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  1. The 2018 World Series of Poker continues its trek towards the Main Event, with two new bracelet winners created after another busy session on Thursday. One player outlasted a final table which included some legends of the game, while another picked up his first piece of jewellery, and a bunch of bounties to go with it. Meanwhile, there are just four players remaining in the $3K Big Blind Ante NLHE, and a former PocketFives no.1 player leads the final 13 in the $10K Razz. All of that and more in our recap of June 28’s action. Joey Couden Overcomes Tough Final Table to Win First Bracelet in PLO 8 The final table of Event #53: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better was a star-studded affair, with the likes of Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, and Daniel Negreanu taking a seat. But it was Joey Couden’s seat that proved to be the best in the house, as after 11 hours of play and with only a couple of minutes left on the clock for the day, he took this one down for his first bracelet and a $244,370 score. The day began with 20 players returning, led by defending champion Nathan Gamble. He’d end up bubbling the final table in tenth place, falling to Elezra who started to take control. Negreanu would then bust to Elezra too, as would Gregory Jamison in eighth. Couden also chipped up, securing a KO himself, taking things down to four-handed play. The chip lead switched between Couden, eventual runner-up Bruno Fitoussi, Elezra and Matusow, the latter of which then busted to Couden in fourth. Elezra went out in third, and Couden took a huge lead into heads-up play before finishing Fitoussi off. All the money went in pre-flop, with Fitoussi holding pocket kings. Couden managed to catch an ace on the flop though, and when the board ran out that proved to be good. Final Table Results: Joey Couden - $244,370 Bruno Fitoussi - $150,990 Eli Elezra - $106,183 Mike Matusow - $75,708 Christopher Conrad - $54,738 Kim Kallman - $40,141 Dustin Pattinson - $29,862 Gregory Jamison - $22,541 Daniel Negreanu - $17,268 Ryan Leng Takes Down $1,500 NLHE Bounty The other bracelet winner of the day was Ryan Leng, who took down Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty for a career-best cash of $272,765 and his first WSOP bracelet. [caption id="attachment_619738" align="aligncenter" width="698"] Ryan Leng Takes It Down[/caption] Only four players returned on Thursday to play this one out, and Leng held the chip lead. However, Estonia’s Ranno Sootla was not going down without a fight, having led this event much of the way. After Jay Farber and Christian Nolte hit the rail in fourth and third, Leng and Sootla began what turned out to be a long, arduous heads-up battle. It would take a cooler to end it, with all the money going in when Leng had flopped the nut straight and Sootla flopped top set. The board didn’t pair, and Leng proved victorious, denying the Estonian his shot at becoming his country’s first bracelet winner. “Sootla is one of the toughest players I’ve ever played against; he’s so good,” Leng said afterwards. “So, it was just a lot of fun to have to go through someone that good to get my first bracelet. “I hope this isn’t my first and only bracelet," he added. "I’m just going to keep working hard, keep studying; as long as I’m in poker, I’m going to have to just keep working so hard because everyone is getting so good. There’s more poker to be played… The summer’s not over yet.” Final Table Results: Ryan Leng - $272,765 Ranno Sootla - $168,464 Jay Farber - $121,932 Christian Nolte - $89,151 Javier Gomez - $65,851 Russell Rosenblum - $49,146 John Gulino - $37,063 Mark Mazza - $28,247 Mikhail Semin - $21,759 Final Four Set in $3K Big Blind Ante Just like in the Bounty event above, there will be four players returning Friday to finish out Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em. They’re led by Barry Hutter, who with $4M in cashes and a bracelet to his name already (a $1,500 SHOOTOUT win back in 2015) certainly has the experience to close the deal. His 6,265,000 is followed by Diogo Veiga with 5,195,000, Radoslav Stoyanov with 2,495,000, and Jonathan Abdellatif with 1,350,000. All of them have their hearts set on the $522,715 top prize, while overnight they’re guaranteed $163,404. Throughout the day we lost the likes of Kristen Bicknell in 11th place ($29,284), Anna Antimony in seventh ($64,991), and David Yan in sixth ($87,179). Action resumes at 2pm Friday, and they won’t stop until a winner is crowned. Final Four Stacks: Barry Hutter - 6,265,000 Diogo Veiga - 5,195,000 Radoslav Stoyanov - 2,495,000 Jonathan Abdellatif - 1,350,000 Tag Teams Down to 28 Of the 1,032 teams who entered, and 242 which returned for Day 2, just 28 of them now remain in Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em It’s the duo of Bon Koo and Bienvenido Caballero who bagged the chip lead with 828,000. They’re followed by William Reymond and Ami Alibay with 706,000, and Adam Lamphere, Ao Chen, and Yijie Zhang with 705,000. Other teams to advance include Manig Loeser - Joelle Parenteau - Daniel Weinand (615,000), Johan Lees - Jesse Mason (602,000) Salah 'Papa' Levy - Francis Mariani - Cord Garcia (585,000), Loni Harwood - Haixa Zhang - Kelly Minkin (480,000), and Ryan Laplante - Jack Hardcastle - Patrick Truong - Kevin Gerhart (245,000). The same can’t be said for the likes of Dara O’Kearney, Alan Widmann, Daiva Byrne and Benny Glaser, whose team took 121st place. Afterwards the team of Ashley Sleeth - Jesse Sylvia - Dylan Hortin busted in 118th place, Chris Moorman - Jeremy Menardfell were sent to the rail in 108th place, and Fraser MacIntyre - Barny Boatman - James Akenhead - Yiannis Liperis took 62nd place. Team Andrew Barber - Sam Razavi - Dan Smith - Erik Seidel busted in 72nd for $2,252, donating their winnings to the REG charity. All teams have locked up $4,175 now, but it’s the $175,805 winner’s prize they’re really hoping to split. Play resumes at 12pm Friday. Top 10 Team Stacks: Bon Koo - Bienvenido Caballero - 828,000 William Reymond - Ami Alibay - 706,000 Adam Lamphere - Ao Chen - Yijie Zhang - 705,000 Manig Loeser - Joelle Parenteau - Daniel Weinand - 615,000 Johan Lees - Jesse Mason - 602,000 Salah Levy - Francis Mariani - Cord Garcia - 585,000 Gabriel Neto - Carlos Caputo - 546,000 Thomas Gangloff - Bryan Boser - 504,000 Shalev Halfa - Oshri Lahmani - 492,000 Loni Harwood - Haixa Zhang - Kelly Minkin - 480,000 Calvin Anderson Bags Chip Lead in $10K Razz Championship They’re down to 13 in Event #56: $10,000 Razz Championship, and a very familiar face to PocketFivers sits in the top spot overnight. Former no.1 online player Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson bagged up a chip leading 962,000, but tomorrow is by no means going to be easy. His closest competitor is five-time bracelet winner John Hennigan, who looks set to top the Player of the Year race with a stack of 841,000. If Hennigan can win this one, he’ll have won two $10K Championship events in 2018, as well as finishing runner-up in the $50K Poker Players Championship. Amazing. Who else is joining them for the final day on Friday? Well, you’ll have Alex Balandin (833,000), Julien Martini (712,000), Mike ‘goleafsgoeh’ Leah (594,000), Dzmitry Urbanovich (592,000), Jerry Wong (529,000), Frank Kassela (252,000), Allen Kessler (238,000) and Paul ‘paulgees81’ Volpe (222,000). At the bottom of the counts are Ismael Bojang (99,000), Ted Forrest (48,000) and Eric Rodawig (31,000). They’ll play down to a champ beginning at 2pm Friday, with $17,706 locked up and $309,220 reserved for the winner. Final 13 Stacks: Calvin Anderson - 962,000 John Hennigan - 841,000 Alex Balandin - 833,000 Julien Martini - 712,000 Mike Leah - 594,000 Dzmitry Urbanovich - 592,000 Jerry Wong - 529,000 Frank Kassela - 252,000 Allen Kessler - 238,000 Paul Volpe - 222,000 Ismael Bojang - 99,000 Ted Forrest - 48,000 Eric Rodawig - 31,000 Big Turnout for Ladies Event The buy-in for the Ladies Event comes with two different options: $1,000 for the ladies, and $10,000 for men. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that any males took part in Event #57: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship, but a nice field of 696 women did. Only 104 of them made it through Day 1 after ten levels, with Mesha James leading the pack, bagging up 130,200. She’s followed by Vesna Kuzmanic with 102,700, and Jill Pike with 94,300. A few other notables to advance include Alexis Sterner (85,700) and Tara Snow (81,400). Some notables names made their way into Day 2 such Danielle Andersen(56,500), Lacey Jones (50,700), Melanie Weisner (47,000), Kristy Arnett (38,500) and Gaelle Baumann (37,000). Today just wasn’t the day of Jamie Kerstetter, Oanh Bui, Jennifer Shahade, Carol Fuchs, Ana Marquez, Samantha Abernathy, Sofia Lovgren, Muskan Sethi and Vivian Saliba though, who all hit the rail throughout the course of action. Things pick up again Friday at 12pm, with everyone now in the money. The min-cash is currently $1,497, but there’s $130,230 up top. Top 10 Stacks: Mesha James - 130,200 Vesna Kuzmanic - 102,700 Jill Pike - 94,300 Hana Cho - 90,400 Alexis Sterner - 85,700 Tara Snow - 81,400 Shannon Zigner - 78,800 Lisa Costello - 75,900 Tammy Abraham - 72,500 Lisa Ronning - 71,100 $5K NLHE 6-Max Kicks Off The other new event to get started on Thursday was Event #58: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed, and after then levels of play 203 of the 590 entries have advanced to Day 2. They’re all led by former November Niner Thomas Cannuli. He bagged up 286,000, and is followed by Andrew Graham (214,300) and Julian Milliard-Feral (201,900). They’re the only three to amass over 200K. A few other notables still in contention include Romain Lewis (124,800), Jake Schindler (82,600), Parker Talbot (80,200), Toby Lewis (49,900), Ivan Luca (159,400), Asi Moshe (153,300), Robert Mizrachi (140,700), Jan-Eric Schwippert (129,200), Martin Finger (121,000), and Liv Boeree (114,800). Registration remains open until things kick off at 2pm Friday. Top 10 Stacks: Thomas Cannuli - 286,000 Andrew Graham - 214,300 Julian Milliard-Feral - 201,900 Ivan Luca 159,400 Jimmy Guerrero - 157,000 Asi Moshe - 153,300 Julian Stuer - 150,000 Robert Mizrachi - 140,700 Aaron Mermelstein - 131,800 Marvin Karlins - 130,000 Tomorrow’s Action (June 29) There are a whole bunch of things to tell you about for Friday’s WSOP action. First off, Event #59: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty kicks off at 11am, with $300 awarded for every player you knock out. Then at 3pm, there’s another Championship event starting: Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Not able to make it to the Rio for those? You could still win a bracelet, as Event #61: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Championship starts at 3:30pm. And finally, at 7pm there’s Day 1E of the $365 PLO Giant.
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