With 68 events on the schedule this year, the vast tournament halls of the Rio are busier than ever at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Thursday’s Day 9 of the series was witness to six different events playing at once, including two $10,000 Championships — the heads-up hold’em finished and the pot-limit hold’em began. There were also three $1,500 events in play — limit hold’em, six-max hold’em, and a hold’em shootout. And, on top of all of that, there was the continuation of the $2,500 Omaha hi-lo and stud hi-lo mix.
Keith Lehr Wins Second Bracelet in $10K Heads-Up Championship
When Keith Lehr took his seat opposite Paul Volpe on Thursday to decide which of them would be crowned champion, both players were looking for their second career WSOP gold bracelet in as the approached the final day of Event #10: $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em.
It wasn’t an easy path to get to the final day and final round of this event, with an intimidating roster of players among the 128 who registered to play. Some of the notable players included Jason Mercier, Faraz Jaka, Thomas Muehloecker, Jennifer Tilly, Erik Seidel, Brian Rast, George Danzer, Anthony Zinno, Phil Hellmuth, Byron Kaverman, Bertrand Grospellier, Bryn Kenney, Pratyush Buddiga, Connor Drinan, Doug Polk, Davidi Kitai, Sorel Mizzi, Olivier Busquet, Isaac Haxton, Jason Somerville, and Dominik Nitsche, among many others.
Clouding the event were allegations of cheating aimed at fifth-place finisher Valeriu Coca who has been banned from Prague Casinos in the past for marking cards. His opponents found his behaviour in the heads-up event very suspicious and there is currently an investigation into the allegations. When Coca spoke to PokerNews through an interpreter, he denied the accusations.
When action resumed on Thursday, only the final two players remained, and it was a short sprint to victory for Lehr. Just 24 hands into the heads-up match, Volpe min-raised his button to 80,000 and Lehr called. Lehr led out for 110,000 on the flop and Volpe raised it up to 280,000. Lehr quickly three-bet to 510,000 and Volpe spent a minute deciding to call. The turn of brought an all-in bet from Lehr and Volpe called. Lehr turned over top pair with , but was holding the worse hand to Volpe’s two pairs. The dealer burned a card before flipping over the river: . Lehr had caught a better two pairs and secured his second WSOP bracelet along with the $334,430 prize money. Volpe collected $206,620 for finishing runner-up.
Real Estate Broker Wins WSOP Bracelet While on Holiday
When we left Event #11: $1,500 Limit Hold’em in Thursday’s recap, there were 28 players remaining and three Canadians among them. Unfortunately, those three Canadians were quick to hit the exits on Thursday with James Meek the first eliminated of the day in 28th place for $4,989 with Francois Vigeant close behind in 26th for $6,076. Adam Duguay lasted a little longer, collecting $7,493 for finishing 18th.
The tournament continued late into the night until William Kakon finally emerged victorious. The real estate broker from Miami, Florida was on his second-ever WSOP final table and guaranteed his seventh WSOP cash. But this time he managed what every poker player dreams of and earned his first WSOP gold bracelet.
The event was decided on the 70th hand of heads-up play against Daniel Needleman. The two got it all in on the river with the board reading and Kakon had the best of it with over Needleman’s .
Kakon’s win earned him $195,055, while Needleman pocketed $121,051 for being second-best.
Mike Watson Leads Canadians to Day 3 of $1,500 Six-Max
The many $1,500 no-limit hold’em events on the WSOP schedule are what thousands of poker players come for. Event #12: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed saw 1,651 players take their shot at the bracelet on Wednesday’s Day 1, and 206 of those returned on Thursday for Day 2.
By the end of the night, 25 players remained to bag and tag chips for Day 3, and none had more to their name than Steve Billirakis. He was the only player to tip over to seven figures, counting out 1,015,000. Two fellow Americans follow in second and third. Geoffrey Rasmussen has 967,000 and Brett Radin will return with 952,000.
When Day 2 began, nine Canadians returned with Mike Watson leading them. Ten levels later, Watson continues to be the best of our nation with 414,000, but only two others will be joining him on Friday. Scott Montgomery has 398,000 chips and Philip Elliott has 343,000.
The money bubble was burst early in Day 2, and all of the Canadians held on to collect a payout. Here are the prizes earned by the Canadian contingent on Thursday:
Play resumes at 1 p.m. on Friday, and the 25 players will all have their eyes on the $457,007 first-place prize. Check back with PokerNews Canada to see how our three remaining Canadian hopes fare.
40 Remain in Hi-Lo Mix; Brandon Pater Leads
One of the things that draws players from all over the world to the WSOP is that, no matter what your game is, you’ll find it being laid at the Rio sometime during the six weeks of WSOP. For split-pot mixed-game specialists, the big circle on the calender was around Event #13: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better.
When Day 2 kicked off, 264 players were still in the mix looking for a piece of the $1,078,350 prize pool. Only 48 would actually achieve that goal, so the bubble burst fairly late in the day. It was almost 1 a.m. when Todd Brunson, who is a fixture at the non-hold’em games, busted a few before the money in a pretty gross spot.
Brunson was already short-stacked and pushed his final 5,500 chips in preflop with with and Alexdandr Vinskii completed to 10,000. Action folded around, and Vinskii showed . It looked like Brunson would collect a double-up when the flop came giving him a flush. Vinskii paired his deuce, which seemed unimportant until running tens came on turn and river to give Vinskii tens full of deuces. “You gotta be kidding me,” Brunson muttered as he headed to the door.
After Dao Bac hit runner-runner sixes to double up and survive on the stone bubble a few hands later, Eng Tang was the eventual bubble when his couldn’t hold in three-way action. The relatively strong Omaha hi-lo hand was dealt a near-fatal blow on the flop when he paired one of his low cards. By the river he had no lo and his pair of nines was dominated by a straight.
The remaining players were all guaranteed $4,733 and action went pretty quickly. Over the next 45 minutes until the end of play, eight players lost their chips and collected a minimum cash. Forty people come back to play Day 3, including chip leader Brandon Paster. Paster is a relative newcomer to the split-pot games at WSOP — his only bracelet coming in pot-limit Omaha and his three other cashes are also in pot-limit Omaha or no-limit hold’em — but he starts Day 3 with 22,000 more chips than Konstantin Maslak in second with 363,000.
Other notable players to bag chips on Day 2 include Eric Wasserson, whose split pot skills were on display cashing for $9,220 Event #3: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, with 233,000, Barry Shulman with 181,000, and Brian Rast with 78,000.
Play gets under way on Day 3 at 2 p.m. Las Vegas time on Friday.
Another Shootout at the Rio Begins; Two Canadians Advance
Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’Em Shootout got under way Thursday. There were 1,000 people who sat down to 100 10-handed tables, with only the winners of each table advancing to Friday’s Day 2. Before play even began, it was certain that Day 2 would have 100 players, each trying to win one of 10 tables.
Two Canadians managed to make it through the gruelling Day 1. Ethan Werner and Mark Radoja both battled their way through their tables to be the last one standing. Other notable players to finish with all the chips from their tables are below.
|Rep Porter||United States|
|Mohsin Charania||United States|
|Randal Flowers||United States|
|Justin Bonomo||United States|
Cards are back in the air in Event #14 Friday at 1 p.m. local time for Day 2 action.
$10K Pot-Limit Hold'em Championships Under Way; Three Canadians Return
On Thursday, 128 of the biggest names in poker sat down for Event #15: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. Only half (exactly) of them survived the first day of play, leaving 64 players to return Friday to compete for a share of the $1,203,200 prize pool. Eighteen players will be guaranteed $17,073, with $318,857 waiting for the player with all the chips at the end.
Going into Day 2, the returning field is stacked with well-known players. The chip leader, Josh Arieh with 168,900, is a multiple bracelet winner with more than $4 million in lifetime WSOP cashes. With Shaun Deeb in second (154,200) and Roberto Romanello (141,000) in third, there’s no shortage of name recognition and poker talent at the top of the list.
The rest of the field is no less daunting. Three Canadians will return for Day 2, including one of the best players on the planet: Daniel Negreanu with 40,000. Timothy Adams comes back with slightly more chips than Negreanu, bagging 42,600 at the end of Day 1, while Mike Leah returns with a short stack of 18,500.
Our Canadians will have to battle some of the best players in the game. A list of some of the other players returning for Day 2, below, makes it clear “easy tables” will be hard to find on Friday.
|8||Jason Koon||99,600||United States|
|10||Connor Drinan||95,400||United States|
|12||Paul Volpe||85,900||United States|
|17||Faraz Jaka||76,700||United States|
|20||Scott Seiver||71,500||United States|
|26||Andrew Lichtenberger||63,000||United States|
|27||Bryn Kenney||62,000||United States|
|32||Todd Brunson||55,600||United States|
Action is live in the star-studded Event #15 at 2 p.m. local time on Friday.
Details courtesy of the WSOP Live Blog.