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  1. A crazy Saturday at the 2019 World Series of Poker saw four players all win their first career WSOP bracelet, including online poker legend Isaac Baron, as well as another record-setting field in the Millionaire Maker. Murilo Figueredo Gives Brazil First Win of 2019 in $1,500 HORSE To say that Brazilian players are passionate about poker would be an understatement. When one of their players make a WSOP final table, the rail is usually packed with fellow countrymen. Saturday was no exception as Murilo Figueredo beat Jason Stockfish heads-up to win the $1,500 HORSE event for the first Brazilian win this summer. “It's amazing to have all the best players from Brazil here. I've known them for a long time. Some of them I've been playing with for more than 13 years," Figueredo said after his win. "They are my big friends, and to win here with them watching, I just don't have words to describe it.” Figueredo and Stockfish returned on Saturday to finish the event as the only two players left standing. The pair played for four hours before Figueredo emerged with the win and the $207,003 first place prize. Final Table Payouts Murilo Figueredo - $207,003 Jason Stockfish - $127,932 Gary Kosakowski - $89,730 Phillip Hui - $63,860 Chris Klodnicki - $46,127 Alex Dovzhenko - $33,822 Joe Aronesty - $25,181 Danny Woolard - $19,040 Sean Swingruber Denies Ben Yu Bracelet #4 The final four in the $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em were given Friday off so that the last three matches could be streamed on Saturday. Bracelet winners Ben Yu, Cord Garcia, and Keith Lehr were all poised to add to their collection while relative unknown Sean Swingruber was considered a bit of an afterthought. When Friday wrapped up though, it was Swingruber standing tall with the bracelet in hand. “To win this event, first try, first bracelet, it’s incredible,” Swingruber said. Swingruber beat Garcia in the semi-final and then took 3.5 hours to battle Yu before finishing him off. Swingruber, a cash game player for Los Angeles, has a very limited tournament resume. In February he finished runner-up in the LAPC One Million event for $132,220. Prior to that, he had just six cashes to his credit and none since 2014. Being an unknown commodity didn't bother the 30-year-old professional poker player though. “I honestly thought my biggest edge coming into this tournament was that people really didn’t know me. I’m not really known in the poker world. I think a lot of opponents looked me up and thought, this is gonna be an easier match.” Final Four Payouts Sean Swingruber - $186,356 Ben Yu - $115,174 Cord Garcia - $73,333 Keith Lehr -$73,333 Isaac Baron Wins $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Six Handed In the pre-Black Friday version of online poker, Isaac Baron was a legitimate boss. He's had some big live scores since then, including a third place finish at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but a signature win has long eluded him. Until Saturday. Baron won the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Six Handed event for $407,730 and his first gold bracelet. “It's been a long time coming to get this first bracelet," Baron said. "I've wanted it for a while. I'm just glad it was pretty easy today." Baron and Singapore's Ong Dingxiang were the only two players to return for Day 4 action and it took just 15 minutes to wrap things up. Final Table Payouts Isaac Baron - $407,739 Ong Dingxiang - $251,937 Stephen Graner - $177,085 James Hughes - $126,011 Richard Hasnip - $90,791 Cameron Marshall - $66,243 Brett Apter Tops $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout Brett Apter outlasted nine other players to win the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout on Saturday for his first career bracelet topping a 24-hour period that Apter doesn't want to ever forget. "I feel like I’m in a dream," Apter said after the tournament was over. "I’ve wanted this ever since I first started playing poker. And ever since I won yesterday and knew I was going to the final table, it hasn’t felt real. I’ve just been trying to live up every moment." There was a period at the final table that might have felt like a nightmare for the 31-year-old Nashville resident. Anatolii Zyrin eliminated Tommy Nguyen in third place and entered heads-up holding a 4.5-1 chip lead over Apter. Over the next two hours, Apter took over the chip lead and eventually found pocket aces to eliminate Zyrin in second place. Final Table Payouts Brett Apter - $238,824 Anatolii Zyrin - $147,594 Tommy Nguyen - $106,351 Adrian Scarpa - $77,591 Manuel Afonso Soares Ruivo - $57,326 Cary Katz - $42,897 Shintaro Baba - $32,517 Michael O'Grady - $24,973 Kenna James - $19,436 Marko Maher - $15,331 Robert Mizrachi Leads $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Final 6 Robert Mizrachi has four WSOP bracelets to his credit, and after Saturday he's in good shape to make it five. Mizrachi finished Day 3 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship with 3,905,000 in the bag, nearly double that of his next closest competitor. Nick Guagenti sits second with 2,000,000 while Owais Ahmed is right behind him with 1,850,000. Frankie O'Dell, who has two bracelets in Omaha Hi-Lo (2003 & 2007), sits fifth with 1,000,000. Jake Schwartz, making his second final table appearance of the 2019 WSOP, is the shortest stack with 940,000. Some of the 17 players eliminated on Saturday included David 'Bakes' Baker, Mike Wattel, Mike Matusow, Richard Ashby, Shaun Deeb, and David Benyamine. Action resumes at Noon PT and will be streamed on CBS All Access (USA, Canada, Australia) and PokerGO (all other countries). Final Table Chip Counts Robert Mizrachi - 3,905,000 Nick Guagenti - 2,000,000 Owais Ahmed - 1,850,000 Robert Campbell - 1,235,000 Frankie O'Dell - 1,000,000 Jake Schwartz - 940,000 Millionaire Maker - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em For the first time in the seven-year history of the WSOP Millionaire Maker, the field passed the 8,000-player barrier and for a while on Saturday, it looked as if it might almost break 9,000, too. In the end, 4,887 players entered Day 1B to push the two-day total to 8,809. The previous biggest Millionaire Maker field came in 2013 when 7,977 entries built up a $10,768,950 prize pool. Noah Schwartz became the only player across both starting flights to finish with more than 1,000,000 in chips. Schwartz finished Day 1B with 1,100,300 to take a substantial chip lead into Day 2. The second biggest stack on Day 1B belonged to Erasmus Morfe with 666,000. There's another significant drop between stacks as Timothy Burden finished with 420,000 for the third best. Just 1,295 players made it through Day 1 B including JC Tran, Jeremy Ausmus, Alex Foxen, Yuval Bronshtein, Johnnie Moreno, Olivier Busquet, and Anton Wigg. Those players will combine with the 968 players who survived Day 1A on Sunday for the Day 2 restart. Top 10 Chip Counts Noah Schwartz - 1,100,300 Erasmus Morfe - 666,000 Timothy Burden - 420,000 Kfir Nahum - 384,400 Caleb King - 371,000 Kevin MacPhee - 366,500 David Farah - 359,200 Binh Ly - 345,600 Brian Kim - 344,500 Anthony Zinno Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Anthony Zinno sits atop the final 10 players in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event but has an impressive group of players chasing him. Zinno finished Day 2 with 733,000. Joshua Mountain is his closest competition with 445,000. Zinno also has WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu (409,000), three-time bracelet winners Rep Porter (281,000) and Eli Elezra (274,000) and two-time bracelet winners Scott Seiver (215,000) and David Singer (136,000) all looking to prevent him from adding a second bracelet to his collection. Play resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Anthony Zinno - 733,000 Joshua Mountain - 445,000 Valentin Vornicu - 409,000 Rep Porter - 281,000 Eli Elezra - 274,000 Scott Seiver - 215,000 Tab Thiptinnakon - 200,000 David Singer - 136,000 Timothy Frazin - 115,000 Rodney Pardey Jr. - 45,000 Pedro Bromfman Leads $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Just 83 players showed up for Day 1 of the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship but that suits Pedro Bromfman just fine. He bagged up 470,000 for the Day 1 chip lead. He is joined by 28 more Day 1 survivors including Majid Yahyaei, who sits second with 410,000. Dan Zack, who recently won his first bracelet and wants to chase down WSOP Player of the Year honors, finished in third with 312,000. Other notables who finished Day 1 with chips include Jean-Robert Bellande, Brian Rast, Frank Kassela, John Monnette, Darren Elias, Daniel Negreanu, and Paul Volpe. Registration is open until the start of Day 2 with another 20-30 players expected to enter or take advantage of the single re-entry after busting out on Day 1. There has been no sign of Phil Ivey in this event, but some suspect he will be one of the players to register at the start of Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Pedro Bromfman - 470,000 Majid Yahyaei - 410,000 Daniel Zack - 312,000 Julien Martini - 285,000 Ajay Chabra - 283,500 Dan Shak - 283,500 Jean-Robert Bellande - 263,000 Jim Bechtel - 258,000 Shawn Sheikhan - 232,500 Alex Balandin - 232,000
  2. What could possibly overshadow the conclusion of the largest poker tournament of all time where one player walked away with $1 million at the 2019 World Series of Poker? The unexpected and unannounced return of Phil Ivey. While the Big 50 was playing down to a winner on the ESPN main stage Friday afternoon, the 10-time bracelet winner casually entered the Rio through a back entrance and was one of the last players to register for the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship event. Femi Fashakin Wins Largest Tournament Ever, Turns $500 in $1.15M Femi Fashakin started the Big 50 final table with the chip lead on Friday afternoon and when all was said and done he was posing for pictures with the bracelet as poker's newest millionaire. Fashakin topped the record-setting 28,371-player field to win $1,159,620. He eliminated Nicholas Chow in fourth, Rafi Elharar in third, and then bested Canadian Paul Cullen heads-up to win the prize. The 37-year-old Florida resident and father of two came to the United States from Nigeria in 2001 to study computer science at Bethune-Cookman University. He started playing poker in 2010. "When I found poker, I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'This is a game I can analyze and use my mind on.'," Fashakin said. "So I got a little more interested in the game and started watching WSOPs and WPTs." He started playing bar poker near his home in Orlando before graduating into smaller buy-in events in local casinos. Prior to this win, Fashakin's live earnings totalled just a hair over $59,000 and his single biggest score was $11,250 in the WPT Seminole Rock n Roll Poker Open last November. Final Table Payouts Femi Fashakin - $1,147,449 Paul Cullen - $709,183 Rafi Elharar - $534,574 Nicholas Chow - $405,132 Walter Atwood - $308,701 Danny Ghobrial - $237,609 Adrian Curry - $182,192 Morten Christensen - $141,126 David Rasmussen - $109,922 Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza Make Event #14 a Two-Horse Race In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jason Stockfish and Murilo Souza bagged up chips in the $1,500 HORSE event as the only two players remaining. There were 28 players still in contention at the start of the day but through over 13 hours of play, just two remain. Stockfish and Souza attempted to finish things on Friday night but agreed to come back Saturday to play down to a winner. Earlier in the day, Andre Akkari busted in 26th, WSOP Circuit crusher Valentin Vornicu finished 19th, and 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Rich Zhu went home in 15th place. The final table included Chris Klodnicki going out in fifth and Phillip Hui following him to the rail in fourth. Chip Counts Jason Stockfish - 4,095,000 Murilo Souza - 3,425,000 Isaac Baron Heads Up for First WSOP Bracelet Isaac Baron reached as high as #2 in the PocketFives Rankings in his online poker career. He's hoping for anything but second best on Saturday when he and Ong Dingxiang return to finish off the $1,500 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em event. The pair bagged up early Saturday morning after outlasting 19 other players on Day 3. With 53.8% of the chips in play, Baron has a slight lead over Dingxiang. Both players are looking for their first career WSOP bracelet. Baron's previous best finish came in 2014 when he finished fourth in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event. Dingxiang meanwhile has never cashed in a WSOP event. Romain Nussmann, who started the day in the chip lead, busted in ninth Chip Counts Isaac Baron-24,475,000 Ong Dingxiang - 21,025,000 $1,500 Shootout Down to Final Table Cary Katz is one of the regulars on the High Roller and Super High Roller circuit. He's one of 10 players who has managed to navigate their way through two tables to advance to the final table of the $1,500 Shootout event. Despite having $19.5 million in lifetime earnings, mostly from those big buy-in events he frequents, Katz has never won a WSOP bracelet. He has two runner-up finishes, first 2013 in a $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event and then in 2017 when he finished one spot behind Mohsin Charania in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. The final table also marks the return of Kenna James. He last made a WSOP final table in 2009 when he finished 6th in a $2,500 Razz event. He has 36 WSOP cashes but has yet to secure a bracelet. Brett Apter starts the final table with a slight chip lead. Some of the players who made Day 2 but were unable to advance included Joe Cada, Erik Seidel, Daniel Ott, Dillon Ott, Jonathan Proudfoot, Qui Nguyen, Felipe Ramos, Kelly Minkin, Loni Harwood, and Maurice Hawkins. Final table action begins at Noon PT and Final Table Chip Counts Brett Apter - 2,258,000 Anatolii Zyrin - 2,306,000 Marko Maher - 2,240,000 Shintaro Baba - 2,237,000 Adrian Scarpa - 2,286,000 Michael O'Grady - 2,298,000 Kenna James - 2,203,000 Cary Katz - 2,266,000 Manuel Ruivo - 2,245,000 Tommy Nguyen - 2,213,000 Phil Ivey Return Highlights $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Day 1 The $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship usually brings out a cross-section of the best poker players in the world and players who specialize in this variant. Day 2 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship certainly lived up to that reputation and even brought about the return of Phil Ivey. Ivey was one of a handful of players who took advantage of the late registration extending into Day 2 and his return to the WSOP for the first time this year set the poker world abuzz. Unfortunately for poker fans, Ivey wasn't one of the 23 players who were able to bag up chips at the end of the day. Ken Aldridge leads the final 23 players with 1,178,000, but Owais Ahmed is hot on his heels with 1,078,000. Robert Mizrachi sits third with 703,000. Shaun Deeb picked up his third cash of the 2019 WSOP and will begin Day 3 with 652,000 in chips. Other notables still chasing the bracelet and $443,641 first place prize money include David Benyamine, Jake Schwartz, Mike Wattel, Mike Matusow, and David 'Bakes' Baker. Action resumes at 2 PM PT and will play down to six players. Top 10 Chip Counts Ken Aldridge - 1,178,000 Owais Ahmed - 1,074,000 Robert Mizrachi - 703,000 Frankie O'Dell - 692,000 Andrew Yeh - 677,000 Nick Guagenti - 667,000 Shaun Deeb - 652,000 Yarron Bendor - 647,000 David Benyamine - 605,000 Richard Ashby - 587,500 Millionaire Maker Opening Flight Draws Nearly 4,000 Players Amidst all of the hype for the Big 50, other smaller buy-in gimmick tournaments could have suffered. That doesn't appear to be the case for the $1,500 Millionaire Maker though. Day 1A drew 3,930 players, a 29% increase over 2018 Day 1A. Topping the 968 who managed to bag up chips at the end of the day was Garrett Greer with 570,600. Two former #1-ranked players also bagged top 10 stacks. Calvin Anderson finished with the second-best stack of the day, right behind Greer, with 563,600. Chris Hunichen rounded out the top 10 with 366,800. Chance Kornuth, Jack Sinclair, Daniel Strelitz, Joe McKeehen, David Pham, Asher Conniff, Scott Clements, and Jared Jaffee were just some of the notable players who managed to put chips in a bag at the end of Day 1A. Day 1B begins at 10 AM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Garrett Greer - 570,600 Calvin Anderson - 563,600 Eder Murata - 506,000 Orson Young - 417,300 Soheb Porbandarwala - 406,000 Keith Lehr - 383,000 Susannah Altman - 381,200 Luis Pinho - 373,800 Jacob Naumann - 372,500 Chris Hunichen - 366,800 Daniel Negreanu Among Leaders $1,500 Seven Card Stud Day 1 of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event drew 285 players and Daniel Negreanu, Julien Martini, Andre Akkari, Scott Seiver, and Joao Simao were a handful of the notables who moved on to Day 2. Negreanu built his 10,000 starting stack into 56,900 for the sixth best moving on to Day 2. Martini is right behind him with 56,100. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Constantine Moustakis - 76,600 David Singer - 69,000 Joshua Mountain - 60,500 Joachim Sanejstra - 57,500 Pawel Andrzejewski - 57,500 Daniel Negreanu - 56,900 Julien Martini - 56,100 Perry Friedman - 54,400 Kyle Hinnerichs - 52,500 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 52,100
  3. Raman 'Acrogum' Afanasenka eliminated four of the final five players in his way in Event #11 ($500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack) of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online on Saturday night to capture the first gold bracelet of his career and $128,601. The tournament almost had a storybook ending. At one point, Chance Kornuth was down to 1/9 of an ante before spinning it up to get to the final table sitting second in chips and in position to capture his third career bracelet. Afanasenka had other ideas and went to work soon after the final table started. From the hijack, Afanasenka raised to 1,200,000 with [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] and Erica Lindgren, who started the final table as the shortest stack, moved all in for 6,160,947 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"]. Afanasenka called and then watched the [poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="ts"][poker card="4c"] runout miss Lindgren to eliminate her in sixth place. Five minutes passed before Afanasenka found another victim. Afanasenka raised to 1,600,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="ah"][poker card="2s"] and Neeraj 'nee0903' Nayak called all in for 1,492,135 from the big blind with [poker card="7h"][poker card="5c"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"][poker card="2h"] flop gave Afanasenka top and bottom pair and left Nayak drawing to runner-runner. The [poker card="6s"] turn was not a good card for Nayak and the [poker card="2d"] river made his fifth place finish official. Afanasenka continued to apply pressure and amass chips when he sent another player to the rail just a few minutes later. David 'Twizzlers' Prociak moved all in for 10,344,965 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"] and Afanasenka called from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. Brett 'Metanemesis' Apter folded the big blind. Prociak got no help from the [poker card="jc"][poker card="jd"][poker card="5s"] flop but did pick up a Broadway draw with the [poker card="kh"] turn. The river was the [poker card="4c"] to eliminate Prociak in fourth place. The string of consecutive eliminations coming at the hands of Afanasenka stopped on the next elimination. Afanasenka folded the button, Apter shoved his last 8,547,819 into the middle from the small blind with [poker card="kh"][poker card="9s"] and Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth called from the big blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"]. Kornuth flopped top set on the [poker card="qs"][poker card="7h"][poker card="6s"] flop and Apter couldn't complete a miraculous comeback of his own on the [poker card="ts"] turn and [poker card="9d"] river to bust in third. Afanasenka had a 3-2 lead over Kornuth when heads-up play began. Over the next 15 minutes the pair traded the chip lead back and forth before Afanasenka put an end to Kornuth's run. Kornuth limped with [poker card="kc"][poker card="6c"] and Afanasenka moved all in from the button with [poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"] for 47,029,016 and Kornuth called all in. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"][poker card="6d"] was a great one for Kornuth. The [poker card="as"] turn changed nothing but the [poker card="3c"] river gave Afanasenka a full house to eliminate Kornuth in second place and award Afanasenka the victory. The event drew 1,691 total entries from 1,081 unique players to create a $760,950 prize pool. Despite being a six-max tournament, the tournament used a nine-handed payout structure. Final Table Payouts Raman 'Acrogum' Afanasenka - $128,601 Chance 'BingShui' Kornuth - $79,291 Brett 'Metanemesis' Apter - $57,071 David 'Twizzlers' Prociak - $41,472 Neeraj 'nee0903' Nayak - $30,514 Erica 'Huckcheevers' Lindgren - $22,676 Faces in the Crowd A pair of former November Niners enjoyed deep runs on Saturday night. Tom '.beast.' Cannuli narrowly missed out on the final table, finishing 11th for $7,761.69 while Jesse 'MrJesseJames' Sylvia came in 40th place for a $2,587.23 score. Eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Michael 'whynot38' Lech finished 17th for $4,793.98. Other notables that finished in the money included Ryan Laplante (69th - $1,597.99) David 'dehhhhh' Coleman (71st - $1,597.99), Jed 'jchak' Hoffman (79th - $1,445.80), Robert 'bustinballs' Kuhn (99th - $1,141.42), Mike Matusow (131st - $989.23), Frank 'spaghettiii' Marasco (150th - $989.23), and former #1-ranked PocketFiver Bryan 'Pellepelle' Piccioli (241st - $760.95).

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