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  1. Adam Friedman made history at the 2021 World Series of Poker on Wednesday night after winning the $10,000 Dealer Choice event for the third straight year, becoming the first player ever to win a single event three times in a row. In order to do it, had to best a completely stacked final 10 players that included Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, and Phil Hellmuth, who was at his fifth final table and playing for back-to-back bracelets himself. Friedman Finishes Hellmuth For Unprecedented Third Title With the tournament being six-handed, two five-handed tables kicked off the action on the final day. Phil Hellmuth began his quest for glory in familiar company, sat alongside Daniel Negreanu and, Mike Matusow. Negreanu left the party early, busting in ninth place for $25,741, but Matusow lasted beyond Mike Gorodinsky’s elimination in eighth place for the same amount and Matt Glantz going out in seventh for $32,746 after making the unofficial final table. With the final six players gathering, it seemed a three-way battle from the off, with back-to-back $10K Dealers Choice champ Friedman, Jake Schwartz, and Hellmuth himself all above 1.3 million chips, with Carol Fuchs (570,000), Matusow (390,000), and Andrew Kelsall (320,000) all seemingly scrabbling for the next three eliminations. That’s exactly how it turned out, with Kelsall busted by Matusow in sixth place for $42,646 before Matusow himself heading to the rail in fifth place for $56,826. It was Hellmuth himself who busted his friend away from the felt, proving poker is a game without the boundaries of friendships at the felt and the two men exchanged a warm embrace as Matusow left the arena. Soon after, Carol Fuchs was of contention in fourth for $77,437 when she lost a hand of 2-7 Pot-Limit Triple Draw to Friedman. In winning his 16th bracelet earlier this week, Hellmuth beat Schwartz heads-up, but this time Schwartz could only last to the first of the three podium places, busting in third for $107,861. A fairly ridiculous stat for the now three-time reigning champion showed just how difficult it is to beat Adam Friedman in the Dealer’s Choice format. https://twitter.com/Kevmath/status/1451102842622668809   So those omens proved as Friedman, who went into heads-up play with a slight deficit to make up, remained unbeaten to conquer the current king of the World Series under the lights. After the event, Hellmuth himself tweeted to update his fans that he’s about to take a well-deserved break for a couple of days after an epic three weeks at the felt yielded five final tables and a WSOP bracelet. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1451134173314367490 WSOP 2021 Event #36 $10,000 Dealer's Choice Final Table Results: Adam Friedman - $248,350 Phil Hellmuth - $153,493 Jake Schwartz - $107,861 Carol Fuchs - $77,437 Mike Matusow - $56,826 Andrew Kelsall - $42,646 Addamo Crushes High Roller Field to Lead Final Five It goes without saying that Australian high roller Michael Addamo has enjoyed an incredible year at the felt. No one has won more consistently and for such large amounts than he has in online tournaments, but Addamo is not satisfied with dominating the online scene. With five players remaining in the WSOP Event #38, the $50,000 NLHE High Roller, Addamo has almost as many chips as his four remaining opponents put together. Heading into Day 2, Addamo had a significant lead over the field, with more chips than the places between 3rd and 6th combined. Only Erik Seidel was keeping pace with the Aussie in any way, and that situation stayed the case as play found its way to a final table of nine players. At that stage, Addamo had grown his stack to 6.8 million chips, with only Seidel (4.2 million) and Sam Soverel (3.5m) anywhere near him. The first player to leave the nine-handed final table was German player Leonard Maue, who was short-stacked and all-in for eight big blinds with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qd"]. Bin Weng made the call with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"] and on a board of [poker card="As"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="4c"][poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] sent Maue home for a result worth $103,635. Next to go was Italian player Mustapha Kanit, who earned $126,141 in eighth place when he busted to Gal Yifrach, one of the four opponents Addamo will face on the final day. Kanit moved all-in with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qh"], but ran into Yifrach’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"], which held with ease on the [poker card="6c"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="4c"] board. Play went on for some time before Sam Soverel was eliminated in seventh place for $157,666. Soverel moved all-in from the small blind with [poker card="Td"][poker card="Th"] but was at risk when Seidel called with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kh"]. The flop of [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="9h"] gave Soverel bottom set, but on the [poker card="Jd"] turn, Seidel made a Broadway straight and after the [poker card="7h"] completed the board, Soverel was on the rail. It was Bin Weng who busted next, calling Justin Bonomo’s three-bet all-in pre-flop. Weng had pocket eights, but Bonomo held pocket nines and no danger on the board saw the man who sits second on the all-time money list double-up, with Weng busted in the next hand to the same opponent. With Addamo involved too, the three-way pot saw Weng eliminated with bottom pair on the flop after Bonomo had flopped a top pair of kings. With Weng’s elimination earning the American $202,236, the final five places were set, with Addamo holding a huge lead over four remaining players, with one super-short opponent Chris Hunichen remaining confident of victory. https://twitter.com/BigHuni/status/1451007106820108290 WSOP 2021 Event #38 $50,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table Chipcounts/Results: Final Day Chipcounts: Michael Addamo - 11,475,000 Justin Bonomo - 4,975,000 Erik Seidel - 4,335,000 Gal Yifrach - 3,160,000 Chris Hunichen - 405,000 Final Table Results: 6th - Bin Weng (U.S.A.) $202,236 7th - Sam Soverel (U.S.A.) $157,666 8th - Mustapha Kanit (Italy) $126,141 9th - Leonard Maue (Germany) $103,635 Josh Arieh Leads $1,500 PLO Just 58 players survived Day 1 of the Pot Limit Omaha Event #39, which cost $1,500 to play and had 821 entries. A mammoth 14 hours of play saw Josh Arieh (1,000,000) finish ahead of players like Ivan Deyra (635,000) and Craig Varnell (566,000) in the top 10 chip counts. Players such as Ryan Leng (847,000) and Robert Blair (852,000) will feel most confident of taking down Arieh on Day 2, as they are closest to the leader, with players like Robert Mizrachi and Shaun Deeb unable to survive the day. WSOP 2021 Event #39 $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Top 10 Chipcounts: Josh Arieh - 1,000,000 Robert Blair - 852,000 Ryan Leng - 847,000 Fred Goldberg - 653,000 Gabriel Andrade - 645,000 Ivan Deyra - 635,000 Dien Le - 627,000 Craig Varnell - 566,000 Nitesh Rawtani - 563,000 Zachary Bergevin - 512,000 Seiver, Silver Make $10K H.O.R.S.E. Top Ten Event #40 saw players such as David Williams pony up $10,000 and take their chances in the H.O.R.S.E. event, and there was an air of ambition around the Rio in the early levels, as Williams himself exuded.... even if he was a season out. https://twitter.com/dwpoker/status/1450982507751436290 With 139 entries, just 71 players survived, with legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Anthony Zinno, Eli Elezra, and Paul Volpe all busting, while Qinghai Pan (373,000), Scott Seiver (261,000), Randy Ohel (219,500), and David Benyamine (219,000) all piled up top stacks. WSOP 2021 Event #40 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Qinghai Pan - 373,000 Scott Seiver - 261,000 Andrew Yeh - 229,500 Randy Ohel - 219,500 David Benyamine - 219,000 Marco Johnson - 218,000 Jerry Wong - 217,500 Brett Richey - 215,500 Jesse Klein - 199,500 Nate Silver - 197,000
  2. It was a busy day inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Tuesday with three gold bracelets being won and a constellation of poker stars battling in the Amazon room. Michael Noori, David 'Bakes' Baker, and Anthony Koutsos all won gold. At the same time, high roller superstar Michael Addamo took the lead in the $50K High Roller, and both Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu made the final 10 in the $10K Dealers Choice event. Michael Noori Earns Monster $610K Score After four days of relentless poker, 3,520 entries played down to a winner in the Thunderdome as Michael Noori won the $1,500-entry Monster Stack for $610,437. Taking down the final table, Noori triumphed against Ryan Leng heads-up after a stunning comeback from less than two big blinds earlier in the day. Heading into the final table, Noori was some way back from the leaders, with Leng leading the way with 57 big blinds to Noori’s 26 big blinds. With ten players at the felt, the man at the top of the leaderboard was Jaesh Balachandran, but he busted in 10th place for $51,286. Balachandran shoved with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qc"] and was called by Mordechai Hazan with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ad"], with a board of [poker card="9s"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="As"][poker card="Ac"] reducing the field to nine. It was Anthony Ortega who busted next as his [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Kh"] wandered into a massive clash against Christopher Andler’s [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ac"], with a seven-high board sending Ortega home for $64,490. Ortega was followed from the felt by Johan Schumacher who busted in eighth place for $81,573. Schumacher raised then called off his four big blind stack pre-flop with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="6s"] but was well behind Rafael Reis’ [poker card="6h"][poker card="6d"]. The board of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="Th"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5c"] saw Schumacher catch a Broadway draw from the flop but he couldn’t find a queen to save his stack. Reis took the lead with that hand, and at that point Noori was struggling on just 13 big blinds, second last on the leaderboard. The eventual winner dropped to short stack when Daniel Fortier was busted in seventh place for $103,784 with [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Tc"] committed pre-flop against Mordechai Hazan’s [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Kh"]. Fortier was drawing dead from the turn on a board showing [poker card="8h"][poker card="6d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="Ks"][poker card="Ts"]. Noori needed a double desperately, and it was Hazan who would oblige when Noori three-bet shoved with pocket sevens and was called by Hazan’s pocket jacks. Noori needed help and got it on the [poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"] flop, but still needed to sweat a ten that would have given Hazan an unbeatable straight. However, the [poker card="4d"] turn and [poker card="2d"] river saw Noori double up and that began his epic run to victory. Hazan’s stack was mortally damaged, and he busted next for $132,812 in sixth place. Hazan moved all-in with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qs"] and was called by Leng with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"]. The board of [poker card="9c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="Tc"] saw Hazan on the rail and Leng moved into the lead with 75 million chips, with Noori (45m) his closest challenger at that stage. Charlie Dawson busted in fifth place for $170,943 when his all-in with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"] was called by Leng with [poker card="As"][poker card="Ks"]. The flop of [poker card="Th"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4h"] saw Dawson remain in the lead, and that stayed the case with the [poker card="Jc"] turn, but the river of [poker card="Ad"] flipped the script and sent Dawson home in fifth. There was an extended period of play that followed without anyone busting, but eventually, Andler met with defeat for $221,289. He was all-in with [poker card="As"][poker card="2d"] and in real trouble against [poker card="Th"][poker card="Td"] after a board of [poker card="9c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2c"][poker card="Qh"][poker card="7d"] played out. Noori winning that hand was vital, with the American vaulting over Reis in the chip counts, though Leng had a massive lead at the time with double his two opponents’ stacks. Reis would bust in third place for $288,101 as he pushed his final eight big blinds over the line with [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Ts"] and was called by Noori with [poker card="Jd"][poker card="7d"]. With a flop of [poker card="8h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3h"] keeping Reis ahead, the [poker card="7s"] turn changed that and put Noori in command of the hand and the [poker card="4s"] river ended the hand with the Brazilian heading to the cash desk. Heads-up began with Leng holding an almost exact 2:1 chip lead. That was not the case for long, however, as Noori was all-in just ten minutes into the duel with a turned straight topping Leng’s flopped top two pair. Over the next few hands, Leng battled back, but Noori grew his lead after winning some small bets to increase his lead to 3:1 ahead of the final hand. After a board of [poker card="Th"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="7c"] arrived by the turn, Leng attempted a value bluff, raise-shoving [poker card="Kc"][poker card="8c"]. Noori, however, held [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qh"] and made the call, needing to fade kings, nines, fives and clubs to become a first-time WSOP champion. Noori needed to fade a massive 18 outs, but that was exactly what happened when the [poker card="7h"] river eliminated Leng in second place for $377,220 and he fell just short of his second live WSOP bracelet of the 2021 World Series. Noori was the titleholder instead, winning the $610,437 top prize and grabbing gold for the first time in his career, celebrating on the rail with his friends as Leng was left with a rueful smile about what might have been. WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Final Table Results: Michael Noori - $610,437 Ryan Leng - $377,220 Rafael Reis - $288,101 Christopher Andler - $221,289 Charlie Dawson - $170,943 Mordechai Hazan - $132,812 Daniel Fortier - $103,784 Johan Schumacher - $81,573 Anthony Ortega - $64,490 Jaesh Balachandran - $51,286 'Bakes' Scores Gold In Event #34 Event #34 saw David ‘Bakes’ Baker take down the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw final table after toppling overnight chip leader Peter Lynn heads-up. Six players returned to the felt as Baker, the most experienced player at the table had work to do in order to capture the crown and his third WSOP bracelet. Baker, the only former winner at the final table, used all his experience to get the job done and win his first bracelet in nine years. Afterward, Baker described how desperate he was to win, and ultimately, a combination of his determination and mixed game skills managed to conclude the event in his favor. With play very even between the top stacks during the first three eliminations, Baker really kicked in after play went three-handed. Baker took over and when Stephen Deutsch lost out in third place for a career-high score of $37,194, Baker was better than 6:1 up in chips, closing out the win for a famous victory. WSOP 2021 Event #34 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Final Table Results: David 'Bakes' Baker - $87,837 Peter Lynn - $54,286 Stephen Deutsch - $37,194 Kristijonas Andrulis - $25,971 Marc Booth - $18,488 Mark Fraser - $13,423 Koutsos Freezes Out The Competition It was a recreational player’s victory in Event #35, the $500-entry Freezeout event, with real estate agent Anthony Koutsos claiming gold after an epic three-hour heads-up match against Charbel Kanterjian. Both Kanterjian and Koutsos started the 10-handed final table as the top two stacks and would eventually take care of most of their opposition between them to get to that epic heads-up battle. After Gilad Grinberg lost a coinflip to bust in 10th place for $12,944, Fausto Valdez did the same. It was Kanterjian who won that hand, pocket sevens flopping a set against jack-ten suited for the chip leader to increase his power at the table and send Valdez home for $16,324. The legendarily named John Moss busted in eighth place for $20,753 before he was joined on the rail by Ronald Ibbetson (7th for $26,595) and Jacob Rich (6th for $34,353). By that stage, Dongsheng Zhang was one of the most powerful players at the table, and he busted Sundiata DeVore in fifth place for $44,725 when Zhang’s [poker card="Ts"][poker card="Tc"] held against DeVore’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"]. Down to four, the next player to go was Jonah Lopas, who moved all-in pre-flop with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="3d"] but was called by Koutsos with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Js"] and couldn’t catch him on the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="7c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="9d"] board. Lopas cashed for $58,685 in fourth and he was joined on the rail by Zhang in third for $77,600 when Zhang’s shove with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="9c"] was doomed by Koutsos’ [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qc"] on an eight-high board. Heads-up swung this way and that for a full three hours until the average stack was worth less than 20 big blinds. Koutsos had [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Qs"] and had an easy call when Kanterjian shoved pre-flop with [poker card="8h"][poker card="6c"]. The flop of [poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="3c"] gave Kanterjian hope of a miracle by pairing his six, but after the [poker card="4s"] turn, the [poker card="Ks"] river saw Koutsos take the title and massive $167,272 top prize. Kanterjian took $103,402 for coming second, with Koutsos winning his first-ever WSOP title after his biggest previous cash was for just $5,000 before this defining poker result of his life. WSOP 2021 Event #35 $500 Freezeout NLHE Final Table Results: Anthony Koutsos - $167,272 Charbel Kanterjian - $103,402 Dongsheng Zhang - $77,600 Jonah Lopas - $58,685 Sundiata DeVore - $44,725 Jacob Rich - $34,353 Ronald Ibbetson - $26,595 John Moss - $20,753 Fausto Valdez - $16,324 Sereika Battles Padilha For Super Turbo Bounty Win Karolis Serieka won the fast and furious $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty Event #37, which took just one day to play out to a winner in the early hours at the Rio. With Pedro Padilha bettered heads-up by Sereika, other players such as Pierre Calamusa (4th for 88,436) and Lorenzo Adams (3rd for 88,435) Karolis Serieka won the fast and furious $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty Event #37, which took just one day to play out to a winner in the early hours at the Rio. With Pedro Padilha bettered heads-up by Sereika, other players such as Pierre Calamusa (4th for $65,494) and Lorenzo Adams (3rd for 88,435) coming close but failing to get over the line. WSOP 2021 Event #37 $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty Final Table Results: Karolis Sereika - $195,310 Pedro Padilha - $120,700 Lorenzo Adams - $88,435 Pierre Calamusa - $65,494 Steve Buell - $49,033 Alec Gould - $37,114 Romuald Pycior - $28,406 Alexander Norden - $21,986 Wing Yam - $17,211 Rupesh Pattni - $13,628 Addamo Takes Charge In $50K High Roller A busy first day of action in the $50,000-entry Event #38 saw Australian Michael Addamo bag the chip lead with 5,150,000 chips. His mammoth stack was three times that of anyone other than Erik Seidel (3,730,000), with Gal Yifrach (1,405,000), Dan Smith (1,085,000), and Mustapha Kanit (1,060,000) rounding out the top five chip counts with considerably fewer chips than the dominant Aussie, who has enjoyed a ridiculously successful 2021. With 72 total entries and only 21 survivors, 50 bullets were fired off in vain as players such as recent bracelet winner Jason Koon, former WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen, David Peters, Yiming Li, Cary Katz, Vanessa Kade, Tyler Cornell, Rok Gostisa, Ali Imsirovic, and Jake Daniels all departing without making the Day 2 seat draw. WSOP 2021 Event #38 $50,000 High Roller Top 10 Chipcounts: Michael Addamo - 5,150,000 Erik Seidel - 3,730,000 Gal Yifrach - 1,405,000 Dan Smith - 1,085,000 Mustapha Kanit - 1,060,000 Chris Hunichen - 995,000 Bin Weng - 975,000 Johan Guilbert - 940,000 David Coleman - 640,000 Leonard Maue - 625,000 Negreanu, Hellmuth Make Final Day of $10K Dealers Choice Adam Friedman has put himself in a terrific position to claim a third win in the same bracelet event after going into the final day with the chip lead in Event #36, the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship. Last year, Friedman took down the Dealers Choice Championship, and amazingly, the same man is in a position to repeat the trick, going into tomorrow’s final day second in chips with just less than Jake Schwartz. Schwartz led the final day for the longest time and bags up a deserved lead with 1,380,000, but Friedman isn’t far behind on 1,329,000 chips and will be hopeful of what would be an incredible achievement. If Friedman is to fail, it will almost certainly be due to the quality of opponent he faces tomorrow, as both Daniel Negreanu (457,000) and Phil Hellmuth (424,000) hover in his rear-view waiting to pounce. With 22 WSOP bracelets between them, Kid Poker and the Poker Brat will share the felt when their table kicks off tomorrow, with Mike Matusow for company on what looks to be an explosive seat draw with all three men sitting in a row. On the other table, both chips leaders are next to each other, so expect final day drama. WSOP 2021 Event #36 $10,000 Dealer's Choice Championship Chipcounts: Jake Schwartz - 1,380,000 Adam Friedman - 1,329,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 465,000 Daniel Negreanu - 457,000 Phil Hellmuth - 424,000 Mike Matusow - 410,000 Matt Glantz - 343,000 Andrew Kelsall - 324,000 Carol Fuchs - 260,000 Joao Vieira - 182,000 Finally, the World Series of Poker has announced that the 10 final nominees have been announced for the 2021 Hall of Fame entries. Who's your pick? https://twitter.com/WSOP/status/1450635341325430786
  3. Jim Collopy won his second career WSOP bracelet after triumphing against a final table featuring Eli Elezra, Maria Ho, and Daniel Negreanu as ‘Kid Poker’ crashed out in eighth place as his bid for a WSOP bracelet on American soil goes on. Collopy Crowned Champion for Second Time Just 20 players began the final day as players such as Barbara Enright (16th for $8,200), Brandon Shack-Harris (14th for $8,200), and David Williams (9th for $13,989) all fell short of glory before the final table was reached. When it did, GGPoker Ambassador Daniel Negreanu was the first to exit as Kid Poker saw his dreams of winning his first WSOP since 2008 in Las Vegas - and first of any kind since 2013 ended as he was the first player to depart for $17,526. After Negreanu’s quest ended, Qinghai Pan (seventh for $22,462) and Michael Trivett (sixth for $29,436) busted before the business end of proceedings. In fifth place, Maria Ho busted in a hand of Razz going against the popular pro to see her head to the rail for $39,423. She tweeted about the different atmosphere at the table this year. https://twitter.com/MariaHo/status/1450263623595528195 It wasn’t long before Ho was joined on the rail by a four-time WSOP winner in Eli Elezra, who was flushed out by the eventual winner for $53,986. With Paramjit Gill busting in third place for $74,346, the heads-up duel was set, with Ahmed Mohamed eliminated in second place for $107,428 after Collopy, who previously won the 2013 WSOP-Asia Pacific title in Pot Limit Omaha for $72,903, sealed the deal in a hand of Razz. WSOP 2021 Event #32 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results: Jim Collopy - $172,823 Ahmed Mohamed - $107,428 Paramjit Gill - $74,346 Eli Elezra - $53,986 Maria Ho - $39,423 Michael Trivett - $29,436 Qinghai Pan - $22,462 Daniel Negreanu - $17,526 Koller the King in $800 NLHE Finale Ran Koller became the latest WSOP champion as he took down Event #33, the $800 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament. With eight players remaining, it was Donald Maloney who busted first, his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Td"] unable to hold when committed pre-flop against Florian Guimond’s [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Jd"]. The flop of [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qd"][poker card="3d"] looked good for Maloney to double-up, as did the [poker card="Kh"] turn, but the [poker card="Qc"] river condemned him to the door and a cash of $32,845. Two players called Ran were making the moves as Ran Ilani - also of Israel - was chip leader at this stage. Oleg Titov claimed the next knockout, however, when he called Jorge Hou’s all-in pre-flop. Hou held [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qh"] in the hijack, but Titov’s call with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="6d"] in the big blind proved correct as the board of [poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="As"] saw the Russian rule, eliminating Hou in seventh place for $42,231. It wasn’t long before just five players remained, as Alex Outhred busted in sixth place for $54,722. Outhred was all-in for just six big blinds with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Tc"] and started the hand well ahead of his caller Ilani who held [poker card="Ac"][poker card="8s"]. But while the [poker card="Ts"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8c"] looked likely to seal victory for the American, after the [poker card="3s"] turn gave Ilani a flush draw it was the [poker card="8h"] river that doomed Outhred and saw Ilani further grow a powerful chip lead. It marked the first time this series that the final five places were taken by non-American players. Ilani had a massive lead with nearly double the nearest stack to him of Guimond’s, but the next session after a break was to prove pivotal. Kris Steinbach was sent home in fifth place for $71,457 when his [poker card="Ks"][poker card="5c"] was crushed by Koller’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qd"]. With all the chips in the middle pre-flop, the board of [poker card="Ts"][poker card="4h"][poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3h"] saw Koller grow his stack at the Canadian player’s expense. It was the turn of Oleg Titov to bust in fourth place as the Russian earned $94,028 for his efforts, his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9d"] unable to catch Koller’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Js"] when all-in pre-flop. Titov’s few remaining chips went in the next hand to Ilani. French player Guimond busted in third place for $124,671 to miss out on the heads-up action. Guimond moved all-in with [poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"] pre-flop and it was Ilani who made the call with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="9h"]. The flop of [poker card="Jd"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4c"] kept Guimond in front, but the [poker card="9d"] turn changed everything and on the [poker card="2h"] river, Ilani had the chips and Guimond was on the rail. That hand might have looked crucial to Ilani’s success as it gave him the lead going into heads-up, where he held around 60% of the chips. But instead, Koller used his underdog status to great effect, playing fearless poker. He ground himself into the lead around the time both men agreed to play just two more levels and having done so, suddenly emerged the winner after a massive hand decided the title. Both men limped to a flop of [poker card="Ah"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"] where Koller bet out and Ilani check-called. On the turn of [poker card="Kh"], all the chips went in after a raising war. Ilani had [poker card="7h"][poker card="2h"] for bottom pair and a flush draw, but Koller had flopped the nut wheel straight with [poker card="5d"][poker card="3c"]. All he had to do was fade a flush on the river and when the [poker card="9d"] fell, he was the champion. WSOP 2021 Event #33 $800 Eight-Handed Final Table Results: Ran Koller - $269,478 Ran Ilani - $166,552 Florian Guimond - $124,671 Oleg Titov - $94,028 Kris Steinbach - $71,457 Alex Outhred - $54,722 Jorge Hou - $42,231 Donald Maloney - $32,845 Just 24 Remain In Monster Stack In Event #30, the $1,500 Monster Stack played down to just 24 players from the 148 who started Day 3 in pursuit of the $610,347 top prize. In a truly continental top 10, there are six different countries represented by terrific players, with two Americans in Jaesh Balachandran (17,600,000) and three-time bracelet winner Ryan Leng (16,500,000) leading the way. Other big names are right there in contention, with Michael Noori (7,850,000), Dannah Kamp (5,125,000) and Ivan Deyra (4,725,000) all hoping that they can get off to a winning start on the penultimate or final day of the event when it kicks off tomorrow, depending on how fast the exits come. WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Top 10 Chipcounts: Jaesh Balachandran - 17,600,000 Ryan Leng - 16,500,000 Anthony Ortega - 15,775,000 Rafael Reis - 10,975,000 Santiago Plante - 10,775,000 Mordechai Hazan - 9,850,000 Johan Schumacher - 9,625,000 Christopher Andler - 8,300,000 Jeffrey Vertes Canada - 8,050,000 Michael Noori - 7,850,000 Phil Hellmuth’s WSOP bracelet ceremony saw the Poker Brat win his 16th gold amid an emotional rendition of the American national anthem. https://twitter.com/AuCoeurDeVegas/status/1450234816553652224 Lynn Leads Event #34 Final Table In the next 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw event, the $1,500-entry Event #34, Peter Lynn will go into the final table with the chip lead as David ‘Bakes’ Baker hopes to overcome a chip deficit early to claim what would be his third WSOP bracelet to add to wins in 2-7 Single Draw and H.O.R.S.E. over the years. With players such as Frankie O’Dell (20th for $3,691), Andrew Yeh (14th for $4,578) and Adam Owen (8th for $7,518) all making the money without reaching the final half dozen, there will be plenty on the line when the lights are on the final table tomorrow. WSOP 2021 Event #34 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Final Table Chipcounts: Peter Lynn - 1,680,000 Kristijonas Andrulis - 1,665,000 Mark Fraser - 1,355,000 Stephen Deutsch - 985,000 David ‘Bakes’ Baker - 815,000 Marc Booth - 620,000 Big Field for $500 Freezeout In Event #35, Denys Chufarin bagged the chip lead as 2,930 players took on the $500 Turbo Freezeout event with 132 making Day 2 and 440 cashing. Chufarin’s stack of 1,500,000 is ahead, but not by too many three-bets from Patrick Chong (1,335,000) and Blair Morscheck (1,300,000), both of whom will be hoping to outlast several others on the likely final day of the event, such as Kyna England (585,000), Mike Takayama (410,000) and Joey Weissman (260,000) all still in the hunt for the WSOP bracelet and $167,272 top prize. WSOP 2021 Event #35 $500 Turbo Freezeout Top 10 Chipcounts: Denys Chufarin - 1,500,000 Patrick Chong - 1,335,000 Blair Morscheck - 1,300,000 Nipun Java - 1,295,000 Cody Wells - 1,250,000 Dongsheng Zhang - 1,199,000 John Clancy - 1,155,000 Bong Yang - 1,100,000 David Larson - 1,060,000 Philip Newell - 1,020,000 Barbero, Vieira Leads $10K Dealers Choice Finally, the $10,000-entry Dealers Choice event saw players such as chip leader Nacho Barbero (425,500), Joao Vieira (250,000), Mike Gorodinsky (211,500), Nathan Gamble (206,500), and Chris Vitch (184,000) all making the top 10 chip counts with an above-average stack. Others such as Daniel Negreanu (153,500), Benny Glaser (147,000), Robert Mizrachi (137,000), and Anthony Zinno (130,000) all remain of the 25 players who made the Day 2 cut from 86 entries, with stars of the felt such as Scotty Nguyen, Frank Kassela, John Racener, John Monnette, and Greg Mueller all busting before the next day and, perhaps more crucially, the money bubble. WSOP 2021 Event #36 $10,000 Dealers Choice Top 10 Chipcounts: Nacho Barbero - 425,500 Joao Vieira - 250,000 Christopher Claassen - 224,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 221,500 David Benyamine - 217,000 Nathan Gamble - 206,500 Ray Henson - 185,500 Chris Vitch - 184,000 Chip Jett - 171,000 Brett Richey - 164,000 Meanwhile, Allen ‘Chainsaw’ Kessler spoke of his first experience of an ‘angle’ shot at the 2021 World Series of Poker. https://twitter.com/AllenKessler/status/1450288960744292355
  4. The robust crowd cheered as Phil Hellmuth rose from his seat and raised his arms in victory. He had finally done it, Hellmuth just won his record-extending 16th World Series of Poker gold bracelet after taking down Event #31 ($1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw) for $84,851. But when it was all said and done, the money was the last thing on his mind. “I’ve wanted a Deuce To Seven bracelet ever since the 1980’s since it was the coolest bracelet to win because it’s the one tournament that Chip [Reese] and Doyle [Brunson] showed up for. All the big-name poker players, Billy Baxter, all the champions showed up for that,” he said. “And I wanted that bracelet so badly.” “And so I’ve been fighting so ****ing hard for this bracelet for so long in the Deuce to Seven…but yeah, it feels really good.” Hellmuth weaved his way through the 272-entry field, to make his fourth final table of the series. He started the day second in chips and battled through an up-and-down day in the chip counts. Once the final table of eight players was set, he outlasted the likes of Dario Sammartino, Rep Porter, and Chris Vitch until he was finally heads-up with Jake Schwartz, who was playing for his first bracelet. Hellmuth started heads-up at a slight chip deficit but quickly managed to turn the tide and grab a commanding four-to-one chip lead. The two agreed to take a 45-minute break and when they returned Hellmuth went to work, chipping away at Schwartz's stack and, roughly 20 minutes later, ended Schwartz's run in second place. Hellmuth then stood and lifted two fists in the air, made his way over to the rail where his wife and longtime friend Mike Matusow were waiting to congratulate him. Nearly two dozen fans snapped photos and cheered as Hellmuth basked in the victory. He then returned to the poker table, and as he prepared to take a barrage of winners photos, it looked as if a wave of emotion came over him. He sat center stage and held his head in his hands. “I told myself if I ever won a Deuce bracelet, I thought maybe I’d cry afterward,” he said, reflecting on that moment. “Because I wanted this Deuce bracelet so badly and because of the extreme effort I’ve put in this year.” It was a week of roller-coaster emotions for Hellmuth, one that started out with him making a deep run in the $10K Stud. But after a pivotal hand against Anthony Zinno, Hellmuth lost his temper, and his alter-ego, “The Poker Brat”, burst onto the stage. Hellmuth’s extended tirade, one of the most explosive of his career, made the rounds on social media and had players talking at the tables in the Rio for days. Hellmuth then spent the better part of the next 24 hours tweeting apologies, making amends, and insisting he could do better. And he did do better. It didn’t take long for Hellmuth to regroup from that chaos and get back to work with a renewed focus on his mantra of positivity. “I told myself no swearing tirades, no threats…now I swore a little bit and I’m sure the camera caught it but it was a lot mellower because I went too far the other day.” When reflecting on what took place over the past week, Hellmuth likened the uproar to his 2018 feature table clash with James Campbell. In that, an angry Hellmuth “folded kinda out of turn” and it cost Campbell an important hand. To make up for it, Hellmuth bought Campbell into the Main Event for the next year. “There were like 2000 negative tweets about what an asshole I was,” he said. “It was a record. And then four days later I won a bracelet and there were 3000 positive tweets. So I told my wife, I said ‘Honey, all this negative press it feels like 2018' where I’m just going to pop a bracelet and turn most the stuff back to positivity.” “And that’s what happened…but I think it’s kind of weird.” With Hellmuth finally breaking through for number 16, he insists that he’s going to spend very little time before working on what’s next. He’s planning on taking a day off, showing up for a bracelet ceremony, and then getting back to the bracelet chase “immediately.” “I’ve always said I’m going to win 24 bracelets. I started saying that in 1993 and then [Phil] Ivey said he might win 30. I just have this weird sense that I’ll win at least 24 bracelets…but they’re not that easy to win in the mixed games." Hellmuth throws out Ivey’s name as, maybe, the one player with a shot to catch his WSOP gold bracelet record. However, it will likely take a great deal of time before any player even makes a credible push in that arena, if ever. Of course, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Johnny Chan each have 10 bracelets, but Brunson is effectively retired from playing WSOP events and Chan is not as active as he once was. There was speculation that Ivey might (and still may) show up to this World Series of Poker now that his legal troubles in the U.S. are behind him - but he has yet to make an appearance. Those factors make Hellmuth’s 16th an even bigger gap for those who would have an eye on catching him. With five cashes, four final tables, and a bracelet in hand, Hellmuth states that this “has to be” the best start to a series in his career. And, that in addition to getting to work on number 17, he’s going to take aim at the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year title. It’s something he thinks is well within reach, especially with his recent success in mixed games. “I think because I don’t have enough mixed game bracelets, I haven’t really been getting my due in these games,” he said. “You know, I’ve just kind of exploded in the last 10 tournaments.” “I’m showing everybody, hey, I’m pretty good.”
  5. It took just one week for the 2021 World Series of Poker to settle into a routine. After the initial chaos of the early events with their long lines and sometimes slow-paced verification processes, the vibe at the Rio found its stride with big names winning bracelets, shot takers living their dream, and a historic blow-up we all saw coming. Week two brought back a very familiar feel to the WSOP, even under the “current conditions.” From packed fields of poker's brightest stars to an old-fashioned dose (or two) of drama, things remained lively throughout the week. With that, let’s check out the five biggest storylines from Week 2 of the World Series of Poker. #1. Hellmuth Melts Down, Wants To Burn It Down The question of whether Phil Hellmuth would win WSOP gold bracelet #16 before he lost control has been answered. This week, Hellmuth was at the third final table of his first five events and took the chip lead into the final day of the $10K Stud. The entire poker world tuned in to see if he would make history - and he most certainly did. Just not by winning a bracelet. Hellmuth saw his chip lead slip away and, as his stack tumbled, his #POSITIVITY absolutely crumbled. Then it happened - he finally freaked out. (Note: there’s an eff-ton of eff-bombs in this video so fair warning) https://twitter.com/SrslySirius/status/1447982387619528709?s=20 After losing a key pot to eventual winner Anthony Zinno, Hellmuth had a full-on meltdown. Hurling insults, swear words, and a few self-congratulatory comments. He jokingly threatened to “burn this motherf***ing place down” if he didn’t end up winning. He even re-introduced himself to the table, asking if this table even knew who he was?! For poker purists, like commentator Norman Chad, Hellmuth clearly crossed the line. https://twitter.com/NormanChad/status/1447979843811823619?s=20 For pure entertainment value, it was a historic, epic Hellmuth “Poker Brat” moment. It was an all-timer for sure and “burn it down” is going to rival “idiot from Northern Europe” in future memes. https://twitter.com/HunterGrouse/status/1448075867004022787?s=20 Once he calmed down, Hellmuth took to Twitter, issued as much of an apology as he could muster, and took his medicine. He even retweeted some of the harshest comments directed at him (see above). But for poker as a whole, this is another love-it-or-hate-it moment from the WSOP. And wherever you fall, this is for certain, this moment is one we won’t forget anytime soon. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1448431418762088448?s=20 https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1448544952162553856?s=20 #2. Misguided Man Enters the Ladies Event In case you hadn’t seen our op-ed published earlier - here’s a link. The facts are that a poker player from Minneapolis decided to be the sole man to pay the $10,000 entry fee and play the Ladies Event. He claimed it was all to raise money for unspecified women’s charities, even though in order to make any money, he would have needed to have a final table finish of eighth place or better. As should be expected the decision was met with plenty of backlash, including from some of the women who played in the event. The player ended up not making the money and according to reports, the announcement of elimination was met with plenty of cheers. As of this writing, the player has not spoken more about his experience or if he plans on making donations to women’s charities despite finishing out of the money. More importantly, the event drew a field of 643 women, including top-tier pros Jennifer Shahade, Sofia Lovgren, Jamie Kerstetter, Melanie Weisner, Elena Stover, and J.J. Liu who made the final table. https://twitter.com/JenShahade/status/1447642272221184001?s=20 https://twitter.com/thegroupie/status/1447682599426531328?s=20   The final table of the Ladies Event can be watched for free on YouTube. #3. Big Names Add Bracelets To Resume The deeper into the series, the most notable names have been emerging with new gold bracelets to add to their trophy case. Over the course of the past seven days, John Monette picked up his fourth career WSOP victory after besting Nate Silver in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $245,680. Days later it was Anthony Zinno grabbing his third bracelet in the aforementioned $10K Stud where he overtook a talented final table including Hellmuth, Poker Hall of Fame member Jack McClelland, and Stephen Chidwick. Zinno took home more than $182K with the win. Mixed game specialist Dylan Linde can be taken off the “best without a bracelet” list as he grabbed gold in the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo for $170,269. Finally, longtime grinder DJ Alexander found a way to to the end of the $1,000 Flip & Go to earn some hardware of his own plus the $180,655 first-place prize. That’s leads us to… #4. Flip and Go Madness For the better part of two days, you couldn’t look at social media from the World Series of Poker without seeing the crowds that gathered in the single table satellite area of the Pavilion, hoping to flip their way into the money of the $1,000 Flip and Go event sponsored by GGPoker. READ: Fast and Furious Flip and Go Event Incites Action At The WSOP Daniel Negreanu lit the fuse and soon thereafter people were lining up to pay $1,000 to try and win a single hand in order to advance to the money round. For some, it was one and done. But for a couple of big-name pros, the quest to win the flip became costly. The event was polarizing with plenty of detractors feeling like it was a rake trap and added to the narrative that the WSOP was cheapening the brand by allowing people to “flip for a bracelet.” However, there were also plenty of accounts of people embracing the madness and adrenaline that came with leaning into the luck factor in order to advance. #5. Drama Returns to the Rio The World Series of Poker is in full swing so is the drama that comes with it. Of course, there’s the aforementioned Hellmuth explosion and “Man Entering Ladies Event”, which are their own stories. However, other mini-drama bombs have gone off this week, some of which have serious implications, some of which are just reminders of the kind of spats that take place when highly competitive players are fighting for massive prize pools. The first took place when poker pro Adam Hendrix tweeted out an issue that he heard about where an unnamed poker pro was entered in an event, sat down, and was waiting for the event to start but decided to unregister. Then later, that player re-registered (which is standardly against the rules). When that player turned out to be Kelly Minkin who unreg’d for a variety of reasons and only re-registered hours later, the air was cleared and the social media spat was squashed. Here’s a taste of the back-and-forth: https://twitter.com/AdamHendrix10/status/1446585726372499456?s=20 https://twitter.com/The_Illest/status/1446595732065042436?s=20 https://twitter.com/AdamHendrix10/status/1446656678041055235?s=20 While that gave Poker Twitter some good reads for a few hours, Shaun Deeb encountered a much more serious scenario when he woke up, with what he said, was someone in his hotel room. https://twitter.com/shaundeeb/status/1447215029758033922?s=20 Deeb’s been mum about the incident since, not saying what if anything was taken. Thankfully, he’s fine and was spotted at the tables soon thereafter.
  6. One of the biggest days in recent World Series of Poker history played out at the Rio on Day 18 of the 2021 WSOP as Phil Hellmuth won his 16th bracelet with victory in the $1,500 2-7 Lowball Draw Event #31. Hellmuth saw off a stacked final table of talented mixed game specialists to oust Jake Schwartz heads-up after he had earlier taken out the overnight chip leader, Rep Porter. Hellmuth Makes History With 10 players reaching the final day, Hellmuth began the action second in chips behind Porter and by the time the final table of eight players was reached, Hellmuth remained second, albeit behind a new chip leader in Dario Sammartino. It didn’t take long for Porter to get back among the action, however, as he busted Kevin Gerhart in eighth place for $7,602. With seven players left, Hellmuth dropped to fifth in chips as the swingy variant of poker that has tested the best in the game over half a century put players under pressure in every pot. Jason Lipiner was defeated in seventh place for $10,023 after his stack was taken by Joshua Faris, and when Porter put Sammartino in the cage in another hand, the Italian lost a huge chunk of his stack. Sammartino was on the rail in sixth place for $13,463 when Porter took the remainder of his chips, before Hellmuth began the heater that would end in poker history. A key hand with nine-high would give the Poker Brat the lead as he played under the dutiful gaze of his wife, Katherine on the rail. After Joshua Faris’ elimination in fifth place for $18,421, Porter lost his stack as the overnight chip leader left in fourth for $25,661. Porter’s chips went to Schwartz, and when Hellmuth took out Chris Vitch in third place for $36,387, the stage was set for a huge heads-up showdown with the chips not far from even. Hellmuth had 3.1 million, just 600,000 short of Schwartz’s stack going into the final duel as the cameras zoomed in on the Poker Brat and a hundred reporters notebooks saw pens poised ready to capture the moment of poker history. Schwartz initially extended his lead and looked like spoiling the party for Hellmuth as the Poker Brat’s fellow American raced into a 2:1 chip lead in pursuit of his first bracelet. A massive all-in from Hellmuth after Schwartz had bet aggressively both pre-flop and post-flop caused Schwartz to fold and that gave Hellmuth the momentum he needed to seal the deal, as Hellmuth’s nine-high hand drew two cards and landed a seven and five to mean Schwartz had no chance of a comeback having drawn for one card with ten-high. Hellmuth celebrated - along with a rail featuring a gleeful Mike Matusow as the moment of his 16th WSOP bracelet win arrived just like the Poker Brat predicted it would. With four final tables in the first fortnight of the 2021 World Series, surely Hellmuth might also be the favorite to win Player of the Year, where his most likely challenger is Anthony Zinno. You can read all about Hellmuth’s reaction as he won his 16th World Series of Poker bracelet in the Rio right here. WSOP 2021 Event #31 2-7 $1,500 Lowball Draw Final Table Results: Phil Hellmuth - $84,851 Jake Schwartz - $52,502 Chris Vitch - $36,387 Rep Porter - $25,661 Joshua Faris - $18,421 Dario Sammartino - $13,463 Jason Lipiner - $10,023 Kevin Gerhart - $7,602 Ryan Leng Surges To Monster Lead In Event #30 The Day 2 action in the $1,500-entry Monster Stack Event #30 saw three-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Leng (4,070,000) bag the chip lead overnight. Just 162 players survived from a Day 2 starting field of 1,220, with the popular professional Leng amounting a slight lead ahead of Jason Wheeler (3,805,000) and a bigger one from Linda Huard (3,290,000) who are Leng’s closest challengers. Elsewhere, players such as Ian O’Hara (3,025,000), Steven Sarmiento (3,000,000), and Anthony Ortega (2,660,000) all totaled top ten stacks, with other big names such as Pavel Plesuv (915,000), Dylan Linde (820,000), and Chris Brewer (2,280,000) all well placed to make a run at the bracelet. With so many making it through, even more went home, as David ‘Bakes’ Baker, Anton Wigg, Ron McMillen, Daniel Strelitz, Natalie Hof-Ramos, and Ari Engel all failing to make a bag for Day 3. WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Top 10 Chipcounts: Ryan Leng - 4,070,000 Jason Wheeler - 3,805,000 Linda Huard - 3,290,000 Rafael Reis - 3,125,000 Jeffrey Vertes - 3,035,000 Ian O'Hara - 3,025,000 Steven Sarmiento - 3,000,000 Uri Reichenstein - 2,995,000 Antonio Matic - 2,905,000 Anthony Ortega - 2,660,000 Eli Elizera, Maria Ho in $3K H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Event #32, the $3,000-entry H.O.R.S.E. tournament, saw some very big names bag chips at the close of play on Day 2. Only 20 players remained in seats by the close of the action, but among them sit several of poker’s elite. The chip leader with 20 left is Eli Elezra, who bagged up a massive 1,036,000 to become only one player of two past a million by close of play. Elezra is followed in the chip counts as you might imagine by some of the best mixed game players in the world, with his nearest rivals being Qinghai Pan (1,036,000) and Michael Parizon (979,000) both breathing down his neck. Elsewhere, there were Day 3 bags for Maria Ho (908,000), Barabara Enright (446,000) and Daniel Negreanu (414,000) as plenty of big names made it through to the latter stages of the event. WSOP 2021 Event #32 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Eli Elezra - 1,243,000 Qinghai Pan - 1,036,000 Michael Parizon - 979,000 Michael Trivett - 973,000 Maria Ho - 908,000 Jim Collopy - 890,000 Paramjit Gill - 779,000 Ahmed Mohamed - 772,000 Richard Bai - 708,000 Sachin Bhargava - 655,000 159 Remain in $800 Deepstack The first day of Event #33, the $800-entry Eight-Handed tournament saw just 159 players take chips through to the penultimate day of the event, with Alex Miles (2,700,000) leading the way from Tony Nguyen (2,185,000) and Todd Ivens (2,030,000) as a host of recognized names gather in his slipstream. Others who will feel hopeful of adding a final table to their World Series include Ankush Mandavia (1,600,000), Simon Lefevre (1,300,000), Matt Affleck (840,000), and Ryan Laplante (650,000), with players such as WSOP Main Event winners Martin Jacobson and Ryan Riess both losing their stacks, along with Jeremy Ausmus, Sylvain Loosli, and Adrian Mateos. WSOP 2021 Event #33 $800 Eight-Handed NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts: Alex Miles - 2,700,000 Tony Nguyen - 2,185,000 Todd Ivens - 2,030,000 Stefano Calezane - 1,925,000 Ankush Mandavia - 1,600,000 Florian Guimond - 1,560,000 Damien Gayer - 1,370,000 Ian Steinman - 1,320,000 Eric Dillon - 1,300,000 Simon Lefevre - 1,300,000 Big Names Bag in Limit 2-7 Last, but by no means least, the $1,500-entry Event #34, the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw tournament saw just 76 players survive, with over two-thirds of the 284-strong field gone on Day 1. British pro Adam Owen bagged up the biggest stack of the night with 246,000 chips, closely followed on the leaderboard by Ahmed Amin (229,500) and Brian Yoon (226,500), with others such as Andre Akkari (71,000) and Ari Engel (39,000) scraping through with fewer chips. WSOP 2021 Event #34 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Top 10 Chipcounts: Adam Owen - 246,000 Ahmed Amin - 229,500 Brian Yoon - 226,500 Matt Grapenthien - 210,000 Daniel Anton - 207,500 David Funkhouser - 204,500 Cory Zeidman - 198,000 Ian Feller - 159,000 Ian Johns - 140,500 Matt Schultz - 130,000 Finally, Shaun Deeb has always had his finger on the pulse of the poker industry... but is this early call on Day 18 more than a little spooky? https://twitter.com/shaundeeb/status/1449812866584899584
  7. Chance Kornuth won his third World Series of Poker bracelet as the self-confessed Short Deck novice won the $10,000-entry event to claim the $194,670 top prize. With a talented selection of six top players returning to the felt in the Thunderdome for the final table, Kornuth got the better of Chad Campbell heads-up as the final duel ended in the poker professional and coaching expert’s favor in dramatic fashion. Kornuth Claims Dramatic Victory Against Campbell The final table of six kicked off with Kornuth in a slim lead over Chad Campbell as the half dozen final table players battled to a winner under the lights. There was a quick bust-out to kick the action off as Thomas Kysar, who came into the action with the shortest stack, busted in sixth place for $32,437 with [poker card="Js"][poker card="Td"] against Kornuth’s [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Qh"] as the board of [poker card="Ad"][poker card="7d"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="6h"] gave the chip leader two pair to further boost his stack ahead of just four remaining opponents. Next to go was Joao Vieira as the Portuguese player was eliminated by Campbell just a few hands later. Vieira jammed with [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jd"] and was called by Campbell with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kh"]. On the board of [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ks"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8h"], Campbell made two-pair and Vieira missed turn and river to bust for $42,885 in fifth place. With four players remaining, a lot of play took place without anyone losing their stack. Kornuth and Campbell traded places at the top, but neither Dan Shak or fourth-place finisher Moshe Gabay could make any in-roads into their advantage and it was no surprise when Gabay lost his stack next for $58,601. The manner of Gabay’s exit was, however, a shock. Calling Shak’s shove, Gabay was all-in with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="As"] and ahead of Shak’s [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jd"]. The flop of [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="9c"] was a sensational one, however, as while it kept Gabay ahead, it offered Shak the chance of a straight flush, which he duly hit on the [poker card="8c"] turn. The [poker card="Jh"] was insignificant in the extreme and Shak chipped up at Gabay’s expense. Despite winning that hand, Shak couldn’t threaten the leaders and bowed out in third after a courageous run. All-in with [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Ts"] against Kornuth’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Kh"], the board of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="9s"][poker card="7d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="Js"] gave Kornuth a vital pot to send him into heads-up with a lead of 2.6 million chips to Campbell’s 1.4 million. Shak, meanwhile, went to the rail with a score of $82,678. Heads-up, Kornuth took very little time to emerge victorious, after the shortest battle of the final table. On a board showing [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="8h"][poker card="9s"], Campbell raise-shoved with [poker card="Tc"][poker card="9h"] and Kornuth called with a flopped full house, holding [poker card="Js"][poker card="8c"]. The river of [poker card="7d"] ended the event and Kornuth could celebrate his third WSOP title with the bracelet and $194,670 top prize, while Campbell commiserated himself with the runner-up result worth $120,316. Kornuth’s title will feel even sweeter as he proved to his wife Emily that he was able to do it based on some YouTube learning. https://twitter.com/Srirachaaa/status/1449597512495419398 WSOP 2021 Event #29 $10,000 Short Deck Final Table Results: Chance Kornuth - $194,670 Chad Campbell - $120,316 Dan Shak - $82,678 Moshe Gabay - $58,601 Joao Vieira - $42,885 Thomas Kysar - $32,437 Dylan Weisman Gets His First Gold In Event #28, Dylan Weisman sealed a memorable victory in the $1,000-entry Pot Limit Omaha tournament for a top prize of $166,461. Weisman is a name well-known to PLO players, coaching on the popular Upswing Poker site and he utilized his stack advantage over the field to maximum effort in winning his debut WSOP bracelet. Just five players came back to the final table to play out the conclusion of the event, with Weisman holding a big lead coming into the action. Weisman had almost as many chips as his two closest challengers combined and ran over the table to become champion. Before long had elapsed, Weisman had half the chips at the table and watched on as Tim Van Loo busted Ran Niv of Israel in fifth place for $40,109. Van Loo might have been hoping to put those chips to good use, but he was the next to leave, ousted by Alexander Yen in fourth place for $54,230. It was a remarkable run for Van Loo, as not only was it his first appearance at a WSOP final table, but his first World Series cash of any kind, and the young German will be one to watch based on this event. His conqueror in the final hand, Yen, busted in third place for $74,239 in the pivotal hand of the final. Yen’s set of eights was crushed by Weisman’s set of nines and when both players improved to a full house on the board, Weisman knocked out his more dangerous rival in terms of chips. Craig Chait only had 1.7 million to Weisman’s stack of almost 20 million, so it was no surprise when Chait was busted in the runner-up position for $102,884. Weisman’s victory was worth $166,461 and in taking down the tournament, he won his first-ever gold bracelet, to the delight of his many fans and friends on the rail. WSOP 2021 Event #28 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Results: Dylan Weisman - $166,461 Craig Chait - $102,884 Alexander Yen - $74,239 Tim Van Loo - $54,230 Ran Niv - $40,109 Chase Fujita - $30,040 Manan Bhandari - $22,787 Youness Barakat - $17,510 Hellmuth In Position For 4th Final Table Phil Hellmuth will go into his fourth final day of an event this World Series, and with the Poker Brat holding over a million chips, there’s a chance the controversial star wins bracelet #16 tomorrow. With only Rep Porter (1,129,000) bagging up more chips than Hellmuth, who totalled 1,016,000 at the close of play, the Poker Brat will be putting on a charm offensive ahead of the final day. A little further back sits Dario Sammartino (800,000) who finished as runner-up in the last live, authentic Las Vegas WSOP Main Event in 2019. Sammartino isn’t the only other big-name chasing down Porter and Hellmuth at the top of the leaderboard. Chris Vitch (447,000), Jake Schwartz (398,000) and Ryan Riess (266,000) will all harbor hopes of victory as they battle for the bracelet on the final day of another prestigious mixed game event, with stars such as Rok Gostisa, Ali Imsirovic and Melanie Weisner all missing out during Day 2. WSOP 2021 Event #31 $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Final Day Chipcounts: Rep Porter - 1,129,000 Phil Hellmuth - 1,016,000 Kenji Faris - 840,000 Dario Sammartino - 800,000 Jason Papastavrou - 666,000 Jason Lipiner - 663,000 Kevin Gerhart - 581,000 Chris Vitch - 447,000 Jake Schwartz - 398,000 Ryan Riess - 266,000 Ryan Leng, Dylan Linde Score Monster Stacks The massive Monster Stack field was grown to a total of 3,520 players on Day 1b, with 1,219 players making the Day 2 seat draw through both Day 1a (518) and Day 1b (701). The biggest chipstack on Day 1b belonged to Rajaee Wazwaz (510,500), with Pavel Plesuv (483,500) and 2021 bracelet winner Ryan Leng (473,000) the nearest to overtaking the leader at the close of play. Others such as Dylan Linde (443,000), Andrew Neeme (304,500), Upeshka De Silva (219,000), Jesse Sylvia (129,000), Cate Hall (125,000), Ari Engel (108,000) and Ronnie Bardah (75,000) all making the cut. WSOP 2021 Event #30 $1,500 Monster Stack Top 10 Chipcounts: Rajaee Wazwaz - 510,500 Pavel Plesuv - 483,500 Ryan Leng - 473,000 Mitchell Collins - 465,000 Dylan Linde - 443,000 Francois Pirault - 440,500 Joshua Gordon - 440,500 Yeon Bae - 433,500 La Sengphet - 428,000 Matthew Eng - 424,500 Brian Hastings, Maria Ho In $3K H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Finally, in Event #32, 154 players survived from a Day 1 field of 282 who took part. Lithuanian player Vincas Tamasauskas leads the way with 197,000 chips, from top 10 players such as Brian Hastings (178,400), Maria Ho (169,400), and David Williams (168,900). Elsewhere, John Monnette (120,600), Yuri Dzivielevski (105,800), Ari Engel (95,100), Ryan Laplante (59,000), and John Racener (52,500) all made Day 2 in good chip health, while players such as Frank Kassela, Shaun Deeb, Norman Chad, Mike Matusow, and Chino Rheem all crashed out before the end of the first day. WSOP 2021 Event #32 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chipcounts: Vincas Tamasauskas - 197,000 John Fahmy - 188,700 Brian Hastings - 178,400 Daryl Aguirre - 174,600 Sachin Bhargava - 173,300 George Alexander - 169,700 Maria Ho - 169,400 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 169,400 David Williams - 168,900 Paramjit Gill - 139,500 Maria Ho, who made it through in seventh place on the leaderboard, revealed her tactics as she made her way from the Rio after a successful day’s work at the felt. https://twitter.com/MariaHo/status/1449534894325977090 Finally, it’s still a few weeks until the WSOP Main Event kicks off, but Phil Hellmuth has kicked off some speculation about his ‘entrance outfit after posting this picture of some old classics. We’ll take some action on a green-blue tracksuit with the number ‘456’ in the corner. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1449148701247639559
  8. 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
  9. The latest winner of a WSOP bracelet is Dylan Linde after the mixed game specialist and author of books on the subject proved he knows how to use those skills in real life too. Linde triumphed in the $1,500-entry Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Event #21 to bag his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $170,269. Dylan Linde Scores First Bracelet Heading into the final table, Linde had the shortest stack of the eight players, with Hernan Salazar the leader. That change across a lengthy final table, where Linde went from short stack to bracelet winner. Michael Lim busted in eighth place for $14,104, before a protracted period saw a lot of chip movement and a dinner break for the remaining seven players. When play resumed, Salazar had a massive lead. Post-dinner, however, things were about to get much busier and players such as Lance Sobelman (7th for $18,740), Ryan Roeder (6th for $25,424), and Damjan Radanov ($35,204) all lost their route to WSOP glory. With four players remaining, David Matsumoto lost his tournament life in Big O as Linde chipped up again with a full house of tens full of fours. That gave Linde the chip lead, and while Hernan Salazar managed to go into the heads-up battle with 6.7 million chips after taking Day 1 and 2 chip leader Scott Abrams out in third place, Linde had almost 9.3 million chips and won pot after pot to conquer his opponent with a brief but dominant heads-up display. WSOP 2021 Event #21 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table Results: Dylan Linde - $170,269 Hernan Salazar - $105,235 Scott Abrams - $71,651 David Matsumoto - $49,733 Damjan Radanov - $35,204 Ryan Roeder - $25,424 Lance Sobelman - $18,740 Michael Lim - $14,104 Final Five In The Milly Maker In the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, the final 20 players played down to just five final table players, with tomorrow’s final table set to make one of the finalists an overnight millionaire. It is Daniel Lazrus who leads the field with a massive stack of 60 million chips, almost double his nearest challenger as the popular American looks to bag his second bracelet of 2021 after conquering the WSOP Online Series earlier this year. Of the five remaining players, only Belgium’s Michael Gathy has won a WSOP bracelet before, but he will be a big danger to the other four players, having won four bracelets in his career to date. Day 4 took just under six hours to reduce the field by 75%, and early bust-outs were commonplace. Players such as Li Zhou, Nabil Cardoso and Luis Zedan busted after no time at all, with both Gathy and Lazrus eliminating a player each. Another player to thrive on Day 4 of the mammoth event was Ignacio Moron, thanks in no small part to a stunning hand where he was all-in pre-flop with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Kc"] against Dien Le’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"]. The board of [poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6c"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="Kh"] saw Moron make a set of kings on the river to prevail and at that point, he drew almost level with Lazrus at the top of the leaderboard. It continued in that fashion for some time, with Lazrus and Moron continuing to battle with each other as they both built stacks bigger than anyone else. Lazrus briefly lost the lead, but grabbed it right back as he busted Arie Kliper in 12th place for $53,245, Lazrus’ [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Qd"] triumphing against [poker card="As"][poker card="Th"] when a queen on the flop gave him a set and Kliper whiffed two streets at Broadway. From there, Lazrus piled up the overwhelming chip lead that he had into the final with, but there was a big win elsewhere as the Day 1b chip leader Stephen Song was ousted from the tournament by four-time winner Gathy. Song was all-in from the small blind with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Js"] and Gathy called from the big blind with [poker card="As"][poker card="Qh"] to see a ten-high board land him an important pot. Gathy would win another big pot with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="9s"] on a board showing [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Ah"][poker card="5s"][poker card="8s"] as he bet-caled Philip Verel’s shove with [poker card="As"][poker card="Ad"], Gathy fading the [poker card="4h"] to eliminate the Day 3 chip leader in stunning fashion. With Gathy eventually bagging up 21.9 million, he is followed in the counts by Jeffrey Gencarelli (13.5 million) and Day 2 chip leader Darryl Ronconi (7.4 million). WSOP 2021 Event #17 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Chipcounts: Daniel Lazrus - 60,200,000 Ignacio Moron - 30,600,000 Michael Gathy - 21,900,000 Jeffrey Gencarelli - 13,500,000 Darryl Ronconi - 7,400,000 Event #22, otherwise known as the Ladies Championship, saw 10 levels of play leave just 10% of the 170-player field still in seats by the close of play, with Mikiyo Aoki (1,764,000) in the lead. Following her at the top of the leaderboard were JJ Liu (1,511,000), Crystal Marino (1,349,000) and Cherish Andrews (1,200,000), all of whom will be hoping to overtake the leader as the remaining 17 players race to the final table. Other players were not so fortunate to survive, with stars such as Day 1 chip leader Angelina Rich, Katerina Lukina, Jacquelyn Scott, Marsha Wolak, and Jamie Kerstetter all busting on Day 2. There will be a new bracelet winner whoever takes down the $115,694 top prize from here, with no former WSOP bracelets still in with a chance of victory. Patrick Leonard commented with an interesting take on the fact that a male player (Tom Hammers) played the event on Day 1 and planned to donate any money he won to a women’s charity. READ: There’s Never A Good Reason For A Man To Enter The Ladies Event https://twitter.com/padspoker/status/1448034206035103749 WSOP 2021 Event #22 Ladies NLHE Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Mikiyo Aoki - 1,674,000 JJ Liu - 1,511,000 Crystal Marino - 1,349,000 Cherish Andrews - 1,200,000 Lara Eisenberg - 1,049,000 Debora Brooke - 713,000 Marle Cordeiro - 685,000 Thi Nguyen - 659,000 Victoria Livschitz - 604,000 Amanda Baker - 568,000 Drinan In The Hunt For Second Series Bracelet Just 10 players will return to the Rio to battle for the bracelet in Event #23, the $1,500-entry Eight Game Mix, which plays out six-handed to the winner. Two tables of five will reconvene with Ryan Hughes in a commanding lead, holding 2,534,000 chips. Hughes leads from a man who has already won a WSOP bracelet this series, with Connor Drinan bagging up 1,990,000 chips. Elsewhere in the final day chip counts, Brett Shafer (800,000) and Daniel Zack (384,000) will begin knowing that their stack needs to grow quickly for them to have a chance of winning the gold. Players such as Michael Mizrachi, Yuri Dzivielevski and Scott Bohlman missed out on the final day, with five-time WSOP winner Mizrachi crashing out in 11th place $8,167) in Pot Limit Omaha when his straight draw didn’t make it against Drinan’s two-pair. WSOP 2021 Event #23 $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed Final Day Chipcounts: Ryan Hughes - 2,534,000 Connor Drinan - 1,990,000 Schuyler Thornton - 1,505,000 Tyler Willse - 1,165,000 Hunter Mcclelland - 1,110,000 George Alexander - 936,000 Brandon Bergin - 934,000 Brett Shaffer - 800,000 Ryan Leng - 770,000 Daniel Zack - 384,000 Liang Leads $600 PLO Deepstack In the $600-entry PLO Deepstack event, a massive field of 1,572 entries was whittled down to 236 players by the time the money bubble burst. Of those players, only 68 made it to Day 2, with Shen Liang (2,285,000) marginally ahead of the other big stack Ahmad Shiraz (2,165,000) at the top of the chip counts. Players such as Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer and WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams also made the money, but couldn’t survive to Day 2, with only Joao Simao (510,000) and Andrew Donabedian (420,000) of the remaining players having won a WSOP bracelet before. Plenty of superstars who are yet to strike gold so far in their careers remain in the hunt, with YouTuber Andrew Neeme (440,000) just one of the five dozen still in seats and dreaming of glory. WSOP 2021 Event #24 $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack Top 10 Chipcounts: Shen Liang - 2,285,000 Ahmad Shiraz - 2,165,000 Michael Prendergast - 1,890,000 Eric Polirer - 1,515,000 Donnie Phan - 1,515,000 Bosu Avunoori - 1,445,000 Daniel Wasserberg - 1,420,000 Maxx Coleman - 1,355,000 Emanuel Santiago - 1,350,000 Anthony Plotner - 1,295,000 $5K Six-Max Brought Out The Stars In Event #25, the $5,000-entry six-handed NLHE event that closed out the action on Day 13, a large number of well-known pros escaped the day to become one of the 192 players who survived from 578 entries. It was Scott Drobes who piled up the biggest pile of chips, sitting with 692,700 by the close of play. He was followed in the counts by Yosif Nawabi (490,100) and Antoine Goutard (477,500), both of whom will hope to eclipse the leader when play resumes. Other luminaries of the felt who survived included Jonathan Jaffe (425,000), Daniel Negreanu (245,000), Erik Seidel (130,300), Faraz Jaka (121,700), David Benyamine (101,100) and Maria Ho (57,000), with a stellar Day 2 packed with stars on the horizon. WSOP 2021 Event #25 $5,000 Six-Handed Top 10 Chipcounts: Scott Drobes - 692,700 Yosif Nawabi - 490,100 Antoine Goutard - 477,500 Erwann Pecheux - 476,000 Jonathan Jaffe - 425,500 Arie Kliper - 417,500 Chance Kornuth - 388,300 Bin Weng - 374,100 Steven Morris - 357,100 Vincent Huang - 328,400 Phil Hellmuth faced something of a backlash on Day 13 of the 2021 World Series of Poker, with his outbursts on Day 12 provoking a complicit statement from The Poker Brat. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1448048708264742912 Finally, John Monette may have won a WSOP bracelet this Autumn already, but try telling his wife to be satisfied, especially after she spent so long rooting for him to win! https://twitter.com/DianaMonnette/status/1448088602844487682
  10. Phil Hellmuth missed out on gold as another multiple bracelet winner got the better of him in the Seven Card Stud Championship, as Anthony Zinno won his third WSOP gold. Zinno’s victory for $182,872 saw him overtake the only man above him in the chipcounts, Phil Hellmuth, as the man going for title #16 crashed out in fourth place on a day of drama at the Rio. Zinno Wins Third Bracelet at Poker Brat's Expense Play got underway in the $10,000-entry Seven Card Stud Championship with Hellmuth holding the most chips, but it was a lead that would constantly change hands for some time. James Chen grabbed it by busting Jason Gola early in proceedings, Chen’s two pair good enough to oust the American in seventh place for £24,601. There was a prolonged period of play that saw no eliminations but was a huge factor in deciding the destiny of the gold. During it, Phil Hellmuth lost not only most of his stack but his temper too, as the newest chip leader three-time bracelet winner Anthony Zinno saw Hellmuth skitter his cards across the felt after Zinno made a flush. Clearly outraged, Hellmuth needed all of his powers of recovery to maintain his composure. After Stephen Chidwick busted in sixth place for $30,842, Jack McClelland’s run to fifth place saw the WSOP legend leave for a result worth $40,284. At that point, James Chen was looking like Zinno’s biggest threat, but Zinno was pulling away and when Hellmuth busted in fourth place for $54,730, bringing his series winnings up to over $235,000, Zinno had double the chips of both his opponents combined. Three-handed play lasted a long time, with both Chen and Jose Paz-Gutierrez jockeying for position behind the dominant Zinno. Eventually, it was Paz-Gutierrez who was defeated in third for $77,227 after his pair of nines couldn’t beat Chen’s flush. That sent Chen into the heads-up against Zinno for the bracelet, with the former bidding to equalize Zinno’s total of two WSOP titles. Instead, Zinno became the winner of his third WSOP gold bracelet when he got the better of Chen heads-up, after never relinquishing his lead to triumph and take the $182,872 top prize. Chen won $113,024 for finishing as runner-up. WSOP 2021 Event #19 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Final Table Results: Anthony Zinno - $182,872 James Chen - $113,024 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - $77,227 Phil Hellmuth - $54,730 Jack McClelland - $40,284 Stephen Chidwick - $30,842 Jason Gola - $24,601 After the action, Hellmuth paid tribute to Zinno’s success at the felt. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1447859654059433986 Peck Takes Heads-Up Victory Vladimir Peck won his first-ever World Series of Poker bracelet after the conclusion of the delayed Event #18, the $2,500-entry Mixed Triple Draw Lowball event. With both men ending an exhausting day at the felt on Sunday night with the final heads-up battle in the balance, it was Venkata Tayi who came into the final fight with the lead, holding 5,575,000 with Peck on 3,275,000 chips. Play began with more of the same as Tayi held Peck largely at arm’s length over the opening exchanges. That wasn’t the case when Peck made a wheel in A-5 Triple Draw, however, Peck’s hand turned the game around and a follow-up win in Badugi gave Peck a commanding 2:1 chip lead. Tayi slipped lower, doubled up but then found himself in the same position when he lost the final hand in 2-7 Triple Draw, seeing Peck win with a jack-low to seal the bracelet and finally eliminate the versatile and dogged Tayi at the last. Tayi cashed for $83,056 for finishing as runner-up, but it was Peck who won the $134,390 top prize and his debut WSOP gold bracelet. WSOP 2021 Event #18 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball Final Table Results: Vladimir Peck - $134,390 Venkata Tayi - $83,056 Joao Vieira - $57,558 Aaron Rogers - $40,443 Brian Yoon - $28,818 Hal Rotholz - $20,828 Carlos Rodriguez - $15,272 DJ Alexander Scores First Gold Bracelet in Flip & Go In Event #20, the first WSOP Flip & Go event saw plenty of drama as 23 players were reduced to a worthy winner as Dejuante ‘DJ’ Alexander took down the debut tournament and won his first bracelet to go with the $180,665 top prize. For much of the final day, it looked like American David Peters was on his way to what would have been a fourth WSOP bracelet. His exit, however, was one of a number of entertaining moments that completed the inaugural Flip & Go event in dramatic fashion. The day began with 23 players, but the field was swiftly reduced to a handful of hopefuls over a frenetic few opening exchanges. Players such as Alex Epstein, Jesse Solano, Krista Farrell, Elio Fox and Daniel Weinman all busted early on. WSOP Main Event final table player Vojtech Ruzicka busted in 10th place for $13,460 and the final table was set with Peters holding the chip lead. It was Koveh Waysei who busted first, his [poker card="6s"][poker card="6d"] unable to hold against Corey Bierria’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Qc"] after the flop of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qd"] turned around the hand. After the [poker card="9d"] turn and [poker card="Qh"] river, Bierria’s full house saw Waysei waylaid in ninth place for $16,895. It soon a seven-handed battle for the bracelet. Fred Goldberg lost his seat in eighth place for $21,435 when he correctly called off David Peters shove pre-flop. Peters had [poker card="Kh"][poker card="7s"], with Goldberg’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"] a favorite to double up. But the board of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="Th"][poker card="7d"] saw Peters river trips to eliminate Goldberg and further strengthen his grip on the chip lead. Rok Gostisa busted in seventh place for $27,495 when he lost a race with [poker card="Jh"][poker card="Jc"] against Jake Schwartz’s [poker card="As"][poker card="Kc"], two kings coming on the flop to end the Slovenian’s chances of victory. Gostisa was closely followed from the room by Bierria, whose [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qx"] was no match for Jason Beck’s [poker card="Ac"][Qx], with a queen-high board insufficient for Bierria’s need to overtake his rival in order to survive. Bierria had cashed for $35,645 and the money was going up rapidly. Huy Lam had led the field into play but went in fifth place for $46,695 as his pocket nines were overtaken by Schwartz’s pocket threes as the American flopped quads to bust the Australian in brutal fashion. Four then became three when David Peters was taken out by the eventual winner, with the hand later identified as pivotal by the victorious Alexander. Peters moved all-in under the gun with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Jc"] and it was Alexander who had a tricky call to make with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qh"] in the big blind. If he had lost the pot, Alexander would have been left with just four big blinds, but he managed to make the call and won across a ten-high board to oust perhaps his most dangerous opponent at the perfect time, vaulting to a big chip lead in the process and leaving Peters on the rail with $61,815. Schwartz lost his tournament life in third place for $82,675 after his second pair was trumped by Beck’s turned flush, which gave Beck the lead heads-up, as he played 13.5 million to Alexander’s 11.3 million. It was a close fight, however, and it took almost no time at all to crown a winner. Beck’s three-bet to 3 million with [poker card="As"][poker card="4h"] saw Alexander move all-in with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jh"] and when Beck made the call, he would need a lot of help to survive. The flop of [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Qd"][poker card="2h"] gave Beck no hope, but while the turn of [poker card="Ts"] gave his opponent Broadway, it opened up the chance of split pot if Beck could call in Alexander’s card of a jack. That didn’t happen, however, as the [poker card="5h"] river ended the event in Alexander’s favor, giving Beck the runner-up prize of $111,715 and crowning Alexander as the champion, with a top prize of $180,665 to go with his newly-acquired gold. WSOP 2021 Event #20 No Limit Hold'em Flip & Go Final Table Results: Dejuante Alexander - $180,665 Jason Beck - $111,715 Jake Schwartz - $82,675 David Peters - $61,815 Huy Lam - $46,695 Corey Bierria - $35,645 Rok Gostisa - $27,495 Fred Goldberg - $21,435 Koveh Waysei - $16,895 Milly Maker Down To 20 The Millionaire Maker field was trimmed from 170 to just 20 players on its Day 2 at the Rio, with Philip Verel bagging up the biggest stack and a massive 12,655,000 chips. Verel sits a short amount ahead of Daniel Lazrus, who has already won a WSOP bracelet in this summer’s online series and will be looking to fly high again when play resumes. Faraz Jaka was one of many players to bust later in the day, but was excited about crossing a million chips earlier in the event, summing up the excitement felt by every player who plays at the world Series of Poker. https://twitter.com/FarazJaka/status/1447414869242761217 Elsewhere in the event, players such as former four-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy survived with 9.8 million chips, while others such as Craig Varnell, Tristan Wade and Ryan Riess all departed. WSOP Event #17 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Top 10 Chipcounts: Philip Verel - 12,665,000 Daniel Lazrus - 11,795,000 Adam Sherman - 10,875,000 Michael Gathy - 9,800,000 Ignacio Moron - 9,585,000 Arie Kliper - 9,580,000 Jeffrey Gencarelli - 8,980,000 Stephen Song - 7,650,000 Todd Saffron - 6,400,000 Luis Zedan - 5,835,000 Daniel Negreanu In The Mix in Event #21 In the Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, Scott Abrams bagged the chip lead with just 27 players left overnight. Abrams totalled 1,675,000 at the close of Day 2, leading the field just like he did at the end of Day 1 and was followed in the chipcounts by Jordan Spurlin (1,370,000) and Hernan Salazar (1,230,000). Elsewhere in the event, Daniel Negreanu made the cut, with Kid Poker bagging up 535,000 chips, while mixed games poker author and specialist Dylan Linde (470,000) and Ari Engel (305,000) both joined him in the Day 3 Seat Draw. Engel is looking to become the first player to win two of this year’s live WSOP 88 bracelets on offer with over 75% of the events taking place after this event he remains in. WSOP 2021 Event #21 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts: Scott Abrams - 1,675,000 Jordan Spurlin - 1,370,000 Hernan Salazar - 1,230,000 Ryan Roeder - 1,005,000 Charles Coultas - 985,000 Kosei Ichinose Japan - 890,000 Damjan Radanov - 850,000 Robert Redman - 840,000 Garrett Garvin - 730,000 Michael Kim - 710,000 Angelina Rich Leads The Ladies Event In the Ladies Championship, 644 entrants took to the felt with just 170 making it through to Day 2 of the popular annual event. Angelina rich (301,000) leads the ay from Lily Keletto (265,000) and Michell Ferranted (215,100), while other big names with stacks include Cherish Andrews (185,000), Jamie Kerstetter (160,000), and Ebony Kenney (91,000). Other hopefuls weren’t so fortunate to make it through to Day 2, such as Karina Jett, though the atmosphere in the event was cause for her and hundreds of others to post about the event on social media, identifying the unique appeal for poker fans of both sexes of this respected event on the schedule. https://twitter.com/KarinaJett/status/1447633740310597632 WSOP 2021 Event #22 Ladies NLHE Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Angelina Rich - 301,000 Lily Kiletto - 265,000 Michelle Ferrante - 215,100 Christina Gollins - 202,100 Dusti Smith - 197,400 Cherish Andrews - 185,000 Courtney Webb - 178,100 JJ Liu Taiwan - 168,000 Britt Williams - 155,600 Brittne Zobrist - 155,600 $1,500 Eight Game Mix Kicks Off Finally, Event #23 got underway, with the $1,500-entry six-max Eight Game Mix event seeing Sachin Bhargava bag the biggest stack, as he ended the day with 273,400 chips. Other players to bag a top 10 stack included former WSOP bracelet winner - and four-time runner-up - David Williams (175,200), with Michael Mizrachi (178,700) once again proving that mixed games are definitely his bag. Players to bust this event included Mike Gorodinsky, Daniel Ospina, Barry Greenstein, Robbie Strazynski, Greg Raymer, Connor Drinan, Jeremy Ausmus, and Calvin Anderson. WSOP 2021 Event #23 $1,500 Eight Game Mix Six-Handed Top 10 Chipcounts: Sachin Bhargava - 273,400 David Gee - 237,200 Jay Kerbel - 231,600 Sean Perry - 189,000 Vasu Amarapu - 180,400 Michael Mizrachi - 178,700 David Williams - 175,200 Kevin Brewer - 171,600 Bradley Bragg - 171,300 David Prociak - 171,000 Finally, on a more serious note, former WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb highlighted the importance of security after being awoken in the middle of the night by an unwelcome intruder. Keep those latches as tightly done up as your bag of chips at the end of the night. https://twitter.com/shaundeeb/status/1447215029758033922
  11. Phil Hellmuth is in pole position to make it ‘sweet sixteen’ as he has made it to the final table of the 19th event of the 2021 World Series of Poker with a chip lead in the Seven Card Stud Championship. Hellmuth, otherwise known as ‘The Poker Brat’, bagged up 751,000 to lead the final seven, with Anthony Zinno close behind him in the counts on 730,000 chips. Hellmuth, Chidwick, McCelland Make $10K Stud Final Table It’s not only Hellmuth who will go into the final day of action as a recognized face looking to win more gold. Stephen Chidwick (266,000) and Jack McClelland (185,000) may have fewer chips, but anything can happen and the chips can change very quickly in mixed games. With James Chen (660,000), Jose Paz-Gutierrez (586,000) and Jason Gola (542,000) all still in contention, it is bound to be an entertaining final session on Monday evening. On Day 2, just three players made the money as the top 10 were paid with Daniel Zack busted in 10th place by Stephen Chidwick for a result worth $16,262, George Alexander eliminated in 9th place for $17,828, and Scott Bohlman losing his tournament life in 8th place for $20,480. Both Alexander and Bohlman were taken out by Jason Gola as the night wound to a close. WSOP 2021 Event #19 Seven Card Stud Championship Final Table Chipcounts: Phil Hellmuth - 751,000 Anthony Zinno - 730,000 James Chen - 660,000 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 586,000 Jason Gola - 542,000 Stephen Chidwick - 266,000 Jack McClelland - 185,000 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball Event in the Balance as Early Hours End Play The $2,500-entry Mixed Triple Draw Lowball saw what should have been its final day end with heads-up on hiatus as Vladimir Peck and Venkata Tayi ended the action locked in a battle for the WSOP bracelet. The day began with 12 still in seats. Once play was down to the seven-handed final table, Brian Yoon had the chip lead, and several players were very short stacked. The lowest of the low was Carlos Rodriguez, who busted almost immediately in seventh place for $15,272 in A-5 Triple Draw, losing his stack to Joao Vieira. Hal Rotholz was the next player to depart, losing in 2-7 Triple Draw in a hand against Yoon and Venkata Tayi for a sixth-place prize of $20,828. He was followed from the event by Brian Yoon, but it was a protracted period of play that lasted beyond a dinner break and ended in a Badugi bust-out for $28,818 as Vieira again came out on top in the clash between the two remaining bracelet winners in the field. It was Badugi again that delivered Aaron Rogers from the event, as the American player fell victim to Vieira in fourth place for $40,443. Despite winning that hand, however, Vieira himself fell in third place for $57,558, albeit over an hour later. Losing in A-5 Triple Draw, Tayi was again the beneficiary, claiming a pot that gave him the leads heads-up with 5.3 million chips to Vladimir Peck’s 3.5 million. The heads-up battle that followed was so long that with the time approaching 3 am, both Peck and Tayi were asked if they wanted to play one more level or come back the next day. That level concluded with Peck on 3,275,000 chips, with Tayi in the lead on 5,575,000. Play will resume - and doubtless conclude - on Day 12 when the gold is finally won. WSOP 2021 Event #18 $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball Final Table Results: 3rd - Joao Vieira - $57,558 4th - Aaron Rogers - $40,443 5th - Brian Yoon - $28,818 6th - Hal Rotholz - $20,828 7th - Carlos Rodriguez - $15,272 The Field Narrows on Millionaire Maker Day 2 The Millionaire Maker has become one of the signature events on the WSOP calendar in Las Vegas and this year’s return to Rio has seen a total of 5,330 entries and a prize pool of just under $8 million. As the event name tells you, that means a million up top and after Day 2 trimmed the remaining 1,174 players down to just 170 hopefuls, it was Darryl Ronconi who bagged the biggest stack. Ronconi’s chip mountain of 2,545,000 is a three-bet and a call ahead of both Apolinario Luis (2,345,000) and Thomas Eychenne (2,275,000), both of whom have terrific stacks with which to attack Day 3, but they’re not the only ones. In the top 10 alone, there are some fearsome players armed to the teeth with raising chips, with Shahar Levi (1,955,000) and Faraz Jaka (1,625,000) standing out as ones to watch. A little further back in the field, Ryan Hagerty (1,100,000), Tristan Wade (1,500,000), Craig Varnell (765,000) Yiming Li (595,000), Stephen Song (1,385,000) all bagged up stacks at the close of play. So too did Vanessa Kade (1,520,000), who knows all about winning over a million after taking down the Sunday Million earlier this year. Kade detailed her personal experience of a fairly sour end to Day 1a on Twitter that has definitely seen some karma come her way on Day 2. https://twitter.com/VanessaKade/status/1446740649005367302 Every tournament win is a battle but perhaps never more so than at the World Series of Poker, with Ari Engel, who has already won a bracelet this series admitting it was some time before he hit his stride. https://twitter.com/AriEngelPoker/status/1447301982876626946 WSOP 2021 Event #17 Millionaire Maker Top 10 Chipcounts: Darryl Ronconi - 2,545,000 Apolinario Luis - 2,345,000 Thomas Eychenne - 2,275,000 John Fagg - 1,970,000 Shahar Levi - 1,955,000 Michael Mcnicholas - 1,670,000 Faraz Jaka - 1,625,000 Arie Kliper - 1,615,000 Luis Zedan - 1,570,000 Jeffery Wakamiya - 1,555,000 David Peters Survives Flip & Go Day 1 The $1,000-entry Flip & Go event, Event #20, saw just 23 players survive from a starting field of 1,232. David Williams had more tries than most at making the money in Event #20 and was applauded by most for his efforts on Twitter. https://twitter.com/dwpoker/status/1447343223844728832   When the dust settled, there were plenty of big names still in with a chance of adding what is a unique WSOP bracelet to their collection. Huy Lam (3,150,000) bagged up by far the biggest stack of the day and leads from Corey Bierria (1,880,000) by some distance. Players such as Rok Gostisa (1,115,000) and David Peters (1,105,000) will look to use all their experience to put themselves in contention for the top prize. Others, such as Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, and Gal Yifrach all busted before the close of play. WSOP 2021 Event #20 $1,000 Flip & Go Top 10 Chipcounts: Huy Lam - 3,150,000 Corey Bierria - 1,880,000 Krista Farrell - 1,700,000 David Towson - 1,600,000 Mark Ingram - 1,385,000 Joao Valli - 1,350,000 Fred Goldberg - 1,245,000 Roman Hrabec - 1,200,000 Rok Gostisa - 1,115,000 David Peters - 1,105,000 Daniel Negreanu, Ari Engel Bag Chips In $1,500 Mixed Omaha 8 There were 640 players who took on the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event and after a long first day of the tournament, only 199 players zipped up chips. It is local Henderson, Nevada-based player Scott Abrams who leads the pack with 275,000 chips, but plenty of other big players are still in with a great chance of a deep run, with Ari Engel (238,000) going for his second bracelet this live series. Others such as Daniel Negreanu (147,000), John Monnette (103,500), Randy Ohel (83500), Dylan Linde (106,500), and Derek McMaster (162,500) all bagged up chips, with stars such as Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Nathan Gamble, Jake Daniels, Ken Aldridge, Ben Yu, and Barry Greenstein. WSOP 2021 Event #21 $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo or Better Top 10 Chipcounts: Scott Abrams - 275,000 Ari Engel - 230,000 Nathaniel Katzoff - 222,500 PJ Cha - 215,000 Cody Scherer - 207,000 John Cernuto - 178,000 Yonatan Smith - 177,500 Edward Han - 167,000 Derek McMaster - 162,500 Julien Martini - 150,500 Chance Kornuth isn’t just a former WSOP bracelet winner but would not stand by and watch a dealer getting berated. The comments section on his latest act at the poker table tell how most players and fans back his actions. https://twitter.com/ChancesCards/status/1447361730598748166 The spirit of fun seems to have taken over players of the highest standard, with poker legend Erik Seidel joking about a ‘ruff’ time over at his table. https://twitter.com/Erik_Seidel/status/1447470233166307334 Finally, he may not be at the World Series of Poker yet, but if the Rio does play host to Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, then it could be the closing story we all need. Just... unique. https://twitter.com/junglemandan/status/1447263387541557249
  12. The $25,000-entry Heads Up Championship, Event #11, on the 2021 World Series of Poker schedule was always going to be a dramatic one. With four fantastic players making the final stages of the tournament, finding a winner would be a war of wits like no other as four men played off to meet in the final and then battle it out for the bracelet. Jason Koon Takes Down $25K Heads-Up In the semifinals, Daniel Zack was the first player to hit the rail and that meant a new winner would take home the gold as Zack was the only remaining bracelet winner in the final four. Gabor Szabo had a nut flush early to work himself into a massive lead, before making a great call with bottom pair just a few hands later. Sealing the deal with a Broadway straight against Zack’s two-pair, Szabo awaited the winner of another titanic tussle on the other table. It was a lengthy scrap for the other place in the final as Finnish online boss Henri ‘ButtonClickr’ Pusstinen was shot down by Jason Koon. Puustinen was a tricky customer and Koon found it difficult to close the match out. Puustinen dropped behind early in the match-up but consistently found a way to survive until Koon’s two pair eventually got the job done against the Finn’s bottom pair. In the final, neither player took a distinctive lead for over an hour as play started tentatively with the bracelet on the line. Koon moved into the lead but that was reversed by the talented Hungarian who established a 2:1 lead. Koon was all-in for his tournament life with [poker card="5s"][poker card="5c"] and was called by Szabo with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Qc"] before a dramatic flop of [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Tc"][poker card="4h"] gave both men a big sweat. The turn of [poker card="Jd"] and river of [poker card="Js"] kept Koon alive and vaulted him into the lead, but Szabo evened up the stacks to almost level by the time the pivotal hand arrived, with both men committing their stacks to the middle pre-flop and over 90% of the chips being on the line with Koon holding [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Qc"] and Szabo dominated with [poker card="As"][poker card="Js"]. The flop of [poker card="7h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2s"] saw Koon remain in the lead and nothing altered that on the [poker card="9h"] turn. When the [poker card="Qd"] river fell, Koon had an overwhelming lead. Just a few hands later it was all over and the newly named GGPoker ambassador had ended his long career wait for a WSOP bracelet. Szabo was all-in and at risk pre-flop with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="9d"] and Koon, who had pushed all-in with [poker card="Js"][poker card="7d"] needed to hit. The flop of [poker card="Jh"][poker card="6s"][poker card="5h"] saw jacks once again come to Koon’s rescue and after the [poker card="8d"] turn and [poker card="6h"] river, Koon had won his first-ever WSOP bracelet and the $243,981 top prize, with Szabo claiming $150,790 as runner-up. WSOP 2021 Event #11 $25,000 Heads Up Championship Results: Jason Koon - $243,981 Gabor Szabo - $150,790 Henri Puustinen -$89,787 Daniel Zack - $89,787 Mikita Badziakouski - $36,280 Bin Weng - $36,280 Benjamin Reason - $36,280 Jake Daniels - $36,280 https://twitter.com/JasonKoon/status/1446398841264087044 Former #1 Ari Engel Wins $10K Omaha 8 Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Ari Engel was a popular winner in Event #9, the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, where Phil Hellmuth busted out first of the final five. Hellmuth went all the way to the river against Engel and Eddie Blumenthal, but his two opponents ended up chopping the pot and sending the 15-time bracelet winner to the rail for a cash worth $80,894. With four players remaining, it was Blumenthal who was next to go, eliminated in fourth place for $107,204. The American busted to the eventual winner when Engel’s higher flush edged out his opponent and strengthened his chip lead. Engel then busted his next victim when his nut flush and low hand scooped the pot against Andrew Yeh, who received $143,988 for coming third. With Engel holding a better than 4:1 chip lead, the final battle could have been simple, but it was anything other than that. Over the course of almost eight hours and one of the longest heads-up matches in living memory, Engel and his opponent, Zachary Milchman both held the lead on multiple occasions. Both men had chances to seal victory long before Engel’s two pair queens and tens topped Milchman’s queens and eights. While Milchman brought home $195,968 for a runner-up result, it was Engel’s day and his second bracelet, which came with a top prize of $317,076. WSOP 2021 Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Final Table Results: Ari Engel - $317,076 Zachary Milchman - $195,968 Andrew Yeh - $143,988 Eddie Blumenthal - $107,204 Phil Hellmuth - $80,894 George Wolff - $61,877 Robert Mizrachi - $47,987 Ben Landowski - $37,738 Khamar Xaytavone - $30,102 https://twitter.com/AriEngelPoker/status/1446382753910439937 Bronshtein Scores Second Career Bracelet The third and final WSOP bracelet winner of the day came in Event #12, the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event. It was Yuval Bronshtein who eventually prevailed in another lengthy battle into the small hours at the Rio. Heading into the final table, Kevin Erickson had the chip lead and he made that count over the course of the final day, with 16 players reduced to the final table in just a couple of hours play. Despite that momentum, Erickson would run out of luck at just the wrong moment. Working himself into a heads-up battle against Bronshtein with a 3:1 chip lead, Erickson improved that dramatically to look nailed on for the win with an 18:1 chip lead a short time later. Bronshtein somehow worked his way back into contention, however, and managed to turn the tide to go 3:1 up in chips himself. On the final hand, Bronshtein got it into the middle with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kd"], which was way ahead of Erickson’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qd"] and stayed there through the jack-high board to relegate Erickson to runner-up for $76,868 and give Bronshtein $124,374 and the much-coveted WSOP bracelet. WSOP 2021 Event #12 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: Yuval Bronshtein - $124,374 Kevin Erickson - $76,868 Tom McCormick - $53,588 John Bunch - $38,011 Ian Glycenfer - $27,488 Zachary Gruneberg - $20,262 Guy Cicconi - $15,230 Tony Nasr - $11,677 Anh Van Nguyen - $9,137 https://twitter.com/Yuvee04/status/1446408541682556928 Final Table Set For $3K Freezeout In the 13th event of the 2021 WSOP, the $3,000 NLHE Freezeout event, it was Brandon Caputo who captured the chip lead heading into the final day. With just seven players remaining, Caputo’s stack of 7,200,000 was a little ahead of Belgian player Michael Gathy (6,700,000), the four-time WSOP bracelet winner, with Gabriel Andrade (4,900,000) a little further back. Elsewhere in the event, several players made the money without managing to seal a final table seat, with Betrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (32nd for $9,299), Sergio Aido (21st for $10,816) and Niall Farrell (12th for $18,815) all going close to the final seven but falling short. Andrew Jeong, the Day 1 chip leader, bubbled the last day in 8th place for $37,824 when his top pair with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kc"] on a flop of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] couldn’t hold against Gathy’s [poker card="8d"][poker card="6c"] for two pair. The turn of [poker card="Td"] and river [poker card="9d"] ended the hand, sent Jeong to the rail, and ended the day’s play. WSOP 2021 Event #13: $3,000 NLHE Freezeout Final Table Chipcounts: Brandon Caputo - 7,200,000 Michael Gathy - 6,700,000 Gabriel Andrade - 4,900,000 Craig Mason - 2,780,000 Harvey Mathews - 2,520,000 Girish Apte - 2,425,000 David Lolis - 2,295,000 Shaun Deeb, David Williams At Event #14 Final Table Event #14, the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event, saw six players remain with chips after a rollercoaster day sent a former WSOP world champion to the rail in the money and plenty of other big names missed out on the final day. Tom McEvoy (29th for $2,687) worked his way to a min-cash, while Day 1 chip leader Elias Hourani lasted a little longer to go out in 20th place for $3,390. Anthony Zinno ran all the way to 11th place for (5,338), but missed out on the last half-dozen, which were headlined by Rafael Lebron with 1.69 million chips. Of the six players who survived Day 2 as 76 players were cut down to just half a dozen, Shaun Deeb (1,195,000) and David Williams (1,050,000) will look to add to already legendary WSOP resumes with victory on the third and final day of the event. They’ll both be desperate to win the next WSOP Gold Bracelet and the $82,262 top prize to go with it. WSOP 2021 Event #14: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Final Table Chipcounts: Rafael Lebron - 1,690,000 Shaun Deeb - 1,195,000 David Moskowitz - 1,150,000 David Williams - 1,050,000 Nicholas Seiken - 970,000 Christina Hill - 435,000 $1,500 Six-Handed Kicks Off Event #15 saw players take to the action in the $1,500 Six-Handed tournament, with 96 players surviving from a Day 1 field of 1,450 total entries. The chip leader at the close of play was Daniel Orgil, who ended the day with a,650,000. He was followed by Daniel Rezaei (1,266,000) and Jun Obara (1,200,000) as well as plenty of other big names, such as Jonas Mackoff (502,000), Melanie Weisner (467,000), Joni Jouhkimainen (320,000), Darren Elias (265,000) and the man who has more WSOP cashes than anyone, Roland Israelashvili (262,000). WSOP 2021 Event #15 $1,500 NLHE Six-Max Top 10 Chipcounts: Daniel Orgil - 1,650,000 Daniel Rezaei - 1,266,000 Jun Obara - 1,200,000 Steve Foutty - 971,000 Jesse Yaginuma - 843,000 Jeremy Eyer - 825,000 Itai Levy - 782,000 Jared Ambler - 635,000 Sean Hegarty - 621,000 Mark Liedtke - 616,000 Dzivielevski, Nate Silver In $10K Limit Top 10 It took until the small hours of the night for Event #16, the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship, to wind to a close as 78 players were more than halved to just 35 hopefuls heading into Day 2. The chip leader at the end of the opening night’s play was Eric Kurtman, who bagged up 466,000 chips, some distance ahead of his nearest rivals Andony Wasaya (314,000) and two-time WSOP event winner Yuri Dzivielevski, who made it through with a stack of 270,000. Elsewhere in the top 10 chipcounts, Nate Silver (198,000) and Chad Eveslage (162,000) will both be hoping to add to their poker resumes with a bracelet, while former bracelet winners Chris Vitch (162,000) and Anthony Zinno (159,000) are also very well placed for more glory on the final day of the event. Some players not to make the next day's play, missing out on the money bubble, which is yet to burst, included Scott Seiver, Jake Daniels, David Benyamine, Mark Gregorich, David 'ODB' Baker, Eli Elezra, Dan Zack, Ronnie Bardah, Daniel Negreanu and Robert Mizrachi. WSOP 2021 Event #16 $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship Top 10 Chipcounts: Eric Kurtzman - 466,000 Andony Wasaya - 314,000 Yuri Dzivielevski - 270,000 Casey Mccarrel - 232,000 Christopher Chung - 201,000 Nate Silver - 198,000 Mike Thorpe - 178,000 Christopher Vitch - 162,000 Chad Eveslage - 162,000 Anthony Zinno - 159,000
  13. We’re just one week into the 2021 World Series of Poker and already so much has happened. Bracelets have been won, the hallways have been packed, and, yes, Phil Hellmuth threw a fit in the Amazon room. The WSOP is back, it’s different, and so far it’s been fantastic. Not without its difficulties but the final series to take place in the Rio is, in fact, taking place. And with that, plenty of storylines have emerged - here are five of the biggest from the first seven days. #1. Reports of the WSOP’s Death Were Greatly Exaggerated No one was quite sure what they were going to find when they first stepped into the Rio this autumn. With the complicated information surrounding COVID’s Delta variant, the vaccination mandate, and the mask-optional exception it’s safe to say that there were plenty of questions as to who and how many players would show up. It became clear from Day 1 that players were more than willing to show up and show out. The Reunion, with its $5 million guarantee, blew the doors off the Rio as players flooded the hallways, packed the tables, and ended up crushing the guarantee. Masked and (presumably) vaxxed, all three rooms - the Pavilion, Brasilia, and Amazon, were lively and, at times, even rowdy. What could have been a muted sense of excitement, instead still had that electric feel of the summer series of years past. The FOMO was real for those who wanted to be on hand and those who predicted that the brand would take a big hit are going to have to wait a little longer to see, as the opening weekend concluded with a $600 Deepstack event that exceeded player projections. Sure, numbers will be down, how could they not. But spirits were not. A case in point is… #2. This What The WSOP Is All About Kenna James captured George McBride’s first WSOP cash on camera and everyone who watched it immediately had all the feels. https://twitter.com/Kenna_James/status/1444163921712017414?s=20 “It was just everything opening up,” McBride told PokerNews in an interview, getting misty just thinking about his run in The Reunion. “That was totally uncontrollable,” he said talking about his emotion and how he was playing in memory of friends who couldn’t be there with him and his family history of playing cards. And for many, that’s what the WSOP is all about. A pilgrimage to play with some of the best in the world and taking a shot to live your dream. #3. Jesse Klein Takes A Shot, Scores Direct Hit There’s been a handful of bracelets handed out this week from top pros like Jeremy Ausmus and Connor Drinan adding to their resumes to Long Ma outlasting the nearly 13,000 runner Reunion and turning his $500 into $513,604. But Jesse Klein’s first career gold bracelet win caught everyone off guard because it came in the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. where he survived a field of 78 runners of mostly elite players to take home the $552,182 first-place prize. It seems Klein, a businessman who plays high-stakes mixed game cash, just flew out with the sole intention of playing this one event - his flight home booked at the end of the weekend. Along the way, he battled against pros like Ben Yu, David Benyamine, Daniel Negreanu, and Benny Glaser. But he really made headlines after besting 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth in a hand and sending Hellmuth into one of his famous rants. “He just went off and I loved it,” he said. “It made me laugh, all that kind of stuff cracks me up.” Klein demonstrated the other side of the WSOP - anyone with the will and the buy-in can come and compete. And sometimes, leave a champion. #4. Phil Hellmuth On A Heater Phil Hellmuth is off to one of his hottest starts at the World Series of Poker in years. The Poker Brat is on the prowl for gold bracelet #16 and had been making deep runs in every event he’s entered so far. His first score was in the $25K H.O.R.S.E. where he made the final table, but ultimately fell just a few spots short by busting in sixth place for $95,329. Days later he found himself deep in the $1,500 Dealers Choice where he fell in 18th place for another $4,429. Finally, at the time of this writing, Hellmuth is at yet another final table, this time in the $10K Omaha 8, where he will start the day with the short stack and a guaranteed payday of no less than $80,894. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1446037960311250951?s=20 But for Hellmuth, it’s all about the bracelet and fans will be tuning in to see if he can somehow climb the chip counts and make history once again. Hellmuth on a heater is decidedly “good for poker.” #5. Staff In Good Spirits But Lines, Technology Problems Persist To go along with the fact that the WSOP has been bustling with activity is the downside of that which has been lines. Everywhere you looked over the weekend, there were long - very long - lines. Lines to buy-in, lines to get your vaccination verified, lines to get your credit card registered, and, of course, lines to use the restroom. Some reports had the most egregious lines lasting three hours as a combination of tech and the players not having everything ready to go meant sometimes just to get a player all set up could take 4-5 (or more) minutes per person. With current conditions leaving some of the cages shorthanded, those waits could take time. Players, for the most part, remained patient with the understanding that once everything was verified, the process would be smoother. To their credit, the WSOP acknowledged the difficulties. They faced them head-on in morning announcements and worked to get better. The staff seemed to stay in good spirits which helped as well. By Saturday afternoon, if you picked the right time, you could get registered or have a credit card verified with minimal waits. However, technology problems continue to be an issue. From printers not working on the first day to, as recently as Wednesday, a complete outage when delayed the start time of some events and resulted in the cancelation of some side events, the tech issues have added some unnecessary stressors on WSOP staff. https://twitter.com/WSOP/status/1445843005710082056?s=20
  14. We’re only a week into the 2021 World Series of Poker and it’s clear that this year Phil Hellmuth means business. There’s no indulging his inner Colonel Kurtz on a celebrity-fueled trip in the jungle or any other early-series shenanigans. Instead, Hellmuth has been at the Rio, in his seat, at the tables, and off to one of the best WSOP starts of his career. At stake for him, a record-extending bracelet #16 and yet another chance to give his doubters a lesson in #POSITIVITY and White Magic. Just take a look at his early receipts. In the first seven days, Hellmuth has made a deep run in three different events. None of which are a No Limit Hold’em tournament, the format that he won 12 of his 15 bracelets in. The smallest of his cashes came in Event #7 ($1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed) where he made the final three tables and finished in 18th place for (a paltry) $4,429. In the first days of the series, Hellmuth tackled the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. (Event #2) in which he made the final table. He fell just short of taking it down when he busted in sixth place for $95,329. His latest feat is his effort in Event #9 ($10,000 Omaha 8 Championship) in which he grinded a short stack to the live-streamed final table but ultimately fell in fifth place for another $80,894. Hellmuth’s results are not only good for a person’s fantasy team, but it’s an indication that Hellmuth is playing at the peak of his poker powers. It’s important to have momentum, which is an undeniable force in the game - just ask Michael Addamo. Hellmuth's coming so close that should the stars align, he could be taking another winner’s photo soon enough. At the same time though, you can see “The Poker Brat” lurking in the background. Like Dexter’s "Dark Passenger", Hellmuth is seemingly always just a trigger (or bad beat) away from unleashing the beast. And we’ve already seen it once in this series, in Event #2. In a hand against the eventual winner, businessman Jesse Klein, Hellmuth fired on multiple streets of a Razz hand but couldn’t shake Klein. In the end, Hellmuth lost the hand and lost his temper. PokerNews described it that he “walked away from the table with plenty of swear words to be heard.” A big of a badge of honor for Klein who said that he enjoyed the outburst and it made him laugh. But in the aftermath, Hellmuth posted a bit of an emo photo and expressed his disappointment at missing out. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1444470919204769803?s=20 With as much confidence and momentum that Hellmuth is likely feeling, he’s also been peppering his fans with the notion that his #POSITIVITY is being tested by the fact that he’s falling short after getting so close. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1445332610905886723?s=20 After his elimination in fifth place in the $10K Omaha 8, Hellmuth walked over his longtime friend Mike Matusow on the rail, understandably visibly frustrated. “What the ****, I never caught a break,” he said. “I watched Ari [Engel] win every hand for hours. I can’t wait until I play against him next time. I let him steal, steal, steal…he plays so fast. It’s so frustrating.” “I deserve better,” he continued. “But it doesn’t matter….deserve is a bad word, right? Because I mean I have 15 bracelets…let’s not get too negative, let’s stay positive. They don’t really play the game that well, it’s very frustrating.” Of course, every poker player knows how it feels to finish in any position other than first. It’s not a good feeling. But for Hellmuth, his frustration isn’t about not winning more money. It’s not about the money at all. He has pulled in a nice haul of more than $180,000 in seven days, but that amount is likely negligible to Hellmuth. His real bread and butter is in the clout. Everything that comes to him by chasing - and winning - bracelets. It’s what his reputation is built on, it’s how he gets his Brain-Food-Altcoin sponsorships, and it’s what gets him invited into the (presumably) soft Silicon Valley cash games. It's brought him legions of fans, put him on beer cans, and, ultimately, is part of his identity. It’s an understatement to say that winning bracelets is hard. It’s difficult to even have the opportunity - let alone two in a week. And when winning a bracelet, literally means more advantages will come your way than can be bought with the money, there's even more pressure. The kind of run Hellmuth is on would overwhelm mere mortals with joy. But Hellmuth’s playing an entirely different game. “I have the biggest deal of my life…I’m going to be meeting with a guy today,” he told Matusow. “I was hoping to have a bracelet on my wrist when I met with him.” Hellmuth’s on a heater right now and for those following his WSOP journey closely, it feels like it’s just a matter of time. A matter of time before he breaks through and wins another historic bracelet or breaks down for another historic tantrum. Both would be preferable. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1444479029478768645?s=20
  15. To win a high-profile WSOP bracelet, it takes beating the best over and over again. Just 16 remain in the $25,000-entry NLHE Heads Up Championship and they include some of the best poker players in the world. After the first day of action in the $25,000-entry No Limit Hold’em Heads Up Championship, players are just three heads-up victories away from playing the bracelet and top prize of $243,981. Star-Studded $25K Heads-Up Championship The early stages of this year’s Heads-Up Championship, one of the most prestigious WSOP bracelets any player can win, were complex given the number of entries. Players were drawn together, with seven of the initial player given a bye to the second round. That meant for some, winning two matches to achieve the $25,000 min-cash. For others, it meant only winning one match. Every table was packed with quality, however, and some of the early skirmishes featured players who could easily have been competing in the final. Cary Katz beat Dimitar Danchev in a topsy-turvy affair, while Daniel Zack got the better of Nick Petrangelo. Kane Kalas was overcome by Mikita Badziakouski, while David Peters took out the in-form Jonathan Jaffe. Other players to lose their chance of glory included Adrian Mateos, Ali Imsirovic, Joao Vieira, and Seth Davies. Day 2 will see both the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals take place, with some intriguing match-ups coming next. Newly appointed GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon will take on Sam Soverel’s conqueror, Johannes Becker in one of the most eagerly anticipated ties, will everything on the line as players shoot for the bracelet in one of the most demanding disciplines of all. Round of 16 Line-Up (consecutive winners to play in quarterfinals): Gal Yifrach vs. Jake Daniels Johannes Becker vs. Jason Koon Ben Reason vs. Galen Hall Henri Puustinen vs. Cary Katz Dan Zack vs. James D’Ambrosio Bin Weng vs. Julien Martini Aleksandr Shevlyakov vs. Mikita Badziakouski David Peters vs. Gabor Szabo Long Ma Crowned Reunion King The Reunion has already been described as one of the events of the Autumn and on Tuesday, it produced the winner, Long Ma, who took the title and massive $523,604 for just a $500 entry. Yesterday’s 17-hour Day 2 was in complete contrast to today’s final which took just over an hour as Ma, an electronics manager and poker tournament enthusiast, eliminated each of his four opponents in double-quick time to win his first WSOP bracelet. The final day action got going almost immediately with a bust-out as short-stacked Michael Eddy became Ma’s first victim. Eddy moved all-in for around five big blinds with [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Js"] and Ma made the call with [poker card="Ad"][poker card="8c"], turning an ace on the [poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="Ac"][poker card="5c"] board. Eddy, who had come into play knowing he needed a great deal of luck to survive, cashed for $142,847. Next to go was Alex Vazquez, who busted with [poker card="As"][poker card="Qs"] against Ma’s [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Jc"] after a jack on the turn saw Vazquez shove and Ma call on the board of [poker card="Kh"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2s"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="8h"]. Vazquez cashed for $185,281, but it only strengthened Ma’s already dominant position. That position for Ma got even better when he reduced the battle to a heads-up clash with a big lead. Max Tavepholjalern called off his stack pre-flop after three-betting with [poker card="Kd"][poker card="8d"] and he would need to win a race against Ma who held [poker card="4h"][poker card="4d"]. That didn’t happen as the double-paired board of [poker card="Js"][poker card="Jc"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3d"] played out and Tavepholjalern collected $241,766 in winnings. Heads-up saw Ma go into the action with a better than 4:1 chip lead and in no time at all, he had the bracelet. When Lentini open-shoved pre-flop with [poker card="Qs"][poker card="Jc"], Ma made a snap-call with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="7s"] and watched as the board of [poker card="Ks"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="5h"] gave him over half a million dollars and the biggest-field bracelet won so far in the 2021 World Series of Poker. WSOP 2021 Event #4 $500 The Reunion Final Table Results: Long Ma - $513,604 Giuliano Lentini - $317,352 Max Tavepholjalern - $241,766 Alex Vazquez - $185,281 Michael Eddy - $142,847 Anthony Cass - $110,794 Jugal Daterao - $86,462 Derrick Stoebe - $67,886 Adrian Buckley - $53,625 [caption id="attachment_636553" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Long Ma, winner of the biggest-field event of the WSOP so far, the $500-entry The Reunion[/caption] Lally Takes $1,500 Dealer's Choice Another winner took home gold in Event #7, the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event as Jaswinder ‘Jesse’ Lally won the six-handed event for $97,915. Lally, a long-time player but business owner who counts poker as more of a hobby than a career, beat former bracelet winners to the gold at a final table packed with action. Just 11 players returned to the felt at the start of the day, with Craig Chat (11th for $5,612), Adam Friedman (10th for $5,612), and Jeremy Heartberg (9th for $7,307) first to leave the action. When Naoya Kihara busted in eighth place for the same amount and Day 1 chip leader Nathan Gamble left in seventh for $9,768, the official final table was set and it didn’t take long for five more players to hit the rail. Christopher Lindner busted in sixth place for $13,396 when he busted in a Seven Card Stud 8 or Better hand to the eventual winner and Lally, suddenly with all the momentum, added to his list of victims when he busted Adam Kipnis in fifth for $18,839. Ian O’Hara came into play chasing the leader and will have been disappointed to exit in fourth place so near to the gold he has yet to win in his poker career. O’Hara lost out in a three-way Stud hand where Lally’s diamond flush conquered O’Hara’s hand, leaving the young player to quip, “Stud master.” as he left the stage. It wasn’t long before Lally proved himself a master of the event itself, after former bracelet winner Andrew Kelsall brought about heads-up play. Kelsall’s elimination of the overnight chip leader, Ray Henson in No Limit 2-7 Single Draw for $40,062 gave the experience Kelsall 1.7 million chips and a chance of victory, but Lally extended his lead heads-up quite quickly in a Razz hand to race into a 5:1 lead. The final hand saw Lally win a Pot Limit Omaha hand with the nut straight on the turn busting Kelsall’s two-pair after a flush draw fell short on the river and gave Lally his first-ever WSOP bracelet. Kelsall cashed for an impressive $60,514, but Lally’s victory was worth a massive $97,915 and the bracelet was perhaps worth just as much judging by the beaming smile on Lally’s face. WSOP 2021 Event #7 $1,500 Dealer's Choice Final Table Results: Jesse Lally - $97,915 Andrew Kelsall - $60,514 Ray Henson - $40,062 Ian O’Hara - $27,147 Adam Kipnis - $18,839 Christopher Lindner - $13,396 Quick Win For Michael Perrone The third and final winner of the day was Michael Perrone, who took down the super-fast Super Turbo Bounty event which cost $1,000 and lasted just one day at the felt. With 16 hours of play producing plenty of fast-paced bounty action, a prize pool of $1.4m was chopped up, with Perrone crushing dreams on his way to banking over 10% of it. Plenty of big names ran deep, with Shaun Deeb (59th for $2,505), Cate Hall (82nd for $1,731), and Vanessa Kade (227th for $1,065) all making the money. WSOP 2021 Event #10 $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty NLHE Final Table Results: Michael Perrone - $152,173 Pierre Calamusa - $94,060 Jeremiah Fitzpatrick - $69,454 Scott Podolsky - $51,787 Paul Dhaliwal - $38,996 Paul Jain - $29,657 John Moss - $22,783 Badr Imejjane - $17,680 Gabriel Ramos - $13,861 Brock Wilson - $10,980 ElkY Ready To Roll It’s been an incredible start to the 2021 WSOP in terms of attendance with the great and good arriving in style to put down their money and take their chips for a shot at glory, including GGPoker ambassador Bertran ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who, over a decade on from his first WSOP appearance was still as excited as a first-timer to arrive at the Rio. https://twitter.com/elkypoker/status/1445206290452533248 It’s not only ElkY who is loving this year’s return to the Rio, with WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams delighted to be back amongst it in 2021. https://twitter.com/dwpoker/status/1445486745089294345 Zhi Wu Leads $600 Deepstack Event One of the busiest Day 1s of the World Series so far saw 4,527 players arrive yesterday to play the $600-entry No Limit Hold’em Event #8, but after a thrilling Day 2, just five players remain in with a chance of winning their first WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $281,604. With the prize pool of $2.3 million, 216 players took to the tables and it was Zhi Wu who ended the day with the biggest stack of 46.1 million, ahead of Chrishan Sivasundaram (31.5m) and Ryan Chan (29.2m). With two more players having slightly shorter stacks to play with in Nicholas Zautra (15m) and Ari Mezrich (13.9m) even the short-stacked Mezrich will have eight big blinds to play with. WSOP 2021 Event #8 $600 No Limit Hold'em Final Table Chipcounts: Zhi Wu - 46,100,000 Chrishan Sivasundaram - 31,500,000 Ryan Chan - 29,200,000 Nicholas Zautra - 15,000,000 Ari Mezrich - 13,900,000 Hellmuth, Volpe In Omaha 8 Top 10 Event #9, the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship saw some very big names take part in the action, with 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil ‘the Poker Brat’ Hellmuth reaching the final day with an 8th-placed stack of 550,000 chips. The chip leader overnight is Andrew Yeh, whose massive pile of 995,000 represents a chip lead few have enjoyed so far after Day 1, with his nearest challengers Chris Vitch and Alan Sternberg, both of whom are some way back from the pacesetter with 650,000. Other big names hover not far behind, with Paul Volpe (445,000), Day 1 chip leader Michael Noori (370,000), Robert Mizrachi (340,000), and Brian Rast (165,000) all surviving a tricky Day 2. WSOP 2021 Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship: Andrew Yeh - 995,000 Chris Vitch - 650,000 Alan Sternberg - 650,000 Ben Landowski - 630,000 Ken Aldridge - 595,000 Aditya Prasetyo - 560,000 Eddie Blumenthal - 555,000 Phil Hellmuth - 550,000 Khamar Xaytavone - 485,000 Paul Volpe - 445,000 Take It To The Limit Finally, Event #12, the $1,500 Limit hold’em bracelet event saw Jeremy Maher bag the chip lead after Day featured 422 total entries. With a prize pool of $563,370 generated, just under a third of those who took to the felt survived, with the money bubble yet to burst. Day 2 will see plenty of big names in the hunt to reach the final 64 players and enter the money places, before pushing towards the $124,374 top prize and WSOP gold bracelet. They will include the chip leader Jeremy Maher (226,500) and Zinno, who bagged up 217,500 chips ahead of some reputable rivals in the shape of Yuval Bronshtein (141,500), and Barry Greenstein (86,500), and former WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen (60,000) to name just three. With stars such as Dan Shak (55,000), Ronnie Bardah (52,000), and Jason Somerville (48,000) all still in with a shout, it is bound to be a high-caliber fight to reach the final table. Other stars of the felt didn’t survive, with mixed game regulars Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb and David ‘ODB’ Baker all failing to make the Day 2 cut. WSOP 2021 Event #12 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: Jeremy Maher - 226,000 Anthony Zinno - 217,500 Truong Tran - 195,000 Kristopher Burchfield - 194,500 John Bunch - 192,500 Aldon Patatanyan - 190,000 John Esposito - 187,500 Mori Eskandani - 173,500 Arthur Cole - 165,000 Tom McCormick - 160,500 Finally, while she may have stepped back from poker in the last few years to raise her family, Vanessa Selbst, always enjoys it when someone asks her if she used to play and knows their friend who also enjoys the game. A bit. https://twitter.com/VanessaSelbst/status/1445534865567461376
  16. It was a day for both recreational player success and elite pro progression at the 2021 World Series of Poker as Phil Hellmuth made his second final table of the series while Jason Koon and Daniel Zack progressed to the semifinals in the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship. Plus, Zhi Wu won a debut bracelet to turn $600 into over $281,000 in one of the best-value events of the 2021 World Series of Poker. Jason Koon, Dan Zack Make $25K Heads Up Semis The $25,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads Up Championship is one of the most prestigious events on the poker calendar and after Day 2’s play, only four men remain in the hunt the bracelet plenty of big names were after. There were plenty of intriguing match-ups in the Round of 16, but none more so than Jason Koon, the recent GGPoker ambassador taking on Johannes Becker, with Koon coming back to win the titanic tussle, winning four all-in showdowns to first survive then double and finally conquer his opponent. Elsewhere in the Round of 16, David Peters busted with two pair to a flopped set, while Julien Martini built a big lead only to watch it disappear as his chances went the same way against Bin Weng. Mikita Badziakouski lived up to his favorite tag to progress, as did Jake Daniels, but there were exits for Galen Hall and Cary Katz. In the quarterfinals, Koon took just 13 minutes to decimate Jake Daniels and become the first player through to the semifinals. Koon’s final hand was pocket queens which won in a flip against Daniels’ ace-king suited. Finnish online player Henri Puustinen joined Koon in the final four when the 21-year-old got the better of Benjamin Reason, and just a few minutes later, Daniel Zack became the third man to reach the semis, with his flush downing Weng’s two-pair to progress. The final bout of the evening to complete was the match between Badziakouski and Gabor Szabo, and while Szabo was short early on, he ground his way back into contention in a similar manner to Zack, winning from behind as he doubled up with jacks against ace-king. That hand proceeded to give him the momentum to make the last four, all of whom are guaranteed to win $89,787 but will have their eyes on the top prize of $243,981, with the quarterfinal players cashing for $36,280 each. Phil Hellmuth Makes $10K Omaha Final Table Event #9 has been one of the most entertaining events of the WSOP so far and with five players remaining, is sure to continue that way at least until Phil ‘The Poker Brat’ Hellmuth leaves the party. Of the final five, Hellmuth has by far the shortest stack, with a little over six big blinds to his name, but if anyone can perform miracles at the Rio, it’s Big Phil. The chip leader going into the final day will be Ari Engel, who will shoot for his second WSOP bracelet and is the only other player still in the reckoning with a shot at winning multiple bracelets. Engel begins on a massive stack of 3,485,000, with Zachary Milchman (1,660,000), Eddie Blumenthal (1,405,000) and Andrew Yeh (1,105,000) the chasing pack. Hellmuth starts the final day with just 390,000 chips. If it all goes wrong, Phil, just remember Doyle Brunson’s most recent words on Twitter. https://twitter.com/TexDolly/status/1445818952819490820 WSOP 2021 Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table Chipcounts: Ari Engel - 3,485,000 Zachary Milchman - 1,660,000 Eddie Blumenthal - 1,405,000 Andrew Yeh - 1,105,000 Phil Hellmuth - 390,000 Zhi Wu Takes Home Gold Zhi Wu won his first WSOP bracelet as he defeated Ari Mezrich heads-up to claim the top prize of $281,604 in the $600-entry NLHE Deepstack Event #6. Heading into the final five with the lead, Wu watched as Chrishan Sivasundaram eliminated Nicholas Zautra just a few minutes into play. Zautra shoved pre-flop for eight big blinds with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jh"] and was quickly called by Sivasundaram with [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Qd"]. The flop of [poker card="7d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"] kept Zautra ahead, as did the [poker card="9c"] turn, but the [poker card="Kd"] river sent him home in fifth place for $76,974 and vaulted Sivasundaram into the lead. That didn’t last long, however as Wu busted Ryan Chan in fourth place for $100,330 when his [poker card="8s"][poker card="4h"] dominated and defeated Chan’s [poker card="6c"][poker card="4c"] after all the money went in on a [poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop. With three players left, Wu was leading, holding more chips than his two opponents combined. The next elimination would be critical and when Wu got it, busting Sivasundaram, it gave him a massive lead heads-up. Sivasundaram was all-in when short with [poker card="Jc"][poker card="2c"], but Wu called him with [poker card="7d"][poker card="3d"] from the big blind and the [poker card="As"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3s"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6s"] board sent Sivasundaram home in third for $131,675. Heads-up, Wu let his huge lead of almost 10:1 in chips slide to being only ahead by three big blinds. That was when the final hand played out, with Wu’s raise with [poker card="As"][poker card="Ac"] called by Ari Mezrich with [poker card="Tc"][poker card="7c"]. The flop of [poker card="Jd"][poker card="Ts"][poker card="2c"] saw Wu continue for a small bet and Mezrich call, but on the [poker card="3h"] turn, Wu’s shove was called by his opponent who was drawing to just two outs, neither of which came on the [poker card="Jh"] river. With Mezrich winning $173,998 for his second-place finish, it was Wu who became the latest first-time bracelet winner is a World Series so far dominated by debutants, taking home the top prize of over a quarter of a million dollars. WSOP 2021 Event #8 $600 NLHE Deepstack Final Table Results: Zhi Wu - $281,604 Ari Mezrich - $173,998 Chrishan Sivasundaram - $131,675 Ryan Chan - $100,330 Nicholas Zautra - $76,974 The 2021 World Series of Poker has so far been populated by the poker-playing masses in a manner that suggests a second poker boom really could be around the corner. Shannon Shorr is one of hundreds of players to highlight it during the series so far. https://twitter.com/ShannonShorr/status/1445872583224664070 That said, it may be that we see less of Landon Tice than we might have thought at first as the young phenom has admitted a touch of burnout. https://twitter.com/LandonTice/status/1445810713646141453 Take It To The Limit, One More Time It is Kevin Erickson who leads the remaining 16 players in Event #12, the $1,500-entry Limit Hold’em event, with just two former bracelet winners still chasing gold. Erickson bagged up 1,435,000 at the end of a nine-hour day at the felt to lead from Mike Lancaster (1,240,000), the only other player to end the day with a seven-figure stack of chips. Players to cash on the second day of the event after the money bubble burst but fail to make the final day included Anthony Zinno (38th for $3,007), Day 1 chip leader Jeremy Maher (44th for $3,307), former WSOP world champion Joe McKeehen (45th for $3,007) and Philip Tom, who snuck into the money in 64th place for $2,406. WSOP 2021 Event #12 $1,500 Limit Hold'em Top 10 Chipcounts: Kevin Erickson - 1,435,000 Mike Lancaster - 1,240,000 Tony Nasr - 885,000 Guy Cicconi - 830,000 Ian Glycenfer - 795,000 John Bunch - 795,000 Tom McCormick - 775,000 Yuval Bronshtein - 770,000 Tina Tateossian - 700,000 Anh Van Nguyen - 685,000 $3K Freezeout Gets Off The Ground The first event that kicked off on Day 7 of the 2021 WSOP was Event #13, the $3,000 NLHE Freezeout. At the end of Day 1, just 108 players survived from the total field of 720 entries, with Andrew Jeong the overnight chip leader with 1,003,000 chips. Chasing down Jeong are players such as Antony Darmani (888,000) and Brandon Caputo (883,000), but there are plenty of other luminaries looking to make hay. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (335,000), Christian Harder (293,000), and Darren Elias (205,000) will all feel confident of adding to their resumes with yet another major trophy. Others were not so lucky, with Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, David Peters, Stephen Chidwick, and Erik Seidel all entering but failing to make the chip counts, but the money bubble didn’t burst until late in the day, with Silvio Costa the player to miss out on profit, his ace-queen unable to hit against the pocket tens of four-time WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy. WSOP 2021 Event #13 $3,000 NLHE Freezeout Top 10 Chipcounts: Andrew Jeong - 1,003,000 Antony Darmani - 888,000 Brandon Caputo - 883,000 Landen Lucas - 753,000 Yohwan Lim - 720,000 Brock Parker - 680,000 Frederic Heller - 635,000 Steve Foutty - 612,000 Ben Farrell - 607,000 Michael Gathy - 590,000 Heimiller, Albini, Williams Make $1,500 Stud Day 1 Top 10 The opening day of Event #14, the $1,500-entry Seven Card Stud event was the final event to end for the night, with 15 levels of play whittling a field of 260 entries down to just 76 players. Of those, plenty of well-known pros will be on the hunt for glory on Day 2, with bracelet winners Brendan Taylor (236,500), Kevin Gerhart (220,500), Dan Heimiller (184,000), Steven Albini (174,500) and WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams (172,500) all ending in the top 10 chipcounts at the end of the day. The prizepool of $348,435 will produce a top prize of $82,262 in the event. WSOP 2021 Event #14 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Top 10 Chipcounts: Elias Hourani - 240,000 Brendan Taylor - 236,500 Jeffrey Mitseff - 228,000 Kevin Gerhart - 220,500 Dan Heimiller - 184,000 Steve Albini - 174,500 David Williams - 172,500 Hal Rotholz - 154,500 William Buckley - 138,000 David Singer - 128,000 And finally, with the Seniors Event due to start soon, some players have taken to face-altering apps to prove their elderly credentials. Nice try, Niall Farrell, nice try. We know you’ll do anything to play in the WSOP, but this is ridiculous. https://twitter.com/Firaldo87poker/status/1445768446428397573
  17. Tyler Cornell conquered the $25,000-entry NLHE High Roller Event #6 to win his maiden WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas as he took down a final table featuring Adrian Mateos and Mustapha Kanit among others. The five-handed final day of High Roller action aside, four other events moved closer to a conclusion with plenty of drama along the way. Cornell Captures First Career Bracelet Cornell’s victory in the $25,000-entry High Roller saw the American claim his first WSOP bracelet. The action began with Adrian Mateos at the bottom of the chip counts, but he was not the first player to bust. Italian pro Mustapha Kanit moved all-in with [poker card="As"][poker card="Kh"] on a flop of [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Jh"][poker card="6s"] and was well behind Jonathan Jaffe’s [poker card="Qc"][poker card="Tc"]. The turn or river needed to hit Kanit’s cards or find one of the three remaining tens in the deck, but the [poker card="9c"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river doomed him to a fifth-place finish worth $216,842. With four players left, the lead changed hands a number of times, with Adrian Mateos doubling back into contention and holding the chip lead himself, a stunning turnaround from his position going into play. Jaffe had failed with an ambitious bluff in the previous hand when he got his last big blind into the middle preflop with [poker card="Kh"][poker card="5h"], only to be called then eliminated by Michael Liang’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kc"] on a board that played out [poker card="Jc"][poker card="9s"][[poker card="4s"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6h"]. Jaffe’s finish was worth $286,202. Three-handed play lasted a long time, even after Cornell’s flopped trips left Mateos short. Despite two double up, it was soon adiós to the only WSOP bracelet winner who remained when Mateos moved all-in pre-flop with [poker card="Ah"][poker card="9c"] and was called by Cornell with [poker card="9s"][poker card="9d"]. The eight-high board sent Mateos out in third place for $381,870. Heads-up saw Cornell go into battle with an overwhelming lead of 9:1 in chips. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Michael Liang’s fearless approach earned him not one but two double-ups to suggest he might be back in with a shot at glory and his own first WSOP bracelet. Cornell, however, was not to be denied his moment and eventually got it in good with [poker card="Ac"][poker card="2c"] against Liang’s [poker card="Ks"][poker card="2d"] pre-flop. The ace-high flop of [poker card="Ad"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3d"] put Cornell into a terrific position to seal the victory and although the [poker card="Td"] offered Liang hope of a miraculous runner-runner flush, the [poker card="2h"] river denied him and gave Cornell the hand and the WSOP bracelet with it. Liang’s runner-up finish was worth $515,014 but it was Tyler Cornell who went wire-to-wire to win the biggest prize of the 2021 World Series of Poker so far, $833,289, and of course the fabled WSOP gold bracelet. Event #6 $25,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table Results: Tyler Cornell - $833,289 Michael Liang - $515,014 Adrian Mateos - $381,870 Jonathan Jaffe - $286,202 Mustapha Kanit - $216,842 Mohammad Arani - $166,102 Paul Newey - $128,654 Adam Hendrix - $100,773 Five Left To Fight For $500,000 in the Reunion The Reunion has already made waves at the WSOP on its return to the Rio and from 12,973 official entries, just five hopefuls remain in the hunt for the WSOP bracelet and $513,604 top prize. Across a grueling 17 hours of play, 678 players lost their tournament lives, and with just five players left, it is Long Ma who leads the final table with 260 million chips. Ma is followed in the chip counts by Guiliano Lentini (133.9 million), Alex Vazquez (114. million), and Max Tavepholjalern (114.3 million), with Michael Eddy bringing up the rear, short-stacked with 27.6 million. Plenty of big names lost their stacks along the way, with legends of the felt such as Ryan Leng (248th for $2,940), Barry Greenstein (201st for $3,350) and Ronnie Bardah (75th for $6,081) Ryan Laplante led the field late on but plummeted to bust in 19th place for $18,117. Adrian Buckley was the final WSOP bracelet winner to bust in 9th place for $53,625, meaning whoever wins will be a first-time champion. The tournament overall has been nothing but a huge success, attracting plenty of amateurs and recreational players, along with former WSOP world champions such as Greg Raymer. https://twitter.com/FossilMan/status/1444839310218260483   The $600-entry Event #8 saw an amazing 4,527 entries across Day 1, creating a prizepool of over $2.3 million. It was Krisd Gabrialian who prevailed as chip leader by the end of the day, with his stack of 3,230,000 dwarfing even his nearest challengers, Shahriar Assareh (2,300,000) and Brandon Hatter (1,875,000). As this video shows, attendances at the Rio are clearly not affected in a negative way by the pandemic protocols that need to be followed. https://twitter.com/RobGardnerLive/status/1444742969051926530 $600 Deepstack Brings Out The Crowds With so many players arriving to take part in a $600 competition, many have questioned the prestige of a WSOP bracelet with the buy-in being this low. Popular poker pro Matt Berkey advocates the change in direction, however, in a refreshing Twitter post. https://twitter.com/berkey11/status/1445196214161473538 With Day 1 also a good day for players such as former WSOP bracelet winners Joey Weisman (1,375,000), Craig Varnell (1,245,000), Eric Baldwin (965,000), and Seth Fischer (955,000), just 216 players from that mammoth field remain to play down to a winner on Day 2 and a top prize of $281,604. Event #8 $600 NLHE Deepstack Top 10 Chipcounts: Krisd Gabrialian - 3,230,000 Shahriar Assareh - 2,300,000 Brandon Hatter - 1,875,000 Brad Albrinck - 1,760,000 Roland Rokita - 1,705,000 Noam Muallem - 1,540,000 Nathan Manuel - 1,500,000 Ari Mezrich - 1,490,000 Stephen Seffense - 1,455,000 Michael Ung - 1,405,000 Henson Leads Dealer's Choice, Another Deep Run For Hellmuth Event #7, the $1,500-entry Dealer’s Choice already looks like being remembered as one of the most enjoyable events of the series, especially for those who played in it. With just 11 players surviving to the final day, it is Ray Henson (1,365,000) who will go into the final day as the chip leader. Henson is just a three-bet clear of two highly talented players in Ian O’Hara (1,310,000) and Christopher Lindner (1,260,000), so everything is to play for. https://twitter.com/Ray_Henson/status/1445333920162009096 Of the other survivors on a day where 88 players were cut down to less than a dozen, there are still four former WSOP bracelet winners with chips, as Andrew Kelsall (835,000), Overnight chip leader Nathan Gamble (480,000), Naoya Kihara (400,000) and Adam Friedman (330,000) all go into the final day with genuine hope of repeating the feeling of winning gold yet again. Finishing inside the money but outside the top dozen players were Eli Elezra (20th for $3,593) and Phil Hellmuth, who departed in 18th place for $4,429 before updating his fans on his first two events and cashes so far this series. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1445328408800497666 Event #7 $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Final 11 Chipcounts: Ray Henson - 1,365,000 Ian O'Hara - 1,310,000 Christopher Lindner - 1,260,000 Jaswinder Lally - 880,000 Andrew Kelsall - 835,000 Nathan Gamble - 480,000 Jeremy Heartberg - 405,000 Naoya Kihara - 400,000 Adam Friedman - 330,000 Craig Chait - 235,000 Adam Kipnis - 175,000 $10K Omaha Gets Underway The final event of the day to bag up chips and call it a night was the $10,000-entry Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event, one of many mixed game events that take place early on the schedule. It was Michael Noori who managed to bag the biggest stack with an impressive 345,000 chips. He's closely followed by the very familiar name of Jerry Wong, however, who reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event just five years ago. With poker legends David Benyamine (198,000) and George Wolff (172,000) both in the top 10, there is all to play for with players of real quality on every table. Event #9 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts: Michael Noori - 345,000 Jerry Wong - 279,000 Chad Eveslage - 278,000 Andrew Yeh - 255,000 Christopher Vitch - 210,000 David Benyamine - 198,000 Aditya Prasetyo - 181,000 Todd Rodenborn - 173,000 George Wolff - 172,000 Erik Sagstrom - 172,000 Finally, if the Rio diet or armchair diet are overwhelming you with a dangerous combination of carbohydrates or couch potato chips, you'll want to see GGPoker's attempt to make us all feel like we need to hit the treadmill to turn back time. Welcome, Jason Koon. Just take a seat in a high roller and stop making us look bad! https://twitter.com/GGPoker/status/1444804239990181894
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Three events kicked off the action on a busy opening day of the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as the Rio returns to poker action for what is heavily rumored to be the final time. With the $500 Casino Employees event offering the first ‘Shuffle Up and Deal!’ of the series and $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. and $1,000 COVID-19 Relief Charity events also taking place, there was something for every bankroll on opening day. Eveslage the Leader in $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. With 73 entries, the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event #2 attracted some of the best mixed games players in poker, with former #1-ranked Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Matthew Ashton all pitching up to take part from the off. After over 11 hours at the felt, just 47 players remained, with Chad Eveslage well clear of the chasing pack on 860,000 chips. Eveslage, who has never won a WSOP bracelet, was top of the pile by a long way from his nearest challengers of John Monette (589,500) and Jean Gaspard (569,000) and will head into Day 2 in pole position to make a run at the title of this all-new three-day event. Cary Katz was the first player to bust, with Mike Gorodinsky sending Katz home in a Stud Hi-Lo hand where Gorodinsky’s sevens and deuces triumphed. There were strong opening days at the felt for Mike Matusow (421,500), Deeb (321,000), and Negreanu (270,000), all of whom finished above average. Elsewhere, 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (206,000) and legendary WSOP commentator Norman Chad (150,500) both made the cut. Registration is still open until the first card hits the felt when Day 2 resumes at 2 pm Vegas time, so with a prize pool that is sure to grow, there is plenty of excitement ahead for a thrilling event. Event #2 $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Top 10 Chip Counts: Chad Eveslage - 860,000 John Monnette - 589,500 Jean Gaspard - 569,000 Jesse Klein - 490,500 Mike Matusow - 420,500 Adam Friedman - 420,500 Chris Vitch - 371,500 Shaun Deeb - 321,000 Hal Rotholz - 314,000 Randy Ohel - 295,000 Just Five Remain In Event For COVID Relief Event #3, the $1,000-entry COVID-19 Relief Charity took place with 266 players taking to the felt, creating a prize pool of $205,400 and a top prize of $54,844. With 39 players paid, play went down to the final five, with the great and good gathering to play poker and donate money to help those who are most vulnerable at the same time, with the eventual chip leader, Jesse Lonis, ending the night on 2,285,000 chips. Plenty of big names busted outside the money, including three-time WSOP winner Adrian Mateos, fellow three-time winner Upeshka De Silva, and Maurice Hawkins. Hovering halfway down the chip counts for much of Day 1 but also failing to make the money was a former World Champion in the shape of Ryan Riess, who had a serendipitous seat to welcome him to the Rio, the scene of his greatest triumph, with a cameo from legendary WSOP bracelet winner Ron McMillen to boot. https://twitter.com/RyanRiess1/status/1443744580717801494 Once the bubble burst, players such as Ali Imsirovic (32nd for $1,590) Ryan Laplante (31st for $1,590), Pavel Plesuv (26th for $1,817), Shannon Shorr (21st for $1,817), Dylan Linde (20th for $1,817), Ryan Riess (18th for $2,000) and Matt Stout (16th for $2,000) all making the money but missing out on the final table. In the end, of the five players who remain, it was Lonis who led. With just four players between Lonis and a WSOP bracelet - including Jeremy Ausmus and former #1-ranked Steve Gross - it's only Lonis and Asher Coniff yet to win WSOP bracelets. Event #3 COVID-19 Charity Event Final Table Chip Counts: Jesse Lonis - 2,285,000 Jeremy Ausmus - 1,345,000 Asher Conniff - 755,000 Steve Gross - 485,000 Mitchell Halverson - 385,000 "Shuffle Up And Deal" The $500-entry Casino Employees Event kicked off the 2021 WSOP in style, with 419 entries making a prize pool of $175,980. Leo Abbe led the field after the day’s conclusion, sitting on a massive pile of 537,000 chips, with Shaun Weintraub (474,000) and Roberto Reyna (461,000) his closest challengers in an all-American top 10. One player who enjoyed his day at the felt in the first event of the series was Jesse Fullen, who provided commentary on the WSOP Online series for thousands of poker fans to enjoy this summer. Fullen began as he meant to go on, busting a player early then continuing to run up his stack throughout the opening day, ending on 223,000 chips, well above the average. Jon Aguiar was also riding high in the event and advocated the positive atmosphere as one of the benefits of playing in the opening event. https://twitter.com/JonAguiar/status/1443753395865546754 Aguiar busted in 102nd place, outside the money, but he had good company, with former event winner Chad Holloway and Garry Gates, who finished fourth in the 2019 WSOP Main Event both failing to make the money too. With the money bubble bursting on Day 1, just 63 players made a profit on their investment. The bubble didn’t last long and when it burst, Chris Moon was the man eclipsed by the field as he busted with pocket nines to Jason Smith’s ace-ten, with both an ace and ten on the flop doing the fatal damage. In the end, just 50 players remained, with Smith making the top 10 and Abbe the chip leader heading into Day 2 of the opening event with the remaining players battling for a $39,013 top prize. Event #1 $500 Casino Employees Event Top 10 Chip Counts: Leo Abbe - 537,000 Shawn Weintraub - 474,000 Roberto Reyna - 461,000 Andrew Bart - 422,000 Akash Desai - 415,000 Jack Behrens - 363,000 Marco Starnoni - 363,000 Jason Smith - 351,000 James Barnett - 343,000 Daniel Kim - 337,000
  21. This summer, a 16-year association between the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and the World Series of Poker comes to a close. With poker’s biggest annual festival rumored to be heading to Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Event Center starting in the summer of 2022, the curtain comes down on the Rio’s time as host of poker’s signature series of life-changing tournaments. The Rio has been what the WSOP has needed, exactly at the time it needed it. For some, the lasting images of the World Series of Poker come from yesteryear, with legends of the game such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan winning big at Binion’s. While Binion’s has a great history, the Rio is where poker’s boom led to the growth of the game and its cavernous corridors have provided us with some of the most memorable moments ever witnessed at the felt. Many dramatic moments have followed in the Thunderdome, from Daniel Negreanu’s collapse after near-bubbling the final table to Phil Hellmuth’s record-breaking WSOP bracelet win in 2007 to Mark Newhouse’s celebrated reverse-curse on himself in WSOP the subsequent WSOP Main Event to his career-high score. https://twitter.com/mark_hizzle/status/486037130632638465 Binion’s had the gloriously claustrophobic nature of a state-wide game only much bigger. They hosted the WSOP while it was predominantly an American-attended festival. Fans were four or five deep at the rail, so close to Johnny Chan during his victory against Erik Seidel that they could have reached out and helped him push his chips over the line. The Rio, however, ushered in a new age of poker. During a time when poker enjoyed its years of growth and became more appealing to the mainstream, the rail increased and had to be moved back. Seating was erected in the Thunderdome, and in other rooms, with fans being kept at a modest distance. Antonio Esfandiari’s victory in the $1 million-entry Big One for One Drop in 2012 remains a watershed moment in poker and it all took place in the Thunderdome. From Sam Trickett’s quad threes against Brian Rast to ‘The Magician’ winning the bracelet and being held aloft by his friends and family after he got the better of the Brit heads-up, the event lived in the glow of flashbulbs. When thinking of the World Series of Poker at the Rio what comes to mind to this reporter is one hand in particular. In 2010, Jonathan Duhamel took down the WSOP Main Event to win $8.9 million when he dominated the final table. But in truth, Duhamel took the biggest step to victory when he won possibly the best hand the Rio has ever seen against Matt Affleck. Affleck had pocket aces, Duhamel had pocket jacks and somehow, all the money went in on a turn that saw Affleck a 4:1 favorite. Duhamel needed his straight draw or a jack to come in on the river and when it did, Affleck’s subsequent reaction was heartbreaking and incredible in equal measure. To the legendary commentary of Norman Chad and Lon McEachern, two men whose partnership has itself flourished at the Rio, a “thunderstruck” Affleck burst out of the Thunderdome and threw his water bottle against the wall. A few minutes later, Affleck returned to shake the hand of everyone at the table, ending in Duhamel himself. If the moment started awkwardly, it ended by transcending poker and showing the humanity that exists between poker players. Sure the Rio has its flaws. Poker can be about stepping into a teeming mass of sweat and closeness, shoulder-to-shoulder with your best friend and your biggest enemy - who, in a poker tournament, can be exactly the same person. It can feel like a cauldron. The Rio is often the opposite - it's a ‘cooler’. It's famous for its ice-cold temperatures forcing players to wrap up warm once they walk out of the Vegas sunshine and into the building where the last 15 World Champions have been crowned. Players who don’t insulate or consume enough vitamins have complained of the ‘Rio Flu’ years before COVID came along. In recent years, though, the WSOP Player of the Year has captivated fans for entire summers. With dozens of flags depicting former winners adorning every side of the two main cardrooms, each race has gathered its own momentum inside its echo chambers populated by thousands of poker players. From queues for the restroom and registration desk that snake through the labyrinthine pathways that criss-cross the Rio hallways to the stands of phone battery sellers and massage machines, there is no place like it. The Rio will go down in poker history as the venue where poker grew up, where it became the beast that can now never be tamed. The World Series of Poker will move on in 2022, but the memories of poker's time at the Rio will echo forever. How many more become eternal this Autumn remains as poker should, in the hands of the players who make the game what it is.
  22. Well, 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth didn’t get to the top of the heap by giving up, and apparently, he’s not going to start now. Hellmuth announced over the weekend that he was going to ignore our well-intentioned advice and challenge Tom Dwan to a rematch in High Stakes Duel. The decision sets up High Stakes Duel III Round 3, where this time both players will pony up $200,000 for a seat at the table. When you rattle off seven wins in a row, it’s understandable that you can bend the rules a little. Originally, when past players have been ousted in the Duel, they have traditionally had 72-hours to decide if they will call for a rematch (provided they haven’t been beaten three times in a row). For “The Poker Brat” it appears that PokerGO gave him a little more time to figure out his next move. Dwan originally dethroned Hellmuth in a five-and-a-half-hour battle back on August 26 and now, eight days later, just when you thought he was out…Hellmuth pulls you back in. It’s too early to know the details of exactly when Dwan and Hellmuth will face off again but it will for sure take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas and when it does, for anyone who follows poker, there will simply be no escaping knowing about it. And why not run it back? Sure, some poker pundits may have predicted that Hellmuth would bow out but that doesn’t mean that seeing these two go at it again isn’t great for poker. There are simply too many unanswered questions that need to be resolved: How will Hellmuth handle entering the arena as the challenger as opposed to the champion? What adjustments might each player make with their experience in the first match? What memes will be created around whatever foods Hellmuth devours tableside? This is what makes this show fun. The stakes are higher with the buy-in doubled to $200,000 (a level Hellmuth hit with both Esfandiari and Negreanu) but arguably so is the entertainment value. And everyone involved seems to know that. So, with the High Stakes Poker belt back up for grabs, prepare yourself for a second helping of Dwan vs. Hellmuth - coming soon (presumably).
  23. It was late in London. The early morning actually, and Erik Seidel, one of poker’s most iconic figures, was back on the grind. Already in the United Kingdom to celebrate his youngest daughter’s wedding, the poker legend decided to extend his stay in the UK’s capital to take care of some business. Specifically, the business of high-stakes poker. And at this moment, his deep run in GGPoker WSOP Online Event #11 ($10,000 Super MILLION$ High Roller) was taking him back to the beginning of his career. “I haven’t stayed up that late for poker since I was in my 20’s,” Seidel said, referring to the overnight hours of Day 1 of the gold bracelet event. “London isn’t ideal for me because I’m a morning person and Day One lasted ’til the next morning.” Even casual fans are familiar with Seidel’s impact on poker and his history that took him from the early days of Mayfair Club in New York to the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. His career has spanned 40 years and in that time he’s earned nearly $38 million in recorded live earnings. He’s a World Poker Tour champion and, prior to the online high roller he was playing in, had previously won eight WSOP bracelets, making him one of the most prolific players in WSOP history. Seidel didn’t know it at the time but after that sleepless night, he was just days away from adding to his legacy with WSOP bracelet #9. For a player who has experienced just about everything there is to experience in the game of poker, Seidel admits he still feels “out of [his] element online”, making his victory one of the most unique moments of his career. [caption id="attachment_636078" align="alignleft" width="300"] Seidel's online winning moment.[/caption] “I’m just never that comfortable online,” he said. “I like it, it’s nice to be able to play a tourney in bed, but I make mistakes. I had two misclicks at the final table. It’s easier for me to get distracted and there’s always that concern that I’ll lose connection.” In fact, he did lose connection at one point while playing in his hotel on spotty Wi-Fi. But, obviously, the man they call Seiborg recovered nicely. He navigated his way through the field of 624 entries, made the final table, and bested a final nine that included Rui Ferreira, Isaac Baron, Thomas Muehloecker, and eventual runner-up, Francisco Benitez. When it was all over, Seidel won more than $977,000 and made WSOP history. He earned that ninth bracelet and moved into a tie with poker legend Johnny Moss for fifth (third-most) in all-time WSOP bracelets. “Winning any WSOP event is special,” Seidel said when asked where his online bracelet ranks. “This one was extra great for me because it was so unexpected. Getting through 600+ players and then the prize was close to one million, which I think is my biggest WSOP cash, felt really amazing. Might be my favorite.” [caption id="attachment_636079" align="alignright" width="219"] 2007 WSOP victory in NL 2-7 Lowball for bracelet #8.[/caption] That said, as special as winning another bracelet is for him, 14 years after winning #8, Seidel hasn’t been consumed with the bracelet chase as, perhaps, some other pre-poker boom prominent players. “I can’t say I really get caught up in bracelet fever,” he said. “My focus has been much more on higher buy-in No Limit events. If you really want to rack up bracelets, you’ve got to play the high buy-in limit events at the WSOP, the No Limit fields are way too big. I play a limited amount of events at the WSOP, and I love playing them, but I’m not trying to maximize my chances by playing every event.” It would be tough for anyone to not want to push if given the chance to break into double-digit bracelets. It’s well-known that there are currently only four players with 10 or more. Phil Hellmuth is the all-time leader with 15. And then, tied for second, all with 10, are Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey - a club that’s hasn’t admitted a new member since 2014. Now, Seidel is knocking on the door. At 61, he says he has no intentions of slowing down and has set his sights on playing a healthy schedule at this year’s WSOP. “I love playing, I hope I can continue competing for a while. I expect to play 20-something events at the WSOP although I’m really disappointed in the WSOP schedule this year, the big NL events that I’d love to play in are all very close to Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see if I can play them.”
  24. “What he has now is real problems,” Ali Nejad said as he called the action on PokerGO's High Stakes Duel III. “Dwan binks the nine on the turn, a demoralizing development…and now, Hellmuth has twelve outs, or the streak is over.” The river was a brick for the defending champion and as soon as Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan rose from their seats to share a friendly handshake in the center of the frame, the headlines were already being written: Tom Dwan Dethrones Phil Hellmuth in Round 2 of High Stakes Duel III The entertaining five-and-a-half-hour match gave fans just about everything they could have wanted. There was Dwan back in the poker spotlight, public closure over the duo’s famous 2008 feud, and, of course, peak Hellmuth - jovial and steaming, cursing and eating. (Oh, the eating!) That’s a big part of what makes High Stakes Duel work. Of course, for die-hard fans, the poker is critical. But, for many, it’s the dynamics between the players that make HSD good TV. And sure, by the end of the broadcast the big question of "who will win?" is always answered, but the show is more than just a point tally on a scoreboard. Emerging from this match were plenty of other storylines that were fun to see play out and could also play a big part in the future of the show. That was ‘Durrrr’, this is Dwan. You know the story: Dr. Bruce Banner infused himself with high doses of gamma rays while in the lab altering his DNA so when he becomes angry he transforms into…the Incredible Hulk! Banner is always trying to control his temper, but when the rage comes out the Hulk gets loose, and he destroys everything in his path. Perhaps Tom Dwan is a little like Dr. Banner. In the late 2000s, at the height of the online poker boom, Dwan exposed himself high doses of understanding ranges (before most people understood ranges) while “in the lab” and when he appeared on TV he transformed into “Durrrr”, the incredible online wunderkind who destroyed every bankroll in his path. That was then. His amazing, creative style of play is what Dwan built his reputation on. It's why still today fans are attracted to watching him play, despite him spending the better part of a decade grinding private ultra-stakes behind closed doors. But this is now: “The thing about high stakes poker back then was…a lot of people were missing some pretty core concepts and it gave me a lot of flexibility,” he said on PokerGO’s HSD “Weigh-In” show. “I just played this WPT show a week ago and I couldn’t really get that out of line, everyone’s studied No Limit a ton. I had a lot more options ten years ago.” That showed during his High Stakes Duel with Hellmuth as Dwan played a measured game, never really getting out of line, never really putting Hellmuth to the test with a less than adequate hand. Instead, he settled into the match, taking it seriously (when many thought he wouldn’t), and let the match come to him. Additionally, Dwan had an answer to Hellmuth's antics. Nothing. Whereas all of Hellmuth's previous opponents had a tendency to jaw back-and-forth with "The Poker Brat", Dwan never flinched. He never seemed compelled to answer back. Instead, Dwan kept his cool rather than responding with taunts like he did in his 2008 NBC Heads Up Poker Championship. He soldiered on, a wry smirk or left-looking glance here or there, but in general, he simply took care of business. Certainly, ‘Durrrr’ will emerge at some point in the future, but right now Tom Dwan looked like he was in complete control. Did Hellmuth actually...win? No doubt about it, the streak is over. Hellmuth’s reign as the undisputed king of High Stakes Duel has come to an end. But, honestly, is that a bad thing for Hellmuth? At the time of this writing, Hellmuth has yet to accept a rematch against Dwan and, if he doesn’t, who can blame him? He can credibly claim he has nothing left to prove in the format. He bested Antonio Esfandiari three times. He came back from a 19:1 deficit against Daniel Negreanu and ended up sweeping him in three straight. Finally, he played an experienced amateur in Nick Wright (something Dwan called him one of the best at) and took care of business. Plus, every sponsor of Hellmuth - from energy drinks to altcoins - must be happy with the amount of exposure he’s given them (far more than 24 total hours of screen time) on this show. Whenever the opportunity presented itself Hellmuth (is “shilling” too harsh a word?) took the opportunity to promote those who support him. A loss to Dwan marks the perfect time to exit stage left. Hellmuth, almost notoriously, is averse to stakes that climb too high. Yes, he played the 2012 Big One For One Drop with its $1 million buy-in, but for a player who sometimes has extended stays at the Aria Resort & Casino he’s notably absent in the regularly running $10Ks that take place in the Aria poker room. When it comes to bankroll management and game selection, super high-stakes tournaments are not traditionally where Hellmuth has found his success. So with the next High Stakes Duel, should PokerGO continue down the road they have established, be Round 3 would have a buy-in of $200,000. Win or lose, Hellmuth’s next option would be a $400,000 match. If Hellmuth were to win, he would be forced to defend a title at $400,000 and, in order to walk away, play and win a Round 5 that comes with a $800,000 price tag - legitimately making it among the biggest buy-in tournaments of all time. Losing to Dwan makes it the perfect time for Hellmuth to step aside under the notion that all his focus needs to be on his first love - the World Series of Poker. No one would blame Hellmuth for saving all his #WhiteMagic for chasing bracelet #16. Plus, by saving a $200K buy-in, Hellmuth could play just about every event on the WSOP schedule if he wanted to (provided he can pull himself away from his new bestie Mr. Beast.) All in all, a Round 2 loss to Dwan could end up being an easy exit and the real win for Hellmuth. Will PokerGO push Dwan (and the show) into deep waters? “If no one challenges a winner within 30 days of the previous match, that last winner declares victory.” The original High Stakes Duel rules have the stakes doubling through Round 8 “resulting in a potential prize pool of $12,800,000” and a player needing to win three straight matches before Round Six (or two in a row from Round Five) in order to cash out and win. If that stays true (it’s a TV show so producers can change the rules at will), there could be some incredibly high stakes to fight for in the next few months. As mentioned earlier, Dwan would play again at $200,000 and whoever wins that would need to battle at twice that with only Dwan having the potential to walk away with a victory and an $800,000 prize pool. That seems to be the minimum. So, all eyes will be on how far can the show go and how big is the player pool to help them get there. By the time Round 4 takes place, a $400,000 buy-in is bigger than PokerGO’s marquee event, the Super High Roller Bowl and it’s unlikely that there’s a massive player pool willing to play at those stakes in such a shallow format. Phil Ivey is a natural fit, and fans would love to see it. A rehashing of the “Durrrr Challenge” debate could take place if Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates were to answer the call. Maybe it would be a nosebleed tournament pro like Justin Bonomo, Dan Smith, Andrew Robl or All-Time Money List leader Bryn Kenney. As the rounds go higher, would the wealthiest of businessmen in the poker space need to courted? Players like Paul Phua, Rick Solomon, or perhaps even PokerGO founder Cary Katz himself. This is what is on the horizon for the show itself. It looks like either the initial premise is about to pay off on the promise of astronomical heads-up stakes or a hard reset is right around the corner with two new combatants creating new storylines (in anticipation of a Phil Hellmuth return.) More on the conversation on High Stakes Duel can be heard on The FIVES Poker Podcast below:
  25. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Jeff Walsh, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. This week on The FIVES, Lance and Jeff bring you all of the need-to-know news from this week in the world of poker including Tom Dwan stopping Phil Hellmuth's win streak on High Stakes Duel III, news from the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the latest results from WSOP Online and WCOOP, and Phil Ivey finding his way back to the winner's circle. Plus, a big announcement about the future of The FIVES! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
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