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  1. The 2022 World Series of Poker is nearly upon us. With it will come a festival of fun as players from around the world flock to Las Vegas, a.k.a. Sin City, the gambling capital of the world. After 17 years at the Rio, the WSOP has moved and is taking place at Bally’s - soon to be renamed The Horseshoe - and Paris in 2022. Situated in the heart of Vegas on the world-famous strip, how will poker’s biggest circus land and how will the performers, or players, adjust?   To find out, we spoke to seven former WSOP bracelet winners to get their honest, frank and at times, hilarious takes on what will transpire in the next seven weeks. So sit back, open up a bag of your favorite popcorn and get ready for the most exciting summer in poker for a very long time.   Footfall Will Increase Exponentially   "Moving the WSOP to the strip will be great for poker." ~ Phil Hellmuth   From the gigantic Rio convention center to Bally’s and Paris, the World Series of Poker’s success after its move to the Las Vegas strip will largely depend on just how players sit down to risk their hard-earned money chasing glory. Record-breaking 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth believes that we are about to see a huge influx of players.   “I am with Mori Eskandani,” says Hellmuth. “I believe that moving the WSOP to the strip will be great for poker.”   With the tourist tread much, much higher on the strip than out on Flamingo Road, the ‘Poker Brat’ has already taken a mini tour of the new location with Eskandani as you can see below.   https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1527073999162707968   How big could the 2022 World Series of Poker attendance be?   “I believe the fields will be larger, and the foot traffic will be up 10 times more.” Says Hellmuth.   A Second Scottish WSOP Bracelet Will Be Won   Niall Farrell isn’t just a WSOP bracelet winner. He’s one of a select band of players who have won a European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and WSOP event, the fabled Triple Crown. His pride in being Scottish is exemplified by his prediction for what will happen in Vegas this year.   “My WSOP prediction is that Scotland will win its second bracelet this year!” he says. “Not necessarily from me, we’ve got a few guys simmering under the radar that I fancy to do well.”   While his confidence is in his fellow countrymen and women, Farrell would love to seal his own second bracelet, having already cashed for over $2.6 million at the WSOP over the years.   “Ideally it's a second and third [for Scotland] - and I win one as well - but that’s what I’m predicting!”   Players Will Miss the Rio   "A lot of players wish that the WSOP was still being held at the Rio." ~ Ryan Riess   While many stars of the poker world are looking forward to play returning to the strip after a hiatus of almost two decades, one former champion who won his WSOP bracelet by taking down the Main Event in 2013 for $8.3 million, disagrees.   “I predict that a lot of players wish that the WSOP was still being held at the Rio.” He says. It’s not just the size of the Rio that Riess praises but the element of convenience.   “Parking, traffic,” he argues. “It may be congested being right in the middle of the strip.”   With plenty of players concerned about negotiating travel around the center of Sin City, Riess – a Vegas resident with his family – will be hoping home turf advantage gives him the chance of winning his second piece of gold. It could be a case of chasing 8,000 parking slots, as legendary poker guru and WSOP pulse-finder Kevin ‘Kevmath’ Mathers told fans tonight.   https://twitter.com/Kevmath/status/1529902918404411392   The Hellmuth Anti-Rail Will be Wild   Every year, one of the highlights for many people – fans and players alike – is bashing the most successful poker player the World Series of Poker has ever seen. Yes, Phil Hellmuth, he of 16 titles and two decades of dominance in the world’s biggest poker festival – might as well walk into Bally’s or Paris for his Main Event entrance as a giant human target.   “I can't wait to tilt Hellmuth out of his mind again,” laughes four-time WSOP winner Anthony Zinno. “Is it OK to be that short?” Zinno, perhaps more than most. After all, the Poker Brat had threatened to solve the air conditioning problem at the Rio by setting fire to the building.   At least the pair made it up and now get on like a house on... well, you get the picture.   https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1506763929988435969   Players will Be Superstitious   Superstition is part of a poker player’s armory just as it is for elite sports performers around the globe. From hopping to their seat (extreme), putting a lucky card protector (moderate) or saying ‘one time’ (everyone in $5,000 and under events), a lot of poker players believe that luck can play more of a part than ever before at the felt.   One player who surged to stardom in 2021 was Daniel Lazrus, who won his first two WSOP bracelets within six months. Having just become a father, he might just be unstoppable in 2022.   “My wife just gave birth to my first child, Eliana Nicole Lazrus, on 14th April,” he says. “It feels better than any sort of bracelet win! It’s going to be tough for me to make it out to WSOP a bunch this year, but the baby run-good is real!”   If you’re about to become a parent, then hurry up – there are only a few days to go before you need to rub your baby’s head, pack a rabbit’s foot into your carry-on bag and hop on that plane!   Kid Poker Gets Out of It?   "Phil Helmuth will go all the way to a heads-up showdown with Daniel Negreanu." ~ Barny Boatman   Daniel Negreanu has famously won no fewer than six WSOP bracelets in a career that has seen the Canadian climb to third on the All-Time Money List. It’s also a strange quirk that Kid Poker hasn’t won one since 2013 and not since 2008 in America. Could this finally be the year he breaks that run?   British double WSOP bracelet winner Barny Boatman sees ‘huge results’ for fellow Britis Yiannis Liperis and Chris Da Silva but foresees problems for Negreanu early on in the schedule.   “Despite attempting to fold the second nuts on the turn in the first round of the Flip ’n’ Go event, Phil Helmuth will go all the way to a heads-up showdown with Daniel Negreanu, who will need first place to break even.” He says. With Boatman hoping to make the plane to Vegas himself, it could be a big summer for former winners all round.   There Won’t Be a New Youngest Ever Winner   Joe Cada’s win in 2009 saw the then 21-year-old bank a record-breaking WSOP Main Event win of $8.5 million when he overcame Darvin Moon in 2009. Cada was the youngest-ever winner of the WSOP Main Event, overtaking Peter Eastgate’s previous victory just 12 months earlier. Before Eastgate’s win, however, Phil Hellmuth had been the youngest Main Event for 19 years after his triumph in 1989.   Cada believes that after 13 years.... people may have to wait a little longer.   “I think it’s going to be a few years still, but who know,” he says. “It’s going to be broken eventually.”   Cada says he’ll look forward to it when it happens, and thinks it is inevitable in the coming years.   “It doesn’t matter to me,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time.”   With the 2022 World Series of Poker only a few days away, there are bound to be plenty of surprises along the way. We’ll be bringing every controversial call, tantalizing turn and riveting river to you as this year’s story unfolds.
  2. Alexander Yen is the newest member of the World Poker Tour Champions Club after he bested the 1,928-entry field of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for $975,240 and a spot on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup. Like it was in 2021, the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open proved to be another strong start to the WPT season. This year 839 entries showed up for Day 1A and they were joined by another 1,089 on Day 1B for a total field of 1,928 entries and a prize pool of $6,342,400, smashing the advertised $2 million guarantee. Yen held control for the chip counts for the majority of the final table, starting the day with a healthy chip lead and maintaining it throughout the bulk of play. He lost it for just a few hands in heads-up play against former online top 5 ranked Anton Wigg but quickly retook the lead, made a great read, and flopped a monster hand in the end to win it all. At the start of the day, Omar Lakhdari was sitting fifth in chips, but the gap between him and short-stack Nicholas Vergeramo was a scant two big blinds. With 24 big blinds, Lakhdari had some room to maneuver but also needed to find a way to chip up. He battled for the better part of an hour before he made what would be his final stand. With the blinds at 100,000/200,000 (200,000 ante), Daniel Lazrus put in a raise to 450,000 holding the [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] from under the gun. When the action reached Lakhdari in the cutoff he moved all-in for just over 3.6 million with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qs"]. The flop came [poker card="9s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2s"] giving Lazrus top set but also bringing flush outs for Lakhdari. The turn was the [poker card="td"] bringing no help but keeping Lakhdari’s flush dreams alive. However, the river was the [poker card="kd"], pairing his king but ultimately losing the hand. Lakhdari finished in sixth place which was good for $208,025. Josh Kay arrived at the final table second in chips and held that spot when the blinds increased to 125,000/250,000 (250,000 ante). But everything quickly went sideways on Kay as he doubled the short-stacked Verderamo and shortly after played a huge pot against Anton Wigg where Kay’s pocket queens lost a critical flip against Wigg’s ace-king. Not long after, Kay and Wigg battled again. Kay opened from the hijack to 500,000 with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"] after which Anton Wigg three-bet shipped over the top with [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"]. The action folded back to Kay and he put in the rest of his stack, looking to double back up through Wigg. The flop came [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"][poker card="9d"], giving Wigg trips and leaving Kay looking for help. Some arrived on the [poker card="7c"] turn, giving Kay backdoor flush possibilities headed to the river. But it was the [poker card="8s"] that completed the board, sending Kay home early in fifth place for $272,830. Four hands later, Verderamo found himself all-in and at risk. Yen opened from the button to 500,000 from the button with the [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. Verderamo, took a moment and moved his short stack all-in from the big blind with the [poker card="ad"][poker card="8s"]. Yen snapped him off and the board ran out[poker card="js"][poker card="6c"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7s"], never giving Yen’s pocket queens a sweat. Verderamo laddered into fourth place and picked up a career-high $361,130 score. Three-handed play lasted nearly two hours and the blinds climbed to 200,000/400,000 (400,000 ante). Daniel Lazrus was sitting at the bottom of the chip counts and looking for the opportunity to rise back into contention with Yen and Wigg. With roughly 15 big blinds, Lazrus open-shipped his stack from the small blind holding the [poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"] into Yen in the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"]. Yen made the call, putting Lazrus at risk. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"], immediately putting Yen in control of the hand but leaving Lazrus with backdoor outs. The [poker card="5s"] turn didn’t improve Lazrus’ odds and when the [poker card="9c"] hit the river, Lazrus was eliminated in third place for $482,380. Yen started heads-up play with a better than 2:1 chip lead, but it didn’t take long for Wigg to double through Yen when Wigg’s [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"] survived an all-in to Yen’s [kc[poker card="qh"] on a board of [poker card="ts"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6d"][poker card="jh"][poker card="5s"]. Soon thereafter, Wigg grabbed the chip lead and that marked the first time at the final table that Yen lost the chip lead. However, Yen didn’t lose the chip lead for long. He took it back and then extended the lead after picking off a big bluff by Wigg which resulted in 70% of the chips in play sitting in front of Yen. One hand after winning that pot, all the chips got in the middle. The blinds were at 300,000/500,000 (500,000 ante) and Yen limped the blind holding [poker card="9c"][poker card="7c"], Wigg made it 2 million to go with his [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"] and Yen made the call. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6c"], giving Yen a flopped straight with a redraw to the straight flush. With his over pair Wigg continued to fire, putting out a 4.5 million bet. Yen smooth called and the [poker card="6d"] hit the turn. Wigg used one of his time banks and moved all-in for his final 18 million chips. Yen quickly called and Wigg needed a queen or a six to improve to a full house and survive. The river came [poker card="4d"] shipping the pot and WPT LHPO title to Yen. Wigg settled for runner-up and $650,180. WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Final Table Results Alexander Yen - $975,240 Anton Wigg - $650,180 Daniel Lazrus - $482,380 Nicholas Verderamo - $361,130 Josh Kay - $272,830 Omar Lakhdari - $208,025
  3. This week the World Series of Poker Main Event, in all its glory, returns to the Rio for what is strongly rumored to be the very last time. Thousands of players - both pros and recs - will pony up the $10,000 buy-in in hopes that after more than two weeks, it will be they who will stand alone, earning life-changing prize money and be crowned the new World Champion. The Main Event is one of the most unique tournaments in all of poker. The payday alone is enough to bring out the masses. But when you add the prestige and tradition of the Main Event bracelet, just playing in the event has become part of the poker dream. And if we’ve learned anything over the 16 years that the Main Event has taken place at the Rio it’s that the spotlight of the Main Event is likely to feature players the greater poker world does not yet know. Perhaps it will be a young up-and-coming grinder who will take center stage or perhaps a recreational enthusiast who was bought in by their family looking to take their once-in-a-lifetime shot. This tournament has proved it’s impossible to predict what will happen and who will emerge, that’s what makes it special. That’s also why picking players who will go on deep run in the Main Event is equally impossible to predict. But that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Whether you are drafting a team with some friends, playing a little fantasy poker, or getting a little side hustle down on PokerShares you’re going to want to check out this list and consider adding them to your squad. We’re taking into account recent momentum, proven ability to navigate large-field tournaments, and the last half-decade of Main Event results. We’re also looking to see who’s already turned up at the WSOP this year and who may just sit out until 2022. So, enjoy. Here’s a special super-sized, special edition of First-Round Picks for the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event. #1. Niklas Astedt Main Event Cashes: 2 Main Event Earnings: $59,420 The former longtime #1-ranked Niklas ‘Lena900’ Astedt is in Las Vegas and ready to make a run at the Main Event. Generally considered one of, if not the, greatest online poker player of all time, when this large-field tournament destroyer is in the field it makes him simply unable to pass up. The truth about Astedt is that he doesn’t have a lot of history with the WSOP, just seven total live cashes at the Las Vegas series. However, two of those came in the Main Event (2016, 2019) and he just made the money in the $10K Six-Max this year. Don’t be surprised if when the field narrows, Astedt is in the mix. #2. Paul Volpe Main Event Cashes: 5 Main Event Earnings: $635,129 Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Paul Volpe is no stranger to making deep runs in the Main Event. He has five Main Event cashes in the past 10 years including finishing in 192nd in 2011 ($47,107), 142nd in 2018 ($57,010), and 29th in 2016 for $216,211. His deepest Main Event run was back in 2012 when he finished in 20th place for $294,601. The fact is that in the Main Event (or any tournament, really) Volpe is as good a bet as there is. #3 Yuri Dzivielevski Main Event Cashes: 2 Main Event Earnings: $317,079 The current #1-ranked online player in the world, Yuri Dzivielevski, has been grinding the entire 2021 WSOP and has racked up six cashes to date. However, that’s just momentum headed into the Main Event where Dzivielevski is a proven large-field master. In 2019, he was one of the standout stars of the Main Event and, after being featured on the ESPN broadcast at the same table as Daniel Negreanu, he went on to finish in 28th place for $261,430. Read: Yuri Dzivielevski Enjoying Success, Freedom With Nothing Left To Prove #4. Alexandre Reard Main Event Cashes: 3 Main Event Earnings: $428,978 France’s Alexandre Reard is already having an outstanding 2021 WSOP, having won his first gold bracelet in Event #47 ($5,000 Freezeout) for $428,694. But the reason he’s such a high pick is his long history of crushing in the Main Event. In 2017, he finished in 16th for $340,000, and in 2018 he had another top 100 finish, ending in 92nd for $66,330. Having cashed in the Main in three of the last four years, Reard already knew what it took to make it deep and now he knows how to close out a bracelet event. #5. Andrew Moreno Main Event Cashes: 2 Main Event Earnings: $256,476 Andrew Moreno, the younger brother of "high-quality" poker vlogger Johnny ‘Vibes’ Moreno, is coming off an epic career score. He took down the $10,000 buy-in Wynn Millions in June for $1.46 million dollars and that was just two weeks after he closed out the $1,100 Ultimate Stack at the Venetian for $127K. Moreno has been seen in the WSOP payout lines, making the money in a number of 2021 events, and has a history of going deep in the Main Event, finishing in 28th in 2015 for more than $211,000. It seems the one-time cash game pro thrives when the stakes are at their biggest, making the Main Event a perfect situation for him. Also, Johnny’s not a bad choice either. #6. Daniel Lazrus Main Event Cashes: - Main Event Earnings: - Long Beach, New Jersey’s 31-year old Daniel Lazrus is entering the Main Event with a wave of momentum at his back. In July, he won the first bracelet of his career in the WSOP.com NLHE High Roller Championship for $205,347. Then he made his way to Las Vegas where he earned his second by taking down the massive 2021 Millionaire Maker for an even $1 million score. This would be the perfect time for Lazrus, who was leading the NLHE Player of the Year standings for a good portion of the first half of the series, to break out for his first (and possibly deep) Main Event cash. #7. Joao Vieira Main Event Cashes: 2 Main Event Earnings: $34,347 Current Online All-Time Money List leader Joao Vieira is looking to put his stamp on the Main Event. In 2019, he earned his first bracelet in the incredibly tough $5K Six-Max where he won $758,011. A great win to be sure, but Vieira is a world-class player and is looking for that televised result that will take his name to the next level. He has two previous Main Event results in Las Vegas, and a pair of cashes from WSOP Europe Main Event in both 2018 and 2019. He’s has all the skill one needs to survive to the endgame, the only question is - is it his time? #8. Kelly Minkin Main Event Cashes: 3 Main Event Earnings: $392,646 Kelly Minkin grabbed the title of Last Woman Standing in the Main Event in both 2015 and 2018, when in both years she finished inside the top 50. But one can’t help but feel like that title means little to Minkin who is pushing to always be the last person standing - full stop. In addition to her two deep runs, Minkin last made the money in the Main in 2019 and, with her doing what needed to be done in order to play this year, she’s in the perfect position to make a run at a final table...and more. #9. Adam Friedman Main Event Cashes: 4 Main Event Earnings: $373,989 Talk about a complete player, Adam Friedman proved that he's one of the best in today's game when he put on a historic performance in the 2021 $10K Dealers Choice, defeating Phil Hellmuth and winning the event for the third time...in a row. His $10K three-peat should be credentials enough to want to grab him in the Main Event, but a deeper looks shows that Friedman also crushes in the Main. He's cashing in the Main Event four times in his career with three top 200 finishes. If you add on the confidence he's going to feel heading into the Main, that makes him a top-tier choice to lead a squad. #10. Maurice Hawkins Main Event Cashes: 1 Main Event Earnings: $38,453 When it comes to the Main Event, Maurice Hawkins has the resume of the ideal player to succeed. He should be making deep run year in and year out. He’s the all-time leader in WSOP Circuit rings with 14 and knows how to battle against the type of player who comes to Las Vegas to take a shot in the Main Event. He’s a proven stack builder with more than $2.6 million in WSOP earnings. The interesting part about Hawkins is, when it comes to the WSOP Main Event, he’s had little success. He has a top 300 finish back in 2012 and nothing since. It’s surprising but perhaps he skipped a few, took some bad beats. Whatever has kept Hawkins from making his presence felt in this event we expect to end this year. #11. Tyler Cornell Main Event Cashes: 4 Main Event Earnings: $189,499 Early in the series Tyler Cornell captured his first WSOP bracelet when he took down the $25,000 High Roller for $833,00 - a career-high score. But prior to his early WSOP win, Cornell already had a stellar WSOP resume having cashed in the live Main Event four different times (2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019). Last year, he cashed in multiple online Main Events. First, he made the final table of the August GGPoker $5K Main Event in which he finished in 8th place for more than $328,000. Then in December, he tacked on another $35K with a deep run in the WSOP.com Main Event. #12. Faraz Jaka Main Event Cashes: 4 Main Event Earnings: $95,874 It’s hard to believe that Faraz Jaka has yet to win a WSOP bracelet, especially because of his reputation of being able to build mountains of chips in just about any tournament he plays. He has four career WSOP Main Event cashes (2014, 2015, 2017, 2019) and more than $1.5 million in WSOP earnings. If you take a close look at Jaka’s resume you can see just how many times he was on the verge of earning that career-defining score. This may be the year that this cashing machine makes headlines in the Main. Second Time Around It's one thing to make it to the final table of the Main Event once, it's remarkable to even consider doing it again (see: Mark Newhouse). While we didn't rank the following five players in our original twelve, it would be silly to sleep on any of these players in the Main Event. Phil Hellmuth Main Event Cashes: 8 Main Event Earnings: $1,333,618 Sixteen-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth has a knack for knowing how to play against recreational players. He’s the 1989 Main Event champ and has eight Main Event cashes in his career. Now, he’s only made the money once since 2015, but Hellmuth is on a heater in 2021 and this could be the year he returns with a deep run in the Main. Joe McKeehen Main Event Cashes: 2 Main Event Earnings: $7,707,826 Joe McKeehen has a reputation for being two things - one of which is being a master of navigating large field MTTs. Of course, everyone knows he won the Main Event in 2015 for $7.6 million. Since then he’s earned another two gold bracelets and made five World Poker Tour final tables. His latest WPT score took place earlier this year when he finished as the WPT Venetian runner-up for just over $490K. Of all the Main Event winners in the past 10 years, McKeehen might just be the favorite to make it back to the final table. Damian Salas Main Event Cashes: 5 Main Event Earnings: $2,493,281 Of course, Damian Salas might have something to say about which Main Event Champion is best suited to repeat. Salas, the winner of the 2020 online-live hybrid Main Event for a combined score of over $2.5 million ($1.5 million international, $1 million in the heads-up portion in Las Vegas) already had Main Event final table experience before his win last year. In 2017, Salas finished in seventh place for a $1.4 million score and he’s actually made the money in five of the last 10 Main Events which is more than enough proof that he’s always going to be a threat to make it back to a final table. READ: Desire To Remain Elite Drives New World Champ Damian Salas Cliff Josephy Main Event Cashes: 6 Main Event Earnings: $3,604,078 PocketFives Legacy Award winner Cliff Josephy is sometimes more well-known for his history of backing players during the online boom than his poker playing prowess. But make no mistake, Josephy has proven time and time again that he’s just as good at the game as those players he backed. Plus, he has a Main Event resume most would envy. He’s cashed six times since 2008 and made the final table in 2016 where he fell just two spots shy of being called a World Champion, earning $3.4 million for third place. He showed up for the Seniors Event this year, so we expect him to show out in the Main Event. Kenny Hallaert Main Event Cashes: 4 Main Event Earnings: $1,645,463 The ESPN story on Kenny Hallaert has been that he’s the tournament director who finally is getting the chance to show off what he can do on the felt. But those in the know understand that Hallaert has been beating online tournaments for years and cracked the worldwide top 20 back in 2017. He has nearly $6.8 million in online earnings and has earned partypoker POWERFEST and multiple PokerStars SCOOP titles. In the Main Event, he always brings his A-game. He’s cashed in the Main Event four times, three of which were top 125 spots and a peak performance of sixth-place in 2016 where he collected $1.4 million. - As we mentioned, there are going to be thousands of players in the Main Event, making it tough to narrow down our picks. Players like Antonio Esfandiari, Allen Cunningham, Davidi Kittai, Eoghan O'Dea, and Jake Schindler all have stellar records in the Main Event and would have likely been in contention to make the list, but it's hard to know if they'll show. So choose wisely and enjoy the next couple weeks of non-stop coverage of the return of the Main Event. The action kicks off with Day 1A on Thursday, November 4, and doesn't end until a winner emerges on Wednesday, November 17. (images courtesy: PokerGo)
  4. The latest winner of a WSOP bracelet is Dylan Linde after the mixed game specialist and author of books on the subject proved he knows how to use those skills in real life too. Linde triumphed in the $1,500-entry Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Event #21 to bag his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $170,269. Dylan Linde Scores First Bracelet Heading into the final table, Linde had the shortest stack of the eight players, with Hernan Salazar the leader. That change across a lengthy final table, where Linde went from short stack to bracelet winner. Michael Lim busted in eighth place for $14,104, before a protracted period saw a lot of chip movement and a dinner break for the remaining seven players. When play resumed, Salazar had a massive lead. Post-dinner, however, things were about to get much busier and players such as Lance Sobelman (7th for $18,740), Ryan Roeder (6th for $25,424), and Damjan Radanov ($35,204) all lost their route to WSOP glory. With four players remaining, David Matsumoto lost his tournament life in Big O as Linde chipped up again with a full house of tens full of fours. That gave Linde the chip lead, and while Hernan Salazar managed to go into the heads-up battle with 6.7 million chips after taking Day 1 and 2 chip leader Scott Abrams out in third place, Linde had almost 9.3 million chips and won pot after pot to conquer his opponent with a brief but dominant heads-up display. WSOP 2021 Event #21 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Results: Dylan Linde - $170,269 Hernan Salazar - $105,235 Scott Abrams - $71,651 David Matsumoto - $49,733 Damjan Radanov - $35,204 Ryan Roeder - $25,424 Lance Sobelman - $18,740 Michael Lim - $14,104 Final Five In The Milly Maker In the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, the final 20 players played down to just five final table players, with tomorrow’s final table set to make one of the finalists an overnight millionaire. It is Daniel Lazrus who leads the field with a massive stack of 60 million chips, almost double his nearest challenger as the popular American looks to bag his second bracelet of 2021 after conquering the WSOP Online Series earlier this year. Of the five remaining players, only Belgium’s Michael Gathy has won a WSOP bracelet before, but he will be a big danger to the other four players, having won four bracelets in his career to date. Day 4 took just under six hours to reduce the field by 75%, and early bust-outs were commonplace. Players such as Li Zhou, Nabil Cardoso and Luis Zedan busted after no time at all, with both Gathy and Lazrus eliminating a player each. Another player to thrive on Day 4 of the mammoth event was Ignacio Moron, thanks in no small part to a stunning hand where he was all-in pre-flop with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Kc"] against Dien Le’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"]. The board of [poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="Kh"] saw Moron make a set of kings on the river to prevail and at that point, he drew almost level with Lazrus at the top of the leaderboard. It continued in that fashion for some time, with Lazrus and Moron continuing to battle with each other as they both built stacks bigger than anyone else. Lazrus briefly lost the lead, but grabbed it right back as he busted Arie Kliper in 12th place for $53,245, Lazrus’ [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qd"] triumphing against [poker card="As"][poker card="Th"] when a queen on the flop gave him a set and Kliper whiffed two streets at Broadway. From there, Lazrus piled up the overwhelming chip lead that he had into the final with, but there was a big win elsewhere as the Day 1b chip leader Stephen Song was ousted from the tournament by four-time winner Gathy. Song was all-in from the small blind with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Js"] and Gathy called from the big blind with [poker card="As"][poker card="Qh"] to see a ten-high board land him an important pot. Gathy would win another big pot with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="9s"] on a board showing [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Ah"][poker card="5s"][poker card="8s"] as he bet-caled Philip Verel’s shove with [poker card="As"][poker card="Ad"], Gathy fading the [poker card="4h"] to eliminate the Day 3 chip leader in stunning fashion. With Gathy eventually bagging up 21.9 million, he is followed in the counts by Jeffrey Gencarelli (13.5 million) and Day 2 chip leader Darryl Ronconi (7.4 million). WSOP 2021 Event #17 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Chipcounts: Daniel Lazrus - 60,200,000 Ignacio Moron - 30,600,000 Michael Gathy - 21,900,000 Jeffrey Gencarelli - 13,500,000 Darryl Ronconi - 7,400,000 Event #22, otherwise known as the Ladies Championship, saw 10 levels of play leave just 10% of the 170-player field still in seats by the close of play, with Mikiyo Aoki (1,764,000) in the lead. Following her at the top of the leaderboard were JJ Liu (1,511,000), Crystal Marino (1,349,000) and Cherish Andrews (1,200,000), all of whom will be hoping to overtake the leader as the remaining 17 players race to the final table. Other players were not so fortunate to survive, with stars such as Day 1 chip leader Angelina Rich, Katerina Lukina, Jacquelyn Scott, Marsha Wolak, and Jamie Kerstetter all busting on Day 2. There will be a new bracelet winner whoever takes down the $115,694 top prize from here, with no former WSOP bracelets still in with a chance of victory. Patrick Leonard commented with an interesting take on the fact that a male player (Tom Hammers) played the event on Day 1 and planned to donate any money he won to a women’s charity. READ: There’s Never A Good Reason For A Man To Enter The Ladies Event https://twitter.com/padspoker/status/1448034206035103749 WSOP 2021 Event #22 Ladies NLHE Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Mikiyo Aoki - 1,674,000 JJ Liu - 1,511,000 Crystal Marino - 1,349,000 Cherish Andrews - 1,200,000 Lara Eisenberg - 1,049,000 Debora Brooke - 713,000 Marle Cordeiro - 685,000 Thi Nguyen - 659,000 Victoria Livschitz - 604,000 Amanda Baker - 568,000 Drinan In The Hunt For Second Series Bracelet Just 10 players will return to the Rio to battle for the bracelet in Event #23, the $1,500-entry Eight Game Mix, which plays out six-handed to the winner. Two tables of five will reconvene with Ryan Hughes in a commanding lead, holding 2,534,000 chips. Hughes leads from a man who has already won a WSOP bracelet this series, with Connor Drinan bagging up 1,990,000 chips. Elsewhere in the final day chip counts, Brett Shafer (800,000) and Daniel Zack (384,000) will begin knowing that their stack needs to grow quickly for them to have a chance of winning the gold. Players such as Michael Mizrachi, Yuri Dzivielevski and Scott Bohlman missed out on the final day, with five-time WSOP winner Mizrachi crashing out in 11th place $8,167) in Pot Limit Omaha when his straight draw didn’t make it against Drinan’s two-pair. WSOP 2021 Event #23 $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed Final Day Chipcounts: Ryan Hughes - 2,534,000 Connor Drinan - 1,990,000 Schuyler Thornton - 1,505,000 Tyler Willse - 1,165,000 Hunter Mcclelland - 1,110,000 George Alexander - 936,000 Brandon Bergin - 934,000 Brett Shaffer - 800,000 Ryan Leng - 770,000 Daniel Zack - 384,000 Liang Leads $600 PLO Deepstack In the $600-entry PLO Deepstack event, a massive field of 1,572 entries was whittled down to 236 players by the time the money bubble burst. Of those players, only 68 made it to Day 2, with Shen Liang (2,285,000) marginally ahead of the other big stack Ahmad Shiraz (2,165,000) at the top of the chip counts. Players such as Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer and WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams also made the money, but couldn’t survive to Day 2, with only Joao Simao (510,000) and Andrew Donabedian (420,000) of the remaining players having won a WSOP bracelet before. Plenty of superstars who are yet to strike gold so far in their careers remain in the hunt, with YouTuber Andrew Neeme (440,000) just one of the five dozen still in seats and dreaming of glory. WSOP 2021 Event #24 $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack Top 10 Chipcounts: Shen Liang - 2,285,000 Ahmad Shiraz - 2,165,000 Michael Prendergast - 1,890,000 Eric Polirer - 1,515,000 Donnie Phan - 1,515,000 Bosu Avunoori - 1,445,000 Daniel Wasserberg - 1,420,000 Maxx Coleman - 1,355,000 Emanuel Santiago - 1,350,000 Anthony Plotner - 1,295,000 $5K Six-Max Brought Out The Stars In Event #25, the $5,000-entry six-handed NLHE event that closed out the action on Day 13, a large number of well-known pros escaped the day to become one of the 192 players who survived from 578 entries. It was Scott Drobes who piled up the biggest pile of chips, sitting with 692,700 by the close of play. He was followed in the counts by Yosif Nawabi (490,100) and Antoine Goutard (477,500), both of whom will hope to eclipse the leader when play resumes. Other luminaries of the felt who survived included Jonathan Jaffe (425,000), Daniel Negreanu (245,000), Erik Seidel (130,300), Faraz Jaka (121,700), David Benyamine (101,100) and Maria Ho (57,000), with a stellar Day 2 packed with stars on the horizon. WSOP 2021 Event #25 $5,000 Six-Handed Top 10 Chipcounts: Scott Drobes - 692,700 Yosif Nawabi - 490,100 Antoine Goutard - 477,500 Erwann Pecheux - 476,000 Jonathan Jaffe - 425,500 Arie Kliper - 417,500 Chance Kornuth - 388,300 Bin Weng - 374,100 Steven Morris - 357,100 Vincent Huang - 328,400 Phil Hellmuth faced something of a backlash on Day 13 of the 2021 World Series of Poker, with his outbursts on Day 12 provoking a complicit statement from The Poker Brat. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1448048708264742912 Finally, John Monette may have won a WSOP bracelet this Autumn already, but try telling his wife to be satisfied, especially after she spent so long rooting for him to win! https://twitter.com/DianaMonnette/status/1448088602844487682
  5. Daniel Lazrus won the Millionaire Maker for a glorious seven-figure score and a career-defining victory on Day 14 of the 2021 World Series of Poker. With two other bracelet winners taking home gold on an action-packed day, the Thunderdome was the scene for Lazrus, who won his first bracelet in the WSOP Online Series back in the summer, to grab glory and move into fifth place on the WSOP Player of the Year Leaderboard. Lazrus Denies Gathy and Moron for Millionaire Maker Win The overnight chip leader, Daniel Lazrus, took down the Millionaire Maker as he dominated the final five to win $1,000,000 and his second bracelet of the year after triumphing online back in July. Taking the title against the four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy and Spanish sensation Ignacio Moron in the Thunderdome, Lazrus came into the action with a massive chip lead, and while he lost that lead along the way, he never lost his head to announce his arrival as one of the players of this World Series in style. With five players going into the last day of action, Lazrus was the first to take another out of the reckoning. Ignacio Moron from Spain came into the day second in chips but was short-stacked by the time he shoved all-in with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9c"]. Lazrus called with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"] and the board of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5d"][poker card="Jd"] eliminated Moron in fifth place for $222,430 and further increased Lazrus’ lead. Next to go was the most experienced player at the table as Lazrus’ dream narrative continued. Michael Gathy had already won four WSOP bracelets before he arrived at the final table, but he couldn’t make it five. Gathy moved all-in for a micro-stack with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="7s"] but while he started the hand ahead of Darryl Ronconi’s [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qs"], he didn’t end it that way, with Ronconi hitting a straight on the turn to reduce the field to just three. Gathy cashed for $288,715 by finishing in fourth place. That pot put Ronconi in the lead briefly, but Lazrus grabbed the advantage right back, winning with a set of sevens against the aggressive Ronconi’s ace-king, with a big call on the turn seeing Lazrus take the lead back. From that point, the eventual winner never lost it again. Jeffrey Gencarelli busted in third place for $377,125 when his shove with [poker card="As"][poker card="5s"] on a board showing [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="Ts"] was doomed by Lazrus’ call with [poker card="Qd"][poker card="7s"] after a [poker card="9h"] on the river, allowing Lazrus to go into heads-up in control. With a 4:1 lead, Lazrus began the heads-up well, but a crucial double for Ronconi made the stacks closer. Ronconi shoved with [poker card="Js"][poker card="2d"] and Lazrus made the call with [poker card="3h"][poker card="3d"]. The flop of [poker card="Ts"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"] kept the chip leader in front, but while the [poker card="Ks"] maintained that advantage, the [poker card="9s"] river gave Ronconi a miraculous gutshot straight to see Lazrus lead reduced only doubling his opponents stack. The final hand was around the corner, and Ronconi ahead got it in with the worst hand, four-bet jamming with [poker card="Tc"][poker card="7h"], with Lazrus making a quick call with [poker card="As"][poker card="Jh"] and surviving the board of [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="4s"] to win his second WSOP bracelet and a career high score of $1,000,000, condemning Ronconi to second place and $500,125. WSOP Event #17 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Results: Daniel Lazrus - $1,000,000 Darryl Ronconi - $500,125 Jeffrey Gencarelli - $377,125 Michael Gathy - $288,715 Ignacio Moron - $222,430 Kevin Palmer - 172,455 Todd Saffron - $124,570 Adam Sherman - $105,690 Sertac Turker - $83,545 Drinian Denied As Ryan Leng Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix In Event #23, a thrilling denouement to the Eight-Game Mix saw Ryan Leng crowned champion at Connor Drinan’s expense as six final table players played down to the latest bracelet winner. The $1,500-entry event saw some great names make the final six, with Ryan Hughes first to bust for $19,317 before Schuyler Thornton joined him on the rail in fifth place for $27,038. It was WSOP bracelet winner Dan Zack who busted next, taking the fourth place prize of $38,752 before Brett Shaffer went one place further in third for $56,839. Heads-up saw Drinan begin with the lead and he grew that advantage to a point where he had ten times Leng’s chips. But the pair of two-time WSOP bracelet holders were closesly matched skill-wise and Leng managed to double back into contention before takig the lead. With the chip advantage for the first time, Leng saw it out with back-to-back hands in 2-7 Triple Draw and took down the tournament, winning $137,969 and his first mixed game bracelet, with Drinan’s score of $85,273 scant consolation to the man who was bidding to win his second live WSOP bracelet since the WSOP began, a feat attained by no-one to date. WSOP Event #23 $1,500 Eight-Game Mix Final Table Results: Ryan Leng - $137,969 Connor Drinan - $85,273 Brett Shaffer - $56,839 Daniel Zack - $38,752 Schuyler Thornton - $27,038 Ryan Hughes - $19,317 Prendergast Becomes PLO Champ Three people won WSOP bracelets on Day 14, and the last one of those to do so was Michael Prendergast, who won the $600-entry PLO Deepstack Event #24. Heading into the final table, it was Joao Simao who was the most recognizable name at the felt, but the Brazilian pro crashed out in fourth place to miss out on the podium places and win $42,272. Heads-up began with Jeffrey Barnes in command of proceedings, with a 5:1 chip lead and all the momentum, but Prendergast turned it round, doubling up several times to switch the power in the duel to his side of the table. A few hands later, pocket aces would see him win the bracelet and claim the $127,428 top prize at Barnes’ expense, the runner-up collecting $78,755. WSOP Event #24 $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack Final Table Results: Michael Prendergast - $127,428 Jeffrey Barnes - $78,755 Jungwoong Park - $57,386 Joao Simao - $42,272 Daniel Wasserberg - $31,485 Donnie Phan - $23,713 Eric Polirer - $18,062 John Bunch - $13,915 Joseph Sanders - $10,845 Aoki Leads Final Five in Ladies Championship In the Ladies Championship, the overnight chip leader Mikiyo Aoki went wire-to-wire to lead the final five heading to the Thunderdome to play for the bracelet. With just 17 players starting the day, a dozen would-be busted, with players such as Amanda Baker cashing in 15th place for $4,670 but not making the final. https://twitter.com/mandy22baker/status/1448374643509764096 Elsewhere, Thi Nguyen (10th for $7,023), Cherish Andrews (8th for $11,341) and MArle Cordeiro (7th for $14,791) all got close but Aoki leads the final five with over 4.8 million chips from Debora Brooke (4.4m), while each of the other three ladies to make the final table have more than 1.2 million but less than 1.3m, meaning some exciting early action is guaranteed. WSOP Event #22 $1,000 Ladies Championship Final Table Chipcounts: Mikiyo Aoki - 4,880,000 Debora Brooke - 4,280,000 Diane Cooley - 1,265,000 JJ Liu - 1,250,000 Lara Eisenberg - 1,200,000 Negreanu, Dzivielevski Made $5K Six Max Day 3 In Event #25, the $5,000-entry six-handed tournament, there were 31 survivors to Day 3 as John Racener bagged up the biggest stack of 1,949,000 chips. He is followed in the counts by Jared Jaffe (1.9m) and Craig Mason (1.86m), while stars of the felt such as Bin Weng (1,692,000), Ben Yu (1,493,000), and Anthony Spinella (1,050,000) all made the overnight chip counts. Daniel Negreanu also survived, bagging up over 30 big blinds with 773,000, though ‘Kid Poker’ might be wishing he had walked away from the table with an hour to go, sitting as he did on double those chips with the overall lead in the room. Others to survive with healthy stacks include Yuri Dzivielevski (1,211,000), Vanessa Kade (982,000), and George Wolff (842,000). WSOP Event #25 $5,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: John Racener - 1,949,000 Jared Jaffe - 1,900,000 Craig Mason - 1,860,000 Scott Drobes - 1,825,000 Bin Weng - 1,692,000 Ben Yu - 1,493,000 Arie Kliper - 1,358,000 Justin Liberto - 1,192,000 Vicent Bosh - 1,100,000 Anthony Spinella - 1,050,000 Klump Tops $1K Freezeout Leaderboard In Event #26, the $1,0000 Freezeout event, Levi Klump bagged the biggest stack at the end of the night as 1,358 players were whittled down to just 38 on a fast-paced Day that took 11 hours to complete. With Klump on 2,230,000 chips, he was followed in the counts by Rittie Chuaprasert (1,805,000) and Richard Talerico (1,480,000). Others to cash but not make the final day included Erik Cajelais, Michael Perrone and Dylan Linde, but others were not so fortunate, with just 204 places paid. With almost three dozen players left, there is only one previous bracelet winner among them, with Pete Chen bagging up 920,000 chips with which to attack the final day’s play. WSOP Event #26 $1,000 Freezeout Top 10 Chipcounts: Levi Klump - 2,230,000 Rittie Chuaprasert - 1,805,000 Richard Talerico - 1,480,000 Evan Sandberg - 1,215,000 Kazuki Ikeuchi - 1,210,000 Cole Ferraro - 1,195,000 Axel Reese - 1,110,000 Anthony Askey - 1,045,000 Clement Van Driessche - 1,000,000 David Flood - 945,000 Adam Owen, Josh Arieh In Top 10 of $1,500 H.O.R.S.E Finally, a field of superstars gathered to play the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Event #27, with 594 players taking to the felt and only 207 remaining. Only 90 players will cash, and on Day 1, some who failed to do so included Benny Glaser, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Brian Rast, Dan Zack, Dylan Linde, Andre Akkari, and Christina Hill. At the close of play, Mark Dickstein (300,000) led from Adam Owen (220,000), but others such as 2021 bracelet winner John Monnette (162,500), Barry Greenstein (148,500) and Jason Somerville (120,000) will each hold out hope of becoming the latest WSOP winner on Day 15. WSOP Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Mark Dickstein - 300,000 Adam Owen - 220,000 John Holley - 209,500 David Funkhouser - 188,000 Koray Aldermir - 186,500 Barry Ingram - 176,500 Donny Rubenstein - 173,000 Ben Landowski - 173,000 Josh Arieh - 171,000 Michael Coombs - 170,500 Finally, with much talk of player respect and rulings over the last 48 hours, should the last word go to a man who coined his own effect? The 2003 world champion had some words for the man who won it 14 years before him in the row over, well... rows. https://twitter.com/CMONEYMAKER/status/1448301531732791304 Maybe Doyle Brunson’s latest World Series viral quote is about right. https://twitter.com/TexDolly/status/1446959357661384707
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