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  1. [caption width="640"] Ryan LaPlante won his first WSOP bracelet Saturday night in the 5 Pot Limit Omaha event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Ryan LaPlante overcame the biggest Pot Limit Omaha field in live poker history to win his first World Series of Poker bracelet and Rep Porter won his third career bracelet Saturday night at the 2016 WSOP, but it was the return of one of poker’s most loathed individuals that caused the biggest roar. Howard Lederer ended his self-imposed exile from the live tournament scene when he showed up in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship event. Lederer had been away from live tournament poker since Black Friday shut down Full Tilt Poker and exposed the company’s financial distress. In many cases, players went years without getting their funds back and Lederer, the de facto CEO of Full Tilt, settled with the U.S. government in December 2012. Lederer’s return was expected by most after he released a statement prior to the WSOP apologizing for what happened at Full Tilt. Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, another Full Tilt Poker founder, has cashed twice already this year after making his own return from a five-year hiatus. Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu, who had made the final table of the $1,500 Razz event came up just short in the quest for his seventh career bracelet. Event #12: Ryan LaPlante Gets First Bracelet in $565 Pot Limit Omaha Ryan LaPlante eliminated seven of the final right players to stand alone atop the largest Pot Limit Omaha tournament of all time Saturday night to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career and $190,328. “The World Series of Poker is the biggest thing in poker. If you don’t have a gold bracelet, to some degree some people don’t consider you as good. They’ll say, ‘Oh he’s so good, but he doesn’t have the bracelet’,” said LaPlante. “To get something like this that I have been working so hard for, for such a long time, and going through sweats, is just incredible.” The only player(s) at the final table sent to the rail at the hands of somebody other than LaPlante was Adil Khan busted in seventh after losing a hand to the player who began the day as chip leader Sean Shah. After a 90-minute heads up battle, Shah, who began the final table with the chip lead, was LaPlante’s final victim. LaPlante praised Sean’s final table game play. “Sean’s a very skilled PLO player. I knew I had to be careful with him,” said LaPlante. “Honestly, a lot of what I was doing when it got down to 3 or 4 players I had picked up from him. I started to do what he was doing.” The closest LaPlant had come to a bracelet before Saturday was a fifth place finish in a $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 2014 and the $190,328 first place cash is by far the biggest of his live career. Final Table Payouts Ryan LaPlante - $190,328 Sean Shah - $117,531 Tesfaldet Tekle - $85,870 Richard St. Peter - $63,304 Charles Coultas - $47,092 Adil Khan - $35,353 Matt Livingston - $26,786 Darryll Fish - $20,484 Grant Ellis - $15,813 Event #13: Rep Porter Wins Third Bracelet in $1500 Razz [caption width="640"] Rep Porter now has three WSOP bracelets after his win in the ,500 Razz event (WSOP photo)[/caption] When the final table of the $1,500 Razz event began all eyes were on poker’s biggest star, Daniel Negreanu, who was gunning for his sixth career bracelet. While the spotlight was firmly on Negreanu though, Rep Porter went to work and eventually found himself posing for winner photos after taking down the event for his third career bracelet, and second in Razz. Porter beat another two-time bracelet winner, Michael Gathy, heads up to win the bracelet and the $142,624 first place prize money. Despite now having three bracelets, Porter sees poker as a way to live a life that a normal job wouldn’t and yet he has no interest in becoming a poker celebrity. “I feel perfectly content going home and disappearing when it’s all over. I don’t aspire to have fame. I play poker because it gives me lots of personal freedom. It gives me time to spend with my family. It gives me time to do the things I like to do outside of poker,” said Porter. “I can work hard now at the Series for the next seven weeks, and then I can take the next five weeks off after it’s done. Poker affords me a lot of opportunity to do the things I like to do in life and it’s a pretty decent living. The game’s been good to me.” Porter now has $2,419,781*in lifetime WSOP earnings with $353,239 coming from Razz tournaments. The only two Razz cashes he has are victories. Porter beat out 362 other players in 2011 to win a $2,500 Razz event. While some people dislike the game, Porter sees the game differently. “A lot of people think Razz is a stone luck game, but I think it takes lots of skill,” Porter said. “It feels good to win the same tournament again. It kind of validates that you’re good at that game.” Shaun Deeb, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, finished eighth for $12,006 Final Table Payouts Rep Porter - $142,624 Michael Gathy - $88,146 Alexey Makarov - $60,309 Daniel Negreanu - $42,030 Brendan Taylor - $29,846 Valentin Vornicu - $21,604 Daniel Weinman - $15,945 Shaun Deeb - $12,006 Event #14: Payout Controversy Talk of the Day in $1500 Millionaire Maker Day 1B A day after the second-smallest starting flight in Millionaire Maker history, 4,102 players filed into Day 1B of the $1,500 buy-in event for the second largest starting flight in the four-year history of the event. There were 667 players who made it through their opening flight, lead by Shalev Halfa, who bagged up 250,700 but the chip leader wasn’t what everybody was talking about Saturday night. When registration closed, the payouts were announced and left a few people stunned and disappointed. First place pays $1,065,403 while the runner-up walks away with $1,000,000 - just a $65,000 pay jump. Third place wins $500,000 - a $500,000 pay jump between second and third. David Tuthill was one of a number of players to question the payouts on Twitter. Day 2 begins at 2 PM PT and will play another ten levels. Top Ten Chip Counts Alex Luneau - 454,000 Mike Matusow - 367,600 George Danzer - 313,800 Brian Hastings - 290,600 Herezel Zalewski - 204,800 David Grey - 196,900 Usman Siddique - 193,100 Todd Barlow - 190,600 Mike Watson - 184,000 Frank Kassela - 173,900
  2. [caption width="640"] Jason receiving his second bracelet of the year from his father Rick.[/caption]The 2016 World Series of Poker has 40 events in the books, a bit over halfway, and Player of the Year race is heating up. A handful of high value tournaments are slated over the next couple weeks and even though Jason Mercier’s lead looks to be solid, a win or couple deep runs from a contender could end the Summer of Mercier. Simply put, a motivated Mercier is a player to be feared. The five-time bracelet winner won two this year and a third would not only etch his name in history as the seventh player in history to win three in a year, he stands to collect mind-numbing money from bracelet bets. Mercier has seven cashes so far, with five final tables, one runner-up and in four $10,000 championship events. In a one-week span Mercier earned 366.26 points in the Deuce to Seven win, 287.70 points in Razz and 434.24 in the HORSE victory. Additionally, all of his cashes have come in different disciplines and not a single No Limit Hold’em event. Martin Kozlov sits in second place after five cashes on the Series. He most recently won the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship and earlier this year he finished fifth in the $3,000 Six Max NLH event. He made a deep run in the Summer Solstice event, barely missing the final table in 11th place for $25,335. Paul Volpe is the first former PocketFives Number One ranked player to win a bracelet in 2016 and the last player over 1,000 points. Volpe has played the WSOP regularly since 2011 and has racked up 27 cashes since playing full time. Volpe began the summer with a fourth place finish in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event and followed that up with his second career bracelet in the Eight Game Mix for $149,943. His five cashes this year have come in five different games and most recently finished in 10th place in the Six Max Championship Kozlov took down. Benny Glaser has had a very unique Series – for starters he won two bracelets in four cashes for a total of $718,669. He first took down the $1,500 Omaha HiLo event and a few days later he took down the $10,000 Omaha HiLo championship. Glaser’s first cash of the summer came in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and a week later he final tabled the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship. His first career bracelet came in 2015 in the Triple Draw variant of the same game. Ryan Laplante has spent the most time in the cashout line with nine cashes on the Series. His largest came in his first career bracelet – the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event. He earned $190,328 to push his career WSOP earnings over the $500,000-mark. He has cashed in HORSE, Six Max No Limit Hold’em, PLO, Limit Hold’em and Omaha HiLo. WSOP Player of the Year Top Ten Standings Jason Mercier – 1,695.02 Martin Kozlov – 1,252.58 Benny Glaser – 1,156.57 Michael Semenov – 1,125.12 Ryan Laplante – 1,073.13 Ian Johns – 1,059.50 Paul Volpe – 1,044.15 David Vamplew – 998.25 Bart Lybaert – 984.90 Michael Gathy – 969.30
  3. [caption width="640"] Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah added a TCOOP title to his previous WCOOP and SCOOP wins (WPT photo)[/caption] Over the course of his impressive career, Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah has won a couple of World Championship of Online Poker events and another couple of Spring Championship of Online Poker titles. But prior to Wednesday, the Canadian grinder had never managed to win a Turbo Championship of Online Poker title. Leah bested a field of 503 to win the $82 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and $6,707.46. The final table inlcuded current world #2 'lena900', Mikal 'mikal12345' Blomlie and eventual runner-up Alm 'Chillolini' Wilson. After winning the event, Leah took to Twitter to celebrate. Leah wasn't the only World Series of Poker bracelet winner to take down a TCOOP event on Wednesday though. In the very next event Ryan 'PROTENTIALmn' LaPlante beat out 904 other players over the course of five tables to win Event #39, the $215 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Shootout. The final table for LaPlante included #1-ranked Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez and Carlos 'Poeira4' Branco. LaPlante's win, which comes seven months after he won his WSOP bracelet, was worth just over $20,000 when you take into account bounties won along the way. Lebanese poker pro 'abeainy' had the single biggest score of the day after taking down Event #40, $700 Six Max Pot Limit, for $41,250.10 after chopping heads-up with Russia's 'nafnaf_funny' after the pair outlasted 342 other players. 'nafnaf_funny' eanred $33,060.83 for finishing second. Ole 'wizowizo' Schemion earned $16,162.92 for a fourth place finish while Canada's Shyam 'G's zee' Srinivasan pocketed $8,393.82 for finishing sixth. British pro 'Jmm256' beat out the biggest field of the day in Event #41, $82 No Limit Hold'em w/Big Antes, to grab $31,264.25. The event attracted a field of 4,488 entries pushing the total prize pool to $336,600. 'Jmm256' took down the event after the final five players agreed to a chip chop. Runner-up 'PokinStaR' ended up with $33,790.37 for his efforts. The final event of the day was the $27 Six Max No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and drew out 1,516 players with Dutch pro 'rodajc90' winning $15,095.71 after agreeing to a four-way chop with 'CupiRuleZ', 'The Milch666' and 'kasein'. Event #38: $82 No Limit Deuce to Seven Entries: 503 (353 entries + 150 re-entries) Prize pool: $37,725 Mike 'goleafsgoeh' Leah - $6,707.46 Alm 'Chillolini' Wilson - $4,826.15 MrMaximize - $3,472.75 Lena900 - $2,498.88 Chief0r - $1,798.12 Mikal 'mikal12345' Blomlie - $1,293.87 Kashmir_uzi - $931.03 Event #39: $215 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Shootout (Progressive KO - 50%) Entries: 905 Prize pool: $181,000 ($90,500 + $90,500 in bounties) Ryan 'PROTENTIALmn' LaPlante - $14,480 + $11,113 in bounties sincinaty118 - $10,860 + $2,867.93 in bounties batmanuga01 - $8,145 + $2,382.79 in bounties Fabrizio 'SixthSenSe19' Gonzalez - $5,430 + $3,087.09 in bounties Carlos 'Poeira4' Branco - $3,620 + $1,692.57 in bounties SuperdupaMAN - $2,244.40 + $2,288.27 in bounties Event #40: $700 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Entries: 344 Total prize pool: $228,760.00 abeainy - $41,250.10* nafnaf_funny - $33,060.83* BlackFortuna - $22,428.52 Ole 'wizowizo' Schemion - $16,162.92 will n. los - $11,647.65 Shyam 'G's zee' Srinivasan - $8,393.82 *denotes heads-up deal Event #41: $82 No Limit Hold'em w/Big Antes Entries: 4,488 Prize Pool: $336,600 Jmm256 - $31,264.25* PokinStaR - $33,790.37* jimbarbas - $28,076.24* Lachsvegas - $23,817.20* enibas888 - $17,961.19* FDBtazz - $8,484.91 twirlpro - $5,999.72 ShipitFTW911 - $4,242.40 aless_84 - $2,999.81 *denotes five-way deal Event #42: $27 Six Max No Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Total entries: 1,516 Prize pool: $150,000.00 rodajc90 - $15,095.71* CupiRuleZ - $10,998.05* The Milch666 - $9,191.66* kasein - $13,754.26* D_T_G_7777 - $3,504.48 DoItForBella - $2,231.52
  4. Three players won bracelets on Day 15 of the 2019 World Series of Poker and a couple of four-time champions put themselves in position to win their fifth. John Gorsuch, Rami Boukai, and Andrew Donabedian all ended their day by posing for winner photos. John Gorsuch Rallies to Win Millionaire Maker John Gorsuch was in a position that a lot of poker players have been in. Down to just two big blinds in a tournament and expecting the inevitable bust out. It never came for Gorsuch though. He went from two big blinds to WSOP bracelet winner and millionaire a few hours later after rallying to win the $1,500 Millionaire Maker Wednesday night. The 42-year-old from Florida has been at a WSOP final table before, finishing fifth a $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event in 2017. On Wednesday night, Gorsuch left nobody in his wake, including runner-up Kazuki Ikeuchi who started heads-up play with a 3-2 chip lead. Along with the $1.34 million score and WSOP gold bracelet, Korsuch was coveting something even simpler - the victory. “I haven’t won a tournament outright since maybe 2013 and it was a little bar tournament,” Korsuch said. Having recently sold his company, Korsuch seems to be set on simply playing cards for now and seeing where that takes him. “I’m a poker player for right now. I’ve talked to other people who’ve bought companies, sold companies. You always have that itch to figure out what’s next," Korsuch said. "Poker is awesome. I can play poker all day and all night long. This kind of helps figure out whether I want to keep doing it. Which I think I do.” Final Table Payouts John Gorsuch - $1,344,930 Kazuki Ikeuchi - $830,783 Lokesh Garg - $619,017 Vincas Tamasauskas - $464,375 Joshua Thibodaux - $350,758 Cory Albertson - $266,771 Bob Shao - $204,306 Fabian Gumz - $157,565 Joshua Reichard - $122,375 Rami Boukai Wins $1,500 Eight Game Mix After bagging up chips on Tuesday night, Rami Boukai and John Evans returned Wednesday to finish off the $1,500 Eight Game Mix event. Boukai wasted little time, taking Evans' final chips after just 45 minutes of play to capture his second bracelet and $177,294. “I don’t sleep too well in this city, I just didn’t want to fuck things up, I had a big chip lead," Boukai said of the need to play a fourth day. "It was as good of a spot as I could see myself in.” Boukai's first win came in 2009. Evan earned $109,553 as the runner-up for his largest career score and just second WSOP cash. His first came last week when he min-cashed the $1,500 HORSE event. Chris Klodnicki finished third for $72,933. Final Table Payouts Rami Boukai - $177,294 John Evans - $109,553 Chris Klodnicki - $72,933 Philip Long - $49,531 Allen Kessler - $34,329 Donny Rubinstein - $24,292 Andrew Donabedian Ships $600 PLO Deepstack Andrew Donabedian outlasted 2,576 other players to win the $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack bracelet and $205,605. He finished the job on Wednesday night, beating Todd Dreyer heads up for the third live tournament win of his career. A WSOP Circuit regular, Donabedian has yet to win a WSOP Circuit event. His two previous wins also came in PLO events on the Las Vegas Strip. His previous biggest score came last summer when he won $22,723. "Winning a bracelet is awesome honestly. I got a bracelet before I got a ring, I play a lot of circuit events and got a lot of second and thirds, but no win yet," Donabedian said. "I guess I was saving the win for the bracelet. I don’t feel like I need to win a ring now, because I have one better." Final Table Payouts Andrew Donabedian - $205,605 Todd Dreyer - $126,948 Robert Valden - $92,672 Corey Wright - $68,258 Mihai Niste - $50,732 Alexandru Ivan - $38,051 Tom Franklin - $28,803 Florian Fuchs - $22,006 Alexander Condon - $16,971 52 Players Left in the Running in Marathon Event Day 3 of the $2,620 Marathon No Limit Hold'em event was a busy one. The day began with 188 players still in contention and after 25 players were eliminated, the bubble burst leaving 163 players in the money in one of the longest tournaments on the WSOP schedule. At the end of the day just 52 players were left with Matt Russell bagging up the chip lead. His lead is a narrow one, however, as Peter Hong ended with 1,205,000 and Johan Guilbert finished with 1,204,000. Five other players finished with a stack of at least 1,000,000. Joseph Cheong, TK Miles, Mohsin Charania, Anatoly Filatov, Day 2 chip leader David Coleman, and reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year Erkut Yilmaz all moved on to Day 4. Some of the notables who cashed on Wednesday but weren't able to stay in the tournament included Andre Akkari, Joao Vieira, Maria Lampropulos, Kane Kalas, Matt Berkey, Ian O'Hara, Bertrand Grospellier, Cliff Josephy, Olivier Busquet, and Ole Schemion. Players return to action at 1 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Matt Russell - 1,260,000 Peter Hong - 1,205,000 Johan Guilbert - 1,204,000 Vladimir Alexandrov - 1,107,000 Tuan Phan - 1,041,000 Joseph Liberta - 1,030,000 Jason Wandling - 1,007,000 Sergio Fernandez - 1,000,005 Francis Anderson - 900,000 Preston Lee - 796,000 Michael Mizrachi Grinds His Way to $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Final Table Lead Michael Mizrachi, recently named the ninth greatest player in WSOP history, has just five more players to outlast in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo to claim his fifth career bracelet. Mizrachi, who started the day with the chip lead with 22 left, ended in the same position with just six players left. Mizrachi bagged up 1,355,000. Michael Sopko and Robert Gray are in the chase group, with 1,184,000 and 1,028,000 respectively. Mizrachi is the only player at the final table with a WSOP bracelet already to his credit. Yuval Bronshtein, fresh off of winning his first bracelet, busted in 13th place. The final table gets underway at Noon PT. Final Table Chip Counts Michael Mizrachi - 1,355,000 Michael Sopko - 1,184,000 Robert Gray - 1,028,000 Elias Hourani - 425,000 Jose Paz-Gutierrez - 300,000 Jan Stein - 264,000 Stephen Song Leads $1,000 No Limit Hold'em Final Table From 346 players that started Day 2 of the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, just six remain and Stephen Song sits with an overwhelming chip lead. Song finished with 24,655,000 and only one other player, Sevak Mikaeil, finished with more than 6,000,000. Ryan Laplante finished with the fourth biggest stack at 4,885,000. Phil Hellmuth picked up his fourth cash of the 2019 WSOP with a 16th place finish for $13,830. Daniel Alaei, Rich Zhu, and Phillip Hui all managed to find a cash before busting late on Day 2. Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Paul Volpe and defending champion John Hennigan were among the players who busted before the money bubble burst. Day 3 begins at 3 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Brian Hastings - 1,125,000 Dario Sammartino - 1,120,000 Daniel Ospina - 1,112,000 Greg Mueller - 734,000 Phil Galfond - 734,000 Marco Johnson - 631,000 David Brookshire - 611,000 Matthew Gonzales - 551,000 Nick Guagenti - 537,000 Tom Koral - 425,000 $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Draws 1,526 Players One of just two events to get underway on Wednesday, the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event attracted 1,526 and through 10 levels of play, Bulgaria's Stefan Ivanov finished with the chip lead. Ivanov was one of 309 players who survived Day 1. Right behind Ivanov is Luis Zedan with 374,000. The third biggest stack belongs to Joseph Sabe with 330,000. JC Tran, Pim de Goede, Dan Shak, Ismael Bojang, Chris Moorman, Joao Simao, Eoghan O'Dea, Erik Seidel, Joao Vieira, and John Racener all managed to move on to Day 2. Day 2 begins at 2 PM PT and will see the money bubble burst after 80 more players are eliminated. Top 10 Chip Counts Stefan Ivanov - 386,000 Luis Zedan - 374,000 Joseph Sabe - 330,000 Szymon Wysocki - 306,500 Neil Yekell - 277,000 Andrew Whitaker - 274,000 Joshua Gibson - 261,500 Jon Turner - 258,000 Christopher Aiello - 251,500 Anatolii Zyrin - 248,000 Former #1 Griffin Benger Tops $3K Six Max NLHE Day 1 Griffin Benger is no stranger to the spotlight at the World Series of Poker. Benger, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, finished seventh in the 2016 WSOP Main Event. On Wednesday, Benger finished on top of the 140 players who survived Day 1 of the $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em event. Benger ended the day with 427,000. The next biggest stack belongs to Upeshka De Silva with 306,000 chips in the bag. 2018 WSOP Main Event runner-up Tony Miles, Joe Cada, Jonathan Proudfoot, Ben Heath, Adrian Mateos, Dan Ott, Daniel Negreanu, and Chris Ferguson all moved on to Day 2. The tournament attracted a field of 754 players, down from the 868 that played in 2018. Top 10 Chip Counts Griffin Benger - 427,500 Upeshka De Silva - 306,000 Michael Tureniec - 263,000 Onur Unsal - 258,000 Manig Loeser - 245,000 James Obst - 242,000 Aleksandr Shevliakov - 222,000 Robert Bickley - 221,500 Kunuk Shin - 221,000 Francisco Torrecillas - 219,500 Thursday Schedule
  5. The crazy week for the World Poker Tour continued on Friday afternoon as the $10,000 buy-in ARIA Summer Championship played down to a winner. Matthew Wantman eliminated four of the final six players to win $443,475 and his first WPT title. Wantman also earned automatic entry into the WPT Tournament of Champions that gets underway Saturday at ARIA. It took just four hands to get the first elimination. Action folded to Ryan Laplante and he moved all in from the hijack and Wantman called from the big blind. Laplante turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"] which had him racing against Wantman's [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="9h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="8c"][poker card="jc"] runout missed Laplante and gave Wantman an unneeded set of jacks to bust Laplante in sixth place. Laplante wasted no time in getting back on the horse though. The next elimination came just six hands later. Jim Collopy limped for 15,000 before Wantman raised to 65,000 from the small blind. Collopy moved all in for 540,000 and Wantman called. Collopy tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"] and Wantman was well ahead with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="9c"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"] flop failed to connect for Collopy and all he could do was watch the [poker card="td"] turn and [poker card="4d"] river miss him again to officially eliminate him in fifth place. The fast pace of eliminations continued and only five more hands passed before Wantman found another victim. From the button, Wantman raised to 40,000 and Art Papazyan called from the small blind before Kevin Eyster shipped his last 375,000 from the big blind. Wantman called and Papazyan folded. Wantman again turned over a monster, this time [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] while Eyster needed some help with [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="7h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="tc"] runout gave Wantman a queen-high flush and eliminated Eyster in third. It took four hours and 140 hands to go from three players to heads up. Papazyan, who was looking for his third career WPT win, button-raised to 85,000 and then moved all in for 1,545,000 after Igor Kurganov made it 300,000 from the small blind. Kurganov called and showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="qd"] and Papazyan was in rough shape with [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"][poker card="js"] flop gave Kurganov top pair and Kurganov bottom pair with players drawing to a chop with Broadway. The turn was the [poker card="7c"] and the river the [poker card="5c"] to give Kurganov the pot and send him to heads up against Wantman while Papazyan was out in third position. The players were nearly even in chips when heads up began; Wantman held 53% of the chips. Over the next two hours, Kurganov and Wantman played 53 hands and traded the chip lead a few times before Wantman finally put Kurganov away for good. Down to 18 big blinds, Kurganov shipped all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="6c"] and Wantman called with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] flop gave Wantman a commanding lead in the hand and neither the [poker card="6d"] turn or [poker card="4s"] river changed anything to send Kurganov out in second and award Wantman his first WPT title. The event drew 192 entrants for a total prize pool $1,824,000. In 2018, the Bobby Baldwin Poker Classic, which held the same spot on the calendar at ARIA, attracted 162 players. Final Table Payouts Matthew Wantman - $443,475 Igor Kurganov - $285,650 Art Papazyan - $209,980 Kevin Eyster - $156,220 Jim Collopy - $117,640 Ryan Laplante - $89,685
  6. The madness continued at the 2019 World Series of Poker on Friday as the second flight of the Big 50 brought out another massive field that impacted nearly every other event on the schedule. ARIA Dealers Go Back-to-Back in $565 Casino Employees Event Last year, Jordan Hufty, a dealer at the ARIA poker room, won the Casino Employees event. Friday afternoon on the ESPN main stage, Nicholas Haynes, another ARIA dealer, picked up his first bracelet and $62,248 for winning this year's Casino Employees event. Haynes, 39, believes being able to deal to some of the world's best players at ARIA has helped him develop as a player. "There’s a lot of incredible players (at ARIA) and I watch them and just pick up little bits here and there and over time you just become better," Haynes said. "I feel like they were very instrumental in my play today. That’s why I’m thankful for my job and the players there.” WSOP media relations manager Isaac Hanson finished as the runner-up and walked away with $38,447. Final Table Payouts Nicholas Haynes - $62,248 Isaac Hanson - $38,447 Jorge Ruiz - $26,642 Jesse Kertland - $18,758 Adam Lamers - $13,421 Jeffrey Fast - $9,761 Big 50 Day 1B Draws Capacity Field, Creates Chaos for Other Events Another 6,000+ players filled the tables at the Rio for Day 1B of the $500 Big 50 event. This puts the Big 50 on pace to surpass the 2015 Colossus event as the largest live poker tournament in history. In anticipation of having almost all tables in play, WSOP officials initially told Day 2A players on Thursday night that their restart, which was originally scheduled for 2 PM, was pushed back to 5 PM. On Friday, that restart was pushed back again and players didn't get cards in play until nearly 7 PM. To help thin the field in for Day 2B, players were made to play extra level on Friday night and will play one less on Saturday. There were so many players on Friday that WSOP officials were forced to put tables in an abandoned bowling alley in the casino portion of the Rio. The chaos that filled the Rio hallways on Friday reminded some players of another recent event that had great intentions in the planning but struggled with execution. Alexander Kartveli had no trouble with the big field though. He ended with the largest Day 1B stack, putting 892,000 in the bag when play wrapped up for the night. Brenton Rincker ended with the second biggest stack at 762,000. Some of the notables who bagged chips on Friday include Phil Hui (414,000), Chris Ferguson (345,000), Jake Schwartz (257,000), and Jamie Kerstetter (115,000). Top 10 Chip Counts Alexander Kartveli - 892,000 Brenton Rincker - 762,000 Michelle Porter - 703,000 Jordan Bane - 685,000 Michael Abratique - 660,000 Aaron Duczak - 625,000 Michael Anton - 622,000 Jesse Solano - 610,000 Patricia Altizer - 598,000 Azad Arazm - 597,000 Mikhail Vilkov Overcomes Chaos to Build Big 50 Day 2A Top Stack Once the 1,580 returning players were able to take their seats and play some cards, only three other players managed to surpass the 3,000,000 mark: Mikhail Vilkov (3,475,000), Joshua Thibodaux (3,215,000), and Amer Torbey (3,025,000). Some of the notables that managed to make Day 3 include Daniel Zack (1,700,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (1,365,000), Blake Bohn (1,265,000), John Racener (980,000), Matt Berkey (750,000). Those players will now to wait until Day 3 on Wednesday to resume. Top 10 Chip Counts Mikhail Vilkov - 3,475,000 Joshua Thibodaux - 3,215,000 Amer Torbey - 3,025,000 Justin Powell - 2,800,000 Yuliyan Kolev - 2,800,000 Bao Le - 2,600,000 Omer Mecica - 2,555,000 Anthony Marquez - 2,300,000 Amit Makhija - 2,275,000 Sarkis Karapetian - 2,200,000 Rick Fuller Leads Final 36 in $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo The decision by WSOP officials to make most $1,500 tournament four-day tournaments was front and center on Friday night as 36 players advanced to Day 2 in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Some players voiced concern that too many advancing late into Day 2 and Day 3 might not have the impact WSOP officials expected. Rick Fuller finished Day 2 with 474,000 and now finds himself in pole position heading into Day 3. Ben Yu, Mike Matusow, Andrey Zaichenko, Patrick Leonard, Shannon Shorr, Jeff Madsen, and John Monnette were among the notable names to advance to Day 3. Top 10 Chip Counts Rick Fuller - 474,000 Clifford Schinkoeth - 448,000 Tom McCormick - 400,000 John Esposito - 350,000 David Halpern - 349,000 Curtis Phelps - 314,000 Nathaniel Wachtel - 314,000 Ben Yu - 294,000 Danny Chang - 270,000 Zachary Hench - 270,000 Ali Imsirovic Rides Early Success to $50,000 High Roller Day 1 Chip Lead Ali Imsirovic already has a runner-up finish in this year's WSOP. Based on what he did Friday night, he has plans to improve on that finish soon. Imsirovic finished with the Day 1 chip lead in the $50,000 50th Annual WSOP High Roller after eliminating Ryan Laplante, Chance Kornuth, and Elio Fox in the first level of play. He finished the night with 1,549,000 from a 300,000 starting stack. Fox shook off the first bullet elimination, re-entered and ran his stack up to 1,185,000 to sit second heading into Day 2. Ben Heath is right behind him at 1,180,000. The opening day drew 92 entries and registration remains open until mid-way through Day 2. 52 players managed to survive Day 1 and the field is full of notable names. Daniel Negreanu finished with 861,000 for the 12th biggest stack. Other players that will be back battling on Day 2 include Nick Petrangelo, Adrian Mateos, Bryn Kenney, Isaac Haxton, and Erik Seidel. Top 10 Chip Counts Ali Imsirovic - 1,549,000 Elio Fox - 1,185,000 Ben Heath - 1,180,000 Barry Hutter - 1,081,000 Sean Williams - 1,060,000 Dmitry Yurasov - 1,000,000 Chance Kornuth - 999,000 Justin Bonomo - 947,000 Tobias Ziegler - 936,000 Manig Loeser - 912,000
  7. On Tuesday, Chance Kornuth final tabled the opening event of the Poker Masters before finishing second to Isaac Baron. On Wednesday, Kornuth once again took on the role of bridesmaid as Ryan Laplante eliminated the final four players to win the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event for $186,000. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] With blinds of 25,000/50,000, Tim McDermott was down to just 140,000 when he moved all in with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"] from early position. John Riordan made 545,000 from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"]. Thai Ha and Laplante folded their blinds. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] to give Riordan a flush and eliminate McDermott in sixth place. Five minutes later, defending Purple Jacket winner Ali Imsirovic went up against Laplante. From the cutoff, Laplante raised to 125,00 with -[poker card="as"][poker card="jh"][poker card="td"][poker card="2s"] before Imsirovic re-raised from the button to 450,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2h"] and Laplante called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"] flop gave Laplante the nut flush. Laplante bet 190,000 - exactly what Imsirovic had left - and Imsirovic called. The [poker card="5c"] turn and [poker card="4h"] river combo were unable to save Imsirovic from a fifth place finish. Laplante found himself on the good end of a bustout an hour later. Riordan raised to 280,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3d"] and Laplante defended his big blind with [poker card="th"][poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"]. After the [poker card="qd"][poker card="9d"][poker card="3c"] flop, Riordan called Laplante's pot-sized bet with his tournament life on the line. The [poker card="8c"] turn moved Laplante ahead and the [poker card="jd"] river was no help for Riordan and he was eliminated in fourth place. While all the excitement in his home state of Pennsylvania has been focused on the launch of PokerStars PA, Thai Ha has been putting in the work at the Poker Masters. Following his eighth place finish in Event #1, Ha was guaranteed a better finish but couldn't manage to grab a win. After Kornuth folded his button, Ha called from the small blind with [poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2c"] before Laplante raised to 240,000 from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="6d"] flop gave Ha a straight and he bet 560,000. Laplante instantly moved all in and Ha called. The [poker card="4d"] turn gave Laplante a flush and Ha could only shake hands and say goodbye as the [poker card="3h"] river completed the board. Heads-up play began with Laplante holding a better than 2-1 chip lead over Kornuth. It took just two hands of one-on-one play for Kornuth to put a wrap on his first live win since December 2016. Kornuth raised to 240,000 from the button with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3s"] and Laplante called with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Laplante a flopped full house and Kornuth lead out for 225,000. Laplante moved all in and Kornuth called. The [poker card="ad"] turn and [poker card="7s"] river failed to give Kornuth any relief and he was eliminated in second place for the second time in two days. "I've been working a lot on my training site, Learn Pro Poker, it's a lot of GTO-based content. When you're working on stuff like that it really helps a lot of aspects of your game and I've just been running very, very well this year," Laplante said after the win. Final Table Payouts Ryan Laplante - $186,000 Chance Kornuth - $124,000 Thai Ha - $86,000 John Riordan - $62,000 Ali Imsirovic - $49,600 Tim McDermott - $37,200
  8. Over the 31 days of July, 31 different players picked up a World Series of Poker bracelet on WSOP.com. While the winners dominated the headlines, there were thousands of players - 2,289 to be exact - who added to their WSOP resume with an in-the-money finish. Digging through all of the numbers from the 2020 WSOP Online on WSOP.com shows a number of players who found a way to shine bright on poker's biggest stage. Cash(ing) is King for Ryan Laplante Nobody found their way into the money more often Ryan Laplante. The Las Vegas resident cashed in 18 of the 30 events he was eligible to play in. Laplante earned $47,131 overall and his biggest cash came in Event #5 ($1,000 NLHE Freezeout) where he finished in 11th place for $8,681. There were 57 players who cashed at least 10 times and 1,386 who only hit the payouts window once. [table id=88 /] Former World Champ Tops Total Earnings List 2015 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen walked away from the WSOP.com events pushing a wheelbarrow full of cash. McKeehen won Event #14 ($3,200 NLHE High Roller) for $352,985. That score alone would have put him atop the earnings leaderboard for the Series, but he also managed to cash seven more times for $16,646. Only two players in the earnings list top 10 were not bracelet winners, but both had high-profile runner-up finishes. Frank Funaro finished second to McKeehen in the High Roller event and Matthew Parry finished second in the second-biggest buy-in event on the calendar, Event #29 ($2,000 Deepstack NLHE). [table id=89 /] Just Three Players Score $300,000+ Scores McKeehen's victory also gave him the single biggest score of the entire Series and made him just one of three players to win more than $300,000 from a single event. Event #31 ($1,000 Championship NLHE) winner Nahrain Tamero finished with the second biggest score of $310,832 and Event #29 ($2,000 NLH Deepstack) champ Nick Guagenti snuck past the $300K mark earning $305,433. There 42 six-figure cashes throughout the 31 events and two players had two each. Ryan Torgersen, who finished runner-up in Event #9 ($1,000 Six Max NLHE) the night before winning Event #10 ($600 NLHE Monster Stack) earned $172,362 and $116,379 respectively while William Romaine, runner-up in Event #13 ($1,500 NLHE Freezeout) and Event #28 ($1,000 Omaha 8-or-better Six Max) champion, banked scores of $110,979 and $ 110,670. [table id=90 /] They're Going Streaking Laplante's 18 cashes were buoyed by his run in Events #14-#23 were the bracelet winner cashed in every single event. Those 10 consecutive cashes represent the longest such streak of the Series. Two players, Roland Israelashvili and Huy Nguyen, tied for the next longest streak at six, and another eight players each had streaks of five. [table id=91 /] New Jersey versus Nevada: Tale of the Tape In the battle of the Silver State versus the Garden State, it was the latter that came out on top - but only barely. New Jersey players cashed a total of 1,592 times for $5,047,455 in winnings while their Nevada counterparts finished in the money 1,366 times and won $4,993,437. California and New York put on a worthy undercard battle with Californians earning 886 cashes versus New Yorkers' 718 but the Empire State won more money by banking $3,308,233 versus the $2,881,397 that Californians won. [table id=92 /] Rank & File: Former Number 1s Shine Bright It should come as no surprise to learn that players who have dominated online poker put up decent results during the Series. At least seven former #1-ranked players recorded ITM finishes with three of them hitting the double-digit mark. Bryan Piccioli had the most cashes at 14 while Ari Engel topped the earnings list with $148,919. [table id=93 /]

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