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  1. For years, Ari Engel was one of the most consistent players on the poker circuit, final tabling and winning major tournaments all around the country, and the world for that matter. However, before 2019, the former #1-ranked online player on PocketFives simply couldn’t produce the same results at the World Series of Poker. He had never even made a final table after years of playing there until 2019, where he won his first WSOP final table in a $2,500 Event, earning over $427,000. Well, that seems to have triggered something in Engel. Last week, he made it two bracelets in as many series, when he won the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo Championship Event. An appreciative Engel pointed out how the bracelet in 2019 was different than this one. “I had a long drought at World Series where I didn’t get a top nine for various reasons. That was a big mental hurdle because I was thinking is it the desert, the weather, what am I doing wrong because I was winning at other places but not in Vegas?” Engel went on to explain that this bracelet brought different feelings for him for different reasons. “This one, I really enjoy O8 so winning after spending a ton of COVID time playing O8 was a very nice feeling. Different for sure the first one is more special like that, but winning a $10k Championship is nice.” Engel has been largely known as a No Limit Hold’em player, but he shared with us that in recent years, he has been playing more Omaha Hi/Lo. He starting grinding PLO8 in 2008, and made Supernova in 2009 grinding six to eight tables at a table. Interestingly enough, Engel barely got into the No Limit bracelet event that he eventually won in 2019, and said that since he was playing so much O-8, he couldn’t handle simply playing one game of live hold’em. “I was playing PLO8 all day in 2019 and just max late regging events. I showed up at 7 PM for the noon event and I couldn’t stomach it, I had to play more PLO8 so I just grabbed my laptop and played while I played the bracelet event I won. I really enjoy O8 at this stage.” It is no surprise that the final table of this $10,000 Mixed Game Event was stacked with bracelet winners and high-roller regulars. Engel bested a final table that included Robert Mizrachi (7th), George Wolff (6th), Phil Hellmuth (5th), and Andrew Yeh (3rd). Engel, the 2018 recipient of the PocketFives Legacy Award, confessed that while he had plenty of experience playing Omaha-8, he wasn’t sure how he would stand up against some of the best players in the world. “All of these guys were pretty great. I wasn’t sure how I would stack up against them and I still don’t know, because one tournament doesn’t tell you that much, but they are clearly phenomenal players. It’s very exciting to play against legends of the game. I’m a fanboy too in addition to being a player.” Engel also pointed out that while this was a different game, his years of final table Hold’em experience helped him in certain spots, as much of the ICM strategy is still the same. “I understand table dynamics and leverage from other tournaments I’ve played so getting the stack was the luck part.” The seven-hour heads-up battle was made a bit easier, or at least more exciting, because of a raucous rail that was cheering Engel on. Some of the railbirds were betting on whether the flops would come out red or black, adding some entertainment to the long grind of heads-up play. Engel was appreciative of the support after his win. “Awesome having a great rail to support you. I had the same at Aussie Millions. My first bracelet, I didn’t have a strong rail. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does it makes it more special. It makes it more fun and enjoyable from a life perspective. If I had lost maybe it would be more painful, but it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not sure.” Engel adds another $317,000 and change to his already robust poker resume, but for Engel, it doesn’t change much about his plans this summer. In fact, Engel confessed that he doesn’t even have a schedule planned out, instead opting to wait until the day of to decide what to play. “I never have a schedule for the WSOP. I’ve never had one. I came into this one planning to play more mixed games but I wasn’t sure what to an extent. I will be playing any and all Omaha Hi/Los. Not sure about the other games.” Engel did say that he is certainly enticed by playing at the high level of the $10k WSOP champions events, so expect to see him there for sure. “At the 10k level, I’m not sure where I stand on a lot of mixed games, but I’m happy to gamble and find out and maybe get better by playing against better players. We’ll see what happens. I’ll be playing more tournaments than cash, but I’m never really sure where I’ll be playing on a given day.”
  2. Chance Kornuth won his third World Series of Poker bracelet as the self-confessed Short Deck novice won the $10,000-entry event to claim the $194,670 top prize. With a talented selection of six top players returning to the felt in the Thunderdome for the final table, Kornuth got the better of Chad Campbell heads-up as the final duel ended in the poker professional and coaching expert’s favor in dramatic fashion. Kornuth Claims Dramatic Victory Against Campbell The final table of six kicked off with Kornuth in a slim lead over Chad Campbell as the half dozen final table players battled to a winner under the lights. There was a quick bust-out to kick the action off as Thomas Kysar, who came into the action with the shortest stack, busted in sixth place for $32,437 with [poker card="Js"][poker card="Td"] against Kornuth’s [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Qh"] as the board of [poker card="Ad"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] gave the chip leader two pair to further boost his stack ahead of just four remaining opponents. Next to go was Joao Vieira as the Portuguese player was eliminated by Campbell just a few hands later. Vieira jammed with [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jd"] and was called by Campbell with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kh"]. On the board of [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ks"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8h"], Campbell made two-pair and Vieira missed turn and river to bust for $42,885 in fifth place. With four players remaining, a lot of play took place without anyone losing their stack. Kornuth and Campbell traded places at the top, but neither Dan Shak or fourth-place finisher Moshe Gabay could make any in-roads into their advantage and it was no surprise when Gabay lost his stack next for $58,601. The manner of Gabay’s exit was, however, a shock. Calling Shak’s shove, Gabay was all-in with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="As"] and ahead of Shak’s [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jd"]. The flop of [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="9c"] was a sensational one, however, as while it kept Gabay ahead, it offered Shak the chance of a straight flush, which he duly hit on the [poker card="8c"] turn. The [poker card="Jh"] was insignificant in the extreme and Shak chipped up at Gabay’s expense. Despite winning that hand, Shak couldn’t threaten the leaders and bowed out in third after a courageous run. All-in with [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Ts"] against Kornuth’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Kh"], the board of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="9s"][poker card="7d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="Js"] gave Kornuth a vital pot to send him into heads-up with a lead of 2.6 million chips to Campbell’s 1.4 million. Shak, meanwhile, went to the rail with a score of $82,678. Heads-up, Kornuth took very little time to emerge victorious, after the shortest battle of the final table. On a board showing [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="9s"], Campbell raise-shoved with [poker card="Tc"][poker card="9h"] and Kornuth called with a flopped full house, holding [poker card="Js"][poker card="8c"]. The river of [poker card="7d"] ended the event and Kornuth could celebrate his third WSOP title with the bracelet and $194,670 top prize, while Campbell commiserated himself with the runner-up result worth $120,316. Kornuth’s title will feel even sweeter as he proved to his wife Emily that he was able to do it based on some YouTube learning. https://twitter.com/Srirachaaa/status/1449597512495419398 WSOP 2021 Event #29 $10,000 Short Deck Final Table Results: Chance Kornuth - $194,670 Chad Campbell - $120,316 Dan Shak - $82,678 Moshe Gabay - $58,601 Joao Vieira - $42,885 Thomas Kysar - $32,437 Dylan Weisman Gets His First Gold In Event #28, Dylan Weisman sealed a memorable victory in the $1,000-entry Pot Limit Omaha tournament for a top prize of $166,461. Weisman is a name well-known to PLO players, coaching on the popular Upswing Poker site and he utilized his stack advantage over the field to maximum effort in winning his debut WSOP bracelet. Just five players came back to the final table to play out the conclusion of the event, with Weisman holding a big lead coming into the action. Weisman had almost as many chips as his two closest challengers combined and ran over the table to become champion. Before long had elapsed, Weisman had half the chips at the table and watched on as Tim Van Loo busted Ran Niv of Israel in fifth place for $40,109. Van Loo might have been hoping to put those chips to good use, but he was the next to leave, ousted by Alexander Yen in fourth place for $54,230. It was a remarkable run for Van Loo, as not only was it his first appearance at a WSOP final table, but his first World Series cash of any kind, and the young German will be one to watch based on this event. His conqueror in the final hand, Yen, busted in third place for $74,239 in the pivotal hand of the final. Yen’s set of eights was crushed by Weisman’s set of nines and when both players improved to a full house on the board, Weisman knocked out his more dangerous rival in terms of chips. Craig Chait only had 1.7 million to Weisman’s stack of almost 20 million, so it was no surprise when Chait was busted in the runner-up position for $102,884. Weisman’s victory was worth $166,461 and in taking down the tournament, he won his first-ever gold bracelet, to the delight of his many fans and friends on the rail. WSOP 2021 Event #28 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Results: Dylan Weisman - $166,461 Craig Chait - $102,884 Alexander Yen - $74,239 Tim Van Loo - $54,230 Ran Niv - $40,109 Chase Fujita - $30,040 Manan Bhandari - $22,787 Youness Barakat - $17,510 Hellmuth In Position For 4th Final Table Phil Hellmuth will go into his fourth final day of an event this World Series, and with the Poker Brat holding over a million chips, there’s a chance the controversial star wins bracelet #16 tomorrow. With only Rep Porter (1,129,000) bagging up more chips than Hellmuth, who totalled 1,016,000 at the close of play, the Poker Brat will be putting on a charm offensive ahead of the final day. A little further back sits Dario Sammartino (800,000) who finished as runner-up in the last live, authentic Las Vegas WSOP Main Event in 2019. Sammartino isn’t the only other big-name chasing down Porter and Hellmuth at the top of the leaderboard. Chris Vitch (447,000), Jake Schwartz (398,000) and Ryan Riess (266,000) will all harbor hopes of victory as they battle for the bracelet on the final day of another prestigious mixed game event, with stars such as Rok Gostisa, Ali Imsirovic and Melanie Weisner all missing out during Day 2. WSOP 2021 Event #31 $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Final Day Chipcounts: Rep Porter - 1,129,000 Phil Hellmuth - 1,016,000 Kenji Faris - 840,000 Dario Sammartino - 800,000 Jason Papastavrou - 666,000 Jason Lipiner - 663,000 Kevin Gerhart - 581,000 Chris Vitch - 447,000 Jake Schwartz - 398,000 Ryan Riess - 266,000 Ryan Leng, Dylan Linde Score Monster Stacks The massive Monster Stack field was grown to a total of 3,520 players on Day 1b, with 1,219 players making the Day 2 seat draw through both Day 1a (518) and Day 1b (701). The biggest chipstack on Day 1b belonged to Rajaee Wazwaz (510,500), with Pavel Plesuv (483,500) and 2021 bracelet winner Ryan Leng (473,000) the nearest to overtaking the leader at the close of play. Others such as Dylan Linde (443,000), Andrew Neeme (304,500), Upeshka De Silva (219,000), Jesse Sylvia (129,000), Cate Hall (125,000), Ari Engel (108,000) and Ronnie Bardah (75,000) all making the cut. WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Top 10 Chipcounts: Rajaee Wazwaz - 510,500 Pavel Plesuv - 483,500 Ryan Leng - 473,000 Mitchell Collins - 465,000 Dylan Linde - 443,000 Francois Pirault - 440,500 Joshua Gordon - 440,500 Yeon Bae - 433,500 La Sengphet - 428,000 Matthew Eng - 424,500 Brian Hastings, Maria Ho In $3K H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Finally, in Event #32, 154 players survived from a Day 1 field of 282 who took part. Lithuanian player Vincas Tamasauskas leads the way with 197,000 chips, from top 10 players such as Brian Hastings (178,400), Maria Ho (169,400), and David Williams (168,900). Elsewhere, John Monnette (120,600), Yuri Dzivielevski (105,800), Ari Engel (95,100), Ryan Laplante (59,000), and John Racener (52,500) all made Day 2 in good chip health, while players such as Frank Kassela, Shaun Deeb, Norman Chad, Mike Matusow, and Chino Rheem all crashed out before the end of the first day. WSOP 2021 Event #32 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Vincas Tamasauskas - 197,000 John Fahmy - 188,700 Brian Hastings - 178,400 Daryl Aguirre - 174,600 Sachin Bhargava - 173,300 George Alexander - 169,700 Maria Ho - 169,400 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 169,400 David Williams - 168,900 Paramjit Gill - 139,500 Maria Ho, who made it through in seventh place on the leaderboard, revealed her tactics as she made her way from the Rio after a successful day’s work at the felt. https://twitter.com/MariaHo/status/1449534894325977090 Finally, it’s still a few weeks until the WSOP Main Event kicks off, but Phil Hellmuth has kicked off some speculation about his ‘entrance outfit after posting this picture of some old classics. We’ll take some action on a green-blue tracksuit with the number ‘456’ in the corner. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1449148701247639559
  3. Two new WSOP bracelet winners were crowned as Lara Eisenberg won the Ladies Championship and Dalibor Dula won a $1,000 Freezeout event, with more gold grabbed by first-timers in both cases. Eisenberg Stages Epic Comeback to Triumph Lara Eisenberg won the Ladies Event final table as she triumphed as an against-the-odds short stack to defeat Debora Brooke heads-up for the title. The final day began with just five players remaining, but JJ Liu left the action early. Liu moved all-in on the turn of a board showing [poker card="8s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="Jc"] with [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Js"] but was called by Brooke with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jd"] and the [poker card="Th"] river couldn’t save her, leaving Liu to collect her $26,458 prize. Diane Cooley busted in fourth place for $36,269 after her shove on the turn ended in failure to double. The board was [poker card="Ah"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4s"][poker card="6s"] when Cooley pushed all-in with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qh"], but Lara Eisenberg had turned the flush with [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] and after the [poker card="4c"] river, held the chip lead. In the commentary booth, WSOP legend Lon McEachern shared the mike with Jamie Kerstetter and Hollywood actress Jennifer Tilly, who also knows a thing or two about winning at poker. https://twitter.com/JenniferTilly/status/1448847044651601928 Next to go was the overnight chip leader Mikiyo Aoki, who had doubled up Eisenberg when her ace-queen was shot down by the eventual winner’s ace-king. Aoki was on the rial in third place for $50,525 when her shove with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="8c"] was called by Eisenberg with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qd"] and the board played out [poker card="Td"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="Th"]. Heads-up, Eisenberg had almost double her opponent’s chips, and gradually increased her lead until Brooke had just 1.8 million to the leader’s 11.1 million. At that point, Eisenberg shoved on a board of [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="2s"][poker card="7d"][poker card="Tc"] with Brooke calling and showing down [poker card="Ks"][poker card="8d"]. Eisenberg had [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qd"], however, and that kicker played to leave Brooke with the runner-up prize of $71,507 and Eisenberg holding the bracelet and winning the top prize of $115,694. WSOP 2021 Event #22 Ladies Championship Final Table Results: Lara Eisenberg - $115,694 Debora Brooke - $71,507 Mikiyo Aoki - $50,525 Diana Cooley - $36,269 JJ Liu- $26,458 Qing Lu - $19,619 Marle Cordeiro - $14,791 Cherish Andrews - $11,341 Tiffany Lee - $8,847 Thi Nguyen - $7,023 Dalibor Dula Wins Against All-American Opponents Just one player wasn’t American who reached the final table of Event #26, the $1,000-entry freezeout, but that player - Dalibor Dula from the Czech Republic - won the bracelet and $199,227. With only nine players making the final table, Maurice Hawkins and Levi Klump were both eliminated in the same hand as Hawkins shoved for less than a big blind with [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Jd"], Maxx Coleman re-shoved with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Js"] and Levi Klump called off his stack with [poker card="As"][poker card="Qh"]. The flop of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5h"] immediately put Coleman into the lead and it stayed that way through the [poker card="7h"] turn and [poker card="5s"] river, seeing Hawkins win $17,270 and Klump claim $22,080 for making it one rung higher up the ladder. Just a couple of minutes later, Nicolo Audannio was on the rail in seventh place for $28,565. Audannio moved all-in pre-flop for eight big blinds with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8c"] and was called by the initial raiser in the hand, Cole Ferraro with [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jd"]. The board of [poker card="Kd"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="9d"] provided no salvation for Audannio and he left as play went six-handed. Anthony Askey was busted in sixth place for $37,393 when his [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qc"] were up against Edward Welch’s [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jh"] and saw a flop of two kings and a jack decimate his stack. In the next hand, Askey’s few remaining chips went in with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Tc"] and lost to Cole Ferraro’s [poker card="Qh"][poker card="4h"]. It was high roller Maxx Coleman who busted in fifth place for $49,519 when his [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Th"] was shot down by Ferraro’s [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Jc"] on a board of [poker card="7s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5d"] which gave the latter a flush on the turn, while Guowei Zhang busted in fourth for $66,335 when he lost tow coinflips in a row to depart, with Dula winning the first and most valuable one wit [poker card="As"][poker card="Ks"] hitting against Zhang’s [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Qs"]. Three-handed play saw Welch eliminated with his [poker card="Ad"][poker card="2d"] dominated and defeated by Ferraro’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ts"], with the board of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="2c"][poker card="Th"][poker card="Tc"] cruelly offering Welch hope on the flop then denying him on 4th and 5th streets. Both men held the lead during a rollercoaster heads-up battle, but eventually, Dula led and Ferraro and he were both under 20 big blinds. When Dula moved all-in with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="3d"], Ferraro called it off with just [poker card="Jc"][poker card="8c"], but couldn’t get lucky on the [poker card="As"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="Qc"][poker card="Qc"] board. WSOP 2021 Event #26 $1,000 NLHE Freezeout Final Table Results: Dalibor Dula - $199,227 Cole Ferraro - $123,142 Edward Welch - $89,875 Guowei Zhang - $66,335 Maxx Coleman - $49,519 Anthony Askey - $37,393 Nicolo Audannio - $28,565 Levi Klump - $22,080 Maurice Hawkins - $17,270 Jaffe, Racener, Hall Make $5K Six-Max Final Table The final table of the $5,000-entry Six-Handed Event #25 has been reached and after a day of drama, it was Eric Tsai (8,040,000) who grabbed the chip lead by the close of play. Tsai finished just a short distance ahead of Scott Ball, who bagged up 7,820,000, with Jonathan Jaffe coming into the final third in chips with 6,170,000. Bin Weng (3,980,000), Galen Hall (2,245,000), and John Racener are all a little shorter-stacked, but all have a wealth of experience to draw on as the final six race to a winner on Friday. Elsewhere in the event, players such as Yuri Dzivielevski (30th for $17,995), Frank Kassela (25th for $17,995), Daniel Negreanu (22nd for $21,838) and Nick Petrangelo (13th for $27,150) all made the money but not the business end of the event. WSOP 2021 Event #25 $5,000 Six-Handed NLHE Final Table Chipcounts: Eric Tsai - 8,040,000 Scott Ball - 7,820,000 Jonathan Jaffe - 6,170,000 Bin Weng - 3,980,000 Galen Hall - 2,245,000 John Racener - 1,950,000 Anthony Zinno Leads $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. On Day 2 of the $1,500-entry H.O.R.S.E. Event #27, Anthony Zinno performed at a high level to dominate the day at the felt. Zinno built a massive chip lead with 18 players remaining, with 2,565,000 chips putting him in a commanding lead at the end of the day’s play. At one point, Zinno had twice his nearest challenger’s chips, but Kao Saechao caught up a little to end the day second in chips on 1,495,000, while others to make the top half of the chip counts included Randy Ohel (1,040,000) and Max Pescatori (850,000). With players such as former WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen (835,000) and Ari Engel (300,000) both on Pescatori’s table on Day 3, the action will be intense as players battle towards the top prize of $160,636. With the bubble bursting on Day 2, some players weren’t lucky enough to make any profit or claim vital WSOP Player of the Year points, with Phil Hellmuth, Chino Rheem and Barry Greenstein all finishing outside the money. Others, such as Shaun Deeb, Brian Hastings, Jason Somerville, and Allen Kessler all made the money places but failed to reach the final day. WSOP 2021 Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Anthony Zinno - 2,565,000 Kao Saechao - 1,495,000 Curtis Phelps - 1,355,000 Darren Kennedy - 1,330,000 Paul Holder - 1,160,000 Randy Ohel - 1,040,000 Michael Rosenberg - 930,000 Christopher Adams - 920,000 Max Pescatori - 850,000 Joe McKeehen - 835,000 $1K PLO Gets Underway Two more events took place at the Rio on Day 15, with Event #28, the $1,000 PLO 8-Handed tournament seeing 14 hours of gameplay across a mammoth Day 1. With 1,069 total entries, just 59 players ended the night with chips after over 94% of the field fell by the wayside. Ryan Gibson grabbed the chip lead and will go into the second and final day with high hopes of winning the bracelet, piling up 1,940,000 chips as the leader. Alex Yen is Gibson’s closest challenger on 1,314,000 chips, with Jonathan Therme (1,033,000) third in chips. With such a fast-paced day, a lot of players busted before the 161st place player began to earn money. Luminaries such as Daniel Negreanu, Tom McEvoy, Ryan Laplante, Dylan Linde and Sam Razavi all cashed, but missed out on the second day. WSOP 2021 Event #28 $1,000 PLO 8-Handed Top 10 Chipcounts: Ryan Gibson - 1,940,000 Alexander Yen - 1,314,000 Jonathan Therme - 1,033,000 Dylan Weisman - 937,000 Michael Perrone - 750,000 Casey Carroll - 680,000 Craig Chait - 664,000 Tegnear Butler - 553,000 Gabe Ramos - 550,000 Youness Barakat - 539,000 Kornuth, Koon Make $10K Short Deck Day 2 Ye Shen bagged the chip lead with 361,400 chips after eight levels of play on the first day of Event #29, with players such as Dan Shak (320,500), Chance Kornuth (262,000), and Jason Koon (235,400) all making the top 10 chip counts on a busy Day 1 in Event #29. With 59 entries being reduced to just 19 players, there are five former WSOP bracelet winners in the hunt for another, with Joao Vieira (199,100), Dan Zack (125,800), Stephen Chidwick (119,500) Daniel Negreanu (95,000), and Ben Yu (73,000) all hoping to go for gold again. WSOP 2021 Event #29 $10,000 Short Deck Top 10 Chipcounts: Ye Shen - 361,400 Young Ko - 340,000 Chad Campbell - 326,300 Dan Shak - 320,500 Chance Kornuth - 262,000 Moshe Gabay - 251,100 Jason Koon - 235,400 Thomas Kysar - 231,000 Joao Vieira - 199,100 Daniel Zack - 125,800 Finally, players of all levels meet and greet at the 2021 World Series of Poker and to prove it, Kid Poker himself, Daniel Negreanu, showed what happens when you meet someone with a common interest. https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1448832619790036992
  4. The $25,000-entry Heads Up Championship, Event #11, on the 2021 World Series of Poker schedule was always going to be a dramatic one. With four fantastic players making the final stages of the tournament, finding a winner would be a war of wits like no other as four men played off to meet in the final and then battle it out for the bracelet. Jason Koon Takes Down $25K Heads-Up In the semifinals, Daniel Zack was the first player to hit the rail and that meant a new winner would take home the gold as Zack was the only remaining bracelet winner in the final four. Gabor Szabo had a nut flush early to work himself into a massive lead, before making a great call with bottom pair just a few hands later. Sealing the deal with a Broadway straight against Zack’s two-pair, Szabo awaited the winner of another titanic tussle on the other table. It was a lengthy scrap for the other place in the final as Finnish online boss Henri ‘ButtonClickr’ Pusstinen was shot down by Jason Koon. Puustinen was a tricky customer and Koon found it difficult to close the match out. Puustinen dropped behind early in the match-up but consistently found a way to survive until Koon’s two pair eventually got the job done against the Finn’s bottom pair. In the final, neither player took a distinctive lead for over an hour as play started tentatively with the bracelet on the line. Koon moved into the lead but that was reversed by the talented Hungarian who established a 2:1 lead. Koon was all-in for his tournament life with [poker card="5s"][poker card="5c"] and was called by Szabo with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"] before a dramatic flop of [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="4h"] gave both men a big sweat. The turn of [poker card="Jd"] and river of [poker card="Js"] kept Koon alive and vaulted him into the lead, but Szabo evened up the stacks to almost level by the time the pivotal hand arrived, with both men committing their stacks to the middle pre-flop and over 90% of the chips being on the line with Koon holding [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qc"] and Szabo dominated with [poker card="As"][poker card="Js"]. The flop of [poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2s"] saw Koon remain in the lead and nothing altered that on the [poker card="9h"] turn. When the [poker card="Qd"] river fell, Koon had an overwhelming lead. Just a few hands later it was all over and the newly named GGPoker ambassador had ended his long career wait for a WSOP bracelet. Szabo was all-in and at risk pre-flop with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="9d"] and Koon, who had pushed all-in with [poker card="Js"][poker card="7d"] needed to hit. The flop of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5h"] saw jacks once again come to Koon’s rescue and after the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river, Koon had won his first-ever WSOP bracelet and the $243,981 top prize, with Szabo claiming $150,790 as runner-up. WSOP 2021 Event #11 $25,000 Heads Up Championship Results: Jason Koon - $243,981 Gabor Szabo - $150,790 Henri Puustinen -$89,787 Daniel Zack - $89,787 Mikita Badziakouski - $36,280 Bin Weng - $36,280 Benjamin Reason - $36,280 Jake Daniels - $36,280 https://twitter.com/JasonKoon/status/1446398841264087044 Former #1 Ari Engel Wins $10K Omaha 8 Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel was a popular winner in Event #9, the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, where Phil Hellmuth busted out first of the final five. Hellmuth went all the way to the river against Engel and Eddie Blumenthal, but his two opponents ended up chopping the pot and sending the 15-time bracelet winner to the rail for a cash worth $80,894. With four players remaining, it was Blumenthal who was next to go, eliminated in fourth place for $107,204. The American busted to the eventual winner when Engel’s higher flush edged out his opponent and strengthened his chip lead. Engel then busted his next victim when his nut flush and low hand scooped the pot against Andrew Yeh, who received $143,988 for coming third. With Engel holding a better than 4:1 chip lead, the final battle could have been simple, but it was anything other than that. Over the course of almost eight hours and one of the longest heads-up matches in living memory, Engel and his opponent, Zachary Milchman both held the lead on multiple occasions. Both men had chances to seal victory long before Engel’s two pair queens and tens topped Milchman’s queens and eights. While Milchman brought home $195,968 for a runner-up result, it was Engel’s day and his second bracelet, which came with a top prize of $317,076. WSOP 2021 Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Final Table Results: Ari Engel - $317,076 Zachary Milchman - $195,968 Andrew Yeh - $143,988 Eddie Blumenthal - $107,204 Phil Hellmuth - $80,894 George Wolff - $61,877 Robert Mizrachi - $47,987 Ben Landowski - $37,738 Khamar Xaytavone - $30,102 https://twitter.com/AriEngelPoker/status/1446382753910439937 Bronshtein Scores Second Career Bracelet The third and final WSOP bracelet winner of the day came in Event #12, the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event. It was Yuval Bronshtein who eventually prevailed in another lengthy battle into the small hours at the Rio. Heading into the final table, Kevin Erickson had the chip lead and he made that count over the course of the final day, with 16 players reduced to the final table in just a couple of hours play. Despite that momentum, Erickson would run out of luck at just the wrong moment. Working himself into a heads-up battle against Bronshtein with a 3:1 chip lead, Erickson improved that dramatically to look nailed on for the win with an 18:1 chip lead a short time later. Bronshtein somehow worked his way back into contention, however, and managed to turn the tide to go 3:1 up in chips himself. On the final hand, Bronshtein got it into the middle with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kd"], which was way ahead of Erickson’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qd"] and stayed there through the jack-high board to relegate Erickson to runner-up for $76,868 and give Bronshtein $124,374 and the much-coveted WSOP bracelet. WSOP 2021 Event #12 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: Yuval Bronshtein - $124,374 Kevin Erickson - $76,868 Tom McCormick - $53,588 John Bunch - $38,011 Ian Glycenfer - $27,488 Zachary Gruneberg - $20,262 Guy Cicconi - $15,230 Tony Nasr - $11,677 Anh Van Nguyen - $9,137 https://twitter.com/Yuvee04/status/1446408541682556928 Final Table Set For $3K Freezeout In the 13th event of the 2021 WSOP, the $3,000 NLHE Freezeout event, it was Brandon Caputo who captured the chip lead heading into the final day. With just seven players remaining, Caputo’s stack of 7,200,000 was a little ahead of Belgian player Michael Gathy (6,700,000), the four-time WSOP bracelet winner, with Gabriel Andrade (4,900,000) a little further back. Elsewhere in the event, several players made the money without managing to seal a final table seat, with Betrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (32nd for $9,299), Sergio Aido (21st for $10,816) and Niall Farrell (12th for $18,815) all going close to the final seven but falling short. Andrew Jeong, the Day 1 chip leader, bubbled the last day in 8th place for $37,824 when his top pair with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kc"] on a flop of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] couldn’t hold against Gathy’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="6c"] for two pair. The turn of [poker card="Td"] and river [poker card="9d"] ended the hand, sent Jeong to the rail, and ended the day’s play. WSOP 2021 Event #13: $3,000 NLHE Freezeout Final Table Chipcounts: Brandon Caputo - 7,200,000 Michael Gathy - 6,700,000 Gabriel Andrade - 4,900,000 Craig Mason - 2,780,000 Harvey Mathews - 2,520,000 Girish Apte - 2,425,000 David Lolis - 2,295,000 Shaun Deeb, David Williams At Event #14 Final Table Event #14, the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event, saw six players remain with chips after a rollercoaster day sent a former WSOP world champion to the rail in the money and plenty of other big names missed out on the final day. Tom McEvoy (29th for $2,687) worked his way to a min-cash, while Day 1 chip leader Elias Hourani lasted a little longer to go out in 20th place for $3,390. Anthony Zinno ran all the way to 11th place for (5,338), but missed out on the last half-dozen, which were headlined by Rafael Lebron with 1.69 million chips. Of the six players who survived Day 2 as 76 players were cut down to just half a dozen, Shaun Deeb (1,195,000) and David Williams (1,050,000) will look to add to already legendary WSOP resumes with victory on the third and final day of the event. They’ll both be desperate to win the next WSOP Gold Bracelet and the $82,262 top prize to go with it. WSOP 2021 Event #14: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table Chipcounts: Rafael Lebron - 1,690,000 Shaun Deeb - 1,195,000 David Moskowitz - 1,150,000 David Williams - 1,050,000 Nicholas Seiken - 970,000 Christina Hill - 435,000 $1,500 Six-Handed Kicks Off Event #15 saw players take to the action in the $1,500 Six-Handed tournament, with 96 players surviving from a Day 1 field of 1,450 total entries. The chip leader at the close of play was Daniel Orgil, who ended the day with a,650,000. He was followed by Daniel Rezaei (1,266,000) and Jun Obara (1,200,000) as well as plenty of other big names, such as Jonas Mackoff (502,000), Melanie Weisner (467,000), Joni Jouhkimainen (320,000), Darren Elias (265,000) and the man who has more WSOP cashes than anyone, Roland Israelashvili (262,000). WSOP 2021 Event #15 $1,500 NLHE Six-Max Top 10 Chipcounts: Daniel Orgil - 1,650,000 Daniel Rezaei - 1,266,000 Jun Obara - 1,200,000 Steve Foutty - 971,000 Jesse Yaginuma - 843,000 Jeremy Eyer - 825,000 Itai Levy - 782,000 Jared Ambler - 635,000 Sean Hegarty - 621,000 Mark Liedtke - 616,000 Dzivielevski, Nate Silver In $10K Limit Top 10 It took until the small hours of the night for Event #16, the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, to wind to a close as 78 players were more than halved to just 35 hopefuls heading into Day 2. The chip leader at the end of the opening night’s play was Eric Kurtman, who bagged up 466,000 chips, some distance ahead of his nearest rivals Andony Wasaya (314,000) and two-time WSOP event winner Yuri Dzivielevski, who made it through with a stack of 270,000. Elsewhere in the top 10 chipcounts, Nate Silver (198,000) and Chad Eveslage (162,000) will both be hoping to add to their poker resumes with a bracelet, while former bracelet winners Chris Vitch (162,000) and Anthony Zinno (159,000) are also very well placed for more glory on the final day of the event. Some players not to make the next day's play, missing out on the money bubble, which is yet to burst, included Scott Seiver, Jake Daniels, David Benyamine, Mark Gregorich, David 'ODB' Baker, Eli Elezra, Dan Zack, Ronnie Bardah, Daniel Negreanu and Robert Mizrachi. WSOP 2021 Event #16 $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Eric Kurtzman - 466,000 Andony Wasaya - 314,000 Yuri Dzivielevski - 270,000 Casey Mccarrel - 232,000 Christopher Chung - 201,000 Nate Silver - 198,000 Mike Thorpe - 178,000 Christopher Vitch - 162,000 Chad Eveslage - 162,000 Anthony Zinno - 159,000
  5. The 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is here and that means there’s simply no time to waste. So, without further ado, let’s get star--- DON’T GO OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR FIRST TOURNAMENT AND PLAY BEER PONG AT O’SHEA’S WHILE DRINKING SIX IRISH CAR BOMBS THEN THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO STAY UP UNTIL 7 AM AND LOSE 10 BUY-INS ON A $1/$2 TABLE AT THE FLAMINGO. Go out, by all means. Just don’t do that. Have you ever been so hungover that you completely forget what it’s like to not be hungover? Over-partying is easily done in Las Vegas, but a throbbing head and overwhelming nausea is the last thing you want when you’re heading to the Rio to play your first ever WSOP event. Save that for your final night in town. DO GET EXCITED. You’re at the WSOP! You made it! Don’t let some moaning, jaded veteran at your table dampen your spirits. If you feel anxious beforehand, that’s completely normal. Playing for a bracelet is a big deal and you don’t know what will happen. But while anxiety suggests you should fear the uncertainty, excitement views the uncertainly as something to look forward to. So, get excited and enjoy the action. DON’T OVERLOAD ON CAFFEINE. Any anxiety you do feel pre-tournament will only be made worse if you chug four coffees before making your way to the Rio. Instead, find different ways to wake yourself up and save the healing power of coffee for later in the day, like bracelet winner and former #1-ranked online pro Ari Engel does. “I try and go to the gym most mornings and limit caffeine in the morning so it’s more effective in the evening when I’m playing tournaments,” says Engel. DO REGISTER THE NIGHT BEFORE. On the night before your first event, why not stop by the Rio before heading out for dinner? That way, not only will you know what to expect, you can also take care of something that first-timers often overlook: “Make sure you register the day before the tournament, especially if it's a big weekend event,” says WSOP czar Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers. “No one wants to be stuck in a long line when the tournament starts.” Registration is available 24/7. DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT. Keep your mornings stress-free by limiting your obligations to others and planning your food/travel the night before. That way you can just relax pre-poker. “I like to give myself time before I go play so that my brain is actually awake and functioning,” says three-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny “RunGodlike” Glaser. “I'll meditate a bit if I have time, so my mind isn’t cluttered with unnecessary things. I also try not to eat huge meals that will slow me down mentally or give me an insulin crash after.” To help matters further when playing, Mathers suggests downloading the Bravo Poker Live app on your phone. “It shows you when tournament breaks are coming, the status of the dinner break, and how close you are to reaching the money.” At the Rio the food options can be limited and expensive, so Kevmath also suggests packing snacks and drinks in your bag, along with other items you consider essential. DO WEAR LAYERS. “The Rio is notorious for keeping the tournament rooms cooler than you're used to,” says Kevmath. “Be sure to bring a hoodie or wear layers that you can add or remove as needed.” And if you have to wear something warm, why not have some fun with it? “When people see me in a stupid bear suit, it's not just because the Rio is an ice cube,” says two-time bracelet winner Brandon Shack-Harris. “I'm from Chicago, so what do I care? I do it because there's a point in the Series where I've bricked infinite tournaments and I'm too mentally fried to read enough Stoic Philosophies to get through tomorrow's $1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em Event.” DON’T RUSH. Break times in big WSOP tournaments can get hectic. Don’t feel obliged to rush. Remember, there are two outcomes when you’re sprinting back to the table trying not to miss a hand: 1. You’re going to be flustered and your heart racing, so chances you probably won’t play the hand to the best of your ability anyway. 2. You’re probably going to be dealt seven-deuce-offsuit. “I try not to race back to the table,” says Shack-Harris. “If I miss a hand, that's fine. Unless running is going to make me happy for some reason, I'm walking, and I'll get there when I get there.” DO AVOID BAD BEAT STORIES. Talk strategy with friends on breaks, sure, but if you catch yourself beginning to tell a bad beat story--or being forced to listen to one--get out of there. “Forget about beats,” says Shack-Harris. “While it's important to acknowledge hands you could've played better, do it once and let them go.” Instead, on breaks, Shack-Harris likes to get outside and find some peace. “I find it helpful to shut my brain off, so I don’t bother looking at my phone,” he says. “Find a quiet spot and think about adjustments you’ll make in the next level. “There have been times where I've grabbed my skateboard mid-tournament and taken it outside for 10 minutes to calm my brain down and get some air. Sometimes you've got to leave the table and reset!” DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER BUSTING. OK, so you busted the tournament. That sucks. But you know what? You’re still in Las Vegas. “I care less about busting tournaments in Vegas than I do other places because there are so many things to do there,” says Glaser. “There are lots of good bars and clubs, shows, and restaurants to choose from. Or you can even get away from the strip and see some nature, maybe go on a hike somewhere like Red Rock. It can be really nice for resetting and calming the mind.” Just do what your body and mind want to do. “It's such an intense grind and it's so cognitively taxing that it's important to give yourself a rest sometimes,” says Glaser. DO BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Playing at the WSOP is special, whether you’re ticking it off the bucket list or back for the tenth time. But it can be a long grind, so whatever happens, be gentle with yourself. “Throughout the Series, there are ebbs and flows and I’ll make adjustments to stay sane,” says Shack-Harris. “It's important to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to eat shit food if it's going to be convenient or if it will bring your spirits up. Just be aware that you might have to bail in the middle of Level 9 to handle some...extra business.”
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