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Largely unknown Mixed Games player Jesse Klein won his first WSOP bracelet after taking down a final table stacked with stars at the 2021 World Series of Poker. The recruitment firm owner went from recreational hopeful to WSOP winner on a final day full of drama as one $25,000 event ended and another began. Hellmuth Rants, Glaser Denied As Klein Pulls Out The WIn All the focus at the start of the third day of WSOP action was on the final table of Event #2, the $25,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event which saw another mixed game specialist, British player Benny Glaser, go into the final table with the lead. It took little time for Matt Glantz to become the first casualty of the day as Phil Hellmuth took out his fellow American in Razz with a ten-five, with Glantz paired up and drawing dead on 6th street. Glantz cashed for $52,211. Next to go was DJ Buckley, who lasted just a few minutes more to bust in eighth place for $61,549. Buckley’s elimination to Ben Yu precipitated an extended period of play without a bust-out, but it was not short of drama as Hellmuth exploded at the end of losing a hand to eventual champion Klein. Folding on the river, Hellmuth declared his opponent’s start as "insane" and it was to serve as the opening bout in a war of words between the pair. It was some time before Yu busted in seventh place for $75,260, but that was only the warm-up act to another blow-up from Hellmuth as Klein scooped a second big pot against the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner. The Poker Brat was back as Hellmuth left the table, pacing the floor and cursing at his lack of fortune. Just a few hands later, Hellmuth was gone, out in sixth place for $95,329 after bricking every street in Seven Card Stud against Chad Eveslage. After the event, Hellmuth was keen to point out the benefits of his staying power in bringing his A-Game to the Rio. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1444470919204769803 Hellmuth’s bust-out started a flurry of them. Philip Sternheimer was crushed in the same format by Glaser to leave in fifth place for $124,935. The same winner of that hand took out the aforementioned Eveslage in fourth for $169,218 when Glaser’s pair of sevens with a low ace was enough to win both Hi and Lo to send his American rival to the rail. Glaser led at that stage, but over the course of two hours without an elimination, each man had their periods of domination as the chips moved between each man. French player David Benyamine’s neck was on the block when he lost on 7th street to Klein, who won the pivotal pot to go into heads-up with a massive lead of 10.1 million to Glaser’s 1.5m. Klein won his maiden bracelet not long after the final duel began, with his victory in a Seven Card Stud hand ending an entertaining event. While Glaser, who had already won three WSOP bracelets in his career called off his stack with a smile and will enjoy the second-place prize of $341,274. For Jesse Klein, however, it was the fulfillment of a dream as the recruitment firm owner capped an enjoyable two-day sojourn to Sin City with a WSOP bracelet and $552,182 score. Event #2 $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results: Jesse Klein - $552,182 Benny Glaser - $341,274 David Benyamine - $236,626 Chad Eveslage - $169,218 Philip Sternheimer - $124,935 Phil Hellmuth - $95,329 Ben Yu - $75,260 DJ Buckley - $61,549 Matt Glantz - $52,211 Jake Daniels Leads $25K NLHE, Michael Addamo Outsted Many of the H.O.R.S.E. field took to the 6th event on the schedule, the $25,000-entry NLHE High Roller that kicked off on Day 3 of the WSOP. With 135 entries in total, it was Jake Daniels who ended Day 1 top of the pile, bagging up 1,182,000 chips by close of play as one of only two players to "crack a milly." While Daniels was steady throughout, he did not dominate the leaderboard until the final two levels, eliminating Eric Worre and Daniel Negreanu to vault himself to the top of the chip counts, with Michael Liang (1,028,000) and James Chen (835,000) his nearest challengers. Elsewhere in the top 10 players, Jake Schindler (667,000) and Chance Kornuth (570,000) will be major threats when the action resumes on Day 2. Several superstars made the upper echelons of the leaderboard, but plenty of big names hit the rail too. Australia’s most successful tournament player of all-time, Michael Addamo busted both bullets so will not be eligible for re-entry on Day 2. Others to lose their stacks on Day 1 included Stephen Chidwick, Brian Altman, Kenny Hallaert, Koray Aldemir, Sam Grafton, Joseph Cheong, Ryan Riess, Jeremy Ausmus, Upeshka De Silva, and Niall Farrell whose epic journey to the World Series was common among those from outside the United States. At the close of play on Day 1, just 54 players made the counts, but with entry and re-entry possible on Day 2 right up until the start of play, that number is sure to swell with some of the best players in the world going for gold. Galen Hall was among those to express his relief at playing some live poker for the first time in a very long time. https://twitter.com/galenhall/status/1444423233160187904 Some of the biggest players in the world have already been drawn together for Day 2, with battles between Jake Schindler, Adrian Mateos and Mikita Badziakouski at one table just a single example of the level of quality in the event. Whoever grabs a final table place at the end of Day 2 will have earned it. Event #6 $25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Top 10 Chipcounts: Jake Daniels - 1,182,000 Michael Liang - 1,028,000 James Chen - 835,000 Scott Eskenazi - 747,000 Jake Schindler - 667,000 Clayton Kalisek - 610,000 Alexandros Theologis - 594,000 Chance Kornuth - 570,000 Ankush Mandavia - 553,000 Brian Rast - 551,000 Brobyn Bags 5 Million During Reunion Day 2 The Reunion, otherwise known as Event #4 on this year’s 2021 WSOP schedule, saw a huge number of entries on Day 1b, as 4,455 players took to the felt and made it into the money. Several high-profile players busted out before 204 players bagged up for the night, with Maurice Hawkins, Shaun Deeb, and Brad Owen just three of the Day 1 casualties. Others thrived at the felt, however, and by close of play, it was Robert Brobyn who bagged the biggest stack of chips, an incredible 5,015,000 of them. That total was way clear of Brobyn’s nearest challenger on the day Tyler Jamieson (3,040,000) and Brobyn’s lead represents the overall tournament lead after two days. Others to pile up plenty of chips on Day 1b included two former WSOP bracelet winners in the form of Ronnie Bardah, who proved a ‘Survivor’ with 2,005,000, and Jeremy Wien (1,640,000). WSOP 2021 Event #4 $500 The Reunion Top 10 Chipcounts: Robert Brobyn - 5,015,000 Tyler Jamison - 3,040,000 Jared Ambler - 2,450,000 Ya Yun Liu - 2,445,000 Ryan Messick - 2,410,000 Elvis Toomas - 2,375,000 Darryl Ronconi - 2,030,000 Ronnie Bardah - 2,005,000 Randy Rhee - 1,990,000 Mark Lilomaiava - 1,765,000 Connor Drinan, Rob Mizrachi Top Omaha 8 Final 15 Event #5, the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, saw 230 players whittled down to just 15 by the close of Day 2. Of those 15 players, only Connor Drinan and Robert Mizrachi have won WSOP bracelets before, but with both men at the top of the chipcounts, it could be a ding-dong battle on the final day to see whether Drinan wins his second, Mizrachi wins his fifth or a new player gets their hands on the gold. Day 2 of the event saw players such as Brian Hastings and Shaun Deeb hit the rail on the day the bubble burst with players such as Max Pescatori (80th for $2,400), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (75th for $2,400), Randy Ohel (48th for $3,200), Ari Engel (41st for $3,634) and former two-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Hughes (18th for $5,580) all make the money. It’s the potential shoot-out between Drinan and Mizrachi that has us salivating, however, as the final day of the event on Monday will crown a winner. WSOP 2021 Event #5 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts: Connor Drinan - 2,415,000 Robert Mizrachi - 1,410,000 Sandy Sanchez - 1,380,000 Pearce Arnold - 1,160,000 Carl Lijewski - 1,095,000 Curtis Phelps - 1,080,000 Kris Kwiatkowski - 1,045,000 Yehuda Buchalter - 1,020,000 Michael Moed - 965,000 Scott Baumstein - 900,000
The 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is here and that means there’s simply no time to waste. So, without further ado, let’s get star--- DON’T GO OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR FIRST TOURNAMENT AND PLAY BEER PONG AT O’SHEA’S WHILE DRINKING SIX IRISH CAR BOMBS THEN THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO STAY UP UNTIL 7 AM AND LOSE 10 BUY-INS ON A $1/$2 TABLE AT THE FLAMINGO. Go out, by all means. Just don’t do that. Have you ever been so hungover that you completely forget what it’s like to not be hungover? Over-partying is easily done in Las Vegas, but a throbbing head and overwhelming nausea is the last thing you want when you’re heading to the Rio to play your first ever WSOP event. Save that for your final night in town. DO GET EXCITED. You’re at the WSOP! You made it! Don’t let some moaning, jaded veteran at your table dampen your spirits. If you feel anxious beforehand, that’s completely normal. Playing for a bracelet is a big deal and you don’t know what will happen. But while anxiety suggests you should fear the uncertainty, excitement views the uncertainly as something to look forward to. So, get excited and enjoy the action. DON’T OVERLOAD ON CAFFEINE. Any anxiety you do feel pre-tournament will only be made worse if you chug four coffees before making your way to the Rio. Instead, find different ways to wake yourself up and save the healing power of coffee for later in the day, like bracelet winner and former #1-ranked online pro Ari Engel does. “I try and go to the gym most mornings and limit caffeine in the morning so it’s more effective in the evening when I’m playing tournaments,” says Engel. DO REGISTER THE NIGHT BEFORE. On the night before your first event, why not stop by the Rio before heading out for dinner? That way, not only will you know what to expect, you can also take care of something that first-timers often overlook: “Make sure you register the day before the tournament, especially if it's a big weekend event,” says WSOP czar Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers. “No one wants to be stuck in a long line when the tournament starts.” Registration is available 24/7. DON’T STRESS YOURSELF OUT. Keep your mornings stress-free by limiting your obligations to others and planning your food/travel the night before. That way you can just relax pre-poker. “I like to give myself time before I go play so that my brain is actually awake and functioning,” says three-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny “RunGodlike” Glaser. “I'll meditate a bit if I have time, so my mind isn’t cluttered with unnecessary things. I also try not to eat huge meals that will slow me down mentally or give me an insulin crash after.” To help matters further when playing, Mathers suggests downloading the Bravo Poker Live app on your phone. “It shows you when tournament breaks are coming, the status of the dinner break, and how close you are to reaching the money.” At the Rio the food options can be limited and expensive, so Kevmath also suggests packing snacks and drinks in your bag, along with other items you consider essential. DO WEAR LAYERS. “The Rio is notorious for keeping the tournament rooms cooler than you're used to,” says Kevmath. “Be sure to bring a hoodie or wear layers that you can add or remove as needed.” And if you have to wear something warm, why not have some fun with it? “When people see me in a stupid bear suit, it's not just because the Rio is an ice cube,” says two-time bracelet winner Brandon Shack-Harris. “I'm from Chicago, so what do I care? I do it because there's a point in the Series where I've bricked infinite tournaments and I'm too mentally fried to read enough Stoic Philosophies to get through tomorrow's $1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em Event.” DON’T RUSH. Break times in big WSOP tournaments can get hectic. Don’t feel obliged to rush. Remember, there are two outcomes when you’re sprinting back to the table trying not to miss a hand: 1. You’re going to be flustered and your heart racing, so chances you probably won’t play the hand to the best of your ability anyway. 2. You’re probably going to be dealt seven-deuce-offsuit. “I try not to race back to the table,” says Shack-Harris. “If I miss a hand, that's fine. Unless running is going to make me happy for some reason, I'm walking, and I'll get there when I get there.” DO AVOID BAD BEAT STORIES. Talk strategy with friends on breaks, sure, but if you catch yourself beginning to tell a bad beat story--or being forced to listen to one--get out of there. “Forget about beats,” says Shack-Harris. “While it's important to acknowledge hands you could've played better, do it once and let them go.” Instead, on breaks, Shack-Harris likes to get outside and find some peace. “I find it helpful to shut my brain off, so I don’t bother looking at my phone,” he says. “Find a quiet spot and think about adjustments you’ll make in the next level. “There have been times where I've grabbed my skateboard mid-tournament and taken it outside for 10 minutes to calm my brain down and get some air. Sometimes you've got to leave the table and reset!” DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER BUSTING. OK, so you busted the tournament. That sucks. But you know what? You’re still in Las Vegas. “I care less about busting tournaments in Vegas than I do other places because there are so many things to do there,” says Glaser. “There are lots of good bars and clubs, shows, and restaurants to choose from. Or you can even get away from the strip and see some nature, maybe go on a hike somewhere like Red Rock. It can be really nice for resetting and calming the mind.” Just do what your body and mind want to do. “It's such an intense grind and it's so cognitively taxing that it's important to give yourself a rest sometimes,” says Glaser. DO BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Playing at the WSOP is special, whether you’re ticking it off the bucket list or back for the tenth time. But it can be a long grind, so whatever happens, be gentle with yourself. “Throughout the Series, there are ebbs and flows and I’ll make adjustments to stay sane,” says Shack-Harris. “It's important to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to eat shit food if it's going to be convenient or if it will bring your spirits up. Just be aware that you might have to bail in the middle of Level 9 to handle some...extra business.”
Jeremy Ausmus won the second WSOP title of his career, first of the series, as he defeated the final four opponents in Event #3 to win the $1,000-entry COVID-19 Relief Charity Event. With just five players returning to action on Day 2 of the event and the 2021 World Series of Poker, Ausmus overcame a chip deficit heads-up to overnight leader Jesse Lonis to claim his maiden bracelet and the $48,681 top prize. Ausmus Overcomes Lonis, Takes First Title of Autumn It took no time at all for five players to become four as Lonis busted Steve Gross in fifth place for $10,854 when Gross’ eight-four was crushed by queen-five when the chip leader made a Broadway straight on the river. Soon after, Asher Coniff was all-in with ace-six and Lonis was the caller again, this time with pocket sixes. The small pocket pair held to send play to three-handed and Coniff to the rail for $14,919. Lonis was running over the field, and that didn’t stop with the elimination of Mitchell Halverson in third place for $20,960. Halverson was all-in with the best hand, holding [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jh"]. Lonis called with [poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"] and would need a lot of help on the board. The flop was a safe [poker card="9s"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5s"] for Halverson, but the [poker card="3d"] turn spelt disaster and the [poker card="2s"] river didn’t save him. Heads-up saw Lonis go into the duel with a 3:1 chip lead, but Ausmus quickly doubled himself level when his pocket tens held against Lonis’ [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Jd"]. The final hand saw Ausmus all-in with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="9c"] against Lonis’ [poker card="Kh"][poker card="9h"] and when the board ran out [poker card="Js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="5d"], Ausmus won the WSOP bracelet and $48,681. Event #3 $1,000 COVID-19 Relief Charity Event Final Table Results: Jeremy Ausmus - $48,681 Jesse Lonis - $30,086 Mitchell Halverson - $20,960 Asher Conniff - $14,919 Steve Gross - $10,854 Benny Glaser Leads $25K H.O.R.S.E. The biggest event of the day, in terms of buy-in, the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E., saw a total of 78 players as registration closed with the start of play on Day 2 of the three-day event. British mixed game specialist Benny Glaser dominated much of the day, busting players throughout vital stages of the tournament. While others, such as Stephen Chidwick, were shot down outside the 12 money places. Mike Matusow was another player who at one point looked very strong, only for two hands against Philip Sternheimer and Jesse Klein to leave ‘The Mouth’ on the rail. Cary Katz was the first player to sneak into the money, with his 12th place finish worth $42,162 after Yuval Bronshtein was the bubble boy in unlucky 13th place for no return on his investment. Daniel Negreanu (10th for $46,002) and Roland Israelashvili (11th for $46,002) were both busted on the final hand of the day, with Glaser the beneficiary as his two pair aces and tens beat both Israelashvili and Negreanu’s weaker two pair hands. When play ended, some very big names were still in the hunt with just nine players remaining. Chip leader at the end of Day 2 was Glaser but plenty of big names survived, such as Jesse Klein, David Benyamine, Phil Hellmuth, and Day 1 chip leader Chad Eveslage all making the cut. WSOP 2021 Event #2 $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Chipcounts: Benny Glaser - 2,590,000 Jesse Klein - 1,800,000 Chad Eveslage - 1,695,000 David Benyamine - 1,680,000 Phil Hellmuth - 1,640,000 Philop Sternheimer - 865,000 Ben Yu - 830,000 Matt Glantz - 410,000 DJ Buckley - 160,000 Barnett's A Bracelet Winner The first event on the schedule was Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees Event and that saw a dramatic conclusion crown Caesars Palace employee Jimmy Barnett as the winner. In an event where 419 players created a prize pool of $175,980, Barnett went into a heads-up battle against Jack Behrens with more than double his opponent’s chips and sealed the deal when his flopped flush held against Behrens’ middle pair when the chips went into the middle. Event #1 $500 Casino Employees Event Final Table Results: Jimmy Barnett - $39,013 Jack Behrens - $24,112 Danny Chang - $16,540 Leo Abbe - $11,587 Bryan Garret - $8,294 Bobby Schmidt - $6,069 Chris Minton - $4,542 Rick Cuevas - $3,478 Ronald Baltazar - $2,727 Justin Steinman - $2,191 The Reunion Gets Underway One of the biggest events of the series to look forward to for many recreational players was The Reunion, with a $500 buy-in and massive $5 million guarantee. Day 1a saw an incredible 2,649 players take to the felt in pursuit of glory, with many players simply happy to be at the felt after so long away from the action. For one player, the emotion of cashing in a WSOP event for the first time was too much to take in this heartwarming video captured by Kenna James and posted on Twitter. https://twitter.com/Kenna_James/status/1444163921712017414 It wasn’t only players comparatively new to success who were happy. Even with some long waits at registration desks, players who have seen it such as Mike Gorodinsky advocated patience and good humor as he praised the staff at the Rio who are making it so much easier for everyone. https://twitter.com/gordoMG/status/1444032253026127872 READ: 10 Do’s And Don’ts For World Series of Poker First-Timers At the end of Day 1a in The Reunion, it was Dave Alfa who totaled the biggest stack, with a massive 3,100,000 chips going into his bag. A slew of great players trail in his wake, however, with Konstantinos Gennaios (2,650,000), Ryan Leng (2,400,000), Joey Weissman (2,270,000) Ryan Laplante (1,700,000), and Cate Hall (1,500,000) all bagging up at the close of play. Others weren’t so lucky, with former WSOP Main Event legend Matt Affleck, James Romero, and Amir Levahot all cashed but failed to make Day 2. WSOP 2021 Event #4 $500 The Reunion Top 10 Chipcounts: Dave Alfa - 3,100,000 Kostantinos Gennaios - 2,650,000 Ryan Leng - 2,400,000 Joey Weissman - 2,270,000 Greg Armand - 1,890,000 Ryan Laplante - 1,700,000 David Danlag - 1,510,000 Kenna James - 1,500,000 Cate Hall - 1,500,000 Walter Atwood - 1,400,000 Heimiller, Mizrachi In Omaha 8 Top 5 A strong field of 607 played Day 1 of Event #5, the $1,500-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, with players such as Robert Mizrachi (177,000), JJ Liu (160,500), and Ari Engel (89,500) all thriving on the opening day of the three-day event. At the close of play, Christopher Stephen had the chip lead with a massive 206,500 chips, trailed by players of the caliber of Max Pescatori (37,500), Dan Zack (123,500), and Ian O’Hara (57,000) all surviving the day. WSOP 2021 Event #5 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts: Christopher Stephen - 206,500 Dan Heimiller - 177,000 Robert Mizrachi - 173,500 JJ Liu - 160,500 Anatoliy Zyrin - 143,000 Hernan Salazar - 141,000 Allyn Shulman - 134,500 Dan Zack - 123,500 Gary Kosakowski - 120,000 Frankie O'Dell - 112,500