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Over the past 50 years, for many, the World Series of Poker has grown into more than just a poker series. It’s become a pilgrimage of sorts. Players from all over the world head to Las Vegas to take their shot at battling against the best, bringing home a bracelet and possibly be crowned a World Champion. With the WSOP regularly taking place in the U.S., it’s no surprise that American players, far and away, have amassed the most bracelets in WSOP history. It’s nearly 20 times that of the next nearest country. But this year is different and the tables have turned. After the month of July, the focus of the bracelet chase will be handed over to GGPoker where the rest of the world will have the edge on grabbing gold as American players continue to be shut out of the global online poker scene. On GGPoker, players from nations from around the world who wouldn’t otherwise make it to the Rio this summer will be looking to add to their own poker resume while contributing to the WSOP legacy of their country. Brazil It’s no secret Brazilians love their poker. They also love playing online. In the history of PocketFives, four Brazilian players have climbed to the #1 worldwide ranking. But when it comes to the World Series of Poker, Brazil isn’t even in the top 10 countries when it comes to taking down WSOP events. Through the end of 2019, six players have earned a bracelet including one of those former #1-ranked online players, Yuri Martins Dzivielevski. Dzivielevski grabbed his first WSOP win just last year after taking down the $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Li 8 or Better event for over $213K. Dzivielevski, partypoker ambassador Joao Simeo, WSOP bracelet winner Andre Akkari, and GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos are just some of Brazil's top-flight talent that make it so it wouldn’t be unthinkable for Brazil’s total bracelet count to double in 2020. Canada The truth is, it’s been hard for Canada to compete for bracelets in the U.S. Not because of a lack of talent, there’s more than enough. But because of tax ramifications. When Canadians win at the WSOP they can lose as much as 30% to the US-Canada Tax Treaty, making it hard to be profitable in tournaments. That hasn’t stopped Canada from claiming the #2 spot with 60 total bracelets. Led by Daniel Negreanu and his six wins, Canada boasts numerous multi-time bracelet winners including Greg Mueller, Mark Radoja, Kristen Bicknell and 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, the first and only Canadian to hold that title. There’s a good chance for Canada to add to their legacy and strengthen their bracelet count in 2020. It’s well known that Negreanu, also a GGPoker ambassador, is going to charging hard for a bracelet with over $500,000 in bracelet bets on the line. Also online crushers like Bicknell, bracelet winner Mike Leah, former #1-ranked PocketFiver Sebastian ‘p0cket00’ Sikorski, and recent PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker winner Mike Watson all have full reign to win without getting punished in the wallet simply for being great. United Kingdom Some of the most colorful characters to grace the World Series of Poker stage have come from the UK. Many of which have contributed to the country’s 51 bracelets. David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, Luke Schwartz, Roland de Wolfe, Jake Cody, and Barny Boatman are just some of the legendary names that have posed for a WSOP winner’s photo and elevated the profile of poker in the UK. This year it will be a new crop of players who will lead the charge for England starting with the current #1 ranked online poker player in the world, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. In fact, four of the top 20 online players in the world play from the UK including Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard and Tyler ‘Wonderboy222’ Goatcher. In the history of the UK, only seven players have earned multiple bracelets and if there’s one player who is a favorite to join that club it would be high roller savant Stephen Chidwick. Chidwick, who holds a bracelet of his own, is one of the most talented tournament players in both the live and online arena. Provided he has the time, he could even have a shot at catching Benny Glaser, who holds the UK’s record as a three-time bracelet winner. Russia Russia and France both have 22 bracelets, but when it comes to playing online Russia gets a definitive edge. It’s impossible to forget the impact that Russian players have had on the World Series of Poker from Ivan Demidov’s runner-up finish the original November Nine for over $5.8 million to Vitaly Lunkin taking down the 40th WSOP Anniversary event for his second gold bracelet. But while Russia is another talent-rich country, it takes a lot of effort to make it from Moscow to the middle of the Amazon Room. While Dennis ‘aDrENalin710’ Strebkov made the journey in 2019 and went home with a bracelet, many of the online crushers from Russia opt to grind online through the summer. It’s those players, like former #1-ranked ‘veeea’, who could break the tie with France this year and tack on to Russia’s total. That is unless Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has anything to say about it. The truth is that for many countries, the series on GGPoker can really impact their gold bracelet standing. In China, there are four players who have won a bracelet. With GGPoker’s wide exposure to the Asian market, there’s a very good chance that that club will be adding some new members in 2020. There’s only one bracelet winner from Uruguay, Alex Komaromi, who won his at the WSOPE in 2015. Top-ranked players from Hungary, like ‘Wildace_hun’ have the chance to break a long-standing five-country tie of five bracelets. While none of these countries are going to make up much ground on the 1,1132 bracelets earned by Americans, the gold they take home this summer will be an important part of WSOP, and their countries, legacy in poker.
One of the top 50 players in World Series of Poker history added to his bracelet collection on Thursday while one of the top American players under the age of 25 picked up the first bracelet of his career. All of this happened while another field size record was almost broken in the Seniors event. 'The Grinder' Wins Bracelet #5 in $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Michael Mizrachi is the only player to have won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship event three times. On Thursday he became the charter member of another exclusive club: the first player to win five bracelets in the 2010s. Mizrachi beat Robert Gray heads-up to win the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event and take home his fifth career WSOP bracelet and second in two years. Along with the three PPC titles, Mizrachi's other bracelet was in a €10,400 Split-Format No Limit Hold'em event in 2011. “It’s great. Obviously, I want the $50K again, but this is something different," Mizrachi said. "We needed a change. Everything was $10K or more, and now it’s a $1,500. I was due for a $1,500 one. It feels great.” Mizrachi is the 26th player to have won at least five bracelets. Gray earned $88,254 for his runner-up finish. His previous best finish was a 15th place result in a $1,500 HORSE event in 2016 for $7,555. Final Table Payouts Michael Mizrachi - $142,801 Robert Gray - $88,254 Michael Sopko - $60,330 Elias Hourani - $42,014 Jan Stein - $29,818 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - $21,575 Martin Sawtell - $15,921 Matthew Schultz - $11,986 Roman Korenev Leads Marathon Event into Home Stretch Just 16 players remain in the $2,620 Marathon event with Russian Roman Korenev sitting on top of the chip counts. Korenev finished Day 4 with 3,125,000 as 36 players were eliminated on Thursday. Korenev is on top, but the next five biggest stacks are all relatively close. Yicheng Xu sits just 80,000 chips behind and the next four players have between 2,710,000 and 2,850,000. Among the players who were eliminated on Thursday were Joseph Cheong (49th), Anatoly Filatov (46th), reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Erkut Yilmaz (43rd), Mohsin Charania (38th), and David Coleman. Action resumes at 1 PM PT and is scheduled to play down to six players. Top 10 Chip Counts Roman Korenev - 3,125,000 Yicheng Xu - 3,045,000 Dong Sheng - 2,930,000 Matt Russell - 2,850,000 Vladimir Revniaga - 2,795,000 Joe Curcio - 2,710,000 Jared Koppel - 1,870,000 Peter Hong - 1,660,000 Sergio Fernandez - 1,615,000 Joseph Liberta - 1,340,000 Stephen Song Captures First Bracelet, $341,854 in $1K NLHE Stephen Song entered the final table of the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event with nearly 50% of the chips in play and just five players standing between him and his first bracelet. The 23-year-old from Connecticut didn't exactly coast to victory, but in the end, he was able to pull off the win. “At first I thought it was going to be pretty smooth sailing,” Song said “But then Renata flush-over-flushed me right away, and he's pretty good, so that was not ideal. Laplante kept on getting jams through so he kept on chipping up swiftly. It wasn't going as planned for sure; it was definitely a bumpy ride.” Renato Kaneoya picked up the first two eliminations before going home in fourth place at the hands of Ryan Laplante. Song then picked off Laplante in third and Scot Masters in second to win $341,854 and the bracelet. Song's previous best WSOP finish came last summer when he finished 7th in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. Masters earned $211,177 as the runner-up while Laplante pocked $154,268, his fourth six-figure WSOP score. All came in events with a buy-in of $1,500 or less. Final Table Payouts Stephen Song - $341,854 Scot Masters - $211,177 Ryan Laplante - $154,268 Renato Kaneoya - $113,712 Sevak Mikaiel - $84,581 Dominic Coombe - $63,491 Pedro Ingles - $48,101 Vegard Ropstad - $36,783 Dario Sammartino Leads $10,000 HORSE Final Table Dario Sammartino picked up some heat on Day 2 of the $10,000 HORSE event and carried that momentum through Day 3 to end up with the chip lead with just seven players left. Sammartino bagged up 5,030,000 and sits comfortably ahead of the rest of the field. Craig Chait sits second with 1,630,000 with Scott Clements the only other player with more than 1,000,000 at 1,355,000. Greg Mueller, Daniel Ospina, Mikhail Semin, and Matthew Gonzalez round out the rest of the field. Some of the players eliminated on Thursday included Justin Bonomo, Brian Hastings, Anthony Zinno, Marco Johnson, and Jen Harman. This is Harman's first cash in this event. Phil Hellmuth also played but was unable to make it to Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts Adilson Moraes - 379,200 Albert Halfon - 361,700 Ravinder Bedi - 321,800 Ronald Larsen - 289,900 Mark Kroon - 274,400 Anthony Martin - 273,700 Cristobal Romano - 267,500 Yue Du - 266,800 Danut Chisu - 264,000 Three-time Bracelet Winner Benny Glaser Leads $1,500 Triple Draw After Day 1 While the seniors were filling most of the tables on Thursday, a number of the better mixed game players entered the $1,500 Triple Draw event. Benny Glaser, who won this event in 2015 for the first of his three WSOP bracelets, finished Day 1 with 79,500 and the chip lead. He's followed closely by Jared Bleznick, Jeffrey Shea, Penh Lo, Robert Campbell, and Frederic Moss. The event drew 467 players, 111 more than it did last summer. Only 139 survived to see Day 2 and just 71 will finish in the money. Some of the notables that managed to advance were Nick Schulman, Daniel Negreanu, Ismael Bojang, Yuval Bronshtein, Frankie O'Dell, Phil Hellmuth, James Obst, Brian Hastings, and Daniel Strelitz. Day 2 starts at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Benny Glaser - 79,500 Jared Bleznick - 75,700 Jeffrey Shea - 72,900 Penh Lo - 72,600 Robert Campbell - 72,000 Frederic Moss - 70,600 Brett Bader - 69,000 Duncan Kirk - 68,400 Owais Ahmed - 64,100 Scott Bohlman - 63,000 Dan Zack Continues to Lead WSOP POY Race; Stephen Song Enters Conversation Dan Zack picked up his seventh cash of the summer on Thursday to extend his lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race but he's got some new competition occupying the #2 spot. After winning the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, Stephen Song added 1,105.4 points to his total to move to #2. POSITION PLAYER POINTS 1 Dan Zack 1864.94 2 Stephen Song 1503.76 3 John Gorsuch 1431.95 4 Daniel Strelitz 1408.47 5 Isaac Baron 1396.76 Friday Schedule
Two more bracelet winners - one a first-time winner and another snagging his third - highlighted Friday's schedule the 2019 World Series of Poker. Jared Koppel Leads Final Six in $2,620 Marathon The Marathon has hit the home stretch and Jared Koppel is out in front by quite a large margin. Koppel finished Day 5 with 11,700,000, more than double that of the next closest competitor, and nearly 41% of the chips in play with just five players remaining. China's Dong Sheng Peng sits second with 5,800,000. Roman Korenev, of Russia, started Day 5 with the chip lead and managed to bag up the fourth biggest stack at 3,310,000. The day started with 16 players and stopped with just six remaining. Final table action begins at Noon on Saturday. Final Table Chip Counts Jared Koppel - 11,700,000 Dong Sheng Peng - 5,800,000 Francis Anderson - 3,695,000 Roman Korenev - 3,310,000 Joseph Liberta - 2,540,000 Joe Curcio - 1,540,000 Greg Mueller Wins $10K HORSE for Bracelet #3 Greg Mueller roared back from a middle-of-the-pack stack to win the $10,000 HORSE Championship for $425,347 and the third bracelet of his career and first since winning two in 2009. Mueller beat Daniel Ospina heads-up after navigating his way through all five games against a final table that also included Matthew Gonzales, Scott Clements, and start-of-day chip leader Dario Sammartino. Over the past few months, Mueller began to wonder if he could still hang with the players playing a full schedule year round. “I just haven't played that many tournaments in a long time and I had the bug to play a little bit again. I was working hard in the offseason to get fit. I wanted to know if I could still play the game," Mueller said. “I just felt like, 'Do I still have it? Has the game passed me by?' That type of thing.” Final Table Payouts Greg Mueller - $425,347 Daniel Ospina - $262,882 Dario Sammartino - $184,854 Scott Clements - $132,288 Craig Chait - $96,378 Mikhail Semin - $71,505 Matthew Gonzales - $54,043 Phil Galfond - $41,625 $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (Event #30) A record-setting field in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event made it impossible for the event to play down to a champion in the originally scheduled three days. That means Luis Zedan will have to wait until Saturday to use his chip lead to try and win himself a bracelet. Zedan sits atop the final five players with 15,670,000 - more than the other four players combined. Thida Lin has the second biggest stack with 6,140,000. 53 players were sent to the rail on Friday including Joe Beevers, Martijn Gerrits, and the player who started the day with the chip lead, Gary Bolden. The event drew 1,526 entries this year, 536 more than last year and 233 more than the previous largest (1,293 in 2015). The final five will resume play at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Luis Zedan - 15,670,000 Thida Lin - 6,140,000 Ryan Robinson - 4,675,000 Ryan Goindoo - 2,985,000 Samad Razavi - 1,050,000 Thomas Cazayous Wins $3K Six Max No Limit Hold'em Draped in the tricolor flag of his native France, Thomas Cazayous was basking in the glory of winning his first WSOP bracelet Friday night. The 24-year-old, who now calls London home, beat Nicholas Howard heads-up to win the $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event for $414,766. "I don’t want to say I think I was the best. I was pretty sure what I had to do and people didn’t put me to tough decisions," he said. Cazayous began the day sitting third with 20 players remaining and worked his way through the likes of Rafael Moraes, Jonathan Proudfoot, Josh Weiss, Kyle Cartwright, Angel Guillen and Upeshka De Silva before finding himself heads up with Howard. Howard earned $256,314 for his runner-up finish while De Silva, who has bracelet wins in 2015 and 2017, took home $172,658 for third. Final Table Payouts Thomas Cazayous - $414,766 Nicholas Howard - $256,314 Upeshka De Silva - $172,658 Wojciech Barzantny - $118,421 Angel Guillen - $82,726 Raul Martinez - $58,881 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em (Event #32) The $1,000 Seniors Event is down to just 252 players from a starting field of 5,917 and only Howard Mash has accumulated more than 2,000,000 chips. Mash, from Coconut Creek, FL, finished Day 2 with 2,065,000. His closest competitor is Anthony Martin, who bagged up 1,759,000 after completing another 10 levels of play. Victor Ramdin rounds out the top three with 1,688,000. Ramdin isn't the only notable still in. Both Layne Flack and Barry Greenstein bagged chips on Friday to advance to Day 3. Allyn Shulman, who won this event in 2012, busted in 283rd place for $3,279. The Day 3 schedule calls for players to resume play at 11 AM PT and play down until just six players remain. Top Chip Counts Howard Mash - 2,065,000 Anthony Martin - 1,759,000 Victor Ramdin - 1,688,000 Thomas Loya - 1,493,000 Ron Fetsch - 1,493,000 Mark Kroon - 1,430,000 Brad Desaye - 1,268,000 Todd Keikoan - 1,190,000 Mansour Alipourfard - 1,115,000 Clifford Pappas - 1,105,000 Hanh Tran Hoping To Go Back to Back in $1,500 Triple Draw Last summer, Hanh Tran topped a 356-player field to win his first bracelet in the $1,500 Triple Draw event. On Friday he took a huge step towards repeating in the event, bagging up the chip lead with just 17 of 467 entries still in. Tran finished Day 2 with 457,000, which puts him 8,000 ahead of Jared Bleznick and 21,000 ahead of Frankie O'Dell. Daniel Strelitz, Benny Glaser, and David Bach are also still in contention for the $144,027 first place prize. The day started with 139 players still alive and saw the money bubble burst after 68 eliminations. Some of the players who finished in the money but ultimately busted include Mark Gregorich, Max Kruse, Phil Hellmuth, Jon Turner, James Obst, Brian Hastings, Brock Parker, and Valentin Vornicu. Top 10 Chip Counts Hanh Tran - 457,000 Jared Bleznick - 449,000 Frankie O'Dell - 436,000 David Bach - 415,000 Kyle Miaso - 385,000 Jesse Hampton - 377,000 Hope Williams - 374,000 Benny Glaser - 332,000 Aron Dermer - 260,000 Steven Tabb - 258,000 Ari Engel Bags Top 10 Stack After Day 1 of $1,000 Double Stack Another lower buy-in No Limit Hold'em event, another massive Day 1 field. The $1,000 Double Stack drew 2,944 players for Day 1A on Friday with 1,096 of moving on to Day 2. That puts it on pace to scream past the 5,700-player field in this event from last summer. Juan M. Esirviez was the only player to turn his starting stack of 40,000 into 500,000 or more. The Argentinian bagged up 530,000 while his closest competitor, Sunny Chattha, finished with 478,000. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver, Ari Engel, ended up with 399,800 for the seventh biggest stack. Other notables moving on to Day 2 include Steven van Zadelhoff, Jason Wheeler, Bertrand Grospellier, Ismael Bojang, Troy Quenneville, Joseph Cheong, and Christian Harder. Day 1B starts at 11 AM. Top 10 Chip Counts Juan M. Esirviez - 530,000 Sunny Chattha - 478,000 Imran Mukati - 432,300 Arianna Son - 424,500 Andrew Rubin - 422,200 Gabriel Sack - 416,000 Ari Engel - 399,800 Joseph Walters - 390,700 Brendan Shiller - 363,100 John Hayes - 344,500 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed (Event #35) The $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship top 10 reads like a who's who of mixed game experts. Jeffrey Lisandro, Shaun Deeb, Phillip Hui, Matt Glantz, Chris Klodnicki, Frank Kassela, all found themselves one of the 44 players who managed to survive Day 1. Lisandro, with 347,900, holds the tiniest of leads over Shaun Deeb. The former #1-ranked PocketFiver finished with 344,400. Not far behind him is Phillip Hui with 331,400. Those three were the only ones to end up north of 300,000 at the end of the day. The event attracted 115 entrants on Day 1 with registration still open until the start of Day 2. Even if no new players enter on Saturday, the 2019 field is still four players ahead of the 2018 field. Other notables moving on to Day 2: Adam Owen, Ryan Hughes, Nick Schulman, Marco Johnson, Phil Galfond, Patrick Leonard, Prahlad Friedman, and Michael Mizrachi. Day 2 begins at 2 p.m. PT. Top Chip Counts Jeff Lisandro - 347,900 Shaun Deeb - 344,400 Phillip Hui - 331,400 Xunen Zheng - 282,000 Matt Glantz - 275,700 Denis Strebkob - 252,700 Chris Klodnicki - 245,800 Frank Kassela - 242,200 Joao Vieira - 226,200 Michael Ross - 223,700 Dan Zack Still Leads POY, Scott Clements Closing In Dan Zack continues to pick up WSOP Player of the Year points. A 69th place finish in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event added 104.1 points to his total, but he'll need to do more than that if he hopes to hold off Scott Clements. Days after winning his third career bracelet, Clements finished fourth in the $10,000 HORSE Championship and added 424.8 points to his total to move past Stephen Song into second place. 1 Daniel Zack 1,968.99 2 Scott Clements 1,642.02 3 Stephen Song 1,503.76 4 John Gorsuch $1,432 5 Daniel Strelitz 1,408.47 Saturday's WSOP Schedule