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  1. After a stunning final table performance, Dan Cates won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship to get his name on the Chip Reese Trophy. Elsewhere, Josh Arieh won his fourth bracelet and Georgios Sotiropoulos took his third on Day 37 of the 2021 World Series as Day 1b of the World Series of Poker Main Event also took place on a day of drama. Dan Cates Wins First-Ever Bracelet in $50K Poker Players Championship It was a packed day of action in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, as Dan Cates rose through the ranks to win his first-ever WSOP bracelet for over $954,000. As ridiculous as it sounds, the money will hardly matter to one of the most unique poker players the game has ever produced. The first player to bust the final table in fifth place was Chris Brewer, who went in No-Limit Hold’em when he called all-in with [poker card="7s"][poker card="7c"] on a flop of [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qs"][poker card="5h"]. Brewer had currently established that the aggressor in the hand, Ryan Leng, hadn’t hit the flop, but Leng’s [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jc"] were good enough to eliminate Brewer for $211,235 after a turn of [poker card="2c"] and the [poker card="6d"] river. An extended period of play saw no-one bust for hours, overnight chip leader Eli Elezra was gone. Elezra lost a Razz pot to Paul Volpe to cash for $286,983, some way short of the top prize he was favorite to win a few hours earlier. Three-handed play lasted some time before Dan Cates offered to buy everyone on the rail some drinks to get more support to push him over the line. No, really... everyone. https://twitter.com/junglemandan/status/1456799668390662149 Spurred on, Cates then took out Paul Volpe in third place for $404,243 as Volpe lost in Limit Hold’em with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="2s"] of Cates winning against Volpe’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="6h"] on a board of [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"][poker card="7s"] when all the money went in on the flop. Heads-up play began with Cates in complete control, holding 16 million chips to Leng’s 2.9 million. After early pressure from Leng, however, he chipped up and got a full double when top pair was good enough to take a vital Limit Hold’em pot as Leng vaulted to 9 million chips, almost drawing level. https://twitter.com/junglemandan/status/1456954623122567168?s=20 That quickly went in the other direction, however, as Cates grew his lead and sealed the deal in a round of Limit Hold’em as his [poker card="Qc"][poker card="3d"] won after being all-in behind on the flop of [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="Th"] against Leng’s [poker card="Td"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="Qh"] turn put Cates into the lead and Jungleman was swinging from the vines when the [poker card="3s"] gave him the title, $954,020 top prize and first-ever bracelet, with Leng’s runner-up result (his second of the series in addition to winning a bracelet) worth $589,628. "I said I was gonna win, so I won. But it was pretty important because now I have more money to help the world and to continue a career outside of poker," Cates said after his victory. https://twitter.com/junglemandan/status/1456955161566273544?s=20 WSOP 2021 Event #60 $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table Results: Dan Cates - $954,020 Ryan Leng - $589,628 Paul Volpe - $404,243 Eli Elezra - $286,983 Chris Brewer - $211,235 Arieh Captures Fourth Bracelet, Second in a Fortnight To say that Josh Arieh has enjoyed a purple patch at the felt is a little like saying the Rio is slightly cold. The popular professional won his third WSOP bracelet just two weeks ago, but after a stirring run to the line Event #66, Arieh captured his fourth-lifetime WSOP bracelet and second this Series to vault up the Player of the Year leaderboard and further strengthen his incredible 2021 and general poker legacy. The professional, who has played the game for quarter of a century, took down a dramatic final table as he ruled the PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for a massive score of $484,791. The final table saw players such as British mixed game specialist Adam Owen and Jeff Gross bust before the final four, with Dan Colpoys’ elimination followed by the end of Russian player Anatolii Zyrin’s chances. With overnight leader Danny Chang to conquer heads-up, Arieh controlled the short but exciting battle as he put an almost 3:1 chips lead to perfect use. While Chang cashed for $299,627, it was Arieh who sealed yet more memories in a 2021 World Series of Poker fast becoming known for his deep runs in some of the toughest events on the poker calendar. Did someone say WSOP Player of the Year? The race for the ‘flag’ everyone wants to see hanging in the WSOP venue is up for grabs now. https://twitter.com/RemkoRinkema/status/1456880193335746564 WSOP 2021 Event #66 $10,000 PLO8 Championship Final Table Results: Josh Arieh - $484,791 Danny Chang - $299,627 Anatolii Zyrin - $207,369 Dan Colpoys - $146,817 Jeff Gross - $106,391 Adam Owen - $78,955 Aaron Kupin - $60,040 Matt Woodward - $46,813 [caption id="attachment_637053" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Josh Arieh won his fourth WSOP bracelet on a huge day at the felt on Day 37 of the 2011 WSOP[/caption] Sotiropoulos Seals Third Bracelet Win Georgios Sotiropoulos won the Mini Main Event after outlasting his final four opponents and putting another dominant chip lead to great use to win his third WSOP bracelet. Sotiropoulos closed it out in style, winning heads-up against Japanese player Wataru Miyashita, who grabbed the $267,328 runner-up prize after running over the final table and eliminated the other three players in his bid to stop the Greek star. That didn’t happen, however, as Sotiropoulos - who started heads-up level with Miyashita - remerged as the dominant force and closed it out to win his third bracelet across a stellar poker career and the top prize of $432,575. WSOP 2021 Event #65 $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table Results: Georgios Sotiropoulos - $432,575 Wataru Miyashita - $267,328 Jordan Meltzer - $202,695 James Patterson - $154,720 James Rubinski - $118,898 Matthew Jewett - $91,991 David Tuthill - $71,661 James Morgan - $56,208 Erkut Yilmaz - $44,394 On Day 1b of the WSOP Main Event, 845 players took to the felt in pursuit of the biggest prize in poker. With just 611 players surviving, Steve Foutty bagged up the biggest stack of the day with 287,000 chips, followed in the counts by Matthew Traylor (279,500) and Maxime Canevet (277,000). Other big names to make it included Ronnie Bardah (139,600), Stephen Chidwick (124,900), four-time bracelet winner Kevin Gerhart (112,400) and Mike Matusow (56,500), while others such as WSOP Main Event back-to-back 1987 and 1988 winner Johnny Chan, John Racener, Brian Rast, Nick Schulman and Shaun Deeb all fell on the first day. WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 Main Event Day 1b Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts: Steve Foutty - 287,000 Matthew Traylor - 279,500 Maxime Canevet - 277,000 Justin Garcia - 243,500 Kayvon Shahbaz - 238,500 Keegan Westover - 230,700 Kevin Rasor - 228,900 Aaron Earthman - 226,800 Jonathan Williams - 225,100 Jean Guillette Canada - 223,200 With the WSOP Main Event under way, popular British player Patrick Leonard speculated on exactly which player types you’ll meet if you’re playing the legendary tournament. https://twitter.com/padspoker/status/1456834567441162240 Finally, it wouldn’t be a World Series of Poker day if Phil Hellmuth wasn’t providing a window into the crazy life he leads as he mingles with the stars! https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1456805414918508544  
  2. Drama, excitement and Doyle Brunson. Poker fans had all their Christmases come at once on Thursday night as the ‘Godfather of Poker’ himself, ‘Texas Dolly’, made an appearance at the 2021 WSOP and sat down in the Main Event. On what was a dramatic opening day in many different ways, Brunson survived to battle again on Day 2. Doyle Brunson Takes The Main Event Stage It’s been many years since the 1976 and 1977 WSOP Main Event world champion sat down in the world’s biggest poker tournament. In fact, his appearance in the Super Seniors event earlier this series looked very much like a one-off. It transpired not to be, however, as Brunson sat down on Day 1a of the Main, with 522 other players putting down $10,000 to play in the one that every poker player on the planet wants to win. Fellow poker professional Felipe Ramos was beyond excited that a hero to him and millions of other poker players was in the building. https://twitter.com/FelipeMojave/status/1456420740027215872 A 10-time WSOP bracelet winner, Brunson escaped Day 1 with more than double the chips he started with, coming through the day in 41st place on 151,000 chips. That was less than half of the total amassed by the Day 1a chip leader Mustapha Kanit (363,500), who ended the day top of the leaderboard on which 348 survivors sat. Elsewhere in the top 10, Alex Livingston (319,200), Fabian Quoss (273,800) and Billy Baxter (248,600) totalled big numbers of over four times their initial stack, with other big names such as Adrian Mateos (212,500), Yuri Dzivielevski (197,200), Perry Friedman (195,500), JJ Liu (180,200), and the 1983 WSOP Main Event winner Tom McEvoy (96,900) all bagging up decent stacks. There was a moment of controversy during the opening day of the Main Event as police locked down the Rio amid a ‘situation’ during the evening, with an unrelated crime leading some of those who were on hand to serve and protect to step in and do just that. https://twitter.com/JohnnieVibes/status/1456478253711982592 It would appear that the man was in possession of a suspicious package, with British actor, poker pro and WSOP event runner-up Sam Razavi turning detective to solve the crime. https://twitter.com/Sam_Razavi/status/1456540017384329223 Among those to fall on Day 1a was the reigning world champion Damian Salas. The Argentinian busted in the first level after his [poker card="As"][poker card="Qc"] was all-in and at risk against Peter Gould’s [poker card="5s"][poker card="5s"], with the latter making a straight on the board of [poker card="9d"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"]. Others to fall at the first fence included Calvin Anderson, Upeshka De Silva, Dylan Weisman and Jake Schwartz, whose lead in the race to become 2021 WSOP Player of the Year took a big hit. WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts: Mustapha Kanit - 363,500 Rittie Chuaprasert - 345,700 Alex Livingston - 319,200 David Fong - 298,500 Fabian Quoss - 273,800 Billy Baxter - 248,600 Dragana Lim - 237,700 Vladimir Vasilyev - 232,000 Vidur Sethi - 226,200 Ayaz Mahmood - 221,200 Eric Zhang Wins Salute To Warriors Event #63, the Salute to Warriors, cost $500 to enter and concluded on Day 36 of the 2021 WSOP with Eric Zhang the champion for $102,465. With the USO receiving a charitable donation of over $64,000 from players’ buy-ins before the final table, Anthony Mccurdy was the first to bust the nine-handed final table, earning $9,857 when his [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] ran into Chulhan Choi’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kd"] and was unable to overtake the cowboys on the gallop to the river with all the chips in pre-flop. Next to bust was Chris Corbo, who went in eighth for $12,471 when his [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qc"] couldn’t catch Mitch Garshofsky’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ts"]. The ten-high board condemned Corbo to the rail and he was joined by Hlib Kovtunov, whose [Ah[poker card="5h"] couldn’t catch a card against Zhang’s [poker card="2c"][poker card="2s"], which made quads by the river to send the Ukrainian home in seventh for $15,943. When short-stacked Marty Zabib busted in sixth for $20,592 and was then followed by another shortie, Mitch Garshofsky, going in fifth for $26,866, just four remained, with Zhang making waves. So too was Bradley Rogoff, who busted Choi in fourth place for $35,406 when pocket tens survived against Choi’s pre-flop short-stack shove with [poker card="Qd"][poker card="9d"]. Rogoff couldn’t hang on, however, busting next himself for $47,125 when he shoved from the small blind with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="7d"] and was looked up by Guy Hadas in the big blind with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qs"], a seven on the flop providing cruel hope for Rogoff, who saw a queen on the river dash his chances onto the rocks. Heads-up, Hadas still had work to do to overtake the dominant Zhang, who had 25.2 million to his opponent’s 15.6 million. Zhang, however, was not to be caught, and extended his lead before the final hand where his [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Jc"] was all he needed to call when Hadas shoved on the turn of a board showing [poker card="Qs"]Ts][poker card="2h"][poker card="Kh"]. Hadas had pushed with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="5h"], but could find neither straight nor flush on the [poker card="Ad"] river, which confirmed Zhang’s victory for $102,465 and his first WSOP bracelet in his first WSOP event of the series. WSOP 2021 Event #63 $500 Salute to Warriors Final Table Results: Eric Zhang - $102,465 Guy Hadas - $63,344 Bradley Rogoff - $47,125 Chulhan Choi - $35,406 Mitch Garshofsky - $26,866 Marty Zabib - $20,592 Hlib Kovtunov - $15,943 Christopher Corbo - $12,471 Anthony Mccurdy - $9,857 Mini Main Down To Five The Mini Main Event, which costs $1,000 to enter, saw its penultimate day take place on Thursday, as Greek player Georgios Sotiropoulos reached the final table with a huge chip lead. Piling up a whopping 105,550,000 chips, Sotiropoulos has more than double his nearest challenger Jordan Meltzer (39,000,075) and three times as many as Wataru Miyashita from Japan, who is third in chips with 35,900,000. Elsewhere in the final five, James Patterson (26,600,000) and James Rubinski (22,325,000) know that they have a lot of work to do to catch the runaway chip leader, who is the only man of the five to have won a WSOP bracelet before. In fact, Sotiropoulos has two in his past, and must now be a huge favorite to win a third tomorrow when the lights hit the Thunderdome felt. WSOP 2021 Event #65 $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table Chipcounts: Georgios Sotiropoulos - 105,550,000 Jordan Meltzer - 39,000,075 Wataru Miyashita - 35,900,000 James Patterson - 26,600,000 James Rubinski - 22,325,000 Josh Arieh Cracks $10K PLO Top 10 Danny Chang is the chip leader with just 12 players remaining in the $10,000-entry PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better, otherwise known as Event #66. Chang has a big lead, too, with 3,620,000 chips to his name, almost double those of Dan Colpoys, his fellow American and closest challenger. Elsewhere in the chipcounts, there is a strong spot for Josh Arieh, who bagged up 1,015,000 on the night, a shade under another 2021 WSOP bracelet winner in Russian player Anatolii Zyrin (1,155,000). With British mixed game player Adam Owen (955,000) and John Esposito (480,000) both in the field, it’s sure to be a dramatic and decisive final day in equal measure. WSOP 2021 Event #66 $10,000 PLO8 Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Danny Chang - 3,620,000 Dan Colpoys - 2,040,000 Matt Woodward - 1,600,000 Anatolii Zyrin - 1,155,000 Josh Arieh - 1,015,000 Adam Owen - 955,000 Aaron Kupin - 500,000 John Esposito - 480,000 Alan Sternberg - 410,000 Jason Riesenberg - 360,000 Finally, we couldn’t let you go into the night without a look at what every poker player desires more than anything this Winter - the 2021 WSOP Main Event bracelet. https://twitter.com/WSOP/status/1456339540931592195
  3. Georgios Sotiropoulos made his way through 6,359 other entries to end up at a final table with another previous World Series of Poker bracelet winner, a high stakes cash game crusher, and six other players in WSOP Online Event #6 ($200 Flip & Go) on GGPoker. He then eliminated six of his final eight opponents to win his second career WSOP bracelet and $117,022. The Flip & Go format sees eight players seated at a table with all players all in on the first hand. Each table plays until only one player has chips. Those players advance into the next round where all players are in the money and the tournament plays down to a winner in a traditional format. The turbo structure all but guaranteed a fast-paced final table and it took just five minutes to go from nine players to eight. With blinds of 50,000/100,000, Sotiropoulos moved all in for 1,407,262 from middle position with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"]. Wing Tat Yeung called all in for his last 773,564 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"]. Yeung stayed ahead after the [poker card="qh"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] flop but the [poker card="ac"] turn gave Sotiropoulos a pair of aces. The river was the [poker card="2s"] and was no help to Yeung as he exited in ninth. Five minutes later, Sotiropoulos, who won his first WSOP bracelet in 2015 at WSOP Europe in am €1,100 NNLHE Turbo event, did it again. Markus Prinz shoved from the small blind for 259,080 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"] and Sotiropoulos called from the big blind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] gave Sotiropoulos top pair and left Prinz needing one of three tens or some runner-runner combination to stay alive. The turn was the [poker card="4d"] and the [poker card="8h"] river completed the board to eliminate Prinz in eighth place. The steamroller that was Sotiropoulos only had to wait four minutes for the next elimination. From UTG+1, Quentin Roussey moved all in for 477,614 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"] and action folded back to Sotiropoulos in the big blind and he called with [poker card="ah"][poker card="3c"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Sotiropoulos a pair of aces while Roussey was needing a jack for Broadway or some runner-runner runout to stay alive. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] leaving only the Broadway outs for Roussey. The [poker card="ad"] river gave Sotiropoulos a full house and ended Roussey's run in seventh. The next bustout hand took the table from six-handed to four-handed and it was none other than PocketFives legend Chris Moorman who was on the winning side. Wiktor Malinowski raised to 490,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="th"], Erwann Pecheux called off his last 166,269 from the small blind with [poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"], before Moorman jammed for 816,256 from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. Malinowski called and everybody caught a piece of the [poker card="ad"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="qs"] and the [poker card="jd"] river gave Moorman the pot and eliminated Pecheux in sixth and Malinowski in fifth. Despite picking up that pot, Moorman's run didn't last much longer and once again it was Sotiropoulos in the driver's seat. Action folded around to Sotiropoulos in the small blind and he moved all in with [poker card="jh"][poker card="8d"] and Moorman briefly tanked before calling all in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"] flop gave Sotiropoulos an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="8h"] gave him a pair of eights leaving Moorman drawing to either one of three kings for a bigger pair or one of three remaining jacks for a king-high straight. The [poker card="qd"] river actually improved Sotiropoulos to a queen-high straight and ended Moorman's quest for a second 2021 WSOP Online bracelet with a fourth place finish. It took Sotiropoulos just 15 minutes to send his last two opponents to the rail to take home another bracelet. First up was Michael Van Elsacker. Yen-Liang Yao folded his button and Sotiropoulos raised to 1,600,000 from the small blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="jh"] and Van Elsacker called off his last 646,620 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="td"][poker card="6s"] flop hit both players but Sotiropoulos moved ahead with a bigger pair. Neither the [poker card="9s"] turn or the [poker card="qc"] river were able to save Van Elsacker and he was out in third. Sotiropoulos started heads up play with 81% of the chips in play. Down to less than 15 big blinds, Yao moved all in with [poker card="kd"][poker card="tc"] and Sotiropoulos snap-called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"]. The flop came [poker card="kh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"] flop moved Yao in front with a pair of kings. However, the [poker card="as"] turn put Sotiropoulos back on top with a pair of aces and the [poker card="7c"] river was no help for Yao and he was eliminated in second place while Sotiropoulos took down the tournament and earned $117,022 in the process. Final Table Payouts Georgios Sotiropoulos - $117,022 Yen-Liang Yao - $90,371 Michiel Van Elsacker - $69,791 Chris Moorman - $53,898 Wiktor Malinowski - $41,624 Erwann Pecheux - $31,145 Quentin Roussey - $24,824 Markus Prinz - $19,171 Wing Tat Yeung - $14,805
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