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As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. To date we've gone over the top five off-the-felt news stories of 2017, the top heaters of the year, covered the game's newest characters, breakout stars, grudges, and WTF Moments. Keeping with the theme of wacky and weird, up next is the Year in Flops. and Fails. #5 - No Shot Clock during the World Series of Poker The WSOP added new clock rules to their 2017 campaign but missed the boat on the clock players were really looking for. Whether you call it a shot clock or an action clock, the timer used in events like Super High Roller Bowl and the World Poker Tour was a hit in 2017. The outcry for it to be used in World Series events fell on deaf ears as the biggest tournament series in poker declined to add it for 2017. The lack of such a product hurt the WSOP Europe One Drop event immensely. The tanking reached a fever pitch and reigning Poker Master Steffen Sontheimer spoke out on behalf of the High Roller community. Joining him were businessmen Bill Perkins and Dan Shak, who said they would boycott any future events that do not have a shot clock. With the Big One For One Drop coming back to next year’s WSOP schedule, those in charge have some major decisions to make over the next few months. https://twitter.com/RunGo0seRun/status/927224889660071937? #4 - WSOP Streaming Schedule The old world of all WSOP final tables streaming for free on the World Series website became a thing of the past. Just before the 2017 WSOP began, PokerGO took hold of the ownership rights to stream WSOP final tables. The paid subscription service provided high-quality content, but left fans wanting more and the feeling of they weren’t getting enough bang for their buck. “Only” 16 events were broadcast but that total does not include all days of Main Event coverage that streamed live. Notably lacking were mixed game events and perhaps they will be added back into the rotation next year. In an industry where free content has long been the norm, the adjustment period to PokerGO’s new age business model is still being digested. #3 - PokerStars Live Rebrand Fizzles The largest change to the PokerStars Live series in 2017 came in the form of a name change. Out with the tour brands players grew to love and in with PokerStars Championships and Festivals. The first step of this process was poorly executed in the beholden Bahamas and the former but now brought back PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event drew only 738 entrants and was met with lackluster reviews from the professional and recreational ranks. That lack of enthusiasm carried over for the full year as numbers fell for the larger portion of PokerStars Live events. The company brought back the name brands of European Poker Tour and PCA to start 2018 in an attempt to spark new interest in the worldwide live tour. #2 - Gardens Casino Punts a $1 Million Guarantee Lofty guarantees drive players to casinos where they might not play otherwise. In September, the Gardens Casino in Los Angeles put a $565 buy-in with a $1 million guarantee on the schedule. Players showed up for the 14 flights initially listed but the guarantee was not met. So what did the Gardens Casino do instead of pay out the difference? They added more flights. Three more, in fact. A move such as this was unprecedented among the community and players took notice. The social media airwaves were unkind to Gardens for their decision to alter the schedule of the tournament. Most notably, complaints were made about the property overstepping the bounds of player trust and changing the starting days listed. All of this lead to a public relations disaster for the property. The tournament wound up overlaying anyway and the Gardens Casino poker team will have a lot on their hands should they end up running a similar event in the future. #1 - WSOP Player of the Year Formula In the end, the World Series and its much-maligned points formula for Player of the Year got what it deserved. From the moment this summer’s WSOP kicked off, players were displeased with the new formula put in place to decide one of poker’s most highly coveted awards. Ostensibly, no player feedback was asked for by the WSOP brass before they inputted a system that rewarded Colossus min-cashers more than $10,000 mixed game event ITM finishers. Players who were accustomed to having a linear path to making a run in the POY race found themselves having to reevaluate. Take David Bach, for example. ‘The Gunslinger’ won two bracelets and finished 87th in the final POY standings. In most years, Bach’s two bracelets alone would have him in contention for most of the summer. The result of the broken formula is the soon to be hung banner of 2017 winner Chris Ferguson, who min-cashed his way to the title. A fitting finale to a system everyone would rather forget as soon as possible.
[caption width="640"] David Bach grabbed his second bracelet of the 2017 WSOP by taking down the ,000 HORSE Championship (WSOP photo)[/caption] We have the first multiple bracelet winner of the 2017 World Series of Poker, ladies and gentlemen. But before we give away his name, there was plenty of action elsewhere at the Rio too. Two players will be returning Sunday to duel in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em, the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Loand Senior’s event recorded another day, and the $10K 2-7 Triple Draw Championship finished up its opening day. Here’s a recap of everything that went down on Saturday. Guess who’s Bach in the winner’s circle… The cowboy hat, shades and beard of David Bach should be a familiar sight by now. After all, Bach won his second bracelet only a week or so ago in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event. Well, he’s now captured his second bracelet of the summer and third overall in the $10K HORSE Championship, having outlasted a tough final table that included the likes of five-time bracelet winner and defending champion Jason Mercier (5th - $83,415), six-time bracelet winner and start-of-day chip leader Daniel Negreanu (6th - $61,667), and serial final-tablistAnthony Zinno (9th - $28,808). Bach won $383,208, having defeated Eric Rodawig after a healthy heads-up bout. The final hand came in Omaha Hi-Lo, in which Bach opened and Rodawig called to see a [poker card="qc"][poker card="kh"][poker card="ac"] flop. Bach continued and Rodawig shoved, which was called. Bach had the [poker card="ah"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"] for top pair, which was ahead of Rodawig’s [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3s"] for nines and a flush draw. The board bricked out for him, leaving him a runner-up finish and $236,841. Bach is no doubt a HORSE specialist, as his first bracelet and biggest career score came when he took down the $50,000 HORSE World Championship (now known as the Poker Player’s Championship) in 2009 for $1,276,802. "I'm running well and I fell like I'm playing well,” Bach said after the victory. "I pride myself on being able to play with anybody.” Final table payouts David Bach - $383,208 Eric Rodawig - $236,841 Don Zewin - $163,557 Andrew Brown - $115,485 Jason Mercier - $83,415 Daniel Negreanu - $61,667 Yuebin Guo - $46,687 Jerry Wong - $36,218 Anthony Zinno - $28,808 Calvo and Raina to battle heads-up tomorrow In the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em (Event #29), play got all the way down to just two players, before coming to an end for the night. Those left are James Calvo (9.6 million) and Gaurav Raina(4 million) who will return to duel it out at 1 PM PT Sunday. Bracelet winners Eddy Sabat and Asi Moshe bowed out in fourth and third respectively. There were 30 players who kicked off the day, and some of the more notable bust-outs during play include Jonathan Abdellatif(27th), Curt Kohlberg (26th), Federico Butteroni(24th), John Dolan (22nd) and Day 1 chip leader Pablo Fernandez (19th) for $13,186 each. Calvo and Raina will be playing for $456,822 and the bracelet, while the runner up will get $282,276. Howard Smith bags Omaha Hi-Lo lead Over in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Mix, Day 2 saw the 688 starting field whittled down even further to just 29 survivors. The man with the most overnight is Howard Smith, who bagged up 466,500. He’s got stiff competition though, perhaps most notably from all-round Omaha 2017 WSOP crusher Igor Sharaskin (445K). Sharaskin has already has a fifth and a third in Omaha events this summer for a combined $140K. Other players who will be returning tomorrow include Vladimir Shchemelev(256,000), Mark Herm(200,000), Nikolai Yakovenko (120,000), Allyn Shulman (109,500), Allen Kessler (74,500), and recent bracelet winner John Racener (27,000). Play resumes at 2 PM PT Sunday, where there’ll get as close a winner as possible before coming back Monday to close it out. The winner of this event will get $194,323. Top 10 chip counts Howard Smith - 466,500 Erle Mankin - 465,000 Yueqi Zhu - 448,500 Igor Sharaskin - 445,000 Rock Howard - 383,500 Danny Woolard - 350,500 Vladimir Shchemelev - 256,000 Mark Herm - 200,000 Tai Nguyen - 170,000 Matthew Sanner - 169,000 Valentin Vornicu ends another Day 1 on top Having ended Day 1B of the Giant as chipleader late on Friday night, Valentin Vornicu had another great day at the felt on Saturday. When all was said and done after Day 1 of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em (Event #33), he managed to bag up 198K, the most of any of the 274 survivors. Other notables who made it through include Jason Les(146,600),Nacho Barbero (116,200), Joseph Cheong (83,200), Christopher Frank (82,400), four-time bracelet winner Max Pescatori(74,500), five-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham (52,400), Pratyush Buddiga(49,400), and Niall Farrell (48,600). Rewind to the start of play and this tournament had 1,698 entrants, creating a $2.3 million prize pool, of which $384,833 will go to the winner. A total of 255 players will make the money, meaning they’ll be approaching the bubble early on Sunday. Top 10 chip counts Valentin Vornicu - 198,000 Paul Awodey - 169,300 Jonathan Abdellatif - 168,400 Blake Bohn - 156,700 Patrick Uzan - 155,500 Jason Les - 146,600 Heidi May - 142,500 Arkadiy Tsinis - 142,000 Johann Tiemann - 140,900 Artem Zverkhovskyy - 133,000 Dan Heimiller on track for second Senior’s bracelet Only 66 of the 5,389 Seniors who ponied up the $1,000 entry fee in Event #31 remain, and the man who bagged the most chips is very familiar with this particular tournament. Dan Heimiller took this one down in 2014 for his first gold bracelet, and he leads the pack here too, bagging up just over a million chips. His nearest competitor is Eluterio Rodriguez with 983,000, while the third-place chip count goes toPaul Spitzberg with 859,000. Other notable stacks belong to David Michaud(836,000), Gina Bacon(788,000), Anthony Licastro (645,000), and Bill Klein (480,000). The huge turnout means there’s a massive $617,303 for the eventual champ. We know for sure that it won’t be defending champion Johnnie Craig, Cliff Josephy, Grey Raymer, Per Hildebrand, or Barny Boatman, as they all busted during Saturday’s action. Play resumes at 11am Sunday, with all players guaranteed $4,030. Top 10 chip counts Dan Heimiller - 1,021,000 Eluterio Rodriguez - 983,000 Paul Spitzberg - 859,000 David Michaud - 836,000 Dieter Dechant - 814,000 Gina Bacon - 788,000 Kelley Brown - 741,000 Federico Castaing - 730,000 Calvin Roberts - 685,000 Randall Davis - 642,000 Adam Owen leads in $10K Deuce No doubt a familiar name to many PocketFivers, Adam ‘adamyid’ Owen has secured the overnight chip lead after Day 1 of the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship (Event #34). The British mixed-game crusher bagged up 336,000, and after four top ten finishes in the past will be looking to go all the way and secure his first gold bracelet. If he manages to do so, he’ll also collect $232,738. There’s a long way to go yet though, as 26 players of the 80 who started still remain. As you’d expect in a $10K mixed event, the line-up returning on Sunday is pretty darn solid. You’ve got Chris ‘Apotheosis92’ Kruk (264,500) who recently finished third in the Spring Championship of Online Poker $25K for almost $400K, as well as Mike Watson (261,500), recent bracelet winner James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst (227K), David Benyamine (223,500), Anthony Zinno (204K), Shaun Deeb (117,000), Mike Matusow (90,500), Todd Brunson (31,000) and JC Tran(17,500). They’ll all be back at 2pm Sunday. Top 10 chip counts Adam Owen - 336,000 Robert Campbell - 291,000 Chris Kruk - 264,500 Mike Watson - 261,500 Mike Ross - 248,000 James Obst - 227,000 David Benyamine - 223,500 Anthony Zinno - 204,000 Georgii Belianin - 184,000 Konstantin Puchkov - 180,500