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Three events kicked off the action on a busy opening day of the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as the Rio returns to poker action for what is heavily rumored to be the final time. With the $500 Casino Employees event offering the first ‘Shuffle Up and Deal!’ of the series and $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. and $1,000 COVID-19 Relief Charity events also taking place, there was something for every bankroll on opening day. Eveslage the Leader in $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. With 73 entries, the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event #2 attracted some of the best mixed games players in poker, with former #1-ranked Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Matthew Ashton all pitching up to take part from the off. After over 11 hours at the felt, just 47 players remained, with Chad Eveslage well clear of the chasing pack on 860,000 chips. Eveslage, who has never won a WSOP bracelet, was top of the pile by a long way from his nearest challengers of John Monette (589,500) and Jean Gaspard (569,000) and will head into Day 2 in pole position to make a run at the title of this all-new three-day event. Cary Katz was the first player to bust, with Mike Gorodinsky sending Katz home in a Stud Hi-Lo hand where Gorodinsky’s sevens and deuces triumphed. There were strong opening days at the felt for Mike Matusow (421,500), Deeb (321,000), and Negreanu (270,000), all of whom finished above average. Elsewhere, 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (206,000) and legendary WSOP commentator Norman Chad (150,500) both made the cut. Registration is still open until the first card hits the felt when Day 2 resumes at 2 pm Vegas time, so with a prize pool that is sure to grow, there is plenty of excitement ahead for a thrilling event. Event #2 $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chip Counts: Chad Eveslage - 860,000 John Monnette - 589,500 Jean Gaspard - 569,000 Jesse Klein - 490,500 Mike Matusow - 420,500 Adam Friedman - 420,500 Chris Vitch - 371,500 Shaun Deeb - 321,000 Hal Rotholz - 314,000 Randy Ohel - 295,000 Just Five Remain In Event For COVID Relief Event #3, the $1,000-entry COVID-19 Relief Charity took place with 266 players taking to the felt, creating a prize pool of $205,400 and a top prize of $54,844. With 39 players paid, play went down to the final five, with the great and good gathering to play poker and donate money to help those who are most vulnerable at the same time, with the eventual chip leader, Jesse Lonis, ending the night on 2,285,000 chips. Plenty of big names busted outside the money, including three-time WSOP winner Adrian Mateos, fellow three-time winner Upeshka De Silva, and Maurice Hawkins. Hovering halfway down the chip counts for much of Day 1 but also failing to make the money was a former World Champion in the shape of Ryan Riess, who had a serendipitous seat to welcome him to the Rio, the scene of his greatest triumph, with a cameo from legendary WSOP bracelet winner Ron McMillen to boot. https://twitter.com/RyanRiess1/status/1443744580717801494 Once the bubble burst, players such as Ali Imsirovic (32nd for $1,590) Ryan Laplante (31st for $1,590), Pavel Plesuv (26th for $1,817), Shannon Shorr (21st for $1,817), Dylan Linde (20th for $1,817), Ryan Riess (18th for $2,000) and Matt Stout (16th for $2,000) all making the money but missing out on the final table. In the end, of the five players who remain, it was Lonis who led. With just four players between Lonis and a WSOP bracelet - including Jeremy Ausmus and former #1-ranked Steve Gross - it's only Lonis and Asher Coniff yet to win WSOP bracelets. Event #3 COVID-19 Charity Event Final Table Chip Counts: Jesse Lonis - 2,285,000 Jeremy Ausmus - 1,345,000 Asher Conniff - 755,000 Steve Gross - 485,000 Mitchell Halverson - 385,000 "Shuffle Up And Deal" The $500-entry Casino Employees Event kicked off the 2021 WSOP in style, with 419 entries making a prize pool of $175,980. Leo Abbe led the field after the day’s conclusion, sitting on a massive pile of 537,000 chips, with Shaun Weintraub (474,000) and Roberto Reyna (461,000) his closest challengers in an all-American top 10. One player who enjoyed his day at the felt in the first event of the series was Jesse Fullen, who provided commentary on the WSOP Online series for thousands of poker fans to enjoy this summer. Fullen began as he meant to go on, busting a player early then continuing to run up his stack throughout the opening day, ending on 223,000 chips, well above the average. Jon Aguiar was also riding high in the event and advocated the positive atmosphere as one of the benefits of playing in the opening event. https://twitter.com/JonAguiar/status/1443753395865546754 Aguiar busted in 102nd place, outside the money, but he had good company, with former event winner Chad Holloway and Garry Gates, who finished fourth in the 2019 WSOP Main Event both failing to make the money too. With the money bubble bursting on Day 1, just 63 players made a profit on their investment. The bubble didn’t last long and when it burst, Chris Moon was the man eclipsed by the field as he busted with pocket nines to Jason Smith’s ace-ten, with both an ace and ten on the flop doing the fatal damage. In the end, just 50 players remained, with Smith making the top 10 and Abbe the chip leader heading into Day 2 of the opening event with the remaining players battling for a $39,013 top prize. Event #1 $500 Casino Employees Event Top 10 Chip Counts: Leo Abbe - 537,000 Shawn Weintraub - 474,000 Roberto Reyna - 461,000 Andrew Bart - 422,000 Akash Desai - 415,000 Jack Behrens - 363,000 Marco Starnoni - 363,000 Jason Smith - 351,000 James Barnett - 343,000 Daniel Kim - 337,000
The 2021 Poker Masters schedule may be heavy on the No Limit Hold’em, but on Monday the schedule took a break from the standard fare to allow some of the high stakes mixed game players to enjoy some of the action. It was Maxx Coleman who enjoyed it the most, taking down Event #6 ($10,000 8-Game) to the tune of $120,000. In addition to No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, the two most popular poker variants, the 8-Game Mixed rotation included Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Eight or Better, 2-7 Triple Draw, Omaha Eight and Razz. The event drew 30 entries but only five who returned on Day 2 made the money. The first elimination took place during Pot Limit Omaha when Jeremy Ausmus, who had started the day as the short stack, found himself with just 35,000 in chips. With the blinds at 10,000/20,000 (20,000 bb ante), Ausmus stuck his stack in holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="td"][poker card="9d"]. Coleman in the big blind committed the few chips necessary for a call with his [poker card="9h"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="5c"]. The flop came [poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="2d"] keeping Coleman’s pair of nines in the lead but leaving outs for Ausmus. The [poker card="2c"] turn changed nothing and when the [poker card="jh"] completed the board Ausmus was out in fifth for $21,000. Playing Omaha 8 with blinds at 25,000/50,000 a short-stacked Erik Sagstrom raised to 100,000 holding [poker card="kd"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3s"]. Stephen Chidwick, also very short but covering Sagstrom, made the call holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="qs"][poker card="ts"][poker card="5c"]. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="4h"][poker card="2h"] giving Chidwick top pair on the high and a wheel draw for the low while Sagstrom had a wrap straight draw plus possible lows as well. Chidwick checked and Sagstrom bet. Chidwick raised and Sagstrom called. The [poker card="qh"] came on the turn, improving Chidwick’s high hand to trips and he bet again (100,000) and Sagstrom put the rest of his chips in the middle needing help on the river. It didn’t come as the [poker card="7s"] hit the river, allowing Chidwick to scoop the pot and ending Sagstrom’s run in fourth for $33,000. Even after the elimination, Chidwick was still short-stacked when No Limit Hold’em came around. With the blinds at 15,000/25,000 (25,000 ante) Chidwick moved all-in from the button holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"]. He ran into Coleman who made the call in the small blind with the [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The flop came [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"][poker card="5d"] leaving the 2018 U.S. Poker Open champion drawing thin. The [poker card="7c"] on the turn left Chidwick drawing dead to the [poker card="9c"] river. Chidwick collected his belongings and headed to the cage to collect his $48,000 third-place prize. Coleman and Chad Eveslage battle across the 8-Game landscape for the better part of an hour-and-a-half with Coleman eventually assuming a commanding chip lead. He sealed the tournament playing a hand of Razz. The game where the lowest hand wins determined the player who would take home the biggest payday. With the blinds at 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante) Eveslage found himself all-in with one card to come holding [poker card="jh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"] while Coleman held the slightly better [poker card="qc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2h"][poker card="ac"]. Eveslage’s needed some help but he didn’t get it when the [poker card="qs"] came on seventh street and Coleman’s final card - the [poker card="8h"] - was irrelevant. Eveslage said “I don’t want to go play No Limit now” as he finished in second place for $78,000. Maxx Coleman is the Poker Masters 8-Game champion and earned $120,000 Poker Masters Event #6 Final Table Results Maxx Coleman - $120,000 Chad Eveslage - $78,000 Stephen Chidwick - $48,000 Erik Sagstrom - $33,000 Jeremy Ausmus - $21,000
After starting the final table of 2021 Poker Masters Event #4 (10,000 No Limit Hold’em) dead last in chips, Brock Wilson willed himself to the top of the chip counts and found a way to take down the first Poker Masters event of his career, earning $189,800 and the top spot on the Poker Masters Purple Jacket leaderboard. For a relatively new face on the high roller scene, Wilson has been making quite the impression. Tor the better part of two years, the Las Vegas resident has been firing in some of the biggest live tournaments on the circuit. While he’d come close on numerous occasions to bringing home a win in the PokerGO studio, it had yet to materialize. On Saturday night, however, the win that felt inevitable finally came to pass. His victory in Event #4 is not only his most high-profile official victory, but the cash also ranks as a top-5 career score of over $3.5 million in earnings. READ: Empire State to Sin City: Brock Wilson Ready for Breakout Moment It took nearly an hour and a half before the final table had its first elimination. Wilson started the day as the short stack, and right behind him was Elio Fox. However, both players navigated the early levels to give themselves a little breathing room. The opposite was true for Nick Petrangelo who went from third in chips to the bottom of the chip counts. With blinds at 25,000/50,000 (50,000 bb ante), Petrangelo, with just 10 big blinds, raised to 100,000 holding [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"]. It folded around to Chad Eveslage in the big blind who defended with his [poker card="2s"][poker card="2d"]. The flop came [poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2h"], giving Eveslage bottom set and offering Petrangelo a flush draw to go with his overpair. When checked to, Petrangelo min-bet 50,000. Eveslage check-raised all-in, and Petrangelo, covered, made the call. The turn was the [poker card="js"] and the river came the [poker card="2c"], improving Eveslage to quads and sending Petrangelo out in sixth for $43,800. Five-handed play took place for over an hour more. The blinds increased to 40,000/80,000 (80,000 bb ante) when Wilson raised to 175,000 from the cutoff holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ah"]. In the small blind, Brekstyn Schutten, who started the day with the chip lead, flatted with his [poker card="7h"][poker card="7c"]. Then, Sam Soverel, with just under ten big blinds came along holding the [poker card="qh"][poker card="9h"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"][poker card="3h"] and it checked through to Wilson who bet 150,000. Schutten let his pocket sevens go but Soverel didn’t follow suit, he made the call. The turn was the [poker card="9d"], bringing Soverel two pair. Soverel checked it to Wilson again, and Wilson moved all-in. Soverel snapped called, his hand ahead and just one card from a double. However, the river was the [poker card="ac"], bringing a set for Wilson and sending the 2019 Poker Masters champion to the rail in fifth place for $58,400. As Wilson climbed to second in chips, Eveslage found himself slipping. At 50,000/100,000 (100,000 bb ante), Eveslage had just eight big blinds. From the small blind, he moved all in with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="jc"] and, in the big blind, Wilson made the call holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="7c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="kd"] leaving Wilson’s ace high as the best hand and finishing Eveslage in fourth place for $73,000. At three-handed, Wilson, Schutten, and Elio Fox were all roughly even in stacks. After Elio took a big pot to put a dent into Schutten’s stack, the former chip leader was looking for a spot to double up. At 50,000/125,000 (125,000 bb ante), Fox was applying pressure to Schutten’s big blind when he moved all-in from the small blind with his [poker card="kh"][poker card="qd"]. Schutten woke up with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] and called for his final 8 bigs. The flop came [poker card="kc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5h"], putting Fox in the lead with top pair. That held through the [poker card="jd"] turn and the [poker card="3d"] river. Schutten settled for third place and collected $94,900 for his efforts. After a short break, Wilson and Fox sat down to play heads-up with Fox holding a better than two-to-one chip lead. Unlike some of the recent heads-up matches in the Poker Masters, these two didn’t take long to determine a winner. Wilson picked up a big pot, assumed the chip lead, and closed it out in roughly thirty minutes. On the final hand, Fox called on the button with the [poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"] and Wilson checked his option in the big blind holding [poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"]. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="td"][poker card="8d"] and Wilson checked it to Fox who checked it back. The [poker card="8h"] hit the turn, giving both players trips. Wilson checked again and Fox put out 175,000. Wilson check-raised to 600,000 and Fox made the call. The river was the [poker card="7h"], eliminating the chop by giving Wilson a full house. After letting the shot clock wind down, Wilson shoved and after thinking it over, Fox decided to call and was shown the winner. Fox laddered from fifth in chips at the start of the day to finishing in second for $138,700. Brock Wilson won Event #4 for $189,800 and surged to the lead in the Poker Masters leaderboard. Poker Masters Event #4 Final Table Results Brock Wilson - $189,800 Elio Fox - $138,700 Brekstyn Schutten - $94,900 Chad Eveslage - $73,000 Sam Soverel - $58,400 Nick Petrangelo - $43,800