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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
Gary Gulman is great. If you’ve seen him perform you likely think so too. An incredibly funny comedian with years in the game and a loyal fan base. If you haven’t seen him, or don’t know by name, he’s got highlights galore on YouTube - well worth going down the rabbit hole to check out. Some might call Gulman, a “comic’s comic” - a guy who has been in the industry for years, respected by his peers for being a real pro and enjoyed by those that know him. He's a guy who likely deserves even more notoriety than he gets. And what he gets is pretty good. In poker, Connor Drinan is a lot like that. A long-time established pro, well-known and respected by those who play the game at the highest level. But even with all his success and accolades, he’s still underrated. He’s not the guy you see on old ESPN broadcasts or a new young gun high-roller featured on the current slate of PokerGO programming, but Connor Drinan has his poker resume to the point where he should be considered one of the best American grinders in the game today - not just by his peers but by the public at large. So when this past week at the World Series of Poker Drinan took the chip lead into the final table of Event #5 ($1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better), few inside the industry were surprised that he came out the other side with the win, the $163,252 first-place prize, and the second gold bracelet of his career. Few were surprised because this is what Drinan does, he just wins. It’s been seven years since Drinan seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Then, a 25-year old poker pro who survived the star-studded $25,000 satellite to win his seat in the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament at the WSOP. Drinan didn’t initially make an impression by simply earning his way into one of the biggest tournaments of all time, he did it by being on the losing end of what is still considered one of the worst beats in WSOP history. PokerGO founder Cary Katz and Drinan were both all-in, both holding pocket aces. But Katz held the ace of hearts - and when the board brought a four-flush of hearts, Drinan hit the rail. But that was by no means the end of him, of course. In fact, it was just the beginning of him putting up years of impressive online and live scores. That same year he traveled to Macau to play in the APPT Super High Roller, grabbing a (then) career-high score of more than $657,000. Six figure-scores soon followed. He recorded three in 2015 before he went on to finish in third place in the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas for his current career-best $3.2 million. For the better part of the next two years, Drinan remained a part of the nosebleed tournament scene hauling in cashes, many of which make up a large part of him more than $11 million in career live earnings, currently good for 78th on the All-Time Money List. At the same time, Drinan was absolutely crushing online poker and still does to this day. He reached as high as #4 in the world back in 2014, having moved to Canada from Chicago post-Black Friday in order to grind. He has more than $9 million in online earnings and a slew of impressive titles. According to data found on the PokerStars blog, Drinan holds three WCOOP titles dating back to 20016. His biggest score is a victory in the 2018 $10K High Roller for $385,762. In the 2020 PokerStars SCOOP he really triumphed. Playing from Mexico, Drinan broke Shaun Deeb’s single series victory record by taking down six SCOOP titles. Five of those victories came in a nine-day span where he collected more than $550,000. That same year, Drinan earned his first WSOP gold bracelet during the GGPoker 2020 WSOP Online Series, handing business in the $10K Super MILLION$ bracelet event for a massive $1.4 million score. You get it, right? Drinan is absolutely elite. So why doesn’t he get that elite treatment from poker fans? There’s no doubt that within the tight-knit “poker community” (and "Poker Twitter") Drinan is top-tier. Respected and adored. Just take a look at those players congratulating him on his recent bracelet victory - Tony Dunst, Chris Moorman, Martin Jacobson, and 2019 WSOP Player of the Year Robert Campbell among others. For daily grinders and top pros, Drinan is a very big deal. But that hasn’t trickled down to poker enthusiasts. Despite being in the game for 14 years and accomplishing all he’s accomplished Drinan, for the most part in the eyes of fans, remains that guy who lost “aces to aces for a million dollars”. Perhaps Drinan prefers it that way. It’s hard to find much media featuring him - a short interview or two, no podcasts to speak of. He just goes about his business, dominating tournaments and, when they are done, giving short quotes and never taking too much credit. When asked by PokerNews reporters about his Omaha 8 win, Drinan simply replied “I just played my normal game and ran good.” That was basically it. Drinan shouldn’t need to say very much for fans to take notice. He’s earned his impressive poker resume and that should speak for him with those who follow the game taking note. But since that’s easier said than done, here’s another piece reminding fans about the greatness of Connor Drinan - a pro’s pro who, with yet another major win, has earned himself a little more shine.
Connor Drinan won his second WSOP bracelet in Event #5, the $1,500-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event as he triumphed against a talented final table of mixed game players. It took just two hours for 15 to become 10 as play raced to the final table. Drinan began as he meant to go on, eliminating Yehuda Buchalter in 19th place, but over a rollercoaster final table, no single player dominated the action. Connor Drinan Adds Another Accolade Drinan’s biggest threat to the title was arguably in the form of Robert Mizrachi, the only other bracelet winner of the players who returned for the final day. Mizrachi started the final table well, taking the chip lead after a pot against Drinan. The three-time WSOP event winner would eventually see the tables turned as Drinan busted Mizrachi when the latter was short-stacked, scooping the pot to go into heads-up with a massive lead. Despite the disparity in chips, Drinan didn’t have it all his own way as Travis Pearson proved a tricky final opponent. With just 4 million chips to Drinan’s 11 million, Pearson managed to get a double early in the contest and even took the lead 30 minutes into the final duel. Drinan won a crucial pot with a full house on the river to move ahead with a lead of 2:1. Thereafter, Drinan used all his experience to pile the pressure on and a few minutes later had the victory his tournament deserved when a set of sixes from the flop bettered Pearson’s top pair kings to take the title and $163,252 along with his second career WSOP bracelet. https://twitter.com/ConnorDrinan/status/1444989515530006538 Event #5 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Results: Connor Drinan - $163,252 Travis Pearson - $100,901 Robert Mizrachi - $71,602 Sandy Sanchez - $51,590 Micah Brooks - $37,750 Carl Lijewski - $28,059 Kris Kwiatokowski - $21,192 Curtis Phelps - $16,266 Michael Moed - $12,693 Yehuda Buchalter - $10,072 $25K High Roller Final Five Tyler Cornell leads the final five into tomorrow’s bracelet showdown in Event #6, the $25,000-entry NLHE High Roller. In what is the biggest World Series so far in terms of a top prize, Day 2 saw 54 players reduced to just five as the final table was reached across a day of drama at the felt. There were surprises along the way too, as players such as the overnight chip leader Jake Daniels fell away and players who went into play with fewer chips rose through the ranks. The Day 2 action saw many players bust before the bubble burst, as players such as Joao Vieira, Joe McKeehen, and Shaun Deeb all busted without making a profit. https://twitter.com/jeremyausmus/status/1444721635110514693 At a stacked table just a few feet away, Jonathan Jaffe won a series of vital hands to chip up to become leader, a stack that would see him through to the final day, but not with the lead. The money bubble was going to be a painful moment in the event for one player and that turned out to be popular former WSOP event winner Chance Kornuth. The two-time bracelet winner was ousted by three-time winner Adrian Mateos who held kings to bust Kornuth in 22nd place despite his ace-queen finding a queen on the flop and gutshot straight draw on the turn. Once Kornuth had made his way to the rail, players joined him with regularity. Players such as Sam Grafton (21st for $41,493), Dylan Linde (18th for $41,493), Galen Hall (16th for $45,382), and Sergi Reixach (15th for $45,382) all lost their tournament lives as the final table approached. When overnight chip leader Jake Daniels left in 14th place for $45,382, the race was on to make the final chip counts of the night, with Jared Jaffe (11th for $63,976) and Jason Koon (9th for $79,834) both busting before the official eight-handed final table. Koon was particularly unfortunate, with his pocket aces eclipsed by Michael Liang’s pocket queens to send GGPoker’s newest ambassador home without the bracelet that still, somehow, eludes him. Once the final table began, it was Adam Hendrix who left the party first for $100,773, his king-nine no good on a board showing two nines as Tyler Cornell’s rivered flush won a big pot to send him to the top of the leaderboard. That’s where Cornell stayed as he busted Paul Newey for $128,654 with sixes holding against ace-three before doing the same to Mohammed Arani in sixth place for $166,102. Cornell’s ace-eight got there on the turn against pocket threes with all the chips going into the middle pre-flop to leave the chip leader on 7.4 million chips overnight. Cornell is followed in the counts by Michael Liang (5.1m), Jonathan Jaffe (3.6m) and Mustapha Kanit (2.6m). Of the final five, only short-stacked Adrian Mateos (2.1m) has won a WSOP bracelet before, with the Spanish poker pro bagging three ahead of this World Series. With a Series-high top prize of $833,289 on offer and the fabled WSOP bracelet up for grabs, it’s sure to be a brilliant battle to the finish. Event #6 $25,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table Chip Counts: Tyler Cornell - 7,455,000 Michael Liang - 5,140,000 Jonathan Jaffe - 3,650,000 Mustapha Kanit - 2,630,000 Adrian Mateos - 2,180,000 Huge Field Attends The Reunion The Reunion, otherwise known as Event #4 of this year’s WSOP saw an immense number of 5,871 entries on Day 1c of the mammoth event. Costing just $500 to enter and having a $5 million guarantee, a total of 12,975 entries has put a total of $5.4 million in the pot and Mike Takayama bagged up the most chips on the final Day 1 flight. Takayama’s total of 4,575,000 may not have been as high as Robert Brobyn’s total from Day 1b, but it still represents a massive stack, and Takayama is not the only talented individual heading into Day 2 with genuine ambitions of taking the gold bracelet. Former WSOP bracelet winners such as Adrian Buckley (2,600,000), Joseph Cheong (2,030,000) and Julien Martini (1,450,000) all made the cut, along with former WSOP Main Event runner-up Tony Miles (830,000), British professional Sam Razavi (450,000) and Rio legend Matt Affleck (330,000). With 619 players remaining from that five-figure field, Day 2 is sure to be a decisive day at the felt when play resumes on Monday. Event #4 $500 The Reunion Day 1C Top 10 Chipcounts: Mike Takayama - 4,575,000 Anthony Cass - 2,990,000 Javier Fernandez Alonso - 2,975,000 Micheal Zonenashvili - 2,740,000 Katsushi Yoshiba - 2,700,000 Bin Liu - 2,685,000 Ryan Vanderpoorten - 2,665,000 Adrian Buckley - 2,600,000 Satheesh Francis - 2,500,000 Nathan Holman - 2,480,000 Nathan Gamble Tops Dealer's Choice Day 1 Finally, Event #7 got underway on Sunday as the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice six-handed event began with 307 players reduced to just 88 hopefuls who will go into Day 2. Of that number, some very famous faces made the next day at the felt, with the appropriately monikered Nathan Gamble heading the leaderboard on 234,500 chips. Elsewhere in the top 10, there are appearances from Ian O’Hara (201,000), Daniel Negreanu (115,000) and Matt Glantz (115,000), with Phil Hellmuth not too far back in the field on an above-average 88,500 and Brian Rast well placed too with 81,500. Hellmuth in particular could have been even higher in the ranks, but doubled up Adam Owen late in the day to slip out of the top 10. Yesterday’s $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. runner-up, Benny Glaser, has 65,000 chips with which to battle for what would be a fourth WSOP bracelet. $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed Top 10 Chip Counts: Nathan Gamble - 234,500 Andrew Donabedian - 224,000 Ray Henson - 216,000 Ian O'Hara - 201,000 Chris Lindner - 180,000 Kosei Ichinose - 168,500 Tim Phillip - 124,000 Daniel Negreanu - 115,000 Matt Glantz - 115,000 PJ Cha - 108,000