to bag up seven figures. He’s most closely followed by Elvis Toomas (995,000), Josh Reichard (935,000), Adam Richardson (895,000) and Vincent Lee (810,000). WSOP veteran Matt Affleck also made it through with a 210,000 stack. Each starting flight in this one will make the money during Day 1, and today 194 players reached the cash. Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen fired multiple bullets (this event has unlimited re-entries) but busted before the money, as did Dzmitry Urbanovich, Tom Hall, Fernando Brito, Calvin Anderson, Ryan Laplante, Craig Varnell and Kathy Liebert. You can expect to see all of them taking another shot in the GIANT though, with starting flights every Friday for the next four weeks. Day 2 takes place on Saturday June 30th. Take a look at the top 10 Day 1A counts below: Danny Nguyen 1,100,000 Elvis Toomas 1,000,000 Josh Reichard 935,000 Adam Richardson 895,000 Vincent Lee 810,000 Mario Saur 715,000 Martin Zamani 650,000 James Howden 630,000 Brian Johnson 410,000 Kristin Hutton 350,00 Tomorrow’s Action (June 2) As well as the SHOOTOUT final table, Day 3 of the Omaha, and Day 2 of the $100K High Roller, there will be two events kicking off on Saturday June 2. There are two starting flights for Event#7: $565 COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold’em - 1A beginning at 10am, and 1B kicking off at 5pm. The ever popular Event #8: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball also begins at 3pm. News & Notes Alas, Jerwin Pasco failed to bink a seat in the $100K High Roller, having won his way into a $7,500 satellite following two satellite wins beginning at just $125. 2. If you’re planning on playing the COLOSSUS tomorrrow, take KevMath’s advice: https://twitter.com/Kevmath/status/1002743388423143425
  5. There were another three new bracelet winners created on Saturday at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Meanwhile, the $50K Poker Players Championship completed its Day 2, with a former two-time winner and arguably the world’s most famous poker player sitting with the top two stacks. Here’s all you need to know from June 16. Steve Albini Wins First Bracelet, Takes Down $1,500 Stud It’s not too often we have a new bracelet winner who transcends the poker world. Steve Albini is a world-renowned alternative rock musician (Big Black, Shellac), as well as a noted music producer, perhaps best known for his work with Nirvana (In Utero), as well as the likes of Pixies, Fugazi, and PJ Harvey. He’s also now a WSOP bracelet winner, having denied Jeff Lisandro his seventh bracelet heads-up to win Event #31: $1,500 Stud for $105,629. Lisandro won $65,282 for his runner-up finish, while 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson placed fourth. “I've been playing stud my whole life. I love it, so I'm very comfortable playing stud. And I ran pretty f***ing good as well," Albini said after his maiden WSOP victory. Albini, who attends the WSOP every year, had been working with Matt Ashton on his game, and it certainly paid off. Albini and Lisandro came into heads-up play with even stacks, and the battle went on for two hours before he was able to clinch the win. "I don't have that much heads-up stud experience," Albini admitted. “Ashton and I had some conversation about what raising ranges would look like. I was using the sort of thumbnail version of his heads-up stud game strategy." Final Table Results: Steven Albini - $105,629 Jeff Lisandro - $65,282 Katherine Fleck - $43,765 Chris Ferguson - $29,999 Frankie O'Dell - $21,035 Paul Sexton - $15,096 Michael Moore - $11,095 Esther Rossi - $8,355 Gal Yifrach Gets Gold in $3K Six-Max Only three players returned today for the conclusion of Event 28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, led by 31-year-old LA resident Gal Yifrach. It didn’t take too long for Yifrach to emerge victorious for his first bracelet and $461,798, outlasting the 868 total entries. [caption id="attachment_619574" align="aligncenter" width="675"] Gal Yifrach Takes it Down[/caption] Gary Hasson was the first to exit in third, while the heads-up duel lasted only seven hands. Despite Yifrachs starting with a 2:1 chip lead, James Mackey was able to even the stacks before one big hand ended it all. Mackey moved all-in on the turn of an eight-high board with pocket tens, and Yifrach called with ace-eight only to spike another eight on the river. "You don't make a final table every tournament," said Yifrach. "I was fortunate enough and am happy my family and girlfriend came to support me. I'm very happy. Everybody has hopes, and everybody is hoping to get very far. I was fortunate enough to get there.” "When you run good you play good, as well. It comes hand in hand. It's a great feeling.” Final Table Results: Gal Yifrach - $461,798 James Mackey - $285,377 Gary Hasson - $193,716 Aaron Mermelstein - $133,731 Darren Rabinowitz - $93,917 Ana Marquez - $67,116 Ryan Bambrick Bags the Bracelet in $1,500 PLO With 13 players returning for the third and final day of Event #30: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Ryan Bambrick held the overnight chip lead. Despite an early slip up, Bambrick hardly relinquished that lead throughout the day, eventually taking down the title, $217,123 and the gold bracelet. [caption id="attachment_619575" align="aligncenter" width="681"] Bracelet no.1 for Ryan Bambrick[/caption] After the likes of Tim McDermott, Phil Riley, Jared Ingles, and Jody Fayant had all departed, Bambrick found himself heads-up against Sampo Ryynanen. In the final hand, Ryynanen committed all his chips with middle pair only to run into Bambrick’s overpair. The board bricked out, and we had a champ. Bambrick has been playing online poker for the best part of 15 years, but for the past seven he’s focused his attention to day trading. "I told my work I just wanted to play poker for now, and wanted to see how the World Series would go. I might pick it back up after the World Series," Bambrick said about his day-trading day job. "I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. "It was a lot of fun, that's the best way I can describe it. I enjoyed every bit of it. It wasn't too daunting. It was exciting more than anything. I had a lot of people watching the stream. My phone was blowing up the whole time." Final Table Results: Ryan Bambrick - $217,123 Sampo Ryynanen - $134,138 Tim McDermott - $93,639 Phil Riley - $66,342 Jared Ingles - $47,713 Jody Fayant - $34,843 Danny Woolard - $25,841 Randy White - $19,469 Pushpinder Singh - $14,904 Down to 42 in $50K Championship, Mizrachi and Ivey Lead After Day 2 of Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship. it’s none other than two-time winner Michael Mizrachi who bagged up the chip lead. Just 42 of the 87 runners remain, with Mizrachi holding a slight chip lead (1,274,000) over Phil Ivey (1,131,000). Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra, and Dan Smith round out the top five stacks. Aside fro. Mizrachi, other previous champions Mike Gorodinsky (519,000), defending champ Elior Sion (344,000), Brian Rast (304,500), and John Hennigan (289,000) will all return tomorrow. Mike Matusow, Paul Volpe, Adam Owen, and John Racener are just a few of the players who exited late into the day. Only 14 players will share the $4,176,000 prize pool, with a min-cash worth $72,500 and $1,239,126 for the eventual champ. Play resumes at 2pm Sunday. Top 10 Stacks: Michael Mizrachi - 1,274,000 Phil Ivey - 1,131,000 Shaun Deeb - 933,000 Eli Elezra - 917,000 Dan Smith - 901,500 Chris Vitch - 843,500 Aaron Katz - 787,500 Jesse Martin - 763,500 Sergii Baranov - 717,000 Jean-Robert Bellande - 716,000 Day 2 of Record-Breaking Seniors Event in the Books It’s taken just two days of play to reduce the 5,919 field in Event #32 $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Seniors Championship down to 101. Only two players are over the one milly mark: Ronald Bishop (1,086,000) and Frank Berry (1,017,000). All remaining players are now in the money, with 1998 WSOP Main Event champion Scotty Nguyen falling in 171st place for $3,760. There’s a massive $662,983 first-place prize up for grabs, with action resuming at 11am Sunday. Top Stacks: Ronald Bishop - 1,086,000 Frank Berry - 1,017,000 Bill Stabler - 808,000 Marc Lome - 756,000 Richard Munro - 739,000 Dennis Otto - 637,000 William Wilkinson - 604,000 Jean-Paul Pasqualini - 582,000 William Sindelar - 576,000 Double Stack Kicks Off One of two new events to get going on Saturday was Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em, which has now wrapped up its Day 1A. There were 2,387 runners who took their shot throughout the ten levels, and when the chip bags were brought out just 533 remained. Leading all of those is Brian Yoon with 233,600. Some notable big stacks to advance include Anthony Spinella (145,000), Kathy Liebert (135,000), Terry Schumacher (125,300), and Sergio Castelluccio (106,100). Meanwhile, Ryan Riess, Andrey Zaichenko, Calvin Anderson, Asi Moshe, and Michael Gagliano will all be back on Day 2. Where there are survivors there must be casualties. Some of those who tried and failed today include Joe McKeehen, Heidi May, Joseph Cheong, Maria Konnikova, Sorel Mizzi, Dan O'Brien, Bart Lybaert, Maria Lampropulos, Jamie Kerstetter, Nacho Barbero, Valentin Vornicu, Jackie Glazier, Matt Affleck, Georgios Sotiropoulos, and Maurice Hawkins. This event has un-limited re-entries though, so they can all take another shot during tomorrow’s Day 1B, which starts at 11am Sunday. Top 10 stacks: Brian Yoon - 233,600 Anthony Spinella - 145,000 Kathy Liebert - 135,000 Terry Schumacher -125,300 Sergio Castelluccio - 106,100 Boris Kolev - 99,900 Kevin Ayow - 94,300 Patrick Kenney - 87,100 Jeremy Ausmus - 85,100 Michael Shanahan - 81,900 Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha Kicks Off There was another Day 1 in progress Saturday, in the form of Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha. This one attracted 751 runners, with 225 advancing to Day 2 after ten levels. Peter Nett claimed the chip lead with 91,450, followed by Matt Woodward with 82,425, and Ammon Warner (80,350). Brazil’s no.1 online player (and former PocketFives world no.1) Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao also ended with a top 10 stack. Other players to advance include Mike Ross (77,875), Dylan Wilkerson (46,525), David Bach (34,800), Barry Greenstein (34,050), and Phil Hellmuth (27,000). Only 116 players will make any money in this one - a min-cash being worth $2,258. The lion’s share of the $1,043,550 prize pool is reserved for the winner: $211,781. Play resumes at 2pm Sunday. Top 10 stacks: Peter Nett - 91,450 Matt Woodward - 82,425 Ammon Warner - 80,350 Mike Ross - 77,875 Andrew Barber - 58,000 James Alexander - 50,175 Dylan Wilkerson - 46,525 Joao Simao - 42,500 Frank Visser - 42,250 Marc Perlman - 41,825
  6. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Nobody even expected him to play. Doyle Brunson’s appearance in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event at the 2018 World Series of Poker came as a surprise to anybody who has followed poker over the last few years. Once the face of the franchise, Brunson first stopped playing the WSOP back in 2013, citing the long hours of play as the main reason. He much preferred the high stakes cash game action at the Bellagio where could come and go as he pleased. He teased coming back in 2017, but nobody, absolutely nobody, thought they’d see him at all this year. Then came the tweet heard ‘round the poker world. Word soon came that not only was this likely going to be the last WSOP tournament he was ever going to play, but he’d also be walking away from poker at the end of the summer. His wife, Louise, wasn’t doing all that great healthwise and he wanted to spend more time with her. He said he owed it to her. He owed the poker world nothing though. He’d been front and center long before the poker boom was a thing and wrote an in-depth strategy book at a time when every pro kept their secrets as close to their chest as possible. The Super System became the most important book in poker history. So there was a Christmas Morning-like excitement when Brunson late-regged for the event and took his seat alongside some of the best players in the world. Over the 30 hours that followed, Brunson took the poker world on a journey that will now serve as an almost unbelievable prologue on a Hall of Fame poker career that includes 10 WSOP bracelets, a World Poker Tour title, that best-selling strategy book and millions of dollars won in some of the biggest cash games the world has ever known. As the field dwindled down and eventually stopped with 11 players remaining on Monday night, many poker fans and players alike started to fantasize about an 11th bracelet for the Godfather of Poker, maybe even a heads-up battle with his son, Todd, who was also still in the tournament. If this was really going to be Brunson’s last WSOP event, it would be somewhat fitting if he went out on top. On Tuesday, the 11 players quickly became eight and action moved to the PokerGO livestream. Eight became seven. At no point did it look like Brunson was going to cruise to victory, but thanks to the swingy nature of No Limit Deuce, he was never out of it until he was out of it. And then seven became six. Brunson was finished. He tipped his trademark cowboy hat to the crowd that had gathered on this trip back in time and then exited the Rio to a standing ovation. The current generation of players that are dominating poker have little difficulty looking up to Brunson the poker player but that same group has, at times, struggled to relate to or even accept some of his political or social views. Over the last few years, Brunson has often found himself defending those views. He’s gotten in hot water for tweets that touch on political or social issues. In 2015, TMZ picked up a story about Brunson’s comments on Caitlyn Jenner after she transitioned from Bruce. He’s been an ardent supporter of Donald Trump and the NRA - two topics that often polarize the poker community. In the case of Jenner, and more recently John McCain, Brunson has talked about how people who were once his heroes have since let him down. A fair number of people who once looked up to Brunson will probably say they can relate as they struggle to reconcile the difference between Brunson the poker player and Brunson the person. Nobody was going to change their view of Brunson whether he won the bracelet or not on Monday. His place in poker history is as locked in as they come and, for better or worse, this is a time where one's political views just don’t change too quickly. For those 30 hours though, the politics didn’t matter. Only the cards did.
  7. Monday’s 2018 World Series of Poker action saw two bracelets and a nice chunk of change awarded. Several other events also put Day 1s and Day 2s in the books, with some well-known chip leaders leading their fields. Here’s all the info you need to know from Monday June 4th. Nick Petrangelo Joins Two-Bracelet Club, Wins $100K High Roller for $2.91 Million Fresh from his sixth-place finish in the Super High Roller Bowl (for $900K), Nick ‘caecilius’ Petrangelo hopped straight into Event #5: the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller. Four days later, Petrangelo has won his second WSOP bracelet and a massive score of $2,910,227. “After a super intense week, it feels like a relief to be done more than anything,” Petrangelo said afterwards. “There's a lot of pressure playing against really tough players for huge buy-ins, especially with the stream. This kind of event is super tough, but they're really fun, and it's what I love to do." This win marks the biggest cash of Petrangelo’s illustrious career, one that has now seen him amass $14.6 million in career earnings including two bracelets. His first came back in 2015, when the Massachusetts-native took down the $3,000 NLHE SHOOTOUT for $201K. As you’d expect from such a big buy-in (which after 105 entrants created a $10,185,000 prize pool), this event had a stack field. But Petrangelo seemed to be cruising throughout, bagging the Day 2 and Day 3 chip lead before returning on Monday to face a six-handed final table containing Bryn Kenney, Stephen Chidwick, Elio Fox, Andreas Eiler, and Aymon Hata. The shorter stacks of Chidwick and Kenney were the first to fall, followed by Eiler who flopped trips only for Petrangelo to hit a full house. Hata then exited after his flopped top pair was ousted by a rivered straight for Petrangelo. Heads-up against Fox, who was looking for his second bracelet of the summer, the chip lead went back and forth. It would ultimately take a cooler to end it, after Fox flopped top two pair in a four-bet preflop pot, only for Petrangelo to turn a bigger two pair. All the money went in on the river, and Petrangelo was crowned the champ. $100,000 High Roller Results: Nick Petrangelo - $2,910,227 Elio Fox - $1,798658 Aymon Hata - $1,247,230 Andreas Eiler - $886,793 Bryn Kenney - $646,927 Stephen Chidwick - $484,551 Jason Koon - $372,894 Adrian Mateos - $295,066 Germany’s Johannes Becker Wins First Bracelet With Lowball Victory The second bracelet to be handed out on Monday went to Johannes Becker, who entered Event #8: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball after busting the $100K High Roller. It seemed like a good idea, as Becker specialises in high stakes online lowball games and has plenty of experience on the WSOP stage having finished second in last year’s $50K Poker Players Championship. [caption id="attachment_619374" align="aligncenter" width="670"] Johannes Becker[/caption] Three days later and that decision was well worth it, as Becker had taken the thing down for $180,455 and his first WSOP bracelet. He had to outlast a 321-strong field, and despite coming into the final with the second shortest stack, he’d eventually overcome a tough final table that included Scott Seiver, Jesse Hampton, Chris Vitch, George Trigeorgis, and Luis Velador. Three-handed, Becker once again found himself with the short stack. Seiver held a huge chip lead, but Becker forged a comeback that would see him eliminate Hampton in third before finally taking down Seiver heads-up in a Badugi hand. The 27-year-old from Cologne was already an established mixed game player, battling with the likes of ‘Crazy’ Elior Sion on a regular basis. Becker would lose heads-up to Sion in the $50K last year, but this tournament was Becker’s breakout tournament victory. Final table results: Johannes Becker - $180,455 Scott Seiver - $111,516 Jesse Hampton - $71,547 Chris Vitch - $47,166 George Trigeorgis - $31,873 Luis Velador - $22,304 Eli Elezra Leads Final 22 in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Monday ended with a stacked line-up bagging up chips in Event #9, the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. This event got 169 total entries, 83 of which began Monday’s Day 2. When all was said and done just 22 players made it through, and its high stakes veteran and three-time bracelet winner Eli Elezra who tops the field with an 858,000 stack. He’ll be joined by the likes of Jesse Martin (479,000), Felipe Ramos (401,000), Mike Gorodinsky (385,000), Paul Volpe (372,000), Per Hildebrand (316,000), Robert Mizrachi (250,000), Dylan Linde (240,000), Mike Matusow (234,000), and Scott Bohlman (108,000). The $1,588,600 prize pool is split between the top 26 players, meaning Dan Shak, Stuart Rutter, and bracelet winners Anthony Zinno and Steven Wolansky have already cashed for $14,912. All 22 hopefuls are guaranteed that payout too. Throughout the day we lost some big names; heck, perhaps the biggest name. Phil Ivey late regged today but couldn’t survive, nor could Iraj Parvizi, Matthew Ashton, Chris Ferguson, Cary Katz, Jeffrey Lisandro, Marco Johnson, Carol Fuchs, Ian Johns, Jean-Robert Bellande, Esther Taylor, James Obst, Ralph Perry, Nick Schulman, Mark Gregorich, or Phil Hellmuth. Action resumes at 2pm on Tuesday with blinds at 12K/24K. Here’s a look at the top 10 counts: Eli Elezra - 858,000 Adam Coats - 617,000 Steve Chanthabouasy - 609,000 Daniel Zack - 571,000 Jesse Martin - 479,000 Kyle Miaso - 433,000 Chris Bjorin - 415,000 Felipe Ramos - 401,000 Nikolai Yakovenko - 390,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 385,000 John Hennigan tops Day 1 of Dealer’s Choice Event #12: $1,500 Dealer's Choice 6-Handed proved to be a very popular event today, with 406 players entering for the chance to choose between 20 different poker variants. After ten levels of play, 120 players survived and it was John Hennigan who bagged up the chip lead, boasting a stack of 89,800. Hennigan’s rush came late into the day when he flopped a set in a PLO hand got two streets of value. Hennigan is most clostly followed by Andrey Zhigalov (85,275), Xunen Zheng (69,950), Luke Saltus (61,875), Joey Couden (59,325), and Jeff Lisandro (58,025). Meanwhile, Craig Chait (50,825), David Funkhouser (50,825), Shirley Rosario (46,550), Chris Vitch (42,025), and Layne Flack (23,175) also made it through. The $548,100 prize pool will be split between the top 61 finishers, with a min-cash worth $2,263. That’s chump change compared with the $129,882 first-place prize though, which comes with a shiny new WSOP bracelet. Some of the names who tried and failed today include defending champion David Bach, and former winners Carol Fuchs and Larry Berg. Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Frank Kassela, Shaun Deeb, Shaun Buchanan, James Obst, and Jeff Madsen also perished. This one will restart at 2pm Tueday with blinds at 1K/2K. Here are the top 10 overnight counts: John Hennigan - 89,800 Andrey Zhigalov - 85,275 Xunen Zheng - 69,950 Luke Saltus - 61,875 Joey Couden - 59,325 Jeff Lisandro - 58,025 Stephen Nussrallah - 51,025 Craig Chait - 50,825 David Funkhouser - 50,825 Chris Klodnicki - 50,000 Two Final COLOSSUS Flights Wrap Up It was a long day for anyone following Event #7 $565 COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold’em. The final two starting flights, Day 1E and 1F, played through 18 30-minute levels with play in the former beginning at 10am and the latter going into the early morning hours. The event has received a total of 13,071 entries over the six starting flights, but only 539 will return for Tuesday’s Day 2. Kurt Jewell bagged the chip lead from 1E with 474,000, while Broutee Benshamin was top dog after 1F with 450,000. Notable players to advance from today’s action include 12-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Valentin Vornicu (308,000) three-time bracelet winner David Bach (267,000), TK Miles (235,000), Daniel Weinman (114,000), Matt Stout (91,000), Matt Affleck (79,000), Kathy Liebert (73,000), Mike Commiso (390,000) and Tyler Patterson (238,000). Day 2 begins at 2pm Tuesday. Tomorrow’s Action (June 5) There are two more events kicking off on Tuesday, making this the busiest day of the series so far in terms of events running simultaneously. Event #13: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em begins at 11am. The low buy-in event is sure to attract big numbers, and interestingly it comes with a big blind ante structure, popular with the high rollers. Later in the day Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw will kick off at 3pm.
  8. Friday was a three-bracelet day at the 2018 World Series of Poker. One player took home his fifth piece of WSOP jewellery, while two players claimed their first gold. There’s plenty of other things to tell you about too, including Day 1 of the $50K Players Championship. For that, and a lot more, here’s a recap of June 15’s action. John Hennigan Wins Fifth Bracelet, Takes Down $10K HORSE There is now officially a new member of the five-bracelet club. It almost happened on Thursday night, when then four-time bracelet winner John Hennigan and two-time bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker ended Day 3 of Event #27: $10,000 HORSE Championship heads-up, with Hennigan holding a dominating chip lead. After one level of play on Friday, Hennigan finished the job. It all ended in a Limit Hold’em hand, when Baker was all-in with ace-six off versus Hennigan’s jack-three off. A three hit the flop, and Baker couldn’t catch up. Hennigan wins $414,692 for his efforts, as well as the fifth bracelet, while Baker banked $256,297. Will Johnny World focus all his attention on capturing bracelet no.6 now? "We'll see what happens,” he said afterwards. “I’m not too preoccupied with it, but five does feel better than four.” Final Table Results: John Hennigan - $414,692 David "Bakes" Baker - $256,297 Lee Salem - $179,216 Iraj Parvizi - $127,724 Randy Ohel - $92,808 Albert Daher - $68,783 Daniel Zack - $52,016 Michael Noori - $40,155 Michael Addamo Wins First Bracelet in The Marathon ($653,581) Australia’s Michael Addamo has long been a beast on the poker tables, but after Friday he can now call himself a WSOP bracelet winner too. [caption id="attachment_619563" align="aligncenter" width="635"] Bracelet #1 for Michael Addamo[/caption] Addamo, who moved to Thailand for online poker after law changes in his home country prevented him from playing, overcame a tough final table in Event #24: $2,620 The Marathon No-Limit Hold’em, one which included 2014 WSOP Main Event champ Martin Jacobson (5th), bracelet winner and WPT champ Taylor ‘taypaur’ Paur (4th), and Belgium’s Bart Lybaert (3rd). It was American recreational player Mark Sleet who Addamo met heads-up, and he was complimentary of Sleet’s game. “He was mixing it up, trying to put me to the test, like opening big sizes, doing all sorts of different things, trying to get me off my normal game. I think I adjusted ok but yeah, who knows,” Addamo said. Holding a big chip lead, the final hand saw all the money go in on a ten-high flop. Addamo had top pair, and Sleet had two overs and a flush draw which couldn’t hit on the turn or river. The 1,637 total runners were down to nine at the beginning of the day, and the first to depart from the final table were Ihar Soika, Cate Hall, Anton Morgenstern, and Ying Chan. Final Table Results: Michael Addamo - $653,581 Mark Sleet - $403,870 Bart Lybaert - $290,315 Taylor Paur - $210,995 Martin Jacobson - $155,062 Ying Chan - $115,244 Anton Morgenstern - $86,631 Cate Hall - $65,875 Ihar Soika - $50,678 Hahn Tran’s the Man, Wins First Bracelet in $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw The second new bracelet winner of the day was Austria’s Hahn Tran, who claimed victory in Event #29: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw for $117,282. [caption id="attachment_619564" align="aligncenter" width="636"] Hahn Tran Captures his First Bracelet[/caption] Tran came into Friday’s final table with the chip lead, but it was by no means a smooth ride to the title. The chip lead swung around the table multiple times, but five eliminations later Tran was heads-up against Oscar Johansson. Having whittled Johansson down to just three bets, Johansson tabled a nine-eight but Tran had that beat with a nine-six. Three-time bracelet winner Brian Hastings fell in fifth, while David Prociak couldn’t capture his second bracelet, finishing in third. “I’ve come here for eight years but I don’t play many tournaments, I’m more of a cash game player,” Tran said once the win was locked up. “I play cash games in 2-7 and I’m very excited. This is one of my favourite games. I’m just here for vacation, have fun with my friends, and party!” Final Table Results: Hanh Tran - $117,282 Oscar Johansson - $72,471 David Prociak - $46,729 Cody Wagner - $30,926 Brian Hastings - $21,021 Yong Wang - $14,687 Jared Bleznick - $10,555 Gal Yifrach Leads Final Three in $3K Six-Max It seems like a lot of tournaments this year are going longer than expected. The final table of Event 28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed was scheduled to finish Friday night, but with three players still in play was paused and will resume on Saturday. Gal Yifrach holds the chip lead, with 6,965,000 to James Mackey’s 3,100,000 and Gary Hasson’s 1,960,000. They’ll return at 12pm Saturday with blinds at 60,000/120,000. Five-time bracelet winner Jason Mercier was among the early exits today, while Tony Dunst bowed out in 13th. another bracelet winner looking for more jewelry, lost with eights versus ace-king to go out in 13th place. Anatoly Filatov, Luiz Duarte, Yorane Kerignard, Ben Palmer (7th), and Ana Marquez (6th) also exited. Check back tomorrow to find out who wins the bracelet and the $461,798 first-place prize. They’re all guaranteed $193,716. Day 2 Takes $1,500 PLO Down to 13 Event #30: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha has just 13 of the 799 players remaining, and will play down to a champ on Saturday. Ryan Bambrick holds the overnight chip lead, with double the amount of his closest competitor, Phil Riley. On the other end of the chip counts, Lexy Gavin and Victor Ramdin are the most at risk. Throughout the day this one lost the likes of Ryan Riess, Dutch Boyd, Darryll Fish, Thomas Taylor, Scott Davies, Rob Salaburu, and Scott Clements. There’s $217,123 and the coveted WSOP bracelet awaiting the winner, while all 13 players are guaranteed $9,173 overnight. Play resumes at 12pm Saturday. Final 13 Chip Counts: Ryan Bambrick - 1,727,000 Phil Riley - 864,000 Sampo Ryynanen - 633,000 Jared Ingles - 575,000 Tim McDermott - 527,000 Randy White - 437,000 Jody Fayant - 326,000 Pushpinder Singh - 266,000 George Xu - 180,000 Jeanmarc Thomas - 165,000 Danny Woolard - 165,000 Victor Ramdin - 84,000 Lexy Gavin - 80,000 Ferguson and Lisandro Headline $11,500 Seven Card Stud Finale There are a whole lotta bracelets between the nine final table players in Event #31: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. One time bracelet winner Michael Moore (not the documentary filmmaker) holds the chip lead, but he’s followed by six-time bracelet winners Chris Ferguson and Jeff Lisandro, both on the hunt for the elusive seventh bracelet. The final table is even more star-studded with legendary music producer Steve Albini returning tomorrow fifth in chips. Albini is arguably most famous for his work with Nirvana and Pixies. And rounding out the unofficial final table is two-time bracelet winner Frankie O’Dell. The bubble burst at 47 players today, and some of those who failed to make the cash include Barbara Enright, Scott Bohlman, Carol Fuchs, Brandon Shack-Harris, Tom McEvoy and Cory Zeidman. Once they were in the money, we lost the likes of Ben Yu (45th - $2,250), Shirley Rosario (40th - $2,398), Dzmitry Urbanovich (37th - $2,398), Kevin Ioacofano (35th - $2,398), Perry Friedman (21st - $2,982), Jameson Painter (14th - $4,155), and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (11th - $5,110). The guaranteed payout right now is $6,451, but there’s $105,629 up top. Play resumes at 2pm Saturday. Final Table Chip Counts: Michael Moore - 485,000 Chris Ferguson - 325,000 Jeff Lisandro - 291,000 Paul Sexton - 276,000 Steven Albini - 270,000 Katherine Fleck - 226,000 Esther Rossi - 186,000 Stephen Rivers - 143,000 Frankie O'Dell - 74,000 The $50K Poker Players Championship Begins, Benny Glaser Leads After Day 1 When people predict success for players prior to the WSOP, Benny Glaser is always a name that comes up. The three-time bracelet winner has proved today why he’s thought so highly of in the mixed-game world, bagging up the Day 1 chip lead in Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship. There were 77 entries today, and Glaser ended up with 574,900. He’s most closely followed by Anthony Zinno (493,200), Brian Rast (473,900), James Obst (450,100), and John Hennigan (449,000), the latter of which jumped straight into this event having won the $10K H.O.R.S.E. earlier in the day. There are 14 bracelets between that top five. Only three players failed to make it through the day (Scott Seiver, Frank Kassela, and Kristijonas Andrulis) as we ended with 74 players. It’s very early days in this one, with a long road ahead. Registration is still open for another four levels tomorrow, when action resumes at 2pm. Top 10 Chip Counts: Benny Glaser - 574,900 Anthony Zinno - 493,200 Brian Rast - 473,900 James Obst - 450,100 John Hennigan - 449,000 Naseem Salem - 433,400 Alexander Kostritsyn - 415,600 Shaun Deeb - 394,200 Paul Volpe - 390,800 David "ODB" Baker - 387,400 Seniors Event Breaks Records on Day 1 Event #33: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship attracted a massive 5,919 field, breaking records for this event and making this the largest single Day 1 in WSOP history. When the bags were brought out for the end of Day 1, 934 players remained. Kevin O’Donnell holds the overnight chip lead, while Neil Blumenfield (134,000), Dave Peterson (123,000), Andrei Konopilko (120,000), Mitchell Garshofsky (73,300), Carol Fuchs (36,800), and Jan-Peter Jachtmann (57,200) will all return. Greg Raymer, Gregg Markow, Victor Ramdin, Mike Sexton, Kathy Liebert, Ivo Donev and Marcel Luske were among the 5,000 eliminated players today. This one kicks off again at 11am on Saturday. You’ll find the top 10 stacks below. Kevin O'Donnell - 172,100 Christopher Ocksrider - 157,000 Frank Cupello - 128,300 David Peterson - 123,100 Michael Lang - 121,000 Andrei Konopelko - 120,000 James Passas - 118,300 Frank Berry - 106,000 Neil Blumenfield - 104,400 Tommy Townsend - 104,000 Day 1C of THE GIANT Wraps Up A quick note on Day 1C of Event #6: $365 GIANT No-Limit Hold’em. Mathieu Philbert of France bagged the chip lead, amassing an impressive 1,940,000. Phil Laak, Benjamin Yu, Kathy Liebert and Canada's Calen McNeil. Sandeep Vasudevan, Bradley Butcher and Allen Kessler all tried but failed to make it through. There are two more Day 1 flights scheduled for the next two Fridays before all survivors merge for Day 2 on June 30. Day 1C Top 10 Stacks: Mathieu Philbert - 1,940,000 Kevin Ninkovich - 1,505,000 Arkadiy Tsinis - 1,495,000 Terry Kelley - 1,035,000 Artan Dedusha - 1,025,000 Jett Blackwell - 975,000 Alexander Allegranza - 875,000 Nipun Java - 872,000 Jeremy Brown - 820,000 Peter Eichhardt - 780,000
  9. There are 22 events in the books at the 2018 World Series of Poker but the player who took down the first bracelet of the year continues to hold down the lead for Player of the Year. The Leader: Elio Fox Elio Fox, who won the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty event on the opening day of the Series, sits atop the POY leaderboard with 2,010.14 points. He earned 1,108.8 of those points from that Bounty event and another 634.9 from his runner-up finish in the $100,000 High Roller event. A baby cash in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker earned him an additional 266.5 points. The Chase Group: Joe Cada and Paul Volpe The closest challengers to Fox include a former World Champion and a newly minted three-time bracelet winner. Joe Cada started his WSOP off with a ninth-place finish in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty event and then navigated his way through three tables to win the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout. He's now cashed five times this WSOP for 1,692.71 POY points and sits 317.43 points behind Fox. Paul Volpe, a former #1-ranked PocketFiver, grabbed his third career bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha Eight-or-Better Championship event. He has three other cashes, all in events with buy-ins of $10,000 or more for 1,671.30 points - just 62.41 points behind Cada. The Peloton: Bracelet Winners Galore The rest of the top 10 is populated mostly players who have already grabbed a bracelet this summer. Arne Kern won the Millionaire Maker for his only cash so far, but it was good enough to earn him 1,332.5 points, which puts him in fourth place. Nick Petrangelo, Robrely Felicio, Craig Varnell, Julien Martini sit fifth through eighth thanks largely to their bracelet wins. The only player in the top 10 without a victory yet this summer is John Racener. The former Main Event runner-up sits ninth thanks to six cashes this summer. Racener has 1,149.33 points thanks to a 16th place finish in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty, an 86th place result in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo, an eighth-place finish in the Colossus, a 51st place in the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event, a fourth-place finish $1,500 Eight Game and an 81st place finish in the $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em. Despite not having a bracelet yet, Racener sits 860.81 behind Fox. Justin Bonomo wraps up the top 10 with 1,120.3 points thanks to his win in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship. WSOP Player of the Year Top 10 POSITION PLAYER POINTS 1 Elio Fox 2,010.14 2 Joe Cada 1,692.71 3 Paul Volpe 1,671.3 4 Arne Kern 1,332.47 5 Nick Petrangelo 1,269.75 6 Roberly Felicio 1,264.46 7 Craig Varnell 1,194.63 8 Julien Martini 1,159.45 9 John Racener 1,149.33 10 Justin Bonomo 1,120.3
  10. Doyle Brunson was firmly in the spotlight today at the 2018 World Series of Poker, but in the end the ‘Godfather of Poker’ couldn’t take down his 11th bracelet in what we now know will be the legend’s last ever tournament. A very recognisable name would take down that bracelet though, while Tuesday also saw two new events kick off. Here’s all the info from June 12. Brian Rast Takes Down 4th Bracelet in $10K 2-7 Championship Another event is in the books, even if it didn’t quite produce the fairytale ending that many were hoping for. Brian Rast is now a four-time bracelet winner, after he defeated start-of-day chip leader Mike Wattel heads-up for the $259,670 winner’s prize and the WSOP gold. Italy’s Dario Sammartino came close to his first bracelet, ending in third, while the short stack coming into the final table, James Alexander, will surely be happy to ladder up to fourth. However, it was the sixth-place finisher who may capture most of the headlines. Doyle Brunson announced to the world on Monday that he was retiring from the game, meaning this event would be his last shot at an 11th WSOP bracelet. Texas Dolly put on a great showing, but couldn’t capture the gold to bookend his incredible, legendary career at the felt. Rast spoke highly of Brunson after his victory, saying: “In the last couple of years, I’ve started playing with Doyle a lot. So, in that respect, it was, you know, just another day playing with Doyle, but I could still take a step back and appreciate, like from the poker world’s poker world’s perspective … he has a history of back-to-back and the 10-deuce named after him because he won the back-to-back championships and he’s won a lot of bracelets … He’s a legend. “I could really appreciate from that perspective how special it was that Doyle came, he actually played a tournament this year and final tabled it,” Rast continued. “And you know everyone was pulling for Doyle and I can understand that. And you know, outside of me, I was pulling for Doyle too.” Rast held a 4:1 chip lead over Wattel when their duel began, and in the last hand Wattel shoved with a ten-low which Rast called with a nine-low. Both stood pat, and that meant Rast was the champ. As for his fourth bracelet, Rast said: “This element gives everyone who you normally play with something to talk about, something to share, something that bonds you a little bit, which as the years go by is nice.” Final Table Results: Brian Rast - $259,670 Mike Wattel - $160,489 Dario Sammartino - $114,023 James Alexander - $81,986 Shawn Sheikhan - $59,669 Doyle Brunson - $43,963 John Hennigan - $32,796 McKeehen, Loeser, Boatman Headline Final 17 in MILLIONAIRE MAKER There is a stacked line-up of seasoned pros heading into the fourth day of play in Event #21: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MILLIONAIRE MAKER. Day 3 saw the 155 players (out of 7,361 who entered) cut down to just 17, with all eyes now firmly on the $1,173,223 first-place prize. It’s Chad Hahn who leads the survivors, having bagged up 6,525,000 chips. He’s closely followed by Sean Marshall (6,160,000), and Manuel Ruivo (5,900,000). However, those guys will have a tough time tomorrow as they’ll be battling with the likes of 2015 Main Event winner Joe McKeehen (4,210,000), German high roller regular Manig Loeser (3,040,000), and British poker legend Barny Boatman (1,150,000). Tomorrow’s field could have been even more loaded, as they lost lots of big names deep into the money. Some of those who cashed include Joseph Cheong (23th, $40,898), Kyle Hatree (25th, $40,898), Robert Brown (36th, $32,927), JC Tran (42th, $26,713), Eddy Sabat (49th, $21,839), Steve Sung (59th, $17,995), James Calderaro (74th, 12,508), Elio Fox (92th, $8,976) and Greg Merson (94th, $8,976). The final 17 will return at 11am on Wednesday, with blinds starting at 50K/100K and all of them guaranteed a $51,188 payday. Here’s a look at the chip counts: Chad Hahn - 6,525,000 Sean Marshall - 6,160,000 Manuel Ruivo - 5,900,000 Ralph Massey - 4,435,000 Michael Souza - 4,400,000 Joe McKeehen - 4,210,000 Justin Liberto - 3,337,000 Manig Loeser - 3,040,000 Samad Razavi - 2,935,000 Michael Finstein - 2,450,000 Arne Kern - 2,440,000 Enio Bozzano - 2,255,000 Richard Dixon - 1,615,000 Kelly Wolfe - 1,515,000 Jared Narzem - 1,340,000 Aaron Messmer - 1,295,000 Barny Boatman - 1,150,000 THE MARATHON Jogs Along, Down to 246 Another slow stretch of Event #24: $2,620 THE MARATHON No-Limit Hold’em was chalked up today, bringing the 1,479 total field down to 246. Another six 100-minute levels were played on Tuesday’s Day 2, and when the chip bags were brought out it was Walter Fisher who held the chip lead with 641,500. He’s closely followed by Scott Einiger (636,000), while Faraz Jaka (491,500) is near the top of the counts too. Jaka is looking for back-to-back final tables in this one, having finished sixth last year. Just a few of the notables set to return tomorrow include Kristen Bicknell, Chris Moorman, Jesse Sylvia, Cate Hall, David Peters, and former main event champion Ryan Riess. This event has created a $3,485,124 prize pool so far. Play resumes at 1pm Wednesday, and you’ll find the top 10 stacks below: Walter Fisher - 641,500 Scott Einiger - 636,000 Daniel Colpoys - 598,500 Bart Lybaert - 569,500 Joseph Pietrafesa - 524,500 Yaniv Peretz - 496,500 Faraz Jaka - 491,500 Spencer Champlin - 486,000 Marcos Antunes - 480,000 Martin Kozlov - 465,000 Dobson, Greenstein, Elezra Advance in Event #20: $1,500 Stud-Hi Lo Day 2 of Event #20: $1,500 Stud-Hi Lo ended with just 23 players still in contention. The chip leader overnight is Ben ‘f3nix35’ Dobson, who tops the pack with 595,000. Dobson took the lead courtesy of a huge pot versus Mike Matusow which saw both make full houses. Barry Greenstein finished the night second in chips with 349,000, while Eli Elezra bagged the fourth biggest with 334,000. Bracelet winners Jesse Martin (335,000) and Georgios Sotiropoulos (231,000) will return, as will actor James Woods (210,000), who is seeking his second final table of the summer. Spare a thought for former PocketFives no.1 player Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson, who finished this one as the bubble boy. All 23 players have now locked up $4,899, but there’s $173,528 for the eventual champ. Play continues at 2pm Wednesday. You’ll find the top 10 stacks below: Benjamin Dobson - 595,000 Barry Greenstein - 349,000 Jesse Martin - 335,000 Eli Elezra - 334,000 Nicholas Kiley - 276,000 James Nelson - 249,000 Tim Finne - 246,000 Georgios Sotiropoulos - 231,000 Joel Tushnet - 212,000 James Woods - 210,000 $1K PLO Kicks Off One of the two Day 1s to get going on Tuesday was Event #26: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. It attracted 986 runners, but after ten levels just 100 remain, all in the hunt for the $169,842 first-place prize. The bubble burst at 148 players, and some of those who cashed but failed to advance to Day 2 include Bryce Yockey (134th - $1,503), Martijn Gerrits (116th - $1,564), Sandeep Pulusani (111th - $1,564) and Justin Young (104th - $1,564). However, one player who will definitely be back tomorrow is overnight chip leader Ryan Goindoo. He’ll be joined tomorrow by the likes of Felipe Ramos, Christian Harder, Joe Cada, Martin Finger, Mikhail Semin and Shannon Shorr. They’re all guaranteed $1,564 when play resumes at 12pm Wednesday. Top 10 Chip Counts: Ryan Goindoo - 196,000 Ivaylo Sivinov - 192,900 Clinton Monfort - 173,900 Thayer Rasmussen - 142,000 Richard Tuhrim - 141,700 Filippos Stavrakis - 141,500 Arthur Morris - 133,000 Uri Reichenstein - 100,000 Roman Valerstein - 98,100 Sean Troha - 90,800 Former no.1 Shaun Deeb leads $10K H.O.R.S.E. It’s none other than former PocketFives no.1 Shaun Deeb who topped the Day 1 field in Event #27: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship. The 157 entries were chopped down to 72 after ten levels, and as you’d expect, it’s a stellar line-up of mixed game beasts. Following two-time WSOP bracelet winner Deeb with 234,500 is Michael McKenna (215,500) and Robert Mizrachi (212,500), while other big stacks and notables include Brock Parker (199,500), Aditya Prasetyo (191,000), Randy Ohel (185,500), John Hennigan (175,000), David Benyamine (166,500), James Obst (164,500), Anthony Zinno (162,000), David "Bakes" Baker (159,000), Ian Johns (158,000), Cliff Josephy (142,500), John Monnette (142,000) and Jeff Lisandro (132,500). Daniel Negreanu had a good start to the day, but couldn’t maintain the momentum, ultimately finishing with one of the shortest stacks (25,500). Meanwhile, Jason Mercier bagged up 79,000. Registration is still open, and play resumes at 2pm Wednesday. Top 10 Chip Counts: Shaun Deeb - 234,500 Michael McKenna - 215,500 Robert Mizrachi - 212,500 Brock Parker - 199,500 Ryan Miller - 198,000 Iraj Parvizi - 192,000 Aditya Prasetyo - 191,000 Andrew Kelsall - 187,500 Randy Ohel - 185,500 John Hennigan - 175,000 Tomorrow’s Action (June 13) There are two shiny new tournaments set to kick off on Wednesday June 13, and both are sure to be popular. First, one for the NLHE heads. Event #28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed kicks off at 11am, which was won last year by the winnigest player in online history, former no.1 Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman. Then at 3pm there’s one for the mixed gamers. Event #29: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw will get going, and Brian Brubaker was last year’s champ.
  11. Tuesday’s action at the 2018 World Series of Poker saw an exciting final table set up for tomorrow, as well as a defending champion put on a strong title defence by making a Day 3. Here’s all you need to know from Tuesday (June 5). Eli Elezra, Paul Volpe Make Six-handed $10K Omaha Eight Championship Final Table There may not have been any bracelets handed out on Tuesday, but the closest event to reach its conclusion is Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Eight or Better Championship, which is down to a six-handed final table. Its none other than three-time WSOP bracelet winner Eli Elezra who holds a massive chip lead over his fellow finalists. Elezra began Day 3 as chip leader, and it looked like his day was smooth sailing, ultimately ending with 2.7 million. Adam Coats comes in second in chips with 1.82 million, followed by two-time bracelet winner Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe. Volpe won a huge pot against Felipe Ramos during the course of action, when he rivered the nut straight forcing Ramos to muck. Ramos would make a 17th-place exit not long after, falling with two pair to the nut straight of Elezra and Mike Matusow. Kyle Miaso (1.275 million), two-time bracelet winner Viacheslav Zhukov (910,000), and Dustin Dirksen (140,000) round out tomorrow’s final table. Dirksen will need a lot of help to ladder up, coming in with less than three big blinds. Aside from Ramos, plenty of big names departed on this Day 3. Lars Gronning, Daniel Alaei, Scott Bohlman, Nikolai Yakovenko, Chris Bjorin, Mike Gorodinsky, Dylan Linde, Talon White, Steve Chanthabouasy, Jesse Martin, Per Hildebrand, and Dan Zack all went deep but couldn’t find a bag. The last to leave today was Robert Mizrachi. The four-time bracelet winner became final table bubble boy after getting it in with a huge draw in a three-way pot versus Elezra and Volpe, but failing to hit. All six are now guaranteed $69,971 for sixth, but there’s a massive $417,921 awaiting the winner. Action resumes at 2pm Wednesday, so here’s a reminder of those final table stacks: Eli Elezra - 2,700,000 Adam Coats - 1,820,000 Paul Volpe - 1,600,000 Kyle Miaso - 1,275,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 910,000 Dustin Dirksen - 140,000 Stephen Song, Qui Nguyen Bag Big in $1,500 Big Blind Antes NLHE One of the two new events to get started on Tuesday was Event #13: Big Blind Antes $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, and the format preferred by the high roller world proved very popular at a lower buy-in level too. A total of 1,306 players took a shot in this event, but after ten levels just 224 bagged up chips. Stephen Song was the most successful during that time, building a big stack late in the day and ending with 193,100. Arguably though, its 2016 WSOP Main Event Champion Qui Nguyen who will grab the most headlines, as he finished third in chips with 155,100. Dutch Boyd (151,700) and Vojtech Ruzicka (128,800) also bagged top ten stacks. Other big names advancing to Wednesday’s Day 2 include Romain Lewis (83,300), bracelet winner Ankush Mandavia (73,600), Chance Kornuth (62,800), Jeff Gross (60,300), Alexander Lynskey (55,000), four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen (51,600), and six-time bracelet winner Chris Ferguson (15,500). They’re approaching the bubble with 196 players making the money. A min-cash is worth $2,254, while the winner get a healthy $315,346. Play kicks off again at 12pm. Top 10 Day 1 stacks: Stephen Song - 190,300 Stefan Vidojkovic - 160,600 Qui Nguyen - 155,100 Dutch Boyd - 151,700 Vojtech Ruzicka - 128,800 Iraj Parvizi - 128,000 Arthur Conan - 125,500 Victor Hoffman - 112,200 Mario Prats Garcia - 108,500 Colin Robinson - 106,400 Harkin Leads Stacked Dealers Choice Field Into Final Day There’s a whole lot of talent set to return for the third and final day of Event #12: $1,500 Dealer's Choice 6-Handed. A total of 120 players started, but now just 15 remain. Its Jeremy Harkin who comes into Day 3 with the chip lead, bagging up 502,500. He took down an enormous pot versus Chris Klodnicki where he held the nut straight versus Klodnicki’s set. The board didn’t pair on the river, and the 500K pot was shipped Harkin’s way. Klodnicki is still alive though, ending play with 136,000. Other bracelet winners still alive are Chris Bolek (122,500), six-time winner Jeff Lisandro (137,000), two-time winner Chris Vitch (143,500), four-time winner John Hennigan (169,000), Mike Leah (227,000), and two time winner Frankie O’Dell (373,000). And let’s not forget actor James Woods, who bagged a top 10 stack (170,500). Plenty of players departed during Day 2, the most notable of which include Mike Ross, Layne Flack, Jake Schwartz, Mike Sexton, John Monnette, Manig Loeser, Martin Staszko and Allen Kessler. All 15 players are guaranteed a $5,238 payday. However, $129,882, the bracelet, and the glory will be go to the eventual champ. You can find out who that is when play resumes at 2pm Wednesday. Top 10 stacks: Jeremy Harkin - 502,500 Frankie O'Dell - 373,000 Brayden Gazlay - 323,500 George Trigeorgis - 313,000 Mike Leah - 227,000 Scott Abrams - 207,500 James Woods - 170,500 John Hennigan - 169,000 Chris Vitch - 143,500 Jeff Lisandro - 137,000 Alexander Leads After Day 1 of $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball, Defending Champ Kassela Still Alive A field of 260 runners has been whittled down to 56 after the opening day of Event #14 $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball. Its James Alexander who will sleep best tonight after navigating his way to a overnight chip lead of 80,850. [caption id="attachment_619394" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Frank Kassela[/caption] Everyone will be keeping an eye on defending champion Frank Kassela tomorrow though. A solid day’s work sees him return to a stack of 30,225, in the hunt for his fourth bracelet. Other former champions in this event, Steven Wolansky, Christian Pham, and Ryan D’Angelo, will also be back for more tomorrow. There are plenty of other notables still in contention, with Shaun Deeb (77,400), Michael Gathy (59,500), Robert Mizrachi (47,900), Mike Wattel (39,475), Jesse Martin (34,825) Greg Raymer (17,575), Anthony Zinno (14,000), Andrew Kelsall (70,225), Maria Ho (42,500), Jon Turner (29,550), Roland Israelashvili (24,425), Jameson Painter (11,675), and Joao Vieira (8,775) to name a few. First place in this one is $87,678, but first they’ve got to burst the bubble. Just 39 of them will make the money, with a min-cash worth $2,276. Day 2 begins at 2pm Wednesday, and that will be followed by the final Day 3 on Thursday. Here are the top 10 stacks: James Alexander - 80,850 Ajay Chabra - 78,675 Shaun Deeb - 77,400 John Bunch - 76,025 James Morgan - 70,350 Andrew Kelsall - 70,225 Daniel Weinman - 68,000 Cary Moomjian - 63,500 Ray Henson - 62,000 Anson Tsang - 61,000 Day 2 of COLOSSUS Ends With Causa in the Lead After six starting flights, the entire field of the Event #7 the $565 COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold’em was merged for the first time today for Day 2. There 539 players still in contention when the day began, but when all was said and done just 33 remain. Matthew Causa leads the pack with 4.41 million, but he’s closely followed by Thai Ha with 4.095 million. Other notable stacks still alive include Paawan Bansal (3,435,000),Sang Liu (3,339,000), Matt Silva (3,385,000), John Racener (3,010,000), Timothy Miles (2,695,000) and Day 1E chip leader Kurt Jewell (2,260,000) just to name a few. Of course, where there are survivors there must be casualties. Phil Ivey fell to the sidelines today, as did Matt Affleck, Michael Gagliano, and Valentin Vornicu. Day 3 begins at 3pm Wednesday. Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks: Matthew Causa - 4,400,000 Thai Ha - 4,095,000 Paawan Bansal - 3,435,000 Sang Liu - 3,390,000 Matt Silva - 3,385,000 John Racener - 3,010,000 Vincent Bartello - 3,000,000 Joel Wurtzel - 2,880,000 Timothy Miles - 2,700,000 Kurt Jewell - 2,260,000 Tomorrow’s Action (June 6): There are two new events that will be starting on Wednesday. The one we’re most looking forward to is Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship. The event, which has been won by the likes of Adrian Mateos (2017), Alan Percal (2016), Keith Lehr (2015), Davide Suriano (2014), Mark Radoja (2013), and Brian Hastings (2012), kicks off at 3pm with a 512-player maximum. Expect the game’s best and brightest to be in for this one. We’ve also got Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. starting at 11am.
  12. Day 2 of the 2018 World Series of Poker saw dreams come true. One bracelet was awarded, the second of the series so far, while two tournaments played through their Day 1s. Here’s a run through all of Thursday’s action (May 31). Jordan Hufty takes down $565 Casino Employees Event for $61,909 Just 13 of the 566 field returned for today for Day 2 of Event #1, the $565 Casino Employees Event, and when all was said and done it was Jordan Hufty - an Aria dealer and floorman - who claimed $61,909 and the second bracelet of the 2018 WSOP after a dominating final table performance. Hufty had to put in some work to get there though, including a gruelling four-hour heads-up battle versus the start of day chip leader, Jodie Sanders. Having come in to heads-up with a 2:1 chip lead, Sanders managed to claw his way back to even. But Hufty didn’t let it get to him, and after establishing another healthy chip advantage, the whole thing came to an end when Hufty’s king-queen hit to beat Sanders’ pocket threes. “That heads-up battle, we started off super deep, so it took a long longer than I thought,” said Hufty. “But any time you start 70 plus big blinds deep in a heads-up match with hour levels, that can definitely happen.” The final day got down to a final table of ten within the first hour of play, with Hufty starting second in chips. But a double KO saw Hufty’s pocket kings hold up in a three-way all-in against Brad Helm’s ace-seven suited and Jason Pepper’s ace-king, gifting him the chip lead which he wouldn’t relinquish. Hufty then eliminated Skyler Yeaton in eighth when his ace-four managed to hot a three-outer against Yeaton’s ace-queen, and would go on to eliminate Won Kim in fifth (ace-king over ace-eight) and Zachary Seymour in fourth (ace-jack over pocket nines) in quick succession. Three-handed play slowed things down, but after an hour Kate Kopp’s 13-big blind shove with king-eight suited ran straight into Hufty’s pocket aces. The four-hour duel then began, but ultimately Hufty managed to achieve a dream he’s had for a long time. “I’ve thought about winning a bracelet about every day of my life for the past 15 years,” said Hufty. “So, to actually have it come through today is pretty special. “There’s not even words for it. Whenever you build something up like that for so long, and like especially something, where so much of it is out of your control. Even if you do everything completely perfect, there is still a reasonable chance that you don’t ever come through and get a bracelet. For me to do that and be able to capitalize on that, it’s huge.” Hufty says he felt right at home on the big stage, perhaps from all of his experience dealing high stakes games, including on some old episodes of Poker After Dark. “It didn’t feel so out of place to me,” said Hufty. “This is the first time I’ve played on a table like this with the lights, and the people watching, and reporting. I don’t know if it’s from my experience in being around poker for higher amounts of money, but I felt comfortable coming in today.” Hufty’s win seems to symbolise everything that we love about the WSOP. We get to see players’ dreams come true. Hufty moved to Las Vegas from Michigan five years ago, and before today had only two live cashes for $2,000 combined. “Passion is a weird thing,” Hufty added. “I’m not really passionate about a whole lot of stuff and to find something that I actually care about, it doesn’t come very often. Once I found something I really, truly enjoyed and realized that there is a way to make money at that, it’s just a never-ending hunger. The fire is just as strong now as it was two days ago before I bought into this.” Event #1: $565 Casino Employees Event Final Table Results Jordan Hufty - $61,909 Jodie Sanders - $38,246 Kate Kopp - $26,250 Zachary Seymour - $18,332 Won Kim - $13,031 Thomas Booker - $9,432 Thomas Yenowine - $6,953 Skyler Yeaton - $5,222 Jason Pepper - $3,998 Hellmuth, Moorman, Hallaert Through to Final 50 in $3,000 SHOOTOUT Thursday saw Event #3 of the WSOP schedule kick off. The $3,000 NLHE SHOOTOUT got 363 total entries today, and after 50 tables played down to a winner, we have 50 survivors coming back for Friday’s Day 2. Unsurprisingly from such a touch field, there are plenty of big names who won their tables to advance. These include the Poker Brat himself, Phil Hellmuth, who is seeking a record-extending 15th WSOP bracelet. He managed to take down a table that included Brandon Cantu and Tony Dunst to make Day 2 and the money. [caption id="attachment_619317" align="alignright" width="300"] A good day for Hellmuth[/caption] Players started with a 15,000 stack, blinds at 25/50, and 40-minute levels. Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman will also be back tomorrow, alongside the likes of Kenny ‘SpaceyFCB’ Hallaert, Eli Elezra, Joe McKeehen, Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen, Alexander Lynskey, and Jan-Eric Schwippert. Some of those who tried and failed today include last year's champion Upeshka De Silva, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Niall Farrell, Maurice Hawkins, Shaun Deeb, Danny Wong, Rainer Kempe, and Kristen Bicknell. Here’s a look at what they’re playing for tomorrow: $226,218 $139,804 $101,766 $74,782 $55,480 $41,559 $31,435 $24,013 $18,526 $14,437 Players finishing 11th-50th will receive $6,302, so that's the guaranteed cash right now. Action resumes at 12pm on Friday. Big Names Advance in $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Day 2 of the WSOP also saw the beginning of Event #4: the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. A total of 911 hopefuls took their shot, and when the chip bags were brought out after ten 60-minute levels just 296 remained. Dao Bac bagged up the chip lead with 74,700, followed by Nick Guagenti (65,600) and Pamela McPeak (64,900). Some of the notable names to advance include six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack (41,500), four-time winner Jeff Madsen (31,900) and three-time bracelet winner Benny Glaser (27,200), who won this event back in 2016. [caption id="attachment_619318" align="alignright" width="300"] Allen Kessler makes Day 2[/caption] Allen Kessler (39,600) will return, joined by Matt Waxman (43,200), John Racener (31,300), Mike Leah (22,500), and ‘The Mouth’, Mike Matusow (14,800). Some players who failed to find a bag in this one include actor James Woods, Ari Engel, Sorel Mizzi, Brian Hastings, James Obst, Mike Ross, Felipe Ramos, Kathy Liebert, Kristen Bicknell, Jeff Lisandro and Todd Brunson. Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts overnight: Dao Bac - 74,700 Nick Guagenti - 65,600 Pamela McPeak - 64,900 Tommy Chan - 61,400 Frank Muir - 61,300 John Jenkins - 58,200 Matt Waxman - 43,200 Layne Flack - 41,500 Allen Kessler - 39,600 Jeff Madsen - 31,900 Tomorrow’s Action (June 1) As well as Day 2 of both the SHOOTOUT and Omaha events, Friday June 1 will see one of the largest buy-in events kick off. Event #5: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller will begin at 3pm, and is sure to be jam-packed with the world’s best. The four-day tournament has one re-entry too, so expect a massive prize pool for this one. On the other end of the buy-in spectrum, the first starting flight of the $365 GIANT event begins at 7pm. It’s the first of five Day 1s, with Day 2 being played on June 30. News & Notes Yesterday we told you about Jerwin Pasco, a player from the Philippines with $90K in career earnings, who went on an amazing run on Thursday. Pasco had a dream to play in Friday’s $100K High Roller, and so entered a $125 Mega-satellite into an another $850 Mega-satellite, and won both of those to win entry into Thursday’s $7,500 Mega-satellite. At the time of writing the outcome of this event is unknown, but there were at least 16 entrants with one seat awarded. Stay tuned tomorrow to see if Pasco makes it.
  13. Things are really heating up now in one of the most prestigious events at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Just 12 players remain in the $50K Poker Players Championship, and it’s a former two-time winner who bagged up the chip lead. Meanwhile, a ten-time bracelet winning legend bagged a top five stack. Sunday’s WSOP action also the record-breaking Seniors Event reach a final table, while two events played through Day 1 flights. Here’s all the news from Sunday June 18 at the WSOP. Michael Mizrachi Leads $50K Championship; Ivey, Smith, Glaser, Hennigan Still In It’s set to be a very exciting day at the tables tomorrow, as a tournament with one of the most coveted bracelets on offer edges closer towards a final table. Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship has seen its 87-strong field chopped down to just 12, and it’s two-time winner Michael Mizrachi who again holds the overnight chip lead, having ended Day 2 as chip leader too. [caption id="attachment_619602" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Could Mizrachi Win It a Third Time?[/caption] Mizrachi ended play with 4,232,000, and he’s most closely followed by Mike Leah with 3,134,000, and Aaron Katz with 2,480,000. The rest of the field is a who’s who of the game, with ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey finishing with the fourth biggest stack (2,146,000). Three-time bracelet winner Benny Glaser (1,967,000) is still in the hunt, while Dan Smith seeks his first bracelet (1,816,000). Five-time bracelet winner John Hennigan is looking for his second bracelet of the summer (1,458,000), while Greg Mueller, Brian Rast, Chris Vitch, and Shaun Deeb are all hoping to add more WSOP jewellery to their collections. At the bottom of the counts is Jean-Robert Bellande, who is in bad shape with just 213,000. They’re all in the money though, with 14 players paid and Mike Gorodinsky the unfortunate bubble boy. He ran pocket kings into pocket aces to cooler his way out. Everyone in this tournament is a notable name, but a few other bust-outs they saw today include Jason Mercier (28th), Daniel Negreanu (26th), and defending champion Elior Sion (23rd). There’s $1,239,126 for the champ, as well as the prestige and the bracelet. The guaranteed pay-out right now is $88,627, with action set to resume at 2pm Monday. Full Chip Counts: Michael Mizrachi - 4,232,000 Mike Leah - 3,134,000 Aaron Katz - 2,480,000 Phil Ivey - 2,146,000 Benny Glaser - 1,967,000 Dan Smith - 1,816,000 John Hennigan - 1,458,000 Greg Mueller - 1,439,000 Brian Rast - 1,167,000 Chris Vitch - 1,160,000 Shaun Deeb - 533,000 Jean-Robert Bellande - 213,000 Final Table Set in Seniors Event Event #34: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship broke records for the largest ever Day 1 in history back on Friday. Now, after Day 3, just eight of the 5,919-strong field remain. It’s final table time. Gary Friedlander is in pole position coming in, having bagged a chip lead with 8,080,000. He’s followed by Bill Stabler (6,085,000) and Matthew Davis (6,010,000). Day 3 began with 101 players returning for their shot at the bracelet and the massive $662,983 first-place prize. All eight have locked up $76,204 for their efforts, and they’ll return at 11am Monday to play down to a champ. Final Table Chip Counts: Gary Friedlander - 8,080,000 Bill Stabler - 6,085,000 Matthew Davis - 6,010,000 Bill Bennett - 2,735,000 Frank Berry - 2,090,000 Rachel Delatorre - 1,645,000 Joseph Schulman - 1,510,000 Scott Hamilton-Hill - 1,455,000 Big Names Out for Double Stack Day 1B Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em chalked up its Day 1B flight on Sunday, with a massive 3,314 entries, which when added to the Day 1A field makes 5,700 total entries. Just 1,285 of them would make it through both flights, and today it was Mike Tayakama who bagged up the most. He ended with 177,400, while there were many notable survivors including bracelet winners Loni Harwood (23,000), Chris Moorman (67,200), Niall Farrell (58,000), Bertrand Grospellier (20,700), and Chris Ferguson (12,200). Others to advance include Giuseppe Pantaleo (131,600), Anatoly Filatov (9,500), Harry Lodge (6,500), Manig Loeser (28,700), and Ari Engel (38,800). Day 2 kicks off at 12pm Monday, with only 855 of them making the money. A min-cash will be worth $1,500, while the eventual champ will get $644,224. Top 10 Stacks: Mike Takayama - 177,400 Eimantas Adomavicius - 168,500 Vinny Pahuja - 167,100 Fabrizzo Dagostino - 164,200 Chahn Jung - 147,500 Pablo Fernandez - 146,500 Rulah Divine - 145,100 Cher Vang - 139,700 Benjamin Jones - 132,400 Giuseppe Pantaleo - 131,600 Another Mizrachi Bags Big While his brother Michael is chip-leading the $50K, Robert Mizrachi was doing good work himself over in Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha. The tournament, which rotates between Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, and Big O (5-Card PLO/8), got 751 total entries. But now, with Day 2 in the books, there are 31 players remaining. Mizrachi almost had the overnight chip lead, but in the last few hands of the night his 439,000 was pipped to the post by James Alexander (466,500) and Gabriel Ramos (452,000). Ryan Hughes (276,000), Jon Turner (218,000), Carol Fuchs (215,000), Mark Gregorich (176,500), and Bart Hanson (35,000) will also be returning Monday. The same can’t be said for this lot, who crashed out today: Martin Staszko (103rd - $2,258), Andrew Barber (84th - $2,444), Calen McNeil (71st - $2,444), Max Pescatori (69th - $2,631), Barry Greenstein (53rd - $3,256), Erik Seidel (43rd - $3,741) and Phil Hellmuth (35th - $5,252). Prior to the bubble bursting, Dan Heimiller, Connor Drinan, Chris Ferguson, and Stephen Chidwick were all eliminated. Play continues at 2pm Monday, and the plan is to play down to a winner, who will receive $211,781. Top 10 Stacks: James Alexander - 466,500 Gabriel Ramos - 452,000 Robert Mizrachi - 439,000 Eddie Blumenthal - 343,500 Chip Jett - 292,500 Christopher Carey - 290,000 Ryan Hughes - 276,000 Robert Jackson - 249,500 Jon Turner - 218,000 Carol Fuchs - 215,000 Super Seniors Out For Day 1 If you were 60 or over and busted out of the Seniors Event today, chances are you went and hopped straight into Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em. This one got a massive field of 2,191 runners today. Ten levels later and just 347 remain. Clifford Matthews can call himself chip leader overnight with 137,900, but Henri Bisson isn’t far behind with 130,000. A few notables we lost today include Marcel Luske, TJ Cloutier, Neil Bluminfield and Dan Harrington. Action resumes at 11am Monday, with only 329 players making the money ($1,500 min cash). Top 10 Stacks: Clifford Mathews - 137,900 Henri Bisson - 130,000 Steven Wenrich - 122,300 Charles Zis - 109,300 Jeff Heiberg - 103,600 Tim Ebenhoeh - 95,800 Michael Rice - 93,300 Donald Clause - 90,900 Jeffrey Weber - 90,600 Alan Marks - 86,100 PLO Giant Continues On Sunday, there was also another starting flight in Event #11: $365 PLO GIANT Pot-Limit Omaha. The flight attracted 429 runners, but only 23 of those will proceed to Day 2. Tim Andrew leads with 1,375,000 after 21 20-minute levels. Other to advance include Yoni Basin (1,130,000), Russell Sartin (1,025,000), Layne Flack, (825,000), Steve Gagliano (795,000), Sandeep Pulusani(670,000) and Joon Park (495,000). Some of those who made the cash but couldn’t find a big were Thomas Taylor (31st - $861), Ylon Schwartz (37th - $750), Kevin MacPhee (45th - $750), Mikhail Semin (55th - $605), Chris Back (57th - $605), Danny Wong (64th - $560), and Dan Zack (65th - $560). There will be another starting flight next week. Top 10 Day 1C Stacks: Tim Andrew - 1,375,000 Yoni Basin - 1,130,000 Russell Sartin - 1,025,000 Layne Flack - 825,000 Steve Gagliano - 795,000 Sandeep Pulusani - 670,000 Joon Park - 495,000 Robert Covert - 335,000 Jeff Miller - 270,000 Greg Aversa - 97,000
  14. We almost saw three bracelets awarded on Thursday at the 2018 World Series of Poker. While Ben Dobson and Filippos Stavrakis claimed their first pieces of WSOP jewellery, John Hennigan and David ‘Bakes’ Baker will return tomorrow to play resume heads-up action in the $10K H.O.R.S.E. Championship. Some other big events played down to their finales, including THE MARATHON which saw some big names reach the home straight. Here’s all the news from June 14. First Bracelet for Ben Dobson, Wins $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better The UK’s Ben ‘f3nix35’ Dobson has taken down his first WSOP bracelet, winning Event #25: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $173,528. Only three players returned on Thursday for this one, with Dobson holding a healthy chip lead over Tim Finne and Jesse Martin. The latter of those two came in as the short stack, and despite some early signs of a comeback, he eventually was whittled down to two big bets and couldn’t recover. Martin went out in third, still chasing his third bracelet. Heads-up saw Dobson start with a 3:1 chip lead, and the duel didn’t take long to come to a conclusion. In the final hand, Dobson made a 6-5 low and a straight to scoop the pot versus Finne’s pair of sevens and no low. “I'm on top of the world right now," Dobson said afterwards. "I kind of had high expectations for myself, but it was also really tough because Timothy and Jesse are both probably better than me at Stud 8 so I felt like I was a bit of an underdog. But I managed to hold my own and ran good in some of the crucial parts so, I feel great.” Final Table Results: Benjamin Dobson - $173,528 Tim Finne - $107,243 Jesse Martin - $74,324 Richard Monroe - $52,359 Tom McCormick - $37,504 James Nelson - $27,321 Georgios Sotiropoulos - $20,248 Peter Brownstein - $15,271 PLO Gold and $169,842 for Filippos Stavrakis The second bracelet winner of the day was Filippos Stavrakis, who took down Event #26: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha for $169,842. This event attracted 986 total entries, but only 14 returned for this final day with Stavrakis holding the chip lead. Things were going steady, but when play got down to four-handed, Stavrakis found himself with the short stack. He managed to battle back though, defeating Jordan Siegel heads-up, while Brazilian pro Felipe Ramos finished in third. Stavrakis had his wife by his side throughout the finale, and held someone else very special in his heart, as he explained. "My wife is very superstitious. She always thinks she brings bad luck and she is actually quite the opposite for me,” he said. And as you can see from his winner’s photo, Stavrakis had a piece of paper with the words ‘For Jimmy. Love & miss you bro.’ "A couple years ago we lost my brother prematurely and I always said that if I was fortunate enough to win a bracelet I would dedicate it to him. It felt like he was with me all day.” Final Table Results: Filippos Stavrakis - $169,842 Jordan Siegel - $104,924 Felipe Ramos - $73,989 Clinton Monfort - $52,879 Peter Klein - $38,309 Pascal Damois - $28,137 Thayer Rasmussen - $20,957 Georgios Karavokyris - $15,832 Robert Cowen - $12,133 Hennigan and Baker End Day Heads-Up in $10K H.O.R.S.E. Just two players remain in the prestigious Event #27: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, and there’s plenty of experience between them. Four-time bracelet winner John Hennigan and two-time bracelet winner David ‘Bakes’ Baker are the last two standing, but with the stacks quite deep and a long day already behind them, the two decided to bag up and will return tomorrow to play down to a winner. Hennigan holds a monster chip lead though, with 6,675,000 to Baker’s 1,630,000. Baker isn’t to be ruled out though; after all, he won this very event back in 2012. They’re both guaranteed second-place money of $256,297, while the winner will get $414,692. The final day saw the runs of Katherine Fleck (16th -$17,677) , Jean Gaspard (15th - $17,677), Illya Trincher (14th - $20,993), Anthony Zinno (13th - $20,993), and Robert Mizrachi (12th - $24,498) busted fairly early in the day. They were followed not long after by Carol Fuchs (11th - $25,498),Jake Schwartz (10th - $25,498), and Robert Campbell (9th - $31,656) come to an end prior to the official final table. The following players made the finale but are no longer with us: Lee Salem (3rd - $179,216), Iraj Parvizi (4th - $127,724), Randy Ohel (5th - $92,808), Albert Daher (6th - $68,783), Daniel Zack (7th - $52,016) and Michael Noori (8th - $40,155). Jacobson, Paur, Hall on Home Straight of THE MARATHON Event #24: $2,620 THE MARATHON No-Limit Hold’em is down to a final table of nine after four gruelling days of play. It’s Mark Sleet who holds the chip lead with 7,725,000, but he’s closely followed by former Main Event champ Martin Jacobson with 7,345,000. Bart Lybaert sits in third (7,155,000), followed by Michael Addamo, Ihar Soika, Taylor ‘taypaur’ Paur, Anton Morgenstern, Ying Chan, and Cate Hall, who ended with the short stack. Throughout the day we lost the likes of Joe Elpayaa (57th - $9,616), Martin Staszko (49th - $11,329), Lee Markholt (48th - $11,329), Matt Affleck (44th - $13,520), Faraz Jaka (35th - $16,340), and Salvatore DiCarlo (20th - $19,997). Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman was the first player to exit today, after his pocket kings got outrun by ace-king, which made a flush. The final table kicks off at 1pm Friday, with blinds at 25K/50K and a 5K ante. They’ve all locked up $50,678, but all eyes are on the $653,581 first-place prize. Final Table Chip Counts: Mark Sleet - 7,725,000 Martin Jacobson - 7,345,000 Bart Lybaert - 7,155,000 Michael Addamo - 6,165,000 Ihar Soika - 4,990,000 Taylor Paur - 4,815,000 Anton Morgenstern - 1,800,000 Ying Chan - 1,725,000 Cate Hall - 1,175,000 Mercier, Dunst, Marquez Advance in $3K NLHE 6-Max 868 players are now just 20 after Day 2 of Event #28: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed saw another ten 60-minute levels played out. Ben Palmer had the best day of all, bagging up 1,595,000 for the chip lead when all was said and done. However, it’ll be no easy road to his first bracelet with the likes of Jason Mercier (587,000), Anatoly Filatov (751,000), Ana Marquez (682,000), and Tony Dunst (391,000) still alive. [caption id="attachment_619547" align="aligncenter" width="636"] Jason Mercier on form[/caption] Mercier is the only bracelet winner left in the field, so there’s a good chance we’ll see someone take down their piece of gold tomorrow. Then again, you should never rule out Mercier from anything, who despite a long absence following the birth of his son is showing his game hasn’t lost a thing. Yorane Kerignard (1,219,000), Darren Rabinowitz (990,000), James Mackey (559,000), Gal Yifrach (420,000), and Kyle Hartree (375,000) will also return tomorrow. The same can’t be said for the likes of Ryan Riess (65th - $5,809), Greg Merson (64th - $5,809), Sergio Aido (54th - $6,555), Manig Loeser (52nd - $6,555), Mike Watson (49th - $6,555), Jeremy Ausmus (39th - $8,902), Cliff Josephy (34th - $10,703), Erik Seidel (29th - $13,132), and Olivier Busquet (26th - $13,132), all of whom fell by the wayside today. Action resumes at 12pm Friday with blinds at 6K/12K and a 2K ante. The min-cash right now is $16,435, while there’s $461,798 for the eventual champ. Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks: Ben Palmer - 1,595,000 Yorane Kerignard - 1,219,000 Darren Rabinowitz - 939,000 Enio Bozzano - 900,000 Florian Duta - 792,000 Anatoly Filatov - 751,000 Ana Marquez - 682,000 Luiz Duarte - 665,000 Jason Mercier - 587,000 James Mackey - 559,000 Final Table Set in $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Another tournament close to completion is Event #29: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw. Just seven remain in that one, with Hanh Tran holding the chip lead. He’ll be joined by three-time bracelet winner Brian Hastings, one-time bracelet winner David Prociak, as well as Cody Wagner, Oscar Johansson, Jared Bleznick, and Yong Wang. A total of 86 out of the 356 entries returned for Day 2 today, and throughout the course of action we lost the likes of Philip Long, Andrey Zhigalov, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Scott Clements, Bryce Yockey and Calvin Anderson, to name a few. Some of those who went deep enough to cash include Yueqi Zhu (50th - $2,243), Allen Kessler (49th - $2,243), David "ODB" Baker (40th - $2,485), Jon Turner (39th - $2,485), and Shaun Deeb (19th - $3,799), Phillip Hui (11th - $5,953), Frank Kassela (10th - $7,809), Chris Vitch (9th - $7,809), and Jeremy Heartberg (8th - $10,555). The final seven will return at 2pm Friday, each hoping to win the bracelet and the $117,282 that comes with it. Final Table Stacks: Hanh Tran - 633,000 Cody Wagner - 538,000 Brian Hastings - 528,000 David Prociak - 287,000 Oscar Johansson - 256,000 Jared Bleznick - 236,000 Yong Wang - 198,000 Day 1 Done in $1,500 PLO One of two new events to kick off on Thursday was Event #30: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha. It had attracted 799 runners when registration closed, but after ten levels just 130 remain. Leading them all is Michael Heritsch with 141,000, while Farid Jattin (111,300) and Jesse Sylvia (92,800) also bagged big. Alas for Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Barny Boatman, Alex Foxen, Craig Varnell, and Connor Drinan, they couldn’t find a bag at the end of the day. It’s still early days in this one, with the bubble set to burst at 120 players. After ten eliminations tomorrow, they’ll be guaranteed $2,255 for their efforts. Day 2 begins at 12pm Friday, check the top 10 stacks below: Michael Heritsch - 141,000 Frank Williams - 128,100 Aaron Henderson - 123,700 Mike Shin - 121,600 Pim van Holsteyn - 118,800 Farid Jattin - 111,300 James Gilbert - 107,900 Colin York - 107,000 Phillip Riley - 100,000 Ryan Bambrick - 99,800 Lissandro Bags Big After Day 1 of $1,500 Seven Card Stud Six-time bracelet winner headlines the stacks after Day 1 of Event #31: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. He ended play with 70,200, good for the third largest stack behind only co-chip leaders Ron Brown (80,800) and Farhad Mobassery (80,800). There are 88 players advancing from the 310 entries. Mark Radoja and 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson also bagged up top 10 stacks, with 65,500 and 48,500 respectively. Meanwhile, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Brandon Shack-Harris, Adam Friedman, Frankie O'Dell, Ben Yu and Carol Fuchs are all still in the hunt. Play continues at 2pm tomorrow, with the bubble set to burst at 47 players. The winner will get $105,629, while a min-cash is worth $2,250. Top 10 Stacks: Farhad Mobassery - 80,800 Ron Brown - 80,800 Jeff Lisandro - 70,200 Mark Radoja - 65,500 Stephen Rivers - 61,200 Scott Cole - 58,000 Sandeep Vasudevan - 53,700 Gerard Rechnitzer - 51,500 Julien Martini - 50,900 Chris Ferguson - 48,500 Tomorrow’s Action (Friday June 15) Despite so much going on already, Friday is going to see the WSOP get even bigger. Arguably the most prestigious tournament on the schedule, Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, kicks off at 3pm, and will see just about all of the game’s very best in action. Meanwhile, Event #32: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em will get started at 10am, and Event #6C: GIANT - $365 No-Limit Hold’em starts at 7pm.
  15. Most people who play the World Series of Poker Main Event don't even think of bringing their work with them when they come to chase poker immortality. Ben Mintz isn't most people though. Mintz, who hosts a drive-time sports radio show in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana, is onto Day 3 of the Main Event but has also made time to get on air while in Las Vegas, even having former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel on as a guest. Mintz last played the Main Event in 2013, long before the radio show was something he'd even considered. Mintz, also a PocketFiver, used to make his living grinding online. After Black Friday he attempted to make the transition to live poker, but it didn't quite go as he'd hoped. "I was living down in New Orleans and travelling the circuit, just kind of wasn't managing it right. I don't think it was a question of me not having enought talent, it was more about living above my means after online went down," said Mintz, who decided to leave poker behind and return to college to finish off the finance degree he'd left behind to play poker. "Then I got a huge break, my buddy used to run ESPN radio in North Louisiana and I didn't have any experience and all and I hooked up with drive-time sports radio in Shreveport-Bossier," said Mintz, whose show is called Mixin' It Up with Mintz. That was three years ago. Mintz has been building the show's audience and business up ever since and in January decided that the show was in a place where he could start traveling the circuit for poker again. He picked up some decent scores early which boosted his confidence after time away from the tables. "I made the final table of the WSOP Circuit New Orleans Main Event, I got seventh, I made a deep run in Durant, cashed the Tunica main. It's been a steady build up on the comeback," said Mintz, who just turned 35 years old. "Getting back here to the Main Event, I used to not appreciate it in my late 20s. Now I'm just so grateful to be able to play again and I found a great balance in life and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world." While completing his finance degree, Mintz had taken on a part-time job and that experience as much as anything has allowed him to appreciate his return to poker even more. "It took five years to build it back, to get to this point. Now I'm back and I've got the radio show with me too," said Mintz. "Even though I haven't played this in five years I've fallen right back into poker like I never left, except I actually have an income now to sustain it." Mintz cashed in the 2011 Main Event, finishing 75th. His winnings from that event are almost secondary to his memory of running deep - including a spot where he got to outplay one of the game's best players. "I can't even believe I did this. (Patrik Antonius) sat down at our table and just didn't recognize anybody so he just started raising 90% of the hands and we had a hand that I'll never forget. At 1,200/2,400, he made it 7,200 in the cutoff and I had king-queen on the button and I made it 18,500 and he's like, 'Who the hell is this kid?' and makes it 63,000 - went real, real big," remembered Mintz. "I had around 200K and he had 160K and I was about to fold and I remember looking at him and thinking 'This dude just doesn't think I've got the heart to put it in without kings or aces' and I bombed king-queen and he folded. I showed it and everybody just laughed at the table." Even though most people will tell you that poker, in particula No Limit Hold'em, has changed dramatically since 2013, Mintz says he hasn't felt like he was behind at all, even though he expected to find some speed bumps. "I thought I was going to have more of an adjustment coming back, but a lot of these kids now, they didn't cut their teeth during the online heyday. When I was playing Full Tilt and Stars, it was against all the top guys in the world," said Mintz. "I think that these kids coming up now on the circuit - I'm not saying they're not good players - but they didn't cut their teeth like we did. So as I came back it wasn't as much of an adjustment as I thought it would be." No matter how the rest of the Main Event goes for Mintz, he knows he's in a much better position to enjoy the ride now than he's ever been. "If you had told 12-year-old me that I was going to get to do a sports radio show 15-20 hours a week and get to play poker 15-20 hours a week? That's unbelievable. I wake up skipping out of bed every day. I love it," said Mintz.
  16. This time last year John Hesp was a complete unknown to the poker world. He traveled across the Atlantic to play the World Series of Poker Main Event after playing tiny buy-in events back home and became a mainstream media sensation. Daan Hoogendijk is hoping to follow in his footsteps. "It's a lot of money. I'm the kind of that plays, sometimes I play an $800 somewhere. If you look at my Hendon Mob my total cashes is a few thousand here, a few thousand there, but nothing like this," said Hoogendijk, who now lives in Beveren, Belgium with his wife and daughter. The most recent cashes on his Hendon Mob profile came from a €53 event in Belgium and a €100 event at King's Casino in Rozvadov. Just before the start of the WSOP Main Event, he played the $888 Crazy Eights event and finished 433rd for $2,702. That event gave him the chance to get comfortable with the WSOP. "It was okay. It was just an exercise to feel out the room and chairs and the players. It's a little tighter than Europe over here," said Hoogendijk. It was seven years ago when Hoogendijk decided he was going to play the World Series of Poker. While bodyboarding on vacation, Hoogendijk was overtaken by a wave and crashed hard on his head. "I broke my neck. I was supposed to be dead. I was in rehab for a year. I always liked poker, so I said 'I'm going to live my life'. So for the last six years, I've been working up to this and here I am," said Hoogendijk, who has watched the WSOP on TV for as long as he can remember, including during his long rehab stints following his accident. "I actually wanted to come because in 2011, I was lying in bed for a long, long time because of rehab. (The WSOP) was on and I saw all of these banners, the big, big banners in the room and I thought, 'Wow, that would be cool to have my stupid head on one of those one day?'. So that's when I decided I want to do this," said Hoogendijk. So seven years ago Hoogendijk decided he was going to save up and work towards one day getting to Las Vegas to play the WSOP. It was a matter of saving the money, but he also needed to convince his wife. "She's like 'if you don't bring home any money, you'll find the locks on the door are changed', but that's not true at all," joked Hoogendijk. "She's back at home, super supportive all the way - my daughter too." Even though he doesn't play poker often now, he doesn't feel like he's going to be overwhelmed or outmatched by the other players in the field. "Not at all. I have studied hard, I have three guys at the poker club that have coached me for the last few days, and I made sure I was fit because it's going to be long days," said Hoogendijk. With an expected field of some 7,000 players, Hoogendijk is hopeful for a deep run but realistic about his overall chances. "I just want to come here and play and have a good time. Of course, I want to win it like everybody else, but there's a lot of runners."
  17. The 2018 World Series of Poker continues its trek towards the Main Event, with two new bracelet winners created after another busy session on Thursday. One player outlasted a final table which included some legends of the game, while another picked up his first piece of jewellery, and a bunch of bounties to go with it. Meanwhile, there are just four players remaining in the $3K Big Blind Ante NLHE, and a former PocketFives no.1 player leads the final 13 in the $10K Razz. All of that and more in our recap of June 28’s action. Joey Couden Overcomes Tough Final Table to Win First Bracelet in PLO 8 The final table of Event #53: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better was a star-studded affair, with the likes of Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, and Daniel Negreanu taking a seat. But it was Joey Couden’s seat that proved to be the best in the house, as after 11 hours of play and with only a couple of minutes left on the clock for the day, he took this one down for his first bracelet and a $244,370 score. The day began with 20 players returning, led by defending champion Nathan Gamble. He’d end up bubbling the final table in tenth place, falling to Elezra who started to take control. Negreanu would then bust to Elezra too, as would Gregory Jamison in eighth. Couden also chipped up, securing a KO himself, taking things down to four-handed play. The chip lead switched between Couden, eventual runner-up Bruno Fitoussi, Elezra and Matusow, the latter of which then busted to Couden in fourth. Elezra went out in third, and Couden took a huge lead into heads-up play before finishing Fitoussi off. All the money went in pre-flop, with Fitoussi holding pocket kings. Couden managed to catch an ace on the flop though, and when the board ran out that proved to be good. Final Table Results: Joey Couden - $244,370 Bruno Fitoussi - $150,990 Eli Elezra - $106,183 Mike Matusow - $75,708 Christopher Conrad - $54,738 Kim Kallman - $40,141 Dustin Pattinson - $29,862 Gregory Jamison - $22,541 Daniel Negreanu - $17,268 Ryan Leng Takes Down $1,500 NLHE Bounty The other bracelet winner of the day was Ryan Leng, who took down Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty for a career-best cash of $272,765 and his first WSOP bracelet. [caption id="attachment_619738" align="aligncenter" width="698"] Ryan Leng Takes It Down[/caption] Only four players returned on Thursday to play this one out, and Leng held the chip lead. However, Estonia’s Ranno Sootla was not going down without a fight, having led this event much of the way. After Jay Farber and Christian Nolte hit the rail in fourth and third, Leng and Sootla began what turned out to be a long, arduous heads-up battle. It would take a cooler to end it, with all the money going in when Leng had flopped the nut straight and Sootla flopped top set. The board didn’t pair, and Leng proved victorious, denying the Estonian his shot at becoming his country’s first bracelet winner. “Sootla is one of the toughest players I’ve ever played against; he’s so good,” Leng said afterwards. “So, it was just a lot of fun to have to go through someone that good to get my first bracelet. “I hope this isn’t my first and only bracelet," he added. "I’m just going to keep working hard, keep studying; as long as I’m in poker, I’m going to have to just keep working so hard because everyone is getting so good. There’s more poker to be played… The summer’s not over yet.” Final Table Results: Ryan Leng - $272,765 Ranno Sootla - $168,464 Jay Farber - $121,932 Christian Nolte - $89,151 Javier Gomez - $65,851 Russell Rosenblum - $49,146 John Gulino - $37,063 Mark Mazza - $28,247 Mikhail Semin - $21,759 Final Four Set in $3K Big Blind Ante Just like in the Bounty event above, there will be four players returning Friday to finish out Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em. They’re led by Barry Hutter, who with $4M in cashes and a bracelet to his name already (a $1,500 SHOOTOUT win back in 2015) certainly has the experience to close the deal. His 6,265,000 is followed by Diogo Veiga with 5,195,000, Radoslav Stoyanov with 2,495,000, and Jonathan Abdellatif with 1,350,000. All of them have their hearts set on the $522,715 top prize, while overnight they’re guaranteed $163,404. Throughout the day we lost the likes of Kristen Bicknell in 11th place ($29,284), Anna Antimony in seventh ($64,991), and David Yan in sixth ($87,179). Action resumes at 2pm Friday, and they won’t stop until a winner is crowned. Final Four Stacks: Barry Hutter - 6,265,000 Diogo Veiga - 5,195,000 Radoslav Stoyanov - 2,495,000 Jonathan Abdellatif - 1,350,000 Tag Teams Down to 28 Of the 1,032 teams who entered, and 242 which returned for Day 2, just 28 of them now remain in Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em It’s the duo of Bon Koo and Bienvenido Caballero who bagged the chip lead with 828,000. They’re followed by William Reymond and Ami Alibay with 706,000, and Adam Lamphere, Ao Chen, and Yijie Zhang with 705,000. Other teams to advance include Manig Loeser - Joelle Parenteau - Daniel Weinand (615,000), Johan Lees - Jesse Mason (602,000) Salah 'Papa' Levy - Francis Mariani - Cord Garcia (585,000), Loni Harwood - Haixa Zhang - Kelly Minkin (480,000), and Ryan Laplante - Jack Hardcastle - Patrick Truong - Kevin Gerhart (245,000). The same can’t be said for the likes of Dara O’Kearney, Alan Widmann, Daiva Byrne and Benny Glaser, whose team took 121st place. Afterwards the team of Ashley Sleeth - Jesse Sylvia - Dylan Hortin busted in 118th place, Chris Moorman - Jeremy Menardfell were sent to the rail in 108th place, and Fraser MacIntyre - Barny Boatman - James Akenhead - Yiannis Liperis took 62nd place. Team Andrew Barber - Sam Razavi - Dan Smith - Erik Seidel busted in 72nd for $2,252, donating their winnings to the REG charity. All teams have locked up $4,175 now, but it’s the $175,805 winner’s prize they’re really hoping to split. Play resumes at 12pm Friday. Top 10 Team Stacks: Bon Koo - Bienvenido Caballero - 828,000 William Reymond - Ami Alibay - 706,000 Adam Lamphere - Ao Chen - Yijie Zhang - 705,000 Manig Loeser - Joelle Parenteau - Daniel Weinand - 615,000 Johan Lees - Jesse Mason - 602,000 Salah Levy - Francis Mariani - Cord Garcia - 585,000 Gabriel Neto - Carlos Caputo - 546,000 Thomas Gangloff - Bryan Boser - 504,000 Shalev Halfa - Oshri Lahmani - 492,000 Loni Harwood - Haixa Zhang - Kelly Minkin - 480,000 Calvin Anderson Bags Chip Lead in $10K Razz Championship They’re down to 13 in Event #56: $10,000 Razz Championship, and a very familiar face to PocketFivers sits in the top spot overnight. Former no.1 online player Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson bagged up a chip leading 962,000, but tomorrow is by no means going to be easy. His closest competitor is five-time bracelet winner John Hennigan, who looks set to top the Player of the Year race with a stack of 841,000. If Hennigan can win this one, he’ll have won two $10K Championship events in 2018, as well as finishing runner-up in the $50K Poker Players Championship. Amazing. Who else is joining them for the final day on Friday? Well, you’ll have Alex Balandin (833,000), Julien Martini (712,000), Mike ‘goleafsgoeh’ Leah (594,000), Dzmitry Urbanovich (592,000), Jerry Wong (529,000), Frank Kassela (252,000), Allen Kessler (238,000) and Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe (222,000). At the bottom of the counts are Ismael Bojang (99,000), Ted Forrest (48,000) and Eric Rodawig (31,000). They’ll play down to a champ beginning at 2pm Friday, with $17,706 locked up and $309,220 reserved for the winner. Final 13 Stacks: Calvin Anderson - 962,000 John Hennigan - 841,000 Alex Balandin - 833,000 Julien Martini - 712,000 Mike Leah - 594,000 Dzmitry Urbanovich - 592,000 Jerry Wong - 529,000 Frank Kassela - 252,000 Allen Kessler - 238,000 Paul Volpe - 222,000 Ismael Bojang - 99,000 Ted Forrest - 48,000 Eric Rodawig - 31,000 Big Turnout for Ladies Event The buy-in for the Ladies Event comes with two different options: $1,000 for the ladies, and $10,000 for men. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that any males took part in Event #57: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship, but a nice field of 696 women did. Only 104 of them made it through Day 1 after ten levels, with Mesha James leading the pack, bagging up 130,200. She’s followed by Vesna Kuzmanic with 102,700, and Jill Pike with 94,300. A few other notables to advance include Alexis Sterner (85,700) and Tara Snow (81,400). Some notables names made their way into Day 2 such Danielle Andersen(56,500), Lacey Jones (50,700), Melanie Weisner (47,000), Kristy Arnett (38,500) and Gaelle Baumann (37,000). Today just wasn’t the day of Jamie Kerstetter, Oanh Bui, Jennifer Shahade, Carol Fuchs, Ana Marquez, Samantha Abernathy, Sofia Lovgren, Muskan Sethi and Vivian Saliba though, who all hit the rail throughout the course of action. Things pick up again Friday at 12pm, with everyone now in the money. The min-cash is currently $1,497, but there’s $130,230 up top. Top 10 Stacks: Mesha James - 130,200 Vesna Kuzmanic - 102,700 Jill Pike - 94,300 Hana Cho - 90,400 Alexis Sterner - 85,700 Tara Snow - 81,400 Shannon Zigner - 78,800 Lisa Costello - 75,900 Tammy Abraham - 72,500 Lisa Ronning - 71,100 $5K NLHE 6-Max Kicks Off The other new event to get started on Thursday was Event #58: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed, and after then levels of play 203 of the 590 entries have advanced to Day 2. They’re all led by former November Niner Thomas Cannuli. He bagged up 286,000, and is followed by Andrew Graham (214,300) and Julian Milliard-Feral (201,900). They’re the only three to amass over 200K. A few other notables still in contention include Romain Lewis (124,800), Jake Schindler (82,600), Parker Talbot (80,200), Toby Lewis (49,900), Ivan Luca (159,400), Asi Moshe (153,300), Robert Mizrachi (140,700), Jan-Eric Schwippert (129,200), Martin Finger (121,000), and Liv Boeree (114,800). Registration remains open until things kick off at 2pm Friday. Top 10 Stacks: Thomas Cannuli - 286,000 Andrew Graham - 214,300 Julian Milliard-Feral - 201,900 Ivan Luca 159,400 Jimmy Guerrero - 157,000 Asi Moshe - 153,300 Julian Stuer - 150,000 Robert Mizrachi - 140,700 Aaron Mermelstein - 131,800 Marvin Karlins - 130,000 Tomorrow’s Action (June 29) There are a whole bunch of things to tell you about for Friday’s WSOP action. First off, Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty kicks off at 11am, with $300 awarded for every player you knock out. Then at 3pm, there’s another Championship event starting: Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Not able to make it to the Rio for those? You could still win a bracelet, as Event #61: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Championship starts at 3:30pm. And finally, at 7pm there’s Day 1E of the $365 PLO Giant.
  18. We might not have seen any new bracelet winners in Monday’s 2018 World Series of Poker action, but we did see two exciting final tables set for tomorrow. Both the $10K PLO Championship and the $1,500 Razz will return tomorrow with all players around one table, and they won’t stop until two shiny new bracelets are handed out. Meanwhile, the MONSTER STACK ploughed through another day and hundreds of players, and the $10K Limit Hold’em Championship kicked off. Here’s everything you need to know about June 25 at the WSOP. Final Table Set in $10K PLO Championship, Shack-Harris Leads Final 6 Brandon Shack-Harris seems to always rise to the occasion within the halls of the Rio. Over the years he has amassed 30 WSOP cashes, adding up to $2.8 million in earnings, and he’s won two bracelets. He’s now in prime position to bag a third. Shack-Harris will return tomorrow as the chip leader in Event #49: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship, ending the day with 7,730,000. He’s got tough competition from the likes of fellow two-time bracelet winners Ryan Hughes (5,140,000) and Loren Klein (4,240,000), as well as three-time bracelet winner Rep Porter (2,680,000), former November Niner Jerry Wong (2,150,000), and recent bracelet winner Scott Bohlman (1,855,000). A few notables we lost during the day include Scotty Nguyen, Anton Morgenstern, Anton Tsang, Ryan Laplante, Mike Leah, and Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram. Ingram doesn’t usually play tournaments, preferring to play cash games, but his 17th place finish for $28,502 marks his biggest career cash. The final table kicks off at 2pm tomorrow. There’s a $1,018,336 first-place prize awaiting the winner, while everyone has now locked up a nice payday of $157,097. Final Table Stacks Brandon Shack-Harris - 7,730,000 Ryan Hughes - 5,140,000 Loren Klein - 4,240,000 Rep Porter -2,680,000 Jerry Wong - 2,150,000 Scott Bohlman - 1,855,000 Owen and Urbanovich Headline Razz Finale The second final table to be set on Monday was in Event #46: $1,500 Razz. They’re down to the final nine, with Kevin Iacofano and Michael Mckenna holding the top two counts, with 514,000 and 477,000 respectively. However, it’s PocketFivers Adam ‘adamyid’ Owen and Dzmitry ‘Colisea’ Urbanovich who we’ll be keeping a close eye on. They come in fourth (Adam) and seventh (Urbanovich) in chips, and the mixed game experts are both looking for their first piece of WSOP jewellery. In fact, nobody on this final table has won a bracelet, so we’re guaranteed a first-time winner tomorrow. That wouldn’t have been the case if any of the big names who went out today would have made it. The likes of Phil Hellmuth, Barry Greenstein, John Hennigan, Benjamin Scholl, Matt Grapenthien, Max Pescatori, and Brandon Cantu were just a few who went out before the bubble burst. When it did, we lost a few bracelet winners including Chris Bjorin (50th - $2,322), Benny Glaser (44th - $2,471), Cyndy Violette(39th - $2,471), John Cernuto (34th - $2,702), John Racener (33rd - $2,702) and Ylon Schwartz (26th - $3,034). There’s $125,431 and the bracelet for the winner, while all nine are guaranteed $7,881. Play resumes at 2pm Tuesday. Final Table Stacks: Kevin Iacofano - 514,000 Michael Mckenna - 477,000 Thomas Taylor - 410,000 Adam Owen - 340,000 Jay Kwon - 295,000 Kyle Montgomery - 261,000 Dzmitry Urbanovich - 248,000 Jeanne David - 194,000 Jeffrey Mitseff - 191,000 MONSTER STACK Day 2 In The Books There were 2,085 of the total entries 6,260 returning today for Day 2 of Event #48: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK, but when play wrapped up today just 259 remaining. Two-time bracelet winner Steve Billirakis holds the overnight chip lead with 1,399,000. Next up in the counts are James Stewart (1,220,000), Raul Manzanares Lozano (1,176,000) and David Neiman (1,160,000). Others still in with a shot include Aditya Agarwal (1,100,000), bracelet winners Gaurav Raina (357,000), Jackie Glazier (275,000) and Nipun Java (101,000), as well as Jimmy Guerrero(940,000), Kurt Jewell (768,000) and Aliaksei Boika (597,000). We lost a whole lot of players in this one. The multiple bracelet winners who returned today, making the money but failing to find a bag at the end, include Alexandru Papazian (930th place), Jack Duong (886th place), Jared Hamby (837th place), Benjamin Zamani (833rd place), Athanasios Polychronopoulos (789th place), Peter Eichhardt (702nd place), Will Givens (676th place), Phillip Hui (670th place), Scott Davies (639th place), Blair Hinkle (626th place), Mark Radoja (589th place), Loni Harwood (521st place), Ryan Riess (520th place), Ronnie Bardah (487th place), Tuan Le (501st place), Calvin Anderson (423rd place), Dan Heimiller (412th place) and Alex Bilokur (359th place). The 259 players will return at 11am Tuesday with $5,140 locked up. The winner will receive $1,037,451. Top 10 Stacks: Steve Billirakis - 1,399,000 Tommy Nguyen - 1,264,000 James Stewart - 1,200,000 Raul Manzanares Lozano - 1,176,000 David Neiman - 1,160,000 Raj Singh - 1,141,000 Sihao Zhang - 1,106,000 Francis Rusnak - 1,021,000 Ryan Lee - 983,000 Rittie Chuaprasert - 941,000 Bounty Hunting in $1,500 NLHE Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty got going today, with 1,982 players creating a $2,675,700 prize pool. After ten levels on Day 1, 298 players have advanced to Tuesday’s Day 2. That means a whole lot of bounties have already been handed out. In this event, you get $500 for every player you eliminate, so if you bust three players, you’re already freerolling. The eventual winner will no doubt bank thousands in bounties alone, as well as picking up the $272,504 that’s reserved for first place. Right now the player closest to that is Alex Whitenstall (197,800), who bagged the chip lead. He’s followed by Ranno Sootla (171,000), Sean Getzwiller (143,000), Michael Steele (122,900) and Christian Nolte (121,900). Other notables who will return for Day 2 tomorrow include Paawan Bansal (98,700), Jeff Gross (78,500), brothers Ralph Massey (73,300) and Aaron Massey (72,300), Martin Mathis (70,400), Ivan Deyra (57,400) and Maria Konnikova (35,900). Where there are survivors there must be casualties, and some of those who handed their bounty chips over today include Phil Hellmuth, Sean Deeb, Kristen Bicknell, Alex Foxen, Phil Laak, Chris Ferguson, Bertrand Grospellier, Chris Moorman, Mohsin Charania, Joey Weissman, Allen Kessler, Anthony Reategui, Heidi May, Ben Yu and Maria Lampropulos. Action resumes at 12pm Tuesday. The bubble burst right at the day of play, meaning all players have secured $1,415. Top 10 Stacks: Alex Whitenstall - 197,800 Quyen Hoang - 178,000 Samuel Miller - 177,400 Ranno Sootla - 171,000 Juan Vecino - 156,300 Evan Lavallee - 143,700 Sean Getzwiller - 143,300 Justin Liberto - 137,800 DID NOT REPORT - 129,800 Artem Metalidi - 127,400 $10K Limit Hold’em Championship Gets Going The next championship event on the schedule kicked off on Monday, with 101 players taking a shot in Event #52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship. Leading the 43 survivors overnight is Michael Moore with 268,500, followed by Joao Vieira (211,000) Ofir Mor (205,000), and Nick Schulman (202,000). The latter of those four was one of the last entries, and certainly made up for lost time, while Mike Leah was the last one to get in. He too had a great short day of play, bagging up 125,000. Other notables who advanced include Anthony Zinno, Juha Helppi, Benny Glaser, Andre Akkari, Maria Ho, Chris Klodnicki, Ismael Bojang, Jeff Lisandro, and John Hennigan. The same can’t be said for Daniel Negreanu, Kevin Song, Erik Siedel, Shaun Deeb, James Obst, JC Tran, and Defending champion Joe McKeehen, all of whom hit the rail throughout the day. The 43 will be back at 2pm Tuesday for another day of Limit action. Registration is open until then. Top 10 Stacks: Michael Moore - 260,500 Joao Vieira - 211,000 Ofir Mor - 205,000 Nick Schulman - 202,000 Christopher Chung - 171,500 Jameson Painter - 169,500 Philip Cordano - 165,000 Ken Deng - 163,000 Anthony Zinno - 159,000 Ray Henson - 154,500 Tomorrow’s Action (June 26) There are two new events ready and waiting to get started on Tuesday June 26. If you’re up early enough, at 11am you can hop into Event #53: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. Decide to have a lie in? At 3pm, you could play Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
  19. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, beating out a tough field in the €25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe. Now, the Scottish poker pro is in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker hoping to add another bracelet to his collection. Over the course of the 2018 WSOP, 50 Days & 50 Nights chronicles Farrell’s summer; the highs and the lows and all the stuff that happens in between. A quick glance at Niall Farrel's WSOP results so far this summer and something immediately jumps out. There's not a lot of them. He managed to find a min-cash in the $1,000 Double Stack event last weekend though. "I haven't gotten it yet. It's been a fairly annoying week or so or whatever, but it's alright. Just kind of showing up every day, losing very quickly and going home," said Farrell. "You start seeing monsters under the bed. You play a hand and then someone shoves the river and you're like, 'Oh, for fuck's sake. They have it again.' Whereas you have to try and take each hand on an individual basis rather than, 'Well, they've had it all summer. So I guess they have it again'," said Farrell. While it might seem like Farrell is down on himself, he's not. The 2017 WSOP Europe High Roller champion understands that it's all part and parcel of being a pro - and his response to a cold streak is part of what will get him through it. "I know poker players, obviously they run bad, but I am running dreadfully this summer. But it's like 20 tournaments. It's very easy for that to happen, so you just keep showing up and, you know, it's the old cliche it only takes one and then you're up for the summer," said Farrell. Throughout the cold streak, Farrell has relied on roommates Michael Gagliano and Daniel Strelitz to keep him focused. He also understands that playing well doesn't always translate to immediate results. "I put hands in the (group) chat and I'm still playing fine. Just some of the hands are pretty ridiculous. But you know, it's poker," said Farrell. "It's maybe more of a juxtaposition when you've been running as well as I have for the last three years. That's a little shock to the system, but I've seen it before and I'm sure I'll see it again. So it's not super upsetting, but obviously, I'd prefer to be making some runs and stuff and having some fun." Farrell isn't the only one in the house having a rough go through the first half of the WSOP. The group has combined for just nine WSOP cashes between them. "I think everyone's down money this summer, which if it stays that way, it will be the first time since 2011 that we've all bricked off, which is pretty absurd actually if you think about it," said Farrell. "Over the years we've all had like a major score or something every single year. I think Gags got tenth in the $5K. It's the closest we've come. I mean it's just, we're all long time professionals. We're all pretty lucky enough that if we all brick this summer, it's not gonna be the end of the world." That's not to say Farrell hasn't found ways to keep his spirits up and keep himself entertained. He's stepped away from the WSOP a few times to check out Deadpool and Solo, but he's also managed to have some fun in other events at the Rio. One day, after busting yet another bracelet event, Farrell "We were in the $1K PLO and I busted pretty quickly and Gagliano and Strelitz were still in, so I waited for five minutes because Strelitz had 12 bigs or something and he kept playing like a massive nit and I was like, 'I'm going to go play the daily deep stack and have a beer. If you bust, just let me know and I'll just like get up and leave'. I just wanted something to do while I was waiting." He ended up cashing in it for a whopping $414. He wasn't done there though. He ended up in another shortly after, but this one came with more of a challenge, just to keep things interesting. "I actually played another one where I bought some more action off of Gags at 1.5, but the provision was I didn't get to look at my cards. So I had to play it without looking at my cards, which lead to some kind of interesting showdowns at the river." Despite this, Farrell doesn't think anybody at the table caught on to what he was doing. He had a basic strategy that saw him folding every time from UTG but when he was in a pot, he followed a pretty simple rule. "Basically, my strategy was to just c-bet 100%, which is what everyone does out here anyway, and if the turn card is higher than the top pair on the board just to triple off, but if it's lower just to give up," said Farrell. "So, I ended up having to show down [ad][qd] on like 10-3-2-8, three diamonds. And the river paired the board, so at least I didn't get a penalty. But I had to check the river and I turned over [ad][qd] and I just burst out laughing." Some quick-thinking saved Farrell from having to explain what he was doing the table. "I was like, 'Oh yeah, I thought I had hearts, not diamonds. God, I'm so silly.' But no one knew, no one has any idea, you make it if look like you're playing. Like, if I know I'm going to fold, I'll look at my cards very obviously, so it looks like I'm still looking." When he's not mixing it up with the tourists in the DDS, Farrell has managed to sneak in some World Cup action as well, but with his native Scotland at home watching again, he's had to adopt a couple of countries to cheer for just based on who his friends are. He found himself cheering on the Germans over the weekend with Marvin Rettenmaier and some other Germans at the brauhaus in Vegas. He also purchased a Panama 2018 kit. It wasn't so much that he was cheering for Panama as he was cheering against England. Things there didn't quite work out for him either, as the English side went on to win 6-1 - but Farrell made some new friends along the way. [caption id="attachment_619670" align="alignnone" width="225"] Farrell was more than happy to run into another Panama supporter during a World Cup viewing party.[/caption]  
  20. There were two bracelet winners on Wednesday at the 2018 World Series of Poker, and one of those wins has provided one of the coolest stories of the summer so far. Meanwhile, two tournaments will return tomorrow very close to the end, with one heads-up and another three-handed. The final table of the SHOOTOUT has also been set, while the $25K PLO High Roller played through its Day 1. Here’s everything you need to know about June 21’s WSOP action. Farhintaj Bonyadi Takes Down Super Seniors Event for $311,451 Against all the odds, Farhintaj Bonyadi defeated Robert Beach heads-up to capture her first WSOP bracelet and the $311,451 first-place prize. She’s now the second bracelet winner in her family, with her son Farzad “Freddy” Bonyadi holding three. The two returned to finish off Event #36: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em today, with Beach holding a huge chip lead. He had 9 million to Bonyadi’s 2 million, but Bonyadi began to chip up almost immediately, winning several pots without showdown. That gap was closed to a 2:1 chip lead, and then before you knew it Bonyadi held the lead herself. In the final hand, there was a straight on board by the river and Bonyadi triple-barrelled to put Beach all-in. He made the call, having flopped top pair, but Bonyadi had the top end of the straight to secure the win. “She wants to catch me now,” Farzad joked after his mom’s win. “She did it all on her own. I told her to play patiently when she was short and she did it. I think she played masterfully today.” “I’m just so happy,” added Farhintaj, who claims her first tournament victory after two runner-up finishes in the Rio Daily Deepstacks in 2012 and 2016. Final Table Results: Farhintaj Bonyadi - $311,451 Robert Beach - $192,397 Paul W Lee - $140,273 Linda Iwaniak - $103,215 Russell Sutton - $76,655 Alan Denkenson - $57,465 Charles Thompson - $43,489 Neil Henley - $33,227 Bill Fogel - $25,633 Yaniv Birman Wins $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship for $236,238 The second winner of the day had to battle his way through the whole final table on his way to victory. Yaniv Birman entered the Event #38: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship finale with the chip lead, and successfully overcame a tough final table to bank the $236,238 and the bracelet. [caption id="attachment_619639" align="aligncenter" width="683"] Bracelet #1 for Yaniv Birman[/caption] Along the way, Lars Gronning was the first to fall. He came in as the short stack, and his elimination was quickly followed by the player who eliminated him, Joseph Cappello. James Obst then exited, before Matt Grapenthien and Lee Salem followed suit. Birman never lost the chip lead, despite not eliminating a single player until heads-up. Bracelet winner Ben Yu went out in third, leaving Birman to duel with two-time bracelet winner Jesse Martin. Martin managed to double up, but couldn’t pick up any steam from there. "I barely ever play tournaments so it's fun,” Birman said after his win. “I play once or twice a year. I got here Monday, and this was the first tournament I signed up for. The truth is I don't play much poker anymore. Stud is my favourite game - all types of Stud. I play a lot of high-limit games in L.A. "I'm predominantly a businessman, and I just play poker for fun. [Winning a bracelet] is just a great feeling.” Final Table Results: Yaniv Birman - $236,238 Jesse Martin - $146,006 Ben Yu - $99,340 Lee Salem - $69,928 Matt Grapenthien - $50,669 James Obst - $37,904 Joseph Cappello - $29,306 Lars Gronning - $23,443 Three Remain in DOUBLE STACK One of the two tournaments to play down to just two or three players remaining is Event #34: $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em. Robert Peacock enters the fifth and final day as an overwhelming chipleader with 38,200,000 chips. Joining him will be Nicholas Salimbene (10,400,000) and Joshua Turner (8,400,000). Twenty players returned today, and along the way the likes of Ramin Hajiyev (15th Place - $34,929), Matt Stout (12th Place - $44,407), and Keith Ferrera (11th Place - $44,407), and Tomas Teran Paredes (10th Place - $44,407) exited before the final table was set. Jacky Wong (4th - $219,952), Ralph Wong (5th - $165,342), Daniel Eichhorn (6th - $125,215), James Ostrowski (7th - $95,538), Pfizer Jordan (8th - $73,446), and Takao Shizumi (9th - $56,891) rounded out the final table. The final three return at 12pm Thursday to find a winner. Blinds will be 500K/1M. Final Three Stacks: Robert Peacock - 38,200,000 Nicholas Salimbene - 10,400,000 Joshua Turner - 8,400,000 Heads-Up in $1,500 NLHE The other near-finish on Wednesday night was in Event #37: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, which played down to just two. When action resumes tomorrow, it’ll be Eric Baldwin (7,550,000) heads-up against Ian Steinman (2,200,000). Baldwin seeks his second bracelet, having won his first back in 2009, while Steinman will have to overcome a healthy chip deficit to win his first. Throughout the day, we lost the likes of Ryan Goindoo, Thomas Kurtz, Ryan Laplante, Enrico Rudelitz, Jason Wheeler, Kirk Banks, Jay Farber, JC Tran, and Geoffrey Lavinson prior to the final table. The final table so far has seen the eliminations of Enrico Rudelitz (3rd - $140,957), Aaron Massey (4th - $101,819), Robert Georato (5th - $74,434), Michael Finstein (6th - $55,077), Stephen Song (7th - $41,257), Gilsoo Kim (8th - $31,290), and Mathew Moore (9th - $24,032). Things kick off again at 12pm Thursday with blinds at 50K/100K. SHOOTOUT Finale Set At the start of play on Wednesday, 100 players who won their first round tables returned to the Rio to sit around ten ten-handed tables to play round 2. Unsurprisingly, ten players made it through to Day 3 - the final table. There’s no major chip leader in Event #39: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, as all ten players start with near enough the same stacks. Anthony Reategui is one notable to look out for though, as he finished seventh in the $3K SHOOTOUT a couple of weeks ago. Reategui also won a bracelet back in 2005. There were a bunch of notables who failed to win their second tables today, including Scott Blumstein, Phil Hellmuth, Rep Porter, Philip Tom, Justin Liberto, Vlad Darie, Georgios Sotiropoulos, Tom Hall, Demosthenes Kiriopoulos, Arkadiy Tsinis, Jesse Sylvia, William Kakon, and Matthew Waxman. You’ll find the line-up for tomorrow below. Play gets going at 12pm. Anthony Reategui - 672,500 Young Phan - 670,000 Dylan Linde - 668,000 Royce Matheson - 668,000 Corey Dodd - 664,500 Endrit Geci - 663,500 Jesse Kertland - 662,500 Bas de Laat - 661,000 Preston Lee - 656,000 Alexander Lakhov - 654,000 Five Left in Mixed Big Bet They’re down to another final table over in Event #40: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet, and it’s Scott Bohlman who bagged the chip lead when play ended five-handed. And when we say chip lead, we mean a monstrous dominating lead that sees Bohlman holding 60% of the chips in play. His 1,556,000 is most closely followed by Ryan Hughes with 345,000. His huge surge came from several big pots, including making a wheel in a Pot Limit 2-7 Triple Draw hand to eliminate Dario Sammartino. They’ll return to play down to a winner at 2pm Thursday. Final Table Chip Counts: Scott Bohlman - 1,556,000 Ryan Hughes - 345,500 Daniel Weinman - 292,800 Aaron Rogers - 261,800 Marcel Vonk - 100,000 Day 1 of $1,500 Limit Hold’em Wraps Up A new event kicked off on Wednesday: Event #41: $1,500 Limit Hold’em. It attracted 596 runners, but after ten levels just 174 were bagging up chips. Brian Vollick had the best day of the lot, ending proceedings with 71,500. Other big stacks include Rex Clinkscales (69,900), Kurt Maier (68,200) and Jeremy Heartberg (66,200). A few notables who tried and failed in this one include Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari, Mike Leah, Humberto Brenes, Phillip Hui, Michael Moore, Todd Witteles, Ryan Laplante, David 'ODB' Baker, Chris Ferguson, and Luis Calvo. When the return tomorrow for Day 2, the blinds will be 1K/2K. Top 10 Stacks: Brian Vollick - 71,500 Rex Clinkscales - 69,900 Cody Riedel - 68,600 Kurt Maier - 68,200 Jeremy Heartberg - 66,200 Daniel Needleman - 64,600 Phil Goatz - 64,200 Jared Woodin - 59,100 Andrew Yip - 55,900 Alan Bittikofer - 55,300 $25K PLO High Roller Kicks Off Well, Daniel Negreanu must have dashed straight over to Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller after busting the Limit Hold’em, and it proved to be a good decision. Negreanu ended the day with the third largest stack out of the 101 survivors, behind only Konstantin Beylin (617,500) and Veselin Karakitukov (549,500). In total there were 192 entries, but registration is still open until the start of level 13. They played 10 levels today, and a few notables who made it through include Chance Kornuth (473,500), Robert Mizrachi (453,000), Artem Babakhanyan (436,000), Chris "BigHuni" Hunichen (374,000), Scotty Nguyen (347,500), Jason Koon (325,000), Brian Rast (312,500), Paul ‘paulgees82’ Volpe (258,500), defending champion James Calderaro (234,500) and Tommy Le (230,000). Play resumes at 2pm tomorrow with blinds at 1,500/3,000. Top 10 Stacks: Konstantin Beylin - 617,500 Veselin Karakitukov - 549,500 Daniel Negreanu - 532,000 Aaron Katz - 525,000 George Wolff - 504,500 David Len Ashby - 498,500 Bogdan Capitan - 496,000 Fraser MacIntyre - 482,000 Craig Varnell - 479,500 Chance Kornuth - 473,500 Tomorrow’s Action (June 21) There are two new events kicking off on Thursday. First up is Event #43: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em, starting nice and early at 11am. Then at 3pm, there’s the Event #44: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship. Ben Yu took that one down last year for $232,738, defeating Shaun Deeb heads-up.
  21. Somehow, Wednesday night at the 2018 World Series of Poker will probably go down as one of the most surreal in the 49-year history of the event. Not only did the Main Event reach a final table in a dramatic fashion, but the most decorated player in WSOP history, Phil Hellmuth, added to his legend with yet another bracelet. This is the Main Event There were 26 players at the start of Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event but over a 12-hour span, 17 players were eliminated leaving just the nine players to make up the final table. Shortstacks Jeffrey Trudeau, Barry Hutter and Bart Lybaert all fell early with Eric Froehlich, who started Day 6 with the 10th biggest stack, getting coolered with pocket queens against Alex Lynskey's pocket kings to join them on the rail. Ivan Luca, former November Niner Sylvain Loosli, Frederik Brink and Ryan Phan all busted to leave the unofficial final table of 10 players waiting for one more elimination before stopping play for the night. The final hand was one for the ages. Nicolas Manion raised to 1,500,000 from UTG. Antoine Labat called from middle before Yueqi Zhu came over the top, moving all in for 24,700,000 from late position. Manion responded by moving all in for 43,100,000. Labat, the biggest stack of the three, took some time before eventually calling. Zhu revealed [kh][ks], Manion tabled [ah][as] and Labata turned over [kc][kd]. The board ran out [jd][7c][4c][3s][jc] to eliminate Zhu in tenth place, leaving Labata with just 8,050,000 and boosting Manion into the chip lead with a nearly full triple up. "Somehow this is real life," said Manion, who finished with 112,775,000. "When I got both calls, I flipped over my hand, I went straight to my rail and looked up at the TV and saw they both had pocket kings to my aces." Michael Dyer, who spent most of the day Wednesday in the chip lead, finished just behind Manion with 112,775,000. Remarkably, the final table includes repeat appearance from a Main Event champion from the November Nine era for the first time in history. Joe Cada, who won the 2009 WSOP Main Event, finished with 23,675,000, good enough for the sixth biggest stack. "It was a lot more of a grind this time. I respect the tournament more," said Cada, who was down to 9,000 on Day 1 before rebuilding his stack. " The final table resumes at 5:30 pm PT with the ESPN broadcast starting at 6:00 pm PT. The current schedule calls for play to continue Thursday until six players remain. Final Table Chip Counts Nicolas Manion - 112,775,000 Michael Dyer - 109,175,000 Tony Miles - 42,750,000 John Cynn - 37,075,000 Alex Lynskey - 25,925,000 Joe Cada - 23,675,000 Aram Zobian - 18,875,000 Artem Metalidi - 15,475,000 Antoine Labat - 8,050,000 Phil Hellmuth Wins Bracelet #15 [caption id="attachment_619988" align="alignleft" width="1024"] Phil Hellmuth continues to silence his critics, winning a 15 WSOP bracelet on Wednesday night.[/caption] It's been an interesting summer for Phil Hellmuth. Seemingly mired in some sort of controversy from the very first week, Hellmuth spent two days earlier this week defending, and eventually apologizing for, his actions late on Day 2 of the Main Event that may have cost another player their tournament life. On Thursday night, with the Main Event playing down to a final table in another room, Hellmuth overcame the 2.5-1 chip lead of Steven Wolansky to win the 15th bracelet of his career. Faced with the possibility of yet another runner-up finish, Hellmuth gave himself a little pep talk. "I said, ... 'When's the next time you're going to have an opportunity like this where you're heads up for a bracelet? You just need to hang in there and stay strong', and I stayed strong and then luckily hit some cards," said Hellmuth. Hellmuth, who holds the WSOP records for wins and cashes, gave Wolansky credit for making the final table a difficult one for him. "He wouldn't give an inch, so I had to start thinking about, okay how do I want to handle this? And I thought alright, I'm going to have to try to steal more pots against him, to give myself a chance because he's just not giving a chip away, he's making it really tough, and I can't blink first either," said Hellmuth. "I just have to like just keep playing my best poker until the end and maybe something great will happen." Hellmuth's last bracelet came in 2015, when he won the $10,000 Razz Championship event.
  22. As Day 6 of the 2018 World Series of Poker plays down to 27 players, Clayton Fletcher continues to generate social media buzz from some Hollywood heavyweights who are clearly leading his cheering section. Fletcher, who works as a stand-up comedian, is in the midst of his second deep run in the Main Event. In 2016, he outlasted all but 95 other players and even spent time as the overall chip leader. The second time around is quite a different ride though. "It's just been really different because that year I actually had a chip lead for many, many hours and this tournament has been different because in that I've just been kind of hanging around average," said Fletcher. "I've been sticking right around the average stack for most of the tournament, so it's just a different game when you're not able to be a big stack bully which is actually my natural playing style." Fletcher developed that playing style playing against family and friends from the time he was nine years old in the Friday night Fletcher home game. "I probably started enjoying poker when I was nine years old. I have two brothers, and between those two guys and then my mom, and of course all my uncles, it's something that if you're a Fletcher you know how to play poker. It's kind of part of our lifestyle," said Fletcher. When he first started playing, the game was Five Card Stud. Then it evolved to Seven Card Stud and even draw games. Every Friday night, starting some time around the late 70s or early 80s, the house would be packed. "I can remember one night we had 38 people in the house - family and friends. It's kind of legendary. There's food, there's laughter. It's very, very serious ... a $20 buy-in, very serious game," Fletcher joked. "The Fletchers like poker, man." Don't think for a second that Fletcher is just some home game hero enjoying a seemingly impossible second Main Event run. He's just as passionate about poker as he is about stand-up comedy and he counts himself fortunate that he's able to play as often as he does. "I play between 35 and 40 tournaments a year and a lot of times I try to structure those tournaments around my comedy schedule or I try to structure my comedy schedule around the tournaments I like to play," said Fletcher. "So if I look and I really have a certain stop on the tour I want to go, like for example Melbourne, I'll call the comedy clubs in that area and try to get a gig so that I can do both." Fletcher has, in fact, made his way to the Aussie Millions on a couple of occasions to work some local comedy joints while also getting in a few Aussie Millions events. The ESPN feature table has been focused on other players so far throughout this tournament, but he's got some support from some big names chomping at the bit to see him get on the feature table. Brian Koppelman, who co-wrote Rounders, has been social media showing support and fellow comic Norm McDonald has also shown some love. "Well, Brian (Koppelman) is a good friend, I've known him for many years. I've actually done stand up with him," said Fletcher. "Norm's a great guy. I actually met him back in 2015 when I had that other deep run and he showed me some support because he heard that there was a comic, he hadn't heard of me, but he came and showed some love. He remembers that and he's been texting me and tweeting about me and that's been awesome." The Main Event isn't at all an opportunity for Fletcher to promote himself. He wants to be known as a serious and formidable player that came to poker's biggest stage and forced people to remember his name. So much so that he gets choked up thinking about what it would mean to him to make the final table or even win. "It just means that ... I ... left my mark. I want to leave my mark," said Fletcher, struggling to find the proper words. "At night I dream about winning bracelets." Fletcher has a weekly stand-up show of his own in New York City at the Greenwich Comedy Club. The Main Event doesn't wrap up until Saturday night though. "I'm usually there on Fridays, but I'm hoping I won't be able to make this Friday," said Fletcher. "I want to be here."
  23. After all the madness that was a record-setting Day 1C of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event, a rather modest 2,453 players made their way back to the Rio for Day 2AB. Just a little more than half - 1,244 to be exact - of those players managed to find a bag with chips in it at the end of the night after another five levels of play. Leading the way is California's Shawn Daniels who built his stack from 84,200 to a 532,000. Daniels was one of just five players to end the day with more than a half-million chips. Sean Ruane, younger brother of former November Niner and last year's 10th place finisher Michael Ruane, ended the day with 361,400. Some of the more well-known players to bag chips on Thursday incldued Ben Yu (311,000), Jason Strasser (283,900), Darryll Fish (278,800), Chris Klodnicki (266,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (256,400), Darren Elias (240,700), Mustapha Kanit (235,800) and Shaun Deeb (218,300). Michael Mizrachi Rides Roller Coaster All Day Long Over the first two days of play, poker fans at home have been tuning in to watch Michael Mizrachi play his aggressive style and he's rewarded them. Mizrachi finished Day 2AB with 62,500 after a day that the four-time WSOP bracelet winner described as frustrating. "I was playing a lot of pots, but I couldn't get anything going. All my big starting hands lost, which I didn't have many but every one I had couldn't hold or I got out-flopped," said Mizrachi. Mizrachi, who has cashed in the Main Event three times over the course of his career, knows that his strategy needs to change when he comes back for Day 3. "The first two days I'll play a lot more hands as I get a feel for the table and I can take those risks. The blinds are so small, so you try to flop hands and bust people and build a big, huge stack, so I'm prepared for Day 3, Day 4, Day 5," said Mizrachi. "Now, Day 3 is a totally different gameplan. I've got to just sit back and wait for good spots, look for the weaker players and attack them when you're in position. I've got to be patient." Not Everybody Found a Bag - Some Found the Exit There were some players who unfortunately saw their run at hte $8.8 million first place prize money come to an end on Day 2AB. Included in that group were David Tuchman, Dan Smith, Justin Bonomo, John Hesp, Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tony Dunst, Andre Akkari, and Antoine Saout, Top 10 Day 2AB Chip Counts Shawn Daniels - 532,500 Eric Liebeler - 531,000 Samuel Bernabeu - 524,000 Michael Dyer - 502,400 Casey McCarrel - 501,800 Brian Borne - 496,000 Frank Bonacci - 486,300 David Cabrera Polop - 483,800 Smain Mamouni - 481,500 Mohamed Mokrani - 480,000 Galen Hall Goes from Retiree to Bracelet Winner The $888 Crazy Eights event was supposed to end on Tuesday, but the final three players decided to bag up their chips and return to play on Thursday to give each of them a chance to play Main Event Day 1C. Turned out to be a pretty good decision for Galen Hall. The now-retired poker pro started with the chip lead and finished off his final two competitors to win the first bracelet of his career. “I thought I definitely had an edge today. On Tuesday, after a whole long day of play, it's just harder to switch things up. People are a little tired, and I thought I had a good read on what was going on," said Hall. "Today, I had to scale it back for the first 30 minutes or so to see – a lot of times players will get coaching, or they get rest, they change their style a little bit if there's time off. Luckily, I ran hot, so it didn't matter.” Hall added $888,888 to his lifetime earnings which now pushes him past the $5,000,000 mark. It took a little bit more than 90 minutes for Hall to best Niels Herregodts in third and Eduards Kudrjavcevs in second. Hall won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2011 but has spent less and less time playing poker over the last few years, focusing on his career as a hedge fund manager. Final Table Payouts Galen Hall - $888,888 Eduards Kudrjavcevs - $476,888 Niels Herregodts - $355,888 Andrey Zaichenko - $266,888 Alexander Kuzmin - $201,888 Jeremiah Miesen - $153,888 Martin Stausholm - $117,888 Philip Tom - $90,888
  24. After a ‘no bracelet’ day on Monday, we saw two new bracelet winners on Tuesday at the 2018 World Series of Poker. One of them picked up his first piece of WSOP jewellery, while the other claimed his third, plus over a million bucks to go with it. Meanwhile, the MONSTER STACK played down to 20, the $10K Limit Championship got down to 14, and the $3K NLHE kicked off for Day 1. Here’s all the news from June 26. Razz Specialist Jay Kwon Wins First Bracelet and $125,431 Coming into the final table fifth in chips, and with some stiff competition from the likes of start-of-day chip leader Kevin Iacofano, Adam ‘adamyid’ Owen, and Dzmitry ‘Colisea’ Urbanovich, meant Jay Kwon had his work cut out for him in Event #46: $1,500 Razz. Thing is though, Kwon considers himself a Razz specialist, and with two prior cashes in WSOP Razz events, he’s now a bracelet winner in the format. "Razz is like my favorite game, and I feel like it's an underappreciated game and people get frustrated at it," Kwon said after his victory. "But I love the game and yeah, this means more to me than a lot of tournaments. I started playing it and it was really interesting, so I kind of got into it and just started playing it a lot. I'm somewhat of a Razz specialist.” His ability in the game was on display today, defeating the aforementioned tough final table. Owen bowed out in third, meaning Kwon was up against Urbanovich heads-up. The Polish wunderkind built a 2.5:1 chip lead at one point, but Kwon was able to fight back and close it out. Final Table Results: Jay Kwon - $125,431 Dzmitry Urbanovich - $77,526 Adam Owen - $52,536 Michael McKenna - $36,324 Kevin Iacofano - $25,637 Thomas Taylor - $18,477 Jeff Mitseff - $13,605 Jeanne David - $10,240 Kyle Montgomery - $7,881 Loren Klein Wins Bracelet #3 in $10K PLO Championship ($1,018,336) For the third year running, Loren Klein has bagged himself a WSOP bracelet. And this one, his third, is a big one. Klein took down Event #49: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for a massive $1,018,336 score, defeating three-time bracelet winner Rep Porter heads-up to clinch victory. Klein’s previous WSOP bracelets came in a $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha in 2016, and a $1,500 PLO event in 2016. It’s safe to say that PLO is this guy’s game. Brandon Shack-Harris came into the six-handed finale as chip leader, but would ultimately have to settle for a third-place finish. He’ll have to wait for another tournament to grab his third bracelet, as will fifth-place finisher Ryan Hughes. Prior to those eliminations, we lost 2018 bracelet winner Scott Bohlman in sixth. When asked what winning a bracelet three years in a row meant to him, Klein said :”Not a ton, the variance in getting a bracelet is pretty wild. I was the same player I was three years ago before I had any bracelet, so it doesn't mean a whole lot. But it is certainly a good time. There are a lot of guys that make good runs all the time, so I am probably right there with them." Final Table Results: Loren Klein - $1,018,336 Rep Porter - $629,378 Brandon Shack-Harris - $433,259 Jerry Wong - $303,491 Ryan Hughes - $216,391 Scott Bohlman - $157,097 MONSTER STACK Down to 29 They call it the ‘Mini Main Event’, and Event #48: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK has certainly lived up to that banner, what with 6,260 players taking part. After Tuesday’s Day 3 though, just 29 players remain in the hunt. Vitor Rangel is the player closest to the $1,037,451 first-place prize right now, as he bagged the overnight chip lead with 8,910,000. He’s followed by James Carroll (8,165,000), Harald Sammer (7,170,000) and Rittie Chuaprasert (5,785,000). Other notables still in contention include Michael Benko (5,250,000), Colin McHugh (4,310,000), James Salmon (4,210,000), two-time WSOP bracelet winner Steve Billirakis (4,145,000) and Jimmy Chen (4,000,000). The final 29 will return Wednesday at 11am, with all players guaranteed a $28,841 payday. Top 10 Stacks: Vitor Rangel - 8,920,000 James Carroll - 8,165,000 Harald Sammer - 7,170,000 Rittie Chuaprasert - 5,785,000 Michael Benko - 5,250,000 Colin McHugh - 4,310,000 James Salmon - 4,210,000 Steve Billirakis - 4,145,000 Jimmy Chen - 4,000,000 Raul Manzanares Lozano - 3,365,000 Day 2 of BOUNTY Takes Field Down to 29 Just like in the MONSTER STACK, Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em BOUNTY is also down to just 29 players. The 1,982 field has been whittled down to that after Tuesday’s Day 2 action. The overnight chip leader is Ranno Sootla, who entered the day with the second biggest stack and ended with the largest - 1,500,000 million. Not too far behind him is Ryan Leng with 1,381,000 in chips, while the next biggest stacks belong to 2013 Main Event runner-up Jay Farber (901,000), Jamie ‘EzGame89’ O’Connor (also 901,000), Russell Rosenblum (730,000), Mikhail Semin (677,000) and Marvin Rettenmaier (316,000). Throughout the course of play we lost several notables from the field, including Aaron Massey, (36th - $6,946), Dieter Dechant (54th - $4,765), Jan Eric Schwippert (56th - $4,014), Men Nguyen (66th - $3,419), James Mackey (89th - $2,576) and Andrey Zaichenko (144th - $1,846). There’s a very attractive $272,504 waiting for the winner, as well as the bracelet. Everyone has locked up $6,946 by making Day 3, which kicks off at 12pm Wednesday. Top 10 Stacks: Ranno Sootla - 1,500,000 Ryan Leng - 1,381,000 Jay Farber - 901,000 Jamie O’Conner - 901,000 Russell Rosenblum - 730,000 Mikhail Semin - 677,000 Juan Vecino - 663,000 Ryne Capra - 602,000 Robert Damelian - 562,000 Quyen Hoang - 554,000 Stacked Final Two Tables in $10K Limit Hold’em There are 11 bracelets split between the final 14 players in Event #52: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, but the guy who holds a massive chip lead overnight is seeking his first piece of WSOP gold. Dan Zack dominates the field right now with more than double the chips of the second largest stack. Zack bagged up 1,217,000, followed by Matt Szymaszek with 561,000 and Nick Schulman with 499,000. Schulman is going for his third bracelet. Other bracelet winners still in include one-time winners Anthony Zinno, Scott Seiver, and Michael Moore, and three-time winners Benny Glaser and Brock Parker. Rounding out the field are Christopher Chung, Ken Deng, Matt Glantz, Philip Cordano, Maria Ho, and Bryce Landier. A few of the notables who went deep include Joao Vieira and John Hennigan, the latter of which adds points to his Player of the Year run. The final 14 have $17,000 locked up, but they’re all after the $296,222 first-place prize and the bracelet that goes with it. Will we have a new bracelet winner or will it go to one of the previous winners? Find out tomorrow when they return at 2pm. Final 14 Stacks: Dan Zack - 1,217,000 Matt Szymaszek - 561,000 Nick Schulman - 499,000 Anthony Zinno - 493,000 Christopher Chung - 487,000 Scott Seiver - 467,000 Ken Deng - 406,000 Michael Moore - 368,000 Matt Glantz 267,000 Philip Cordano - 251,000 Maria Ho - 224,000 Benny Glaser - 215,000 Brock Parker - 167,000 Bryce Landier - 83,000 Negreanu, Hellmuth, Elezra Advance in $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo 8 Day 1 of Event #53: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better wrapped up on Tuesday, with plenty of big names making it through. Out of the 935 entries, 191 found a bag. Brad Albrinck ended play with the chip lead and a stack of 137,100. He’s followed by Bryce Yockey, who had an amazing 2017 WSOP, final tabling the MONSTER STACK before going on to win his first bracelet in the $10K PLO Championship. Defending champ in this event, Nathan Gamble, will also return tomorrow with a 42,000 stack. Daniel Negreanu (81,100), Phil Hellmuth (67,400), Mike Matusow (76,800), and Eli Elezra (102,600) will all be back for more tomorrow too. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Erik Seidel, Mike Wattel, Frank Kassela, Mike Leah and Scott Bohlman, all of whom busted. There’s $244,370 up top in this one, while the bubble bursts at 141 players for a $2,245 min-cash. Action resumes at 12pm Wednesday. Top 10 Stacks: Brad Albrinck - 137,100 Bryce Yockey - 131,900 Dustin Pattinson - 129,100 Eli Elezra - 102,600 Kyle Miaso - 85,800 Quinn Do - 83,600 Thomas Cazayous - 81,400 Daniel Negreanu - 81,100 Hsiao Liu - 77,000 Mike Matusow - 76,800 Mustafov Bags Day 1 Lead in $3K Big Blind Ante NLHE Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em proved a pretty popular event today, with 1,020 players taking part. When all was said and done ten levels later though, just 252 remained. Farehdin Mustafov ended play as the chip leader with 205,000, closely followed by Jordan Young (203,000), Uri Reichenstein (164,000) and Luciano Hollanda (162,100). Some of the other big names to advance include Kristen Bicknell (132,900), Connor Drinan (100,000), Frank Kassel (99,700), Scotty Nguyen (95,500), Kathy Liebert (60,700), Calvin Anderson (58,400), and Michael Gathy (45,000). As anyone who has ever played poker knows, for one player to gain a lot of chips must mean someone else has lost a lot. Some of those who lost their entire stacks today include Mohsin Charania, Rainer Kempe, Stephen Chidwick, Maria Lampropulos, Martin Jacobson, Sofia Lovgren, and Parker ‘Tonkaaaa’ Talbot. The bubble will burst at 153 players, all of whom will secure a $4,513 cash. That pales in comparison to the $522,715 reserved for the winner though. Action resumes at 2pm Wednesday. Top 10 Stacks: Fahredin Mustafov - 205,000 Jordan Young - 203,200 Luciano Hollanda - 162,100 Ryan Hall - 137,200 Kristen Bicknell - 132,900 Daniel Strelitz - 130,500 Marciano Cruz - 128,000 Randy Levin - 124,200 Liu Yin - 110,000 Andrey Zaichenko - 109,000 Tomorrow’s Action (June 27) There are two new events kicking off on Wednesday June 27, one of which will be right up Jay Kwon’s street. At 11am there’s the always popular Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em, so it will be interesting to find out who pairs up with who. Then at 3pm there’s Event #56: $10,000 Razz Championship. Expect to see all the Razz specialists out in force for that one.
  25. Every year, the World Series of Poker brings out all kinds of storylines as players, professional and amateur alike, come from varying backgrounds to win one of poker's most coveted prizes, a WSOP bracelet. Matt Mendez, winner of the $565 Online Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event, is one of those stories. Actually, he's more than one. He's a stay-at-home parent with a young daughter. He's an online grinder who recently rediscovered his passion for poker. He's dreamed of winning a WSOP bracelet of his own - more than one actually - since he was 12 years old. As if all of that didn't make for an amazing storyline following his victory, Mendez also made history as the first player to win an online bracelet while playing in New Jersey. That event wrapped up Saturday morning after 15 hours of play. "My wife had to work at nine in the morning and it was like 830 and my wife, she's chronically late to everything. It's 8:30 and she's still not up, so I just don't bother her because I'm at this final table and she's running late and that means maybe she'll be here when it ends. So she finally gets up and it's 9:15," said Mendez. "I have like 3.5 million and (my opponent) has like 15 million and it was perfect timing when the break hit so I go upstairs and I'm like, 'I'm heads up for a bracelet'." Even though his wife, Victoria, was already late for work and her boss was looking for her, Mendez implored his wife to stay and see it play out. No matter how it ended, he wanted her there. "By the time she came down, I'd flipped it. Now I had 15 million and he has 3 million," said Mendez. "She's sitting next to me and I'm like 'you gotta be here, if I win I need a hug, and if I lose, I need a hug. I need you to console me if I lose'." On the final hand, Mendez flopped a straight and checked the action to his opponent. He had a feeling his opponent was going to shove and that's exactly what happened. "I called and the hand ended and I looked at her and I said, 'I'm a bracelet winner!'. It was a really cool moment," said Mendez. "I literally got a hug and a 'congrats' and she was out and then the baby was up right way, so I didn't get to sleep." Players typically fall into one of two categories in the immediate aftermath of a bracelet victory. They're either elated and are running on a high that would make Post Malone jealous or they're so physically and mentally exhausted that they simply crash and catch up on sleep. With his daughter ready for her day to start, Mendez basically fell into the former category, even if he could have fallen into the latter. With his wife on his way to work, Mendez had to get on the phone and let his first poker teacher know that he'd won. His Aunt Michelle was on the other end of the call. "She was bawling her eyes out. She was so excited. We've always talked about bracelets. Since I was 12 years old, that's what we talked about, 'you're going to win bracelets'. I used to say I was going to win 20 when I was a cocky 12-year-old," said Mendez, now 28 years old. His aunt and uncle taught him Seven Card Stud when he was just five years old. It wasn't "poker" or "stud" though, they had their own name for it. "I would call it Cards and Chips, it's just what we did. I'd go visit every summer and we would play Cards and Chips on the poker table and it evolved to games like Gin, Black Maria and a bunch of other card games. That's just what we did as a family - we played cards," said Mendez. His love of poker skyrocketed when he saw Robert Varkonyi win the 2002 WSOP Main Event on ESPN. He was 12 years old. "I was hooked at that point. I read Super System at that age. I started playing, I think it was called PokerRoom.com, where they had Limit sit-n-gos . My aunt and uncle, we would all play the free ones. We'd all register at the same time and play those nine-man Limit sit-n-gos," said Mendez. He actually lived with his aunt and uncle through his high school years. He moved back to Florida with Victoria after they were done high school and then bounced back to New Jersey when they had a baby on the way. The move allowed Victoria to work full time after having the baby and Mendez could play online and be a stay at home dad. His view on the life of a traveling poker pro changed dramatically after Mathai was born. "I get homesick so easy. Even now, if I can't drive (to a tournament) I'd rather not play. Things don't go your way very often, so if 80% I'm disappointed in a hotel room for a night or two, I'd rather just be disappointed and wake up the next day at home because it was a local tournament and I get to see the baby," said Mendez. " I spend so much time with her. It probably hurts my professional life, but I wouldn't give it up. It's so great, it's so awesome. I love being the first person she sees in the morning most days." Mendez isn't overly comfortable with the title of "poker pro: though. He's a dad first, and the chips and cards thing is secondary. It's still how he makes his living though, and he noticed about four months ago that players around him were playing at a higher level and continuing to get better. "Probably the last year and a half I've just felt like the game passed me by again. It's like the third time in my life where I've had some success, didn't study as hard, thought I got it figured out, and then all of a sudden you look at your results, you look around and it's like everyone is better than me again," said Mendez. " I started consuming more poker content. Before, I used to watch training videos all the time. Start the day with some training days, do some reading. I watch a lot of online cash games and I watch a lot of online tournament replays just to see what people are doing." Now playing four or five nights a week, Mendez also spends a lot of his time studying as much poker as he can. During the day he's at home taking care of Mathai and figuring out how to make all of it work has been harder than constructing three-bet ranges. "The last 18 months has been a really hard struggle for me to balance both. When you have an option of do I want to play this tournament or play this series of events of events online or travel to Borgata? or do I want to take the time with my daughter and take her to Storybook Land? I'm going to go to Storybook Land nine times out of ten," said Mendez. "I realized a few months ago I had to start making a little bit of home sacrifice if I'm going to keep the schedule that I have. So she'll have to miss me a little bit more, but that's better than me getting a full-time job and missing her every day." Mendez will receive his bracelet later this week in Las Vegas. The WSOP is flying Mendez and his family out for the ceremony.
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